Queen Street West, Toronto 2015

June 7, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Landscape, Photography, Street photography, Toronto, Urban | Leave a Comment 

 

A vacation in Ontario provided the time for a stroll down Toronto’s Queen Street West and the incredible variety of small businesses along the street. I’d meant, during previous visits to document the street, but didn’t get the chance until now. Many of the stores are short lived so the streetscape is constantly changing.
Queen Street W. #2 Toronto 2015Queen Street W. #1  Toronto 2015



Coaltown Auto Wreckers, Nanaimo, BC 2012

April 19, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Nanaimo, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Coaltown Auto Wrecking, Nanaimo, BC 2012

Old school garages and auto wreckers are almost as appealing a subject as neighbourhood corner stores. They are disappearing just as fast too. Coaltown is a reference to Nanaimo’s past as a coal mining town.



Surf Motel, Victoria, BC 2015

March 12, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Landscape, Personal Project, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | 1 Comment 

Main entrance to the Surf Motel on Dallas Road.

Main entrance to the Surf Motel on Dallas Road.

The Surf Hotel is an architectural fixture on Victoria’s Dallas Road waterfront. A visually appealing anomaly among the residential units lining the road.

The motel was built in 1960 by a Saskatchewan farmer Peter Mangelson who had been spending his winters in Victoria. He spent $3500.00 for the lot.

The building was designed by architect Bob Siddall, who designed other local projects including  UVIC’s McPherson Library.

The Surf Motel and all 14 units.

The Surf Motel and all 14 units.

There are only 14 units  in the building and they were built with kitchenettes and mailboxes in case the motel didn’t work as a business and needed to be converted to apartments..

Mangelson ran the motel with his wife Alice and family  until the mid-70′s when one of  their sons took over the business.

The classic old Surf Motel signage.

The classic old Surf Motel signage.

Rooms rented for $8.00 a night when the motel opened in 1960, this year high season rates are $155.00 a night.

You can check out the hotel here.

A view from the side looking across dallas Road to the water and the Ogden Point breakwater

A view from the side looking across dallas Road to the water and the Ogden Point breakwater

 



Vancouver Island Documentary Photographers

March 8, 2015 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

A classic old school road side restaurant, the Royal Roads Cafe, in Colwood, British Columbia.

A classic old school road side restaurant, the Royal Roads Cafe, in Colwood, British Columbia.

I find it interesting to look at other photographers who are working on similar projects, if only to see how they look at the world differently. Locally a number of us are photographing our immediate world, shooting land/street/environmental scapes of Vancouver Island. One surprising discovery was that all these photographers are men, the women I know shooting documentary tend to shoot people, not exclusively, of course, but as their primary subject whereas the men seem to focus on the land, natural and built around them.

Here are a few links to other photographers doing documentary work on Vancouver Island. T.J. Watt’s work has an environmental and outdoors angle. David Pollock looks at the local landscape with a wry eye at times. Quinton Gordon uses avoids digital technology as he explores the area, he’s been creating interesting diptychs recently. Duane Prentice incorporates old industrial remnants into his landscapes. Tristan Shouldice is more of an urban wanderer looking for classic street photography. The husband and wife team of Scott Laurie Johnson combine some great writing with visual exploration of heritage sites from their Duncan base.



British Columbia Photography Archives

February 20, 2015 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, From The Archive, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photographers, Photography, Urban, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Totem Poles and train caboose, Duncan, BC 2014

Totem Poles and train caboose, Duncan, BC 2014

Looking for inspiration for my own work I’ll look at the work of contemporaries but I also like to look through collections of the work of documentary photographers who photographed in earlier eras. The British Columbia Archives is the largest collection in the province (and the most diverse) but the Vancouver Library has some interesting holdings including images from the collective the Leonard Frank Memorial Society, not to mention the archives of  Leonard Frank himself. The Vancouver city archives hold a great deal of  photographs as well.

Memory BC provides link to a number of archives.

The universities can be a good source too. The University of Victoria archive is here and the University of British Columbia is here. If you’re looking for a specific photographer than you may have to chase down an archive holding that photographer’s images. The Belkin gallery at UBC  holds Roy Kiyooka images. They can be searched here.

Most smaller centres have their own archives as well and they can be useful if you are looking for something specific to a city.



The Travellers Hotel, Ladysmith, British Columbia 2012

January 31, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Personal Project, Photography, Vancouver Island | 1 Comment 

The Travellers Hotel,  Ladysmith,  British Columbia 2012The Travellers Hotel on the main street in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island has seen better days. The construction of the hotel was completed in 1913 when the town was an important coal shipping port. although a miner’s strike in 1912 had halted the economic boom that had been underway.



Bay Grocery, Bay Street, Victoria, BC 2015

January 4, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Corner store, Documentary Photography, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Street photography, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Bay Grocery, Bay Street, Victoria, BC 2015The Bay Grocery is one of those neighbourhood establishments, the corner store, that get get harder and harder to find each year. I enjoy how they look front the street, at either dawn or dusk, lighting up the street for the residents.



Kamloops Daily News Kamloops, BC 2014

June 1, 2014 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Personal Project, Photography | Leave a Comment 

Kamloops Daily News 2014

This is the Kamloops Daily News building on Seymour Street in Kamloops, British Columbia. The News ceased publication on January 11, 2014, another victim of the declining fortunes of the newspaper industry. The man in the suit pictured on the wall is long time editor and former Mayor Mel Rothenburger. The News survived when the Daily Sentinel newspaper folded and is itself  survived by Kamloops This Week but it does leave the city as a one newspaper town. I worked at the News twice, once as a photographer when it was a tri-weekly and then again later when they went daily as the chief photographer. At those points in time the paper was located on Tranquille Avenue (tri-weekly) and then in the old Woodwards building, now BC Lotteries during the switch to daily publication). I’m guessing that the next time I’m in the interior visiting Kamloops the building will be in use for someone else or torn down/rebuilt.  For now though it stands a reminder of  local history and change.



Surfer and van, Jordan River, BC 2010

February 4, 2014 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Road Trip, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Surfer and van Jordan River BC

A surfer walks past a van and board at Jordan River, British Columbia on Vancouver Island.



Derelict Boat, Coopers Cove, Sooke BC 2008

October 6, 2013 | Filed Under Art, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Landscape, Personal Project, Photography, Vancouver Punk | Leave a Comment 

Derelict Boat, Coopers Cove Sooke, BC 2008

Derelict Boat, Coopers Cove Sooke, BC 2008

I was at Coopers Cove last week. The derelict boat in long gone although, for now at least, the former naval ship seen in the background is still anchored in the cove. It’s a reminder how photographs, while they must stand on their own as visual images, also serve as historical records, a document of time passing. This was one of the first group of images I took that have become part of the Salt Water & Rain project, photographs of Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia. A photographic archive of British Columbia and one of a series of inter-linked projects on the Pacific Northwest.

 



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