On October 1, 2011, as an educator having completed several month-long tasks associated with the September 30th student count and the paperchase associated with ministry deadlines at 11:00 p.m., the night before, the prospect of participating in a Kelby Photowalk was there, was a never-done and was possible. As a late, ‘day-of’ registrant one photowalk I could get to from High Level, Alberta, if I started my drive early enough was the photowalk in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. A five-hour drive would see me there with time to spare; the photowalk would start at 1:00 p.m., B.C. time. This was the photowalk I took part in. The other photowalk that was within driving distance but started much too early after my sleeping hard was Fairview-based but would take in the area in and around the Dunvegan Bridge, the Dunvegan historic site and the Dunvegan Gardens. That photowalk took place, in part, along the banks of the Peace River found in the image presented here.
In reviewing this image today, I note that several features of the river draw my attention. The river winds its way through the huge, open space of the river valley. The valley is welcome contrast to the linear, familiar landscape surrounding High Level in which you can look forward, side-to-side and behind you; but up-down depth of perspective and distance are fixed. Standing midpoint up the valley slope allows good change of perspective – opportunity to look down into the valley toward the river and the opportunity to look along the sides of the valley (almost a hallway of sorts) to appreciate its relief (the land’s wrinkles leading down to the river). This kind of perspective as I enjoyed it from a Kelowna hot tub looking down onto Lake Okanagan is one feature I will emulate if and when I ever purchase a hot tub, enjoying a hot tub’s warmth from a height while looking out upon something below.
The photograph, here, is a high dynamic range (HDR) shot in which colour, texture, relief and light are crisply enhanced, capturing attention. Beyond this, the subject of the image – the river – holds attention because there is natural flow and movement, an indicator of spring’s upcoming arrival. The river holds broken ice and moves along the surface of the water. And, the sky’s blue reflects in the water. All this reminds of former life in Fox Lake, Alberta when each evening I’d trek to the Peace River, enjoy its expanse, then return home. I walked to the river through all seasons. For me, this photograph of the Dunvegan river valley and reminiscence of the Kelby Photowalk seem to point to a richness in opportunity for photography throughout each day and through all seasons.
Listening to – Over the Rhine’s Drunkard’s Prayer album; songs standing out – Born, Who Will Guard the Door and Spark.
Quote to Inspire – “The world just does not fit conveniently into the format of a 35mm camera.” – W. Eugene Smith
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