Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Third Stop

I understand if you have already grown weary of my early morning pics, but I will probably continue for the present time. The landscape isn't grand, but is is available, and the sites are close by. Doing something keeps me in practice to some degree, even if it is repetitive. Practice is of some value because I think that I almost forgot how to do some things over the long winter. 

These photos are from the third pull-off site (my first time), all viewing the same farm.

As I point the camera in different directions I get different colours. I was drawn by the reds in this section of cloud, very close to the rising point.

Sometimes, I change lenses to zoom in on certain areas, but all of these photos were taken with my wide angle lens. My telephoto attempts were not good on this morning.

Until the crops grow, there is a lack of foreground for all of these recent photos although I did get a little from one of the stops. I am hesitant to wade into the tall grasses at the sides of the clearings that I access, for the threat of ticks turns me into a coward. Maybe I will venture into the grasses some day but will tuck my pants into my socks if I do summon the courage.

Lacking foreground. I decided to put myself into one photo. 

I  may experiment more with this sort of selfie. What I have to do is set up a shot, put the camera on a 10-second delay, and scurry back into the frame. I am not that nimble and don't scurry all that well, but I think I will try again, for I think there is potential.

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The CAF is Back

A pleasant surprise greeted me at the drugmart in the early morn when I was picking up a few items.

CAF is back.

Yes, ladies and germs, I do call it CAF although it is actually caffeine free. Despite what my blog friends may think, I do tend to be a tad parsimonious with my words.

I drink DIET during the day and CAF at night, or at least I used to. Then, around the time that the pandemic began, CAF disappeared from the shelves. Apparently, the disappearance was unrelated to COVID but had something to do with scarcity of aluminum.

Does it sound like I drink a lot of COKE? Well, I don't really. I open 2 DIETS/day and 1 CAF in the evening. I try not to finish any of them, so hopefully, I am not consuming any more than 2 cans in total. 

I have a chronically weird throat, and very cold COKE feels very good on it at the right time. Perhaps you remember the old commercial about ice cold coke on the back of my throat. Well, it works for me.

I do understand that I am weird.

The reappearance of CAF came just after I had discovered that there is now a sugar-free COKE ZERO. I had purchased one carton and was about to purchase another when I saw that CAF was available.

So, what did I do in its absence for a drink in the evenings over the past year? After some trial and error with root beer, sprite and 7-Up, I settled on ginger ale. It was okay, but I don't prefer diet ginger ale, and I'd rather not consume those calories at night, so it is good to have CAF back.

When I started blogging 17 years ago, I never would have dreamed that I would write a post like this. Although just about any topic can be blogged, that doesn't mean that one should. But I do anyway.


Monday, June 14, 2021

A Brief Garden Tour

On a rather dull day, I went looking for irises and peonies to photograph. In the garden by the museum, I found irises that were beyond their best by date, so I refrained. The peonies were a little better.

No flowers in the next photo, but I liked the green on greens in this patch.

I liked how the bench ↓↓ was framed. I really reduced contrast on this for effect. This is referred to as a matte look or finish. I think I like it, but I am waffling a bit.

I moved onto a rural road not far out of town where the owners have a herbaceous border along the fence by the road. I had heard that lupines were in season, a flower that is a bit unusual for this area. The gardener, or her husband rather, told me that they had taken seeds from Prince Edward Island where lupines grow in profusion. I think this is my favourite photo from my little outing.

But I like the next one too. I don't know what the flower is called. It looks like cosmos in the photo, but the blooms seemed much smaller that the cosmos that I am used to. The horizontal lines in the background are part of a split rail fence.

I also applied a matte finish to this ↑↑ one. As a photo, I may like it better than the lupines. I am torn. I like the lupines because they are a bit exotic hereabouts, but I also like this image for its understated look.

Sunday, June 13, 2021

AC Before the Fall

I wrote about Nick dropping by on my Sun Over the Laneway photoshoot. He decided to take some pics of AC taking pics. He's a good photographer, and here is what he sent to me.

In Nick's photos, above, I was possibly taking the brightest of the two or three exposures that got blended into this ↓↓ photo, which is one that I haven't posted previously. You might be able to discern that the saturation in the image below is similar to what is visible on my camera screen.

While I am tucking in hanging threads as it were, I have one more eclipse photo to reveal.

I succumbed, as I sometimes do, and got artistic rather than authentic on this ↓↓ version of the solar eclipse. Yes, I walked on the wild side a bit, but it is pretty difficult to be realistic with the eclipse photos anyway as they are blends of at least 2 images and are also much darker than what the eyes revealed at the time.

I rather like the result with the sun looking like a crescent moon when we can't see the moon's shadow. But I also like to see the shadow as in the photo that I posted previously.

Finally. this ↓↓ is me celebrating my photography and camera.

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Riverside Coffee Break

First a cold wave and then a heat wave kept us away from a coffee time in the park, in the actual park, I mean, and not in the car. Finally, the heat wave ended, and we were able to pull our chairs out and enjoy being by the riverside. The good news is that you, dear reader, are being spared the 600th view of us having our coffee in the car.

We made the effort on this day because our coffee shop, which highbrows call a café, reopened – for takeout only. It seems that their merciless landlord will not be renewing the lease. Hopefully, the café will find a new location and the landlords will not find a new tenant for awhile. This café is where I have photos displayed, and we wanted to show our support for the owner almost as soon as she re-opened.

Onward to the photos. These are all phone photos.

Looking at Sue and up the river. Notice her pride month accessories.

Looking directly across the river

Relaxing with coffee

It only seems like we were playing footsie

The de rigueur selfie

It was a most pleasant break.

Friday, June 11, 2021

The Solar Eclipse

I haven't been setting the alarm for my morning escapades because it doesn't matter much if I go out on most uneventful days. The eclipse, however, is a pretty unique event. With the show set to kick off ~5:16, I set the alarm for 4:30. My coffee and I were on site by ~5.

Previously, I encountered Nick on my early shoot, but on this morning, Bob was out there, ready to snap at a moments notice, as it were. He had set up on the other side of the road, a little farther down.

This ↓↓ is an early photo. I couldn't tell at this brightness, but the eclipse had already begun. It was even brighter and less apparent to the naked eye than in the photo.

In point of fact, the sun was so bright, that I am not sure I could have discerned that there was an eclipse at all if I hadn't known. Perhaps I would have been able to see the eclipse when it was at its maximum as shown below, but one tries to avoid actually looking at it. I only looked through the camera screen during this shoot.

It was quite bright out, and I had to underexpose by a lot to capture the eclipse. I did this with the help of my 10-stop neutral density filter which resulted in this ↓↓ image. Most photo show the sun as white, but I wanted to retain colour by underexposing so hugely.  

Apparently, there was a more complete eclipse in other latitudes.
but this was the maximum coverage at 45.1°N.

I did try to blend exposures to capture at least some of the sky and foreground trees, but this ↑↑ was all that I could mange to do. My hope is that the clouds with some trees at the bottom do give a bit of context. Otherwise, the straight eclipse image, before I blended, was pure black beyond the subject itself..

However it happened, I did capture the eclipse. While I have no particular use for bucket lists, this is a little moment for me to store in my memory banks. I don't suppose that I will see another or will be compos mentis if I do.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Success and Faiure

Life can be frustrating at times. After coming home from my morning photoshoot, my photo program lost track of my catalog and is now taking many hours to re-import all of my previous photos although they are already there. I have done something wrong, but why can't professional grade software give you proper help screens when you run into problems. I probably didn't have to re-import, but I didn't know that.

So, I am just posting a bit of the descriptive palaver for now, and will hopefully add photos later. I have already posted a blog today, so I hope that this issue is all settled by tomorrow.

I hesitated about going out this morning because I didn't see a lot of hope for colour, but that spot by the farm lane did have colour beyond. Since I was hoping for the sun directly over the lane, I waited and got the shot. But I don't know yet whether it will turn out.

As I was waiting for the rising and still taking some photos in the interim, a car pulled in behind me. I could see that it wasn't a cop car, so I thought it must have been the farmer come to let me know that this was private property. I ignored him for a minute while I nonchalantly adjusted something or other in the camera. I didn't want to appear anxious, as if I didn't belong there.

When I did turn, I surprised to see Nick, a friend and photographer, who was also out and about. He was already on his way home at about 5:10 or so but decided to stop and pay me a visit when he saw me. He took some photos of me and my camera set up to take photos of the lane and the sun. I don't know when I will get copies, but I will likely post them if and when I do.

I will tick one more box before the photos arrive and will respond to TFG's query about why I would photograph at sunrise rather than sunset.

For one thing, neither sunrises nor sunsets are very available here. What I mean is that the alignment is off as roads run the wrong way on an angle. Even our river isn't aligned all that well, and I have already photographed it more than once anyway. I will again, of course. So when I passed this field one day with trees in the distance, I thought that it might provide a view of sunrise. It does. The geography is hardly spectacular, but the photos work well enough regardless. I have kept returning because every sky is different, and I can shoot from several different points as well.

Aside from that, however, I am enjoying the morning solitude with the birds raising their song. There are few people around to disturb my introverted self, especially in summer when the sun rises so early. I also find it satisfying to go out first thing and attempt to be artistic and creative. It is an effort to get going though, and sometimes I can't induce myself to make it. It was touch and go this morning. 

Now, I will wait for Lightroom to do its interminably long thing, but if all goes well you won't have to wait because they'll be coming up now.

There it is, 7 hours of the computer and Lightroom and me trying to figure out the meaning of life. It is both a success and a failure

Success:  I did catch the sun rising right over the lane, which is what I wanted.

Failure: Although I took many photos at different exposures, I couldn't get the sun to not blowout. I did manage in a sense, but the rest of the photo was pretty well black (included below). I tried to merge it (just the sun part) with another photo, but I couldn't get them to blend.

Composite: This is a composite of two photos: one exposed more for the sky and one for the land.

A Faithful Rendition: Although the photo may looked photoshopped, it isn't. It is close to what came out of the camera. I did lift the shadows a bit as well as dim the highlight, but not much.

Colour:  The colour is pretty accurate in terms of what came out of the camera, but I can't say how accurate it was to what my eyes saw. I was talking a lot to Nick at the time, so I wasn't concentrating as well as I might have. There's not much that I could have done differently regardless,

Just FYI. Here is how the photo that I exposed for the sun came out. My thought had been to merge it with a photo like the one above, but I just couldn't blend it in very well and gave up.

All in all, I am glad to have made the effort, and despite calling the result a failure in a sense, there remains something about the composite that I like.