Al Dixon Photography

Our World. Our Heritage. My Passion.

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Hard Luck Falls

Hard Luck Falls - Whitecourt, AB

It seems like forever since I woke up early on a weekend morning, grabbed my camera gear and hit the back roads looking for something to shoot.  There's just something about loading all the camera gear in the vehicle, packing a picnic lunch in the cooler on ice, and heading off in search of your next great shot.  You might snicker at the cooler comment, but some that have braved a road trip with me have come to appreciate that cooler by the end of the day.  Others, however, come to fear the cooler... for that usually means it's going to be one loooong day. 

I recently found myself staring at the ceiling at 5am on a Sunday morning, attempting to count the stipple.  With a sudden burst of energy, the cooler was packed & I was on the road for parts unknown.  Well, to be honest, it was actually to parts known.  I had been 'tipped-off' about a pretty nice set of waterfalls near Whitecourt, AB & was determined to find them.  The search was actually pretty darn simple... drive to Whitecourt & follow the road signs right to the trail-head.  While the trip there was actually pretty anti-climactic, the falls were anything but.  With a moderate flow and fairly impressive drop, the multi-tiered falls did not disappoint.  Being there relatively early, I had the falls all to myself for nearly 2 hours & took full advantage of it.

Unfortunately my time alone with the falls had to come to an end.  As an endless stream of other visitors came down to the falls, I packed up my gear and heading off to find my trusty cooler.  With a sandwich in hand, and an ice cold beverage in the cup holder, I set off down the road in search of my next subject.  A short distance off the highway, I soon spotted an old abandoned farmstead & soon had it in front of my lens.

After a 14hr day, 500+ km of exploring, and nearly 1000 images; my empty cooler & I arrived safely back home.  It was such a great day that I do not see cooler being relegated to the back of the closet anytime soon.

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Once Was Not Enough...

There are 2 questions that I am frequently asked about my work, whether it's here on my website or in person at shows.   The first is easy to answer... "Yes, it is a photograph".  In all honesty, the answer to the second question is much tougher, but would have to be "I'm not sure why". 

That second question regards why I don't do any work in black and white.  As I mentioned above, I'm really not sure why.  As a result, I have been spending more time working in this medium recently.

While on a trip through southern Alberta last weekend, I was afforded the perfect opportunity to continue this work.  While not what I would officially call a ghost town, Dorothy is a photographer's paradise.  Remnants of the town's past abound, and include a long abandoned grain elevator.

Abandoned grain elevator dominates the skyline over Dorothy, AB.

Nestled in the Badlands south of Drumheller, this town still has a few inhabited households nestled in the coulee floor. I had the opportunity to chat with a couple of the residents during my morning shoot.  Their pride in their little piece of heaven was more than evident in each of them.  They have begun to restore some of the old buildings, all with their own time and money. 

Although it may only be but a dot on most maps, this is one location that has long been on my "Must Shoot" list for quite some time.  Now that I have cleared it from that list, it has become firmly entrenched in my "Must Shoot Again" list.  Who knows, there may even be a few more black and whites to come as well.

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