A Bad Day With A Camera

Win Some, Lose More

Today was a bittersweet day. I was still basking in the glow of my daughter having been conferred her degree when I found something in my email that took the wind out of my sails. Another photographer friend who also had cancer and was in decline, passed on June 19th, 2024 while I was on the road.

Embers on the horizon, Lower Gray Pond, Strathmore, AB, 2024-06-21

Aurora was someone I met online back when I got my first digital camera in 2001. She had gotten a new digital camera herself and was in the same forums I was as we learned our way around this new type of photography. We never met in person since she lived in Pensylvania in the U.S. and myself in Alberta, in Canada.

Aurora and I would regularly bounce images off each other for feedback. I remember that with the above left photo of the Alberta Legislature building she had advice on how to take some heat out of the image and with the picture of Government House on the right, she had advice on how to fix a problem in the reflection on the lip of the pool. She wound up fixing it for me and detailing the steps as she was much more advanced in Photoshop than I. This was back in 2001. I learned a lot about using Photoshop from her.

What started out as a relatively treatable breast cancer for Aurora moved much more quickly than anyone expected and it was soon in places where it shouldn’t be and where it couldn’t be treated. Aurora now had a terminal diagnosis. We said our goodbyes a couple of weeks ago just in case we wouldn’t be able to later. She had gone silent last week so I reached out with a virtual hug and checked in to ask, “howzya?” Well, I got my answer today.

I would not say we were great friends, but we have reached out to each other on and off at least every couple of weeks since 2001. That is a lengthy acquaintance if nothing else. I will miss the regular chats and giving feedback on each other’s work. I will miss seeing her wonderful portraits and regular pictures of her apartment and her dogs. I will miss her upbeat sense of humour.

Dawn Aurora Vanderbosch, 1967 to 2024

It was not until today that I learned Aurora’s first name was Dawn. I think it is appropriate that both of her names involve bringing light into the world, because that is what she did. I am also glad that she chose to use her middle name as the aurora is a wonderful, mystical, and rare phenomenon. You always feel blessed when you encounter one. Never has a name suited anyone better.

Tonight’s sunset was one of those that ended before it should have. It was supposed to be at 9:53 pm, but some clouds on the horizon snuffed the light out early. That felt entirely too familiar as it was not the only light snuffed out too soon this week.

This one is for you, Dawn Aurora Vanderbosch. You will be missed and you will be remembered.

Tonight’s sunset image was made using my DJI Mini 3 drone. The night shots were made in the summer of 2001 using a Minolta DiMAGE 7, my first digital camera.

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© 2024 Sean D. McCormick

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