Author: Don Denton

Tent city for the homeless, Victoria, BC 2015

Homelessness continues to be an issue, mainly for urban areas and Victoria is no exception.  Over the past decade a number of tent cities have sprung up, established by the homeless and transient street folk, usually in city parks. The city created a bylaw to address the issue, one that allows camping in parks overnight, but creates time boundaries, when tents can be pitched and …

Back alley in the snow, Kamloops, British Columbia 2015

A view of pedestrians making their way down a snowy back alley in north Kamloops, British Columbia. Downtown is visible in the background. A recent post by Austin, Texas photographer Kirk Tuck about the photographer as a visual anthropologist resonated with me. Here’s an excerpt below, with the link to the full article here. ‘Photographers rarely look to their own cultural or social peers as …

Shipwreck 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 …

Old Water Tower and Boats, Sooke, BC 2013

The light was just right, highlighting the old water tower and the two beached boats that bookend the image during a brief road trip out to Sooke. This area has lots of overlooked and hidden corners  for visual imagery that highlights local history and the British Columbia coastal and Vancouver Island lifestyle.

Dowler Grocery, Victoria, BC 2012

Dowler Grocery is yet another of those unique neighbourhood corner stores that has closed. I’m not sure if it’s a coincidence that a 7-11 opened up across the street. I’m not sure when Dowler Grocery actually closed, I don’t actually remember it being open. The unusual thing is that even though this photo was taken in 2012 the storefront still looks the same. It hasn’t …

Grave Site of Albert “Ginger” Goodwin, Cumberland, British Columbia 2011

Even today, coal miner, union activist and conscientious objector during World War I,  Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin remains a controversial figure in British Columbia history. The native of Yorkshire, England came to Canada to work in the coal mines and later became involved in union activities in response to terrible working conditions. He ended up becoming the vice-president of the British Columbia Federation of Labour as …

Salmon Spawning, Vancouver Island British Columbia 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 …

Architecture and Landscape Changes Vancouver Island 2015

  Two photographs taken a week apart. In the first a heritage house, sporting some unique architectural detail, sits on supports and a trailer, in the second, the vacant lot after the house was removed and view of the previously hidden seascape. The third, yet to be taken, will show the new structure built on the lot. Change is inevitable and at least in this …

BC Almanac and Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver British Columbia

A while back I posted on a 1970’s publication featuring the work of a group of Vancouver photographers called the BC Almanac. That post is here. The publication was unique as it consisted of a series of mini-books/magazines, each one dedicated to one photographer’s work with the whole collection housed in a folder/cover. The one copy I was able to source and look over was …

Local Bands Live, Victoria, BC 2015

Recently I’ve managed to get out and photograph a few local bands playing live, something that at the beginning of my career I did a lot. It’s still fun and there’s nothing like a live performance in a small venue. I’d never photographed any of the three bands, pictured below, before and they were photographed on different nights. What I found most interesting was how …

British Columbia Photography – Art and Archive 2015

I get asked the question, what do you?,  regarding my photography a lot. It’s easy to answer when I talk about the photography that pays my rent. I am an editorial photographer who supplies images to accompany articles, illustrate stories and/or provide news, sports, entertainment coverage for newspapers and magazines. People get that. It is much harder to explain the project work. I often use …

Music Archivist Jason Flower and Supreme Echo, Victoria British Columbia

Jason Flower is a music archivist who issues collections of forgotten, lost and hard to find music as well as being a collector and seller of new and old music LPs, 45s, tapes and CD’s.  His Victoria store and archival reissue record label bear the same name, Supreme Echo. He’s passionate about his music and that has led to collections of early punk music from …

Summer Fog, Oak Bay, British Columbia 2015

I was wearing shorts and a t-shirt and I was freezing in the fog that had rolled in off the Pacific and over Willows Beach. Bus loads of tourists were sitting on blankets on the sand, unable to see beyond the first waves and pretending to enjoy their picnic lunch while shivering. At the end of the beach a man was wading through the shallow …

Parksville Beach Resort, Parksville, British Columbia 2015

The beaches were crowded during a recent visit to Parksville on Vancouver Island. Crowds were watching and participating in a big interprovincial beach volleyball tournament and lots of people were taking in the sandcastle sculpture competition. Then there was the Parksville Beach Resort, all boarded up, just above the beach and crowds and next to new towers of other hotels. I don’t know the history …

BC Transit Bus And Metal Scrap Yard, Victoria British Columbia 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 …

Dion Manastyrski and Prairie Sunset

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 …

The end of the Old Oak Bay High School, Oak Bay, British Columbia 2015

The old Oak Bay High School buildings will come down now that the new school building is constructed and will be finished for the 2015-16 school year. The new building will be new, certainly brighter and bigger and up-to-date certainly nicer for students and staff alike. What will be lost will be the collective memories of the old buildings added to each year by by …

The Pointed Sticks – Victoria, BC 2015

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 …

Queen Street West, Toronto 2015

  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.

Portraits of British Columbia writers

I spent over a decade photographing Canadian writers, a project that resulted in a few exhibitions and two books published by the Banff Centre Press (the second one here). That project petered out after the second book, pushed to the side by the usual  reasons, making a living etc. Two years ago I thought I might start creating portraits of writers again but while I did …

Entertainment Posters Victoria, BC 2015

I like seeing texts in photographs, signs, billboards, posters, they all add  information about a scene or time. Street signs can locate a photograph. Grocery store signs and cafe menus can show us familiar or unusual food and/or how much prices have changed since the image was created. This photograph of entertainment posters in the window of a guitar shop on Blanshard Street in Victoria …

Store Street at Johnson, Victoria, BC 2015

Pedestrians use an protective covered walkway to walk in front of the historic Janion building (not seen) on Store Street in downtown Victoria, British Columbia on Vancouver Island. The Janion, a long empty and decrepit former hotel, is being converted into micro-loft condominiums. To the left is Swans Hotels and Brewpub and across Johnson Street on the left is Market Square.

Poet Robert Service on Vancouver Island, British Columbia

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 …

Athlone Apartments, Victoria, BC 2015

This amazing apartment building always catches my eye driving down Quadra just before Beacon Hill Park. The Athlone Apartments feature three stairwell towers on the front that open to outside curved stairs. The back side of the building faces out over large  treed lawn to the park. The building apartments are now owned and the building is run as a co-op. It was designed by …