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.


Ferry to Rhodes

Erin and Keri on the ferry to Rhodes
Erin and Keri on the ferry to Rhodes

This photo was taken quite some time ago, when the 6 of us travelled to Greece.  I am slowly getting some of my old slides scanned and uploaded into my hard drive, it is a great trip down memory lane.

We had spent a week on the island of Santorini and we travelling to Mykonos, where we spent the day, then onto Rhodes to spend some time.  Taking the ferry through the islands from Mykonos to Rhodes was an overnight journey, we had cabins, but it is not the most restful sleep. By early morning the ferry is stopping at some of the little island along the way, and we could watch the people, and vehicles, cars, trucks and transports moving on and off the ferry.  There was no time for us to get off the ferry and check out the little towns, hopefully one day we will get to go back and spend a little time exploring.

I love the feel of this black and white image, the girls deep in conversation, almost silhouettes against the view.

Old Boots and the Camino Yellow Arrows

Old Boots and the Camino Yellow Arrow
Old Boots and the Camino Yellow Arrow

The Yellow Arrow is the route maker for the Camino to Santiago de Compostela.  Painted on signs, fences, rocks and buildings at every corner, we would find a yellow arrow to tell us which direction to take. The Pilgrim wearing these boots had over the years already completed 4 camino walks. This year was his 5th, and due to health reason he could only dedicate 2 weeks to his journey. These boots had supported him during all of those miles. I asked about the yellow arrows on his boots and he said “they were a reminder to always move forward”.

We walked together for a short while, talking about his previous journeys but before long we were headed uphill into the Galicia fog, and I was slowing him down, so he wandered off at his own pace.

Walking to Gallicia
Walking to Galicia

While we walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela in Spain we soon realized that our hiking boot had been one of the most important purchase. Absolutely one of the most valuable piece of equipment to undertake the 820 k walk.  Here in Calgary we went to the Mountain Equipment Co-op to talk to their staff, they were wonderful, informative and patient at getting us the best fit. We seemed to be one of the  pilgrims walking that had very few problems with our feet.  If you are planning on going to a long walk, be it in Spain or in the Rocky Mountains I would suggest paying Mountain Equipment Co-op a visit for some advise on great boots.

Ile de cite, Paris France and the image that inspired it

Ile de la cite, Paris France, and the evening river cruises

I am a big fan of Henri Cartier-Bresson, there is so much to be learned from studying the work of someone you admire. While most of us do not want to just copy someone else’s work, there are lessons to be learned by walking through the process the photographer  might have used to capture an image.  I believe that as much as you might try to copy someone’s work that our equipment, the processes that are available to us, our skill level and our personalities will all show in the images and separate your work from the original.

Take this image for example, the original inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson taken in 1952 would be difficult to copy today, yes with Photoshop it could be accomplished, but what is to be gained by that, except well, to improve or show off your Photoshop skills.  I have my own memories of Paris.  Memories of  Paris of today, with the river cruises, the grey skies, the yellow and orange leaves of autumn. This is the Paris I want to capture in my images. But I did pick this spot to take picture not just because it was beautiful but because I had seen Henri Cartier-Bresson’s images, and loved it. I purposefully choose early evening because I wanted to show some of the city lights, and I choose a slow shutter speed to show how the River Seine is now a very busy place.

So while my image was inspired by Henri Cartier-Bresson it is quite different, and meets my objectives for the images.

Street Photography, Paris France

Street Performers_Paris France 

As we walk from place to place, attraction to shopping, we get to see life in Paris. There is so much to see. Great musicians playing for everyones entertainment, and of course a few coins.  The little kids are always fun to watch as they dance to the music, but not great subjects for street photographers or bloggers!

Ink and water color artist_Paris France 

The ink and water colour artist was sitting on the bench beside the Seine River, sketching and watching people go by. two images for $30.00 euro.  I liked his work and this seemed like a more personal keepsake to bring home rather than the usual tourist trinket!

Delivery by bike_Paris France 

Deliveries Paris style, there are a lot of bikes in the city, and with the general lack of parking, volume of vehicles, and traffic congestion, deliveries by bike seems like a good idea. This bike is outfitted with a special container to keep the good safe.

Bike Rentals_Paris France 

For locals and tourists alike, bike rentals, and the rental stands are everywhere.

A view of the Louvre from Musee d’Orsay 

And finally a view of the Louvre from inside the famous Musee d’Orsay’s clock.



Hola, Buen Camino from Najera Spain

Sept 17, 2012_walking into Los Arocs

a brief update from the last couple of days, we were held up in Navarrete and the hotel did not have wi-fi.

On September 17, 2012 I woke up ill, slight fever, and stomach pains, flu like symptoms, and figured I had too much sun, and in no condition for walking.  We bused it Logrono and then cabbed it to Navarrete where we had a hotel booked. I slept most of the day, and then went to visit the pharmacist, he did not speak English but thanks to current technology we sat down at the computer and he found a Spanish = English translation page, he confirmed I had a fever and stomach pains, then gave me some medication. He also typed in the instructions for taking the medication, so we were very clear on all the details!

Today I feel much better, heat exhaustion is something many travellers/pilgrims suffer from, and I knew that given the heat it was a risk. I thought I was taken all the necessary precautions, lots of water – 1.5 to 2 liters mixed with electrolyte powder; hat and sunscreen.  But we will have to make some adjustments to our routine.  Maybe leave earlier – get out of the heat earlier, and I think take more rest stops.  It is not unusual for Bill and I to walk 2 hours between stops, preferring to push through and get the hard part of the day done, so I think we will stop more often.

Today Sept 19, 2012 we travelled, by foot, from Navarrete to Najera 16 k, in about 5 hrs, all is well. We had one backpack loaded up with almost everything and transported ahead to our hostel, leaving us with fewer things to carry.  It was much cooler today, 16 – 18 degrees C. with a few showers. Without the heat I was fine, tomorrow even better.

We have met some great people: one gentleman is 82 years old, Harold, he is travelling with his daughter, they have said they keep their days short, about 15 k and will cab or bus pass the steep inclines and descents.   It is always fun to catch up to them every couple of days and know they are doing well.

A couple of days ago we were marching down the path, through a little town called Murzabal, as we came out of town, we continued down the highway.  We didn’t get very far when a car coming towards us started honking, arms waving out the window, yelling “Camino, Camino” and pointing back up the road, yes we had missed a sign, and were on the wrong road.   “Si, Si” we said “Gracias” and headed back up the road. Luckily we had only gone about 100 meters past our marker. The driver pulled up to the marker, and waited to make sure we got back onto the Camino path, honked, waved and drove on.

I had heard stories of wayward travellers being helped and directed back to the path, and as you can tell from my stories we too have been the recipients of wonderful hospitality, and assistance.  It is worth the trip, the exhaustion and the sore feet just to experience it.

This afternoon we are resting and I will try to post some new photos from around Navarrette and Najera.