Category: Sunset

Morning Haze and Light-play

Early Edmonton Morning in August - 1

Early Edmonton Morning in August – 1

Early Edmonton Morning in August - 2

Early Edmonton Morning in August – 2

Early Edmonton Morning in August - 3

Early Edmonton Morning in August – 3

Early Edmonton Morning in August - 4

Early Edmonton Morning in August – 4

Early Edmonton Morning in August - 5

Early Edmonton Morning in August – 5

Early Edmonton Morning in August - 6

Early Edmonton Morning in August – 6

An early, July, Saturday morning in Edmonton finds me with my camera at play with haze and light.

Quote to Consider / Inspire: “Elegance is a virtue. Elegance is simplicity. I learned about elegance … because one day I was in Japan and saw a totally empty house and then a small detail … like a flower arrangement or painting. And, the rest is empty. This is elegance … because … there’s only one detail that you can pay attention to. Elegance is about getting rid of all the superfluous things and focus on the most beautiful one (paraphrase, Paul Coelho).”

Listening to: Cloud Cult’s ‘You Were Born,’ from their album ‘Light Chasers.’

Dawson Bridge Verdure

Dawson Bridge - Edmonton River Valley 2

Dawson Bridge – Edmonton River Valley 2

Dawson Bridge - Edmonton River Valley 1

Dawson Bridge – Edmonton River Valley 1

The Dawson Bridge reaches across the North Saskatchewan River within green verdure of Edmonton’s river valley in August.

Quote to Inspire/Consider – “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 that what you actually observed.” – Galen Rowell

Listening to – April Wine’s ‘Roller,’ David Bowie’s ‘Fame’ and Coldplay’s ‘Moses,’ ‘Yellow,’ and ‘Clocks,’ all from their Live in Sydney concert gathered in their ‘Live 2003’ album.

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.’

Tech Stillness

Rusting Relic - GMC - Nampa, Alberta

Rusting Relic – GMC – Nampa, Alberta

Rusting Relics - Nampa, Alberta 3

Rusting Relics – Nampa, Alberta 3

Rusting Relic - GMC - Nampa, Alberta 2

Rusting Relic – GMC – Nampa, Alberta 2

Rusting Relics - Greencourt, Alberta 1

Rusting Relics – Greencourt, Alberta 1

Rusting Relics - Nampa, Alberta 4

Rusting Relics – Nampa, Alberta 4

Rusting Relics - Greencourt, Alberta 2

Rusting Relics – Greencourt, Alberta 2

Rusting Relics - Nampa, Alberta 5

Rusting Relics – Nampa, Alberta 5

I returned to my computer late last evening. I confirmed that one of two family iPod Touch operating system updates was complete. My daughter returned home from an evening with friends – I had been waiting up for her. My day had held some writing – a proofread of my son’s resumé. An afternoon’s work would set him up for the world of work in a summer break between university terms.

Completing the proofread, I started on the iPod updates in late afternoon. I needed to allow time for download and installation. The wait recalled the conceptualization and practice of a technology sabbath. In the practice you would turn off all devices for a full day. You would power down all iPods, smartphones, computers, televisions from sundown on Saturday. On Sunday you would power them up after sundown on Sunday.

Sabbath is about this – gathering stillness, taking rest, gratitude for blessings, encountering others without interruption. Connection with family and friends occurs – seeing them, hearing them, enjoying them.

Without sabbath from technology we multi-task on several fronts. We occupy our waiting with other tasks or pursuits made possible by technology. The person on the computer looks from computer screen to smartphone and back again. Breaks at work, while taken with others, can become periods of silence among co-workers, all who stare into their smart phone. Life fills with tech busy-ness. So, for me, I ought to engage in and lead my family in a technology Sabbath … then I return to the computer and the iPods. The update is complete. On the computer I find image edits I have yet to post – rusting relics, images from a month ago in my return drive from Edmonton to High Level.

Listening to – Pico Ayer’s ‘The Art of Stillness’ and Krista Tippett’s ‘Becoming Wise – An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living.’

Quote to Consider – “The question is not what you look at, but what you see.” – Henry Thoreau

Rolling Canvas

Grain Car Tattoo - High Level, Ab - Canada 1

Grain Car Tattoo – High Level, Ab – Canada 1

Grain Car Tattoo - High Level, Ab - Canada 2

Grain Car Tattoo – High Level, Ab – Canada 2

Grain Car Tattoo - High Level, Ab - Canada 3

Grain Car Tattoo – High Level, Ab – Canada 3

Grain Car Tattoo - High Level, Ab - Canada 4

Grain Car Tattoo – High Level, Ab – Canada 4

Grain Car Tattoo - High Level, Ab - Canada 5

Grain Car Tattoo – High Level, Ab – Canada 5

Grain Car Tattoo - High Level, Ab - Canada 6

Grain Car Tattoo – High Level, Ab – Canada 6

Grain Car Tattoo - High Level, Ab - Canada 7

Grain Car Tattoo – High Level, Ab – Canada 7

Grain Car Tattoo - High Level, Ab - Canada 7a

Grain Car Tattoo – High Level, Ab – Canada 7a

Grain Car Tattoo - High Level, Ab - Canada 8

Grain Car Tattoo – High Level, Ab – Canada 8

Tattooed with graffiti, two hopper cars await loading and transport at High Level’s grain terminal, late on a Sunday afternoon, as the sun sets.

Listening to – Neil Young’s ‘The Needle and the Damage Done,’ Steve Miller’s ‘Take the Money and Run,’ Aerosmith’s ‘Living on the Edge,’ The Who’s ‘Magic Bus,’ The Beatles’ ‘Across the Universe,’ Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Brilliant Disguise,’ Alice in Chains’ ‘Heaven Beside You’ and The Black Crowes’ ‘Twice as Hard.’

Quotes to Consider – (1) “When I photograph someone, what it really means is that I’d like to know them. Anyone I know I photograph.” – Annie Liebovitz; (2) “Let death be what takes us, not lack of imagination.” – Dr. B. J. Miller (palliative care physician); (3) “You can look at a picture for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at a picture for a second and think of it all your life.” – Joan Miro

An Air-nailer, Yellowknife Narrows and Camera Walk

Float Plane - Yellowknife, NT Canada iv

Float Plane – Yellowknife, NT Canada iv

Float Plane - Yellowknife, NT Canada iii

Float Plane – Yellowknife, NT Canada iii

Float Plane - Yellowknife, NT Canada ii

Float Plane – Yellowknife, NT Canada ii

Yellowknife Float Planes - The Narrows, Yellowknife WW Photo Walk - 3 Oct 2015

Yellowknife Float Planes – The Narrows, Yellowknife WW Photo Walk – 3 Oct 2015

The Narrows - Yellowknife WW Photo Walk 3 Oct 2015

The Narrows – Yellowknife WW Photo Walk 3 Oct 2015

I had wanted to be a photographer-participant in the Kelby Worldwide Photo Walk in each of the last three years. The eighth, annual Kelby Photo Walk would be held around the globe last Saturday – October 3, 2015. Edmonton, Grande Prairie, Fort St. John, Edson, and Jasper – all in previous years had photo walks that I could potentially get to. Key in such consideration was locating myself at the photo walk site with time enough for solid rest so that I could see that corner of the world with fresh eyes.

Coming to last weekend, two photo walks intrigued me. One would be held in Fort Smith, Northwest Territories and another would be held in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. The Fort Smith photo walk would begin quite early to catch the morning golden hour of dusk to sunrise and then to full morning – I’d need to be there quite early. The Yellowknife photo walk would start at 5:30 p.m.; but, I would need to be up and on the road quite early on Saturday to make it to the walk site. Going did not look promising because I would need seven hours to get there. But, happenstance prevailed. A group of roofers began nailing shingles to a neighbor’s roof early on Saturday morning; starting at 8:00 a.m. they began banging in nails with an air-nailer. I got out of bed, got a coffee and looked at the photo walk website and to the Yellowknife photo walk. I also got clear on the number of kilometres I would travel in order to be part of this event. My wife came downstairs and asked me about my Saturday and saw that I was looking at the photo walk. She got me going out the door and on my way.

I arrived in Yellowknife with forty-five minutes to spare, got a hotel room at the Explorer Hotel, showered and registered for the walk using my smartphone. I punched into my GPS the walk starting point – 3513 Ingraham Drive, Yellowknife (the parking lot at the base of Pilot’s Monument) and five minutes later I was at the site. Ten minutes after that I met the Walkers of our Yellowknife photo walk group, we counted thirteen.

The image presented here is my submission to the photo walk website – a float plane in the Narrows separating Yellowknife proper from Rock Island. My gratitude goes out to this photo walk group for their camaraderie, their welcome, their interest in photography and for how each photographer has worked photography into their lives. Good, good schtuff!

Quote to Consider – “Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how,’ while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why.’ Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.” – Man Ray … sounds like a key attribute of this photo walk group.

Listening to – New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give;” seems almost to have a Mick Jagger kind of voicing to the song; a student of mine has me fretting this song with him … we’re both learning it.

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.’

Reflecting, Road Thought Work

Homestead - La Glace, Alberta, Canada

Homestead – La Glace, Alberta, Canada

Homestead - La Glace, Alberta, Canada

Homestead – La Glace, Alberta, Canada

Stop Ahead Turnoff - NW Alberta

Stop Ahead Turnoff – NW Alberta

Sunset - Warrensville, Alberta Canada 1

Sunset – Warrensville, Alberta Canada 1

Sunset - Warrensville, Alberta Canada 2

Sunset – Warrensville, Alberta Canada 2

Sunset - Warrensville, Alberta Canada 3

Sunset – Warrensville, Alberta Canada 3

Sunset - Warrensville, Alberta Canada 4

Sunset – Warrensville, Alberta Canada 4

Sunset - Warrensville, Alberta Canada 5

Sunset – Warrensville, Alberta Canada 5

Sunset - Warrensville, Alberta Canada 5

Sunset – Warrensville, Alberta Canada 5

“We never see another person’s experience; all we see is their behaviour (R.D. Lang).”

I have had some alone time travelling in the past few weeks and been able to engage in uninterrupted thought work – some intersecting of ideas has occurred. I’ve listened to a 2007 John O’Donohue lecture on the creative force of the imagination and key ideas as starting points about our inner lives – in his words, “I always think that behind every face there is a secret life and that humanoids are the strangest creatures that you’d ever meet because so much is contained within the human body. A human face is one of the most unusual things in the world. On such a small canvas such a variety of presence can appear. And, behind every face there is a secret, hidden inner life … if friendship means anything it means in the presence of the other you begin to see who you are in how they reflect you back to you.”

Within this same time frame I took in a photography workshop offered by Joe McNally – ‘The Moment It Clicks.’ As I listened and watched Joe work to produce different portraits there was recognition that the photographer does what John O’Donohue proposes; ultimately, the photographer reflects the subject back to him- or herself. I have wondered, though, if portrait photography is really a dance of interrogation; I have wondered if shared vulnerabilities result in trust and a richer portrait. And, is it the photographer’s leading interrogation about the subject’s narrative that produces the best photograph? Or, is it something more mutual that does so? I am wondering if the good portrait photographer leads the subject in the relationship that produces the portrait? It is possible that subject and photographer would share a context of silence in portrait making.

John O’Donohue’s words highlight some of this – “No two humans inhabit the same world, internally. We all inhabit the same world physically. But, internally, each world is completely different.” On the side of the photographer and on the side of the subject, what follows is starting point. “… No one else sees the world the way you do. No one else sees it from the perspective that you do. In no one else is the same narrative building as there is within you. And even though similar things have happened to you as with other people the context that they find in your heart and mind and narrative is different from everyone else. Your inner world is completely hidden from other humans.” So, within portrait photography interrogation has the opportunity to work on both sides co-creating a reality – that of photographer and that of subject. Relationship and moment are captured and recorded as the shutter button is pressed.

As the week rounded out, I found myself among this theme, again, being explored and brought to life in Ben Stiller’s film of James Thurber’s story, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.

Images from the Road – a derelict church in Woking, a La Glace homestead, the road at night and sunsets.

Quote to Consider – “If you’re having difficulty finding a natural or intuitive expression in a portrait session or having trouble identifying with the person you’re photographing, look into their eyes carefully and see if you can find your own reflection there. Discover yourself looking at you. Then, ask your subject to look into your camera lens and find their own reflection, and be prepared to make the portrait.” – Shelby Lee Adams, ‘Find Your Reflection’ … seems follow-up from the aphorism, “The more I know me, the more I know thee.” – Buber-esque and good, good schtuff!

Listening to – Jose Gonzalez’ ‘Stay Alive’ and Thomas Merton’s ‘The Seven Storey Mountain.’

Reddening

Skyline - Edmonton, Alberta - Canada

Skyline – Edmonton, Alberta – Canada

Edmonton Skyline - Edmonton, Alberta Canada 1

Edmonton Skyline – Edmonton, Alberta Canada 1

Edmonton Skyline - Edmonton, Alberta Canada 3

Edmonton Skyline – Edmonton, Alberta Canada 3

Skyline - Edmonton, Alberta - Canada 4

Skyline – Edmonton, Alberta – Canada 4

I dropped them off. Edmonton’s Commonwealth Stadium now held them – my wife, our daughter and our daughter’s friend – tickets, purchased last November; the event, a One Direction concert.

I began looking for possible photographs – different subjects presented themselves. I got out of our truck opposite Strathcona Composite School and had a look at a rat rod parked outside a gym on the southbound Calgary trail – very minimalistic in design and with little to draw the eye. I moved on. On Jasper Avenue the Gibson Building has always been an interesting subject to photograph – a building built to accommodate the wedge or pie piece shape of the land beneath it. But for the last eighteen months a neighboring construction zone has interfered with its presentation; I would need a fish eye lens to make something of the building without capturing the construction site. A photograph would not be viable today. Later, I had a good walk through the John Walter museum and gathered more information about the area and the history of one of the Walterdale homes I had photographed months before. There, in walking back to my truck, I ran into one of my daughter’s friends from her dance company – she was staying with grandparents and had recognized me. We said our hellos; I chatted with her and her granddad and we parted.

The evening clouded over. As the sun moved into its golden hour, I got to the Riverdale bike bridge and began gathering the shots above of the Edmonton Skyline. People walking by offered encouragement and saw the photographer’s opportunity of reddening clouds. One Direction’s music could be heard in the distance – people wondered if the music was part of the Taste of Edmonton event that was also going on, currently. In wind, spitting rain and cloud, wiping the lens with lens cloth regularly I gathered these images.

Quote to Consider – within the intention of ‘In My Back Pocket – Photography,’ has been the movement toward the seamless ‘See, Think, Do’ of image capture and image making. The following image conveys something similar and is found in Franz Kafka’s ‘The Wish to Be a Red Indian;’ “If one were only an Indian, instantly alert, and on a racing horse, leaning against the wind, kept on quivering jerkily over the quivering ground, until one shed one’s spurs, for there needed no spurs, threw away the reins, for there needed no reins, and hardly saw that the land before one was smoothly short heath when horse’s neck and head would be already gone.” Liking this … sort of what photography can become, response.

Listening to – Maeve Binchy’s ‘A Week in Winter’ for the long drive to and from Edmonton.

Footner Anchorage

Anchored Float Plane - Footner Lake, Alberta - Canada

Anchored Float Plane – Footner Lake, Alberta – Canada

A smoky dusk at Footner Lake in early July, late in the evening and perhaps for the first time in twenty years I witnessed this sight, a float plane, anchored and ready for use at this dock. And, at 10:20 p.m., the air at the lake fills with the sound of different air tanker water bombers returning to the High Level airport (half a kilometre away) – propellers feather, the rubber of wheels squeak loudly meeting the tarmac followed by the winding down of engines and flaps up cutting air, slowing each plane, and then taxiing to a halt. Finally, the air quiets for the night and all becomes still.

Listening to – Joe Strummer & the Mescalaros’ ‘Coma Girl,’ Amos Milburn’s ‘Chicken Shack Boogie,’ Alan Vega’s ‘Dujang Prang’ and Jimmy Reed’s ‘Take Out Some Insurance.’ All are songs Bruce Springsteen highlights as holding promise, ones that he enjoys and will recommend in MOJO magazine.

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

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