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Archive: February, 2012

Portrait: Moriarty

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

We had a ball shooting the Moriarty family this past weekend.  The kids were so comfortable in front of the camera, and they let their own distinct personalities shine!


Check out a few of my favourites from the day!






Focused On: Rural Architecture

Monday, February 27th, 2012

As a photographer with a degree in cultural geography, with a minor in history, it isn’t surprising that I’m a huge fan of photographing the culture and heritage of this beautiful province.  Each summer for the past few years, my wife Pam and I have travelled to pretty much every corner of the island of Newfoundland.  There are a few places we haven’t gone to yet, and a couple more I’d like to go back and re-shoot as I didn’t have a clue what I was doing when I shot them back in 2003, but regardless…all of this travel has led me to develop a bit of a collection of photographs of rural architecture.

I think my favourite things to photograph are beautiful women…and decaying buildings.  Quite the contrast eh?  Well, not that much of a contrast when I actually find the overlooked, neglected, and falling down cultural structures around our province to be things of beauty as well!  I feel that these buildings should be preserved, documented, and given a sense of importance that some ‘bigger’ structures around our province get.  We should focus as much time preserving a fishing stage and salt box house used by the fisherman, as we do a Queen Anne home that was owned by the merchant, or a church worked in by a reverend.


Below are a selection of some of my favourite examples of architecture from around Newfoundland, with commentary attached to each image.


This photo was taken in late summer 2011 at Burin. It is more a photo of an entire scene than a focus on architecture, but I like the combination of styles in this one little cove. There is a contrast between the beautiful red saltbox house and outbuildings, up against the buildings with vinyl siding behind it. The white and green house on the point is a great example of just how people built houses as close as possible to their work (the ocean).


With a setting this beautiful...why not use it as a backdrop for wedding photos! No way a house with grey vinyl siding would add a magic quality to this photo like that red house


This structure near Lushes Bight (on Long Island) has seen better days. Someone seems to have put it to use as a way to store their buoys


This forgotton building was photographed in the community of Beaumont on Long Island


This house on Long Island appears to be lived in, or at the very least, used as storage. It isn't in disrepair like many of the other buildings in the area. Note the classic 'mother-in-law' door on the front


This great old house seems to have had purple trim. This no doubt fit in very well with the wildflowers growing in the garden.


This has to be the most unique of all of the old houses I photographed. It is a little more ornate than most, and despite its seemingly decaying appearance, it has a freshly mowed lawn and a basketball net out by the door!


I LOVE this building. I'm sure if this place could talk..we would have a year's worth of blog material. I love how you can see where the old sign was, as well as what part is a new addition by the type of window installed.


The old "Silvy Stage" in Fleur de Lys. In a sad state of disrepair


This old church in Nipper's Harbour is crying out for some restoration. What a wonderful old building wasting away down the end of a long dirt road off of the highway between La Scie and Baie Verte.


More orange paint in Nipper's Harbour. This old home has been converted into a barn or storage building.


An awesome scene in Round Harbour


Sad sight in Round Harbour. This is what will become of most of our traditional structures if left unattended. The economics of these regions just don't make it possible to properly restore buildings that aren't being used, and therefore we will eventually lose a huge part of what makes us a unique place.


Nature reclaiming a Coca Cola machine in Snook's Arm


One of my favourite structures I have ever seen, much less photographed. This cliffhanger is located in Shoe Cove. As you can see, fishermen not only fought the elements, but their structures did as well. Sadly, I fear that this gem won't last much longer in this condition.


This former commercial property in Grand Bank is a part of the cultural fabric of the community. However, I'm afraid many in the community doesn't see it as such. If buildings like this are left to decay and are torn down, what makes Grand Bank unique? A great feature of this building is the dissymmetry that is actually quite common in Grand Bank 'boomtown' style buildings.


This house is located in Tilting, Fogo Island


This twisted structure can be found on Fogo Island


This building in the Barour Village at Newtown has been restored and is now a popular tourist site.



Lovely contrast between house and outbuilding in Grand Bank makes a great backdrop.


One thing I have noticed about abandoned salt box houses is how some great looking wildflowers tend to grow up by the old fences surrounding the property.


Curved shed on Fogo Island


Great building, garden, and fence shows the importance of the entire landscape around a structure when it comes to its cultural significance.


Great example of how an old home can be restored and livable, while still maintaining its cultural identity. Nothing worse in my humble opinion than these types of homes converted to vinyl siding and tiny boring windows.


Very interesting door on this house in Rock Harbour


The L.O.L. lodge in Grand Bank. This important piece of the heritage of Grand Bank is on tenders to be demolished. The dirty and muddy parking lot in the foreground is where the old Temperance Hall was located, and just down the street Frazer Hall was also demolished. There is an alarming history in Grand Bank of tearing down and giving up on old buildings. Based on the size of the community and the how unique it is in Newfoundland, the town council, heritage society, and most importantly the citizens of Grand Bank, need to step up and come up with ways to preserve the cultural identity of the community or risk having it lost forever.


Bonavista does things right. All medium sized communities like Bonavista should follow suit and copy what they have done to restore the buildings in this community. Grand Bank could learn a lot from Bonavista.


Fortune has a great collection of stages that should definitely be a priority to preserve. There aren't many stages left around the 'boot' of the Burin Peninsula, so these are extra important to protect.



A combination of decaying structures on a single property in Frenchman's Cove on the Burin Peninsula.


It is important to note that not only are wooden structures from the turn of the 19th century important to the culture of our rural communities, but also other structures that tell the story of how the people lived. This former cinema in Grand Bank is unique to the community, but a common style of structure of other cinemas built in rural areas. These buildings will be just as interesting to people in 100 years as old fishing stages are to people today.


A perfect example of what restoration can do to a property. This home in Grand Bank is a very important part of the cultural fabric of the town. It is important that all types of buildings are preserved though, and not just the homes of the merchants



This scene in Bridgeport, New World Island, shows that even old and falling apart stages are still useful








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