Jim Friesen - Photography

I could have said Katherine and Dusty but I like the universality of the anonymous. There seems to be something epic and spiritual in this small moment in such a grand setting. At least to me.

Having been forced to spend a lot of time at home recently, it allowed the time (between too many computer games, books and television) to go through old photos. 

Photography allows me the luxury of taking second looks and revisiting pieces I had earlier dismissed as unworthy. There's a metaphor in there somewhere.

This is my first effort at stitching together two photos from my iphone in order to create a panorama. I almost always alter the colour - desaturating ... changing ... saturating - until I get something that triggers a feeling that is similar to actually being there, only, hopefully, heightened or given specific mood by the choices I've made. 


I can't help but look at photographs almost like scraps of dream, images created by memory and imagination, rather than captured moments.


The iphone images do not have the same crispness of detail as my larger cameras but, in this case, their texture seemed appropriate to the personality of the scene. 



I took a used camera out for a test drive to one of my favorite places, Iona Beach. My friend Ed was offering me a very good deal. It is the Fujifilm X-E1. Fuji does a number of things well and for me they were reflected in the textures and clarity of this shot (yes, I know, another lonesome highway shot - what can I say, it reminds me of home). Ed recalled a scene from a documentary where Neil Young is browsing guitars in a pawn shop and decides to buy one because he believes it has some songs in it. I kind of felt that way about this camera.

I have written before about Japanese woodblock prints and have occasionally tried to mimic the look, with limited success. I was playing with effects from all three of my photo processing apps, Photoshop, Lightroom and Nik, when a rather ordinary shot started to take on aspects of those prints. The snow on the mountain (behind the mountain behind the tanker) reminded me of Hokusai's 36 Views of Fuji


English Bay may be my version of Mount Fuji. I'm going to go back in my library of English Bay photos (I have hundreds, if not thousands). Maybe I can find 36 that might work.

I may at some point have a series of these shots - looking down from shoulder height at the beautiful debris displayed below.  This is post-windstorm that followed a snowfall.

I have spent my share of time sitting in cars watching people walk past in the rain and I have spent some time trying to capture the mood with my camera. The rain has to be coming down at a certain rate - or you have to time your windshield wiper just right - to get a shot where things aren't so blurry that they are unrecognizable, or where the rain just doesn't provide enough distortion. You have to be patient and lucky. I think I got lucky on this typical, Vancouver, winter day on Tenth Avenue. I heightened the vibrancy of the colours to make it, hopefully, even nicer than it was in the car, looking out the windshield.


     "The 9"x11.5" envelope sat smack in the middle of a pile of typical pre-Christmas mail - exclusive invitations to investment workshops for recent retirees, requests for donations from every blood sucking charity under the sun, final notices requesting immediate payment for unpaid bills ... the usual crap - but the return address on the plain brown-paper bubble-wrap caught my attention;


JJ Discrete Enterprises

18 Sutherland Avenue

Winnipeg MB

R2W 3H3


Thus begins the most bizarre puzzle, and one of the best Christmas presents in the case-files of this west coast gumshoe. Inside the envelope was a book ... but not just any book ... DUN DUN DUN DUUUUNNNNNN!!!! 

... and a letter.


When I Google-map-streetviewed the address, this is what I found ... a picture of Western Scrap Metals Inc.

     As I started to mentally gather the possible suspects, I soon realized that I am lucky to have among my friends, family and acquaintances, many who might  have the imagination necessary to concoct this tantalizing mystery. Of course most of them might dream it up in some alcohol or drug induced stupor and forget the plan on waking-up on their couch the next morning as they wipe a cold trail of saliva from their chins and stumble past the still-on television on their way to their less than spotless  washroom. Yes there are many who have the imagination, but only a few who know me well enough to be aware of my admiration for Walter Mosley as, after only George V. Higgins, James Ellroy and perhaps Elmore Leonard, the best American crime writer working in the last fifty years. And only a few who had the perseverance to follow through on such a complex plan.

     No, there was only one person who had the opportunity, means and motive to carry out this crime. When I looked more closely at the post marks (the original mailing city) on the envelope and the initials on the company name, JJ (aka JoJo the Dog Face Boy) Discrete Enterprises, I knew it had to be ... DUN DUN DUN DUUUUUNNNNNN!!! 




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