Before the Jungle…Quebec

Before I traveled to Peru in March, I spent four days in Quebec City with my school on a hectic adventure. Between the rock-climbing, nordic skiing, circus school, tubing and French joie-de-vivre, I would have to say that the dog-sledding is always a personal favourite. While the dogs are smelly, and they are atrociously smelly, seeing so many animals howling to get out and pull a sled creates an unmistakable energy. The little guy I am holding was an accidental catch when he jumped out of a boy’s arms; my coat stunk for the rest of the trip, but his stark blue eyes made it worth the odour.

A similar shot to the one above made it into EnRoute Magazine last year, and I imagine that I will end up shooting similar photographs for the next ten years. The feeling of driving a sled through quiet, snow-laden trees is freedom; like the motorcycle, a sled is open to the world and adventure. This winter the snow was heavier than I have ever seen, but it only added to the beauty of the day and I was well-dressed; every year I get colder and need to buy heavier gear.

If I owned a large farm, then I would love to have two or three huskies roaming the property. Huskies are beautiful animals that remind me of just how unique our relationship to dogs is. The loyalty and synergy that comes into the man/dog relationship is so stirring that I wish I spent more time with the animals and less with the fools on their cellphone in traffic or ordering their special mokaricemilkdoublesteamlatte. Mingus and India would not exactly fit in with these semi-wild animals, and they would certainly never survive a night outside in a plastic barrel. Different dog, different world.

The final winter image comes from the visit to Prince Edward Island for my grandmother’s funeral. I admit that her death has affected me deeply, and will be felt for the rest of my life. After the funeral, my brother, my mother and I went for a drive along the north shore where we grew up. I got out of the car at one point, and with the Hasselblad SWC/M in hand waded through waist-deep snow to take this shot. I felt a bit of a release doing this, and this particular image will remain meaningful to me, as it connects to a hard day.

Whether I do anything but travel these days is a reasonable question. I was on the road for almost a month, and only now am safe in my studio. Actually, for the last week I have been pulling some very late nights in the attempt to complete my biggest assignment yet for Paderno cookware. Thirteen package shots needed to be fully set up with food. I had only ever done maybe four of these types of shots at a time before, so this was a big job, especially since I was still ill from bronchitis. The best I could do was two shots a day; the time cooking each item for each specific piece of bakeware was fun, but intense. In the end, this is by far my best product photography.

Back to the travel front…V. and I have our airline tickets for Spain in August, and plan on hooking up with a tour to Morocco for about 9 days. It promises to be hot, but I am looking forward to this adventure more than any other. Spain just seems right for now, and any trip from Casablanca to Marrakech screams exotic adventure. While I am tired now, I know by August I will be wanting to “play it again, Sam”

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One response to “Before the Jungle…Quebec

  1. “The loyalty and synergy that comes into the man/dog relationship is so stirring that I wish I spent more time with the animals and less with the fools on their cellphone in traffic or ordering their special mokaricemilkdoublesteamlatte.” Well-said. I couldn’t agree more. =)

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