RMW: the blog

Roslyn's photography, art, cats, exploring, writing, life


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Canadian Rockies – Day Five – Banff and the Bow River

canadian rockies

Overnight there was just enough rain to clear the skies a little. Still a lot of smoke but we could see some details. Why couldn’t this have happened the day before? Well, we had to be grateful for this gift at least.

canadian rockies
In the morning we drove along the shores of Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake. Click image below for slideshow:

 

Next we visited Cascade Gardens near the grounds of the Banff Park Administration Building. Click image below for slideshow:

The big event of the day was a raft trip floating along the Bow River. I didn’t position myself very well as I was seated directly opposite my friends so I had to dodge around their heads to get a clear shot. In the raft you can’t move around too much without everybody going overboard! And my camera is not waterproof…

Our guide on the river, like all the guides we encountered on the trip, was very knowledgeable and personable. I believe this young man was from New Zealand. As a member of the British Commonwealth, apparently you can spend two years in each Commonwealth Country (including New Zealand, Canada, Australia, South Africa, and of course, the UK) on a work Visa so most of the guides we encountered were from those countries. Wish I had known that when I was younger!

Click image below for slideshow:

 

At the beginning of the float trip I accidentally changed the picture style to black and white and didn’t realize this until we disembarked. I was ready to jump into the cold waters I was so mad at myself. But when we got back into town we found a camera store and the young man showed me how to change it back to color. I’ve never seen this B&W setting before! I was mortified. Luckily I always shoot in RAW and JPEG and he assured me the setting didn’t affect the RAW files… saved! Well, I learned something…

canadian rockies

We ate lunch at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. You can see it in the slideshow above.

And this is what the town of Banff looks like when the smoke clears. Not too shabby!

candadian rockies

 

 

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Canadian Rockies, Day Two

Prince of Wales Hotel

Prince of Wales Hotel

What happened to Day One? Well, that was getting there. My alarm went off at 2:00am. I called for my taxi at 4:21am and arrived at LAX ready for the 7;25am flight. We landed in Calgary around 1:20pm after a change of planes in Salt Lake City. That evening my three friends and I met our tour guide and the other 40 people on the Caravan tour.

 

Waterton Lakes National ParkIn the morning we left Calgary for Waterton Lakes National Park. The trip there was well, let’s just say it was hazy!

Waterton Lakes National Park

Looking down at the town of Waterton

Thank goodness for photographing in RAW format and photo processing in Lightroom with the “dehaze” function and some other tweaking!

Waterton Lakes National Park

This is what the scene above actually looked like!

Waterton Lakes National Park

Another view of the Prince of Wales Hotel

I was told there were approximately 500 wildfires raging across Canada.

Waterton Lakes National ParkThe smoke was so thick I heard it was like smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.

Waterton Lakes National Park

Flower bouquets at our hotel

 

Once settled in our hotel, we embarked on a cruise of Waterton Lake.Waterton Lakes National Park
The world’s first International Peace Park, formed in 1932 by combining Waterton Lakes Park in Canada with Glacier Park in Montana. These two parks form Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, a celebration of friendship between Canada and the US. Let’s hope!

Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton  Waterton Lakes National Park

Even though it was very hazy I made the decision I was going to keep snapping away and hope I could bring out some of the details in Lightroom when I got home. That turned out to be a great decision.

Waterton Lakes National Park

The cruise was very peaceful and just what I needed after the frenzied day before running for flight connections and getting to the hotel in Calgary. And previously that day we had a long, very boring bus trip from Calgary to Waterton. Compared to all that, this was truly blissful.

Click on an image below for images of the lake cruise

You’re not seeing double, I just wanted to show this image again to point out this photo of the line cut to demark the border of the US and Canada.

Waterton Lakes National Park

Waterton Lakes National Park

I liked this photo showing the “Thumbs Up” Canadian flag!

Waterton Lakes National Park

I always love reflections on the water.

Waterton Lakes National Park

We arrived at our destination on the Montana side of the lake. We were able to stretch our legs for a while. Click on an image below.

Then back on the boat to Canada!

We enjoyed a delicious dinner with a beautiful view. Then back to our hotel room.

Waterton Lakes National Park

Our patio furniture

Lovely view of lake from our room

View of the lake from our room. We sat outside for a while in the evening, sucking it all in.

And last, the three lovely ladies who made my trip so enjoyable!


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My point & shoot at the Hammer Museum

hammer museum

For the past several weeks I’ve been visiting a physical therapist at the UCLA Rehab Center in Westwood. I woke up one morning to discover my shoulder had quit working. PAINFUL!!!! The therapy seems to be helping me v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. I think it had to do with switching from a track ball to a mouse earlier in the year. Mouses and me have never gotten along. On my last corporate job I suffered with carpal tunnel syndrome.

Anyway, whatever the cause, the result was the same. Carrying my heavy Canon DSLR and assorted lenses around has not been helping I am sure. So I decided for times when I’m not specifically going out to shoot photos, and I just want to throw a camera in my bag, I would buy a point & shoot.

My old Olympus SP-350 that traveled with me all over Europe, just doesn’t cut it anymore. It was never the fastest camera in the universe and now it seems to have slowed down even more. As pain is to my shoulder, slow is to that camera! By the time the shutter actually clicks, the snail has moved on…

I read all the reviews and decided on a Canon PowerShot G16. It has a good hand grip which I need, a view finder that I can’t live without it, and it shoots RAW/hi-res JPG. And it is fast enough to capture those snail races should I feel the need.

hammer museum

Hammer Museum at Wilshire and Westwood Blvds where I catch the bus.

So on my last trip to physical therapy I packed the G16. The UCLA Hammer Museum is across the street from where I catch the bus so I decided on this particular day to pay a visit.

From the website: The Hammer Museum champions the art and artists who challenge us to see the world in a new light, to experience the unexpected, to ignite our imaginations, and inspire change.

Best of all, it is FREE!

Photography is allowed without a flash, yippee! The reviews state the G16 doesn’t do well in low light, I bought the camera knowing that as I figured I’d be using it mostly outdoors. So I was anxious to see how it would hold up inside the museum.

hammer museum

The first exhibit I saw was The Afghan Carpet Project featuring six carpets designed by L.A.-based contemporary artists then handmade by weavers in Afghanistan. The photo at the top of the post is of the carpet exhibit.

hammer museum

I particularly liked the Unswept Rug. This is reminiscent of Roman mosaics that represent an unswept floor. I happen to be an admirer of Roman mosaics so this caught my attention.

hammer museum

Next up I sauntered into Mark Bradford’s Scorched Earth exhibit. From the website: the work …refers to formative moments in his life and ruminations on the body in crisis. As an artist who has long been interested in strategies of mapping and the psychogeography of the city he calls home, Bradford uses his characteristic painting style to excavate the terrain— emotional, political and actual—that he inhabits.

hammer museum

I was hooked from the first second I set eyes on the artwork. The way I approach art either it resonates with me or it doesn’t. There isn’t much in between. As I have said many times, I even like art I don’t like. But when it has an emotional appeal for me there is nothing more satisfying.

hammer museum

I enjoy abstract art and I particularly like collage. These pieces fulfilled both of those elements for me.

hammer museum

There is no intellectual explanation for me. It is wholly visceral. I was completely stunned by this work. I stood there and stood there and stood there gawking and sucking it all in.

hammer museumThis is a close-up detail of one of the pieces. I hope you can see the texture in this. There are layers of materials cut out to show other layers below. I wanted to run my hands over the collage and experience its 3D nature, but fortunately I was able to restrain myself!

hammer museum

I walked around the gallery for quite a while, inspecting, staring, discovering, exploring, admiring… taking it all in.

hammer museum

I finally had to leave the gallery and move on or the security guards would probably have had to escort me out…

hammer museum

I headed for the photography exhibit Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition. From the website: When we say of a portrait that it is a perfect likeness, we mean not just that it accurately delineates its subject. … We are glutted with images. What single picture might separate itself from this flood? Any such attempt to make such a work will lead inevitably to the question of composition.

hammer museum

That being the case I attempted to look at each image from the point of view of composition. But I have always thought of “good” photography, just like any kind of “good” art, as being innately well composed or it just doesn’t work. I suppose, without thinking about it, I am always conscious of the composition.

hammer museum

I’ve seen a good many photography exhibits at a good many prestigious museums. I have to say, this was one of the best I have ever seen in terms of quality and diversity. I also liked the way the photos were given their own space rather than being lined up side by side on crowded walls.

hammer museum

There were a couple of other exhibits which I am sure were wonderful in their own way. But they didn’t appeal to me personally as strongly as these three exhibits.

I came away inspired and motivated. I’ve had some ideas for a while about a project. I think and I hope viewing these exhibits has given me a shove in the right direction.

All three are on view through various dates in September. Check the website for availability!

When i opened the photos on my computer they were certainly underexposed. But Adobe Lightroom bumped the images up to a respectable level. I’m happy with the camera.

All photos and content copyright roslyn m wilkins. Artwork copyright the various artists. Please feel free to pass along this post via email or social media, but if you wish to use some of our images or text outside of the context of this blog, either give full credit to myself and link to One Good Life in Los Angeles, or contact us for proper usage. Thanks!