Opportunities, Extraordinary

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 1
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 1
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 2
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 2
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 3
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 3
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 4
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 4
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 5
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 5
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 6
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 6
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 7
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 7
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 8
Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 8

One aspect of photography that has grown into practice is the matter of recognizing the opportunity presented by the derelict car in a field along the highway, the abandoned farmhouse and former granaries, that thing that you come upon in your travels that you may not ever see again. The challenge is to make time for it, to engage fully in seeing it, to name it, to grasp what it is and what has been its narrative, to share time with it. The choice becomes that of photographing it (… or not) and there are choices in editing that honour the subject and the image, to find its best way(s) of being seen. The image, in its being shared creates opportunity; what has been witnessed and what has been created, not only allows others to see something more of the world, but serves to encourage (or perhaps compel) exploration of that thing witnessed through your camera and lens.

Some of this is about that key teaching from Robin Williams, as professor Keating, in the ‘Dead Poets Society’ in the first poetry lesson – ‘Gather ye rose buds while ye may,’ the import of which was his solemn admonition to his students – ‘seize the day’ and ‘make your lives extraordinary.’ Carpe Diem is about seizing the day as much with any of life’s opportunities as with the opportunities for images that can be created with a camera.


In Banff last week, perhaps owing to summer heat or day/night air pressure differential in the mountains I found myself not always sleeping through the entire night and chose to get out with my camera for landscape photos in pre-dawn dusk. Before leaving for Banff, I had reviewed Maciek Solkulski’s Google+ page for winter sunrise shots he had taken at the Vermillion Lakes in Canada’s Banff National Park. Maciek, an Edmonton photographer, is one half of the podcasting duo of the Shutter Time with Sid and Mac podcast. From Mac’s Google+ page I was able to review maps of where the Vermillion Lakes were in relation to Banff. And, so, before dawn, two days in a row, I got out to the Vermillion Lakes for morning images; these are presented here.

Listening to – Elliott Smith’s ‘Between Bars,’ ‘No Name #3’ and ‘Angeles,’ Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Baker Street’ and The Waterboys’ ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ – all songs from Good Will Hunting.

Quotes to Inspire – (1) “The photographer both loots and preserves, denounces and consecrates;” and, “Life is not about significant details, illuminated (in) a flash, fixed forever. Photographs are.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

9 Comments on “Opportunities, Extraordinary

  1. An amazing sequence, as I scrolled down I was hard put to pick a best, all good. I alluded to time in my comment on your last post, and taking time is difficult at the moment. I am also getting frustrated with my camera, a good point and shoot but I’m finding it lets dust into the lens body too easily. It is going to become a problem I know, I’ve had it cleaned twice already in 18 months. Any how, a bad workman and all that, keep up the pics and quotes, I really enjoy visiting and seeing these places.


    • Hey there, Jim:

      Dust is an issue even with my DSLRs; but, I was shown how to clean the sensor a while ago and it seems only to require that I set aside time when it’s needed. When I’m changing lenses I often will get into the back seat of our vehicle with the engine off (no movement of air … and dust); I do so to avoid the dust in the wind outside. Adobe Lightroom has a way to remove defects from the photo, too; but, it is definitely better to be shooting clean.

      Good schtuff … enjoy Dartmoor. 🙂

  2. Banff is one of my favorite places on earth and you have captured it so eloquently. Such gorgeous images!

    • Hey there, Robyn:

      Liking your pointe shoes series IV image – my daughter is a ballet dancer and would understand longing to dance … she is in constant movement.

      I’m happy to read that you connect with Banff and the images, here. Good, good! 🙂

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