Artists & Artisans: women in their creative space

For the past several months I have been visiting various women in their studios here on Salt Spring Island to record some of their incredible work and amazing processes. Each artist/artisan has a unique space, style and approach to their art but they all share one thing in common: discipline. Day in and day out they can be found in their creative spaces exploring new visions, refining delicate, subtle details and continuing their learning as they create new and exciting pieces.

From ceramic artists to fine art painters to metal sculptors, bronze sculptors, found object specialists, recyclers and more, the diversity of media in this project is quite astonishing. I will continue to work with our island’s creative women until I have a large enough body of work to mount a show and/or a book.

Stay tuned for more! In the meantime, some ongoing photographs will be included on my Project page, click the photo below to visit

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Mysterious Pianos

A few days ago, 3 fully functioning and funkily painted pianos showed up in various locations in the heart of Ganges here on Salt Spring Island. Each piano invited people to sit down and play with the simple painted phrase “play your out”.

An elderly woman asked me what the purpose of leaving these pianos outside in the elements (where they would most likely get damaged)could possibly be: “to bring some smiles to people’s faces” was my response because each and every time that I saw someone sit down to play, young or old, good or bad, it brought a smile to their face as well as to those around them!

I decided to venture out after dark to see if anyone was taking advantage of them for an evening serenade…

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Fall Colours

The autumn colours are almost at an end: one more storm and most of the leaves will be gone from the trees. It is an interesting time of the year to be photographing especially as the conditions change so quickly: from overcast to cloudy to clear blue skies and back all in the same day at times! The low cloud and mists creeping their way through the woods are eerily beautiful and lend an alpine feel to the world around the island.

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Photosynthesis Show

The annual Salt Spring Photographer’s show, Photosynthesis, is on now at our local arts centre, Artspring. It is open from 10-5 daily with one of the show’s members in attendance.

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Photosynthesis Show 2012

Each year a select group of Salt Spring photographers presents a group show at our local performing arts centre, Artspring, called Photosynthesis. There is a strict policy when it comes to what can be submitted: new works that have not been previously displayed especially in the Photosynthesis show. Despite having participated in this show since its inception, I still struggle each year with what I will be presenting and have left it to the last possible moment once again. One of the satisfactions of waiting for so long is that I’m more likely to choose images that I have just created and this year is no exception: the past few days have produced over half of the photos that I will be using!

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New book on it's way

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!

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Musgrave Road Spring Falls

a seriously perfect day for getting out to shoot some local waterfalls: the light was diffused, temperature not to hot or cold and the streams running not too high and not too low. I managed to work my way along Musgrave Road to two sets of falls that occur along the same stream: the first was cluttered with lots of debris from the recent wind storms that we’ve had but there were still many compositions to be found in the smaller pools below the falls, the second set of falls was the opposite with lots of clutter below the falls and the headwaters clean & clear.

Slogging through the streams in gumboots is the only way to get the shots that I’m after: low-angle compositions mid-way into the flowing waters to give the viewer the sense of being in the midst of the rushing water and chaotic sounds that accompany even the smallest set of rapids. There is a feeling of life flowing along the streams, over the stones and through the roots of the trees & ferns along the banks. Spending time around fast flowing water and waterfalls always gives me a bit of an energy boost: I feed off of the same life force that keeps the forests alive.

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news for February

February, despite the dismal weather, has turned out to be quite a productive month for me with quotes coming in from printers, a few outdoor shoots, website updates as well as the seemingly never ending task of sorting through archives!

I decided to restructure the new website to make it more comprehensive in terms of images of Salt Spring and the surrounding area. Ideally, as with my original site, flatearthphoto.com will not only be a place for me to showcase my photography, but also a resource base for images of Salt Spring and the surrounding area. Even though my adventuring is somewhat more limited these days, I’d like to share photos from my past adventures that will, hopefully, inspire others to explore these remarkable areas for themselves.

Enjoy the new galleries (Salt Spring & Kayaking)

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Fall & Winter

moving through Fall and into Winter is always a challenging time: fewer hours of daylight, lower temperatures and more precipitation means tougher working conditions. On the plus side are the changing colours of the leaves on the deciduous trees as well as the increase in the amount of water in the streams & waterfalls...the forest becomes much more alive this time of year as all of the mosses & ground plants are nourished with the rains. Can’t wait to get out to photograph the many shades of green in our woods along with the mushrooms that are popping up everywhere!

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Avatar Grove - Vancouver Island

after a 2+ hour drive from the Crofton ferry terminal we arrived in Port Renfrew on the west coast of Vancouver Island ready for some lunch and then a trip to see Avatar Grove’s old growth forest.

We ended up having a superb meal at the Coastal Kitchen Cafe where they grow their own organic produce in an adjacent garden. Fuelled up and with a map downloaded from the Ancient Forest Alliance website we headed north in search of the grove.

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The trees were truly awe-inspiring: reaching up hundreds of feet from the forest floor to reach the sunlight far, far above well beyond where we could still distinguish any sort of detail. As I stood looking up at these gigantic trees I was saddened by the fact that many people only see them in terms of the profit that they can reap by chopping them down...they have much to learn about the true value of the ancient forests as spiritual retreats where we can recharge our own energies from these sanctuaries of long life.