the ice that binds

the ice that binds (version 2) © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

the ice that binds (version 2) © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

it seems like my older photos work best in monochrome. or, perhaps, i have simply renewed my love for monochrome again. there’s just so much flexibility in what to present versus what to disguise: our eyes are bound to particular colourimetric interpretations that are inherently limiting. at any rate, i find myself not at all liking the full-colour versions of these photographs, so here’s another monochrome from a winter past. almost eight years ago, this was. my, how times have changed.

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a shift of focus

treeline offset (version 3) © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

treeline offset (version 3) © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

this is one of the pieces which some of you may remember from towards the end of my private blog. tonight, i attempted to replicate a series of treatments that i was goofing around with on a low-resolution version of this photo on an old iPad. this more intensive, high-resolution version using Nik filters comes very close to what i had done at the time, and of course a bit better. it involves two separate utilizations of bokeh, along with what has become my typical colourimetric manipulations prior to going monochrome. sometimes, the post-production is rather complex, in order to achieve a simplistic-looking result. i’m sure some of my fellow photographers would cringe at the amount of digital darkroom time i spend on some of these, but to me, this is where the real pleasure is at.

if you could track your eye movement when viewing this image, you would discover that your eyes get pulled in a very distinct pattern across the image, and that almost everyone’s eyes would follow the same general pattern. i use this dual-focus “trick” quite a lot, usually a bit more subtly than here. the lines of the tree trunks just make it a bit more imperative than normal.

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the wintered why

luminarial rime © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

luminarial rime © 2007, 2014 Jered Dawnne

and so completely
entwined in rime and
reason—that dark
shining, at once
luminarial, then
interpolated—now
comes the certain
remembrance of
your embrace:
that cloak of
the wintered why.

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image: “luminarial rime”, original © 2007, monochromed © 2014 Jered Dawnne
words: “the wintered why”, © 2014 Jered Dawnne

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flight

birds take flight at my approach

birds take flight at my approach

they did not know, could not know, really, that i would never harm them. more than a casual observer am i, yes, but my instrusiveness is ever incidental. they’d have flown away eventually, i know, but i was nonetheless sad to see them go. of course, had they been perched upon the stalks of prairie grass, as they were when i first found them, they’d not been quite as picturesque. but their numbers somehow exploded when i came near, for the ones that i had seen at first were less than what was there.

the prairie is a profoundly remarkable place, full of things you’d never expect, and fuller still of that resolute beauty: the kind that really only speaks to you after the birds have flown away and left the grasses empty for a time.

were i still welcome in the places where i took these walkabouts so many years ago, i’d walk about them differently. i would follow the birds this time as they move from place to place, so that the journey would be constantly filled with the liveliness of their voices and the profundity of their absence, with every step, with every breath, with every glance, and every moment.

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returning to simple pleasures

an old farmhouse and trees in the winter with a backdrop of newer farming techniques in the distance

an old farmhouse and trees in the winter with a backdrop of newer farming techniques in the distance

it has been a while since i posted here, not for want of posting, nor of creating, but for lapses of focus and the need for other things. life is an interesting conundrum at times, but this has been the one hiatus, of all of them, during which my mind was ever here, and ever fixed upon these images i have planned to renew, relive, and to eventually publish.

there is not much to this image that the caption does not reveal. i avoided working with this set of photos for years due to the power lines and the hassle they represent for photo editing. but upon reconsideration, i’ve decided that i like the mix of old and new…at least in this one. now, those power lines really are no more intrusive to me than the round bales in the background that belie the current state of things. they compliment the age of the structure and the warp of its roof from years of neglect and piles of drifted snow, at least in my mind.

it might just be an excuse; regardless, due to the low-contrast light at the time this scene was captured, i settled for the minor triumph of extracting the colouration that i did.

it begins to snow this evening, as i work within these old images of even older things. i’ve held a fondness, and respect, for the snow, even from a youth which was nearly devoid of it. to me, the snow is at once a cleansing blanket of ephemeral purity and the harbinger of that slow but temporary death which eventually gives birth to the springtime: that transient life we hold and cherish and revel within, at least until it rushes away again, beneath the next year’s snow.

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grey matters

some of these, you’ve seen, some perhaps not. i’m using the alberta trip as a test bed for gallery plugins and the like, so you may see some repeats from time to time. i really enjoyed the amount of variety in monochrome treatments that the mountains in particular provided. it was a humbling experience, both being there, and in the post production, to create these monochromatic versions of these scenes. i learned quite a lot this summer.

unrelatedly, i’m also in the midst of getting my old podcast going again. keep watching unenslaved.com for details!

The Rundle Line, pointedSleeping Dragon, left panelstained and drainedat the feet of giants, greysisters entwined, fadedSleeping Dragon, right panelhorned mountain, darkenedCascade Ventureprominence twain, darklightsaddleback sky, deeperlightfall prominence, darklightHelena Castle, onelitVictorian PrecipiceCastle Mountain, darkriverCastle Mountain, version 2Lake Louise PanoramaAcross to Redoubt, darklightDistant Watcher, darklight

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solace, twain

solace, twain © 2014 Jered Dawnne

solace, twain © 2014 Jered Dawnne

i didn’t know, when i first saw these trees, how much they would stick with me. this original photograph is from 2006, about two-and-a-half years after i’d moved to the property this photograph was shot from. i didn’t actually risk the trespassing to shoot these trees from several angles until we sold that house another two years later. so before i left, i made one final trip around the area and saw the thing i was already pretty sure i knew—a thing i suspected, but couldn’t really see from our property: the two trees do not actually entwine above the ground. i’m sure their roots are all wrapped within each other, but above the surface of the earth, both trees are independent, though obviously complementary.

i managed to recover the raw image from a drive i thought was dead last night and was very pleased to rediscover this particular image. when i shot this, these trees were still an “it” (a double tree) to me. retouching it last night, i could only think of it as “them” (two separate trees), despite knowing they are fundamentally entwined beneath the ground. with some minor manipulation, i was finally able to bring out what should have been more than a suspicion to me at the time. the specific direction of the wind that morning caused the rime to build only on the north-most tree.

for the time that i lived there, these trees meant a lot of different things to me, but in these latter days, it has come to represent living here in a generally simplistic sense. i’m fairly well engrained within the community, but i very much stand alone. the challenge, and the joy, are the various collaborations within our differences, the strength we draw from one another, and the way we shape the wind.

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shrouded

shrouded (prime) © 2014 Jered Dawnne

shrouded (prime) © 2014 Jered Dawnne

so rushing past deep valleys grew and danced along the road

visions of a world run silent moving greyed and tumbled
sang to me and cloud-surrounded winter-worn stole me
pulled from me those shadows pale like charity and faith and hope
until i dreamt of them and us unwrapped from evening’s settling shroud

when winter comes and covers us in cold and silent whiting
warm me with the constancy of cloudscaped silent home
and like those shrouded mountain-dreams unmake these chains that bind me

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it’s a word-play. the mountains entwined by these clouds are Mount Faith, Mount Hope, and Mount Charity (The Three Sisters), Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.

some will recognize these words as patterned from the poem “of bluer skies and rain” © 1988 R.J. Dawnne Gee, published in “the sabre”.

text and image © 2014 Jered Dawnne

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drive

Castle Mountain, firstlight © 2014 Jered Dawnne

Castle Mountain, firstlight © 2014 Jered Dawnne

of life: it is a certain acquiescence to redefinition, an uncertain knowledge of what must change, in order for us to become. the woven world is threaded in minutia, and each one of us is a greater portion than the whole. we measure ourselves by the needs we set aside, by the propensity for impatience to weave those patterns ourselves. but we are measured in truth by the drive we possess to know ourselves within the warp and woof, to colour our threads with the blood of our impetus, and to mingle that colour amongst the threads with which we are woven.

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Text and image © 2014 Jered Dawnne

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indefinite appeal

Sleeping Dragon, left panel © 2014 Jered Dawnne

Sleeping Dragon, left panel © 2014 Jered Dawnne

on some nights, it stretches out before your eyes as if there could be nothing else, as if nothing else ever was. you see it in your dreams in intensely colourful monochrome, and upon waking into the desaturated world, it is the most colourful thing you know.

(this is the left-hand panel of “Sleeping Dragon”. the right-hand panel covers the Fairholme Range and Mount Rundle. the pair are sub-portion of a full 180-degree pano which stretches from the Cascade Valley 180 degrees past the southern ridge of Mount Rundle and the Three Sisters. shot from Sulphur Mountain in the Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. shown here are Cascade Mountain, the city of Banff, the Palliser Range with Mount Aylmer to the rear, the Bow River Valley and Lake Minnewanka.)

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