#1239. Backyard Gems: On the Road Again (Finally)! – Part 3

By John Wilson | Art & Creativity

Nov 14

Real photographers shoot black and white … sometimes colour. (Ted Grant – 1930-2020)

Hi All! It’s me again with part 3 of the continuing saga. This time we do COLOUR! The Hedley Art series was in colour, but that was a necessity. Imagine those spectacular paintings in BW …

And, I’ve made an Executive decision … as a trial run I’ve created a Dropbox folder with all the images from this and the previous two posts so you can see the images full screen … if you want to. If you like, I will do the same for Part 4 and all my future posts. Just click on the link here:


As with the infrared series, we’ll do the complete circuit from start to finish; so here’s the map again just for reference.


Throughout the trip, the main attraction wasn’t the towns themselves but the landscapes along the route and around the towns. However, there are surprises and delights to be found in the towns if you’re willing to park the car and explore a bit. For example, we knew about the wall art and graffiti common to all three major towns, but knew discovered a funky colourful little shopping district and a skateboard park in Nelson.

Nelson High Fashion
Catching Air
Les Flaneurs
Bob blocking my shot … so I turned around to shoot something else and found this in a window across the laneway.

On the drive from Nelson to Revelstoke we stopped in a little town, Nakusp, for lunch. On the front lawn of the restaurant is a huge billboard size ceramic installation that was just too good to pass up. You can see it here: Hoss & Jill’s Bistro. A little judicious application of Photoshop naughtyness to make the colours pop and we have this. I sent the artist a copy; she really liked it.

Lily – Queen of the Western Toads

One of the major local attractions in Revelstoke is the Railway Museum.

I’d been there before, so knew what to expect, but we were in of a special treat. While wondering around snapping away, a distinguished looking, friendly, fellow happened along and we struck up a conversation about the magnificent steam locomotive in the main hall. His name is Jim Cullen, he is the Director of the museum and kindly offered to allow us into the cab of the engine if we were interested – you can look trough the cab window but the door is normally securely locked. We put on our best behaviour and delightedly took our turns in the cab snapping images from the engineers point of view. I sent him copies of the images as promised and he asked permission to use them in their brochures and advertising. Permission happily granted.

His Pride and Joy
The Front Office
Pivot Point
The Messenger
Old Metal
A well decorated old boxcar
Graffiti Postcard
Where Have All The Salmon Gone

Our main reason for stopping in Kamloops was to photograph the Hoodoos which you saw in Part-1. But the graffiti and wall art did yield a few treasures.

A Great Loss of Face

I spotted this in a laneway behind a chainlink fence, but the fence was too high to get the camera over and the links too small to get the lens through. I gave up in frustration turned to leave and spotted this in a puddle a few feet away … serendipity is such a joy when it works out.

The Lady And The Lion

A forty minute drive west of Kamloops is Deadman Junction Ranch, the “Ghost Town” theme park I covered in Part-1. The real beauty was in the perfect infrared shooting conditions and the effect of the subject in BW. But there was some colour to be had.

Even ghosts like to read and what’s a ghost town without a library … and other ghostly artifacts.

Ghost Library

This drab beat-up old broom and rusty shovel looked like a pair of tried old friends hanging out in the. A little Photoshop torture put some life back into them.


And the parting shot … unquestionably the most bizarre object in the ghost ranch and of the trip. And YES! We had a howling good time.

A Howling Good Time

Still to come, Part-4. The Revelstoke Car show and the Vulture Garage. Watch this space.


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  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    Hi John, really enjoyed the photoshop torture treatment applied to the images. Black and White is so blah and last century – give me the vulgarity of tortured colour any day. Absolutely love the steampunk engineering shots they look fabulous with the grunge post processing – Victorian era porn at its best 🙂

    • John Wilson says:

      Thanks Ian. Glad you enjoyed it. I’ve developed a tase for the “tortured colour” look we both seem to like. But not all of them were subjected to the PS torture chamber, or to the same degree. I’m happy with the results.

      BTW – did you look at them in the Dropbox folder? Was there any difference in the colour fidelity? There’s a distinct difference on my monitor and I’m trying to figure out if it’s my monitor, the web transfer or what.

      Were the other links in the text useful, or a waste of time?

      • Ian Varkevisser says:

        Hi John, I have just looked at the images in the dropbox. Not to put a spanner in the works and contradict Pascal , but there is a discernable difference from my side too. The colour fidelity an sharpness appears to be superior on the dropbox images. Whether that is the way wordpress modifies the images for presentation or not who knows. Often apps do compress or modify images for viewing. At one stage facebook used to be notorius at that.



        • John Wilson says:

          Thanks Ian. I’m beginning to think it’s a web artifact dependent on where you are and who your service supplier is. I’ll keep adding the dropbox link so readers can see the images as they intended to be seen.

  • Pascal Ravach says:

    Phenomenal colors, John!
    I simply can’t believe my eyes… popping like that, and still never looking “over the top”; wow.
    And as always… such an eye for those “little things”; to paraphrase… you, “well done sir” 😀

    • John Wilson says:

      Thank you Pascal. Were the Dropbox folder and links of of any use?

      • pascaljappy says:

        Hi John, viewing the dropbox and published images side by side, I don’t detect significant changes. Most often, none at all. I have purchased a oiece of software entirely devoted to compressing images as losslessly as possible, so as to obtain fast load times and good quality. On my own images, I occasionally see a minor change, but nothing that could be spotted without looking intently. Hope this helps 🙂

        The links were useful but I cannot see the frog mosaic in front of the restaurant on Google Earth. Is that an issue?


        • John Wilson says:

          Thanks Pascal. That tells me the problem is at my end, not your’s or the web. The frog is there you just have to scroll down a bit – I should have put that in the text.

      • Pascal Ravach says:

        They were, indeed… just confirming the first « wow » 🙂

  • philberphoto says:

    So powerfully inspiring, John! Kudos!

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Better late than never, John! I am super impressed with these colorful, punchy, and exciting images – each one a masterpiece of your photographic skill and imagination. If I had to choose, Lily, Old Metal, and Ghost Library are particular favorites – followed by Where Have All the Salmon Gone, A Great Loss of Face, and that stunning red & blue unnamed image…..oops, I nearly named every one! Kudos.

  • jean pierre guaron says:

    I suppose I’d be offended if some moron chose to daub graffiti all over Notre Dame or one of Michelangelo’s sculptures. But most of the graffiti I’ve observed in my travels has been much more respectful than that – and also quite creative.

    Not all perhaps up to Banksie’s standards. But quite a lot of it not that far behind the great man.

    So seeing this detour from your usual photos is no “shock” to the system. If anything, it’s triggered the thought that perhaps I should work through my own shots of graffiti and – horror! – plaster then all over DS!

    In the meantime, I’m now looking forward to Part 4.

    I presume from the various gauges that the locomotive is stone cold, and the “fire” in the grate is cellophane & artificial lighting? we do have a steam train buff in the group, I’m sure he’s going to be most impressed with those shots! I actually liked the one of the loco’s running gear best!

      • jean pierre guaron says:

        Ha ha!

        “Not to be sneezed at: £350,000 Bristol house taken off market after Banksy paints mural worth millions on it!
        Owners are now considering how best to protect the work of a sneezing woman”

    • John Wilson says:

      JP – Actually, there are only 4 images with “graffiti” in the collection; the rest that may be mistaken for graffiti are actually wall art. “Where Have All The Salmon Gone” is actually a double exposure overlaying two pieces of very good “wall art” – the red portion is stylized salmon overlaid on the image with the faces; they are in the same laneway a few feet apart.
      And yes, unfortunately the locomotive is a static display so no “cho-cho”. But its a gorgeous steam engine in museum condition. Oddly, the most concentrated collection of graffiti is on the old boxcars out in the yard behind the museum.

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