After many months of editing and many years (!) of photographing, my new book Salt Spring: portrait of an island
is just about ready to go to the printers! Following my successful kidney transplant in the spring of 2010 I decided that I would focus as much as possible over the next few years on producing a book for the Salt Spring market. My last book, Salt Spring: the people, the place
, had been sold out since 2008 and there was a desperate need for something to fill the gap on the local book stores’ shelves. When I reflected on what sort of a book I wanted to present this time around, two things became abundantly clear:
1. It was going to be a very photo-intensive book designed more than anything to be a keepsake, a memento of the island for visitors and residents alike to take away or to send to friends and family
2. It was going to be affordable to most people in this tough economic climate. The previous book was a lush 120 page hardcover edition that sold for $49.95. My new book is going to be $24.95 for a 96 page hardcover so I feel that I have managed to produce a meaningful, beautiful book at a very reasonable price: win-win!Salt Spring: portrait of an island
will be available online & in bookstores by the first week of June 2012!
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than getting out into the heart of Nature? I launched my friend’s wooden kayak from the end of Long Harbour this morning and paddled around to Chocolate Beach in Ganges Harbour for a 3+ hour tour. It was a mix of sunny and overcast with a light breeze at times but nothing worse: perfect conditions for a day out in the boat! I enjoyed playing with perspective alongside the BC Ferries dock at Long Harbour Terminal working with the various pilings in the foreground and other terminal structures in the background to give a sense of the monumentality of these forms when seen from a kayak (see RECENT WORKS
I’ve also been diligently working through my archives scanning slides and negatives so that I can finally retire film based photography for good. It’s been quite a process going through the older works but it has also given me an idea of what I need to aim for with my digital work (in some cases at least). Viewing my B&W negatives in their positive state has lead me to begin working in the digital darkroom to process my colour work into something other than tweaked RAW files. At this point I am enjoying the process of desaturating some images while working in faux B&W with others and everything in between. Photographing with an end goal of an almost monochromatic image in mind has opened up new and exciting alternatives in the digital world for my work...more to come!
After a 5 year hiatus, I finally got a chance to get back into a sea kayaking for some paddling around Salt Spring Island with some good friends. I was a bit hesitant at first but once I got a feel for the hard chine hull of the boat I was using, all was well once more.
One big difference between 5 years ago and now is that I have a spare pair of hearing aids (my old pair) that I can use while on the water. I need hearing aids for my day to day life and the risk of losing a $3000 set to salt water was never that appealing; now I’m not risking nearly as much and the old aids still work fairly well (better than cupping a hand to my ear and hoping I can hear what my friends are shouting at me!). It gave me a whole new perspective on the paddling world: I could hear the swoosh of my paddle’s blade as it cut through the surface of the water, the wind as it changed direction, the various boats motoring through the channel where we were paddling, the snort of the seals as we passed a wee bit too close, the cry of the eagles perched in their trees looking for easy prey...so much that had been lost to me before!
Now that I have had a taste of the sea faring life once more, I’m definitely hooked! There is a certain serenity that comes with leisurely paddling a kayak around the Gulf Islands on short day trips when the most you need to worry about is where to stop for a snack & to stretch your legs...pure bliss! I’ll have to see how my energy keeps up over the coming months and then decide whether or not a West Coast trip is in order: I would love to return once more to the rugged coastline for some adventures!
The sun has been rather reluctant to come out for more than a few hours but that’s just enough to get people out to enjoy some vitamin D! When I ventured out this afternoon the sun was high in the sky and shedding warm rays across the island. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived at my destination for the day, Salt Spring Island Cheese, the sun had decided to hide behind some rather intense looking clouds. No worries, I merely adjusted my ASA and began to explore the farm and to photograph all of the new, young lives that were gambolling across the fields and sleeping in the hay.
The Spring brings with it new growth in the garden as well and when I’m not off running around the island there is much to see in my own backyard. Recent Works
features some of my latest Spring time images: enjoy!