Monthly Archives: September 2011

Meeting place, originally uploaded by ken.udle.

Time was my brothers and I would spend one morning or evening each week photographing the same place at the same time. The fun was in the banter, the common interests, and yes the sense of competition. The reality was more than the bonding but also the sense of learning together.

I shouldn’t speak fro them but I know I picked up on their different perspectives the exploration of darker tones and the need to slow things down – in process and in exposure times.

Having drifted apart for about a year, last weekend we got together again to explore Dick Bell park just off Carling Avenue in Ottawa.

It was funny though not surprising, how we picked up right where we left off. We arrived just before dawn, got our gear ready and started shooting from the same spot – really though we were getting a sense for the place, possible subjects and the lighting. Eventually we drifted off in our own directions exploring subjects at a slow pace.

No one watches the clock but eventually we all end up in the same place at about the same time an hour to 90 mins later. This time we didn’t discuss our results over a breakfast sandwich and Tea, Perhaps that will come later. The great thing is how we produced three different shots from the one place. Scott chose B&W reflections.

Dave has a flare for the dramatic.

As for me, I’m tending more towards the minimalist side of things. My best shot is at the top of this post. The lesson for groups is to go your own way, explore what appeals to you and in the end everyone wins.

beach bums, originally uploaded by ken.udle.

My dog dreams. Sometimes I see him lying in a comfortable spot and his leg will twitch, or he’ll be making quiet sounds. I imagine he’s dreaming of food, or playing. What ever it is, I’m certain it’s not some long-term goal like eventually making a break out the door and scaring the neighbor’s cat so badly that she’ll never come back on our porch. Nope, I’m sure charlie is dreaming of treats.

I’ve been dreaming too but unlike charlie, food doesn’t figure too prominently in my dreams. In my dreams I’m searching for something or trying to make people understand something important. If there’s a resolution to these dreams, I never remember it when I wake. This isn’t anything particularly deep of course. I’ve been trying to answer some out some important questions and until I do, I’ll keep having these dreams.

Until recently, I had a plan, a set of goals that seemed reasonable,attainable even. My retirement years were to be spent pursuing photographic art. The plan included formal training, an aggressive timeline to purchase the right equipment, and rough ideas for places to document in pictures. We’re told to visualize having attained a major goal. I did that often – I’d see me heading down the road in a Cooper mini towards some small town where I’d stay a few nights in a B&B exploring the area and capturing its spirit in a digital file. Later those great shots would be turned into an ebook or an article in a magazine. I’ll have left my mark by creating something useful.

Life happens and sometimes dreams have to change. (I have to admit that as soon as I typed that, I wondered did I really want it that badly in the first place? I don’t know, I thought I did). I don’t need to lay out the details why, what’s key is that recent events made me realize that particular dream wasn’t as reasonable or attainable as I’d thought. My son says “art requires sacrifice”. He is an artist and so knows from personal experience. I realized I wasn’t as prepared for the struggle as I thought I was. When faced with a choice of Fight or Flight, I followed my dog’s lead and chose Flight (or as I prefer to say avoidance) which of course was the easiest option.

“Easy! Seriously, the easy way?” Well, yes.

However, another way to look at it is that a change of course was necessary, if not essential, and that elements of that earlier dream are still feasible. I simply need to replace the small town B&B with mountain vistas, the Cooper Mini with a 4-wheel drive, and Art with well-made thoughtful pictures that someone may choose to hang in their home or office.

I haven’t figured all this out just yet and I have to admit the transition wasn’t an easy one. I sincerely appreciated the positive feedback to my last blog and in particular the subsequent notes from Sabrina. For now, I think I’ll join charlie in the bedroom. He can dream of tasty treats, I’ll see if I can’t answer those remaining questions.