My website has a blog feature built right into it. So... why not use it? For the time being it is going to be home to an ill-defined personal photography project that I have just started. More information in the first post ("Dawn") below. So, welcome, and if you visit, please don't hesitate to use the comment feature, even if just to say hello. :)
A group of two month old foals and their mares all bred from the same stallion at Ashland Farms.
If you don't like these photos then just pretend to like them. I was almost killed by mosquitos getting these frames. These were taken in a little forest/parkland bounded by the 417, Kanata Avenue and Campeau Drive. I went there to find a small pond and see if I could get any interesting light from the setting sun through the trees overhead. But I never found the lake. Only mosquitos with death on their minds.
Viper's Bugloss (Blueweed)
Common Mullein (Torch Flower)
(If I am wrong about the identification of these plants, please don't hesitate to let me know :)
The nation's capital was once again a beehive of activity, patriotism and sometimes just plain weirdness for Canada Day. More shots of this fun and frivolity for your viewing pleasure here.
I think four photos for one post might be a record. My rules, and I'll break em' if I want to. The girls had fun watching ducks, climbing trees, playing frisbee, exploring the Park and leaping through the air among other stuff.
I was privileged to be there, camera in hand, at the launching of Greg's new CD, Encore. It was an amazing performance of some amazing music by an amazing musician and songwriter supported at any given time by anywhere from 6-13 other amazing musicians. This shot may not be the best one I took technically but I just love the vibe it has. :)
Out of the house at 6:00 am, pony loaded on to trailer, off to show, wait a lot, ride, win ribbons, wait, ride, ribbons... then pony back to stall, braids out (long painstaking process) legs poulticed and wrapped, pony groomed, etc... Then time for a well-deserved rest.
Tonight I just got in my car and drove. The sun was still well above the horizon when I left, but I wasted the sunset trying to find a shot from a place where a spectacular view of the Carp Valley is blocked by shrubs and scrubby trees. Argh. The first of the three shots I posted (yes, trying to make up for lost time) was a big pond in a great little piece of the Canadian Shield on Thomas Dolan Parkway. A simple shot of the lake itself just didn't look interesting or do justice to the scene. Hence the decision to focus on the grass instead. The second was on Old Carp Road on my way back to Kanata. No, I wasn't in the car and it wasn't moving. The claustrophobic feel of the rows of trees closing in on the road just seemed to speak to me. The third photo is from Huntmar Road facing the edge of Kanata Lakes. This is the very edge of suburban Ottawa at the very edge of day.
Not my most inspiring efforts but they all spoke to me somehow and it's important now to just keep this thing moving.
Unnamed pond on Thomas Dolan Parkway
Old Carp Road
The Edge of Suburbia
Wow. 13 days. Nothing to be done but pick up where I left off. These were both taken at Beaver Pond in Kanata just a few hours ago.
Taken at the Cambridge Mill. Another slightly hyper-realistic high dynamic range (HDR) photo. And, yes, another sunset. I like the light at this time of the day.
This was the kind of storm you could feel coming long before it was visible. As the dark clouds slowly rolled in, as the wind picked up and the raindrops began to fall, you knew something big was going to happen.
In truth, the scene didn't look quite like this. This is a heavily processed high dynamic range photo (three photos with different exposures combined into one in photoshop or another software package). There are many different ways an HDR image can be processed. I was going for drama here. The colours in the sky are somewhat exaggerated, but they are the colours that were there when I took the photo. There are a few unfortunate artifacts of the HDR process that will be visible if you look closely. So don't look closely.
No, really, I did.
Don't look down.
OK, this was actually produced using a variation on one of the BuzSim filters in the Topaz Simplify plug-ins for Photoshop. So I guess I'm more of a technician than an artist :( .
Why should sunsets be the only theme I beat to death? Let's throw flowers into the mix too. As I said somewhere else on this site, taking pretty pictures of pretty flowers is not exactly an original thought. Good thing I'm not here to generate original thoughts! My goal when I photograph a flower is to try to find some way to add something to the beauty of the flower through the process of capturing and processing the image.
An iris with some iris buds and a tulip in the background. I took about 50 photos of this iris, but this is the composition that stood out for me.
The iris below was being abused by a strong, gusty wind, and the windswept look caught my attention as something a little unique. This one has a bit of an impressionist look about it. Hmmm... tempted to take it into photoshop and have some fun with it.
I'm all out of deep thoughts this evening. So instead, a photography lesson. After the photos. Feel free to read it or not. It's about how I achieved these colours without using any artificial enhancements in post-processing.
Some of you may believe that I artificially enhanced the colour of these images in post-processing. I didn't. What you see is what I got (when I pressed the shutter button). Here's what I did do:
1. Don't despair if (like me) you have a knack for getting to the place where you want to take the photograph literally seconds after the sun dips below the horizon. The best colour is yet to come, after the sun disappears.
2. Don't overexpose the image. The foreground will be much darker than the sky. Allow your camera to meter off the sky (if it has that capability). That will turn the foreground black. It's not the end of the world. Silhouettes are nice, and so are pretty colours.*
3. If you are going to process the images using a program like Photoshop Elements leave the saturation slider alone. Instead use the highlights adjustment to restore colour and (sometimes) detail in the most highly exposed areas of the image. It does this by lowering the luminance in those areas and drawing out more of the natural colour captured by your camera.
*If you want to have your cake and eat it too (i.e a bright foreground and a pretty sky), learn about high dynamic range photography. Here is an example of that.
A cute picture of a fluffy cat! A lethal mouse exterminating killer cat. But a cute fluffy one. Carter, a key member of Elmcroft's pest control squad, seems like he might have the remnants of his latest victim on his chin fur.
Or Chere, being bathed for the first time since last fall, in preparation for her first show of the season.