What Do Linda Manzer, Justin Trudeau, Eric Clapton, and the Sea Foam Woman Have In Common
The morning begins as most at the break of dawn. First a few loads of firewood in the stove, a couple cups of coffee and a morning requiem from the birds. Time here rolls to the beat of the sun and the birds. Mother natures matinee begins at the crack of dawn lasts till you sleep. At night there are deer, bears and slugs eating the garden and during the day absolutely everything is alive.
Todays objective: Photograph the new Manzer as well as redo Dion Bew’s guitar Lewis’s photo session. The Manzer theme must be historic.. I would like to see a more urban side to Lewis so I want to take him into town for pics.
Every trip outside of Moresby island involves a ferry. It is ten kilometres to the ferry terminal from Sandspit and the road winds around different epic portions of the coast.
Once aboard the 9:00am ferry (Kwuna) I make my way towards the Haida Heritage Centre to begin my first pics with lady Manzer.
My focus on this session was less about making sure the guitar looked detailed clear and easy to see. I wanted to enrapture the experience of the guitar as an instrument in it’s space and it’s overall occupation of that space. Linda’s work is beyond legendary in regards to Canadian history. Her guitars are very rarely available for the public to ever touch, see and feel and as such the space it occupies in, captured in time, is an extravagant delicacy to behold.
I wanted this piece to feel the mojo and the vibes from the historical totems and canoes on site. The Haida lived here for over 10,000 years and these monumental totems have been left to tell the story of decades past.
Time for some beach shots. Soooo much light
After trying to control the enormous reflective surface of the ocean, I moved to face the opposite direction and focus on the guitar back and sides.
This is one of my favourite shots. One of the many reasons I am here is to seize moments like this. How can you not want to sit on that log and play guitar till sunset!
As with all beach sessions on Haida Gwaii the local eagles came by to see what was going on. I do not have a zoom lens, so I am actually very close to these birds.
I left the beach around the same time as this eagle and we both headed to the village of Queen Charlotte. I decided to go with a ship wreck photo shoot theme for “Lewis”.
Lady Manzer and I had some unfinished business to take care of. So I decided to take her up the coast and see some of the sights. Starting with the famous “Balance Rock”. Photographing the rock and Manzer proved to be a difficult task. Photographing the inlay against the background of the rock was brilliant! The light took the inlay somewhere I have never seen before. This place is magical.
The last balance rock pic I took. Lady Manzer looks outstanding!
After balance rock I ventured to an artists studio on Tlell River entitled “Sitka Studios.” Hmmmm, wonder what brought me here. Ironically it is guitar strings. I played “Goldaline” a lot the last couple nights. The strings are toast. Goldy only deserves the best. When I arrived at the establishment I was greeted by one of the artists that run the studio. He said “Hey, your that guitar guy.” I replied with a firm “sure, I think you got the right man”. Noel, the artist then dropped his watering can and said “Im going to get my harmonica”. I grabbed a guitar out of the trunk and followed the mans lead. We walked through the garden and down to the stump of an old growth Sitka tree with a roof on it. This stump was big enough to have a concert inside, unfortunately on this occasion it was just myself, Noel, Justin Trudeau, Eric Clapton and Seafoam Woman.
Justin Trudeau and Noel’s fishing the Tlell river
Eric visits this area regularly to fish and soak up mother nature. He has jammed here in this chair. I’m sure he enjoyed Noel’s portrait of the mythical “Seafoam Woman”. Unfortunately he was a bit distraught by the next sign.
This is the cast of songs that are great for playing inside this Sitka. Noel would just chose a song of his liking tell me the key and I would figure out the rest. It is great to seize moments like this. This is by definition a musical happening and I have represented the experience below in a convenient “Voice Memo” on my phone. This recording is just fun, don’t expect some kinda epic guitar shredding and Clapton mojo fuelling the strings, think of the most basic form of “what is going on and how do I fill in the blanks” type scenerio.
After a hard day of playing guitar, taking photographs and driving the coast it is time to go home and relax. Another stunning day on the coast.