Thursday, August 5, 2010

Those Summers on the River...

...from a photographer's notebook

I often write of the “musical soundtracks” that play in my mind's ear as I am out and about with the cameras. Not sure I remember what was on the “Grey-Matter Victrola” on this perfect afternoon in September 1999, as I paused in Chase, British Columbia for a photo-and-refreshment break on the way to Moraine Lake in my beloved Canadian Rockies. I do recall a tape mix I had made for this trip, which included Melissa Manchester singing “The Gypsy in My Soul” and Chicago doing “Saturday in the Park.” Both would have fit nicely with my free spirit and the location, as I pulled over, appropriately enough in a lovely parkland setting along the South Thompson River. 

As I've written elsewhere, the slides from that afternoon, including the little girls under the sun awning of the grocery store [See “Best Friends” in the July posts] would have to wait patiently in their yellow and green boxes in a dark drawer...for ten years...before being scanned and re-discovered.

I like the slide, taken on high-saturation Ektachrome EBX, but it suggested another sort of treatment. 

And so I summoned my Digtal Genie out of her bottle very late last night and said, “Genie, my Dear, do you ever feel warmly nostalgic?”

And, speaking of a musical soundtrack, how about Eddie Heywood's wonderful piano trio recording of “Soft Summer Breeze?” Or perhaps Pat Boone and “Love Letters in the Sand”...or maybe Gogi Grant and “The Wayward Wind.” 

A soft summer breeze on the river...the scent of pine trees in the warm late afternoon sunshine...a double-dipped ice cream cone (with sprinkles) from the neighborhood grocer...a cookout later that afternoon...and no texting, twitter-ing, or video games. 

I'm there. 

Hope you can join me for a spell. 

This image is available in gallery prints as well as in my line of custom printed Photo Note Cards. For a larger, higher resolution view, please click on this link:
While there, if you would like to view more of my images, click on "More photos of this photographer."
©2010 Steve Ember

Monday, August 2, 2010

A different sort of "Blast"... in Aww-S-[Expletive-Deleted]

In early July, I received an e-mail from Shell announcing their “V-Power Fuel My Passion” Contest.

Now, I'm not big into entering contests, but this one had good prizes and, well, it had my name all over it.

To wit:

If you are one of those people who affectionately names your car, talks to it when no one else is around, or reads your owner's manual for fun, Shell invites you to share how Shell V-Power fuels your passion for your ride.

Skimming through the announcement, I saw it involved sending a photo of your special car (or other motorized vehicle). Ooohhh, interesting, as Big Kitty's classic lines and lithe form have inspired a great deal of photography, especially in those first several weeks after we became a pair. Just had to capture her in some inviting country settings...

Ah, but the photo has to be the car with its owner. That'll work. Not surprisingly, as Big Kitty was the first “new” addition to the driveway of Mewer Manor in 17 years, I'd made sure to record the event. So, some nice photos on file of the two of us, on Delivery Day in 2007 and a few other times.

Oh, but wait – the photo has to have the owner flashing the “V-sign” with both hands, and the entry must include a little narrative about how Shell V-Power gasoline “fuels my passion.” We can DO that...I've written elsewhere about finding and falling in love with the Kitty. And what's more, it would be "truth in advertising," as ever since I drove her off the dealer's lot, Big Kitty has dined exclusively chez-Shell, sipping enthusiastically from the 93-Octane V-Power nozzle.

All right, let's do this thing!

Now, a very long time ago, I learned, if I wanted to be sure of remembering something, like a date by which a chore must be done, to write it down. Whether it's in my Day-Timer, or scrawled on the back of a long-lost laundry ticket, the mere act of “writing it down” is usually enough, as I have a photographic memory.

This time, I neglected that simple memory-insuring act.

A few weeks ago, while dining with my cousin Eric and his family, I mentioned the contest to him, and he offered to take some photos of me flashing the “V-sign” in front of Big Kitty. So, I thank him, and file that offer away, thinking somehow that the contest is gonna run the whole summer. So, next time we get together – yesterday – we drive to a nice wooded setting, and Cuz takes the pictures.

We burn them to a CD, and this afternoon, I select my favorite...and prepare it for entry in the Shell contest. I access the e-mail with the contest announcement, and see the deadline for entry was...five...days... ago!!!

As stated above...Shit!

Have you ever thrown away a big winning lottery ticket? Well, maybe not that dramatic a scenario, but I will hope the contest is deemed successful enough that they'll do it again next year...

©2010 Steve Ember

BTW, if you happen to be a Jaguar enthusiast, or know someone who is, you might like to have a look at the Kitty-Cards in my series of custom printed Photo Note Cards.

Snow Kitty No.1, created during our winter blizzards, is the latest in the series. The image is also available as a matted print. If you'd like a higher resolution look, click on the link below. Once there, if you would like to see more of my photography, simply click on more photos of this photographer at left below the image.

Labels: , , , ,