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For the first time in a good bloody while, I managed to retreat from my desk, my MacBook, and my work for a little bit the other day on Tuesday and escaped to Promontory Point and the lake front for an hour.  It is rather shameful that I do not take more advantage at living so near the lake.  Of course, it has only been rather recently that the weather has been cooperating  warming up, giving way for this ever elusive spring to finally emerge.

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I had bemoaned just the other day how much I missed being outdoors, and that I was in dire need to escape everything else in the world at the moment and take an excursion out to the wilderness with nothing but a camera.  There is, of course, my passion of wandering the streets with a 35mm lens—especially after some renewed inspiration from the Andre Kertesz: Raison d’être exhibit at the Stephen Daiter Gallery on Friday night.  As well, one can argue that urbania is just a modern form of the wilderness.  I would still, however, be surrounded by mobile phones.  Even if I were to leave my own mobile at home, I would still have the feeling that somehow, someone will track me down.  At the very least, I would be constantly reminded of the realities of my tasks and duties by the ceaseless chiming and key clicking from others around using their own phones.  Such nuisances do make me envy a more analogue age.

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I had attempted to escape somewhat into “nature” last week when I went to do some macro photography at the annual Macy’s Flower Show on State Street.  While I did manage a few good close-up shots of some fine specimens that day—and I thoroughly enjoyed pushing the limits of the Olympus 50mm f/3.5 Macro—I had failed to feel some sense of tranquility.  This may have been due in part to this year’s theme of “The Secret Garden,” which seemed more to be an eclectic hodgepodge of whatever they could have scrambled together; last year’s India-inspired theme was much more cohesive and aesthetically appealing.  Then again, I suspect that a more likely culprit to my consternation was the relentless omnipresence of smartphones at the venue in full unabated use.  It just seemed odd that spectators came with the intent to appreciate the intricate floral displays, and yet spent more time updating their Facebook statuses.

Perhaps that was why it was so relieving to finally be out by the lake again on Tuesday, to finally be outdoors and away from electronic communication devices.  Yes, I had my iPhone with me, but it was in Do Not Disturb mode and remained in my pocket the entire time.  And that bloody felt fantastic.  Suffice it to say that the only screen I was looking at while out was the tiny LCD on the top-plate of my camera indicating at what aperture and shutter speed I was shooting.

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All images © K. Dao Photography 2014, all rights reserved.