Travel is my day’s task. The orthopedic surgeon who will review my arm’s recovery and next step’s in rehabilitation is some five hours away. Instead of piloting my own vehicle with one good arm, I’m electing to travel on the Northern Express, a passenger van that will take me from High Level to Grande Prairie. Running off the road at -25C and having one weakened limb might produce an unwanted and perhaps conclusive result. So, a better idea is to leave the driving to another, today. So, with podcast-crammed iPod and point-and-shoot Canon at the ready this day will roll on.
The photos presented here convey some of what Alberta’s weather can be like; there’s also a fifties Ford from a show and shine … yes, driving is more fun that being a passenger.
Listening to – The Police, Live in Buenos Aires … Message in a Bottle, Don’t Stand So Close to Meand Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic.
Quote to Inspire – “Still images can be moving and moving images can be still. Both meet within soundscapes.”Chien-Chi Chang
Creating a photograph involves the photographer in workflow. You scout your scene for potential images – as Rick Sammon says, you ‘see’ it or you ‘walk the scene’. Then, you plan your photograph thinking it through in terms of image outcome – you determine best camera angle, you arrange and/or work with light, you plan your work with plane of focus and depth; you open the camera’s shutter and create an exposure/image. Later, you edit and crop the image; what is considered to be a photograph is that final point of image rendering in which the photographer determines that no further adjustment is needed. By the time first images are rendered you understand quite a lot about the image in terms of its visual information – the visual narrative within the photograph. First images become former images. And, former images seen again, after a time, allow time to breathe revelation into each image and its rendering possibilities. The images presented, here, are former first images, seen from time to time; the fun in the past few days has been in working through second edits to find those other possibilities that are/were present within the images – that other part of the visual narrative that was formerly hidden within the photograph.
Listening to Snow Patrol’s Those Distant Bells, New York and This Isn’t Everything You Are.
Quote to Inspire – “Taking pictures is like fishing or writing. It’s getting out of the unknown that which resists and refuses to come to light.” – Jean Gaumy
Quality vehicle restoration receives appreciation for its thorough undertaking (or perhaps its state of completion) – front to back and from the ground up the vehicle is brought back to strength and often is improved through innovation. Often the vehicle restored is re-engineered to handle innovation – a different engine is accommodated, the frame is adjusted toward a tighter or softer suspension, the vehicle’s shape receives alteration for aesthetic reasons. Always, the most distinctive design elements remain; the restoration’s innovation only improves upon previous design. And it’s the recognizable attributes of the vehicle that draw people to it.
For those who appreciate what is found in the vehicle restored, dialogue quickly falls into the car or truck someone also had many years ago, the times and memories associated with it, its performance and its idiosyncrasies, and its cost … back then (buying a two or three year old vehicle for $300). Reminiscence is to be found. But, so too, are the ‘ah-hah’ moments found when people consider and appreciate the how and why associated with each innovation encountered in the restored vehicle – what one dreamed of doing to his or her vehicle so long ago, has been breathed into Life in the vehicle restored, the vehicle before them.
Chevrolets of the fifties are the subject of these photos – more than other vehicles Chevrolets tend to be the ones restored, perhaps because of their abundant shape and form, perhaps because of their use of chrome and colour, perhaps because of the memories they associate with the glory days of good former times.
Listening to ‘Somewhere in Your Heart’by Isaac Guillory from The Days of Forty Nine.
Quote to Inspire – “A photograph is the pause button on life.” – Ty Holland
Week’s end – all that one could do, done … and then some. Will Brady frets Bob Dylan’s Buckets of Rain – instrumental and blue, music with which to wash the week’s residue away. Time to park oneself, for a time, and to look out to all that is the going concern in the world, to glimpse and gather perspective and surface/intuit understanding(s). The exterior shape and the weathered paint of these trucks awaiting restoration remind that Life has its caress and collide, its scuffs and bumps, its clang and crash, its stumbles and tumbles – there’s cost involved in getting from point of origin to any destination. ‘Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, working together is success.’ – this quote is how Henry Ford understood one aspect of integrity, that of remaining more together than apart, even as a vehicle. And at week’s end, having done all that needs done the blessing may simply be that in terms of integrity we remain more together than apart.
Listening to Pierre Bensusan’s Nice Feeling – ambient guitar work among more pronounced blues music.
Quote to Inspire – “A photograph is not created by a photographer. What [he/she does] is just open a little window and capture it. The world then writes itself on the film. The act of the photographer is closer to reading than it is to writing. They are the readers of the world.”– Ferdinando Scianna
Paired – Mercurys paired, power poles paired, pairs of headlights and missing headlights paired. The image presents some wide angle distortion amid its experimentation mixing colour with black and white.
Listening to – U2’s Gone and reminiscence regarding Michael Hutchence (Hutch) from INXS, … ‘going, going but not gone,’ … from the Popmart Tour video.
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
Perhaps the most interesting feature of vehicle restoration is the re-tasking of a vehicle and its parts. Fenders, engines, radiators and transmissions are swapped out as one fails and another usable one is found to be used in its place. A three-quarter ton truck with a rusted out box may have the box removed to be replaced by a new one or perhaps the truck is now made into a flat deck. Here, an old Ford no longer has its hood or box; yet there are still the active working parts that point to its future potential and that define what history it has had and its former purposes. I find solace, here, with one arm in a sling as muscle fibers fuse/grow back together following a bicep/tendon tear. Now, six weeks on, I’m impressed that this body continues to repair its fifty-one-year-old self. For a time, just like this truck, I’m having to remain stationary before I will move in more substantial ways. I can see the promise that this truck still holds.
Listening to U2’s Stay (live from Toronto).
Quote to Inspire – “A photographer is an acrobat treading the high wire of chance, trying to capture shooting stars.”– Guy Le Querrec
A truck has as its intended purpose that of providing its owner with the opportunity of carrying or moving a payload from point of origin to an intended destination. A book does something similar, transporting its reader from point of origin or initial setting through the twists and turns of plot through to a closing destination. The cargo is human in imagination’s resemblance and there is something the author proposes to be learned/understood as one participates in the book’s movement of mind to its conclusion and denouement. This Vavenby, British Columbia truck does have me consider how it was used and the peoples and cargos it has transported. I appreciate its owner having given me permission to photograph it – thank you, Marvin Ritchie. The photographic respite you allowed helped make the long westward drive more doable.
Quote to Inspire – “If a photographer cares about the people before the lens and is compassionate, much is given. It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.”– Eve Arnold
Listening to – U2’s With or Without You, Mysterious Ways and Elevation (as viewed from the Live at Boston DVD).