Open Spaces

St Mary Reservoir Minimalism

During the Royal Alberta Museum project, I got to spend a lot of time in southern Alberta. St Mary Reservoir was pretty low when I visited, and there were many kilometers of mudflats. There is very little change as you wander in such an empty space, but the little changes become more apparent. Every pebble, every crack in the mud becomes obvious because there’s nothing to distract. The one tree on the horizon is a constant companion no matter how far you walk. Thoughts become more solid. There are no interruptions here, and being comfortable with yourself becomes important.

The one challenge for me during the day was the constant wind – there is no escape. Early in the morning when it was still, it was absolutely stunning. And then, when the wind started, it was just a few playful wisps. But as the sun rose, the constant wind rose with it and it becomes like sandpaper – slowly wearing you down. Sometimes it would literally sandblast me as it picked up particles from the dry parts of the mudflats.

St. Mary Reservoir, Alberta
24mm, f16, 1/80 of a second

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