When I was little, my Dad used to spend many hours upstairs in the attic which he’d converted to a small office. There were two items which used to draw my attention – one was a Hornby train track which he’d set up and the miniature trains would run around the track, stopping at the mini stations. It was great fun and probably inspired more by Ivor the Engine rather than Thomas the Tank Engine ……
Anyhow, the second attraction was that he would convert the attic to a dark room, for processing the negatives from his camera. I remember there being an abundance of different chemicals and a highly complex process which had to be undertaken in aspiring to produce the perfect print. I used to help out and would be in charge of switching on and off the red ‘safelight’ – and watched in awe as the pictures slowly emerged onto the photographic paper. I remember having to ‘hang’ the damp photos up on a small washing line so they could dry. You’ve got to admit, technology has certainly speeded the entire process up these days, but there’s something more authentic and unique when the technique to produce them was so variable and long-winded.
I’ve always enjoyed taking pics but never really put more thought into it. My back-catalogue of pics pre-Canada has largely been dominated by the kids in all manner of British places and undertaking an array of past-times. Interesting for me to look back on and remember the events, but less so for others!
Since arriving in Canada, I’ve found a new sense of inspiration in the natural landscape. I have no photographic technical knowledge whatsoever but can appreciate inspirational shots. I also have a personality trait which lacks patience – so taking pics immediately and ‘in the moment’ is more my style along with devoting total reliance on the sheer brilliance of the automatic camera built into my iPhone.
A friend recently challenged me to post a photograph of nature – online, every day, for 7 days. I wasn’t sure whether I was cut out for the task, but gave it and go, and thought I’d share these with you – along with details of where they were taken……… enjoy 🙂
Day 1: There’s an abundance of red berries as you walk through the River Valley in Edmonton which are striking against the predominantly white snowscape and bare-branched trees. I love the colour contrast and this was taken in the grounds of the Muttart Conservatory – rather like a small ‘Eden’ project here in Edmonton, and definitely worth a visit.
Day 2: There’s a walking trail called the ‘River Loop’ which takes you around Fort Edmonton park. Probably just under 3 miles in length, it’s a popular walking route of mine – fairly flat and easy too, for kids to tramp along. I’ve spotted the occasional coyote along it in the past plus you get to see parts of Fort Edmonton as you walk along. I thought I’d test out a black & white shot …
Day 3: Also taken along the River Valley but looking towards the Fort Edmonton footbridge over the North Saskatchewan River. I’m constantly fascinated that it can freeze completely over …
Day 4: Autumn (or ‘Fall’ as it’s referred to over here), is my favourite season by far for the abundance of colours which are simply stunning. This next shot I took back in September walking along the Whitemud Park North trail. We visited ‘New England’ in the Fall several years ago and I think this is equally as spectacular in colour with the ranges of yellows, oranges and reds set against the crystal clear blue sky. Life can’t get much better than this surely?
Day 5: There are plenty of bridges cutting across the North Saskatchewan River, all of which are subtly different in style. I’ve taken lots of pics of many of these, but this next one was a footbridge across a river estuary leading into the North Saskatchewan. I love the angles and shadows – and whilst this was taken mid-day in Winter, it has something compelling about it.
Day 6: One of our favourite places we’ve visited whilst being in Canada is Canmore, just south of Banff in the Canadian Rockies. Along with being home to the Grizzly Paw Brewing Company (highly recommended for any beer-lovers out there), it also has stunning scenery. This pic I took on a weekend trip when my parents visited last Summer, on a walk up to Spray Lakes just past the Canmore Nordic Centre. It was particularly notable, as we were obliged to carry bear spray with us and the kids were constantly wondering whether they would out-run grandma should one appear.
Day 7: My final submission. Taken last Spring, this is Lac Beauvert just outside the Jasper Park Lodge in Jasper. I can’t begin to describe how peaceful and serene the place is, and the mirror-image reflections in the water, with the turquoise colours and typically blue skies, are staggeringly beautiful.
Nature at it’s best. It just goes to show, that as with most things in life, it’s worth taking a shot …. 🙂