Cathedral, Strasbourg

A year in photographs, 2014

After being inspired by a recent post of ‘A year in photographs, 2014’ by the official White House photographer, I thought I would pull some images together from my library for 2014. And here they are.

Helping birds
On Sable Island, I spend my time working in the seal colony for Dalhousie University. Whenever we can, we try to assist animals that are having a hard time but only those that don’t need too much help since we are not well equipped. This bird, held by Sarah Wong, was found helpless on the shoreline, looking wet and exhausted. We picked it up, let it rest inside our cabin for the night and released it the next day. A feel good feeling…
Swants on Sable Is.
On Sable Island, we work full days for 4-5 weeks spending all of our time outside in the seal colony. So, to shake things up a little, we occasionally get inspired and do a photo-shoot. Here sweaters have been re-shaped into highly fashionable, wearable swants. Thanks to Sarah Wong (left), Laurie Baker and Rob Ronconi (right).
ATV driver and snow
Sable Is. is ~ 50 km long so an ATV is a critical piece of gear. They also help people avoid bites from seals. Unfortunately, they don’t come with heated seats nor protection from bad weather.
in February I seemed to be focused on form. Here dried leaves from a decaying fern
From Hawaiian dried ferns to Hawaiian concrete high-rises...
From Hawaiian dried ferns to Hawaiian concrete high-rises…
Starlings in winter
This was taken from the back door of my house. I really liked the splatter of silhouetted birds, fine branches and the grey hues
Purple beets, purple hands
I love cooking and being intimate with the foods I use. You can’t get much more intimate than par-boiled beets.
Rusty nails
I came across this small pile of nails while canoe camping somewhere.
Bald dune + tourists, Sable Is.
It is unusual to see many people on Sable due to its remote location. Last year, Adventure Canada brought quite a few tourists to the island. This dune, called Bald dune and one of the highest on the island and usually ‘bald’, was dotted with tourists, similar to little shafts of hair poking through.
South Beach in June, Sable Is.
I took this photo shortly before leaving the island. Calm, elegant horizon, and a sky whose cloud patterns mirrored those on the beach.
Seal tracking by satellite
Each June I spend 2 weeks on Sable Is. catching seals to attach satellite transmitters to, to figure out where these animals go when they leave Sable. This adult male, after leaving Sable, toured the Eastern Scotian Shelf before spending his summer in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. He came back to Sable in January allowing us to re-capture him and remove his transmitters.
Sea, sky, Magdalen Islands
I spent 10 days in the Magdalen Islands in July catching seals. We lived and worked on a fishing boat for 4 days north of the ‘Maggies’ which provided some wonderful shots of the sea and sky.
Tracking seals by satellite and bluetooth
This young adult female grey seal is about to leave our boat for a long journey. She is wearing a satellite tag and on her back an acoustic tag that will collect data from tagged fish that she may swim by or eat! Those data are sent to the satellite tag via bluetooth. This female spent a few days around Brion Island near the Magdalens before swimming directly to St. Pierre and Miquelon, some 300 km away. Her she spent several months doing very little; at one point I thought she had died. But in October she began to move again and headed south to Sable Is., another 300 km. We caught her on Sable in January.
Kiki by the lake
My partner Sue and I spend some time each year camping by canoe with our dog, Kiki. She loves the outdoors as do we. This photo seems to give a sense of the wildness and beauty that sits so close to the city of Halifax where we live.
Wood and shadows
Sometimes, the beauty is there right in front of us. We just need to stop and look to see it.
Dusk in Alsace, France
I spent 10 days in Alsace in September at a conference. When time allowed, I drove into the countryside and surrounding villages, mostly to drink wine and eat. This shot was taken in a small village south of Strasbourg after I found both.
Cathedral, Strasbourg
Sunday morning in Strasbourg. My travel companion was a practicing catholic and I asked to accompany her to Sunday Mass.

In October I participated in Nocturne, an all night art event. The project was called “Who Is A Stranger“. Briefly, we brought total strangers together in a makeshift studio and shot their raw first meeting. Then, after 15 seconds of eye contact and providing the strangers with  props, we took another photograph. The first photograph shows the two people obviously being a little awkward, unsure, expressed by their body behaviour. After the eye contact, they start to loosen and feel more open to this new person.

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