I just wanted to let everyone know of my latest endeavour. I’ll be teaching photography at Georgian College this fall – specifically the Nature and Landscape Photo (PHTO 0054) course, part of the continuing education programs offered at the college. It has no prerequisites – anyone can register! It runs from October 14th to November 4th, filling 18 hours of in-class and in-the-field time.
I am very excited to be doing this, and to be given the opportunity to teach photography on a professional level. Thanks to everyone that has supported my photography over the past few years – your constant encouragement and support have brought me to this point – and I certainly am not stopping here. 🙂
It was in the planning for quite some time, and Desi and I were so excited to get there – the Komarechka family camping reunion in Algonquin Park! So many great experiences, as well as a few unexpected events. 🙂
As night was falling, we were all sitting around the campfire playing games. Jake and I were closest to one side of the fire and heard a little rustling in the bushes. Upon closer inspection, the creature causing the rustling took off to the other side of uncle Mike and aunt Cindy’s trailer. It wasn’t long before Jake identified it as a Black Bear. Yep! We scared it off by various means, but the bear was circling our camp site.
We called the bear reporting line and both the warden and the MNR officers arrived shortly thereafter. They didn’t offer much comfort, seeing how the bear had already left the area. Ah well. We all went back to the fire and kept chatting.
Shortly after midnight we decided to head to bed. I fell asleep right away but Desi had a hard time sleeping – her first time camping and we see a bear! I wouldn’t be sleeping either. By around 1:40am, Desi heard something in the bushes outside our tent. A moment later she heard it again, followed by a deep growl on the other side of the tent. I woke up to her screaming at the top of her lungs – and I joined in! I had no idea why at first, but it soon became clear; our bear was back.
Ross was the only one to actually see him this time, but it was the same bear – no tags or collar. We later found out our screams woke up the entire campground! At this point I knew there was no sleep in our immediate future. I called the bear reporting line again and just our luck – no wardens or MNR officers working at that hour. We called the OPP and they arrived quickly enough, but again the bear was gone.
So six of us sat awake from 1:40am to about 6:30am when the sun rose. It was a cold night, dipping down to 5 degrees. Slowly as the morning came it was just Desi and I, here’s a photo aunt Cindy took before she headed off to bed too:
The night was scary, but beautiful. The stars were outstanding and you could clearly see the milky way – sadly no photos though! We also saw the beginning of the Perseid Meteor Shower, which was also breathtaking.
As the sun rose, the mist on the water became visible – giving us a glimpse of the true beauty of nature we rarely see:
Completely exhausted, we rested in uncle Mike’s truck for a few hours, then woke up for breakfast. We were supposed to stay two nights, but that clearly wasn’t happening at this point. We did however enjoy a great day with everyone there! Thanks to Jake and Danielle, we were even able to track down some Moose:
Desi also went fishing for the first time and did extremely well – her first time fishing, first time in a boat, and first time camping! So very many experiences, we’ll definitely remember this trip for a lifetime. One of the best parts of the trip however was the family photo – everyone was there!
And in honour of our visitor through the night, we also took a special photo to commemorate the event:
Thanks for such a great time everyone! I’m not sure how next year will work out… but it was great to see everyone in one place!
Epilogue: aunt Cindy followed up with the warden after our departure. The wardens had set up camp in our site the following night in hopes of catching the bear. He came back that night too, and the caught him. The night of our adventure, that same bear ripped through the door of a Honda Civic, and broke the window in a van. It’s good that he’ll no longer be troubling campers.
So Kempenfest has come and gone, and it exceeded our expectations. I was hoping to make back my costs of being there, and I certainly did that and then some! I sold tons of prints, a lot of canvases and got far more awareness than I would have expected. Desi and I made some great contacts and received countless comments about our art. Here’s a photo of the setup we had:
Towards the end of Day 2 of the show, I was awarded the 1st Place Award for the best Photographer at Kempenfest! This is my first physically tangible award, and hopefully not my last:
Desi and I had a great time. We’ll definitely be back again next year, and learned a lot from our mistakes and our success to do an even better job at things like this in the future. Thanks very much to everyone who helped out (especially Walter, Andy and Ben) and everyone that stopped by to say hi!