Friday, 15 February 2013

The Snowdrop

Of all the flowers in my garden, it is the Snowdrop that gives me the most joy.  This humble perennial is short-lived, void of colourful blooms, and only a few inches tall.  I love it the most because it is the first sign of life after the long, dark months of winter; often appearing weeks before any other early spring bloom.  For me, the common Snowdrop is the embodiment of hope and renewal.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Opportunity within Adversity

Most, including myself, prefer to take pictures on warm and sunny days.  We do this because it’s convenient, more comfortable.  In a manner, we’re conditioned to do so.  For example, photo magazines are replete with images of happy smiling faces having ‘fun in the sun’.  So, we’re forgiven for defaulting to this mode.  However, there are opportunities for a worthwhile image in all kinds of weather, even when it’s cold and miserable.  Seeking that ‘catch of the day’ in poor weather can yield an image that the fair weather photographers are missing.  The effort may be rewarded with a shot that nobody else has.  I wish I could tell you this was my discovery but that’s not true.   I learned this from professional photographers whose work I greatly admire.

Now, while most are huddling indoors on those cold, dreary, foggy days I’m happily outside with camera in hand.  The scenes are very different as background clutter is usually obscured from sight.  Only essential elements are visible leaving the possibility for that wonderful visual state which the master, Freeman Patterson labelled as ‘dynamic simplicity’.  Simplicity: a wonderful tonic for a world that can be unnecessarily complicated.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Seal Bay Nature Park - The Mystery Forest

I’ve walked the trail to Melda’s Marsh a hundred times but on this one day, the intensity and quality of light revealed this mysterious scene.  It was the rare combination of a mid-summer day and the pulsing light from changing cloud densities that created an opportunity.  I had the sense this scene could soon change so I began shooting immediately.  Believing I had “something-in-camera” that resembled what I felt while drawn into this space, I began to pack-up.  By the time I was ready to leave, the light had changed and the scene was gone.  Every time I walk past this site I marvel at how it's so different and how one can return to the same place hundreds of times and leave with an entirely different experience.  That’s one of the reasons why I’m attracted to photography.  As in life, those snippets of time are so fleeting.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Little Falls on Current River

Just upstream from a childhood swimming hole is this lovely scene which I call for want of a better name, Little Falls.  This section of the Current River between Centennial Park and Trowbridge Falls Park is a well-known walk by the people of Thunder Bay.  Every time I visit, this walk is always part of my hometown check-off list.  You can leave your car at either park and easily spend an hour on this riverside walk. When enough water is running, this little spot is a great place to have lunch.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


For some reason when I depart from my preference genre of landscape & nature, it's usually architectural work.  I like the orderliness of buildings with their vertical lines and carefully thought-out ratios and patterns.  This image was taken at an airport parkade.  I was idling for an afternoon with my camera while on an overnight stop.  At first, I was drawn to the grid pattern on the facade, then the stairwell behind, and finally the refection of a prairie sky and pedestrians walking along an overpass.  After that, it was only a matter of patience and time to get the right composition as strangers filed past.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Seal Bay Park Trail

Another shot from a favourite local park.  I've walked along this trail many times and each time the scenery is different.  On this day, I looked back and noticed the shadows falling on the trail with great rim lighting on the trees and branches.

Mitlenatch Chocolate Lily

The northern Straits of Georgia has a very special island called Mitlenatch.  There's an abundance of wildlife as the island is uninhabited, save one or two volunteer custodians.  After circling the island in our RHIB, our group landed and spent the lunch hour walking about on the trails and taking in the sights.  It was a perfect Spring day and the lilies were in bloom...Someday, I'll return for a longer visit.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Flood Tide

Landscape photography often involves an element of luck.  I was about to abandon my efforts in this outing until someone anchored a skiff.  With the rising tide creeping around my feet and tripod, I took this picture.  Its anchor line held the skiff in place while I composed the shot.

Sunday, 26 June 2011

Hornby - The Fair Isle

Hornby Island is known for its sandstone formations and this spot has some of the most interesting ones.  This shot was taken during one of many weekend trips to "the fair Isle" and it is a personal favourite.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Bear Creek Nature Park

A colleague from the ProPhoto Course told me of Bear Creek Nature Park.  Recently opened and now a welcome addition to the many parks that dot the Regional District. Bear Creek Nature Park is in its infancy and therefore more primitive than others.  The trails are not marked but it's easy to get around if one is careful. You'll find more wildlife here...and some beautiful light.

In the Shade of Seal Bay Park

Seal Bay Nature Park is a place I go to exhale and restore balance.  In the final years of my flying career, we were in a transition to a new aircraft.  During that time the ops tempo was very high; making squadron life quite challenging.  I was grateful for the opportunity to be part of such an important era in military search and rescue.  My best offset for those big days was a brief visit to this beautiful park.

Grassy Point Sunset

Amongst Hornby Islanders, Grassy Point Point is the favourite place for sunsets.  The first time I went there we arrived late, missing our chance.  Determined, I returned a couple of weeks later and captured this image.  As luck would have it a kelp bed drifted through the foreground, completing the composition.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Oyster Bay

These rotting pilings were pointed out to me by local photographer and mentor, Chris Carter.  We spent about an hour studying these features and discussed how to create a composition out of what lay before us.  Here is my modest effort, which renders better in black and white.  As a large print, this image becomes a metaphorical landscape, reminding viewers of castles in the sky.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Fifth Street Bridge

Anybody who has visited Courtenay knows the Fifth street bridge.  It's a local landmark and once the only link between Courtenay and Comox. There's another bridge further downstream at 17th street which handles more traffic but it doesn't have the same charm.

Comox Harbour and Peninsula

Comox Harbour and Peninsula as viewed from the Courtenay side. Although grateful for Courtenay's services, I prefer life on the peninsula.  It offers all the weather advantages of living on a gulf island without the bother of ferry schedules.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Japanese Cemetery in Cumberland

The Japanese Cemetery in Cumberland is a heritage landmark. I last visited the site just before dusk after a February snowfall. While taking these shots the snow was melting and falling from the trees.  By the time I was finished shooting, the scene had completed changed as most of the snow had melted.

Tribune Bay

Although I have been there several times, Tribune Bay is a place that I have not visited often enough.  It is a timeless place and yet, each time I visit, I always discover something new.  This spot was pointed out to our group by a very talented local photographer and teacher, Boomer Jerritt.

Comox Wharf

Another shot taken during a thick winter fog.  The Comox wharf is a favourite for visitors and locals of all ages.  It's a great place to walk-off a meal or just exhale at day's end.

The Enduring Black and White Image

For me, there is something primal about the black and white image.  Somehow, the absence of colour simplifies them and in doing so, distractions are removed.  All that remains are the elemental values of contrast and tone.  My introduction to photography was many years ago through the realm of black and white film, which is part of the attraction.  Perhaps it's due to a need to simplify and reduce, in a world that is moving so fast and changing so quickly.  Despite all the wonderful advances in technology, I still find myself returning to the greyscale for inspiration. Nature is another source of inspiration for me. I grew up on the beautiful northern shoreline of Lake Superior.  After decades of wandering, I now have the privilege of living amidst the beauty of Vancouver Island.

On this blog you'll find some of my recent work.  Most images are in black and white, but sometimes I'm drawn to a scene that is better suited for colour.

Jamie Davidson