Photographing old Winnipeg

Several people warned me that Winnipeg could be a dangerous place to wander with a camera.  

My thought was that if it was like Vancouver it would mostly be near the street camps and I would need to have my car parked close by for an easy retreat.  

I enjoy photographing street art and the architecture of older cities. Vancouver I know and I have never had a problem.  Even the inhabitants in the ramshackle villages that grow, disappear only to grow again behind my shop in Kamloops never bother me personally when I arrive and park my car in the morning. 

My ever ready for a photo adventure partner Jo McAvany had suggested we spend a couple days in Winnipeg. She had visited her long time friend Ashley earlier this year and although they didn’t go for any photo-walks the drive to her friend’s home had inspired her.

I found a hotel right in the old part of downtown and rented a jaunty red KIA to travel around in. The KIA was small, easy to park and the bright red colour is easy to spot.

Winnipeg was incorporated as a city in 1873 and is known for its well-preserved, early 20th-century architecture. And it was that aging turn of the century architecture that I wanted to point my camera at.

Because we wanted to pack light both Jo and I only brought one lens each. 

Jo chose her 28-300 mm and I had my 24-120mm. Its always a toss up whether to use my 

24-120 or 24-70mm. The 24-70mm is the better lens and one of Nikon’s sharpest, which is why I always select it when I want to get the best out of long exposure night time images. But the 24-120mm focal length is so versatile and I can always tweak the sharpening in post anyway.

On our first morning there we drove to find a shooting location. It’s interesting how Winnipeg’s downtown building’s change from Brick and Stone then to a combination Steel and Concrete finally to polished Black Glass and Metal. `

The temperature was between a cold 1 and 2 Celsius. One would think that would put a hamper on our photography, but we were dressed for the cold and the cold weather was keeping the streets empty of people. 

We wandered those empty streets and alleys, it was a Sunday and businesses were closed and there were very few parked cars.  There was so much to photograph. We were going back and forth from colourfully painted murals that I am not sure were there as part of the business within or done by some random artist.  The combination a brick, plaster and paint made the narrow streets visually exciting and there were tunnels with hanging lights that made it easy go between blocks. The alleys like the streets were very narrow and I imagined what it must have been like in the early 1900s. I read that it was not until 1910 that motorcars became a serious threat to the horse drawn cab.

At the end of the day we joined Jo’s friends Ashley and Adam Carpenter for dinner.  During our visit I mentioned to Adam that there seemed to be lots of renovations on the old buildings. Adam said yes and that he is one of the few that is doing the reconstruction and told me about hanging in the air on scaffoldings several stories up remoulding some of those old turn of the century (Gothic?) features.  He didn’t call himself and artist, but I think he must be. Gosh, I could write a whole article on the work that is being done in what I’ll call old Winnipeg. I wonder is another trip might be in the making.

We had such a great time photographing the buildings in the city, along the Red River and even stopped in an old stone graveyard with many headstones from the 1870s.

Jo and I had another grand photographic adventure. I don’t know what Winnipeg is like in the summer, but for me, this October trip was the best time.

It’s time to photograph the spring colours.

I can hear my neighbours mowing their property. Its spring and with the cool sunny weather and light spring rains everything is growing colourful and fast. 

Every year and I am sure they look at the almost knee high grass that fills the bushed in area between my house and the lilac covered fence that hides me from the road and shake their heads at I’m sure they think is my lazy behaviour.

Ok, yes I am good at being lazy. However, the real reason I don’t clip the growing grass is the flowers.  This time of year there are colourful flowers everywhere.  In my yard there is no plan, no cultivated areas with no well-kept borders.  There is just a wild canvas of colour. Most flowers have planted themselves and last year my friend Jo added to the colours by scattering mixed seeds.  

I’ll mow when the blooms are over and the summer heat turns the grass yellow, but for now the poppies are getting close to blooming, maybe after next week there will be hundreds of tall, bright, orange flowers added to the reds, whites, pinks, yellows and blue flowers and multi-coloured bushes that are showing now. 

There is cornucopia (that’s a good word to use) of colour that will happen till about the end of June depending on the rain and the summer heat. (It all doesn’t happen at once. Some colours are early and some colours are late)

For me it is time to photograph another season in my garden.

This past week I have been walking around the garden looking and deciding what I want to photograph.  It has been wet and not to hot so everything is at it’s best for me.

Yesterday around 2pm I put a 200mm macro (manual) lens on my camera and I got my tripod and walked out. The light was excellent, not too bright and not to dull. Some moving shadows from the high clouds and there was just an ever so slight breeze. (Sometimes)

I usually bring one or two flashes on stands, but the light was so wonderful that I didn’t want to change the change it with a flash. I kept my camera on Manual mode and moved the shutter speed faster or slower depending on the light and what Aperture I wanted to use.

Sometimes my subjects demanded a short depth of field and sometimes I wanted to see more behind. That meant constantly changing the aperture.

I used ISO 400 most of the time and only increased it when my subject was in low light or the breeze picked up.  Using the higher ISO meant I could increase my shutterspeed when a plant moved.  The tripod kept the camera still and in position while I adjusted my camera’s meter. 

I chose the old manual focus macro lens instead of my AF macro so I could focus on a flower and slowly increase or decrease my depth of field using the aperture without changing the view. It is neat to watch parts of flowers come into and go out of focus as I change the aperture.

Mostly I am photographing the light and the colour.  Although there were times when I would think, “this might make a good B&W image” and work to capture the tonality that I can continue to be creative with later on my computer. I do shoot RAW files, but on most of the images from that walk all I did was crop, increase the contrast and slightly sharpen. (RAW images like sharpening)

This is a good time to photograph a garden in my part of British Columbia.  In Kamloops just 45minutes away the flowers have been blooming for over a week and I expect if I drove up the hill only to my friends Nancy and Bill’s house only 15 winding road minutes away the colours wouldn’t quite be ready yet.

It’s a neat time of year and do take my advice to have some fun photographing the colours. 

A short “Photo Drive”

I hope that winter will be here for a while longer.

There is still lots of snow and the darned cold temperatures seem to have passed us by. But now the weather is changing and there will be more (comfortable) opportunities to photograph the changing landscape.

This past week I decided to take a short drive up a little used road that wanders off into some backcountry fields. It was midweek so there wasn’t much traffic and I could stop anywhere and I might get some fun photos.

I asked my friend Jo’s 7-year-old son, Emit, if he wanted to come. Of course he did and we drove off to have an adventure on the cold overcast day.

At first I planned on using my full-frame DSLR with a 70-200mm, but I had been doing more reading about the little Fuji XT1 I wrote about a few weeks ago.  Gosh, I might as well get used to it and brought both the 18-55mm and 55-200mm lenses I got for it. 

Like Nikon crop sensors the Fuji also has a 1.5 crop factor that gave me effective focal lengths of 27-82 and 82-300.  

Tell a seven year old to look out for things to photograph and you won’t miss a thing.  There is no way my 75-year-old eyes can see everything that eagle eye Emit can. 

He saw the horses coming down off the hill towards the road so I had time to change to the telephoto lens and he pointed out the owl in the tree. (Darned if I could see that bird)

I put my big Hemi engine Dodge truck in 4wheel drive so we could turn off the road into the deep snow.  When we stopped for pictures Emit trudged off into the deep snow to pose for some photos to show his mom and dad.  There is no hesitation or silly camera shyness with Emit, he and his 6-year-old sister are used to being models for their photographer mom and it was easy to get some fun photos of him.

Sunny days are the best for wide scenic snow shots. On an overcast day one is forced to look for subjects that work without the sky. Close ups and telephoto shots of animals are best when its overcast.  The Owl hiding in the tree, the horses by the road and Emit in the snow were all better on an overcast day. There were no harsh shadows or reflecting, snow caused over exposures.  Years ago when I was photographing weddings I was always happy when wedding day was cloudy and the lighting was flat.  My subjects didn’t squint and I could easily add just the right amount of light in the most flattering way with a flash. And when the sun isn’t out the colours are always correct. There is no guessing at the shade of purple for example. I now the wedding couple always wanted a sunny day, but as that old photographer’s saying goes. “After the dress is put away and the cake is eaten, all that’s left are the photographs” and if there are good photos without blown highlights and squinty eye portraits the memories will be better.

Emit and I had a good time. He was excited to see that big owl. 

What is it about seeing an owl that is so exciting?  Its not like seeing an owl lounging in a trees, on a power pole wire, or on a fencepost is that unusual where I live. Still Owls, deer and even those blasted coyotes illicit enthusiastic exclamations.  Hmm, seeing wildlife free in nature is cool.  

I think a photo drive in the country is always a good way to relax. And even a photo drive in the city is relaxing if there isn’t a lot of traffic.  The weather will be changing again and I am sure Emit and I will be taking another a short photo drive.

Night photography    


On the two-hour drive to Kelowna my car was filled with Christmas music that we sang along with. After all Christmas is on its way and as I write every year at this time…I like Christmas music.

After missing my annual December Christmas photo trip last year Jo and I were excited and eager to get to Kelowna, check into our hotel, eat supper, and finally after a two year wait, spend a dark evening wandering the decorated and snowy lakefront making pictures. Then get up before the morning sky brightened and make our way to photograph the 120-foot tall “Tree of hope”.

“For 24 years the Tree of Hope at Landmark Centre has been a bright symbol of inspiration and hope to our community. The Tree of Hope is over 120′ tall and has approximately 25,000 energy-efficient bulbs. From late November until January, the Tree of Hope is a visible reminder to the citizens and visitors of Kelowna that the Christmas season is a time of generosity and compassion, bringing joy to friends and family.”

I have been photographing that tree for several years. I discovered it by accident when my wife and I were in Kelowna on some tenants that were leaving a house we owned and by coincidence tenant began changing around the beginning of December for several years in a row.  We would overnight and I would get up before dawn each year to photograph the tree.

When I sold that house it was on December 1st some years ago I decided to stay the night and texted my friend Jo to tell her about photographing the tree and the lake side lights.  At that time I hadn’t known Jo for long, but it was that conversation when she said she wanted to come if I photographed it again. That was the beginning of what we started calling our “photo adventures”.

We sat eating pizza by our fifth floor hotel window that looked out on the lakeside park with people going round and round on the ice skating rink and waited for the sun to go down so we could spend the evening along the waterfront.  Jo had packed our 14-24mm and 17-35mm lenses for the morning photos of the tree, but I used my 24-120mm that evening.

For the dawn photos I like how the blue early morning light separates buildings, slightly iluminates distant clouds and adds background colour to lights, especially Christmas lights.  

We left our hotel about 6:30AM. It was still dark and we were sure we had plenty of time. However, the morning only had a few clouds and the sky began to brighten so we were moving fast once we started to make pictures.

The last time I was there I used a 14-24mm to photographed the tree. This time I had the 16-35mm. There still is distortion along the edges, but unique wide perspective was great and didn’t force me to move back at all.  

Photography after dark (this time of year) allows photographers to visually play with the Xmas lights, reflections and the pools of light on the snow, walkway and, for us, the lake. It’s easy to be creative and even mistakes can be keepers

Photography is a series of problems to be solved  


I received a call last week asking me if I would be willing to photograph a car.  When I retired I made the decision to decline photography jobs.  I pretty much live and breath photography, and I worked as a photographer for over 40 years. 

But when I retired I decided it was time to return to the unrestricted and pure enjoyment that I had when I photographed anything and everything for no other reason than to make pictures after taking that first college photo class in the early 1970s.

So I was somewhat hesitant with my reply to the caller that wanted his car photographed. I think he realized that and quickly finished with, “Oh and my car is a McLaren”.

Geez, of course I quickly agreed to photograph it and said I’d come after I closed my shop at 4:30 to talk about the photographs.

In my imagination I was thinking of all sorts of interesting locations and creative lighting that could try. Gosh, a McLaren race car. That’s a legend that I wanted to see up close and the chance to photograph it would be…hmm…”Pure enjoyment”.

I arrived at his home and was guided to a garage at back of his property. On entering I saw a shinny car with its gull-wing doors wide open. The shop was wall-to-wall machinery and tools.  I’m sure that place put my high school metal shop to shame. And wow, there was a very expensive racecar sitting in the center.

I spent an enjoyable evening listening to the owner discusses his 1974 McLaren and his well-equipped shop.  All the while I was also looking at the space the car was in and clearly remembered all the stuff just outside and in front of the garage door. And asked, “do you want to move the car out or want it photographed right here”.  I all ready knew what he would answer. Damn, there went all the exotic locations and creative lighting.

I often tell people when I am teaching classes that Photography is a series of problems to be solved. Well, as I stepped back as far as I could in the corner between a shelf packed with engine parts and a large drill press to see how far I could stand away from the front corner of the car I was absolutely thinking that this was going to be a “series of problems to solve.”

I asked my friend Jo if she would like come with me, and a week later I was introducing her to the McLaren and it’s owner.

I had brought some speed lights, two large octaboxes, stands and two lenses, my 14-24mm and 24-70mm.  I figured I would need to spend a couple sessions figuring out the light in that cramped location.  As it was, after some testing we decided that we would need lots more lights and additional light defuses.  The next problem would be the time erasing the lightstands and rebuilding the multiple backgrounds where the stands were removed from.

Jo set her camera’s ISO to 2000, crouched down and took a couple shots using the 14-24mm.  When I looked at her images I realized that I could easily change the lighting by under or over exposing my shots. And it would be easier cloning out unwanted reflections and removing background behind the car than returning in a couple of days with more lights, setting them up, then spending time cloning out several lightstands.

With music from ZZ Top on the McLaren’s sound system (I think the owner is a real fan. There were two DVD’s sitting on the car seat) Jo and I photographed the car. 

We constantly traded lenses as we found different angles and places to photograph that car from.  I watched Jo pull her camera’s LCD out and hold the camera low as if she were using one of those old Twin lens cameras that had waste level finders. My camera’s LCD articulates too, I just never have bothered to use it, but that was a good idea and I held my camera over my head at arms length and got some pretty good shots that looked like they were taken from a ladder.

I was glad I included Jo. I knew she looked at her subjects in different ways than I do. It’s always good to work with another photographer.  Now that we have talked about the photos we made and I am now thinking I would like to try some coloured lights and shoot in low light with long exposures. 

Any day with a camera is a good day. Rain, shine or grey. 


When a morning is cold, flat and grey I just feel like leaving my camera in it’s bag and staying home with a hot cup of coffee.

On Tuesday I had talked with my friend Jo and made plans to go for a morning drive along the Thompson River.  Jo wanted to try some long exposure photos down by the concrete bridge that crossed the river to the Lafarge Cement Plant.  The river is low right now and it always seems to be windy along the river this time of year. Perfect for slow shutter shots on the dry wide beach.

Tuesday was a sunny, light sweater, fall day and we were hoping Wednesday would be nearly the same. The TV weatherman said Wednesday would be “cloudy and windy”. 

Shouldn’t that mean there would only be some clouds moving through?  Well, it didn’t. Wednesday had a damp, cold wind and there wasn’t a bright spot to be found anywhere in the sky. It had rained all night and the day was grey with an almost depressing flat light. Nevertheless, we packed our cameras in my car headed out. 

 On Photo Argus blog’s introduction by Nate Day he writes, “Staying motivated and inspired is crucial for a photographer’s long-term growth. It’s far more important than having good gear or perfect lighting. After all, if you feel unmotivated, your expensive equipment will lie untouched, collecting dust while you make excuses for why you’re not shooting any photos today.”

That’s a good thought. Heck, we were motivated because any day with a camera is a good day. Rain, shine or grey. 

Jo had a 28-300mm on her camera and I decided to take two cameras; one with my 20-120mm and the other, the Infrared converted, with a 20-40mm.   The day was dismal and I was sure I would be able to get some unusual pictures with the IR camera. 

On a cloudy day that camera doesn’t capture much IR light and depending on the direction I point it I get all sorts of creative exposures. Hmm…maybe “creative” isn’t the correct word.  “Surprising, unexpected, peculiar”, and even “strange” might be better words to use.  But Heck, I was sure if any of my shots worked they would at the least be colourful and make for some fun after I loaded them on my computer and experimented with different programs.

I made several stops trying to get something I liked. But now as I look at my images they aren’t very exciting.  When we finally got to the cement plant Jo got her tripod out and walked down the sandy beach and started doing some long exposures. I took a couple shots with my regular camera, then changed to the IR and wandered up and around some big trees and then along the cold windy shoreline. 

I wasn’t surprised when I looked at my camera’s LCD and saw what looked like dark under exposed images. Flat heavy clouded days seem to trick the meter on that camera. I think the Infrared conversion might be making the exposure inconsistent under heavy clouds. The camera’s Histogram also showed that I was a bit under exposed. I’m not one that checks the LCD much to see if I got the shot. But I do check the Histogram to make sure my exposure is where I want it to be. 

We had a cold time, but a good time.

When I got home I loaded my images and chose those I wanted to change to Black & White and which ones I wanted to enhance the unusual colours.  

The images I converted to B&W took a little time to lighten the dark areas while those I left in colour gave me lots of freedom to manipulate them anyway that looked good to me.

Photography has away been a very creative medium to me and with a camera converted for infrared one can just let loose. No rules.

“Night Moves”

Ok, I borrowed the title of Bob Seger’s December of 1976 hit single.  My article has nothing to do with Seger’s song…I just liked the title.

On a cool, damp night last weekend my friend Jo and I were positioning our tripods at Vancouver’s Science World. As we choose subjects to photograph along the False Creek waterfront. She turned to me and mentioned that she thought the calm ocean with the reflecting lights from the city was “moving”.   

At first I thought she was talking about how the moored sailboats were “moving” and appeared blurry in our long exposure photos, but as I stood in the shadows enjoying the city lights I realized she meant the scene we were photographing was inspiring and stimulating.   

My title “Night Moves” seemed appropriate.

Jo McAvany and I had made the four-hour trip to Vancouver to attend the Vancouver Camera Swap and Sale.  The organizer, Tonchi Martinic wrote, “After all this time of this COVID crisis, I am happy to tell you that I am going to have the Vancouver Camera Swap Meet on October 17th, 2021”.   So I loaded my car with cameras and equipment from my shop, easily talked Jo into going with me, booked accommodation, and drove to Vancouver.

We had planned on doing some “street” type photography at the Richmond night market that first night, but the wind and pounding rain started just after we arrived so we were forced hold up in our hotel and waited till after the Camera sale the next day. Hopefully we can take another trip before the winter snows.

After our busy and fun day at the Camera Swap and Sale we found an Italian restaurant for supper, then grabbed our cameras and drove to the Vancouver Science Center to spend the evening making long exposures of the city lights along False Creek.

“False Creek is a short narrow inlet in the heart of Vancouver, separating the Downtown and West End neighbourhoods from the rest of the city. It is one of the four main bodies of water bordering Vancouver.” 

We also made a quick stop on the way to photograph the colourfully lighted ninety-foot sails atop the iconic Canada Place.

They are two very fun locations to photograph anytime, but at night Canada Place and Science World are special.

Jo was using a 28-300mm lens and I had my 24-120mm lens.  We had thought about bringing our 24-70mm lenses, but the 28-300 and 24-120 would be more versatile if we got to do street photography.  The only other equipment we needed was our tripods, and oh, clean handkerchiefs to wipe the slow, wet drizzle off our cameras.

I recently read an article on night photography by American photographer Todd Vorenkamp. I liked his description of taking pictures at night, “The physiology of our eyes causes them to see very differently than the camera at night. During the day, the cones in the retina reveal the world in Technicolor. At night, the cone’s companions, the rods, work overtime to offer a picture of what is before you, which the cones relay with muted colors. The camera does not know the natural boundaries of rods and cones. It has the ability to capture color regardless of the level of ambient light. Therefore, the camera allows us to see our dark surroundings in a vastly different way than our eyes perceive it. Photographing at night allows us to see night in all its wonderful color.”

For those of us that like to wander dark streets and waterfronts with our cameras, the festive Christmas season will soon be here and there will be so much more exciting night scenes to photograph. 

Not much has changed…but the masks?

Jo and I joined our friends Laurie and Habiba at the Richmond Camera Swap meet and Sale this past weekend.

We were excited to finally be able to attend another camera packed event after the exhausting yearlong wait caused by the pandemic. 

As I wrote last week, we overnighted at the coastal village of Steveston. 

I got up early the morning of the camera sale and sat by the open window looking at the ocean, breathed in the cool salt air and listened to the seagulls for quite a while on that clear blue day before packing my car and heading to the camera sale location. 

Gosh, it couldn’t have been a better morning. 

We stopped at a coffee shop for a takeout breakfast and still arrived on time for the camera sale at the South Arm United Church by 8AM to join the gaggle of sellers carrying, pulling and pushing crates filled with photography equipment into the hall.  We were directed to our reserved tables, instructed to wear masks and shown the large bottles of hand sanitizer.

My friend Laurie & his wife were already there. They left their home in Kamloops very early to make the 4 plus hour drive through the mountains that morning.  That meant they were on the road by 4AM.  I remember doing that years ago, but those times are long past – I just don’t have the stamina any more. Besides I like making the camera sales a bit of a holiday. Sure there is the additional cost of renting a hotel room and eating out, but I do enjoy the adventure.

Not much has changed…but the masks? 

The frenzy and excitement of the used camera sale is still the same. There are still lots of like-minded people talking about cameras and photo gear and there are still lots of great money saving deals and, as always, an electricity in the air that is energizing and helps make the event the one of the friendliest places on earth. 

Ahh..But the masks. 

A short time ago if anyone would have told me that I would be walking into a building filled with people wearing masks I would have thought they meant Halloween masks. And although I don’t at all mind doing my civic duty by wearing a mask I always have an uncomfortable feeling when I get out of my car and put on a mask over my mouth and nose. Its as if I was some bank robber from one of those old black and white movies.

So there I was sitting at my table loaded with cameras hoping to sell while wearing an identity-hiding mask – talking with others that were hiding their identity from me. 

I always watch body language and I really watch a perspective buyers face.  How else can I tell if they are actually interested in that lens or just lookie-loos spending the day wandering a noisy camera sale?  Well I sure couldn’t do that, and it made selling harder, but Jo and I laughed a lot behind our masks and had fun with all those masked men and women anyway.  However, I have no doubt that under that face covering there were some 20 something’s grimacing instead of smiling at my dated humour. 

I am sure everyone that attended had a very good time at the Richmond Swap meet and camera sale.  We sold some, bought some and had a great time meeting and talking with other photographers and in my mind (other that pointing our cameras and making pictures) it doesn’t get much better than that.   

Now we will be waiting till the next sale that has been postponed and postponed. It’ll be in October. I’m already excited.

Photography in the coastal village of Steveston. 

Steveston is a historic place on the outskirts of Metro Vancouver that my friend Jo and I stayed at (and spent the evening photographing) on our trip to the August used camera sale in Richmond. 

We were lucky to be able to book lodging at The Steveston Hotel, a landmark for the village built in1895. 

The last time I visited Steveston must have been about 20 years ago. Other than the marina and the fishermen that sold their fresh catch there wasn’t much.  My wife Linda and I had arrived on a cool December day with our big large format 4X5 inch film cameras. However, as we set up it started to snow a very wet windy snow that forced us to wipe off our cameras and leave. 

We had parked in front of the Steveston Hotel and hoped to get a room, but it was as every time I have checked over the years since then, full with no vacancy.  I didn’t think I could get a room this time either. But as I wrote, we were lucky this time.

Steveston is filled with great places to eat. We chose to get delicious Greek seafood take-out so we could sit out on the boardwalk to enjoy the ocean as the sun went down. 

The waterfront walk was perfect for out-of-town photographers like Jo and I for wandering after dark to make long exposures of the night-lights. Long exposure photographs are just plain fun. All one needs is a camera and tripod. Oh, and an off camera release…that I inconveniently forgot. The off camera release allows one to not only reduce camera shake, but makes it possible to use exposures longer than 30 seconds. 

Because we didn’t have the off-camera releases we were forced to use the self timer to stop the shake and struggle to get interesting lighting effects with only 30 seconds. 

So – set the shutter speed at 30 second, then keep changing the aperture depending on how bright one wants the scene. 

Jo was using a 16-35mm and I had, as usual, my 24-70mm lens. With long exposures we could brighten up the boat’s details and soften the moving water. Some times even lighten the dark sky to blue. 

I also set up my tripod in an alley between brightly lit shops with people walking around that would, as soon as they saw the camera say, “Oh, sorry” and quickly dart to the side so as not to ruin my shot. I would laugh and tell them they were just fine. After all a thirty second exposure is to slow to catch most movements and even if someone stops they were little more than a dark blur on the worn, wood surface of the walkway. 

We were out till a bit after 10pm and all though most visitors had gone home there was no shortage of loud revellers. Tonight as I sit beside the window of my room that looks out on the street, boardwalk and ocean I can hear the odd loud voice happily leaving the bar downstairs and making his or her way to their car. (I am sure there is a designated driver) 

Its’ now 11PM and the street is empty except for what looks like a mom and her two children taking their furry white dog for a last walk on this pleasant cool evening. I’m not really tired and am enjoying looking out on the quiet village as I write. I’ll get up in the morning; enjoy a cup of coffee and a bagel in the cafe downstairs. Then Jo will join me and we will finish the morning walking with our cameras in the salty, seagull filled air before making the drive over the mountain highway home. 

It is always fun to make some time for another Photographer’s adventure. With all the fires and the middle of the night evacuation we went through I have been a bit on edge and getting away to photograph a different environment is more than any doctor could recommend for a frustrated soul.

Photography at any age.

 I think the first camera that I could call my own was a Kodak easy-load 126 cartridge film Instamatic in the early 1960s.   I received that simple plastic Instamatic “snapshot” camera (that had no adjustments other than the setting for flash cubs and one for natural light photographs) in the sixth grade and saved money I earned at odd jobs to buy the 20 shot cartridges. 

It was so much easier to use than my parent’s awkward folding camera. All one had to do was point and shoot. Sure some shots were over exposed, some were under exposed and there were the expected blurry photos because the subject was moving to fast or because of camera shake, but I didn’t really care I just wanted a picture to remember. 

I’d take my film to a drive-through Fotomat kiosk located in a nearby shopping center parking lot and return the next day for an envelope filled with pictures that I would glue in a photo album.  

I still have a couple tattered old albums with wavy edged 4X6 inch, unglued photos stuffed between the pages because the little black adhesive corners became useless many years ago.

I thought about all that as I sat watching Jo’s five-year-old daughter walk around my yard with a modern DSLR I gave her to use so she could take pictures like her photographer mother. 

This was Evinn’s first chance at being left alone to make pictures with a big camera. She is always joining her mother for photo sessions, so all I had to do was set the camera on P mode. Put the zoom focal length at 18mm and show her where the shutter release is on the camera…then step away as she pointed the camera just like mom. 

We wandered around and she photographed anything that caught her eye.  (There must be 50 or so exposures of Bailin the cat)   When her mother returned they sat on the porch and scrolled through the pictures on the LCD.   That instant reinforcement is great for building confidence and creating a young artist. Even at five years old.

I saved her 198 images in a file on my computer and will transfer the file to Jo’s computer so Evinn can look at the pictures she made again.  I will also go through her files with her and pick out a couple to make 8X10 prints she can show to people.

 Gosh, modern digital cameras are so much better and way easier to use than those old film cameras, especially for a child.  The cost alone would scare a parent away from getting a camera for their young son or daughter.  

Photo By Evinn
Dad and Emit