Dec 2, 2010

Northern Pygmy Owl visits the Whistling Kettle Ranch

Northern Pygmy owl at Whistling Kettle Ranch
© Kristina Hockley 2010

This time last year we were doing the final touches on the house before moving from our rental in Grand Forks. Official move in day was December 15. We were so caught up in the bigger details of renovation and setting up our family in its new home that we didn't get truly appreciate the natural wonders surrounding us. This year it's like seeing things with fresh eyes. Grant spotted this tiny owl perched in our Aspen just outside the parameter fence. I would have dismissed it as a leaf. The delicate owl is that little. Fortunately, it was not a shy or jumpy bird so I was able to get a little closer once I had my snow gear on. This shot was hand held at f7.1  300mm focal length at ISO 800

Nov 27, 2010

I went out to photograph the cattle leaving our property as the snow is getting too deep for grazing. Due to a stray cow I ended up driving the herd to the Long's Ranch on foot with nothing but my telephoto lens that might have appeared to the cattle as some new, strange, object to be feared and avoided :) I guess my yipping and loud hand whistle helped too. Good work out as it's a 4 km return trip. Usually, my friend does the driving on horseback but she mentioned it was too slippery for the horses which I could see as the cows were slipping on the road if they went too fast. My friend and her truck were stuck back at my place trying to herd the lone cow to catch up and join its friends. No luck and by the time they were done I'd already pushed the cattle up to their ranch. Not too much hard work though as the cattle were mostly motivated by the tractor with hay leading the way and their desire to stay as a group.

Nov 23, 2010

2 Chances to win a complementary photoshoot in 2011!

As you may or may not know, I am in the midst of writing a detailed business plan so that I can launch a full- time photography business.

It is very important to me that I offer the best possible service and products to my future clients while still honoring my craft and business viability. In order to facilitate this I need to gather important market research details regarding professional photography. Over the past few days I have carefully crafted a survey that will capture information and help me organize and output the results into usable date in my business plan. 

I'm looking for honesty, constructive feedback, and for this survey to reach anyone you might know (preferably living in Southern BC and the Pacific Northwest). I'm using a secure, well respected survey provider and by clicking the link below you will be redirected to Constant Contact to commence the 5 minute process.

I encourage you to use the social media buttons below this post to share the contest with your Facebook or Twitter contacts!

My sincere gratitude,

Kristina Hockley

PS - details about the contest are on the first page of the survey.

Nov 21, 2010

Flurries forecasted but actually snow is accumulating quickly

Grant spot what he believes to be a Hawk Owl which apparently is pretty rare in these parts. He managed to get some shots through the kitchen window but never managed to get outside for a closer sharper shot. Sometimes just better to get something than nothing so we could at least ID the bird. Hoping it will return so we can try to get a little closer.

Then off for a family walk to visit the cattle. The weather person's forecast was for flurries today but we are getting much more than that at Whistling Kettle Ranch. Tuesday evening is going to dip down to minus twenty-four degrees Celsius. Home fires will be working hard to keep us cozy in our home. All that wood chopping is paying off!

Kyra's new HP glasses and G's balaclava

Nov 20, 2010

Wintering Cattle at Whistling Kettle

The Long's cattle returned to our property last week and I went for a walk this morning to see how they were handling the snow. A chilly -5 Celsius but all was peaceful in the field. Ben, my English Mastiff fits right in amid the brown cows and they never seem to mind him. 
My favorite shot from the walk were these three but there are definitely other cute ones.

Nov 15, 2010

Are you a photographer based in Southern BC?

If so I would really appreciate if you would participate in my

It should only take a few minutes and I think it will bring you good photographic karma :)

UPDATE: here are the results of the survey to date (click on the highlighted link to the left)

Nov 10, 2010

No one gets it done alone - inspiration from a friend

My lunch                                     © Kristina Hockley 2010

Lately I have been inspired back to health by a new friend Teralee Trommeshauser who is also starting a business Real Life, Real Health. When I met her at a conference in Nelson I was compelled to ask her what she did to keep such a healthy glow. She definitely practices what she preaches and if her health is any indication of her talent to coach she will no doubt be successful in her business venture. Teralee, has reminded me of my belief in nutrition as a way to support every aspect of my life and that it must be accompanied by a healthy, active lifestyle. As a photographer who is busy putting a business plan together and trying to balance out my time as a mother and wife I find little time left for anything else. Alas what will a career or family be worth with out my health both mentally and physically? For now I will relay on inspiration from Teralee, her health investment, her new business, and her adventurous stories to plant my own seeds of change and finding balance. Her business name, Real life, Real Health is perfect in my mind. Thank you Teralee... no one gets it done alone! Hope I find myself giving back to you one day soon.

Lunch today was caramelized onions with tofu on top of hummus and sesame rice crackers. Topped with grape tomatoes, deli sprouts,avocado, and cracked black pepper. It was delicious an full of flavors! My four year old son wouldn't touch this lunch for any convincing reason. I'm hoping all my ohhh and ahhhss  might one day make him consider a bite.

In addition the wealth of information on Teralee's blog you can read more of her thoughts on Twitter @Teraleet

She will be open for business soon and her coaching might help you to reach your health goals and or at least help you plan a path to health.

Nov 9, 2010

Photographic Surrealism on the Streets of Paris

My Manifeste du Surréalisme
Walking the streets of Paris hour upon hour and I and found myself falling down the rabbit hole of reality. There is as much to see as you have the open mind to observe. Visual poetry writing itself on my hard disk and I had no control over the layers and depth unfolding in this still life.

The photograph above is available in high resolution
(watermark in bottom right hand corner removed)
My recommendation:
11 x 14 
Your print is mounted on 3/16" rigid black gatorboard. More info. Rich, distinctive metallic look with a huge WOW! factor. Printed on Kodak Endura Professional Metallic paper.
$95 plus shipping

click on the photo to see on my website with scalable detail view and various payment options (Visa/Mastercard)

Nov 6, 2010

Anyone want to buy a tinker toy sculpture?

My son, Jack, requested a new tinker toy sculpture. He likes to play the art supplier. He inventories the pieces and instructs me to ask him if he has any (insert whatever piece is to be used next) and he passes it over. When I felt the sculpture was complete he passed me an invoice :) 

He told me, "I better get a good price for this sculpture to pay off his invoice!"

Since it was minutes before bed he gathered his flashlights (his other favorite toy right now).

I said, "well, first we have to clean up the toys."

to which he replied, "Can you take a picture so we won't forget it". 

"Ok, sure!" I say happily.

 We weren't exactly on time for bed. Oh well.

One of the greatest reasons I love being a Mom is a joyful return to free play.

Nov 4, 2010

Autumn abounds in our yard at Whistling Kettle Ranch

Ben, our 200 lbs English Mastiff can be seen through out this little video.

At the rate the leaves are falling from our maple tree I think by the time you watch this it will be bare and I will have to refill the seed in the wild bird feeder in our apple tree!

Autumn in the Boundary Region of British Columbia. Beautiful!

The feathery visitor this morning

Wild Grouse
G called me to come see the visitor on our front lawn and at first it was like looking for Waldo as the Grouse just blended into the leaves. We wondered if it was hurt or stunned as Grant could go right up and stroke it. It appeared to want to rest. The dogs were still snoring it off so I knew I had a little window of time to get a photograph of this beautiful wild bird. Eventually it got up and ran under our lilac tree. A short time later I heard Zeus bark sharply and found a raven was playing with him. Of course the elusive bird flew away when I came out to investigate. They are very shy birds.

Grant's hand

back to sleep

See you again soon!

Nov 1, 2010

Update: Thank you for all who voted: Innocent Cow was the winner!

once you have completed remember your answer
and click on the blog link at the top of the page to
return to the polling station. Vote ends Wednesday
© Kristina Hockley 2010

Oct 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Jack on Halloween © Kristina Hockley 2010

What it means to be a rural photographer

Being a rural photographer means never having to drive to capture nature's bounty. The pace is slower and you have more time to ponder. The internet speeds are also slower too (some neighbors are still on dial up!). We have no cell phone signal and we revert to using walkie talkies to communicate on our 213 acres. There are very little distractions or busy backgrounds in my outdoor images but I ALWAYS have to wear boots unless I want to return with soggy, cold feet. Best of all when you return to your work station from a coffee break you sometimes have company siting on your laptop. Aren't crickets supposed to bring luck? Hopefully!

Oct 23, 2010

Portraits can happen anywhere anytime

Portraits don't have to be in a studio with special lights. You don't have to set aside a chunk of time and worry about outfits. Life as it is. Pure and Simple.

This shot of Anik is from 2006 while at a birthday party. It was a candid photo as she was perched on someone's hip while they were engaged in conversation that she couldn't participate in ;) It is definitely not an ideal situation for a portrait as the background was cluttered and she wasn't facing the natural light coming in through the window. A good challenge and it turned out pretty well all things considering. Studio portrait can't be replaced but life moments don't have to be completely overlooked because after all they happen a heck of a lot more often :)

Oct 21, 2010

A weekend with the family

Go Annie B!
Mom and Kyra enjoy a walk with Jack and my parent's new dog, Annie in the distance

My daughter and my Dad

Jack had everyone joined up like a train.

This fall has been amazing. The trees are stunning! Fresh air abounds!

Hang'n by our river.

Annie B

River earth is healthy but that doesn't mean it's tasty!

Oct 17, 2010

Beaver logging along Granby River

Our friend Mike is visiting from South Korea and I was showing him around Whistling Kettle Ranch. I noticed a Cotton Wood tree was missing down by the river. You see you get used to the landscape like a city skyline. I was unaware that we have beavers on the Granby River. We are used to them in the creek and there are many daming it up at various points. A fairly ambitious project to dam the Granby! None the less here was this massive tree down and it was very apparent that one or many beavers have been busy taking chunks to either stock their winter pantry or help fortify their walls. Mike took a pic of me pretending to be a beaver :) 
a work in progress
already hauled away the top of the tree

kinda dry with an earthy taste
meticulously gnawed. Circular marks and tons of wood chips at the base.

Oct 16, 2010

Just relax and have fun

© Kristina Hockley 2010

 Kyra is a great model because she has no inhibitions in front of the camera. She doesn't think much more than creatively what we could do next. She doesn't fret about which side is her best or whether she has lint on her clothes. Best thing you can do as a model or subject is relax and have fun. Delete buttons were invented for a reason ;)

Oct 2, 2010

Nelson, BC

I was at a weekend business meeting in Nelson and thoroughly enjoyed the town. The people are creative and motivated by their lifestyle. Due to the huge body of water (Kootenay Lake) Nelson is often hunkered in with clouds similar to what I grew up with on the North Shore of Vancouver. Thanks to Nat and Shane for hosting me and to the group at KAST for the useful info.

Nelson City Hall
© Kristina Hockley 2010

Hume Hotel, Nelson BC
© Kristina Hockley 2010

Sep 26, 2010

Chad Eneas riding in the Bronc competition

Judging from the gray soaked clouds in the sky I thought it was going to be a careful photography day at the Rock Creek County Fair. Not so. I managed to capture a great deal of excitement by the bronc competitors. Already looking forward to next year!

Chad Eneas in this photo

Jul 30, 2010

Tristan recently turned 1

Tristan is a cute guy on the go. He's a hiccup away from walking on his own and he is drooling his way to brand new, pearly, teeth. He's at the pointing stage where the world is his puzzle to solve. Uptown had the honor of capturing this special celebration. Of course, since he is my adorable nephew, like it or not, I will document his life. Hope he likes his photo taken!

I think he's a little like the 1917 Uncle Sam campaign.

Jul 27, 2010

Lost And Found: Yard Sale Ansel Adams

Fresno, CA (July 27, 2010) – A find 10 years ago at a yard sale in Fresno that cost a Fresno man $45 has been appraised to be worth at least $200 million, according to a story by Who is the artist you ask? Ansel Adams! Just amazing!

Jul 23, 2010

Lesson Learned

I realize that I learn best by making mistakes but sometimes it just feels painful. I was really excited about this harbor image taken in multiple exposures, with fisheye, then stitched together with Photoshop. In my head it worked and it was going to be cool. On screen it just didn't. I'm confident that my disappointment will lead to focusing on shooting what I need next time. But alas chances of getting the harbor with cool clouds when I live six hours away will be tough and I might have to make the pano of perhaps our river in Autumn colors. Sigh... I guess I learned to get beyond crawling and that seems an infinitely more complex a challenge especially at age 1.

Jun 17, 2010

The Metro in Paris

One of my personal all time favorite shots. If I could push one shot forward to NG then it would be this one. It represents the serendipity, the magic, the mystery that unfolds when you stop looking and just flow. All the practice, patience, time pays off. The image is one of the truest examples of my work as I want it to be.

Good to reflect and remember what I'm out there capturing.



Jun 16, 2010

Help Protect the BC Coastline

I have created a gallery on my Flickr site to display photos of oil spill. As you look at them imagine how an oil spill could effect BC's Coastline.

Included on the site is a form letter that would take less than 5 minutes to write 3 key contacts in the Canadian government to tell them that you want them to take measures to protect our coastlines.

Our coastal communities, wildlife, and unique fauna is worth it!

Follow this link:

Activate - a gallery on Flickr

PS if you want to see a live update site on how many birds, turtles, and sea mammals have been effected by the Gulf oil spill check this site out

Thank you,


May 20, 2010

Photographed Cattle Drive

This time last year I was documenting the Paris Metro and enjoying time with my partner, Grant. A real different pace following a herd 52 km this year through the wilds of British Columbia. That's the great thing about photography is that its only limits is your imagination and drive. Only draw backs about this trip was the mosquitoes and limitations due to lack of a babysitter for my four year old son. I had to consider his safety when thinking of interesting angles. Nice to have his company though!

May 18, 2010

Always keep bubbles and life savers handy

Originally uploaded by Uptown Photography
Jack has no patience for having his photo taken which is not unusual for children his age. I asked him to pick out a fun hat and then mentioned that I had a cherry life saver for him if he co operated with me. Natural light from the window worked well as did vignetting.

May 3, 2010


Originally uploaded by Uptown Photography
Following a family from engagement to marriage is incredible... but the cherry on the cake is when they have children. In post production you become so familiar with the details of their faces and then when I see the couples children it's quite fascinating to see the miracles of life. His nose, her eyes, their love, pride, and joy. It's like a unique life story and I am always grateful to be a part of telling it.