Treasure, In Return

MacKenzie River Bridge - Fort Providence, NT - Canada i
MacKenzie River Bridge – Fort Providence, NT – Canada i
MacKenzie River Bridge - Fort Providence, NT - Canada ii
MacKenzie River Bridge – Fort Providence, NT – Canada ii
MacKenzie River Bridge - Fort Providence, NT - Canada iii
MacKenzie River Bridge – Fort Providence, NT – Canada iii

Perhaps twenty years ago, Chris Short, an art specialist from Newfoundland, slowed the pace of my thought when she asserted that between High Level and Edmonton, Alberta (750km), an artist could easily spend as many as three days to gather and respond to terrain and landscape in drawing and painting (and, then, you could repeat this task/vocation seasonally, too). Another friend coined an expression Chris would understand. In response to seeing fresh landscape and terrain, that friend would interrupt travel asking to … “Stop. Let me feast my eyes.” The call was to stop in our current proceedings and to take note with awe and wonder of something beautiful, right there, in front of us.

For the Yellowknife Photo Walk getting to destination would mean focusing on the drive and returning to many photographic opportunities encountered along the way at a future date. A similar conundrum confronted me in getting to my first Photo Walk in Fort St. John, British Columbia in 2011. In both cases, while opportunities for photos were available, my eyes and imagination would only be able to scout the scene and return to them at a later date. I would know where to return for future photographs, a treasure of sorts. Travel to Fort St. John had presented incredible autumn landscapes, a morning well-lit by sun with impending, dark winter clouds moving off in the distance; farmers, at that time, were completing their harvest, some still combining fields on either side of the highway between Rycroft and Fort St. John. In the same way, travel to and from Yellowknife presented many opportunities for images – the bridge among the terrain in the Rae Edzo area in the morning’s golden hour will be something to return for as will bison feeding on the warmer, sunlit side of the highway in the afternoon. Then, there was this bridge that crosses the MacKenzie River at Fort Providence. The river, at this point, spans almost two kilometres. Driving across this two lane bridge is a breathtaking experience. I stopped and in my friend’s words, I feasted my eyes. These images are the result.

Listening to – U2’s ‘Every Breaking Wave,’ John Mayer’s ‘The Age of Worry,’ Maroon 5’s ‘Lucky Strike,’ Coldplay’s ‘Us Against the World,’ Ed Sheeran’s ‘Little Bird’ and Snow Patrol’s ‘This Isn’t Everything You Are.’

Quotes to Consider – “Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” – Diane Arbus; “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place …. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

Inborn Alarm Clock – Happenstance Coalescence

Rock Terrain - Yellowknife, NT - Canada i
Rock Terrain – Yellowknife, NT – Canada i
Rock Terrain - Yellowknife, NT - Canada ii
Rock Terrain – Yellowknife, NT – Canada ii
Rock Terrain - Yellowknife, NT - Canada iv
Rock Terrain – Yellowknife, NT – Canada iv
Rock Terrain - Yellowknife, NT - Canada v
Rock Terrain – Yellowknife, NT – Canada v

Rock Terrain - Yellowknife, NT - Canada vi

Two teeth, both set for root canal the following Tuesday at the Blue Sky Dental Clinic in High Level, Ab, serve as inborn alarm clock early in the morning following the Yellowknife Photo Walk; Motrin pain relief subsides and pain returns me to the day. My southward journey home begins. At 5:30 a.m., I am the only guest checking out from Yellowknife’s Explorer Hotel. The front desk clerk orients me to a Yellowknife map and ensures that I will be able to fuel my truck, at this hour, before starting out. There’s good happenstance coalescence – my drive has me move into the day through a colourful morning golden hour, striking with the interplay of weather backdrop and colourful rock terrain. Houses are situated on top of rock, vehicles are parked on top of rock. The landscape holds curiosities and narrative … to discover another day. I will return.

Listening to, Watching – U2’s ‘Song for Someone,’ video done with Woody Harrelson within a narrative that becomes an evocative explication regarding Grace.

Quote to Consider – “No place is boring if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film.” – Robert Adams