Dec 30, 2013

Editing Luke in 2013

I've said it before and I'll say it again, 2013 was without question the busiest year of my professional life to date. I never expected so much to take off, pan out, and so many doors to open along the way. This was a year of big rewards, a year where the contacts I made through my work became business associates, and a year where the potential I had been discussing for a long time started to become a reality. It was a thrill ride from start to finish.

That's not to say that 2013 wasn't without its challenges. Work drained me, I lost my aunt to cancer, and my Jaguar went to the scrapyard. Even when things were going extremely well, there were plenty of times when I felt I was fighting an uphill battle just to keep everything under control. Moving forward I think finding a better balance between my work life and social life will be essential.

Here are some of the things that made my 2013 memorable:

January 2013 - I kick-started my year by launching my first series of original postcards from my Around the Hat photo series. This was also when I made it official that I was selling prints of all my original images. I had no real plan at the time, but this ended up becoming a huge feature of my site over the year.

February 2, 2013 - Around the Hat got a featured article in the Medicine Hat Newspaper, which resulted in me getting access to a number of downtown locations to photograph the interiors.

February 22, 2013 - After the transmission went on my Jaguar I had to make the difficult decision to retire the vehicle. I initially wrote about my upset here. The car had been a passion project of mine for over 2 years, and it was tough to finally admit that my time with the car had finished. In the end I opted for a more practical daily driver, however I've been keeping my eye out for another Jaguar for a purely recreational vehicle.

March 15, 2013 - I posted a promo video for my Around the Hat series that went on to surpass 40,000 views.

April 12, 2013 - My aunt lost her battle with cancer and I wrote this post about some of my memories of her, including the letter that I read at her funeral. This was a big loss for our family, and took us by surprise when everything took a turn for the worse so quickly. I miss her.

April 17, 2013 - I was hired to do photography for the Sunshine Skillet Food Fair.

May 4, 2013 - My good friends Andrea and Travis were married at the Esplanade.

May 17, 2013 - I did a really cool photo shoot with my cousin, Rupali.

May 24, 2013 - Throughout May I was busy capturing the experiments and creations with the ceramic 3D printer at Medalta Potteries. I was hired to create a video and shot a handful of images in the process. It was an amazing experience and opened the doors for lots of exciting work with Medalta for the rest of the year.

May 31, 2013 - Editing Luke celebrated 6 years.

June 8, 2013 - I took a road trip back to Regina, Saskatchewan to catch up with friends. I also spent lots of quality time with Darwin and got him a pretty sweet ride too.

June 11, 2013 - My Regina phone book cover was released.

June 27, 2013 - I did tons of photography of the flood that hit Medicine Hat (and much of Alberta) at the end of June. I posted numerous photo sets, and following the disaster I put together this reel of some of my best shots over the course of the disaster.

July 15, 2013 - I sold some images to I-XL for their corporate stationery, and did the photography for Medalta Potteries' gift shop. All of my work around the historic clay district leading up to the summer encouraged me to put together this photography reel.

August 20, 2013 - One of my most epic adventures of the year was the road trip through the Pacific Northwest that I took with my friend Mike. It resulted in me shooting thousands of images throughout Alberta, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, the creation of my Pacific Northwest photo series page, and numerous shares and highlights on facebook from the pages of the places that I photographed. 

It was an amazing chance to showcase a lot of variety and styles on my blog for the remainder of the year, and the response was incredible. From the top of the Space Needle to the coast highway of Oregon, the trip was a visual paradise. My promo video for the photo series alone has already received over 36,000 views.

August 21, 2013 - It was also a year of crossing things off my bucket list. I bought tickets for the Paul McCartney concert in Regina the day the went on sale, and my friend Wendy and I shared an incredible experience. I was buzzing the entire day and had chills as we belted out Hey Jude with 40,000 other excited fans.

September 19, 2013 - During the fall I was busy shooting the Southeast by Southeast residency for Medalta. This was a feature on five artists from Southeast Asia and their cross-cultural experiences with the artists in Southeastern Alberta. Once again I shot a handful of images of the experience, and the video was finally released in November.

September 27, 2013 - I was hired to do a promotional video of Medicine Hat culture for Medalta, Travel Alberta, the Esplanade, and Stay in Medicine Hat for release during Alberta Culture Days.

October 1, 2013 - Following the Culture Days weekend, I shared the highlights from the downtown exhibition that I was part of (Thinking Hat - a collaboration with SPECTACLE) where I showcased some of my images from my Around the Hat series. Over the weekend we had 500 people in attendance, including many local politicians, and received numerous mentions in the media.

October 26, 2013 - I made good on a promise and did a really nice photo shoot featuring my parents.

November 6, 2013 - I was hired to do the photography for Medalta's biggest fundraiser of the year, the Black and White Gala, and shared a few of the highlights.

November 18, 2013 - I took a moment to recount just how insane my year had been. This post probably best captured how over scheduled I'd become throughout the fall.

November 28, 2013 - The City of Medicine Hat contacted me about doing an art wall for the new airport terminal expansion. After a few whirlwind discussions they approved my proposal and commissioned me to create a permanent art installation. This was the first part of the story I posted.

December 2, 2013 - I was hired to do a photo shoot of Aaron Nelson's Connectivity exhibit at the Esplanade.

December 7, 2013 - A local realtor contacted me about doing a sponsored calendar using my Around the Hat images. The release has been a huge success, and at this rate I'll now be completely sold out in a matter days.

December 9, 2013 - There were a number of projects going on with Weddingstar in 2013 (who I do the in-house media for full-time). This Christmas shoot was one of my favorites.

December 24, 2013 - Throughout the year I was also busy digitizing the VHS home videos our family had from 1989-1995. This first tape from Christmas Day in 1989 was the first video I shared, and marks the start of some of the content I'm looking forward to sharing in the new year.

I want to thank all of you for sharing your time with me this year. Your support, your messages, your patronage, etc. have made this experience incredible. Over 100,000 people visited Editing Luke in 2013 and it's been amazing to see my work spread and shared and promoted in so many ways. This year has been the most successful in my site's history, and I can't wait to see how the trend continues in 2014.

Here's to continued adventures in the new year!

Dec 28, 2013

Christmas Snapshots 2013

Our family had an amazing Christmas this year. There were lots of get-togethers, endless amounts of food, and some entertaining gifts. Here are a few of my snapshots from this year's festivities.

Dec 27, 2013

Gas Town of the West Postcard

This vintage Medicine Hat, Alberta postcard was mailed on this day 108 years ago. It was stamped December 27, 1905 and sent to Chicago, Illinois. Not only does this postcard show the city as a mere town, it was printed before Alberta was a province (which happened in 1905). The card says Medicine Hat, Assa (Assiniboia) which was a district of the Northwest Territories. 

This familiar view of the South Saskatchewan River is also dated by the single track C.P. Rail bridge, and the lack of the Finlay Bridge (which wasn't built until 1908). Our natural gas reserves were already becoming our claim to fame as noted by the slogan 'The Gas Town of the West'. As though the sparse hill in the background doesn't emphasize this point enough, the changes over the last century have been amazingly dramatic.

Dec 25, 2013

Merry Christmas from Editing Luke

Thank you to all of you who have spent so much time with me this year. It's been a pleasure to share my work with you, and I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Now get off the computer and go spend some time with your family.

Dec 24, 2013

Christmas Day 1989

Earlier this year I began the long process of transferring my uncle's home videos from VHS. I wrote about the project back in June. It was only during the last few weeks that I finally finished transferring the digitized files to an external hard drive. These are the earliest home videos I have of my childhood, and the oldest footage is from Christmas Day in 1989 at my grandma and grandpa's house.

Over the next few months I hope to go through more of the footage and share some of the highlights centered around my family. In the meantime, this seems like a good place to start and the right mix of Christmas nostalgia to make you feel all warm and fuzzy. And in case you need clarification, I'm that cool kid in a suit.

Dec 23, 2013

Pacific Northwest: A Photo Series

I joked after my friend Mike and I got back from our road trip that I'd shot so many pictures that I'd be sharing them until Christmas - as it turned out, that was spot on. Since mid-August I have shared hundreds and hundreds of images from around the Pacific Northwest and reached thousands of people in the process. 

From the top of the Space Needle to the foggy coast of Cape Meares, from Kurt Cobain's hometown to an aircraft museum in a WW2 blimp hangar, from a restaurant inside an old power plant to a hike to the top of Multnomah Falls - the list of things I loved about this trip could go on and on.

It's been my pleasure to share this incredible experience with you all, and if you're curious about all of the various locations that I captured you can see the complete list of photo sets that I shot around Oregon and Washington here. Thank you for sharing the journey with me, and giving me an excuse to enjoy it all over again.

Dec 20, 2013

Christmas Reruns

It's that time of year again - at last! Today is my last day of work before Christmas break, all of my contract projects are done for the year, my holiday shopping is complete, and we're coming down to the last few blog posts before my end of year recap. I'm feeling great and can't wait to take a much needed break! To kick off the festivities I thought I would share a few holiday reruns from my Christmases past. And yes, just consider the ridiculousness as an added bonus.

Sad Little Snowman (2007)

Clumsy Claus (2001)

Dorm Xmas Tree (2006)

The Gizmo Tree (2007)

We Two Kings (2009)

Dec 19, 2013

Driving the Pacific Northwest Coastline

One of the biggest motivators for taking a road trip around the Pacific Northwest was my desire to drive the coast highway through Oregon and Washington. It was with my friend Dave in 2010 that I drove the PCH in California from L.A. to San Francisco. I described the journey through Big Sur as a near perfect drive. It was only natural that I'd be inspired to see what the rest of the road was like.

Driving along the coast in the Northwest was just as beautiful and photogenic as I imagined it would be. Mike and I spent a lot of time touring various sites from the Cape Meares Lighthouse to Oceanside Beach in Oregon, crossing the Astoria-Megler Bridge, and exploring the North Head Lighthouse and Seaview Beach in Washington.

We also drove an absolutely gorgeous back road through Oregon as we cut across from McMinnville on our way to Tillamook. The road twisted and turned through a canopy of massive trees, and because we were essentially in the middle of nowhere we had the road almost entirely to ourselves. This kind of driving was what this trip was all about. We had nothing but time to kill, and the freedom to get lost.

Having now driven the 101 in all 3 states, I'd happily go back and do it again - explore more lighthouses, walk barefoot on the beach, stare in amazement at the cliffs as they disappear behind the fog rolling in, etc. There are so many interesting places to see as you go, and honestly, that view never gets old.