Posts tagged “People

Happy New Year!

I spent New Year’s Eve at home with my children and one of their close friends.  We all had fun and enjoyed the evening.  The Redwood Meadows community once more put on a fireworks show.

They always do a great job and this year was outstanding.  Kian found friends to watch and hang out with.  The other two enjoyed the show from the picture window of a neighbor’s home which provided a good, and warm, view.  It wasn’t frigid cold but it was -12ºC and the windchill made it feel like several degrees cooler again.

Some people watched with their kids from their vehicles, some people bundled up and were happy to stand outside.  No matter how people watched them, everyone seemed to enjoy the performance.  I certainly did.

I set up across the road from the field where the fireworks were set up.  I wanted to have the option to silhouette people against the explosions.  I used two cameras to have some options.  I set one up with a remote control and kept those all at  a 10 second shutter speed, lens at f/10 and an ISO of 800.  The other one I shot with directly during the show and played with the settings and the composition.

As we have just left 2018 here in Alberta, I wanted to wish you the very best in 2019.  Happy New Year!


Curves at the Central Public Library

Calgary’s new Central Public Library is an amazing space for many reasons. Last night I enjoyed circling the exterior for the first time, photographing interesting features at interesting moments as I went.

Above a patron standing at the stairs near the main entrance is silhouetted against the beautifully designed curving wall that leads to the doors.  A minute later, and a few steps to the north, a fellow photographer captured the curve in his own way while sitting outside.


A snowy morning downtown

It was a surprise, to me at least, that a snowstorm blew across Calgary this morning.  I thought that weather wasn’t coming until Friday.  I took a few photographs near City Hall as the snow fell.  It cleared off quickly but provided a wintry reminder that spring has not taken hold quite yet.

Snowstorm in downtown Calgary- © Christopher Martin-5262


Snowbursts

Just before the holidays, and the cold snap that came along at the same time, my daughter and I played in the snow the day after a blizzard had blown through.

Kezia was brushing branches to watch the snow fall.  She called them snowbursts and with the bright sunshine lighting them, it felt like a bit of magic.

We had a lot of fun playing and taking pictures, as you can probably tell.  And so did our hound Lacey who chased snowballs and dove her head into the snow constantly!

We had been snow-free up to that point in December (the 20th) so the excitement to be returned to a proper winter wonderland was palpable.  I love hanging out with this sweet girl and this was a great day doing just that.


Happy New Year’s Eve!

We are two hours away from 2018 here in Alberta.  I hope you are enjoying a great last night of 2017.  Our Redwood Meadows community had a great fireworks display to closeout the year.  This image was shot at the start of the show tonight.


Tobogganing in Kananaskis Country

 

My children, one of their good friends and I went to a hill along Highway 66 west of Bragg Creek in Kananaskis last week.  It was at the front end of the latest warm spell in southern Alberta so it was great to be outside and there was still a lot of snow. In between runs we all made together, the kids made a few runs where I photographed them flying down, catching air and spraying snow with little regard for its well-being.  A fantastic afternoon with my two very favorite people in the world.

Kian went full punk off of one jump.  Later Kezia plowed through it!


Snow day, snow play

A storm hit southern Alberta yesterday and laid down the first thick blanket of snow in Redwood Meadows.  Early October always feels too early for winter to come but this should melt in the next day or so.  My children are not ones to miss an opportunity so they were outside as soon as the howling wind had eased a little.


Tsuu T’ina Pow Wow: Friday’s Grand Entrance

The Pow Wow is the centre of the Tsuu T’ina Nation’s Annual Celebrations.  Last Friday evening Kezia and I went to the Redwood Meadows Fairground before the Grand Entrance.  Kezia was invited to join her friend dancing afterwards which hit the night out of the park for her.  The photography was great along the way with the beautiful regalia in the late sunlight.

 


The Tsuu T’ina Nation’s 2017 Rodeo is underway

 

Kezia and I went to the first night of the Tsuu T’ina Nation Annual Celebration’s 43rd Annual Rodeo.  Kezia’s friend was dancing in the Pow Wow so we did not stay too long.  Definitely looking forward to getting back tonight.

 


Super fun at the Calgary Stampede Midway

My children and I went down to the Calgary Stampede on Friday for a day on the grounds.  We ended up staying for 10 hours and they spent most of that riding, sliding, dropping, stopping and flying around, over, through and across the midway.

We rode on the Skyride which takes you over the middle of the fairgrounds and affords a great view and an opportunity to map out the order of rides, games and food.

It was hot, by Calgary standards – around 32°C, so the misting and water stations were important oasis stops for us throughout the day.

One of those water bottle refill spots was in the Agrium building.  The cool air and really interesting agricultural kiosks and interactive centres kept the kids interested and allowed us to lose some heat!  Kezia loved feeding the chickens in particular while Kian enjoyed watching the day old chicks waddle around their pen.

Ice cream after lunch and slushies in the afternoon were necessary – at least to us!

But, this was a day of rides and we did that with very few other breaks.  It was the first time the kids have come down to the Stampede and I am really happy that they loved it.  I’ve always had a lot of fun down here – on the midway, at the rodeo, watching the chuckwagons and the grandstand show, etc.  I’m excited to share more of the fun that the Stampede has to offer with them.

They hit the Euro Slide early in the day and later in the afternoon.  The sun was behind them for the afternoon rides which allowed for a cool look by over-exposing the shots.  I definitely had a lot of fun playing while photographing these cool cats!

The Outlaw Roller Coaster was one of Kian’s two favourite rides.  He made a couple of runs solo on that after going with his sister the first time.  He didn’t mind having the front seat all to himself – and it worked well for the photographs too!  My favourite is the riding philosopher as he finished his last ride on this one.

And then there was the Starship 4000!  It was the consensus favourite and they both rode it A LOT.  Kian went 13 times and Kezia rode 16 times – in a row!  Dad was a bystander while they racked up their circular miles inside the spaceship.  It spun around pasting the riders against the wall but still allowing them to move around a bit.  I didn’t go on this one but I have been told by both kids it was AWESOME!

We didn’t even get into the games that line the midway alongside the rides.  Kian definitely liked this pink monkey so he’s looking forward to trying for one of them next year.

We finished the day off with a couple of flights on the hang gliding ride called the Cliff Hanger.  I liked flying like Superman – the kids did that and enjoyed making faces and having a blast as they spun around.

A great day at the Stampede – we’ll be back next year!


Kreuzberg: living graffiti

 Kreuzberg - living graffiti - © Christopher Martin-8836.jpg ATTACHMENT DETAILS kreuzberg - living graffiti - © Christopher Martin-8836

When I visited Berlin last summer, I spent an early morning and, a couple of days later, a late afternoon touring around Kreuzberg.  This borough is divided into two major districts, 36 and 61.  I didn’t know enough about them to distinguish them – everywhere I went was heavily covered in graffiti.  This street art was an integrated part of Kreuzberg and often reflected the lives passing in front of it.

Kreuzberg - living graffiti - © Christopher Martin-8757

Kreuzberg - living graffiti - © Christopher Martin-8794

Kreuzberg - living graffiti - © Christopher Martin-8808

Kreuzberg - living graffiti - © Christopher Martin-8723

Kreuzberg - living graffiti - © Christopher Martin-8731

Cosmonaut and Mercedes - © Christopher Martin-8742

It was an immersive experience to photograph surrounded by this art.  And one which was a great challenge to show that integration of the art with the people.  That is what drew me back a second time on a visit where I only had five days in Berlin.  I’m glad I did, it was a really interesting place to visit.

Kreuzberg - living graffiti - © Christopher Martin-8683

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Holiday sledding at night

Holiday sledding at night © Christopher Martin-7072

With the Christmas holiday in full swing around our house now, the kids and I went out night sledding on the 23rd.  The snow had started falling early that morning and kept going all day.  We went out earlier but had the most fun in the evening.

Holiday sledding at night © Christopher Martin-7076

Kian had the idea to take some photos and I was onboard.  A drag of the shutter (1/10th – 1/6th of a second) with a flash of 1/200th of a second to create some motion blur while freezing the kids in action.

Holiday sledding at night © Christopher Martin-7043

Holiday sledding at night © Christopher Martin-7104

I played around as they sped down the great little hill just off our back yard.  They eagerly collaborated with the images – looking at the screen after each run to see what worked and what didn’t.

Holiday sledding at night © Christopher Martin-7066

Holiday sledding at night © Christopher Martin-7130

Holiday sledding at night © Christopher Martin-7038

Holiday sledding at night © Christopher Martin-7075

Holiday sledding at night © Christopher Martin-7039

We had a blast – a great way for a daddy to spend Christmas Eve’s eve with his daughter and son 🙂


A spooky and fun Halloween night

 

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Halloween had a little shadow over it this year for us but the kids excitement and enthusiasm was quickly kindled and we had a great night.  Our community is fantastic for trick or treating and the neighbours helped to make it a lot of fun.

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Kezia was dressed as Rey from the latest Star Wars movie – she had her Jedi skills on display all night long.

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Kian made his 80’s cartoon style Skeletor costume at home and enjoyed playing the character and doing the high pitched voice.

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I enjoyed touring around with the kids and they were very accommodating while I snapped away – and were very generous sharing their candy with me.

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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

 


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.


Shapes and shadows in Yellowstone

Grand Prismatic Spring - people in the mist - © Christopher Martin-9020

The Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in the United States.  The rings of color which the rock, microbes and water create are amazing and I had hoped to be able to photograph them when I visited in late May.  The weather had other plans and the cold, wet air created a heavy mist over the scalding hot water.  The wind blew in on gusts from the south creating waves of cloud.

Roads of microbes wind towards the blue pool of the Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park in May 2016.

Grand Prismatic Spring - people in the mist - © Christopher Martin-8805

Grand Prismatic Spring - people in the mist - © Christopher Martin-8853

Grand Prismatic Spring - people in the mist - © Christopher Martin-8793

Occasionally, the elements would conspire and rifts would open in the sheets of white lifting off of the spring’s surface.  I walked around the boardwalk twice, enthralled by the isolation created amid the fluid transitions blowing by.

Grand Prismatic Spring - people in the mist - © Christopher Martin-8784

Grand Prismatic Spring - people in the mist - © Christopher Martin-8815

Grand Prismatic Spring - people in the mist - © Christopher Martin-8908

Grand Prismatic Spring - people in the mist - © Christopher Martin-8903

Grand Prismatic Spring - people in the mist - © Christopher Martin-8957


Kezia and Finnegan

Kezia with a River otter at the Calgary Zoo - © Christopher Martin-2103

On the weekend, my children and I visited the Calgary Zoo for the better part of a day.  We used to go frequently when they were younger but it had been a couple of years since we went together.  We had a really great time there with a number of fun moments watching the animals and having fun with each other.  When we visited the river otters, Kezia had this wonderful interaction with Finnegan, the son of the other two otters.   The otters are so curious, which matches Kezia perfectly, so when he saw her at the glass he swam by performing spins and rolls.  When she put her finger against the window, he followed it around to her great delight.  Two beautiful creatures sharing a little time together.


Working with clay in Ni Xi

Na Xi Potter - © Christopher Martin-7016

A good friend and great photographer, Jorge Sarmento, and I rented a van and driver yesterday and drove out into the countryside.  We didn’t have any set agenda so we were just exploring the mountains and valleys as we went.  Our driver was a Tibetan and was from a small village called Ni Xi about 40 kilometres from Shangri-La.  We found that out when we asked about visiting that town which is renowned for its black pottery which results from baking it in the kiln without any coatings or glazes.  He drove us to his friend’s home who is an apprentice potter.  When we arrived, we asked if he would mind if we photographed him at work and he had no problem with that.  As we watched he created a tea-cup on this small wheel.  It was great to watch him work with his hands and tools to shape the final piece.  Along the way I learned that he was five years into his apprenticeship but I was not able to ask how long he would study under his teacher.  I absolutely loved watching the craftsmanship and ease with which he worked.  There was mastery in his work.  The two men were smoking while the cup was being made which gave Jorge the idea to increase the volume of smoke.  We had a puff of smoke blown in through the open window, with both men’s approval, which rolled and wrapped around as seen in this image.  It was a great idea and elevated an already compelling scene considerably.  Thank you Jorge!


Saddle Bronc Finals at the Tsuu T’ina Rodeo

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-1561

The Saddle Bronc was a great event to watch at this year’s Tsuu T’ina Rodeo.  The goal is to hang on for 8 seconds during a torturous ride that often finds the horse whipping the cowboy around like a rag doll tied to a rocket.  Here are a few images from the finals on July 26th.

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0781

(click any image to open a larger version of that image)

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-1003

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0945

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0854

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0915

2015 Tsuu T'ina Saddle Bronc Finals - © Christopher Martin-0898


Steer wrestling at the Tsuu T’ina rodeo

All rodeo cowboys are tough.  I particularly admire the steer wrestlers as that is an event that I have a hard time even dreaming of trying out.  Leaping off a perfectly good horse onto the back of a small cow with large horns seems a bit too close to the insane end of the scale for me.

Mind the horns - © Christopher Martin-0673

I absolutely love watching and photographing this event despite having no interest in doing it myself.  The short go of the steer wrestling event at the Tsuu T’ina All Indian Rodeo on July 26th put the top 10 qualifiers in the finals and a shot at the money.  Keenan Crane (the image directly above) had a great run and took home the cheque and the hardware – well deserved!

A diving request - © Christopher Martin-0750

Dirt slide - © Christopher Martin-0752

Power slide - © Christopher Martin-0738

Dirty work - © Christopher Martin-0587

Leap of faith - © Christopher Martin-0703

This series of Leon Montour pulling in a steer illustrates a bit of the power, balance and danger of this event.

Steer dive - © Christopher Martin-0600

Handlebars - © Christopher Martin-0602

Riding side by side - © Christopher Martin-0603

It's all in the hips - © Christopher Martin-0604


Merry Christmas!

Kian recalling his wish list - © Christopher Martin -8616

We are enjoying good family time over the holiday break and hope you are doing the same with those you love.  The kids had a chance to meet up with Santa Claus a couple of days before Christmas.  They took the opportunity to review their lists with St. Nick and had fun running around the sleigh with the neighbourhood kids while they were waiting.

Kezia and Santa Claus - © Christopher Martin -8620

Kezia’s tricky ways caught the eye of one of the elves and they had a good game of tag while the procession was stopped in front of our house in Redwood Meadows.

Caught by an elf - © Christopher Martin -8622

Thank you for following my photography through the year.  I appreciate your visits and your comments.  I wish you a happy holiday and look forward to sharing more images this year – what’s left of it!

 


A stroll through San José del Cabo

La Panga Antigua del Cabo - © Christopher Martin-6792

Bobbi and I enjoyed a beautiful walk around the art district of San José del Cabo one evening while we were in Los Cabos, Mexico.  The galleries housed in character buildings stretching across a number of blocks were filled with wonderful Mexican art and we spent hours taking in what we could.

On a corner in San José del Cabo - © Christopher Martin-6857

On a corner in San José del Cabo - © Christopher Martin-6848

Street scene in San José del Cabo - © Christopher Martin-6753

Payaso sculpture - © Christopher Martin-6846

The Mission of San José del Cabo Anuití is a cornerstone of that area of town and I had to take a few pictures of this historic church.

Misión de San José del Cabo Anuiti - © Christopher Martin-6799

Inside the Misión de San José del Cabo Anuiti - © Christopher Martin-6783

When night arrived, we returned to the main square the church overlooks to see the lights in the pavilion, the big Christmas tree and the life-size Nativity scene.  A dog charged out from the shadows as we passed by one gated establishment which served as a good surprise.  Once at the square, artists had their paintings and sculptures on display which was a nice balance to the curated work in the galleries.

Night market in San José del Cabo - © Christopher Martin-6985

Woof! - © Christopher Martin-6970

Night market art - © Christopher Martin-6989

A great day ended with a beautiful evening in an old part of San José del Cabo that was new to us.

Night lights - © Christopher Martin-6948