Monthly Archives: May 2012

Snappity Snap

I was finally able to afford the Adobe Design Suite — thanks to their new subscription service launched with CS6. So far, I’ve been nerding out hardcore. I started working on a website for my Dad’s Gun Show, and he loves what I’ve come up with so far, and I got to edit photos from home today to send them into work. Awesome!

A so-so image turned bright and wonderful thanks to the new Photoshop.

This weekend I had some wonderful photo assignments. Starting with Project Heavy Duty, a program that gives high school kids a chance to try out heavy equipment. I even got to go up in a man lift. I went about 60 feet in the air and made him take me back down. I’m such a wuss.

Me in the manlift. I got the guy to take a photo to prove to people that I did it.

The Rival Revival Roller Derby bout was on Saturday. Kimberley’s Bavarian Barbarians rocked, and won their bout. Cranbrook’s Mountain Town Maulers didn’t do as well. They got trounced by more than 200 points, unfortunately. But I had fun shooting, although, I am missing my 60D more than ever. The ol’ Rebel doesn’t enjoy the low light action, and it’s too slow to shoot good action shots. I was, however, able to shoot in Camera RAW, which was sweet. I haven’t been able to since I bought my new camera because my work version of Photoshop was too old to support the new camera.

I went with my friends Patricia and Patrick. Patrick got renamed to Oat by the end of the night because I kept accidentally typing that instead of Pat and Pat on my new phone. Sunday was of course Mother’s Day. I went to shoot barrel racing at Idlewild Park in Cranbrook. It was a gorgeous day and there was an osprey flying over the lake. He was camera shy, however. But it was still cool watching him fly in one place, and then suddenly plunge down into the water in pursuit of a fish.

After that, I picked up some lobster for mom and made her a lobster dinner. I sang Rock Lobster while I cooked up a yam mash with honey and a beet salad. Yum! Breaking apart the lobsters ourselves was a little bit unsettling. When you get a tail in a restaurant they clean all the gross parts out. I felt weird tearing apart a

The Bavarian Barbarians vs. the Avalanche City Roller Girls.

little sea bug. But then when I tasted how delicious he was, I was more willing.I chatted with my Grandma for awhile after supper and wished her a happy Mother’s Day too.

It’s May long weekend coming up, and I’m thinking of heading out for some camping with my sister. She’s driving to the Crowsnest Pass for the weekend, and it’s only two hours away.

Tomorrow I’m going to check on the progress of my camera, if there is any. I’m getting impatient. Also the longer it takes, I fear the higher the price tag. Please be kind to me, very expensive Canon technician.

I’ve been having a lot of fun with Instagram lately. I just got a brand new Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and I decided to try the app. I actually like it. I never really understood what the big fuss was all about when people started using it, but I like how easy it is to add everything to Facebook and Twitter at the same time. Perhaps I’ll make an Instagram gallery later this week.

I’ll get some more photos from my weekend activities once they run in the paper this week. We’ve booked three photo pages and I think I’ll add another from the barrel racing. I love it!!



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Bring me the light

Me and my boyfriend Josh, to show evidence of my colourful hair.

For much of my young adult life, I’ve been obsessed with bright colours. My hair has covered each of the colours of the rainbow and then some – purple, pink, turquoise.

That same love of everything bright has applied to my taste in artwork. Over the past three years or so, I’ve been picking up pieces of art here and there. None of them are typical, but all of them have a common theme: colour.

My first piece I snagged from my talented roommate at Southern Alberta Institue of Technology, Ashley Courtepatte, who was attending Alberta College of Art and Design. By the end of the school year she was so sick of everything she had spent months critiquing and analyzing, that she stacked it in our living room and told us to make it disappear before she threw it all down the trash shoot. We happily obliged and I scored a massive four foot square painting of a bright blue and red anatomical heart. It sounds strange, yes, but it towers over my bedroom and everyone who sees it stops to admire it.

My other roommate Montana and I nearly came to fisticuffs to decide who got to keep the six foot high pastel drawing that had adorned our living room all year. She won in the end.

I made friends with another artist when living in Jasper named Melissa Woodcock. She creates these incredible coloured abstract painting using string as outlines inspired by her working holiday in Thailand. I could never afford her bigger stuff, but months before I left Jasper, Melissa did too. To help fund her education at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, Melissa held a sale, getting rid of everything she had created and collected over the years for fractions of what it was worth.

I snapped up one of her earlier pieces for about $25. It matches my orange creamsicle walls perfectly.

One of Sam Millard’s beautiful pieces at the Key City Gallery in Cranbrook, B.C. Visit her website at to see more. 

When I stumbled across Sam Millard, at the urging of the Key City Theatre staff who directed me upstairs to the gallery a few weeks ago, I was floored. The colours pulled me in and through the entire show, right to the end where I saw a smaller collection of 15 colourful peacocks. I knew I had to have one.

I contacted Sam, and not only did she agree to print a purple peacock for me, but she agreed to an interview for the Townsman.

I get my peacock on Friday, and I hope to add more of the series to my little collection that could, perhaps one peacock at a time?


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What I’ve got

When I went to Journalism school, I opted not to apply for the Photography program in second year. I stuck with Print, and away I went into my career. I think it was sometime around the Yukon Quest, when I had the chance to get some incredible shots, that I realized this was something I wanted to do. At the time, I was shooting with a Nikon camera. I can’t remember the exact model. I had already purchased my Canon Rebel XTi — it was a great camera to learn on, but the Whitehorse Star had the Nikon set up with some lenses. My favorite lens was a 50mm f/1.8 (and it’s still to this day, only the Canon version of course).

An insurance inspector climbs back down a ladder after photographing the remains of a building lost to the fire. Taken with the Rebel.

After leaving the Star, I got a job as a photojournalist in Jasper at the Fitzhugh. I was still shooting with my Canon Rebel, in fact I thought I was really lucky to have convinced someone I was talented enough to shoot with the equipment I had. They took a chance on me, and it allowed me to develop into what I am today(photog pun totally not intended). Last year, in February of 2011, I used my tax return and went on a shopping spree at my favourite camera store in the entire universe, Cranbrook Photo. They talked me into purchasing a whole new camera body, the Canon 60D, and I’ve never looked back.

Until last week, when my memory card broke off and left a chunk of itself lodged in the camera body. D’OH!

I brought my beloved camera into Brian at Cranbrook Photo, and I was showered with looks of pity from the staff there. Everyone I know had spent all weekend telling me it wouldn’t be as bad as I thought — but the looks of the experts at the shop confirmed what I had known all along. I was screwed. Brian sent off my camera, taking care of everything for me (seriously, people. Best photo shop ever).

A Morrison Sun resident's cat surveys his new surroundings. Taken with the Rebel.

The next morning, I was set to sleep in and go into work late. I woke up to my Mom receiving a phone call. Through my morning grogginess, I heard this: “They all burnt down? Really? Annalee just took her camera there yesterday. Yea, no kidding.” I was suddenly awake; horribly, horribly awake.

I cancelled the appointment that I was supposed to be staying home for, and packed my trusty Rebel. It’s worn with scratches all over the body. The battery is well used and doesn’t last all that long; and the dial cranks out of Manual to Aperture mode, which is really annoying. I headed down to the fire scene, and started snapping away with my 18-200 f/4.5 from my 60D on my Rebel. The camera store, thankfully, was one of the only buildings in tact on the street, but almost an entire city block had been destroyed.

The Rebel’s focus was slow as a snapped the scene from all angles, but other than that the camera was taking good shots. It was a dark, cloudy day, but I managed to get some bright shots and found some interesting elements to snap that I was sure no one else thought of. After covering the fire, I was called down to Kimberley because there was an emergency flooding situation. There I was, photographing two extremes in one day, and my 60D was gone — but was I really missing it? It would take till next week to realize my Rebel is limited in shutter speed; it goes as high as about 4000, when my 60D kicks ass in bright situations cranked to 8000 with an ISO of 100. But the photos I’ve taken working with my Rebel again are still great. the shutter speed and slow focus are things I can work with.

A girl named Adysan colouring on the sidealk, despite the concrete and sandbag berms along Wallinger Ave. Taken with the Rebel.

It’s funny how you never know about these limitations until you know there’s better out there. That’s what I learned this week. Those were never limitations when I was originally shooting with my Rebel. Now, having been spoiled by the 18 megapixels of my 60D, my Rebel may be something I scoff at, but the little guy has certainly turned out some good stuff that I’m proud of.

So the lesson learned? You may not know what you’ve got till it’s gone, but that works both ways sometimes.


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