Rainbow Re-edit

Wind Turbines and Rainbow - Oahu 1
Wind Turbines and Rainbow – Oahu 1
Plantation Fire - Haleiwa, Oahu
Plantation Fire – Haleiwa, Oahu
Wind Turbines and Rainbow - Oahu 5
Wind Turbines and Rainbow – Oahu 5
Wind Turbines and Rainbow - Oahu 4
Wind Turbines and Rainbow – Oahu 4
Wind Turbines and Rainbow - Oahu 3
Wind Turbines and Rainbow – Oahu 3

Two summers ago, my wife, daughter and I enjoyed two weeks on Oahu. We rented a car, a Ford Fusion, for the time and used it to take us on day trips exploring Oahu. In the second week we returned for perhaps the fourth time to Haleiwa, part of Oahu’s North Shore. Exploring, shopping and photo gathering were elements of that day. We’d each finished an ice cream cone and were buying t-shirts for my son when sirens of fire engines moved through town – one, then, five minutes later another.

To the north, a plantation, perhaps a mile away was burning and dark black smoke was billowing in the air.

When traffic had returned to its steady flow we got into the car with the intention of returning to Honolulu for the evening. Traffic had slowed, returning to an ambling pace. As we headed away from Haleiwa the idea to see the site of the fire attracted my curiosity. I took a right from the main road and followed a one-lane backroad toward the fire. I thought better of it; the backroad to the plantation was narrow and blocking traffic would be a problem.

I stopped our vehicle, got out and looked back over my right shoulder to see these wind turbines with a rainbow coming down in the midst of them – an opportunity for a photograph had presented itself. I attached my 70-200mm lens to my Canon 60D, zoomed in and captured these images. I posted the image on this blog maybe eighteen months ago, an image edited on my laptop while waiting for clothes to dry in the laundry room of the Marriott Hotel in Honolulu. The original posted is the third image above. Yesterday, I explored this sequence of images and found a few others to share. My thanks to Mark Kurtz for drawing my attention back to these images.

Listening to – Parov Stelar’s ‘Room Service,’ Nitin Sawhney’s ‘Firmament,’ the Gotan Project’s ‘Santa Maria (Del Buen Ayre)’ and Quantic & Tempo’s ‘Sabor.’

Quote to Consider – “In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.” – August Sander

A Finer Clarity

Sangudo Trucks-Edit-2-Edit-Edit
Sangudo Trucks-Edit-2-Edit-Edit
Sangudo Trucks-Edit-3
Sangudo Trucks-Edit-3
Sangudo Trucks-Edit-Edit
Sangudo Trucks-Edit-Edit

Adobe Photoshop CS6 has been platform for creating, or perhaps better stated, re-creating High Dynamic Range (HDR) images from RAW files that had been used with NiK Software’s HDR Efex Pro. The process is new with a different sequence of steps – using Adobe Bridge to identify and find photos is one step changing things. And, then, the image result has less halo surrounding subjects within the photograph. The image created this morning is from the Alaska Highway Construction Museum in Sangudo, Alberta from a year or two ago. The clarity and detail is substantially finer using the Adobe Photoshop CS6 process to create the HDR – edges have greater fidelity to what was observed.

Quote to Consider – “In photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.” – August Sander (sounds like an HDR image making kind of quote)

Listening to – Zoe Keating’s Album, ‘Into the Trees;’ ‘Optimist,’ ‘Don’t Worry,’ and ‘Escape Artist.’

P.S. – It has finally happened; that photo-a-day that should have resulted in 365 posts in one year – intended from 2011 to 2012 – has only just been achieved within this photo-blog post … 365 posts with many, many photos … the milestone, intended, has arrived and it’s only taken from 2011 to 2015. Thank you, to all who have been a part of encouraging this endeavor. Good schtuff! 😉

Route 66 – Restoration Reminiscence

Fairlane 500 and Thunderbird - Grand Canyon Arizona
Fairlane 500 and Thunderbird – Grand Canyon Arizona
Fairlane 500 - Grand Canyon, Arizona 2
Fairlane 500 – Grand Canyon, Arizona
Fairlane 500 - Grand Canyon, Arizona 1
Fairlane 500 – Grand Canyon, Arizona 1
1949 Chevrolet Fleetline - Grand Canyon, Arizona 3
1949 Chevrolet Fleetline – Grand Canyon, Arizona 3
1949 Chevrolet Fleetline - Grand Canyon, Arizona 2
1949 Chevrolet Fleetline – Grand Canyon, Arizona 2
1949 Chevrolet Fleetline - Grand Canyon, Arizona 1
1949 Chevrolet Fleetline – Grand Canyon, Arizona 1
1931 Ford Sedan and Pickup - Grand Canyon, Arizona 2
1931 Ford Sedan and Pickup – Grand Canyon, Arizona 2
1931 Ford Sedan and Pickup - Grand Canyon, Arizona 1
1931 Ford Sedan and Pickup – Grand Canyon, Arizona 1
1931 Ford Sedan  - Grand Canyon, Arizona 2
1931 Ford Sedan – Grand Canyon, Arizona 2
1931 Ford Sedan  - Grand Canyon, Arizona 1
1931 Ford Sedan – Grand Canyon, Arizona 1
1957 Chevrolet Belair - Grand Canyon 1
1957 Chevrolet Belair – Grand Canyon 1
1957 Chevrolet Belair - Grand Canyon 2
1957 Chevrolet Belair – Grand Canyon 2

It’s colder today, snow is on the ground and a four-day, November break provides welcome opportunity for rest from pushing hard in these first three months of the school year. A quick drive southward and back home last weekend recalled the following images needing an edit from July.

Along Route 66, nearing the Grand Canyon, restored cars are roadside attraction, the cars of former, American glory days, vehicles that you’d find reconstructed from other donor cars on reality television shows like ‘Counting Cars.’ That person, who in middle-age, is starting to find a surplus of funds in their bank account is the kind of person these cars belong to. For them and you, someone in the family owned one – Dad and Mom maybe, your grandparents, perhaps or maybe your cousin had one; and, if you were lucky that vehicle was the one you learned to drive in, was perhaps the vehicle that became yours (you bought it from another member in your family) and was the car that got you started in Life. In presentation, these Grand Canyon cars are arranged almost as they would be in a Show and Shine; the difference is that their owners are not hovering around them – the vehicles draw potential customers to the service station and to the hotel, a pit-stop and stopping point. Among the vehicles were a 1957 Mercury Thunderbird, a 1958 Ford Fairlane 500, a 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline Deluxe four-door (Police Car), what may be a 1931 Ford Sedan and a 1931 Ford Pickup truck and a 1957 Chevrolet 2-door coupe.

The 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline has me thinking back to Rimbey, Alberta and my uncle’s farm in the late sixties and early seventies. For many years, a mid-forties (1946-48) Chevrolet four-door fastback (blue/black with white roof) sat next to the farm shop. The intention had been to swap pistons from a second donor car and to add a second vehicle economically to a growing family that was becoming more and more on the move. Unfortunately, the pistons were of different sizes and the car did not move again. As kids on visits, my cousins, my brothers and I would pretend to drive to and from different places in this grounded car. A big, big steering wheel, a windshield that may have been two pieces in design, a springy and dusty bench seat and doors that creaked on ungreased hinges were setting to the play of the drive with family. In coming years, the Chevrolet fastback sedan was towed behind the farm’s barley silage silo.

A good, good reminiscence of former times, these.

Listening to – Over the Rhine’s ‘Born,’ ‘Bluer,’ ‘Spark,’ ‘Lookin’ Forward’ and ‘Who Will Guard the Door’ – November kind of music.

Quote to Consider – “Instead of just recording reality, photographs have become the norm for the way things appear to us, thereby changing the very idea of reality, and of realism.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

Summer Colour & Warmth

Field Green - Near Greencourt, Alberta
Field Green – Near Greencourt, Alberta

Our Boxing Day is overcast. Snow falls (four inches worth), family sleeps late – the television has had its share of use and all have been able to settle and rest. Coffee and tea warm us. Outside is winter’s cold, an entity that almost requires a northern household to have a fire place to throw off a dry, substantial heat (one day, perhaps) or in-floor heating, at least. Our day is quiet, moving me to recall summer’s colour and warmth, a time when it is easier for an object in motion to stay in motion – a very different time of year. Loreena McKennitt has an album for a day such as this, ‘Music to Drive the Cold Winter Away,’ a Christmas gift from my brother several years back.

Listening to – Ed Sheeran’s ‘The a Team;’ my daughter received sheet music to this song; I’ve had a go at fretting chords and then doing so with the actual song, finding nuance in how it’s played.

“Photography makes us feel that the world is more available than it really is.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

Storehouse Timbers

Storehouse - St Louis Catholic Mission - Buttertown, Alberta 1
Storehouse – St Louis Catholic Mission – Buttertown, Alberta 1
Storehouse - St Louis Catholic Mission - Buttertown, Alberta 2
Storehouse – St Louis Catholic Mission – Buttertown, Alberta 2
Storehouse - St Louis Catholic Mission - Buttertown, Alberta 3
Storehouse – St Louis Catholic Mission – Buttertown, Alberta 3
Storehouse - St Louis Catholic Mission - Buttertown, Alberta 4
Storehouse – St Louis Catholic Mission – Buttertown, Alberta 4

A spring thaw in the early nineteen-hundreds saw several Fort Vermilion area farms flooded. In one instance a farm building washed out, the movement of the water weakening its foundation enough to topple the structure. Timber for that building floated downstream on the Boyer River becoming snagged at a turn in the river as it passed the St. Louis Catholic Mission in Buttertown. Those timbers were pulled from the river and after a time were used to build this storehouse for the mission. The photo was created in May, 2013. Last Saturday night, the image became editing focal point as I showed my son how Lightroom 5 and NiK Software can be used – four versions were produced, some following his eye’s lead.

Listening to – Coldplay’s ‘Yellow,’ a song I worked through after all had gone to bed last night; the piano work is more difficult than the fretwork; the resonance and dissonance found in the chords and alternate tuning are captivating.

Quote to Consider – “Photographs, which cannot themselves explain anything, are inexhaustible invitations to deduction, speculation, and fantasy.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

Soul Searchers

Christmas Heart - High Level, Alberta
Christmas Heart – High Level, Alberta
Homestead -  Rycroft, Alberta
Homestead – Rycroft, Alberta
Wagon Wheels - Beaverlodge, Alberta
Wagon Wheels – Beaverlodge, Alberta
Crosses - Bezanson, Alberta
Crosses – Bezanson, Alberta

At Christmas, Love amplifies, powerful and lifting, scrabbling through the dark mess of tangle. Care and pardon affirm, anchoring you, there, in other Hearts – disgrace yields, grace overcomes. Love finds its way. At Christmas, the first steps within the incarnation are taken; a betrothed groom and fiancée making the best of things, travel within a colonized Israel to add their names within a census, a decision perhaps that may have to do with the practicality in it being safer to identify as a family with what will follow from the census; the fiancée is pregnant, a surprise to the groom and his betrothed. Are the two young? Is Joseph older and knowing something of how to live a Life within this colonized world? Is he prepared for this night? A makeshift moment allows the two to shelter among animals in a barn or cave. Mary moves into labour, a baby is born, a new Life that becomes central to a grand narrative we all are participating in. The name Joseph is first used with Jacob’s wife Rachel, when she conceives and bears a son after many years barren; Joseph literally means ‘he who takes my shame away.’

All this and more become the Christmas story. A few songs tell the story well; but, the one that might best fit today’s times and needs could be that provided by Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds in ‘Christmas Song.’ I like the conceptualization of any of us as ‘soul-searchers.’ The blood of the children reference is, while scary, accurate within this song – blood covers sins; Christ’s blood was shed for all to overcome their/our sin-state and thereby becomes the blood of the children referred to within the song.

The incarnation is an inconceivable event, something that needs more acceptance than figuring. You need to involve your imagination in such reckoning as precursor to such an event in preparation to be able to recognize when and if such an event does happen, has happened or will happen. You’d have to consider how involving God here on earth might play out.

The song that brought this kind of precursor imagining about best was a Joan Osborne, grunge-rock tune, that I heard most helpfully sung by Martyn Joseph on Radio Ulster’s ‘Rhythm and Soul’; thank you to Presbyterian Pastor, Steve Stockman for bringing all of that about. Here’s Martyn’s version.

Here’s the Joan Osborne version of ‘One of Us.’

Quote to Consider – “The camera doesn’t make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But you have to SEE.” – Ernest Haas

Listening to – Martyn Joseph’s ‘Beyond Us, ‘Not a Good Time for God’ and Martyn’s take on Bruce Springsteen’s ‘If I Should Fall Behind’ and ‘One Step Up.’ Also, taking a listen to Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Highway Patrolman.’

There’s a lot of grace encountered in ‘Highway Patrolman;’ Springsteen goes on to tell that it deals with family, responsibility and duty when those things conflict. The lyrics are good dealing with brothers sharing good times as much as the morality involved in dealing with a brother who is straying – lyrics catching my attention follow ….

“Well if it was any other man, I’d put him straight away
But when it’s your brother sometimes you look the other way.”

“Me and Frankie laughin’ and drinkin’
Nothin’ feels better than blood on blood
Takin’ turns dancin’ with Maria
As the band played “Night of the Johnstown Flood”
I catch him when he’s strayin’, teach him how to walk that line
Man turns his back on his family he ain’t no friend of mine.”

May you find Grace this Christmas – my gratitude goes out to each of you who have been part of each step and evolution of this photoblog. Thank you – take good care of your good selves.

Shape Sense – Light & Shadow

Autumn Gold 2 - Donnely, Alberta 1
Autumn Gold 2 – Donnely, Alberta 1
Autumn Gold 2 - Donnely, Alberta 2
Autumn Gold 2 – Donnely, Alberta 2
Autumn Gold 2 - Donnely, Alberta 3
Autumn Gold 2 – Donnely, Alberta 3
Autumn Gold 2 - Donnely, Alberta 4
Autumn Gold 2 – Donnely, Alberta 4
Autumn Gold 2 - Donnely, Alberta 5
Autumn Gold 2 – Donnely, Alberta 5

It’s cold this morning. At -26C, the conundrum is how to deal with my camera (battery-life) and tripod (breakable at colder temperatures). Warmly cloaked, as I trek round my morning’s 6km circuit, I’m resigned to using the walk to scout out pictures. Throughout, I’m listening to conversations – interviews, podcasted on my iPod. But, cold-weather photo-making is not as easy an endeavor as capturing an image within that moment when I find its promise. I turn my initiative to what I can do indoors – editing of previous photos, investigating shots that I haven’t yet worked with and finding new results. This morning is follow-up to other images in the series following the Autumn Gold image from a few days back. Versions of the photo are non-HDR, HDR Black and White and HDR Colour – some fun. The realization is that the HDR images provide better gradation of light and shadow creating better sense of shape as contrasted with non-HDR images. Have a look.

Listening to – Krista Tippett’s interview with Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche; interesting concepts include the necessity of becoming vulnerable in order to be able to love another and the vulnerability of God in Loving us. Another captivating idea is the path from soul to reality … the curious extrapolation is how this path is distorted, twisted or perhaps even strangled; the last thought has be prodded from a friend’s newly found cynicism – a lot can stand in our way, obscuring our vision and awareness of others.

Quote to Consider – “Nobody ever discovered ugliness through photographs. But many, through photographs, have discovered beauty. Except for those situations in which the camera is used to document, or to mark social rites, what moves people to take photographs is finding something beautiful.” – Susan Sontag, On Photography