I know I am late. My father used to tell me that I would be late for my own funeral. And I'm ok with that. It is just that I've been conflicted about where to start and what to write about. I mean I've taken over 12,000 photos this year and have photographed everything from frozen landscapes, northern lights, portraits of northerners, an International Environment Commission, the Premier and Members of the Legislative Assembly for Yellowknife, a First Nation Dene Wedding, trips to Jamaica, Jasper and another 10 day drive back across the country not to mention my poochie. In a way, for me it was a year of reflection. Why was I making so many photographs and to what end? What is truly important and where and what is home? Nothing is ever black and white for me so I suppose I should start at the beginning.
It was a time of darkness really. In Yellowknife at that time of year, the sun rises at 10:15 in the morning and sets at 3 pm in the afternoon. The days are short and it is usually bitterly cold. We had lived in Yellowknife for over a year and we were missing our family. My youngest son Derrick was going through his fourth surgery stemming from a motorcycle accident the year before, and I was heartbroken that I couldn't be there for him. We began to consider the possibility of moving back home to Ottawa.
I started to think that this might be my last winter in the north and that should get out and do some ice fishing. Saydee and I hitched a tour with Shawn Buckley where we went out onto the ice of Great Slave Lake in his 1959 Bombardier. He calls it his Lake to plate experience. I learned that Saydee did not like fresh fish but prefers hers cooked (as do I.)
Despite the biting cold temperatures and darkness, the night skies are often punctuated with the most glorious light spectacle you could imagine.
In February the days started to get a little longer and our mood lifted. My son's surgery was a success and we were looking forward to a little holiday in Jamaica.
The night before leaving for Jamaica, Eddie and I ventured out onto the ice with my tripod to capture some northern lights. It was particularly cold with temperatures around -36C. It is difficult to photograph at that time of year with your fingers freezing in seconds if you take off your mitts. It was hard to imagine in that less than a week we would be basking in the sun while sitting on a beach.
When we arrived in Jamaica, I found it weird to see water that wasn't frozen solid. We did however really enjoy our time there. It was carefree and relaxed.
I think we managed to soak up a good dose of vitamin D before having to return to Yellowknife. We returned just in time for the Snowking's Annual Longjohn Jamboree.
I might add that the landscape in Northern Manitoba at that time of year from 37,000 feet is quite impressive. I was reminded of Edvard Munch's The Scream.
Winter can hang on for some time. In mid April people were still skating on Great Slave Lake. I was wanting to try out my new filter for some long exposure photography so we went on a mini road trip (ok 10 hours there and back) to photograph the Alexandra Falls just south of Fort Providence and close to Hay River, NWT and were surprised to see that they were still frozen.
Towards the end of April my Fuji pal Bill Braden and I went out to the Boat launch for what would be my final viewing of the Aurora for the season.
Incredibly, there were still signs of winter hanging on by mid May and tulips were very hard to come by if not impossible.
So we all got on board Air North flight to head back to Ottawa to look at employment possibilities and where the tulips would be plentiful.
Continued ... 2017 in Pictures - June-December