Category Archives: Photography

On Reconnaissance 02

Dear Reader,

For Friday, I had set my mind on a drive-about out towards Little Bow Provincial Park. As I left the house I told April I would be 3 to 4 hours. 7 hours later I arrived home with over 2 dozen new locations captured, and I never got as far the park. Scouting is harder than it seems. It is so easy to slip away. I’ll drive past a roadside attraction, realize I’ve been absent for the past 2 km, reverse down a gravel road for 100 meters or so, and take an establishing shot. Yesterday I arrived at a relatively painless way to collect and present the results of my forays into the prairie landscapes. Yes, I know I could just record the places on google maps, but that is not satisfying. I use Google, but I am still fundamentally a paper guy. I now have a binder of nearly 40 poorly printed photos, with map references to accompany the 1:250000 maps. Many of the photos are captured with my phone. The photos don’t have to be good – they just have to be good enough to give me clues on why a particular location is worth a return trip.

Only a handful of photos survived the edit. Here are three where Friday’s hazy light, to my mind, adds to the photo.

Photo 1  There is a cafe behind me. As I was setting up my tripod, the young cook from the cafe came outside to chat. The lunch bunch had not yet arrived, and he was curious about what I was doing and I why. We chatted. I told him I was on a drive-about looking for locations. He told me that down the road in Mossleigh, the people who run Aspen Crossing had just embarked on a new project to bring an old steam engine back to life. I ordered what turned out to be a delicious beef and bacon clubhouse to go. My truck looks down-market country but I felt like I was obviously city folk, when I asked for sparkling water. Sprite was available and fine.
Photo 3 There are bullet holes in the sign.

Cheers, Sean

Maybe a Return

Dear Reader,

I have been busy on multiple photographic tracks. Until a longer post comes along, here is a photo from this past weekend that I particularly like. I found a new road. This image is better bigger.

Cheers, Sean

Driving Home

Dear Reader,

Well, isn’t it funny how some photos are planned and some are more about chance favouring the prepared mind.  Friday evening there was a brief flash of interesting colour in the sky.  By the time I had found a safe spot to stop the truck, the flash had gone. In another direction there was a hill I had photographed before (2017).  That capture was graphically interesting, technically fine and emotionally blah.  I have included it as a point of reference.  The black and white capture from Friday, has more character.  What do you think?

Cheers, Sean


On Reconnaissance

Dear Reader,

We have had some great light the past couple of days.  But, I have been either working or making mistakes.  I do have one from last weekend which I will revisit when the light is a little better.  You may have to refresh your browser to get the correct user experience.

Cheers, Sean


Happy New Year

Dear Reader,

May 2019 meet all your needs, half your wants, and be filled with many smiles.

Saturday, I was on a dawn scouting expedition.  Maybe the morning would be one of those legendary prairie sunrises.  It wasn’t, but I do love our skies, even when snow leopards don’t appear.

Cheers, Sean

More Roadside Attractions

Thursday night was let’s photograph murals in the Calgary Beltline as per the map from BUMP (Beltline Urban Murals Project)  Keith (, as always, was an enjoyable accomplice (he also  had the map and the car).

This post comes in 3 parts
~ The Photos
~ A short babble about cropping
~ A list of murals.  If you know of other murals, please let me know and I will add to the list.

The Photos
They’re numbered left to right top to bottom.  Being a clever reader, you will say to yourself, why the science fiction film still?  The answer is we stumbled upon it. Actually, we drove there but did not know in advance  we were also scouting for a movie.

Short Babble
To crop or not to crop is the question.  As part of my normal post-processing workflow I may straighten or crop a photo.  Except for the recent modelling work, where I have been changing the aspect ratio from 3×2 to square, I usually keep the aspect ratio to the original 3 x 2 ratio.  The above photos break with that behaviour.  I like the results of changing the aspect ratio to 16 x 9.  I also like the way these photos have structural connections to some of my other work within the Roadside Attraction umbrella.

Cheers, Sean

Artist and Mural List
Listing is alphabetical by artist and formatted as follows: Last Name, First Name / Collective; Artist’s base; Location of mural; Year mural was painted; Artist’s website; number of photograph in grid above or comment. We didn’t quite get to all the locations.  In other cases I have a photo that I didn’t like.

Dear Artists, Thank you!

Dan Teke, Kalum (Colouring it Forward); -; 1232 17th Avenue SW – West Wall; 2018;; (by KFC – To be Revisited)

Faith47; Cape Town, South Africa, 735 12th Ave SW Corner of 12th and 7th ave ; 2018; ; (Fortes et Liber – To be Revisited)

Fluke (ASHOP); Montreal, QC; -; planned for 2019;; (-)

Green, Katie; Calgary, AB; Vistek – 10th Avenue & 12th Street – South Side; 2018;; (7)

Jill Stanton, Jill; Edmonton, AB; 1126 17th Ave SW  – East Wall; 2018;; (Boots – To be Revisited);

Kevin Ledo, Kevin; Montreal, QC; 340 10 Ave SW – West Wall of Parkade; 2018;; (To be Revisited)

Lemermeyer, Tyler; Calgary, AB; 735 12th Ave SW; 2018;; (Not yet Photographed)

Naperialski ; Mateusz ;Calgary, AB & London, UK; The Camera Store – 802, 11 Avenue SW , South Wall;  2017;; (1)

Nasarimba (Mikhail Miller and Rachel Ziriada); Calgary, AB; 1022 17th Avenue SW; 2018;; (8)

Nehlawi, Natalie; Kanata, ON; Vistek – 10th Avenue and 12 Street – West Side; 2018;; (6)

Pichon, Ilana; Quebec City, QC; The Bike Shop – 1103 7 Street SW – East Wall; 2018; -;(4)

Farrell, Rhys & Arsenault, Shane; Calgary, AB; Saneal Camera – 1402 11 Avenue SW – West side; 2018; -; (Geometry – To be Revisited)

Sorenson , Curtis Van Charles; Calgary, AB; Saneal Cameras – 1410, 11 Avenue SW – West wall; 2017;; (To be Revisited)

Suche, Cassie; Calgary, AB; 1518, 7 St. SW; 2017;; (Not Yet Photographed)

Wolf, Nicole; Calgary, AB; Vistek – Corner of 10th Ave. and 12th St. SW- North Side; 2018; -;(5)

Zhu, Adam; Calgary, AB; Commonwealth Bar & Stage – 731, 10 Avenue SW; 2017 ;;  (2 & 3)

-;-;In the alley facing South entrance of Rose and Crown on 4th St. Near 17th Ave.; -;-; (To be Revisited)

A Mannequin, A Friend, and A Model

Dear Reader, (2018-12-22)

Sometime in November, I think it was a post from Dan Jurak, I was reminded of the idea of practising photography.  Practice is about learning the tools and techniques of the craft so that when the opportunity for expression arrives, there is the potential for art.  In recent months I have sat on a chair looking out the front window learning some of the more unfamiliar settings on my optically enabled computer.  This past week my practice was much more ambitious.  On Wednesday, with the helpful assistance of Keith, for which I was ever so grateful, and  a mannequin, Steve, of my own making, I spent 4 hours in a rented studio space going through a self-assigned series of lighting exercises.  On Friday I worked with a model for three hours.  Elora Dawn, who I found through Model Mayhem, was a professional, kind, and patient model.  She was a real pleasure to work with.  I was pleased with my practice.

Depending on the web site referenced, there are 4 classic set-ups, Rembrandt, loop, butterfly, and split.  Broad and short lighting can be applied to the last three.  I tried using them on the first and it didn’t work.  In today’s and upcoming posts I will share with you with some of my practice.

Photo 1 – Establishing Shot

In Rembrandt lighting there is supposed to be a triangle of light under the eye on the shadow side.  In Steve you can see that the triangle is poorly formed.  The results were much better with Elora.

As always, I invite and look forward to your comments.

Cheers, Sean


A Rare 5

Dear  Reader,

I have yet to share this photo from early November. On the Sean scale this is a five. It is a photo I have returned to off and on over the past month or so.  I am so very pleased with it.  Whether you are indifferent , love, or hate it, I would love to know.  PS It looks better large.

Cheers, Sean