What Would Colleen Do?

It never fails to amaze me how much I’ve learned from those who I have connected with.  I had a perfect case of this yesterday. 

I was wrapping up the morning dog walk.  We do about 5km each morning which sounds impressive until you realize it means either walking north or walking south.  It’s the same path, same mailboxes, day after day.  After a while, you get the journey committed to memory.  Thank goodness for a working set of headphones and mental activities like solving world problems or counting the number of footsteps from mailbox to mailbox.

Back to the connections.  About three years ago, in my eyes, Colleen Rose was an art teacher from Northern Ontario who was also a pretty regular blogger.  We were in the middle of moving the ECOO Conference to Niagara Falls and looking for social activities.  One that we thought would be popular was an evening photowalk along the Falls.  As it would happen, Colleen posted to her blog about digital photography so I figured, what the hey, I wonder if she’d like to be a leader.  We were fortunate that she agreed, she never said anything out loud about doing photography after the sun set, and we were off.  I was fortunate to be in her group and I remember walking along, looking left and right at all the bright lights, and yet she was snapping pictures everywhere.  Myself, I think I got a couple of pictures of the Falls all lit up.

Talking later, I remember looking at her pictures, and saying “you see things that I don’t see”.  I think that it spoke volumes about the quality of her work compared to my feeble efforts.

So, yesterday, I’m walking along looking at things and across the ditch on a farmer’s field I see a row of dead stalks from the fall and a daffodil that had grown in the middle of them.  I remember thinking to myself, “Cool.  That’s kind of neat” and kept on walking.

Probably about 20 steps later, I asked myself “What could Colleen do” if she’d seen that.  I stopped and thought back to Niagara Falls.

  1. she would have had her camera in her hands;
  2. she would have taken the picture.

I stopped and thought.  Of course, she would have.  Why hadn’t I?

Well, one reason would be that I wasn’t carrying my camera!  But, I had my phone.

There was no traffic coming so back to the spot Jaimie and I went and I took the picture.

I got home and took a look at the picture and felt pretty darned proud of myself.  I hadn’t missed the moment; I captured it – eventually.  I liked how the rushes had framed the flower naturally (it was across a ditch so I wasn’t about to pose it), and I liked how the yellow stood out from the greens and the browns.  (It wasn’t until later that I saw the beer can in the image)

I thought that I would share the image with my mentor on Facebook and did.  Colleen commented as did a couple others.  One was David Warlick who I’ve known for years and had the pleasure of learning from his messages plus he takes incredible images himself and shares them.  I’ve always been envious of his work as well.

Those that know me know that you’ll never confuse me with a real artist.  But, at least for this one moment, I didn’t let it escape me.

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

5 thoughts on “What Would Colleen Do?”

  1. I sometimes think we share a brain. Thank you so much for going back and taking the photo. Without knowing it, you were doing it for me, too. I walk the same route to school every day, and this late winter/early spring, there was one lovely dried out flower head in one of the gardens I passed each morning. Every day I thought, I need to get a picture of that and send it to Colleen, because she sees things like that. I didn’t take the photo, to my regret, and 2 weeks ago the gardeners cleaned up in prep for the spring. You made me feel better by going back.

  2. You sure do know how to light up someone’s day! Thanks so much for your kind words, Doug. Like Lisa said, I’m so happy that you decided to turn back and take advantage of a moment, capture it & share it with all of us. Now, not only have you created a beautiful composition, but the story behind it adds so much more meaning. This post is a great reminder for all of us to ‘stop & smell the roses’… or at least take a picture of them! 😉

  3. Lisa: Keep looking and looking. Soon enough, you’ll see so many “bits of beauty” that you’re going to have to pull out your camera quite often — and you won’t feel as much regret about a missed opportunity. I can’t wait to see your photos!

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