Stopping the Clock

Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 1
Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 1
Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 2
Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 2
Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 3
Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 3
Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 4
Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 4
Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 5
Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 5

As a newly heard phrase, the words ‘when the clock stops’ intrigue as a conceptualization of abundant time that can be personally directed. In these words you are no longer ‘on the clock’ and answerable to someone else for your use of time (in work hours). The phrase describes the inverse of having too little quality time or personal time, of being ‘time-starved.’ The ‘on the clock’ world tends to describe our work situation in which work becomes a way of Life and survival more than it is a Life chosen through free will. What is more, among Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly effectively people there is the habit of sharpening the saw – the regular withdrawal from endeavor that renews you allowing your return to endeavor fresh, invigorated and with greater clarity of perspective (vision). The phrase ‘off the clock’ does intrigue.

Tonight, sleep eludes me and I’m stopping the clock.

The past seven weeks have been heavy with tasks and within the last two weeks demands on my time beyond my school day have been substantial, yet the rewards for others and me have also been substantial. Editing images remains my means of stopping the clock and sharpening the saw. In the last few nights I’ve settled in editing Utah photos from July. I’ve left these images for now, when I would make time for them rather than rush through their edits. And, I’ve made time to deal with a monitor issue before editing. I have calibrated both monitors so the differential between them in hue, luminance and contrast is minimal – what I see on one monitor is what I see on the other. One monitor has tended toward warmer colours, while the other has been cooler. The calibration should go a long way toward presenting images as my eye sees them right on the monitor.

The images presented here are Arches National Park Buttes during a summer sunrise.

Quote to Consider – “Insofar as photography does peel away the dry wrappers of habitual seeing, it creates another habit of seeing: both intense and cool, solicitous and detached; charmed by the insignificant detail, addicted to incongruity.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

Listening to – U2’s ‘Live from Paris’ album; ‘Trip through Your Wires,’ ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,’ and ‘Running to Stand Still’ are songs standing out. Also have found Jen Chapin & Rosetta Trio’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘American Skin (41 Shots);’ reminds of Jackson Browne doing this song in a tribute to Bruce Springsteen – the story behind the song is worth the investigation. I’m also enjoying Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Live in Dublin’ concert – just now the banjo bringing in ‘Jesse James.’ The same album contains ‘If I Should Fall Behind,’ something for couples and married to hear. The night is being rounded out by Bruce Hornsby & the Range, ‘The Show Goes On’ from the Backdraft soundtrack.

Post Script – Luka Bloom also aims at stopping the clock with his tune, ‘Blackberry Time.’

Coloured Desaturation

Autumn's Desaturation - Rycroft, Alberta 1
Autumn’s Desaturation – Rycroft, Alberta 1
Autumn's Desaturation - Rycroft, Alberta 2
Autumn’s Desaturation – Rycroft, Alberta 2
Desaturation -St. Louis Mission - Buttertown, Alberta 1
Desaturation -St. Louis Mission – Buttertown, Alberta 1
Desaturation -St. Louis Mission - Buttertown, Alberta 2
Desaturation -St. Louis Mission – Buttertown, Alberta 2

Looking through this past month’s photos the desaturation of the earth’s foliage draws my eye, Life ebbing away or perhaps about to draw into dormancy under the covers with snow’s blanket. Fields have been shorn, leaving behind uniform lines of a seed drill’s patterned press of seeds into the earth. Great expanses of field hold round bales, some already positioned for feeding cattle, deer, elk and bison. These photos present the colour of a month ago and the desaturation witnessed only a week ago. The desire to be on the land as I was as a youth is there.

Quote to Inspire – “But when viewed in their new context, the museum, or gallery, photographs cease to be ‘about’ their subjects in the same direct or primary way; they become studies in the possibilities of photography.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

Listening to – Sarah Masen’s rendition of an old Supertramp song – ‘Give a Little Bit.’

Half-light Highlights

Arches National Park - Moab, Utah
Arches National Park – Moab, Utah

5:30 a.m., Arches National Park near Moab, in Utah, before sunrise this image looks across the landscape to sand stone buttes. The edit is true to the exposure as observed; still, it seems quite dark in my first look at it and then, as my eyes adjust to the image I am able to find my way through the landscape the same way I would cycling in dusk’s half-light. What has also been extraordinary, lately, is viewing an image on the computer screen from a distance (from the hallway or across the room); the perception of the image is different – it’s either a better sense entirety or encapsulation as well as being able to see more clearly highlights in the image.

Listening to – Colbie Caillat’s ‘I Won’t’ and Ben’s Brother’s ‘Beauty Queen.’

Quote to Consider – “If photographs are messages, the message is both transparent and mysterious.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

Swathed, Corduroy Rows

International Combine - Whitecourt, Alberta 3
International Combine – Whitecourt, Alberta 3
International Combine - Whitecourt, Alberta 4
International Combine – Whitecourt, Alberta 4

On fields, rolling in their contour, somewhere between Sangudo and Whitecourt, Alberta, an International combine sits, no longer harvesting grain from broad swathed, corduroy rows; the combine is placed within a farmer’s field close to the highway to attract its sale – another farmer could use this International 914 for parts. For me, though, driving past through each season the International’s structure, angles and colour presents contrast to its surrounding landscape attracting my attention. I’ve been meaning to photograph it for some time. Last June, a solitary drive home provided opportunity; and, over the last few nights I’ve been able to edit the image.

Listening to – Peter Gabriel’s ‘San Jacinto,’ ‘In Your Eyes,’ ‘Solsbury Hill,’ ‘Shaking the Tree’ and ‘Blood of Eden.’

Quote to Consider – “… there is a difference between photography conceived as ‘true expression’ and photography conceived (as it is more commonly is) as faithful recording ….” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’