Photographing neighbourhood corner stores is always interesting due to their unique siting in an area, the architecture, signage and window displays.
All posts filed under Vancouver Island
Hair salon and Murphy beds, Langford, British Columbia 2017
Architecture, of course, like everything works in cycles of fashion. The A-frame entrance to suburban housing, at least in British Columbia, was common enough in the 60’s and 70’s. It’s perhaps rarer to see this vernacular architecture at use in commercial buildings from that era, certainly with the use of the double A-frame on the structure, which you can’t see in this image(the A is …
Box House, Bevan Avenue at Third Street, Sidney British Columbia 2017
A great example of why it’s important to photograph a unique, even if insignificant on a larger scale, piece of architecture when you have the opportunity. This small square box of a house was bulldozed less than two weeks after I took this image. The house was very basic but unlike anything else on the street. I’m sure it’ll be replaced by a larger box, …
Curio and Antique Store, Victoria British Columbia 2017
This little shop in downtown Victoria seems like a throwback to a different era with it’s amazingly eclectic collection of goods, from toys to Indigenous art. There’s certainly a recent history of toys visible in the objects for sale. Normally I would have tried to reduce the reflections in the window glass but I think the buildings reflected are useful visual information about the street.
Scooter and KFC, Langford, British Columbia 2017
Commercial signage in very different mediums. A real scooter on a roof promotes a scooter shop below (at left, not actually visible) while a fake oversize bucket of chicken promotes a KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) franchise outlet. The tub company makes do with just a sign. In the background a new condo or apartment building rises in the background.
Writer Yasuko Thanh, Victoria, British Columbia 2017
Yasuko Thanh is both an award-winning writer with a short story collection and a novel published (and a new publication on the way) and a musician who performs in a number of bands. I’ve photographed her singing and at a book reading/signing before but this was our first shot at a portrait. Her site is here. A review of her novel in the Globe and …
Ruby Karinto, Victoria, British Columbia 2017
Much of my photography centres around landscapes, natural and manmade and how that shapes us and our culture and/or how we and our cultures shapes our constructed and social landscapes. I like how the local makes us all unique to our own parts of the world. I haven’t concentrated so much on people who shape our culture especially artists, be they writers, musicians, painters etc. …
Bus stop shelter and new house, Victoria British Columbia 2017
The house in the background was just recently completed, built in a current ‘modern’ square style somewhat at architectural odds with the other older homes on the same street. I find it somewhat ironic that the ‘old’ bus stop shelter in front, mirrors the new build. That square style of bus shelter, which offered riders a largely enclosed (to the elements) structure but with windows …
Taber Music School, Saanich British Columbia 2017
This low building has seen several different commercial lives but currently houses a music school, readily apparent not only from the sign but but by the musical note decor painted on the outside. It looks though it may have been a garage at one point.
Wood Carvings, Chemainus, British Columbia 2017
It was just starting to rain as I came past these wooden carvings along the highway in Chemainus. The large, almost life size Sasquatch (assuming we know what life size is for a Sasquatch) was certainly an attention grabber. Birds, whimsical bears, and more stood along the roadside distracting passing motorists as the carver worked in the tent behind and chatted with those who …
Ladysmith Car Care, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2017
The red and white paint job on this former garage and corner store always catches the eye when passing by Ladysmith on the highway. It has been shut down for a while now although there are a few vehicles inside so not sure if someone still uses the premises. It looks a little more decrepit all the time though so I really expect to go …
Firewood lot, Duncan, British Columbia 2017
A wet haul up and over the Malahat. The Malahat Drive, a short section of highway, is dreaded by local drivers despite many recent safety upgrades. I think it’s reputation is a bit much for a 20 kilometre section of highway but it certainly has more than it’s fair share of accidents. The bigger problem I think is that an accident usually shuts down the …
British Columbia Documentary Photography #2
I recently read an interview with a local archives manager. He talked about the work and purpose of the archives and about acquiring material for the facility. He is always on the lookout for unique local photographs showing the community’s history but he made a a comment that I thought every documentary photographer should consider. He said that it was easy to find/receive images of …
Wet Covered Car, Saanich, British Columbia 2016
A photograph taken early this year but appropriate now with the weather changing after so many months of sun and dry weather.
MK 5 Sabre Jet, Sidney British Columbia 2016
Always a head turner, catching sight of this old fighter jet for the first time can be a bit disconcerting when seen at the edge of your vision while passing down a local street.
BC Ferries, Green Turban, British Columbia 2016
Strictly visual, grey clouds, green turban. The view from a BC Ferries vessel.
Robin Hood Motel, Victoria British Columbia 2016
There’s something about old signage. The Robin Hood Motel on Gorge Road seems a throwback to the 60s anyhow but it’s obvious in both the retro style and content the sign has not been changed in a long time. Despite the changeable sign below advertising wifi, the main sign still touts that they offer COLOUR television. The motel is one of the last of its …
Giant Bathtub Parade Float, Victoria, British Columbia 2016
The annual Victoria Day Parade is a big deal in Victoria. It’s three hours long and starts from from Mayfair Mall and moves all the way down Douglas Street through the downtown. It’s not entirely unexpected, since parades are full of odd sights, to see a giant bathtub representing Nanaimo (famed for its annual bathtub race) coming down the street. It is however much stranger …
Travellers Hotel and Swastikas, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016
The first time I photographed the Travellers Hotel in Ladysmith on the town’s main street my attention was held by the dilapidated hotel sign over the main doors. I really didn’t look up at the higher stories and facade which at a quick glance seemed to be just fairly plain brick. A closer look on a more recent visit revealed a line of swastikas girdling …
Fresko Cafe, Yates Street, Victoria, British Columbia 2016
Wonderful hand painted signs on the exterior of this downtown cafe in Victoria.
Arbutus Cafe, Duncan, British Columbia 2016
While new architecture is as important as old, new, especially chain store architecture, is the same. A visual repetition that repeats across a province, a country and even the world, that makes everything appear to be the same, that in the interest of convenience takes away our regional uniqueness. The Arbutus Cafe in Duncan (above) is a one of a kind local establishment. It has …
Royal Bay Development, Colwood, British Columbia 2016
This will be an area I’ll be photographing over the next few years as this land gets built up. This view will change quickly, a massive housing development will cover a former gravel pit site. The very first houses in the Royal Bay development are going up in front of Royal Bay Secondary school. The school opened in 2015 and was the first building to …
Lowe Cost Auto Maintenance, Chemainus, British Columbia 2016
Came across this place after a random turn off the highway. I really like the way the vines, without their summer leaves, looked wrapped around the old garage. Judging by the shrubs around the awning pillars it’s been awhile since this shop was operational.
The Odeon, Brickyard and Efes, Yates Street, Victoria, British Columbia 2016
Unique local restaurants and movie theatre along Yates Street in downtown Victoria.
Boat Graveyard, Vancouver Island, British Columbia 2016
This was truly a west coast nautical scene, acreage filled with broken and decaying boats, mainly smaller pleasure or fishing craft. There were no indicators why the mossy rotting boats were there, the only sign visible from the side road I was on said No Trespassing, not really an encouragement to explore more. On my way out I spotted a house, which may be connected …
Rain storm approaching, Harbour Road, Victoria, British Columbia 2016
This is the kind of weather we’ve seen a lot of this year. The street, Harbour Road, is one of the more interesting roads in Victoria simply because the side shown is new residential with some commercial/retail thrown in. The other side of the road is on the harbour and is still marine industrial giving the area a nice feel, holding on to an …
Former Safeway gas station, Duncan, British Columbia 2016
This photograph shows not only the disappearance of a gas station but the signals the disappearance on an entire grocery store chain (Safeway) on Vancouver Island. Due to a takeover by eastern grocery giant Sobeys of the local chain Thriftys that resulted in the one company owning most of the major chains on the Island the competition bureau (some government organization anyhow) ruled that in …
Renee’s Soup and Sandwich, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2016
Renee’s is a classic old school local cafe, with a painted sign which you don’t see very often anymore. The place was busy just before lunch on a recent Saturday with locals enjoying early lunches and the local newspaper. I had a muffin and several, really hot, good cups of coffee and caught up on my notes for the images I’d taken that day.
Stores at dusk, Blanshard Street, Victoria, BC 2016
This area of Victoria the blocks where Blanshard intersects with Fort Street is becoming known as a “Foodie” neighbourhood. A variety of restaurants, cafes and coffee shops have sprung up in the area in the past few areas offering a choice in menus and prices and offering an alternative to the Government/Wharf Street pod of food outlets.
Douglas Street traffic in the rain, Victoria, BC 2015
This image seemed appropriate for a wet January morning. Early morning buses, cars and pedestrians navigate Douglas Street in downtown Victoria, British Columbia on a wet winter day. Wet weather being a standard part of west coast life through the fall and winter.