Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Unbalanced Equation

Seventeen hundred and eighty-nine does not equal sixty. But if you put them together over 5 hours, it sort of does.

At first it doesn't make sense at all. Kind of like two and seven. They are not equal but when you put them together, you get your average week. Now that definitely does not make sense, working 5 days just to have two off. Totally off-balance.

Today, I tried out a new ice climbing partner in Banff. The route, would be high up on Copper Mountain. Just how high up? Well, about a 1789 vertical foot scramble up the east facing draw along the highway. Once there, our ice fall was about 60 feet. Was it worth it? Not at first.

However, once we were there, and climbed it a few times, the sun shining, air warm, and the killer view of the Banff parkway, our equation made sense.

Hard work + exercise + a great view, and a chance to be in the mountains away from the crowds, it made perfect sense.

Long Distance

I was asked a few months ago if I would shoot a wedding for a family friends' sister who had met her fiance' (from Columbia) while on a missions trip to Equitorial Guinea. Sure, I have no problem doing another wedding. But over the last few weeks I have been seeing them preparing for their wedding and interacting with their church family here in Crossfield. I have been able to get to know them a little, and get an idea of who they are. I just wish I could do this with all of my clients, it makes the photos so much more personal.
Infact I don't even consider this couple as, "clients". More like "friends," and I am looking forward to hearing about them in the future and how they adjust to two different cultures. Good Luck and God Bless guys.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Negotiator

I am sure I had already marched about 4 kilometers down the Galatea Creek Terrace trail when a quite question slipped into the back of my mind, “why am I doing this again”? To be honest, it has been so long since I regularly spent time in the mountains that it takes more motivation than necessary. Not only was the motivation lacking, but my watch was beginning to strongly disagree with the guidebooks estimate for the base of my intended ice climb.
Half hour later, on my return, I once again crossed the first steep gully leading up to Mt. Kidd Bowl. The Bowl was not my original choice but by now I was actually starting to relax and thinking maybe I would scramble up far enough to just get a look. Of course the creek bed in the gully started out easy enough, as it usually does.
Another 20 minutes and I am side hilling the talus rim about 100 meters above the creek. Every 10 steps I look up, first the bowl, and now crystal blue ice is leaning out from the steep arĂȘte’s walls as if to say, “Hey, we are really not that far”. It is far though and I am still thinking about turning around. I am a little hungry and wishing I had stopped for lunch an hour earlier.
Up until this point, my brain has been slowly pulling its gun, and I’m beginning to feel the barrel between my shoulder blades. That’s right, my brain. It wants to go home, wants to be warm and sit on the couch drinking a beer. You see, my brain is generally the lazy one. But it’s my spirit that brought us here and right now it has to talk my brain down.
Now the spirit knows something the brain had forgotten a long time ago. It knows that the only way to grow and live a little more completely is to work hard for something, to push through the wet paper bag that our daily lives crawl into. The spirit knows about the rushing river of life just below the ice, the brain only hears it as a far off echo of what is now just a memory. Such a shame that it is so easy to forget.
Eventually I reach the bowl, negotiations cease, and the spirit has won. It feels good to work through the motivation issue; I get some climbing in and make it back to the parking lot in one piece. Today was a good day, and the satisfaction of not jamming out too soon, will last forever. “I can’t wait to do this again”.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What's Stopping You?

On Friday night a few of us took in the new Warren Miller ski movie, "DYNASTY". And when I say, "us", I mean four of us guys that get together a couple times a year and camp out in the mountains. Nothing special, except for the fact that it all started out as some kind of therapy for our souls. Now it is just an important part of our balance in this hectic, teeter-totter life.

As usual, the flick blew us out of the water. Crazy huge ski-lines down knife edge peaks, unbelievable locations, and riders pushing the limits as we know them today. Lights are on, crowd clears the Jube, and we are talking about it all the way to the car. Of course it starts unconciously, "man, I wish I was doing that stuff", "Gee I wished I got out more". and on it builds, until you get so frustrated that you forget about all of the cool things you HAVE actually done.

Which brings me to the question? What haven't you done? What is it that you still think you have to do? Is your family still holding you back? Are your kids really 6 feet of chain anchor?

Or is it just something you will do when the dust from your young marriage and even younger family settles?

Then again, maybe it is just you. Maybe you'll do it tomorrow, maybe just dream about it for a little while longer. Maybe it simply comes down to this, that the true difference between those guys on the screen and you.....is that they are doing it and your not. Really, they are ordinary people just like you, except that they have chosen to lead an extrordinary life. They have kids and bills and stress just like any of us, it is just important to them that they live while they are alive. If your living your life, then you are LIVING. If your regretting your life, then your DYIN', and very slowly I might add.

I don't regret not climbing or being in the mountains as much as I think I should have been in the past. That is because I am doing it now, and tomorrow.

A Break Maybe

Well, this years Crux move is almost finished. I started shooting hockey teams, Church directory portraits, and the odd commercial job on the 20th of last month. Packages are almost all uploaded to the lab and I can start to see the light.

Last week AirdrieLIFE magazine asked me to cover their Photographers Photo Exhibit at the Woodridge Golf Club. That was a nice change, just having a good time with a few other photogs.

A few of the shots will likely be in a future edition of the magazine. I can't post any here until they have run for a month. Look for my scruffy headshot in the bio section.