Back at It: Finding a Reason

Six weeks into 2019 and I’ve finally felt like getting some meaningful photography accomplished. Making photographs has not been top of mind since Christmas. I’ve been working on  part 3 of my blog project about  the history of photography as it relates to my family’s photographs. That has taken a lot of research time. What I thought would be fairly straight forward is not. Stay tuned. It’s coming.  

A ‘polar vortex’ has had an icy grip on most of Western Canada. It’s been cold. Not so cold when I think about when we moved to Quesnel, B.C. in 1968 but certainly cold for the Okanagan Valley. 

We’ve been blessed with wind, lots of snow as well as some bright, clear, cold days. Minus 15 celsius or lower  have been common night time temperatures. All this has resulted in an landscape with many interesting photographic opportunities.

Kelowna is situated at about the mid point of Okanagan Lake, a body of water roughly 135Km in length and 4-5 Km at its widest. At its coldest this week it was calm. No wind meant that parts of the lake froze out from shore for several hundred metres.  

The natural movement of the water beneath the ice cause cracks to form. Patterns made by these cracks I find interesting to view and photograph.

As the wind rose the ice broke and was driven towards the shore. Large pans were incorporated into a frozen mush of ice. This created an beautiful foreground effect for some of the landscape images I made.

On Tuesday it snowed heavily. I had been waiting for such a day. Falling snow meant an almost invisible background, ideal for a composition I imagined at Kinsman Park. There, I thought, the solitude of an isolated park bench under the spreading branches of an old weeping willow tree would tell an interesting story.

Recently, I spotted an 1950’s vintage pickup truck nestled under a huge tree. In its box were three large wine barrels. I made a mental note to return when it next snowed.

When I returned during Tuesday’s storm snow hung on the surrounding foliage and seemed to flow off the barrels and the upper surfaces of the truck. To me, it was a perfect candidate for some extra attention with my software plugins.  

On Friday, the temperatures had warmed considerably. They were still below freezing but the change was noticeable. After dropping Ellen off for her appointment I headed over to the Fascieux Creek Wetland. Not much had changed there except that the snow had pushed the dead reeds and bullrushes down almost to water level.  

Noticeable also, was a beautiful noise. Red Winged Black Birds had arrived and were in full throated song. Perhaps it’s a sign that Spring is not so far away.

This entry was posted in My Work.


  1. corol February 19, 2019 at 10:17 pm #

    Stu, your photos of winter are lovely. The slidemformat is most impressive. Well done.

    I understand how vintage family photographs can demand much time. I started with mine using scrapbook format to showcase the photos. It took me four years and two 12×12 volumes, but that wasn’t enough. I realized there was so much more to tell and I ended up documenting our family history in book format with full colour ohotos. That project took another ten years. It was such a worthwhile effort. Good luck with your project

    • Stu Dale February 23, 2019 at 10:42 am #

      Thanks Corol! I’m slowly making progress on the family photo project.

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