Framed to Edit

Project 365 - Photo-a-day

Three weeks back, in the midst of mileage and a COVID pivot, on a road west in Southern Alberta I was able to stop, get out of my truck, frame this image and two others, return to my truck and motor on. Many elements make this image come together, not the least of which is the encounter of colour within what is largely a monochromatic image. Liking it.

Quote to Consider / Inspire – “One should not only photograph things for what they are, but for what else they are.” – Minor White, Frames Magazine, February 2021.

Listening to – Kathleen Edwards’ ‘Take It With You When You Go’ and Appalachian Road Show’s ‘Don’t Want to Die in the Storm.’

Foothills Pivot

Project 365 - Photo-a-day

A COVID pivot provides minimalist moments among the modulation and ramble of foothills roads in southernmost Alberta.

Quote to Consider / Inspire – “Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.” – Arnold Newman, Frames Magazine, January 2021

Listening to – Jools Holland & Kylie Minogue’s take on the Clash’s ‘Should I Stay or Should I Go’

Looking South – near Fort MacLeod, Alberta

January Homestead

Project 365 - Photo-a-day

Liking this bit of winter morning light, directional light, side-light – intensity and shadows – falling on snow and an Alberta homestead, a first image in a long while.

Quote to Consider / Inspire – “… I believe that the real challenge of photography lies not in finding something or someplace exotic and beautiful to photograph, but in revealing the hidden beauty in what most people would consider mundane.” – Howard Grill, The Challenge of Photography, Frames Magazine, February 2021.

Listening to – Ian Tyson’s ‘Yellowhead to Yellowstone,’ Galen Huckins’ ‘The Kennicott,’ Roo Panes’ ‘A Message to Myself,’ and Hollow Coves’ ‘Adrift.’

Homestead – near Fairview, Alberta

Yellow Dazzling

Canon Camera, Canon Lens, Canon Live View, Flora, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Light Intensity, Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty, Season, Summer, Weather

Canadian Grain Bin - Guy, Alberta, Canada 1

Canadian Grain Bin – Guy, Alberta, Canada 1

Canadian Grain Bin - Guy, Alberta, Canada 2

Canadian Grain Bin – Guy, Alberta, Canada 2

Canadian Grain Bin - Guy, Alberta i

Canadian Grain Bin – Guy, Alberta i

Westeel Grain Bins - Warrensville, Alberta, Canada

Westeel Grain Bins – Warrensville, Alberta, Canada

The ground, seeded, transforms from dark, dirt black to green growth reaching its pinnacle of dazzling yellow before being harvested. I have driven through some of Alberta’s farmland in the past two weeks and Canola does seem the farmer grown plant of choice, this year, its yellows colouring and brightening what, in winter, had been a darker and more dreary landscape. I had hoped to catch Canola surrounding these Warrensville Westeel grain bins in the past two or three years, never returning to the site/sight until a week ago.

The Canada Flag painted on the side of a grain bin forms a landmark for travellers nearing the hamlet of Guy, Alberta. On Alberta highway 2, as you climb from the valley holding the Smoky River going north you’ll find the grain bin on your left two or three minutes along; for many the flag and shed serve as time marker for journeys northward. From this point, I can be at my doorstep in High Level, Alberta in three hours and forty minutes.

In addition to the broad reach of Canola’s yellows in these images, immensity surrounding the grain bin is also part of things; looking ahead through the miles a cumulonimbus cloud will later offer its weather, wind and rain, as something to be managed within our drive home. These images remind of photographs in which grain fields, mountains and breathtaking cloud work coalesce and immensity is the dominant feature within the image. I hadn’t considered it; but, the fact that a Canadian Flag has been painted on the side of a grain bin holds associations for the farmer – perhaps pride in being Canadian; it may also aim to have others consider the key role grain farmers play in Canada’s economy; or, perhaps the notion has something to do with being in the heart of Canada. What’s also there is perhaps something political … perhaps something like the assertion, ‘we are all Canadians first and foremost.’ The question intrigues – what was the point of origin for the idea of painting a Canadian flag on a farmer’s grain bin?

Quote to Consider – “A photograph is the story I fail to put into words.” – Destin Sparks

Listening to – Murray McLaughlin’s ‘Hard Rock Town,’ The Who’s ‘I Can See For Miles,’ Bob Dylan’s ‘Buckets of Rain,’ Steve Miller Band’s ‘Fly Like an Eagle,’ Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ ‘If You Wanna Get To Heaven,’ Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Radio Nowhere,’ Link Wray & the Wraymen’s ‘Rumble’ and Bruce Springsteen’s rendering of a Pete Seeger tune ‘We Shall Overcome.’

Downtime Edits

Canon Camera, Canon Lens, Flora, Fog, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Light Intensity, Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty, Project 365 - Photo-a-day, Season, Smoke, Spring

Controlled Burn - Jasper, Alberta - Canada 1

Controlled Burn – Jasper, Alberta – Canada 1

Controlled Burn - Jasper, Alberta - Canada 2

Controlled Burn – Jasper, Alberta – Canada 2

Infrared - Jasper National Park, Canada

Infrared – Jasper National Park, Canada

Jasper Park Lodge - Jasper, Alberta - Canada

Jasper Park Lodge – Jasper, Alberta – Canada

Pyramid Lake HDR - Jasper, Alberta - Canada

Pyramid Lake HDR – Jasper, Alberta – Canada

The week’s end and our weekend have each held several endeavors, ones that have engaged me fully and used my mind and imagination fully. And, I’ve found that a mild cold has morphed into a productive cough and that I now have a prescription for antibiotics to see through to move me clear and past sickness. When I’ve been able to I’ve sat down with time for editing images, for looking through former results and for reviewing other’s image work. Our time in Jasper National Park in April, 2015 has been source for many of these edits. Have a look.

Listening to – Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians’ ‘What I Am,’ Concrete Blonde’s ‘Joey,’ Alanis Morisette’s ‘You Learn,’ The Dream Academy’s ‘Life in a Northern Town’ and U2’s ‘In God’s Country.’

Quote to Consider – “To me, photography is the art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place … I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

The Practical – Practically

Canon Camera, Canon Lens, Canon Live View, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Homestead, Light Intensity, Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty, Project 365 - Photo-a-day, Spring, Still Life

Gull Lake Homestead - Up Close, Fort Vermilion, Alberta Canada 1

Gull Lake Homestead – Up Close, Fort Vermilion, Alberta Canada 1

Gull Lake Homestead - Up Close, Fort Vermilion, Alberta Canada 2

Gull Lake Homestead – Up Close, Fort Vermilion, Alberta Canada 2

Gull Lake Homestead - Up Close, Fort Vermilion, Alberta Canada 3

Gull Lake Homestead – Up Close, Fort Vermilion, Alberta Canada 3

Dave Brosha offered a photography workshop last spring in Fort Vermilion, Alberta. One day was devoted to portrait photography; another was about landscape photography. The workshop allowed for many practical demonstrations (talked through practically) and for us to review and critique our photographs together as a group. There was also the encouragement to get together and get out as a shooting group. We had opportunities to watch Dave edit using Adobe Lightroom and one of the surprises that I’ve held onto was that the erase function (a circle area that you direct within the image to eliminate things like dust spots could be dragged instead of only clicked on much like an eraser to erase areas of the image). The images presented here are from our landscape work and in the Gull Lake homestead picture I’ve been able to remove a person from the photo with the erase function.

Gratitude – thank you, Dave. It was good to meet you and to witness your energy and approach as a photographer. It was good to take you into Buttertown to the St. Louis Catholic mission, a place that had been part of distant childhood memories for you with your Dad. Take good care of your good self.

Listening to – the Verve’s ‘Bittersweet Symphony,’ U2’s ‘In God’s Country,’ Coldplay’s ‘Life in Technicolor’ and Depeche Mode’s ‘Policy of Truth.’

Quote to Consider – “There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” – Ernst Haas (1921-1986)

Cloud Cord Work

Backlight, Canon Camera, Canon Lens, Canon Live View, Farm, Farmhouse, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Home, Homestead, Journaling, Light Intensity, Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty, Project 365 - Photo-a-day, Spring, Still Life, Sunset, Weather

La Glace Homestead  - Sunset, La Glace, Alberta - Canada 1

La Glace Homestead – Sunset, La Glace, Alberta – Canada 1

La Glace Homestead  - Sunset, La Glace, Alberta - Canada 3

La Glace Homestead – Sunset, La Glace, Alberta – Canada 3

Day’s end, dabbling with high dynamic range edits in Adobe Photoshop CS6, shots from a La Glace golden hour at day’s end from two Sundays back. Very near the Rocky Mountains, the curiosity is the cloud work splaying out, unwinding cords of cloud above rolling foothills – not quite cirrus clouds, but clouds that hold line and shape against darkening night sky as back drop.

Quote to Consider – “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” – Dorothea Lange

Listening to – Jesse Cook’ ‘Ocean Blue,’ Clannad’s ‘Harry’s Game’ and Snow Patrol’s ‘This Isn’t Everything You Are’ and ‘Those Distant Bells.’

Sunday’s Valhalla

Canon 70-200 mm 2.8 IS L Series Lens, Canon Camera, Canon Lens, Canon Live View, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Homestead, Light Intensity, Spring, Still Life, Sunset

Homestead - La Glace, Alberta - Canada 1

Homestead – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 1

Homestead - La Glace, Alberta - Canada 2

Homestead – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 2

Homestead - La Glace, Alberta - Canada 3

Homestead – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 3

Homestead - La Glace, Alberta - Canada 4

Homestead – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 4

Homestead - La Glace, Alberta - Canada 5

Homestead – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 5

On a Sunday evening, two Sundays ago, we drove west from Grande Prairie. My daughter’s dance season had concluded. She journeyed homeward with friends. My wife and I remained. With time to ourselves, after our supper meal, we drove.

At the junction where highway 43 meets highway 723 we turned right and traveled northward to an as yet undiscovered location for us, the hamlet of Valhalla Centre. Halfway there, we stopped – my wife and I trading positions in our truck cab; she took the wheel and I was able to let my eyes meander over and through each new scene confronting us – scouting potential shots. While this region, the north side of highway 43, is a farming community the land use for farming was noticeably different from that immediately surrounding Grande Prairie; open, unfenced grain fields went on for kilometres; farm buildings accommodated the terrain more than a system for using the land. These farms were huge. The area drew memories of farm community scenes from Garrison Keillor’s ‘News from Lake Wobegon,’ the narrative series accompanying the live radio show, ‘A Prairie Home Companion;’ the stories are set in Minnesota and often poke fun at the Scandinavian/German-American communities. On the Canadian side of the border, CBC broadcasts a sister show, ‘The Vinyl Café’ with Stuart McLean.

Our drive continued to Valhalla Centre and where my wife could have turned left westward to uncharted territory for us, she took a right and we moved toward an area I had been through two weeks before, the area between La Glace and Sexsmith, Alberta. The images presented here are from a third homestead quite close to two others presented a few weeks back. My wife and I followed this drive with a week to ourselves for travel.

Listening to – U2’s ‘I Will Follow,’ ‘Trip through Your Wire,’ ‘I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For,’ ‘Magnificent,’ ‘Lucifer’s Hands’ and ‘Every Breaking Wave.’

Quote to Consider – “Photographing a culture in the here and now often means photographing the intersection of the present with the past.” – David DuChemin

La Glace – Bounty

Backlight, Canon Camera, Canon Live View, Fauna, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Homestead, Journaling, Light Intensity, Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty, Project 365 - Photo-a-day, Spring, Still Life, Sunset

La Glace Homestead II - La Glace, Alberta  - Canada 1

La Glace Homestead II – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 1

La Glace Homestead II - La Glace, Alberta  - Canada 2

La Glace Homestead II – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 2

La Glace Homestead II - La Glace, Alberta  - Canada 3

La Glace Homestead II – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 3

La Glace Homestead II - La Glace, Alberta  - Canada 4

La Glace Homestead II – La Glace, Alberta – Canada 4

Saturday’s bounty, a week ago, was found at sundown near La Glace – this homestead image; it followed six shots in which a moose and its calf trotted behind this homestead, a speedy blur of movement from left to right in my viewfinder, all amid this static landscape and sunset.

Listening to – Coldplay’s ‘Magic,’ U2’s ‘Every Breaking Wave,’ One Republic’s ‘I Lived,’ Of Monsters and Men’s ‘King and Lionheart (live),’ John Mayer’s ‘Age of Worry,’ Maroon 5’s ‘Lucky Strike,’ Snow Patrol’s ‘Crack the Shutters,’ Coldplay’s ‘Us Against the World,’ U2’s ‘Song for Someone,’ Ed Sheeran’s ‘Little Bird,’ and John Mayer’s ‘Queen of California.’

Quote to Consider – “To me, photography is an art of observations. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place … I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt, 1928

Rusting Relics – Narratives of Habit

Canon Camera, Canon Live View, Farm, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty, Project 365 - Photo-a-day, Season, Still Life, Vehicle, Vehicle Restoration, Winter

Farm Trucks - Manning, Alberta 1

Farm Trucks – Manning, Alberta 1

Farm Trucks - Manning, Alberta 2

Farm Trucks – Manning, Alberta 2

Farm Trucks - Manning, Alberta 3

Farm Trucks – Manning, Alberta 3

In the past few days I’ve wondered if the attracting element to vehicle photography is the coherence of a vehicle’s design, functionality and comfort. Beyond this, is it the style and form of the vehicle that attracts the eye and the impulse to drive the vehicle? Perhaps it is our ability to imagine both how someone will look driving the vehicle or merely the anticipation of how it will handle that attracts the photographer to a vehicle.

For drivers, habit leads us in our vehicle use, our driving. We tend not to consider the system or systems of steps that allow us to drive a vehicle. Unlocking the door, opening the door, sitting in the seat, putting the key into the ignition, starting the car with or without throttle use, shifting from park to reverse and then to drive, steering, adjusting speed with throttle (gas pedal) – these steps get the car moving and rolling. A system of steps ensures safety of self and others, a system of steps allows us not only to propel the vehicle forward, but to navigate while doing so and a system of steps allows us to park and leave the vehicle. For the driver such a system of steps is more habit than an individually considered set of actions that takes driver and passengers from point of origin to destination and back again.

So, is it design, function, form, colour or comfort that attracts the photographer’s eye to a vehicle? Or is it the photographer’s ability to imagine, see and confirm the narrative of habit associated with a vehicle that pulls the eye – the future narrative of a new vehicle; or, the past narrative of a vehicle from another era? Perhaps these questions are starting points for vehicle advertisers. Still I like looking at each dent, chip and window crack in old, rusting relics; vehicle interiors convey much about driver and passengers – much narrative of habit is found in these vehicles. Here, rusting relics are set out in a farmer’s field near Manning, Alberta. In my drive past the site last weekend it was a surprise to see the old La Crete, REO Speedwagon cab and chassis gone; hopefully it’s found a good home and has had the good fortune to become a project for rehabilitation.

Quote to Inspire – “Photography is for me simply a creative passion, the ability to use light and form to capture in a single image – what I see in my own imagination….” – Tim Wallace, car photographer in interview with Topaz Labs.

Listening to – Jesse Cook’s ‘The Blue Guitar Sessions;’ one song standing out is ‘Ocean Blue.’