Car, cameras, pictures

Making Pictures with professional photographer John Enman

Roadside photography is full of opportunities.

Roadside photography is full of opportunities.

Sometimes I just like to go for a drive. Rain or shine, it is always nice to just go out and look around.

We had been lazing around all day. I had put up one of those portable, collapsible canopies on the front porch hoping the day would be nice enough for us to sit outside for lunch; but the rain and cooling wind moved in.

So, I thought, what the heck, let’s get in the car and drive up the dirt road towards the forest ringed Hyas Lake, and if the rain lets up a bit there might be a photo or two waiting to be made.

We packed our cameras in the car and set off.  The day had a heavy overcast, but no low hanging clouds and the rain was, hmm…intermittent. Ya, that’s a good word for when its nice and dry till one gets about 50 feet from the car, then it comes down. And I forgot my hat. But I didn’t forget to bring a small kitchen towel, and I kept wiping the camera down to stop water from pooling in places that might leak into the camera’s electronics.

Overcast days always make things looks much more colourful than bright sunny days. Not the sky, of course, but the trees, shrubs and grass do have a deeper color, and I always add just a bit of contrast in Photoshop to bring out the damp colourful tones.

The dirt road was surprisingly dry till we started up the turn-off to Hyas Lake. Then it quickly became a snow covered, muddy rutted mess and we turned around.

There are some old dilapidated buildings along that road that are fun to photograph, although for years I have expected to see them gone. Old buildings have a habit of disappearing. Sometimes because of vandals, sometimes the landowners take ‘em down and sometime they just get tired of many years of standing.

I remember when I first moved to the Kamloops area. I spent months photographing crumbling wood and log buildings. The next year I engaged a local printer to make calendars for me that I easily sold that December.  Within two or three years every one of the old buildings in that calendar was gone.

I am of the belief that the most successful pictures come about when one has a plan, but a slow drive is enjoyable whether one points a camera at something or not.

I could say the plan was to look at the long valley, find out if those old buildings survived the winter, see how far we could go before the road was impassable, and if the time was right make a picture or two.

As it was I photographed a view of the snow capped Martin Mountain above my home, some goats playing on a mound of wet hay, a couple of rusting vehicles, some soaked cows in a field, and another valley view. Not the most exciting day of photography I have ever had, but good enough for a lazy, rainy day I supposed.

Roadside photography is opportunistic and enjoyable, we talk, stop and look at things, make a few pictures. As we drove along the wet dirt road I thought of the many photographers I have known or read about that just pointed that camera at anything for the pure fun of it.

And I think many readers will agree with famous French photographer Jacques-Henri Lartigue when he said, “It’s marvelous, marvelous! Nothing will ever be as much fun. I’m going to photograph everything, everything.”

These are my thoughts this week. Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net. Stop by Enman’s Camera at 423 Tranquille Road in Kamloops.  And if you want an experienced photographer please call me at 250-371-3069. I also sell an interesting selection of used photographic equipment.