Monthly Archives: May 2012
Sunny days with risk of frost overnight, lows down to minus 2 C. Chance of showers and possible thundershowers. What kind of a forecast is this for late May? Better still, what season is this? Late spring in the foothills at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, offers up cool temperatures and unsettled weather and landscape photographers are outside. Fooled by the date, often fingerless mitts have been filed away in the basement under “Winter”, they persevere through the late spring date. Just remembering it is actually late May will keep thoughts away from what the temperature actually is.
Just south of the Information Office at the park the tree swallows take advantage of a break in the two days of on again, off again, spring and summer weather taking turns on the stage. They dip and swirl and scold and swoop and fight and do what tree swallows do in May. Dressed up in a handsome, iridescent tuxedo of blue green and white they will let the casual observer into their lives right out in the open where they can be easily seen. Slender, streamlined with wings long, dark and pointed. To describe their behaviour as active and eager is an understatement – they perch, fly with highly-maneuverable skill, dodge and dip, catch snacks of insects in flight, soar, hover, dash and squabble, all incessantly. They are snaffling insects in flight, mostly mosquitoes, humanity’s arch enemy. The bone chilling wind can’t be offering up many of those little morsels tonight but the instinctive behaviour continues – swoop, swoop, snaffle.
After four evening hours at Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park, numb fingers can’t turn the keys in the truck. Sitting on hands to warm them up staring at the remainder of an incredible prairie sunset works wonders. This isn’t a spring evening, it’s freezing, but the box is full of gems so hang in there. Summer’s just around the corner.
Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park lies between Calgary and Cochrane, Alberta east of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
Travel photographers make the trip to the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur or Pink City, to visit the palaces and fort, capture architectural details of the Rajastani era. This is a unique place after all, northern India invaded by northeastern and western outsiders, bringing Mughal influences to the subcontinent. The result is everywhere. However, there are other jewels to visit after fort stomping has wearied the camera toting traveler. One of the easiest palaces to view is Jal Mahal, the Water Palace located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. The palace and a dam were built in the 15 century, one to reduce the effects of drought in the area and the other, well, why are palaces built anyway? Built in Rajput style and restored throughout the years finally in the 18th century it is what we see today and can be easily visited from the road to Nahargarh Fort.
Another interesting area to visit after the Wind Palace and City Palace and the fort is Jantar Mahal (translated to “instrument” and “formula”), a collection of massive astronomical instruments built from local stone and marble in the early 1700’s. Without a visit in person it is difficult to appreciate the enormity (the largest is 90m feet high) and precision of devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, astronomy, interplanetary movement, even weather. Wandering around the site in the late afternoon is one of the best ways to appreciate the scientific advancement in medieval times, the soft, yellow facades loom over amazed visitors who are testing the equipment such as the largest sundial in the world, “to see if it still works”. Its hard to stump 17th C masterminds in astronomy, physics, geometry.
Of course, one of the jewels of the Rajastani area is the handlebar mustached men dressed in Rajastani costumes typical of the area. Portraits give life to travel photography.
At the end of the day leaving the Gate of Jaipur was memorable with the delicate carving and bright lights.
Sporty Kid Portraits
Sports photography doesn’t always have to be outside photography.
Its not every day basketballs, rackets and, (what’s that thing called again?) RipStick or perhaps RibUnstick (does that mean your ribs won’t be sticking to you any more when you fall down?) makes its way into the portrait studio either. Heaven forbid the fall takes place in the studio.
Young people like action and although you can try to rein them in, in front of a screen it’s best to just let them conceptualize what an action shot is and go with it. Oh, and sometimes it’s OK to keep the dirt on the sports equipment. Young people like that kind of thing.