Saturday, June 30, 2018

Two Evenings: Three Photos

I missed some wonderful sunsets this week. I got stuck at home and it was too late to get out there once I realized what was happening.

So, I am trying to predict a little better. If there are some clouds, there might be some colour to shoot.

In the event, I went out on Thursday evening, pretty much after the sun had set, but there was still some colour, In fact, I think the photos turned out quite well. This was the first. I really like the orange hilights under that heavy dark blue sky.

I moved back a little and took this one about 5 to 10 minutes later.

I headed out on Friday evening but had less luck. This was about as good as it got. Not terrible, but not like the previous evening either. A tighter shot without the dock would likely have been better, but I had my wide angle lens and had chosen this spot.

Friday, June 29, 2018


I promised some ICM (Intentional Camera Movement) photos from my brief wildflower shoot on Wednesday morning -- the one sandwiched between two bicycle rides.

I applied a texture overlay on this one just for interest sake: my own interest mainly.

I also added texture to this next and final shot, which is the photo (of this type) that I like best from the morning, although I think this one was probably better without. It doesn't really matter though as it is all fun and experimentation anyway.

In other news, we will be heading out to breakfast a little later with Sha and the kids: the delayed Fathers Day breakfast. Then we might hibernate for about a week as we are into our first big heat wave of the summer. It will be quite hot and very humid on top of that, so we'll really be feeling it. Canada Day is also this weekend. I'll want to take some fireworks shots, even if it is from my bedroom window again. But I do hope to get to a different vantage point this year.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Wild about Wildflowers

As I have previously noted, Sue and I are back on our bikes. One of the things that I have been doing is escorting Sue to and from her Monday-Wednesday exercise groups. She's more comfortable riding with someone, and it's not really a problem for me: just a little more exercise, which I can surely use.

It's only about 4-5 km depending on the route, so we can do it in about 10 minutes. I ride with her there, come home, and go back to get her.

I still have a little time to putter between trips, and yesterday, having noticed a patch of wildflowers on the first trip, I had enough time to go back with the car and camera to grab a few quick photos.

Once again, I was shooting handheld, so I didn't worry much about getting tack-sharp images. Sometimes, I do make an effort to really shoot sharp, but there is also something to be said for soft focus images.

I also did a few ICM images and will likely post them tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Rarity for Me

Basically, I don't try to photograph birds. For one thing, we are not in the best spot for them, and for another, I lack patience. And maybe equipment too. Yeah, there is that. It helps to have a big zoom lens, and I don't.

But when I saw this goldfinch sitting contentedly on a tree opposite my window, I grabbed my older camera and fired away with the 18-275mm lens extended to the max.

A few shots of the bunch that I fired were somewhat salvageable, after much cropping anyway.

Then I reset to shoot some more, but this time he heard my rapid clicking and beat a hasty retreat.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

A Brief Wildflower Shoot

Sunday Morning, with the sky completely overcast, I decided to try to photograph some wildflowers. They were just possibilities that I had seen whilst driving by local roadsides. No tripod: I just wanted to experiment with handheld shots this time.

I was hoping for colour upon colour (one colour in front and another behind) and also to try some ICM (Intentional Camera Movement). The idea is to move the camera deliberately while pressing the shutter.

I had to trash most of them, but I kept this one. It has both camera movement and colour upon colour.

A few other shots from my brief time out, mostly daisies.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Solstice Peace Walk

Another event of the very busy day of the solstice was the Peace Walk in the labyrinth. By busy, I mean getting up at 3:30, two photo shoots, two exercise classes, one hearing test, and one small shopping trip.

The peace walk began with the introduction of the new addition to the labyrinth grounds -- a large dream catcher. It was introduced fully and respectfully by this lady who told all about the design and symbolism.

Meanwhile, this child and I stared at each other.

Back to the narrative: the dream catcher was then placed in the centre of the labyrinth where it could be visited by the walkers as a choir sang sweetly in the background. It will later be permanently placed elsewhere on the grounds -- the dream catcher, not the choir.

More photos featuring the dream catcher.

Photos of the walkers. The first is unintentionally blurry, and I like the effect in this case.

Holding my camera near ground level, it looks as if they are walking uphill, but I like this effect too.

And a final walker photo which includes the child whom I photographed earlier.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Solstice Sunset

To wrap up the solstice day, I headed to Riverside Park to get whatever sunset photos that I could manage. Once again, the sightlines aren't the best, but you do what you can. As in the morning, the sky was cloudless, so all I could photograph was that slight glow as the sun dipped below the trees on the opposite bank.

But first, there was nice golden light and long shadows where I parked the car and began to walk towards the river.

At the river, while I waited for quite awhile for the sun to lower I took this photo with the lady of the dock waiting for her children to finish their paddling. You can see a faint sunset glow on the horizon.

I never did get a photo that I liked in the spot that I had chosen, but before I left the park, I wandered around the edge of the river and found a few shots using framing that I kind of like. The sunset wasn't quite as good as it looks here, but with a little underexposure and that little adjusting of the white (colour) balance, they turned out alright. In fact, I quite like the second one to the point where I think it might be print worthy.

I pointed the camera away from the sunset, or whatever there was of it, towards downtown. The spire of townhall is close to the centre of the frame. Once again, a little underexposure plus saturation makes the photo acceptable.

As I was about to leave, a small boat went by and left some light in its wake. In fumbling around to get the shot, I missed the best of the ripples but caught enough nevertheless.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Solstice Sunrise ii

On my way home from my solstice sunrise photo shoot, since the sun was still rising, I decided to stop at the park around the corner where there is a little pond. It is officially titled Anthony Curro Park although I always have to look the name up since there is no signage. In fact, it always enters my mind as Arlo Guthrie Park before I search the web for its real name.

I managed to catch a glimmer of rising light in the gap through the trees where the trail begins. Nothing spectacular, but the reflections are good enough, and I like the sort of triangular shape of the trees.

Time to head home with the sun still not quite risen over the horizon.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Solstice Sunrise

A few years ago, I made an effort to photograph both the sunrise and sunset of the summer solstice, so I decided to make an effort to try again this year.

Neither event can be seen in full splendor near our town, or at least I am not particularly aware of such spots, especially sunset. Nevertheless, I picked out a possible sunrise spot and checked it out the morning before the solstice.

I set my alarm for 4:00 but awoke at 3:30. After coffee, I headed to this spot just under the nearby bridge. I wanted to be in place by about 4:30 for the sun to arise by about 5:15.

As you can see by both the previous and following photos, there was the dreaded blank sky, which doesn't help to provide much sky drama. So, all I manged to get was the glow of the rising sun while it was still below the horizon.

This photo caught some of the foreground flowers and grasses

I was happy enough with the photos to try again on solstice morning, so I arose at the same time and returned to the same spot. This time, I used a normal lens rather than the wide angle of the previous day.

The conditions, however, were just about the same with that blank sky, but I experimented a bit and eventually managed to highlight some of the foreground flowers with my head lamp. These purple flowers were blowing in the wind, but I don't mind the sense of motion although I wouldn't consider printing this either.

I think I would consider printing this one, however, as I like the white daisies which are both in better light and focus than the purple flowers above.

In both mornings, I was back home before the actual sunrise because I figured that the best was over. But first, I did make another stop on the solstice morning.

Monday, June 18, 2018

An Unexpected Fathers Day Treat

With the grands going to be with their dad on Sunday, which is as it should be, it was decided that Fathers Day would be celebrated with grampa on Saturday. We were to go out for breakfast, and then visit our nephew and family at a ball gamer in a nearby town (as previously posted).

Except the old fella was not feeling well, so both were cancelled.

But the kids did drop by later after they had visited at that ball game. And I was feeling somewhat better by then too.

After a good sleep, I was feeling even better on Sunday, so we stopped for coffee and snacks and headed to our favourite spot by the river. And such a beautiful spot it is too.

I was totally surprised when Shauna snuck up behind me, gave me a kiss, and then sat down. We must have hung out for almost an hour and a half before it was time to break up the party.

She made an already pleasant morning so much more enriching. I am so pleased that my ladies pulled off this little unexpected treat.

Saturday, June 16, 2018


Last weekend, we journeyed to Perth to watch Sue's grand nephew (the son of her nephew, whatever the proper name is. I can never get it straight.).

The dad, Matthew, was a good friend of our daughter, Allyson. And she was his attendant at his wedding, his best man as it were.

After years of living quite far away, Matthew and family have settled in Kingston, which is only about an hour and a half away from us. Still, it's not exactly a quick drop in, so we don't see them very often. But when his son had a ball game only a half hour away, we couldn't pass t up.

Here are father and son, and son is about the age of Matthew when he used to visit us for a week or so in summer. I think he visited twice. Gotta how the circle has spun around.

And a few more.

And they're back in another nearby town today for another game, so we're going again along with Sha, Dani and JJ. It will be nice for the cousins to have a little visit although Lucas will be mostly involved in his ballgame.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Cycling Again

Cycling is likely too grand of a word for it because we're not exactly doing the Tour de France, doncha know. But what else can you call it?

After many years of letting our bicycles lie dormant, we got them tuned up, and we've been riding them around a bit. Our biggest outing so far was only about 10km roundtrip, which isn't far, but it will probably be about as much as we will manage. In the more distant past we would do perhaps 80km in a day, but I think those days are behind us.

Still it's good to get out.

We have a couple of trails around here. For example: when we biked to our seniors' exercise class yesterday, we could do almost half of it along the trail near us, and the rest was on quiet residential streets.

This ↓ is a photo from that 10km trip. This trail is very narrow, and is not highly used, but others hereabouts are wider, and there's room for both pedestrians and riders.

And these were taken at a spot where we had to walk our bikes where the path got narrow near the river.

As you just might be able to tell, we are enjoying getting back on our bikes.