Here in Alberta, we suffer quite a delay when it comes to arrival of spring. Even if we lose all the snow for a bit, we usually get another dump or two in late March, beginning of April, accompanied by quite a drop in temperatures as well. Winter does feel long here on the prairies. It is hard to stay put for such a long time and I drag Mac, quite often, out of the city, even if it is only for a short trip to Elk Island National Park.
As Kasia was saying in the previous post about Taste of Edmonton and street photography. We both not street photographers at all. Even though Kasia, still thinks I'm better at it, I would like to disagree with that statement. Real street photographers like Antonio Rosario from Switch 2 Manual, or Olaf Sztaba , are definitely someone to emulate, but me and Kasia are just opportunistic photographers.
We had a chance to attend the annual Taste of Edmonton. Its a gathering of restaurants where you can purchase bite size dishes. As always it's always full of people, so one would think a perfect time to practice street photography, which is a foreign to me as the surface of the moon. Still having excellent photos of Antonio, and Olaf, and my good friend Mark in mind, I loaded the little Minolta Autocord with some film and went in search of images. Since most of street photography I have seen is in black and white, I thought I would be presumptuous, and add a little color to it.
The whole experience left me nervous, and afraid. Good thing the little medium format, twin reflex camera, from the late 50's was an ice breaker. People would, if not stare openly, actually ask about it. This resulted in conversations, but not a lot of images, unfortunately. Still I tried my best to emulate, and "see" like all my friends mentioned above, would. Well I tried, and here are some results from that little outing.
The color film was Kodak Portra 160, and the black and white is the Kodak Tri-X 400.
They call Edmonton, the City of Festivals. There are over 100 festivals during a year with over 50 different events happening in spring and summer. This past Saturday we went to visit one of them - Taste of Edmonton. The weather was great, the atmosphere - wonderful and we have had lots of fun walking around Churchill Square trying different foods offered by many vendors and engaging in one of my favorite pass times - people watching.
It's funny, how I almost cured myself of digital GAS, and how quickly I fell for the analogue GAS. It's really easy to forget about actual photography, when scouring eBay for old cameras. The amount of old film cameras is just staggering. The prices are decent for the most part, although so old cameras fall into the "collectible" or "famous" category, which drives their prices through the roof. I try to keep to the cheap side.
When we go out at night we never know if we come back with something usable. Our weather here in Alberta, changes very quickly and even if we leave the city with clear skies above, by the time we reach a specific location it all might change (mind you, we need to travel quite a distance away from the city in many cases - sometimes more than 100km, which can make quite a difference as well). Landscape photography does require certain amount of sacrifice and hard work..
She can be very elusive. She can show up where you don't expect her to be and don't show up, when you count on her. Sometimes, it's only a pale green hue of the night sky, sometimes - a line across. Some nights, you can only spot her out in the country, where city lights don't obscure the views, but some nights, you can clearly see her from my own back yard, covering most of the sky and showing off for everybody to see.
One of the most wonderful things about Alberta, to me anyway, is the sky. It's huge and always changing and I love watching it and photographing it. The sunsets, sunrises, middle-of-the-days and, of course the storm clouds have been fascinating me for a very long time. At night, you can see million stars, different phases of the moon, Milky Way and, if you're lucky, amazing aurora. Over the last several years I must have taken more than a thousand pictures of the clouds which, to me, are a huge part of the landscape, sometimes, the most interesting one (I do live surrounded by flat prairies after all ;D).
Sunsets are not that easy to photograph in early spring. During the week there is simply not enough time to get sufficiently far away from the city to catch it, during weekends - the weather does not often cooperate. Last year we took several trips to try and get nice shots and even managed to visit Spaca Moskalyk
This year, spring has been very slow to arrive. Two snow storms and gloomy skies and rains during April and nothing in nature was moving until the arrival of May. I was so very happy to see the buds finally starting to open up and wasn't able to resist taking some macro gear and starting on the pictures.
y decision to shoot everything with old film cameras this year, still makes my wife shake her head. I've been asked by friends, why do I want to create images strictly on film. The interesting thing is, I don't know. Is it because I'm tired of perfect images coming out of digital cameras? Or maybe it's the need to slow down, learn patience and enjoy the whole manual process of creating an image.
Last summer wasn't as full of outings as I would have liked. Time, seems to be more and more a rare commodity and trying to fit a trip outside the city can be rather difficult. I treasure every one of those outings. Even, if I don't bring a lot of pictures back, it is a pleasure to just wander, letting the road take us, wherever it goes.
You never know what weather you encounter when you go to the mountains. Winter, especially, is the time when you need some caution, while planning any trip and sometimes you need to adjust your plans accordingly. Originally we have planned to come back from Abraham Lake through Jasper, but because of road conditions we have decided to take the road to Banff instead
Some say that Elk Island National Park is one of the most boring parks in Canada and, to some extend, they have a point. We don't have dramatic mountains or oceans, we don't have desert, cool rock formations, hot springs or geysers. What we do have, however, is peace, quiet beauty, a bit of wildlife and a lake that can reflect sunset colors and often does an awesome job of it.