Thursday, December 24, 2009

Thinking of Yesteryear......

Well, I got it done again for another year, and it is time to sit back and reflect. One of my favorite recollections goes back some 58 years ago when I was eight years old. Christmas morning, as I came downstairs between my two brothers, I was able to see the tree in the front living room, and there under the tree, Santa had left a gray pearloid coloured button accordion. I leaped over the stair rail, and landed on my behind on the floor below. After picking myself up, I scrambled to the tree, and latched unto the instrument, and it could not have been pried out of my hands with a crowbar, I'm sure. All other presents under the tree went unopened for days, as I drove the entire family nuts, because I was determined to teach myself "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." I recently acquired this very rare Hohner Corona lll RS diatonic accordion that now sits under the tree, as a sort of reminder of a time and place when the world was a much different one than it is at present. Occasionally, when I visit my grandchildren, like tonight, I will get to play "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" once again, and remember the good old times......Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Christmas Card ......

With less than a week left before Christmas, it looks like once again I will be a last minute shopper. I always promise myself that next year, things will be different, and I will get ahead of the game. But circumstances always seem to get in the way, and relegate me to being one of those wild eyed people rushing about the malls with just a very limited amount of time get it all done. So with that in mind, I post this card to everyone, everywhere. I may not have much time between now and Christmas to do much in the way of new posting. Hope everyone has a Very Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Welcomed Visitor

Everyone has a day now and then, when nothing seems to be going as you expect it to. The universe is just not unfolding as it should. Well, today was one of those, and since copious quantities of coffee did not seem to be working, I was amazed at the difference that this little Cardinal made in my day, as he decided to visit our feeder just off the back deck. He stopped me in my tracks, and suddenly I realized that his goings and comings were just as important as anyone's in the overall scheme of things. The birds here in southern Ontario are not what I had been used to while living in the North. Yesterday, we had a Red-bellied Woodpecker visit the feeder, and I had never seen one of those before. I hope it will return again, as hopefully I can get a shot of it as well. This Cardinal was photographed from inside the house, through the kitchen window, and as such is somewhat hazy, and not as sharp as I would have liked it to be. But it sure did lend a much needed splash of colour to brighten the day.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Fare Thee Well My Friend......

It is with utter sadness that I re post this photo of Dent Peever and Jack Shepherd on the sidewalk in front of Railton's Camera Shop on Main St. in North Bay. When I started to read my e-mails yesterday, I was informed by two members of the Photo Group that I used to belong to in North Bay, that Dent had passed away at his home. He responded to my previous posting as the "Guy on the Left", and it was so good to hear from him again. On my last trip north in November to visit family, something was telling me over and over on the way back down Hwy. 11 N, to stop in and say Hi to Dent. It was a 10 hour drive back home, but I did stop, and as he was quite busy with customers in his shop on Oak St., I only stayed and chatted with him for about 5 minutes, but told him that I would stop by again on my next trip north. I sure am glad that I took the time to stop in, as I regarded Dent as my brother almost, and he was indeed the consummate camera salesman. For about 35 years, several times a week, we would get together at the camera store, and there was always a friendly banter between us. He was always poking fun at my Minolta cameras and lenses, and used to say that if you looked closely at my pictures, you could see, "bottled by Coca Cola" on them, as a result of using Minoltas. According to him, I would be a much better photographer if I switched to Nikon or Canon equipment. It was all in good fun, and I loved him for it. So it appears now, that Dent has gone to join Jack. That must put a twinkle in Jack's eye for sure. My condolences to his son Shawn, and all the rest of his family that I never had occasion to meet. Fare thee well Dent......I sure will miss you my friend........'till we meet again......

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Beside Lake St. Clair

After visiting our son, we decided to take the scenic route back home along Riverside Drive. The leaves have all fallen from the Maple trees, and the others as well, so things are starting to look quite bare now. This Weeping Willow, with its golden leaves against the blue sky, had such a visual impact that I had to pull over and get out of the car for this shot. It is situated on the shore of Lake St. Clair, just before the lake empties into the Detroit River, that flows out into Lake Erie. Hope you enjoy it as well.

In recent days and weeks, Paul Daniels, Product of Newfoundland, Jason Sparks, Majid, & Frank & Bev, have all joined my little blog. Welcome aboard to everyone, and just when I thought that I was hollering into an empty cyberspace, you all show up from India, USA and Newfoundland and Windsor, Ont.. I appreciate it. Thanks muchly.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Relics of the Past....

This scene, converted to sepia tones, gives a more realistic ambiance of the weather yesterday, and the times from which these relics were gathered. It speaks of a troubled time, in the past, where it belongs....

Naval Yards, Amherstburg, Ont. Scene

Yesterday was a gray overcast day, and I decided to take a jaunt down along the Detroit River to the town of Amherstburg. The Naval Yards are located along the riverfront, and this white winch at one time would have been used to draw the ships up against the wharf, or whatever structure was there at the time. Now it is an ornament to remind of times gone by. Not too far away, I was quite startled to find a plaque that amongst other Regiments, mentioned the action by the Royal Newfoundland (Fencibles) Regiment during the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812.
I "Googled" to find out more and was informed that: Many of the regiment's soldiers were expert boatmen, and five companies were sent to Upper Canada in 1812 to serve as marines on the Great Lakes. They fought as such throughout the war, suffering heavy casualties at the Battle of Lake Erie. When not serving aboard ships, the regiment was split up into garrisons and detached companies throughout Upper Canada. It had never occurred to me that my fellow countrymen had parcipated in the affairs of Upper Canada at that time, but then I am certainly no history expert. They had helped keep the ground I was standing on from becoming foreign soil. With Rememberance Day not so long past, I decided to use this as my tribute to the fallen soldiers in all the conflicts, past and present. We owe so much to all of them.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Autumn Decor

Today I finished raking the last of the leaves from the big old maple tree in my back yard. In the midst of it, there was this leaf which had become entangled in one of the wrought iron sections of the fence that I had built earlier in the spring. It was beautifully back lit by the sun, which has a very nice slant to it this time of the year. So it was time to get out the 75 ~ 300 mm lens and grab a shot before it made its way unto the ground below. Afterward, I sat back and was able to enjoy a nice coffee with Terri and Henry and my wife on the deck/pergola, that I had built after erecting the fence. The temperature reached to about +16 C here in Windsor today. You gotta love that this time of the year.

Monday, November 2, 2009

For Mom & Dad

October 31st was the 8Oth Wedding Anniversary of my parents. Of course, they are both elsewhere in the spirit realm now, but I still remember them fondly. He used to come home from work, eat supper, and then have a nap on the little daybed beside the old wood stove in the kitchen. Often times when he awoke, he would just lay there and sing to her. One of the songs that he loved to sing was the old Scottish tune,
" My Love is Like a Red Red Rose" and she would grin as she did the ironing. Usually, I would be doing my homework on the kitchen table, and pretending not to notice........

For Mike

As Mike suggested, here is a re post of the cemetery shot below, only converted to sepia. It gives it a very old look, which is very appropriate for this, given the dates on many of the tombstones back to the 1800's.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Old Cemetery

Sometimes when I go out to shoot photos, I will use a lens that is not designed for what is being photographed. This day, I chose to use my 100 mm Varisoft Portrait lens on the tombstones in the old cemetery in Sandwich. It is often a good exercise, and the resulting photos somewhat unusual. It lent an eerie glow to the back lit scene. But I have always found cemeteries to be restful and informative places. Some of the tombstones date back to the 1800's, and give a bit of history of the times. However, this is the one night of the year that such places supposedly offer up ghoulish creatures. At least that's what we are fed by the various media these days. Television is full of so called paranormal activity shows, and they seem to be quite popular. I have watched a few, and find them quite comical actually. Hopefully everyone will have a safe Halloween, and I am glad that I used the soft focus lens on this day, as it helped create a somewhat ghostly aura effect..... and that folks, is about as spooky as I will get this year! Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Transition Time

Out beyond the breakwater, there is a horizon, but today, the water and sky just melded into one colour. It reminded me of the words to an old song from back home, about in the morning on the bay, there are 40 shades of grey. It is the time of year when everything changes. There is a flourish of colour, and then there are these scenes of quiet bleakness. Nothing is moving and the only sounds are the squaking of the gulls in the distance. This scene is at Belle River, on the shore of Lake St. Clair, and is a stark contrast to the colours of Olde Sandwich Towne. Hope you enjoy it also....

Beside the Cemetery

This deserted sidewalk with the sunlight filtering through the leaves overhead made for a very peaceful walk. It runs beside the old cemetery in Sandwich.

Patchwork Quilt.....

After shooting the scene below, I wandered up to join my wife, and she told me that there was some interesting patterns in the stone walkway close by. I went to check it out, and found that the moss had grown up between the stones, and was making a very nice lush green pattern. She said that it reminded her of a patchwork quilt. So I took a shot or two, and we proceeded on to the old cemetery across the street in the St. Andrews Church yard.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Golden Moment

This old bandshell looks rather splendid nestled amongst the golden Autumn leaves. It is located in Olde Sandwich Town, just behind MacKenzie Hall, and the old jail. Sitting alone on the bench, this lady seems to be enjoying a quiet moment of reflection. There is an empty space beside her on the bench, as if someone should be sitting there sharing the moment. However, that person was busy at the time taking this picture, and being delighted that he could finally include her in one of his scenes, as she rarely lets him aim the camera in her direction. But he convinced her that she helped lend scale to the photo, and she seemed O.K. with that........

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Grape Press

This replica of an old grape press brought visuals to mind of the homesteaders gathered around feeding grapes into it, and collecting the juice for wine. This old homestead is in the heart of wine country of Essex county. There are more than a few roadside signs designating the property as a Winery as you drive along the shoreline of Lake Erie.

Old Homestead

It is Autumn in most of Canada, and the hillsides and ravines are full of the usual red and gold colours, as the leaves react to the shortened hours of daylight, and the cooler and often frosty nights. However, here in the southern most tip of this country, it just isn't ready to happen yet. I went out into the county to find some of those colours, and as you can tell from this scene, had to settle for Autumn colours on the buildings instead. This old homestead, which was a 114 acre lot right on the shore of Lake Erie, just West of Kingsville, Ontario, was settled by John A Park and his wife and 6 children around 1842. It is now a Conservation Area. We arrived there about a half an hour before closing time, and this did not allow much time for photography. This is one of the scenes that I did manage to shoot, and I found the Hollyhock by the split rail fence in the foreground to be a nice complimentary daub of colour to the building in the background. It is a place that I shall likely return to another time.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...

A couple of days ago, I came into the living room and found this lovely bouquet on the coffee table. It was compliments of our neighbours, Terri and Henry. They have such a lovely English Style garden, with flowers blooming from early Spring to late Autumn. It is a delight to watch them change as the weeks and months pass. This shot was taken as I had quickly become totally bored with the hockey game that was on T.V., and it occurred to me today to use it to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hope you all have a very pleasant weekend with family and friends. All the best......

Monday, September 21, 2009

Autumn Solstice Rose Bud

The past few weeks have been very busy, as I have been doing a few upgrades around the house before it gets too cold. Today, I took a day off, as it was threatening to rain anyway. While sitting on the newly built rear deck, I noticed a rose bud on the bush that is in memory of my father. So I decided to take a picture of it and maybe play with it also in Photoshop or Paint Shop Pro Photo X2. In so doing, I decided that it needed to look a little more masculine, as my Dad was a very rugged type, since he had spent most of his younger years on the water as a sailor. Anyway, this is what I finally came up with. I hope he would have approved.......

Maxxum 7D & 100mm f2.8 Soft Focus Lens with #1 close up filter attached.

Insomnia Leads to This........

For some reason I have insomnia tonight. It might have something to do with the Autumn Equinox descending upon us, or maybe not. At any rate, I got to fooling around with this image which was quite unremarkable in my opinion. A squirrel had chewed off the stem of this rose in my back yard, and the blossom was in pretty bad shape. My wife, as usual, put it in a little vase with some water to try and salvage it. But it was still not doing too well. So, I decided to take a picture of it and play with it for a while. This is the result. I hope this is no indication of any dreams I might have when I finally get to sleep. Good night all!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sadie's Rose

After having posted the bleak scene below about the remaining rubble of the GM Trim Plant, I decided that I needed to do something hopefully a little more pleasant to view. It has been raining off and on most of the day, which put a halt to my plans to expand on my rear deck. So in between the rain, I went to my back yard with my camera, and tried to get a few shots of a very lovely rose that I had bought in the Spring, and had planted it in memory of my mother. A #2 closeup filter was placed on my 70 ~ 300mm zoom lens, and after about 5 shots, the rain started again. So I returned to the computer, and made this little photo. Hope you like it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

GM Trim Plant Rubble

Before moving south to Windsor, I remember the devastation that was the result of the closing of the MacMillan Bloedel Mill just west of North Bay, in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario. Hundreds of people were suddenly thrown out of work in this small northern town. It was indeed a harsh blow to the community and its economy. You don't expect to see that sort of thing happening, but it appears that with the global economy, such as it is, no one or no place is safe anymore from financial and economic ruin. Sometimes it takes decades or a lifetime to recover from the effects of such calamities. This photo that I took one morning when my friend Frank, and I were out and about after coffee, is proof of that. It is all that remains of the once mighty General Motors Trim plant here in Windsor, Ontario. Several thousand people were employed in this plant, and one has to wonder what became of them all. This photo shows just a small amount of the rubble, as to show it all, I would have had to be very high up in the air and shooting down with a wide angle lens. The shiny objects in the foreground are the Mercury vapor lights that used to illuminate around the plant at night. While shooting this photo, I couldn't help but think of the collapse of the cod fishery in my home province of Newfoundland. They are still reeling from the effects of that event. However, they moved on, and found other sources of wealth, namely oil, and are for the first time since joining Confederation, a HAVE province. Meanwhile, the economy of Ontario took such a nosedive that it for the first time ever has become a HAVE NOT province. A dramatic reversal of fortunes indeed for both provinces. The only thing that remains the same is change itself. It is unavoidable, and folks everywhere usually stand back, have a good hard look, and then get on with the business of rebuilding their lives and communities. There are already signs of improvement here in Windsor, and that is great to see.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lady Walker's Bedside Lamp

This image is for the two ladies who recently became followers of my blog. One is a retired school teacher in Deer Lake, Newfoundland, and calls her blog Gone to the Dogs. Also for Elaine Dale, another Newfoundland lady, who calls her blog A Scattering. Thank you both for following and helping make this little endeavor worthwhile. About a couple of months ago, I happened to take a visit to the Willistead Manor during the Art in the Park event here in Windsor, Ontario. It is a very elegant building, and was the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Chandler Walker. Edward Walker was the son of Hiram Walker who was known for his distillery operations. The home was built between 1904 and 1906, and though quite large, had only one bedroom. This lovely bedside lamp caught my eye, and I decided to grab a quick shot of it as I wandered about. I could have photographed in there for hours. Hope you like it also.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Variation.......

There were other more constructive things that I could have been doing today, but it is very warm and muggy, and I got sidetracked with this version of the purple Rose of Sharon that I shot a couple of days ago. I want to do some macro shots, but will get around to that in a while hopefully. Meanwhile, I have to enlarge the rear deck on the house........

Saturday, July 25, 2009

White Rose of Sharon

This white variety of the Rose of Sharon was somewhat in the shadows, so I shot in manual mode at f 2.8 for 1/1000 of a second, and set the HS flash at 1/32 power, to enhance it a little. The softness effect was dialed in at about #2, to make the shot even more gentle.

Sharon's Rose......

Our back yard is full of these lovely blossoms right now, with pink, purple and white colours. When we bought our retirement home a year ago, I thought it was nice that our back yard was full of roses that shared the same name as my wife. The Rose of Sharon is very prolific here in Windsor, and depending what is done to them, they are often just a low bush, or when allowed, grows into a small tree about 15 feet tall. In about 2 years time, our back yard will be totally enclosed by these plants, and we are not about to discourage that. It makes for a very pleasant cup of coffee in the early morning, with the sunlight filtering through. This shot was taken earlier this afternoon, with my 100 mm soft focus portrait lens, and the softness effect dialed to zero. The aperture was wide open at f2.8, which accounts for the areas that are slightly blurred or out of focus. I was shooting hand held and there was a gentle breeze causing a bit of movement. Hey Mike, this one is for your sister also. Hope she enjoys her visit to Canada!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Singin' in the Rain......

This past 4 days has been a pleasant break from the ongoing renovations and upgrades that I have been doing to our home. For Father's Day, my wife and children had given me a 4 day pass to the Bluesfest on the Windsor riverfront, right in front of Caesar's Casino. I was delighted, as I enjoy this type of music, and had spent many a Saturday evening listening to Saturday Night Blues on CBC radio, hosted by Holger Petersen. The bands were top notch, and I just sat back and soaked it up. Soaked is the operative word here, as just about every evening, the heavens opened up, and dropped the wet stuff for a short while, then it dried up again. Windsor seems to be like that. However, it did not seem to deter the performers or the spectators one little bit. They just kept it going, and everyone had a great time. These shots were taken from under a rather large double umbrella that my daughter had left in my car, and it sure came in handy for this event. The food and beverages were very good, and I am certainly looking forward to this event again next year.

Camera: Fuji FinePix S9100 with 28 ~ 300 mm fixed lens.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bright Spot During the Rain.

This bright spot caught the corner of my eye, as the sun appeared from behind the clouds to bounce off of the GM building across the Detroit River. Of course, the head CEO of this place is looking for a bright spot of a different kind. Hopefully it is on the way soon.

Rainbow After the Rain

This gave everyone hope that the rain was over for the evening. Shortly after taking this photo, the empty seats were filled again, as the crowd emerged from under the beer tent, and any other form of shelter they could find.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pink Bog Flower

This delicate pink tinged flower was found in the Ruscom Conservation Area, and I have no idea what it is. For the past several days, I have been busy building a front veranda on the house, so that I can enjoy a beverage in the cool evening shade.
I decided to play with this photo in PhotoImpact 12, a program that I haven't used very much, and this is what I came up with.
Hopefully, I'll get around to doing a little more photography soon. All work and no play........

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day!!!

This is a shot of my neighbour Henry, and me in our mutual driveway, as taken by Henry's wife Terri. She thought that we were wonderful specimens of fine craftsmen, as we were both setting out to modify or build decks on our houses. She could not let this photo op pass, and ran and got her little camera. As it happened, the Canadian Flag reflected in the window above us, and I thought it would make a great "tongue in cheek" salute to all of the Great Canadian Do It Yourselfers out there. Since the TV has numerous shows about Do It Yourself Disasters and such, we are living proof that if you want something done right, and to your own satisfaction, Do It Yourself! There are no real experts...... are there? Only those who think that they can't do it themselves, think someone else is an expert.......Ya think maybe some large building supply outfit will be sponsoring us anytime soon......? LOL! Have a Happy Canada Day everyone! Have some fun today!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

And a Bang on the Ear......

This shot reminds me of a ballad by an Irish band, The Waterboys, entitled..."And a Bang on the Ear". It looks a little more astrological than most of the other fireworks shots that I took during the Target Fireworks. The whole experience was worth a few mosquito bites, and I hope to do a little more night shooting about town, when I get to know the safe areas to go at night.

More Fireworks

Another more colourful shot of the Target fireworks in Windsor, Ontario a couple of nights ago.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fireworks Bouquet

It has been a few days since I last posted anything, due to a major computer glitch, a "Run Time Error" that still isn't resolved. As a result, I cannot use my Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2, which I had been using quite often for my blog. Anyway, a couple of evenings ago, my family and I took in some fireworks down at the waterfront. It has become a yearly event at the last day of school, and the entire riverside was lined with people and folding chairs. It seems that I have been photographing so many flowers since coming here to Windsor, that my Maxxum 7D has flowers embedded into its electronic brain. This is a shot of some of the fireworks, that very much resembles daisies, if you will. There were lots of shots that were more colourful, but this one struck a chord with me, and I decided to post it here. I was using a 75 ~ 300 AF zoom lens for this shot. Hope you find it neat also.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Elevator Up..... Anyone?

Can you imagine going to work at your usual job on a Friday afternoon at the GM building in downtown Detroit, and stepping aboard the elevator shaft which travels up the outside of the building, and all of a sudden, from out of nowhere, appears a red stunt plane just a few feet from you, outside the window, roaring straight up also? The noise is ear splitting, and as you step out of the elevator, you feel like you are walking in water. You look down, and you are......! Unfortunately, it is about the only thing going upward around this building these days. Hopefull the fortunes will reverse soon. This shot was taken at the practice runs before the Red Bull Air Races, which occurred this weekend here in Windsor.

Camera: Maxxum 7D
Lens: Minolta AF 75 ~ 300mm Zoom

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Roses for Neppie......

Today is a day that I have been dreading for quite a while now. We had to have our beloved Sheltie dog, Neppie, put down. He had brought so much joy to our home, as only dogs of his kind can. This bouquet came from the garden of our elderly neighbour, Bob, who had grown very fond of Neppie, and used to love to come into our yard and give him a good massage every so often. We had always felt so lucky to be able to give Neppie a good home, after his previous owner had passed away. He was such a gentle spirit, and there was not a mean bone in his body. We will miss him, but could not stand by to see him suffer. Farewell little guy. We are happy that you spent the time with us that you did.........

Monday, June 8, 2009

Art in the Park

This sign says it all. It was just great, and the organizers and artists should all be congratulated. The bands were fantastic, and everyone attending had a wonderful time.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Potter

This gentleman from Fenlon Falls, Ontario, sits quietly by his booth, waiting for the next wave of potential buyers of his pottery wares. He has a long list of events that he will have a booth at this summer, and I can't imagine what it takes to be so dedicated to your craft, that you would spend so much time on the road, attending the various events such as Windsor's "Art in the Park". The mirror behind him gave his profile in addition to the 3/4 view of his face. But it was his unusual cap that just made me want to take this photo. The mirror also served as a reminder of the many many Saturdays that I spent shooting brides looking at their bouquets in mirrors, etc.. This is a very nice change..........Hope he had a good day also.
Camera: Maxxum 7D
Lens: Minolta AF 75 ~ 300 zoom

Flamboyant Jeweller

If you were to meet this guy on a sidewalk somewhere else, you would never peg him as a jeweller. With the battered old hat, the "Grizzly Adams" type beard, the bear claw necklace, and even a shirt with a grizzly bear on it, he is an imposing figure, and you'd probably give him lots of clearance as he passed by.
However, he was a very pleasant chap, and seemed very happy to pass the time of day, and let me take his photo. He seemed to be delighted that I would post his photo on my blog, and just as I squeezed the shutter, he flashed the old "peace" sign. Well, peace to you as well sir. I hope you did well today.

The Feather in my Cap.....

He straightens the display of jewellry that he makes himself, and it has obviously become the "feather in his cap."
Maxxum 7D and 35 ~ 105 zoom lens.

Asian Rice Paper Artist

This Asian chap had a booth at "Art in the Park", and his art form was the ancient Chinese art of Rice Paper cutting. He would, with some very sharp instrument, cut out the most intricate detail of flowers, and figures, and the list goes on and on. He agreed to let me take his photo surrounded by his art. There was one piece that I could not resist, and after walking away following shooting the photo of him, I found myself returning to buy one for myself. I bought the piece in the lower right corner of this photo. It is a beautiful depiction of 8 wild horses at full gallop. It blew me away. His prices were very reasonable, as it was only $40.00. How can you spend so much time carving pictures from rice paper, and only charge that amount for it? But it will be framed soon, and hanging on my wall not far from where I now sit.

The Sculptor

The highlight of this weekend here in Windsor, has been "Art in the Park" and the event was held at the Willistead Manor. The air was filled with music of all kinds, and everywhere you looked, people strolled about and enjoyed the art of exhibitors from all over the province and country. This gentleman was from Guelph, and had a booth set up to display and sell his sculptures. I would have loved to bought the one in this photo, but it had a price tag of about $2800.00, and I am sure was worth every penny. We had a pleasant chat, and he agreed to let me take a shot of him and some of his work. It obviously enables him to "stand out from the crowd" so to speak. He was hoping that someone in that crowd would stop by and purchase one of his sculptures. I hope someone did, as I cannot begin to fathom the patience, skill, dedication and time it must require to produce such works of art. My thanks to him for this.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Henry's Pride.....

This is a closer version of Henry's Rhododendron. Again, I used a #4 close up filter on my 35 ~105 zoom lens, and got close for this cluster of blooms. Also, I added a bit of soft focus in Corel that gives it a gentle effect. I have not posted much lately, as I have been busy doing a bit of plumbing, a bit of fencing, etc.. So, I must thank my neighbours, Terri and Henry, for material for my postings this evening and night. June is now upon us, and in 3 weeks, the summer solstice again. The kids will be out of school this month, and hopefully, I'll get up north again, and maybe spend a day in a boat drowning worms, and maybe catch a few fish. I am also looking forward to the Red Bull Air Races on the river about 3 blocks from my house. It will be noisy I expect, but also quite exciting to watch, and photograph. That will certainly be a different kind of shooting, than closeups of flowers. It's all good.....

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Purple Columbine

This Purple Columbine is located just a few feet from the scene below. I decided to put a #4, close up filter on my 35 ~ 105 zoom lens, and get a little closer to the flower. It was nicely backlit by the late afternoon sun, and I really enjoy the regal colours. Terri and Henry's gardens are just lovely, and it will be more than a few years before we will have anything remotely so on our side of the fence. But while I was shooting this flower, I could not help but think of my relatives and friends in the north, who are having to endure a late spring snowstorm today. So Mike, this one is for you. Hope you enjoy, and get better weather real soon......

Henry's Purple Rhododendron

It was my intent to put up a fence down the side of my back yard this weekend, so that my doggies could scamper about, but I just did not feel like driving super spikes today. Instead, I hauled a yard of #1 garden grade topsoil for my wife's soon to be flower beds......after the fence materializes! Next door, our neighbours flower beds are in full swing, and I could not resist going over and taking a few shots, while my wife was preparing supper. Henry, had bought this purple rhododendron, and was anxious for it to produce some blossoms. But it did not seem to thrive too well at first. He was sure that it was a lost cause. Then, suddenly it took off, and started to bloom. He was so very happy. The little figures on the bench helps make for a very nice little setting.

And There Were Roses.....

These roses helped make my morning coffee in my backyard very enjoyable. Pretty soon, the Rose of Sharon bushes will be out in bloom. I just grabbed a shot of these with my 75 - 300 lens with a #4 close up filter attached, hand held.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


This pretty peony caught my eye as I was shooting my little grandson trying to hit a baseball in his back yard. So eventually I made my way over to this plant, or tree actually, and took a couple of existing light shots with my Fuji FinePix S20Pro set in the closeup mode. When we lived in the north, my wife had peony plants beside our back deck. In this part of the country, things seem to grow on a bigger scale, and this flower is growing on a bush that is almost a tree. As you can see, spring is in full force now, and I am amazed at the colours that are all around me here. I would like to photograph more of it, but I still have quite a bit more remodeling and building to do, before I get somewhat serious about photography again. But this was a splash of colour that I could not resist. Hope you like it also.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Sidewalk Service & Sales

This was a scene that I happened upon while on my way to pick up darkroom chemicals for another evening of printing and listening to CBC radio under the glow of the red safelight. Dent, the fellow on the left was without a doubt, one of the most gifted and craftiest of photographic salesmen that I have ever met. His all round knowledge of every aspect of photography was, and is, totally amazing. If you were anywhere close to him, better be prepared to part with some money, or have your credit card handy. On the right is Jack, whom I am proud to say, was one of my first photography instructors. His black and white photographs are hanging in art galleries all over the world. He was North Bay's version of Ansel Adams. His eye for detail and composition was exquisite.
He helped instill in me the love of seeing and light. He used to say, "it's all about the light, Dave." He is gone to a better place now, and I'll never forget him. In this sidewalk scene, Jack, in his eighties, had just gotten out of hospital. While he was in there, a fire had totally destroyed the downtown building that housed his darkroom, still life studio, and all of his medium format cameras, negatives, and prints.......everything was gone. We all thought that he would be totally devastated by this blow to him. But we did not know him very well at all. He said, "it's all just stuff!" Then he did something that blew us all away. He met with Dent, and ordered a new computer, film scanner, printer, the whole works, to set up a digital studio. Before long, he had put together enough new "digital art" to put on a photography exhibit at the Capitol Centre Art Gallery, that was the talk of the town. He had someone help wheel him around in his wheelchair, to various locations he had decided to explore with his 35 mm cameras. He truly loved his craft, right to the very end, and showed us all that you are never too old to learn something new, or do something in a different way. Always believe in what you do. It was wonderful knowing these two guys, and I miss them.
P.S. I deliberately did NOT "clean up" this image after scanning the negative. I felt that it adds to the "aged" treatment or look that I wished to achieve. It is very noticable upon enlarging.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Calla Lillies, again....

My neighbour, Terri, told me over the fence a couple of days ago, that she preferred sharp images over the softer versions. So, I decided to post these same Calla Lillies as is posted below, but this time, instead of using a soft focus lens, I shot them sharp, using the macro mode of my Fuji FinePix S20Pro digital camera. Also, these were taken under existing daylight filtered through the living room sheers, and are the true colours of this lovely plant, as compared to the version below, where I used the light from a lamp beside my chair at night. Quite a difference as you can see. I like them both, but this one is for Terri and Henry. Hope you all had a very Happy Easter!