Aug 23, 2016

Celebrating the US Park's Centennial with my shot of the Virgin River

This print of the Virgin River is arriving this week! 20x30 inch Metal Print with high-gloss surface coating, with float mount hanger. 

Metal prints represent a new art medium for preserving photos by infusing dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets. Because the image is infused into the surface and not on it, your images will take on an almost magical luminescence. The ultra-hard scratch-resistant surface is waterproof/weatherproof and can be cleaned easily – just avoid direct sunlight.
North Fork Virgin River in Zion Canyon ©2016 Kristina Hockley
On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service turns 100! So I decided to share an image of one of my favorite all time parks: Zion National Park in Utah. #findyourpark

A few interesting facts about The North Fork of the Virgin River at Zion National Park, Utah
  • It flows out of a cave at 9,000 feet elevation near Navajo Lake at Cascade Falls, Utah, descend toward Lake Mead at 1,000 feet, and empty into the Colorado River. The length of the Virgin River is 180 miles, however I am only the 33-mile stretch of the North Fork.
  • Zion means place of sanctuary and safety. Formerly known by its Paiute Indian name, Mukuntuweap or Mu-Loon’-Tu-Weap
  • It is one of the few remaining free flowing rivers left in the United States, and was designated Utah’s first wild and scenic river in 2009, during the centennial celebration of Zion National Park
  • The stream's gradient, 50 to 80 feet per mile, is one of the steepest in North America
  • Its flow is fairly low, but sometimes after a heavy rain it can turn into a raging flash flood destroying roads and knocking out anything in the way. On 12/21/11 the river crested at 9.8 feet and went rip-roaring through the Park
  • The cfs (cubic feet per second) varies throughout the seasons. Without rain during the summer months, I average about 20-30 cfs. During the late summer monsoon season heavy rains can raise the flow up to 200-1000 cfs. largest flow since 1926 was 9,100 cfs in December 1967.
The large art piece is replacing the Roma Music Man which sold last month to a couple passing through Grand Forks on there way home to Winnipeg. A funny story about the Roma Man: I hung him in the Wooden Spoon Bistro's unisex bathroom as the colors really complemented and it seemed like a great place capture people's attention. Apparently, the restaurant had a few elderly people complain that they were uncomfortable with this gentleman watching them. Did he need a curtain so those uncomfortable people could draw it closed while they used the facilities?

The new owners of the 'Roma Music Man' laughed at the thought of people having a problem with this and she said "Actually, I'm going to hang this piece in my washroom!"

Roma Music Man 20x30 inch metal print - this image can be re printed on request

Aug 19, 2016

New Art being Produced

So excited! New art is being produced at my lab as I write this post. 

What is amazing about the Boundary Region of BC? EVERYTHING! I may be a little biased but seriously, this area is a nature lover's dream! With four very distinct seasons we have the opportunity to truly soak up the best of each. The environment boasts a broad range of wildlife and we literally rub elbows/wings with them. For instance our ranch, Whistling Kettle, has a resident Pygmy Owl who loves to perch in the Aspen behind our apple tree. 

Yesterday, I put together a flagstone cluster of metal prints. This is a BIG art collection. The landscapes around the center print measure 10x31inches and the interior owl is 20x20inches. MetalPrints represent a new art medium for preserving photos by infusing dyes directly into specially coated aluminum sheets. The images take on a magical luminescence. Colors are vibrant, detail and resolution are unsurpassed. I love my lab! The prints will be on display (and of course for sale) at The Wooden Spoon - Bistro & Bake Shop, in Grand Forks, BC hopefully by next week. Stay tuned!

Background of images in the art piece.
Top : view looking Southwest of the pristine Granby valley. Taken from Volcanic Mountain. Early summer when the valley is fresh and green.
Right: Lynch Creek Bluffs looking Northwest. Late fall before snow socks these trails in.
Left: Cascade Falls looking South in early summer when flow is incredibly intence
Bottom: Whistling Kettle Ranch and our dog Zeus enjoying the crisp fall morning
Centre: Hoot is Whistling Kettle resident wild Pygmy owl. This 2 oz grapefruit size bird of prey packs a punch and has been known to take out birds much larger than itself like Grouse. This mysterious bird has eluded scientists trying to study its behavior and mating habits.

Aug 12, 2016

The Milky Way and Perseid Shower August 10th

I was shocked recently when I heard that in North America in particular, nearly 80 per cent of us can no longer see the Milky Way at night. I've been out enjoying it regularly and in the last week or so with the moon as a sliver in the sky it has been especially amazing! A very interesting radio segment and I was pleased to hear that the fact that we can see the milky way also is a bonus to our health as it means that we get a true amount of darkness at night to keep our Circadian rhythm humming along nicely.

The cherry on the cake was last night's special Perseid meteor shower. I read some amazing facts on NASA's blog about this event.

“The meteors you’ll see this year are from comet flybys that occurred hundreds if not thousands of years ago and they’ve traveled billions of miles before their kamikaze run into Earth’s atmosphere.”

National Geographic has a great article about how to watch the supercharged Perseid meteor shower which I would recommend reading as there are some excellent points. One of which is you need to allow 45 minutes for you eyes to truly adjust to the darkness. You can't expect to set your alarm and walk out and just see the true depth and colour of the night time sky. This is especially so if you've been watching the Olympics on your TV screen or looking at a device.

Also, one thing I would have done differently is set my camera on tripod during the day and pre-focused the camera to my favorite vista. If you are shooting straight up to the stars with no silhouettes of closer objects you can manually set your focal point to infinity but if you want some context like a mountain top or tree then you'll have an easier time to with focus in daylight.

If you're having trouble seeing the night sky then check out The New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness and see where the closest 'darker' location you can go to get a better view.

depth and color of night sky is outstanding!

my ten year old couldn't keep his eyes open after midnight

the gorgeous milky way from our home in British Columbia

Jul 21, 2016

On the Fence about Boundaries

Visitors are reminded that sandstone cliffs can give way and the drop offs are extremely high into treacherous currents    ©2016 Kristina Hockley

This post is going to explore boundaries because I think it's a topic that needs to be discussed. Traversing a boundary means so many things depending on your perspective and the motivation to cross them can be so compelling. As a culture we like to keep each other safe and rationally we understand that when we put our own life at risk we are also potentially putting others at risk because we have all agreed that society will attempt to assist another in distress. We also value freedom and adventure. We enjoy photographs, stories, and videos of people who have survived to tell the tales. So do you play it safe or leap across?
a slight step forward or sideways and your content changes. moving to include or take away © 2016 Kristina Hockley

As a landscape and travel photography freelance artist I cross boundaries all the time. Both mentors and my instincts have told me that to capture the most compelling images you have to be willing to move into the best possible perspective and this drama often exists beyond the safe lines that society has set.

Recently, I joined my local fire and rescue volunteer team and gained a new perspective and getting to know the crew has caused me to hesitate at boundaries where I didn't before. This time I stop and actually look at the fence, read the sign, consider its placing, and wonder what events led to this warning to be posted. The first tragic search result in Google is of a teen who was never recovered after she fell off one of Cape Kiwanda's cliffs into what is called the 'Punchbowl'. Two local fire and rescue volunteers had a close call trying to recover her. This teen like the people in the photo below believed it couldn't happen to them. I, the photographer of these images, up there bearing witness to not just the landscapes but to the people in the landscapes who like me are crossing over to witness the beauty of this amazing world from sometimes less safe perches.

two enjoy a view of a sea stack, named Chief Kiawanda Rock © 2016 Kristina Hockley

How far would humans have developed and progressed if we hadn't taken risks? What makes one person more qualified for an adventure than the next? Is the culture, going to give permission to venture out and possibly make mistakes in the hopes that we gain more than we lose. Are we willing to risk our own lives to help those brave people when things go wrong? When do we draw the line and say if you cross this we won't be helping you if things go south? Recently two men fell off a California cliff while playing the new craze Pokemon Go. One man fell 75 to 100 feet. As firefighters rescued the man, they found the second man unconscious 50 feet down the bluff, said Battalion Chief Robbie Ford of the Encinitas Fire Department. Both were taken to area trauma centers and suffered moderate injuries, he said.

Adults playing a video game where they cut a fence and step through to catch a fictional character, I personally, draw the line there. I would never ask anyone to risk their life rescuing a fellow citizen whose irresponsible life choice led them to this predicament. Both the examples I gave though were people outside taking risks but deriving pleasure and aren't we all here to enjoy life however we do that?
Looking west over the Pacific at Cape Kiwanda. Sandstone cliffs © 2016 Kristina Hockley
I believe it is more that as a society we ask that if you are going to step over a boundary we ask that you do so with attention, deliberation, and respect. Keep your wits about you, be aware of why the boundary exists, know your own limitations, be prepared with the right equipment and clothing, tell people where you are going and when you'll be back, and accept that this risk might be your last so you better appreciate what you are doing or don't bother.

Hand written clothes pins on the fence line at Cape Kiwanda © 2016 Kristina Hockley

Jul 14, 2016

Men at Forty ~ A Portrait at Icicle Creek

Men at forty
Learn to close softly
The doors to rooms they
   will not be
Coming back to.
Donald Justice, Men at Forty

Icicle Creek originates at Josephine Lake near the crest of the Cascade range and flows generally east to join the Wenatchee River near Leavenworth. The creeks name comes from the Indian word na-sik-elt, meaning narrow canyon.

47°43′7″N 121°3′3″W