Tag Archives: photography

Black and White Photo Challenge

Black and white.  Nothing living. No explanations. There’s been a challenge popping up on my Facebook feed in the last week where you are asked to publish seven photos and follow the three rules above.  Here are my seven photos. Tomorrow I’ll let you know where they were taken and what they are. But for today you can guess.







Other posts……..

Merchants Photographed Around the World

Dave Driedger Wildlife Photographer

Creatures I’ve Photographed


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Sunset Walk in America The Beautiful

Dave and Hans ready for the hike.

Dave and Hans ready for the walk.

At the invitation of our friend Hans, who lives not far from us here in the San Tan Valley we went on a photography walk to see the Arizona sunset.  The walk was in Lost Dutchman State Park an Arizona park we had never visited before.

Hans gets ready to take a photo beside a saguaro cactus that we learned weighs 10 tons. We hoped it wouldn't fall on him!

Hans gets ready to take a photo beside a saguaro cactus that we learned weighs 10 tons. We hoped it wouldn’t fall on him!

Hans who belongs to a photography club carries all kinds of photography equipment along with him on these adventures. We even had to turn the car around just after setting off for the park to go back for stuff he had forgotten.  I’m sure the photos he took on our walk were stunning and I am looking forward to seeing them. people-on-hikeWe were on the walk with forty-five other people. When we introduced ourselves we found out there was one other couple from Canada. They live near Ottawa but otherwise our group had visitors from more than a dozen different American states.comb-for-cactusBarb, a park volunteer was our guide for the walk. She has a comb pick in her hand. She told us this is an essential tool for a desert walk because it helps to get unwanted cacti burrs off your clothing without hurting your hands. hedge-hog-cactusBarb stopped to point out a whole bunch of different plants and trees on the hike.  These are hedgehog cacti. four-peaks-with-desert-in-foregroundEarly in our walk we got our first view of the snow-capped Four Peaks way off in the distance. They are part of the Mazatzal Mountains.  Only one of the four peaks has an official name-Brown’s Peak so I wondered what we could call the others. 

four-peaksPerhaps one should be named the Amethyst Peak since our guide Barb told us that between the third and fourth peak is the only commercial amethyst mine in the United States. Helicopters take supplies in and minerals out. The miners hike nine miles to work and usually spend about a week at a time at the mine site which has no running water or electricity.  Hand tools are used to extract the amethyst. flat-iron-mountainBecause we were on the hike with Hans we actually got a picture of the two of us together.

dave-lost-dutchman-hikeDuring our two-hour walk, it was interesting to watch the sun change Flat Iron, the rock formation behind us. Formed by volcanic activity some 25 million years ago it is a pillared mesa. marylou-lost-dutchman-hike



mistletoe-on-treesHere Barb is showing us some mistletoe growing on a tree.  Desert mistletoe will eventually kill a tree but it can take 10 to 15 years to do so. The parasite is spread from one tree to another by birds who wipe their bills on branches or deposit droppings on the tree after eating the mistletoe fruit.  Mistletoe is just a fact of life in the Sonoran Desert and there isn’t much you can do about it. 

Don't Dave and Hans look fascinated with all the facts they are learning about the mistletoe?

Don’t Dave and Hans look fascinated with all the facts they are learning about the mistletoe?

sunset-on-the-mountainAt this point in the evening, Flat Iron reminded me of the red rocks you see in the Sedona area. praying-handsThis rock formation has been dubbed The Praying Hand. It is a favourite ascent for rock climbers.faces-in-the-rock-az I thought the formation on the bottom left here looked like a hand too and in the one in the centre, I could see a face with eyes, nose and mouth. 

purple-mountainsLater in the evening, the light on the distant mountains reminded me of that line from God Bless America about the purple mountains majesty. The song was written using the words from a poem by Katherine Lee Bates. She and her life partner Katharine Coman were fellow Wellesley professors who traveled often to the American West and were tireless advocates for America’s poor. hoodos-and-flood-flat-iron-azThe rock formation in the background of this photo figures prominently in a First Nations legend that tells the story of a group of people who escaped a flood by climbing to its peak. The white line on the rock shows how high the water came.  See the hoodos to the left? They are tall thin spires of rock also called fairy chimneys or earth pyramids. There is also a tragic modern story associated with this rock formation. On Thanksgiving, in 2011 a plane crashed into it killing six people including a father and his three children. sunset-desertAs we neared the end of our walk the sun truly set and we got some colourful views. diverse-crowd-hikesThe news is just full of all this rhetoric about a divided America and so it was kind of reassuring and lovely to hike through the sunset with this huge group of people of varying ages, from varying cultural backgrounds and various geographical regions in the United States who were all so friendly and enjoying nature’s spectacular show together.

Other posts……….

Wine Canyon

Six Toed Cats, A Birthing Chair and His Last Penny

Better With Friends


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Filed under Arizona, Nature

Nature in the City

I live in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, not a place you might typically look for nature photos, but we have lots of natural beauty here. My friend Suzanne nominated me for a photo challenge on Facebook.  I was to post nature photos for seven days.  I decided to cheat a little and post seven pictures all at once on my blog.  To narrow the field I only chose photos taken in my neighborhood. 

Spring Window on Rorie Street

Spring Leaves on Rorie Street

Icicles on the Royal Albert Hotel

Icicles on the Royal Albert Hotel

Prairie grasses on the bank of the Red River near my home taken in October 2012

Prairie grasses on the bank of the Red River

Canada Goose in Steve Juba Park

Canada Goose in Steve Juba Park

October trees on Bannatyne Avenue

October trees on Bannatyne Avenue

Winter Pines at the Goldeyes Stadium

Winter Pines at the Goldeyes Stadium

Railroad Bridge at the end of McDermott Street

Fall colors at the end of McDermot Avenue

Other posts………
I’m Happy My Taxes Are Paying For This

Wisdom on a Tree

Couples in the Library

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In A Cinematography Textbook

A photo of mine is going to be in a cinematography textbook !  One of the things I love about writing this blog is the connections I make with people all over the world and the way my work can be shared with others.  A couple days ago Blain Brown from Los Angeles contacted me.  He wants to use a photo he saw on my blog for the third edition of his cinematography textbook, a text that is to be published in 12 languages and used in major film schools around the world. His book is called Cinematography: Theory and Practice.

set for jack layton filmThe photo of mine he wants to use is this one I took outside my condo building when the CBC was filming a movie called Jack about Canadian political leader Jack Layton. They were using the exterior of our building and some of the suites on our floor as settings for the movie. I called my post about the experience In the Middle of a Movie Set. 

Other posts about my work being used……..

One of my Photos Is In A Book of Saints

A Photograph in The Mennonite

My Photograph is in the Supreme Court Building

I’m in the Pre Raphaelite Art Society Newsletter

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Butterfly Wonderland

butterfliesThere are 28,000 species of butterflies. 

butterfly wonderlandButterflies live everywhere in the world except Antarctica. monarch butterfly

Those are just a few of the interesting things we learned at the Butterfly Wonderland in Phoenix.  3D glassesWe started our visit by donning 3D glasses and watching a film about the amazing migration of monarch butterflies. That migration spans a year and takes three generations of butterflies to complete. 

butterflies hatchingAfter the film we went into a gallery where we could watch butterflies hatching from their chrysalises.atriumThe highlight of the visit was spending time in this atrium where there were hundreds of thousands of butterflies each more beautiful than the other dave taking picsYou wanted to take photos of them all. butterfly wonderlandWe learned there are representations of butterflies in frescoes from Thebes in Egypt that are 3,500 years old.
butterfly wonderlandMost butterflies only live for two weeks.monarch butterfliesButterflies bodies are covered with scales that create the beautiful colors and patterns you see. butterflies eatingButterflies taste with their feet, smell with their antennae and have no teeth. butterfly world phoenixSkipper butterflies can fly up to 37 miles per hour. aquarium butterfly wonderflandButterfly Wonderland also had an aquarium. touching a sting rayAnd a tank where you could touch a stingray. butterfly wonderflandButterfly Wonderland was definitely worth the visit.  

Other posts about nature…..

White Tailed Deer Keep Delicate Their Counsels Wild

Flooding at Birch Point

Alligators All Around

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Filed under Arizona, Nature

My Photograph is in the Supreme Court Building in London

A photograph of mine is hanging in the Supreme Court Building in Parliament Square in London England. It’s been there for a month now and 12,500 people have already come to see it. It will remain on display till September 23.

  the famous five winnipeg legislature groundsThe photograph is one I took at the Manitoba Legislature grounds in Winnipeg. It features the statue created by Helen Grange Young to honor five Canadian women who petitioned the British Privy Judicial Council in 1927 to allow women to be recognized as persons in their own right. The Supreme Court of Canada had ruled they were not persons and therefore they were not eligible to run for public office in Canada. the famous five manitoba legislative groundSo they took their case to the British Privy Judicial Council. From 1833 to 1950 this council served as the highest court of appeal for the colonies of the British Empire, including Canada. The Privy Council ruled in favor of the women’s petition to be recognized as people.

ben-wilson-uk-supreme-courtEarlier this year I was contacted by Mr. Ben Wilson the Communications Director of the British Supreme Court who said they were planning a special exhibition in their building this summer featuring some of the landmark cases that had come before the British Privy Judicial Council during its more than a hundred years of operation. They wanted to include the women’s rights case advanced by the five Canadian suffragettes Irene Parlby, Emily Murphy, Henrietta Muir Edwards, Nellie McClung and Louise McKinley. These women are often referred to as The Famous Five. Mr. Wilson the court communications director said while searching for a photo to include in the display about The Famous Five he came upon a blog post I had written about the women. My post included photographs of the special artwork that has been erected at the Manitoba Legislature to honor them. He wondered if I would be willing to let the Supreme Court use my “wonderful photographs” of the sculpture. I replied that I’d be honored.

Supreme Court Building Parliament Square London

Supreme Court Building Parliament Square London

Last week Mr. Wilson kindly sent me photos of the exterior of the Supreme Court building in London’s Parliament Square where my photo is exhibited. JCPC exhibition Famous Five in contextHe also sent photos of the room where my photography work is displayed with the story of The Famous Five and a copy of the press release announcing the exhibition. The press release highlights three stories featured in the exhibition including the one about The Famous Five. Lady Hale cuts the ribbon to open JCPC exhibitionMr. Wilson also sent a photo of Lady Hale, the Deputy President of the Supreme Court opening the exhibition. 

Although together they were a formidable team for advancing women’s rights each of The Famous Five did many admirable things on their own. heinretta muir edwards manitoba legislatureHenrietta Muir Edwards was a founding member of the Victoria Order of Nurses and published the first magazine for working women in Canada. emily murphy famous five manitoba legislative groundsEmily Murphy was the first female magistrate in the British Empire and was instrumental in having the Dower Act passed which insured wives would inherit a portion of their husband’s estate when he died.irene parlby famous five manitoba legislature grounds Irene Parbly served as a cabinet minister and sponsored the Minimum Wage Act for Women. Louise McKinney the famous five manitoba legislative groundsLouise McKinney a member of the Alberta legislature introduced legislation to support people with disabilities, immigrants and widowed and single women. nellie mcclung the famous five manitoba legislative groundsThanks to Nellie McClung Manitoba became the first province in Canada to give women the right to vote in 1916. The people of Canada owe a great debt of gratitude to these five women.

   JCPC exhibition Famous Five panelAlthough I wish I could have gone to London to see my photograph of The Famous Five on display in the Supreme Court Building I am still thrilled to have played a small part in having these crusading women’s story told outside of Canada.

Other posts……

Thanks to the Winnipeg Art Gallery I’m in the Pre-Raphaelite Art Society Newsletter

I’ve Put Winnipeg On the Map

The Famous Five


Filed under Art, Canada, England, History