Finding Beauty – in My Back Yard

Sometimes, you don’t need to look far…

I’ve been shooting photos for my landlady so she has a collection of the flowers and trees she has on her property. No photo walking here – all the beauty I need to find is right outside my door! It’s an #EyeOpener we should all remember.

Enjoy.

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My Roving Eye – Gastown

Vancouver, British Columbia has been my home for the past five years, and I love it for its beauty, culture and diversity. And there’s nothing that expresses that diversity more than its many distinct neighbourhoods.

I love choosing a neighbourhood and capturing its personality and vibrancy through my photos. Last week, I wandered through historic Gastown, the oldest part of Vancouver, and one of the most colourful parts of the City.

Here are some of my favourite shots from that walk. I look forward to sharing my photos from other Vancouver neighbourhoods as I continue my #EyeOpener adventures as a blind photographer.

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Celebrating Spring

Finally, spring has arrived in Vancouver – and it’s such a moments occasion that Environment Canada has issued a good weather alert for my neck of the woods:-) I find that quite amusing, but I’m looking forward to shooting cherry blossoms on the weekend. Photo walk, anyone?

In celebration, I thought I’d post some of my favourite flower photos. I love capturing depth of colour, form and the sheer beauty of nature. And I think I’m pretty awesome at it. For some people, that may be an #EyeOpener.

I imagine some of these images would look wonderful on a greeting card or wedding invitation. What do you think?

First, one of my all-time favourites, taken a few years ago at the Portland Rose Garden. It was raining, and I love how the water had fallen on this particular bloom.

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Next, a shot I’ve actually got framed here at home – a white poppy dancing in a gentle breeze. My friend’s garden in California has given me inspiration for many years.

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Then, one of my most treasured shots from Van Dusen Botanical Garden here in Vancouver. I adore yellow roses. They were my wedding flower.

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Another shot from Van Dusen – because I love the contrast and the delicacy of the flower.

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Again, from my friend’s garden – I love this blossom for its gorgeous colour and velvety texture. I can feel its softness just looking at it!

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Finally, a heartfelt Thank You. I’ve been so pleased with the reaction to my attempts to blog again and put myself out there for the first time in a very long time. I love how people have reacted to my photos, and to my #EyeOpener idea. It’s made me very happy to think that I have chosen a good path, and that I have a unique opportunity to showcase my talents and abilities as a disabled person.

 

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Sometimes, I Surprise Myself

For me, photography means more than getting that perfect shot – although I work as hard as anyone else at consciously perfecting that impeccable plate of food, or conveying the excitement of an event. I can do that. I HAVE done that. And I love the opportunity to do that.

This is one of my favourites. I love sushi. And no matter how many times I see this shot, I am instantly craving this meal again.

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But, as much as I want my strengths an abilities to open other people’s eyes, sometimes there are photos that pop up on my computer screen that surprise the heck out of me. And some take my breath away.

I get a thrill I can’t really describe when I discover an image, a moment in time, that I hadn’t set up, or spent time thinking about. They just HAPPENED – and they give me a glimpse of the world that I didn’t expect to see.  And those glimpses mean the world to me, because I never would have noticed.

That’s my #EyeOpener. I invite you to discover yours. It’s an awesome experience.

Here are a few serendipitous moments I am amazed and blessed to have.

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In my only-ever trip to Paris, I stumbled upon this pair and took this in mid-discussion. I took it so quickly, I wasn’t at all sure I had a clear shot. I was ecstatic to see that it indeed had turned out!

And in the pic below, I found these two soldiers observing a Remembrance Day ceremony in Vancouver. I didn’t have to see their faces to feel their dignity and respect.

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Then, of course, there was the bee…all I saw was a flash of yellow, so I held my breath and prayed. And then, I hit the shutter. I’m grateful I did.

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First, the Bad News…

Bear with me, people. I need to tell you about some unfortunate stuff before I get to everything that was bright and good about a bad Thanksgiving Day. But I think you’ll find it as worthwhile as I did.

It was One of Those Days…

My early flight out of Vancouver’s YVR Airport was delayed about an hour. That meant, of course, that my connecting flight from LAX was going to be tight. Very tight. And that’s when things started to spiral out of control.

We landed with less than 30 minutes before my flight was to take off. As usual, I was escorted off the plane by an attendant, who wheeled me to the exit, where I needed to take a handicapped van to yet another terminal. My chances of making that connecting flight were dwindling – especially when the handicapped van pulled away just as we got to the curb.

Once I got to the next terminal, the van driver walked me in to find an attendant. A young man was summoned to try to get me to my gate. He shuffled up, got me into my chair and proceed  to the gate, slowly. Very slowly. Then we came to another security checkpoint. And my hell truly bagan.

This wheelchair attendent in LAX didn’t know how to escort a blind person through security, was rude, and worse, actually used me and the wheelchair to push a cart of plastic bins out of his way. I was appalled.  Then, he chose not to stay by me when I was retrieving my belongings – instead, he yelled at me to hurry up and get back into the wheelchair because he “wanted to go home”. I guess he had a turkey dinner waiting for him. Subsequently, in my haste and confusion, my purse was stolen right off the line. My iPhone, iPod Touch, Surefire flashlight, wallet, cards, keys, sunglasses and my specially made reading glasses, all gone in a matter of seconds. Thankfully, they did NOT get my passport.

But I didn’t realize that till about 10 minutes later, after we made it to the departure gate, found I had indeed missed the connecting flight, and was given a new boarding pass for the next available flight three hours later. We returned back to the security area, where the TSA folks did have an image of the purse being stolen, but despite the best efforts of the LAX police, neither the thief nor the purse was found. I was devastated, crying, and helpless. Meanwhile, the attendant slumped down on a bench near my chair and proceeded to flag down other attendants passing by and ask them to relieve him because he wanted to go home

OK, so much for the bad. I have a far happier story to tell in Part Two:-)

 

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