Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Most homes on Gabriola have skylights. They really help brighten a room during the short daylight hours of winter. This one is actually in a garden tool shed which is brilliant since no electricity is needed.
Other Skywatch images from around the world are here
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Gabriola is known as the Island of the Arts and it's a well-deserved moniker. The epicentre of all things creative is Artworks in Folklife Village which is run with style and a smile by Kathy Ramsey. Today's photo is the guest book and a self-portrait at the recent Clint McCartney show in the upstairs gallery space.
Tech info: Image made with a Leica rangefinder camera on Ilford XP2-Super film
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
There are more than 70 petroglyphs carved into surface rock on Gabriola. Dating them is an inexact science but it's estimated that they are between 200 and 2000 years old. Most are on private land and are, like this one, unprotected. Photographing them is tricky as many are quite faint. It helps if the rock is wet. Also, I boosted the contrast considerably on this shot. Best to enlarge it to really see the image. A sea serpent? A waterfowl? Your guess is as good as mine. For further reading, a nice little overview article may be found here
Monday, November 17, 2008
I climb this arbutus tree once a month or so, just because I can. Arbutus lose their bark naturally as they grow and the bare wood feels amazing under hand as you scale the branches. The photo was made from the place where I usually stop which is about 40-50 feet up. Any higher would make Mrs. Snapper nervous. I don't usually stay too long because there's no comfortable perch at that height but there's a nice crook to rest in on the way down so sometimes I hang out there for a while. I have seen eagles from this tree and maybe someday one will cruise right over my head, just above the treetops.
More Oddshots from around the world over at Katney's place. Look on the righthand side of her front page.
HQ for Monochrome Monday is here
Today, GDP topped 4000 visitors and I'd like to thank everyone who has stopped by and especially those who've taken the time to leave a comment. Much appreciated.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Today is the last day of the 5th annual Poetry Gabriola Festival. It's been an inspiring weekend with lots of laughs and plenty of food for thought and I'm already looking forward to next year's event. Organizer Hilary Peach hit the nail on the head at the opening night ceremony when she said "I love living in a place with a population of only 4000 that supports and embraces a poetry festival." Indeed. The hall was packed to overflowing and there was a grin on every face. Today's photo is my well-worn copy of the program with cover painting by local artist Sheila Norgate. Thanks to Hilary and all the poets who gave us their time and their words.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Mrs. Snapper and I try to avoid the big box stores and keep our business local so we have an account at Arbutus Building Supply for home reno stuff. Fair prices, good selection and great one-on-one service make it easy and not having to leave the island is a big plus. The tricky part is making a lumber yard look good in a photo but sweet morning light sure helps.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I am working as a volunteer on a public bikes project here on the island. The idea is to provide a free bicycle to anyone who needs one on a short term basis. The initiative is modeled after similar programs around North America, specifically the Yellow Bikes Project in Portland, OR. All of the bikes are donated as is the labour to maintain them. Today's photo ran on the front page of The Sounder back in September. That's Green Bike #1 which was donated by Bruce Mason. Here is the article. A blog about the project is here.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Today's photo was actually taken on Canada Day but I'm betting this gentleman was in the service in his youth. And it's Veterans Day in the States so I'm thinking of my dad who was at the Battle of the Bulge with General Patton's Fifth Army near the end of WWII. Also, my mom would've turned 88 today so I'm remembering her too.
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Here's the south end of Gabriola as seen from the shotgun seat of a de Havilland Beaver operated by Tofino Air. The first time I rode in one of these, I had a sort of baling-wire-and-duct-tape uneasiness but I've since been reassured by some folks who ought to know that despite it's age, the Beaver is considered to be the most reliable small plane in the northern skies. With that in mind, I enjoyed every minute of yesterday afternoon's crossing from Vancouver to Silva Bay. Trevor was at the helm and the flight couldn't been smoother.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
This year I was part of two small-scale farming co-ops, one that grew squash and another for potatoes. The squash is just about gone but we're still eating the potatoes. The young lady in today's post was one of the Potatoheads as we took to calling ourselves. Well over two dozen people participated in these projects, sharing the work and the harvests equally. Spud Central was the south field at The Commons.
Monday, November 3, 2008
It never occurred to me that hunting would even be allowed on this tiny island until I saw the No Hunting signs going up all over the place. My next door neighbour put one on every corner of his property. I asked around and sure enough it's true though not one single person I spoke to thinks it's a good idea. I mean, what sport can there be in killing animals that are so accustomed to humans that I was able to take this photograph in my front yard? Not to mention safety issues. The only good news is that the season is almost over and I've not seen one single carcass being hauled away by vehicle nor have I heard much gunfire so maybe the slaughter has been minimal. I sure hope so.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Yesterday, I picked up my Canon Powershot from the repair centre in Victoria. While it was down and I was struggling along with the screenless point-and-hope Nikon, I did something I hadn't done in quite a long while: I dusted off my trusty Leica rangefinder and ran a roll of C-41 b&w film through it. I was astounded by the results. Even in crappy drugstore scans, the images are light years better than those from my digital cameras.
The first thing I noticed was the contrast. I have to boost that parameter on almost every digital image I make but not so here. The above photo has no manipulation whatsoever except for the black frame I added around the edge. And mind you it was shot in very cloudy light, exactly the kind of light from which you'd expect flat results. Don't know whether it's the film (a 400ASA Kodak product) or the Leitz lens or a combination of the two but obviously, it's a very snappy image. There's a roll of Ilford XP2-S in the camera now so we'll see what that produces contrast-wise.
The second thing that popped off the monitor was the beautiful grain in the out of focus areas of the image. So visually appealing. And then there's the out of focus areas themselves. Exposed with the lens wide open (f2.0), only the statue and parts of the boards are sharp. Everything else is background which really isolates Buddha in the frame, something else my point-and-shoots can't do. I love it.
I expect to be using my Leica quite a bit from here on out and I'll identify those images as I post them for anyone who cares about that sort of thing. I also added 3 pictures from this roll of film to my Flickr page: They are the last 3 photos in the set. The images really are truly superior but of course that's a matter of taste and personal preference. The other thing is how The Leica feels in my hands and how it reconnects me to my days as a beginning photographer. It was made in 1960 and is still in perfect working order, something I doubt any of us will be able to say about our digital wonders in half a century.
About the image: There are six churches on Gabriola but no Buddhist temple. There are a fair number of practitioners though and I find the island to be very conducive to meditative thought.
Lastly, Julie over at Sydney Daily Photo has nominated me for something called the Kreativ Blogger award. Thank you Julie! Now, to keep this thing going, I'm to tell you six things that make me happy and nominate six bloggers to receive the KB award so here goes...
Six things that make me happy
1. Every minute I spend with my wife
2. Waking up on Gabriola
3. Riding my bicycle on a perfect day
4. Teaching a young person to play music
5. Sunday Soup
6. Fresh vegetables from my garden
And my six nominees for the Kreativ Blogger Award
Bleeding Orange at Grenoble Daily Photo
Steve at New Orleans Daily Photo
Strangetastes at St. Louis Daily Photo
Fredrik at Ystad Daily Photo
Virginia at Birmingham Daily Photo
Benjamin at Victoria Daily Photo