One of my favourite hardcover photography books is Fred Herzog: Modern Color. The Canadian photographer was known primarily for his photos of working class people in Vancouver, British Columbia. For over 50 years he took images with Kodachrome colour slide film when most people were shooting black and white film. There are 230 photos in the book and some of my favourite images are Man with Bandage, Main Barber, Flaneur Granville and Curtains. I would really like to own a few of his prints.
This morning I was watching a pair of beavers eating the bark off of water soaked branches with their large orange incisors and preening their fur to remove dirt and straighten matted fur. The beaver is an emblem we’re reminded of every time we fish a nickel out of our pockets. The beaver nearly became extinct as a result of the fur trade, luckily Europeans took a liking to silk hats and the demand for beaver pelts disappeared. They are a keystone species in temperate and boreal forest aquatic ecosystems. Click on the image to see a larger version.
The Johnstone Strait area gets over 150 cm’s of annual rainfall. It creates a very lush and green environment. This photo was taken in the village of Alert Bay on Cormorant Island which is the home of the U’mista Cultural Centre and museum. It has an amazing collection of First Nations potlatch artifacts. Click on the image to see a larger version.
I was fortunate to see an exhibition of the American photographer Walker Evans at the Vancouver Art Gallery. He was a photojournalist best known for his work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) documenting the effects of the Great Depression. Much of Evans’s work from the FSA period uses the large format, 8 x 10 inch camera. Many of his works are in the permanent collections of museums. I really enjoyed looking at some of his cameras and street photography which included photos of store signs. I would recommend seeing this exhibition which ends on January 22nd.
Vancouver Island is a great place to visit and live. Island life is more laid-back when compared to the hectic pace of the Vancouver lower mainland. I was fortunate to experience some sunny weather when I was exploring with my camera. One of the things I noticed was at night when I was sleeping it was pitch dark and eerily quiet, you couldn’t hear another sound. In the lower mainland you experience noise and light pollution 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Some of the communities on Vancouver Island seem to be struggling like many small towns in Canada. Click on the image to see a larger version.
During the Winter Olympics in Vancouver a heritage electric railway was built for tourists. There is a station platform at the end of the line which is never used anymore. The bushes or vines are slowly creeping across the concrete of the station platform. Click on the image to see a larger version.
In the Fraser Canyon is the Alexandra bridge which was built in 1926 for the Cariboo highway. The last time automobile traffic was allowed across the bridge was in 1964. The Niaka’pamux and Sto:lo First Nations have lived in the area for over 9000 years. Because the canyon becomes narrow at this point it was an important fishing site. The first European people to visit the area were Simon Fraser and his crew during their expedition down the Fraser Canyon in 1808. I had the bridge all to myself and enjoyed exploring this vanishing part of British Columbia. Click on an image to see a larger version.
As I was driving across traditional First Nations land I came across this house with a sign showing support for Gino Odjick. He was born just outside of Maniwaki, Quebec on the Algonquin Native Reserve and played for eight seasons with the Vancouver Canucks. Number 29 was a very popular hockey player with fans and in First Nations communities across Canada. Click on the image to see a larger version.
This tree is growing in the middle of an alley behind some condominiums in downtown Vancouver. The trunk of the tree is surrounded by concrete. Cars and garbage trucks squeeze past this tree every day. I’m amazed it hasn’t been cut down by the city and the tree has found a way to survive. Many years ago this area was covered with trees like this one, but this is the last of it’s kind.