2013 Daily Photo Project: November

by Curtis Cunningham /
Curtis Cunningham's picture
Dec 06, 2013 / 0 comments

This was a busy month. I was 5 ½ hours north of Smithers for the first week doing photography at a Run-of-River project for a power company out of Calgary. I was home for a day and then out again for 3 out of the next 4 days walking through the bush doing photos for a Natural Gas company. With all the photos I had to process during and after these jobs, coupled with other projects I had on the go, I didn’t have many opportunities to go out as I’ve done in previous months with the sole intent of being creative. Instead I often had to find something creative within the course of my work, or else rely on my woodstove for inspiration at the end of the day.


Although I’ll only comment on 10 of the photos from November, you can keep up-to-date on all the daily photos I make by visiting: http://goo.gl/AnXgqe.


November 1: Inside the Forest


Inside the Forest

I was up north at the Forrest Kerr hydro project, nearing the end of my assignment. Our driver had stopped to let the videographer shoot something that caught his eye. As I was really struggling with exhaustion, I took this opportunity to walk into the forest next to where we stopped. It was peaceful, quiet and it smelled really, really good. So I laid down on the mossy forest floor, took out my camera with the 14mm wide-angle lens and looked up to the sky. If it weren’t for the fact that I’d be making others wait for me, I truly could have fallen asleep.



November 5: The Big Brother


The Big Brother

Waiting outside the hotel I was staying at in Hazelton, BC for my ride to the jobsite, the morning clouds parted enough for me to see the sunshine on the face of this glorious mountain. Towering over the town, it’s a very impressive and awe-inspiring reminder of how tiny we humans are. The representative from a local First Nation’s group told me that the mountain we were looking at was the “big brother” to another local mountain range called “The Seven Sisters”.



November 6: Flamed



When I’m pressed for time, or if it’s at the end of a day and I haven’t made a photo yet, I can always look to my woodstove as a good subject to photograph. Fire is one of the elemental things that I can sit and stare at for hours. It’s always changing, and yet it’s always the same. It warms me in more ways than the physical. In this case I took the original image I shot, and took it into Photoshop to duplicate a few times. I like arranging these composites to create the mirrored effect that you see here.



November 10: Inferno



This image is another example of trying to be creative when looking into my woodstove. In this case I liked how the thin piece of wood was curling up as the flames consumed it. The logs around it provided a nice frame, and with a large aperture I was able to create an appealing sense of depth within the scene. When processing the image, I tried to concentrate on making the tip of the curled up piece of wood as sharp as possible.



November 13: Old



A not infrequent activity for me is to drop my son off at school in the morning and then go for a drive with my camera. On this particular morning, the air was heavy with mist and I went in search of the mysterious. This image was made just outside of town as I was making my way back home after some tense moments driving on snow in the hills above Tyhee Lake. There’s an old abandoned group of barns and other outbuildings just before the turn back onto the main highway. So I made my way up the access road and spent a few moments walking around searching out what is was I wanted to photograph. I wanted to photograph this scene because of the variety of textures within the frame but mainly because of the snow covered path leading up to the door. I liked the energy it gave to an otherwise static scene.



November 16: Found in the Stream


Found in the Stream

Around this time of year, one of my favourite things to do is to walk up the snow- and ice-covered stream that comes down from Twin Falls. It’s an eerie things to hear the water running, but not see it. On this particular day, my wife and dog joined me in slogging through the snow, trying our best not to slip on the rocks we couldn’t see underfoot. It was a beautiful place to be, with the crisp, cold air, and snow all around. The rocks on the streambed made for an interesting base for the snow to fall on.



November 17: Details in the Dark


Details in the Dark
The inspiration for this image comes from Jordan Oram and his amazing photograph “Kinsol”.



November 18: The Sun Comes Up


The Sun Comes Up

This is another image in my ongoing series I am working on of photos taken at the end of our runway here in Smithers. On the particular morning, the early light was especially beautiful. I really like how it highlights details in the foreground.



November 19: The Space Between


The Space Between

Sometimes when I’m shooting my woodstove there’s not a lot of light in the basement, or in the stove for that matter. In situations like these I like to shoot at about 1/15th sec and pan my camera in different directions to see what I can get. I really like how the relatively slow shutter speed creates all sorts of depth in the resulting images.



November 20: Icicles at Twin Falls


Icicles at Twin Falls

On another trip up to Twin Falls I couldn’t help but notice the icicles on the rocky walls across from the path up to the viewing station. They stood out in such stark contrast to the stone. The lesson I took away from this scene is the importance of scale. It’s really hard, if not impossible, to know that these icicles are probably about 20 ft tall. Maybe next time I can convince my wife to climb up and pose for me!





Curtis Cunningham, the Northern BC Editor for Wandering Educators, grew up around photographs and fondly remembers spending time with his maternal grandfather looking through his slides. Cameras always seemed to be a part of his life, a fact that can be attested to by the volumes of photograph albums his mother has.

Photography became more serious when his mom bought him a Canon Rebel SLR to take with him when he went to China in 1994 to teach English. After classes he enjoyed walking for hours; photographing all the while. It was good preparation for his current love of exploration.

He started his photography business in 2004 in Abbotsford, BC, and then relocated it to Smithers, BC when he and his family moved there in 2007. He does a wide range of photography, from commercial jobs and passports to family portraits and sport. He loves shooting from a helicopter when the opportunity presents itself, and is especially passionate about the abstract and artistic.

He is a firm believer in the notion that there is beauty everywhere if one takes the time to stop and look for it. The tagline for his business expresses that succinctly: turning ordinary life into extraordinary art.

Visit his website at www.photistry.com.