Folk Fest Recap

First of all, I want to say how awesome folk fest was because of all of you — customers, fans, friends, family, and some amazing musicians who entertained me on my lunch breaks. This was by far my best sale ever.

Thanks to Leah for being there to cheerfully cover breaks for me and Anna, thanks to Liz and Nicole for being around and ready to lend a hand. Thanks to Aran for being a great new patron. Thanks to C. from Manitoba who was super excited about photography, and good luck with the underwater photography.

I enjoyed talking with so many of you, and it was interesting to see the sets of photos that people picked out. I might do a blog post yet showing some of these sets.

Since I can’t resist posting a photo, here’s a Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) taken during my Wildlife Biodiversity and Ecology course field trip in Whitemud Park.

Edmonton Folk Fest

I’m looking forward to seeing whoever can make it out to Folk Fest this year. Last year we had a great time, met some wonderful people, and heard some amazing musicians. This year we’re adding the pendants (see one at our Artfire store) to our booth! Anna and I just finished making another batch, so we’ll have a few, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we sell out. If you’re looking to buy one, come early! As always, we’ll have lots of prints and cards as well. We’ll be in the crafter’s tent between August 5th and 7th. We also have someone helping with the booth this year (hi Leah!), so we can have lunch breaks and maybe even catch a show or two.

Until then, I’m driving out to BC to go camping with a good friend, so this will be my last blog post for at least a week. But I promise to come back with lots of photos to share.

Here’s a photo to tide you over — a small creek near Camrose, which flows into the Battle River.

Abstract Water Photography Explorations

These photos were taken at the same place, facing the same direction, within 1 minute of each other. The difference is part of what fascinates me about water. Small changes in the viewing angle completely change the photo. The top photo is almost purely reflected light, while the bottom is a mix of reflected (which bounces off the water) and refracted (which goes through the water) light. Add to that the constant variability of the wind creating different wave patterns, flowing water creating more stable ripples or even falls, and you have a subject that never gets old. I find flat water like this a little bit harder to find compositions in. Waves from wind are transient enough that you don’t know exactly what you’re going to capture — you have a general idea, but the specifics are up to chance. Flowing water is much easier to compose, and you often get more interesting lines. Often these lines and ripples are stable enough that you can see exactly what you’re going to get. But to get refraction in flowing water, it has to be flowing pretty gently — this works best with quite small amounts of water. Otherwise you get whitewater (full of air bubbles), which is great in a completely different way.

These photos don’t have leading lines to add depth or direct they eye (which generally I prefer), but they do illustrate some of the possibilities.

Cute Bear with Messages

This little grizzly cub wants to let you know that this is the last week to see my photos at Elm Cafe on 117th Street just north of Jasper. It is also the last week for my current show at Daffodil Gallery on 124th Street and 104 Ave. If you miss them, don’t despair — there are more shows in the works.

Dogbane Explorations

Below are a series of photos exploring a field of Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium). These are all taken from the same place, at the same time of day. As I’m taking photos, I often move from the literal – capturing a scene as one would usually see it (hopefully with a pleasing composition) and move towards the abstract. Often what I’m after is the abstract photo, but sometimes the original, more traditional landscape is the one that wins out when I’m evaluating them afterwards. It often takes me months to discover if I’m happy with a photo or not. And blogging them is part of this process. I blog photos that I initially think are pretty good, and the ones I’m still happy with in a couple months will likely go in my portfolio.

Beaver Pond

I find wildlife photography difficult — not necessarily the photographing of an animal, but the photographing of an animal artistically. I’ve been watching these beavers (Castor canadensis) doing all sorts of interesting things over the last couple of weeks. I’ve watched them chew through trees, drag them down to the water, talk to each other, slap their tails on the water, and all sorts of beaver behaviour. But photos of these fascinating activities often end up as a standard photo of a beaver. Even in beautiful evening light, a lot of shots seem to be average or only mildly interesting shots.

I’ve been trying to challenge myself to take an artistic wildlife photo. To mix my landscape aesthetic with animal subjects. This is what I’ve come up with so far. This beaver created some beautiful sunset reflections in his pond for me.

Joel Koop at The Daffodil Gallery

I am extremely happy to announce I will be showing my artwork at The Daffodil Gallery, soon opening downtown at 10412 124st NW. The Grand Opening will be on Friday, May 13, but the doors will be open sooner than that. I will post updates as I get them.

This is just a teaser of some of the photos I’ll be displaying – to see them in all their glory you’ll have to go check it out. I am also impressed with the caliber of artwork The Daffodil is gathering. It will be well worth your time to stop by!

The Daffodil Gallery on the internet so far:
Twitter: DaffodilGallery
Facebook: The Daffodil Gallery

Keeping Warm on a Cold March Day

Here’s a warm sunrise from Barbados. I suggest ignoring the frost on your windows and the snowstorm outside, and for just a few short moments drinking in the sunlight streaming through your monitor from this tropical isle.

I was going through some photos from our Barbados trip trying to stay warm and secure in the belief that there is a sun and it is warm.


I’ve enjoyed posting a lot of photos lately, but I’m starting to think the quality is suffering. The nature of every-day posting is that it removes the process of carefully thinking about the photo, the mental processing.

I will continue to post photos, but on a more leisurely schedule. I hope this will make the experience of coming here better for everyone!

One last daily photo—this is from a couple months ago in Cooking Lake Recreation Area.