News & Events

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Nature photography with smartphones

Posted by on 1. May 2017 in Blog / Journal, News & Events | 1 comment

Nature photography with smartphones

Mark your calendars – I will lead a nature photography walk to Donna L. Birkmaier Park during the 2017 NatureCity Festival in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Learn how to use your smartphone to capture beautiful nature and landscape images you will be proud to share with your friends and family. Date: Friday, May 26, 2017 Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m. NatureCity Festival is a week-long festival featuring more than fifty nature-inspired events to help you discover, explore and experience nature in Saskatoon. We want to show you the wild side of our city; exercise your creative side and strengthen your understanding and appreciation for urban nature. People in the know claim that the best camera is one you carry with you all the time. With ubiquity of smartphones with cameras of ever-increasing quality, everyone has a potential to create artistic masterpieces. Nevertheless, rules of photography still apply. We will review images that you take along the trail and I will suggest possible improvements. Of course, if any improvements need to be made. What to bring: any type of a cell phone with a built-in camera, a snack, drinking water, insect repellent and a wind-proof jacket. We will be walking on rough terrain; please bring shoes with adequate ankle support, and you do not mind if they get slightly muddy (the best pictures are found off the beaten path). Event will be cancelled in case of heavy rain. There is no cost to participate. Location: Donna L. Birkmaier Park in Saskatoon. This is a naturalized park with ponds and wetlands rich in native species of trees, shrubs, flowers and all kinds of wildlife. More information about interesting thinks to see in the park, check out the publication by Saskatoon Nature Society “Nature viewing sites in and around Saskatoon” We will meet at the parking lot west of the ponds, near the intersection of Taylor Street East and Slimmon Road. How to get there? Drive east on Taylor Street East. After crossing the intersection with Boychuk Drive and Herold / Briarwale Road, take the next left (opposite Slimmon Road) and park in designated area. The closest public transit bus stop is on Pawlychenko Lane, near the intersection with Slimmon Road. From there, walk 200 m north of Slimmon Road and cross Taylor Street East to the trail entrance. Location coordinates: 52° 06′ 10.6″ N, 106° 33′ 26.0″ W Full event schedule for the 2017 NatureCity Festival is listed at www.wildaboutsaskatoon.org/festival-calendar...

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“Croatia from Above” photography exhibit opens in Zagreb

Posted by on 11. June 2016 in Blog / Journal, News & Events | Comments Off on “Croatia from Above” photography exhibit opens in Zagreb

“Croatia from Above” photography exhibit opens in Zagreb

“National Geographic – Croatia from Above” photography art exhibit re-opened a few days ago in my hometown of Zagreb, Croatia. To make the artwork more accessible to citizens and visitors, the outdoor displays have been set up in one of the most beautiful open spaces in downtown Zagreb, city park Zrinjevac. This is a major photography art exhibit, a culmination of seven years of intensive field work and preparation by the author Davor Rostuhar. Rostuhar used aeroplanes, helicopters and drones to capture Croatia’s natural and cultural beauty. The exhibit had its premiere two years ago; it was since set up in 19 Croatian cities as well as in Milano, Italy during the EXPO 2015. Croatia from Above has been seen by over 1.2 million viewers, and has become the most visited Croatian photography exhibition. After the Zagreb showing closes on June 28, 2016, the exhibit will be displayed in several other Croatian cities: Porec, Veli Losinj, Zadar, Korcula and Samobor (full schedule is listed here: www.croatiafromabove.com/#events). If you happen to travel to Croatia this summer, you should definitely include it in your itinerary; I might be able to see it when I go home this October. You can view some of the stunning aerial images on the project web site at www.croatiafromabove.com or watch a 4 minute video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZTs0l5qwlk There is also a photography monograph with 200 of the best images printed in 18.9 x 12.6 inch (48 x 32 cm) format at the respected National Geographic publication quality. Each photograph is accompanied by a text describing that specific geologic, historic, economic, ecological, and cultural vignette. The publication cost is 29 euros (approximately Cdn$ 42 / US$ 33)....

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Jane Jacobs – a 100 years of progressive urban thought

Posted by on 4. May 2016 in Blog / Journal, News & Events | Comments Off on Jane Jacobs – a 100 years of progressive urban thought

Jane Jacobs – a 100 years of progressive urban thought

Jane Jacobs (May 4, 1916 – April 25, 2006) an American born journalist and activist, best known for her work on improving the quality of life in urban communities, was born on this day 100 years ago. Jacobs saw cities as ecosystems that had their own structure and dynamic that would change over time according to how they were used. She promoted city planning with higher population density (and criticized car-centric culture of suburban sprawl), advocated for support of local economies, and for mixed use of smaller, more nimble city blocks. In her influential and most cited book, The Death and Life of American Cities, Jacobs argued that urban development and renewal did not respect the rights and needs of most city inhabitants.     Jacobs carried her fight for community-based urban planning to Canada in mid 1960s. After moving to Toronto in 1968, she published six more books about city planning, economics, ethics governance and culture. Jacobs is credited, together with sociologist and historian Lewis Mumford, with inspiring the New Urbanist movement. I can personally relate to her ideas how people can build a solid foundation for their communities (see Jane Jacobs – Ten Big Ideas) especially by: Strengthening social capital – everyday activities and interactions among people that occur in neighbourhoods slowly build up a network of intertwined links between neighbours. This eventually provides a foundation for mutual trust, cooperation and resilience to stress in difficult times, Promoting citizen science – the people best equipped to understand the complexity of urban life (and its connection with the natural elements within city limits) are “ordinary, interested citizens”. With open eyes, and not limited by assumptions imposed by professional training and code of practice, city residents can more freely learn from what they see and encounter in their daily lives.     A strong believer that local residents should have input on how their neighbourhoods develop, Jacobs encouraged people to become familiar with the places they live in. I am proud to have participated in last three Jane’s Walks, citizen-led walking tours towards community-based city building inspired by the ideas and work of Ms. Jacobs. This year I will lead a nature photo walk to a beautiful prairie landscape on the northeast edge of Saskatoon (more info after the link). Hope you will be able to join us and continue Jane Jacobs’ legacy....

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Saskatchewan election – vote for the grasslands

Posted by on 3. April 2016 in Blog / Journal, News & Events | Comments Off on Saskatchewan election – vote for the grasslands

Saskatchewan election – vote for the grasslands

On the eve of the 2016 Saskatchewan election, it is disappointing to see that the environment and sustainable development have not been a serious topic of debate. We have heard almost nothing what the major political parties will do to safeguard our disappearing native prairie landscapes. The prairie ecosystem is one of the most altered and threatened in North America; only 20% of Saskatchewan’s native prairie remain, and in some areas, such as in the Regina Plains, there are less than 1% native prairie left. Even protected areas do not have a secure future, as a series of political measures have recently undercut their status.     Why should we be concerned how our elected leaders will manage natural resources that belong to the people of Saskatchewan? When we look at the most imperilled ecosystem in Canada, there many reasons why Saskatchewan grasslands matter (as compiled by writer and naturalist Trevor Herriot): Because they are rare and threatened by cultivation and other kinds of development. Because they support endangered species. Because they are diverse. Because they protect soil and water Because they sequester carbon. Because they support ranching economy and culture. Because they contain the cultural heritage of the prairie. Because people need native prairie places they can visit. Because all natural land has value that goes beyond economics. Because we have a responsibility to the future.     When you go to the polls tomorrow to elect the provincial government for the next four years, vote for a MLA representative that cares about, and is interested is supporting our grassland heritage.  ...

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Images on display to mark the World Photography Day

Posted by on 19. August 2015 in Blog / Journal, News & Events | Comments Off on Images on display to mark the World Photography Day

Images on display to mark the World Photography Day

Did you know that the World Photography Day is observed around the world on August 19th? It is a day to celebrate the art of photography, whether you are a casual or a full-time professional photographer. Photography has changed the way we see the world around us. It has allowed us to connect and learn about lives and interests of fellow human beings. It allowed us to share our stories, places we have explored and memories of loved ones. In the era of digital photography, this ability to share became ubiquitous – millions of images are posted on “sharing” sites at speeds not possible just a short time ago. Don’t be shy. Grab the camera, snap a few pictures and share the beauty. The World Photography Day was first celebrated in 2009. August 19th was chosen to mark the day in distant 1839, when the French government announced the invention a rather practical gift to the world: the Daguerreotype photographic processes, developed by Joseph Nicephore Niepce and Louis Daguerre. The French government purchased the patent and announced the invention as a gift “free to the world”.     Select London Drugs stores throughout Western Canada will mark the World Photo Day with photography workshops and display of work by local artists. Good folks at the LD photo lab invited me to prepare several images to be printed and displayed at the 8th Street location in Saskatoon. I am honoured that they picked my work to mark this festive occasion. If you have time (and you live in or near Saskatoon), drop by the London Drugs store located at 2323 8th Street East. Walk around and look for 24 x 36 inch prints hanging from the ceiling. You can also enjoy viewing a small selection of landscape images from around Saskatchewan on a massive 75-inch TV screen. The display will be active until Saturday, August 22nd. And while you are at the store, check out the manager’s special – last time I visited they had (my favourite) Lindt chocolates on sale.  ...

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