Plymouth Savoy – Beaverlodge, Alberta 1
Plymouth Savoy – Beaverlodge, Alberta 2
Plymouth Savoy – Beaverlodge, Alberta 3
Plymouth Savoy – Beaverlodge, Alberta 4
No longer gliding forward on each tire’s balloon cushion this vehicle slumps to the earth in resignation. Snow’s first fall dusts this Plymouth Savoy’s pitted hood, scars of gravel-sprayed journeys. Paint erodes, chrome still gleams. The vertical of trees’ up and down becomes contrast to rounder more human car curves.
Listening to – Lenka’s ‘The Show.’
Quote to Inspire – “I don’t believe a person has a style. What people have is a way of photographing what is inside them. What is there comes out.” – Sebastiao Salgado
House of Dreams 1
House of Dreams 2
House of Dreams 3
House of Dreams 4
House of Dreams 5
This farmhouse image is one that I connect to moments we’ve all had – that ethereal, restless dream state when dreaming’s hallucination can draw forth what seems other-worldly connection. For me, I recall Mr. Lockwood who upon renting Thrushcross Grange ventured out on a winter walk to meet and greet his landlord, a man by the name of Heathcliff. The story, set in the late 1700s – early 1800s, sees the newly installed Mr. Lockwood walking to the property of his new landlord, a home with a name – Wuthering Heights. A snow storm brews up and makes it necessary for Mr. Lockwood to stay the night in his landlord’s home.
A place is made for him in what seems is a book cupboard or closet.
He reads a pen and ink commentary set forth in the margins of books within this sleeping closet; print books, the only source of paper available to another character, Catherine Earnshaw, are the place where Catherine journals about and considers her life – a journal that in tone and availability serves as confidante for the teen who as estate owner’s daughter is without ready access to peers her age at the Wuthering Heights farm estate. Mr. Lockwood can’t sleep – he reads and reads and reads about Catherine and Heathcliff … until in that ethereal, restless dream state he enters into dream hallucination, a state in which he encounters a young Catherine who within the snow storm outside knocks at ‘his’ window asking to be let in. The farmhouse in this image meets well many of the essential elements of what my mind imagines that Wuthering Heights could be. This house seems ready for all that Emily Bronte’s novel, Wuthering Heights, might hold. And, there’s more to that story ….
Listening to – Maria Dunn’s God Bless Us Everyone, Michael Hoppe’s Land of Serenity, Bill Douglas’ Irish Lullaby, Grant McAskill’s Bitter Season, Catherine Anne McFee’s I See Winter and Paul Brady’s Help Me Believe.
Quote to Inspire – “I want the viewers to be moved into the lives of the people that they are looking at, the visual experience is incredibly emotional.” Paul Fusco
The Back Road Between Manning and Fairview, Alberta
Reflection & Road – Fort Vermilion, Alberta
Mountains & Road Between Grande Cache and Hinton, Alberta
Mountain Pass – between Jasper and Banff, Alberta
Fifties Ford Half-ton – High Level, Alberta
Travel is my day’s task. The orthopedic surgeon who will review my arm’s recovery and next step’s in rehabilitation is some five hours away. Instead of piloting my own vehicle with one good arm, I’m electing to travel on the Northern Express, a passenger van that will take me from High Level to Grande Prairie. Running off the road at -25C and having one weakened limb might produce an unwanted and perhaps conclusive result. So, a better idea is to leave the driving to another, today. So, with podcast-crammed iPod and point-and-shoot Canon at the ready this day will roll on.
The photos presented here convey some of what Alberta’s weather can be like; there’s also a fifties Ford from a show and shine … yes, driving is more fun that being a passenger.
Listening to – The Police, Live in Buenos Aires … Message in a Bottle, Don’t Stand So Close to Me and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.
Quote to Inspire – “Still images can be moving and moving images can be still. Both meet within soundscapes.” Chien-Chi Chang
This morning’s wee hours saw the completion of two day’s detailing our 2006 Nissan Altima, a task completed without anchored schedule and with all that time off. The task first involved trekking around the Altima with Autoglym Super Resin Polish with orbital buffer and polishing bonnet or buffer and buffing bonnet. The task next involved applying by hand Autoglym HD Wax, a paste wax, in sections and letting those sections cure for fifteen minutes at a stretch. In applying the HD paste wax I caught myself up on several podcasts.
Storing digital images was the subject of one podcast of Shuttertime with Sid and Mac; I’m in need of a new external hard drive and need to investigate back-up solutions. The podcast introduced me to Drobo and to Carbon Copy Cloning and much more. In another Shuttertime with Sid and Mac podcast the ‘why’ of the photographer – her or his motivation for shooting – was considered. A truth that surfaced is that good photography is something that serves the photographer first before her or his audience. It was noted that photographer burnout (meaning their interest or desire in photography is extinguished) occurs when the images created tend to be ‘for’ others. Ideally a photographer needs to manage the balance of work for others with work for themselves.
Two days detailing allowed for breaks when they were needed. Tuesday evening presented the opportunity of summer’s quietude along our street. Near midnight I was able to sit outdoors in the sun’s dusk, in the absence of activity and mosquitos to enjoy an evening breeze – a time to be, a time to sit still and enjoy. Within these two days I’ve been able to watch at various times most of the 2010 film of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender, an allegory of spiritual development and of finding soul mates. Wax on, wax off – words from the Karate Kid, words akin to meditation, an activity slowing you down, a means to gather thoughts and loose-ends; the activity involves sight and seeing and perspective; section by section the activity moves toward the whole of an outcome completed. Perseverance is required – you and the car are better for it.
The photograph presented here is the first rendering of an image using the Snapseed app with my iPad – a truck that’s been used for mud-bogging.
Listening to – Over the Rhine’s Spark, Dar Williams’ Mercy of the Fallen and Radiohead’s High and Dry; the other song that’s been in my thoughts and hearing is Robbie Robertson’s Sweet Fire of Love.
Quotes to Inspire – (1) “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.” – Diane Arbus; and, (2) “To photograph truthfully and effectively is to see beneath the surfaces and record the qualities of nature and humanity which live or are latent in all things.” – Ansel Adams
The Peace Valley at Dunvegan
At most points in the geography of Alberta the Peace River is at least one kilometre across. At various points it will broaden out allowing for islands and sand dunes. The first time I saw what the Peace River was about what I noticed was something this photograph conveys, the river has cut a fissure into the land through time and while the river is most times one kilometre across, the distance from level land on top of the river valley to level land on the top of the other side of the river valley is greater, spanning as much as four and five kilometres. The other thing noticed is that it takes about two kilometres of gradual descent in a vehicle to reach the river from the valley’s crest. This photograph is taken at the start of the descent toward Dunvegan and the Dunvegan suspension bridge looking north. It’s late on a September Sunday and shadows creep from the west extending eastwards.
Listening to Bill Mallonee & the Vigilantes of Love sing Resplendent from their Audible Sigh album, a message about the nature of resilience borrowing from the narrative of the dustbowl.
Quote to Inspire - “I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything.” – John Steinbeck
Fairview Homestead - Along the Back Way Home
The as-the-crow flies, back way, return home from Grande Prairie to High Level, Alberta has a driver/photographer deviate from the GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) recommended route at Fairview and move north and east through the back country behind towns like Spirit River, Blue Sky, Berwyn, Grimshaw and Peace River. The route deposits you back on the GPS recommended route, north of Peace River and Dixonville at the corner upon which you’ll find the Weberville Community Hall, twenty minutes from Manning; you’ll chew-off some of the drive time and see land and animals that many will never see – my last trip had three moose standing on the side of the road as I drove by.
Beginning this deviated trek, ten kilometres north from Fairview you’ll find the homestead featured in this photograph on the east side of the road, a former home that is accorded reverence as a starting home for and reminder of the family that broke this land. Visual inspection of the homestead through my camera lens reveals that it was a home in stages. It had a basic first shape and it received alteration and addition, no doubt to welcome the blessing of a family’s increase in population. Grain grows around the home to with a metre of the building and tree perimeter – care is taken to preserve memory and to utilize the land. The home had been a starting point and reminds of starting points.
Listening through most songs on Joseph Arthur’s Redemption’s Son album – songs standing out are In the Night, Evidence and Nation of Slaves; my listen through reminds of Joseph Arthur’s tune of blessing sung by Michael Stipe and Joseph Arthur – In the Sun.
Curious Quotes to ponder – “You should never think without an image.” – Aristotle; “The soul can not think without a picture.” – Aristotle.
GMC Sierra – Spring Photo
GMC Sierra – At Machesis Lake (Winter 2011)
GMC Sierra – At Machesis Lake (Winter 2011) 2
GMC Sierra – On Top Of Watt Mountain
Tomorrow, after a day of school between 4:00-5:00 p.m., a salvage company will come to my house and tow away my 2000 GMC Sierra half-ton pick-up truck. Today, I checked with my wife and she agreed to my signing off the vehicle to my insurance company – the truck has been written off. The truck, a former Cargill elevator truck, has an ever-running small Vortec V8 engine and has had nothing but synthetic oil and regular maintenance through its 286,000 km history. The transmission has been upgraded to allow for the hauling of a motor boat during summers by its previous owner. While not a top of the line truck, it has been a presentable vehicle in terms of shape, chrome and gleam – at twelve years of age there is little rust.
I liked that.
The truck has required some mastery to drive. A two-wheel rear drive unit, without a load in the box, the light back end on icy winter roads takes a while to get to cruising speed. All season passenger tires on the front have made the steering a bit sloppy, as well. Coming down the three kilometre hill from Twin Lakes, Alberta toward High Level in heavy snowfall has been more of a skiing event than rolling forward with steering, brakes and engine. I’ve mastered much of that; but, obviously not enough to avoid last week’s buck.
With photography, I’ve appreciated having windows on all sides of me in the cab and the immediacy of light which well allowed me to sense direction, colour and intensity in considering possible photographs. Tonight, I have looked back through the past two years for photos of my 2000 GMC Sierra and found these four.
Quote to Inspire – “When I think of why I make pictures, the [only] reason that I can come up with just seems that I’ve been making my way here. It seems right now that all I’ve ever done in my life is making my way here to you.” – so says Robert Kincaid, in the movie and novel, The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller; notable to me, not as romantic, but as photographer and GMC truck owner is that Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer enters and leaves Madison County in a forest green 65 GMC pickup. Good schtuff!
Listening to Lucinda Williams from her album World Without Tears – Righteously, Ventura and Bleeding Fingers; reminded that Sarah McLachlan adores Lucinda William’s album, Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.