Friday, December 21, 2018

Tokyo Imperial Palace

I took this photo after our tour of the Imperial Palace Gardens in Tokyo.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Tokyo Street Photography

There's something about taking photos of people in the street, particularly with a big camera, that presents certain obstacles.  It seems like an an invasion of personal space and privacy to me.  With a small camera, or in this case, a smart phone that is more discrete and so common place that no one seems to mind.  I took several photos similar to this but the man walking by was such a character that I like this shot best.

Friday, December 7, 2018


At Shrines in Japan one will sometimes see 'Ema' such as these.  Ema are small plaques that are sold at the Shrine.  The idea is that you write your wish on the plaque and hand it on the Ema stand in he hope that the gods will grant your wish.  The wishes are broad in nature; people wish for true love, to conceive children, to pass an exam - just about anything you can think of.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Recent Projects

The Canadian Corps of Commissionaires was formed in 1925 with a vision to offer employment to military veterans.  That is still there mandate however today not all of their employees are ex-military.  This is their new office building in Edmonton, the photo is part of a series commissioned by the project architects.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Two From Glasgow

Here are two photos taken during a September trip to Glasgow.  The first is self explanatory. The lower one is from my 'what-in-earth-is-that-guy-taking-a-picture-of' series.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Remembrance Day 2018

I've posted photos of the Royal Air Force Bomber Command Memorial in Green Park, London before but it's one of my favourites.  Commemorating the crews of RAF Bomber Command who embarked on missions during the Second World War. The memorial, located on Piccadilly near Hyde Park Corner, was built to mark the sacrifice of 55,573 aircrew from Britain, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Poland and other countries of the Commonwealth, as well as civilians of all nations killed during raids.
Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the memorial on 28 June 2012, the year of her Diamond Jubilee.  As the memorial was unveiled an Avro Lancaster Bomber flew over dropping poppy petals over Green Park.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Glasgow Contrasts

Glasgow, Like most of the worlds older cities, has no shortage of reminders from days gone by.  Where vacant lots abut existing buildings one sees lost of walls that look like this with overlaying textures and geometric forms.  To my eye, these photos almost always look better in black and white.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Glasgow Back Streets

Since I missed last weeks post this week you're getting two photos - albeit of the same scene but photographed two ways.  Both photos were taken in a small side street near Kelvingrove in Glasgow.  Several artisans has shops in this small area and somebody had abandoned this ancient Citroen 2CV nearby.  The black and white photo was taken with the iPhone Hipstamatic and the colour version was taken with my Canon G1x.  It's up to you to decide which version you like better.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Glasgow Details

Not much to say about this detail photo taken in Glasgow; it's just a mailbox after all.  But I like it.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Glasgow Riverside Transport Museum

The Glasgow Riverside Transport Museum opened in 2011.  Designed by the late
Zaha Hadid, the building itself is quite nice but it's received some criticism as a a museum. For instance, many of the vehicles on display are on shelves that extend 3 or 4 stories making the vehicles impossible to look at up close.  Still, a great way to spend a few hours, followed by a look around the tall shop 'Glenlee' anchored on the Clyde nearby.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Glasgow Mural Trail

A few years ago the City of Glasgow developed a programme that allowed artists to create large works of art on walls that were unappealing and gloomy and often in areas where the overall appearance was a bit tired and dull.  Some of the works are permanent and others are temporary.  There are many of them and there`s a suggested walking route to see them all.  You can learn more at:

Friday, September 21, 2018

Glasgow Revisited

I first visited Glasgow in the spring of 1977; 41 years plus.  I've been to Scotland many times but I've never spent a whole lot of time in Glasgow.

This is Glasgow Cathedral photographed from the slopes of the Necropolis to the east. It was dedicated in 1136 and looks, part from having been cleaned, pretty much as I remember it in 1977.

Wikipedia has this to say about this historic building:

'The title cathedral is honorific and historic, dating from the period before the Scottish Reformation and its former status as the Roman Catholic mother church of the Archdiocese of Glasgow and thus the cathedra of the Archbishop of Glasgow (which is now in St. Andrew's Cathedral, the present mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Glasgow). The current congregation is part of the Church of Scotland's Presbytery of Glasgow. Glasgow Cathedral is located north of High Street and east of Cathedral Street, beside the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Recent Projects - Commerce Place Food Court

My client for this photo shoot was Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning who designed the modernized food court in Commerce Place.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Recent Projects - Shauna May Seneca School

My client for this photo assignment, Clark Builders, has constructed several schools in and near Edmonton in the last few years.  Several of them are essentially the same but things like this mural make this school distinct from all the others.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Recent Projects - Blu's Women's Wear

I recently took a series of photos of this high-end women's clothing store in downtown Edmonton.  My client was the general contractor who completed and extensive renovation project for the Owners.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Architectural Photography Anywhere

There are some basic 'rules' in architectural photography (which are often broken of course) but they do have some merit most of the time. Guiding principles are probably a more apt term than rules. For instance, hold the camera level, try to keep vertical lines vertical, pay attention to the overall composition and chose an interesting subject.  If there are people around include them in the photo.  Try not to have anything poking in or out at the perimeter of the  picture space (e.g. people half in/out, light fixtures, furniture etc). After that it gets technical, but a decent architectural photograph can be taken with any camera if you follow the guiding principles.  This photo was taken in the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane using the iPhone Hipstamatic.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Wheel of Brisbane

The Wheel of Brisbane is a 60 metre diameter Ferris Wheel built by Bussink of Switzerland.  It was erected in 2008 along the northern entrance to South Bank Parklands along the Brisbane River.  I opted for this non-traditional photo showing the wheel reflected in the glazing of an adjacent building,

Friday, August 3, 2018

Australasian Swamphen

If you're going through life being called a 'swamphen' you'd better be good looking.  This photo was taken in the Brisbane Botanical Gardens.

Friday, July 27, 2018

Recent Projects - Blind Enthusiasm Brewery

Last summer I photographed the Ritchie Market which features a brew pub called Biera; the beer on offer at Biera is brewed on site by Blind Enthusiasm, an Edmonton craft brewery.  This will be their off site brewing operation just a few blocks to the west of Biera.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Byron Bay Lighthouse

The Byron Bay Lighthouse is located at the most easterly point of Australia.  Heading east from here the next landfall is the west coast of Chile some 7400 miles away.

Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane

The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) is located in the South Bank area of Brisbane and is part of a cultural precinct in an area of Brisbane that was once a bit of an urban wasteland.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - a Look Back

I photographed this heritage apartment building for the City of Edmonton several years ago.  Currently it is being considered for demolition to make way for an Modern high rise apartment building.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - A Look Back

In hte summer of 2010 I was commissioned by Stantec to take a series of photos of the expansion of the Edmonton International Airport while it was under construction.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - A Look Back

In the summer of 2011 I completed my first air photo assignment; this is one of the photos from that assignment.  It highlights a series of south Edmonton car dealerships.  That's Ellerslie Road left to right at the bottom and the QE2 highway on the right.  The view is to the south.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - A look Back

In August of 2010 I was commissioned to take a series of photos depicting the revamped lighting at Commonwealth Stadium.  This is pretty much the shot I envisioned from the first moment; a dusk shot at an Edmonton Eskimos game.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - A Look Back

This photo was taken on January 10, 2009.  I used my Canon 5DII with Canon 17-40 lens, 1/ sec at F/14; ISO 100.  Photographed for the architects.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - A Look Back

This photo was taken in the summer of 2008.  CE Franklin was a major supplier to the energy sector and was purchased by another company in 2012.  This was their office and warehouse building in southeast Edmonton.  Photographed for the Architects.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Mountain Equipment Co-op Edmonton

The architects specifically asked for some dusk shots of the new MEC building in Edmonton - this is one of my favourites.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Mountain Equipment Co-op Edmonton

Mountain Equipment Co-op has been an institution in Canada for decades.  They recently relocated to new premises in the Brewery District, Edmonton.  I took a series of exterior and interior images of the new building for the architects.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Parker at Ten

On May 05 our golden retriever Parker will be ten years old.  This photo was taken in the autumn of her first year with us.  Because of her name people sometimes think she's a boy; her name was suggested by our neighbour who, because we live in Parkview, thought our pup should be Princess Parker of Parkview.  And that was that.

She was born in a big barn in Yorkshire, England and is the second dog we have acquired from the same breeder.  In the files of The Kennel Club (UK) and the Canadian Kennel Club she is registered as Gloi Heavens Promise.  Gloi is the breeders registered kennel name and Terri suggested the Heavens Promise part.  By any name, she's a perfect dog and ascended to the role of Queen of the House years ago.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - A Look Back

From time to time in 2018 I will present a photo from the first year of Jim Dobie Photography. This Photo was taken on 2008 August 24. It was made with my venerable Canon 40D with a Sigma 10-20 zoom lens. ISO 100, f/22 at 1/10 of a second.  The building was photographed for the architects.

Ed Sullivan Theatre

As we waited in line to attend a taping of 'the Late Show with Stephen Colbert' it occurred to me that the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theatre has probably hosted more famous people from all walks of life than any other stage in the world.  It first opened in 1927 and was known as the Hammerstein Theatre.  CBS obtained a lease on the theatre in 1936 and used it for radio broadcasts. It was converted for television in 1950 at which time it was renamed CBS-TV Radio 50.  In the 1960s it was one of televisions busiest stages, The Ed Sullivan show was broadcast from here as was the Merv  Griffin Show, The Jackie Gleason Show, and others.  In 1965 it was renovated for colour television and in 1967 CBS renamed the theatre in honour of Ed Sullivan after his 20th anniversary show,  The CBS lease on the building expired in 1981 but in 1993 CBS bought the building and it became the home of the Late Show with David Letterman.  Stephen Colbert assumed the role of host after Letterman left in 2015.

Friday, April 13, 2018

World Trade Centre 911 Memorial

World Trade Centre 1, sometimes referred to has the North Tower, featured a communications antenna that, to me, always looked like a thin, needle like apparatus that was a touch out of scale with the giant towers.  In fact it was a giant of a thing that of course came crashing down when the towers were destroyed in the 2001 terrorist attacks.  Today, what's left of it is on display in the 911 memorial in New York

Friday, April 6, 2018

Zabar's NYC

If you're looking for typical New York thing to do a trip to Zabar's might be in order.  If they don't have it you probably can't eat it.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Empire State Building

When I was kid we had this set of books in the house that resembled encyclopedias.  They were called the 'Books of Knowledge'.  I don't know how many times I looked at the pages describing the Empire State Building which was, at the time the books were published, the tallest building in the world; status it held from the time of completion in 1931 until the north tower of the World Trade Centre claimed the title in 1970.  When the WTC towers fell following terrorist attack in 2001 the Empire State Building reclaimed the title of tallest building in New York until completion of the One World Trade Centre tower in 2012.

This is the view from the 86th floor observation deck looking south toward lower Manhattan.  The 102nd floor observation deck was closed on the day of our visit.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Central Park

On our first full day in NYC I took a morning walk to Central Park. There was a bit of a pop-up concert in progress.  They were quite good and a fair size crowd had gathered.

Friday, March 16, 2018

The Guggenheim NYC

It's been decades since Frank Lloyd Wright's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum entered by consciousness. It opened in October of 1959, ten years after the death of the man for which it was named and six months after the death of Wright.  It's important to include some people in architectural photographs; I persuaded this cute girl from Canada to strike a pose so I could get this picture.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Oculus NYC

The Oculus is the new $4 billion dollar train station that replaces the PATH train station that was destroyed in the 9/11 attacks.  By any measure it is an absolutely stunning piece of architecture.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Unusual Portraits

It would be hard to dispute the Josef Karsh was one of the top portrait photographers of all time.  He photographed so many famous people in his lifetime; his portraits of Winston Churchill, John F Kennedy and countless others are instantly recognizable.  He took a photograph of composer Jean Sibelius ( that featured the subject with his eyes closed.  So if Karsh can do it I reckon I can too.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Industrial Abstracts

I was on a roof top the other day and there was bits of stuff left over from various repairs scattered all over.  I had only time for a few quick photos, I'm rather fond of this picture featuring a coiled up wreath of rusty wire.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Abraham Lake with a Twist

I've had a few photo outings to Abraham Lake over the years; I've been there in the dead of winter, the late autumn and in the spring.  There are great photo opportunities all along the lake shore - and in winter, out on the frozen surface.  The are also loads of canyons and trails leading away from the lake all over.  This is a fairly typical view of the lake at dusk.

Although this looks like a view I would have photographed this image is not mine; it was taken by my father, Donald Dobie, in August 1978.  I came across this picture as I was going through dad's old photo, it was shot on Kodachrome slide film and I scanned with my Epson V700 scanner.  I removed one or two little dust specs in Photoshop but otherwise this is how the image looked when it came back from the lab almost 40 years ago.  I can't be certain but I'm pretty sure this image was taken with dad's Pentax ME Super which is sitting on my desk as I write this,

Friday, February 2, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - A look Back

In 2008 I was asked to photograph a few parking garages for the structural engineering company that designed them.  It was the dead of winter when I shot this structure at the northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and the only thing I remember about the event was how ruddy cold it was,

Friday, January 26, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - A Look Back

For this weeks photo from the archives I've selected this picture from autumn of 2008.  CE Franklin no longer has their name on this building but I still like the photo; particularly the reflection on the water in the foreground.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Tenth Anniversary - A Look Back

Here's the next photo in my 10th anniversary retrospective.  This photo was taken on August 24, 2008 using my trusty Canon 40D with a Sigma wide angle zoom lens set at 10mm.  ISO 100, 1/10 sec at F/22.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Under Construction - the Art Gallery of Alberta

2018 is the tenth anniversary year of Jim Dobie Photography.  From time to time I'm going to post images from 2008 - here's the first.  This the Art Gallery of Alberta.  It was taken on September 13, 2008 with my Canon 40D using a Sigma 10-20 lens;1/16 of second at f/11; ISO 100.  The photo was commissioned by HIP Architects who worked as associate architects on the project with the late Randall Stout Architect of Los Angeles.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Family Photos

Taking photos of groups of people presents all sorts of challenges and in the winter finding a location is one of the most significant.  I was able to secure some time at the Fairmont to photograph this family.  They have rules in the hotel that prevent using studio lighting and using extension cords so I used 3 battery powered strobes triggered using the flash master and slave settings.  This is the first photo taken that day and it's one of my favourites.