… (But there are some skiing photos)

As I write this, it’s about 10 °C outside. Centennial Park, where I teach skiing, never opened this year, and Wiarton Willy didn’t see his shadow. I don’t care what certain people down south believe, I think there’s some kind of global warming going on.

But we did have a few good days this year. A fantastic week at Sun Peaks, BC, with the High Park Ski Club, and some great XC skiing at Highlands Nordic, which is close to Duntroon, Ontario. Although Blue Mountain seems to be reducing the number of lifts available, looks like there should be some good spring ski conditions … in late February early March?

Anyway, this is a photography, not a ski blog, and I’ve been really busy with that. Below are a few of my favourite shots over the winter. Doing a lot of experimental work, and I had to quit my job at Back2Front to make time for the 2017 Photography Challenge v2.0 #dogwood2017. I’ll be posting the first 10 weeks of that shortly.

I recently joined the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) and was so impressed by the “Mystical Landscapes” display of the Impressionist painters that I started photoshopping some of my images to get that look. Then I read a blog post by a photographer I follow, A. Cemal Ekin.  This is an imaginary conversation between Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin. Let’s listen:

“Vincent do you feel you are not creative at times, frustrated that others can produce very creative work and you spin your wheel?”

“Well, who doesn’t? But, we keep trying.”

“Wait, there are ways to create highly creative work with little effort, you won’t believe how easy these new add-ons and brush tools are and how creative the results look.”

“Oh, well, go on …”

“Take a look at the creative still life I painted. I started with what you see above, very dull and not creative enough, don’t you think? I even considered adding more texture, like wood, or dried leaves. I think I painted that orange too close to the top edge, but …”

“Get to the point Paul!”

“Then, I remembered reading an ad on the bar wall that promised ‘Amazingly creative results in two easy steps’”

“And you believed that?”

“Sure, look, I got a creative brush tool made by a Frank Talius. It creates amazingly creative wispy things on your painting; you could have used it in your Starry Night, much faster and more creative. It would have taken you days to produce the same effect.”

“Are you serious?”

“But wait, there’s more! I also found out about an add-on canvas that gives you a Monet-like reflection on water of your own painting with ripples no less; no extra work needed and very creative I must add. Look at the result after two easy steps, amazing or what?”

“Are you serious Paul? What do you call this?”

“‘Amazingly creative results in two easy steps.’ What do you think?”

“And, people think I’m crazy?”

So, I decided to leave Photoshop alone for most of my f/x stuff, and do as much as possible in camera.

Hope you enjoy the photos, and “stay cool”!


[click on any photo for slideshow]

Sun Peaks

Top of Sun Peaks

Along the trail at Sun Peaks

Ski group at Sun Peaks

Frozen people at Sun Peaks


Night skiing with leadlamps at Sun Peaks

The forest at Highlands Nordic

The forest at Highlands Nordic

Highlands Nordic

Highlands Nordic

Anti-Trump parade

Downtown fog

Toronto Island on Jan 3