Sliver-thin Layers and Double Exposures

ShroudedSliver-thin layers and double exposures. From the series Surface, Submerge.

© Karen McRae, 2013

I suppose this image doesn’t seem to have much to do with the rest of this post but it is woven in with a fine thread…

In the past few months I have been very fortunate to be included in a couple of wonderful publications and I thought I would mention this as a way of perhaps introducing these magazines to anyone that might be interested.

The first is a gorgeous publication from the Netherlands called “Flow Magazine” and they included this blog(!) in an article all about nature blogs. (*Although the article is in Dutch, Flow Mag has recently started issuing international copies of their magazine in English. Also, I recommend checking out some of those other nature bloggers listed if you have the time.)

You can find a copy of that article here: Flow Magazine ‘Groene Bloggers’

I am honoured, also, to have art from my ‘Surface, Submerge’ series included in the latest print issue of Art & Science Journal along with some other very accomplished artists.

You can find that article here: Surface, Submerge
As well as print issues, Art & Science Journal has a very beautiful and interesting blog.

Many thanks to both of these publications for the recognition, and for allowing me to ‘reprint’ these articles [*copyright of these articles remains with each publication]. I hope you get a chance to check them out – click on the images below to be brought to their home pages.

FlowMagazineCover copyArt&ScienceJournalthumbnail copy

It’s a Dragonfly Summer



Yellow-greenDragonflyThe dragonflies have been amazing this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many. In fact, as I sit writing this post I can see them flitting around outside my window.

They have been gathering on the sun drenched bushes and shrubs allowing me to observe them rather closely (I’d venture to say that they are willing collaborators, one of them even perched on my nose for a while …). Mostly they are a yellow-green colour but there are a few other types, too, and they are all fascinating up close.







When we were canoe camping in Killarney a couple of weeks ago I saw a several cast off larval skins from dragonflies and here is one pictured below.
DragonflyShellDragonflies in their larval stage live underwater and when they are ready to metamorphose into adults they climb out of the water on an available reed or water plant and go through the process of emerging from their old skin.

DragonflyinSundewsNear the shed skin was this poor dragonfly caught in some sticky carnivorous sundews (Drosera). Sundews are rather beautiful, I will have to head to the bog one day and see if I can find some locally.

[These above 2 photographs are lacking detail as I didn’t bring a macro lens camping (all other images were taken with a macro lens), and my canoe kept shifting around – next time I think the extra weight of the macro lens would be completely worth it!]

A whiskered closeup:
Yellow-greenDragonfly9_crop(click on images to enlarge)

© Karen McRae, 2013






WildflowersatDusk7Last night I walked down to the river to watch the sun slip away – some evenings are flawless and you need to be out in them.

I was drawn to the gently swaying wildflowers (hoary alyssum, bertéroa blanc) backlit against the waning reflected light. Each of these photographs was made using in-camera double exposures and very little editing. This is what the camera saw. The images seemed to work better as double exposures, to carry more weight even though in a sense they are ‘lighter’, less literal. There are times when I think ‘abstracting’ a particular subject may express it more fully. Like the sense of a lovely summer evening sitting on damp grass and fading into the night.

DuskRiverHow the river looked, doubly exposed. If you look carefully (click to enlarge) you will see a tiny sailboat near the horizon.

© Karen McRae, 2013

~When the Wind Holds Back its Breath~




RorschachRocks2smallIn the stillness there are things to be seen that disappear when breathing resumes.

If you lie down on this quiet lake ~ put your ear to the cool surface ~ and look to the shore, this is what you would find. These ancient totems perpetually drawn and re-drawn by rock, wind and wave.

These creatures that are both there and not there. Embodied by both solid and liquid.

They are like the spirits of the land, I think. Reminding me of the people who first paddled these lakes, first walked this land, and lived in balance with the earth.

[All these images are (rotated) reflections on water, made during a canoe trip to
Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario.]

© Karen McRae, 2013

I Recommend…









I recommend leaving the world behind for a while. Taking along light canoes and heavy packs and paddling to a new campsite every day. A campsite with a warm lake and a crackling fire.

I recommend sleeping in a tent under the stars, watching the fireflies light up the velvet night and then waking to early morning birdsong you can’t identify.

I recommend morning coffee, evening tea, and daily swims.

I recommend traveling with a diverse group of people and having a (borrowed) 6-year-old in your canoe at all times. One that tells jokes and sings songs and just might be smarter than you.

I recommend changing pace.
The pace of a paddle, a canoe, and some wilderness.



[All these images were made this past week at Killarney Provincial Park in Ontario.]

*Note: I also recommend bug spray and short portages!

© Karen McRae, 2013