Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Daily Practice 334/365

Title: "Cat-uilibrium"
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They're sisters, but they still observe the usual cat etiquette of keeping a respectful distance between them. Unless of course, one has a favoured spot...then the second approaches, all kindness and love, lick the first's head and face...until it has gently, but firmly nudged the first from the special spot. Dear, sweet kitties!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Daily Practice 333/365

Title: "Mocking me with their silent faces"
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The final night, sitting in my study ignoring books I love to look through, many that I've only scratched the surface of. Arranged chaotically, waiting for serendipity to weave a path through their words and images.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Daily Practice 332/365

Title: "Losing all sense of reality"
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When it's been all out effort on a large project, a time comes when I'm not in the moment, not in the past and can't even picture a future. It's all downhill (in a good way) from here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Daily Practice 331/365

Title: "Seeking a vast emptiness"
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Final weekend of a big push on a three large research proposals, my mind overwhelmed with details, taking a short break to sit on the beach in search of the emptiness that must exist beyond this task.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Daily Practice 330/365

Title: "Cartesian Donut"
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Found while waiting at the airport for my niece. The balls reminded me of atoms, expanding outwards in reaction to a centrifugal force.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Daily Practice 329/365

Title: "Thoughts came faster than words"
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On the road home after an intense day of writing, thoughts coming faster than words; images drifting past a blank mind.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Daily Practice 328/365

Title: "Escape from dreamland"
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I looked out the window just after waking, shocked to see the amorphous shapes that had haunted my dreams floating in the sky.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Daily Practice 327/365

Title: "Blind-sided by insight"
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I'd been locked up in my office all day, working on proposals, completely cut off from the outside world. I came out to find it cold and crisp, the small amount of snow melting on the roadway. I stopped at the beach, walking along and looked up to find light illuminating my hopes and dreams.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Profusion of Confusion

Title: "Remnants of ocean stories"
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Every time I go down to the sea, I inevitably take pictures of kelp. I have an endless fascination with the lines they draw on the beach, the tremendous variations in tone as they slowly decay, and the variations of thin and thick. It's as if the ocean is a huge jet, and the kelp are contrails left at different times and in different directions. I imagine each represents a story, in the same way we often look up in the sky at contrails and wonder who's going where, and why. Perhaps one day I'll start to tell the kelp stories, illustrated with images like this.

Daily Practice 326/365

Title: "A promise fulfilled"
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Yesterday's wintery sky fulfilled its promise today with a couple of inches of snow, and a cold, cold wind blowing it around. We don't often get snow in November, and rarely have much snow at all in the winter. But the sea has looked particularly cold this fall, a hint perhaps of a winter full of warm fires and fresh baked cookies!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Daily Practice 325/365

Title: "Winter Sky"
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It's interesting how an artist and his/her subject matter can become suited for each other. This morning, E. and I were enjoying a lazy Sunday lie-in with tea and conversation, and I noticed a wonderful quality of light coming in from the north window, reflecting on the ceiling and light fixture. I made some images, convinced that one of them would be a great addition to the daily practice series. Yet, somehow I wasn't able to achieve an image in post-processing that captured the fragility of the light, even though yesterday's light was very similar and the images created really captured that. I suspect it had to do with those blues, which really worked well with the light.
A little later, we ventured out for a walk on the first frigid morning of this year's winter. I've been making lots of images of the sea/sky transition lately, and immediately was captivated by this scene of the lowering winter sky, with snow falling on the distant hills. Same light, different context and subject, but one that I'm familiar working with and one that's dear to my heart.

Veil of Light

Title: "Intrigued, we crept toward the veil of light"
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The forest seemed dark, and a little forbidding; yet there was an unusual curtain of light shining from above, bathing the scene in an eerie glow. She walked ahead of me and quickly disappeared; I feared I would never see her again, even as I ran desperately towards the last place I had seen her. Even now I can't really recall what there was beyond the veil of light, but we were both relieved when we found each other.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Out there

Title: "We looked back towards the future"
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Our lives often seem to be divided into two: the past, and the future. It's curious how often we forget about the present. The formless sea, with its distant horizon line, seems to divide the world into two: here, and the far-away there. Sometimes we look out at our past, and sometimes we look out longingly at our future.

Daily Practice 324/365

Title: "A transient moment of contemplation"
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My favourite person, my favourite colour, my favourite kind of light. It's as simple as that.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Down to the water

Title: "We walked down to the water, absorbed in thought"
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I grew up on a lake, and live near the ocean now. Every time I walk the coast, memories of past adventures weave their way into my thoughts, creating an odd space where past and present are inseparable.

Daily Practice 323/365

Title: "6:43 am November 19, 2010"
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With the approaching equinox, the pre-dawn mornings become more and more dramatic. One can look at this sky and smell coffee, a warming fire and bread toasting.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Daily Practice 322/365

Title: "Looking into the eye of dusk"
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We often talk about the way light changes our perception of a scene; some photographers will scout locations at different times of day to get a sense of when the light will help create a compelling image. Cloudy days are often thought of as being perfect for flat lighting, keeping contrast low. So it seems a bit odd to think of how changing light levels affect clouds, and how it changes our perception of the narrative that clouds are participating in.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Daily Practice 321/365

Title: "A shift in perspective"
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The blurring time, when all sense of reality changes with the falling light and a cold, bitter wind.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Daily Practice 320/365

Title: "The relentless surge of emotions"
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The ocean brought forward life, and serves as a paradigm of life - always in motion, always changing. Like life itself, the ocean can be calm or agitated, with varying intensities and can change from one extreme to the other instantaneously.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Repurposing of this Blog - Update

I've decided to continue the daily practice posts in a separate, private blog. This is partly to do with a new direction in subject my photographs may be taking which I don't consider to be appropriate for a blog that's open to all. It also has to do with changes in what I see blogs adding to my experience as an artist - some subjects that I'd like to write about are of general interest to a wide audience, but others belong in a personal journal. I am leaving this blog up to date with the daily practice, with the exception of yesterday's post which on reflection I feel belongs in a less public blog. I will continue to post here, probably showing and writing about short series of images and some other musings on photography.

UPDATE (21 Jan 2011):  For completeness, I have copied over all of the remaining "Daily Practice" entries from the private blog, except for two entries that I wish to remain private.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Daily Practice 317/365

Title: "Dreams of the Serpentine Sea"
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Dreams are like the sea: full of motion, never linear, so many currents and eddies deep beneath the surface. The sea of day stirs our imaginations, the sea of dusk both calms and disturbs us. My dreams seem to move in serpentines, moving past the middle ground to happiness and joy, then moving in the other direction past the middle ground to darkness and terror. Such dreams ebb and flow like tides, drawing their energy from the back and forth motion.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Daily Practice 316/365

Title: "let's not speak any language"
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I sat with the sun on my face, looking out towards the horizon, silently pondering times when people believed the world was flat. Seeing that horizon line that always divides our world, it was easy to understand how those that stood on shore could believe the line marked the edge of the world, and only fools would venture close. But for those who set sail, did they wonder why they could never reach the edge, why they never got closer? Whenever I feel that life is pressing in on all sides, I sit by the sea and let the enormity of the ocean quiet my mind.
Title is taken from the poem "Keeping Quiet" by Pablo Neruda.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Daily Practice 315/365

Title: "Perhaps a great silence would interrupt this sadness"
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The title comes from the poem "Keeping Quiet" by Pablo Neruda. As dusk fell on the strait, I felt a darkness seep in that threatened to engulf me, the brisk wind on my face and hands felt like great lashings from a whip. But that hint of the fading blue sky up above revived me and made me whole again.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Daily Practice 314/365

Title: "The two faces of evil"
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Skipping out of work early, taking the back stairs down and out the door. Overhead, the blue sky was being assaulted by the first, seemingly kind face of evil. The advancing clouds seem fluffy and innocuous, but they hide the following storm from view.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Daily Practice 313/365

Title: "Desperately wanting"
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It was the kind of day where the wind could and would blow you over, the sea was surging and crashing up over the breakwater and onto the road. The kind of day when you desperately want to play hooky, sit huddled in a sheltered spot and experience the overwhelming energy of the ocean.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Daily Practice 312/365

Title: "A thin veil separates past and future"
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Crisp, fresh day - ideal for whispered consultations between sea and sky.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Daily Practice 311/365

Title: "Oppression Rising"
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We had barely started our walk, when we came upon this vista. Found a nice bench, warmed our faces with the sun and watched the drama unfold before us. As winter approaches the sun, sky, sea and clouds come together in infinite ways to tell stories of sadness and longing.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Daily Practice 310/365

Title: "A rewarding day"
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I spent a lovely day with my charming wife, in search of shoes. Finding shoes that fit and are comfortable are a challenge for her; the goal was to find shoes that met those two criteria and that would also be stylish and dressy. I think she was not optimistic as we set out: three pairs chosen last weekend were being returned because they did not stand the comfortable test on further wearing at home. In the end she found two pairs that fit and are comfortable, and that are also cute and stylish. And she revised the status of two other pairs to being comfortable by purchasing new insoles. It was nice to spend the day lending moral support and having some time alone on an adventure to find the holy grail. We stopped at a favourite bakery and bought little tarts to have with tea and coffee at home in front of the fire.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Daily Practice 309/365

Title: "Candy-coated memory"
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I had just heard an outstanding seminar given by one of our graduate students on a complex project. She guided us through the information with great poise. I left the lecture hall by the back door, stepping out into a cool rain, the leaves glistening on the ground, each a bookmark to a different childhood memory of falls past.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Daily Practice 308/365

Title: "Beyond Hope and Aspiration"
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I was driving home from work on what felt like one of the last crisp, late fall afternoons. The sky stretched out over the water like an infinite string of time.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Daily Practice 307/365

Title: "Rabbit Proof Fence"
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The university campus where I work is renowned for its herds of bunnies grazing on the lush lawns. Of course they get everywhere, and one place they are theoretically not allowed is the rhododendron garden. There's an elaborate fence and gate system "protecting" the garden somewhat effectively. I was out for a walk to clear my head this afternoon, and saw this somewhat ominous image as I approached the gate into the garden. I probably felt more fearful than the bunnies do!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Daily Practice 306/365

Title: "Telling tales after school"
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A simple image made in the parking lot on the way home from work. There is something so uplifting about these little cloudlets, each one a set of wings spreading out from the source of all hope.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Daily Practice 305/365

Title: "From the fatted pig"
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Simple scene of domesticity.