Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mostly Burnstown

With fantastic weather yesterday, Sue and I headed out into the boonies to catch some colour.

I programmed our three destinations into GMaps on my computer, and almost instantaneously it asked if I wanted to send the link to my phone. This surprised me, partly because I had only uploaded the app a few minutes prior. But Google knows; Google always knows.

On the phone, I got the message with a link. tapped the link, and the route loaded onto the GMap phone app. And we followed it without hitch all of the way.

This phone. I swear, sometimes it makes me feel as stupid as heck, but at others it makes me feel so darn clever.

The colours were wonderful, but you just drive and ooh and aah because you can't stop, but we finally stopped in Burnstown, and took some pictures of the Madawaska River from the bridge.

These first two are almost the same shot, but there is a slight difference: a dock in the lower right part of the second photo. I just tilted the camera a bit differently.

The same river from a different part of the bridge showing old foundations, for an older bridge, I assume. Could there once have been a dam? I think I vote for bridge.

To the left of the previous photo, the tops of some trees high up on the bank were being nicely lit: the second layer of trees, mid frame.

Loking the other way into the heart of this tiny hamlet, I decided to take a snap of the church.

And then we were off to our second stop, Calabogie. Actually we were looking for a specific spot near Calabogie, but we pulled in at a roadside stop for a few photos first.

Calabogie is also on the Madawaska River. The river looked fine, but the colour on the far bank was muted at this distance.

This person, however, is never muted.

To be continued.

Friday, October 20, 2017

More from the Grove

Since I have nothing fresh to post, I'll pass on a few more photos from our Gillies Grove trip. Fall is brief, so I might as well indulge while I can. Without much comment. I mean to say, just think how many words a picture is worth. 😊

Sue at the Entrance to the Grove

Inside the grove

And finally .... a cottage at an adjacent retreat centre

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gilies Grove Revisited

You may recall — actually, no, why should you? — that we visited Gillies Grove one very muggy summer day. The grove is an old growth forest, which I don;t think means that all of the trees are ancient, but probably means that many are old and that the grove didn't get logged out back in the day. (That post is here, which is probably more for my reference than yours.)

It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday, after a few days of cloud and wind. Oh the wind. So we headed about a half hour up the road to Arnprior to visit the grove and to get chips (fries) at Wes'. Alas. I have told you that a part of Canada closes down after Thanksgiving. I didn't expect that Wes' would be among those, but it was.

As it happens, we had a good afternoon regardless.

This was at a stop along the way, at Blakeney. The spot called to me, and when a truck went by, I waited until it was distant in the frame and snapped a picture. It wasn't a pretty truck, but you can't really tell when it is in the distance like this.

Sue at the entrance to Gillies Grove.

Several shots from the trail.

After thoroughly enjoying our walk in the grove, we navigated over the almost adjacent Robert Simpson Park where I took this photo of the Ottawa River,

It was a good afternoon. The colour hasn't been overwhelmingly spectacular this year, but there was enough to enjoy on this day.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Big Leap Requires Many Small Steps

We have succumbed.

Succumbed to the cell phone world.

Yes, we are in the process of replacing our land line with cell phones: one for her and one for me.

Our package includes older iPhone 6s, which are supposedly free with a two-year plan.

It's not that I am stuck on Apple, but we have pods and tablets, so the environment is similar and somewhat familiar. And Shauna and the kids both have iPhones, so there is help when we need it.

And we need it. It's a big leap, which must be taken with many small steps, and although that analogy — leap with small steps — may not seem to make sense to you, it does to me, and since this is my blog ... 😁

Whatever our familiarity with the iOS environment, you use a lot more of it with a phone over a pod and a tablet. So, there is a learning curve (much), and there are questions (many).

The kids, 8 and 10, are kind of whizzes with this stuff. And they explain things to us. But they go so darn fast. "Just do this and this and this, Grandpa."

"Well yes, m'darlin, but could you slow down just a bit? I can learn, y'know. New stuff does still go in, eh. But maybe not quite as fast as it does for you."

BTW, they do and don't have phones. These are hand-me-downs from their mother. There are no sim cards, but they work well enough through internet, and they are good for texting and so on and so forth, so they know their way around really well. I wonder when they will need actual phones? Maybe by high school?

They know their way around iOS so well, that Danica switched my nickname on my phone to Big Butt Webber for some obscure reason, and that's what came through to others when I sent messages.

Little imp.

The messaging along with the Find Friends app is quite useful. I was able to briefly text Sue when I arrived safely at an out-of-town meeting last night and also when I was leaving for home. The lady does tend to worry, so it helps. And then she can go to the Find Friends app and see where I am in my journey home. Neat.

So, if you will excuse Mr Big Butt, I have more larnin to do.

Now, how do I put this thing on mute and vibrate only mode?

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Country Harvest Music Show

As some of you may recall, I have been taking event photos for the town as part of the Canada 150 celebratory year. I think I am up to 18 events now, the latest being the Country Harvest Music Show with proceeds donated to the hospital building fund. I am pleased to do this as my little contribution to the community.

What I do, along with mostly one other photographer is go to an event, shoot photos, and then upload them to a dropbox where, as I understand, they are stored by the town in some sort of perpetuity for future citizens to look back upon.

This concert wasn't held in the townhall venue, which I am more familiar with, so I was being a little shy about approaching this event and being so bold as to play photographer in a strange place. I was going to leave this occasion up to to Bob, the other photographer, but he demurred with the flimsy excuse of celebrating his 45th anniversary. Seriously Bob, get yer priorities straight!

Bob is a very friendly, outgoing, knows and talks to everybody sort of bloke, and I'm not, so I was uncomfortable in this case. But I was able to relax a little as the evening wore on, particularly when a press photographer showed up for awhile and I could see him scurrying boldly hither thither and yon. He became a role model of sorts although I can't see that I could even approach his level of bold.

Anyway, I persisted and got some shots of all of the main performers and three out of four of the accompanying band. I came home and processed and cropped. Processing is important to try to fix the crazy light balance issues that come with night concert photography. And sight lines are such that very often cropping is necessary.

I narrowed about a hundred shots down to less than 20 and uploaded them to the town. As requested I tagged them for easy identification in the future. This is the backup band's fiddler.

I don't know why I haven't thought of it for another event, but in addition to submitting many individual photos, I decided to make a collage. I have made all sorts of collages in the past, but I just hadn't thought of it for these events. I did it poster size just in case.

From top left are the four performers in the order in which they appeared. The lady in red was the first, and I think she was the best. She had a very clear, powerful, deep alto voice and sang the older style of country. Since much of the audience was older, that was much appreciated.

You have noticed that I got the pretty young lady in the collage twice, but this is not totally because I was smitten by her looks. I needed something in the centre to balance the photo once I had all of the individual photos in place. I tried the fiddler's photo, but it just didn't work. I think this one does. However, I do think that she is so appealing (in a nice way) that I am contemplating doing another collage of just her. We shall see.

There will also be a Christmas Country Concert at the same venue early in December, and I think I will be more comfortable, knowing what to expect.

EDIT: Well I got up early enough this morning to throw that other collage together before posting this. It's a quick hack job, but it was something to have a bit of fun with. The plain background that comes out in different shades in different photos doesn't help the blending, but it doesn't really matter because it's just for fun. I don't know the young lady's name.

EDIT2: Just for comparison, here is my birthday collage of/for Danica. Where the backgrounds are busier, blending seems to be easier or at least work better — for the most part anyhow.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Believe it or Not Walkabout

Linda is quite the historian and took us on a Friday 13th group walk along our main street. She told us about the past and of ghosts inhabiting various buildings.

For better or wrose, Sue and I have the habit of being very punctual. We were the first to show up, and I squeezed this shot of Linda (who dressed for the occasion) and Sue while we waited for others.

Others began to filter in.

Soon there was a large contingent and off we went. We met in front of this building which used to be a hotel and now has the mural of Roy Brown, the local man credited with shooting down the Red Baron.

Town hall in the background of the first photo and the historic Moore House in the second.

By the Queens Hotel.

Walking from stop to stop.

We finished at the other (south) end of Bridge Street by the present Grand Hotel, formerly the Mississippi Hotel.

And just a few more group shots.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

To The Sugarbush Once More

Somewhat immodestly our county, Lanark, calls itself the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario. There are many operations withing striking distance of home, but 3 of them feature dining facilities. Our favourite of the 3 is Wheelers which is the one farthest away. But the trip takes less than an hour, and we probably do it 3 times in a typical year: winter, spring and autumn.

I post a blog after just about every visit, so I won't post photos of the buildings and museums this time, except this one of Sue happily awaiting her pancake, french toast and sausages. Mmmmm.

After our fine repast, we walked the shortest of the several trails. It was definitely fall in the sugar bush, but it was such an overcast day that the picture opportunities weren't inspiring. Putting the camera in shade mode (you can also do this in post) helped bring more life into the photos, but they still missed being lit up by the sun. It is also unfortunate that there is no red in the sugar bush.

But we take pictures anyway and take pictures of people taking pictures. (We recently joined the 21st century and purchased smart phones, and the pic above of Sue and this one of me was taken with them.)

With grand scenes not being very grand to say the least, I tried to concentrate more on little things.

I thought leaves on this boulder might be interesting. It wasn't actually terribly interesting, but it was something. You can see a sap line in the background.

There are boulders strewn all about the sugarbush: erratics deposited by the receding glaciers. I liked this one with the interesting tree behind it.

There are quite a few of these boulders in this pic of Sue, which is a little fuzzy because the shutter speed was quite slow for this pic. Sap lines are also prominent in the background.

There is a wee barn at the end of the trail, and this fellow met us there.

And off we went, taking a somewhat long and circuitous route home. The foliage was so-so on this dull day, but it was still worth seeing. Mostly, we are resigned to seeing and enjoying in passing, but at a T-intersection, I was able to stop and snap this just to give an idea of what the drive was like that day. You can also see how overcast the day was.

And that's it. I suppose that we'll more than likely be back in winter, probably late winter if traditions hold.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Davis Lock

After Chaffys, we motored over to Davis Lock, our third and final stop of the day. We had actually had pictured Davis in minds when we went to Chaffys but got the two of them confused. We like Davis Lock somewhat more than Chaffys.

It's a single lock which you can see bits and pieces of in the following three photos. I was more concerned with capturing foliage than the lock itself.

Looking downstream from the lock, south toward Sand Lake

Looking upstream from the lock, more or less west toward Opinicon Lake

The same red chairs in both shots above from close to the same spot with different zooms. The chairs were the main intent of the first photo and the dock in the second. I thought the diagonal line might make a good element.

The above directions and lakes are my best guess as my camera GPS shows me the spot from where I took the picture but doesn't automatically tell me in which direction I was pointing. So, I look on the map and orient myself as best as I can.