Newsletter No. 26: September 2007
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
The time has come to celebrate the long-awaited fruition of the Grasslands Awareness Book Project. The official release party and unveiling of the book, Spirit in the Grass, will take place on October 20th at 7:00pm at Martin Exeter Hall in 100 Mile House. Everyone is invited. The evening will include a book signing and presentation, followed by a reception in the living room of the Lodge building.
About the Presentation
At this event we will be acknowledging our donors, contributors, and supporters. The Grasslands multimedia presentation itself will include slide-sound sequences in combination with stories behind the images and how they and the book were created. Contributors Kristi Iverson and Ordell Steen will join in and speak from the science perspective, Harold Rhenisch from the cultural perspective, and I from the visual arts perspective.
All of us involved in this project are extremely excited about unveiling this beautiful and important book. We look forward to sharing this with you.
About the Book
This book will undoubtedly become one of the most important British Columbia conservation books published to date. A percentage of book profits will be donated to the Grasslands Conservation Council of B.C.
"The stunning images in this book evoke wonder and awe, which are essential if we are to love and fight to protect such sacred places". – David Suzuki
Following the October 20th launch in 100 Mile House, these are the confirmed locations and dates of other book launch presentations in British Columbia. Soon to join the list will be Vernon, Kamloops and Quesnel. The list is being continually updated, so please check back to my website periodically.
Last month, Doris Blanchet, a wonderful young lady, full of energy, walked into my gallery with her husband Michael, and exclaimed "WOW"! Today I would like to return that "WOW" to her, as she was so excited about the Grasslands Awareness Project, that she volunteered to produce a Video Story Card for the benefit of the Project and the book.
Doris has a fledging software company called 321ForKeeps.com where she creates custom video cards for any of life’s events such as weddings, babies, birthdays, anniversaries and memorials. She also works to promote sustainability in the environment with eco-friendly Video Story Cards such as the one she created for the Grasslands Awareness Project. Soon she will also have elegant and unique 30-second Ready-To-Send Video Story Greeting Cards that can be emailed at the press of a button! Check out her web site at 321forkeeps.com. Thank you for your support Doris. Next comes one on my Bowron Lake book!
Check out the "Spirit in the Grass" Video Story Card
4. British Columbia Magazine – Fall Issue
It’s here! The Fall issue of British Columbia Magazine has hit the newsstands and you can’t miss it with its stunning cover image (I’m bragging again!!). Editor-in-chief, Anita Willis, and one of her wonderful writers, Brian Payton, have spent several days with us out in the grasslands during the past two years. Anita has been so supportive of the Grasslands Awareness Book Project since its beginning and this month the magazine features a full 18-page feature on the grasslands and the upcoming book to be released next month. It’s a wonderful article to read, and while you’re reading, be sure to read Anita’s editorial – it’s worth a laugh! BC Mag will also have a booth at Word on the Street so be sure to pay them a visit while you’re there.
The 13th Annual Word on the Street Festival will take place at Library Square (Homer & Hamilton Streets between Georgia & Robson) in Vancouver on September 30th between 11am and 6pm. There are readings, performances, exhibits, family story projects in conjunction with Literacy BC and much much more. Country Light Publishing (that’s us!!) will have a booth there and I will also be a featured speaker at Canada Writes at 4:20 in the afternoon. I’ll be talking about my about-to-be-released Spirit in the Grass as well as my most recent publication, The Bowron Lakes – A Lifetime Journey. This is a wonderful event that takes place in a number of cities all across Canada. If you are in the neighbourhood, please drop by and say ‘hi’. Rita and I would love to see you.
In my last newsletter I left you with a panorama of the view of Nuk Tessli Lake from our base camp. Well, the next morning I was so excited to see what was up on top of the pass, I crawled out of my cozy sleeping bag at 3:45 am, gathered my camera equipment that I had organized the night before, and headed upward in near darkness. It felt so great to be breathing that cool crisp pre-dawn mountain air as the light slowly pushed away the darkness.
First Light over Alpine Tarn, 5:12am
Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Lens: 17-35 mm;
Focal length: 26mm; ISO: 200;
Shutter speed: 1/10 sec., Aperture: 18
Once I reached the open alpine, I was ecstatic to find a number of alpine tarns or small lakes in which to catch reflections. My first job was to hike around the many tarns looking for the best possible compositions, for I knew that once the sun came over the horizon, the magic wouldn’t last long and I wanted to make as many compositions as possible. The above composition includes mostly water as any foreground land would have been in shadow with little detail. I used a split neutral density filter here to balance the light values in the sky and the lake. If I hadn’t, the lake would have been much darker and I would have lost all the detail in the rocks below the water’s surface.
5:32am, Twenty Minutes Later
Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Lens: 17-35 mm;
Focal length: 35mm; ISO: 200;
Shutter speed: 1/20 sec., Aperture: 18
What’s fascinating at this time of day is to be aware of the changing characteristics of light. In the top image the extreme side lighting provides high tonal contrast – from almost pure white to almost pure black. This emphasizes the shapes (especially the rocks in the lake) and adds a three dimensional effect. In the above image, as the sun rises, contrast is reduced and the deep blacks begin to disappear.
Mountain Reflection, 5:13am
Canon EOS-1D Mark II; Lens: 100-400mm;
Focal length: 150mm; ISO: 250;
Shutter speed: 1/30 sec., Aperture: 9
I made this image the next morning. Because I was so impressed with the larger landscape the first morning, I was determined to look for more detail on my second day’s sojourn. Here, I was examining all the elements of composition – line, shape, texture, perspective and of course colour. The image is the reflection of a mountainside in sunlight reflected in a small pond that was in shadow. Next week I’ll take you further into the alpine!