Thursday, December 28, 2023

Maybe the last post of the year?

I think this is the last blog post of the year, but one never knows these things in advance. Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up with a rant boiling out of me. As I write this I've got two draft posts started, December IotM, and the 2023 IotY. Yes, the dithering has started.

Both of those are looking back sort of posts. This one might be that as well, looking at the 2023 that disappeared in a blur. The project that started the year was digitizing the many negatives that had been living in a box in the basement. You know. The envelop of prints from Blacks with the negatives tucked in the flap. You've probably got one as well. The prints probably scattered to albums and frames. Like the one ad says, a surprise in every handful.

I was surprised that I couldn't reliably date most of them. But it was fun going through, looking at the prints and negatives. Surprisingly often the two things bore no relationship to each other because they had been shuffled around. I suppose if I was really on the ball, or we were famous and I was doing it for a biographer, or we had kids that cared about what their adults were up to in the 'pre-crustacean era' as a the kid of a friend of ours puts it, I'd organize the prints and negatives sequentially, name the people, and add the date. Do not hold your breath waiting for that.

The biggest surprise was discovering a trove of negatives from the late 1940's to early 1960's time frame. I wrote about that here. I've been gradually publishing our old photos in the Of the Day section of my blog.  Several of my readers have been amused/interested at seeing photos of our younger selves.

The biggest project has been the books. Since the summary here, I've sent another book off to the printer. That one isn't for me, it's a commission. My client gave me an extravagant budget, and a really clear description of what they wanted. They supplied several photos to be included, that gave me a sense of the light they were looking for. It was fun going through my photos and thinking about them from another person's perspective. There were any number of photos that both of us think are "good" photos, but they didn't fit the criteria of the light. If Blurb is to be believed, and they've been right on so far, I'll have it Jan 9.

This was a big year for trips and photo events! They include:
  • Any number of rambles in various places around Calgary alone or with various friends, carrying various cameras. I could go through Lightroom and develop a detailed list of where and with who, but I'm not going to.
  • Vancouver Island in February. We stayed near Sooke, and had a wonderful time exploring the coastline up to Port Renfrew. We have several friends that live in the Comox area, and thought about visiting, but sorry guys, it was a long drive. We'd rather come out and stay in Comox, and get a much better visit in. 
  • Mid June day trip out to the Lake Louise area. 
  • Sean and I did two separate day trips exploring the Sheep and Elbow Rivers. 
  • There was a mid July road trip SE of Calgary that turned into a bit of a steam train chase that was lots of fun. 
  • A September trip to Dinosaur Provincial park. 
  • A late September trip to Ontario to visit Linda's family and for me to see a cousin in Montreal. (Hi SC!) 
  • An October trip to Jasper spread over several days and nights.
  • A paid corporate photo session that was lots of fun for all involved.
  • Several races for Rose and Richelle.
  • Many events for the Community Association. 
There's photos from most of those published on my blogs, and the dates give you some clues for the blog roll, if you really want to see them and somehow missed them along the way. All that added up to just under 20,000 photos so far this year. I don't know if I'll be out enough over the next few days to tick over the counter, but it's not important. I'd rather get a few really good photos, than some arbitrary number of poor ones.

Linda also had any number of projects this year; always on the go with something. This is a happy photo of her that she sent into her Master Gardener's Association. 

Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ)

Driftwood (BC)

Flower and Film (new)

Plus a serendipity Yukon from 2017.

Film (old)
More of the construction of the front flower bed. I don't know what the orange line is.

A serendipity from 2017 of downtown reflected in the Elbow River.

Another serendipity of the sky. No idea why I took this photo.

Friday, December 22, 2023

No, I'm not ready

I'm never ready for Christmas. It always sneaks up on me and takes me by surprise. And yet it's the 22nd as I write this. We've had a really mild winter, barely worthy of the name. The ice rink crew worked really hard to get the pleasure rink in for the Skate with Santa event the community association puts on. (Those photos are over in the photoblog if you're interested.) But it's well above zero during the day lately, and today is forecast to be double digits. The odds of a white Christmas seem really small. Yes, I barbecued yesterday, and might again today. I didn't even have to wear a jacket.

So if it's Christmas, that means the year is almost done. I'm having a hard time processing that. Maybe it's because I'm enjoying life that it seems to be going by so quickly. What with community association activities, photography, some travel, a semblance of a social life, and regular day to day activities, the days zoom by.

The latest project is two book commissions. I'd known about one of them as a possibility for a while, but we recently nailed down the specifics. The client is providing some images, and I'll be providing a selection of Alberta landscapes. I'm building that one in my head as I write this.

Then there was a surprise commission. It took a few days to build it in my head, but then the images went together quite quickly to come up with a first draft. The client is reviewing over the weekend, and I'll add or subtract images, tune the groups and sequences as indicated, and make a pass through doing the fussy step of making sure all the photos are aligned with each other. 

The selection process for image of 2023 has started. There are 148 images that have 4 or 5 stars, and I'm thinking a few of those ratings will change. There's about 2200 photos with 3 stars to review, meaning I edited them, out of about 19000 photos taken this year. Of course, some of those are photos of old negatives, but I've decided they still count and a few of them are in the running for image of the year.

Maybe what I'll do over next week or two is share some of the 4 and 5 star photos that haven't been blogged for whatever reason, and are probably not in the running for the podium. Sort of an honourable mention, if you will. 

So this one is one of my all time favourite photos of Linda. It's from our film point and shoot camera days, so probably late 80's. This is also the Film (old) Of the Day image.

And a couple tranquil sunrise over the St. Lawrence from the deck at Linda's sister's place, as I waited for ships to emerge from the mist.

Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ)

and a downtown night ramble from 2016.

Driftwood (BC)

Flower and Film (new)


Plus a NZ driftwood serendipity that sort of reminds me of an octopus.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

My 2023 books, or self indulgence writ large

Mostly my photos exist digitally. If you're reading this, you've probably seen many hundreds, perhaps thousands of my photos in passing over the years. Except digitally isn't the best way to display photos. One needs complicated technology to see the photos at all, to say nothing of the problems of finding them. And that's before thinking about storage. Digital photos (data in general, really) live a precarious existence. A hard drive crash or a forgotten password, and they're gone. Yes, I know, backups, cloud technologies, blah blah blah.

I have a few of my photos printed and framed. No technology needed to see them, once you're inside our house. Those will last the remainder of my life, at least. If whoever is cleaning up after me likes them, they could live another generation or two on someone else's wall. The problem is that some of the photos want to exist bigger than a screen, and yearn to take up lots of wall space. That one panorama is 10 feet wide. We do have more wall space, but it is limited. And the bigger problem is money. The printing part is actually quite reasonable, but it's the framing and glass that makes me wince, big time.

For a while I was thinking about getting one of those poster display things, and putting my prints in a sleeve of some kind. Some of you might remember flipping through them in a record store. But those take up space too, and the metal framework is ugly.

Or maybe decide on a maximum size for most prints, get them done, and put them in a box for storage. Except then looking at them is difficult.

Then I started thinking about books. Photo books in particular. Books have been around several hundred years in their current format (cover and sequential pages) and for thousands of years if you consider a scroll to be a book. Books need no technology to be be enjoyed. With a bit of care they can last hundreds of years. There are several books about 100 years old in our library, and even though they were printed on cheap paper that is yellowing, they are still perfectly readable. Whoever is going through our stuff after I'm gone is probably going to trash almost all the books, but a few might catch their eye. (Don't get me started on digital books/movies/songs and digital rights management!)

I've taken lots of photo books out of the library, and have bought a few. I could never get "a book deal" to have my work published in the traditional publishing industry. I'm not famous, and while I like to think my photography is pretty good, once I'm in the book market I'm competing against the very best photographers, some of whom are famous. 

Vanity publishing where I buy a print run of books and try to sell them doesn't appeal to me even a little bit. I'd have better luck trying to give away the early 80's edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica that's living on our basement book shelves. (Anybody? I'll even deliver them anywhere in Calgary. I liked the sign in one used book store, "Don't even THINK about asking us if we take old encyclopedias!) 

But then I started hearing about Blurb books, and how I could insert my photos directly from Lightroom into their book printing process, and get a book delivered for a reasonable price. I somehow stumbled on a video talking about the process of making a book through Blurb and was excited by how easy it looked. The technology actually is pretty easy. I tried the Book module in Lightroom but didn't like the interface. The Book Wright software from Blurb is free and much easier to work with. Other software packages work as well.

The hard part becomes deciding what goes in a book, in what order, with what text. I was paralyzed with indecision at first. Then the video guy said the magic words. Test book. Make the first book a test book, put in a variety of images, and a variety of text fonts in different sizes. Learn the software. Print something, and see how it looks. Scribble your learnings in the book itself.  Nobody but you ever needs to see it. That takes all the pressure off. Have fun with it.

It's not expensive. That first one has some extra pages so I think it was about $30, plus shipping. That's not a big price to pay to find out what your photos look like in print. And yes, they really do look different in print compared to digital. Prices vary by the style of book, the size, the cover options, the kind of paper, and how many extra pages you want. The big layflat books sound expensive if I told you how much one is. How much is that, you ask? I don't expect to ever sell any, but I suppose if there was someone you loved a lot and you knew they'd be interested, it would make a really nice gift. But really, my consideration was the comparison to getting them printed and framed. Doing that could easily be 25 times the price of the book. Even just printing  one of the bigger ones on really nice paper could be the price of the book.

But then, I'm not doing them with the idea of selling them. I do them for me and a small group of friends, though if you still wanted to buy one after recovering from fainting about the price, come talk to me. It might work out with a sale and you'd save a bit of money.

The first book I was thinking about was my "This is 50" project, and it's still a work in progress. But since those were portraits, I thought the first test book ought to be pictures of people, portraits or not. I chose the softcover 8x10 size with standard paper, and started playing. 

The hardest part about the whole thing was coming to grips with the difference between the container size, and the photo size. If the photo is exported in the same aspect ratio as the container, life is good. Except many of mine are cropped to a variety of sizes for a variety of reasons and it's not a problem because they are viewed alone. That leads to problems in print, where images often are in groups, and are considered in relation to one another. This is a new world for me.

I like to be able to sleep on a book, then review and revise. This process can repeat a great many times if you let it. If a book is ready to go, then it's easy when a sale comes along. A final review then press the publish button. It's harder when you have several book ideas milling around, and then you find out there is a sale with a short window. That's stressful.

So here's the books done in 2023. I was thinking about one more, but couldn't quite come to grips with it, and rather than stress about it, decided to let it ferment for a while yet. After all, there will likely be another version of this for the 2024 books. Doing this is fun.

Clockwise from top left. 
1- My first book, portraits of various people, various times, various events. Some posed, some not. I was thrilled when I unwrapped the book!
2- A book of digitized film photos from the late 80's to mid 90's featuring Linda's mom and family. I got a deal there, and printed enough for her sisters and aunts. One of the sisters broke down in tears looking  through it. 
3- A hard cover test book of Alberta landscapes for a private client. 
4- A book of photos of Michelle in honour of our 10 year friend-aversary. I cannot say enough about what her patience and willingness to pose has done for me as a photographer.
5- A book of photos of Linda's family during an impromptu family reunion, at least one of which is still in transit.

The three big layflat books showing how thick they are.

The first big layflat. I knew some of the photos wanted to be big, and I was channeling an old work buddy who's rule for life was 'go big or go home.' The question, "what is the narrative" or "what story are the photos telling" was easy in this case. I knew I wanted to open the book with the bridge at the start of the Dempster highway, and finish with the same bridge at the end of the trip. The middle was the Arctic Circle. This is the second edition because a person I consult professionally wanted to buy it for their waiting room. That copy, right then, emailed cash, please and thank you. I tweaked a thing I had noticed and got another for myself. I can't remember if my mom got the first or second edition. You can see the first 15 pages as a preview here

There is no narrative here. Just beach photos for me to look at during winter here. If I had the opportunity, I'm pretty sure I could sell almost everything here, move to NZ and become a photo beach bum. I have sometimes wondered what would happen if I overstayed my visa, going from beach to beach, keeping a low profile. Bicycle from beach to beach, sleep in a ditch along the way. How long before they found me? Would they jail me or deport me? You can see the first 15 pages as a preview here

I'd been musing about the next book, with several possibilities milling around in my brain. Then Blurb  offered a huge discount, and I couldn't say no. I wanted to see more of the Yukon photos in print, so I splurged and put in lots of extra pages. By the time I finished the discount itself was $160! I'm told one reader was drooling as she looked over the photos. That makes me happy. I haven't set this one up for selling yet, so there is no preview. The only way to see it is visit me, or find my mom and sweet talk her into letting you look at her copy.

I was thinking about another book for another year end sale. Sort of the top of the list was a book oriented to the film photos I've done in the last year or so. The problem of narrative is a big one for this. Is it a story of me learning to use film? Some of the first photos are dreadful. Plus, one of the things with photography is that it doesn't matter what brand of camera or lens was used to capture the image. Most people don't even notice if it was film or digital, and even fewer care. So is there any point of a book of film images just because they're film? Hmmmm.

The bookshelf above my computer, from left to right. The magazines are the community association newsletters, starting March 2018 when I became their "official photographer." Most of the covers are my photos. It's sometimes handy to look back and see what I've done for previous covers for a particular month. 

Next is the current photo notebook. I try to stay on top of the rambles with a camera, with varying success. The small books, then the big books in the lovely presentation box. The old photo notebook. The two calendar books we used to keep track of stuff in New Zealand. So if someone was desperate to know which beach a particular photo was from, I could probably tell them. Camera manuals. 

Then purchased commercial books, starting with macro technique ideas I want to try this winter. My buddy Neil Zeller's COVID portraits book, which is full of posing ideas, though it wasn't intended that way. Helmut Hirler's New Zealand book was the most expensive I'd bought till my own layflat books came along. Peter Turnley's COVID portraits. The one on top is unused, and I'm thinking about starting it for medium format film project photos in particular. There are ideas milling around in my head.

Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ)

Driftwood (BC)

Flower and Film (new) (Kodak Gold 200. I'm not so sure I like how the dark red of the peonies turned out.)

Yukon More empty tundra.

Film (old)
Linda and her mom during the Ottawa tulip festival. 

Saturday, December 9, 2023

Latest books

One thing about being less active on Facebook is that I've got more time for other things. One of those things is taking one of the cameras for a walk on a more regular basis. The other is having time to read more.

Much of my reading over the last several years has been photo related books, and to some extent that's continuing. As I'm doing my various things I'll come across mention of a book. I now have the library app on my phone, so I go in right then and see if they have it. If so, I'll put it on hold. It might come in a couple days, or like American Gods, it might take lots of months. 

Normally I like browsing at my library branch, since I love the serendipity of coming across something unknown, or new on the shelf. But recently the Fish Creek branch has been undergoing extensive renovation and being there isn't much fun. For a while the photography books were in the far corner from the entrance, via a convoluted route.

If a non-photographer knows the name of any photographer besides Ansel Adams, it's likely to be Annie Leibovitz. I'm not particularly into her style of elaborately staged photography, but then, she was often doing fashion, and by my standards that's always a bit weird. Still, these are worth looking at to understand what is possible, and to think about what went into creating the photograph. 

Because make no mistake, these are staged and created. They're amazing to look at, though I was often wondering how much a particular photo cost, what with paying for all the materials and the people to set it up, the model(s), Annie and her crew, plus everybody else that's involved. Linda even looked through it, mainly at the costumes, and enjoyed it.

One article I read or watched on photography suggested that the best way to become a famous photographer was to capture lots of good images of famous people, or become famous in some other field and then pick up a camera. Except I don't know anyone that's even moderately famous by the standards of most people and I don't particularly want to become a famous photographer. I just enjoy being out with my camera, or even being in a group without a camera, but thinking about the faces I see, who would be a good subject, what exact fraction of a second I'd click the shutter as expressions flit across their face or the light changes.

As a digression, probably the most famous person I actually know (in the sense I could call them for a coffee date and have a reasonable chance of them accepting) is our city councillor, Dan McLean, and that's because of my position in the Woodcreek Community Association. He might be flattered if I called to ask if I could do his portrait, but I doubt he'd accept. Then again, I doubt he'd accept if one of Annie's staffers called him. But a celebrity, or actor, or fashion model? They'd say yes to an Annie session before the question was finished.

Which reminds me of what happened during my swim the other day. I'm getting into the pool, putting on goggles and nose clip, scoping out who else is in my lane when I hear my name. It turned out to be one of the regulars I've often seen, but never chatted to. She recognized the 'stache from the photo on the cover of the December Chronicle and asked if it was really me. (Hint, I don't choose the covers, our staff do. I supply a choice of images, or get one they want.)

It was. I'd been doing the Santa photos at last year's Skate with Santa event, and usually include adults if they're willing, and especially the volunteers and organizers. Then they insisted that I walk someone through how to operate my camera to take a photo of me with Santa. So there's my 15 seconds of fame.

And now for something completely different. A topic that has been festering in my brain the last little while.

Several books have been about the digital world's assault on our brains. I wrote a bit about it here and I want to take another run at, trying not to repeat myself.

The current book is Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I just finished it. One of his main points is that that the minor tips and tricks, like turning off notifications, is merely disguising the problem, not actually dealing with it. The essential idea is consider your values in life, pick the digital channels that support those, and let the rest go. That's right, turn them off and do without. Find other non digital things to do that you enjoy, and do a digital fast for a month. Or at least do without all the optional stuff, so unless someone is paying you for that bit of phone usage time (your work paying you to monitor email, for example) it's optional. Then after that fast, think carefully about which ones to use, and how. 

Rather than installing some app because it offers some minimal or incremental value, consider if it supports your values better than the ones you already have. He mentioned one person buying a wristwatch to know what time it was, because looking at their phone for that was the gateway to checking email, then Twitter, then Facebook, and thence down the rabbit hole to digital hell. 

People have been writing about "what's important in life" since we created writing. There's no shortage of advice ranging from "Be Happy" to ponderous tomes that need both hands to pick up.

My take on why people are unhappy often revolves around the word maximum. People want the maximum out of life. They deserve the best. Or rather THE BEST!!! All the time, in everything. Any less is an assault on their sense of self worth. They drive themselves and the people around them hard. They lie, they cheat, they steal. They deserve every ulcer and every bit of blowback they get. 

I generally go for what is called a satisficing solution. It's a pragmatic view of the world that says no amount of effort will produce a perfect result, thus putting a maximal effort towards that is futile. Rather, think about what is a solution in the acceptable to good range, and put in the effort to achieve that, then stop. That often results in a compromise solution when other people are involved. And remember, if everybody is unhappy about some aspect of the deal, it's probably a good compromise.

So an example in my photo world. It is possible to spend a great deal of time editing a photo to produce the "ideal" image or to make it the best it can be. There used to be a video showing the Photoshop steps to transform a slice of pizza into a model posing in a bikini, so anything is possible, and that was before AI manipulation or computational photography. I know one person undergoing agonies of editing, re-editing, re-re-editing, masking, massaging, adjusting, tweaking, and I don't even know what all as they prepare for a photo exhibition. Once this process really gets underway, it's hard to know when to stop.

My thinking is that the more one edits a photo, the more it becomes digital art rather than a photograph. (Which is an ok thing if you're intending to produce and market the result as digital art.) But that leads me down a different path than where I'm going now. 

I think about what the destination is for my images. Mostly it's the blog. Not that many people look at my blog, in the great scheme of things. I don't think any of them are what we call pixel peepers, diving in to look at every tiny detail with a microscope. I'm pretty sure that for most of my readers, for most of the images, they admire an image they like (and that could be on a phone so how much detail can they see?), and skip over the ones they don't like. (More of his damned driftwood, what is it with that? How many photos of New Zealand driftwood can there be? The answer is about 500 more just from 2020-03. At my current blog production rate that's enough for several more years. Get used to it.) So it's a waste of time highly editing such a photo. Nobody will ever notice, probably not even me. 

Just recently I've been doing books of my photos (stay tuned for a blog about them) and those photos get another editing pass to look good in print. (And if I was going to print an image to be framed on my wall, there'd be yet another editing pass to tune it for the specific paper, and a really detailed pass if it was going to be exhibited publicly.) 

But I still don't spend a lot of time editing in the sense of working on an individual photo. Much of the time is spent thinking about how many photos, which specific ones, why them, in what order, and what text to go along with them. Part of it is that I pass over the many many photos that aren't so good. I see no point in putting lipstick on what is at best a pig. In some cases if I really want an image, and the one I have is flawed, rather than work to "fix" it, I'll go do another photo. Of course, that isn't always possible.

Back to Digital Minimalism. The other point he makes is that most of us are really good at face to face conversations. Most of us enjoy the social aspect of that, and we've been doing it for tens of thousands of years. The "weak connections" via social media are new and are getting in the way of the strong conversational connections. Really, clicking the like button on the photo of a distant buddy's new baby is only feeding the coffers of Facebook or Twitter. The recipient probably doesn't even look at who the likes are from. It's one of the ways that social media hooks you in, and trivializes the connections between people. People start chasing likes, rather than using the digital connection as a convenient way to arrange a date to get together in person, or somewhat less desirably, a video call.

All too often what gets presented in social media is some idealized image of yourself, as you race to keep up with the "influencers" or celebrities, or your narcissistic buddy who doesn't give a crap about you. Is it any wonder you are unhappy, when your digital avatar gets likes and you know its for the avatar and not you. But maybe that's better than the rejection of presenting yourself and not getting any likes.

A better strategy is to get out of that digital game. Join some group you're interested in and meet real people you might actually like. Converse with them. Go meet people for coffee. Get out into the real world. Go for a walk. Teach yourself how to do something practical. Use digital technologies as appropriate to support those activities. 

The more I learn what the digital world is doing to us, the less I want to participate.

Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ)

Driftwood (BC)

Flower and Film (new)


Film (old)
My desk back in the days of the Mac Cube. I still have it with that monitor and it still works. Any collectors out there?

Friday, December 8, 2023

November Image of the Month

Oops! Normally I get to the beginning of a month, and I'm keen to review the previous months photos. I've a bit of a process to select the image of the month and then move the photos into the Lightroom archive.

The very end of November I was deeply involved in selecting the photos for a Yukon book and getting that sent off to Blurb. 72 pages! Mine came ok as expected, then the driver had trouble finding mom's place. Then I got distracted since I'd already done the photo archiving task.

November was not a big month for getting out and making photos. The biggest block of photos was finishing off a roll of black and white film.

2nd runner up
Mainly for the textures of the water as it flows over the rocks, hand holding the camera for a longish exposure.

1st runner up
During a walk on the ice of what is normally a swamp. I like the textures of the trees and all the lines leading the eye around the photo.

Image of the Month
I'd been walking along the swamp, then turned around to see the view the other way. I shuffled around a bit to get the footprints where I wanted them, leading into the photo. The light was sublime. The black and white film brings a feeling to it that I don't think would have happened with digital.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A winter walk

Last week I took the small film camera for a walk in Fish Creek. It should be clear that these photos are impossible for most of the year, even not counting the ice. This area is mostly a murky swamp. I don't know how deep it is, but I'm pretty sure it's more than gum boot deep, and might even be more than hip wader deep if you think about the soft bottom. The ice was thick enough that I shuffled along, mostly confidently. There was only one spot where there were some creaks, and it was really near something else to stand on.

Why black and white, you ask? That's what was in the camera, and I wanted to finish the roll. Plus, it's a good photographic exercise to think about the world in shades of grey. It's entirely different than colour. There are scenes where something pops out because it's a contrasting colour and that makes the photo, and yet in black and white it might be invisible. There are scenes where colour doesn't add anything to the image, and this time of year, for these kind of scenes, that's the case here. 

So keep an open mind as you look at these. Try not to think about it being a swamp. Look at the contrasts, the textures, the lines, and shapes.

1. Go down the stairs at Bebo Grove and turn right. There's a short bit of swamp.

2. There's times the stark trees against the sky make for interesting shapes. 

3. Once back at the main path, cross over and continue down more swamp, dodging fallen trees, and watching out for the places the ice is quite a bit thinner. I spent a little while thinking about different compositions. It would be easy to take as many photos as I pleased with the digital, and then select the best one later while editing. Yet the exercise here is to see the compositions as a black and white photo in my mind, and make just one photo.

4. In this case the composition was obvious, even if I did have to struggle with some shrubs to get the right viewpoint. But what I really like are the transitions from light to dark, and the textures in the tree and ice.

5. More ice texture, with a barrier of branches to liven things up. The stairs are right beside an outfall duct for some stormwater ponds. For a long time they were fenced off, but not any more. This might be a great place in the summer to catch tree reflections in the calm water. And yes, there is some open water near the duct. I was extremely cautious thinking about the ice thickness transitions.

6. Looking back the way I came. Someone was really brave to walk along leaving slushy footprints, but it wasn't me. Photographers know exactly why I like the footprints.

7. Trying for a reflection photo.

8. I liked the branch sticking up through the ice, and the surrounding cracks, imagining a creature poking up a sensory organ to search for prey.

9. Not as successful as the other tree composition.

10. Regular readers will know I love reflection photos. I did not get my feet wet doing this, but it was close.

11. There's a huge log jam where the swamp meets Fish Creek. I've done photos there in the past, but mostly the light hasn't been good. It was fading as I got here.

12. One of the many beaver dams in Fish Creek. They've been busy.

13. My dragon spine tree. Things are always changing in Fish Creek. Here's what this used to look like, back in 2017. I wanted to pose a runner on or against the tree, stretching, lounging and working on a tan while eating a snack. Alas, the tree is nowhere as interesting now that the spines have worn off.

Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ)

Driftwood (BC)

Flower and Film (new)

Plus a 2017 Yukon serendipity.

Film (old)
Linda, her mom, and older brother, during the tulip festival.