Archive for the ‘postaday2012’ Tag
Hopefully, this is me getting back to regular blogging. It’s been pretty patchy since May, but I have good excuses. Packing up house and moving around the world to Melbourne, Australia takes a bit of effort.
Sorting, purging and selling started in May and got serious in June. As of June 28, we were officially homeless and our lives were either packed up in suitcases or in a big metal box. We took the suitcases with us and wished the big metal box an uneventful 10-week trip across the Pacific. We then set off on a six-week tour of Canada, visiting friends family on the west coast, camping through the beautiful Rocky Mountains, visiting more family in Southern Ontario, invading the homes of friends in Ottawa and then back to Vancouver again.
The image above is the city of Vancouver as seen from Stanley Park during our visit to the west coast of Canada.
On August 19th, exactly one month ago, we arrived in Melbourne with very little organised beyond a hotel and a hire car. Given the low starting point, we’ve accomplished a lot in one month. We moved into a house (shipment delivery day was very exciting!), we bought a car, we bought appliances and furniture, the kids are back in school, the older one has high school sorted, we’ve caught up with a few friends, and I’m back to full-time (non-photographic) work.
Although we’ve been away from Melbourne for two years, everything is so familiar that it seems like it was just a blink.
Taken on a borrowed camera, edited on a borrowed iPad, and uploaded using a borrowed laptop.
In this image, we have a makeshift game for the kids. Take a beached log and float it out perpendicular to the beach. Then challenge the kids to see how far out the log they can walk before they fall in. Lots of laughs and very cold kids.
…that I’m a little preoccupied lately? I suppose that might be evident from the blog. I haven’t posted in three weeks! While I’ve had the camera out a bit, it has almost entirely been either for work purposes (teaching photo workshops at my daughter’s school), practical purposes (photographing many of my worldly possessions so I can post them online and sell them), or documentary purposes (photographing graduation and going away parties). I have not shot for fun at all in these past three weeks.
Instead of photography, I’ve been downsizing our household, sorting out plane tickets, and organising movers because we’re moving again. If you’ve followed this blog for a long time, you’d know that we’re a bit nomadic. We’ve lived in several cities in Canada including Ottawa, Fredericton, Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton. We’ve also lived in New Zealand and in Australia. We’ve never tried the same city twice until now. In three days, we’re putting our lives in a shipping container and sending it back down under.
Before we go, we’re going to do a bit of a cross-country tour going as far west as Vancouver and Salt Spring Island and as far east as Ottawa with lots of stops in between. When we’re well and truly exhausted, we’ll board our flight to Melbourne on August 17.
With us flipping our lives upside down this summer, you’re not going to hear from me very often, but hopefully, I’ll have lots of stories and lots of pictures to share once we get settled in late August.
Enjoyed a Sunday shoot with this little supermodel…
Today was day two of a set of three workshops that I’m running at my kids’ school. The grade 6 art class has a photography unit that they generally outsource. This year, it’s my pleasure to teach the photo unit to three classes of 11 to 12 year olds. I’ve really been enjoying the workshops. I had a great time developing the teaching material and it was challenging trying to select the course content for such a broad subject given that it needs to be squeezed into just a half day.
The way we finally structured the class is to go through a very quick history of photography and run through the basic technical capabilities of the classroom cameras (Nikon Coolpix L26) discussing focus, exposure and scene modes. They then get 20 minutes outside to shoot. Then we bring them back in, teach them about light and composition and then send them out again with the hope that the second round of pictures are better than the first. They pick their best images, we have a quick Q&A and we’re done. Goes by in no time for me and they seem to be having fun.
When I agreed to do the workshops, my oldest daughter warned me that I needed to do a good job. She said the kids all talk about their teachers and she wanted to be sure that I would make a good impression. Hopefully I haven’t embarrassed her yet…
Pictured above is the coal tipple at the Atlas Coal Mine in Drumheller, Alberta. The coal used to ride a conveyor belt down from the hills to the right and then up another conveyor tunnel to the main building. The main structure is the tipple where the coal was sorted and loaded into train cars.
Coal was booming business back in the 1900s in Alberta. Between 1912 and 1966 the coal mines in the Drumheller area produced nearly 57,000,000 tons of coal. When oil was discovered nearby in 1948, demand for coal suffered a steep decline. Coal mining towns shrunk dramatically. Some were completely abandoned. By 1979, the coal years in Drumheller were all over.
The Atlas Coal Mine was established outside Drumheller around 1911. This images shows the shower room. After a long shift in the coal mine a whole lot of very dirty men would come here to clean up. In fact, because it was a coal mine, this was the only location in town that offered hot showers. The story goes that the women back in town were really jealous of the hot showers, especially in the deep cold of winter. The men, knowing what was good for them, argued with the mine manager to let the women use the shower when it wasn’t in use. They managed to get the women one night a week – Sundays. In the days before readily available hot water in the homes, I bet these showers felt really good.