Life with kids can sometimes feel like a blur. We’re all constantly on the go, and the energy around our house never seems to rev below 3000 rpms. In fact, just yesterday we spent part of the afternoon biking around the neighbourhood doing a “park crawl”, hitting up every swing, climber, and slide we could find. It’s truly the best way to have some family time with an active family like ours.
As a street photographer, I strive to capture those fleeting moments that would otherwise be lost forever. I suppose I could plop any old image from my archive into this post and it would fit the theme of this week’s photo challenge.
However I thought I’d turn to nature since I have been spending a heck of a lot more time enjoying the natural surroundings of Mother Nature here in Ottawa, than I could in Toronto. Our capital city is alive with greenery, waterways and wildlife, and I enjoy every minute of it. Here is an image I shot while on a hike last fall in Mer Bleue. You can read about my hike here and lose yourselves in the beautiful landscape.
The image below is a capture (or almost capture) of the ephemeral feeding ways of a chickadee.
This is the final street image I took while still living in Toronto.
May in Toronto is a wonderful time of year; the weather is cool, but not cold; the air quality is manageable; and everyone is happy.
A couple of days before making the move to Ottawa, I took an evening stroll through my neighbourhood to unwind and gather my thoughts while in the midst of the mayhem that is moving. And of course, I took my camera along. The funny thing was, even though I had taken photos all over the city, I had almost no shots of my own neighbourhood. I only took three shots that night, but I came away with one that I really liked… this one. And true to my style, I was a spur of the moment snap.
I’m not sure why, but I like everything about this shot. Maybe it’s because it reminds me of everything we loved about living in that part of town. It was one of the trendiest parts of Toronto, but it was quaint and had a relaxed suburban feel. The streets were wide, there were parks and trees everywhere, and you couldn’t walk five feet without passing a place to eat or grab a coffee.
Next week I am making a return to the old city, and I couldn’t be more excited. Yes, it’ll be a chance for my wife and I to have a couple of days to ourselves, but I am so excited to visit the streets I know so well, see old friends, and take some pictures… obviously! I hope to have some new stories and adventures to share on the blog after the trip, but until then, enjoy a taste of home.
It can be too easy to get caught up in ourselves, to fall into the trap that is our own little world. In this day and age, we find ourselves being pulled in several directions – family, work, and now online. Computers, tablets, and smart phones are all great tools when used properly, but it’s a rare occasion when I find someone who honestly admits to not being tied to one of these devices… if not all three.
And then I look at my children, with their honesty and curiosity, and I wonder if the things we’er grinding away at really matter. I see how much fun they have and how easy it is to miss it just so I can quickly scroll through a few images of people I don’t even know on Instagram. Why? This year, I have made a concious decision to cut way back. Rather than blogging everyday, I’m choosing to blog only when the mood strikes, or when I think I have content that is of interest to others. I don’t want to waste my time and I definitely don’t want to waste your time. My Twitter account pumps out tweets, but their scheduled and automated. I almost never check it. And my phone sits on the counter a lot more than it did in 2014. It’s hard, and I don’t always follow my new rules, but I’m trying hard. And before long, I won’t give it a second thought.
The driving force behind this is really my kids. The find so many simple pleasures it boggles my mind. So this year I have decided to scale back and live life a little bit like they do. The image above of my younger son learning to ski is the perfect depiction of what I’m trying to achieve. We might not always see the forest for the trees, but we can’t let that stop us from letting life lead us down that path.
Keep your head up, your mind open, and be ready and eager to try new things.