Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Dances and Masks

Sha and the kids came over for the standard Monday dinner, our third since we've been able to expand our social circles.

They, especially Danica but JJ also, have a ton of short dance moves that I think they get from Tik Tok. Sue wanted to try one with them, and I got dragged into it too. This was in the kitchen before supper.

Supposedly. we will learn another short routine for next week. Perhaps, we'll be able to do it somewhere other than our narrow kitchen. Time will tell.

Technically, I arose early enough to go out with the camera (it's 4:40 now), but I don't seem to be too ambitious these mornings. I saw quite a bit of low cloud cover and decided that it wasn't worth it. But now, as I peer out the window, I do see some orange, not too grand but it is there. Why am I so lazy?

On my mind these days is the mask issue. I mentioned in several comments yesterday how ridiculous the situation is. What in tarnation is so off-putting about wearing a little piece of cloth for your own safety and the safety of others?

There is a question to ask when we want to take a stand: "Is this a hill that you are willing to die on?"

Obviously, we don't usually mean that it to be taken literally, but it is a way of asking how important something really is. How much time and effort do you want to invest in a cause?

With the mask issue, however, the question becomes literal. Is this really the hill that you are ready to die on? For it could actually come to that.

It's a bit of cloth, and yes, you can breathe. Doctors and nurses will wear them for hours as they work to save you from your silliness.

Blogger is being silly this morning, jumping around as I am typing, so I am going to hope for the best, post this, and quit.

It is now 5:03. The sunrise is good enough that I could have gotten a good shot. But here I sit.

OMG! It is quite wonderful now. Excuse me while I facepalm strongly.

Monday, June 29, 2020

A Decent Photo or Two

I drove the 5 minutes or so to a nearby hamlet downstream along the river. The skies were a bright blue, and try as I might, I didn't get any successful shots. It wasn't the moody post-sunset blue hour but pre-sunset bright blue, and I couldn't make it work to my satisfaction. Those photos have since been deleted.

 After about a half hour, I began to see a bit of colour appearing.

Only three minutes later, the orange glow at the centre became more pronounced. I zoomed in tighter to focus on that area.

So I guess, after many unsuccessful attempts, I came away with one decent photo. At least I think so.

(Actually, I don't mind the first one either, but y'know . . . )

Sunday, June 28, 2020

An Ordinary Sunset from an Ordinary Location

Aside from the barn which you saw in the previous post, I have several photos looking the other way toward the sunset. It wasn't the best sunset ever and certainly not the best viewpoint ever, but it was certainly good enough and better than sitting at home.

Of course, I missed a whopper of a sunset last night because after an overcast and rainy day, I didn't even think about. When I chanced to look out during that time, all I could do was to shrug.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Meetings Galore

The shady bank of the river in the park has proven most amenable for meetups. Even in hot weather, the shade and breezes are pleasant enough, especially for a morning meeting. One afternoon was an exception, for it was brutally windy, but we persevered regardless. In fact, the wind was so fierce for several days this week that two trees were blown over in the park and myriad branches law strewn about.

In combination, Sue and I met with others four times in the past week, twice with the pair of us visiting with couples. Once I met with a photo friend; the next day, Sue met with 2 friends.

A selfie as we waited for our friends to arrive.

Sue tends to take most friend photos with her phone but asked that I bring my setup to get the whole group in the frame. I used my wide angle lens and managed to do that. It depends what spot we are able to grab on the bank. We were quite close to the river and, therefore, also the camera in this location. Her phone wouldn't have managed to include us all, but I was even able to slightly crop this wide angle image.

The lady on the left was the instructor in the exercise classes over the past three or four years. Of course, they have grinded (or ground, if you prefer) to a halt, and she is not sure if she will continue them if and when. We hadn't met her husband before.

I have gone out on two evening this week looking for photo ops, and you have seen the foggy photos from one of the outings as I drove about making brief stops. On the other occasion, I picked one spot. It didn't turn out to be an inspired choice, but I made the best of it and remained rooted as the sun dipped. This barn lay in the opposite direction from sunset. I thought it lit up quite well in golden light.

I will post the actual sunset photos separately.

Friday, June 26, 2020


At last, the masks have arrived: the ones that we ordered a month ago. It is a good thing that I chose the expedited option. I wonder how long we would have waited otherwise.

There were three. In addition to Sue's, this one seems to go well with my cap. The one not shown is a Canada-Maple Leaf theme. Perhaps I will get a pic of that one too before I go to post.

I am smiling this time. Can you tell?

With poor weather for a few days, I haven't done much photography. I don't like taking photos in harsh light during the middle of the day, but one day, with time to kill, I did anyway.

Knowing that regular photos wouldn't work well, I experimented with in-camera double exposures. I really don't know how to do these, and I think this style is pretty well done by trial and error anyway.

This is one result where the spire of townhall is superimposed toward the bottom of the main image. It might be something to try to work on more although I think it takes better artistic vision than I possess. I was pretty well just shooting randomly, trying to figure out how it works.

After more than 3 months of keeping pretty isolated and not grocery shopping, I am disposed to resume the task. Shauna opines that she feels that if you have to be out and about, grocery stores are about the safest place to be. Sue doesn't like grocery shopping, but I don't mind wandering the aisles, so I am somewhat looking forward to getting back to it. Somewhat.

Online ordering and pickup has worked very well, but we seem to order more than we need, particularly in terms of goodies. For example, we currently have three boxes of these types of cookies, each coming from a different order.

Whippet | Dare Foods

And here we go with the other mask that I mentioned at the outset: a good mask for a Canadian, especially with Canada Day rapidly approaching. But there's more than the mask here. When I went out recently with so much paraphernalia, I decided that I wanted to share my look here. Not only did I have my hat and mask but also my streaming device for my hearing aids hanging around my neck and plus my sunglasses with a cord. I attach them with a cord, so I can easily remove them from my eyes but still keep them attached when I am using the camera. That's a lot of stuff wrapped around my neck and head.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

One Evening

As I have whinged about in the past, we do not reside in the best of areas for sunsets and sunrises. The angles aren't the best and the vistas are limited. Those who have access to lakefront property can do very well, but, alas, I am but a poor man.

Nevertheless, I decided to traverse a rural road recently at sundown. I was more or less just scouting, but I did have my camera. I ended up popping out of the car and taking very quick photos sans tripod and alternative lenses with, perhaps, better focal lengths.

This was one of my quickies. This spot may be worth a longer visit sometime, but for all of the photos, I was forced to park at least partly on the road, and sometimes quite a bit, so I tried to be quick although there was minimal traffic.

On another road a little later, I found spots of mist or fog near ground level resulting from the afternoon downpour. This road was even more problematic than the first one for stopping as the shoulder was almost non-existent.

This ↓ was my favourite photo of the evening. I perhaps should have gotten myself to the very centre of the road, but I did want to catch the fog in the field off to the right as well as up the road, so one does what one can while going about it very quickly. This was actually a blend of two exposures, one for the sky and, of course, the other for the land. I think this is close to what I saw although I have warmed up the lower half. I also decided to remove the dividing yellow line since it was off-centre and distracting.

The next thing will be to look for a sunrise photo not too far from home. The sun rises so early these days, but I also arose in time this morning, since I didn't sleep much past 2:30. However, both the wind and the cloud cover kept me indoors. Good thing as there was effectively no sunrise. I might have gotten a decent photo of ominous clouds, but I am happy that I sat this one out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Trend and Light

This is nuts (see chart below)! When this was all cracking open back in March, I am pretty sure that I read predictions that the USA would handle the pandemic relatively well,. I know that all of my American blog friends are exercising great caution, and even more than I am in many cases. Just keep being careful.

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Ontario and Canada are coming along pretty well. We, in Ontario, are still doing worse than the other provinces, but the trend is very good. Many days have been under 200 new cases, and those that have been over 200 are not far over. All but one district, Windsor and area, is moving onto to phase 2.

I have seen some speculation from an Italian doctor that the virus may be weakening. We can hope that this is the case, but this is by no stretch of the imagination the scientific consensus at this point.

Meanwhile . . . I took a short sunset trip to the park. I knew that it wouldn't be much of a sunset, but I was hoping for a good play of light and shadow. You've seen this tree before. I had to get close to the tree and at the right angle to prevent the sun, which was a bit to the right of the tree, from leaking into the camera and creating lens flares. I like the backlight on the young tree in the gap.

Here's one with the sun behind me this time. I had the camera on a timer which gave me time to step aside and get my shadow out of the picture before the shutter snapped, for as you can see, the shadows are very long. The tripod and camera did leave a shadow, but it wasn't so big that I couldn't clone it away.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Forgotten Fotos

They forgotten, but not for long since they are from last week and were taken before the pride masks, which you have seen previously, arrived.

Our councillor changed the sign at her gate, and it is appropriate for pride month, so we finally got around to taking selfies.

But the plate on the tripod was being cantankerous, so I just got one of Sue on our first pass.

After fiddling with the tripod while having coffee at the park, I got it sorted, so we returned for another crack.

The rainbow by townhall has also been repainted, so we stopped there too. I think this is the one taken by a nice town worker when we were still struggling with the tripod.

Then Google Photo applied this little animation to a slightly different take. Kinda fun.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Father Figure

A quick hit about my father's day, which I am absolutely positive that people around the world are gasping for. I mean, I don't want people to have a bad and sad day just because I didn't post about my personal father's day.

It actually began on Saturday. The doorbell rang, and these were delivered from my daughter and partner in Vancouver. Allyson specifically requested that sunflowers be included as she was reminded of a very tall variety that I once planted in my former garden.

As we were oohing and ahhing over this very beautiful bouquet, the doorbell rang again, only about 10 minutes after.

It us a bag of goodies from various retailers in town. These retailers would also make a significant donation to the local food bank. What a great idea — help support local merchants and contribute to the foodbank at the same time.

This gift tickled my funny bone at the time, just as the subsequent photo now does.

It's not a Dad bod It's a Father Figure

On Sunday, Sha and the kids dropped over with coconut cream pie and that sumptuous maple cheddar cheese that I have previously mentioned.

There! I have done my duty to bring a sense of completion to the universe.

You're welcome.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Saturday Morning on Sunday

Last night (if the timeline gets confusing, I am writing this in the present tense on Saturday although it won't be posted until Sunday), Sue put our tv program on pause because when she looked at me she saw that my eyes were closed and my mouth was agape.

My in-chair-noddings-off are brief, and I soon snapped to awareness, but it does demonstrate how tired I was. I had been awake since 4 o'clock that morning, and it was catching up to me. To boot, that early rising was probably after only 5 hours of sleep and possibly less.

Therefore, I did something that I simply don't do — went to bed early at 9:30. Mind you, I was just listening to a podcast for awhile before falling asleep. Nevertheless, since I slept until shortly after 5, I got the best part of 7 hours sleep, which really pleases me.

No matter how tired I am, which can be pretty doggone tired, I normally force myself to stay up until sometime after 10 and maybe even 11. I do that especially in winter when there is little to do in the morning. However, in summer, and particularly the longest day, I could go out for some early photography. I haven't done that yet this year despite best intentions, but I am keeping keeping the possibility open.

In at least in some recent years, I have made an effort to catch the solstice sunrise, but when you sleep until after 5, it is almost too late to get into position.

As on most mornings, I content myself with checking my regular online sites and clicking links that interest me. Then, I am likely to post a photo to Flickr after which I might write a blog post such as this one that I am now writing and that you are reading (bless your heart).

Here is something that I saw on Twitter this morning. I reposted it on FB and now here. Maybe it will amuse you. Think it through.

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You've already seen this photo but this is the Flickr version that I am embedding here. I only post one per day on Flickr, so I am often way behind what you see on these blog posts. Flickr pics can be seen larger and are of better quality, but of course, you couldn't really tell that at the size that I am embedding below, which is straight from there.

Fishing in the Gloaming

Another link that interested me this morning was this one, an article with a long title, One large gathering is riskier than 10 small ones: the math of COVID-19 spread.

I wasn't interested in the details of the mathematical process, but I am interested in the results.

You see, while we would think that a gathering of 4 people compared to just one pair meeting up would double the potential exposure to the dreaded virus, it actually triples it because there are three pairs of people.

By the same math, it is the case that a gathering of 50 people, compared to the 10 which we are presently allowed, does not increase the exposure by a factor of 5 but by 27.

It's simple, really. Have only close contact withing your circle, but when out avoid crowds, keep your distance, and wear mask in indoor spaces and perhaps even in some outdoor spaces. You don't have to do much else.

Finally, at least in terms of this posting, I saw that my favourite photo vlogger had posted a new video on YT. He has recently gotten out of the rhythm of Saturday morning postings, but I have gotten used to this time slot and was glad to see him return to it.

In this video, he explores how to shoot a waterfall in a shaded valley. I quite enjoyed seeing his thought process about composing the photos, and the superb results were stellar in my opinion. He is not young, but he is very nimble and sure-footed and can get to the most difficult spots. The vlog is 17 minutes in length. I recommend watching the whole thing if you are a photographer. Otherwise, I am sure that you can cut away after 5 or 6 minutes once you begin to see how he works a scene.

I then watched a number of other photography videos, which is something that I tend to do more on Saturday than other days for some reason. I suppose that this is a little strange because all days are otherwise pretty much the same in my little world. Some of the videos emphasized the actual photography while others were more about post processing.

We are experiencing a heat wave, so I expect that it will be a quiet day. I hope you have a good day and weekend.

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Mail and Masks

The masks that I told you a few days ago  that weren't coming are still not coming.

As far as I can tell from other information farther down the page, it left Montreal on June 11. If that is the case, I presume it is in Kanata which is a half hour away from us, but it doesn't look as if it has yet been processed there. In fact, I may not be reading the messages correctly, and the package may still even be in Montreal.

Clearly, Canada Post has been overwhelmed by the extra C19 volume, but I have seen that they have been advertising to hire more workers.


Meanwhile, Amazon orders continue to arrive within two days in most cases. Sue ordered another strip of the rainbow maker, and I thought of puss's needs. Sue also broke her little tripod for her ipod, and I thought puss needed a playtoy (puss wasn't of the same opinion, however, and is not very interested). Anyway, we ordered both, and they were here lickety split.

I understand the negativity that some have for Amazon, but when you live in a town with limited shopping that is further limited by the plague, it is so handy to have.


But we did get new masks for this Pride Month even though we are more than halfway through. They were made by a lady in Perth where Shauna works. Sue saw her post on FB, called and had Sha pick up on the same day after I paid by e-transfer. Shauna delivered them that very day.

It's true; the eyes give away that I wasn't smiling but that Sue is


We had a park visit with friends from Ottawa who felt the need to go out for a drive. It was a pretty hot day but not under the shady trees with a nice breeze blowing. You can see that we are maintaining our distance pretty well.


I did my first grocery shopping in three months, fairly early in the day. There weren't too many shoppers and maybe 50% were masked. One worker was present to hand me a clean cart just outside the doors. My list was short — only a dozen items — so my exposure, such as it was, wasn't prolonged. I was masked and felt safe. I think our main shopping, however, will still be using online ordering with pickup — at least for the next little while.


Finally: we are still doing selfies, but I haven't posted any for a few days because they haven't seemed to fit whatever I was posting about. But this post is already a hodgepodge, so here we are. What a clever filter.

Friday, June 19, 2020

Photographing with Danica

Danica and I went for a little photo session together this week, down to the park for some low light photos. I was trying to give her some tips about controlling the photo and the light because the camera does not always record the scene the way you see it or want to see it. For example: the camera will try to brighten a dark scene and darken a bright scee. It's how they work.

I have only seen the two photos that she has posted on FB, so I shall begin with two of mine from our first stop.

I asked for permission to take this photo. I like the light of the lowering sun on her face and arm.

This next one points in the other direction. The seasonal dock has recently been installed, but it is used mostly for fishing. In theory, boats could moor here coming downstream from the lake. But if they want to come into town, there are two more temporary docks nearer to downtown.

We were working on controlling the light, so I deliberately underexposed this photo. I like the silhouettes and reflections.

Danica wanted to move from the park to the beach which lies at the eastern edge of the park. After playing around for a bit, I finally remembered to snap a few photos of her for the record.

One discovery is that she has a straighter eye than I, for when I thought the camera was level for the scene, she kept adjusting it until she was satisfied. I often have to straighten my photos in post, particularly when I use live view (the LCD screen rather than the eye level viewer).

Too bad she ripped her brand new jeans lol

I got out my neutral density filter, and she took this interesting photo. I haven't yet seen any the others that she took,  but it does indicate to me that she may have a unique, artistic eye, for I wouldn't think to do this.

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They have access to a trailer some weekends, and she has posted some photos from there. I have chosen a few to repost here.

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We'll see how far she takes this, but I hope she is having some fun and learning a little bit.