January 07, 2015
The great american landscape photographer, Ansel Adams, famously stated, “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.” I’m not sure if I created a dozen “significant” images in 2014 (sometimes the significance of an image isn’t apparent until much later), but there have been a few memorable moments and images. Here are a few favorites from 2014. In June, I spent a week in Iceland, traveling along the country’s south coast, from Reykjavik to the fishing community of Hofn and back. Of course, a week is not nearly enough time in Iceland, but it was certainly enough to know I want to go back. One of my favorite locations was the black sand beach and dunes at Stokksnes. In this image a fresh water stream seeps across the beach reflecting the Vesturhorn mountains while warmth from the mid-morning sun causes mist to rise off the wet sand. In July, the Nova Scotia writer, Sandra Phinney, contacted me to see if I would do a portrait photo shoot on spec for a magazine article she planned to write. I don’t usually do assignments on spec, but Sandra and I had worked together before on magazine features – and if anyone can sell a story, she can – so I said I would. There was some urgency to the endeavor as the young woman to be photographed was leaving for Europe in a few days time. Sandra was intrigued by this young woman’s personal story of overcoming a debilitating illness and turning her life around. She also had a striking – and photogenic – full body tattoo. I converted this image from the photo shoot into black and white (using Silver Efex Pro software) to emphasize her form and the tattoo’s graphic design. Here in Prince Edward Island there is a new Elephant Rock. In the 1990’s cliff erosion near Nail Pond in western Prince Edward Island created an “Elephant Rock” formation that became a very popular tourist destination, until the elephant’s trunk finally eroded away during a winter storm in 1999. The new “Elephant Rock” is located at Kildare Capes, also in western PEI. In August, fellow photographer, Evan Dickson, and I got up very early to drive to Kildare Capes for sunrise. We were rewarded with a perfect morning and the added bonus of a fog bank that drifted over the scene, adding a moodiness to some of our images. It remains to be seen if this new Elephant rock will become as popular with visitors as the previous one, or how long it will last before it too succumbs to the elements. I traveled to western Newfoundland in September, visiting some old haunts, such as Gros Morne National Park, but also visiting a few new destinations: Rose Blanche, the Port-aux-port peninsula and Burgeo. A tropical storm was unleashing it’s fury on Newfoundland the day I made the long drive to Burgeo on the province’s south coast. High winds and heavy rain threatened road washouts in several places and I was feeling a little glum about my chances of getting any images under those conditions. Nevertheless, I rose early the next morning to see if I could catch the sunrise – if there would even be a sunrise – in nearby Sandbanks Provincial Park. There was a spectacular surf in the wake of the storm, and oh so briefly, the sun made an appearance, bathing the scene with it’s warmth.