Friday, October 18, 2013

Solidarity Rally for Mi'Kmaq Protest Against Fracking in New Brunswick - updated


Friday, October 18, 2013 at 6:00 PM
Olympic Plaza (228 - 8 Avenue SE)
Calgary, Alberta, CA

Presented by Idle No More Treaty 7.

This evening local activists gathered together in Olympic Plaza to support New Brunswick anti-fracking protestors; particularly the Mi'kmaq activists whose protest ended with the fire-bombing of police vehicles, gun fire and arrests. At tonight's demonstration we were told that the Mi'kmaq had been peacefully protesting for almost a month against shale drilling in their area.

This is not just a New Brunswick issue.  Rural land owners across Canada who have land targeted for shale extraction are faced with the possibility that their ground water will be contaminated by the fracking process.  A woman who lives near Rosebud, AB is attempting to sue all parties responsible for her flammable tap water. (See story below.)

The Harper government is doing an environment impact study on shale drilling, but when it comes to making decisions about sustaining the environment, the government seems to side with big business and damn the environmental consequences. (Just my two bits worth.)

Below are some links that I hope will put this week's events in context. 


Sunday, October 13, 2013

waiting for a bus

waiting for a bus by Wanderfull1
waiting for a bus, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.
A nice quiet, peaceful scene captured on my way home after an afternoon of running with zombies. BTW, this lady is not a zombie. As far as I know. : )

The scene reminded me of something I saw in a ACAD fine arts photography class I took. Can't remember the name of the photographer, though.

Zombie Walk 2013 - last laugh

Urrgh! Arrgh! The zombies walk!

Last, but not least, I finished Saturday off with the annual Zombie Walk.  Shooting zombies every year is a blast.  What the walkers lack in melodrama, they make up in... undeadness ... and the unsatisfied search for brains.

The zombies walked from Olympic Plaza to Thomson Park and then ended at Shaw Millennium Park. This year there was no Food Bank truck collecting donations, nor prizes for best zombie.  When the organizer announced this the crowd was quiet.  Then the head zombie yelled into his megaphone, "But there will be a zombie walk!"

The zombie hordes cheered which quickly turned into really loud moans and groans of appreciation.


March Against Monsanto 2013 - Monsanto nature's enemy

A group of local activists met at City Hall Plaza to protest against Monsanto, an agricultural company that specializes in producing genetically modified seeds.

This is the second protest walk against Monsanto in Calgary this year, that I know of -- one took place in May.


Blessing of the Animals - for the love of Dog

The St Martin's Anglican Church's blessing of the animals was held Saturday, October 12, at the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer. I was moved by the love as people lined up to have their pet cat or dog blessed by one of three Reverends. Was even more amazed when an old City of Calgary police horse and a reluctant donkey were led to the alter for blessings.

This was the first time I photographed this.  I almost went to the wrong church.  A friend from work told me he was taking his dog to be blessed and I thought he was going to the St. Francis RC church, right behind the Cathedral Church of the Redeemer.  I'd seen news stories about the pet blessings that packed the tiny St Francis church.  Because St Francis is so small, I sat myself across the street, ready to take photos of people taking their pets inside.  Then I noticed some women walking two or three dogs at a time towards 7th Avenue.  When I followed them I found a donkey on the front lawn and people and dogs greeting each other at the entrance.

Normally I don't go into churches except for weddings and funerals, but this was too irresistible. I asked a church usher for permission to take photos and had a blast.

I tried out the TAv setting on my Pentax. TAv allows me to set the aperture or shutter speed or ISO on the fly. Whatever I change, the camera adjusts the other two settings automatically. I got the shots I wanted, but unfortunately the auto ISO settings were really high.  The noise pretty much washed out any details in shadows or black. So my photos of the horse and any black dogs (and there were a lot of them) didn't quite work out.

The love in this one was too good to discard, so I used the in-camera Pastel digital filter to make it look like a drawing and then lightened the mid-tones in Photoshop.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ascension & artists

Ascension & artists by Wanderfull1

Ascension & artists, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.
Ascension is a pair of tripod statues in front of the Avatamsaka Monastery (Buddhist) near 10th Street bridge. During the tour the sculpting team, INCIPIO MODO (composed of two sculptors, Danira Miralda and Edward Beltran), were there to discuss their work.

I asked Danira if she or her partner had ever seen H.G. Well's War of the Worlds. The answer was a blank stare and "no." I got a few snickers from tour participants, though.  I wasn't trying to be funny.  I really wanted to know. 

When I first saw the statues (which are supposed to be spiders), looming next to the monastery, my first thought was that they were the invading tripods from the War of the Worlds.  Then I wondered why they put something so sharp, so violent, and kinda phallic in front of a Buddhist monastery.  A friend of a friend who prays at the monastery told her that it took quite a bit of convincing to get the monks to accept the piece and that some still don't like it.

Part of a free ArtBus tour held Sunday, September 29, 2013. All part of Alberta Culture Days.


nailing the song

nailing the song by Wanderfull1
nailing the song, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.
This is a shot from my very first volunteer gig at the National Music Centre. I was covering the NMC Guitar School.  The final event of the term.

Here is a similar shot used in a Alberta Teacher's Association article.

Seeing my stuff published never gets old. : )

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Steven Skyrie

A student of photography learns much from the photographers they hang out with. 

November 2010, I joined a group called Start to Photograph through the website. Soon after joining I met Steven Skyrie, one of the organizers, a musician, and really nice guy.  After every meetup, where we'd go out and shoot stuff, STPers would post their photos to the STP website for critiques.  Everyone had kind comments, but Steven's honest observations were always appreciated.

Steven collapsed in 2011 while walking his Great Danes on Nosehill Park. A tumor.  Brain.  

As much as Steven tried to remain a presence in our group, doing the 366 project in 2012 (where everyday he'd shoot a photo and post it to the STP site), and even teaching one of our Eau Claire classes, eventually it was all too much and he had to bow out.

A memorial service for Steven Skyrie was held on Tuesday October 1st, 2013 at Word of Life Center Calgary.  Work kept me from attending, but I wanted to contribute something to his memory.  

Somewhere there's a Nikon set to infinity. Rest in peace, Steven.