Wednesday, August 31, 2022

A Susie and Johnny Slideshow

I found myself scrolling through Amazon Photos. You never know what they will put together for you, but this was a very nice slideshow of Sue et moi. If you have Amazon Prime, you also have Amazon Photos, whether you know it or not. One recommends pressing the F key for full screen appreciation of the lovely couple. 😀

Tuesday, August 30, 2022


I went back to the sunflower field — at dawn this time. I was hoping for a good sunrise and light. Alas, it was not to be. Although there was a little bit of sky colour, it was also very dull. Not only that, but the flowers were facing toward the light and away from me, and of course, I wanted to shoot toward the light too. Oh well.

As I was there I might as well do my best.

I did take a couple of photos looking the other way, but I didn't notice the chair when I was there last.

I had packed up and was on my way out when I noticed that I was seeing more fog as the darkness continued to abate. I decided to take one more shot before leaving. Actually, it is a combination of 4 photos, but I will save you the explanation. I edited according to taste by warming up the image quite a bit.

All things considered, it was enjoyable morning, and I think the final photo made it worthwhile. Mind you, I enjoy just getting out in the calmness of the early hours, whether the results are good or not, but it always helps if I can come back with something that I deem worthwhile.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Of Muffin Tins and Birders

When I awoke bright and early on Saturday, I stumbled my way to the coffee machine as is my custom. If I have set it up the night before, I do this first, before going to the unowut. Nothing happened. And that was the beginning of a six hour power outage. Something went awry out there, but I don't know what, and it doesn't matter.

After the four day marathon in the dark a few months ago, we should  have been prepared, but we weren't quite ready. It didn't matter much, or so we thought, because we were texted that power would be restored by 8:15. The trouble is that 8:15 became 8:30, then 10:00, and finally11:00. Thank heavens for small mercies that it came on then because we had to leave at 12:00 for that family get-together that afternoon.

Meanwhile, we had both awaken with headaches, and the lack of coffee was not helping at all. However, after some trial and error, Sue was able to boil some water for coffee.

The deep muffin tin on the right ↑ worked. The more shallow didn't,, or at least not quickly. The pot that we started on shallower muffin tin to the left was moved over to the right after we had used that water. In this experiment we only boiled a cup, but it did work. I guess it's good to keep that in mind.

You may wonder why we didn't get out the camp stove that had been such a saviour previously. In fact,  we should have, but it was stuck up in the rafters. Thinking at the start that we'd have to wait as long as we did, we didn't bother to go scaling the heights to find the stove. We'll try to make it more accessible for next time.


This next part has nothing to do with that, but it did happen on the same day. After we met our relations at the park and chose a spot to set up our chairs, there were photographers all about.

They were shooting this ↓ shorebird. I think someone said sandpiper, but I am not sure. I took a shot just to record the event. It's not much of a shot, but the guys who were there for the duration with their long lenses and at better angles likely did much better. Well, they couldn't have done worse. Right?

The bird was there for the whole two hours that we were, feeding on plentiful minnows I was told. Some of the photographers were also there for the duration.

The man on the left ↑ tried to help me, telling me that I could take his spot to get a good shot. I think he was surprised when I told him that I was more interested in photographing the photographers than the bird. Well I was really only there for the relatives and not to shoot birds. But he was being nice and friendly.



My photography headlight came in handy during the outage
particularly in the wee hours

M took a group photo before we parted ways. You can see that I am ready to go
with my chair and camera and I am also grasping my cane.
Perspective is interesting as I am the tallest of the group.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

It Finally Happened

It was March Break 2020. Sue's nephew, wife and their new son were in the area. We set up a restaurant meeting in Perth. But COVID hit. The preceding Friday was the day when caution hit in its fullness. The meetup was cancelled.

I haven't seen them since then. They live at some distance, about a 5 hour drive on the other side of Toronto, which we no longer care to drive through.

But they were passing through this weekend, and we met in a park in Ottawa between their B&B and our residence. 

They are wonderful kids, and we enjoy their company. 

We sat in a beautiful park on a beautiful day for two hours before we had to part ways again, somewhat prematurely it seemed, due to other commitments.

I sat in my chair snapping pictures. In those circumstances, I just look for moments as they happen. I can't be worrying about light or anything else apart from pressing the shutter.

So here we go.

I don't know what my relationship is to children of my wife's nephew. Am I a grand uncle, a great uncle, a great grand uncle? I've never understood these things and likely never will. I think Ed will know if he happens to read this piece.

The eldest boy is 3 years old. We would have met him back in March 2020, but we didn't.

They since have had another child. Both boys are delightful. The younger boy is 1 year old.

Aren't they both incredibly cute?

Here they are together.

Here's baby boy with his mother and then Sue, who was quite thrilled to have this visitation. She is the only one he favoured, which I understand completely.

And here's big boy with dad.

What a great two hours it was.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

The Overlooked or Forgotten


Sometimes, when I look at photos that I didn't edit at the time, I decided that they are good enough to process, such as this one of Sue on the bench with her parasol. I probably liked the other one better, but that doesn't mean that this photo isn't worthy. It's a different angle than the one that I showed a few days, and I edited it a little differently too in terms of light and colour.

Yesterday, I showed three coneflower macros. This is another that I think is just as good, or maybe even better.


Some time ago, I did a double exposure that I don't think I posted. If I did, here it is again.

Also, even longer ago, I showed a kaleidoscopic image, filtered in a phone app. This is another that I am pretty sure I didn't post then.

And . . .  just because some of you like to tease me about sneaking yet another fireworks photo into my posts, I hereby sneak another.

That ↑ was from Canada Day, but for a further laugh, here ↓ is one from New Years Eve that I am fairly certain I didn't post at the time.

Friday, August 26, 2022

The Susans

Our daylilies are done, so I cut all of those bare stocks down and left the foliage. It looks somewhat better now. The echinacea patch is not doing so well either, but it looks a little less forlorn now that I've deadheaded the worst of the decaying specimens.

However, when we stopped by the garden at the museum, there ware many rudbeckia (yellow/orange coneflowers aka brown or black-eyed susans) still doing well enough. I wandered about for a few minutes taking a few freehand macro photos. For a change, I will show you some of my photos. lol

The focal point is clear in this ↓ but there's other stuff going on, and the background is light enough to peer into it. So, I think that although the eye lands on the focal flower, I think it can also roam about the image. I’ll consider that to be a positive in this case  

This ↓ is a soft focus with a much more out-of-focus background than the first photo, but there are spots of colour, which, I think, make it pleasant. Some photographers, however, would not appreciate the soft focus and would wish for the flower to be tack sharp  

This one ↓ I didn't like very much until I cropped it into a 1:1 square from the original 3:2 ratio that was very dark on the much extended right. After cropping tightly, I think the result is fair enough without so much dark, negative space.

By the way, I don't mind photographing imperfections in the flowers as they age and wear down, but I know that many people don't share my aesthetics.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Sue in her Finery

I did a little photoshoot with Sue. She wanted certain images and instructed me what to take for her with her phone. I won't go into all of her parameters, but when she was satisfied, I got out my camera and took a few of my own photos.

First, we have her in summer garb, sitting on the bench with her parasol. This is an outfit that she will wear on a given summer day, even to coffee, whether in be in the park or n a cafe. Unlike me, she doesn't go through life in shorts and tees but flounce about in capes and shawls.

Next were some photos with her recently purchased an art print kimono: a design by one of her photo group contacts who is a retired art teacher. The sun was in and out but, fortunately, a little more out for these photos compared to those above. I think that helped pick up the colour in the fabric.

And that was our little fashion photoshoot.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Sunflowers Found

We had looked for sunflower fields that we had visited in previous years. Alas! they were not to be found this year. Then I came across a link for another farm on FB, but I had trouble finding a time to get myself there. After looking for it one night and coming up empty, I was able to get the right coordinates into GMaps and from there onto my phone.

It wasn't the best day for sunflower pics, or any kind of pics really, but Sue needed something for her 365 photo group, so off we went.

Whoa Nellie! First there was coffee and turkey bacon club sandwiches in the park. 

Now for the sunflowers, but first, I must confess that I used some filters on the photos to add some life on a flat day.

Sue was almost snapping photos before I got out of the car. Almost. This is my first photo of her with the field in the background.

Next, a picture of the gate and the path and field beyond.

Bees were having a field day, so to speak. Sue tried to get macros and was somewhat successful.

Phones can do better with macros than cameras with only their normal lenses attached, so I didn't try very much. I did get this ↓ close-up, but it's not a macro. It's more about the flower in the field, but I'll have you know that there is a bee.

There was a bee inside this flower, but it wouldn't come out. It would have eventually, but I am not very patient, so just the flower will have to suffice.

One final photo of this ↓ flower that stood way above the others. Perhaps it was hoping to land a spot on the basketball team.

I should try to go back when the light is good and take a bit more care and time, but if I don't manage to do that, I do have this pleasant visit to remember.

Monday, August 22, 2022

Some Luck Involved

Yesterday, I awoke a bit late. I think it was around 4:30. To be clear, it’s not late for normal people, but it is for me considering how early I’ve been waking and going out just lately. I have tended to be out and shooting by 5:00 or close to it, and I didn't feel like rushing about. After not being able to go back to sleep, however, I did arise about 15 minutes later at 4:45.

Undecided and not in a hurry, I sipped a somewhat leisurely cup of coffee. It was 5:30. Was that too late? It depended on where I would go.

There are two almost adjacent spots by the river that I didn't think would be totally dependent on good and early light. As it eventuated, I got light anyway as we shall see after this ↓ first photo.

↑ Last time we visited the restaurant with the patio, Sue noticed that we could get a good view of the clock tower through a gap in the trees from the parking lot, and the tree branches would provide a frame. Unexpectedly, when editing, I decided to remove the framing branches and just show the tower ↑ against the sky. I think it is an effective image. In retrospect, it would ne nice to see the flag better, but I wasn't thinking about that at the time, and there wasn't much wind anyway.

I had been photographing the tower from way out in the parking lot, but when I got nearer the building to take a picture or two that didn't work out, I saw some unanticipated sunrise glow through the trees. Then, I noticed that the gate to the patio was open. 

Somewhat boldly, went I onto the empty patio for there were neither customers nor workers for me to disturb at that hour. Besides, I am a patron and felt somewhat at ease taking this liberty.

There was some nice light over the former Boulton Brown Mill (building near centre, middle).

I took more photos in the next few minutes, some of town hall, but that one ↑ and this one ↓ were the best. This one ↓ was only about 5 minutes after that ↑ earlier photo, but the sky had changed quite a lot in that short time. Note: the outline of the old mill is more visible in this image.

I don't always do this, but I did remove distracting elements in all of these photos. Aside from what I already mentioned about the first photo, there were also some branches to remove in the latter two, as well as a bit of fence railing in one of them.

All in all, this was a somewhat lucky and serendipitous excursion. My good fortune was in deciding to go out despite the later-than-usual time and then ending up in a somewhat unplanned spot, and after that, even finding the gate to the restaurant patio open. Finally, there was that unexpected but very fine sunrise.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Failing to Nail the Hawthorne

Two posts back, I showed a photo of the Hawthorne that some liked, but that may have been more on Flickr than here. I wanted to try some more both in edit and in the field.

I converted the same photo that I showed previously into b&w. Meh. Very meh.

I processed a similar but vertical photo, but I really want colour, but it wasn't reaching the Hawthorne..

On the second day, I got some colour near the ↓ building. One would like a little more light and detail on the building, but what can you do? The scene was what it was.

Maybe if I could move myself way over to the right, I could change the angle to get the light surrounding the building more.

Unfortunately, to the right lies a woodsy path. I proceeded along until I found a little gap. Could I get down the gap to the river edge and look back? No! And I was not about to wade into the river for a better angle in the dark with uncertain footing. You may recall that I once lost a $2000+ camera that way.

On I went to the next gap. Same thing.

I trudged onto the third opening with high hopes because I knew the opening was bigger. Drat it all, the trees by the riverbank were still obscuring the sightlines.

Back toward the [parking lot I trudged. I did see a little gap in the trees, so I took this ↓ photo. Once again, it is okay, but not quite what I wanted. I like it though.

What can yo do? Sometimes, the photos are there for the picking; sometimes, they aren't.

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Another Early Photoshoot

Two mornings later (ie today), I went back to Centennial Park bright and early. I am happy to report that it wasn't a result of cramps this time. I simply awoke early, had a coffee, and was onsite not long after 5 o'clock.

Since I was even a little earlier this time, it was even darker, especially since the sun seems to rise minutes later every day now.

Although it was very dark but I could see a very faint tinge in the sky. I set the camera for a 30 second exposure and was amazed to see how much colour there actually was — colour that my eyes could not yet detect, or not to that extent anyway.

The lights in the distance are on the main bridge,
and you can see the top of the clock tower
poking out of the trees near mid-frame.

I photographed the canoe club again, with a much longer lens. I don't think it's as good as the previous photo, but it is good enough to suit me.

Once again, when I am out, I try to bear in mind that there is a Happy Bench Monday meme on Flickr. If you look carefully, you will see it in the lower left.

I did take two more photos of the Hawthorne factory, but they can keep until tomorrow, especially since I have places to be now.