Photo Friday – Embracing Calm

It’s been a downer of a week. The shocking loss of Robin Williams, turmoil around the world, personal frustrations and worries left me with a heavy heart and restless mind. And I know I’m not the only one who was left unsettled and emotionally drained this week.

So, time to embrace the calm on this Photo Friday. Here are some of my favourite photos from a walk along the Vancouver Seawall. There’s no better place to find serenity. Enjoy.

I love the way the water was a mirror...

I love the way the water was a mirror…

I never tire of this skyline.

I never tire of this skyline.

I could stare at this for hours.

I could stare at this for hours.

I adore Vancouver's big beautiful skies.

I adore Vancouver’s big beautiful skies.

 

My Roving Eye – Hats Off to The Deighton Cup

The Deighton Cup is Vancouver’s answer to the historied Kentucky Derby – and attending this year’s event for the first time was a personal thrill for me. But after many hours and more than 500 photos later, I was presented with a quandry. What to highlight?

I’ll be doing several posts to do this special day justice. But because The Deighton Cup is the place to see and be seen, I’ve decided to start with the fashions on display, and especially the hats. Because I’m a hat gal. I even bought myself a new chapeau for the occasion.

Ready to experience my very first Deighton Cup.

Ready to experience my very first Deighton Cup.

Believe me, it was hard not to stop and stare at the gorgeous creations and stunning fashions on both the men and women. And while some people did chose to pose, I also managed to capture some less formal moments during my photo walk. Enjoy!

The butterflies immediately caught my eye.

The butterflies immediately caught my eye.

A stunner of a hat - and an obliging, friendly couple.

A stunner of a hat – and an obliging, friendly couple.

A classy, classic look.

A classy, classic look.

I loved his style.

I loved his style.

Original and eye-catching.

Original and eye-catching.

This hair style was awesome.

This hair style was awesome.

Too beautiful not to shoot.

Too beautiful not to shoot.

Such an original, but comfortable style.

Such an original, but comfortable style.

My friend Kerry sported a custom-made hat.

My friend Kerry sported a custom-made hat.

Loved those suspenders.

Loved those suspenders.

Elegant and timeless.

Elegant and timeless.

Fun and summery.

Fun and summery.

Loved the hat and her whole look.

Loved the hat and her whole look.

At the end of the day, of course, it’s all about the horses! And I was happy to get this candid shot of a lovely lady in pink happily catching all the action.

Caught up in the action.

Caught up in the action.

What was your favourite memory of the Deighton Cup?

 

My Roving Eye – Windows, Doors, Wheels and Wanderlust in Paris

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This gallery contains 20 photos.

I’m feeling very nostalgic today. Maybe because it’s spring, maybe because I’ve just discovered some photos I thought were lost – but my mind and heart are back in Paris, where I was two years ago…wandering. I’m not saying that … Continue reading

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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On Stopping and Starting

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I wasn’t prepared. But I did stop. For a whole year.

No writing except for Twitter and Facebook updates. And, frighteningly, when I look back, no photography except for spur-of-the-moment iPhone pics which caught fleeting glimpses of my life that I felt I could share.

Why?

A year ago today I left for Ottawa to be with my mother while she was in respite care, and to ease the caregiving burden that had weighed on both my sisters over the past few years. I figured I’d be there a month or so. It ended up being seven long, hard, sad months full of struggles, revelations, dramatic change and realities that continue to challenge our entire family.

The balance of the year also ended up bringing a lot of hardship, heartache and change for me back home in Vancouver, leaving me tired, listless, unmotivated and isolated, at least in my own head. Being away for so long left me with a pronounced ‘out of sight, out of mind’ feeling. A bad bug and an even worse fall had me laid up over most of Christmas and all of January. I also had to make the painful decision to leave my home of three and a half years at the end of February and move into a much smaller place that my limited finances could handle better. And then came March, with a bittersweet mix of the third anniversary of Dave’s death and my 60th birthday two days later. Quite the year, eh?

Good stuff did happen, of course. There was much laughter amid the tears and frustration. I re-connected with people I deeply care about back in Ottawa. My youngest sister and her oldest son both purchased their first homes. My youngest nephew announced his engagement. My nieces are beautiful, accomplished young women. My England family is thriving. And my friends, old and new, continued to be loving and supportive, no matter how defeated and bitchy I got.

Nevertheless, the fact remains that I’ve been stuck for a very long time. It’s time I unstuck myself. And the unsticking has begun, slowly but surely.

It started when I pulled out my camera again on a bright and sunny day two weeks ago and walked along the seawall and actually took pictures. Feel free to look at the full set, but this was a favourite from that day.

CAB_2038_2I can’t express how this short photo walk made me feel. The closest I can come to explaining it is to compare it to getting a blood transfusion. I was doing what I loved again. And it was only then that I realized how very much I missed – and needed – my photography.

And that, despite my own challenges as a legally blind person, I’m damn good. It’s time I reminded the world that this gal is talented.

I’m taking inspiration from my wonderful friend Marc Smith and his 30 Day Adventures blog he’s created and developed. He’s been dedicated, persistent, and committed to his vision, and I admire and respect that.

So, I’m taking some baby steps toward my new direction. Little by little, I’ll be where I want to be.

First, I’ll be taking the opportunity to show the world what I can do as a visually impaired photographer – and why my perspective matters. I’ll also shed light on my other talents as a communicator and advocate down the road, because everything I do is so closely entwined.

I’ve even come up with a new hashtag that I think captures what I want people to feel about the awesome things I do.

Introducing #EyeOpener. You’ll be seeing it a lot as I begin to tell my story, all over again.

I hope you enjoy the ride. I’m off to follow where my talents lead me.

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