Sunday, May 03, 2015


Ashton is a little hamlet about a 10 minute drive from our town. Every now and then we pass through Ashton if we choose to take the backroads home from the city. Last week, I was doing something unusual — driving sans Sue, so I took a few minutes to stop and grab a few snaps. It was windy and chilly, so I didn't stay long.

↓↓ A triptych of the Presbyterian Church, 1879. It seems to have been a residence ever since we have been in the area (10 years), usually with firewood piled out front. The disused church speaks of a different time when there 4 churches in this hamlet. The other 3 remain, but I imagine that they struggle to stay viable.

Pretty much across the street from the church is a garage of sorts with an interesting old vehicle out front along with a bit of rubble. Keep in mind that this is main street. ↓↓  Of interest: I did spot any number of gleaming motorcycles out back, but I chose not to encroach. Maybe next time.

Back on the church side and just a few doors down is the General Store. ↓↓ I'm not sure why I didn't go in: sort sort of shy attack, I guess. But it looks interesting, and I'd like to return.

If you look in the left and blurred distance of the above shot, you see the location of the next diptych shot of The Old Mill, commonly called the Ashton Pub. ↓↓ It doesn't look too appealing on the outside but it said to be authentically English on the inside.

I have been there once but quite a long time ago, and I don't have much memory of the pub, except that it was quite a hot day, but here is a little online review that I found.
Having spent 3 years in UK I can honestly state this is a better "Brit" pub then most in UK. There are great pubs in UK as well but the food sometimes leaves a bit to be desired. Not so The Old Mill!. Great food, craft beer on site and great the Public Houses of old!  Trip Advisor
It kind of inspires me to go back. I wonder how they feel about cameras on the inside.

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Country Leftovers

A few photos from our time at the cottage a few weekends ago. Those that I didn't get around to posting already.

A 3-shot pano-stitch of a meander in the Crowe River near Glen Alda. ↓↓ I think I showed a single previously.

↓↓ Close-up of rust and rivets on the bridge from which I photographed the otter of a previous post.

↓↓ the Freymond lumber mill in Bancroft.

↓↓ Sue proving that a watched pot can, indeed, boil.

Three shots of Heather's wine and journal. ↓↓

Now. is it time to return?

Friday, May 01, 2015

JJ at the Park

We had JJ for a sleepover on the weekend and took him to the park next afternoon. The boy certainly knows how to play and have fun.

There is a little hill near the park entrance or at least near the entrance that we use most often. He took his $ store weapon up there  and wielded it well.

He ran down the hill.

And rolled down the hill.

He threw many sticks into the river.

And he climbed many trees, or at least a few trees many times.

Sue watched and agonized over the job that the wind was doing on her hair. Notice the streak. She did that for her 68th birthday.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Champion in a Slideshow

I hadn't intended this, but it is a slideshow of the photos from the previous two posts plus one or two others. There is a new version of Lightroom that has an updated Slideshow feature, and I decided to experiment with it.

It enables one to make a slideshow plus music in minutes. It is not high end with  lots or bells and whistles, but it does have crossfades and pans, so it is quite functional. The main thing is that it is easy; if you have this version of Lightroom, you can put a decent slideshow together in no time flat. (There was a SS module in earlier versions of LR, but it wasn't terribly good.)

The new Lightroom is either version 6, which is a one-time purchase, or CC which is a $10US monthly rental. The advantage to the rental version is that you also get Photoshop for that price, updates as soon as the are ready to roll, and Lightroom Mobile for your portable devices. You will not receive significant updates to LR6, and it may be two years before there is a LR7, assuming that there ever is a version 7 and they don't switch to the rental model entirely.

Anyway, here is the slideshow that was generated. Depending on how you are set up, you might want to lower the default volume. You can also click on YouTube at the bottom right to see it larger or even in full screen.

I promise; this is the end of the &^$# tractor photos. /wink/

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Working the Darkroom

Great photography has always been a product of both shooting and developing. This was true long before Photoshop; cropping, dodging and burning were always part of the process.

So, after your Work the Scene, you need to consider Working the Darkroom, which, of course, has gone digital.

Some photos just require minimal processing. For example: a RAW photo can almost always do with a little sharpening and boost in contrast. Sometimes, your vision may require maximum processing with much filtering and processing.

As in Working the Scene, you may not know what you will like best until you have Worked the Darkroom.

You saw my shots of the heavy machinery shots in the previous post. They were all exposed to the darkroom in that post, but in a basic way. So, I took my experimenting further.

One obvious way to experiment is by converting to monotone or duotone. In each case, I may end up preferring the original colour but not always. Colour versions of the first three images all appeared in my previous post.

I went off the charts a little with the next two photos. I don't have a fisheye lens, but I was able to produce a somewhat similar effect in Photoshop. (A more standard version also appeared in the previous post.)

In this second example, I went for more of a vintage look complete with lens flares. I did not include this two shot in the previous post.

Finally, just for giggles, I did an antique look. While I did it just for fun and for example, I quite like it and just might put it near the top of my preferences. You just never know until you try.

I know this might sound overly pedantic and as if I think I am any good at all of this stuff, but it's just a hobby. I don't mean to lecture anyone; I am just putting some of my practices to words. I don't claim that any of the photos from either post are any good. I'm just exploring and putting it out there for what it's worth. Which is probably not very much at all.

It's good idea to get out of the, Take one shot and make one final product frame of mind. Mind you, I still do that quite a lot, but sometimes I also like to slow down and experiment.

Edit: Oops, I almost forgot to include the diptych as yet another viable alternative. You've seen it before, but here it is again, just as a reminder because it fits with this post.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Working the Scene

One of the lessons that I try, sometimes in vain, to remember when I'm out with my camera is to Work the Scene. Like many, I must fight the tendency to look at something, grab the first shot that I see, and walk away, saying "Got it."

And I certainly might have it. But the first shot that looks so right might not be the one that really speaks to me once I take a few and look at the results.

When Brian and I encountered this piece of heavy equipment, we both moved around, shooting from various angles.

Then we shot from varying distances.

I also shot some of Brian doing his thing.

That gave me a nice variety from which to choose. I actually took more shots than these, but these are the ones that I liked best, and I likely missed many that Brian saw and took, for we all see differently. It's a good idea, however, to take your time and force yourself to check out various views.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Danica's Birthday

Sunday was a big day for Danica. Not only was it First Communion, but it was also her birthday.

These first two photos show her reaction to the inside of my homemade card, which I showed you previously. I am sure that you prefer not to link back, may I just remind you that it included a picture of panties on her head.

Aside from the fantastic afghan that grandma crocheted for her, her big present from us was a brand new bike. In the first picture, she sees it for the first time.

And then she took her first ride.

A pose: note the pretty bows that granda attached.

Finally, the blowing of the candle.