Nov 232017
 
No Dial Tone

Some unremarkable photos here, nothing special technically or artistically, just a big fat blah in every way. If not for the subject that is. There’s the magic. Look at this place, look close, a cute little house in a small Saskatchewan town, sealed up for many years. Peer inside, the cupboards are full, dishes neatly […]

Oct 202017
 
Bob's Bigger Better...

If one were to drive around Calgary back in the 1970s and 1980s there was a good chance you’d pass by a Bob’s Burgers outlet. There used to be a dozen or more of them across the city (we used old phone directories to come to that number), making them a Calgary institution of the […]

Aug 212017
 
Mine Field

It looks like any other pasture or field, something you might expect to see cows or horses living in. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. Yet, mostly hidden from view by tall grass, there’s danger underfoot. Scattered here and there, randomly and numbering in the dozens if not more, are collapsed coal mine workings. Every […]

Jul 312017
 
Dorothy's Elevator, a new angle

It’s been photographed…an awful lot. Not that it should come as a surprise, the little grain elevator in Dorothy Alberta, a near ghost town in the Red Deer River badlands, is one photogenic building. Standing there, right beside the highway, in this lovely valley setting, below the sprawling plains, one can’t help but be compelled […]

Jul 282017
 
Boxcar

Here we are, travelling down some back road we’ve never been before (and you thought we’ve seen every one), Crowsnest Pass area of Alberta, and we see this, an ancient boxcar in retirement. Once belonging to Canadian Pacific Railway it’s at the edge of a field sitting in a corral of sorts, in a spectacular […]

Jul 212017
 
On the way home...

It’s in our blood. It’s what we do. We take the “back way” when returning from adventures and we do it every darn chance we get. We have this insatiable hunger, us, this pair of restless souls with a never ending desire, a burning drive taking us to the point of insanity, to seek out […]

Jun 232017
 
A Vicious Cycle...

A Vicious Cycle (or Circle): A situation in which the apparent solution of one problem in a chain of circumstances creates a new problem and increases the difficulty of solving the original problem (thanks a million thefreedictionary.com). That’s what we got here. In this case we’re talking about after dark photography. Simply, we don’t shoot […]

May 192017
 
Forgotten Farm

One from the archives, somehow overlooked for a time, our subject visited way back when – wow – close to a year and a half ago. This, an old farm house, a rather modest-sized one, with a gambrel (or barn style) roof, weather beaten, open the elements and long forgotten. Standing there, lonely at the […]

Apr 112017
 
Railway Bunkhouse

This long skinny shed looking building was once a railway bunkhouse. Simply, it was a crash-pad for train crews overnighting away from home base. There would be a couple beds inside, a simple kitchen, a biffy and that’s about it. No five star resort, it was about as basic as accommodations could get. There used […]

Jan 022017
 
Dwyer Farm

This old farm house is probably one of the most photographed abandoned buildings in the southwest corner of the province. We’ve seen countless pictures of it from any number of photographers and we’ve shot our share too. No doubt that it’s easy to find accounts for some of its popularity. But the clincher, the real […]

Dec 282016
 
Trainspotting BIGDoer.com style

We call it Trainspotting. There are other names for the pastime, but we like that one best (loath the term “railfanning”). In its simplest form…one grabs a camera, finds a place overlooking some train tracks, snaps away and there you have it! Of course there are those who take it “higher”, foamers as they’re oftentimes […]

Nov 252016
 
Cabin in the Woods

Not much is left of this cabin. Located deep in the woods of the Crownest Pass Alberta, along an old pack trail, and towered over by precipitous peaks, it’s connected to a small coal mine operation of which little information is known. We did dig up (get it) a few snippets however, but data was […]

Nov 162016
 
Salmo River Bridge

There’s a series of old wood truss bridges scattered across the back roads and secondary highways of British Columbia. Distinctive in design and framed with massive timber beams, all tied together with metal bolts and rods, they look a bit outdated in today’s modern world, seemingly more fitting for a time when horsepower came from […]

Oct 312016
 
Dive Motel

Team BIGDoer has this fondness for dive motels. You might call it strange. As accommodations go, they’re low cost, which is a plus for us professional historians (yes, it’s a career) who dream of minimum wage as some sort of glorious income nirvana. We’re budget minded, we have to be, this job dictates it. But […]

Jul 182016
 
Sibbald Gentleman's Club

The location, far eastern Alberta, the town of Sibbald. A faded sign taped to the door reads: “Warning, nude entertainers appearing within premises. Some patrons may find this offensive. No minors. Picture ID only. $10.00 cover charge. Sibbald Bar & Hotel.” Did I just read that? This ancient little flop house and watering hole found […]

Jun 132016
 
Loaf & Jug

Loaf & Jug were a small chain of corner grocery stores in Calgary Alberta. Little information is available on the firm (alternately called Loaf and Jug or sometimes Loaf ‘n’ Jug), but piecing bits and pieces together it seems that they were in business from the early 1970s to perhaps the late 1990s. They had […]

Jun 092016
 
So long Radio Shack

What’s this? A ghost sign from an old Radio Shack, a firm that closed down in Canada over a dozen years ago, this one being exposed during renovations at Calgary’s Westbrook Mall. We’re looking at a time capsule here, a reminder taking us back to when the “Shack” was the defacto go-to outlet when one […]