Eric G. Rose – Where It's At

Location

I love this stupid town, I really do!

by on Apr.29, 2012, under Family, Life is Good, Location

A couple of nights ago my sweetie and I met a Large Format Film photo buddy for a warm beverage.  The area of town we were in is generally referred to as Connaught.  Most people know it as the street the Galaxie Diner is on.  The Galaxie has been a city landmark for over a decade.  I have spent a lot of time photographing the Galaxie and its employees over the years.  Some day these images might even be worth something.

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Galaxie Diner at Rest

As evening turned into night the street came alive with bright lights and reflections.  The passing automobiles with their H.I.D. headlights create retinal searing lightning-like flashes intensified by the puddles left behind by a recent storm.  The dancing shapes cast upon the walls and glass windows of darkened stores are meant for a Stephen King novel.  At the end of a generally dark street is the  Kalamata Grocery.  A true traditional Greek supermarket.  How traditional you ask?  Well all the gentlemen working inside are called George.  Yes that traditional.

eric_g_rose_11st_04272012_blog

Kalamata Grocery

 Our photo buddy had told us that the Kalamata Grocery had the best olives in town.  Having developed quite an appreciation for good, fresh olives while traveling in Turkey we just had to check this out.  Once inside the store we were instantly transported thousands of miles to some small town grocery in Greece.  The noise level was higher than normal for we staid conservative Canadians.  Shopping for us is a very serious endeavor indeed.  Any spontaneous outbursts of enthusiasm is generally met with disapproving stares and whispered insults shared with a fellow shopper.  The joyful mood in the Kalamata Grocery was very welcome.

The owners were negotiating a transaction with a middle eastern lady who wanted to sell them some sort of non-tobacco tobacco.  This is the same lady who found it almost impossible to park her over sized Range Rover in a spot 1.5 times bigger than she needed.  Maybe she came from a country that doesn’t allow women to drive.  The photo above shows her fifth try at getting into her spot.  Cheap entertainment for me at least.  In all fairness she was a very nice lady.

My sweetie was on the hunt for the perfect olive with one of the resident George’s.  His animated descriptions of how great their olives are would make a Mexican beach walker selling Elvis felt paintings proud.  I went in the opposite direction looking for interesting compositions.  What did I find but yet another George.  This time a customer.  He was more than willing for me to take his photograph.  In fact he struck a pose for me.  This George told me he is the King of Calgary, but has to work as an underpaid and barely appreciated lawyer to pay the bills.  Calgary could do much worse when looking for an ambassador.  George was a gas and I greatly enjoyed our five minutes or so of conversation.

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The King of Calgary - aka George

Yes I do love this stupid town.  Calgary is such a schizophrenic place.  For the most part it is inhabited by super over achievers who have to park a BMW SUV in the driveway to make sure everyone knows they are making the big bucks.  Type A doesn’t even come close to describing the typical oil patch worker in Calgary.  Eighty hour weeks are the norm.  Many just don’t care about our city because they are only here to make loads of money and then go back to wherever they came from.  The sooner the better is their attitude.

On the other hand you find pockets of humanity like the Kalamata Grocery all over the city, whether they are in older neighbourhoods or carved out of the new coffins of concrete we call malls.  I am currently writing this blog in one such oasis, The Good Earth Cafe – Creekside.  Even though it is located smack dab in the middle of a new area the “real” people have slowly found it.  During the day when I come here to work on my website development business I meet other “geeks” and we have fun sharing war stories.  New moms come in with their burping and pooping bundles of joy.  Just now a large and very noisy group of new Canadians finished up a weekly get together.  Even in the city hated by most of Canada (yes even more than Toronto!) we “Blue Eyed Arabs” as we have been branded by the east are real people just having fun.  Well at least the ones that come here and make it their “home”.

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Total redesign for ericrose.com

by on Mar.01, 2012, under Location

Open Wide - Eric Rose Fine Art Photography

Ok, lets see what's in there

My main photography website is down right now as I do a complete redesign.   The look and feel will be different and under the hood I have installed the latest and greatest CMS system.  Rather drastic to nuke the entire thing, but what the heck no pain no gain.

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Dreaming of Spring

by on Feb.26, 2012, under Cameras, Family, Film, Friends, Location, Photographers, Travel

Eric Rose Fine Art Photography - Spring Crucus Photograph

My "Perfect" Crocus Photograph

As I write this, snow is swirling outside my office window.   Anyone who knows me well knows I hate winter.  Winter in Canada anyway.  October to May in the Caribbean, Thailand, Bali to name a few places would be infinitely more bearable.  Life is what it is and I am firmly planted here in Calgary Alberta, Canada for the foreseeable future.

Today my thoughts turned to a right of spring I participated in for at least 30 years.  It was the search for the perfect crocus photograph.  According to Wikipedia: “Crocus (plural: crocuses, croci) is a genus in the iris family comprising about 80 species of perennials growing from corms. Many are cultivated for their flowers appearing in autumn, winter, or spring. Crocuses are native to woodland, scrub and meadows from sea level to alpine tundra in central and southern Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, on the islands of the Aegean, and across Central Asia to western China.  The name of the genus is derived from the Greek krokos (κρόκος). This in turn is probably a loan word from a Semitic language, related to Hebrew כרכום karkōm, Aramaic ܟܟܘܪܟܟܡܡܐ kurkama, Persian and Arabic كركم kurkum, which mean saffron or saffron yellow.   The name ultimately comes from Sanskrit कुङ्कुमं kunkumam, unless the Sanskrit word is from the Semitic one.”

As the weather warms and the snow recedes I keep an eye out for a faint burst of purple peaking through the native grasslands around Calgary.  I  inherited this crocus fascination from my mother. I think deep down she was just as depressed about winter as I am.  As a child I would tag along with her as she hiked through local grasslands looking for that “perfect” crocus.  Many years later and several hundred photographs of crocuses printed my mother rewarded my efforts by purchasing a crocus photograph from one of my photographic students.  This picture was prominently displayed on our living room.  In all fairness it was a very nice photograph (grumble grumble).

My quest continued, now with a heightened sense of urgency, I had to replace that photograph in the living room with one of my own.  It was a pride thing.  The gauntlet had been thrown down.

It never happened.  My mother died from cancer but at least she had a crocus photograph that gave her pleasure and reminded her of the great times we had together.  However my quest continued unabated.

Jump forward a bunch of years to an afternoon spent in Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park with a group of photographers from my Large Format Users Group.  I started this group around 2006 to promote the use of large format film cameras in Calgary.  Naturally a side benefit was meeting and becoming friends with a great bunch of photographers.  On this day however I had my Nikon D70s equipped with a razor sharp Nikkor 60mm macro lens by my side.  No pretty large format landscapes for me today, it was crocus day!

After two hours of climbing hills, sliding down into steep gullies just to climb up the other side I finally found my crocus.  There were no trumpets.  Charlton Heston did not appear as Moses and point to this perfect flower with his God given staff.  Nor was the light right.  Urgh!  After several moments of disgust I thought I might as well take the shot and see if I could do something with it in Photoshop.  Heck if you can make ugly people look like runway models in Photoshop I should be able to fix the lighting.

My tripod would not allow me to get down to the level I wanted so my LowePro pack was pressed into service.  A few errant sprigs of  grass were removed (yes I am one of those, get over it) focus was adjusted and I was ready to make my photograph.  Then a miracle happened, a cloud covered the sun.  Thanks mom, I am sure you were watching me.  Hopefully you find this shot worthy of your mantel in heaven.

The photo may not be perfect in your eyes and maybe you have better ones yourself.  Personally I am happy with this one and have ended my quest.  I have not taken another crocus picture since.  Mission accomplished.

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The Wildrose Brewery

by on Feb.05, 2012, under Cameras, Developing, Location

Wildrose Brewery Vats and Kegs - image taken by Eric Rose Fine Art Photographer

I spent a wonderful afternoon at the Wildrose Brewery a couple of years ago.  I had spotted this place about a year before while at a farmers’ market.  The brewery is housed in an old decommissioned Canadian Army base .  What was more than likely a storage building for machinery now housed these gleaming vats full of God’s special nectar.

I lugged my backpack full of large format lenses, loaded film packs and a Linhof Technica IV past the patrons in the front, through those special swinging doors that separated reality from a Willy Wonka-esk sudsy utopia.  The Wildrose Brewery is a relatively low tech facility. Since they are a micro brewery the output is small when compared to the big operators like Molsons or Labatts.  Here the staff are very hands on with every facet of production.  They actually care about the product they produce and it shows in the taste.  Years ago I had dealings with one of the chemists that work for a once large beer “manufacturer” here in Canada.  I asked him what was his favorite brand.  His answer surprised me, he said he didn’t drink beer, he knew what was in it.  Interesting to say the least.

Here at the Wildrose Brewery they coax out several very distinctive brews from their specially picked ingredients.  “Manufacturing” suds is so far from their reality you have to wonder how some of the swill produced by the big manufacturers can be called beer.   Wildrose beer has become popular here in Calgary due to its taste, not through juvenile commercials.

This particular shot wasn’t easy.  There was a door open on the left that was bathing the kegs in direct sunlight.  The vertical vats were in shade with the background almost dark.  The scene brightness ratio (SBR) was approaching 10 or 11.  Fortunately I use PyroCat-HD as my primary developer utilizing a semi-stand regime.  I adjusted my ASA (ya I’m an old fart and still call it ASA) to the appropriate value, placed my zones where I wanted them and let’r rip.  As it turns out the neg is fairly easy to print, only a little dodging and burning here and there.  The film I am using is Efke PL100  also known as ADOX 100.  I would really like to make a digital neg about 11×14 and use it to produce a carbon print as I have seen Sandy King do.  Carbon prints have such a 3D look to them.

Once finished my shooting for the day the Brewmaster took me around and we spent at least an hour sampling various beers straight out of the vats.  Before I left I did a crew portrait which was dropped off to them the following week.  One copy for each of them.

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I hate my job!

by on Jan.30, 2012, under Cameras, Digital, Location, Travel

turkey_seedseller - photo by Eric Rose

Istanbul Seed Merchant

I don’t know about you but I can honestly say I have had some jobs that just stunk.  Sometimes they start off great but go downhill really fast after the novelty wears off.  Being a bit of an old fart I was brought up in the age of commitment.  If you said you were going to do something you darn well did it.  None of this job jumping you see these days.  Actually I don’t blame the younger folk these days.  Employers have no compunction about sucking you dry and then spitting you out on the street so they can boost the numbers for the quarter.  Gotta keep those Wall Street fat cats happy!  So why should an employee feel some sort of commitment or allegiance to their employer when none if given.

What does this rant have to do with the lady above?  Well nothing really and everything.  Women like her have probably been selling bird seed in this very spot for at least 100 years.  Why do they still do it?  Because they feel a dedication to their Mosque, or maybe her family.  This is the same dedication I used to see here at home.  We use to call it the “Protestant work ethic”.  Since religiosity generally in North America is on the decline it seems the work ethic that went along with it is also on the decline.  That’s not to say there weren’t lots of non religious people who were very hard workers.

Now take the woman in the photo.  There are numerous narratives a reasonably creative mind could come up with.  Is she unhappy with her job?  Maybe the kids running around the square are getting on her nerves.  Maybe she has not made enough money to buy the food necessary for tonight’s dinner.  Could be she is tired of photographers!

Now a bit on the back story.  This photograph was made in a square near a very large Mosque in Istanbul.  There must have been several hundred pigeons squawking for their dinner and an almost equal number of children pestering their parents to buy one of the small plates of seeds.  At the moment I made this image a very large flock of pigeons had been scared into flight.  Being under a tarp was a definite plus.  My wife got a beautiful photograph of a child peeking through just such a pigeon lift off.  Please check out her website.

What intrigues me about the above image is the subject’s body language.  Even though she is Turkish it is not hard to read where her mind is.  She is doing her duty, raising money for the Mosque, and not enjoying one minute of it.  She is well organized and has settled in for the long afternoon ahead.  The countdown is on.  She is poised for a quick exit.

The tension she exhibits is very subtle in the photograph.  The legs running away in the background can be seen as a counterpoint to her captivity.  The bright red adds to the feeling of tension.

I loved Istanbul and found the people to be so warm and friendly.  Well except when they are selling seeds.

The equipment I used for this image is Nikon D700 with Nikkor 28-70mm 3.5-4.5.

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Life is Good

by on Jan.16, 2012, under Cameras, Digital, Life is Good, Location, Photographers, Uncategorized, Vision

When I look at the news these days it reaffirms my belief that for me at least life is good.  Is this why so many people have become news junkies, they need to see someone suffering so they can feel better about themselves?

I think we all know the person who spends all their available time glued to CNN or some equally intelligence numbing news porn pusher. I firmly believe our local CTV news department here in Calgary has a quota of blood and mayhem they have to meet for every evening newscast.  If nothing is gory enough locally they dredge up something from some backwater hillbilly county in the US.  While it may be tragic for the people closely associated with the shooting, stabbing, car wreck or beating it has absolutely nothing to do with my life. There is nothing I can do beyond feel bad for them while at the same time thinking, geez my life is so much better than theirs.  Thank goodness I watched the news, I never would have known how good I have it.

What does this have to do with photography you ask?  Good question.  My life is good, and I don’t need anyone external to tell me so. Yes I could be making more money, I could be 40 pounds skinnier, maybe I should be able to run 10 miles.  Right now, today, I feel great with who I am and where I am.  Well maybe Brooks Jensen from Lenswork magazine could call me up and say he loves my photography and wants to publish some of my stuff in his excellent magazine.  That would make me a tab bit happier.

For 2012 my goal with this blog is to publish one image a week that makes me happy.  It could make me happy because it records a joyful occasion, creates some visual magic like Bruce Barnbaum‘s slot canyons and cathedrals or represents something spiritual.

Along with the image I will outline the all important W5’s.  Maybe even some photo geeky stuff too.

Below is the first image.  Anyone from my generation (baby boomer) can relate to this scene.  Instantly you have memories of going with your parents to the local hamburger drive-in;  the smell of the car’s interior, the AM radio playing anything but what you wanted to hear, pretty car-hops in short skirts, and REAL hamburgers with the condiments oozing out into the foil wrapper.  Maybe you went with your friends in a souped up Chevy or Ford.  A hot car of this era just had to have Thrush mufflers and a jacked up rear end.

Every payday my dad would take my mom and me to the local A&W.  I can remember the day when I was finally old enough to order a Teen Burger and my very own order of French fries!  During those days the family car was a very powerful Plymouth Fury with a new one in the driveway ever year until they got rid of the fins in the early 60’s.  Then it was on to a string of Oldsmobiles.  Why Olds?  Because they had a 455cu, 375hp engine and a nice factory AC installation; horsepower for the old man and AC for my mom.  From Olds the old man went on to Buick Wildcat’s.  That is until they detuned them in 72.  He stuck with his 455cu, 375hp Wildcat until the day he died.  They might have to pry a gun from Charlton Heston’s dead hands, but for my dad it was the keys to his monster Buick with it’s 10mpg.

This picture was taken at a street festival here in Calgary.  I was feeling lazy that day and decided to leave the D700 at home instead pocketing my beater Canon A640.  I figured it would be a generally lousy day for photography but was instead presented with a very target rich environment.  Live and learn.  I did the best I could given the lighting, proximity of Mosquitoes (people in my way) and the limited space between the vehicles.  While the car was an integral part of the photograph, for me it represented mainly a time stamp. The food, now that was what caught my attention.  Did I mention I am just a tad overweight?

Since my digital days are rather recent compared with over 40 years of shooting film I only took one photograph of this subject.  Mind you it took me some time with lots of ducking and weaving to get just the right angle before I pulled the trigger.  I hope you enjoy this image and it brings a knowing smile to your face.  If you were too young to have enjoyed the drive-in experience rent a copy of “American Graffiti” to get a flavor of what I am talking about.  Say hi to the Wolfman for me.

55 Merc Memories - Eric Rose Fine Art Photography Blog

55 Merc Memories

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The Harvest is in! Finally!!

by on Oct.03, 2011, under Family, Location, Travel

Eric and Eric plus the Bumble Bee

For the second year in a row I have helped my brother in law Eric Goerzen with harvest.  This is the family farm where my wife grew up and comprises 1700 acres of high yield dirt.  Eric took over farming the homestead years ago and has added to it both in size and equipment.  Eric has also stepped up to and embraced the new agronomics and yield increasing technologies.  It’s a well running business but requires a high level of commitment and just plain guts.

In the past Eric’s father and father in law helped with the harvest.  Both of these fine gentlemen, experienced farmers in their own right, drove combines while Eric drove the grain truck.  For the most part this arrangement worked well but with the newer combines it was

The Bumble Bee in the field.

possible to replace the two aging combines with one relatively new one.  This was a big decision to make.   The price of these new machines are quite high plus the complexity of the systems running them is on several orders of magnitude more sophisticated.  Much like going from a 1970’s carbureted Chevy to a new computer controlled fuel injected BMW.  Fortunately Eric is also a certified heavy duty mechanic so has a head start on understanding the inner workings.

Another part of the equation when determining the need to purchase this new combine was the advanced age of Eric’s father and his father in law.  Both gentlemen are dyed in the wool farmers and would rather meet their maker doing an honest days work on the farm than be put out to pasture.  It was a tough decision, but one Eric had to make.

The New Holland combine Eric purchased, a CXR-40, is fully computer controlled.  Almost all adjustments can be made from a screen in the combine.  The driving compartment is very ergonomically well designed with sound deadening one of the major pluses.  The downside of that is you can not hear what the combine engine and thrasher are doing.  You have to rely on your in cabin alarms, screen readouts and the good ears of your truck driver.  For old timers this is a huge leap as they are use to “driving” a combine and know what every noise and shake means.

Heck this CXR-40 has air conditioning, stereo radio, and just about any bell and whistle you can imagine.  No microwave or TV though.  I hear some of the newer ones have TV.  Frankly I don’t see how useful this would be as it takes a lot of concentration to maneuver

750 liters of fuel every day.

around a 50 ton machine.  To put that into perspective a Centurion tank, the mainstay of the British and Canadian armies during WWII, weighs in at the same tonnage.

Last year we were plagued with mechanical breakdowns.  One in particular had us sidelined for a full week.  The pressure was on!  When the crop is ready you have to move fast.  Every day counts.  If a frost hits the grade of the crop can be reduced dramatically.  Sometimes the crop can be so damaged it just doesn’t pay to bring it in, especially considering historically weak grain prices.

The price of wheat has not kept up with the consumer price index.  On top of that western Canadian producers are hamstrung by the Canadian Wheat Board.  Just another government board that rewards the east (WCB does not apply east of Manitoba)  and screws the west.  Check out this link for stats collected by the American USDA to give you an idea of how tough it has gotten for farmers to make ends meet.  What’s happening is the family farm is nearing an end.  Forced out by the economics of big business.  The only way you can make a living from grain farming is to cultivate 10’s of thousands of acres.  All the input costs have gone up but the revenue side has remained flat for generations.

This year’s harvest got off to a rocky start.  Eric and his brother Albert were out working the combine and unknown to them an oil line had burst.  By the time the alarms went off they were within a couple of minutes of seizing the engine.  The line was repaired, all systems were go, and then it rained.  We had to wait 2 to 3 days before the crop was dry enough to begin again.  Once we were rolling everything went pretty smoothly.  Blew an injector line, broke a drive chain, broke a header adjustment bolt, destroyed the header shoot gate, and

Moving the swather.

the gear box on the auger tractor gave up the ghost.  For the most part minor stuff.  Just additional stress.  It’s hard for most people to comprehend that an entire year’s revenue is taken in during one week!  51 weeks of blood, sweat and negative cash flow.  If something goes wrong and the crop is a bust, well it’s not pretty.

Many farmers feel that feeding the world is their mission.  God put them on the planet to put food on our plates.  They feel a real affection for the land they work.  It’s almost like the land is another child of theirs.  They nurture it, protect it, feed it and then feel a great sense of accomplishment when it repays them by bringing forth a great crop.  I have seen farmers pick up the soil they farm and just rub it on their face.  They seem to enter into a state of rapture as they smell the earthiness and feel the velvet texture.

Most farmers, especially on the family farms,  earn a meager living compared to business men and women who have to shoulder the same levels of stress and calculated uncertainly.  But just try and take these sod busters off the farm!

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Crossfield Alberta

by on May.01, 2011, under Cameras, Darkroom, Developing, Digital, Friends, Location, Travel

Photograph of Crossfield Store by Eric Rose

Crossfield Store

Not very far from Calgary, a city of over 1 million, is the quiet town of Crossfield.  Crossfield has a population of 2861 according to their official website.  Two weeks ago the population jumped by 3 as my wife and I plus one of my photo buddies Mark Bingham ventured out to enjoy this sleepy little town.

One of the things that strikes me about these small prairie towns is the quality of light.  For some reason it seems brighter and clearer than in Calgary.  This is probably true since they don’t have the pollution we suffer on a daily basis in Calgary.  I think I read somewhere Calgary is the asthma capital of North America.

Part of this clarity renders white buildings, very white and very bright.  This combined with a deep dark blue sky offers the photographer some wonderful contrasts to play with.  A person might be tempted to add a polarizer to enhance this even further.  This would be a mistake in my opinion, at least for the subject pictured above.

It’s hard to find a building in one of these towns without a half ton truck parked out front.  Since these rural residents enjoy their open spaces and it seems they don’t like to park next to each other as well.  Hence the vehicles are very well spaced down the street.  You can’t be in a rush either.  Chances are a car or truck will pull up right in front of you blocking what you are trying to photograph.  The curious passengers will either just look at you in amazement trying to figure out what you find so interesting or will actually ask you.  What a refreshing change from the city where I have had things thrown at me while photographing along busy streets.

One more thing I enjoy about these small towns are the young bucks cruising up and down the main drag, in first gear, punched out mufflers announcing their impending entrance to every young gal in town.  Reminds me of my youth in Calgary.  We use to disconnect our mufflers, or for the better off buy Thrush Mufflers, and cruise the “circuit” downtown.  Pink slip racing was the order of the day.  If you pulled up beside a Hemi Barracuda or Duster 6 Pack you knew you would be eating dust.  I use to have a 1967 Belair station wagon.  Real chick magnet!  Not.  Until I lit up the backend and took out one of those Mopar muscle cars.  Yup my wagon was a sleeper.  The 327 was totally blueprinted, all kinds of extra goodies added to the motor and cranked out over 430 hp.  I would go through two automatic transmissions a year.  It just tore them apart.  Back in those days we didn’t worry about gas mileage.  I suspect this baby got in the single digits.

Those were the days.  Road Runners, Chargers, Barracudas, GTO’s, Da Judge, Firebirds and the Camero.  Corvettes were for sissies or old guys with bad hair pieces and heavy jewelery.

I took my Linhof Technica IV out to Crossfield in addition to my Nikon D700.  Had a lot of fun setting up my shots with the Tekinator. Metering, adjusting swings and rise all those activities that allow you to drop into the “Zone”.  Apologies to Ansel for using his great system as a pun.

I made two film images that day.  Both ruined by a bad film holder.  The image above was shot as a backup with my D700.  Lucky I did.  Will this discourage me from using my LF gear in the future.  Not in your life.  It’s only a little bit about creating images and a lot about soothing my soul.  I find film photography to be very relaxing.  I love the pace, the contemplation, the excitement over getting it all right.  I still get excited about seeing my negatives for the first time after a bath in the fixer.  Watching the image emerge in the developer when printing brings me right back to working along side my dad in the darkroom.  It also reminds me of my newspaper days, teaching darkroom technique to people who themselves are seeing their images come up for the first time.  All this is missing from the run and gun digital photography most people practice.

I will be increasing the population of Crossfield by one once again in the near future.  I still want those images on film.  Digital is nice but for me at least it has no soul.

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Random images from Last Summer

by on Apr.30, 2011, under Cameras, Digital, Location

Since we seem to be caught in the grips of a never ending winter I thought I would post some images from last summer.  Two from the Calgary Stampede billed as the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, and two from a local British car clubs show and shine.  If you are interested in the technical details of how I did the shots and the post processing leave a comment and I will answer it to the best of my ability.

Stampede Excitement

 

The White Hat

 

Got the Keys?

 

Sparkles

 

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Diners, I LOVE Diners

by on Apr.27, 2011, under Friends, Location, Travel

Ever since I was a kid going to a diner with my dad or grandfather was a real treat.  I loved the stools covered in either red, brown or black leather.  Naturally I would catch it for spinning around on them, but hey that was part of the overall experience.  The smells of eggs, pancakes, hash browns and coffee run very deep for me.  It’s one of my happy places.  No wonder I battle my weight!

The Galaxie Diner

Brad Myhre's World Famous Galaxie Diner

Brad Myher started this diner close to 20 years ago.  For Calgary it was a welcome treat from the over priced yuppie cafes so prevalent at the time.  Brad called it the Galaxie after the car.  I remember when his first daughter was born 15 years ago.  We go back a long ways.

Over the years I have seen staff come and go, but most stay for quite awhile.  They enjoy working for Brad (who wouldn’t!), enjoy the customers and the funky vibe.

The food is fantastic while still keeping to a “grill / diner” menu.  I bought my 1970 VW Combi van from one of Brad’s first cooks.  Yes that’s the same van that cratered on me in my “No man left behind” blog post.  Mr. Happy and I have been running the roads for a lot of years.

One of Brad’s loves beyond his wonderful family are smoked meat deli’s.  Especially the ones you find in Montreal, Quebec.  I guess the plane fares to Montreal were beginning to add up so Brad started his own Montreal styled smoked meat deli next to the Galaxie.  The choices of meats and condiments is staggering.

The Galaxie as we call it has been featured in Hollywood movies and many local and national commercials.  The interior is that 30, 40, 50’s authentic.  I did a photo project on the place when I first started going there and gave Brad a bunch of 11×14 matted and framed silver gelatin black and white prints.  Two of which have been hanging in the place for over a decade.  The Chevy Chase movie “Snow Day” was filmed in Calgary.  Some of the scenes were shot in the Galaxie and my photos can be seen hanging on the wall.  My claim to Hollywood fame!  Well ok, I admit I am grasping a bit there.

Galaxie Counter

Galaxie Counter Top

Today I partook in a Galaxie experience.  Had my usual veggie burrito with hash browns, salsa and sour cream.  I can feel my heart slowing down just remembering it.  Steaming hot coffee in a bottomless cup keeps the conversation going.  I’m going to Turkey in a few weeks and found out our waitress, or do we call them serving persons now, had been to Istanbul.  Got the skinny from her on what to see.

One of the many things I love about my Galaxie experiences are the many varied people you get to meet there.  Sitting at the counter could expose you to an oil baron on one side and a homeless guy who lucked into a few bucks on the street on the other side.  Either one of your stool buddies could become a wealth of entertainment for the next hour while you each enjoyed your breakfast or lunch.  The diner is a real equalizer.  If you are one of those affected people you will not want to eat with us locals.  We have a way of cutting through the crap.

On the other hand everyone from suits to those sporting mohawks are welcome at Brad’s place.  Hope to see you there someday.  Check out one of my Galaxie Diner shots taken with my Rolleiflex TLR here.  It’s the one in the middle of the table and chairs.  The original print has some of the sumptuous chrome detail I have ever gotten.  Gotta love that Zeiss glass!

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