Sunday, July 28, 2013

Tsuu T'ina Powwow 2013

Tsuu T'ina Powwow 2013 by Wanderfull1
Tsuu T'ina Powwow 2013, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.
Went to my first real powwow... the annual Tsuu T'ina Powwow and Rodeo near Bragg Creek... and it was huge! Tents and RVs everywhere, tons of vendors, and food... and friendly people. I didn't see the rodeo, but the dancing was amazing. What was just as fun was the kids playing around the dancers.  Here I've caught a girl walking her elephant.

At the end of the evening they had fireworks equal to the ones I saw on Canada Day.  The powwow runs for three days, starting July 26 to July 28.

I wasn't sure how much I would be allowed to photograph, so I took my point and shoot, maxing out the optical zoom on many of these shots.  They're not as sharp as I'd like. Some look like I overdid the noise reduction in PhotoShop (I didn't). Still, I was able to get the shots I wanted.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A chance meeting near Centre Street

untitled by Wanderfull1

untitled, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.
This young woman was recording a video for her first music CD, yet to be made. Her goal, and maybe a Guinness record, was to walk backhanded down the wooden stairs near Rotary Park. Don't know if she broke any records, but I bet the video looked cool.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A Million Things in Calgary

Yesterday, there were a million things going on in Calgary.  It started in the early morning (as I was watering my community garden plot) with a chat with an artist friend who has been commissioned to create a collaborative mural downtown.  He's going to let me be their documentary photographer.  Then I rushed downtown and managed to do a CPL Photo Club walkabout.  I caught bits of Fiestaval, Rock the Walk in East VillageMarket Collective at the Mewata Armory, the Parade of Chariots at Shaw Millennium Park, and everything in between. Met some other photographers, some new ... hey, Photo to Brew Meetup crew!... and some I hadn't seen for a while.  It made for a very cool day.

Small portions of several murals painted on the 4th Street flyover pillars, along the river bike path in East Village.

A devout worshiper participating in the Parade of Chariots festival on Stephen Avenue. 

A shopper at the Rock the Walk festival in East Village.

Dancers and a rainbow diablo at Fiestaval.

Peace Bridge People - ACAD Documentary Photography Course

What a week!  Spent the first five days in an ACAD Documentary Photography course with Todd Korol. Then ended it with a bang yesterday rushing around downtown trying to take in everything that was going on (see next blog for yesterday's details).

The ACAD Documentary Photography course was amazing.  Five days of full time photography instruction.  We each created a topic we wanted to document and then spent three days shooting.  My topic was Peace Bridge People. Each day of shooting I went out in the morning to the bridge and, based on Todd's direction, tried to take the best people photos I could.  My focus veered a bit when Todd suggested I also do some shots of the bridge itself, but for the most part I stuck with trying to find interesting people to do portraits of.  
The first day was a struggle.  Downtown workers are fairly... um... can I say boring?  The second day was better.  Todd challenged me to talk to at least two people and ask to take their photos.  Although I talked to a few people, I only took two people portraits and one dog (the owner didn't want his picture taken).

The third day was much better.  I lucked out with two buskers, someone who wanted their photo taken, a tourist couple from China who spoke no English, and a young traveler from Montana who also shoots with a Pentax K-5.  

I watched the Chinese couple take photos of each other; one shooting from the river bank while the other posed on the bridge.  When they both came on the bridge I pantomimed that I wanted to take their photo... point at camera, point at them, point at myself. First they handed me their iPhone, then let me take a photo with my camera.  

The young fellow, Chuck Manley from Montana, was fun to talk to and a wealth of camera knowledge!  Chuck was standing across from me, shooting down the bridge, when I noticed the logo on his strap.  "Pentax!" I yelled pointing at his camera.  He laughed and said we were probably the only two Pentax camera users in the world.  Turns out his buddy, who owns a bus that runs on vegetable oil, suggested that they go to Calgary.  On his blog he has a great entry, How to be a great photographer without buying a new camera.  Turns out I bumped into him again at Shaw Millennium Park at the end of the Parade of Chariots.  He tapped me on my shoulder and I have to admit it took me a few seconds before I recognized him.  As he walked away I noticed one of his friends, dressed as a purple fairy, was a busker I shot a portrait of in Kensington this week.  Wild coincidences.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Scout and his pal

Scout and his pal by Wanderfull1

Scout and his pal, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.
On my way downtown to do some street shots I paused to take photos of bees buzzing around some giant purple thistles near Centre Street Bridge. 

Behind me I hear this guy yell, "Take my picture!" 

He said he was out and about looking for something non-flood related.  Something happy.  I told him that was why I was taking photos of bees in weeds.  He offered to pay for a portrait of him and his dog, Scout.  I gave him my card so that he could email me, but told him the portrait was free.  

Normally, I don't like to do poser-type portraits, but his smiley, happiness made my day. He told me his name, but I only remember Scout's (the Bouvier); who understood commands en francais.

More photos from today.

amazing grace

amazing grace by Wanderfull1

amazing grace, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.
My initial reaction to finding a dead chick on our apartment fence was "ewww." But then I got my camera and looked at the little thing from an artistic point of view and at different angles. I call it "amazing grace" because to me that is a funeral song and it's been stuck in my head all morning.

My apologies if anyone finds this disturbing.

Pastel editing was done in camera.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Photographic reading

During all the hub-bub of the flood, when I was too wound up to fall asleep quickly, I read a few sort-of photography related books to calm me down.  I say "sort-of" because most of these are novels.  

The most recent read is "Eight Girls Taking Pictures" by Whitney Otto.  Otto is best known as the author who wrote "How to Make an American Quilt."  Her "Eight Girls Taking Pictures" is an homage to her favorite women photographers.  It reads like a collection of short stories starting from 1917 to current day.  Each character must come to terms with personal, professional, and even moral conflicts in their lives as they try to balance family with their art.  My favorite chapter has a woman having to decide what her greatest love is; staying content with her husband and children, running away to a old lover that beckons from afar, or becoming a famous photographer.  Each chapter leads with a photograph that draws you into the stories.

The other books I actually read back in May.  They are "Talking Pictures: Images and Messages Rescued From the Past" and "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" both written by Ransom Riggs.  Ranson Riggs collects old photos from garage sales, flea markets, antique stores, but only ones that have something written on them.  In "Talking Pictures" he shares some of his collection.  In "Miss Peregrine's" he bases his novel on select photos to create a fantastic story of time travel and orphaned children with special powers.   Both very cool in that in one book you imagine the stories behind the captioned photos and in the other Riggs' imagination, based around his photos, takes you to a fascinating world.

Every picture tells a story.  Whitney Otto and Ransom Riggs literally do.