That Which Was Is

Dinosaur - Drumheller, Ab - Canada 1
Dinosaur – Drumheller, Ab – Canada 1
Dinosaur - Drumheller, Ab - Canada 2
Dinosaur – Drumheller, Ab – Canada 2
Dinosaur - Drumheller, Ab - Canada 3
Dinosaur – Drumheller, Ab – Canada 3
Dinosaur - Drumheller, Ab - Canada 4
Dinosaur – Drumheller, Ab – Canada 4
Dinosaur - Drumheller, Ab - Canada 5
Dinosaur – Drumheller, Ab – Canada 5
Dinosaur - Drumheller, Ab - Canada 6
Dinosaur – Drumheller, Ab – Canada 6
Dinosaur - Drumheller, Ab - Canada 7
Dinosaur – Drumheller, Ab – Canada 7

I had a go at photographing remnants of long ago creatures, fossilized and in many cases fully intact, displayed to be discovered again by the would-be archeologist at The Royal Tyrell Museum of Palaeontology. The challenge then became that of presenting images that focused solely on the creature; that was accomplished with editing.

Quote to Consider/Inspire – “I began to realize that the camera sees the world differently than the human eye and that sometimes those differences can make a photograph more powerful than what you actually observed.” – Galen Rowell

Listening to – Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town,’ Over the Rhine’s ‘White Horse’ and ‘New Redemption Song,’ The Steep Mountain Rangers’ ‘Atheists Don’t Have No Songs,’ Martyn Joseph’s recently released ‘Bobby,’ ‘The Luxury of Despair,’ ‘Are You Ready’ and ‘Sanctuary,’ Deacon Blue’s ‘Bethlehem Begins,’ The Pogues’ ‘Fairytale of New York,’ Dustin Kensrue’s ‘This is War’ and Bruce Cockburn’s ‘Cry of a Tiny Babe.’

Merry Christmas, all – Take good care of your good selves.

La Glace – Bounty

La Glace Homestead II - La Glace, Alberta  - Canada 1
La Glace Homestead II – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 1
La Glace Homestead II - La Glace, Alberta  - Canada 2
La Glace Homestead II – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 2
La Glace Homestead II - La Glace, Alberta  - Canada 3
La Glace Homestead II – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 3
La Glace Homestead II - La Glace, Alberta  - Canada 4
La Glace Homestead II – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 4

Saturday’s bounty, a week ago, was found at sundown near La Glace – this homestead image; it followed six shots in which a moose and its calf trotted behind this homestead, a speedy blur of movement from left to right in my viewfinder, all amid this static landscape and sunset.

Listening to – Coldplay’s ‘Magic,’ U2’s ‘Every Breaking Wave,’ One Republic’s ‘I Lived,’ Of Monsters and Men’s ‘King and Lionheart (live),’ John Mayer’s ‘Age of Worry,’ Maroon 5’s ‘Lucky Strike,’ Snow Patrol’s ‘Crack the Shutters,’ Coldplay’s ‘Us Against the World,’ U2’s ‘Song for Someone,’ Ed Sheeran’s ‘Little Bird,’ and John Mayer’s ‘Queen of California.’

Quote to Consider – “To me, photography is an art of observations. 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, 1928

Double Back – Hawk

Hawk - Valleyview, Alberta 1
Hawk – Valleyview, Alberta 1
Hawk - Valleyview, Alberta 2
Hawk – Valleyview, Alberta 2
Hawk - Valleyview, Alberta 3
Hawk – Valleyview, Alberta 3

On the long drive home to High Level from Southern Alberta I chanced upon a hawk, sitting on an aged farm fence post alongside the highway north, the hawk gazing out to the road – resting and surveying. I drove further, doubled back and parked my truck twenty metres from the hawk. Outside my truck, I was able to get several shots. Because the hawk had not moved and was not disturbed by me snapping photos at the truck I took a few steps toward the hawk, aiming for close-up. At five steps in, the hawk lifted from its perch and flew by me and across the road. These images were taken perhaps ten minutes north from Valleyview, Alberta near the old Valleyview road.

Listening to – the Imagine Dragons’ song ‘Radioactive’ with my daughter, driving her to her dance workshop this morning.

Quote to Inspire – “The cliché comes not in what you shoot but in how you shoot it.” ― David duChemin, Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision

Look On

Looking On - Fort Vermilion, Alberta
Looking On – Fort Vermilion, Alberta

A bird, high above on a transmission line, looks on. Perhaps resting, this bird recalls exhortation about living Life – “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them (Matthew 6:25-34).” The second day of summer, school almost done and enjoying summer’s warmth and light.

Listening to – Chris Whitley’s ‘Dust Radio,’ Robbie Robertson’s ‘Sweet Fire of Love’ and Lucinda Williams’ ‘Concrete and Barbed Wire.’

Quote to Inspire – “There is nothing worse than a brilliant image of a fuzzy concept.” -Ansel Adams

Animate Slap

Beaver and Sunset - Dixonville, Alberta
Beaver and Sunset – Dixonville, Alberta

At sunset, on a lake north from Dixonville, Alberta, on the west side of a highway’s curve, a beaver has swum towards me to determine whether or not I’m animate, part of the setting or active within its setting. When my movement becomes large and noticeable, the beaver slaps its tail on the water and dives, swimming from what had been its present location to another where line of sight on me, the potential predator, can be had.

Listening to – much of Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds’ Live at Radio City Music Hall; the songs standing out this morning have been ‘Bartender’ (as possible prayer), ‘Save Me’ (for its allusion), ‘Crash into Me’ (intimate lovers’ dialogue), ‘Sister’ (I have a sister-in-law) and ‘Lie in Our Graves’ (for its shared fun).

Quote to Inspire – “A photographer is an acrobat treading the high wire of chance, trying to capture shooting stars.” – Guy Le Querrec

Thelwell Ponies

Fairview Horses, Fairview, Alberta 1
Fairview Horses, Fairview, Alberta 1
Fairview Horses, Fairview, Alberta 2
Fairview Horses, Fairview, Alberta 2
Fairview Horses, Fairview, Alberta 3
Fairview Horses, Fairview, Alberta 3
Fairview Horses, Fairview, Alberta 4
Fairview Horses, Fairview, Alberta 4

I am able to recall my first year of school and one of those Life-changing events, that of taking my father to the Edmonton International Airport – Mom, Grandma and me. Something new for me and my brothers, this same event was rejoinder for my father – he was getting back to the globetrotting that was so much of his career prior to the arrival of my two brothers and me. Business trips took Dad often to the United Kingdom to stay current with practices/methods in plastics development/technologies. Beyond the United Kingdom, Dad moved around the globe in a chemist’s technician’s capacity dealing with the technical side of plastics use; the customer was always right – if the plastic produced didn’t work for the customer, the company Dad worked for always solved the problem and worked to create the plastic needed by each customer-manufacturer. Dad’s globetrotting in the sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties had the ceremony of preparation and departure; and, homecoming also became ceremony – gifts for the family let us know that we were thought of even when he was away from us.

Horses – the images of horses, here, were photographed just north of Fairview, Alberta. Their shapes remind of a British cartoonist who drew so many cartoons of the British countryside – Norman Thelwell often drew images of ponies … cartoons that these photographs recall. Check out Norman Thelwell at http://www.thelwell.org.uk/ . One of the gifts my father brought back for me when I was twelve was a small paperback of Thelwell’s pony cartoons – something I can remember reading in my room on a rainy day in June in Edmonton.

Listening to – Los Lobos and ‘Two Janes.’

Quote to Inspire – “Ultimately photography is about who you are. It’s the truth in relation to yourself. And seeking truth becomes a habit.” – Leonard Freed

Blake’s Bison

Bison - Elk Island 1
Bison – Elk Island 1
Bison - Elk Island 4
Bison – Elk Island 4
Bison - Elk Island 3
Bison – Elk Island 3
Bison - Elk Island 2
Bison – Elk Island 2

In a day that’s been bright, yet overcast, the sun shines through broken cloud as it moves towards the horizon in late afternoon, shining directly on two Bison grazing at Astotin Lake in Elk Island National Park, images inspired by Sidney Blake’s discussion of animal/nature photography and by her extraordinary black and white images of Bison in winter.

Listening to – The Von Bondies with ‘C’mon C’mon’.

Quote to Inspire – “When people ask me what equipment I use – I tell them my eyes.” – Anonymous