Roman Catholic Church – Buttertown, Alberta
Woking Church – Woking, Alberta
Church, a place and time of deep, meaning-filled communion, is something each of us encounters in different venues that captivate us – the camaraderie found in others’ company, the transcendence found in the out-of-doors, the intersection of our Life with lyrics and melody in song. That place to encounter (perhaps share or confess) truth safely, in safety, that place to come to terms with tough times and the good, Church is both a social and familial entity, a place in which you can grow and mature. Not movement forward, independent of others, not alone in thought, not only within our own priority, Church is that sacred entity of relationship carried forward by two or more people in Life’s pilgrimage connecting each to something bigger than self (selves), that thing that drives ethics in action and purpose in Life, that thing realized when we realize we are here for more than ourselves, having something to contribute to the Lives of others.
Church as pilgrimage has been on my mind as I’ve watched a film by Emilio Estevez – ‘The Way.’ Martin Sheen, as father makes pilgrimage from France to the Church of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain, something that’s been called ‘The Way of St. James.’ Tom takes up this eight-hundred kilometre trek that his son had planned to make on behalf of his deceased, but ever-present son. The pilgrimage becomes Church as a three ‘peregrinnos,’ those making the pilgrimage, cluster with and around Tom; each carrying forward a Life task that’s brought them to a cross-road in their Lives. It’s not so much that disclosure of Life’s challenge needs to occur among the other peregrinnos, but that they each come to understand that their shared company and good understanding of what’s at play in each other’s lives make the road easier – something that Church is about, an entity of relationship associated with Life’s pilgrimage.
Images – The Roman Catholic Church in Buttertown (across the Peace River from Fort Vermilion, Alberta) and the Woking Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Woking, Alberta).
Listening to – much of the soundtrack to ‘The Way,’ containing two songs that intrigue, David Gray’s ‘My Oh My’ (from Rhythm and Soul broadcasts) and Alanis Morissettes’ ‘Thank U’. James Taylor’s ‘Country Road’ features within the film.
Quote to Inspire – “Imagine a world without photography, one could only imagine.” – Berenice Abbott
Valleyview Bench Seats 1
Valleyview Bench Seats 2
Valleyview Bench Seats 3
More than a passing glance, photography has you stop and see the subject, consider context and best perspective and then expose the image. Editing takes you one further step with the image; you encounter more of what comprises the image and more of what is possible for the image in its rendering. Here, are the Valleyview bench seats again, exposed in the full morning sun of a sunny, Sunday morning. Two weeks on from the exposure, I’m seeing more of the light and shadow-play in the image. I’m coming back to it to see what else it can become. The image reveals someone’s attempt to make the bench seats something more permanent with the anchoring of the base on the right. The image has me consider the weathering of the seats through yet another winter season. And, at the time of exposure I had no idea that I would be tinting the image toward red or blue, or, that I would be working the image through in black and white.
Listening to – Johnny Cash’s rendering of “God’s Going to Cut You Down.”
Quote to Inspire – “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” – Ansel Adams
Westward Haul – Valleyview, Alberta 1
A horse trailer being hauled westward crests a hill on a quiet and sunny, Sunday morning, descending into a huge valley between Valleyview and Grande Prairie, Alberta. Notable among this landscape’s relief and early spring colour is the full absence of snow.
Listening to – Stan Tracey’s ‘Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,’ mellow jazz to begin this Wednesday morning; then, it’s on to John Hicks’ and ‘Fatha’s Bedtime Story.’
Quote to Inspire – “A good photograph is knowing where to stand.” – Ansel Adams
Seats – Valleyview, Alberta 1
Seats – Valleyview, Alberta 2
Around Alberta, perhaps especially in the north with its longer distances travelled to school, along the highway you’ll discover structures parents have created for their children in which to wait for the school bus. The structure might be a five by five, closed-in shack with windows on the sides to watch for buses; the shack allows students respite from wind and weather while waiting. Here, two bench seats have been pulled from a car or truck to create a place to sit and wait for the school bus; the seats may be also departure point for people waiting for a ride … perhaps when thumbing a ride. I found the pair of seats on the road between Valleyview and Grande Prairie, on my drive home with my son’s effects. He’ll be home from University today, after touring British Columbia with the University of Alberta Mixed Chorus. The colour-work of tinting images reminds of Dan Kameka and his work with farm machinery and farm structures – the Sexsmith grain elevator comes to mind, an eight foot image in Grande Prairie’s Trumpeter Hotel … the first place I encountered Dan’s work.
Listening to – Chris Whitley … ‘Dust Radio’ still captivates my hearing lyrically and in terms of its sound structure; I’ve heard two versions, one unplugged and one from the ‘Living with the Law’ album – liking both … unplugged is what drew my attention.
Quote to Inspire – “Quit trying to find beautiful objects to photograph. Find the ordinary objects so you can transform it by photographing it.” – Morley Baer
Edge & Sphere – Sexsmith, Alberta 1
Edge & Sphere – Sexsmith, Alberta 2
Edge & Sphere – Sexsmith, Alberta 3
Edge & Sphere – Sexsmith, Alberta 4
Edge & Sphere – Sexsmith, Alberta 5
Early morning image editing tackles water droplets on top of a creosote covered railroad tie. A stone, one among thousands stabilizing railroad rails, surprises in its jade green colour and its irregular edge provides contrast to droplet spheres. Colour, depth, line and shape result.
Listening to – (and watching the video of) Snow Patrol’s ‘This Isn’t Everything You Are,’ U2’s ‘Vertigo’ and The Killers’ ‘When You Were Young.’
Quote to Inspire – “Photography does not create eternity, as art does; it embalms time, rescuing it simply from its proper corruption.” – Andre Bazin (1918-1958), French Film critic.
Water & Railroad Tie – Sexsmith, Alberta 1
Water & Railroad Tie – Sexsmith, Alberta 2
Water & Railroad Tie – Sexsmith, Alberta 3
Kasia Sokulska, part of the husband and wife duo that comprises MIKSMedia Photography, presents inspired macro images on her Google + profile page, outstanding and beautiful work to view. Her work inspired me to take advantage of railroad ties, made impermeable to water yesterday in Sexsmith, Alberta. With my EOS 60D, a quarter of an inch from the railroad tie, hung upside down from my Manfrotto tripod (also a never-done) I explored water droplets.
On the weekend, Dave Brosha e-mailed to highlight upcoming workshops likely in Calgary and Grande Prairie, Alberta; these would be accessed through his facebook page.
Listening to – Shawn Colvin’s ‘Change Is On The Way.’
Quote to Inspire – “Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” – Matt Hardy
Country Road Sunset – Mayerthorpe, Alberta
Farm Silo Silhouette – Mayerthorpe, Alberta
Wednesday’s travel took me from my Calgary, Camera Store stop northward on my return drive to High Level. Around dinner-time, between Mayerthorpe and Whitecourt the cloud-work and evolving sunset on the southwest of the highway were a spectacular sight among a huge and open northern Alberta sky, land less frequently frequented, something quite different from the frenetic congestion of people and land encountered between Edmonton and Calgary, an area still held in grey bleakness of winter. It was good to be traveling home in familiar North Country.
Listening to – Collective Soul and ‘Shine’, and, Sigur Ros and ‘E-bow.’
Quote to Inspire – “While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see .” – Dorothea Lange
1 Buttertown Home – Fort Vermilion, Alberta 2
2 Buttertown Home – Fort Vermilion, Alberta 1
3 Farm Buildings – Guy, Alberta 1
4 Farm Buildings – Guy, Alberta 3
5 Farm Buildings – Guy, Alberta 4
6 Farming Buildings – Nampa, Alberta 2
7 Farming Buildings – Nampa, Alberta 1
8 Ford & Mercury Trucks 1
9 Ford & Mercury Trucks 2
10 Icicle – Tompkins Landing 1
11 Icicle – Tompkins Landing 2
12 Icicle – Tompkins Landing 3
13 Icicle – Tompkins Landing 4
14 Icicle – Tompkins Landing 5
15 Icicle – Tompkins Landing 6
16 Black and White – Cattails, High Level, Alberta
17 Former Highway Construction Vehicles 1
18 Former Highway Construction Vehicles 2
19 Bus Lanes at Night – High Level, Alberta
A cluster of B-side photos remain – Fort Vermilion’s former times Buttertown homes, winter farming scenes (equipment and buildings, deposited in their last left locations, ‘medias res’), icicle lens edits and former MacKenzie highway construction vehicles. It’s this winter’s tail-end, a time to close winter out … and get-on with spring.
Listening to – Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians’ ‘What I am,’ U2’s ‘All Because of You,’ Cat Stevens’ ‘Morning Has Broken,’ Depeche Mode’s ‘Policy of Truth,’ T. Rex’s ‘Bang a Gong,’ Wang Chung’s ‘Dance Hall Days’ and Neil Young’s ‘Cinnamon Girl.’
Quote to Inspire – “Success is what happens when 10,000 hours of preparation meet with one moment of opportunity.” – Anonymous
Daisy … or Daisy-Look-a-like
A daisy with its greens, whites and yellows reminds of spring’s colour and possibility … days away. Gratitude – thank you to all who have looked-in on ‘In My Back Pocket – Photography,’ today. Engaging in dialogue about each visual narrative and accentuating the narrative found within images has been a real treat.
Listening to – my daughter points me toward Ed Sheeran’s ‘The a Team,’ Jack Johnson’s ‘Sitting, Waiting, Wishing,’ and Lenka’s ‘Everything At Once.’
Quote to Inspire – “Everything shifts as you move, and different things come into focus at different points of your life, and you try to articulate that.” Chris Steele – Perkins
Chevrolet Corvair 1 – Courtney, BC
Chevrolet Corvair 2 – Courtney, BC
A few years back a film featured Joe Pesci as homeless vagrant haunting the boiler room of a Harvard University library – seen by students a few times, more apparition than real … thought to be the ghost of Walt Whitman. A student, an honours student, loses his prize possession, what he thinks to be a flawless regurgitation of his economics professor’s thinking on the state of the world, to the homeless vagrant. Within the story an economy is established. The vagrant trades portions of the student’s thesis for meals and a place to sleep … and it’s winter. The place to sleep is within a Chevrolet Corvair, what commonly was thought of as the surfer van of the sixties. The first version of the Chevrolet Corvair presented here is a duplicate of the surfer van in which Joe Pesci lays his head down in that Harvard winter in the film ‘With Honours.’
Listening to – The Cult’s ‘She Sells Sanctuary,’ Duran Duran’s ‘Thank You,’ Babble’s ‘Tribe,’ Lyle Lovett performing Irving Berlin’s ‘Blue Skies,’ The Pretenders rendering of ‘Forever Young,’ Lindsey Buckingham’s ‘On the Wrong Side’ and Harry Warren with ‘Muchacha.’
Quote to Inspire – “Anyone can shoot chaos. But the most perceptive photographers can make compelling pictures out of uninteresting moments.” – Alex Tehrani