From Under, Looking Up

Canon Camera, Canon Live View, Flora, High Dynamic Range (HDR), Journaling, Light Intensity, Night, Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty, Weather, Winter
High Level Bridge - HDR 1a

High Level Bridge – HDR 1a

High Level Bridge - HDR 2a

High Level Bridge – HDR 2a

High Level Bridge - HDR 2b

High Level Bridge – HDR 2b

High Level Bridge - HDR 2c

High Level Bridge – HDR 2c

Away from home, an early hour when wife and daughter sleep, I am away from our hotel, outside in Edmonton (home of my youth) and under the High Level Bridge looking up at angles of grid iron, iron work – liking this image as edited. The second image (with different versions) shifts northward in view, again from under the bridge, looking across the North Saskatchewan River to our Alberta Legislature, built on the historical site of Fort Edmonton.

Listening to – Dan Mangan and Jesse Zubot’s ‘Cumulonimbus (Newport, 63) and Parov Stelar’s ‘Room Service.’

Quote to Inspire – “I never question what to do, it tells me what to do. The photographs make themselves with my help.” – Ruth Berland

Image Design, Picture Perfect – Prints Printed

Best Practices - Photography, Canon 60D, Canon 70-200 mm 2.8 IS L Series Lens, Canon Camera, Canon Lens, Canon Live View, Farm, Homestead, Light Intensity, Lookback Photos - One Year Ago, Photoblog Intention, Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty, Project 365 - Photo-a-day, Season, Still Life, Vehicle, Vehicle Restoration, Weather, Winter
Chevrolet Grain Truck 1

Chevrolet Grain Truck 1

At day’s end, cold yet indoors, changing tack on the day’s direction – printing two or three images, ones that I might have done as canvas prints. I chatted with Image Design Pros in Grande Prairie – cost and size of the image that can be produced are both attractive elements within my decision. Shutterfly is another option, an option my wife has talked around with her colleagues.The Picture Perfect Frame and Gallery in Grande Prairie may also serve as framing point for prints.  I discovered that Dan Kameka who has photographed many retrospective farming tribute photos as well as the Dunvegan bridge has been former owner of this same Picture Perfect Frame and Gallery. Upstairs the gallery contains two or three remaining prints of Dan Kameka’s – farming tribute … black and whites with selective colorization (retro greens and reds from the forties, fifties and sixties), nostalgic prints holding memories for people within and around Grande Prairie. There are artists from within the regions – Klaus Peters, Robert Guest and Frank Martel. I bought a Martel work for my son for Christmas – there’s an intensity in the use of colours that is vibrant and energizing.

In printing photos tonight I am pleased with the colour fidelity between monitor and actual print. It’s been ‘Homestead & Winter Skies,’ ‘Winter’s Wraith-like Wisps,’ ‘Rivetting – Edmonton’s High Level Bridge,’ and ‘Gorge – Englishman River Falls, British Columbia.’ The photos presented here tonight are a quartet of winter images of that Nampa grain truck, a Chevrolet three-ton from a few posts back.

Listening to – The Road Home with Bob Chelmick, CKUA streaming via the Internet … two poems by Lorna Crozier begin the show; one’s called Patience; then it’s Things to Do by Calgary’s John Rutherford.

Quote to Inspire – “A photo is a small voice, at best, but sometimes – just sometimes – one photograph or a group of them can lure our senses into awareness. Much depends upon the viewer; in some, photographs can summon enough emotion to be a catalyst to thought.” – W. Eugene Smith

Chevrolet Grain Truck 2

Chevrolet Grain Truck 2

Chevrolet Grain Truck 3

Chevrolet Grain Truck 3

Chevrolet Grain Truck 4

Chevrolet Grain Truck 4

Winter Light’s Tone & Mood

Canon 30D, Canon Camera, Christmas, Light Intensity, Lookback Photos - One Year Ago, Night, Project 365 - Photo-a-day, Season, Winter

High Level Bridge - Edmonton, Alberta

On a Saturday afternoon, in late November or December, 1968, my father took me to Edmonton’s Varscona theater on the corner of 109th Street and Whyte Avenue to watch a newly created film version of a Dickens’ novel he knew well; my father took me to watch Oliver! In the film, I encountered a boy a little older than me, Oliver Twist, as he moved forward into the world without parents, moving from workhouse to funeral home and on into more (or less) corrupt hands (depending on your point of view), navigating by strength of character and goodwill through mishaps, misdeeds, abuse and neglect. Innocence and seeing the world with first eyes are key aspects in this narrative’s presentation, a child acclimating to what the world is about – good and bad.

Safety and what is right are elements of Life that Oliver perceives purely on the basis of tone. Highlighted in the novel is affectation of tone, tone used to achieve an end. Here, Oliver responds to the warmth and apparent sincerity in the charm and charisma proffered by Fagin (sly, cunning con artist) and Master Charlie Bates a.k.a. the Artful Dodger (Fagin protégé, pickpocket and derisively referred to as Master Bates). Their tone and apparent sincerity lead only so far before innocent and perhaps earnest discussion of what’s at play (picking pockets) draws both accountability and deflection of impropriety into/from the situation.

Key among things recalled from watching Oliver! at age seven is how light is used to convey tone and mood. Street scenes in the film occur when light is mistrusted as its intensity diminishes and as color and tone deepen and broaden, enhancing mood. Evening light, the cusp of sunlight declining into sunset, drawing day into night, is much of what the street scenes in Oliver are about. Perhaps director, Carol Reed, draws out broad visual metaphor, here, light’s transition into dark – wholesome Life moving to an arena of growing corruption, of that which is underhanded and unable to be truly ‘seen’. What stays with me after these forty-three odd years is the role that light’s intensity plays in establishing mood; the movie Oliver has had me attending to the tone, colour and atmosphere of winter street scenes as shadows lengthen, sunlight diminishes and we move through that range of colour taking us from day into night. Most often I’ll recognize this same tone driving west on Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue, close to Christmas as the sun draws toward the horizon … the mood is the same. The colours, light, tone and mood found in this December photograph of Edmonton’s High Level bridge are those you’ll find in Oliver!

Listening to Adele’s Set Fire to the Rain from her 21 album; other songs of the day include U2’s Bad from The Unforgettable Fire and Coldplay’s God Put a Smile Upon Your Face from their album A Rush of Blood to the Head.  In the past few days Jack White and The White Stripes have featured in my listening – 300 M.P.H Torrential Outpour Blues (Live) from Under Great White Northern Lights (Live Canadian Tour).  The Verve’s Lucky Man from the Urban Hymns album and  U2’s Love and Peace or Else from How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb have also been there.

Quote to Inspire – “People think that all cameramen do is point the camera at things, but it’s a heck of a lot more complicated than that!” – Larry in Groundhog Day

Edmonton – A Brief Photowalk in a Place I Want to Photograph

Canon 50mm, Canon 60D, Canon Camera, Canon Lens, Canon Live View, Christmas, Project 365 - Photo-a-day, Season, Winter

31 December 2011 – My daughter and I took my son back to Edmonton to return him to his University of Alberta dorm at Lister Hall on December 30, 2011. The trip allowed for vehicle maintenance at West Edmonton Hyundai, two festive meals with my father, brothers and our families; it allowed my daughter four days with her favourite cousin and for me, time with my son, father and our extended family. At different times on December 31st, I was able to break away from the day’s agenda and photograph Edmonton architecture – not quite a full and satisfying photowalk, but something to whet my appetite for photographing downtown Edmonton.

Edmonton’s High Level bridge is the subject of the first set of shots.  At the bridge, while waiting for my son, before a morning family meal out, I was able to photograph the railway deck leading onto the bridge from the south.  I was intrigued by the leading lines of the road and walkway leading from the bridge on its south side. The bridge’s rail deck is secure from people who would like to walk along it – good!  And, I am interested in the photograph of the rail deck taken by the Edmonton Photowalk group led by Darlene Hildebrandt on October 1, 2011. In returning from the bridge to my vehicle, to go and retrieve my son, I was also able to photograph Edmonton’s Saskatchewan drive as it leads past the University of Alberta’s Arts building and Hub Mall – a memorable place from my past at the University of Alberta.  I met W.O. Mitchell between these buildings late on a Saturday afternoon in the fall of 1981 after a 12-string guitar lesson at Hub Mall’s Guitar Classique and guided him to the South entrance of the University’s Arts building for a talk he would provide to Canadian literature students.

Later, in the late afternoon of December 31st, I was able to briefly photograph some of Edmonton’s architecture – new and old, buildings close to the Boardwalk and EPSB’s Centre High school.  I was caught up in the older architecture and advertising painted onto exterior walls as well as the reflective dynamic of newer building’s mirrored exteriors. The Edmonton I grew up in has become something more incredible and futuristic, something only dreamt of by former Mayors. The final shot (the first shot in the series) is at the east end of the Edmonton downtown core, a older building dating back to perhaps the forties or thirties, a pie-shaped building of four stories, reminiscent of a former age, something my mother and her brothers would have grown up in.  I like the brickwork and lighting of this picture and hope to return to photograph this building in a variety of ways.

Quote to Inspire:  “I am not interested in color for color’s sake and light for light’s sake.  I am interested in them as a means of expression (Robert Henri ~ ‘The Art Spirit’).”

Listening to Unraveling, by Liz Longley on Hot Loose Wire; a song with shared connection and reminiscence – a family member beset with Alzheimer’s ( for Liz this was her grandmother; for me this is my father, the originating photographer in the family I grew up in).

28 December 2010 – Look Back Photos (Edmonton’s Low Level Bridge and Skyline)

Canon 30D, Canon Camera, Christmas, Lookback Photos - One Year Ago, Photoblog Intention, Photography & Conceptualizing Beauty, Project 365 - Photo-a-day, Season, Winter

One year ago today my intention for photography in coming to Edmonton over Christmas was to capture sense of place. In any visit I had previously made to Edmonton through the years, I spent time on Whyte Avenue looking through Art shops for images of Edmonton – drawings, paintings and photographs. These shops would contain images of the High Level bridge, the train station on 103rd  Street, many images of Old Strathcona (Whyte Avenue) and its various happenings, the Hotel MacDonald, the Alberta Legislature and the Edmonton Skyline – all representing a home I’d grown up in, all representing memory and a desire to revisit former times. In late afternoon on December 28, 2010, I parked my vehicle close to the Low Level Bridge and got down onto the ice of the North Saskatchewan River with tripod and Canon 30D and began clicking away using my Sigma 10-20mm lens.

In an hour and a half I had rounded up forty-nine images of my own, new photographic memories of Edmonton – the Low Level Bridge, the Hotel MacDonald, the Edmonton Skyline. I’d also encountered a disciplined martial artist training against trees, the welcoming smile of a female long distance runner and two University students who thought I’d fall through the ice along the river’s edge … go figure.

Listening to – Beggars & Buskers, by Eric Angus Whyte on the Luddite Sons album (thanks to Stocki for this recommendation on his Soul Surmise blog).

Quote to Inspire – “The key to seeing the world’s soul, and in the process wakening one’s own, is to get over the confusion by which we think that fact is real and imagination an illusion. It is the other way around.” ~ Thomas Moore ‘Original Self’