Tag: transportation

Under the Shed

Open-Air Shed - Sangudo, Alberta

Open-Air Shed – Sangudo, Alberta

In the week prior to their auction, several old-time pick-ups and cab and chassis reside beneath an open-air shed at Sangudo’s Alaska Highway Construction Equipment Museum, a favourite place to photograph within the last year. These vehicles were auctioned off on September 7th and 8th; doing so, made way for a land sale. Quite possibly had I been at the auction I could have brought home one of these vehicles for as little as $3000 – $4000. Then, it would have been about gathering friends to help restore and add Life to one of these well-kept vintage vehicles.

Listening to – several songs my daughter has downloaded: Dexy’s Midnight Runners’ ‘Too-Rye-Ay’ and ‘Come On Eileen,’ Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball,’ Jack Johnson’s ‘Banana Pancakes,’ Ed Sheeran’s ‘Drunk’ and Emblem 3’s ‘Chloe.’ There is also The Fray’s ‘You Found Me.’

Quote to Inspire – “Ultimately photography is about who you are. It’s the truth in relation to yourself. And seeking truth becomes a habit.” – Leonard Freed

Boyer Bridge – Bisection

Boyer River Bridge - Fort Vermilion, Alberta

Boyer River Bridge – Fort Vermilion, Alberta

Looking south, through the bridge crossing the Boyer River en route from High Level to Fort Vermilion, this perspective, looking through the bridge to the incline and curve on the other side becomes my first opportunity to photograph a bridge straight on, from the roadway, along a center line bisecting the road and bridge structure; the place I’ve gotten to in editing recalls impermanence of things man-made.

Listening to – Peter Himmelman’s ‘Impermanent Things,’ John Mayer’s ‘Route 66’ and Ray LaMontagne & The Pariah Dogs ‘For the Summer.’

Quote to Inspire – “A portrait is not made in the camera, but on either side of it.” – Edward Steichen

Sangudo Ford

1938 Ford Two Ton Cab and Chassis - Sangudo, Alberta

1938 Ford Two Ton Cab and Chassis – Sangudo, Alberta

A chain-link fence surrounds Sangudo, Alberta’s MacKenzie Highway Construction Truck Museum, a tribute to people and equipment that built the highway. The museum, its vehicles and equipment sit idle. You can look from the fence in; but, you cannot physically interact with the vehicles within the museum compound. The vehicles that are sixty-years or more old are in good shape; they have been kept well. Last spring I searched for the owner of the museum to see if he’d permit access to the compound and allow me to photograph the vehicles; I will need to do my homework if I am to find his contact information and try again for better images of those trucks. It’s a shame only to see them from the sidelines.

A black and red 1938 two ton cab and chassis sits waiting for further use.

Listening to – The Congregation’s ‘Don’t Pay No Mind,’ Chris Whitley’s ‘Dust Radio’ and the Eagles’ ‘Seven Bridges Road.’ Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’ has been in my hearing this weekend at my daughter’s dance festival; the story behind ‘Yellow’ is a heart-warming, mother-son, story … something to be understood and not to be missed.

Quote to Inspire – “Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.” – Bruno Barbey

Edmonton – Freshly Green in June

Skyline - Edmonton, Alberta

Skyline – Edmonton, Alberta

Of all reasons to take up photography, the most significant and most poignant is to draw together memory of home. Edmonton’s Skyline from the southeast, from Strathearn Drive is the strongest memory I have of Edmonton. My grandparents’ last Edmonton home was on Strathearn Drive and my grandfather always had my brother’s and I out for a hike before a Sunday dinner with family, through this river valley, walking within this valley being a primary form of transportation for him and his (my mother’s) family, something more economical and much healthier than riding a bus or taking the family car down town. Perhaps one of my grandfather’s influences in my Life is one of appreciating the value of exercise and the achievement of exercise. Never a day would go by without my granddad getting out for a minimum of an hour’s walk wherever he was in the world. For me, Edmonton’s skyline recalls all the cycling I had done in Edmonton’s river valley through each summer listening to audiobooks and to music on a Sony Walkman.

This Edmonton skyline image recalls family history – our return to Edmonton via CN Rail and the CN Tower from Montreal in 1964, our first returned days at the Hotel MacDonald, the adventures with Scouts hiking through this valley and excursions to the top of the AGT Tower (now Telus Tower), Canada Place on the right is where we got our passports and on the left I had an Edmonton Journal paper route on 111 Avenue running from the Westbury Apartment to the Grandin Apartments. This image of Edmonton recalls the cool, fresh, wet weather of June. The photo is taken at the western most end of Strathearn drive that overlooks that part of Connor’s hill where the Edmonton Folk Festival is staged each August.

Listening to – Schubert’s Rondo in A for Violin and String, D. 438.

Quote to Inspire – “Quit trying to find beautiful objects to photograph. Find the ordinary objects so you can transform it by photographing it.” – Morley Baer

From My Ford-Focused Canon 60D

Nose - 1938 Ford One Ton Tow Truck

Nose – 1938 Ford One Ton Tow Truck

Ford Grain Truck - Wabamun, Alberta

Ford Grain Truck – Wabamun, Alberta

67 Ford Econoline Van

67 Ford Econoline Van

64 Mercury Monterey 2

64 Mercury Monterey 2

64 Mercury Monterey 1

64 Mercury Monterey 1

Looking up from my Ford-focused Canon 60D the highway held a semi hauling a flat-deck trailer with a Diversified Bus on it, its roof crushed – a sight as curious as it is disturbing. Diversified runs buses in northeastern Alberta. A passenger bus like this, the kind Greyhound uses, is never something anyone wishes to see in this state – the image implies rollover and injury. Hopefully, the accident was less serious than can be imagined. But, on those long, northern Alberta drives Greyhound buses do slide sideways on ice, occasionally – accidents involving such buses do occur from time to time.

Each image presented, here, has been an editing exercise exploring editing sequences other photographers have utilized to arrive at final image renderings. Ford Motor Company (FOMOCO) provides subject for these images – the nose of the 1938 Ford One Ton Tow Truck, a late sixties Ford One Ton grain truck, a 64 Mercury Monterey and a 67 Ford Econoline van.

Listening to – Gwyneth Paltrow singing ‘Country Song’ and ‘Travis.’

Quote to Inspire – “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Waiting … Unused, Boarded-Up

Hay River, NWT - Boats 1

Hay River, NWT – Boats 1

Hay River, NWT - Boats 2

Hay River, NWT – Boats 2

Hay River, NWT - Boats 3

Hay River, NWT – Boats 3

Hay River, NWT - Boats 4

Hay River, NWT – Boats 4

Hay River, NWT - Boats 5

Hay River, NWT – Boats 5

In January’s winter, huge, huge boats – complex structures, rigged out with all kinds of equipment to make them self-reliant and useful upon the water – have been dragged to ground from the world’s largest lake – the Great Slave Lake; the boats wait, unused, boarded-up and dormant within acres and acres of Hay River’s boat yard. Canada’s Great Slave Lake is large enough to make transport of materials more efficient, faster and more direct when these boats are used than when moving materials around the perimeter of the lake by transport truck. These boats have names – Jock McNiven, Lister, Horn River, and Radium Empress – and in being named do stir curiosity about the origin of such reminiscence in each boat’s appellation. Snowy and overcast, the day yields -26C at 5:00 p.m. on a January winter day in Canada’s Hay River, Northwest Territories; overnight it will get colder. It’s the kind of day when a Hay River resident keeps an eye out for the potential of a stranded motorist, a neighbor, needing a tow from the snow bank or a boost of their car/truck’s battery. People living in Hay River know how to live in Hay River.

Listening to – Enrique Iglesias – ‘When I Fall in Love,’ with words on You Tube, a song our school’s custodian frets at this day’s end upon a Yamaha guitar … good, good schtuff!

Quote to Inspire – “I have the great privilege of being both witness and storyteller. Intimacy, trust and intuition guide my work.” – Jim Goldberg

Common Road – Common Talking Point

Twin Lakes 2 - Twin Lakes, Alberta

Twin Lakes 2 – Twin Lakes, Alberta

Twin Lakes 3 - Twin Lakes, Alberta

Twin Lakes 3 – Twin Lakes, Alberta

Twin Lakes 1 - Twin Lakes, Alberta

Twin Lakes 1 – Twin Lakes, Alberta

A common road travelled becomes common talking point, especially in terms of those travels upon that road that challenge you. Two kilometres receive representation in this photo from the photo’s bottom-most edge to the crest of the Twin Lake’s hill. On your way to Edmonton from High Level (or on your return journey) this part of the road is the tricky bit – the section of the road that requires finesse. Traveling northward, from the hill’s crest the descent (behind the camera) is some five kilometres. And, weather within the air mass covering this hill can change drastically in winter. A driver may encounter fog or several inches of snow. The long road surface can be glazed with ice and you may be driving upon it before a sanding truck is able to add surface grip. And, with the rolling hills of incline/descent it is possible to be surprised by an oncoming vehicle passing another in your lane. This Twin Lakes hill demands a driver’s alertness, calm and skill. Usually once you’re past Twin Lakes traveling north or south the drive regains steady and anticipated progress.

So, this photo may be the one, as common talking point the photo may be the one to try as a large canvas print. We’ll see.

Listening to – Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, a song played on our Heintzman piano (bright sounding piano) by my daughter – good, good schtuff.

Quote to Inspire – “Quit trying to find beautiful objects to photograph. Find the ordinary objects so you can transform it by photographing it.” – Morley Baer

B-Side Catch-all & Round-up

B-side images, ones that haven’t made the first cut reveal in their review how often I am impressed with technology’s artistry that comprises what becomes a vehicle. A veritable used car lot, these images display resurrected lives of vehicles, being breathed into new Life through the artistry of a would-be car crafter. Winter grain stocks hold interest in their various settings.

Listening to – Aqualung’s Strange and Beautiful (I’ll Put A Spell On You), the Volkswagen Beetle tune from a few years back.

Quote to Inspire (or draw one toward reality) – “Photography cannot do much. It provides some level of information, yet it has no pretensions about changing the world.” John Vink

Rivetting – Edmonton’s High Level Bridge

Rivet and Girder - High Level Bridge - Edmonton Alberta

Rivet and Girder – High Level Bridge – Edmonton Alberta

At night, light and shadow reveal girder and rivet patterning along the High Level Bridge, a bridge that connects the north bank high above the North Saskatchewan River at the Alberta Legislature ground site to the south bank – an area that becomes entrance to the University of Alberta and Edmonton’s Old Strathcona community. The scene within this image contains the light trails of two cars moving across the bridge while emphasizing perspective with foreground, middle ground and back ground elements – the riveted girders and bridge deck (near), the girder and walkway (opposite – middle ground) and the steam of the petrochemical plants along Edmonton’s baseline road in the distance. The bridge is a landmark within Edmonton and a piece of architecture I have cycled over and under most days during summer’s break between winter and spring sessions at the University of Alberta.  At night, the bridge becomes vista from which to survey much of Edmonton – northeast to the legislature, east to the Muttart Conservatory and refinery row, south and southeast to the skyline of Saskatchewan Drive, southwest to the University of Alberta, northwest to a skyline that follows Jasper Avenue west and west toward Glenora’s community. On both sides, the North Saskatchewan River snakes through Edmonton – winding west, past Emily Murphy park and onto Hawrelak park; east past the Rossdale power plant, past the Edmonton Queen sternwheeler and onto Rundle park. At all times of the day and night, the bridge is active conveying people from one side of the river to the other – by foot, jogging, cycling, by truck, bus or car. Within this image, texture and sense of space attract me as do memories of former times.

Listening to – U2’s One, Walk On, Where the Streets Have No Name, Moment of Surrender and With or Without You.

Quote to Inspire – “I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.” – Diane Arbus

As Found In My Home Away from Home – Grace

1956 Pontiac Star Chief

1956 Pontiac Star Chief

After a long and somewhat unproductive day, I make my way to one of Grande Prairie’s music shops – Long & McQuade (formerly G.P. Music). The workflow of salespeople helping customers is somewhat disjointed as experienced staff help junior staff learn the ropes; it’s Christmas season. The salesman helping me buy guitar picks and guitar strings hesitates as he hunts and pecks, finding his way around the cash register keyboard. His novice’s uncertainty and the larger than expected receipt total become a red flags; I check my receipt. I ask one of the veteran salespeople to check the receipt for accuracy. The receipt checks-out and prompts the rejoinder meant with goodwill “Have we ever treated you wrong?” He’s smiling as he says this – everything’s okay. And, in truth, this Grande Prairie guitar shop has been one of those homes away from home, a place in which I could work through a song’s chording on any of a variety of new and used guitars – the people in this guitar shop have always indulged me with gear and in answering my questions. This store has always been a place to connect with other guitar players, a place to hear a tune or two or perhaps a small concert; it’s been a place to help others talk through their guitar purchases.  It’s been a place to draw out music from friends and to enjoy the living feast of their guitar fretwork. I’ve purchased five guitars and countless sets of strings from them through the years.My week has been long, one pushing me from my comfort zone and one shaping awareness of the grace I extend into any situation.

I have made it down to Grande Prairie and back again. In these travels I did slow down somewhat and gather perspective rather than racing through a ‘did-I-do-it-list’ and returning to the road as soon as they were completed. I have been passenger rather than driver on this trip from High Level to Grande Prairie and I’ve been delivered safely at each destination despite ice and snow. I have made it to my doctor’s appointment like ten or twelve others and found bureaucratic conundrum, one hand not letting the other know about the doctor’s absence so that the doctor’s patients would not travel as far as we’ve come, unnecessarily. I was able to see another doctor to follow-up on another lingering appointment for a different issue; squeezing me in, hospital staff were able to make this appointment work for me. Good! Without my own vehicle, I became a New Yorker in Grande Prairie using cabs to go here and there, here again and there again, and again – each cab ride an opportunity to chat with a driver and to learn something of the drivers’ lives and homes.  I learned about extraordinary medical practices in Ethiopia. There’s been the good night’s sleep of the second night in Grande Prairie. And, there’s been camaradie and chat with fellow travellers found in the return to High Level, last evening.

1956 Pontiac Star Chief – The car my father taught me to drive in was a metallic green, 1969 Pontiac Parisienne, two-door. It had its share of chrome, lines and horsepower. And, were I to find another one my brothers and I would likely share the costs of restoring it to its former state.  The Star Chief presented here is one that has been brought into Canada’s north from the United States by way of Kelowna, British Columbia.  Its owner had owned one as his first car, just out of high school, in the sixties.

Listening to – U2’s No Line on the Horizon and City of Blinding Lights;  Concrete Blonde’s Wendy; and, Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians What I Am.

Quote to Inspire – “I find it particularly exciting when a picture evokes anything near that word, ‘mystery’.” – Jeff Mermelstein

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