I Love Winnipeg, Manitoba! Summer, 2017

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what I love about Winnipeg is that you can see for miles and miles

 

My  Visits

I went to Winnipeg twice in 2017 to visit my mother – once in May when she fell and was in Victoria General Hospital with failing heath. My mother, Anna Ina Mellish, passed away in August 17,2017 at the age of 95. I  returned  to celebrate her life with my Winnipeg community in August.

Mum’s  her spirits were pretty cheery as she faded away. She would say that she wanted to live to be a 100 and she almost made it!

The Resting place for mother

There is  small private cemetary south of Winnipeg out on the flat prairies where my mom and dad are resting. We had a small simple burial ceremony so that she could join my dad who passed in 1994. It was a blustery hot dry day and we lowered her ashes into the black black earth. It was a peaceful good bye to a woman who had worked hard, loved her family dearly and always kept busy  with her crocheting cat plankets , card playing and baking.

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The Prairies

Hot and dry… the sky was smokey from the forest fires blowing through from Saskatchewan… the heat changes the colours of the skt and land.

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St. Boniface.. a historic part of Winnpeg just across the Red River from Portage and Main

 

I grew up in St. Boniface where my mother and grandfather operated a corner grocery stire on Cathedrale Avenue unitl 1963. I could walk to the Provencher Bridge which is now the Loius Riel Bridge and is quite stunning in architecture.

 

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my old drinking pub
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Portage and Main
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No pedestrians on Portage and Main
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Images
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The Exchange district
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My favourite place at City Park
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The Conservatory
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The sister at the Conservatory

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The bridge between S.t Boniface and the Peg
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Under the bridge

 

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St. Boniface side of the bridge

 

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City park
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City Park
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The Conservatory
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Hundred year old buildings in the Exchange district

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Mum’s stay at Victoria Hospital
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Jan and Pam at the Salisbury on Pembina Highway
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The Exchange District on Main Street
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Main Street store
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Sculpture in the Exchange
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Main Street store
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City Park
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The Exchange
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The Exchange District
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Portage and Main Street
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Portage and Main
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City Park

The Doxa Film Festival May 2017 My first event shoot as a volunteer photorapher

It was a blessing……..

to be asked to be one of the volunteer photographers at the Vancouver DOXA film festival. I purchased a Nikon d5600 with a 70-300 mm zoom lens. Whew! what a learning curve!  a new camera!

I was asked to not use flash and needed to practice low light people shots. I went to the lobby of the Vancouver aquarium and Van Dusen Gardens. I hung around the Jim Diva Plaza, always monitoring the ISO, shutter speeds and apertures. It is really tricky to focus on the people in so many low light conditions. Plus people do weird things with their mouths, glasses and body movements… tricky doing events, it is.

The films……

Truly there were amazingly beautiful and informing  films about world of diverse issues. I was struck at the sincerity, honesty and creativity of the film producers who had question and answer sessions afterwards. I tried to capture the passion, pride and excitement of people  talking about their enlightening films.

The DOXA Staff and volunteers….

I could not have felt confident and assertive about going through the crowds, green rooms,lobbies and backstage without the tremendous support of the DOXA staff, who were gracious and helpful with their feedback. They “posed” for pictures and showed a great flexibility in helping me stage gatherings. The volunteers were so smooth in their helping of the patrons and always encouraged me to move, take their pics and chat when things were slow.

Fellow photographers kindly shared tips and  helped me problem solve. We photographers are all “experts” on our stuff and I learnt a ton by watching the pros shoot and learning how to be brave and in people’s faces. I was very shy at the beginning. eventually, I  felt just like a pro, like the others.

What I learnt…. and how I  was changed by this experience

I remember walking down Granville Street on  May 4, opening night, of ” The Road Forward”, dragging my camera equipment in my carry-on suitcase. I was shaking with fear and excitement, hoping I wouldn’t forget all that I had learnt in my 51 years of taking pictures. When I got to the Vogue Theater, I donned my volunteer lanyard, took out the camera and walked around like I knew what I was doing.. Ha ha!

Then I really got going… talking to the Vogue theater  lighting techies, the staff, and checking out the lighting and possible backgrounds and locations. After the first few failures, I was so completely absorbed in the venue that I sidled up to the people and just shot..each shot done with studied composition, measured exposures, and capturing the moods and stories unfolding.

I realized that I think like an old film photographer. For example , when I was in the green room at the Vogue, deep in the basement, the cast and production team were having a intimate pre-screening feast and social gathering. Rather than feel like an observer/documentarian, I asked people for a shot, smiled and took ONE only One of each grouping.Then I felt I had captured their moments and left them to gather some more. I used 12 out of the 15 photos I had taken.These moments are forever burnt in my heart by the intimacy and congeniality of the Indigenous cast and crew. And the ease with which I connected my visualizations with the photos taken.

And so I rolled into about 8 film screenings, ever sharpening my assessment skills of where to stand, who to shoot, and how to make the most of those terribly lit venues like Cinematheque and Van City Theater..

Being a photographer really engaged me more fully with the content of the films as I could see the messages come though the DOXA staff intros and discussions with film production peeps after the films.

So the thrill of editing and submitting some great, some so-so, and some edgy photos was the highlight of my year. The connectivity of everything though my eyes was a joy and transforming experience.

I know my photos have gone all over the worked with the film production people; and this experience gave my a gift of seeing, being and mastering digital shooting!

 

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(R)Evolution: the West End,Vancouver BC- my street shoots-2013 to now

THE DOG AND I

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WINDOWS

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This is the view from my window this winter–  cacti, Xmas lights, old bottles, fuses,and a back lane to behold..

So I walk around the West End  and marvel at the wonder of my neighbourhood  dwellings. Such a treat. over the years, I have come to see the details and beauty in the windows.. ergo….  these are the treats from Beach Avenue.

 

GREEN THINGS

So there is a plethora of plants perennially blooming 12 months of the year … and I cannot help but drink on the beauty of the gift of flowers. A poem from Hafiz,

HOW DID THE ROSE?

How

did the rose

ever open its heart

and give to the world all of its beauty?

It felt the encouragement of light against its being

otherwise we all remain too

frightened.

INTERESTING VIEWS

There is always an entertaining leaf, some dried grasses, golden hour  moments and architectural events. I grab the camera and run out at golden hour.. everything shimmers and shakes..colours pop

 

THE BEACH

Every day the dog and I head to the beach and have 8 miles of seawall to explore.. I feel so blessed with the orchestration of colours and waters, and views and birds.there is an eagle nest across the False Creek Inlet .. in May they alternate sitting on the eggs…

STUFF……..

With almost 100,000 people living in my neighbourhood, their stuff and decor is everywhere. Especially in back lanes.

 

FOUNTAINS

AND so it goes… this is just a  sample of the joy in my life…. the joy of everyday happenings, things, buildings and stuff that grace our community with a peacefulness and comfort of being in an environment where people care to be clean and thoughtful about their surroundings.

blessings. enjoy the beauty.

The greatest gift on can give one’s self is to share beauty with others.

Van Dusen Gardens photo cards ..setting up my business… elbrockphotos

Finally,

after two years of experimenting with 3 or more cameras, I am going ahead with my Fujifilm X-E2 camera. it has great contrast, fine detail, and a sensuousness , if all settings are well….it is like a sensitive lover… finickity..but we are coping well together…

so here’s a taste of my cards available for you as snail mail beauties…please email me if you are interested in purchasing any or if you want prints..

 

 

A season to be grateful

a time to show appreciation and savor what and who we have in out lives. people come and go as we sail along our path to the light. new people come along to deepen our experience as we learn from people and then they drift off.

a time to deeply drop our filters of who we think the people we meet are.

often we are a speck of dust on the windowsill of our friends’ lives. we are still seen and heard.

a time to stop and listen so as to absorb the goodness of our culture and allow the blessings of the world’s messages.

allow the beauty of each individual’s soul to reach out to our soul.

a time to witness the suffering that floods our media and relationships- often not spoken directly nor purveyed…but a deep soul felt need to unite to bear the losses, destruction or absence of earth’s nature.

let’s celebrate every small plant, insect and animal which we happen to upon and receive  the joy is simply existing.