Christmas, in the first year of my second degree at the University of Alberta, saw the fall term close. The first evening of break found me riding my mountain bike out to a friend’s home in Edmonton’s west end. And, on a snowy, Friday evening we cycled back to this bridge, the High Level bridge, crossing it, then stopping for refreshment down below in the Kinsmen park.
These are night shots, from two different sojourns in Edmonton this fall.
The second is a photograph intended, first found in a year ago winter drive across Edmonton to my brother’s home at Christmas. A clear view to the Alberta Legislature building looking across the fountain walkway, a photograph taken near 99 Avenue where it intersects with 108 Street. The construction of the Alberta Legislature and the High Level bridge occurs along a common timeline – the Legislature between 1907 and 1913 and the bridge between 1910 and 1913.
I’ve seen photographs of the bridge construction that coincide with the legislature’s construction from the South bank of the North Saskatchewan River, from a point that might be close to where the University’s Humanities building now resides; I would like to find an equivalent shot, but much of the landscape is obscured by vegetation – you’d, perhaps, get the dome of the legislature building looking across the top of the High Level bridge; you’d have to work to find elements for a photo.
There are also shots of an Edmonton sunrise from the south side of the Groat Road bridge.
Listening to: U2’s ‘Songs of Experience’ album, Rhiannon Giddens album – ‘Freedom Highway,’ Ezio Bosso’s ‘Music for Weather Elements,’ Stuart McLean’s ‘Vinyl Café – the Unreleased Stories’ and Carrie Newcomer’s ‘The Beautiful Not Yet.’ Barbara Brown Taylor’s ‘Learning to Walk in the Dark’ has had some insights – a good listen. Sebastion Barry’s ‘The Secret Scripture’ has found its way into my listening – a story of Lives and memory; it contains a poignant quote -‘There is seldom a difficulty with religion where there is friendship.’
Quotes to Inspire / Consider: “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso; “Normality is a paved road: it’s comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow.” – Vincent Van Gogh
Enjoying spring’s weather and colour in these morning images along 20 kilometres from High Level to our airport and back.
Quote to Consider/Inspire – “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso
Listening to – Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the U.S.A. (Live Acoustic Version)’ from The Bridge School Concerts – 25th Anniversary Edition,’ Peter Gabriel’s ‘Shaking the Tree’ and Jason Isbell’s ‘Speed Trap Town.’
Southward, under Edmonton’s 105th Street bridge, just steps to its west are three sturdy houses from Edmonton’s early nineteen hundreds, houses that comprised what was then known as Walterdale. Each is a two storey structure; two are white and another that has become subject for this image is more ornate in its presentation – white or cream on teal or perhaps a turquoise green. An image from memory coaxes me along this early morning photo ramble – an autumnal scene, a photo of my father’s in which he’s framed one of the white Walterdale houses with fall yellows of birch and aspen along a treed path, an open-ended hallway opening out and arriving at that white house. That photo hangs downstairs, on a wall outside my study where it can receive morning sunlight on sunlit days. Until this photograph, I had not set foot in Walterdale for perhaps thirty years.
Colour, composition and lighting attract me to this image.
Listening to – Marco Beltrami & The Giver Cast perform ‘End Credits’ to ‘The Giver (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack);’ it’s also a piece my daughter is playing on our Heintzman piano (it’s just been tuned … good); I’ve been playing Casting Crowns’ ‘Broken Together’ on it last night – something beautiful.
Quote to Inspire – “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” – Robert Capa
2015 is here. It has arrived. Christmas has come and been, presents have been shared and received, family has been enjoyed, rest has been had. An emphasis on creating images has been more absent during this time.
The time has offered the chance to explore/research the photography of others and Google Circles has been a key venue for doing so. It has been an excellent venue for sharing images. What I am impressed by is the speed and rapidity by which new images are added to one’s home stream. And, it is entirely too easy to reach out and access the camaraderie of other photographers and genres of photography that you or I define. Google Circles is a marvelous means of gathering inspiration for photography by way of witnessing what others manage to create – ideas for what I or anyone might try are right there, in front of you. With Google Circles it has been necessary to pare down distracting and unintended kinds of images; but, it can be done in an easy way that can serve your photographic interests. What I did not anticipate was that it would surface significant interests for next steps in photography.
What this exploration has also surfaced is that good photographers are always in touch with their world; they are familiar with current affairs; they have a good sense of what’s going on in terms of the Arts; they are current with literature and the intentions behind such narrative. They are in step and in sync with their world. And, they create images with intention.
So, this blog, takes its next turn. What will I photograph next? What skills will I aim to grow? What influences will I find in this next year? These are likely your questions too. Good! Let’s see what images we can bring into being.
Gratitude – thank you, to all who have been a part of these three years of ‘In My Back Pocket – Photography;’ thank you for your interest and encouragement; thank you for those times when you’ve steered me to a next idea or skill; thank you for the camaraderie (or, perhaps better stated, solidarity) associated with a common pursuit. It ‘all’ counts and I am grateful.
The images presented here are some fun with black and white and selective colorization, images from this summer’s travels.
Listening to – Chopin’s Nocturne No. 14 in F Sharp minor, Opus 9, No. 1; a recording by Amir Katz.
Quote to Consider – “The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed.” – Anne Geddes
Summer Memory – early, early morning, warming, moving, cycling Edmonton bike trails, alone, witnessing with dawn the lighting of the earth and the articulation and colouration of shapes, the earth shrouded in mist, becoming seen, more and more vividly, with each pedal stroke. It’s the transition or flux from night to day happening each day regardless of weather – the time is special, perhaps sacred. The photos, here, capture the lighting of the earth, the articulation of shape and colouration of the world at dawn – Arches National Park, near Moab, Utah.
Listening to – Mary J. Blige and U2 sing ‘One,’ Luciano Pavarotti and U2 sing ‘Miss Sarajevo’ and B.B. King and U2 sing ‘When Love Comes to Town.’
Quote to Consider – “Insofar as photography does peel away the dry wrappers of habitual seeing, it creates another habit of seeing – both intense and cool, solicitous and detached; charmed by the insignificant detail, addicted to incongruity.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’
As a newly heard phrase, the words ‘when the clock stops’ intrigue as a conceptualization of abundant time that can be personally directed. In these words you are no longer ‘on the clock’ and answerable to someone else for your use of time (in work hours). The phrase describes the inverse of having too little quality time or personal time, of being ‘time-starved.’ The ‘on the clock’ world tends to describe our work situation in which work becomes a way of Life and survival more than it is a Life chosen through free will. What is more, among Stephen Covey’s seven habits of highly effectively people there is the habit of sharpening the saw – the regular withdrawal from endeavor that renews you allowing your return to endeavor fresh, invigorated and with greater clarity of perspective (vision). The phrase ‘off the clock’ does intrigue.
Tonight, sleep eludes me and I’m stopping the clock.
The past seven weeks have been heavy with tasks and within the last two weeks demands on my time beyond my school day have been substantial, yet the rewards for others and me have also been substantial. Editing images remains my means of stopping the clock and sharpening the saw. In the last few nights I’ve settled in editing Utah photos from July. I’ve left these images for now, when I would make time for them rather than rush through their edits. And, I’ve made time to deal with a monitor issue before editing. I have calibrated both monitors so the differential between them in hue, luminance and contrast is minimal – what I see on one monitor is what I see on the other. One monitor has tended toward warmer colours, while the other has been cooler. The calibration should go a long way toward presenting images as my eye sees them right on the monitor.
The images presented here are Arches National Park Buttes during a summer sunrise.
Quote to Consider – “Insofar as photography does peel away the dry wrappers of habitual seeing, it creates another habit of seeing: both intense and cool, solicitous and detached; charmed by the insignificant detail, addicted to incongruity.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’
Listening to – U2’s ‘Live from Paris’ album; ‘Trip through Your Wires,’ ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,’ and ‘Running to Stand Still’ are songs standing out. Also have found Jen Chapin & Rosetta Trio’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘American Skin (41 Shots);’ reminds of Jackson Browne doing this song in a tribute to Bruce Springsteen – the story behind the song is worth the investigation. I’m also enjoying Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Live in Dublin’ concert – just now the banjo bringing in ‘Jesse James.’ The same album contains ‘If I Should Fall Behind,’ something for couples and married to hear. The night is being rounded out by Bruce Hornsby & the Range, ‘The Show Goes On’ from the Backdraft soundtrack.
Post Script – Luka Bloom also aims at stopping the clock with his tune, ‘Blackberry Time.’