painting and photographic works

Posts tagged “winter

January by the River

After 10 days of very cold weather (-30C plus wind chills) here in Edmonton, it was nice to return to more seasonal temperatures (just a little below freezing). It was an opportunity to take my camera and hike down beside the North Saskatchewan River and capture images of the ice and snow and sun.

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Color and Texture of Tree Trunks in Winter

At first glance the winter landscape looks so desolate, monotonous and colorless. However, I find that once my eyes/mind get tuned into the trees, their trunks and bark, I see abundant subjects of interest. Here are photos of the great variety that caught my eye one day in early January in Edmonton.

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Forms on a Frozen River

It is the end of January and the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton is frozen over and covered with 15 centimeters of fresh snow. I venture to the river’s edge and am captivated by the abstract forms that I see:

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In a January Fog

While not unheard of, foggy days in Edmonton are also not very common. This last weekend in Edmonton was however one of those times – a fog  just heavy enough to hide the far side of the river valley and flatten out depth. The high humidly and sub-zero temperature resulted in a delightful, frosty coating on the trees.

Combining the fog, frost and late afternoon/early-evening light lead to these moody,  black and white images:

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Frosty Thorns

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Poles in a Frosty Landscape

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The Five

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Three, with Frosty Wires

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Rowland Bend


Riverdale (a painting Series)

In the early 1990’s I did a series of paintings of the Riverdale community, in Edmonton’s river valley.

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“Tree Frog Press”, acrylic on hardboard, 30 by 41 cm, 1991

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“Bird Bath”, acrylic on canvas, 61 by 51 cm, 1992

One of the most distinguishing features of the community at the time was the large, undeveloped tract of land that belonged to the historic Little Brick factory,  By the end of the decade those fields would be redeveloped to look like suburbia, but at the time it lent a rural charm to this area, just a kilometer from downtown.

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“Old Brickyard Field”, acrylic on canvas, 51 by 61 cm, 1992

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“Old Brickyard Road” acrylic on canvas, 51 by 61 cm, 1992

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“The Little Brick House”, acrylic on hardboard, 28 by 36 cm, 1991

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“The Rink Shack”, acrylic on canvas, 51 by 61 cm, 1992

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“Sun on 92nd Street”, acrylic on hardboard, 36 by 38 cm, c. 1992

A decade and half later I would revisit this series with a few more paintings of the community:

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“Summer Morning on 91st Street”, oil on hardboard, 51 by 61 cm, 2008

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“Riverdale Garage (winter sunlight)”, oil on canvas, 41 by 51 cm, 2008


Trees of Late-Winter

Here is a little collection of photos of trees, taken on the last day of winter (2016 March 19) in Edmonton.

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Greenless Golden Path

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Tangle to the Sky

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Under the Spruce, Between the Fairways

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Character Tree

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Gnarled Trunk and Twiggy Shadows

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Way Up

 

 


Moodier in Black and White

Here are some photos taken on the same outing as my hike last Sunday in Edmonton’s  Mill Creek Ravine – but taking out the color the images have a much moodier feel.

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Spring Slope

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Stairs and a Patch of Snow

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Trunk on a Diagonal

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All Quiet Under the Bridge

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Tangled Slope

 

and as a bonus, a black and white image from beside the river in Edmonton’s Louise McKinney Park:

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Promenade Beside the Ice


Spring Reflections

Technically it is late-winter, not quite spring yet, but the melting has begun, puddles formed and reflections are making for some interesting images:

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Chains

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Puddle and Path

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Storyland Sky


Late Winter – Black and White

Here is a little collection of black and white photos themed around the patterns and textures of late winter (late February at my home here in Edmonton).

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“Last Year’s Plume”

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“Irregular Patchwork”

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“Up”

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“Ice and the Far Edge”

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“Temporary Condition”

A few more photos from this photo shoot may be seen on another of my blogs: YEGmonton.


Lines in Black and White

Take away the color and you are left with line and value.

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Up Stairs 1

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Art of the Curve

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Hangin’ From the Moon

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EPCOR Waterfall in Edmonton’s Churchill Square

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Up Stairs 2


Snow and Shadows

A New Year’s Eve afternoon walk in Edmonton’s river valley revealed interesting patterns made by snow and ice, trees and the sun.

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Blue Diagonals

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Alien Icescape

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Foot Paths

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Tangled

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Crystalline Edge

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Trampled

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Like Flakes


December Magic (part 2)

More magical long exposure photos from the dark days of December:

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Blue Path Purple Sky

Path on the Edge

Path on the Edge

Lights into the Bend

Lights into the Bend

Bus Shelter

Bus Shelter

Blue Mirage

Into the Winter Night

See December Magic (part 1) for more similar images.


December Magic (part 1)

The Kate Bush song “December Will be Magic Again” comes to my mind every year around this time. While the darkness in the northern hemisphere in December would seem to be a major deterent to photography it does open a door to a magical world.

I am torn between shooting at 1600 ISO and a wide aperture for low light handheld photography or giving in to the darkness and shooting at 100 ISO with an exposure of a couple of seconds, completely abandoning any attempt to stabilize the camera for a “clear” image. In fact when I go to such slow shutter speeds I will deliberately move the camera during the exposure to create magic!

Moon Dance

Moon Dance

Sparkling Blue

Sparkling Blue

Candy Cane Light

Candy Cane Light

Green Post

Green Post

Castle

Castle


A Winter’s Night in Olds – Black and White Visions

Here is part 2 of my photos from a cold (and a bit foggy) January evening walk around the town of Olds, Alberta. Part 1 featured color photos (subdues as they were); this set is all black and white:

Fire Hydrant in the Night

Fire Hydrant in the Night

A Glow From Within

A Glow From Within

Highway Junction

Highway Junction

DQ and ESSO

DQ and ESSO

Coming and Going in the Night

Coming and Going in the Night

 

 

 

 

 


Abstracts in the Winter Landscape

Two months into winter and my photographer’s eye is starting to  adjust to the winter landscape. With the general absence of color I find that I need to see differently to find interesting photo subject matter. Here are a few recent (December 2012) photos:

Between Water and Ice

Between Water and Ice

Bridge Rail I

Bridge Rail I

 

Rusty Blue Drum

Rusty Blue Drum

 

Bridge Rail II

Bridge Rail II

 

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Nature’s Magic

 

 

 

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Abstractions of the February Landscape

Color on the Trunk

This is another series of abstracted photographs. As I have shared previously, the technique I use is to employ a neutral density filter that allow me to use shutter speed in the 2 to 4 second range. During this long exposure I will move the camera – normally in a direction parallel to the lines I wan to emphasize. In the previous and next image I would have followed the line of the vertical trunk. Generally I don’t want too great a range of movement and might go back and forth over a short displacement during the exposure.

Morning Light

“Morning Light” was the result of a bit of a happy accident. I neglected to stop down my neutral density filter sufficiently to get a “proper” exposure. The image was over-exposed but still one I could work with in post-processing. I liked the over blown background exposure that resulted.

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Yellow at the Base

The yellow at the base of the tree (that you may be able to make out in the previous image was from the lichen that I typically find on the trees around the Edmonton region. Especially in the winter this color seems intense. However, straight out of the camera, these long exposure images typically do not have much color, so I usually will bump up the color saturation significantly to get an image that feels to me like what I was actually seeing/feeling.

The Edge of a Hill

 


Trees, Snow and Ice – Mid-February Black and White

This past week (middle of February 2012) I have been drawn back to black and white nature photos as I wandered the ravines and river valley in Edmonton. Here are five of my favorite images:

Tall and Bare

Fallen Logs Across the Creek

Black and White Trunks

Shadows Across Frozen Creek

Against the Sun

Do you have a favorite amongst these image? If so, which one and why?


Northern Winter (Black and White, Part 2)

A continuation of an earlier post sharing some black and white landscape photos taken in January/February 2012 in the Edmonton river valley

Open Water and Ducks

Blue on Blue in Black and White

Stairs in the Valley

Grasses, Trees and a Cloud

Beautiful Trail


Northern Winter (Black and White, part 1)

Winter, in Edmonton, Canada typically means a fair bit of snow and temperatures in the minus 15 to 30 Celsius range. The 2011/12 winter has been atypical. Except for a week in mid-January where temperatures fell to below normal, most of the winter has featured daily highs around freezing. Nonetheless, there has been snow on the ground since November.

This series of photos are some that I took during the last week of January and the first week of February 2012 the the North Saskatchewan River valley in central Edmonton (in fact most are in Dawson Park). Dawson Park lies on the north side of the river valley meaning it gets a lot of sun and the snow can melt (or blow away) relatively quickly on the exposed ridges.

The Ridge

The Steep Path Up

Dawson Park seen from the south side of the river:

The North Bank

One of the fascinating things about Dawson Park is a section of “hoodoos” a geological formation more famously associated with the badlands of southern Alberta near Drumheller.

River Valley Landscape

While the exposed areas have just a touch of visible snow, the sheltered trails are well covered with snow and very wintery in appearance.

Birch and Snowy Path


Winter – Naturally Black and White

Of course there can be color in the winter landscape, you just might have to look a little harder for it. In this post though don’t strain yourself looking for color as I am featuring 5 black and white photos. Although there has not been a lot of snow in Edmonton in this winter of 2011/12 there has still been enough to keep the ground basically white. On the day I took these images the sun was out and the sky was deep blue – which with a color filter in the black and white conversion, yielded a deep dark sky on some images.

Packed Snow Field

Two and the Forest

Lichen

Reach to the Sky

Frozen Bend in the River

Technical Notes: The photos in this group  were all taken in the early afternoon on January 7th, 2012, near Laurier Park in Edmonton. I used a Nikon D80 with a 18-55 lens and a polarizing filter. Post processing including conversion to black and white was done with the Capture NX2 software.


Abstracts in Blue

Not much to say about this group of photos, other than that they were all taken using long (4 seconds) hand-held exposures with deliberate camera motion. The early morning time of day is responsible the dominating blue cast to these images.

Blue Fenceline

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Abstract Landscape 356-038 (River in December)

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First Snow – Abstracted Landscape Photos

Today (2011 November 12) Edmonton had its first (and unusually late) snow of the season. While there are many thing about the snow I am not a fan of, I have been looking forward to applying  the camera-motion abstraction technique that I’ve been playing with in recent months, to the snowy landscape. Here are some of my first results:

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As with my previous photos in this style, the original intent was to give me reference images for paintings. However, so far I have not been able to create a painting that I like as much as or better than the photo (which is okay – for now).

My basic technique in this style is to use a neutral density filter to allow me to get a 2 second exposure. During the exposure I move/shake/vibrate the camera around vigorously. Post processing usually is required to increase contrast and color saturation.


The Continuing Beauty of Winter

It is the first week of March and still very much winter in Edmonton, as evidenced by a deep blanket of snow everywhere. On one hand you could think that would make for boring photography but I take it as a challenge – and that is the fun. You can see from these 7 photos, all taken in one day,  that there is lots to be seen, lots to be captured and different ways of presenting the final image.

White on Blue

Not Coral

Three Twigs

Grass Arc

Nest

Melting Dirty Ice

Shadows of a Picket Fence


7 Favorite Photos

Here are seven of my favorite photos taken in the last week – the end of January into the first few days of February. Over these days the weather in Edmonton has changed from wind chills below -30C to mild sunny days with temperatures of +5. On the cold days I had no choice but to take photos with my Nikon DSLR but on the warm days I was able to break out (and most importantly operate it with my bare hands) my iPhone.

Cold and Busy

China Gate Lion

Blue Shakes

Golden Horizon

Branches

Puddles in the Alley

Light Arc