Friday, November 26, 2021

Tiny flashes of red

Seasonal defiance
London, ON
November 2011
This photo originally shared on Instagram


There’s something inspiring about the way color seems to hold on for as long as it can.

Even in late November, these tiny flashes of red seem to defiantly broadcast themselves long after everything around them has gone irrevocably grey and bare.

Forgive me for sounding more than a little weird, but here’s what I think this teaches us:
  • Surprises lurk everywhere, anytime.
  • We have to be willing to look harder to find them.
  • We lead better lives by following our own path rather than blindly following the paths of others.
  • Those who stand alone often stand out.
  • It’s better to burn out than to fade away.
Musical misappropriation aside, I’ll keep looking for the tiny surprises in hard-to-find places. Whatever the color or whatever the message, we’re all a little richer of soul for having seen them.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #tree #trees #red #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #texture #bokeh #gameoftones #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Thursday, November 25, 2021

On stupidity and patriotism

"When stupidity is considered patriotism, it is unsafe to be intelligent."

Kindness rocks, always

Only one reader matters
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I came across this very special rock, carefully laid out among a similarly special row of rocks that stretched along this trail beside the river, each of which carried a special message, intended for someone who mattered.

I don't know who Uncle Taylor is, but I wish I did.

I don't know how long this rock has been here. Or how Uncle Taylor is doing.

I pray he's heeded the message, that he knows, to the depths of his soul, that he is worthy, wanted, and wonderful.

I pray that he's still hanging on, that he knows how much he's loved.

I pray we all do the same.

#saultstemarie #ontario #canada #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #stmarys #river #rock #kindnessrocks #purple #sign #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #instagood #photooftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Bumping into a gull by the highway

Minding his own business
Sault Sainte Marie, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The Trans-Canada Highway passes right through town.

And sometimes if you stand in just the right place at just the right time, you'll come across a random pedestrian listening to music just before he has an equally random encounter with a gull.

Life is random that way, hence the need to stand on more street corners more often so we can take it all in.

#saultstemarie #ontario #canada #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #traffic #pedestrian #random #street #photography #streetphotography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #instagood #photooftheday #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

On majority rule and being right

"A lie doesn’t become truth,
wrong doesn’t become right,
and evil doesn’t become good,
just because it’s accepted by a majority."

 

Apple juice + light

148 million kilometres later...
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Rule #618 for a life well lived: Always play with the light at the breakfast table.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #kitchen #breakfast #table #spontaneous #juice #glass #sun #light #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Monday, November 22, 2021

#IfYouReadOneThingToday - On Fire

I'm an ardent fan of long form journalism, as I believe the form can educate, inform, and move readers in ways that more timely pieces simply can't.

I grew up reading magazine articles, long, detailed features that took ages to work through and stuck with you long after you had moved onto something else.

Some of the best writers of our time are feature writers, and this particular piece from over two decades ago stands out as a particularly memorable example of the genre, a searing reminder of the simple power of a human story.

I occasionally share these pieces under the #IfYouReadOneThingToday banner. And while I can't say I want you to enjoy this particularly tragic read, I do hope it moves you as it moved me.

The Perfect Fire
It started with a candle in an abandoned warehouse. It ended with temperatures above 3,000 degrees and the men of the Worcester Fire Department in a fight for their lives.
By Sean Flynn
July 1, 2000
Esquire

An almost-monochrome throwback

Life, muted
London, ON
November 20, 2011
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Every once in a while, I’ll dig into the photo archives and get lost in there for a while.

It’s a lovely way to reconnect with the past, and maybe pick up a bit of strength to handle the present and future, too.

This one’s from exactly ten years ago. Clearly my love of naturally occurring monochrome-ish scenes goes way back. I wonder why that is…

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #tree #trees #bulrush #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #texture #gameoftones #monochrome #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Red on grey

Contrasting
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Sometimes we have color, and sometimes we don’t.

It is as true in the woods as it is in life.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #red #maple #color #colors #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Stella reflects under the trees

Life, inverted
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Sometimes you walk past the car in the driveway and something catches your eye.

Life’s like that, I guess, random little moments of reflection that present themselves to us - but only if our eyes are wide open to begin with, ready to be inspired.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #stella #red #car #reflection #trees #sky #weather #wx #carporn #automotive #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Saturday, November 20, 2021

A dog's nose always knows

Her favorite spot
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


That nose...

Like a Hershey's Kiss.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

The things that get in the way

We all need power
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
October 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Is it just me, or is the universe constantly throwing obstacles in our path?

Like here: the power lines that presented themselves right between where I was and what I wanted to shoot.

I was standing just inside a third-floor window at the time, so moving around to shift them out-of-frame wasn't an option. Neither was heroic PhotoShopping to remove them from the final shot.

It's something I wrestle with, especially as tools like PhotoShop and Lightroom become so powerful that replacing the sky with something more dramatic is little more than a couple of clicks away.

But here's the thing: that's not photography. Or maybe it is, but it isn't MY kind of photography.

I'm fine with lightly processing something to enhance or highlight it in a certain way, to help tell the story better than had it been left in its original form. But at some point we risk crossing lines where the end result is no longer a faithful reflection of the story of that moment.

If I'm replacing the sky entirely with a digital version, it may make for a lovelier image, but a less-than-faithful story of what I felt as I was taking it.

Of course, this is just me. If you're into removing power lines because you hate them, or whatever, then more power to you. We all follow our own paths, and no one's route is more or less correct than anyone else's.

Which is my long-winded way of explaining why you're staring at wires in addition to the sun-painted landscape. Because I want you to see what I was seeing. And feeling.

The story wouldn't be truly mine if I told it any other way.

#saultstemarie #ontario #canada #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #landscape #landscapephotography #sunset #clouds #weather #wx #photography #streetphotography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #instagood #photooftheday #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Friday, November 19, 2021

Fuck cancer, from afar

Today was a good day
London, ON
September 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I spotted this gentleman wrapping up a day of shooting at last year's London airshow.

He was a couple of rows away from where I stood, but thanks to a long lens, I was able to grab the moment before I, too, tucked my Nikon back in its case and headed for home.

Whoever this stranger is, I admire him immensely for wearing his story so clearly on the rear window of his car. I wish him and his family only good health, and wish my wishes could actually do him, and others, some good.

Fuck cancer, indeed.

#nikonskydrive @airshowlondon @nikoncanada #ldnont #london #airport #ontario #canada #SkyDrive #AirShowLondon #aviation #flight #aircraft #avgeek #aviationphotography #planespotting #instaplane #photooftheday #picoftheday #pictureoftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #Nikon #nikonphotography #photography #lifeinthemargins

Related:
And now the bottom half, September 2020
Wheels up! September 2020
Follow the mama plane, September 2020
Thunderbirds are go, September 2020
Thanks, Chuck Yeager, December 2020
The tip of the spear, December 2020

On the season of laughter

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face."

 

Fish. Stacked.

More than enough protein
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram

 
Shades of Andy Warhol…

And quite possibly the basis of a healthy mid-afternoon snack.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #farmboy #supermarket #grocery #store #tuna #shopping #retail #random #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Where we stare at buildings in the distance

Windows 23
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Balconville in the sky.

#ldnont #london #sunningdale #ontario #canada #architecture #design #architecturephotography #geometry #building #street #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Do not go gentle...

Hard against a smudged sky
London, ON
April 2012
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Dylan Thomas got it right:

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”

I shot this image as the wind-smudged April sky faded into darkness, the naked tree in the foreground standing patiently, waiting for the first signs of its springtime rebirth.

It struck me as a reasonable analog of the circle of life.

Because everything has its own cycle, even if those cycles never quite line up the way we’d like.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #sunset #dusk #sky #clouds #light #tree #poetry #poem #abstract #landscape #landscapephotography #nature #naturephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:
Dylan Thomas, Wikipedia entry

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

On messing up

"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."

A hometown hockey hero

Vision in brick
Parry Sound, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


On the southeast corner of Isabella and Church streets, in Parry Sound, Ontario, someone painted a mural on a brick wall outside a Circle K convenience store. A propane cage blocks part of it just to the right of this frame.

In many ways, this piece of public art tells a story that is central to the history of this cottage country town of 6,500 or so. Bobby Orr was one of the greatest hockey players of his generation, and he remains one of Parry Sound's proudest sons, the kind of superstar who forever casts a golden glow on the place he came from.

So small is this town that its entire population would fill precisely one-third of the seats in TD Garden, the current home of the Boston Bruins. I'm not sure why this occurs to me now, but there it is.

Numbers aside, I smile as we come across this ode to a local hero who did good, staring at us as we park our car at the Dairy Queen across the street, a welcome break in the middle of a long day on the road.

Parry Sound High School sits to the northeast, and I imagine this mural has imprinted itself on countless students who are either hockey players themselves, or who find some way to connect themselves to the hockey culture that winds its way through so many towns across this country.

Whoever walks past here, they're all fans. And they're all connected in some way to this humble, generous man who made his community proud.

#parrysound #ontario #canada #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #circlek #retail #store #bobbyorr #hockey #mural #public #art #random #small #town #street #photography #streetphotography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #instagood #photooftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:
Lost in the concrete, September 2013

Monday, November 15, 2021

Red zoom zoom under the harsh lights

Light me up
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Mazda CX-3 in a big box store parking lot, just after the wet snow begins to fly.

The harsh LED floodlights and indifferently stupid - or is it stupidly indifferent? I never really know - smartphone-reading drivers make this a challenging place for an impromptu photo shoot.

But something about the scene catches my eye as we finish loading up our own vehicle in the adjacent parking spot. So I grab my smartphone and compose quickly before anyone notices what I'm up to.

Sometimes I'll wonder why I do this, but tonight I stop myself. Not everything needs a fully understood reason, after all. An artful sliver of design in a place not normally known for it is more than enough justification.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #mazda #cx3 #red #car #carporn #automotive #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:

Sunday, November 14, 2021

A dog frolics in the wet leaves

One last flash of color
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The snow has just started to fall, and for now is barely sticking to the blades of grass.

None of this matters to the dog, who tears into the soaked lawn like a kid who’s just gotten out of school for the summer. Calli knows nothing about weather warnings or climate change, or the fact that winter is moving in before autumn has had a chance to fully move out.

All that matters to her is this moment, a happy one amid so many others in the charmed life of a wiggling schnu*.

So while she frolics in a soaked pile of leaves just out of frame, I find a single patch of remaining red and try to remember what it’s like to be out here, now.

Because before long, all this will look entirely different. And we’ll be well on our way to making new memories based on whatever happens to be going on in the mind of a schnu.

* Calli is a Miniature Schnauzer, and I’ve taken to calling her either “a schnu” or simply, “schnu” as a bit of a nickname. She seems to like it, so it sticks.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #tree #trees #red #leaf #leaves #autumn #color #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

CN Tower EdgeWalk from (way) above

Whatever you do, don't look down
Toronto, ON
August 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Perspective can be a fascinating thing to play with.

Look up at what is likely Canada's most iconic structure, the CN Tower, and it's obvious what is.

But look down?

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #throwback #cntower #edgewalk #perspective #photography #urban #street #streetphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #lifeinthemargins

Saturday, November 13, 2021

A streetcar named...Harbourfront?

Modes of transportation...
Toronto, ON
August 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


When Planet Earth becomes more like a confusing snowglobe, I often scroll through my photo archives in search of comfort.

In this series, I stared down down at Canada’s largest city from Canada’s tallest tree-standing structure. And what I saw way down there made me smile.

I hope it makes you smile, too.

[More to come…]

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #throwback #cntower #photography #urban #street #streetphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #lifeinthemargins

Sharpshooting from on high - a series

Everyone obeying the rules. Hopefully.
Toronto, ON
August 2019
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Life at the crossroads…from way up in the sky.

[More to come...]

#toronto #yyz #ontario #canada #throwback #cntower #photography #urban #street #streetphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #lifeinthemargins #family #everything

Friday, November 12, 2021

Big box against a brilliant blue sky

Squared up
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The sky was a particularly vibrant shade of blue as I wandered in between the big box stores dotting the power centre parking lot and waited for my brain to go ding.

It's not as if the architecture - let's call it early-21st-century-cheap-commercial - was particularly photo-worthy.

Which is largely why I enjoy being here so much. Because shooting something resonant when the architecture is magazine-worthy is easy. The upper northeast corner of the back of the Baskin-Robbins, however, is a little harder to tease out.

Which is entirely why I'd rather be right here, looking up, finding the wonder that no one else can - or wants to - see.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #hydepark #retail #store #building #architecture #architecturephotography #buildingporn #architectureporn #design #lines #blue #sky #weather #wx #streetphotography #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:
Up, up and away, July 2010
Overhang, January 2007
Look up, way up, April 2006

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Remembrance Day? Remembrance Every Day.

We remember
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Seems like an appropriate sentiment for more than a single day per year.

Because literally every day we have is owed to them.

#RemembranceDay #CanadaRemembers #LdnONT

At least we found some color

Look a little harder
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The autumn color season wasn’t a complete washout.

While the landscape wasn’t (figuratively) on fire as it has been in years past, there was color to be had.

We just had to look for it a little harder. Maybe walk a little further than we might have otherwise. Or change our perceptions around what constituted color. Or joy through glass.

Which, on reflection, makes it one of the more successful autumns in recent memory.

Because the journey matters far more than the destination, especially when we get to cover new, unexpected ground.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #color #colors #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:
Stripped branches, November 2021
When leaves end, October 2021
Trees from Venus, October 2021

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Staring a blue Mini in the face

Engineering comes to life
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Is it just me, or do some cars feel more anthropomorphic than others?

The Mini Cooper has always had a bit of a Lightning McQueen, more-than-just-a-car vibe to it, and coming across this lovely blue Cooper S convertible in a sun-washed parking lot only seemed to reinforce it in my mind.

Or maybe I’m just trying to explain away why I take random pictures of cars when I’m out and about. Whatever it takes to entertain ourselves, right?

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #mini #cooper #convertible #blue #car #carporn #automotive #photography #canon #canonphotography #canon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

Stripped branches

Ready for winter
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram

Nature puts itself on hold.

For a little while, anyway.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #thames #river #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #texture #gameoftones #monochrome #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Monday, November 08, 2021

Sunset from a mall parking lot

The descent into Calamity Corners
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The scene: Sunday at 5:11 p.m. in a shopping mall parking lot, where I'm waiting for our youngest son to finish work. It's right around sunset, so I scan the sky for anything of interest.

I'm challenged on a number of fronts:
  1. It's an active, busy parking lot filled with #ldnont drivers who, on a good day, treat pedestrians, cyclists, and anything else not encased in two tons of mechanized armor as nearly invisible inconveniences.
  2. I have no clear shot to the horizon, as the mall itself blocks most of my westward sightlines, while the road itself rises to the west.
  3. Whatever little sky I have to work with is filled with what you see here: enough power infrastructure to run a city.
But in photography as in life, you can't choose your playground, and you have no choice but to make do with what you've been given.

So I make do. I'm rather certain the folks waiting for the bus think I'm cataloging a crime scene. One driver gives me a thumbs-up and a smile for reasons that aren't clear to me - but I guess are better than the alternative.

The photo I ultimately capture - long-lens perspective through the wires, almost straight down the twisting, rising spine of Fanshawe Park Road West - is hardly a conventional sunset scene. But conventional isn't necessarily my jam, anyway, so this will have to suffice for now.

Soon enough, no-longer-little-man texts me that he's done, so I pack up my little psychotic photographic road show and head back to the car, another in-between moment now complete amid a life seemingly full of them.

#london #ontario #canada @cfmasonville #cfmasonville #sun #sunset #sky #silhouette #mall #roadside #traffic #silhouette #landscape #landscapephotography #random #street #photography #streetphotography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Cinnamon-raisin toast in the sun

Energy in many forms
London, ON
November 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Breakfast was especially sunny today, so I thought I should remember it in some tangible - yet ultimately trivial - way.

Alas, no still-life photo will ever come close to capturing what the kitchen smells like when you toast cinnamon-raisin bread.

So you’ll just have to imagine it.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #breakfast #food #foodie #foodporn #instafood #foodphotography #foodstagram #random #kitchen #table #stilllife #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Should Blackfriars Bridge be open to cars?

Ground Zero for a long-overdue debate
London, ON
March 2020
This photo originally shared on Instagram


This is Blackfriars Bridge. I’ve crossed it, photographed it, and written about it countless times over the years. It is a #LdnONT icon, and an indelible and historic foundation of our community.

Today is its final day as a car-free structure, as the city has decided in its infinite whatever-passes-for-wisdom to reopen it to cars as of tomorrow.

There is a petition to stop this idiocy. I have signed it, and I hope you will, too. Just follow the link in my profile back to my blog.

I hope our elected officials come to appreciate the need for civic infrastructure that allows pedestrians and cyclists to move around the city without worrying about being mowed down. But I am not hopeful.

Two cyclists have died in separate accidents in our region over the past three weeks, one hit by teens in a stolen car, the other in a hit-and-run. I’ve often ridden those very same roads, and years ago I was hit by a car while cycling, as well. I was lucky to have walked away.

Again and again, these stories play out, yet nothing changes. And politicians continue to ignore the need to stop the carnage. Because, you know, they all drive cars, not bikes, and to them, the equation always comes back to how many minutes can be saved on the commute.

What this does to the very fabric of the city - namely turn it into a car-dominated kill-zone - is entirely lost on them.

Tomorrow, cars will once again take over this historic structure that was built decades before cars were even a thing. They don’t belong here. The tone-deafness of this move astounds me. Sickens me, even.

A year from now, London holds its next municipal election. Moments like this make me realize something needs to change, and it’s time to elect new leaders with different priorities.

#london #ontario #canada #blackfriars #bridge #green #history #tvp #thames #river #walkabout #cycling #life #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:


Saturday, November 06, 2021

Third and final look - in monochrome

When you shift your perspective...
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We’ll close out this series with some monochrome love. Was it as much fun for you as it was for me?

3/3

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #wood #bridge #tree #trees #leaf #leaves #autumn #thames #river #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #monochrome #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:
Gelt to the rescue, December 2020

Second look - the meta shot

Picture within a picture
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I have this funny habit, so please don’t laugh at me for sharing it. Here it is:

Whenever I take the camera-camera out for some optical playtime, I make a point of taking placeholder photos here and there with my iPhone, as well.

I’m under no illusion: the Nikon will outshoot the iPhone with ease. But it isn’t about quality or one camera beating another. I don’t like to talk much about equipment, anyway. Cameras don’t take pictures: people do.

Even so, the phone has some things my camera doesn’t. Like internet connectivity. And geolocation. And social media apps that let me share an early glimpse from pretty much anywhere. And a wickedly chunky Otterbox case that lets it survive my ineptitude.

I’ll take test shots on the phone, then set them up in the DSLR. Or I’ll do something fun with the camera-camera, then shoot a meta-type photo like this one. Because I want to remember the place and the process as much as I want to remember the photo. Maybe even more.

Like I said, it’s a funny habit, one among many I’ve picked up on this strange march I’ve been on, one that follows a very unconventional drummer.

If it means more tiny, memorable moments like this one, then I’m perfectly fine with that.

2/3 - more to come…

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #wood #bridge #tree #trees #leaf #leaves #autumn #thames #river #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #meta #photography #apple #iphone #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

First look at a tiny bridge in the woods

Tread carefully
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


On every journey, we’ll come across tiny helpers like this, left behind by kind strangers who simply wanted those who would come here in their wake to do so safely.

So I say a quiet thanks as I step cross the well-worn planks laid carefully over the boggy ground.

1/3 - more to come…

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #wood #bridge #path #tree #trees #leaf #leaves #autumn #thames #river #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Friday, November 05, 2021

Looking back at an autumn scene

Shul grounds at night
London, ON
November 5, 2015
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Exactly 6 years ago tonight, I shot this scene with a BlackBerry.

That is all.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #throwback #tree #trees #green #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #blackberry #passport #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

More fast water...

Soft and strong
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


If one photo of dreamily rushing monochrome waters is worth sharing, then let's go for two.

More than the photo, though, is the memory of what it took to get this series of shots in the first place:

I leaned against a steeply banked tree right at the edge of the fast-moving river.

Then I checked my stance at least seven times to ensure I wasn't about to fall into said river.

I found my inner way-loosened-up-Zen to ensure I was holding the camera still enough for the electronic image stabilization to do its thing. It felt delightful.

I composed different parts of the water and imagined what they'd look like after between 0.25 and 0.5 second long exposures. It's harder than it sounds.

I gently squeezed off more images than I dare admit. Just in case, you know.

In the end, long-ish exposures without a tripod aren't exactly the stuff of photographic dreams.

But this experience wasn't so much about the pictures as it was about the process, and how it felt to be at one with the rushing waters, hoping to tell their story in a way I'd never managed to pull off before.

#ldnont #ExploreLdnOnt #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #thames #river #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #water #abstract #longexposure #monochrome #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:

Thursday, November 04, 2021

Ancient tree on a foggy riverbank

Life in many forms
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Kinda looks primordial, doesn't it?

#ldnont #exploreldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #thames #river #water #texture #fog #bokeh #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

Holding on for dear life

Look harder for it
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


We didn't find a whole lot of color in the woods this year, almost as if nature decided this wasn't the right time to put on a show.

Indeed, this isn't much of a time for a party, what with the pandemic and climate change and the general day-to-day struggle among folks just trying to get by. So perhaps it's just as well that the colors were somewhat more muted than usual.

But if you look a little more closely, or squint your eyes just so, you can occasionally see flashes of light that suggest all is not lost.

I found it in this shriveled-up brown leaf hanging on for dear life amid a strengthening wind. The light was just so, and the wind slackened just long enough for me to grab one sharp frame. I'm sure it was on the ground before I got back home.

It isn't brilliantly colored, but brown is a color all the same. It doesn't grab attention from afar - unless you happen to be standing in just the right spot where the light backlights it just so. It won't ever merit being carefully plucked, brought home, and saved in a book. Yet it lives forever right here.

We don't always get what we want. The alternative is often better than that.

Besides, parties are overrated.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #leaf #leaves #autumn #color #colors #brown #thames #river #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Stripped tree. Blue sky.

Still very much here
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The forest is full of trees just like this, devoid of leaves, still standing proudly under a brilliant blue sky.

I'm not enough of a tree expert (okay, I'm not even remotely close to being a tree expert) to know whether or not this is a healthy tree that recently lost its leaves, or one that's been dead all along. I suppose if I paid more attention during my regular walks here, I'd be able to tell.

Alive or dead, it makes for a lovely picture on a brilliantly clear mid-October afternoon, and I'm sure the birds appreciate it all the same.

It's beyond strange what attracts my attention when I'm out and about. I won't even begin to try to explain what's going on in my brain.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #blue #sky #weather #wx #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Monday, November 01, 2021

Rays of light deep in the river valley

Blue light special
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


There’s a moment when the sun reaches through the trees hanging over the river and fights to burn off the last remnants of the morning fog.

And this is what I've always imagined that moment would look like.

Which explains why getting up early to wander into the woods and down into the valley to witness it first-hand seems like a good idea.

I seriously wonder why I don’t do this more often.

#ldnont #exploreldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #thames #river #water #texture #bokeh #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Sunday, October 31, 2021

On the limits of democracy

"A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority."

 

Dog haiku in heavy traffic

I'm pretty sure my friends have been here
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It's been a while since our last haiku, so...

Dog walks on big road
Dense fog rolls in from the north
Treats await back home

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #calli #callitheschnauzer #dog #dogs #schnauzerpuppy #schnauzersofinstagram #schnauzergram #schnauzers #dogsofinstagram #instapuppy #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Fast water, slow shutter

A lot can happen in a quarter of a second
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


When the river runs high and fast after days of rain, we owe it to ourselves to stand a respectfully safe distance away and (figuratively) drink it in.

The rushing water breaks endlessly over the shallow rocks, creating standing waves that break defiantly in the face of relentless pressure. The sound from this impossibly complex fury reaches deep into the woods, a thrum that is almost felt as much as it is heard.

Meanwhile just below the surface, and all along the shore, the landscape is eroding slowly, invisibly, as nature continues to relentlessly redraw the landscape.

All this has been playing out since long before we were here, and it’ll continue long after we’re gone. We’re just temporary witnesses to history.

#ldnont #ExploreLdnOnt #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #thames #river #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #water #abstract #longexposure #monochrome #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Where I get lost in the forest

Remnants
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Get lost in the woods.

Shoot some scenes.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.

Not a bad way to spend a couple of hours on a grey fall afternoon.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #green #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

When leaves end

Life in many forms
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


I have something of a thing for fallen leaves.

Actually, I have a thing for many things, but I've got a word limit here, so we'll leave all the other things for another time.

This particular thing, forlorn leaves on a forest floor, has been a recurring theme for as long as I've been a photographer, and this particular shot might be my favorite such photo in a while.

Those water droplets speak of life, that maybe after the particular leaf here is long past decomposition, the forest will find some kind of way to create new life out of all the ingredients we see in this shot.

Silly Carmi: of COURSE something new will arise from this seemingly sad scene. Which, on reflection, isn't sad at all. Indeed, depending on which part of the circle of life we happen to be looking at, the view may not always be brilliant or pretty or young or desirable.

But as part of a greater whole, what's playing out in this simple frame is just as worthy of recording as anything else. And it has a beauty all its own, even if it isn't framed the same way as a more conventional aesthetic.

Thanks for the timely lesson, fallen leaf.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #floor #tree #trees #leaf #leaves #autumn #color #colors #texture #gameoftones #thames #river #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:
Remember the fallen, September 2013

Friday, October 29, 2021

Where towers soar into the sky

Telecommunication
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Reach for the sky.

You may not be able to actually touch it. But you'll be closer than you would have otherwise been.

#saultstemarie #ontario #canada #roadtrip #travel #travelphotography #communications #tower #sky #clouds #weather #wx #goldenhour #random #street #photography #streetphotography #canon #canon_photography #canonphotography #instagood #photooftheday #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Thursday, October 28, 2021

On the perverse reality of technology

"Humanity is acquiring all the right technology for all the wrong reasons."

Deep in the wide angle woods

Should I pray?
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


It’s easy to feel small in a place like this.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #green #cathedral #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #apple #iphone #iphone11 #shotoniphone #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Related:
One tree among many, February 2021

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A river runs around me

Textured waters
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


The waters have receded just enough to allow me to jump onto to a rocky sandbar just a few feet from shore.

It gets me far enough into the rushing river that I can almost feel the current in my head as I crouch down and compose the shot. It’s an admittedly beautiful spot, one that will in all likelihood disappear when the rains return and the waters rise again.

The flowing water all around me seems to add a certain sense of magic to this place. The air is a little fresher. The sounds are a little more resonant. Being here, on this tiny outcropping of smoothed-out rocks, makes me feel alive.

As I carefully hop back onto shore, it isn’t lost on me that all this is temporary, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to get out there for a bit.

It’s a small thing, really, but as I walk back to the outside world, I remind myself that small things really are big things.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #thames #river #water #texture #bokeh #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Trees from Venus

Purple haze
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Ray Bradbury’s iconic short story, All Summer in a Day, kept popping into my head as I walked through this foggy forest still shaking off the rains of the past few days.

The story of children on Venus who are perpetually stuck indoors by relentless rains, and are granted a single hour of play outside every seven years before the rains return, is but one of so many of Bradbury’s works that have imprinted themselves on me.

These woods feel like that story. The soaked-to-the-bone landscape. The condensation rolling into the air and dripping to the ground. The landscape trying to catch its breath before the rain returns anew.

The mind works in remarkable ways, with triggers from long ago going off precisely when we allow ourselves to disconnect from the here-and-now.

I’ve got to spend more time here. No matter the weather.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #thames #river #weather #wx #fog #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins

Monday, October 25, 2021

Not as scary as it seems

Always look toward the light
London, ON
October 2021
This photo originally shared on Instagram


Depending on how you choose to look at this scene, it’s either ominously dark or hopefully light.

I’m pretty sure most of you will know which one I’d choose.

Because even in the darkest of moments, there’s always enough light to guide us. Even if we have to look a little harder to find it.

Yesterday morning, I managed to find the light in a fog-covered forest. I’m sure I would have found it wherever I happened to be. I’m sure you would have, as well.

#ldnont #london #ontario #canada #medway #valley #forest #tree #trees #thames #river #weather #wx #fog #nature #naturephotography #landscape #landscapephotography #monochrome #photography #Nikon #nikonphotography #nikon_photography #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins