Last week for Morning Commute

It’s official, this is the last week for my morning commute series. I may comeback to this series some time in the future, as there are places that commuters walk or drive by everyday that we didn’t get to, there are different seasons that we didn’t photography fully, and different photographic styles and techniques that can be explored, but my days of walking to work in downtown Calgary have ended, at least for a while. Have you enjoyed the series, have you started to look out the window during your own morning commute and see things a little differently?

What’s next? Bill and I are planning to do a little travelling, I announced a couple of weeks ago, that we are going to walk camino to Santiago de Compostela once again. We are scheduled to be in St. Jean Pied de Port in south France April 19th, and begin our journey through the Pyrenees and across northern Spain on April 22, 2017.  We have been busy planning our days, places we want to stay, things we want to see, and photograph. Have you walked the camino, what was your favourite memory? Do you have any recommendations for places to see, places to stay? Do you have questions about the camino that I or the readers might be able to answer?

We are starting an exciting new chapter.

Another cold week in Calgary; my morning commute

 

It has been another extremely cold week here in Calgary, and I will admit to driving further than walking during my morning commute! My fitbit tells me I averaged about 8000 steps a day, and a lot of those steps were in the +15 walkway rather than out in the cold!  Winter seems to be colder and longer this year. When the weather is decent my average step count is closer to 12,000 steps. But I hear the weather is going to improve.

This clip from Rick Mercer on the seven day forecast explains Canadian’s love hate relationship with the weatherman. Enjoy Spring is just around the corner…..

Morning Commute Series Continues

My morning commute series continues. I have read many times that intentionally photographing a series of the same subject or scene, by forcing yourself to photograph the same thing again and again, you can actually make yourself more creative.

A photo theme simply means creating a set of photographs that are related in some way, whether it be through subject, color or re-occurring pattern. By defining a series, morning commute I was not required to constantly come up with a new subject or idea for each morning; once a theme’s subject had been established, I only needed to find a new creative view.  This allowed me to concentrate on what’s really important…taking an interesting photo.

While I am not always photography the same scene, I have been using my morning walk to work to see, to be awake and aware of my beautiful city. The thirty minutes a day, has defined my series, and to be honest it has provided the motivation to walk despite what seems like a very long very cold winter.

I appreciate hearing from you, as a photographer, artist or writer are you working on a series?  Why not introduce yourself and provide a link to your series.

Instagram this week; Feb 6 to 10 2017

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I have continued walking to work, photograph Calgary and the sights as I see them. It really does make the walk to work much more enjoyable to walk with a camera. When I walk with a camera I am much more aware of the view and the beauty around me. I would love to hear from you, are you enjoying the morning commute series, do you have a favourite spots to view Calgary from?

I have started to include some views of Calgary from the +15 walkways it has been so cold I have utilized the interior walkways to get to work! If you are not familiar with Calgary, a lot of the downtown buildings are connected to each other through a system of walkways 15 feet above ground, which means I can walk around downtown without going outside! Every new building built in the area must connect to the other around it. I read recently there are currently 59 bridges totalling 16 kilometres, each new building downtown will add to that! I love the mix of lights from the interior and exterior, with the reflections in the windows, and I am enjoying the street view from above, so don’t bee too surprised to see more of Calgary from inside looking out!

I hope you have had a good week, what do you do to keep the morning commute, if you have one, from being a repetitive journey that is easily forgotten?

 

Jan 30 to Feb 3, 2017 on Instagram

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Despite the cold, -18C one day, I continue to walk to work, but I have changed my walking route. During the week a different bridge each day.

Bill dropped me of close to downtown, and I have been meeting him at the end of the day, at the same place he dropped me off. The change of my daily walk caused confusion on one occasion, when I, so use to following the same route headed out with my mind full of work, and walked the wrong way! Thanking my lucky stars for the cellphone, I called Bill, and luckily he had his phone with him, so I was left standing on the street corner in the freezing cold for too long.

The walk to work has inspired the morning commute series. Sunrise this week will be just after 8 am, and if the skies are clear we will start to get light in the eastern sky as early as 7:30am. I am looking forward to watching and photographing the changing light over the next few weeks.

Does your daily routine inspire you? How do you inspire your creativity?

weekly instagram post

this week on instagram, my morning walk to work project. I will admit to being a  little preoccupied with work, there has been a lot going on at my full time job, so my brain, and therefore my eyes have not been seeing as much of the beautiful morning as I would have liked.

I have found that if my thoughts are tied up at work, I am not seeing what is around me as fully as I could be seeing. Being lost in my thoughts, thinking about work as I walk might be like sleepwalking. Walking the same route to work everyday plays a part in the sleepwalking, we see the same things twice a day, 5 days a week, at about the same time everyday, the routine can dull the senses.

Are you sleepwalking through your day, caught up in your routine, missing the beautiful of your surroundings, of the moment you are in?  I started this Walk to Work Instagram Project to help me become more conscious and enjoy the walk, hopefully take my mind off work! I hope you enjoy seeing the images from my walk to work.

The next three weeks we are off to Australia, and my morning walk to work project will begin again in May.

Centre St bridge at sunrise

20151208_080614The best part of walking to work this time of year; anot her beautiful sunrise.

Aspen Trees and Orange Sculpture in the Calgary Olympic Plaza

Aspen and orange sculpture_Calgary Olympic Plaza; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

Aspen and orange sculpture_Calgary Olympic Plaza; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

I received an email this week ,in it a reminder that Calgary is a beautiful city, I believe that to be true. But there are day when i have trouble finding that beauty, and I realize we can only really appreciate the beauty of our surroundings if we are prepared to see it.

Along the north east corner of Olympic plaza you will find a small planting of aspen trees, long prairie grasses and a group of bright orange steel poles. I know there will be some who will wonder how large steel poles that are painted orange and planted in the ground could possible be considered art.  I think the installation is beautiful, it reminds me of those bright rays of sun shining through the trees at sunrise.

I hope you find some beauty in your day today.

Downtown Calgary,

Downtown Calgary from Samis Rd. NE, copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

Downtown Calgary from Samis Rd. NE, copyright jmeyersforeman 2015 

I have lived here for a long time now and the skyline has changed a lot during that time. I never tire of walking down by the Bow River in the evening. I enjoy the quiet walk, as well as the view, if it isn’t too windy, I never tire of watching the sky or finding a new way to frame an image.

I remember a time when the Calgary tower was visible from everywhere in the city, today it is peaking out between the buildings if you can see it at all. I framed the image tightly, as  it seems to me that the downtown has filled up with office towers, with the Calgary Tower peaking out, and the Centre St. Bridge lighting the way into the downtown.

Olympic Plaza, Calgary Alberta

Olympic Plaza, Calgary Alberta, jmeyersforeman

Olympic Plaza, Calgary Alberta, jmeyersforeman 

Visiting my home town over the last couple of weeks has been great. Visiting family and friends of course the best part, but I have also had a chance to play tourist and see some of the city where previously I was too busy with work to see and enjoy. The Olympic Plaza just one the great gathering places downtown. It was built and used for the medal presentations when Calgary hosted the 1988 Olympic Games, and is now used for festivals and events. the pool is drained and bands play on the stage, there is square dancing during the Stampede, and during the winter the water is frozen and we can ice skate there. 

I used a fish-eye lens to capture as much of the skyline as possible, most of the high rise office towers in Calgary’s downtown core are to the west of the Olympic Plaza so we get a peek at the great Alberta sky, as well as the new Bow Building on the left side of the frame. The Bow Building is currently the tallest building.  

For the photographers who read the blog, to process the image I used Camera Raw, Lens Correction, Manual, it does an amazing job fixing lens perspective, and straightening lines. I was surprised! I also increased clarity and vibrance, and burned a little more detail into the clouds, but the work on it was very minor.