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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Summer's Arrival and the Wild gets Wilder

The arrival of summer in Orillia is not measured on the calendar or by solstice, but by the arrival of hot weather, black flies and mosquitoes, and as always, the tourists and 'weekenders'. Through the summer months, those visitors to town bring an influx of cash to the downtown area - sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

The park has, in the last few years, become the place for weekend events - the Cottage and Boat Show; the "In Water" Boat Show; The Poker Run; The Scottish Festival; Canada Day Events; - many more events which, when you sit down and look at the calendar, pretty much take over summer weekends.

On that particular morning I was at the park on a mission. Having just finished one of Freeman Patterson's books on photography, the mission was to look at the places we find familiar and try to see them in a different way. I wasn't all that successful with that, perhaps because I am there almost daily at the same time of the morning, but I did see two things I haven't seen before - starlings on the dock, one feeding, one being fed, which I found strange since neither seemed to be a baby, and a fledgeling that I didn't recognize. The beak makes me think it must be some variety of seagull, but I'm not really sure. It was a funny looking little thing, swimming through the water for all it's worth, just as if it were a baby duck...which it clearly is not.

I haven't quite given up, and there are a few unprocessed images that may yet yield the unusual image I was after, and each morning as I hit the park I'll be looking to see what I can see through eyes without a pre-set purpose; and hopefully, without a mind already made up about the way an image should look.

One of the things I am finding more difficult than I expected is to 'unlearn' some of the things I've spent years learning. But it is another step in the development of the photographer.

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