A Lovely Little World

Adventures in Southern Ontario

Losing Hope

This week has been challenging one for the world, with new acts of violence and terror, in a place that should have been safe, and those hurt were girls, teens and their mothers.  Undoubtedly, people are angry and scared. If you are one of those people who believes that love makes a difference and that they way forward is hope, well, basically it’s hard to believe at a time like this isn’t it?

And this is easy for me to say, because I’m not there… I didn’t lose a loved one… but I think the answer is the same. One by one we have to make life better for individuals, until the good outweighs the bad. We can’t suddenly give up on trying to make the world better because it seems like the odds are too big. THEY ARE HUGE. THEY ARE OVERWHELMING. But I spent too many years assuming there was nothing I could do, and you know what? Nothing got done.

As I’ve gotten older, I realized how foolish it is to throw your hands in their air and let the world kill itself, which is really what apathy does. If you don’t fight for a better place, who will? And isn’t it better to try, than to do nothing, even if in the end it makes no difference? Find a way, any way, you can to make the world better for even one person and… right there, it IS making a difference. Do not despair. Do not be apathetic. Pray. Love. Hope. On the smallest level you can, until it becomes bigger.

These photographs were all taken at Hamilton’s Royal Botanical Gardens.

The Responsibility of Magic

 

 

Magic.

I know that I am incredibly blessed to live in a world that is so overwhelming beautiful. 

I am so grateful that I have been blessed with the ability to see beauty, in ways not everyone can. It’s not something I taught myself. I cannot take credit for it.

My world is just so magical. 

It feels so overwhelming at times.  Like maybe it’s dangerous to see it all. 

There is a catch, when the world is this beautiful… the pain is so heartbreakingly obvious, you cannot ignore it.

Don’t forget to help out someone in need. Someone struggling with mental health, someone poor, even just someone who feels alone.

They need you. Okay?

 

Wild & Free Art Gala

Friday is the night! I spent the day selecting eight double exposures to show, and by that I mean, I’ve already fussed over which eight a number of times. Finally I decided to pick them based on the general mood they created together… so I feel okay about the selection, which isn’t normal for me. Typically nothing feels right or complete, which doesn’t exactly create confidence.

Sneak peek…. only this one didn’t make the cut, even though it’s one of my favourites.

Anyway…

The Art Show opens at 7pm at the Spice Factory, located at 121 Hughson Street North. There is parking all around, and after 6pm it’s only $1.50 I think… you might be able to find free parking within walking distance, but I don’t have inside information on that. There is no cover charge, but we are collecting non-perishable food goods, if you’ve got them.

As you know, there is live music; James Favron, Chad Brown and Josh Edwards. I am most familiar with James’ work, and he’s amazing, so there’s that. I am exhibiting with other women, Sarah Wills who is exhibiting band photography, but also does amazing fashion photography, Melanie Crumb who is this fresh, talented painter, who uses her art as a way of coping with depression, yay Mel! and Krista Roberts who is exhibiting pottery, and it’s beautiful (which her video in the below link, even the making of the beautiful pottery is beautiful). Here’s a link to event page, but also check out the links below!

Melanie Crumb’s Video and website

Krista Roberts’ Video

Sarah Wills’ Video and website

Also I should mention, Sarah made the videos.

Painting by Melanie Crumb

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Erie at Night

I have long been an admirer of Mike Kukuscka‘s night photography; he specializes in capturing the world after dark, and his work is really just so beautifully orchestrated, that when I heard he was doing a talk at Haldimand Photography Club, I basically signed up immediately.

Sarah went along with me, and afterwards said, “We should go out shooting this weekend”. So, last night we went to James N. Allan Park and set up along the beach as a storm was rolling across the sky. It’s a little eerie being entirely alone on a dark beach and I was glad we opted for this open expanse rather than Rock Point Provincial Park which is basically a forest, as we had first discussed. Not because anything would happen, but for the creepiness factor. I think I’d have to tackle that in a larger group.

I haven’t mastered the skill of night photography, and I don’t even really have the proper gear, but I created a few things that I don’t mind sharing.

The white flash behind the clouds is lightning. The storm never did hit us, but we were all set to leave when the lightning started and it never came our way. 

Americans, we can see you!

I randomly decided to shoot the darkest part of the sky, where the cloud cover was most dense. This was one of the “out-takes” but I love how abstract looking it turned out, despite being so underexposed.

And more out-takes, just because….

Sarah wanted me to look at something on her camera, 

And she’s painting a tree with light, but it looks like a funny dance. Although she literally was dancing and it was dark, so I had no way to capture it, which she knew and was glad about, I assume, since I would likely post in on social media.

Bleeding Heart

I’ve been thinking about why I’m a “bleeding heart” and I realized its because I want the world to exist in that idealistic way. I want a world where love is the norm, where we are consistently kind and thoughtful to each other. I want a world where we help the poor and needy or even more than that, where there aren’t any poor or needy because hope has infected enough people that they help each other and grow themselves.

I want a world where there is NO war, not holy wars or righteous wars or wars for democracy or war to free people, NO WARS!

And I only see the world heading in that direction through bleeding hearts and people who demonstrate radical love and peace and I’d rather err in being idealistic and naive and maybe something good happens than wallow in the cynicism I felt for so long. Cynicism about governments, love and mostly myself.

“It’s said that the biggest determinant of our lives is whether we see the world as welcoming or hostile. Each becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy”. – Gloria Steinem

 

 

 

 

 

Abandoned Prudhomme’s Landing

These are old photos, from last July actually. I never got around to sharing them but the setting is too interesting to just file them away on my computer without showing them. Prudhomme’s Landing was bought out by a developer. Previously the site had been home to an amusement park, paint ball field and hotel. We knew we had to photograph it before it got torn down, so we went and just in time too. A few weeks later, the hotel was destroyed by a fire, (if you consider an abandoned, graffiti-covered hotel NOT destroyed). I love how nature grows over things. The roses bushes all but took over the front entrance and it was beautiful. I won’t write anything else, the photos speak for themselves. Hopefully this spring I’ll be able to find a few new (old) places to explore. So many times the locations get torn down or revitalized before I make it there, not that revitalization is bad obviously. 

The Stotts at Halo

I use to document my everyday way more than I do now, which is sort of weird because I use to really enjoy that. On that note, here is a series of SUPER GRAINY photos from when the Stotts performed at Halo a few weeks ago. I wasn’t playing photographer that night, but I enjoy things more when I observe it through the lens, so I brought a long a camera anyway. At concerts, I like to capture the audience, so I tried to do a bit of that, keeping in mind, the room was really dimly lit. It was a different sort of event, because it was private and limited space, so people were kind of piled anywhere they could find a spot. The Stotts were, of course, amazing. You can’t tell from the photos but they have energy, and the crowd loved it.

And… in case  you haven’t heard of the Stotts, which seems unlikely if you follow my social media at all… check out their music video here. I linked to War on War, which is a song about learning to love and forgive instead of going to war, which is a pretty awesome message if you ask me.

 

The Ugly Day Didn’t Pan Out – Hamilton Bayfront

There was a day, a few weeks ago, I decided I would try to challenge myself and photograph “ugly” things when I went out for a walk around the city. Of course, it ended up being that really warm, sunny Saturday when so many people were out enjoying the sudden break in weather. It was impossible to not see beautiful things that day. Even the ugliness barely looked ugly. And there were so many couples just wandering around, laughing, holding hands, and a man feeding pigeons. I think that’s just so kind. A lot of people really hate pigeons, but this man had brought a bag of bird seed and was throwing it for them. No word of a lie, he was backlit by the sun, as if he was some kind of angelic being in the gritty centre of the city, feeding the very birds that contribute to its grittiness.

People always seem so much happier on the first warm, sunny days of spring. It did feel good to not wear a coat that day. And the feeling is infectious. But…. on the grey days… there are still solutions to combating the cold and isolation.

Pretty donuts, hot drinks, and a book in a cafe with steamy windows.

Cute, colourful buildings against a dark sky.

Buildings with big windows and weird architectural features…..

Really, whatever you please.

 

 

Why I Love Cities

Some people only want to live in cities. I have always known that I am a small town person. The countryside is beautiful, but the few years we had to ration water, and the amount of grass that needs to be cut, confirmed for me it wasn’t for me. At the same time, I’m not a city dweller, and don’t really plan to be, but I love cities. Every time I say that, someone inevitably points out the busy-ness and the smog and whatever else that is typically wrong with city life, and yes, I get it, that’s why I love my town but…

My reasons for loving cities are pretty valid, especially with my – coffee-centric, explore your neighbourhood and photograph it, love history, and indie art and music – type of personality. I will share my favourite city places in a later post, for now here are my arguments for why cities are great.

  1. There are coffee places everywhere. I’m not a connoisseur, I don’t ever think “wow, this place has the best coffee”, I just want a hit of caffeine and I don’t want it to taste like swamp water. That being said, it’s nice to have a variety of different places to visit, within walking distance, with their own charm. Small towns may have a coffee place or two, but they are probably in the same neighbourhood, and one of them might be a chain; it doesn’t feel as much like exploring and then relaxing, if you sit with your book. Also, you feel silly in a small town, and less anonymous, just sitting there working, alone.

Durand Coffee, in the Durand Neighbourhood. My favourite part is the mural

     2. Cities have super weird buildings. So do towns. But it’s fun to come upon them unexpectedly when you’re wandering around a place you don’t know very well.

These two aren’t super weird examples, but I’m quite certain you understand my meaning. There are unexpected things everywhere in cities.

      3. There’s a mix of old and new. This particular neighbour is a bizarre assortment of condos, apartments, and beautiful old brick homes. Did you ever see that kids’ movie, Monster House? This whole neighbourhood reminds me of that.

4. Now, towns definitely have this going for it… cities are full of the quirkiness factor, or the daydream factor, whichever you prefer. Those little touches of humanity that make you smile… a funny coloured wall, chairs on a deck where people have been sitting enjoying the sun, stained glass windows in an run down building. Those are my favourite things of all.

There are so many things to love about a place, but obviously, there’s no place like home.

 

 

Punchbowl hike in the fog

My birthday is at the end of January. That means a lot of cancelled birthday plans for bad weather. It’s meant that some years I’m reluctant to even try, so I had one main goal this year… hike a waterfall in Hamilton. Hamilton is known for its waterfalls and I’ve only seen maybe three of them. My cousin Liz said she’d go with me on my actual birthday, a Sunday. Of course, the weather wasn’t good. It was insanely foggy, which, by the way, is very weird for a Canadian winter. We went anyway, and despite the ridiculous amount of mud, which added weight to our boots, it was worth it.

I couldn’t really see the waterfall, but I managed to create some of my favourite images in years.

There is something about fog that instantly adds a level of mystery to your photographs. The world becomes an entirely different place. Devil’s punchbowl is on the far east side of Hamilton, and it’s also home to a really amazing bakery, (Best peanut butter pies you’ve EVER eaten).

Processed with VSCO with b1 preset

Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

The downside to Hamilton waterfalls – even in the bad weather – there are tons of people who hike there. We saw at least three other groups of people and heard more. Although I guess that’s not exactly busy. It’s just not remote/secluded, like places where you would hike in Northern Ontario.

The trails here are slightly steep, so if it’s muddy, be careful unless you want to go for a slide, but otherwise, I would do it again – especially in the fog.

 

« Older posts