Adizes Curve

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

Edmonton's River Valley - Looking Back to Saskatchewan Drive

If you know the Adizes curve you’ll recognize what’s referred to as a learning curve being the initial part of a bell shaped curve moving you from initiation of a new practice to a point of prime where you crest the top of the curve and master practice – new practice has been worked, handled and made best practice. Optimal use of the Adizes curve has you taking on new learning curves as you crest and master prior practice. Doing so, allows you to hang on to current good practice while embracing newer needed practice.

The photograph presented, here, is one taken midway through a five-hour, solo photowalk around Edmonton’s river valley. I’m dealing with new practice.  I’m moving through a metropolitan area and recreational park area and making decisions about photographs I want, committing action to each shot and moving on – it’s a pattern I’m developing. As I start I’m shooting too quickly, not letting my eye look around the frame to see if I’m gathering all that is subject and background. Some of what I’m doing is managing state – balancing my awareness of environment (the hustle and bustle of what’s going on around me as I shoot) with good awareness of what I am seeing in the lens. I settle into the rhythm of practice – walk and find subject, move to find best angle/perspective, set the exposure (f-stop against shutter speed), focus and take the shot; then, when I’ve exhausted my seeing and possibility with a subject I move on. I’m also testing out gear at -20C.  I’m keeping one battery warm, close to my chest underneath fleece and winter jacket; every twenty-minutes or so, I’m swapping out the camera battery (the cold for the warm). I’m carrying a knapsack style camera bag and a tripod bag slung over my body, over the camera bag.  Beyond this, I’m managing comfort in terms of staying warm with fleece underneath jacket and ski pants.

At the mid-point of my walk, having come down into the river valley, I encounter this shot – a silhouette, near the 5th Street Bridge looking back up toward Saskatchewan Drive, a neat leading line of posts preventing vehicles moving where they ought not to go.  I move on. As I take pictures I’m unaware of the need to clean my lens and that snow crystals will shape what I expose. It is days later when I’ve returned home and edit the images that I see them – the result isn’t anything bad, just something that needs cleaning up with software. In this photowalk I began at the High Level Diner, moved east along Saskatchewan Drive, entered the Edmonton City Park (the River Valley), crossed the 5th street bridge, walked through the Alberta Legislature grounds and returned to the University side of the North Saskatchewan River – it has been a first view of the area with my camera, something to repeat and revise. At a pub, formerly Plato’s Pizza, I treat myself to two pints of Boddington’s Pub Ale while I wait for a ride home and I review images.

Listening to … or fretting many Stan Rogers’ tunes tonight; among them have been The Wreck of the Athens Queen, Fisherman’s Wharf and Maid on the Shore; it’s been DADGAD tuning tonight and I’ve also shifted into 9/8 time, in a manner to support a fiddler’s reel or jig – a rhythm Skew Lines‘, Kerri Brown (fiddle, guitar, percussion) helped me find and play in Parksville, British Columbia.

Quote to Inspire – “I like photographs which leave something to the imagination.” – Fay Godwin

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).