There’s a party goin’ on right here
A dedication to last throughout the years
So bring your good times and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate and party with you

“Celebration”, Kool and the Gang

I’m not good at celebrating successes.

As a Canadian I am turned off by self-aggrandizement. We aren’t the boasting types, in general. Quiet and self-confident, that’s us.

However, there’s a difference between boasting and celebrating. You can celebrate success without broadcasting it. My issue is that I don’t tend to celebrate it at all.

I was reminded of that recently when I was out taking photos at night recently. I framed up a photo incorporating a train, some stars and the aurora borealis that turned out particularly well.

After the shoot, I reviewed the photos on the back of my camera and they turned out just like I had hoped they would. As I was driving away from the scene, I felt a kind of… grim satisfaction, I think. Not joy. Just… a feeling of a job well done. It made me sad to feel that way. More on that in another post.

Too often I’ll review a shoot, give a nod, and move on… kind of like the well-known Robert Redford “nod” GIF.


I need to take some time to celebrate successes. It’s important to make some space and time to “take it in” and feel good about successes… without boasting.

That being said, here are a few recent successes that I want to share, and I hope I’m not boasting when I do so.

The Canadian Trackside Guide

GWWD caboose on the back cover of the Canadian Trackside Guide

A while ago, I mentioned that I sent some photos in to the Bytown Railway Society to be considered for inclusion in the 2022 Canadian Trackside Guide. I was pleased to hear that two of my photos were selected, and here they are!

I am pleased as punch that two of my photos were selected. Sure, I wasn’t paid for them – other than a free copy of the book – but I am thankful for the recognition and I’m glad to contribute in a small way to help the society.

You can buy the CTG here or from your favourite hobby retailer.

The New York Post

Aerial view of Elva grain elevator

Recently I was contacted by a photo editor from the New York Post looking for some photos of the Elva, Manitoba grain elevator for their web site. The elevator was the oldest grain elevator in the Canadian Prairies, so its destruction was news-worthy.

After some negotiation, we decided on three photos. You can see them at the bottom of this article.

That was a nice “out of the blue” commission!

CN Lines Magazine

My drone photo in CN Lines magazine

In my 2021 review post I mentioned that CN Lines published an article of mine on CN’s automated rail inspection portals. I was also pleased to supply some grain elevator / grain car photos for a two-part series on Grain on CN by Al Lill and Fred McCague. One of my favourites is shown above, a drone shot of the G3 Glenlea elevator south of Winnipeg.

You should definitely consider joining the CNR Historical Association to receive the magazine and help the organization. Kevin Holland and the editorial team do an excellent job producing the magazine, and they have some top-notch contributors.

The Journal Box

My photo in the Journal Box

The Vintage Locomotive Society, owners of the the Prairie Dog Central tourist railway, publish a quarterly magazine, the Journal Box. This excellent magazine is for members and features a lot of great photography by Andrew Nelson and guest contributors like Mark Perry, and occasionally myself. One of my interior photos is shown above in their fall 2021 issue.

Want the magazine? Contact the VLS and join us!

Celebrate Good Times

I’ll leave you with Kool and the Gang…

13 thoughts on “Celebrate”

  1. These are wonderful things to celebrate! You invest yourself into this work so deserve to recognize that as a way of respecting that time and your contribution of self. Plus, look at all these cool places your work appears so “celebrating” here is also a sense of how good it feels inside to see our work appreciated by places we appreciate. I think it’s neat seeing a friend’s work in print like this because it’s like one more connection medium. A publication that might feel foreign feels more personal because I recognize a friend in it—all of a sudden that strange place feels more familiar.

    And also, I have that song stuck in my head now. Thanks? A Redford nod here too.


    • Thanks, Chris. It is pretty cool to see my photos in print and on web sites (not my own). I couldn’t imagine that 10 or 15 years ago. I agree it’s a connection point to see a friend’s work in print; I love seeing people like Michael Berry printed in Branchline, for example.

  2. To tell the truth, I absolutely understand you because I don’t tend to celebrate my achievements. it is difficult for me to make such a big deal of them, but, despite this, I think that it is important to celebrate your successes. I think that it is important to reward yourself and show that your achievement is valuable because it is a respect for your labour. I am impressed by your successes because they are all unique and each of them demonstrate your talent. Also, it is so incredible and inspirational that you expressed such gratitude to Bytown Railway Society, despite the fact that you didn’t get any money from them, because It demonstrates your true dedication to your business. I am certain that gratitude is a real art which can open many doors to us and if you appreciate what you have now, you will get more in the future.

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