Category Archives: Part 5 Assignment – Applying the techniques of illustration and narrative

Update on Assignment 5 Planning (Finn Slough Project)

I have started working my Finn Slough project for assignment 5 and just completed my second visit to the place today. The light was better this time. It is such a quaint, interesting place. My husband can’t fathom why I want to photograph this place. Rather challenging to photograph though as one can’t veer off the road or clamber down the embankments. There are signs that the locals have put up warning one not to do this as it would disturb the very sensitive habit. So I am heeding the signs. I think some of the embankments consist of decayed, rotten wood covered in a thin layer of soil and I wouldn’t want to fall into that mess. To compound the issue I’m having to shoot through raspberry bushes and other lanky, twiggy shrubbery, which often detracts from the shot. But that is part of the place so I trying to work around that.

The first time I went there it was low tide – zero water in the slough at all! All the boats were sitting in the mud. The second time, the tide was beginning to come in and the boats at the entrance to the slough were bobbing in the water. I have researched the fishing tide tables for that area and have printed off March and April’s tables so that I can see on what days and what times there will be a high tide. Unfortunately I’m restricted to going there over weekends only as Finn Slough is quite far from where I live. If only there were more days in a weekend (wishful thinking).

I’m also hoping to be able to fit in either a sunrise or sunset at the location. The location is in a very flat part of Vancouver, rather like the Netherlands, with dykes. I’ll have to consult the Photographer’s Ephemeris to find the best angles.

Ideas for Assignment 5

I had three ideas brewing for a while as potential subjects for Assignment 5 and after receiving my tutor’s feedback from Assignment 4 I ran the ideas past him.

  1. We have an elevated commuter train here in Vancouver called the Skytrain and it has 3 segments to it. The original line is called the Expo Line, then there is a Millennium Line and the latest addition is the Canada Line which was put in especially for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. I was originally thinking of “riding the line” from beginning to end on the Expo line, photographing commuters on the train, at the station, the passing scenery and showing the different socio-economic pockets of Vancouver. However, this line has about 20 stations so it might be too much, unless I leave some of the less interesting stops out.
  2. My second option was about the new Canada Line and doing a story as a tourist’s first impression of Vancouver, basically from the airport where the line starts and culminating either at the last stop in the city.
  3. My final idea and original one was to do a narrative on a place called Finn Slough. Its a tiny enclave that Finnish immigrants settled between in the late 1800’s and just after World War II, and they built their houses literally on stilts and pilings in the mud flats next to a river. It has now become an artists’/fisher community and is pretty much a squatter town. There is also an environmental story there as there are all sorts of flora and birdlife in that area.

My tutor liked my first idea, warned me off the second one and said the last idea was the best. So I think Finn Slough it is.

Finn Slough

Finn Slough