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 ]
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 ]
This old workhorse had a new engine installed not too many years ago and has a lot of hard working miles under it’s belt, but it’s been parked now for quite a while at my in-laws acreage and likely isn’t roadworthy any longer. It certainly has attained a nice patina though!
Available as a print on my Etsy store.
[ Leica M3, Zeiss ZM 50mm Planar, Fuji Superia 400 ]
It’s not hard to make a minimalist image on the prairies as it is very flat in spots. Here, some grain, or maybe potash, cars wait on a sidetrack at Belle Plaine, Saskatchewan. Hopefully they are empty grain cars to be filled and shipped to the coast. The farmers need to empty their granaries of last years bumper crop so they have room again for this years harvest.
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm]
Springtime comes to the Prairie Pride Motel, Maple Creek, Saskatchewan.
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 12-50mm]
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm]
[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 60mm f/2.8 Macro]
I was afforded the opportunity to wander around a small deserted town when my uncle invited me to spend the day with him photographing what is left of the town of Bulwark, Alberta. We arrived a bit before the sun rose and spent a few hours capturing many many images. I had left my two tripods in my own vehicle the night before and it didn’t dawn on me a 6am to retrieve them, so I started out using my Olympus E-M5 as it has a fantastic image stabilizer built in which would accommodate my movements in the dim light of the morning. A few old buildings and wrecked cars are scattered about along with a lot of hidden debris under the grass. I had to be very careful when wandering about so as not to step on anything that might cause injury. There were also a few open wells and basements I certainly wouldn’t wanted to have ended up in! I made some overall images of some buildings and the vehicles, but it was the textures up close that really grabbed my attention. This first image was made of the galvanized metal skin of an old threshing machine.
[Olympus E-M5, Panasonic PZ 45-175mm]
This beauty pulled up across the street from work the other day. I just happened to have my camera with me and proceeded to line up my shot. There is a garage across the street and it was obviously there to get some work done, but so was a somewhat beat-up Chevy Nova that was struggling to keep running as it was being parked right beside the Caddy. I quickly lined up my shot and managed to get two frames before I had to move out of the way of the coughing and sputtering Nova. All good though, as I got the image I was after!
[Sigma DP2 Merrill]
This is the last of the Polaroids I found. I know there’s more, but who knows, could be years before they show up!!