Tag: shallow depth of field

Dusk’s Golden Hour

Within a busy week opportunity for travel along former routes of home permits departure from the whirring, buzzing, routinized rhythm and press of town Life. An hour upon the road gathers me to others and I listen and we talk, good, informing chatter. The gathering, done, permits time beyond meeting to slow down and attend to what I see in that dusky golden hour of half-light. My look-round occurs through the lens attached to my Canon 60D. At the Anglican Cemetery in Fort Vermilion, Alberta I begin; many of the grave markers are granite headstones. Others, painted or stained wooden crosses, seem more temporary. Perhaps maintenance of this tentative grave marker highlights practice in looking after those who have gone before us.

I point my car northward toward High Level. My drive from home out to Fort Vermilion has given me windshield time, time to look out from my car’s windows and to note the snowless earth that is warming, thawing and drying. As we move into summer, hours of sunlight will extend backward into earlier mornings and forward into later evenings. Summer solstice will see the sun dip below the horizon at 11:45 p.m. and reappear at 2:30 a.m., the time between being a protracted period of half-light that photographers refer to as their golden hour when the intensity of light drops off and the quality of light and what is lit changes. At its darkest, there will be a gray eeriness. Tonight, I’ve been able to catch cattails within our current golden hour (at about 9:45 p.m. the sun has just dipped below the horizon). Shallow depth of field permits focus and highlight of subject and the generalization of shapes that pattern into the background.

Listening to – two female voices; first, seeing Aimee Mann within my iTunes catalogue sparked curiosity toward her work with Til Tuesday – I’ve purchased two different versions of Voices Carry.  Then, in relation to psalm 23, I was curious as to whether or not Sarah Masen was able to have her album, The Dreamlife of Angels, made available through iTunes.  It’s been about ten years since Stocki first played it on Rhythm and Soul; at the time, a major record deal was not in the offing. But, now her album is something I’ve just found and it’s about time.  Sarah is an intelligent lyricist; her song The Valley references psalm 23, making you think, and a curiously interesting tune called Hope is worth the listen.  What else – The Five Blind Boys of Alabama will feature at Edmonton’s Winspear Centre along with Over the Rhine on June 10th.  Good schtuff … if you’re to take it in.

Quote to Inspire – “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” -Ansel Adams

Christmas Eve – A Kitchen in Readiness for Celebrating Christmas

24 December 2011 – On the afternoon preceding Christmas eve, in scrubbing our kitchen floor, my wife and I moved several wine bottles from the floor to our kitchen counter. Later, a ham cooked in an old, well-used roasting pot (in my wife’s family through generations), became the mainstay of our Christmas eve meal (part of the tradition coming through her family). After singing hymns at a Church service and coming home from time with friends in fellowship, I found myself with an abundance of time and the opportunity to photograph our kitchen in readiness for Christmas. I worked with reflection, light reflected in glass, shallow depth of field and adding accuracy to focal points through the use of the Canon 60D’s live-view mode (I put my glasses on for this). The wine bottles remained in a cluster on the kitchen counter top where the ham roaster was set out in readiness for cooking the Christmas turkey.  Both became subjects in tonight’s photographs and a variety of colours and moods were explored.

On my mind this Christmas, the words – “Be still, and know that I am God … (Psalm 46:10);” these words confront you at the High Level Christian Fellowship Church from the wall surrounding the pulpit.  For me, so long away from Church, practice and walk, it surfaces the idea that it’s alright to rest, to ease up on the reigns of one’s life that can be held so tightly and remove my focus from the doing and busy-ness of Life; amazingly, so much has been provided for in the lives of my family and me … and I am thankful.

My hope for each of you is that you are able to find the rest that this Christmas time affords.

Merry Christmas, all!

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