[ Olympus E-M5II, Panasonic 100-300mm ]
Of course David Lindley is singing about a car – oh well! This old Mercury truck was found on an old farm south of Brooks, Alberta, near Rolling Hills. It was a creepy place too! My travelling partner Michael Chesworth went exploring the old farmhouse and discovered old bank deposit slips from the early fifties, and an old shot up television that had only the original dial that let you choose one of thirteen channels. I remember being a kid watching our old B&W TV that had this same sort of dial, unfortunately, we couldn’t even make use of the dial as we had the luxury of getting only one channel! So, if we didn’t like what was on we were back outside riding our bikes or playing hockey on the local rink, depending on the season of course. Anyways, back to this farm, there was no sign anywhere at the start of the dirt laneway indicating “No Trespassing” so we felt OK checking it out. This truck was one of three in the yard and the one I liked making images of the best. I made a lot of close-ups of the patina of the metal with my digital camera, but really felt a pinhole image would add a sense of being in a dream and also would give some indication of how I was feeling in this farmyard. It really makes you think about who it was that lived there and why it was left in the state it was. Someone had a full life here and we only got to see a few remnants of it. I would have to think it wasn’t a creepy existent either, but just the way things have gone since whomever it was departed, left us feeling a bit unsettled. This image was made with a ten minute exposure with my camera mounted to my tripod and awkwardly arranged just inside the cab of the truck. I thought my meter was out to lunch indicating such a long exposure, but here you are, and it was rather dark in the shadows of the cab. An hour or so later we hit the highway to a new destination still heading further south.
[ Zero Image 6×9, Kodak Portra 160 ]
I really enjoy the graphic qualities presented here. Essentially monochrome with a jolt of orange, this image has straight lines, curved lines, triangles, short lines, long lines, thick lines, thin lines, organic shapes, man-made shapes, dark tones, light tones, large blank area, and small detailed areas. It was fun to make the image even though I was being buffeted by very strong winds! I was shooting across a highway in order to get the composition I was after and got a lot of strange looks from people travelling by. It’s as if they have never seen someone with a camera on a tripod. I think they wouldn’t have even hardly glanced over my way if I had of been holding up my phone! :)
[ Olympus E-M5II, Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 ]
Farming, and of course the ever present oil and gas, are the main industries that Kneehill County can boast about. Farming to me is a romantic occupation where you operate by the light of the day and the changing of the seasons. You get your hands dirty and you work hard, but there would be a huge sense of accomplishment for the work done. I’m sure it’s not an easy way to make a living, but there are worse jobs out there! I grew up surrounded by grain fields and to this day love harvest season. The lights of combines and grain trucks late into the night peering through the grain dust that hovers near the ground as the humidity gets thicker. The many meals that are eaten on the tailgates of pick-ups and in general the excitement and nervousness of getting the crops safely into granaries. The smells that go along with harvest are amazing just the same as the turning of the fields in spring. The smell of fresh turned soil is amazing and then that of a field of bright yellow canola. I recall, too, the many fields of flax looking like mirages of lakes with the beautiful blue flowers. I don’t see much flax anymore, at least not around central Alberta. I can recall some years back in southern Manitoba there was a lot of flax.
This field had just finished being combined as the sun skimmed over the remaining stubble near Carbon. These tall granaries are nothing like the tiny wooden structures I remember, about the size of the small shed next to these, and they dwarf the tractor parked between them.
[ Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Ektar 100 ]
Hopefully all we’ll see now is rain. The fluffy white rain has grown old on me now and I much prefer rain that doesn’t require me to shovel it off the sidewalks! Heading south into Red Deer County with my friend Michael Chesworth on our way to the extreme parts of southern Alberta, we had to endure a day of cold winds and this white stuff. We made rather slow progress as the scenes were really quite beautiful.
[ Olympus E-M5II, Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm ]
The Red Deer River badlands were my home for many years and now I can’t wait to get back as often as I can to photograph. Anyone want to take a road trip?
[ Olympus EM5II, Panasonic 100-300mm ]
My free May wallpaper for your desktop is now available for download. Enjoy!
Going back to what was an almost unbearably cold day with a high windchill. I really was in the mood to go after some images on this day, so I headed the 30 minutes up to Gull Lake to see what I could find. Well, I almost froze my fingers off! The wind was howling over the snow and ice. I trudged through the snow along the shore until there were no distractions in the foreground and fired off a frame capturing the fishing huts out on the ice. Immediately, I thought I had found a unique image and threw my hands back in my pockets and headed straight back to the car. I had the film in the camera for a while before I finished the roll. It’s always nice to see images I almost forgot about! I think sometimes it’s more about me being able to simply get out a see, and not so much about the end result. Capturing what I found exciting to see on a piece of film is quite gratifying though, and it allows me to show others my vision of the world we are living in.
[ Leica M3, Zeiss ZM 50mm f2 Planar, Lomography 400 film ]
A couple more images fro a few days back from down near Drumheller. I love the FYI sign, “You are entering….” not the usual “Welcome to….” :) I grew up in Starland County, so these photos are very easy to relate to for me. Other may find them to feel very stark and sparse, but that is the prairies of Canada and I find the prairies to be very beautiful. The views are almost endless and the sky becomes a big part of the experience. I can recall, after having spent a few weeks in the mountains of BC, while travelling back onto the prairies along highway 1 out of Canmore as the mountains recede behind and the sky before me opening up and feeling a relieved sensation and an ease to my breathing with all the open space before me. Hard to describe that feeling, but it was very real.
[ Olympus E-M5II, Olympus M.Zuiko 14-150mm II ]
Our extended family, including two Japanese exchange students and a friends son (so seven of us), took a trip this afternoon to visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology and the badlands of the Red Deer River valley downstream of Drumheller. Having grown up in the badlands they hold a special place in my heart and I absolutely love every chance I get to re-visit the area! These were all made at the world famous hoodoos between Drumheller and East Coulee.
[ Olympus E-M5II, Olympus M.Zuiko 14-150mm II ]