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“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
"Travellers" (Helen, 2009)
The summer night drive home after a photo walkabout in Port Hope was a quiet journey along the highway. I was a content passenger, reflecting on a happy day.
As we neared home in Clarington, I picked up my camera and started to play with it, taking photographs through the front windshield, playing with the settings, wondering what I might capture.
This image captured so much of my feelings from the day.
At first, I could make out lines from an electrocardiogram (ekg) and thought about my happy heart.
Then, I saw a musical score and thought about music that would describe the day, the moment of the image: Beethoven's "Ode To Joy" or Loreena McKennitt's "The Old Ways" - " ... calling me home ...".
Finally, I saw figures moving across to some destination - their destiny? - and thought of my sons well on their journey through life.
The image became "Travellers": a portrait of those with whom we travel through life; a portrait depicting the journey home.
We framed a large print of the image and hung it in the entrance-way of our home. The first time my eldest son saw it, he commented how much he liked it. It now hangs in his home.
In 2013 our Mayor, Adrian Foster, held his first gala to celebrate the arts in our community (Clarington) and to raise funds to support local arts centres. "Travellers" was one of the images published in "For the Love of Clarington" which is a collection of works by Clarington artists: "... a pictorial tribute to the works as well as the artists that created them." I selected "Travellers" because it reminds me of good feelings experienced when returning home.
And Jean-Michel's homage to Canadian composer Norma Beecroft was also published in "For the Love of Clarington" .
Port La Tour Harbour, Nova Scotia (Jean-Michel, August 2013)
Earlier in the day, our friends Shirley and Alan drafted us as ad-hoc members of the Shelburne Longboat Society. We crewed, together with two fine fife players, a longboat in the Shelburne street parade.
While I am strictly a landlubber, I gladly stood up in the longboat to greet scores of fair maidens (of all ages), removing my tricorne (three-cornered) hat and bowing deeply - and reverently - to them. A fine experience!
Later, when we returned to our friends’ home in Port la Tour I made my way to their backyard overlooking the port and the Atlantic. The lights on the wharf and a single boat coming into port played against the sky.
Having earlier bravely stood in a rocking boat – striking fear in the parade marshals – I was confident in my steadfastness and knew that I certainly did not need a tripod in order to photograph the scene in front of me, so I handheld my camera for a full four seconds.
It appears that while I never moved, the world did. The lights danced, in perfect unison.
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