Archive for March, 2010

One Photographer’s Legacy

Ostrich fern on the forest floor in Stanley Park

All over the world people dimmed their lights from 8:30 – 9:30 PM in yesterday’s Earth Hour. In the morning I was listening to CBC Radio and David Suzuki said Earth Hour once a year is great but it’s not enough, we need to do more to get our planet on track and we don’t have much time left. His comments stayed with me all day. I calculated that there are 8760 hours in a year. I imagined the planet in 50 years time and wondered what will be my legacy? For Earth Hour we ate our mostly raw food dinner by candle light. Then we took a 60 minute stroll and ended our walk buying a Peanut Buster Parfait served in a cup with a spoon both made of #6 plastic which the City of Vancouver does not recycle. We ate the dessert in 5 minutes. We know the plastic will outlive us both. 

As a photographer and a human being I think about my impact on the planet, not just my energy consumption. I shoot digital instead of film, use my printer only when I really need to, and choose recycled or environmentally friendly papers. I print on both sides of my paper and bring my empty ink cartridges back to be recycled. I collect plastics not recycled by the City of Vancouver (#3, 6, & 7), and bring them to a plastic recycling facility. My garbage is collected in a paper bag. I turn off running water, lights, and electronics when I don’t need them. And walk or ride my bike to meetings or stores.

But I know David Suzuki is right. There is so much more I can do. I wonder what other photographer’s do to lessen their impact on the planet? Sharing our ideas and practices could collectively shift our impact. This year I want every hour to be Earth Hour for me. Because in 50 years I want to look back on my legacy and smile knowing I did enough.


Okanagan Valley Exhibition

Okanagan Valley – Moving Landscapes

As I look out my window, a thin layer of snow has fallen overnight and summer seems miles away. With their shades of greens and yellows the images I took last summer warm me. These photos are from a series of Moving Landscapes I captured last year after stumbling upon the use of a panning technique while riding in a moving vehicle. When I first saw my results I was relieved to know that yes I can create new bodies of work. I began shooting every time I was in a car or bus. What is amazing about the results is that they completely surprise me. They are not carefully framed or exposed but made speeding along the highway while shooting out a car window. I love that I never know when I’ll get a good shot, nor exactly where each image was made.

From now until March 31st, 2010 eight images from my OKANAGAN VALLEY series are on exhibition at the Cambie & 19th Avenue Starbucks, here in Vancouver.

Vancouver 2010 Olympics

Short Track Speed Skating – Women’s & Men’s

During the Vancouver 2010 Olympics I received an amazing opportunity to watch a Short Track Speed Skating event. I brought my camera, with 105mm lens and tucked myself along side the photographer’s section. If you know me you know I rarely shoot people, let alone sports. But there was something magical about the athletes, their energy, their colours against the background, that was exciting.

Recently, I have been experimenting with slow shutter speeds shooting landscapes from a moving vehicle, sometimes travelling at highway speeds. The athletes provided a similar challenge, requiring me to pan my camera as they rounded the corners at break neck speeds. I love the results that reveal a painterly, artistic portrayal of their amazing athletic abilities.