I have three loves in my life - my family, music and photography. My family has and will always continue to inspire me, motivate me, and fill my life with love and joy. Through music, I have been afforded the opportunity to work with literally thousands of amazingly talented boys, girls, men and women over the years. I have had an off and on love affair with photography since the early 1970's, economics and lack of time often dictating my participation in this pursuit.
I stopped chasing the dream of becoming a recording artist and/or a professional photographer many years ago, but I have always been interested in learning to sculpt with sound and working with images. Advances in digital recording technology over the last decade have resulted in home recording studios capable of producing high-quality tracks. This has revolutionized the world of sound design. The same can be said for digital photography, as technology makes the creation and manipulation of images easier and easier every day.
It has always been a dream of mine to create soundscapes as companions to my favorite images, but somehow, life kept getting in the way. Well..... now it's time!My goal was simple - to translate into sound what I hear inside my little hairless head as I look at my images. The result is "Scapes", my first attempt at merging Sight and Sound..
Every second of every day, A Child is Born. To me, this image symbolizes the deep relationship between old life (the tree) and new life (the sprout). Neither would be whole without the other.
This tree lives near the ocean in Manly, Australia. It sits inconspicuously tucked away, against a brick wall. There are probably billions of trees out there that are more interesting than this one, but, as I walked past it, I felt oddly drawn to it.I love trees and often find myself wondering what things each has witnessed over the years. I created the music for "A Child is Born", not to specifically suggest the image of this tree, but to portray my wonderment at its beauty, the life it has lead and the new life it has created.
To quote Wikipedia, "The Cypress Hills plateau rises up to 200 metres above the surrounding prairie, to a maximum elevation of 1,468 metres (4,816 ft) at "Head of the Mountain" at the west end in Alberta, making it Canada's highest point between the Canadian Rockies and the Labrador peninsula."
This image features "Bald Butte", the highest point in Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Eastern Block.
Aren't sunsets a marvelous thing? My beady little eyes just can't get enough of them. I remember wondering as I took photos on this particular evening, about how many millions of people were watching the sun going to bed at the same time as me in other locations across the globe. Were they feeling the same sense of wonderment, serenity and calm that I was? How could they not!My musical goals for this image?
Simple...... Mellow relaxation!
Sometimes the planets just seem to align, and a hawk volunteers to pose for you right outside your living room window.
I don't consider myself to be a prolific wildlife photographer, but when I am in the wilderness, I take every opportunity afforded to me to capture Mother Nature's citizens of the forest. Often, this involves much trudging around in the woods and hours sitting, patiently waiting for a subject to cooperate. Getting one good shot can be a long, drawn-out process.
Imagine my surprise, when one Sunday afternoon, I received a call from my daughter (who lives across the street from me), telling me that a hawk was sitting in a tree in front of my living room window. I grabbed my Nikon, doing my best to sneak my way into a position to grab a clear photo.
It turns out that I didn't have to sneak all that much. Mr. Hawk was oblivious to me, as he was just finishing a meal of "sparrow sushi". He really did not care about me or my camera. He was "Just Chillin'"!
The anticipation of setting off on a new trail through a forest promising much to see and explore. I love stumbling around in the bush, weighed down by far too much camera equipment, eagerly anticipating what awaits me around the next bend.
"All that Glitters" is my attempt to capture the excitement and sense of wonder I experience before setting off on a journey down a new trail.
A quiet night, a crackling fire and a setting sun.Sh!...... listen to the sounds of the night!..... Peaceful..... haunting..... heavenly!
The mighty Churchill River. So many places to visit, so much to see..... so little time!Water Dance - powerful..... awe-inspiring..... raging..... churning..... food for the soul.
Evalisa liked to fill the evening air at Forest House with the strains of the only piece she seemed to know on her trusty banjo.
This photo was taken in the summer of 2012 at Forest House, in Saskatchewan's far north. The lady in the canoe is Evalisa, an amazing person, a magnificent chef, and an accomplished outdoor guide. She, my wife, Velda and myself spent a few days basking in the beauty and solitude that is Forest House.
Evalisa is a very centered, humble lady, who has accomplished things the rest of us can only dream of. For instance, over the course of two summers, she completed the monumental task of canoeing across Canada, from the west coast to the east. To her, it's not that big of a deal.
Through this photo, it was my desire to portray the essence of Evalisa - at one with Mother Nature, paddling on a quiet lake in the wilderness, at sunset. Logic would suggest my companion "Sound Scape" might be an ambient wash of gentle, soothing musical textures, mirroring the photo. Well, not in this case.
You see, Evalisa was also learning to play the banjo, and in the evening, the air at Forest House was filled with the strains of the only piece she seemed to know. To me, this was also the essence of Evalisa, so I attempted to pay homage to it through the music. I hope you enjoy both.
Tony the Pony's home is in in Betws-y-Coed, a gorgeous village in Snowdonia, in northern Wales. It lies in the Snowdonia National Park, in a valley near the point where the River Conwy is joined by the River Llugwy and the River Lledr, and was founded around a monastery in the late sixth century.
Betws-y-Coed is a quaint, quiet, tranquil little village featuring much rustic stone architecture and clean, crisp northern Snowdonia air. My wife, Velda, and I found Tony living in a little clearing almost in the middle of town. He was very happy to pose for us.
I love trees. Can you imagine what they have witnessed and experienced in a lifetime?I found this magnificent specimen living on a hill high above Shelly Beach in Manly, Australia. I wonder what it has passed by it over the years, what battles it has fought with Mother Nature and I marvel at the miracle of its survival.
The visual impact of this image is very difficult to describe and/or represent accurately because it is printed on the amazing Slickrock Metallic Silver paper, giving it an almost 3D quality. Brilliant, vibrant and inspiring.
Mount Snowdon, located in northern Wales is a magical, mystical place. It is the highest mountain in Wales, at an elevation of 1,085 metres (3,560 ft) above sea level, and the highest point in the British Isles outside the Scottish Highlands. It is located in Snowdonia National Park.Mount Snowdon is the busiest mountain in the United Kingdom and the third most visited attraction in Wales, with 582,000 people visiting annually. It is designated as a national nature reserve for its rare flora and fauna.
The rocks that form Snowdon were produced by volcanoes in the Ordovician period, and the massif has been extensively sculpted by glaciation, forming the pyramidal peak of Snowdon and the arêtes of Crib Goch and Y Lliwedd. The cliff faces on Snowdon, including Clogwyn Du'r Arddu, are significant for rock climbing, and the mountain was used by Edmund Hillary in training for the 1953 ascent of Mount Everest.
The summit can be reached by a number of paths, and by the Snowdon Mountain Railway, a rack railway opened in 1896 which carries passengers the 4.7 miles (7.6 km) from Llanberis to the summit station.I rode this funky, unique little train to the top of Mount Snowdon a few years ago. Its somewhat cramped little cars provide a fantastic view of the area, as this tiny red beast chugs its way to the top of the mountain.
Time at the top is limited to the train's departure time for the journey back down the mountain. I had just enough time to climb to the true summit of Mount Snowdon, as well as dodging the crowds to capture a few shots before our descent. Still, this place left me with a deep sense of awe, as I marveled at its magnificence and beauty.
My daughter, Tisha has always been a princess. As a toddler, she would dress up in her pink princess dress, and sit under my grand piano, playing with her princess toys, as I practiced. Whether she wants to admit it or not, this dedication to "Princessology" has stayed with her throughout life.
A few years ago, Tisha journeyed to Australia for a holiday. When she returned, she gushed on about this country's beauty, charm and overall splendor. It was obvious Tisha had become smitten by the "Australia is Heaven on Earth" bug. To paraphrase her, "Mom, dad, to me, Australia is simply the most gorgeous place in the world! I would ABSOLUTELY LOVE to live there! But don't worry - I would never move there, because it's just too far away from the both of you!
"Those sentiments were short-lived. A few short months later, our little princess had moved to Manly, Australia and was living near the ocean in a story-book like setting, perfect for, (you guessed it)..... a princess. It was there that Tisha met her prince, a tall, dark Welshman, named Will and they decided to get married - not in Australia, but in magical, mystical Canmore, Alberta, a beautiful oasis kissed by the majestic Rocky Mountains.
"Through These Eyes" was written for Tisha and Will in December, 2010 as a surprise to be presented to them on their visit to Canada that Christmas. The music was written by me, with the melody and lyrics created and sung by a then sixteen-year-old student of mine, Gillian Pinder. Gillian is one of the most gifted musicians I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I sent her a track on a Saturday, and we recorded it the following Monday. I had very little recording equipment. In fact, I had to go out and buy a vocal mic for the occasion. Also, a nasty flu bug had laid claim to my innards and Gill was buried in exams, so we recorded the track in about 10 minutes.
The wedding in the July, 2011, was spectacular! Our little princess and her prince became "one" on a bright, sunny day, in a breathtaking setting, joined by my family, Will's fantastic Welsh entourage, and our dearest friends - truly a fairy tale for the ages!
Silk Reeling refers to a set of neigong (internal) movement principles expressed in traditional styles of t'ai chi ch'uan. The name derives from the twisting and spiraling movements of the silkworm larva as it wraps itself in its cocoon, and to the metaphorical principle of "reeling the silk from a silk worm's cocoon". In order to draw out the silk successfully the action must be smooth and consistent without jerking or changing direction sharply. Too fast, the silk breaks, too slow, it sticks to itself and becomes tangled.
Thus silk reeling movements are continuous, cyclic, spiraling patterns performed at constant speed with the "light touch" of drawing silk. Silk reeling is trained in solo forms and stances as well as in pushing hands with a partner. It's goal is to open and free all the joints in the body.I perform Silk Reeling almost every day. Besides being beneficial to the physical body, I find it very meditative and calming for the mind. To me, scenes like this one are "Silk Reeling for the mind". They inspire us, open the mind, free the soul and make life worth living.
Manly, NSW, Australia is a hip, happening, vibrant place. Trendy boutiques, chic restaurants, cozy cafes, along its sandy shoreline, are kissed by the Tasman Sea. On any given day, as if partaking in some secret ritual, hordes of people walk the scenic route between Queenscliff to Shelly Beach. The main walkway along the beach morphs into a promenade named "Marine Parade", immediately past the Manly Lifesaving Club. This photo was taken on this route, closer to Shelly Beach, between Bower Lane and a very popular local eatery called The Boathouse.
This amazing suspended topiary is precariously perched, on the side of a cliff, providing it with a spectacular view of the never-ending procession of people below and the Cabbage Bay Aquatic Reserve. I first noticed it on a visit in 2014, but the mental note I made to take a photo of it was lost in the clutter of countless other photographic opportunities. Last summer (2018), I was back in Manly and vowed not to leave this image behind.
After the photo was taken, I spent a few moments watching the masses as they passed by, beneath it. Sadly, I did not see anyone look up to admire this magnificent gift from Mother Nature. I am glad I did!
Sheep traveling through time? Crazy, but?.....
When I took this shot, near Worms Head, Rhossili, Swansea, UK, I was unaware of just how surreal the result would be. It was a "right place at the right time" scenario. Those contented sheep were happy to pose for me, the sky is original (not photo-shopped), and to tell the truth, I did not notice the "time machine" in the foreground.
Scapes celebrates the completion of my first attempt to combine what I see with what I hear.