Forest For The Trees

The big picture is a difficult idea to comprehend. Most of us can only grasp a fuzzy outline of a corner; like a puzzle piece that we cling to with the hope that it will miraculously fit with another puzzle piece that bumps into us. The best that I can do is to try to make as many connections that come my way and to hope that some of them lead me towards the bigger picture.

My week was spent camping outdoors north of Toronto with my class. One of the great moments involved shooting them sing and dance their way around an old bonsai-type tree. I spent two days visiting the tree and test-shooting angles so that when the boys arrived it would be spontaneous. I shot twelve frames with one being the image I had in my mind. For film, that is a pretty good ratio given the movement and subjects.

For these photogaphs I used my Hasselblad 501 C/M with the CFi 50m FLE lens and Ilford Delta Pro 100 film. I wanted moody exposures that reflected the Fall starkness. Especially cool was the chance to shoot an abandoned car body that had been stripped for parts decades earlier before being abandoned in a makeshift dump on the edge of the property.

I am getting ready for the RMG Exposed event in Oshawa on Saturday. I am still hoping really hard that I win a prize, but in the end I am just thankful to be a finalist. It was also an honour to be the image shown on their web page, and I am looking forward to attending the event to see the other photographers’ prints. V. will be making it out with me, but first there will be a visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake since we will be renting a car for the day. We always love visiting the wine region, especially Hillebrand Estates.

We were also able to book flights to New Orleans just before Christmas, which is one of my favourite places on the planet. V. will be able to eat BBQ Shrimpies and I will find some chicory coffee that I have been craving since our visit to South Africa a few Christmas times back. New Orleans is such a photogenic city that we will be lost for hours between po’boys and beignets. V. made some last week to celebrate and they were just killer.

Air Canada’s EnRoute Magazine picked up one of my photos from Quebec for this month’s Flash competition, so I have a photo of sled dogs tucked away at the back of the magazine. The exposure is wonderful, and I am proud to be in a magazine that I love to read whenever I am lucky enough to fly. All in all, October was a wonderful month for my photography.

Back to the initial words of this entry: puzzle pieces. I cannot ever be certain that what I am doing will lead me to success, but I can be certain that the more connections I make the better chance I have at new opportunities, and in the end, life is really about the adventures along the way.

My last good news is that I might be able to head to Nepal in March for two weeks as part of an International Service Trip initiative. It would be to work with students who want to help a medical clinic that supports young monks in a monastery outside of Kathmandu. There might be a need to document the stories of the monks for the NGO so that their work can be communicated to the larger world. Puzzle pieces, puzzle pieces…

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