Category: Sunrise

Cold Mist

January Mists - High Level, Alberta 1

January Mists – High Level, Alberta 1

January Mists - High Level, Alberta 2

January Mists – High Level, Alberta 2

January Mists - High Level, Alberta 3

January Mists – High Level, Alberta 3

January Mists - High Level, Alberta 4

January Mists – High Level, Alberta 4

High Level, Alberta images consider the cold of January – mist reflects light from main street, street lights (-18C); dense, early morning mist surrounds the high school (-42C).

Quote to Consider / Inspire: “Photographs open doors into the past, but they also allow a look into the future (Sally Mann).”

Listening to: an audiobook of Sebastion Barry’s ‘The Secret Scripture;’ and, U2’s ‘Lights of Home.’

A Photograph Intended

High Level Bridge - Edmonton

High Level Bridge – Edmonton

Alberta Legislature Building - 1

Alberta Legislature Building – 1

Alberta Legislature Building - 2

Alberta Legislature Building – 2

Alberta Legislature Building - 3

Alberta Legislature Building – 3

Edmonton Sunrise - 1

Edmonton Sunrise – 1

Edmonton Sunrise - 2

Edmonton Sunrise – 2

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

Morning Images

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 1

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 2

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 3

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 4

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 5

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 6

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 7

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 8

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 9

Morning Images - High Level, Alberta - Canada 10

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.’

Treed Hallway

Walterdale House Green - Edmonton, Alberta - Canada

Walterdale House Green – Edmonton, Alberta – Canada

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

Its Next Turn

Sunset Cloudburst - Valleyview, Alberta - Canada

Sunset Cloudburst – Valleyview, Alberta – Canada

Vermillion Lakes - Banff, Alberta - Canada

Vermillion Lakes – Banff, Alberta – Canada

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

Morning Flux

Sunrise - Arches Nat'l Park, Moab, Utah 1

Sunrise – Arches Nat’l Park, Moab, Utah 1

Sunrise - Arches Nat'l Park, Moab, Utah 2

Sunrise – Arches Nat’l Park, Moab, Utah 2

Sunrise - Arches Nat'l Park, Moab, Utah 3

Sunrise – Arches Nat’l Park, Moab, Utah 3

Sunrise - Arches Nat'l Park, Moab, Utah 4

Sunrise – Arches Nat’l Park, Moab, Utah 4

Sunrise - Arches Nat'l Park, Moab, Utah 5

Sunrise – Arches Nat’l Park, Moab, Utah 5

Sunrise - Arches Nat'l Park, Moab, Utah 6

Sunrise – Arches Nat’l Park, Moab, Utah 6

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’

Stopping the Clock

Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 1

Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 1

Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 2

Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 2

Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 3

Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 3

Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 4

Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 4

Arches Nat'l Park - Moab, Utah 5

Arches Nat’l Park – Moab, Utah 5

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.’

Half-light Highlights

Arches National Park - Moab, Utah

Arches National Park – Moab, Utah

5:30 a.m., Arches National Park near Moab, in Utah, before sunrise this image looks across the landscape to sand stone buttes. The edit is true to the exposure as observed; still, it seems quite dark in my first look at it and then, as my eyes adjust to the image I am able to find my way through the landscape the same way I would cycling in dusk’s half-light. What has also been extraordinary, lately, is viewing an image on the computer screen from a distance (from the hallway or across the room); the perception of the image is different – it’s either a better sense entirety or encapsulation as well as being able to see more clearly highlights in the image.

Listening to – Colbie Caillat’s ‘I Won’t’ and Ben’s Brother’s ‘Beauty Queen.’

Quote to Consider – “If photographs are messages, the message is both transparent and mysterious.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

Highlight & Shroud

rtown, Fort Vemilion, Alberta

rtown, Fort Vemilion, Alberta

Before the day’s meeting and before arriving at our meeting’s destination a colleague and I detoured to a way point with our cameras – his Nikon and my Canon. An hour later our cameras held images gathered from the St. Louis Roman Catholic mission in Fort Vermilion’s north settlement – Buttertown. During that hour, the groundwork for this high dynamic range shot was sparked by the cloud work highlights above and the darker light below enveloping the mission storehouse and surrounding foliage, shrouding texture and low-lying colour … three shots (-2, 0 and +2) a good harvest with which to begin a bigger day of work – my gratitude goes out to my fellow camera shooter and colleague, for investing an earlier hour with me, image-making. Good on you!

Photography, this week – this past seven days has been extraordinary in terms of encountering students, colleagues, friends and former students who have engaged in dialogue about photography, gear and software, each a photographer in the making. My gratitude goes out to each of you for your solid discussion and trajectory as photographers – good schtuff!

Listening to – the morning has held Casting Crown’s ‘Follow Me,’ Bruce Springsteen’s ‘One Step Up,’ and two tonally heavy tunes from Chris Whitley – ‘Big Sky Country’ and ‘Dust Radio;’ musically, U2’s ‘Vertigo Tour’ has been the concert to watch via DVD this week.

Quote to Inspire – “The photographer is always trying to colonize new experiences or find new ways to look at familiar subjects – to fight against boredom. For boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

Opportunities, Extraordinary

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 1

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 1

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 2

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 2

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 3

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 3

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 4

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 4

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 5

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 5

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 6

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 6

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 7

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 7

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 8

Vermillion Lakes, Banff, Alberta 8

One aspect of photography that has grown into practice is the matter of recognizing the opportunity presented by the derelict car in a field along the highway, the abandoned farmhouse and former granaries, that thing that you come upon in your travels that you may not ever see again. The challenge is to make time for it, to engage fully in seeing it, to name it, to grasp what it is and what has been its narrative, to share time with it. The choice becomes that of photographing it (… or not) and there are choices in editing that honour the subject and the image, to find its best way(s) of being seen. The image, in its being shared creates opportunity; what has been witnessed and what has been created, not only allows others to see something more of the world, but serves to encourage (or perhaps compel) exploration of that thing witnessed through your camera and lens.

Some of this is about that key teaching from Robin Williams, as professor Keating, in the ‘Dead Poets Society’ in the first poetry lesson – ‘Gather ye rose buds while ye may,’ the import of which was his solemn admonition to his students – ‘seize the day’ and ‘make your lives extraordinary.’ Carpe Diem is about seizing the day as much with any of life’s opportunities as with the opportunities for images that can be created with a camera.

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/video/579285/Dead-Poets-Society-Movie-Clip-Seize-The-Day.html

In Banff last week, perhaps owing to summer heat or day/night air pressure differential in the mountains I found myself not always sleeping through the entire night and chose to get out with my camera for landscape photos in pre-dawn dusk. Before leaving for Banff, I had reviewed Maciek Solkulski’s Google+ page for winter sunrise shots he had taken at the Vermillion Lakes in Canada’s Banff National Park. Maciek, an Edmonton photographer, is one half of the podcasting duo of the Shutter Time with Sid and Mac podcast. From Mac’s Google+ page I was able to review maps of where the Vermillion Lakes were in relation to Banff. And, so, before dawn, two days in a row, I got out to the Vermillion Lakes for morning images; these are presented here.

Listening to – Elliott Smith’s ‘Between Bars,’ ‘No Name #3’ and ‘Angeles,’ Gerry Rafferty’s ‘Baker Street’ and The Waterboys’ ‘Fisherman’s Blues’ – all songs from Good Will Hunting.

Quotes to Inspire – (1) “The photographer both loots and preserves, denounces and consecrates;” and, “Life is not about significant details, illuminated (in) a flash, fixed forever. Photographs are.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

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