Capturing the Canadian Prairie's Cold, Lonely Winters
It's currently -6 degrees Fahrenheit in Fort Qu'appelle, Saskatchewan. It's a heatwave of sorts for the small town, which will see temperatures as low as -33 over the weekend.
This is what photographer Vera Saltzman signed up for when she relocated to the province. While she's hopped around Canada most of her life, Saltzman found her move to nation's prairie especially challenging. "I've been grappling with a profound feeling of loneliness," she says. " This isn't the first time I've moved, but it's likely the hardest."
Saltzman says that with each move, she's "created a connection to both the people and place" through her photographs. She's noticed that most locals admire all the open space and never-ending fields Saskatchewan has to offer. These are things Saltzman is still adjusting to as she explores her surroundings.
We had the photographer go through some of her shots from last year's winter in Saskatchewan, having her explain what she saw and felt when shooting the often isolating landscapes she discovered:
Yellow Pole in the Snow Echo Lake Provincial Park, Saskatchewan. "2013 marked a long snowy winter, followed by the coldest spring in the province since 1899. Seriously!"
Grain Elevator No. 1 Somewhere in Saskatchewan. "How can you be a photographer living in Saskatchewan without shooting a grain elevator?"
Abandoned Farmhouse in Field Around Lipton, Saskatchewan. "When my mother's homestead burnt to the ground in Cape Breton, I remember how she cried."
Old Central School Fort Qu'appelle, Saskatchewan. "Over 100 years old, this building was saved from demolition by a groundswell of community support. It is now home to the Qu'appelle Valley Centre for the Arts."
Lipton Hotel Lipton, Saskatchewan. "Imagine who laid their head to rest when travel meant long journeys across the prairies by train."
Saskatchewan Road No. 1 Outside Indian Head, Saskatchewan. "Though it is said 'less is more' I can assure you this is not the case when driving in Saskatchewan. More definitely would have been better."
Calling Lakes Inn LeBret, Saskatchewan. "I don't know anyone who has ever stayed here, but it is still listed in the phone book. There is a deck on the back."
LeBret Antique Store LeBret, Saskatchewan. "One person sees junk, another sees treasures, I see memories. The old washing machine sitting outside reminiscent of the one my mother used, the blue mountain pottery she collected, and decorative ash trays that littered homes before we knew better."
Grain Elevator No. 2 Rose Valley, Saskatchewan. "I smile at the "happy face" on this grain elevator of all places; a reminder to look for the joy in life. Thank you Rose Valley."