"Depression is connected with the past, anxiety latches on to the future, but holding a camera — being alert to the world around us — is the antidote to all that. Photography helps keep one in the present." (Quote by Karen Molson)
I became interested in photography at an early age when I had the opportunity to learn how to develop photos with my father in his darkroom. I remember the awe that I felt when, by the light of the red safe light, I saw my first black and white image appearing on the photo paper in the developer solution – as if by magic. I was hooked! Since then I have gone through many cameras, black and white film, colour film and slides, Cibachrome, dark rooms and on January 2000, my first digital camera.
For the longest time I was frustrated with my efforts, which for the most part I believed were mediocre. In 2006, I debated about putting photography aside. Instead, I started to push myself. I became more critical of my work, learned new skills, techniques, took more photos, and most important, I left my ego at the door. This new approach has opened up many new doors and opportunities for me.
I have no ambition to become a professional photographer – I just enjoy taking photos. I volunteer as a photographer to help support charitable and non-profit organizations that do not have the finances to hire a professional photographer. I do not charge for this service and only ask that my byline appears on any photos that are published. In the past few years, I have done photography work for organizations such as Ten Thousand Villages, Great Canadian Theatre Company, LIX and Ten Oaks, and more recently for Unison 2014.
I take great pleasure in sharing my photos with my friends, and on several occasions, close friends have asked me to take photos of a special event in their life, something I enjoy doing. I often use my photos in greeting cards that I make and I am proud to say that many of my friends are now collecting them. I have published a few photography books, either for friends or just as a way to document a personal memory.
There isn’t one thing that draws me to photography. I like to help others; I like to create memories for friends and myself; I enjoy learning; I enjoy new challenges. I can achieve all of these through my photographic efforts. And, I am totally fascinated with how I can trap light, shadows and colour in a permanent image and then view that moment in time, again and again. With digital photography, there are many opportunities to render a photo into something that reflects what I feel about a subject.
I currently live in Ottawa, Ontario, where I spend my time doing just about anything I want to do. I do not work for a living, and I don’t plan to either.
The Canadian War Museum has custody of 17 of the 20 plaster figures that were created by the sculptor Walter Seymour Allward for his creation of the Vimy Memorial located at Vimy Ridge in France. These plaster figures were created between 1925 and 1930. Professional stone carvers worked from the design of these plaster casts to create the final statues on the Vimy Memorial.
In 1937 the plaster figures were packed in crates and shipped to Canada, where they were stored by the Department of Public Works as part of the Canadian War Museum artifact collection. The Department of Veteran Affairs had custody of the plaster figures, and on May 3, 1960 informed the museum that “…the Minister of Veterans Affairs had agreed that the models may be destroyed” so long as photographs were taken of them first.
That did not happen, and the 17 plaster figures can be viewed by the public at the Canadian War Museum. The remaining 3 plaster figures are on display in the Military Communications and Electronics Museum at the Canadian Forces Base in Kingston.
I fell in love with these powerful works of art, and during the past three years I have paid numerous visits to the museum to take photos under various lighting conditions. This video is the result of my time and effort.
On Saturday, September 30, 2017, I attended a photo scavenger hunt in the Ottawa downtown area. There was no prize for your efforts and I used the time just to explore parts of the Ottawa area around the National Gallery of Canada. These are some of the photos that I took during my 3 or 4 hours of exploration.