Saturday, January 31, 2009

Through An African Lens

There is an inspiring exhibit at Dales Gallery on Fisgard St. in Victoria. The gallery is showcasing photography that illustrates life in Swaziland seen through the eyes of young people who were given 'point and shoot' cameras and directed to take photos of where they live. The photos are soul stirring portrayals of struggle and triumph. Proceeds from the sales of these photos go directly to fund the education of these youth. I was captivated by each photo and read about the hopes and dreams of each one of these young women. It reminded me of the experience of Zana Briski who worked with children in Calcutta to photograph their world. I highly recommend viewing this exhibit.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Beautiful Eyesore #3~ Corroding Mailbox

I took this shot on a hot afternoon at Vigneti Zanatta Winery. The mailbox precariously perches on the side of road. If you ever wish to visit Italy without leaving the island, drive to this beautiful valley and sit outside on the century old marble veranda, gaze over the vineyard and sip a glass of Damasco. Ahhhh....

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Robbie Burns Day ~ January 25

This memorial to Robert Burns was erected in Beacon Hill Park in 1900. A putting green was created beside the memorial in 1974. Apparently, those of Scottish heritage were not amused
and thought such a frivolous development was offensive. The putting green remains and it is frequently used by lots of people in the summer. Somehow I don't think Robbie would mind.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beautiful Eyesore #2~ Winsome Hydrant




I saw this hydrant while walking along the narrow path of Cowichan Bay Village. I was carrying just a standard lense so I sat right down on the sidewalk to take these pictures. I was drawn by the complementary colours of the dandelions but I don't think I nailed the shot. I was blocking the sidewalk after all and I was self conscious about blocking the pedestrian traffic. People are quite friendly in Cowichan Bay so many people struck up conversations about what I was shooting and given that I was blocking their way I felt compelled to chat. Since dandelions are hardy weeds I may be fortunate to return and take this shot again-maybe I'll wear a t-shirt that says, "I don't want to chat right now."

Given my struggle to get the right shot, which one do you prefer #1,2. or 3.?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Beautiful Eyesore Series

Inspired by Victoria Daily's great shot of the mailbox I've decided to present a series of objects considered ugly by the human eye but cast differently through the lense. So as not to offend Postie this by no means suggests that I think mailboxes are ugly. I love getting mail...I love my patient postman who cheerfully pets my yappy dog. :)

Here's the first of the series. This wheelbarrow was taken on a trip I took to Maple Bay last summer. The electric blue hue of the wheelbarrow and distinct shadow caught my attention.

Forgotten Wheelbarrow

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Finally a day with sun! This photo was taken in a rododendrun forest.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

"It is impossible to watch a sunset and not dream"
Bern Williams

I remember listening to a photographer who discouraged us from taking photos of sunsets. He suggested that we put the camera away and enjoy the sunset. He said, "Rather than take an 'average shot' of a spectacular scene take a spectacular shot of an average scene." Still, I can't help myself. Sunsets feel like firework displays. Just when you think you have seen the best in the sky the light changes once again and you are caught up in a lavish dance of hues and shadows.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Where is your treasure?

The gray January days don't inspire me to take photos. I am impatient with the long dark days and I find myself dreaming of far away places where I can discover a world that challenges my arrogance.

I took this photo in Barcelona a couple of years ago. This is an image that comes to mind when I hear people talk incessantly about the doom and gloom of this world. It reminds me of those treasures of life that 'moth or rust cannot destroy'.

Monday, January 12, 2009

A funnel cloud? Or just another spectacular show with the Olympic Mountains as a backdrop?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Here are the answers to the mystery shots.

1. My favourite city (in North America) -Portland, Oregon
2. The most beautiful church is Antonio Gaudi's Church-Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain
3. One of my happiest afternoons was on The Great Wall, 2 1/2 hours north of Beijing, China
5. My favourite place to watch the world run by is Victoria Station, London
6. My place of solace is Ruckle Park, Salt Spring Island
7. The weirdest place for a Starbucks....smack dab in the middle of The Forbidden City

Monday, January 5, 2009

Seven Things You Don't Know About Me

I was challenged by V Yonkers to illustrate
Seven Things You Don't Know About Me

1. My Favourite City.
Best downtown, best bookstores, best cycling trails, best jazz, best restaurants. Any guesses?

2. What I consider the most beautiful church in the world. Everything about this place breathes.

3. One of the happiest afternoons in my life.

My favourite flower. A neighbor once told me she hated daffodils. Shortly after she made this declaration, I carefully planted three hundred of these in my front yard.

5. My favourite place to have a pint and watch the world run by.

6. This is my favourite Gulf Island. I spent twenty summers here and this is where I find solace.

7. This is the least likely place I thought I would ever discover a Starbucks. Guess where?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mt. Doug

This was taken on a blistery afternoon at the top of Mt. Doug Park. Mt. Doug was known by the Songhees Nation as 'Hill of Cedars' and even temporarily adopted the name, 'Cedar Hill' before it became officially known as Mount Douglas Park. The large cedar trees that grew here were used to build parts of Fort Victoria. Now it's a public park and you will often see wild 'workout warriors' participating in 'boot camp' activities.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Breaking The Rules

I was always told, "Don't bother taking shots directly into the sun" since the exposure would be flawed. But then I attended a presentation by Deddeda Stemler and she declared that she loved shooting into the sun. I think I'll take a beautiful day and shoot all my photos into the sun then check out the results.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I don't like unpacking. It signifies a decisive end to an adventure and I resist its anti-climatic finale.

~Christmas in Vancouver~