Newsletter No. 2 – June 2005
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
Early Spring: A trip to the Fraser & Chilcotin River Canyon lands – Part II
For those interested in the technical side of photography, I will start providing the specs such as exposure, depth of focus, shutter speed and what lens was used under each image. But more important for me is sharing the stories behind the image’s creation – the where and why, the weather, the smells or sounds and the emotions I experienced while capturing the photograph. These recollections are emotional highs in themselves.
"Caribou Ice Formation”
© Chris Harris; Canon EOS-1D Mark II; 100mm macro; 1/15 sec, f/32; Mode: Manual; ISO: 200; Manual Focus
While crawling around the pizza shaped ice formations (see Newsletter #1) along the Fraser River with a macro lens, I made some startling discoveries. This ice formation confirmed I was photographing in the Cariboo (Caribou) region of B.C.! Even its eye was in a perfect location.
© Chris Harris; Canon EOS-1D Mark II; 100mm macro; 1/400 sec, f/2.8; Mode: Manual; ISO: 200; Manual Focus; Drive: Single frame
Next I found an icicle melting in the afternoon sun. As with all macro images, the background is most important. It wasn’t easy, but I finally managed to get my tripod in a position where I could capture the drip against a backdrop that would clearly show its beauty. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I see from the information above that I was shooting single frame. This of course is ridiculous as my job would have been a lot easier using the camera’s capability of 8.5 frames per second. I guess I still have enough of my old Jacque Plante goaltending reflexes left!
© Chris Harris; Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Shutter speed: 1/640 sec.; Aperture: 5.6; Exposure mode: Manual; Metering mode: Spot; ISO: 400; Lens: 100 to 400mm Focal length: 100mm
On the shores of the Chilcotin River I discovered another astonishing array of ice formations – like ones I have never seen before. The shape of this bell, for example, was designed to perfection. Mother Nature could not have done better. Crawling out on the ice on my belly, I got as close as I possibly could in order to capture this composition.
“A Piece of Art”
© Chris Harris; Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Shutter speed: 1/125 sec.; Aperture: 36; Exposure mode: Manual; ISO: 400; Lens: 100 to 400mm; Focal length: 250mm
I first thought of crocodiles (in the Chilcotin River?) when I saw this ice formation, but in fact it was an art installation by, once again, Mother Nature. Much like stalactites and stalagmites of calcium carbonate in a cave, these were formed with water. Each shape was miraculously beautiful – I could have stared at them for hours.
A Walk in the Grasslands – Part II
On my previous walk through Churn Flats (described in Part I) I made notes on where I should return. Within a week I was back.
“Oasis in the Grasslands”
© Chris Harris; Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Shutter speed: 1/10 sec; Aperture: 20; Exposure mode: Manual; ISO: 100; Lens: 17 to 35mm; Focal length: 26mm
I left my truck at 1 pm, planning to reach the Canyon walls just before evening light. The first three hours took me over rolling grasslands where every once-in-awhile a small lake would appear. There was beauty everywhere yet never a person in sight.
“Looking into Churn Creek Canyon”
© Chris Harris; Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Shutter speed: 0.4 sec; Aperture: 22; Exposure mode: Manual; ISO: 100; Lens: 17 to 35mm; Focal length: 29mm
On my left was a vast stretch of open flat grasslands – a place to walk peacefully for hours. On my right, however, the earth had slumped a thousand feet down into Churn Creek Canyon. The contrast was dramatic as I followed the ridgeline to the very end.
"Shadows & Highlights – Churn Creek Canyon"
© Chris Harris; Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Shutter speed: 1/40 sec; Aperture: 10; Exposure mode: Manual; ISO: 100; Lens: 100 to 400mm; Focal length: 250mm
At the end, the view was dramatic. I peered down into the Canyon where landforms told stories dating back thousands of years. The evening light brought the drama I had hoped for. Using a telephoto lens to compress distance, I searched the landscape for an intuitively pleasing visual design. Here I found repetition of form brought about by shadow and light. I was on an emotional high as one dramatic composition after another came into view.
"Solitary Tree – Churn Creek Canyon"
© Chris Harris; Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Shutter speed: 1/50 sec.; Aperture: 10; Exposure mode: Manual; ISO: 100; Lens: 100 to 400mm; Focal length: 340mm
As the setting sun descended, the shadows grew in size. Finally I found myself searching for the last few remaining highlights. This was one that caught my eye. This image is all about shapes. Firstly, there are the three main shapes of shadow, light and shadow. Within that there are many shapes, all brought about by light against shadow and shadow against light.
I walked back to my truck both exhausted and exhilarated. If there was a competition between the two, it would have gone into overtime.
Discover the Grasslands” Guided Field Trip
– A Grasslands Awareness Project Fundraiser
“Walking through the Grasslands”
© Chris Harris; Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Shutter speed: 1/250 sec; Aperture: 14
Exposure mode: Manual; ISO: 250; Lens: 28 to 70mm; Focal length: 70mm
We are pleased to invite donors to the Grasslands Awareness Project of $ 200.00 or more to participate in an accompanied walk with naturalists Kristi Iverson, Ordell Steen and photographer Chris Harris.
These walks are offered to those who are physically able, and whose schedules allow them to take advantage; we will accommodate as many as possible.
The first walk will be June 4, 2005
These accompanied walks will be an opportunity to discover the grasslands and to uncover the wondrous life-forms that make their home there, and to capture their profound beauty photographically for yourself.
Please phone us at 1-800-946-6622 to reserve your place, and be prepared to meet the group at Scout Island Nature Centre in Williams Lake, 9 am, June 4, 2005.
Bring appropriate clothing and footwear for any weather, as well as a packed lunch and plenty of water. If you are interested in photography, bring your camera. If you are seriously interested in making a dramatic improvement in your image making, bring a tripod if you have one. These trips are for small groups, so I will be happy to answer any questions and assist you in any way I can with your photography.
An Evening of Performance Poetry
June 9th at the Chris Harris Studio-Gallery
Harold Rhenisch will present work from his newest book of poetry “Living Will” wherein the poems of William Shakespeare are translated into contemporary (erotic) English. This is the bard in as wild and unbound a translation as has never been seen before. (Will Harold be wearing tights??) This performance could be exciting.
Anna Warje has been making the Slam Poetry scene in Vancouver in recent months and will bring some of this new work home to the Cariboo to share with us. She is a voice for her time with laser and intense writing; and a performance that is poised and professional.
Together these two poets will create an evening that engages the intellect, shatters concepts and reawakens passion. If you plan to attend, please phone the Gallery at 250-791-6631 or 1-800-946-6622 as seating is limited. “Living Will” will be available for purchase.