A year ago I decided I wanted to see Newfoundland. Well, actually, that's a lie. It was forty years ago I decided I wanted to see Newfoundland. It just took me that long to finally get there. And with it being Canada's 150th birthday on July 1st, what better way to celebrate than to watch the sunrise on the most easterly point of this great land, Cape Spear, on the Avalon peninsula. And before you say, "But Newfoundland didn't become part of Canada until 1949!" let me say "It's part of Canada now!" And it's the one province I haven't travelled in all my years. So, it's time to go on our next road trip.
With all the colourful images I've seen thanks to the internet knowing where I visit, I'm thrilled and intimidated to be able to photograph to my Heart's Content. Speaking of which, there is a Lighthouse in Heart's Content I'd love to see. That sheltered cove in Trinity Bay will be a stop for sure. Which isn't too far from Bonavista where I hear there are puffins! Those colourful birds are also on my list. I've never seen one, and I hope to check out a few colonies along the coastlines.
For inspiration, knowing it is the most colourful place in Canada, I bought a box of 96 crayons, thinking I would take them with me and capture all 96 colours as we travel from St. John's to Bonavista, to Gander, to Twillingate and Fogo Island, Deer Lake, down to Port Aux Basques and back to Corner Brook, on to Rocky Harbour in Gros Morne Park, L'Anse Au Clair over on Labrador, to L'Anse aux Meadows, and back to St. John's for the Canada Day and a few more. Perhaps I'll end up with a colouring book when I'm done.
And of course there's Jelly Bean Row in St. John's! I've always loved the brightly coloured houses of the east coast so I don't want to miss this neighbourhood. It's only 12 days on the road, so I'm sure we will have to plan a second trip sometime soon.
Some days we'll travel on the road for 5 or 6 hours, other days a little less. So we will doddle where we may, and enjoy the ride. Colourful outports, fields of wildflowers, wildlife, and four UNESCO sites to visit. A ferry to Labrador and back gives us the chance to see one of them at Red Bay National Historic Site where there is a Basque whaling station to explore. And on the eastern shore there are fossils to discover at Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve.
I hope to see icebergs and whales on our ferry jaunts. Another one planned is from Farewell to Fogo Island where I hope to see more icebergs and whales, as well as one of the most amazing buildings, Fogo Island Inn, which stands on an outcropping of rocks overlooking the frigid North Atlantic.
And there will definitely be one or two photo excursions to see - what else...icebergs and whales! The land, the people, the food, the colours, the birds, icebergs and whales. I can't wait!
Terrill Bodner, MPA is an Accredited Professional Photographer living in Prince George, BC, specializing in Real Estate, Contemporary, and Fine Art photography. Terrill is a member of Professional Photographers of Canada, accredited in Fine Art/Photo Decor, Animals, Wildlife, Nature, Ornithology/Bird, Botanical, Pictorial/Scenic, and Travel Illustration photography and holds the designation of Master of Photographic Arts from Professional Photographers of Canada. She shoots in studio and on location. Come on in and snoop around!
There's a tiny bit a adrenaline that pumps through my body when I get an Aurora Watch alert in my email after a long, busy day. And it's just enough to make me gather up my camera gear and a friend and head out to chase the northern lights. Last night, May 27th, and early this morning the display was worth the missed hours of sleep.
Above: Aurora over the Fraser River in Cottonwood Island Park, Prince George, BC
On the 35 km drive from home to Huble Homestead north of Prince George, there is an old structure with a cattle corral. It was probably used to round cattle up for transport, and there is a large open field on both sides of the road, which allowed us to shoot the sky from any direction. And at times it was hard to decide just where to point the lens when the aurora was active and dancing all around us.
This structure gives some depth to the area we were in, and to bring it out in the darkness and not overexpose the sky, we took turns light painting the foreground, shed and fence. This was a little different angle on the shed and fence.
The only thing that I was worried about was perhaps stepping in a hole of snakes! So I set my flashlight to the brightest setting and waved it in front of me as I walked to the shed to light paint for Joe. Luckily, no snakes. Then he did the same for me. The 16th frame shot was perfect! Teaching Joe how to light paint was not too difficult. Getting the hang of waving the light back and forth, not too high, not too low, but just right killed the time before the Aurora showed up. After a drive down to Cottonwood Island Park to see if we could get some shots there on the water, we were back home by 2:30am. Thank you Mother Nature for another great evening of entertainment!
Family is the most important thing in the world."-Princess Diana of Wales
There is no doubt...and as they grow and spread their wings, we rejoice, we cry, we love them even more.
Matt's Prom 2017
As a photographer, one of the most rewarding things is to be able to preserve a family memory. Two years ago, I photographed Mat's sister Sara's prom, and now I had the pleasure to photograph Matt, the middle child, on Matt's prom day. Middle children are so much fun! They have grown up in the shadow of an older sibling, and had to endure the addition of a younger sibling. But they turn out all the better for it! Wishing Matt all the best for his next adventure in life!
Springtime in northern British Columbia brings an abundance of wildlife to photograph and this weekend was no exception. My friend, Jan, picked me up at 5:30am to drive us east of Prince George as the sun was rising. But it would still be early enough to get us past Purden and heading to McBride in hopes of sighting a few black bear, maybe even some cubs. Before we were even outside Prince George, we already saw one very fast little deer hoofing it into the bushes near Cottonwood Island Park. It looked like it might be a good day!
It's been said that the road from Prince George to McBride is one of the best places to find black bear. It wasn't long before we started spotting the dark blobs among the treeline. Most of them were actually bear! Whoo hoo!! There were two of them. Maybe a year old, maybe two, we weren't sure. Not too big so we stopped to photograph from the car windows as they sauntered along the grassy area beside the trees. Then one spotted us and moved closer. We watched as it headed towards us, and we backed up quickly in hopes it would stop and go back to the grass. No luck, it kept meandering along the yellow line of the two lane highway. We were the only ones on the road but we could see cars approaching from the east. We backed up further, trying to decide if we should pass it right then or not but the cars were closing in so Jan flashed his headlights at them. They stopped as the bear sniffed the air around the road and slowly made his way back to the grassy area. We left as soon the other two cars passed. We didn't want those two young ones to get any friendlier with a vehicle. They weren't afraid, which made me think that they may have already been hand-fed by passing cars. Not a good idea!
"Have I got anything in my teeth?"
We were fortunate to see a sow and her cub. This little guy was very cute, stayed really close to his momma and seemed to be enjoying his breakfast of skunk cabbage and grass. Most animals will not eat skunk cabbage because it causes a burning sensation, but bears enjoy eating young plants in the spring. The stretch of road has many patches of skunk cabbage so perhaps that is what makes it one of the best bear spotting areas in the province in the spring.
It was a thrill to see seventeen black bear, one being the cub, and all in a morning's drive. The elusive grizzly will have to wait until next time.
All photos captured with a Canon 7D, 1.4x extender on a 70-200mm lens. Most captured at 1/800 sec f 4.5 ISO 640..
So when's the best time to go and photograph some fox kits? We decided that the crack of dawn around 4:30 am, when the first light hits us this time of year, was just too early. For us, anyway. So we headed out at 6:30 am, found our spot by 7am and settled down with our Timmie's to wait. It wasn't five minutes before momma fox popped out of the hole in the tree roots, saw us immediately and started yipping at us and moving away from her den. We stayed put (which was our plan anyway), knowing she wasn't too pleased to have spotted us sitting in the bushes 100 feet away. When she got far enough away from us she stopped making the racket. Perhaps she no longer considered us a threat and the need to hunt for food for her wee ones was her first priority.
Red foxes generally breed in late winter, probably February or March in BC, and with a gestation period of 51 to 53 days, the offspring would be born in April or May. The red fox kits are blind and helpless at birth, weighing about 100 grams but grow quickly and become mobile in about three weeks. They are weaned at about five weeks. We weren't sure if the kits would even be old enough to venture outside the den yet, being the end of April, but with the snow all gone now we were surprised and pleased to see a parade of three fluffy little ones venturing out of their den. They were probably around four weeks old, considering they don't open their eyes for about three weeks. All three were different colours! I didn't expect to see them so early in the year. But perhaps the early spring weather we had in February and March attributed to their being here today.
Resting my 70-200 mm lens with 1.4 extender on a monopod made it easy to sit in one spot and follow them through the viewfinder. Focusing was a different matter. Finally switching to manual because of all the twigs in front of my subjects, I was able to lock in my focus on them as they cavorted in the grass and tightrope-walked the logs near their den.
We are so lucky to live so close to nature and I'm thankful for the two hours of sitting in the quiet, listening to the birds twittering, woodpeckers pecking, and the geese and seagulls flying overhead. I would have sat there all day and waited for their return but in a week, they will have grown a little bigger. If only my lens would do the same.