Kitimat, B.C.


Saunders Road – July, 2017


Notes from a Small Town Street Tog (February)

“If we limit ourselves, a whole new world of possibilities will emerge.”

“Some situations terrify me. That’s how I know it’s time to press the shutter.”

“Even if I go out and return home with no photos to show for it, I still feel good. It’s only a loss if I’ve learned nothing.”

“In street photography you react. Thinking is for when you’ve got time.”

“I don’t take photographs for the taking’s sake. They have to mean something twenty years from now.”

“What is photography if it isn’t putting bookmarks in the pages of your life?”

“There is a point where you can become too technical or too demanding. After that the photograph no longer has meaning.”

“I don’t get angry if I have to shoot at a high ISO. After all, it’s not a contest to see who can produce the cleanest photograph. There are situations where I embrace grain.”

“The more transparent a camera is the more I like it. I just want it to do what I need it to do with minimum fuss. I have to get on with my work.”

“In small town street photography there are really only two approaches: either you have to become involved in a situation or you have to be invisible.”

“Sometimes we need to take a step away from reality to emphasize reality.”

“Being in a state of readiness and able to anticipate what’s going to happen is most of what I do.”

“A smile can go a long way in street photography.”

“I don’t consider all of my photos to be good. Many though, are necessary.”

“After taking someone’s photograph, thanking them then walking away must be a little bit like – What the fuck just happened?”

“We’re all colour blind at first.”

“I enjoy photographing dogs. They’re usually so attentive or not.”

Notes From a Small Town Street Tog (January)

“Switching from rain to snow mode. Brighter but still no shadows.”

“Down to ISO 1600. Woohoo!”

“An umbrella is still a necessary piece of equipment.”

“Absolutely miserable weather, but hello smokers! Thanks for being there.”

“Texture everywhere!”

“Poor visibility today. A contrast nosedive.”

“Lack of texture everywhere!”

“Can’t bother looking for colour.”

“Wait! Grey is a colour!”

“Embracing noise.”

“Getting much more selective…”

“Feeling ok about the lack of opportunities today. The fresh air was nice.”

“Close is REALLY close.”

“Noticing snowbanks and slush way more than I used to.”


“I still hate boots.”

“Is disconnect a form of interaction?”

“Blizzards and lens cleaning cloths are like popcorn and the movies.”

“A hot coffee sounds about right.”


Strategies for Birds

Whenever I’m out in the field taking photographs of birds, I find myself relying on my musical abilities. It’s very seldom that I don’t hear a bird long before I see it.

There are certain bird calls that I’m quite used to hearing – the American Robin, Song Sparrow, Dark-Eyed Junco, Varied Thrush etc. But, every now and then something new moves in and I know it immediately because I don’t recognize the call musically.

Yesterday I heard such a call. And as it happens very often, the birds are some distance away and quite small. What I usually do after I hear a call is scan the area with a pair of binoculars trying to get a glimpse of what critter is making that sound. If I’m lucky, I’ll be able to spot him, and this is where having a good reference for bird identification comes in handy. A good book, a laptop, or an Iphone is an essential aid.

Once identified, you may be able to have better understanding of the habits of the bird and where you’ll be likely to see him again.

I was very fortunate to be able to grab several frames of an Alder Flycatcher yesterday. The procedure was the same. I heard him. I spotted him at a distance. I referenced him. Then I waited and anticipated where he may show up again. Patience is the name of the game. And having luck and light is ok too.

Alder Flycatcher

ISO 400, 500mm, 1.4x TC, f6.3, 1/1250s, -1/3ev

Happy Shooting,


With Privilege Comes Responsibility

The Kitimat River

The Kitimat River


Having a fishing license or a hunting license in this country is a privilege that many in other countries around the world do not and will not ever get to enjoy. And, in having that privilege comes the responsibility to be a steward for the environment, to speak up and to protect those very places we enjoy so much.

I’m so very disturbed by the trend of our current government to stamp it’s feet on the environment at any cost as long as economic development needs are met. We have 2 choices: we can either be one of those people who have a fishing and hunting license whose sole purpose is to exploit the resources, fish the lakes and streams until the fish are no more, hunt the game until we have to travel thousands of miles north to see the animals that used to roam here freely, or we can choose to be a voice for the wild places and the creatures that inhabit them. Just like having a driver’s license is a privilege, if you choose not to abide by the rules of the road, you will lose it. It’s my opinion that if you choose not to respect nature, take care of her, so that your children and your children’s children can enjoy the same things you do, then so should you lose that privilege. Are you a responsible user or an abuser?

As a photographer I do what I can to spread awareness of how lucky we are to be able to enjoy wild places, and how important it is to respect and protect them. Unfortunately, the current trend in our government today is to separate the gap between rich and poor, to exploit resources at an astounding rate, appease the masses by creating a few hundred jobs here and there, and keep that economic wheel turning even if it means our own eventual destruction, poisoning the air we breathe and risking crude oil spills into sensitive and precious ecosystems that can never be recreated once gone.

I’m not saying that economic growth is a bad thing, but is it too much to ask supposedly intelligent human beings who run our country to look for a better way to keep our economy going without killing ourselves and everything else in the process?

Maybe it is…after all, I’m just one of those radical, extremist, environmentalist types who who bows to foreign influence and who is trying to undermine Mr. Harper and Mr. Oliver’s economy. My being a Canadian doesn’t seem to count for much.

Keep those picture of wild places coming everyone!

Happy shooting,