Photography and Art

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo Essay - Moena Italy

We were recently on a ski holiday in Italy and stayed in a lovely small town in the Dolomites called Moena. Here are some photos of this classic northern Italian town and the surroundings:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Elie Links

On the occasion of my 60th birthday, we had a party and gave out "loot bags" to all the guests. The contents of the loot bag consisted of your choice of a print from my studio. The guests seemed to like the idea and several picked two or more prints and took them home with them. It was a fun idea and it now gives me great pleasure to go over to a friend's house and see one of my prints up on the wall.

The most popular print was a recent photograph of the Toronto flat iron building in the snow. However, a few of the guys chose this picture of Elie links.

Here's the story about the photo. My youngest daughter married a young Scots fellow and they decided to have the wedding in Toronto followed a week later by a party in Scotland. The wedding in Toronto was a fine affair and we hired a small Scottish band and taught all our Canadian guests to do Scottish dancing. Everyone had a great time and the dancing was pretty lively for a bunch of flat-footed Canadians.

The party in Bridge of Earn was a different thing altogether. The guests all knew how to dance and they were generally a bit younger. There was a great deal of flinging people about and I later learned that the young ladies had a contest to see who can fling the older men the farthest. I spent a great deal of the evening airborne!

One of the guests was a neighbour of the mother of the groom, a retired surgeon from a nearby village. We struck up a conversation and golf was mentioned. The next thing I knew, I had an invitation to play at his club at Elie on the Fife shore. If you read the history, you'll know that golf has been played on these links since the 15th century. To us Canadians, that seems like an incredible thing. We consider anything from the 19th century to be ancient.

We arrived at the clubhouse early in the morning and went out for our round. My host confided that he'd played to a 1 handicap when he was a youngster and claimed to have deteriorated to a 12. He then proceeded to shoot a net -5 and thrash me for all I was worth. The wind was howling and every ball that I hit was blown sideways into the next fairway. My host didn't hit a ball more than 10 feet off the ground and every approach magically rolled up onto the green. His putting was uncanny. Mercifully, our round took less than three hours. As you can see from the picture, the tees and greens are separated by less than 20 feet, so the course is ideal for walking. In fact, electric carts are foreign to these parts.

Take a look at this golf course. There are no par 5's and only two par 3's. There is no water and very little rough. There are few bunkers. The course is flat as a pancake. And yet, when the wind blows, it is a challenging track indeed.

We had a drink afterwards in the bar and I got to meet several other members who were enjoying their beer and whiskey. It was a convivial atmosphere and everyone had a rosy glow from the wind and the libations.

My host headed back to his village and I climbed the hill behind the golf course to wait until the sun came out so I could take a picture. I could see the white houses with their red roofs and could imagine how good they would look against the green grass if the sun would only shine. The sun was shining far out on the sea and I could see it coming towards me agonizingly slowly. An hour went by. The wind was cold and I huddled into the grass for warmth. Finally, the patch of blue sky came over the Elie links and the houses lit up like beacons. I grabbed my shot thankfully and made my way to my car and warmth.