Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Family Golfing

Its not often we're all together so what better thing to do than play golf? (And bring the new Yashica along for even more fun). Some of us are better than others at this sport. I play approximately three times a year. I was more interested in playing with the new 50mm Zeiss lens.

This was a day after we got back from camping so we were still semi-crippled. The golf swinging didn't help the crick in my back to say the least.

Good swing. . .

nice flight, but where is it heading? . . .

Hmmm, blame it on the wind!

Dad is good at putting

I just like to whack the ball hard.
(Hassan took this shot)

Hassan likes to play with flip-flops
We got some wierd looks from the other players

Its all good fun!

All shots taken with the Yashica fx3 and Carl Zeiss 50mm lens. Ilford Delta 100 film.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Algonquin 2007

Another year and another trip to the park. This annual voyage has become one of the things that keeps me going through the year. There is nothing like being in virgin nature for days at a time without any contact with civilisation. It is a real antidote for the routine of the city.
Sure its hard work, really hard work sometimes -- we covered over 70km of river lake, bog and trails in 4 days and more than a month later my back is still a little stiff from the long portages (one was 3km). But its worth it!

This year I brought two cameras, the Rollei (can't do without it) as well as A Yashica fx-3 that was a kind gift from a friend. At first I wasn't quite sure what to do with this camera, but I came across a fantastic Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.4 lens for it which transformed it into a very nice piece of kit.

As usual stuck mainly with Ilford Delta film, but threw in a few rolls of colour Fuji Film for the Yashica. My plan was to use the Rollei for landscapes and the Yashica for close-in action.

This year, I have to say, I wasn't able to take as many nice shots as I would have liked. Not sure why, I think because it was really hard work this time and there wasn't much time for waiting around for the right lighting.

First the Rollei shots:

Emerging from an early portage, first glimpse of the real interior

It takes some time to re-adjust to the park, things just don't change fast.
Dawn on Crosscorner Lake

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Algonquin 2007: Yashica Shots

This year we decided to explore the bottom section of the park . We chose a route that would take us far from most day trippers into the 'low maintenance' section for most of the journey. 'Low maintenance' means no fancy campsites and more primitive outhouse features so less city slickers. This was a definite plus for us. Minus was the backbreaking multi kilometer portages that were the price to pay for the solitude. I had to go to several sessions of physiotherapy upon my return to recover from the crick in my back.

I used the Yashica mainly as a documentary camera to capture moments during the long days. With the nice Zeiss 1.4 50mm lens I found at a Toronto used camera dealer, it made a great complement to the Rollei. I took a lot of pictures, but this time only had limited success and didn't get a lot of very nice shots. Not sure why, but its always hard to do an aggressive canoe trip and have time to take nice pictures at the same time. This time was particularly hard work. All the shots here are with the 50mm lens and colour Fuji Superia film.

We drove up the evening before we were due to enter the park in Hassan's Jeep. He wisely recommended that we remove the roof and all doors on the Jeep to enhance the 'escape from the city' feeling. This was good fun for the first 20 min, but then as darkness fell and we headed further North, and the temperature plummeted down to 7 degrees (excluding wind-chill). By the time we reached the Park boundary zone it was late and we were very very cold. We camped by the roadside in the woods and camouflaged the Jeep.

Our campsite Day 1

Wakey wakey..

Once in the Park, we quickly got back into the routine. Load canoe, paddle, beach, unload, portage with pack and canoe, reload canoe and so on from lake to river to lake.


We have to check the map regularly to avoid heading up the wrong creek and consequent wasted energy and humiliation.

This is what portaging looks like

This is what it feels like after 2km

Sure you got the right creek?!

But the hard slog is worth it. There is nothing like the feeling of acomplishment and hard-earned respect after each day of hard work. I only see my brother a few days a year, but when you bond like this for 5 days, then its like a year's experience! And we get to enjoy the beauty of nature continuously. Its like the background to the whole journey. Wherever you look its just the pure elements of nature.

Lake Louisa, morning of Day 4
Dawn on Crosscorner Lake, Day 5

Hollow River

Sometimes I imagine what it must have been like to have lived in this pure land like the Algonquin Indians did with only basic tools and their wits. Would it even be possible for someone from our age to back to that life? What would it be like to expereince that deep harmony with nature, but at the same time have to survive the raw forces of heat, cold, fear and hunger?

It was the first week of September and it was still warm enough to swim

Hassan had some kind of Buddhist scarf that made him look like a shaman.