First day back to school

First day of school - © Christopher Martin-1477

It was a busy morning getting ready for the first day of school in time for the bus this morning.  Bobbi did a great job having everything planned out for the kids so it wasn’t chaos.  Kezia is super excited to get back to class to see her friends and get Grade 3 started.

First day of school - © Christopher Martin-1478

Kian and Bobbi are embarking on a home schooling adventure this year which will be amazing for both of them.

First day of school - © Christopher Martin-1506

Kian is very excited about the opportunity to dive deep into subjects and be more in control of where his efforts are placed.

First day of school - © Christopher Martin-1496

Both the kids are excited about each other’s path this year.

First day of school - © Christopher Martin-1523

It was fun to photograph them together, and get one with Kezia and I (thank you Bobbi), before she got on the bus to get her year started.

First day of school - © Christopher Martin-1533


Berlin’s traffic in motion

Berlin's traffic in motion - © Christopher Martin-7269

I stopped under a railway overpass to photograph a small piece of the morning commute in Berlin.  It was interesting to see and compare the vehicles on a German roadway with what I’m used to at home in Calgary.

Berlin's traffic in motion - © Christopher Martin-7225

I have a lot of fun photographing things in motion and the half hour I spent on this street just outside of downtown was no exception.  Playing with the shutter speed to isolate subjects as they speed by is a good challenge and can make for strong, dynamic images.  Here then are a few more from that session beside the road.

Berlin's traffic in motion - © Christopher Martin-7238

Berlin's traffic in motion - © Christopher Martin-7223

Berlin's traffic in motion - © Christopher Martin-7250

Jetzt Ein Auto - Berlin's traffic in motion - © Christopher Martin-7230-2

Berlin's traffic in motion - © Christopher Martin-7276

Berlin's traffic in motion - © Christopher Martin-7262

Blasting off from Berlin

Berlin's Fernsehturm - © Christopher Martin-9314

The week flew by here in Europe with a weekend in Gent and then five days in Berlin.  I met up with my cousin and two other very close friends and had a blast the whole time.  It was fast but I am a little surprised how much was stuffed in.  Last night, I spent the evening around Alexanderplatz and went up the Fernsehturm for a true bird’s-eye view of the city.  Berlin’s TV Tower is referred to by some as the toothpick and the TV asparagus I’m told.  I expect there are more nicknames but its status as an icon of Berlin and a dominating presence in her skyline elevates it above reproach in my book.

When I was down on the ground, the Berlin lacht festival was in full swing so the performances, partying and laughter overran the square.  This image shows a bit of the colours and mood of this event – all under the watchful eye of the tower with a lump in its throat.

Anyways, a quick image while I wait for my plane and get home to my kids.  I will share more from the whirlwind soon I hope.

Finding Berlin

I crossed the pond last night to come to Berlin for a whirlwind visit with my cousin.  I did find Berlin, and him so the trip’s off to a great start.  We’re off to Belgium for the weekend and then I will be looking forward to finding much more of Berlin.

Berlin Underground on the U7 - © Christopher Martin-6436

This was a quick shot of transportation by transportation while waiting for the metro on the U7 at the Jakob-Kaiser-Platz station.

Calgary Stampede – running and riding at the rodeo

Calgary Stampede Day 1 Rodeo - © Christopher Martin-245-2

I started this year’s Calgary Stampede with an afternoon at the rodeo with two good friends.  We were part of a larger band of harmless troublemakers so the party started before and continued after the rodeo was over.  Photography wasn’t my focus on this visit to the grounds but I did have some good opportunities from the seats in the infield right above the chutes.

Calgary Stampede Day 1 Rodeo - © Christopher Martin-95

Calgary Stampede Day 1 Rodeo - © Christopher Martin-105

Calgary Stampede Day 1 Rodeo - © Christopher Martin-156

Calgary Stampede Day 1 Rodeo - © Christopher Martin-3

It was great to see the cowgirls, cowboys and all of the animals in action.  Judging by the capacity crowd and all of their happy faces, I wasn’t alone.  Happy Stampede!

Happy Canada Day!

To my fellow Canadians, and anyone else with a soft spot for the country, Happy Canada Day!  149 years old today!

Canada Day bike parade- © Christopher Martin-54

This was the annual bike parade in Redwood Meadows led by our local Fire Department.  And followed closely by my daughter, Kezia, in the middle looking back.

Happy Birthday Kian!

Happy birthday Kian - © Christopher Martin-2061

My dearest boy on your ninth birthday I should soon start to refer to you as a young man for that is what you are and have done the work to become.  I love how much fun you have doing the things which you are drawn to do.  I love your fierce commitment to equality and fairness.  I love the joy you take from time spent with me, our family and your friends.  I love everything about you and especially love learning about the new things you pick up, the dreams you have, the challenges, the triumphs and everything else that comes.

Happy birthday Kian - © Christopher Martin-2085

I tremble, a little, when I think how fast your first nine years have flown by but I am incredibly excited to see where you will take the many yet to come.  I am humbled to be your father and honoured to be your friend.

Happy birthday Kian - © Christopher Martin-2379

Happy birthday my son!  Let’s make sure all of the wishes you made come true!

Happy birthday Kian - © Christopher Martin-2243


A hockey night in Calgary

Hockey night in Canada - © Christopher Martin-0966

I found this ice rink in a park near Marda Loop.  There were a few people playing hockey under the night lights.  I stopped for a few minutes to play with the patterns of the trees and lights against the rink.  I loved the setting and that everyone was out to enjoy this most traditional of Canadian pastimes.

Hockey night in Canada - © Christopher Martin-0978

Enlightened inside a Tibetan home

A rural prayer - © Christopher Martin-8552

A window into a traditional Tibetan home in a rural village.  This was from one of my day trips out of Shangri-La and up into the front range of the Himalayas in the northern corner of Yunnan province.  Many of the people living in the small mountainside towns, farms and villages are ethnic Tibetan.  It was an honour to see some of their culture during a visit to this village.

A rural dream - © Christopher Martin-8499

It was interesting as this is a place that tour buses stop during day trips into the mountains so it is a tourist focused place but the people living there had a joy and vibrancy about them which stood apart from many similar locations.  I really enjoyed the couple of hours that I spent there.

A rural dream - © Christopher Martin-8550


Happy birthday to my little angel

Kezia's birthday party - © Christopher Martin-0219

Today you celebrate your 7th birthday.  The joy you share with me and everyone you touch is just one of your amazing gifts.  Every minute I am with you I fall deeper in love with you, with everything that you are and with everything that you are becoming.  It is a wonderful honour for me to be your daddy, to be part of your journey and to celebrate you.  Happy birthday my little angel.  Happy birthday Kezia.

Kezia's birthday party - © Christopher Martin-0294

Kezia's birthday party - © Christopher Martin-0201

Kezia's birthday party - © Christopher Martin-0218

Christmas day around the house

Christmas Day with the kids - © Christopher Martin-8254

Christmas Day with the kids - © Christopher Martin-8226

Kezia and Kian had fun from early Christmas morning when Kezia told her grandparents she just missed Santa Claus.  We made it out sledding in the backyard before lunch and then we had family visit in the afternoon.

Christmas Day with the kids - © Christopher Martin-8265

Christmas Day with the kids - © Christopher Martin-8283

Christmas Day with the kids - © Christopher Martin-8364

Christmas Day with the kids - © Christopher Martin-8342

On Boxing day we had thirty family members come over for dinner – kids and adults all seemed to have a great evening.

Christmas Day with the kids - © Christopher Martin-8407

Christmas Day with the kids - © Christopher Martin-8410

I hope everyone is enjoying a lot of family time!

A Stormtrooper in YYC

I caught Star Wars: The Force Awakens yesterday and absolutely loved it.  The continuation of the saga is a joyride I have been looking forward to enormously and the movie met my loftiest hopes🙂

Star Wars - Stormtroopers in YYC - © Christopher Martin-7106

Earlier in the week, my kids and I went downtown for my birthday evening and we saw these Stormtroopers walking near The Bow.  Great foreshadowing for us.  There was a film crew with them so it was some form of promotional shoot.  That didn’t stop the kids and I getting really excited daydreaming about walking into the middle of a real life Star Wars scene.