Tag Archives: time

“Till the Cows Come Home”

“Till the Cows Come Home”

“There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.”
― Jo Walton

I titled this image based on a common expression around here. Basically, if you wait “Till the Cows Come Home”, you will be waiting for a long time.

The image was made near my home as I was out photographing a fairly decent sunset. While driving back home, I noticed these silhouetted cows among pine trees and expression came to me as  good name for the composition. This is rarely the case and I spend a bit of time with the image before the title comes to me.

The image also reminded me that I have not spent enough time at sunrise or sunset and need to make some time for these experiences.

So, a bit of whimsey to end the weekend with.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 300mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6 ISO 200

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“Floral Door Hardware” – Hotel California, Todos Santos

“Floral Door Hardware” -  Hotel Caifornia, Todos Santos

“When you take the time to look carefully, deliberately, to really ‘observe’, the fine details missed by our busy, ever filtering consciousness, expand our vision and engrave that memory more permanently.”
 – Ed Lehming

It’s the details, those little things our brains tend to file away as inconsequential within the broader experience, that fascinate and perplex me. Our eyes see it all, but very little is retained, unlike the camera, which keeps a permanent record of everything. But, as I said in my quote above, you have to take the time to look for those details and consciously remember them, or the details are purged, as we hurry to take everything in. Are we really taking everything in? Yes, but so much more is lost. That’s just how our brains are wired.

I find that to be the saddest thing in our busy world, at least in western cultures. We save up and vacation in the locales of our imagining. But, when we get there we, and I’m speaking generally here, tend to go to the places we have seen images of and drink in a larger experience than the photos or videos of others provide. That is quite fulfilling as we are now seeing ‘more’. Yet, how often do we stand in a place and really experience it? Taking in every fine detail?

My example above is a piece of hardware on a rustic door at Hotel California, in the Mexican village of Todos Santos. We had spent quite a bit of time touring this well-known tourist destination. But, it was not till I was standing outside the door, waiting for the rest of my family to finish their various activities, that I noticed this beautiful, handcrafted door hardware. In the shape of a coneflower, the petals are brass, stamped with yet more detail and the centre, is forged iron. In my opinion, a wonderful addition to the weathered wooden doors leading to the gift shop. Then there’s the wood itself, with it’s complex grain and subtle colour hues. Who saw the staple? No cheating.

Had I not been standing there, I might have noticed them, but not the details. I’ve had the same  experience when I take a hike with someone and find them surprised at the number of photos I have made of wildflowers and other items along the way that they missed, even though the believed they were taking it all in.

If you want to be an observer and savour and experience fully, you need to slow down, just like enjoying a good meal. Take it in, one small bite at a time and let the image fill your senses.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

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Tuesdays of Texture – Week 11, 2017

“Passage of Time” - Cabo San Lucas“It’s weird how I am constantly surprised by the passage of time when it’s literally the most predictable thing in the Universe.”
― Randall Munroe

Here is my entry for Del Monte Y Mar’s Tuesdays of Texture Challenge Week 11 of 2017.

Deliberately titled “Passage of Time”, this is a close up view of the famous Cabo San Lucas Arch, located at Land’s End, the natural boundary of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. It is the only finisterra (latin for “land’s end”) in the world. The iconic “Arch” is a natural passage between these two bodies of water and is composed of granite dated around 30 million years old, it is and has borne witness to the passage of time.

It’s also believed that the Baja California was at one time an island which joined the mainland as the rest of the peninsula rose from the seas to join up with it.

The wonderful smoothed textures of the cracks intrigued the geologist in me and prompted me to do some more reading on this wonderful location, previously unknown to me. I’ve attached an interesting article if you care to know more about this place.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 270 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

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“It’s Been a While”

“If you see a tree as blue, then make it blue”.
– Paul Gauguin

I posted this image to my Facebook page last week. It’s my first attempt at painting, of the non-digital type, in thirty five or so years. The last time I picked up a paintbrush to create art was back in high school and honestly, I was not very good at acrylics, favouring sketching and watercolours. Primarily because I could not get the colours right. I over processed and turned everything gray or brown. Of course, it was art class too, so it had to meet certain parameters. Creativity my my art class was not encouraged. Wow, that sounds odd, doesn’t it? And that, was the end of that. I much prefered to express myself through photography, which I was more comfortable with.

I recent posts, I have taken images that I composed with the camera that did not result in the image as I envisioned it. Some of those, I processed through digital art programs and was very pleased with the outcomes.

Last week, I went to an Impressionist exhibit in Toronto, called “Mystical Landscapes”, presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario. I’m drawn by the impressionist form and style myself a bit of a photo-impressionist, focussing on the feel of a place, rather than precision. I’ll often visit the same place over and over in different times and light, much like Monet did. I see different colours, like the Gauguin quote. I’ve seen lots of blue trees, in early evening light. You’ll notice, many of my trees in this painting are blue.

I’ve had this quote in my head for a few months now and it challenged me:

If you hear a voice within you say, ‘you can’t paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
— Vincent Van Gogh

So, I finally felt inspired to pick up a brush to see what happens, silence that voice. If it was a total disaster, I could just toss it and go back to photography, if it was half-good, I might pursue it.

Well, the result shocked me, as I stepped away and looked back at the painting on the easel I got quite emotional. I’d found something within myself that I did not know existed. This was something created out of nothing, just an image I had made, transformed into something new. I shared it with some friends who responded back positively, most asking me why I had not painted before this and encouraging me to continue with this, which I will do. My biggest surprise was that this 11 x 14 acrylic painting was done in about 2 hours, so I think I will continue, maybe take a lesson or two, since I’m relearning brush strokes for my youth.

Life sure is an interesting journey 🙂

“Papineau Creek Guardian”

Papineau Creek Guardian

“Solitary. But not in the sense of being alone. Not solitary in the way Thoreau was, for example, exiling himself in order to find out where he was; not solitary in the way Jonah was, praying for deliverance in the belly of the whale. Solitary in the sense of retreat. In the sense of not having to see himself, of not having to see himself being seen by anyone else.”
― Paul Auster

I have admitted before that I have a love of solitary trees. They stand alone, each with a story. They stand as silent witnesses to the world that moves around them, with no apparent support from their peers. I’m especially fond of trees that cling to the edge of water. The roots holding firm to land while being provided abundant water from below.

This beautiful red pine captivated me. The forest floor was littered with its needles, blocking off invading weeds. The creek seemed to bend towards it, just far enough to make contact with the roots. I know, the creek was there first and took advantage of the creek but that was the image my mind saw.

At this point in its course, Papineau creek has just come through a series of beautiful rapids and has slowed as it passes the pine. It’s a very serene image that I wanted to share here.

I came across this place in the fall a few years ago and returned this past weekend. It’s a very peaceful little park, with no signage leading you to it. I like to look at it as a private retreat, though I’m sure local residents know about it.

iPhone 5s back camera 4.15mm f/2.2
1/220 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32

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“28th Sideline Fall Beauty”

28th Sideline Fall Beauty

This has been a beautiful autumn. Generally, by this time of the year, the leaves are down and it’s hinting at the winter to come. It has made photographing fall colors a real pleasure. Bright reds and oranges are everywhere with a nice mix of yellows and some splashes of green, from plants less susceptible to frost.

The photo above was made along the 28th Sideline, in North Pickering, Ontario. The old maple trees here create a wonderful canopy over the road and there is not much traffic. The road itself is in the heart of expropriated lands destined, at one time, to become the new Pickering Airport. Those plans seem to have been put on the back-burner and some lands have been designated parkland. These lands, still full of fertile farmland, have fallen into disrepair, with a few farmhouses scattered across the vast acreage. Fields are still actively worked, but it has lost the feel of a once vibrant farm community.

The one gain in this situation is that there is a lot of land that has not been absorbed in urban sprawl and large expanses of rural wilderness can still be experienced here. I go to this spot every year, and it remains largely unchanged. A fun fact for me is that the eastern tree line (on the left side of the photo) is the eastern limit of the farm my mother-in-law grew up on. I’m sure she and her brothers played in these trees at some time.

Nikon D300
Tamron 18-50mm f/2.8 @ 36mm
1/125 sec @ f/5.6, ISO 100

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