Loosening Memory

Foothill's Wheat - Rimbey, Alberta 1
Foothill’s Wheat – Rimbey, Alberta 1
Foothill's Wheat - Rimbey, Alberta 2
Foothill’s Wheat – Rimbey, Alberta 2
Foothill's Wheat - Rimbey, Alberta 3
Foothill’s Wheat – Rimbey, Alberta 3
Foothill's Wheat - Rimbey, Alberta 4
Foothill’s Wheat – Rimbey, Alberta 4
Manning - Canola
Manning – Canola
Nampa - Grain Truck 1
Nampa – Grain Truck 1
Nampa - Grain Truck 2
Nampa – Grain Truck 2
Spruce Grove - Canola
Spruce Grove – Canola

A few days drive from home, I stop my truck … my eyes have found something. I walk this scene, allowing my eyes to question ‘What is it that is here?’ I set camera upon tripod. I look and frame what I see – ‘click.’ Light’s point of origin directs golden light to and around the landscape it is falling upon – ‘click.’ Light’s absence, its shade and shadow and depth – at sunset, shadows are growing long – ‘click.’ My eyes are finding passage of time – ‘click.’ I’ve recognized something in the landscape and quality of light. I am recalling something – ‘click.’ I manage the machine, my camera, working aperture, shutter speed and ISO – ‘click.’ I am exposure bracketing to seven shots at one-step intervals – ‘click, click, click, click, click, click and click.’ HDR shots are possible – ‘click.’ My intent is not only to capture and hold this moment in memory – ‘click.’ It is to recast reality with the image produced – ‘click.’ Wheat fields that blanket rolling foothills are drawing my imagination to this scene – ‘click.’ Appreciation for what I see builds – ‘click.’ A long-ago memory loosens, … ‘click’ … connecting me to what I now see for the first time as an adult – ‘click.’ A sense of something familiar grows – ‘click.’ My mind resides and works equally in another place – ‘click.’ It anticipates the other side of download, edit and image production, ‘Can I bring the edited image produced close to what I now see?’ ‘Click.’ Weeks pass. I make time to edit images. I remove the SD card from my camera and download it onto an external hard drive. A Lightroom edit begins. In the edit, the surprise of the extraordinary occurs; what my eyes and camera captured weeks ago is now re-seen and more fully seen in the image that has been created. Good.

Images – Foothills Wheat Crop, Manning Canola, Nampa Grain Truck and Spruce Grove Canola.

Quote to Consider/Inspire: “Look for LEICA patterns; Look for lines, edges, intersections, contrast and angles in the shapes, light and shadows of the global and local elements of a photo to create a harmonious composition,” John Kosmopoulos.

Listening to: Molly Tuttle & John Mailander’s ‘Another Side, Tell Me,’ ‘Morning Morgantown,’ ‘Moonshiner,’ ‘I’m Over You’ and ‘Red Prairie Dawn;’ Spencer Elliot’s ‘Torque.’

Between Terms – Hybrid Trail

MIrrored Building - Edmonton, Alberta 1
MIrrored Building – Edmonton, Alberta 1
alberta-legislature-edmonton-alberta-2
alberta-legislature-edmonton-alberta-2
alberta-legislature-edmonton-alberta-3
alberta-legislature-edmonton-alberta-3
alberta-legislature-edmonton-alberta-4
alberta-legislature-edmonton-alberta-4
architectural-festival-installation-edmonton-alberta
architectural-festival-installation-edmonton-alberta
cn-tower-edmonton-alberta
cn-tower-edmonton-alberta
edmonton-skyline-from-north-east
edmonton-skyline-from-north-east
edmonton-skyline-from-under-saskatchewan-drive
edmonton-skyline-from-under-saskatchewan-drive
edmonton-skyline-from-west
edmonton-skyline-from-west
gibson-building-edmonton-alberta
gibson-building-edmonton-alberta
grant-mcewan-university-entrance
grant-mcewan-university-entrance
hotel-cutaway-edmonton-alberta
hotel-cutaway-edmonton-alberta
mirrored-building-edmonton-alberta-1
mirrored-building-edmonton-alberta-1
mirrored-building-edmonton-alberta-2
mirrored-building-edmonton-alberta-2
mirrored-building-edmonton-alberta-3
mirrored-building-edmonton-alberta-3
walterdale-home-edmonton-alberta
walterdale-home-edmonton-alberta

We were in Edmonton and only days into our summer break when I seized the opportunity to cycle along Edmonton’s River Valley Bike trails. These trails were ones I road between terms at University thirty years ago. Then, I road a Kuwahara, chromoly steel-framed mountain bike. I bought it after my 1986 convocation and completion of my first degree. Now I road a new, Giant Hybrid Roam I. It replaced my weathered, well-ridden, fifteen-year-old, yellow Specialized HR (HardRock) Comp mountain bike. I donated it to Goodwill and bought the Giant Roam I.

The trail I remember had been a quick-paced, two-hour ride. The route covered upwards of forty kilometres. Now, I encountered the River Valley’s up and down on each side of the North Saskatchewan River. It passed by the Riverside Golf Course, through Rundle Park, out to the Strathcona Science Centre, then back along Ada Boulevard to Concordia College. From there, it moved past the Dawson Bridge, under the City Centre, past the Alberta Legislature, across the High Level Bridge, alongside the Pitch-and Putt behind the Kinsmen Field House, under Saskatchewan Drive toward the James MacDonald Bridge, then the Low Level Bridge and finally up a rigorous climb from under the St. Joseph Seminary out of the River Valley and then through Forest Heights Park to McNally High School where my truck waited.

Where I had completed this trek in two hours, thirty years ago, this well-worn path was taking me upwards of three and a half hours to complete. Sections of the once familiar route now suffered neglect – cracks and frost-heaves made the trail uneven. Hard-core, cycle-til-you-drop Edmonton cyclists had taken to spray painting cracks with bright paint to remind and to warn other cyclists of bumps along the trail. Other parts of the cycling trail were being restored. In one case a cycling bridge beneath the Shaw Centre was being dismantled and replaced. A detour was needed around this construction site – a ten minute, hard climb out of the valley with travel along the edge of the city centre core. Cycling time extended. Detours added delay.

Stopping to gather photographs slowed my cycling circuit. I was searching-out images associating to memories of early morning cycling in the Edmonton River Valley. Other images took-in and experimented with Edmonton architecture. Composition in some photographs now seems hasty. Cycling’s faster pace has seemed, at this later editing date, to have limited my awareness of all (or other) composition choices. Images that I photograph while walking hold different consideration. Walking into the scene gathers perception for what an image can become. Good consideration for how to frame a shot can occur. Three days of early summer cycling gathered these images.

Listening to – Keith Jarrett’s concert album, ‘The Köln Concert’ from 24 January 1975 – enjoying this as a former piano player.

Quote to Consider / Inspire: “Adequate photographers use their sight, good photographers use their senses, and great photographers use their souls.” – A. J. Compton

Watt Mountain Weather

Watt Mountain Weather - High Level, Ab Canada 1
Watt Mountain Weather – High Level, Ab Canada 1
Watt Mountain Weather - High Level, Ab Canada 2
Watt Mountain Weather – High Level, Ab Canada 2
Watt Mountain Weather - High Level, Ab Canada 3
Watt Mountain Weather – High Level, Ab Canada 3

After a late winter snow, my truck brought me up the 12 kilometre climb to the top of Watt Mountain and its weather.

Listening to – Agnes Obel’s ‘Fivefold,’ Junip’s ‘Don’t Let It Pass,’ Coldplay’s ‘Another’s Arms’ and U2’s ‘Song for Someone.’

Quote to Consider – “Photography is for me, a spontaneous impulse that comes from an ever-attentive eye, which captures the moment and its eternity.” – Henri Cartier Bresson

Stabilizing Forgiveness

Christmas Lights - Town Hall, High Level 1
Christmas Lights – Town Hall, High Level 1
Christmas Lights - Town Hall, High Level 2
Christmas Lights – Town Hall, High Level 2
High Level Public School - Gym Entrance
High Level Public School – Gym Entrance
High Level Public School Walkway
High Level Public School Walkway
Lattice Work of Trees - High Level, Alberta
Lattice Work of Trees – High Level, Alberta
REW Memorial Pool - High Level, Alberta
REW Memorial Pool – High Level, Alberta
Senior's Centre - High Level, Alberta - 1
Senior’s Centre – High Level, Alberta – 1
Senior's Centre - High Level, Alberta - 2
Senior’s Centre – High Level, Alberta – 2

I have been intrigued to find success in creating night time images from handheld shots using wide open aperture and ISO 6400; stabilization must have been accounted for and become the forgiveness factor in this camera. Good!

Listening to – liking Martyn Joseph’s new album, ‘Sanctuary;’ enjoying the tribute to Robert F. Kennedy in ‘Bobby’ and the instrumental work in ‘Sanctuary’ that reminds of songs from Martyn’s album ‘Thunder and Rainbows.’

Quote to Consider – “You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.” – William Albert Allard

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.

Sulfur Mountain – Sunset

Banff from Sulfur Mountain - Banff, Alberta - Canada
Banff from Sulfur Mountain – Banff, Alberta – Canada
Gondola Sunset - Banff, Alberta - Canada i
Gondola Sunset – Banff, Alberta – Canada i
Gondola Sunset - Banff, Alberta - Canada ii
Gondola Sunset – Banff, Alberta – Canada ii
Sulfur Mountain looking West - Banff, Alberta - Canada
Sulfur Mountain looking West – Banff, Alberta – Canada
Sulfur Mountain Walkway - Banff, Alberta - Canada
Sulfur Mountain Walkway – Banff, Alberta – Canada

August, up behind Banff, on Sulfur Mountain, a Gondola ride ferries me, skyward, high above to a prominent mountain peak, a culling point for a cross-section of travelers and wanderlust. The sun, glimpsed behind clouds … sets – a time for a photo, a time to share with fellow mountain-top travelers what my camera captures; encouragement comes in broken, best effort English … “ten more minutes” and “beautiful [sunset].”

Quote to Consider – “To consult the rules of composition before making a picture is a little like consulting the law of gravitation before taking a walk.” – Edward Weston

Listening to – Of Monsters and Men’s ‘King and Lionheart,’ ‘Dirty Paws’ and ‘Slow and Steady.’

HDR – Bracketed Swath

53 Ford - Drumheller, Alberta - Canada i
53 Ford – Drumheller, Alberta – Canada i
53 Ford - Drumheller, Alberta - Canada ii
53 Ford – Drumheller, Alberta – Canada ii
53 Ford - Drumheller, Alberta - Canada iii
53 Ford – Drumheller, Alberta – Canada iii
53 Ford - Drumheller, Alberta - Canada iv
53 Ford – Drumheller, Alberta – Canada iv
Banff Springs Hotel - Banff, Alberta - Canada
Banff Springs Hotel – Banff, Alberta – Canada
Fairview Homestead HDR i-Edit-Edit-Edit
Fairview Homestead HDR i-Edit-Edit-Edit
Fairview Homestead HDR ii-Edit-Edit-Edit-2
Fairview Homestead HDR ii-Edit-Edit-Edit-2
Grain Bins - Stettler, Alberta
Grain Bins – Stettler, Alberta
Johnson Canyon - Banff, Alberta - Canada i
Johnson Canyon – Banff, Alberta – Canada i
Johnson Canyon - Banff, Alberta - Canada ii
Johnson Canyon – Banff, Alberta – Canada ii
Kananaskis Mountains - Canada
Kananaskis Mountains – Canada
Sunshine Ski Resort Road - Banff, Alberta - Canada
Sunshine Ski Resort Road – Banff, Alberta – Canada

One of this summer’s revelations was finding that my Canon DSLR was able to move from three images in automatic exposure bracketing to seven, a potent option of possibility for use in High Dynamic Range (HDR) Photography. In August, I trialed this broad swath of bracketed exposures in Southern Alberta in creating HDR images. Beyond such experimentation with camera and tripod, where I have been using Adobe CS6, Photomatix and Google’s HDR Efex for High Dynamic Range image processing, I found a free HDR program within the accompanying DVD/CD to my June 2015 issue of PhotoPlus Magazine (the Canon Magazine) – HDR Projects 2 – and was surprised to find how much more was now in my photo-editor’s control in producing an HDR image; I have since upgraded the software to HDR Projects 3 Professional. Summer’s downtime also presented opportunities to gather HDR skills. I took-in a webinar offered by RC Concepcion, ‘HDR Exposed,’ through the KelbyOne website. The webinar dealt with static and moving HDR images and dealt with all considerations in the process of creating the final HDR image (e.g. overcoming camera distortion, creating photo-stitched panoramas in portrait or landscape formats etc.). One of my new goals is to create an HDR image of a building interior – new, old, dilapidated and to utilize natural light to capture colour, textures and depth. We’ll see what happens.

Possibly an HDR Quote to Consider – “In Photography there are no shadows that cannot be illuminated.” – August Sander

Listening to – Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Eyes on the Prize,’ Bruce Hornsby and The Range’s ‘The Valley Road,’ Don Henley’s ‘Sunset Grill,’ The Kingsmen’s ‘Louie Louie,’ Coldplay’s ‘Magic’ and Of Monsters and Men’s ‘Slow and Steady.’