The Water Phoenix

WaterPhoenix2This image is made from 2 photographs. One being a surface reflection of flowing water, and the other, remains of a seagull.

The seagull caught my eye because as it was lying in the water at the river’s edge, the wings were moving with the rhythmic lapping of the water, as though somehow, there was still a touch of life.

© Karen McRae, 2013

World Water Day

ADropontheEarth3Today is World Water Day.

World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.” This quote is from the UNESCO website.

If you have had a chance to see much of this blog you would notice that is 93 percent water and 7 percent dehydrated (I haven’t actually done the math for this but you get the idea).
I suppose it is redundant to say that water is fundamental to existence but… But it is. And there are a thousand reasons why I think about this.

We are all integrally connected – to the earth – to water.

2013 is the International Year of Water Cooperation.

Cooperation. There is always room for more of that, isn’t there? In the spirit of cooperation and World Water Day I’d like to share what I think is an inspiring, alarming and important book – about water. About us.

Ocean of Life by Callum Roberts. If you get a chance to read this, please let me know.

Because this little drop of freshwater here; it might fall into the little creek at my feet, meander out to one river and then to a bigger river, and find its way to the sea. It might end up at your feet.

© Karen McRae, 2013

looking for spring and finding a little

It seems appropriate that the first buds to open in spring are little catkins dressed in fur coats. You can see why they still might need winter coats around here – the days are still frosted at the edges.









FrostedPussyWillows4 I came across these pussy willows quite by accident this morning – something told me to walk just a little further, and look just a little more carefully. They are just coming to life.

© Karen McRae, 2013

Feathered and Frosted






It is hard to believe Spring is just a few days away (photographs from early this morning). It seems likely the next photographs posted here will be laden with fresh snow … the clouds are moving in – Winter is not through with us.

© Karen McRae, 2013


DuckFlightRiverTreesTaking things apart.

Above are the two separate images I had combined in the previous post. The duck is cropped to make it less central. It still feels very familiar to me this particular bird-in-flight form.

It twigged a memory of watching the herons in flight during the last days of Autumn, just before migration. It is such a different form.

HeronFlight[Thank you to everyone who joined in the discussion for the last post. It was very interesting!]

© Karen McRae, 2013

Canadian Kitsch

LivinginaHuuryI admit Kitsch is not ever usually what I’m after photographically, but this image just somehow seems to me an embodiment of landscape sentimentality and it got me thinking about how we perceive images and how difficult it is to make something new.

I photographed the landscape (slow shutter speed and camera movement), and the duck separately and then merged them together in Photoshop. It immediately made me uncomfortable and it took me a little while to figure out why.

Here’s the thing; I feel like I have seen the essence of this image a million times in a million different ways over my lifetime. As though it holds the spirit of so many images (sculpture, painting, photography, …) that came before it. I realize, also, that the composition is imperfect and I think it adds to that sense of kitsch.

Most images echo back to the past in some way, but this photograph seemed particularly striking to me. How does a bird in flight hold so much meaning? And why does it make me feel a bit wobbly? I suppose it is the idea of finding that you have made something that has been made a million times already. The same , only different.

© Karen McRae, 2013

Not to Scale

FishMergeMerge3[Each of these images are made with 2 separate photographs layered in Photoshop. The water reflection photographs are in-camera double exposures and the fish is merely a figment of your imagination. If it was real it would not be fresh.]

© Karen McRae, 2013

By Degrees

LateWinter1LateWinter5FringedFlowers2We are creeping ever so slowly out of winter and these pale robin’s egg blue tones seemed to have a little whisper of spring in them, (which I am craving today!).

(Water reflections of trees and frosted winter flowers)
© Karen McRae, 2013