For a few years, my dear friend Jan and I would go on "photowalks" on a semi-regular basis. We'd meet up and decide on a locale, spend a few pleasant hours chatting and making images and then stop afterwards for a drink or a light meal. Then about 18 months ago, Jan upped sticks and deserted our island paradise for the bright lights of the big city on the mainland.
Jan came over to visit this weekend, and we headed out to a favourite spot. There's something alien about the landscape of this ancient Garry Oak meadow, something compellingly appealing about its palette of burnished golds and vibrant greens. At this time of the year, the palette is augmented by the blues and purples of the camas lilies. It was a wonderful opportunity to see this familiar place through the eyes of a returning friend.
At this time of year, the park is marsh-like in places from the spring rains, and we had a few instances where one or the other of us almost ended up ass over tea kettle in the slippery mud that spanned some of the trails. And in the midst of this, we crossed paths with a lovely little old lady, out in her best finery for a wee stroll in this "country in the city" park, who somehow magically had not a single spot of mud on her. It was the most unexpected vision, and we (who were covered up beyond the ankles in mud) were feeling quite self-conscious while we talked to her. However, shortly thereafter we stopped for lunch a Pure Vanilla, a fine local bistro, and soon revived our spirits.
These are few images made during the past week. Through doing them I discovered several things. I have been berating myself for not getting out with my 4X5 camera on forest walks - I never seem to get everything organized in time to do it. Then last weekend I was sitting on the studio porch while the sun was diffused by the morning cloud cover, when I realized I should just grab the tripod and camera and explore the back garden in the soft, even light. Several of these images are from that little epiphany, although I've cropped them to a square format. Then yesterday I was grabbing a couple of quick shots during light rain to test my camera connector for the iPad. I wasn't sure if the iPad would display the RAW files from my little Canon point and shoot, so I made a couple of images in RAW then some in RAW+jpeg. At which point I discovered that the 1:1 format setting on the camera, which isn't selectable in RAW mode, is selectable in RAW+jpeg mode. For no good reason, that made me quite happy.
The most important thing I got out of this week is the idea that photos are always around and waiting to be made. Although I eschew the straightforward "beautiful" flower shot, there are still endless possibilities to find compositions right at home in the garden.
And now I'm heading out for a photowalk with my dear friend Jan - we're heading over to a favourite location - should be tremendous fun!
The title of this blog is taken from Alexander McCall Smith's 44 Scotland Street series of books. Bertie is a wee precocious boy who's not allowed to be a child. His mother has grand plans for him, and has organized "The Bertie Project" to educate him well beyond his years. This blog is meant to be my own personal "Bertie Project" - a way to lead a more enriched life.