Well, I am still working on my list of digital maintenance tasks. The task I had not previously mentioned is the one that occupied much of last week’s spare time. My current computer is beginning to hold up orange danger signs, saying “Warning, Warning, dead electrontics graveyard soon. ” It has been a very good machine and paid for itself years ago. This meant I had a research project. I ended up purchasing a Dell XPS 15. When it arrived, It looked great and I started loading my suite of tools onto it. Loading software is only a little more interesting than watching dust collect. Things did not go well.
In the course of doing my research I realized that given the heat issues with some XPSs I should purchase the premium support plan. Dell also offered me a really good price for the plan. This was a good decision as the first computer sent to was deemed faulty by Dell. A new one at no charge to me is on its way. Yea Dell.
Last night I had visions of a Chinook arch forming over the Rockies, and pink peaks at dawn. This morning I got out of the house before 6:45. I was at a nearby Starbucks way before it opened and had to forego my morning hit. My standard hit is a quad grande Americano 3/4 full, no cream no sugar, just black starter fluid. I drove to my planned location without coffee until reached an Okotokes A&W. The coffee didn’t kill me. No Chinook arch. No pink peaks. On the drive home I did though, in dawn’s grey light, capture the photo below.
And so the year comes to an end, not with a whimper but a bang (apologies to TS Eliiot).
I have thoroughly enjoyed having a 2 week stay cation. I have had the opportunity to go on a number of photo rambles, some alone and some with company. All were a treat. I am particularly pleased with some photos. Other are like Air Canada (so what), and I will not burden you with those. I have also started to think again about the emotional and communicative elements of photography. Two days ago, I read the following article by Colin Dutton: http://www.manfrottoschoolofxcellence.com/2017/10/reading-photographs/. He proposes an exercise of describing photos you find strong, in a way that communicates some of the heart, content. and nuances of the image. I accept the challenge, and it is one that I will take up once I return. I have read Blake, and recent signs from the universe suggest it is time to re-visit at least some of his poems with now older eyes.
Yes, I will be leaving this blog for a week or two for two reasons. The first, is that I will be returning to work, and that will require my focus and concentration in the immediate future. As well I have some very dry and boring webmaster tasks to undertake. The site needs to be secured, there are some anti-spam referral tools to find and install, and I need to obtain some new domain names to protect my name.
I initially planned to spread the following collections over a number of posts. Instead, I present them to you all together.
Collection 1. I love winter light on the prairies. Earth and sky are at time indistinguishable. In that frozen sleep, there is both hope and beauty.
Yesterday was at times a silly happy one. It was partially planned and partially an example of chance favouring the prepared mind. In other words, I went for a drive and dumb luck happened. Fortunately I was alone. A passenger would have been driven nuts by my behaviour. There were U turns in the middle of empty roads, stops at the side of the road for no apparent reason, reversal of vehicle and thought on country lanes, and general meandering. The destination was Mossleigh, where I had a simple lunch with a glass of wine in an old railway car at Aspen Crossing.
At my first stop I captured what may be a familiar site to some of you (first photo). But, the other side was my first 5 star photo (second photo) of the day. Just in case you are wondering, all the photos of the next 2 or 3 days have had minimal, if any post-processing.
Yesterday was a good day photographicaly. Keith and I had great amble and babble along some of the trails in South Glenmore Park yesterday. My objective was to try my hand at white on white. I am happy with the result. I do though think I need another iteration of adjusting the colour. That said I hope you enjoy them.
This post was first published on Thursday Dec. 14th. On a subsequent read I concluded that my thoughts were good, but the writing lacked bridging. Today, Saturday, I revised the post.
This sequence of posts began with a quartet of “near day” photos. It is therefore fitting that this series ends with these “end day” photos.
“Mountain Liight” was one of the books published by the late great photographer Galen Rowell. Sebastiao Salgado is a Brazilian photographer known for his large self-assigned documentary projects. Bedsides his incredible photos with and of people, he has also some great mountain photos that hearken back to masters of black and white photography such as Ansel Adams and Edward Weston.
Given the body of stunning work from people like Rowell and Salgado, a not unreasonable question would be, why bother taking another photograph at all? There is an answer in my past and there is my current answer. Once upon a time I could answer this question using verbiage that was all too self-important, and all too precious. Now, I treat myself a lot less seriously, and with much more humour. The current answer is not nearly as hevay handed. I get pleasure and satisfaction from the photographic process and walkabouts. The photographic process compliments my appreciation of walkabouts, and the walkabouts contribute to the photographic process.
In a world in which humanity consistently demonstrates it has no moral right to continue, it is a gift to be reminded of the marvel of living.
First of all, to answer the wt… question. I know, this is the third blog in a row. I don’t expect this trend to last long. But, I do have a couple more postings in mind.
Secondly, a number of years ago I knew of a man who had a penchant for collecting uglies. An ugly is a hard thing to find. Even though there are ever so many really hideous pieces of china and home furnishings, many of them have an intended use. By definition, an ugly can have no discernible use. All those horrid fruit bowls and equally tasteless vases don’t count. A true ugly has no function. Some of those strange misshapen blue mountain antler things come to mind.
Here is a small collection of photos from the top of Tunnel Mountain. I normally share with you my at least partial photographic victories. On my scale these photos score 3/5. They all have something wrong with them. They teach me to be more careful.
PS I am not against fruit bowls and vases – we have many
Here is the next series of photos from our recent visit to Banff. The first 3 are from the shores of Two Jack Lake. The 4th photo was taken from the edge of the Bow River down the street from where we were staying, the ever so reliable Banff Park Lodge.
Here is the first of the 3 or 4 galleries from an extended weekend in Banff shared with my wife and 2 friends. Last year we made the same trip, and the day time highs were -25 C. This year it was down right balmy and we could walk comfortably from town to Bow Falls. I was struck by the contrast between dark waters and old ice.