Bench By Bench with Rebecca Kennel

Victoria: Bench by Bench

Another idea for backyard explorers, public benches in parks, along trails, anywhere you can walk to. Some benches have been built for people to take a break during a walk. Some give people a place to sit, read awhile and admire the scenery or a great view. Some were donated as memorials with a plaque for a family member, local business or celebrity.

So far I can’t find a copy of the book, but that happens with local history books published by the author/ photographer. Rebecca Kennel lived in Victoria, BC. While there she wrote a book about the public benches in Victoria, BC. She photographed them, wrote about their history and the surroundings. It looks like a charming book and I have emailed her (if she gets email at that address still) and maybe I will be able to get a copy, if there are any still in print. I can find the book on Amazon, but it is out of print, no more copies expected. I was hoping for better news, but not surprised.

I found a personal site Rebecca kept, until 2018. She had moved from Victoria to a town in Saskatchewan. She was/ is looking after her Mother and her husband, Galen, has passed away. I don’t know what she has been doing since then. I found a YouTube channel, Twitter account, and a Facebook page but nothing is updated. I hope she is still ok herself. There are two posts about her book on her YouTube channel.

The site for the book has a backup link on her personal domain. I’m leaving that link in case the other site disappears.

The Drama and Dilemmas of Posting Photographs Online

I did not know, or really think about, all the drama with the technology of adding images to a website. I started by adding several photographs I had taken from one location. Then I thought it would be a good idea to add a watermark. Not so much about copyrights and theft but to at least give my name and website link so people could know I took the photo and find more of my photos. Somewhat keeping credit on the photo but also to build traffic and maybe in some other year consider selling photos or making a calendar or related idea/ plan.

But, watermarking was just the start of it all. I did figure that out. I bought software which I can figure out and I have gotten through one small batch of images as a test of my competence.

Then I realized my site is loading very slowly and sometimes not even loading at all. I thought, just bad luck today. Then I thought, well my connection just isn’t that great and maybe I really should change ISPs (Internet service providers) again. Then… it clicked in my brain. My photographs are big. Not just in physical size but density too. Well, I just don’t like thumbnails and I don’t want the software creating a dozen copies of various sizes of every image I post. That seems pretty useless.

So, now I am looking at image optimization.

Still on my list of things to do with my photographs is to create a place which I can have more of them posted. I don’t want to post more than a couple of images/ photos with each post here. The best few should be enough. Most people aren’t likely to care about all the same little things I care about when I look at the old places. Every doorknob, wildflower, and bit of odd looking peeling paint probably isn’t necessary. But, they could be available elsewhere. Again, the dilemma of giant file sizes and a huge trove of images over the years. But, that can wait until I get this site sorted out. One day… well, one week or so, at a time.

Steve Skafte – Poet and Explorer of Roads, Cemeteries and Old Places in Nova Scotia

I found Steve Skafte (YouTube video posts) today from a post on the CBC site. He was interviewed about his photographs and research of abandoned roads in Nova Scotia.

When he was a kid, his bedroom walls were covered in maps. He was fascinated with exploring Nova Scotia, so once he travelled all the roads he could track down in his community, his attention shifted to the roads that weren’t clearly marked.

The province categorizes these roads as K-class, meaning the roadways are owned by the province but not maintained and rarely used by the public. Skafte thinks most of the roads, which range from a few hundred metres to about five kilometres in length, haven’t been kept up for 50 to 60 years.

Before going out to explore, Skafte carefully studies property lines online to see where the abandoned roads may be. He then puts on a pair of hiking boots, grabs his camera and heads out.

Quoted from CBC – Meet the man mapping out Nova Scotia’s abandoned roads.

His books of poetry, photographs and history are available at his Etsy shop, Photofables. The books and calendars about exploring the old roads and places seem to sell out quickly.

Visit the groups he runs on Facebook:
Abandoned Nova Scotia
Abandoned Roads of Nova Scotia

Poetry with photographs.