Dimensionality I

Single page folded book
unfolded I
unfolded II
unfolded III

I’m getting interested in how taking a large print and using simple book forms can expand and transform the viewer’s experience of the print. My experiments were prompted by Francis’, Kim’s and Mike’s mail exchanges over the late summer. More to come…

Year end musings

Monte Lake Store   1976/7

I’ve been once again going through some older archives of images, sorting, editing, keeping, trashing, an ongoing Covid isolation activity. The pics that I deem worthy of keeping I’ve been making one off prints, 10 inches long side on 11×14″ paper, using a variety of papers as I determine which stock is best suited to each image. These I am storing in archival portfolio boxes which over time I will sort into loose projects, sequence, title and jot down brief notes pertaining to the origins of each photo.

This particular picture is from 1976/7—I stopped at this store numerous times on my way to or from Kamloops where our family lived off and on from 1973-1979, on day excursions exploring the surrounding area or travelling to and from the Okanagan region. On this particular day I was travelling with my young daughter Faro, and when travelling together passing by this store we would always stop in for a small break and a treat of ice-cream.

Contrary to the reports of the store being lost to the fires that devastated the Monte Lake region this past summer, it in fact survived!

(Photo: Nikkormat FTN, 35mm f/2.8 lens, Kodak Tri-X film)



Miniature Gallery

Almost since the upset of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of VI have been creating and sending photographs to each other by mail, as Paul explained in his blog “This Side Up?” (March 28, 2021).

Here is one of the many beautiful gifts that I recently received from Paul.  His accompanying note reads, “Some scenes from the UVic trails, printed with piezography inks.”  A photo of photos cannot do justice to the delicacy of these images.  They have a softness and at the same time one can almost see every leaf.  The warm tone of the inks is subtle, yet lush.

I learn a lot from my colleagues and I’ve been learning so much during the last year and a half with the opportunity to have photos in hand to study and enjoy at my leisure.  However, a while ago, I began to display the various photographs sent by Mike, Paul, and Francis.  They have graced my living room and often end up on the fireplace mantle, as this picture illustrates.  But I have not quite been happy with just leaning the individual photographs or laying them flat.  So, I asked my partner Stephen to build me some interesting little stands. Now I have a Miniature Gallery that changes up every now and then.

Thanks guys!

Photowalks x Four =

VI has been making slow and steady steps toward our next zine over the last seven months.  We’ve assigned ourselves four photowalks; chosen in turn and conducted sequentially – and it has been a lovely way to share some of our favourite local spaces with each other.

Here’s a peek preview with a few photos that won’t be included in the upcoming Call & Response 2021.1 zine.

One View Among Many…

Birdhouses: Along the E&N


This last week saw the final instalment of our latest call and response, the thought behind this one being that we should document places/things that give us pause, to relax and put our minds on things other than our day to day—work, Covid, stress. You get the picture.

I’ve been spending a fair bit of my free time enjoying walking and biking, in particular along the Gorge Waterway (walking) and both the Galloping Goose and the E&N pathways (biking). This has certainly contributed to relieving any tension I may be feeling, or the urge to be out breathing outside air rather than inside air, as well as opening up potential photo opportunities along the way. All in all, a pleasant way to spend an hour or so.

The above quadtych (?) is from a stretch along the E&N pathway that I’ve passed numerous times, and as I ride by I always give a look, thinking that this row of birdhouses deserves a picture or two, or in this case, four. Always brings a smile. I like the fact that whoever put these up along their shared fence line, put them so they are overlooking the pathway so those of us passing by have a good glimpse of them and any potential bird activity.

Given the intent of our last project, the timing, lighting and motivation were just right this time around to add this to my cache of photos for this theme.





Lumen redux


Another lumen print, this time a composition of zucchini slices, leaves and blossom. Have you tried making any lumen prints? If so, please add a comment and share your experience.


Russian Iris

This is a lumen print, which is basically a photogram. It’s made with expired black and white silver gelatin photo paper. That’s right – you get a colour print using black and white paper. You might be thinking, what kind of darkroom magic is this? Guess what – you don’t need a darkroom to make lumen prints! The only chemical you need is fixer to freeze the image you get after exposure in the sun for several hours of the paper with plant material on it. Remove plant material, wash to see colour (which you will probably love), then accept the fact that those lovely colours shift when you fix the paper. There are infinite possibilities for experimentation. A totally fun away to make photographic prints all summer long. Without a darkroom. (Important note: if you open a package of photographic paper in white light to make lumen prints, it can never be used subsequently to make darkroom prints).

Billiard Hall: a picture in 17 frames

Billiard Hall, Todos Santos BCS 2002

I’ve been spending some isolation time sorting, tweaking, trashing and sometimes printing my too numerous photo files and projects dating from the early 1970’s up to the present (haven’t even begun to sort the boxes and binders of negatives). And as I go through file after file I come across images that I’d worked on, processed and saved, moved on and forgotten, to now revisit and ponder these pieces in the light of a new day and the passage of time. It’s time worth spent and an interesting look at what at the time captured my imagination and to note my creative frame of mind. Many of these images are pre-digital, using a variety of cameras and films which were later scanned to have the ability to view and work with these files as I had given up my darkroom many years past.

This image Billiard Hall, Todos Santos BCS 2002 was from a trip to this small town on the Baja Peninsula in which we had rented a small suite in a local neighbourhood within walking distance of the town centre. I didn’t come away with a great number of ‘keepers’ as some of the film seems to have been affected by the X-ray scanner at the airport. I’m glad that some did survive and looking at them now I’m still quite please with the results.

I love the coloured doors and the vivid green highlights here; this use of bold colours throughout the neighbourhood was a visual delight, a wonderful contrast to the earth tones of the building materials, streets and surrounding hills.

Nikon F3, 35mm f2.8 lens. Fuji NPH 400 film, 17collaged frames


I spent a couple of pleasant hours in the darkroom this afternoon making a few proof prints. These two images were juxtaposed on the film and contact sheet as shown here. When I made the proof print on the left, I realized it’s correct orientation was portrait, but on the contact sheet it was of course displayed in landscape mode and fortuitously lined up perfectly with the branch extending from the image on the right. If I had not seen that on the contact sheet (for example if there had been intervening exposures between these two) I’m not sure I would have made the connection. But now that this has happened, I’ll be looking for interesting combinations in future.