Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Greetings

We wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in 2008!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Remembering Christmas

A few days ago, I got to fumbling around in the studio, trying to conjure up something that reminded me of Christmas when I was a kid growing up in Corner Brook. But I did not have a clue as to what I was going to do. So I got in the car and drove over to a local department store to buy a few things, wrapping paper, etc.. As I passed a shelf in the food section, something caught my eye. Peppermint Knobs!! Yes, that would do it. I hadn't eaten those since I was a kid and it was usually only at Christmas time that we got to enjoy them. I hope everyone out there who happens to visit my blog, will have the Happiest and "Sweetest" Christmas ever, and a very Healthy and Prosperous New Year also.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Old Jack's Trees

These trees are the same ones that are shown in the posting below, only taken from a 90 degree angle on the right. Every time I see this group of trees, dominated by the red pine, I think of my old friend and mentor, Jack Shepherd. I'll never forget that he photographed these same trees with an old Minolta XE7, and it was a cold autumn day, with a chop on the lake. He wanted it to be dramatic. So he blew his breath on the lens until it was completely fogged. Then he waited for the fog to gradually clear off, and at just the right moment, he fired the shutter. Shooting in Black & White, and using a tripod, that photo took first prize in competitions all over the world. It is hanging in art galleries in the USA and Europe, and made the cover of the most prestigious photographic art magazine in Japan at the time. Whew! You had to see it to really appreciate the beauty of it. Jack is gone to his rest now, and I always remember what a fantastic man he was, and a terrific teacher as well. God love him!

After the Storm

Earlier in September, I had posted this same setting on a quiet afternoon. We just had a pretty wild storm on the weekend, and I thought that I might find something around Sunset Point Park again. When I arrived, the sun was almost gone over the horizon, and I had to wade up to my waist in snow, over buried rocks, to get myself in position for this sunset scene. The temperature was around -15 C., and the bluish hue of the snow resulting from the reflected light from the sky, and the contrasting yellowish orange colours of the sunset, makes for a rather peaceful scene.......away from the bustling Christmas shopping at the Malls.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

No Swimming? No Kidding!

Quite a while has passed since I posted anything on this site. Preparing for the Christmas Holidays, and the business end of the snowblower, has kept me fairly busy. However, this afternoon, I decided that I would find something out there for my blog. I visited the Government Dock, or King's Landing, as it has been renamed, and found this sign "No Swimming." It reminded me that in about 3 weeks from now, on New Year's Day, there would be those brave or insane folks, depending on your point of view, who would cut a hole in the ice on Lake Nipissing, and dive into the frigid waters. Those hardy souls are members of The Polar Bear Club, and I cannot foresee becoming a member myself anytime soon. Besides, I can't swim........Yeah, Right...Brrrrr!
Hypothermia anyone? The slipping ice formation looks somewhat like a futuristic aircraft, blasting off for warmer climes. Winter is here!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Just a little closer with my camera on macro mode. This is hand held, and holding my breath. No tripod again......
Camera: Fuji FinePix S9100
Lens: 18 ~ 200 (28 ~ 300 35mm equiv.)

Too Soon For Poinsettias!

Today, my wife and I decided to visit a local garden center to browse through the latest offerings for the upcoming Christmas Season. As usual, there was a sea of Poinsettias everywhere you looked. But after a few minutes there, I found myself at the very back corner of the greenhouse, and there quietly blooming away was this lovely orchid. It was backlit beautifully, and I couldn't help but ask permission of the clerk to photograph it. Christmas offerings will appear when I finally get in the spirit, and I always feel that we are pushed into the season by commercialism before most of us are in the mood to do so. So I am rebelling by refusing to shoot Christmas scenes and items just yet.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ghost Ship

Tonight is the night when some 78 years ago, my Dad and Mother married. If they were still living they both would have been 103 years old. Dad was a sailor from the time he was 11, when he went to the Labrador to help support his family. His father had been injured in the seal hunt, so it fell to him to help provide. He lived on the water until he was married at age 25, and swore he would never again leave Newfoundland. He used to tell us ghost stories of seeing phantom ships in the tropics, and large balls of light travelling at great speed just above the water. Of course it scared the bejeebers out of us kids, but now it is with much fondness that his stories are recalled to mind. So tonight, I photographed a ghost ship. When looking at it, I ask myself, is this ship sinking to its watery grave.......or, is it rising from it...? Happy Halloween!!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Quiet Time

The birds that hatched above her, and perched on her wings before tumbling down into the water to bathe, have all gone now. She is surrounded by the fallen golden birch leaves, and will soon be cleaned before being stowed away for the winter. Another Summer and Autumn has passed, and it is time for quiet now......before the howling winter winds.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Out Behind The Shed

For some reason, unknown to me, I can count on one hand the number of sunsets I have photographed. It's probably because everyone else does such a wonderful job of sunsets, one more from me is not needed. However, this picture caught my eye, as the sun was setting out behind my brother-in-law's old shed in New Liskeard, Ontario. There is a certain mood of solitude about it, and the certainty that beauty is happening everywhere, whether we realize it or not, or take the time to notice....something I haven't been doing much of lately. Time to shape up I guess. I took this photo about 30 years ago, using my old SRT101 and Kodachrome, when I was first learning about photography. It's nice to look back sometimes......

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Night Time Visitors

When this picture was taken, there were no computers. They had not been invented yet. I was exposing my first roll of Kodachrome 25 slide film with my old Minolta SRT101, and a Rokkor 50mm, 1.4 lens. The exposure was somewhere around f8 for about 30 seconds, using a tripod of course. I never dreamed that one day, I would happen upon this old slide while searching for something else. Sometimes that's how treasures are found, when we are not looking for them. And I still have very fond memories of that old SRT101 clunker. It captured many many memories of our children as they grew up, and all the various family occasions. So I just had to scan this on my 7200 dpi Plustek film/slide scanner, and pass it along to anyone who cares to enjoy.
The traffic up and down Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland, and the greenish hue of the Marconi Tower, made for a striking and colourful night time scene, I think. Aaah, the good old days......

Friday, October 5, 2007

Autumn's Awning

Usually I go out to the woods somewhere in search of autumn colours. But this year, I only went as far a my back deck. The whole side of my studio is buried in Engleman's Ivy, and earlier in the spring, I came very close to tearing it all out, as it did not look like it had survived last winter. However, as usual, my attention went elsewhere, and I never got around to stripping it all off of the studio. Good thing I didn't, as I have never seen its colour so lovely as this year. Usually the frost gets it by now, and we do not have time to enjoy it very much. Hope you enjoy it as well. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Last Rose of Summer?

The colour of this wild rose caught my eye, as I had not expected to see roses in October. The wind was tossing it around wildly, and I did not think I stood a ghost of a chance of getting a decent shot. Then my wife said, "looks like the last rose of summer." So I knew I had to at least try. Usually when I photograph flowers, I use a tripod, and very careful focusing. However, today I had no tripod, and in this wind, it would have been useless anyway. So I put my Fuji FinePix S9100 digital camera on Auto focus, and Aperture Priority mode at f5.6 and hoped for the best. I was very surprised that it turned out this well. While it is not perfectly focused when viewed up close, it made me happy considering the circumstances. Hope you enjoy also.

Windy Day by Lake Nipissing

This afternoon, my wife and I took a walk along the waterfront of Lake Nipissing in North Bay. It was very windy, and surprisingly not all that cold for October. As you can see, spray from the lake made some parts of the walkway wet. But the sun was shining, and it was a nice way to spend an hour. There is still lots of colourful plants all along, but when we wanted to sit awhile, we had to choose a bench a little further back from the shoreline. I haven't really gotten around to doing any autumn colours yet. Maybe soon.

Monday, October 1, 2007


It's Sunday morning, and I am enjoying a quiet coffee, as the rest of my clan are gone to the grocery store for a few items. The sunlight is beautiful this time of the year, and I noticed a shaft of light spilling onto this little violet plant that was sitting on top of the dish washer. My wife had picked it up at an estate sale, and had nursed it along until it was finally blooming. So I went and got my Fuji FinePix S20Pro digital camera, and pushed the macro button for this closeup shot. The velvety texture of the petals, and the hairy leaves make this a very nice house plant. The purple colour is so rich. Hope you like it.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Blessed Boats?

This scene caught the corner of my eye as I was speeding by in Gander Bay, Newfoundland, and my family almost went flying out the windshield as I stomped on the brakes! I reached for my old Minolta SRT101, loaded with Kodachrome 25, and was out the door in an instant leaving my family wondering just what I was up to now. The freshly painted boats in the church yard was a departure from the usual grave stones, and I could not help but think of the fishermen who toiled in these boats, and their respect for the ocean, and their faith in the creator of all. I have since seen more recent photos of this same church, and it is so sad to see the sorry state it seems to be in at present. Someone should buy it for a Loonie, and turn it into a Music Hall for Newfoundland Folk Music. An "Oprey" hall of sorts? I'll bet the acoustics are fantastic inside, and there would be no problem attracting patrons who enjoy good music, or the bands and individuals that play it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Shallow Bay, Newfoundland

This wooden walkway at Shallow Bay Provincial Park was built to help preserve the dune vegetation. We had hoped for a long walk on the beach, but with rather ominous clouds gathering and increasing winds, we knew that our walk was going to be shorter than hoped for. But the distant sound of the waves on the shoreline did provide for a wonderful way to drift off to sleep that night......And the tent got soaked!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Through a Broken Window.....

This is another view of the Lighthouse at Cape Anguille, in the Codroy Valley, Newfoundland. It was taken through a broken window of the lightkeepers house. However, I have since seen photos of this same house, and it has been restored beautifully. Another view of this lighthouse can be seen in an earlier posting. I just have to go back again to see this scene, and hopefully to include some of the horses that were roaming around, but did not enter the scene this day.

Camera ~ Minolta Maxxum 9, 35mm
Lens ~ Minolta Rokkor 35mm to 105mm zoom.
Film ~ Fuji Reala 100 colour negative
Scanner ~ Minolta Dimage Scan Dual
Software ~ Adobe Photoshop 7 & Genuine Fractals

Rough & Ready!

It has been a while now since I have posted a picture of Newfoundland. This shot was of a boat moored to the dock in Little Port, Bay of Islands, on the west coast of Newfoundland. The name on her bow, "Rough & Ready" is befitting of this rugged boat that is still engaged in the fishing scene, and no doubt ranges a good distance out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence in search of the next load of fish. I also liked this shot because it exhibits all the primary colours of Red, Green, Yellow and Blue.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Doggie

Allow me to introduce you to Neptune, or Neppie as we call him. While I was tending to the corn on the BBQ this evening, I noticed that Neppie had chosen a place at the bottom of the deck, to rest a while. So I grabbed my camera which was nearby on the table, and fired off this shot. He is 12 years old, and slowing down now. But he is still quite handsome, I think. He spent the first 5 years or so of his life as a stud at a CKC kennel, and sired a few champion show dogs, as I am told. I came by him when his previous owner passed away suddenly, and I was more than happy to give him a good home, as we had had a sheltie before. They are a hardy and delightful little dog, that competes in the "working dog" class at national dog competitions. The breed originated from the Hebrides islands off the coast of Scotland, and were bred for herding sheep.

Sooooo Fine!

With flags flying in the breeze, this horse and its two lady riders looked just ever "So Fine" as they ran around the track at the New Liskeard Fall Fair today. It was obvious that this horse was one very well cared for animal. They were strutting their stuff for the judges, and I have no idea if they won the competition or not, but they were winners with me.

Pipers Resting after Parade

These two pipers were taking a well deserved break after their march all over New Liskeard during the Fall Fair Parade. I came across them resting outside "Sweetie's" kiosk at the fair grounds. The elderly gentleman was quick to agree that the real "sweetie" was his partner!
It was a pleasant day among pleasant people.

Street Decor for New Liskeard Fall Fair

Today, I decided to take in a fall fair. So my family and I drove north to New Liskeard to visit family and take in some of the local happenings. This colourful street scene outside a downtown gift shop was just one of many that decorated the town. It helped to ease one into a cheerful mood on this late summers day, as you realize that autumn will indeed be upon us in a few short days from now.

Monday, September 10, 2007

High Flyin' Craaazzzzzy!

Okay, this is my last post today. I have been away for a few days, and have not posted anything for a while. Last Saturday, I played chauffeur to my daughter and grandaughter, and her little friend, and took them down to Canada's Wonderland. I had never been there before, and I had no idea what all went on there. Well, this picture shows that there are some folks who will try anything. They get strapped into this bag, sometimes 2 or 3 all together, and get hoisted up until they are very tiny way up there. Then they are released, and come careening down, and out over the crowds below them. Of course, their terrified screaming is enough to send chills down the spine. I am terrified of heights, and my only fear is that I will dream about doing this myself.....Oops, I'd probably wet the bed!!

Quiet September Day

This large rectangular boulder sits beside the shoreline of Sunset Point Park, and just a few short weeks ago, was probably swarming with kids, cooling off on a hot summers day. It probably got pushed to this location by some springtime ice upheaval, that happens so often along these shores. Ooops, I'm talking winter already, and summer is barely over! But this was a very peaceful place to spend an hour today.

Yellow and Blue

Just another quiet scene beside Lake Nipissing today. The clouds on the horizon brought the showers that are falling as I post this picture. But it is a gentle rain, and it sounds nice outside my studio window. Someday I am going to have a metal roof over my veranda, just so I can sit and listen to the rain....

Red Berries

It was very grey and overcast beside Lake Nipissing today. However, this colourful sprig of red berries suspended just above a rock provided a delightful splash of colour. You just have to get down close and use the macro function of the camera to get the shot. Then, hope you can get back up again afterward. The joints scream a bit, but it is worth it, and the exercise is necessary to keep moving......

Hangin' Loose!

Nothing says that summer is over quite like these swings. Where are all the kids? Probably in daycare, or learning to play on computers somewhere......"must have obtained their quota of fresh air and exercise I guess." Sunset Point Park is pretty empty today.

Derelict DeSoto

This old DeSoto has seen better days for sure. Though battered and bruised, it still looks classy.........even has whitewall tires!!

Camera ~ Minolta Dimage S414, 4mp digital set on Sepia mode.
Software ~ Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo XI.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cape Anguille Lighthouse, Codroy Valley, NFLD

This lighthouse stands alone as a reminder of the old days when the fishermen of the area put to sea in their boats to fish for cod and lobster. It is framed by the front veranda of the old lightkeepers residence, that at the time this photo was taken in 2002, was in very bad condition with most of the windows broken and rotten boards on the floors, etc.. However, since then, some very enterprising and hard working individuals have refurbished the building, and it is now a bed and breakfast, or tourist center of some sort. Good for them! It is nice to see that some people have restored it to its original glory, in these days when the powers that be seem bent on tearing down, and destroying all the beautiful old buildings that tell very important stories of our historic past. If these people are new to the area, I hope the local folks will appreciate and applaud their efforts.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Show Off!

As we were passing by in the pontoon boat, the vibrant colours of this pine tree growing out of a crack in the rock seemed to be just shouting,
"hey, over here guys, take my picture!" So I did.
Sometimes when you grow up on a rock, the only way to get noticed is to be colourful........

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunbathing Turtle

This turtle had the same idea as everyone else on a sunny Sunday afternoon on Trout Lake, catch a few rays.
Four other photographers and I were cruising by in a pontoon boat, when this turtle caught my eye, and so I decided to try to catch him on the fly. With his head held high, he looks poised for takeoff!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

My Quiet Space

This week has been a busy one, as I decided to take on the task of "decluttering" my life a little. We tend to put things away that once had some value in our lives, and forget about them..... until you cannot find anything anymore. Then you realize that you are drowning in the clutter created by all of those "valuable" things that we stowed away and no longer seem to use. I took time out to photograph this little quiet space that I created behind my studio. When I don't have the time to go out to the forest or lakes, I usually go out back and sit for a while. Even on a hot day, it is shady and cool there. Everyone should have a place like that. It helps when you get overwhelmed by all the noise, and clatter that seems to be nonstop these days. A nice cool drink helps as well....Cheers!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Signals from Space

As I was driving by, this cluster of satellite dishes caught my eye. It made me stop the car and take this picture. Not that it has any artistic merit, but it sort of says something about who we are, or have become. The song by Bruce Springstein came to mind, "57 chanels and nothing on," and I guessed that to be relevant nowadays, it would have to be "900 chanels and nothing on." Are we more knowledegable today, or more distracted than ever before? Are we "tuned in" or "tuned out?" God only knows, and I'm betting he's not sure. I wonder if the owners are closer as a result of this technology, or more isolated? It is probably just evidence that we have bought into the marketing message, that we have to look outside of ourselves for entertainment. Or is this just a simple example of our desire to "keep up with the neighbours?" Ahh, but winters are long in the north. "Edit', get me another beer!" "Ooooh K. Archie."

Saturday, July 21, 2007

For Christine

Christine, thank you so much for dropping by today with Steve. I had not met him before, and had not seen you for several years. You cannot know how very wonderful it was to see you again. And it was also a dream come true for me to have you finally meet your cousin Wendi.
Over the years, I've done a series of photos of an old violin that I had painted white. I never quite knew what to use these photos for, except for something to kickstart my creative juices when they decided to dry up. I always look into peoples eyes, whom I haven't seen for a while, as it tells me just a little of how their lives have been. Yours told me of a sadness, and courage, and yet a deep vein of serenity that lay quietly underneath. It made me think of this photo, which I hope conveys a sense of character, warmth and strength. It was taken with existing light that is warm and gentle. Peace to you my girl.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Whale Surf, Cape Ray, NFLD

While walking along this beach, I was hoping to possibly catch a glimpse of a whale somewhere beyond the surf. But that was not to be on this day. However, if you use your imagination, just a little, you can envision the tail of a whale, in the surf formation in the foreground, as it flows away from the rocks. No, I have not been into the rum.......yet. Pounding ocean waves, salt sea air, relentless wind, empty beach.......freeeeedom!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Abandoned Boats, Great Northern Peninsula, NFLD

Not seen in this picture of these once sturdy and proud fishing boats, are the men who used them to earn their daily bread. It only takes imagination to envision them, sitting at the kitchen table, cup of tea in hand, and gazing far out to sea, where they used to roam in search of the cod. These craft, like their owners, have been relegated to the sidelines in the overall scheme of things in this world. Like the farmers, the fishermen have succumed to the "better" way of providing food for all of our tables. When these people are all gone, what fare will be offered in the fancy restaurants of the large cities? It seems that everyone is concerned about global warming, caused by doing things the "bigger & better" way, and not many are concerned or consider at all the plight of ordinary people, who are the ones that really make the world go round.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Splash of Colour at North Bay's Waterfront

This splash of colour caught my eye as I strolled at the North Bay Waterfront recently. To inprove the composition the way I would have liked to, I would have had to climb in amongst the flowers, Sooo... I decided to just shoot for the colour alone, and be happy with that. Thanks to the folks that give of their time to make things beautiful around there.

Camera ~ Fuji FinePix S9100

Software ~ Corel Paint ShopPro Photo XI

Monday, July 2, 2007

This old anchor, now on display in Mattawa, Ont. was recovered from the water behind it. A reminder of an era past, and those who worked so hard to make this country what it is today. Heavy metal, fashioned and used by Steel Hard Men.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Canadian Women Raising Their Voices

The Canada Day Celebrations at the North Bay waterfront were much smaller this year, than in the past, with the lack of an act to Headline the events. However, the performers who were on hand for the event were, with the exception of 3 men, all women.......! Where were all the "men" today? Thanks to all these Women who belly danced, beat drums, and fiddled and clogged, their hearts out to show that CANADA DAY meant something! Happy Canada Day!!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

1960 Ford Thunderbird

This lovingly restored '60 Ford Thunderbird, caught my eye while out for a short bike ride after dinner. Instead of capturing the whole car, I preferred to capture just certain emblems of the past. Older cars had so much style as compared to the newer models of today, which appear to me to all look like lozenges. But that's the results of windtunnel designings.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Inner Peace Begets Outward Beauty

On my way home from attending my granddaughter's Dance Recital at the Capitol Centre, I passed by this scene beside the Trinity United Church, which is presently celebrating its 125 th anniversary. Just a quiet place amidst the downtown hustle and bustle.