Been There Done That

The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness. –  Yann Arthus-Bertrand

There is a special excitement visiting a place for the first time. The anticipation of what you might see and the joy of creating a new image is certainly exhilarating, but having the opportunity to return over and over to a favourite destination can be just as memorable.

In the center of Saint John near the industrial and shopping district is this jewel known as Silver Falls. Hidden in a valley is a twisting waterway that has several small falls but the main attraction is a wider  horsetail falls at the upper end and a tiered cascading falls at the bottom.
The falls are beautiful in any season but a bit more challenging in winter due to the steepness of the hills down to water. Each season creates a unique view. Changes throughout the year precipitation and temperature mean that you may see anything from a gushing veil to a cascading trickle.
Each visit allows me to bring home images, from different perspectives and new angles. Changes in the water flow, the color of the surrounding greenery and wet or dry rocks makes each time unique.

Once in a lifetime trips are something that every photographer hopes for but don’t overlook what’s in your own backyard and one visit is never enough.  Been there done that, doesn’t apply to photography.

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2015 in Pictures

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Where did 2015 go?

I’ve heard it said that the older you get the quicker time goes. Now the older I get, the more I think it’s true. It was about seven months ago the last time I wrote but it doesn’t feel like it was that long. I had good intentions but a bit of writers block along with other commitments seemed to prevent me from sitting down and sharing my thoughts and images. So here I am at the end of December with some of my favorite photographs and memories from the year that came and went so quickly.

The winter of 2015 was record-breaking in terms of snow. The driving and shoveling were awful but the photography was spectacular and the best I’ve experienced in recent years other than perhaps the ice storm of 2014.

"Shadow of the Twilight" - Rothesay NB

“Shadow of the Twilight” – Kennebecasis River, Rothesay, NB

 

"Everwhites" - Saint John, NB

“Everwhites” – Saint John, NB

 

"Blowing Smoke" - Saint John, NB

“Blowing Smoke” – Bay of Fundy, Saint John, NB

 

"Fallen Snowmen" - Kingston Peninsula, NB

“Fallen Snowmen” – Kingston Peninsula, NB

 

Once the snow finally melted and spring arrived I began exploring the province and found some beautiful gardens, waterfalls and fun wildlife. If it wasn’t for my wife’s keen eye I wouldn’t have captured the painted turtles or had the opportunity to show my kids a beaver if I hadn’t taken a friend from India on a trip to a local park.

"Shell Game" - Painted Turtles, Hampstead, NB

“Shell Game” – Painted Turtles, Hampstead, NB –

How many turtles you see?

 

"Spring Fever" - King Square, Saint John NB“Spring Fever” – King Square, Saint John NB

 

"Forest For The Trees" - Cambridge-Narrows, NB

“Forest For The Trees” – Cambridge-Narrows, NB

 

 "Nature's Carpenter" - Little River Reservoir Park, Saint John, NB

“Nature’s Carpenter” – Little River Reservoir Park, Saint John, NB

 

"Utopia" - Welsford Falls, NB

“Utopia” – Welsford Falls, NB

 

"Simplicity" - Public Gardens, Saint John, NB

“Simplicity” – Public Gardens, Saint John, NB

 

The summer was likely the highlight of the year as I was able to take a whale watching tour off Brier Island, Nova Scotia where the Bay of Fundy meets the Gulf of Maine. Unfortunately the weather didn’t cooperate as much as I’d hoped for, but seeing humpback whales within 50 feet of our boat was an absolutely amazing experience and brought a new appreciation for God’s creation.

"Waiting to Exhale" - Humpback, Bay of Fundy, N.S.

“Waiting to Exhale” – Humpback, Bay of Fundy, N.S.

 

"Leviathan" - Humpback Whale. Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia

“Leviathan” – Humpback Whale. Bay of Fundy, NS

 

"Peek-a-boo" - Humpback Whale. Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia

“Peek-a-boo” – Humpback Whale. Bay of Fundy, NS

 

Autumn was all about the color this year. In the sky, trees, on the water as the sun was setting and with the added bonus of the blood moon. Of course those who know me it is also always about spending time by the amazing Bay of Fundy.

"The Golden Hour" - Cold Stream Pond, Enfield, Maine

“The Golden Hour” – Cold Stream Pond, Enfield, Maine

 

"La Lune Rouge"

“La Lune Rouge”

 

"Season of Change" - Hampton, New Brunswick

“Season of Change” – Hampton, NB

 

"Rising Tide" - Bay of Fundy, Saint John, NB

“Rising Tide” – Bay of Fundy, Saint John, NB

 

Ansel Adams once said “Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.”  – For me it definitely applies~ Most often I feel that God is the real artist not me, I just happen to be there to record it.  It’s a privilege.

So what did I learn? I can drive 5 minutes or 5 hours and always find something that is remarkable and I just need to slow down to see it. When I’m exploring I’m trying to find the extraordinary and create images that people haven’t seen before, but I truly believe it is also about finding the common uncommon again and looking at the things we see every day in a new way and appreciating them.

Here’s to 2016. I hope you are able to take some time this year to get out and experience some of God’s handiwork and appreciate it for yourself.

Going Up

Every year in September, the Atlantic Balloon Fiesta arrives in Sussex New Brunswick. Known as the Dairy Capital of the Maritimes, the small town of Sussex, with its population of approximately 4500 people, welcomes some 40,000 visitors for this event during the first weekend after Labour Day.

Launch times are twice daily. The first starts around 6:30 am and the second at 5:30 pm, with balloon glows happening at dusk (balloons are tethered to the ground for this launch). The Balloon Fiesta is a fabulous family event. The waking of kids at 5 am is a little iffy, but necessary to make sure that you arrive on time to see the pilots inflate and take off in their balloons. The launch times really provide perfect conditions for taking photographs because you are avoiding the harsh midday light.

If acrophobia is not a problem for you and you have a couple of hundred dollars to spare, riding on a balloon will give you a very unique perspective of the Balloon Fiesta, and the surrounding area.

A tripod and two lenses should be enough for equipment. A wide angle telephoto for pre-launch and a medium telephoto for balloons in flight will allow you to capture just about anything you see.

Even though the balloons and pilots from all over the world are the main attraction, there is a lot more to see and photograph. The car shows, craft and artisan shows along with the rides at the fair, make it an all day family (or photographic) event.