Day’s end reveals a world of colour within a longer, spring sunset. Russet orange dominates the backdrop for new spring buds and their companion, a century old homestead home in Buttertown across the river from Fort Vermilion, Alberta. Out-of doors movement occurs easily and remains novelty following a seemingly never-ending winter that saw so much darkness and snow – so good to be outside and in the world.
Listening to – Chris Whitley’s ‘Big Sky Country.’ The playlist has also held the Ozark Mountain Daredevils and ‘If You Wanna Get to Heaven,’ and the Rolling Stones with ‘Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.’
Quote to Inspire – “Emotion or feeling is really the only thing about pictures I find interesting. Beyond that it is just a trick.” – Christopher Anderson
“It will grow on you,” describes the growing appreciation for something that comes about through regular interaction with that entity over time. Books and music ‘grow on us.’ Styles come and go, and, they grow upon us – we acclimate to them. Friendships, perhaps even relationships subtly grow on us without our knowing it – we realize their entity at a certain point, perhaps in their first absence. Gathering museum machinery images associated with the Alaska Highway construction has had several images grow on me, me seeing and appreciating more of what they are about over time. This equipment has been kept up, maintained in working order over two or perhaps three generations. Function, style, colour and form have each been preserved. That’s something that someone has had a hand in doing, perhaps many hands have shared in doing.
Listening to – Nick Drake’s ‘Pink Moon’ and Tyler Bates’ rendering of ‘Ventura.’
Quote to Inspire – “I think good dreaming is what leads to good photographs.” – Wayne Miller
Sunday evening, on my own, at Fort Vermilion’s boat launch I witnessed the sun drop below the horizon and the dusky, rich colours and lengthening shadows produced – day’s end in the land of the Midnight Sun. The event recalls (and was perhaps inspired by) redjim99’s poem, his 200th, on his ‘notyethere’ wordpress blog, ‘The Road at Sunset’ and his discussion of the illusion of horizon; accurate and cleanly worked – it is worth checking out.
Church, a place and time of whole-hearted, meaning-crammed 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, a trek following ‘The Way of St. James.’ Tom (Sheen) takes up this eight-hundred kilometre trek, a trek his son had begun and makes it on behalf of his son who, recently deceased, is ever-present throughout the trek task. The pilgrimage becomes Church as three ‘peregrinnos,’ pilgrims, 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 peregrinnos, but that each comes to understand that their shared company and good understanding of what’s at play in each other’s lives makes the road easier – something that Church is about, an entity of relationship carried forward that associates to Life’s pilgrimage, direction and purposes.
Images – The Roman Catholic Church of St. Louis 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’ also features in the film.
Quote to Inspire – “Imagine a world without photography, one could only imagine.” – Berenice Abbott
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
Alone, along the road, driving home, structures from a former time and world that Alberta was age and erode with the seasons. Cared about structures are kept for their continued functionality, others for their memorial’s sake, to remember people and their time. Other structures, uncared for, decay and become derelict, awaiting demise. Each informs of their former time – what was then and what was on the go and what it was like being there (and then). Halt the car, grab camera and tripod, look around … repeat … all the way home. Snow melts. Spring takes hold.
Listening to – Joshua Redman’s ‘Stop this Train,’ and Sigur Ros’ ‘Svefn-G-Englar’ and ‘Glosoli.’
Quote to Inspire – “It’s not how a photographer looks at the world that is important. It’s their intimate relationship with it.” – Antoine D’Agata
Sidelined at day’s end, looking in to the vehicles of Sangudo’s Alaska Highway Construction Museum, creating an exposure through chain-link fence using smallest depth of field during the stretch of evening’s Golden hour and liking the colour, shape and shadow-work associated with these two trucks from that former time.
Listening to – Ed Sheeran’s ‘The A Team,’ Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me,’ Bruce Springsteen’s ‘One Step Up’ and Bill Mallonee & The Vigilantes of Love’s ‘Resplendent’ and ‘Nothing Like a Train.’
Quote to Inspire – “The idea of photography seemed to come together with the idea that this is how I could be – someone who could have one step in the world while at the same time being one step removed from it.” – Donovan Wylie
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
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
MacKenzie Highway trucks recall the scheming of Mack and the boys read about in John Steinbeck’s novel, ‘Cannery Row.’ A Ford truck is borrowed from Lee Chong. With some effort one of the boys with a talent for ‘fixin’ gets the truck going and everyone departs to retrieve frogs for Doc, somewhere up the California coast. In the midst of their travels a carburetor gives out …. Within hours one of the boys with the talent for ‘fixin’ and another for theft has thieved a carburetor from another Ford. Once attached the boys continue on in their adventure heading to an ideal frog gathering spot, a pond of a congress woman and her husband, the husband protects the property as guard. Their conversation, shifts from protector and trespasser to pet owner and vet as Mack doctors the man’s dog, a sickly bitch suffering with a tick embedded in its fur. The bond of friendship grows and the man invites all in for a drink … during prohibition … the happy hour becomes a middle-of-the-night, rollicking, drunken, frog gathering party that leaves the pond owner, congress woman’s husband sleeping on his floor as Mack and the boys get back in the Ford truck and return home. A Ford truck is necessary prop within the narrative (revised after yesterday’s writing in haste …) 😉
Listening to Chris Whitley – ‘Living with the Law,’ ‘Big Sky Country,’ ‘Kick the Stones,’ ‘Make the Dirt Stick’ and ‘Poison Girl.’
Quote to Inspire – “A photograph has picked up a fact of life, and that fact will live forever.” Raghu Rai