Aspens in the breeze

Aspens in the breeze

Aspen leaves flutter softly

And I hear the rain

The breeze gently blows

A Week of Haiku

Day 1

dandelion seeds
delicate tiny softly sail
toward your garden

Day 2

radius halos
wispy hazy cirrus clouds
crystals in the sky

Day 3

love is like a tree
growing of its own accord
despite the hardships

Day 4


towering shadows
flowers along the pathway
Warm evening ramble

Day 5

soft drizzle of rain
rush hour traffic inches
along the wet street

Day 6

The wind deploying
the prairie grasses waving
clouds sailing away

Day 7

haiku and photos
summer awakens for me
daily amazement

I challenged myself to write a haiku a day for one week, and as I am a photographer my inspiration would come from the photos I had taken. I have completed the challenge. Here are my thoughts, it was harder than I had first imagined it might be, more importantly, it was fun and interesting, and I’ve learned a few things about haiku poetry.
Here are the rules as explained by the Society of Classic Poets;
1. Be three lines of five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables.
2. Contain a nature or seasonal reference.
3. Be in the present tense (swims rather than swam).
4. Be subtle and observational.
5. Contain some sort of twist in the third line.
6. Not worry about rhyming.

Rule 6 was easy to live with, not rhyming is easier that rhyming! The haiku poems I wrote this week were more observational than subtle that would be the photographer in me, full disclosure, I have never been known for my subtly. The poems contained some mention of nature, and with all poems but one, the first poem, I managed the right number of syllables in each line.
I think it would take a lifetime to be really good.
Tell me, did you enjoyed the play between poetry and pictures this week? Are you interested in seeing more?

Hola from Seville

I love the light and beautiful balconies

We arrived in Seville late last week, and we have enjoyed walking all the pedestrian streets. I love all the beautiful plazas, amazing architecture, and I especially love the light. Early morning light and the evening light along the streets! 

I have been participating with 52frames, a weekly photo challenge, 

week 4 –

Macro, admittedly I wasn’t overly inspired by the challenge, I was lucky to find the daffodils were blooming in my cousins garden. Thanks, Sharon and Bob for a lovely four days! 

Week 5 –

dirty, okay I am struggling with the challenge, and I am going to have to think about how I approach the challenges each week if I am going to keep them up. While I have been struggling, I have been inspired by the images submitted by many of the photographers, and this does help to motivate me. 

Week 6 – my desk, there are a few coffee shops, we have been enjoying the “coffee con leche” coffee with warm milk, as well as the wonderful pastries while I sit process image, so I pretty sure I will have a better submission this week. 

If you have any suggestions for off the beaten path things to do in or around Seville drop me a line, or if you want more info on the 52framers weekly photo challenge, let me know, I would be happy to send you a link. 

While we have been away I have launched a new website for images taken during our Camino to Santiago de Compostela, I would appreciate if you have a look. I would love to know if you have a favorite image, or if you have done the Camino, your favorite memory or location. 

To see our ongoing travel photos check out my Instagram feed. 

See you again soon. 

Pink Roses; always learning

 

pink garden roses
pink garden roses https://society6.com/product/roses795980_print?sku=s6-7743875p4a1v45

I love this image, but it wouldn’t work on many of the Society6 products, the image size of a single stem didn’t meet the pixel dimensions needed for some of the larger products and the single stem didn’t look great on products like the backpack.

For the shower curtain and floor pillow, I layered copies of the image. The material on the floor pillow add to the texture and delicate detail of the image, but I needed a different idea for items like the duffle bag and backpack so I decided it was time to learn how to create a pattern.

 

 

The Port Mann Bridge; is this a compelling image?

Port Mann Bridge_20160929_075129
Port Mann Bridge, in the fog. https://society6.com/product/port-mann-bridge-and-the-blue-sky_print?sku=s6-7873948p4a1v45

I joined David DuChemin’s The Compelling Frame, an online workshop and Facebook group. David describes the class as a Mentor Class in Creative Composition, helping us to become fluent in the visual language and making more captivating photographs.

I found the first two lessons very helpful, for the first time in a very long time I sat down to review my work. I have printed some older images as well as new ones, for review, and it has been a fascinating process so far. I thought I would share with you my musing about the current lesson that I am working on,  “The Frame; Orientation and Aspect Ratio” as it relates to this one image.

Before I could decide what orientation and aspect ratio of an image is appropriate I needed to understand the intent of the image, what is it I want to photograph.  We also have to understand how those choices affect the reading of the image, this is where David’s thoughts and insight are most helpful.

A little background, I was visiting the Vancouver BC area and drove across the Port Mann Bridge twice a day for two weeks. I was sitting in the passenger seat and had an amazing view of the bridge, I was in awe, and yes I photographed it from the passenger seat, through the windshield of a moving vehicle. If you know this bridge you will also know that traffic moves very slowly during rush hour most days! But there is no way to get out of the vehicle without putting lives at risk.

The intent of this images is to show the expansiveness of the bridge and how it dominates my view. The horizontal orientation supports that idea because the cables seem to wrap around from all sides, while a vertical image implied a height rather than an expansiveness.  I also looked at different aspect ratios, this is my preference, the 16:9 was too narrow horizontally. The square ration also works, but it doesn’t quite give the same feeling of all those cables wrapping around the viewer.

All of the elements lead the viewer’s eye to the center support that is almost lost in the fog, even the vehicles at the bottom are headed in that direction, and I believe support the premise of the image. There is room for the eye to move around, and I don’t think there any elements along the edge where the eye gets stuck.

To work through David’s third assignment I used photoshop. Opening the image in photoshop, although any photo editing program would work, this allowed me to look at all the different aspect ratios, orientations and framing options that might have been available.

This assignment was really helpful, and I have learned two things, I shoot quite intuitively and my camera has all these aspect ratios available to me in camera. So, my next self-assignment is to set up the tripod and photograph the same scene in different ways to study this further. By working on this in camera rather than in post processing I believe I will learn even more about choosing the framing orientation and aspect ratio that best fits the subject, and have even greater options for my portfolio.

One of my goals for this class is to photograph more intuitively, and I believe that can only be accomplished by being better informed and conscious of the choice that is available.

I would love to hear your comments you might have regarding the image or my process, and I would recommend David’s online program, or any one of his books, to anyone wanting to improve their photography.

Reduction Lino Cut Class with Lino Lenny

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Bill and I decided to do something completely different last weekend, we went out to the Leighton Art Centre south of Calgary and learned the basics of reduction linocut printmaking from Lenny Lane, otherwise known as Lino Lenny. It was a busy two days, each of the budding artists brought designs we wanted to transfer to the lino block. With Lenny’s great instruction and encouragement, he guided us through the process step by step to our final images.

final images; Reduction Lino Cut Printmaking; Leighton Art Centre

The Leighton Art Centre is just south of Calgary, and it is a wonderful place to visit, the house is now a gallery featuring local artists and printmakers. They have various workshops if you are interested in expanding or exploring your artistic skills.

Lino Lenny is a patient instructor as well as a knowledgeable and talented printmaker, I recommend you check out his webpage to fully appreciate the art printmaking

 

 

Ode to the “The Vucciria”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis painting is called “The Vucciria” and is by Renato Guttuso, is large (300 cm x 300 cm) painted in 1974 while he was living in Lombardy. I have read that he ordered food to be shipped by air to him from Palermo, including a side of beef in order to paint food from life!

His work is a visual representation of the feelings I had while exploring the local markets a maze of food,  smells, sights, sounds, and people, and an inspiration for my images.

 

The term Vucciria derives from the French word Boucherie, or butcher shop, but in Sicily, the meaning encompasses noise, confusion, chaos, reflecting the atmosphere that dwells along the streets of the market. Sicilians say “It was a Vucciria” the way we in English say “It was bedlam” or “It was a madhouse”.

Lucky for Bill and I there are several street markets in Palermo, as old as the Vucciria, which are a frenzied mass of people buying fruits, vegetables and fish and meat, men on motorbikes piled high squeezing through the crowds delivering more merchandise to the stalls, and men shouting out to sell their wares. We returned to the markets many times to shop for local food and enjoy the Vucciria!

Prints available on Society6

 

Estella to Los Arcos

After a rainy day off on Estella we headed out this morning, it was a cool start to the day, but before long the sun was shining and it was a lovely 17 k walk. 

Beautiful countryside, I am editing photos and publishing the blog using my phone, not convenient for long stories, so I will let the photos speak for me! 

Camino to Santiago de Compostela; Pamplona to Uterga 

We started our slow steady climb to Cizur Menor, and the Alto de Perdon by walking between fields of wheat blowing in the wind. 

The climb steadily increase, the views of Pamplona and the valley below were stunning.

At Zarriquiegui a hamlet about 10k out of Pamplona, we rested for a bit in the 13th-century Romanesque Iglesia de San Andrés. Our timing was perfect, as these two gentleman were singing, it was a delightful and unexpected pleasure. 

It was very windy at the top of the Alto de Perdon, the iron sculptures of the first pilgrims, and if you look beyond the sculpture you can see windmills in the distance.  In 2016 wind energy was the second source of electrical generation in Spain and  Spain is the fifth country in terms of installed wind power. Every Alto seems to have dozens of these large windmills on them!  

Our journey today 17 k, 28500 steps 4C when we left this morning, cold wind blowing most of the day with a high of 13C. Sitting at the end of the day on a sunny patio, with a glass of wine,  we will remember this as another lovely day. 
 

St.Jean Pied de Port; the Camino Francés 

The Camino Francés traditionally begins in St-Jean-Pied-de-Port.Two-thirds of pilgrims arriving in Santiago walk the Camino Francés, of which 10% start their journey here, walk south on the Rue de Citadelle, past the Notre-Dame church, and through the gate of Norte -Dame. 

I used a long exposure for the photo to show the pilgrims walking down the road. This represents the beginning of their journey.

We start our walk tomorrow.