Winter Walk

If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk ~                                                                        Raymond I. Myers

room to breathe, man sitting on Nosehill Park Calgary, enjoying the view and a beautiful winter day
winter calgary man sitting on a bench nosehill park

I am not sure who this Raymond I. Myers is or where he lived, but I am guessing that he didn’t walk in Canada during the winter, where a good hat is essential against the frosty cold wind that blows in my ears! But the walk despite to cold wind and snow does give me a chance to breathe some fresh air, and clear my thoughts and find inspiration.

My assignment today: Find a simple subject…. an uncluttered background….. experiment with different POV’s (points of view). Leave room in the frame… negative space is a beautiful thing.

Negative space in art is defined as the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. There is plenty of space on Nosehill Park for walking, dreaming and for listening to the angels if you like, the only thing negative is the temperature! Forgive me for harping on about the cold, I know I am not the only one putting up with these temperatures, it is just not easy to get use to, it will take me a while to adjust!  Until then, I hope you are enjoying your day, and that you are finding room to breathe and be creative.

Prints are available on Society6


Another cold week in Calgary; my morning commute


It has been another extremely cold week here in Calgary, and I will admit to driving further than walking during my morning commute! My fitbit tells me I averaged about 8000 steps a day, and a lot of those steps were in the +15 walkway rather than out in the cold!  Winter seems to be colder and longer this year. When the weather is decent my average step count is closer to 12,000 steps. But I hear the weather is going to improve.

This clip from Rick Mercer on the seven day forecast explains Canadian’s love hate relationship with the weatherman. Enjoy Spring is just around the corner…..

Morning Commute Series Continues

My morning commute series continues. I have read many times that intentionally photographing a series of the same subject or scene, by forcing yourself to photograph the same thing again and again, you can actually make yourself more creative.

A photo theme simply means creating a set of photographs that are related in some way, whether it be through subject, color or re-occurring pattern. By defining a series, morning commute I was not required to constantly come up with a new subject or idea for each morning; once a theme’s subject had been established, I only needed to find a new creative view.  This allowed me to concentrate on what’s really important…taking an interesting photo.

While I am not always photography the same scene, I have been using my morning walk to work to see, to be awake and aware of my beautiful city. The thirty minutes a day, has defined my series, and to be honest it has provided the motivation to walk despite what seems like a very long very cold winter.

I appreciate hearing from you, as a photographer, artist or writer are you working on a series?  Why not introduce yourself and provide a link to your series.

Winter Textures

IMG_7120Winter textures of the Bow River near Banff Alberta.

Many times I will wander, or sometimes sit quietly, often the location tells me to sit or to keep moving, either way I will often isolate a feature, narrow my view to one spot.

While visiting Banff we were walking beside the Bow River, I was drawn to the contrast that exists within it’s banks; delicate snowflakes collect like dust on the large solid blocks of ice, long fragile icicles hang down while the tiny drops of water splash from the rushing waters. So many different textures all created by water.

My goal for this photo was to create an image that would communicate all the various textures available to me. How did I do, do you get a sense of winter textures from the image?

Westerdok Harbour, Amsterdam in Black and White

Black and white in Amsterdam; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
Westerdok Harbour, Amsterdam; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014  

We walk past Westerdok Harbour it is a residential harbour, not far from central Amsterdam. Historically it was a major shipping dock, with rail lines, and a large rail yard. It has been redeveloped with mostly residential units and small office buildings, some of the houseboats parked her are for rent! I don’t think they go anywhere, they would be like an apartment on the water!

I have been doing quite a bit of black and white processing, it might be the weather or the short days with very little sunlight. I love the look, the cloudy winter skies show up so much better in black and white, and while we wake every morning hoping for sunshine we are not deterred! The city is charming, art seems to be everywhere, and I am glad we have had a chance to see it, even if I grumble a little about the weather. It is what we do, it is safe common ground to grumble about the weather!

I will just have to plan a return trip to see this lovely city in the spring, when the flowers are blooming and the trees are all leafed out!

Winter in Amsterdam; a little sunshine on the shortest day of the year.

Winter Sun on the Amsterdam Streets; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014
Winter Sun on the Amsterdam Streets; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere December 21 is the shortest day of the year, it means everyone is bundled up against the cold and rain, and long shadows when the sun does appear. Winter is not always the most photogenic time of the year to see a new city, but Amsterdam has so much to offer its visitors anytime is a good time to be here!

a view from the airplane window

de-icing the plane
de-icing the plane
a view from the airplane window
a view from the airplane window
a view from the airplane window
a view from the airplane window
flying over the Canadian Winter Wonderland
Canada’s winter wonderland, a view from the airplane window

a few images taken during our flight from Calgary. the window did have some frost on it, so the images are not as crisp and clear as I would have liked. The other thing that happened, with all the flights I have been on, I think this is the first one that was de-iced just before we left, I love the spray of the water, and the out of focus equipment.

I love flying, and for me the best part of the flight is that moment of take off, the nose lifts, and you can feel the wheels leave the ground. The adventure begins…..

What is your favourite part of the flight.

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggty Jig

flying into Calgary on a cold and frost morning
flying into Calgary on a cold and frost morning 

We flew into Calgary yesterday morning, quite a temperature change from Yuma Arizona; all I can say is BUURRRR!


Travellers Overlooking the Caribbean Ocean

Overlooking the Caribbean Ocean
Overlooking the Caribbean Ocean

Driving home last night it was cold, foggy; this morning when I woke up the frost covered the trees, it was snowing and right now it is -6C.  As far as winter in Canada the temperatures really aren’t that cold, and admittedly it is much colder in other parts of the country.  But like most Canadians at this point of the year we are dreaming of travelling to someplace warmer!

This photo was taken sometime ago and the travellers/tourists out sightseeing, are enjoying not only the nice warm ideal weather, but the beautiful view of the Caribbean Ocean. Their dark silhouette against the blue ocean and framed by the tree makes it a perfect postcard memory!

How about you where would you like to be standing today?

Tuxedo Park – Explore Calgary Project

Tuxedo Park Calgary
Tuxedo Park Calgary

One of my goals for 2013 is to get to know my city just a little bit better. There are parks I have not been to, streets I have not walked and shops I haven’t visited. I am, I think, like a lot of people, busy when I am at home and working, family and friends, and all the activities that keep us busy.  I don’t get to see or experience all that this wonderful city has to offer.

Following Julia Cameron’s advise I am going have an artist’s date and make a point of visiting the corners of Calgary, inspired by our walk on the camino I am going to walk through the different parks, amble down the streets to see the public art, and visit as many locally run coffee and tea shops as I can find over the next year.

This week I walked around Tuxedo Park, a small quiet spot just off Center St. North. It didn’t take long to walk around the park. The benches  have a been placed  near the trees, separating those that sit there from the busy street on the west side of the park. Given its central location I think it would be ideal for portraits,  a great place to meet a friend for quiet cup of coffee on a busy day.