Thursday, September 16, 2021

Coffee Time

I know folks need their coffee in the morning, but choose your route carefully, and be sure to look both ways. 😎

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Only Partly Lucky

I was out early, somewhat unenthusiastically (I may explain in a subsequent post) thinking about making more blue hour photos, when I spied a glow on the eastern horizon, overlain by the significant layer of cloud.

It caused me to turn left instead of the planned right.

Following light is, more often than not, a waste of time because light can change quickly. But conditions seemed like they might be stable that morning, and I didn't have far to go.

Five minutes later, I found a spot to pull off, just outside of town.

And I got the shot.

Isn't that a great formation with the overhanging cloud coming down to the horizon on the right? As you can see there were also early morning lights on in the barn beyond a layer of mist, and I soon saw the farmer drive off on his tractor. On the middle right, there are a couple of streaks of light from cars on the highway beyond. I'd like to try that again sometime, focusing on them.

I was on what amounts to a service road, so the occasional car and truck went by. I got one in this photo. I like it too.

Then, I turned around, looking in the other direction from the first photo. There was a corn field in front of me and an overpass just beyond. The sky look very different in that direction about fifteen minutes after the first photo.

That photo required two exposures, one for the corn field and one for the sky. Perhaps I could have done it in one exposure and adjusted it all in edit, but I think it was better this way because 3 stops of light difference between the two exposures is a lot.

I really lucked out, as I quite like all three photos. It's a good thing that I was out with my gear. That part wasn't luck, though.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Beer and Tires

After two golden-hour posts, back to lights at blue hour we go.

I really didn't know where I was going to head on this morning, but I found myself in the parking lot of the biggest and main grocery store in town. It's a big and wide building, but where I positioned myself with the wide angle lens, I was able to get it all in the frame with lots of room to spare: 10 second exposure.

Long before opening, workers are arriving to stock the shelves for the day.

Off to my right in the above photo, there is another large store, Canadian Tire. This time, I decided not to try to photograph the whole thing but to concentrate on the part by the entrance: 2 seconds.

Until wow, there have scarcely been any clouds in all of my blue hour photos. Normally, photographers really desire them, but I have been liking the electric blue well enough. However, there were a few clouds in this one.

Of note: I do understand that these buildings, which I have been photographing, are not exactly architectural masterpieces, but there has been something redeeming about them in my opinion.  I think that there has consistently been two good elements in all of them – colour and light. If those elements are good enough, so is the photo – not necessarily great, but good enough to for a momentary pause of approbation.

Monday, September 13, 2021

Focus Stacking the Hawthorne

Believe it or not, I have two more golden hour photos for youse or yiz guys. I have strayed from my morning blue hour photos once again. But I urge you not to fret as we will return to the blue hour theme in short order.

I have had this photo op in mind for sometime, and finally around got to it or A Round Tuit. The idea was to photograph the derelict Hawthorne Mill from the opposite riverbank. The other part of the concept was to use grasses as a foreground element. Well, the grassy field that I seen seen previously had been mowed, but I found some weeds to use instead. As they say, needs must.

With the foreground and mill so far apart, I would have to take two photos and focus blend them in photoshop. One version would focus on the foreground and the other on the distant factory. I took the best part of each photo to, hopefully, come up with the seamless result with everything in focus from front to back.

Mission Accomplished: I managed to work the technique, and the golden light plus the reflections make the photos good enough, despite the iffy foreground element, particularly in the first photo.

I finally got A Round Tuit, and here is one for you in case you need it.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Summer Has Left the Building

Sometime last week, autumn snuck (yes, I will write snuck and not sneaked) into my den. Perhaps the better way to put it, however, is that summer, has left the building, just like Elvis used to do.

You may recall that I recently wrote about autumn here, reporting that one can define it either meteorologically or astronomically. I also wrote that my own perception was that autumn unequivocally arrived in my life when the sun no longer reached through the window to my computer monitor.

I noticed the absence of the morning sun hitting my computer screen on Friday, but I thought, in retrospect, that it had probably been a day or more since I had last seen that glare on the corner of my monitor. It was only on that day, however, that I realized that I did not have to adjust the monitor by tilting the screen or going to the window to pull the shades.

One doesn't necessarily notice the absence of something right away unless that particular something were quite important. We are more likely to notice when something happens for the first time than we are to notice that something banal didn't happen, and a wee bit of sunlight on the corner of my monitor really is quite banal.

I can tell you that, as I write this piece early in the morning, the weather agrees with me that fall has arrived, as it is barely above 10C/50F outside. I sit here in my hoodie but with the window, nevertheless, still open. Many months are coming when that option will not be afforded to me, so I am not rushing to shut the window. I will, however, shortly avail myself of a second mug of steaming coffee, which I may sip under the blanket on my chair as I play my morning games of Sudoku.

The 14-day forecast shows that daytime temperatures will continue to be pleasantly autumnal, hovering in the mid-20s, or 70s in Americanese. Nighttime will be quite cool but will remain above 10°C/50°F *. Trees have begun to change colour, a process that will soon seem to accelerate.

* I tend to make note of 10°C and 50°F because those temperatures match up perfectly on the two scales. It is also relevant to me because back in geography class we would use it as a reference point in classifying climate zones. If the warmest month on average doesn't reach 10°C/50°F, we would consider it to be an Arctic climate. To be defined as a Humid Continental climate, which is the zone in which I have always lived, 4 months would have to rise above 10°C/50°F.  A zone with only 1-3 months greater than 10°C/50°F would be classified as subarctic. Territorially, a very large proportion of Canada lies within the arctic or subarctic climate zones, but most of us don't live up there.

Since I have already strayed off-topic, permit me to stray a little further. 

In our local Humid Continental, technically the short summer variety, climate zone here near Ottawa, we have 5 months, May through September, that average over 10°C/50°F, with October coming close. July is the hottest month, with a monthly average of about 21°C/70°F. The average high for the month is 27°C/81°F. Of course, many days can exceed that average high temperature by quite a lot. It does get hot here, and humid hot to boot.

Meanwhile, average monthly temperatures fall below freezing for the 4 months from December through March, January being the coldest at -10°C/14°F. Let us not even talk about how dang cold some days can be.

Phew! I really didn't mean to go there. 


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Caturday 31: The Traitorous Lacey

Lacey wants to apologize on my behalf. Somehow, I got way behind on my blog reading and, eventually, gave up the chase to catch up. I shall have to begin again from scratch. Sorry about that.


It is nothing new to you that Sue is Lacey's person. Sue gets lap time and snuggles. Only when I am upstairs in my den do I get any attention whatsoever. Even then it is fleeting and not exactly snuggling. I have learned to live with this.

But when Jonathan visits us, Lacey is quite likely to visit him. This picture shows what I think of this.

But for some reason, JJ thinks this is quite funny.

This happens on almost every visit.

As lagniappe for you, when he was here and helping with breakfast, Sue brought out the chef's hat, which, of course, I never wear. We only have one, so she asked if I could work a little photoshop magic to show us both wearing it. While, I would rather hesitate to call this magic, I did manage to oblige milady.

Friday, September 10, 2021

I Forgot to Post

I was cleaning out my Blogger photo folder when I spied some fairly recent photos that I ordinarily would have deleted by now, had I posted them. I had to question whether I had posted them and then forgotten to delete them or whether I had forgotten to post at all.

Although I suspected that I hadn't posted, I really didn't know for sure. What with also posting to Flickr and FB, I tend to lose track of what I have done where and when. That's why I like to delete those photos once I have used them, and I have three separate folders to help me keep track.

A scroll through recent blogs revealed that I hadn't posted them, so now I will. Oddly enough, when you consider that most of my photos have been blue hour morning shots, these were taken during evening's golden hour. Evening! Can you believe it?

About a week prior to returning with the camera, I had noticed some interesting light on a tree as I was passing by. After some time, and somewhat surprisingly as well, that memory kicked in*, and I headed over with the camera at around 6 o'clock. I couldn't find a clean composition from my original point of view from the car, but I wandered about and did get this photo with the tree at the end of the walkway.

That one ↑ showed the long caving path, which I liked. The next photo ↓ is closer, and reveals the tree more.

Finally, I took a close one of just the branches and the leaves. It's probably my fave of this little shoot – just lines and colour.

* My memory or lack of same is somewhat surprising and unusual. I don't tend to completely forget a lot of items such as this, but they do go into hiding somewhere inside my cranium until something or other retrieves them. Unfortunately, it is then, very often, too late to do anything about it.