Friday, October 19, 2018

RAW Foto Phun

I have to re-learn this every time — that RAW photos look bad at first.

If RAW is a new term to you, it means, more or less anyway, that the photo comes to you from the camera, unprocessed.

If the photographer doesn't specify this mode, he or she gets a processed jpeg image from the camera. In other words, the camera's software has made decisions for you. It involves sharpening, contrast, exposure, saturation and other things, I'm sure. They look finished, well developed.

Even if you shoot in RAW mode, you still see a processed jpeg on your camera screen. And, apparently, that is also what you get when you upload a photo from your camera, directly to your phone, even if you have shot in the RAW format, for when I was in the country, I would upload a photo or two per day to FB. And they looked good.

Then, I got home and uploaded the RAW versions to my computer and was disappointed.

I do know better than to be disappointed — or should — for RAW images, despite their blandness, contain a lot of information that I can use to develop the photos to my taste. But I still struggle with the initial disappointment.

After a while, I sat down and started working through the photos: a few at a time. Some people hate the editing process, but I mostly enjoy it. Crafting my photos is the closest that I can come to being an artist, for I certainly can't draw or create manual, analog art as more talented folk may do. But this, along with taking the original photo, satisfies me in some way.

All of the above has nothing to do with the post that follows except to tell you that I have processed some more images from last week, and here they are.

This is the old barn (there is another) on the property. I love the red maple at the side as well as the background fog.

There is a cemetery just off the northern edge of the property, and it was showing nice colour. I took a number of photos on a hot, sunny afternoon, which was about the last time we had sunshine that week. The first is a 7-shot vertorama (vertical panorama) and the second is a 5-shot pano.

Two photos from our trip into Apsley for groceries. The first is at the beginning of an unassumed road, basically meaning "use at your own risk." The second is another long exposure of the rapids at Eels Creek.

From Eagle's nest in Bancroft, about a half hour north of the cottage.

Another of Heather's feeding stations, which changed on a daily basis. This is a blend of 4 photos to maximize the number of birds in the shot. The two by the bread were in one shot; the other three were added. We had great fun watching and photographing the jays.

And that's it until next time.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Home with an Overview

We are back to our digs after a week in the country. The week began with torrid heat which was a problem because I did not bring summer clothes for a Canadian autumn in mid-October. I went for a walk -- two actually -- and returned sweat-drenched. My dear sister-in-law found a pair of shorts for me. That heat lasted for two days; a day or two later, we had frost.

I am going to present -- in photos, of course -- a brief overview of the week. There may be more detail later.

We take the backroads to the cottage when feasible, although no route is exactly a turnpike. This adds an hour or two to the journey but allows us the occasional stop if we are so inclined. We only stopped once on the way. There were better photo-ops that this, but even on the backroads, pull-offs are not always ubiquitous. The colour was very nice for much of the week even though for the most part we were past the peak and much fall had taken place.

There are acres and acres of forest at the cottage. I took this shot of one of the paths that Brian, my brother-in-law, has cut through the woods. It was a gloomy day for the most part, but a patch of sunlight caught the path. Gotta love the leafy carpet.

We took a few little trips from the cottage. This is Eels Creek taken from Apsley. I wanted to get a little blur on the rapids, so I used my neutral density filter for a long exposure -- a short long exposure of one second. I like the patch of red at the end.

Another day saw us travelling in the other direction, which included a trip up to Eagle's Nest in Bancroft. We could drive most of the way to the top and just needed to hike the last little bit. I took this on the trail to the outlook.

Back down in the town, we found an old truck with vegetation growing out of the trunk.

One morning we had a touch of frost, so I got my macro lens out. I haven't used it much all summer as there are landscape scenes to shoot, so I found myself stumbling a bit in my attempts, but here is a close-up showing a leaf rimmed in frost.

My sister-in-law, Heather, got into the bird-feeding mode, and set up a different station every morning. This was the first station, on a set of old wagon wheels. They were attracted to a loaf of bread that Brian had baked. Heather added some peanut butter and seeds, and the birds, mostly blue jays, loved it.

After a week, it was time to return home yesterday. The day was cloudy and drizzly (see the blank sky in the photo), but we still saw some wonderful colour. As per usual, we mostly drank-in the beauty as we drove past, but I did make a few brief stops. This is the Madawaska River at Camel Chute.where the Matawatchan Road becomes Centennial Lake Road.

Knowing me, I will likely post more photos in the coming days, but I wanted to publish an overview post. In due course, I will get to your blogs, but I can't promise to actually catch up: maybe just pick up.

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Heading Out

We're off on our almost annual, autumnal trip to cottage country. I say almost because we didn't make it last year because we still had that doddery old but much beloved cat, Bella, who required much care. She passed on a few weeks later, which enabled us to get up there for a few days in November, much too late for autumn but just in time for the first snowfall, which was rather pleasant.

Autumn is proceeding apace now, but due mostly to weather, I haven't yet taken one single solitary lonely photo. By turns, it has been either too windy, too cloudy, too rainy or too cold, or even some mixture of those sad conditions.  Last evening, for example, it poured cats and dogs while it thundered, and lightninged.

Even as we head out today, planning to take the prettier backroads with the hope of catching some nice photo ops, it promises to be dull and rainy This is not really such a wonderful promise, not one I want the weatherperson to actually keep, but probably the kind that s/he will make sure to deliver. Further to that gloomy outlook, two of the next three days are predicted to be even duller and rainier. Seeing that colour has likely already peaked around the cottage, this doesn't augur propitiously for my camera and me.

So what I will do in this farewell-for-now post is leave you with a few photos from our last autumnal trip, two years ago. My farewell rather makes it sound like we're embarking on a lengthy round-the-world trip, but we'll probably be gone for only a week, give or take. So it's not actually so much a farewell as a see-you-soon.

From the cottage property

Near the Cottage

On the Way

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Linda's Wondrous Walking Tour

A few days ago, I showed you this photo of Linda lip-syncing at our Pride event last Saturday.

I decided to put it on Flickr, and it got noticed and put on their Explore page. It took off from there, and as I type this, it has garnered more than 85K views.

As I said then, she is running for town council and promotes the town. On Friday night she led us on Linda's Wondrous Walking Tour of downtown. Given the time of year, the theme was ghostly if you know what I mean. We stopped in front of many downtown buildings while Linda recounted many stories to the delight of the participants.

It's challenging to take photos in the dark, bur I ratcheted up the ISO and did my best. Here are a few, including some b&w, which I don't usually think to do, but I think they worked well. I will present them without further comment.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Danica Does Pride

It was a great pleasure to have Danica accompany us to both Pride events — the raising of the flag on Friday and the Lip Sync event on Saturday.

She wore the pride ring that Sue made for her and gladly waved the flag. She also got a nice face-painting.

After I took the above pictures, she orchestrated this photo — both the composition and, later, the editing.

And then, she insisted on posting it on my Flickr site. Someone would have to be very special for me to allow that. And in her description, she wrote this: "So basically, we were at our local farmer's market for the first annual PRIDE festival in our town! It's great knowing that all individuals are accepted in our small town, no matter what they identify as or who they love. We're all people here!"

Gotta love that girl.

More Danica photos, mostly of her dancing at the end of the performances.

If anyone wants to see more (and why would you really?), I posted a big photo album on FB with the above photos and many more, including many crowd shots. (I trust that the link will work. I've never done it this way before.)

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

A Matter of Pride

Our Pride event was put together pretty quickly -- in five weeks. I don't know why or how, but it was quite wonderful.

After the flag raising on Friday, there was a lip-sync event at Market Square on Saturday afternoon. With many booths and vendors also around, it was a great event. There was such celebration and joy.

Just being there gave me an appreciation of why a party such as this is so meaningful. Some gay people have lived in fear in the shadows while others have been abused terribly for being who they are.

I don't think many understand that the celebration isn't about proclaiming your sexuality but rejoicing in new found freedom and pushing the boundaries of tolerance.

During the performance, I was sometimes almost tearful to think what some people have been through just because they are who they are, and I found it very meaningful to celebrate with them in some small way.

There were drag queens and other performers in the lip syncing event, and I have pictures because Sue secured a front row seat while I was still roaming around the perimeter, which is when I got the first photo, below. The others were taken during the performance.

Linda ↓ is a terrific asset to our town. She writes much of its history and promotes events such as this whenever she can. She sponsors informative, historical walks in town and also led the Halloween cemetery walk which we participated in a few years ago. Despite running for Council in the upcoming municipal election, she doesn't take herself too seriously and was willing to dress up and participate in the lip sync contest: this despite not being in the best of health. What an asset to the community she is!

Another stalwart performer that I will leave you with. What expression!