Thursday, October 31, 2019

Happy Halloween

With rain and wind, it may not be a very Happy Halloween for the local kiddies, but I hope they can salvage something whether trick or treating or at home.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Fog Again

It was going to be another day of recuperation. It really was. We have exercise class on Tuesday and Thursday, and I had planned to forego Tuesday (yesterday) and get back in the groove on Thursday. Such was the plan. but the day transpired very differently, and I am glad of it.

I got up very early as usual, sometime around 5 o'clock give or take, and did whatever it is that I do in my den until Sue gets up. The blinds were down, and I had no idea what was going on outside. It really didn't matter because outside was dark. Oh those dark mornings! Never mind, there are only 5 more months to go.

When m'lady arose from her slumbers, however, she informed me that it was foggy out.

Now, you know from the Foggy Morning post last week that photographers, or at least this photographer, are drawn to fog.

What a dilemma! On the one hand, I wasn't sure that I was ready to go out after my bout with the cold. I certainly hadn't been planning on it, at least. On the other hand, however, fog is hard to pass up.

So, I did head out with my gear, heading to the opposite side of the river from last week. The fog was much heavier this time, almost too heavy, and the environs were not as good, but it was still nice to get out.

I began by shooting the old Hawthorne Mill (first photo) and our rather venerable canoe club (second photo).

Next I was attracted to the little hut by the side of the park. There was just enough fog to soften the photo and enough colour to make it appealing. To me, at least.

I wandered along the woodsy path and liked the one colourful tree overhanging the pathway.

Down by the river, I decided to photograph the maple leaves in the water.

I saw that the sun rising over the foggy high school. Perhaps it will also brighten foggy, early morning student brains. I processed the photo with warm tones to accent the sun, but I am not sure that I like it.

Back at the starting point, the rising sun was beginning to touch the side of the mill. You can see the difference if you compare it to the first image.

When I got back home, I surprised Sue by saying that I would also go to exercise class. It went pretty well.

Then I surprised her again by saying I would do the grocery shopping after lunch.

Finally, we had Shauna and the kids over for supper. I fired up the barbie, and grilled what will be the final barbecue of the season. October will finish with 2 days of rain, and, well, one just doesn't grill around here from November through March and quite possibly into April or even May. Unless one has a sheltered spot, and we don't.

I will leave you with one more photo from the morning fog. It's just a arched branch in the river and its reflection. See? I can be arty.

Monday, October 28, 2019

Checking In With Random Blatherings

Checking in with random blatherings after several silent days.

It is not even 10AM,and I have already had a semi nap. By that I mean that I closed my eyes for a half hour, and I possibly drifted off for a few minutes within that time.

It's a cold, you see. And what a cold! And so early in the season too. A humdinger of a cold. A cold that drains the energy and necessitates bouts of rest.

For a few years I prided myself in hardly being sick at all. Finally, late last winter, I was hit. And now I have succumbed early this season, and it isn't even winter yet.

The flu shots seem to be late in arriving this year. I wonder if I might have missed the cold if the serum had arrived earlier?

Sue has been spared. Proof that we haven't been kissing.

You try to figure out where you might have picked up the cold germ, but it is a bit of a fool's errand as a cold can take anywhere from 1 to 3 days to incubate. So you can't really narrow it down.

Some seniors residences are in lock-down, but so far Shauna's home in Perth has been spared. That is  a bit of a blessing since they are still in their startup phase and learning how to sail the ship smoothly, so they don't need additional issues with which to deal.

Obviously, there are no pictures to post as I have been housebound. And with winter coming, I wonder how many I will find to post for the next 6 months.

Speaking of winter, last October on the very day, the 28th, we had out first snowfall. This is one of the photos from that day.

It was the beginning of a long winter.

This year we haven't even turned the furnace on yet. Not that it has been exactly tropical, but it has been bearable. At present it is 10C/50F outside and will rise to 15C/60F. That may seem cold to you, but it is close to 19C/66F in the house, which is bearable with the assistance of a good sweater.

I hope those Fahrenheit conversions, above, are correct because I can't access the online conversion calculator that I use. So, I am using a formula which I think is correct: F=C*9/5+32.

I don't know exactly why we play the furnace game every October. I think we want to stave off winter for as long as possible, for it is a very long season in Canada.

I am pretty sure that we've never made it all of the way through October without  caving, but perhaps we'll make it this year.  We've only 3 days remaining, but in the final 2 days, the temperature will only rise to 10C/50F.

We live in a townhouse with only 2+ walls exposed. Perhaps the neighbours have their heat on and are insulating us a bit.

How can it be 2+ walls and not exactly 2, you ask? Well, because our townhouse is bigger than the two on either side of us, so the 2 shared walls are, indeed, only partly shared.

Getting back to the calculator site and the internet in general this morning, it is very weird and something that I haven't seen before. Some sites such as this and FB are fine, but others such a Twit and the calculator aren't loading at all. This is very strange. You'd have to think that our internet would either be all down or all up. Strange.

And that is me checking in with random blatherings. Aren't you sorry you clicked? Don't you wish that Blogger was also inaccessible for me too today?

Thursday, October 24, 2019


A few photos that haven't fit into my recent posts. The first two are in the courtyard and outdoor dining area of a local hotel and restaurant.

These next ones are from that foggy morning that I just posted about.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Foggy Morning

Was it foggy or not? It was hard to tell by looking out the window. I decided that it was foggy, but was it enough of a fog to get me out with the camera early on a chilly morning when there was still frost on the car?

With some reluctance, I decided to do it, and it was a good thing.

I went to the park, and the fog across the river was very very nice.

Here is the proof.

I think the second photo, above, is my fave, and I am almost sure to print it.

When it was time to go, the fog was lifting, at least away form the river, but the morning light was hitting this maple tree quite nicely.

It was a fine morning. I am so glad that I made myself get out there.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Red Maple Leaves . . . Mostly

My goodness! Three days without posting after coming at you day after day, sometimes twice a day.

Actually, I got a little tired of it, photography, I mean. I've had more than one opportunity to a photograph a local event, but I abstained. And Jonathan's hockey has begun again, but I have chosen to sit through two games already. In the stands. No photography.

But I have updated my two local print displays recently, and Simon, the owner of one of my display venues asked for a specific photo: a print of a red maple leaf to send to his ailing Dad back in England. This would have some sentimental value for his father who took a red maple leaf back to England after one visit.

BTW, just in passing, I will also note that I sold, from Simon's place, a photo of our town hall.  It was then presented to the South Korean ambassador on his visit to Carleton Place last week, I'm sure that it will go directly into storage, or worse, but it still pleases me.

It was this one.

Back to Simon's red leaf request. I ambled around the park on Sunday morning and took a few shots. I liked both of these, especially the first one.

However, the image that he had in mind was of a single maple leaf.

What I decided to do was to extract the main leaf of the first photo, above, and put it on a plain background. I also flipped it so that it was pointing up and not down, the way it was hanging on the branch.

I like the original more, but this was closer to what Simon had envisaged, so I printed it for him. Strangely enough, I have another photo of red maples hanging somewhere in England. This photo was taken at the same park a number of years ago. A friend of Sue's took it to England when she visited her daughter. I once saw a picture of it hanging in the daughter's pub.

In passing, I will post one other maple leaf photo. It was on the ground, and I like seeing the shadow of the grass behind the backlit leaf. While I don't consider it a candidate for printing, I like the image well enough.

Friday, October 18, 2019

Post Processing

I process/edit my photos, sometimes a little, sometimes quite a bit. For one thing you almost have to do process further if you shoot in RAW. Think of it as something akin to needing to turn an old-fashioned negative into a print. It's not that dramatic, but RAW images lack contrast and sharpening and so on. They are not equivalent to a processed jpeg image where the software in your camera or phone has made many assumptions and adjustments and handed them to you. In doing so, it also throws away much of the original data.

Normally however, I don't do much photoshopping in the way that people mean it. I don't generally add elements or move them from one part of the photo to another. I will sometimes remove distractions such wires if I feel so compelled but, certainly, not always. And most of the time I try to make an image that is in some dot of basic harmony with the what I saw when I pressed the shutter.

But I do photoshop sometimes. This, below, was a quick photo for a group on Flickr that posts trucks. I couldn't pass it by, but the light was harsh with much contrast, and the sky was blank.

So, I just cropped it a bit to eliminate much of the blank sky and then applied a few filters to tone down the contrast and even make it look a little bit vintage. So this was a little more than general tweaking of things such as lifting the shadows or nudging the exposure up or dawn, but it's not off the wall editing either. This is a matter of taste, of course, and my taste may be at odds with others.

I really photoshopped this next image, not so much the basic image itself, for I did very little to that, but I did think the flower deserved a better background, and while I was at it, I removed some of the extraneous elements.

In my opinion, the original shot was photographed well enough, so that it required very little processing, but the background and other elements that detracted from the beauty of the flower. To me, it's something like matting and framing a photo, any photo; it just looks better.

I may return to this theme at another time.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Riverside Park Morning

Although I get up early enough, our recent rambles have taken place during the middle parts of the day. But with our colour  rambling done, or so it seems, I headed to Riverside Park once the sun was up. It does rise late these days — around 7:30 — so it really isn't all that early at all.

I wanted to see what the early light and colour would look like at the town's main park, and they were both pretty good. However, as pretty as it was to look at, somehow, it's not all that easy to get great photos there. The trees are large and the quarters are somewhat tight.

I mean, you can see the colour below, and there is a nice frame with leading lines, but there isn't a very good focal point as the red is in shadow.

I think this is the same setting as above but closer to the red maple. The red maple still isn't very vibrant. I lifted it a bit in post, but the result is so-so.

Back to the drawing board, in an effort to get all that I wanted in the photo, both in height and length, I took two vertical photos which I stitched into one image in Lightroom. I think this is better with a definite subject placed in a good position on about the third line on the right.

Finally, I went back to the car and changed lenses, putting on my wide angle lens. I seldom use it as wide angle lenses can be difficult and lead to distortion, but I really like the quality of photos that it produces.

I wanted to get the line of three maples (above) because reseeding lines are supposed to be a good element, and groups of three are also supposed to have a strong impact. I think the farthest tree is a decent focal point and that there is a nice balancing of yellow trees elsewhere in the frame. Also, there is darker green on both side (especially the right) which I think helps put the focus back toward the centre. I also feel that the branches at the top of the nearest tree and even the next tree for that matter help to frame the image and push the eyes down toward the focal point. It's not that considered all of those things when I took the photo, but I did see the line and the three.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Trail

This part of the Riverwalk Trail isn't very long although it can lead to another part, but the boardwalks over the swampy areas can be good photo subjects. They also gave me a vantage point from which to take some of the photos of the previous post.

There are a few spots where one can get through the brush down to the river. Using my telephoto, I got a few photos of colour on the far bank.

Sometimes there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it isn't a train either.

It's the Little Things

There is a nice, woodsy trail that we can access just around the corner. The woodsy part is actually a narrow strip beside the trail, and it is very scrubby and not all that conducive for photography. However, I got into looking for little shots, often with my telephoto lens. I was looking for a little light on small subjects.

I actually got into this mode on the entrance by the side of a fence.

Here are the rest. In addition to the telephoto, most are even cropped after in post, sometimes quite a bit.

I will probably show a few of the actual trail shots, maybe even later today. And just maybe I will return with my macro lens at some point.