One of five shots, painting with light out in Fort Vermilion, Alberta. Note that by the front deck/porch the maglite has been turned back toward the camera and captures a streak of light. Also, note the ghosting image of the person at the bottom right corner – that’s me, I’d been there long enough for the exposure to pick me up.
The silhouette of a school playground structure against the backdrop of a churning red sky.
In my first steps exiting school the following sunset confronted me. Using my camera free-hand and with tripod I captured thirty-three images, one of which I present here. For most images a wide aperture of f-4.5 allowed for freezing of the image. A smaller aperture of f-22 tended to increase the blur of moving clouds as well as producing a star effect from the lens’ shutter leaves through 30 seconds of exposure. This image is the corner of our elementary school with swings in the foreground. A colourful night.
In his Greenbelt lecture – Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace – John O’Donohue hinted at the fragmentation of Life and Lives and that work is involved in making sense of one’s Life; he also hinted at the incredible beauty to be found in those who engage in Life-work, understanding and maintaining the integrity of their Life toward identity.
The mind is an old crow
Who knows only to gather dead twigs,
Then take them back to the vacancy
Between the branches of the parent tree
And entwine them around the emptiness
With silence and unfailing patience
Until what was fallen, withered and lost
Is now set to fill with dreams a nest.
(Excerpt from ‘Thought Work,’ a poem by John O’Donohue from his book Conamara Blues)
“This is the art of bringing your mind home, that if your mind was able to retrieve and re-weave all that is withered and forlorn and lost in your life then the integrity of your memory and identity of your life would be incredible [if not beautiful] (Divine Beauty – The Invisible Embrace, John O’Donohue, Greenbelt).
“The presence of beauty is one of the most neglected presences in our contemporary world. Beauty was the word without which the ancient world refused to know itself; beauty was at the heart of everything they considered. In our times, beauty is reduced to glamour. It caters to the surface and the external image. Once you’ve got the up-front hit from it, there’s nothing behind it. Whereas beauty is a far more sophisticated, subtle and really substantial kind of presence (Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, John O’Donohue, Greenbelt).”
A photograph during a break in a photography workshop – an older homestead outside Vulcan, Alberta (11 November 2011).
“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder has another meaning. If the beholding eye is gracious and has beautified itself then it will pick up the beautiful. When we can’t notice the beautiful, it is not that it is absent. It is just that our vision and gaze has become coarsened (Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, John O’Donohue, Greenbelt).”
A White Ford half-ton awaits restoration and transformation – Vavenby, British Columbia (Summer 2011).
“Rodin did not concern himself with the beautiful. His art was meticulous, careful and slow. The beautiful comes only in its own terms. ‘Like in the forest when the forest is free of strangers in the evening the shy animals turn up at the river to drink.’ And, that’s the way the beautiful actually comes (Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, John O’Donohue, Greenbelt).”
At Vavenby, British Columbia – the older Chevrolet, Cab & Chassis look on as vehicles pass by (Summer 2011).
“Without beauty life would be unbearable. We need the beautiful as much as we need love. Beauty and the beautiful are not the preserve of luxus or the elite privileged; everyone needs it. There are people in the world now who are holding out on the rawest edges of what’s humane – in refugee camps, in prisons, in hospitals, in places of starvation – who are only able to hold out because they’ve got some glimpse of the beautiful. Sometimes beauty is like that; it turns up as a miniscule moment in a dark landscape and recalls us to possibility and inspiration and encouragement. We can hold out in very bleak places if we are in touch with the presence of beauty. “(John O’Donohue – Divine Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, Greenbelt)
On the way out to Qualicum Beach, British Columbia with the burden of bringing Dad home, this vehicle was encountered in Vavenby, British Columbia – its owner rich with intention and skill, able to restore and beautify it in the near future (Summer 2011)
If you’ve found your way to this photo blog you are likely a person keenly interested in photography or someone who appreciates quality photographic images resulting from skilful camera work. I am a photographer who is about to engage in the 365 day, photo-a-day commitment and will appreciate your stopping in, regularly, to look around, check things out and share in the dialogue that ensues.
About Project 365 – this photo-a-day project holds my interest in terms of its potential for grappling with photography through practice and dialogue. Within this project I should be able to tackle one concept or skill or understanding for short periods of time, work with it, post results and comment about what occurred on a daily basis.
My intention for this photo blog project is best explained by analogy. In relation to fitness, a friend counsels about his need to go beyond weight training, to keep a 5K in his back pocket. On a daily basis, he will direct part of his workout to ensuring he is ready and able when the invitation of a 5K presents itself. His point is that none of us should ever be found sidelined or underprepared for Life’s challenges; daily discipline and practice help maintain, in readiness, our strength, stamina and competencies to challenge any such opportunity. To this end, each morning, he adds 50 minutes of long, slow burn cardio exercise to his workouts. And, you’ll find he’s more than prepared to engage in a 5K or most other Life challenges, whenever they arise.
Moving toward Photography that’s In My Back Pocket – Working a little each day at this year-long, photo-a-day project, competencies should develop, understandings should gel and solidify and quality photographic results should occur with greater consistency. I anticipate that my talk surrounding photography will evolve as will how I include camera work within each day. Best images result from competent camera work and good understanding of practice and our intent, things each of us should have in our back pocket when the opportunity of a photograph presents itself. I hope you will engage in dialogue with me about these matters and that you’ll find the grace to share your knowledge, your questions and your comments (and ‘likes’) along the way. Your interest and goodwill are appreciated.
Thank you for stopping by.
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