A couple of weeks ago I got hired by a recruit from the Edmonton Police Service to take photographs of him during his graduation ceremony. First thing I thought was, “Cool”–taking pictures in City Hall is a fairly stressless ordeal since the entire roof is one giant window making the whole inside into a perfectly lit soft box. I don’t think there is a bad angle in the whole building. As such, having the opportunity to photograph forty-some of this city’s most newly minted police officers was a good time indeed. A little precision foot drill commenced the proceedings accompanied by the EPS pipes and drums and intermixed with a moderate amount of fan fare from the hooting and hollering relatives in the crowd–the only thing I thought would have made for a little icing on the cake from a photographer’s standpoint would have been a group hat tossing. I do think, however, their mindset was a little to formal for throwing their forge caps into the air, anyhow. Sigh. I am relegated to being the man who has the great ideas, only after the fact.
I am pretty sure everyone has had one of those, “Man, I wish I would have though of that at the time!” moments. I don’t think the saying, hindsight is twenty-twenty would exist if that were not true. I have often said something very similar: that if I knew then what I know now…
Time travel aside, it would be a wonderful thing having wisdom without the need to pay for it with age and experience. My friend, Dan, who is incidentally an avid reader, is always asking me what book I am reading. Sometimes I feel a little chagrined at the fact I have to answer him by saying I am reading some sort of literary drivel like Harry Potter, but most times I feel that I am keeping up with the Jones’ as it relates to books and reading and usually have a good author tucked away in my nightstand. The other day, when Dan asked me this very question, I had no qualms about telling him I had begun David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Now, I have never read any of Charles Dickens’ works but for the first line of the novel, A Tale of Two Cities, and that being in high school when I was a terrible slouch. It was a part of our English curriculum and after reading the first line I could not be bothered to read the rest. When it came to test time, I would hope to get a marginal pass (50% would be cause for dancing on my desktop) but in reality, resign myself to the probability that I would most likely take an abysmally poor failing grade and then push on to the next book. If I knew then what I know now, I would have read every Dickens’ book I could get my little hands on.
(A Tale of Two Cities excluded) after reading my first few paragraphs of Dickens’ David Copperfield, as Anne of Green Gables would say, I knew I had found a kindred spirit. Actually, it felt more akin to being an inventor who has been struggling to invent some kind of mechanical device designed to make transportation easier. In his inventor’s mind, he sees a grand vision of what his invention could do but yet, struggles to bring it to life. After many hard labours, lost sleep and countless hours, he cries, “Eureka!” (does anyone really cry eureka!?) and presents his prototype to the world (a rickety, no good piece of junk to boot). He proudly shows the fruit of his machinations before he suddenly discovers a little company called Aston Martin. And then, looking from their work to his and back to their work, then again, back to his own childish attempt, realizes he is a fish swimming with sharks. That, and his invention is called an automobile and he has been living under a rock for the last couple hundred years–all very discouraging, none the less. Though my analogy might suck, it kinda explains what reading Dickens is like for me. He does with the utmost skill and mastery what I can only faintly imagine in my head as I plunk away at my keyboard–and those imaginations occur only in my wildest, morale induced fantasies at that.
Ahhh, but I tell you this: every time I crack open that book, I can almost hear the Aston Martin revving in my mind.
I titled this “my farewell blog” because I bid you, farewell. For the next week I am going to be in New Orleans where I’m gonna get my photography on. I have big plans to blog but in reality I may be too busy. Since I have never been to After Dark before, I don’t know what I am getting myself into but in my head I see myself trying, at the very least, to just post a picture or two–I hope. No promises but I will try my best. I would say so long suckers! I’m going to see some palm trees! But that would be rude. See, my morale is spiking to an all time high and I am starting to get crazy! Way to many exclamation marks!!!!!