Saturday, 31 October 2015

The Campbells, from A to Z

2013_NL_F25_17During the summer of 2013, I decided to make a quick portrait of Anne and Zoey. I waited until a clear night was forecast, and we went up Signal Hill at sunset.




As usual, the Hill was quite crowded with locals and tourists, so we only had time for a couple of frames. The first was of Anne and Zoey.

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The second was of the three of us.

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While it only took a few minutes, these are the sort of photos that truly become my "postcards", and I have these images on my iPhone two years later as my home-screen.



Here is a list of links to all of the blog posts from my 2013 tour around Newfoundland:

Cuckolds Cove to Carbonear
Signal Hill
Boat Tour!
Bird Watching!
Whale Watching!
Fogo Part 1: Getting There
Fogo Part 2: Walking Around
Fogo Part 3: The Fishery
Fogo Part 4: The Fogo Island Inn
Twillingate Part 1: Getting There
Twillingate Part 2: Wine, Music, and Whine
Twillingate Part 3: An Iceberg and a Lighthouse
Twillingate Part 4: Down to the Sea in Boats
Trout River and Gros Morne National Park
St. Anthony: Grenfell House and Big Boats
St. Anthony: A Whale of a Tale!
St. Anthony: Ice, Ice, Baby!
Red Bay: A World Heritage Site
Mary's Harbour
Battle Harbour
Point Armour and Gros Morne
Winterset in Summer
Cape Spear
Trinity, English Harbour, and Dunfield.
The Campbell's from A to Z

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Friday, 11 September 2015

Trinity, English Harbour, and Dunfield

2013_NL_F26_049My friend Carol Osmond has relatives in Dunfield who run a Bed and Breakfast. She was going out there for a weekend to look after the place for them, and I decided to tag along. I thought it would be a great way to meet new people and also spend some time photographing the area.

Whenever I go to Trinity or surrounding area, I have to make a stop at the Bonavista Social Club. This is one of the best food places in Newfoundland. It has a fabulous view...

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... a covered porch for taking in the view...

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... homegrown veggies, grown in a raised bed, which I thought was a great idea...

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...and fantastic food, with a great decor. Much of the furniture and building was done by the owner's father Mike Paterson, who made it all by hand.

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Trinity is full of historic properties, and there were still a few that I had not been to see. On this visit, I crossed a few off my to do list. One was the Mercantile Building Provincial Historic Site, an old general store, with representative goods from the 1800's on display.

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There wasn't much else to see in this building, so we went up the road a bit to the visitor centre, itself a heritage building. There were a number of nice exhibits here, but what really stood out for me was a fantastic stained glass window in the porch.

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Carol is looking for property out that way, so we scouted out a few places. I can see the appeal in having a remote house, although it does mean living off the grid in some cases.

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The views usually make it worthwhile, even if it can be bloody cold in a northeast wind. Or any wind, for that matter.

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But as long as you have a cord or two of wood handy, keeping the inside warm is a do-able chore.

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Personally, I think going with a more modern place, but keeping the view, is the way to go.

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Our wanderings took us out to English Harbour where we went to the old church. It has been renovated considerably and is now used as a community hall. On the day we visited, a wedding was about to take place. I managed a few snaps, including this wonderful sign with the agenda for the Time. A short translation for people from Away might be in order: a scoff is a big meal (listen to this great definition here) and a scuff is a dance (listen to another great definition here).

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Inside, we found things pretty much ready for the scoff.

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I tend to get lost in the rafters of a church, as my eye traces lines from one place to another. This church was no exception.

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I was amazed at how a structure so "rough" could still be so inviting and warm. I think it had to do with the very simple lines and the soft colours.

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Certainly the tones in the windows helped.

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Even from the outside the windows had a balanced feel.

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Heading back towards Trinity, we checked out a few more properties, and I took the opportunity to document more of the crude, but get-her-done style of architecture that is so predominant in rural Newfoundland.

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Of course there is nothing more get-her-done than unloading a catch of fish.

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One evening I was down in Cuckold Cove looking for something to photograph, and I was having a lot of trouble with the fog rolling in and out - something quite common, unfortunately.

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At times it was so dense, it was hard to see the buildings right in front of me.

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But an occasional break allowed me to take a few more photos.

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Finally the fog rolled back out to sea, and I spotted Green Island just offshore.

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The clouds continued to lift, so Carol and I went out to the point across from Trinity to take in the sunset. The clouds were high enough that I expected a very nice show.

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Sure enough, it was not long and we started to see some nice pinks and reds on the clouds.

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By the time the boat rounded the point, the colours were more intense.

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And they soon became even more so.

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The last gasp of light was a nice pink-red hue.

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On the way back to Dunfield, I decided to stop off and make a couple of night portraits of the outport. I used my flashlight to light up the fishing boats in the water rather than leaving them a blackened lump.

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As the sun went down and night was fully upon us, the clouds had moved off and the stars came through.

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I don't have any photographs from the B&B, as Carol and I were quite busy with talking to the guests, feeding them, and cleaning up afterwards. You will have to take my word for it: it was one of those magical times that you treasure. Thanks to Carol Sue for asking me along.

Here is a list of links to all of the blog posts from my 2013 tour around Newfoundland:

Cuckolds Cove to Carbonear
Signal Hill
Boat Tour!
Bird Watching!
Whale Watching!
Fogo Part 1: Getting There
Fogo Part 2: Walking Around
Fogo Part 3: The Fishery
Fogo Part 4: The Fogo Island Inn
Twillingate Part 1: Getting There
Twillingate Part 2: Wine, Music, and Whine
Twillingate Part 3: An Iceberg and a Lighthouse
Twillingate Part 4: Down to the Sea in Boats
Trout River and Gros Morne National Park
St. Anthony: Grenfell House and Big Boats
St. Anthony: A Whale of a Tale!
St. Anthony: Ice, Ice, Baby!
Red Bay: A World Heritage Site
Mary's Harbour
Battle Harbour
Point Armour and Gros Morne
Winterset in Summer
Cape Spear
Trinity, English Harbour, and Dunfield.

Read more...

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Cape Spear, Part 'X'

2013_NL_F24_0151_0155The end of our tour put us back in St. John's right at the height of the Perseid meteor shower. I wanted to shoot them, so it was up and out around midnight to see what we could see.


I wanted to get a nice composition of the meteors over the city, and thought that Signal Hill would give me the best vantage point to do so. I quickly realized that the lights of the city were drowning out the starlight and the light from the meteors.

Note: click on a photo to view it full-scale in Flickr.

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The only place close to the city where I thought it might be dark enough was Cape Spear, one of my all-time favourite places to photograph. It's such a favourite of mine that I cannot remember how many times I have been there to take photos, hence the "X" in this post's title!

I took a quick test shot from the parking lot and was pleased to see that the stars could stand out on their own.

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I wasn't worried about the orange glow from the street light in the parking lot, as I was going to be much further up the hill and pointed away from it. So I took another quick test shot of the Old Light at the top of the hill, and realized that the light from the New Light was going to be a BIG problem because its light is mostly green in colour.

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That "white" light is hardly ever white is not something most people think about because our brain automatically converts what our eyes are seeing in order to make sense of it. In the above photo, you can see the green light from the lighthouse, the white light from the visitor centre, and the yellow light from the city streetlights!

With my test shots done, I settled in for some long exposures hoping to catch a Perseid or two. I did manage to get one, but it was quite faint. If you click on the photo to see it full size, you should be able to see a faint trail. Start with the gap between the fence and the Old Light and move your eye upward.

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I decided to move up the hill to the Old Light and try a different composition, letting the light from the New Light play a bigger role.

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Walking around the building, I made an alternate composition by mixing the lighthouse light and my own light from my flashlight, for the most unusual photo I have ever made of the Old Light.

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I played with that theme for quite a while. Time sort of slipped past me. A couple of hours in fact. Suddenly, I noticed that the sky was starting to lighten up and I was not capturing as many stars.

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I tried pointing away from the rising sun, and while I managed to capture a couple more meteors (above the Old Light in this image), it was getting harder and harder to do so.

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When the sky became blue and orange, I knew it was time to give up on the Perseids. On to more traditional compositions...

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By this point I realized that the light from the sunrise was much more orange than I had ever seen at Cape Spear. I did not ponder long on the mystery of why, but rather set about to record it because, in a rather spectacular way, the New Light and its green-hued light complemented the orange light from the rising sun and the blue ambient light.

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The light persisted long enough for me to capture it in my parting shot on the road back to Town.

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While I did not get as many shots of the Perseids as I had hoped, I walked away from the long night's shoot with several additions for my Cape Spear Folio, and I will update my Facebook page when this is complete.


Here is a list of links to all of the blog posts from my 2013 tour around Newfoundland:

Cuckolds Cove to Carbonear
Signal Hill
Boat Tour!
Bird Watching!
Whale Watching!
Fogo Part 1: Getting There
Fogo Part 2: Walking Around
Fogo Part 3: The Fishery
Fogo Part 4: The Fogo Island Inn
Twillingate Part 1: Getting There
Twillingate Part 2: Wine, Music, and Whine
Twillingate Part 3: An Iceberg and a Lighthouse
Twillingate Part 4: Down to the Sea in Boats
Trout River and Gros Morne National Park
St. Anthony: Grenfell House and Big Boats
St. Anthony: A Whale of a Tale!
St. Anthony: Ice, Ice, Baby!
Red Bay: A World Heritage Site
Mary's Harbour
Battle Harbour
Point Armour and Gros Morne
Winterset in Summer
Cape Spear


Read more...