too soon for winter, originally uploaded by ken.udle.

Seasons change, people change, our needs change.

On November 5th my brother and I headed out at 6:30am. The air was crisp and the skies were clear. Our destination was Blakeney Rapids located just under an hour’s drive west of Ottawa. This trip represented a return to regular weekend outings for Dave after a difficult year for him on a personal level. I’m glad to have him back as frankly morning outings are not quite the same when you go solo. The gap in active photography had an impact for Dave, in a sense he’s relearning stuff he knew quite well in 2010. I’m going to help fill that gap as a mentor of sorts. We’re still working out the details but I’m already discovering the role of a mentor can be beneficial in two ways. One way is for the recipient and you’ll find lots on that subject on the web, the other is for the mentor him/herself – besides the satisfaction of seeing someone grow in confidence and skill but also I think it helps keep the mentor current on the craft and challenged to be innovative with problem solving.

I am close to deciding that it would be a good idea if I had a mentor. The first step, of course, is knowing what my needs and expectations are. I’ve given some thought to that, and doing some research as well. David DuChemin writes about the concept in his book Vision Mongers and his advice has helped me focus on some personal goals.

I have at times thought of my involvement with photography as being like some one who is late to the game. I’m a couple years from retirement and only a few years into learning this craft. I know if I’d kept at photography over the years and learned more about art and business I’d be in a very different place right now and I don’t think I’m that different from a lot of people my age; office workers and family men who find they have more time and disposable cash available to begin pursuing something new – taking and selling quality pictures, perhaps ones that could be considered art. This part of the baby-boom wave has helped grow a new industry of on-line photography lessons, workshops, weekend retreats, books etc all offered by people with varying levels of skill as writers, photographers and teachers. I suspect the quality or those offerings may have inspired a recent post by Ray Ketcham when he wrote about the Myth of the Muse. I believe his message is inspiration grows from work and not from some divine or other mystic intervention. But what about time, and the lack thereof?

How does the middle aged person make up for decades of missed opportunities to learn the arts, to be observant and creative? I can’t accept that it’s too late. Perhaps a mentor can help fill that gap, can help guide me across the river to that distant shore. That’s what I hope to explore next.

The picture at the top was taken at Blakeney Rapids with a Canon Xsi. ISO 100, f/22 and a 13 second exposure with a focal length of 36mm. I used ND filters to achieve a long exposure.

  1. Dave said:

    Ken, your pictures are amazing. Your support is unparalleled. And your blogs are very insightful, to say the least.

    You have another follower in me…


  2. Elisa rixon said:

    Taking a cliche attitude of believing it is too late (as you do not agree) is as detrimental as focusing on missed opportunitities. Becoming more of who you are required all the decisions you made in your life. Not having something or an opportunity missed at one point I think allows you to see the value in it when you recognize a new opportunity. The pictures you see through the camera’s eye and reproduce to the amazement of those around you are not necessarily something you could have done without the decisions of your past.
    Embrace who you are and what brought you to this day and the fact that there is no one who has had the life experiences you have had. You are unique and it comes blazingly through in the pictures you take as seen above. Ken I marvel at this. When I go to take a picture, as Scott can attest, I click with speed and agility believing I am taking the same picture as everyone else. In fact, I likely am taking all the same pictures as almost everyone else. I think if you were here in China photographing the wall I would see through your pictures, the wall for the very first time. I would see the wall as art and this is something I’ve not yet seen.

    • Ken Udle said:

      Thanks. I hope I didn’t give you the wrong impression. “Late to the game” doesn’t mean discouragement, quite the opposite, to me it means challenge, potential and hopefully a unique perspective.

  3. This is an amazing picture, almost a winter fantasy world.

    I don’t think it’s ever to late to learn, and all we can do is make sure we take advantage of the opportunities (and time) we are granted.

    • Ken Udle said:

      Thanks, I know it’s never to late to learn, somes though the distance that needs to be covered can seem daunting. I appreciate you taking the time to comment on the photo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: