Writing On Photography – Geoff Dyer

June 4, 2017 | Filed Under Art, Documentary Photography, Geoff Dyer, Photo Book, Photographers, Photography, Photojournalism, Photos, Street photography, The Ongoing Moment, Uncategorized, Writer, Writing, Writing on photography | Leave a Comment 

 

I find Geoff Dyer one of the most interesting, and idiosyncratic, writers around. He’s written a great deal about photography and photographers, much of which is found in two of his books ‘The Ongoing Moment’ (seen here) and a section of essays in  ’Otherwise Known As The Human Condition’.  His descriptions and thoughts on photography are both  insightful and entertaining. Here’s his description of the photographer William Eggleston’s work ” Eggleston’s photographs look like they were taken by a Martian who lost the ticket for his flight home and ended up working in a gun shop in a small town near Memphis.”. What a wonderful descriptive (and accurate) sentence. The cover image is a section of a photograph by the late British photographer Michael Ormerod who  is discussed in the book (Ongoing Moment) as well.dyer-book



British Columbia Documentary Photography #2

November 26, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Colwood, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photographers, Photography, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Old Home, New Construction Colwood Britsh Columbia 2016

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 the area’s main street, what was a challenge was finding images of the secondary and back streets. It’s a good reminder that the documentary photographers need to pay attention to the less obvious, the quiet areas where, in reality, we all spend most of our lives.



New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC 2016

January 30, 2016 | Filed Under Architecture, Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Street photography, Travel, Urban, Vancouver, Vancouver Street Photography | Leave a Comment 

New Vancouver Art Gallery site, West Georgia Street, Vancouver,

As an exercise I sometimes try and photograph with an eye to preserving a view that will not exist in the future. The above is one such view. Shot from  Cambie Street and looking across Georgia Street to the north. The parking lot seen at the lower right of the image is the future site of the Vancouver Art Gallery. That new building will most certainly obscure the existing view that includes the iconic Sun tower with the  blue/green dome roof on Pender Street. The Sun tower was at one time home to the Vancouver Sun newspaper, hence the name. When it was built in 1912 it was the tallest building in the British Empire. The new art gallery will have a unique wood exterior and  the VAG site says work will commence in 2017.



Shipwreck of the Pacific Sun King, Saanich, BC 2015

January 1, 2016 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Historical, History, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Saanich, Ship wreck, Shipwreck, Vancouver Island | Leave a Comment 

Ship wreck of the Pacific Sun King, Saanich, BC 2015

The wreckage of the ship Pacific Sun King lies on the beach in Gyro Park at Cadboro Bay. The 55 foot, 44-tonne live aboard ship washed ashore during a heavy windstorm on December 5. The wreckage has gotten more and more worn out as the owner saved what he could from the ship and subsequent storms have worn away the ship. A more complete story on the wreck can be read here.



Salmon Spawning Vancouver Island 2015

November 22, 2015 | Filed Under Art, BC Photography Archive, Black and white, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Fine Art, Historical, History, Landscape, Omen of Bones, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Road Trip, Salmon, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

Salmon Spawning Vancouver Island 2015

Every fall since I returned to British Columbia twelve years ago I’ve photographed the spectacle and aftermath of  the salmon returning to spawn in Vancouver Island rivers. When I started photographing the autumn event I was using black and white film. I shoot mainly digital now, although still shooting some B/W film when out on the rivers, but feel this particular project looks better in black and white so am converting the files. Nature photography is not something I do a lot of but I find the return of the salmon is not only an amazing example of the wonders and complications of the natural world but is a unique addition to the experience of west coast life.

An earlier post from 2010 with more photos and info here.



BC Transit Bus And Metal Scrap Yard 2015

August 12, 2015 | Filed Under Art, Arts, BC Photography Archive, Blog, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Don Denton, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Personal Project, Photography, Photojournalism, Photos, Street photography, Urban, Vancouver Island, Victoria | Leave a Comment 

BC Transit Bus at Metal Scrap yard 2015

A BC Transit bus lies at the bottom of a heap of scrap metal waiting to be torn apart and added to the pile in Victoria, British Columbia. The business sits on Victoria’s waterfront just on the edge of the city core. The city has voiced support for keeping industry on the waterfront but one wonders how long a recycling plant will stay (be allowed to stay) on shoreline property with amazing views..



Dion Manastyrski and Prairie Sunset

August 5, 2015 | Filed Under Art, Canada, Canadian, Dion Manastyrski, Documentary Photography, Interview, Landscape, Personal Project, Photo Book, Photography, Prairie, Publishing | Leave a Comment 

Dion Manastyrski 1

I met  photographer Dion Manastyrski a few years ago when I gave a talk to a local photo group. He contacted me after and asked if I minded meeting up to have a look at images from a project he was working on.  The photos he showed me were from the Canadian prairies, mainly Saskatchewan, and examined the disappearance of  rural and small town life in that region. He had a lot of questions about where to take the project and about his desire to create a book of the work. We talked about the images he had at that point and I gave him some advice on shooting and different ways he might approach a book project. We kept in touch after that, mainly by email, as he continued to work on his project. I meet a lot of photographers who want to create books or exhibitions of their work and often nothing happens. It’s a lot of work, coordination and too often, a very expensive proposition. Dion persevered though, continuing to shoot, learning to create videos, searching out archive images to complement his own photos. Collecting quotes from residents about their experiences in the prairie. Conducting an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign. The result of all that hard work, just out now, is a big beautiful self published book (printed by Friesens in tiny Altona, Manitoba), You can check out the project and book here at his site Prairie Sunset.



The Pointed Sticks – Victoria, BC 2015

June 14, 2015 | Filed Under BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Canadian, Documentary Photography, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Punk Rock, The Pointed Sticks, Vancouver, Vancouver Island, Vancouver Punk | Leave a Comment 

The Pointed Sticks, came out of the Vancouver punk scene in the late seventies. I photographed them quite often, perhaps only second to DOA, back then. They haven’t played a lot in the intervening years although they have been performing and recording. I last saw them perform at the Rio Theatre in Vancouver in 2009 .

This Victoria gig was their first in the island city since 1981.  It was an excellent show before an appreciative crowd.

It’s been a long time since I’ve photographed in a small club and I’d forgotten how bad the lighting can be. It was why I often used flash back in the early days, there often just wasn’t enough stage light to make decent photos. I was often the only photographer then and nobody objected to the use of the flash. This show I shot mainly available light but did shoot a few flash images, hoping I wasn’t annoying the band too much.

The Pointed Sticks 1 Pointed Sticks 2 Pointed Sticks 1 Pointed Sticks 4 The Pointed Sticks 5 The Pointed Sticks 6 The Pointed Sticks 7 The Pointed Sticks 6 The Pointed Sticks 8 The Pointed Sticks 9

 

 

 



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.



Poet Robert Service on Vancouver Island

March 25, 2015 | Filed Under Architecture, BC Photography Archive, British Columbia, British Columbia Photographic Archive, Canada, Cascadia, Documentary Photography, Landscape, Pacific Northwest, Photography, Road Trip, Street photography, Vancouver Island, Victoria, Writer, Writing | 1 Comment 

The Bard and Banker Pub on Government Street in Victoria.

The Bard and Banker Pub on Government Street in Victoria.

Almost everyone living in Victoria knows that Robert Service, the writer who became known as the Bard of the Yukon for his poems such as The Cremation of Sam McGee and  The Shooting of Dan McGrew after moving to Whitehorse, worked as a bank clerk for the Bank of British Columbia on Government Street before that move.

The bank building opened in 1862 and operated as a banking facility until the late 1980′s. Totally renovated a few years ago the building now operates as a pub and restaurant called, in honour of Service, The Bard and Banker.

Service didn’t move to Whitehorse until 1904 but he was writing poems well before that, even before moving to Canada. The Daily Colonist, now the Times-Colonist, published several of his poems between 1900 and 1902.

A small plaque marking another of the author’s publication sits alongside the road to Cowichan Bay just outside Duncan. the plaque commemorates that he published ” poem local press 1903″. The plague is inset into a stone chair next to a major local history marker.

Close up of Robert Service memorial plaque.

Close up of Robert Service memorial plaque.

It was a surprise to come across this plaque commemorating this celebrated writer on a quiet country road seemingly miles from anywhere. That said, a historical search reveals that Service worked as a store clerk in Cowichan Bay in 1899 so maybe he felt a connection to the local paper.

Historical markers on road to Cowichan Bay

Historical markers on road to Cowichan Bay

So Service is memorialized in both the name of a pub on the site of his former workplace and on a small plaque on a back road in rural Vancouver Island.

You can check out the Bard and Banker and their fine selection of beer on tap here and for more info on Robert Service here.



Next Page →