a pedestrian love song


This will not be a post about how I enjoy long walks on the beach. No, this is a more general post where I wax lyrical about my love of ambulatory movement. It's no secret that I like to go for long walks. My 20 minute walk to work is too short sometimes. It seems to end just as I'm beginning to enjoy myself. Walking is the most natural way to start off my morning. This solitary pedestrian journey has been my routine for almost my entire life, with a few short breaks when I was in high school and I would carpool with a couple of my friends and in university when I took the proletariat chariot (although all of these trips still began and ended with a little bit of walking). Recently I've taken to a post work stroll across the river and back. It's probably incorrect of me to classify my walk as a stroll, because I like to walk fast and my pace could hardly be described as a leisurely stroll or even a saunter. I walk with purpose and conviction, even if I'm not really sure on my direction.

At work we are in the midst of a pilot project to log our daily commuting choices in an effort to somehow promote the use of sustainable transportation modes (one of A's projects). This morning as I dutifully logged into the website to document my 1.62km commute, I began to wonder how far I have actually been walking every evening. A few quick clicks in Google Maps and I quickly discovered that I walk just over 10km a night. I figure that's pretty reasonable. I could easily double that, but then my night would be filled with solitary ambulation. I realize that I might have what is considered a walking addicition (not unlike a runner's high). I don't think it's a bad thing. But I have to worry sometimes that this urge for animal locomotion might take over, and that double pendulum motion which propels me might take control, not unlike Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale of the red shoes (good thing I forgot my red shoes in Trinidad).

There is of course one thing that will stop me in my tracks (heyO). That is of course a photo opportunity. And let me tell you my friends that the world is full of them. It is impossible to document all of them of course, which is why I often leave my camera at home when I go out for my daily constitutional. However, on Sunday evening I left the apartment with the express purpose of taking photos.

up close

I wandered through the familiar streets of Oliver, making my way to Victoria Promenade, looking very touristy with my camera slung around my neck. I carried two lenses with me (the 50mm and 17-40) to provide me with a little bit of variety in my shots.

six feet under

Sometimes I feel like I'm cheating a bit with photography. It's so easy to think that it's the camera that is doing so much of the work. But then I have to acknowledge that the camera doesn't assist me with composition, the camera doesn't know when to take a photo. It doesn't wait for a breeze to start or stop, or a cloud to move by. It doesn't know where to stop on the street, how to move back four or five paces to better frame a shot.


This was my favourite shot of the evening. If you follow my photostream at all, you will know that I have a minor fascination with looking up at buildings, particularly how this perspective accentuates how a building would vanish if it were any taller. I also find that looking up at buildings, removing them from their horizontal context (how they are tied to the ground) makes me look at the lines of a building differently. I love the abstract patterns of shadow and repetitions of windows. And as two of my friends pointed out, in this shot the reflection in the windows create a false continuity, as if the apartments themselves were filled with the sky.

Oh, what a beautiful dreamer am I. Time to pull my head out of the clouds.