Abandoned in the foothills
Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/320 of a second at f/1.6 on ISO 50
I love driving along backroads through the farmlands on the prairies and in the foothills of Alberta. The landscape is beautiful, wildlife (when they allow you to see them) abounds and I often have the roads to myself. On these tours, I keep an eye out for interesting farm vehicles and buildings. There are many unusual items designed for a specific agricultural purpose that can be very photogenic. As purposes move forward alongside changes in technology, some of these barns, tractors and other things fall out of use and weather. This tractor is a beautiful example of the worn down equipment that dot the landscape. This old Massey Ferguson seemed to be parked in an idyllic spot to enjoy a hard-earned rest after a long run of service. That’s a rather romantic notion and I could drive by there next week and find it out turning soil in one of the fields on the far side of the pond. Whatever the truth, it was a great subject to photograph on a summer day north of Cochrane.
Winter’s grasp on an old truck
This week’s cold snap came with a lot of moisture and it wrapped the prairie in a thin sheet of white. This old truck, long parked in this spot and used to advertise a nearby tree farm, did not escape the icy snow either. Drawing in closer, I really liked the details in the front, particularly the grille.
Muscle Cars – Grill Badges and Styled Letters
We met some good friends and their boys in Cochrane for a classic car show just outside of the town. The kids had a great time looking at all of the roadsters, muscle cars, coupes and funny cars. I was drawn to the emblems and lettering used on the cars from the 50’s and 60’s – there was a style that was spread across most makes and models that was very compelling.
Great lettering script on this Mercury Monarch Richelieu
Headlights from a Dodge Challenger
An amazing two-seater open-top sports car the Lotus Seven
A detail from a Ford Galaxie at the show
Chevrolet’s brilliant chrome past as found on a ’56 pickup
I love this classic Mustang’s grill, particularly the horse itself
Went by this old truck for another visit on the weekend. The last time I was there the morning light was pretty warm, today it was harsh but still fun to shoot and then play with the image.
Nice subject even in the middle of the day under a lot of bright light.
Quartering a Window Taxi
Along 9th Avenue in downtown Calgary, Gulf Canada Square’s dark panes of glass often provide a large mirror that abstracts the traffic heading east on the one way road.
I watched traffic for a while, looking down from the 12th floor of Banker’s Hall, until this taxicab drove by distinctive and separated from the other vehicles in that moment. The slight curvatures of the glass did the real work to create this warp of a simple scene.
A Weathered Truck on the Prairie
I was exploring the country roads that divide up the fields along the prairie west of Calgary and found this old Ford 350 farm truck long since abandoned overlooking a river valley. The truck looked like it had been left where it finally broke down, just past a cattle guard on a dirt track that led down to an old farmstead.
With the deep blue sky of the early morning, the weathered reds and oranges of the cab and the hood made a nice contrast. I liked working in the white line on the horizon where the Rocky Mountains are still covered with snow. I will be back to this lonely Ford again soon to work in some star trails and light painting. When the new green grass comes in, I’ll return to work with the three strong colors (two primaries – red and blue, and one secondary – green) as they will allow for some dynamic compositions by varying the amount of each color in a frame. A great subject to find and I suppose it will be returning to work after having had at least a few years rest.
In the image below, I de-saturated the sky to emphasize the color in the truck (both the body and the rust on the bed’s frame. It creates an interesting feel to this image as the relationship between the truck and the surrounding environment is different.
In this final picture from this set, I walked down towards the valley so that the sun’s position relative to the truck changed from behind and streaming over my shoulder to behind the truck backlighting the truck and throwing a lot of reflected light towards the camera. The washed out color that resulted allowed for an image very different from the others.
Downtown 1956 Ford F-100
Usually I see old, distressed trucks like this one rusting away next to a barn. It was cool to see this fellow had his on the road. I’m sure the old Ford appreciated being taken out for a spin and put to work!
For those who are curious, I believe this is a 1956 F-100. The fender threw me for a bit but I think the owner just put on a replacement. Or else this is a different year – I’m not an expert. It’s a great looking truck whichever year it was made.
Motion: A train rolls through Banff National Park
Two 4400 horsepower diesel-electric locomotives (GE AC4400CW is the model of both trains if anyone is interested) lead a convoy of freight cars past the Third Vermilion Lake heading west through the Banff National Park.
A photograph created by using a slower shutter speed (here 1/13 sec.) and then panning with the train to keep the engines in focus and blur the surrounding landscape. This joins the images that chronicle my long running love of things in motion!
The C Train in Motion
Here, I panned with the one of Calgary’s C Train cars as it moved out of downtown towards the southern reaches of the line. I used a longer exposure, 1/4 of a second, to really stretch the lines of light and dark in background. Usually I pan the trains at between 1/10 and 1/20 of a second as that allows for decent blur streaks in the background and achieving a sharp subject (the train or sometimes its occupants). Longer exposures can end up a blurry mess quite easily. In this image, my panning matched the train’s movement pretty well so outline at the front of the vehicle is clearly that of a train. Not sharp but I think there is a good balance between the background blur and the lines and edges of the train. I think there is a lot of movement in this photo which was my intent.
Calgary’s C-Train Commute
Working with a slow shutter speed, I wanted to see what kind of detail I could of the commuters riding into the downtown core on one of Calgary’s light rail transit trains. For this image I panned with the train as it sped past, trying to pivot quick enough to briefly match the rail car’s velocity. The goal being to capture the detail inside the train while blurring the scenery outside. This technique has been applied to all types of motion by many photographers and creates an interesting effect.
Click on the image for a larger version
Exposure details: 1/13 second, f/4.0 at ISO 400 using a Canon 1D Mark III with 70-200 lens at 200mm.
Walking the rails around Cochrane
I found myself in Cochrane waiting for repairs to the wagon a few days ago. The sky was blue and the wind was blowing so it felt like a good time to take a walk. With gear in hand, I wandered the back streets of the town and ended up playing around the tracks (don’t tell my children, they might think I’m talking about real play, not shooting).
I’m endlessly fascinated by motion and trains with their history, power and shapes always draw my eye.
Throw in the rusted boxcars waiting on the secondary tracks and I happily filled an hour down on the rails.