Shooting outdoors early in the season presents both challenges and charms. Cooler temperatures, wind and rain can make for an interesting time to get the right shot. However the less than typical landscape of frozen lakes, grey skies and brown grass certainly can be eye-catching and lend a certain “realness” to the image. This session, on the edge of a frozen Alberta lake, was the perfect setting to capture relaxed images of this little guy.
Sometimes a little iffy weather does you a favor. We were hanging out at the cabin this weekend, Saturday morning gave us summery clear skies, but by the afternoon the wind arrived with a vengeance. We decided that if we were going to watch the wind blow we might as well go for a drive along the country roads surrounding our place. We didn’t really set out with a plan, and we saw a lot of cool stuff, but one thing we really didn’t focus on was the gas gauge. Now luckily we glanced down before it “dinged”, took a look at the GPS to figure out exactly where we were, and decided we definitely needed to pop into the closest town which just happened to be Barrhead.
I was thrilled to come across the grain elevators in the town. Grain elevators are sadly disappearing from the prairie landscape, so when I come across an elevator I always stop to shoot a few frames. It was well worth braving the gale force winds and driving rain to get the shot. After a quick fill up with gas we were back on our way to our cozy cabin.
“Yellow Hoody” is another one of my Photoshop experiments. I needed something to work on while I pondered my next fibre art piece (the grand dilemma is cotton or silk) and thought about photography work that I should be doing. I figure at 11:00 pm it is okay to play rather than work.
This image is from a studio shoot on Saturday. I’ll share a few of the “proper” images in the very near future. I do think the simple studio background works very well with this style of manipulation. At the very least it is fun to have a play.
dimensions: main section of stitched and beaded silk – 18.5″ x 10″
overall dimensions including mounting – 29″ x 14.5″
medium: fibre art
materials: silk fabric, cotton fabric, wool yarn, cotton thread, bamboo thread, silk thread, glass beads, wire, jute, arbutus driftwood
“Prairie Dawn” is the ultimate “close to home” piece of art. The topic of the piece is a typical Alberta landscape complete with a straight horizon and patchwork fields. The natural fabrics and threads that form the piece have been dyed by hand in micro-batches of home-made dyes; and when I say micro, I mean micro….some of the batches are 2-3 feet of string….that’s it. The dyes have been made with tansy, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, turmeric, marigold, arbutus bark, blackberry, cutch and madder. The marigold used as a dye stuff was harvested from my garden, the arbutus bark was collected from beneath our tree in our place in British Columbia, and the tansy was collected from ditches that run alongside fields just like those depicted in the piece. “Prairie Dawn” is mounted on a piece of arbutus driftwood suspended by wire reminding me of the barbed wire fences that criss-cross our local landscape. “Prairie Dawn” embraces the hand-made and home-grown attitude of early rural Alberta.
I don’t often have the chance to play around with Photoshop, as it is a tool of my trade I find I use it to get the job done and that is that. I was working through the middle of the night yesterday, trying to finish off a fibre art piece, and for some reason I sat down and started playing with Photoshop. Perhaps the theory was that doing something else would help me come up with a solution for mounting the piece. If that was the thought process, it certainly didn’t work. By 4:30 am there was still no solution for the fibre piece but I had created this pretty funky looking image of a blood star. I have to admit that having a chance to “play” on Photoshop was actually pretty fun.
The blood star was originally photographed at the beach on Bridges Road, on Pender Island, British Columbia. If you are interested in seeing the origins of the above image, they can be see in the blood star post on my other blog www.islandhomeblog.wordpress.com .
Well I finally tackled the item that has been on my “to do” list forever…..I updated my website. The website is www.thehuntergroup.ca . I had been avoiding it forever. I knew I wanted to add Studio H to the site, previously the site was only for Hunter Photographics, but I knew it was going to be a big job.
It took me about an hour to figure out how to think like the website program and work out how the website was mapped out. Unfortunately once I figured it out I realized the whole site needed reworking.
Nine hours and a reasonable amount of head shaking later the site was done. I still have a few bits to add in the near future. I also have the album sections to tackle; this will be a significantly time-consuming task of editing out old images and adding in new ones.
Editing the albums is always interesting, I am always left saying “Wow, I’ve sure shot a lot of people.”.
To check out the updated website, please visit www.thehuntergroup.ca .
In the beginning of March I naturally dyed up a batch of silk. It was dyed in strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, blackberry, marigold and turmeric. I pieced a few strips of the silk together with an idea in mind, but as the weeks went on I realized it wasn’t quite right. The piece was too big, over 4 feet long, and just awkward when it came to my original plan. Two weeks ago I had my “A-HA” moment. First I came across an exhibition looking for submissions that would suit the idea of the piece well. The next day we were leaving for the coast so I had to make an immediate game plan. I chopped the original silk piece in half, backed it, and took the piece on the trip with me with great plans to spend a lot of time working on it. Well working on it ended up being maybe a half hour in total as things such as golf and beaches interfered with my plan.
Home I came and I realized I had to get busy as the submission date was near the end of April. Now I spend hours each day stitching and beading. I am beading four tiny seed beads at a time; the beads are 1mm in depth and 2mm in diameter. It is time-consuming work, yet peaceful in its repetitiveness at the same time. My guess is the project is nearly half way finished; it is at the stage where I can see it all coming together and know that I am on the right track. In between the beading I am natural dyeing tiny batches of silk, cotton and wool threads to be used for the stitching. It seems like everything about this piece is tiny. Tiny beads. Tiny dye batches. Teeny tiny elements all working together to make one very textured and patterned piece.
This weekend we buzzed out to the Gulf Islands for Easter. Being on the coast one can’t help but think of the effects water has on the world around you. There is evidence everywhere of the power of water; battered buoys, rusted chains, weathered docks and of course, driftwood.
Part of our trip was also an effort to escape the effects of water….or should I say water damage. Two weeks ago our basement experienced some significant flooding thanks to a root growing through the sewer line. The bathroom and customer sitting areas are complete tear outs. All I can say is thank goodness for insurance. I am also relieved that the studios didn’t have any damage. Now the challenge is to make the area travelling to the studio safe as the construction process carries on. I definitely have my work cut out for the coming weekend trying to make the area workable.