Chewing On A New Leaf

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Jayne and I came across this young bull moose on our drive home from Waterton a couple of days ago.  It was the first time I can remember that I was able to spend a little time and photograph a moose.  I do have a couple of other frames that are nicer portraits of the moose, but this one fits the title of this post “Chewing On A New Leaf”…

This blog in not a new leaf I guess because it has been around for a number of years.  I have been remiss in its maintenance to say the least but find myself with some renewed enthusiasm as I look for ways to spark my creativity and photography.  My plan, as it stands this morning, is going to post here four times a week.  I was going to attempt daily, but not sure I can do it and I don’t want to lose my drive due to frustration.  Each post will feature a “current” image and some commentary, either based on image or about life in general.

Why here and not on Facebook or Instagram or other social media site?   I will probably have more to say on this in the future but for now it speaks to ‘doing the work’.  Making a post here requires more effort from me to compose and get out there than shooting an image on other sites and waiting for likes and emojis.  This post is not going to bring you unsolicited advertisements and is it going to make any (more) money for the Zuckerbergs of this world.  If I want you to come back from time to time, I will have to make the posts interesting and the images worth a look.  I will work on how you can ‘subscribe’ to get notifications about posts if you like – not there yet.

‘Doing the work’ also applies to you, the potential reader.  You will have to do a little more work to find and view the posts – but you will also not have to endure the other crap that comes with other sites and hopefully will not find yourself sucked into the vortex of social media.  If you feel like commenting on a post or image, that would be great.  If you would like to start a ‘conversation’ about something I have posted that would be even more awesome.

I will also try to leave you with at least some useful information in each post also.  Might be a new photo technique, a thought on creativity or something else I feel worthy of sharing.

Here’s today’s share.  Jayne and I listened to the audiobook version of Thomas King’s newest book entitled Sufferance:A Novel.  I am a big fan of King’s work and this offering did not disappoint, at least as far as the writing and the story goes.  I was not a big fan of the narration – but not a deal breaker in my mind.  The title itself comes from the notion that the wealthy and powerful in this world get to where they are on the sufferance of others.  Food for thought enough right there I would say.

Have a great day.

J.

Oh, just for the heck of it here’s another image of the moose…

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Keeping An Eye On 2021

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Keeping An Eye On 2021 is my seventh charity calendar. Where does the time go? It is always difficult to choose a theme and find twelve images that I think folks might like enough to have somewhere in their lives for a month. Bears have always been a favourite and I just happened to take a trip to Nunavut (Geilini River to be exact) in November 2019 to photograph polar bears. All of the images in this calendar were made on this trip.

Several months after this trip, COVID-19 became a part of our vocabulary and lives. We are now over six months into the pandemic with no real end in sight. It has been, and continues to be, a challenging time for everyone. With so much going on and so much uncertainty I nearly gave up on this annual charity calendar. In the end, though, there is no better time for it. There are so many causes in need of funding my small contribution will hopefully help and perhaps the images contained herein will bring some joy to your lives.

As with its six predecessors, all profits from the sale of this calendar will be donated to worthwhile charities and causes. Past recipients have included communities in cambodia and nicaragua, wildlife organizations in canada, medical research groups and even some individuals who have been affected by tragedy and undue hardships. I would like to set aside some funds from this calendar to establish a scholarship for students who are pursuing further education and have exhibited leadership in volunteerism or philanthropic pursuits.

I have mentioned before that one of my greatest joys in photography is sharing my images with others. This calendar is a great way for me to do this but if you live in Edson or are passing through please stop in and see us (jayne and I and the new gallery puppy, Grizz) at The Heart of Edson Gallery and Studio down on mainstreet.

Please enjoy the images in this year’s calendar and take some satisfaction knowing that you are also supporting some worthy causes.

Thanks ever so much for your support.

Julian Buchwald
Edson
Alberta
September 2020

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Reflections 2020

Reflections 2020 CoverOne of the positive effects of the COVID-19 response for many folks has been the opportunity to reflect and evaluate their lives and spend some time working on unrealized goals and projects.  Reflections 2020 is the product of this time and while I am pretty happy with the result, it opened up more doors than it closed.

I found, scanned and digitally remastered some of my earliest images (including what I believe to be my first from 1965!) and compiled them into an 80 page collection.  Reflections 2020 represents what I consider to be my most significant images.  Many represent journeys of discovery – travel and wildlife.  Some represent my exploration of techniques and artistic expression.  And others represent challenges or transitions in my photographic journey – portraits.

One of the doors that this project opened is that of creative writing.  I have never had the discipline to work consistently on any one creative writing project so have a vast number of disjointed thoughts and ramblings in notebooks, journals and digital media.  Available time is always a factor and a handy excuse for not creating or finishing things.  Now that many of the limitations imposed by COVID are being reduced, time and energy will certainly be at a premium again.  I have set myself a goal of selecting images from this collection and writing about them and what they mean to me.  I thought about one a day but decided that was unrealistic so settled on trying to do at least two a week.  Let’s see how it goes.

In the meantime, the book went off to be printed yesterday so will see how it looks.  One copy for now.  I’ll let you know when it comes, how it looks and maybe you can come by the Gallery to have a look for yourselves.

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2020 Charity Calendar Here Now

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This 6th edition of my Charity Calendar features images from all over the world that share a common theme of being es•capes.  I have had the great fortune of being able to travel extensively and make photographs to my heart’s content.  Like most photographers I thoroughly enjoy sharing the fruits of my efforts.  My calendars have the added advantage of providing me with a way to raise funds for worthwhile charities and causes.  As with previous years, all profits from this calendar will be donated to causes that are close to my heart for one reason or another.  Past recipients have included communities in Cambodia and Nicaragua, wildlife organizations in Canada, medical research groups and even some individuals who have been affected by tragedy or undue hardships. This last year has been one of great change for Jayne and I.  Perhaps the biggest change is the opening of The Heart of Edson Gallery and Studio here in Edson.  A labour of love to provide a place for local artists to display and promote their work.  I mention this here because it means that 5% of the $20 sale price of the calendar will go to our least favourite charity.  The good news is, however, that I have been able to secure a very reasonable rate on printing.  I expect that when all is said and done, a little over $10 from each calendar sale will go to charity! Please enjoy the images in this year’s calendar and take some satisfaction knowing that you are also supporting some worthy causes.

A little bit about the title…

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Escape is an interesting word, perhaps the one with the most varied meanings when searched in online dictionaries. According to vocabulary.com: “It’s hard to pin down the word escape. An escape can be the act of escaping, like an escape from prison, but an escape can also be a calming retreat, like a vacation that gets you away from the stress of everyday life. As a verb, escape also means, “to fail to experience or know.” If the humor escapes you, you don’t find the joke funny.” It is, however, appropriate for this body of my work. I have used a typical dictionary format to indicate the title of the calendar might have more than one meaning. I would loosely categorize all of the images in this calendar into two genres, landscape and travel. I break landscapes into sub-genres that include skyscapes, seascapes, icescapes, cloudscapes and others.  I guess I could have called it x-scapes where x is variable but es•cape fits better because it applies to my photographic journey which often involves “removing oneself from a familiar environment, usually for pleasure or diversion”.*

Calendars are $20 each and are currently available at:

The Heart of Edson Gallery

Yellowhead Dental Centre

 

*from vocabulary.com

 

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Proud Papa

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Can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of Ian and Michelle for their heart and soul on Saturday and Sunday riding in the 3oth Annual Leduc to Camrose MS Bike Ride as members of team SUS SCROFAS.  Way to go guys – 176km over two days with day 2 into a pretty stiff head wind – all for a great cause.  Between the three of us we raised just over $8,100 and the team raised over $36,000 so it was worth the sore butts and aching muscles to support the MS Society of Canada.  If you are reading this post and would like to contribute you can still do so by clicking on the following links:

Donate to Michelle’s Ride

Donate to Ian’s Ride

Donate to Julian’s Ride

The 2019 edition of the ride was the sixth time around for Michelle and I, and the third time for Ian.  The weather was the best I have ridden in to be sure, although the head wind was a little hard to take at times.  Michelle was the Ironwoman of the team recovering from an early crash on Saturday morning that left her sore a bruised!  But she does always ride better mad.  On Sunday she spent more than her fair share of time breaking wind for us – and she led our small 3 person draught line also.  Ian overcame some mechanical issues with his bike and his body but pulled through with some mental fortitude.  None of us are looking forward to climbing stairs over the next few days that’s for sure.

On a slightly more serious note, best wishes to teammates Brian and Bobby for speedy recoveries from weekend incidents.

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‘Because MS Bites…’

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Once again team SUS SCROFAS is taking to the saddle in the Leduc to Camrose MS Bike ride to raise funds for the MS Society of Canada.  ‘Because MS Bite…’ is the name of the image above which is a special edition print available only to folks who donate to the MS Ride in my name.  The image is 5″ x 7″ and is matted to a finished size of 11″ x 14″ matching the images from previous years.  A donation of $100 will get you a signed and matted print and a donation of $200 will get you a framed print ready to hang on your wall.

‘Because MS Bites…’ is the 6th special edition bear print I have made available to donors so don’t miss out on your chance to complete your collection or start a new one.  Donations must be made to my ride, here: donate to Julian’s Ride .  You’ll get a receipt from the MS Society and I’ll get your print to you so it’s a double win.

For more information on the ride please visit the ride webpage here:  MS Ride Leduc to Camrose 2019.

Thanks to everyone for their support over the years.

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“Theeeeyyyy’rrrre Here”

Pretty excited on Friday afternoon.  But not for the usual ‘here’s the weekend’ reason.  The Back to Bearsics charity calendars arrived from the printer!  I know, if I was so excited, why did it take me until today to post this?  Simply too engrossed in projects at THE GALLERY.  I have an extra hour this morning as daylight savings time has ended but my body didn’t get the memo.  Enough of the BS though, what’s with the calendar?

This is my fifth charity calendar and it’s title is Back to Bearsics.  A collection of black and white images of, you guessed it, bears.  Grizzly bears (and Ice Grizzlies), polar bears, Kermode bears and even a few black bears.  All profits from the sale of the calendar will be donated to charities and/or worthwhile causes.  I will try to post the recipients over the course of the year and you can look for this information in the calendar section of this blog here.

The calendars are selling for $20 again (seems like an easy amount) although printing costs did go up a little ($1.00 per calendar) and I now have to factor in GST (almost $1.00 per calendar) which is calculated into the $20.00.  The calendars will be available at several locations around Edson (and maybe a few spots further afield) and from Jayne or myself directly.

I hope you enjoy the images in the calendar and thank you (if you bought one) for your support.  Here’s the cover…

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Fleeting Glimpse of the Fleet Afoot…

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This one’s not going to win any wildlife photography awards but it comes with an interesting story…

Early one morning in the wilds of Damaraland, near Palmwag, a group of intrepid Canadians (with one token Aussie and a Yank!) stealthily plied the backroads in search of wildlife to photograph.  Having had little success after more than an hour and a half on the road (other than some nice landscape scenes) they stopped to admire and photograph a pied crow perched mockingly on a dead tree near the road.  As we clicked a few images the crow cawed in our general direction causing us to focus our attentions on him even more.  After a short while someone called out in earnest “cheetah”.  This fellow had risen from the ground very near our truck and loped off into the woods probably angry that we had alerted his potential prey – purely speculation on my part.  I was lucky enough to swing my camera around and catch a few frames of the sleek feline before he was gone.  Looking back at the time stamps on the images, 5 seconds elapsed from the last image of the crow to when the cheetah disappeared from sight.  It happened so fast that I could only keep my fingers crossed that any of the images might be actually be in focus at 600mm!  At the time, I don’t think any of us were really worried about the images but we simply in awe with the encounter.

Unexpected.

Brief.

Exhilarating.

That’s wildlife photography at its best!

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Out of Canada (or Off to Africa)

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As the song says: “Somewhere over the rainbow…”

Here’s hoping for blue skies.  And red sand.  And cold beer.  And nice light.

Not asking for much am I?  Lucky has been getting into the spirit of things already.  Sharing a meal at McDonalds in the Amsterdam airport and then a beer at the lounge.  A long layover on the way from Edmonton to Windhoek with an eight hour time difference from home.  It might be good to have the major time change over early but we’ll see how it plays out.  Have a couple of days in Namibia before the workshop begins so should get acclimated nicely.

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As many of these trips start out, I have good intentions of keeping information flowing on this blog.  Most of the time I lose steam within a day or two – apologies.  Either run out of energy, time or internet connectivity.  We’ll have to see how things play out over here.

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Unbearable???

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Well, actually it’s not unbearable, it’s unBearably 2018!  My new charity calendar has arrived just in time for the Christmas retail season and it’s selling for $20 with all profits going to charity.

As the cover suggests, it contains 12 of my photographic images (13 if you count the cover) of Canadian wildlife that are not bears that I hope people will find pleasing enough to hang on their wall to support charity.

This is a quick post so I will not include details.  I will update the Charity Calendar link above as soon as I get a chance.  If, however, you see this and do want some more information, please leave a comment and I will get back to you.

More soon…

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