Thursday, January 29, 2009

i will fix you...

Its warm enough today that it is raining. The cement balconies on the building across the street are streaked dark with rain, and though there is not yet enough to make significant puddles, the pavements seems to be moving, alive with the impact of a hundred raindrops at a time. All I want to do right now is go outside and walk in it. Rain is kind of a rare thing for me. Growing up in the middle of southern alberta, I think I have experienced less rain in my lifetime than most Canadians. I miss that about landscaping. Those early weeks of May where you think the rain will never stop and let you work, when its so cold your fingers sting and turn red. The 10 minute showers in June that last just long enough to cool you off and make everything a darker, richer version of itself. Watching the July thunderstorms move in, sometimes just lingering at the horizon for hours, sometimes crashing down around you so quickly you can't make it to the truck before it soaks you straight through to the skin.

About this time every year I get to the point when I remember that I am not an indoors kind of person.

The photo above was taken in Galway. It didn't rain much in Ireland while we were there, but there was a day or two where it came down pretty good in Galway. I like the sheen on the streets and the darkness of the stone roads, sidewalks, buildings. Galway was also the very first place I ever owned/purchased an umbrella. Only 1 euro.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

people call us renegades cause we like livin' crazy...

Its 9:08 am on Wednesday morning. I'm laying in bed still and ever minute that I stay here, is a minute off of my time to get ready and make it to work. I had great plans to get up and go to yoga this morning, but to be honest, I'm a little scared of going alone to mysore for the first time. Karen says she'll think about going with me tomorrow morning, so I'm rationalizing that I will go then. Instead, this morning, I've talked with patrick for 30 minutes, listened to music for another hour and watched the sun streak in across my world map and slowly slowly make the whole room that glowing kind of light.
Yesterday, work was difficult...not in a hard to do kind of way, but more in a hard to take way. Everyone I work with was listening to Obama's speech and deriding him for just dishing out more American propaganda, how he's going to just be a major disappointment and all this change he's calling for is just a new song and dance without any action. I was discouraged. Well, first I was a bit embarrassed because I was feeling really uplifted by Obama's speech and really did feel like we are all on the edge of a new era. And then to have him cut down by everyone around me made me feel a little silly at first, but then I got to thinking...anyone who can make the people around him, supporting him, feel that way...feel like they are empowered and encouraged and able to create movement and change in their world, well, they're worth following. They're worth backing up. No one can accomplish everything they want to, that they set out to, especially the head of a country when their very roll is tied up in the process and structure of politics. So, we cannot judge the most effective leaders based on what changes they themselves have made, but rather, how many other people they have inspired and empowered to take responsibility and change into their own hands, their own families, their own communities. It is ignorant to place the expectations of this new era solely on the shoulders of one new, energetic, charismatic President...of course we will be disappointed if we do that. This new "Era of Responsibility" is not about one man, but a community of action and movement, and so I will not allow myself to be brought down by the pessimists who will only WAIT to see what happens next. I will be inspired and empowered and will WORK to make what happens next.

man, I'm going to be late for work, but I am definitely feeling much better about the day.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

she's got Bette Davis eyes...

I've had a lot of things go wrong for me this week. I thought about making a blog to list them all, but instead I thought it might be more positive to list those things that have made my week not an entire write off.

- Geneva saying "it's the future here. i've got the star trek transporter all up in this place" on Ryan's facebook status and the long conversation about alcohol and time/space transportation that followed

- waking up to a phonecall from Patrick

- Tomato lentil soup and Sufjan Stevens on a sunny afternoon at Sugarbowl

- going for drinks with Linda after work

- pad thai with jamie, jodi and beth

- selling a 30x40" canvas of my work

- obscene amounts of fish with karen and beth

- booking a flight to Toronto for kick ass cheap

- planned phonedates with: louise, amy, hailey and sarah

- yoga on saturday

- above 0 temperatures

- sunshine and large front windows at work

- after eights

Sunday, January 4, 2009


This is one of those images that you just can't set up. I was shooting my friend Darcel's wedding in a public park and her roommate Jesse and his girlfriend Rickie spent the whole ceremony sitting on their bikes in the back. Rickie had this awesome "LIFE" bag and once when I circled around the back of the group, I saw this...and I just caught my breath and took the shot feeling like there would probably never be another moment like this for me to capture again. I like this piece a lot. It's printed and framed up at Vivid Print in Edmonton ( if you are strolling by the area and wanting to get a closer look.


Jamie commented on my first #10 post that it was one of her favourite days...ever. I feel like 2008 has had quite a few of those days for me, what with Jamie and I's trip to Iceland and running around Ireland with my sister. But there were a few of those days that happened in Edmonton as well. This was one of those days: Cait and Brad had been up to see my show with her parents, and after they left in the morning I called Jamie to meet for breakfast. I had a few hours to kill so I wandered down the back alleys of Whyte ave and explored the places I'd never stopped to really look at. I made it to Cafe Mosaic a little early so I sat outside on the ground reading a new book I had bought until Jamie came. It was the last weekend in March and the weather was nice so after breakfast, Jamie and I climbed on top of the High Level Bridge ( and just took a look around. After we decided to come down, we sat down at Sugarbowl, filthy dirty, laughing the whole way, and had a beer. When I think about it, most of my "one of my favourite days ever" in 2008 have been spent with Jamie. And I really like this photo of her too.


I keep forgetting about this one, but I like it a lot. It was also taken early in 2008. At night. In my empty house in edmonton. At a moment when I was struck with creative genius and was similarly completely and utterly unemployed. I had been listening a lot to Great Lake Swimmers, especially "Rocky Spine" ( and had this in mind when I set up the shot. Once again, it has this inexplicable quality about it that just draws me in and makes me love it.


This one really belongs in the top 3. Don't ask me why I made it #4. I love it. While we were in Akureyri, Iceland my 18-70mm (kind of an all-purpose lens) focusing mechanism broke. It kind of sucked because I wasn't so used to shooting with manual focus and every once in a while would forget about it and just take the shot without focusing. Well, every now and then, one of these non-focused shots would come out with a certain mood that really grabbed me, so I would start to do it intentionally. On our way out of the Westfjords we were on this gorgeous stretch of highway that just rolled out in front of us. Having just read Jack Kerouac's "On The Road", and with all the things going 'round in my mind, I was absolutely struck by the way the sun fell exactly off the clouds and into my lens in that moment. I love this photo.



I took this photo early in the year of 2008. It's at my farm in southern Alberta. I love it. The fog and the cold and the different tones of the trees and the grass in the background, the crispness of the wheels and the wood...there's just something special about it to me.


Though I really loved County Kerry in Ireland, the city that really stole my heart was Galway. The small feel of it, the little shops and cafes on narrow cobblestone streets the quiet river going through. I went to NUI Galway ( while I was there to take a look at an option for a masters degree that looks pretty amazing. This was taken on one of the only days it rained while we were in Ireland. I still am not satisfied with this particular version of this image, but have yet to find time to dig it out of my archives and redo it. But this week I will because I am burning all the Ireland photos to cds for you Pamela! I haven't forgotten, I'm just not quite'll have them when I'm back. I promise!


This is where it gets interesting.

I like taking portraits. And when it came down to it, I couldn't choose just one of these as my favourite for the top ten, so #7 is more of a category than a single award.


This is A. She's Karen's sister and the oldest of the Fernhout gang I spent a lot of my time with. I don't know what to say about this photo other than I really really love it. Its one of my all time favourite portraits.


This is Neil. I work landscaping with him in the summer. He has two sweet daughters and a wife who are his world. After having been in the army for 18 years, he found himself in the private sector. I'm kind of glad he is because I got to meet him and work with him and get to know him, but it's tough to watch this whole mission in Afghanistan wear on him as the soldiers killed in action and reported on the news are his friends. People he knew, worked with, laughed with and cared about.


This is me. I take a lot of self portraits...mainly because I'm always available to myself and never get sick and tired of the shoot before the photographer does. I like this one because of the wind and the light in my eye and my new Guinness hat from Galway.


This is Patrick. I like this one because its a nice portrait and I like him an awful lot and because this was taken in Edmonton. He flew out from Toronto with a return ticket set for two weeks later. A flight he never made as he decided to stay with me for a month and then experience Christmas with my family. At the moment I'm writing this from his parent's livingroom, experiencing the holidays with them as well. So far, 2009 is shaping up to be a good year with lots of things to look forward to on the horizon.

You can check out Patrick's work here:


At the beginning of October, Jamie and I skipped out of Iceland for a while and went to Ireland for 10 days with my sister Pamela who flew out from Calgary to meet up with us. Ireland was really really beautiful and I loved the way the sun would come down in Dublin peeking through the brick buildings, stretching along the cobblestone streets. This was taken one of the first nights we were in Dublin walking from our hostel on Talbot over to Lower O'Connell so we could cross the river Liffey and explore the Temple Bar area's supper options. ( The pole you see at the end there is the Dublin Spire ( What I liked best about the spire - and which I did not photograph - was the monument of Jim Larkin near its base. Its a beautiful statue of him with his hands thrown into the air and his words inscribed underneath it "The great appear great because we are on our knees: Let us rise." I suggest you go to Dublin to see it for yourself, but if that's not in your plans, you can see it here (

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Reykjavik, Iceland. Last night of the Iceland Airwaves Music Festival. It was a kind of traumatic night for me, but that's another story. This concert was in the Iceland National Museum. Dikta was the band getting ready to go on stage here, the smoke machines had been pumping for the past 30 minutes and the guitarist just got everything set up and was walking under the "Iceland Airwaves '08" projection when I shot this.

*you can find out everything about Iceland Airwaves here:

best of 2008 #10...


I've been pretty quite online during the holiday season so I am taking advantage of this slightly lazy morning to write up a quick post. Mainly I was looking at katya's ( stream this morning and thinking that I should do a sort of similar "best of" 2008 kind of run. So without further ado, here it goes: my top 10 photos of 2008 (according to me)


Vik, Iceland Day 2 of our insanely incredible roadtrip around the island. Vik is my new favourite spot on earth. That's Jamie standing on those wild cliffs overlooking the town -you'll see jamie popping up in this post quite a few more times!

*click on the photo to see it bigger*