Friday, December 10, 2010


Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
My first sale!

Every Christmas, the people in our cataloguing department hold a silent charity auction where staff donate goods, crafts, munchies. This year proceeds are going to Inn From the Cold.

I donated this little piece for Wednesday's auction. Since, I only work in the morning and yesterday was my day off, I don't know how much it sold for (I'll ask when I go to work today). But just before I went home, I took a look at the biddings and fluffy had four bids on it with the highest being $25.00. Pretty cool.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

anti-racism rally - Nov 21, 2010 - Jason and Bonnie Devine

In -15 degree Celsius temperatures, a small group of determined activists met in front of City Hall Sunday, November 21st, to protest against racism. Leading the protest were Jason and Bonnie Devine. A few weeks ago, masked men invaded Jason and Bonnie's house. Jason was attacked and beaten with clubs and bats by what Jason believed to be members of a local white supremacist group. Bonnie and their kids were asleep.

It's crazy to believe that thugs can invade someone's home and beat them up. What's crazier is that Social Services took the Devine kids, claiming they were living in a dangerous environment. On CBC Radio One, Jason said that Social Services equated their situation with drug dealers and biker gangs. Insane.

At the time of this rally, the Devine kids were back home, but Jason was still suffering from the beating. In this photo Bonnie tries to sooth a headache.

Both Bonnie and Jason are known for their activism. Bonnie was one of the candidates running for mayor in the recent civic election.

frozen cosmos 1

frozen cosmos 1
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Discovering more cool things I can do with the new Pentax K-5. This is a shot of a frozen Cosmos flower wilting on my balcony. It kind of looks like an illustration you'd find in a high school biology text book. I can pretend to be a painter. : )

I used the following Pentax K-5 in-camera filters: extract color (to pull out just the pink and yellow), and water color. And then sharpened it up a bit with Corel PhotoPaint.

Here is another version of the same flower where I just used the extract color filter to bring out the pink and then adjusted the level equalization, contrast, and sharpness with Corel PhotoPaint.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Old & new technology

Today, I took the new Pentax for a run through a couple of neighborhoods. I took a photo of a house roof that had an old fashioned rooster weather vane and a state of the art satellite dish. The owners dashed out of their house to talk to me. The wife actually yelped "You-hoo" like a chihuahua to get my attention.

The wife waited in the doorway as the husband, a distinguished older German fellow, asked why I was taking pictures of their house. I assured him that it wasn't their house I was photographing, but their weather vane and satellite dish. As I showed him the photo, I told him I thought it was an interesting combination of old and new technology.

"Is it for you?" he asked. Was he figuring I was making money off his weather vane and satellite dish?

"Yes it's for me," I said. "I'm a photography student, taking classes at Mount Royal, but this is mostly for me."

Then I said thank you, he returned the thanks, and I went on my way. I posted it to Flickr, but then decided that if the owners saw it they might not consider it "personal use" and decided to delete it.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Rose

Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Getting there. This was a night shot of a flower on one of the crosses posted along Memorial Drive for Remembrance Day. I still need to play with f-stops so that more of the photo is in focus, but I thought this wasn't bad without a flash or tripod.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Recently I purchased the new Pentax K-5 DSLR with a 50mm 1.4 lens and a 50-200mm zoom lens. Another learning curve. So far I'm liking how creative I can be in-camera, however, I find the results are better when editing RAW rather than JPEG. (I know, duh!)

This photo of weed fluff was shot with the Canon 50D. When I can figure out how to adjust the Pentax to get the same contrast and depth, I'll be totally happy. I'm afraid It might involve buying a really expensive lens, though.

Or maybe, I'll just have to adjust how I look at my photos.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

B&W Workshop

Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Just completed a two night, one day black and white photography workshop at Mount Royal University.

Friday night, the class discussed why we like shooting in b&w. I mentioned my mom's little red box camera and that I thought b&w told stories more vividly. Some liked the drama of b&w.

Saturday morning we wandered around Inglewood. Having shot photos there before, my challenge was to not repeat myself. Since there's so much in Inglewood to shoot, not repeating myself wasn't difficult. Saturday afternoon we returned to MRU to edit our favorite three photos with Photoshop CS. I got a taste of what it's like to be the slow one in the group. The computers (I went to two) did not recognize my Canon 50D and I went through three card readers before I could upload my photos, which put me behind whatever everyone else was doing. My energy level was (and is) still really low from the virus infection, and by the end of the afternoon I didn't like anything I shot. Still, I pulled off three photos, which the instructor printed for the Wednesday evening critiquing. It was all good. Everyone in my class pulled off really good prints.

This photo was from the Inglewood shoot, but not one edited with Photoshop. I still prefer my ten year old Corel software.

This week I start the Photography Level 2 course. Might have to do major caffeine if my energy level doesn't pick up.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pentax K-5

Celtic bracelet
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Well, I'm deep into it. Yesterday I bought the new Pentax K-5 with a 50mm (f1.4) lens. This is the camera I should have bought, instead of the Canon 50D. The first thing I noticed was how much I missed using a regular lens with a wonderfully low f-stop.

This picture of my copper Celtic bracelet was cropped in camera and edited with the in-camera pastel filter. Once I'm over the bronchitis that is hanging on as a cold, I'll be out and about learning and capturing all that I can.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Calgary Zombie Walk 2010 - weary zombie

It was a heck of a week what with last weekend's Zombie Walk, The Camera Store's Digital Photo Expo and gorgeous weather all week for taking photos.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Free Kashmir - child

Free Kashmir - child
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Today, a few people demonstrated in front of the Harry Hayes Building protesting India and Pakistan's battle over the possession of Kashmir. Kashmir, which is surrounded by India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China, considers itself an independent country.

Shah Waseem Yousuf, a University of Kashmir Journalism student, has a quite a bit of information on the history of Kashmir, the freedom struggle, and current happenings on his blog.

The Kashmiri-Canadian Council web site is also very informative.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One of Five

One of Five
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Another one of my photos has been published! Canada's National Historical Society requested this photo of Nelly McClung for an article called "The Right to Vote!" in their online Kayak magazine.

My other published photo was of Jen Kunlire for the 2010 Calgary Spoken Word Festival: However, credit was given only in the printed festival brochure, not the web site.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

raindropsdrops on yellow flower

drops on yellow flower
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1

The raindrops have plenty

of personality --

Each one

- Jack Kerouac, "Book of Haikus"

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Where did the summer go?

Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Gads. It feels like I've spent most of my summer driving on highways. Oh. I did. At least 18 days worth. Two friends and I recently completed a road trip to Dawson City, Yukon, Skagway, Alaska, and to points in between. More than once, usually while I was driving, I was wishing someone would invent a blink-cam. A camera connected to a person's eyes that would shoot a picture when the user blinked a certain way. There were so many missed shots.

This was my second trip in 10 years to the Yukon. Last time we only went as far north as Haines Junction. We did the touristy stuff (grin and bear it) like Diamond Tooth Gerties, gift shops, and museums. Okay, I did go a little nuts buying stuff, but they weren't the best part of the trip. Attending the biannual Moosehide Gathering, having a gold prospector give us an impromptu tour of his claim, sleeping in beautiful wilderness, visiting an ancient graveyard, and eating my friend's brother and sister-in-law's cooking (moose steaks or burgers and baked salmon with tons of veggies!) will be the trip highlights for me. Oh, and the ravens!

The ravens are everywhere in the north. They're huge and they're gorgeous. In Dawson, one raven would wake me up with a soft gurgling sound. I could've blown a whole memory card on just raven photos. The fuel to my Dawson shopping spree was to find something depicting a raven. The best I could find was a tile painting by a local artist, but I wasn't crazy about the ruby red bra the bird wore. One shopkeeper told me that most Yukoners don't like the raven (the symbolic bird of the territory), because they're scavengers. She told me how last winter she found a raven zapped dead by a power-line. After getting the required papers, she had the bird stuffed for a friend. The taxidermist told her that her bird was over 80 years old and that it wasn't unusual for them to reach 120 years. No wonder the natives consider them wise.

I'll remember the interesting people I met along the way. Like James, the handsome Grand Prairie farmer we met at the Buckinghorse campsite. James was on his way home from reaching the North Pole. He told us of his harassing the locals for muktuk and of the Japanese tourist he found waiting for an hour for someone to take his North Pole photo. James also taught us that free coffee isn't necessarily good coffee (sorry James). Then there was the Whitehorse dobro-playing busker who tried to teach me his 2 dimension space travel theory. Thanks to the Whitehorse skateboarders who didn't mind my shooting photos of them for almost an hour . Thanks also to the fellow from Inuvik who shared his shade and conversation by the Free Mason hall in Dawson.

Our itinerary was changed a couple of times. When the Top of the World Highway washed out we had to use the Klondike Highway to get to Dawson. Then, over three hundred forest fires in British Columbia kept opening and closing the Cassiar Highway, our initial route of choice to get home. We stopped at Junction 37 to eat lunch at Sally's (highly recommended) and to make a final decision about using the Cassiar. By the time we finished lunch the Cassiar line up had increased with the bumper of the last vehicle reaching the Alaska Highway. We went home the same way we came.

Looking back, there's really was not enough time to spend doing what I loved the most -- basking in the Lliard Hotsprings. Still, I'm glad I went and I'm sure the gorgeous wilderness will beckon me again.


Flickr photos - Road Trips - Yukon

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Calgary Stampede 2010

Calgary Stampede 2010
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Another Stampede done gone. Today is the last day of cowboy boots and hats, jeans and attempts at two-stepping. Although, I have to say I didn't do a whole lot of Stampeding this year aside from the parade, one day on the grounds and the tail end of the friendship dance at lunchtime. It was the most eventful Stampede, photography-wise, for me.

First, there was snagging Prime Minister Stephen Harper's photo as he watched the parade and then as he was leaving. He's not the first Prime Minister I've photographed. I caught Pierre Trudeau in 1979 at James Fowler Senior High School. My Journalism Art photography class was sent there on assignment. I don't remember what the event was, and the photos I took weren't that great, but it was a big thrill. I vibrated with excitement before, during and hours after the event. Harper, not so much. I only vibrated for a half hour afterwards.

Second, were the heavy horse show and the Cowboy Up competition. My little Canon G10 performed wonderfully in somewhat less than ideal lighting conditions, but still I managed to catch some really good action. Maybe next year I'll take the 50D.


Calgary Stampede Parade 2010
Calgary Stampede 2010 scenes

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

faux forest

faux forest
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Fakes trees near Olympic Plaza commemorate 100 years of parks in Calgary. These were created by a Montreal artist by the name of Rita.

You know, I could almost consider them whimsical; however, after the clear cutting of the old growth trees by the river this faux forest just seems wrong. They're made out of Styrofoam. I don't know. They kind of look like car air fresheners.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Canada Day 2010 - Millarville Races - Canadian Mohawk

There's something about Canada Day that makes me want to get out of the city. Maybe because it's really feels like summer, finally, and summer means road tripping. This Canada Day I went with my friends to the 105th running of the Millarville Races.

Every Canada Day for the last 105 years there has been horse racing in Millarville. The first horse race is usually the local ranchers. The rest are professional riders. Bets are made and lost, but it's all for fun. In between races there are foot and sack races for different age groups.

In preparation for our major vacation road trip near the end of July, my friends let me drive their SUV. We took the scenic route via High River, missed the turn to Black Diamond, and wound up somewhere close to Chain Lakes. We'll have to work on the navigational skills, I think.

The afternoon went by too quickly. Partially because of the impromptu two and half hour road trip, but mostly I think it's because they ran only 6 races instead of the usual 9.

Still, it was nice to get out of the crowded, noisy, rushing city.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

wood chips...

wood chips...
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
... are pretty much all that is left of the old growth that was on the bike path north of the Harry Hayes building. There are a handful of tall trees, but only one is not marked for removal.

CTVNews called me this morning in response to the e-mail I sent two nights ago. The reporter wanted to know if I would comment on camera. I declined, saying I wasn't very photogenic. Besides, the trees are pretty much gone. She said that no one else seems to be upset by it.

I'm thinking that if they sent a reporter to the site around noon time, when most downtown workers walk along that stretch of path, they would have had plenty of interview opportunities. Just judging by the comments of people I work with, any way.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
There was major tree removal done along the Riverwalk pathway, today. This is the strip of bike path north of the Harry Hayes building, between Centre Street Bridge and Edmonton Trail. By afternoon rush hour all that was left were the older, taller trees. They will probably be gone tomorrow. The area is being cleared so that the city can put in a promenade; part of the East Village "improvement" measures.

A few things urk me about these "improvement" measures. First, why couldn't they work around the trees, at least work around the older, really tall trees? Second, if I were to cut down a tree as large as the ones disappearing along this bike path the City would fine me. This, and the possible ring road over the Weaselhead, shows just how important nature is to this City council. All this development is meant to improve the property value of the condos that are currently being build in the area, except I don't see how a bald paved-over riverfront is good for property values.

Since I walk through this area on my way to work, there will probably be more photo postings to Flickr.

The Riverwalk plans, including a video, are on the City-owned Calgary Municipal Land Corporation web site.


the reason why the trees are gone

Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Like a sword,
Like a weapon,
My eye stabs at you.
You look away
And I strike only air.
Why is it you live
While more worthy beings

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

say good-bye

say good-bye
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Say “good-bye” to the trees on the bike path near the Harry Hayes building. Two years ago, it was decided they had to be removed to make way for a promenade. Every tree to be removed has an orange "X" marked on it and/or a yellow ribbon tied to it; including the tallest trees along that stretch of pathway. The plans, including a video, are on the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation web site. The CMLC is a City of Calgary owned company.

the argument

the argument
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
T-Cat, harassed by a magpie. Last week it was a crow. I'm thinking he's probably messing with their nests.

The cat's name is either TJ or Tuna, but I can never tell the two apart, so T-Cat.

T-Cat is semi-feral and lives around the house next door. His people moved a couple of weeks ago, and I guess T-Cat was out roaming at the time and missed the move. Still, I haven't seen anyone come looking for him either.

I'd call the Humane Society, but recently they ran a news article indicating the society is practically giving cats away because they have so many. I'd try to take him in, but my cat is not fond of him. (She pretends she's stalking him from our balcony.)

I'll wait and then try to contact his people. It's summer and I think he'll do fine on his own, for now. The magpies and crows might beg to differ, though.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Inglewood photo field trip

Nellie Breen Park
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
This is the inside ceiling of Inglewood's Nellie Breen Park gazebo. The June 18th issue of the Calgary Herald has a story about the park's gazebo. The playground is pretty cool in that the ground has some kind of cushy covering. No little knees get embedded with gravel in this park.

Saturday I went on a field trip through Inglewood with a few members of the Calgary Public Library Photography Club. I knew that Inglewood was Calgary's oldest community, but I had no idea the neighborhood was so pretty.

It's pretty vibrant, too, with a ton of neat restaurants and some very unique shops. After the group thing was over, I wandered over to Fair's Fair Books and the Galleria. Wow. I didn't buy anything, this time, only because my backpack was already full of camera stuff. I'll have to go back, sans-camera, and check out The Ironwood (which moved into Loose Moose Theatre's old digs) and the restaurant with the big parrot on the building. Oh, and maybe the Swan Pub.

Inglewood Shops
Inglewood, Calgary - Wikipedia
Anna's Adventures in the New World blog
Calgary’s Inglewood on the upswing

Thursday, June 17, 2010

rain is beautiful - pansy 2

Captured with the wide angle setting on my little Canon G10. Shot @ 1/100, f 3.5, ISO 80, with macro. Oh, and I tweeked it a bit with Corel. After a year and a half, I'm still loving my little Powershot!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Centennial Grove - 100 Years of Parks in Calgary

To celebrate 100 years of parks several pieces of art have been installed in Olympic Plaza. Each of these poles represents a park in Calgary.

According to the City of Calgary Parks Department web page this display is called Centennial Grove. Here's the write up from the City of Calgary web site:

"Drawing on the imagery of the native prairie landscape of aspen groves and grasslands and in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the City of Calgary Parks, the installation symbolizes 100 trunks of aspen trees nestled in grassland. The 100 trunks represent 100 great public spaces developed by Parks in the last century. The 100 trunks are organized in modules of 10, where each group of 10 indicates a time span of 10 years. The heights of the trunks increase incrementally from decade to decade, representing the passage of time and growth of the city of Calgary between 1910 and 2010."


Thursday, June 10, 2010

poppy trio fallen

poppy trio fallen
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
There's a saying, "Some people walk in the rain. Some people just get wet." I'm a rain walker. Rain can be a bit much, especially when it downpours 20cm in one day, but I love the rain. Colors are more vibrant. Trees smell especially wonderful. I could inhale them all day. I'm sure people who notice me breathing deeply by a tree think I'm odd. If they notice me at all. Too many hunker inside their umbrellas, dashing from one place to another, thinking their important thoughts. Missing the beauty.

Friday, June 4, 2010

pro-pot demonstration June 4, 2010

There was another protest this week. Odd, two in one week. The one this afternoon involved supporters of legalized marijuana use protesting the Federal Government's proposed Bill S-10 legislation in front of the Harry Hays building. According to the Department of Justice Canada web site: "The legislation provides mandatory jail time for serious drug offences, and will allow special penalties to be imposed when offences are carried out for organized crime purposes, or if they involve targeting youth." The 420 Cannabis Community believe that marijuana is harmless, should be legal for any one to use, and that organized crime gangs benefit by keeping it illegal.
I spoke with a few of the members of the Calgary 420 Cannabis Community and received tips on cookie baking, was told about doctor recommendations, and warned about the implications of the proposed Bill S-10. Everything was nice and friendly until I approached one of the leaders with a few questions. The Calgary 420 Cannabis Community membership are attempting to legalize marijuana use for anyone, not just for medicinal purposes. Her take was that marijuana was harmless and very beneficial. I asked her about users who love the weed so much they forfeit family and friends. "That's an addiction and has nothing to do with marijuana," I was told. "So you don't have any plans in place for these people?" I asked. "No," was the curt reply. "You should," I said as we both turned away.

My take on marijuana use? I believe that those that use marijuana for medicinal purposes are in the minority. The majority of tokers fall in two categories; recreational and escapist smokers. The recreational smoker puffs with friends at social occasions; parties, concerts, etc. The escapist smoker tokes any chance they can and, like the alcoholic, live for their drug. Marijuana is a relaxant and the escapist smokes until they are so sedated they barely function. They become zombies. Escapist potheads can't handle responsibility or reality very well and marijuana allows them to escape the harshness of real life, guilt-free. If members of the 420 Cannabis Community want to make their little bud legal, and if they truly are a "community," I believe they must have something in place for the escapist toker or they are courting societal disaster.


Monday, May 31, 2010

protest against Israeli attack on aid workers

Protesting the recent Israeli attack on Gaza aid workers, today a small group of cold but vociferous students waved placards and cheered at supportive passing motorists during the afternoon rush hour. For almost three hours, University of Calgary student members of the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights group stood in front of the Harry Hayes Building. Their mission, to draw attention to the military attack and death of 10 foreign aid workers and for what they view as Israel’s lack of respect for international law. See the BBC news coverage with video footage.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

hey, me too, me too!

Spent the Victoria Day holiday at Prince's Island Park and was mobbed for my lunch by the Canada Geese. They fear nothing. And they also sneak up from behind. Very exciting. They also prefer junk food over the pea pods I tried sharing. Feeding the geese is a feat best done standing up, like this person did. Unless you're not much taller than the geese, then it's a little overwhelming.

hey, me too, me too!
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1

Saturday, May 22, 2010

heh! watch for the kids!

Is it any wonder why the geese downtown get a little hissy?
It also appears that the letter to the editor claiming the City was rounding up goslings was either inaccurate or someone trying to get a rise. There were still quite a few down at Prince's Island Park.

This is the City of Calgary's response to letter writer's concerns:


Removing goslings from Prince's Island Park

In the past few days, several Calgarians have expressed their concerns about why The City is removing goslings from Prince's Island Park.

According to Michael Kenny, The City’s Parks Manager, West Division, there are a few reasons that The City has undertaken this process. The City of Calgary’s actions mirror those currently in place in many municipalities across North America to contend with large goose populations.

Firstly, when large numbers of geese are living in a small area, the geese can become very aggressive to people, including young children or the elderly who may get too close to these large birds. In the past, geese at Prince’s Island have been known to charge and attack people, especially when goslings are present.

Secondly, large numbers of geese in a small urban area translates into a big problem with excrement. "In other words too many geese at Prince’s Island means pathway users slip on the droppings and park visitors are unable to sit on the grass to enjoy the many festivals and beautiful summer days," says Kenny.

Lastly, a large non-migratory goose population in a confined area is at risk of contracting disease, which can be highly contagious and devastating for the bird population.

According to Kenny, The City takes every precaution to ensure the health and well being of these birds. Once removed from Prince’s Island, a provincially licensed expert rears the goslings for three to four weeks until they are old enough to survive on their own.

These geese are then released into rural wetlands, such as Ducks Unlimited lands, where the young birds join migratory flocks in a more natural environment.
Source: Calgary City News Blog


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Last Saturday, in the Calgary Herald's letter to the editor, someone wrote that they witnessed city workers with cages collecting the goslings at Prince's Island Park. The writer claims the workers were "releasing them into the wild." If this is true, how could the worker live with himself! I believe all creatures have an equal right to life. To take one creature's children and place them in a situation that will kill them is extremely cruel.

Sure, there are hundreds of these little fluff balls and if they survive and grow up they will want to nest at Prince's Island, but there are less cruel ways of maintaining the park's geese population.

One year they sprayed the geese eggs with something that made the shells soft and no geese hatched. The fact that the letter to the editor still bugs me three days later proves that I've got to call 311 to confirm. I hesitate, because what if it is true? Do I wage an animal cruelty crusade against the City? Do I protest at Prince's Island Park? Will it bring the goslings back? Will it protect future hatchlings? When I hear the sad noises the adult geese now make, my heart says "yes!!" to all that and more.

goslings 3
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1

In Europe Canada Geese are considered a nuisance, because they breed prolifically and make terrible messes that change the ecology. Gee, I can think of another species on this planet that does that, but we don't round up its young and leaved them to die in the wilderness. Well, on second thought, it has been done and it was considered murder or a war crime and extremely cruel.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

ode to Tigerstedt

ode to Tigerstedt
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Just read an excellent article in the April 30th, 2010 edition of Swerve Magazine about the Tigerstedt Block. Established in 1932 on Centre Street, in the community of Crescent Heights, it has been slated for demolition someday to make way for a new condo/retail complex. I say "someday" because the condo ad sign has been up for a few years. The article also had a small piece about Albert Tigerstedt, a local photographer who set up his studio near the Crescent Heights Senior High School and who was also a photographer in the Canadian Navy during the second World War. Several of his photographs were donated to the Glenbow Museum by his wife when he died, in 1989. I haven't seen the Glenbow collection, but a search through Glenbows online photo archive turned up 39 records shot by Tigerstedt Studios.

I chose to make a black and white photo because, one, it downplays how tattered the sign has become and, two, I figured in 1932 if Mr. Tigerstedt had taken a photo of his sign it would have been shot with black and white film. Here's the color version. Photos of this sign bring out interesting stories. On Flickr, in the comments of Mr. Sable's film noir photo of the sign a woman mentions that her father was one of the photographers at the studio, which prompted someone to post a photo done by Tigerstedt Studios. One of my Flickr contacts remembers when he was a student at Crescent Heights in the '60s how he would visit Mr. Tigerstedt during his lunch hour. The sign said Tigerstedt Studio then, which got me wondering if there was a photo of the original sign somewhere. Like a dog with a squeaky toy, I couldn't drop the idea that I could find that photo somewhere on the 'Net. Like a lot of my searches, I found more than I was searching for.

For instance, Mrs. Tigerstedt's obituary on the Alberta Histories Society web site reads:

TIGERSTEDT - It is with great sadness that the family of Jean Tigerstedt announces her passing on Saturday, November 1, 1997 at the age of 80 years. Jean is survived by her sisters, Margaret Dempster of Calgary and Isabella Hunt of Edmonton. She was predeceased by her loving husband Albert, in 1989, and by her Father and Mother, and brother Robert. Jean was born in Calgary on July 6, 1917, where she attended Normal School. After graduation, she taught in Oyen before returning to Calgary where she married her sweetheart and joined him in his business, "Tigerstedt Studio".

I wonder if she taught at Crescent Heights. Maybe they met when she escorted a group of reluctant students to his photo studio. One can only imagine.

Still, I haven't found a photo of the original sign. Like most things, though, it will probably appear when I stop looking for it.


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Your Song @ Cantos - Salute to Elton John

In sync with the Alberta Ballet’s production of Love Lies Bleeding, the Canto Music Foundation invited prominent Calgary musicians to perform their choice Elton John song, Wednesday evening, May 5, 2010. The result was Your Song: Calgary Artists Salute Elton John, featuring Elton John’s song writing piano. The performing artists included Simon Fisk with Sheldon Zandboer, Kris Demeanor with Anne Loree, Matt Masters with Earl McCauley, Donald Ray Johnson, Lynn Olagundoye with Chris Maric, Onalea Gilbertson and Jay Crocker. They used the piano that Elton John used to write hundreds of songs, probably between the late 1960s and early 1970s.

My favorite performances of the evening were Kris Demeanor, with Anne Loree on keys, doing "Western Ford Gateway" from Elton John's Empty Sky album; Donald Ray Johnson performing a very spiritual version of Elton John's "Border Song," and Onalea Gilbertson finishing the evening with "Your Song." Earl McCauley and Matt Masters performed a country song from Elton John's Tumbleweed Connection album that was very good. Their bassist and backup singer played some very smooth bass riffs. (I wish I could remember her name.) Charismatic Andrew Mosker, Cantos' executive director, hosted the event. In between performances he added trivia about the musicians, Cantos, and, of course, Elton John. He also spoke of their plans for the King Eddy site where Cantos will be moving their collection, setting up sound and recording stages, and reviving the Blues at the Eddy. Definitely something to look forward to.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo 2010

Day 1: Saturday, April 24, 2010

My first Comic & Entertainment Expo. The only reason I went at all was to see and hear Leonard Nimoy, who was as charming and witty as I had hoped. If he were ever to chance a look at this I would like to thank him. Mr. Nimoy may not be Spock, but Spock lives because of him. After listening to Mr. Nimoy speak at his discussion panel, I believe both Mr. Nimoy and Mr. Spock are good life mentors.

While standing in line to get in on Sunday, I discovered that with Mr. Spock there are no age boundaries. I asked the preteen standing in front of me if she were there to see the actors from the movie Twilight: New Moon.

Her mother pretending mock surprise turned to her daughter and said, "How did she know?"

"Well," I continued. "I think most people are here to see either the Twilight group or Leonard Nimoy, and you know, Mr. Nimoy is kind of old."

"Oh, but he's Spock!" the preteen exclaimed. "And Spock is cool."

We then plotted the best strategy for her to get autographs and photos of the Twilight actors.

Most of my weekend was spent in line ups. At a couple panel discussions the announcers bragged that over 15,000 people would be attending the Expo this weekend, making this the largest comic expo in the west. Now, that many people might be impressive to some and might be considered a good thing to others. It's not a good thing if you are one of the crowd trying to figure out where the end of your line is and there are four lines merging. Crowd management for Saturday was horrible, although I was told by someone who attended last year that this year's was more organized. (Gads!) I bought an advanced weekend pass, which was supposed to allow me to get in quicker than people buying tickets at the gates. Didn't happen. When I arrived around 10:00 am there were no line ups at the gates, and a one mile long line (I do not exaggerate) of advance ticket holders. Having an advanced ticket gave me no special favors except that I can go back and feel like a spawning salmon again on Sunday.

The costume aspect was fun. Many people dressed up; quite a few didn't even enter the costume competition. I'm not an avid comic book reader, so I did not recognize some of the costumed characters. Liana K. (of the television talk show Ed & Red) and Mark Nguyen (from the 404s comedy troupe) were the MCs for the costume competition. They were wonderfully funny and the costumes were well done. I was totally blown away by Liana K.'s knowledge of gaming, comics, you name it, she probably knew about it. No wonder she's considered a Fan Queen.

Day 2: Sunday April 25, 2010
Spawning like an intelligent salmon today. As soon as the doors open I head for the Palomino room where celebrity guests will take part in the Ed & Red mini talk show. The other salmons must have went to the autograph table, because I'm the second person to get in the hall. I score a seat near the stage, which means I get some really excellent photos of the celebrities being interviewed by Liana K and a dirty little sock named Ed. My best shot was of Yukon-born actor Tahmoh Penikett.

Afterwards, I thought I'd check out the exhibitions. A mob held back at the exhibition hall door changed my mind. I decided to find the Brent Spiner panel line up, instead. Good thing too, because that line was getting pretty long. When we got in the MC told everyone that the previous Twilight discussion panel had a battle between the vampires and the werewolves to see who had the most fans in the hall. He said it looked like the android won, because Brent Spiner fans totally filled the hall.

All in all, crowd control was actually pretty good on Sunday. Believe it or not, someone who avoids lines at the best of times actually learned that standing in line can be a cool thing. You meet the most interesting people. Like the young man from Edmonton who was there to "get away." Then there was the UK guy who claimed they had nothing like this in England. And the woman who wondered if her teenage sons, who were perusing the exhibitors hall, would find her in the Leonard Nimoy panel discussion line-up (they didn't). The discussion by two married men on the possibility of scoring with the beautiful spandex-clad superhero, I could've have done without. They laughed, though, when I turned and told them she would probably kick their asses. They then speculated on whether their spouses could be convinced to dress up as superheroes. We were all there, sharing what we love. Kind of like Facebook, only in 3-D.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Water drop

Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
a water drop
hanging by a twig
(nature's thread)
captures a tree

The Kerby Chorals Present: Alberta Afternoon

When Alison Demeter began instructing the Kerby Chorus in 2004, the class was a small group of seniors who did not necessarily have music skills, stage experience, or for some, even talent. As the members faithfully attended each week, Alison began to realize what this group did have to offer was an incredible love for singing, an endless amount of enthusiasm, and an unquenchable desire to perform.

After watching the film “Prairie Home Companion” in 2006 Alison could not shake the idea of writing a simulated live radio broadcast for the Kerby Chorus to perform. Combining ideas from “Prairie Home Companion” with her twenty-five-year love of CKUA radio, she introduced the concept to her class, and on June 7, 2008 the first performance of “Alberta Afternoon” was received with a standing ovation. With similar response to the 2009 Christmas and spring shows, audience members were also reported to have laughed and cried throughout the show.

Click here for a larger view of the poster.
“Alberta Afternoon” features a tapestry of commercials, stories, monologues, regular features such as “The Listener’s Corner” and special guest appearances woven together with familiar songs to form the broadcast. There are currently 17 regular performers in the Kerby Chorus ranging in age from 65 to 86 - each and every member valuable to the show in his or her own way.

Utilizing their quick wit and humor, it is with natural ease that both Allan Cloutier, a former jazz musician, and Dick Hehr, an “Elvis” impersonator, step back into their roles as hosts of “Alberta Afternoon” for the spring 2010 show. Making her debut in her role as the third announcer, former singer, Shirley Martin, will provide a good contrast to Allan and Dick’s flamboyancy.

Margaret Walker, Marion Taylor, Mary Young, and Tom Kosaka will join Shirley, Dick and Allan in utilizing their vocal talents as solo performers. While the newest member of the Kerby Chorus, Eileen Sutcliff, completes this group of soloists, she also contributes a flare for drama that is realized through monologues. The show could not possibly go forward without the remaining members who make up the chorus. They back up the soloists, participate in skits and commercials, take responsibility for the visioning of songs, and inspire others with their energy and solid commitment.

Although feature artists are invited to perform, the basis of the music that supports the Kerby Chorus is performed by a group of five musicians that range in age between 17 and 75. With piano, Celtic harp, mandolin, guitar, auto harp, bass, banjo, drums, harmonica and percussion to choose from, they provide a true “Alberta” sound that is never predictable.

The Kerby Chorals are currently working toward a new edition of “Alberta Afternoon” that will be presented on May 1st at St. David’s United Church and on May 15th at the Kerby Centre. Both shows begin at 1:30 and include refreshments. Tickets are $15.00 and are available at the Kerby Program Office or on-line at

Here's what people have said about past shows...

“Alberta Afternoon has always been a favourite of ours. We decided to take my brother and his wife, visiting from Ontario, to the June show. They were as delighted as we were. We all loved the originality of the program, the humour, the enthusiasm, and the musical talent of the performers. We came away with our spirits uplifted, our hearts warmed, and our toes tapping! An entertaining and very enjoyable afternoon!”
Ruth and Don Dunsire

“Similar in structure to Prairie Home Companion this show provided wonderful, musical and humorous entertainment. I enjoyed every minute of the presentation. Bring the entire family. It's well worth it.”
Will Mehew

"It is increasingly difficult to find affordable entertainment the entire family can enjoy. This show fills the bill! The music was wonderful and the humour tasteful. Suitable for all ages, I highly recommend it."
Mairian Mehew

Sunday, April 11, 2010

middle of the night

middle of the night
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
Going through older shots, this one kept coming to mind. Although technically it is out of focus, shaky, and dark, the scene strikes a mood of solitude; and makes me wonder why someone would be walking alone in the dead of night, in the middle of winter.

Quite often I hunt through the Public Library's online catalogue for inspirational photography books.  Last week I decided to have a look at what is on the shelves at the downtown Central Library.  I'm going to need more time and a bigger backpack. The size of the collection, and some of the books, is huge.  One book that grabbed me was a thick little yellow book entitled Drive-By Shootings: Photographs by a New York Taxi Driver by David Bradford.

Formerly an art director for an ad firm, David quit his job to become a taxi driver because it gave him the freedom to do what he really loved - taking photos.  Originally, he had planned on painting pictures of the photos he made, then he realized the photos were his art.  The book's added text by Gerhard Waldherr gives  wonderful snapshots of what it is like to drive cab in New York.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

ice bank over pond

ice bank over pond
Originally uploaded by Wanderfull1
"When standing still... the water is in the most perfect state of repose. Let that be your model. It remains quietly within, and is not agitated without."
- Tao, Chuang-Tzu

Maybe in China, but going through my photos I found not one where the water was "in the most perfect state of repose." The water's stillness was disrupted by wind ripples or circles from bug steps. Even though I can't see below the surface, I imagine there is a world of activity there with bugs being eaten by fish, which are being eaten by bigger fish and the microscopic things that the human eye cannot see. Which begs the question: is there such a thing as a perfect state of repose?

These are musings induced by an  "East Meets West" course I'm currently taking through Athabasca University. The course involves reading novels written by Huxley, Hesse, Pirsig, and Le Guin and translations of Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, and Taoist texts, then looking for the eastern influences in the western writings.  It's probably a good thing that a comparison is all that is required.  As you can tell, inner calm remains illusive. [sigh]

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Bands at the Grand

The Grand Theatre and the CBC showcased several Alberta talents at the Bands at the Grand event, Tuesday and Wednesday nights. The shows were filmed for future release on CBC television. I had to work Tuesday, but I caught the fantastic Wednesday night performances by Colleen Brown, Tim Hus, Kris Demeanor and His Crack Band, and The Dudes. Host Tim Tamashiro, a very entertaining nose-harpist and funny man, kept the crowd lively in between performances.

Colleen Brown opened with her quirky ‘70s-style love songs. The fantastic sound system at the Grand was a great match with Colleen's beautiful crystal clear vocals.

Tim Hus performed twangy truck-driver, oil-rigger country songs and told tongue-in-cheek stories about his truck-driver, oil-rigger country songs. Normally, I'm not a fan of twangy country, but Hus' group was alright.

Kris Demeanor was as awesome a word-smith as ever. My favorite song of the evening was One Shoe. One Shoe documents the freezing deaths of several Saskatchewan First Nations -- deaths caused by certain RCMP officers habitually dumping drunk Natives in prairie fields during -40 degrees Celsius weather. The first time I heard Kris perform One Shoe it was acoustically last Fall at the Alberta Arts Days Sound Off on the Arts. The driving force of the Crack Band added a new dimension of drama and power to the song. Chantal Vitalis, lead guitarist for Kris Demeanor's Crack Band, served up some very tasty guitar licks throughout their set.

The Dudes finished the show with high energy rock with most of the energy emanating from their very high test, highly entertaining drummer. I could have photographed him all night.

CBC will combine filming from the Tuesday (March 30th) and Wednesday (March 31st) shows and broadcast the performances sometime this July or August.


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Show Us Your Shorts Film Festival

This weekend, I was invited to volunteer for the final night of the second annual Show Us Your Shorts Film Festival. Started as a university project, Jeanette Burman, SUYS Executive Director, and Jessica Fralick, Festival Assistant, are dedicated to bringing to Calgary an interesting selection of Canadian short films. Saturday was also the awards night, held at the Plaza Theatre in Kensington. The main prize (a beautifully mounted plaque of a bronze pair of boy's underwear) went to Karen Hines for her gorgeous black and white film "A Tax on Pochsy."

 The photo is of a volunteer and Jessica (on the right) waiting at the front door for viewers to arrive.  Although the two are nicely posed, I think the eye in the foreground, the drawing on the window, and the film-headed woman on the bathroom door are what make this photo interesting.


Nice Doggy...

Nice Doggy...
Originally uploaded by Sherlock77 (James)
My friend, the one feeding the doggy, and I went on a Calgary Flickrmeet photo field trip to the Calgary Zoo last Sunday. The weather was great, with just enough cloud cover to remove harsh shadows. It's interesting how you begin to see the world as a photographer. Things like weather and color and textures are all more meaningful.

For instance, a regular person seeing a peacock on a fence would likely say, "What a pretty peacock." A photographer's observation went something like this, "Look at how the rich brown tones of the building bring out the gorgeous blue of the peacock, and the bright white of the window trim..."

It was great hanging out with people who really SEE the world around them.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

It's officially spring!

Yeah! It's spring! Saw this robin near McHugh Bluff this evening.