This year’s Badlands, Buicks and Old Buildings: The Prairie Workshop was a roaring fun event with our participants coming back with awesome and surprising images! Below are each person’s results along with some thoughts on the making of the image. For those interested in the 2014, event click here for more information.
A salvage yard emits a certain type of melancholy. Not only do you sense the physical waste of industrialization – - one can imagine some dreadful wrecks associated with the leftover scraps. These jewel tones of shattered glass laying on the dashboard could have left a hole in someone’s heart.
I keep coming back to this photo when I look at my BBB 2013 photos, because it is just such a majestic shot of a stately and robust old work truck. The colours are attractive, with the rusted paint, green grass, blue sky and field in the background. The headlights, the chrome “necklace” around the front, and my favourite is the mirror. It just proudly sticks right out there, and isn’t symmetrically offset by one on the other side. Even the dilapidated wood box shows up a little. It is so classic old farm Alberta.
So this flowering bulb stood out among the native grasses and the fields, it was begging to be photographed. I carefully took a position over top and tried not to disturb the bulb as it looked like it may fly apart with the slightest touch, so I didn’t dare touch it. I shot this with a 100mm macro lens and took several images, each image a little bit deeper into the bulb as shown here. In the last image, though slightly out of focus due to the gentle breeze, I noticed a small green grasshopper was staring back into the lens !!
I came to the workshop to improve my vision and techniques for landscape photography. I was prepared with my tripod, filters, cable release and level bubble. As I was set up and geared up to photograph the cool old falling down barn, I was also half watching one of the horses that was nearby. I noticed that it was purposefully walking from yellow flower to yellow flower to eat them. Camera comes off tripod, cable release disconnected, ND grad pulled and level bubble not necessary. I pre-focused on the next flower victim and when the horse came into the frame I got the shot. I like the simplicity of it. The horse eating yellow flowers.
For three days, we were all captivated in the subject of photography, from short informative seminars and sun rise picturesque opportunities, to prairie sunsets with windmill backdrops, captivating light painting and of course non-stop photography talk from equipment to technique all filling our bottomless toolbox of knowledge. I really liked this ‘retired truck’ at the auto wrecker’s yard.
It was a very hot afternoon on the Central Alberta prairie, spent walking up and down rows of ’seen better days’ vehicles at an auto wrecker’s. I decided to stretch out on the grass between two of the neatly arranged rows. My eyes were drawn to an off white station wagon. Hey, that’s not just a station wagon – it’s a hearse! Oh, I bet if it could talk it would have lots of stories to tell. Other vehicles in the compound could perhaps talk about trips to a family farm, the big city zoo, grandma’s house or exciting shopping trips. The hearse would have no such stories. My goal when I made this photo was to have viewers think solemnly about the many trips this vehicle made down busy city streets or quiet rural roads to the local cemetery. Maybe it would evoke memories within the viewer. I don’t want to make viewers sad, just contemplative . I have several different shots of the vehicle but I like this one the best because I could imagine people standing on the street watching the hearse go by and seeing through this window, wondering who was going to their resting place. I set the camera on a tripod and composed the picture so that the grasses were not merging with the curtains. In order to keep my reflection out of the window I had to use the cable release. The photo was taken as a colour jpeg. I changed it to black and white because it reflects the mood I am trying to portray.
I am a very novice photographer and have become interested in the way light can influence an image. After an evening of painting several objects and small buildings with light, I enlisted the help of my wife Catherine and friend Darwin to assist me in the light painting of a historic Alberta ranch home. Catherine shone a light on the house allowing me to focus properly. I put the camera on bulb setting and had Catherine and Darwin run around and paint the house with their flashlights. With their help I obtained my ‘best painting with light’ image.
Being able to immerse the dark cabin in a sweep of light from a flashlight helped to create this moody historic scene.
I certainly enjoyed my time in Alberta. Hard to pick only one picture but this one from Dry Island Buffalo Jump was a personal favorite.