Friday, January 28, 2011

A Flash of Brilliance..

This colourful fellow was indeed a flash of brillance against a very dull background, as he darts about. These birds do not sit still very long at all, and you have to be very quick on the shutter. This one is for Frank, who took me on a little tramp around the trails at Ojibway Conservation area today.

In Winter's Grip...

This is another little scene from our excursion into the Ojibway Conservation area here in Windsor today. While looking through the viewfinder, I decided that I liked the muted tones very much. It makes for a nice, quiet little scene, and you can hear the woodpecker somewhere off in the distance.....

Little Splash of Colour......

A couple of days ago, Mike posted a lovely photo of a flower box in a window, surrounded by snow. It was beautiful. So Mike, this one is for you. My friend Frank, and I went for a tramp in the woods today at the Ojibway Conservation area here in Windsor. It was very overcast and snowing a little, and I did not think that I would find anything too interesting. However, as we walked amongst the tall trees, this little splash of colour caught my eye, and I went over and took a quick shot with my 75 ~ 300 mm zoom lens. Each little flower is about the size of a pencil eraser. When everything is drab and cold, little scenes that add warmth such as this can only be captured in winter. So I hope you enjoy it also.....

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ornament in the Park......

This photo was taken many years ago in the park beside Ontario Northland on Lakeshore Drive in North Bay, Ontario. While watching a program on T.V. a couple of nights ago on the news, there was a story about an aeronautical engineer who was being given an award for service to the industry, and the country. He was elderly, and happened to have been the chief engineer on the Avro Arrow project. Remember the Arrow? I get quite furious just thinking about the loss of Canadian jobs and pride the day they took the cutting torches to those aircraft that had been built. It made me think back to the day that I stood in the park and took this photo. As I glanced around, I realized that I was the only person there with a camera. The press should be showing up any minute now, right? But they never did, at least not that I could remember. So here these guys were, hanging on to a line, helping to guide the BOMARC ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) down onto its mounting bolts. When this thing was operational in its silo on Hwy. 11N, I used to live literally a stones throw away from the silo. I used to joke that we were totally at ground zero should some idiot press THE BUTTON! At the very least, there must have been arial photos somewhere in the files of the KGB of the silo, that also possibly included our home. However, I was more worried about the black flies and mosquitoes. Anyway, it struck me as kind of odd, that we had spent all of that money, because old Dief was persuaded by the U.S. President, that there would be no further need for fighter aircraft in the future, and that we were wasting our money to complete the Arrow. And here I was, standing there, snapping photos of them erecting the same BOMARC ICBM as an ornament to adorn the park on Lakeshore Drive. The Arrow was soooooo politically incorrect eh! And recently in the news, what did our PM just commit billions of our tax payers dollars to? Fighter Aircraft....built in the USA of course....

P.S. There was an Arrow prototype that could fly up to the edge of the earths atmosphere and open a cargo bay, and launch a satellite into space....no need for launch pads, or sunny weather. This was a Canadian idea and possibility back in the 50's folks....think about it!

Friday, January 21, 2011

My Old Workhorse.....

Last week, I dug out my old film camera, to check it out, and see if it was still working, or if I should take a sledge hammer to it. It is working just fine, and it felt so good in my hands again that I had to take this picture of it. The ergonomics of this camera are just fantastic, and it is so tough, that my old friend Dent Peever, (may he rest in peace) used to say that you could drive tent pegs with the thing. He wasn't too far off the mark, as one time while shooting a bride and groom in the lobby of the Pinewood Park Hotel in North Bay, it fell unto the floor from a chair that I had placed it on. There was a loud gasp from the onlookers, and I picked it up, checked it over, and continued the shoot with that camera. The loud bang that was heard when it made contact with the stone floor of the lobby had everyone expecting the worst. But it kept on clicking, and the only marks on the thing are from the wear left by my hands over the years. It makes me wonder if anyone is making a digital camera these days, that would take that kind of punishment. Anyway, all of the other shooters in the area were die hard Canon or Nikon users. However, I was much too stubborn for that. Besides, if Minolta cameras were good enough for the likes of Jack Shepherd, and Freeman Patterson, I wasn't going to feel shy about showing up with 2 or 3 of them hanging off of my neck. So, I guess I am paying homage to an old friend, and a real workhorse of a camera. It is retired now, but maybe not for long. They still make Black & White film, and I could build another darkroom eh?.....

Three Little Ones

Here is another variation or effect of the same little cluster of flowers below. Usually I like very realistic renditions of flowers and people, but today I am in a different mood, and thought something a little different might be nice. Hope you like it also....

Tiny Pink Blossoms

Today is bright and sunny here in Windsor, and I decided to take a break from building the kitchen.....still. It is starting to look like a kitchen now, with the new counter top, sink, and cupboards all up with the trim on them. Next comes building the doors and drawers... the fun stuff! Sitting in the front window is a plant that the grandchildren gave to my wife about a year ago. The blossoms are about 1/4 to 3/8ths of an inch wide, and are a very lovely pink colour. About this time of the year, I start to get a little antsy to see something besides white everywhere. Hence the flowers today. I used my Minolta 75 ~ 300 mm AF zoom lens for this shot, with 3 magnifying filters attached, for a total of 7 diopters. I have a macro lens, but it is for my old manual film cameras, and would need an adapter to work on the digital. Nothing is cheap or available for long these days, as more and more new technology hits the market. So one uses what one has, and is content with the results, whatever it happens to be. This is my offering on this cold January day. Hope it helps warm your spirits also.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

When We Were Young....

They are both adults now, with children of their own. This photo was taken about 33 years ago, and is another scan from an old slide. It was taken at Sandy Lake, NFLD. and again, it's nice to remember "the good old days." It was probably taken with my old Minolta SRT101, and a 50mm f1.4 lens on it. It was the only lens I had for years, and it makes me believe we have much too much extra gear these days. Hope you enjoy this little portrait as well....

Winters Past...

A couple of days ago, I came across a few boxes of old slides that had been stashed away out in the garage. Since I was making a lot of sawdust from power tools out there, I rescued them before they were totally ruined. Anyway, this slide caught my eye, and it was shot somewhere in the North about 37 years ago. It brought back many pleasant memories. Since I haven't done any shooting recently, I thought I would scan this one, and post it here. After scanning 3 or 4 of these old slides from many years ago, I had to ask myself if it was really worthwhile to invest in newer digital cameras, or go back to shooting film....while it is still available from Fuji. I am kind of doubting that the files from modern digital cameras will be as archival as film. Also, the scans revealed a totally smooth tonal transition of skin tones especially, that I haven't been able to find the past several years, while shooting digitally. Maybe it is time to dust off the old cameras, and put them to use again....now that I have my cupboards finally built. The kitchen is not finished yet, but the end is in sight, hopefully before the nice warm weather reappears.