The Photography Show Goes On!

After  a great launch  the  Helios Taranteau photography show continues for the next three weeks.  You can see my work and that of three other photographers at:

Paint Cabin, 723 Gerrard Street East, Toronto,  on

Fridays 6-10pm

Saturdays 1pm-12am

Sundays 1pm-5pm

We’ll also be having a closing party the evening of June 15th. Come and join us!

Image of Niagara Falls SkyWheel at nght
Detail of ferris wheel in Niagara Falls, Canada

Photography Show Presented by Helios Taranteau

Image of poster for Helios Taranteau photography show

I’m very excited to announce that I am one of four photographers taking part in a photography show presented by Helios Taranteau!

As you can see from the poster, the opening night is coming soon – Thursday, May 18th  from 6-.11.00 p.m. at Paint Cabin, 723 Gerrard Street East inToronto. The photography show will run for three weeks so if you can’t make it to the opening, you still have up until June 8th to see what’s on show and for sale. You can go to www.paintcabin.com to check opening times.

Helios Taranteau is the brainchild of photographer Chris McCallan, and you’ll be hearing more about it in the future. Details of the four photographers showing images in this show are below. I hope to see you there!

Elizabeth Stanton:

Originally from Liverpool, Elizabeth has a keen interest in landscapes, whether urban, rural, familiar, not so familiar or in between.

She has taught photography as a tool in community development programming. She has also exhibited in Artscape events, at Neilson Park Creative Centre and is a member of Toronto West Arts Collaborative.

After leaving school many years ago, she saved enough money to buy her first camera, a Nikon FM. That gave her the drive to explore her surroundings with a more deliberate and searching eye. Liverpool, her home town, was at the time embarking on a long journey of healing and regeneration after many years of decline. Elizabeth jumped right in. She began taking photographs of the Albert Dock, an area that in 1981 still showed signs of the ravages of World War 2 bombing campaigns and industrial decline. Upon emigrating to Canada she was struck by the parallels she saw in Ontario’s own urban landscape and has continued documenting our ever-changing environment with the same tenacity and adroit sensibilities that have become her calling card.

Harold Staats:

Harold has had a lifelong love affair with photography and everything photographic. His photography has encompassed many styles and genres, including photojournalism, art and concert photography.

Harold has photographed many concerts and music festivals since the 1970’s. His work includes photos of iconic stars like David Bowie, Paul McCartney,  Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and Annie Lennox. In 2016 he won first place in the Beach International Jazz Festival Photo Exhibit. He has exhibited his work in numerous galleries over the years including the Gladstone Hotel (Lost Images Photo Exhibit), Contact Photography Festival at Scarborough Bluffs Gallery, Gallery 401, Forsyth Gallery, and many others. His work has appeared in various publications including the 1988 Toronto’s Toronto – a city-wide photo celebration and exhibition of life in our city. His photos are in the collections of the Toronto Transit Commission and the City of Toronto Archives.

Harold has always been interested in the history of photography and photographic processes.  He has been a member of the Photographic Historical Society of Canada for many years. He has studied at Ontario College of Art. His latest effort merges all of these interests into an abstract and dynamic new showing.

Peter Young:

Peter Young is an award winning photographer who has produced images for approximately 40 years. Since his retirement in 2001 he has concentrated on the development and perfection of his photographic skills. His images have been shown in several publications and he has received awards from and placement in juried shows in the Oshawa, Brampton, Burlington, Hamilton, Milton, Mississauga, Niagara Falls and Toronto areas. He has had solo and groups shows at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Art Gallery of Hamilton, as well as during the Grand Artist Walk in Hamilton.

In 2006 he turned his interest to infrared digital photography which has resulted in the creation of numerous images. He has a keen interest in abstraction and altered reality images which generate thought and introspection in the viewer. Prepare for an ethereal visual treat.

Chris McCallan:

A Ryerson photography grad and scholarship winner, he has been a commercial photographer for over 25 years, based in Toronto. His commercial work has appeared in the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Sun, the National Post, Time Magazine and Newsweek. He has photographed annual reports for Visa Canada, The Canadian Diabetes Association, the CACL, the Wellesley Hospital and several other organizations. He has exhibited at CAPIC’s juried Contact show “Expose” 2014, the Canadian Cancer Society’s Connections show, and was a top three finisher in the Toronto’s Toronto photo exhibition. His images have been used on television by TVO and featured in numerous billboard campaigns across Canada.

For this exhibit Chris promises NOT to show any commercial work and will be showing a selection of images from his almost 40 years of shooting (he started very, very young). These will be the shots that he enjoys just because….And hey that’s the way it starts for everyone, isn’t it?

Hot off the Press…. New Sales Gallery

Image of Jokulsarlon Lagoon Iceland in sales gallery

Yes, it’s an old term, but I’m sure you  get it! If you look closely you’ll see this framed artwork is now available in my very own Sales Gallery, which is finally here! You can click on the the tab at the top of this page, have a browse and feel free to send me any questions.

Life In the North

Image of Lake Nipissing in the north of Ontario in winter

I have an affinity for “the north”, as varied as it is. I hail from the north of England – Liverpool in the north-west, to be specific – and last week I was back in the north of my adopted country, Canada. Specifically, Garden Village on the edge of Sturgeon Falls in northern Ontario.

Image of sunrise over Lake Nipissing in the north of Ontario, in Winter
Winter sunrise over frozen Lake Nipissing

I will say though, as the temperature dropped to a daytime high of -13 celsius, I was only there for a few days. I may not have the stamina, or the equipment, to survive a full winter in Canada’s north but I love to visit it any time of year. On this occasion, before the temperature drop, there was a fresh snowfall covering the land in a beautiful, crisp white serene blanket, fit for any winter wonderland. You might not think it but it can be a very invigorating experience, though also harsh at times. I like to just stare at the vast expanse until the cold bites viciously at my extremities well enough to send me scurrying back indoors.

Image of two dogs playing in snow in the north of Ontario
Winter Play. Cold temperatures mean nothing to two dogs romping around in the snow.

Lake Nipissing is frozen solid enough to take the snowmobiles and the ice-huts are appearing, ready for winter ice fishing. The trees and ground are gloriously reflecting the glittering highlights of the snow as the bright sun shines down on it from early in the day. Giant dogs, made for this type of climate, bounce around playfully and strike fear in me as they come bounding over in my direction, ready to play. I’ve managed to not get knocked over by them so far.

 

We’re only just into winter but I know it can fly by quickly (I won’t be saying that by March….) so it’s good to make the most of it.

Image of West Nipissing Power Dam in Sturgeon Falls, in the north of Ontario
A view of the bridge on West Nipissing Power Dam in Sturgeon Falls

I’ll be out taking winter pics at different locations in the next few months, so please keep a look out for more postings.

The Strange Story of Centralia

PA Route 61

I’ve driven through different parts of Pennsylvania over the years but never to Centralia. That might be because Centralia is not easy to find, by road or by map.

Centralia was a small coal mining town in the Appalachian mountain area of Pennsylvania, dating from 1866. With coal mining at its peak in the 1890’s the population reached 2,800 but subsided after that to a more consistent 2,000, where it stayed for quite a while. The real decline though, started later in the twentieth century.

Centralia PA
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church overlooking the remains of Centralia PA

In 1962 there was a fire at the local landfill that changed the whole future of the town. I’ve read several explanations but the most popular seems to be that the fire department deliberately set the fire to clean up the landfill, which was a common practice. However, the landfill was on top of some mine shafts and not only was the fire not extinguished, it actually spread into the mine shafts where it was impossible to reach. The result was that it continued to spread throughout mines, and worked its way beneath the town itself.

In the 1980’s there were clear signs that carbon monoxide from the fire in the mines was having an effect on people’s health and there was significant subsidence going on. This set off the real demise of the town as people moved out (taking buyouts) and by the nineties, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania used “eminent domain” to take control of the town and move out the rest of the residents. There are still a few people left as they refused to move but there’s very little left of the town. The roads remain, a couple of well-cared-for graveyards, and a white church sitting radiantly on a hill surrounded by trees. Buildings have been demolished and a more natural habitat has grown up in their place.

PA Route 61
The abandoned section of PA Route 61, now covered in graffiti and providing a playground for locals with their 4x4s

One road that attracts some attention is the abandoned section of PA highway 61 (the road was rerouted) which has severe subsidence and can often be seen with smoke from the underground fire making its way up through the broken surface. Combined with all the colourful graffiti that covers it, it can be quite a strange sight. A strange sight to match a strange story. And still the fire burns on.

Centralia PA
Graffiti-covered guard rail along the abandoned section of PA Route 61 in Centralia

You can find more info about Centralia at

http://www.centraliapa.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centralia,_Pennsylvania

Winter Outdoors

Winter outdoors is certainly something you need to prepare for, especially when you’re living in Canada. A climate of extremes, from 30 degrees in the summer to -15 in the winter (that’s in the more moderate Toronto area and not counting the humidity or wind chill), the weather is always the making of a wide variety of outdoor activities.

Sunrise over Frozen Lake Simcoe
Winter outdoors – Sunrise over frozen Lake Simcoe

The kind of outdoors activities that the cold winter kicks off can be quite intriguing. It’s not all skiing, skating and tobogganing, but they do set the stage. I was up and out early one recent morning and took a drive to Lake Simcoe, about an hour away, to see the sun come up across the frozen, snow-covered lake. I’d passed by there a few days before (near Bradford West Gwillimbury) and had an idea of what to expect but I was nevertheless a bit surprised to see the amount of activity going on from well before dawn.

For a good number of people this is primetime for a bit of ice fishing and the place was bustling. Making their way to the lake in their trucks, many bring their snowmobiles, fishing equipment, supplies for the day and of course, there are the numerous fishing huts already out on the ice. Watching all the people in their snow gear (mainly or all men, and a few kids), heading off into the darkness on their snowmobiles or in a snow bus is quite mesmerizing, in spite of the freezing cold temperatures. The shot I took above, shows a hut near the edge of the lake, lit up by the lights of a 4×4 getting ready to head out, just as some light started to appear on the horizon. The sunrise was exceptional that day, with lots of burly clouds lightly illuminated by the brilliant rising sun.