Art Photography

  • Sunset on the Lake

    As the sun sets, the water glows with apricot lightning over the pale moss of rippling waves.

    Sunset on the Water; copyright Shelley Banks; all rights reserved.
    Sunset on the Water
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  • Ginger – my favourite dog model

    Ah, Ginger was a lovely and loving dog.

    Ginger. Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Ginger.

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  • Christmas Eve
    Many years ago, I found glass reindeer ornaments in a gift shop in Seattle. They reminded me of the small glass reindeer that hung on our family Christmas tree when I was very young. I bought a pair and every year since, they’ve glowed high on my tree, above  cats’ playful paws and dogs’ wagging tails. One day, perhaps my kids will see reindeer ornaments for sale in a dusty corner of yet another gift shop, and remember this tree.
    Christmas Reindeer; Copyright Shelley Banks; all rights reserved.
    Christmas Reindeer

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  • Stained Glass at Charlevoix Metro, Montreal

    Two more iPhone Metro pictures, also from the Charlevoix station in Montreal. This metro is not only one of the deepest on the system, it’s also one of the most beautiful, with stunning stained glass windows that spill multi-colour abstract lights onto the upper escalators — as long as you’re there at the right time of day.

    Rider in the light   © SB  Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Rider in the light © SB
    Late afternoon sun spilling colours down the escalator.  © SB   Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved
    Late afternoon sun spilling colours down the escalator. © SB

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  • iPhone Photos of Montreal Metro Stations

    It’s the person behind the lens, not the camera equipment, that creates the photograph — although using different equipment can lead to different effects. As much as I love my Nikon DSLR, I was delighted to find a series I took in Montreal last spring, to remember how much fun it was to take pictures there — with my phone.

    Some of those photographs, which were also tweaked on my phone, focus on the interiors of two Metro stations, with their vibrant red and yellow mosaics, stained glass windows, and long, steep escalators.

    Escalator into the depths of the Metro. © SB Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Escalator into the depths of the Metro. © SB

    I am intrigued by street photography, and in a city like Montreal, a small phone is a handy, unobtrusive way to get colourful shots — and process them on the spot, too.

    I also like the rough edges of some phone photographs: the graininess in low light, the blurs… The quick focus, the immediacy, the wide angle. All free me from technical issues, so I can just enjoy the language of light.

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  • Pink shoes, blue shoes, steel-toed working shoes

    Pink shoes, blue shoes, orange shoes, too… Running shoes, working shoes, sandals and boots.

    Sounds like the start of a children’s rhyme!

    It’s also a summary of the shoes stacked in my front hall during a recent mini-renovation in our house. Mine, my husband’s, our son’s. (Though mainly the former and latter, I see; we must be the messy people who leave all their shoes by the door. Well, good to know that someone is neat!)

    Can you guess which shoes belong to me? © SB   Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Can you guess which shoes belong to me? © SB

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  • Rainbow of Light and Droplet on CD

    No trickery, only common objects: One CD, one light source, one drop of water.

    When CDs first came out, I was amazed by their reflective glow and the rainbows that shimmered across their surfaces when I tilted them into, and then away from, the light. I’m still fascinated by these properties. The sun, a flashlight, or even a beam from an overhead lamp will charge the surface with magic.

    A rainbow streaks across a dark pool, reflected from an orb along the side.   © SB   Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    A rainbow streaks across a dark pool, reflected from an orb along the side. © SB

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  • Water Drops Frozen by Flash

    A highly entertaining weekend project: Research freezing motion with flash, and test ways to capture water droplets in a dimly lit sub-ground room. Experiment with colour — the red below comes from the surroundings, not the water itself. (That is, no food colouring was used in this project. There was enough mess without that!)

    A series of water droplets spiral down in this freeze-motion flash capture. © SB   Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    A series of water droplets spiral down in this freeze-motion flash capture. © SB

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  • Knit, Purl, Nupp: Estonian Lace, Canadian Wool

    A section of a lace scarf in light olive green, a colour that reminds me of delicate spring buds in the rain.

    I’m knitting this on teeny needles, following an Estonian pattern that features nupps, scallops and a garter stitch edging. It’s narrow, but slow going… Luckily, the wool is wonderfully fine and soft (and Canadian, too), so it remains an interesting project.

    Once finished and blocked, the lace pattern will magically appear in what I hope will be exquisitely fine detail. (Lace knitting is an act of faith, trusting that the finished work will look like more than a muddle of yarn.)

    For now, a photograph of this art/craft in progress:

    Inching to the end of a delicate lace wool scarf.   © SB  Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Inching to the end of a delicate lace wool scarf. © SB

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  • Detail: Swirls of Scallops on Antique Tin Trunk

    Found, at the back of a wonderful old room that’s now used for yoga by those who love the full light that streams in through windows on three of its four walls: An antique, tin-decorated trunk.

    Swirls of scallops circle and repeat across the tin strips on the lid, a dance of four shells times eight, times 36, and more… I offer a sampling of their dance, in this detail from the trunk.

    Scallop shell patterns repeat across decorative tin, in this detail of an old trunk. © SB Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Scallop shell patterns repeat across decorative tin, in this detail of an old trunk. © SB

    Some time after editing this photo, I was looking for an image to place on business cards, and came back to these scallops, which feel symbolic of life and creativity to me.

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  • Shiny Red Electric Guitar

    I tried to learn to play the guitar once, and failed somewhat miserably. I couldn’t get my fingers to draw music from the strings and instead, produced only a dull, painful thudding.

    Others in my household are more guitar-gifted. Like my son, the owner of this shiny red electric guitar. (He has at least one other guitar, and his father seems to have a few, too… I can’t keep track, but only know there are many cases in the basement, and several instruments freed from all constraints, playing on the living room sofa and chairs.)

    Strong dynamic lines of a red guitar.    Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Strong dynamic lines of a red guitar.

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  • On Self Portraits…
    Shelley-Banks, Self-Portrait, 2013
    Self-Portrait, 2013

    A friend recently e-mailed about the photograph I’d been using in thumbnail on my blogs. She wondered when it was taken — five years ago, I realized, so time for a refresh.

    As I’ve been putting other people through the fun (or annoyance?) of portrait posing, I decided it was also time to start taking pictures of myself.

    Self-portraits are an exercise in patience, a meditation on the self, an illustration of the gap between what we’d like to see in the mirror and the face we wake up to.

    They are also a way of seeing what’s it’s like on the other side of the camera. And I know which side I prefer. (Hint: I like testing the light, squinting into the viewfinder, planning the shot…)

  • Under the Bridge: Repeating Lines

    Under the bridge, the lines repeat as the columns recede, down the hill and across the river, bearing cars, buses and pedestrians to the other side of the South Saskatchewan.

    Perspective diminishes into dirt on the riverbank. Pilings pull sight sideways into lines and shadows, dark angles repeating right under the bridge.

    Bridge over the South Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon,  © SB  Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Bridge over the South Saskatchewan River, Saskatoon, © SB

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  • Portobello Mushroom: Close-up of brown gills

    Confession: I am more a fan of photographing mushrooms than of eating them, though I will make some exceptions for fried mushrooms with steak and Portobello mushrooms stuffed with crab or other delights.

    But I’m in awe of the undersides of fresh mushrooms, the crisp lines of gills, the soft rounded skin…

    For looking, not cooking. Enjoy!

    Portobello Mushroom © SB Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Portobello Mushroom © SB

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  • Lime Soda on Ice: Cold colours, bubbles

    A memory of summer — a cool drink of lime soda on ice.

    Lime Soda: photo by Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.

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  • Doorway to the Past: Kedleston, Saskatchewan

    Kedleston, Saskatchewan, thrived from 1910 until the 1970s. Its last residents left in 1988 when a fire swept through. Today, a historical plaque marks the townsite.

    All that remains are sidewalks through tall grasses and in the fields, abandoned homes.

    Doorway, Kedleston, Saskatchewan.   © SB   Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Doorway, Kedleston, Saskatchewan. © SB

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  • Saskatoon Railway Bridge: Ship at Sea

    This old railway bridge in downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, reminds me of an old ocean-going vessel — a pirate’s ship, listing in rough waves as it crosses the river.

    Lights glow on the old railway bridge... or... imagine this a ship at sea. © SB   Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Lights glow on the old railway bridge… or… imagine this a ship at sea. © SB

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  • Red, Yellow, Blue: Saskatchewan Hot Air Balloon

    Whee! This photo is all about colour — brilliant yellows, reds and blues against a vibrant early evening sky.

    It was captured in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in September 2012, during an after-dinner walk from my hotel. (I was in town for the Professional Writers Association of Canada’s Prairies Fall Conference. If you’re interested in freelance writing, check out PWAC!)

    Riding high in a hot air balloon  — it's all about colour! © SB   Copyright Shelley Banks, all rights reserved.
    Riding high in a hot air balloon — it’s all about colour! © SB

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