Author: Don Denton
Canadian Photographer Histories – www.lenslives.com
I am looking for help with a personal long-term project. I am compiling an archive of interviews of Canadian photographers — which, in turn, will become a history of Canadian photography. When I began my project I was (and still am) researching a specific group of Vancouver-area photographers. The project has kept growing, and I am now looking for input/information from photographers (and anyone connected …
Glanford Grocery, Saanich British Columbia 2018
Photographing neighbourhood corner stores is always interesting due to their unique siting in an area, the architecture, signage and window displays.
Yale Hotel Neon, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016
The Yale Hotel is a well known site on Vancouver’s Granville Street. A reminder of the days when neon ruled the downtown commercial districts.
Forest Fire Smoke, Hope British Columbia 2018
Forest fire smoke hangs low over downtown Hope British Columbia in August 2018. For the second summer in a row heavy forest fires in the province have spread haze over BC, blocking sunlight and causing health issues for some residents. There is concern that recent hot dry summers will continue and with them so will the forest fires.
Parking Garage and crescent moon, Bute Street, Vancouver, British Columbia 2018
Sometimes walking around you see an image that’s combination of genres. This view along Bute Street in Vancouver’s West End was one of those. The dusk sky with the crescent moon overhead is from a traditional pretty landscape but below is a grittier urban nightscape. I’ve been finding a lot of photos in the West End during recent visits.
Berkeley Place Elevator Shaft, Davie Street, Vancouver, British Columbia 2018
Walking to breakfast early on weekend morning we passed the site of what had been, until just days before, an apartment complex in Vancouver’s West End. The elevator shaft, with the somewhat incongruous potted palm tree, at the bottom were the only two things left standing that day. A week later the shaft was gone as well.
Castle Inn, Cache Creek, British Columbia 2017
A long time eye catcher as the highway splits at Cache Creek, this old motel appeared to be undergoing renovations when photographed last year. Eight months or so later on a more recent road trip and there appears to have been little accomplished on the renovation front. Hopefully the Castle Inn will eventually be restored to it’s former 50’s road side architectural glory.
Corner Store in Snowstorm, Davie and Thurlow, Vancouver, British Columbia 2018
This was one of those heavy west coast snowstorms that came in, dumped a load, and then it all melted away by the next day. I walked out of the Skytrain Station on Davie Street and there were just light flakes falling, but by the time I reached Thurlow there was snow covering the ground, the falling snow was much heavier and just a few …
Plane for Sale, Clinton, British Columbia 2017.
An unusual looking small airplane for sale on the roadside in Clinton, British Columbia. One wonders how often people see an aircraft along the road and decide to stop and buy it.
Great Pacific Pawn, Carnarvon Street, New Westminster, British Columbia 2018
Getting off at the sky train station in New Westminster and leaving by the back entrance you’ve got a handy pawn shop right in front of you.
Canadian Pacific, Waterfront, Vancouver, British Columbia 2018
Work crew makes their way towards a CP Rail engine and cars in the train yard on the Vancouver waterfront following a snow storm.
Selfie Bus Shelter Poster, Granville Street, Vancouver, British Columbia 2018
Late night Vancouver street photography while walking along Granville Street. Photographing an ad for a camera phone and camera phone photography.
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 …
Mile 99 Motel, 100 Mile House, British Columbia 2017
A classic old motel along the Cariboo Highway (Highway 97) and Big Country Lanes bowling alley in 100 Mile House.
Last Gas Station, Davie Street at Burrard Street, Vancouver British Columbia 2017
Another sign of changing times, this Esso on Davie Street at Burrard Street is the last gas station in downtown Vancouver. How long it will exist is another thing. The property went up for sale last spring. Property in Vancouver, especially the core, is just far to valuable for use for something like a gas station. It’s a large footprint on the land and the …
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, …
Mural and Back Alley, Trail British Columbia 2016
The back alley building seemed to, in some ways, mirror the old newspaper building pictured in this mural above garbage cans and a parked car. Historic murals offer an instant lesson or peek in to a region’s past.
Resto Lafleur, Dorval, Quebec 2017
Travelling a bit further afield than usual. I was in Montreal in June for work and spent two nights at a hotel near the airport in the suburb (city?) of Dorval. The hotel was located in the middle of an industrial district which was deserted sit was the weekend. I’d gone for a walk in the evening looking for a someplace other than the hotel …
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. …
Drive Through View, 8th and Cambie, Vancouver British Columbia 2017
A view of a fast food drive through from West 8th Avenue at Cambie Street, at buildings facing a back alley and at centre with Canadian flag, Vancouver’s City Hall shows over the roof line of the 9th Avenue shops.
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 …
Barclay back alley, Vancouver, British Columbia 2016
A Canadian flag hangs in the window of an apartment as seen from a back alley in Vancouver’s West End.