I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. I’m very much enjoying the break and a little bit of time to finish sorting out my images from last summer in Canada. This one is from the same place as my last post (over a month ago!), Algonquin Park.
This was a particularly wet, rather cold morning. My brothers and I agreed we’d get up early unless the weather was bad. I decided it was bad, they didn’t and practically had to drag me out of my cabin! I got going quickly and here are the fruits of my labour.
So, these are the same canoes as my last post, but from a different angle. Which do you prefer?
You might think I’m not here any more with the frequency I’ve been posting and commenting, but the truth is that I work long hours in an office environment these days and find myself reluctant to hop back on the computer in the evenings or on the weekends.
The fact is that, at the moment, technology consulting is my primary focus. I took a luxurious, self-indulgent couple of years pursuing photography full-time and while I found my photography skills improved immensely, my earning potential and my CV took a serious beating. Not discounting everything I’ve learned about making better images, the biggest thing I actually learned was that I have no desire to be a full-time professional photographer. I’m incredibly thankful that I took the opportunity to try and now I know that it’s not for me. I’m not cut out to be a full-time creative.
By no means should you take from this that I’m giving up photography or giving up blogging, but I am re-prioritising. Photography is back in hobby status. I’ll still shoot, I’ll still blog, and I’ll still look for opportunities to sell and exhibit my work, but it’s not my full-time gig any more. It’s back to the rat race for me. I’m commuting an hour and a half every day and working 9 to 11 hours and I’m loving the challenges, the brain-strain, and the many, complex relationships that make up a busy office.
Stay tuned and keep checking in. I’ll re-balance soon enough and start picking up the camera again. Hopefully, you’ll even start seeing images from Australia soon. For now, though, we’ll have to make do with pictures from this past summer in Canada. This image is from Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada. These canoes had clearly seen some action. Despite appearances, they’re still roadworthy – I enjoyed many hours exploring the lake with anyone who was game to go out for a paddle.
While I do love shooting early in the morning, it’s always such a close competition between getting up and sleeping in.
Sorry folks, but I’ve been off skiing at Sunshine Village in Banff National Park where they’ve had 9m(!) of snow this year. I even took a break from photography and left my camera at home.
For my first day back from vacation, rather than working on this blog, I worked on a post for Digital Darkroom Techniques (DDT). If you’re curious how I do textures in my images (like the one above), pop on over to DDT for a look. If you have suggestions on how to approach textures differently, I’d love to hear from you.
Since I have no new pictures (did I mention I’ve been skiing without my camera?), I’ve pulled an image from my Salt Spring Island archives to do a little texture work. While the base image is old, the textures are new and I’m sharing if you’re interested. When I was recently in Arizona, we visited the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix. At the MIM, they have an extraordinary collection of drums and I shot almost every one of them for my texture collection. I’ve shared nine of them in my post on DDT just in case you want to add them to your collection.
This is an image from sunrise in early September in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. This spot is a short drive south from the TransCanada Highway between Canmore and Calgary. It’s a beautiful part of the country with heaps of great opportunities for photos. The sun had just risen over the mountains to my back so it illuminated the mountain face in front of me. The river valley and the grass in the foreground was all in deep shadow. I didn’t have a grad filter so I took a series of exposures and completed this as an HDR image.
Although I took this image in early September, it took me a long time to get it right (at least to my eyes). Early attempts left me feeling cold on this image. I just couldn’t get the colours right so I just set it aside with intentions to come back to it later. I think I finally got it where I want it so here it is.
I captured this image of Mt. Baker last summer as I was travelling to Vancouver on an early morning ferry from Salt Spring Island. This vantage point is still pretty far from shore and shot with a 400mm, hence Mt. Baker looks like its sitting right at the coast when it’s actually over 150km in the distance. I like how the sun had lit up the mountain top, but had not yet made it through the clouds.
Hiking is a popular summer activity in Whistler. A lot of the most popular hikes are up at the top of the mountain which means either a very long walk up or a gondola ride. A daily ticket on the gondola gets you a ride all the way to the top and another back down. If you miss the last ride down you have a rather lengthy 16km hike downhill to get you home.
I rocked up to the ticket window to get my day pass. The ticket agent asked me where I was from. I told her I was visiting from Edmonton. She started giving me the spiel about the various hikes and the varying difficulties. Then she started crossing off some of the hikes telling me they were more difficult or too long. She then started telling me about how it was colder at the top (by as much as 10C) and that I should make sure I was dressed appropriately. And, did I know that flip-flops weren’t appropriate for these hikes. Finally she circled the easy hikes and told me I should try those.
I’m not sure if she targeted me in particular for all the warnings or if that’s her regular pitch. Maybe it was because I said I was from Edmonton. Not too many mountains here in Edmonton.
The view in the image above is of the sunshine breaking through the trees as we rode the gondola up Whistler. For the record, I was dressed warmer than I should have been (though not by much), I did not wear flip-flops and we did the 10km High Note Trail which is rated as Difficult.