Oar

I’ve never understood motor boats—the noise, the permeating cloud of fuel...the intrusion. Sure, I can see the appeal (or necessity) of going from point A to point B across a body of water. But the speed...doing so at full throttle, on a peaceful river, without urgency or any real destination...it feels like a savage, blind invasion. Like someone hiking under a sky full of stars and staring at the ground, talking loudly about the office. Some moments are cathedrals and mosques and meant to be absorbed, respectfully. In total silence or careful whispers.

This is one of those times.

We’ve lived by the Richelieu River for fifteen years. For my birthday a couple of months ago, Cynthia gave me kayak lessons at the local boating club—a five minute drive away from our house. Two weeks later I’d bought my own sea kayak. Nothing fancy: a Pelican Summit 100X on sale at Canadian Tire. It fits in my car with the seats down, it’s steady and fast enough when I put my mind to it. I’ve been out on glass-like waters and white caps, on sunny evenings and rainy afternoons. I’ve watched videos on YouTube to perfect my technique and get some pointers; I ache from every bone in my body.

But man...the freedom.
On my first solo outing a fish jumped right in front of my boat: at least two-feet long with a bright orange dorsal fin, its body silver and glistening. I can still see it in my mind, every frame of it.

Tonight I’m testing a waterproof camera housing, using my X100T—just in case.
It’s all a Brave New World.


Shot with the X100T in a Dicapac WP-S3 Underwater housing


Heatstroke

It's fairly common for tourists visiting this city to be blindsided by the weather: Montreal can get very hot during the summer months. And as soon as the temperatures rise, the humidity usually settles in as well, creating what can quickly become a pretty awful mix of radiated heat vs heavy/damp conditions.

I was giving two workshops last week, both to photographers visiting the country. Very enjoyable few days with great conversations and street shooting but man...it got tough. On Tuesday, with Chris, we ended up walking over 20k before the day was done and already the conditions were hard to endure. But it was still somewhat dry and there was a mild breeze providing some comfort. On Thursday however...broiled and grilled. My client that day—Rafael—was in town from Mexico and the sheer intensity of the heat left him more than a little surprised. We should've been drinking Sangria on a terrasse in the shade...not walking around with cameras dangling around our increasingly sunburnt necks (well, mine anyway).

It's better now. Still feels like summer but a bit less killer.
A few frames below to keep those warm memories alive...


Shot with the X100T and the X-Pro2 with XF 35mm f/2 R WR


String Theory

Let's not look for meaning—there's none to be found. Moments in passing, test shots, oddly painterly scenes glanced through my car window...all a string of inconsequential frames.
Of ten days gone by.

Pairs

Two from a dentist appointment yesterday. Two from our kitchen counter this morning—cereals and a pile of old books we brought back from my mom’s house last weekend; the roots of my imaginary world. Two of our—almost—teenage son, an hour ago.

Discontinuous continuity.


Shot with the X100T


Toronto.Montreal.Beats

 

I've been a little busy lately. Images are pilling up—I never stop shooting—and I can almost hear them, pleading, begging to be set free; being trapped in Lightroom is just no way for an honest photograph to live.

Anyway, I apologize for the radio silence. There are 4 to 6 posts I want to write but that damn clock keeps ticking, moving me closer to too many deadlines for comfort—personal or otherwise. Our oldest daughter—middle child extraordinaire—is turning double digits next weekend and since it'll be Easter, she had some friends over on Saturday. So there's that, most recently. I also still need to finish the Tokyo series believe or not. But I'm writing a new conference called Les États Photographiques (tentatively The United States of Photography once I get around to translating it) and it's essentially monopolizing all my thoughts, leaving very little brainpower for anything else. I'm scheduled to speak on April 7.

We released our new KAGE issue last week, with Kevin Mullins acting as this month's editor—the theme is Faces in case you're curious. This all happened while I was in Toronto, beginning a new project with some wonderful folks. Toronto...hadn't been there in years. I recognized the aerial web of wires instantly, the steel grooves of streetcars, the small shops...but all so much hipper than I remembered. Shades of Portland—although I've never set foot there. Shades of _a faint idea _ of Portland I guess. A construct that's probably nowhere near the truth.

I took the train instead of flying. Had some writing to do so I figured I'd use the time, thought the scenery would somehow inspire me. It didn't. But there's still something vaguely romantic about trains. A rhythm of Beats and Dharma Bums clashing and clanging against the open space. The shots below were taken on the way home, on a sunny morning that slowly turned into a very dark late afternoon. I was looking to smear the landscapes...reflections of my liquified mind.

Later


Shot with the X100T