(John Enman photo)

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

Roadside photography constantly changes with light and seasons

Another cold sunny day and I was off down the road to see what there was to photograph.

Up where I live there is still plenty of snow and I wanted to photograph some old sheds that aren’t being used anymore and are at the entrance to a farm. Those sheds looked very old the first time a drove by them back in 1978 on the dusty unpaved and bumpy Duck Range Road. My wife and I had begun clearing a place to build our home in Pritchard and we were exploring the neighbourhood that I now know so well.

I keep expecting them to be torn down. The old tin chimney pipe is starting to fall over and the wall facing the road has most of the wood removed. But they keep standing and are just as good subjects to photograph in black and white now as they were 40 years ago.

Although I am no longer using a camera loaded with B&W film. I photograph in colour, balance the tonality with one of several programs I have on my computer, and convert to black and white at the end. That way I don’t end up with a mono-tonal image. My goal is to have all the tonality (and more) that I used to get with a properly exposed and processed roll of film.

My friend Jo’s children are in school now, so she was able to join me. We slowly drove along the rural road and after several stops we decided to venture out along the highway. She chose to use a 28-300mm lens and I had my 24-70mm.

Late morning is a good time to go for a drive. There are fewer cars and big transport trucks on the highway, so quickly pulling off the road and jumping out to get a picture isn’t dangerous. At this time of year the sun is also still low enough to create depth and interest in a photo.

The elevation changes quickly, and although it was still uncomfortably cold the snow was mostly gone after we drove a couple of miles south.

The highway crosses a bridge a few miles before the small town of Falkland. There is a pull-off that the big trucks use that’s a good place to park and then walk across the road to photograph the foliage covered creek that crosses under the road.

That roadside creek is usually in bright sun and slowly meanders into a shady treed area. The subtle shadows grow darker and darker as it disappears in the short distance, making it fun to photograph in any season.

If the sun is out next week I think I might retrace that drive and even re-shoot the same subjects with my IR camera. It’s a leisurely trip and I’ll have some fun comparisons.

I have been staying close to home for the past few months. That has been just fine with me, there is always something to photograph with the changing weather. Its starting to snow as I write this, and with luck I’ll have a snow covered garden to photograph tomorrow.

As I have written before, photography is a good hobby for this precarious time we are now enduring. And it’s a good time to remember that great quote by Elliott Erwitt that I have used many times before. “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week.

Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net.