Mussels are $6 a pound at Doonies on Wednesdays, so a couple of nights ago I headed off down Shaw Street in the direction of Bloor, in search of a pint of beer and some sustenance. And as I went, striding along in the evening light with fresh air in my lungs, I suddenly realised I was happy. Not just in the mundane, everyday, things-are-ok sense, but actually rejoicing, with an unfamiliar sense of renewal, of purpose, of satisfaction and fulfilment coursing through these ageing old veins of mine. There was a spring in my step, a sense of connection, that all too often is missing.
And as I walked I realised where it had come from: it had come from being utterly absorbed in doing something creative.
I learned an awful lot, last week, about digital printing: poring over Jeff Schewe’s The Digital Print and The Digital Negative, trying different papers and sizes, learning how to soft-proof (how had I ever printed without it!) and, in the end, producing a handful of landscapes and wildlife images that, honestly, thrilled me completely.
Part of the excitement, too, came from seeing my photos of the desert elephants at Twyfelfontein again, and remembering that almost spiritual sense of wonder and privilege as we watched from mere feet away while they stripped bark from the trees with their tusks, took sand-baths, and lay down in the shade for a late morning snooze. You can gauge how close we came from some of these images.
Here though are three of the images that I printed: the two shots of elephants sand-bathing I printed at 8 ½ x 11, while the mother and baby I did much larger, at 13 x 19. Though I say so myself, it’s a beauty.