Seeing the World Inside An Allium

Allium in VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada  © Andrea Sirois

It amazes me when I see living things like this Allium about to burst forth into the world, going about its business, being gorgeous! It reminds me that lying just beneath the surface, indiscernible to the average viewer, cool things are taking shape. And to look at the world with better eyes. And I love when I walk around and ride the Skytrain in Vancouver because surrounding me are people who I know have done amazing things.

Shot with a Nikon D80 – 105mm Micro lens at 1/100th sec. f/6.3  ISO 400               Photographed June 2011


Public Art – Inspired by Emily Carr

The Glory of the Woods installed at the Lansdowne Skytrain along the Canada Line in Richmond, BC.

The photographs for The Glory of the Woods were inspired by the writings of Emily Carr, her love of nature, and trees in particular.  It is a paradoxical experience that our increasingly fast-paced, hectic lives are often surrounded by a natural world, emerging slowly and silently around us.

From the passenger seat of a car, I set about to photograph the often unnoticed beauty along Richmond’s urban roads. The irony of the fast, fossil fuel-burning vehicle being used to capture a moment in time was not lost on me. At times, it seems that my life is rushing past, like the landscape outside the hurtling car, and I am trying to capture it, if only for a fraction of a second.

Using my camera like a painter uses a paintbrush, I capture strokes of colour-filled light. “Light and dark chase each other.”[1]The technique renders the scene more like a watercolour painting than a photograph. As a tree rushes past, the fore, middle, and background are frozen in varying degrees of sharpness, depending on my chosen point of focus. Panning the camera in time with the speed of the vehicle creates areas on the photographic palette where the eye can rest among the brush strokes. Because, “you must be still in order to see and hear.”[2]

With my husband Mark at the wheel, these images were shot with a Nikon D-80 digital SLR camera and a zoom lens. A polarizing filter helped to reduce reflections and saturate colours. A slow shutter speed was used to create the strokes of light that define the work. All images were processed in Adobe Lightroom.

[1] Emily Carr ©1966. Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of Emily Carr. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin.

[2] Emily Carr ©1966. Hundreds and Thousands: The Journals of Emily Carr. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin.

Christmas light on my neighbours doorstep

Christmas Light

I took my camera out a few nights ago looking to shoot some Christmas lights. A few doors down my neighbours had strung lights on the railing of their steps. In the spirit of my recent photo projects, which are by and large blurry, I slowed my shutter speed to about 1/6th second and panned the camera to create these colourful results. The middle image was created using a wide aperture of f 2.8 and an unfocused lens to get bokeh. I love the way the overlapping areas in the circles of red, green, and blue light create cyan, magenta, and yellow.

I wish everyone a merry holiday and may your new year be bright!

The Glory of the Woods in Richmond, BC


After several months of work The Glory of the Woods is installed in the City of Richmond on No. 3 Road. Composed of 4 images each measuring six feet square mounted on 4 panels, (also called Art Columns), the pieces wrap around a concrete structure holding up the newest skytrain. The images are installed at Lansdowne station on the Canada Line. Inspired by Emily Carr’s paintings and writings on nature, each of the images depicts a tree located in Richmond. The images will be on display until May 2011.

The Past, The Present, The Future

My dad being a photographer

My Dad was a photographer long before I was a twinkle in his eye. He photographed weddings, and places that he travelled while in the military. Our family has tons of visual memories because of him.

I love to tell people the story about the first images I made and how his camera, his contact box, and his equipment got me started on my journey as a photographer. And how I used my mom’s iron to glue the tiny contact prints on to cardboard.

One of my sisters dug up this photo to celebrate my parent’s 50th anniversary in 2008. The pen scratch off to the side was probably the beginning of one of the many artistic careers being fulfilled in my family.

I love this journey, thank you Dad!

Tour de Delta

Svein Tuft – Tour de Delta 2010

Christian Meier – Tour de Delta 2010

Svein Tuft – Tour de Delta 2010

I don’t see myself as a photographer of people, let alone sports, but watching these guys road race is super exciting – more exciting than I ever imagined. The challenge comes from trying to capture the essence of their performance with my 105mm lens, equipment better suited to shooting flowers, an easier and decidedly slower subject. I know my equipment is not of the sports photography type but in the past I’ve elbowed my way in with all the press corps during the Olympics, so why not cover cycling’s BC Super Week? And just so we’re all clear I still don’t shoot people.

Yaletown Grand Prix

Christian Meier, Yaletown Grand Prix 2010

Christian Meier at the Yaletown Grand Prix, Vancouver, Canada Day 2010

Svein Tuft leading the crowd, again

Svein Tuft leading the crowd

Svein Tuft approaching the finish line

Svein Tuft approaching the finish line