Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Everyone.....

Another Christmas has arrived, and to be here on planet earth to enjoy this festive season with family and friends is a blessing. Hopefully all of our friends and family in the Northern communities of Huntsville, North Bay, New Liskeard area, and Thunder Bay, who might still read my little blog from time to time, will have much Peace, Joy, and Good Health at this time and into the coming New Year. There have been many times that I have really missed them all, and also Winter....yes, I said Winter! We have a little snow here in Windsor, Ont., but it is supposed to be +13C here on Monday, and that should pretty much cancel out any of the white stuff. Unless we get a massive snow storm sometime in the next week, it will be a green New Year for sure next weekend. It is what it is, and we have a lot to be grateful for here in this country, what ever the weather may happen to be. There are so many many folks who do not have what we take for granted, and we should not forget them....they are everywhere, and from all walks of life. I got to know quite a few of them when working as an Ambulance attendant. Some were ex Teachers, Doctors, Accountants and even Clergy. It is too easy to brush these folks aside as just too lazy and bums. Most of them are sick folks that have fallen through the cracks in a system that has failed them badly. So, when you see one, especially at this time of the year, help a little in any way that feels right for you. They will certainly appreciate it....it's cold out there in more ways than one. Peace & Joy to You & Yours.....

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Following the Star

Well it is Christmas season again....time passes too quickly it seems. It must have something to do with getting older, or at least that is what I'm told. Anyway, for this post, I thought I would use my little lighted Polar Bears on a sled that we have in our front window. Of course, it required me playing with it a bit in Corel and Photoshop to eliminate the blinds that are behind. The blue star that they follow was found at CTC and changes to colours of red, green, purple, blue, and several other variations of those. The snow effect was added with some free software that was sent in my e-mail by On1, so I decided to give it a try. The little bears appear to be having a lot of fun, so I am hoping that everyone out there who still bothers to read this little blog, has a really fun, joyous and happy season that is upon us. It is too easy to get stressed out and let the incessant commercialism of the season wear us to a point where our nerves are torn....Peace!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Full Moon Insomnia.....

Ever have a night when your head just will not lie down, or some other part of your body is twitching and agitated? Well this image is for you. There was a full moon hanging above planet earth last night, and after the hockey games, I knew sleep would not come easy, so I decided to let my mind do a bit of rambling. The thought came into my head of, how would you photograph or illustrate "insomnia". After browsing through some images, I decided to give it a go. The full moon is one I had photographed a while ago. The graphic image in the background is part of the Detroit skyline, and the Sousaphone player was a shot taken a while back when a Windsor Classical Music group assembled in a nearby park for a free concert. The image took a few hours of work on the computer using Photoshop and Corel softwares, and it gives me the feeling of 4 am., and alone, to deal with the mind or body.....or both.

P.S. This image is especially for my friend Frank, who often sends me e-mails into the wee hours of the morning...LOL!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Budding Techno Genius.....?

At a recent family wedding in North Bay, I got a chance to do a bit of grab shooting. It was a lot of fun. My favorite shot of the evening was this little guy. While his little peers were out on the dance floor chasing balloons and batting them around, he made himself busy "adjusting" the LED lighting down behind the head table. Those big as saucers eyes say it all eh? Somehow, it would not surprise me if one day he is in charge of the stage lighting for some future Rock Band on a world tour......have a great life kiddo!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Meet Karen.....

Having posted 2 other variations of Karen below, I thought I would post one more as seen in the camera viewfinder with very little in the way of photo editing..... 
Karen picks up her fiddle, her eyes twinkle.....enough said!

Karen in Sepia.....

It would be hard to tell from the "painting" below, what Karen looks like. So I decided to add this Sepia version also. Old tunes like "Red Wing" and "Way Down Yonder" gets a twinkle in her eye...She is just one of about 3 or 4 ladies who play the violin with our group. A couple are classically trained, and the others are self taught. They sound great leading the keyboard and guitars, banjos, penny whistles, concertina and accordions, through some very lively Celtic music. It's loads of fun!

Karen

This image is a bit of a departure from the norm for me today. A couple of days ago, I went out into Essex County to this lovely lady's home, to do a portrait of her. I had wanted to do this for a long while, as she sits across from me at our monthly Irish Music sessions at the Sportsman's Club on Dougall Ave. here in Windsor. She enjoys playing all of the old time tunes, and we all enjoy her music. After the usual photo editing of the RAW file, I decided to give Corel's Painter Essentials 5 a whirl. It is fairly new software to me yet, so this rendition is far from perfect I'm sure. At any rate, personally, I find it somewhat appropriate for what I had in mind. Hope you enjoy my rendition of "Karen" today.....

Friday, August 12, 2016

Dalton's Lily.....

This evening I went on a photo excursion to the front yard of the folks we were visiting, and took a few shots of the lillies there. The light was fading, so I employed an extra flash to provide a little more zip to the lighting. Wireless flash is wonderful, and I have no idea why I did not start using it years before I did. In actuality, you are using portrait lighting techniques and lighting on other objects or flowers. Hope some folks will enjoy it.....

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Northern Sentinel.....

This old red pine was a muse of mine for several years, and I photographed it mostly in Black & White and in the Winter time. When it came up in conversation with my son recently, I went on a hunt to see if I could find a colour image of it. Luckily, I was able to dig up and old Kodachrome slide tucked away in my many binders. So I decided to scan it and do a little work on it digitally..... Cibachrome prints are a thing of the past, and was a rather tedious process. Anyway, one early Summer's day, I went to photograph this old tree again, and found it rendered to ashes, with numerous beer bottles and cans scattered amonst them. Since it was just a few days after high school graduation, it was too easy to conclude that end of the school year celebrations had taken place, and this old pine met its demise. It would be easy to heap scorn and derision on these unseen individuals, but we were all young at one time, and very few of us escaped commiting totally senseless acts.....some of us learned from past mistakes, and others need more "lessons" from the school of life....

Friday, August 5, 2016

Slip Sliding Away.....

Since it doesn't look like I will be going on holidays much this summer, I decided to go on a bit of a virtual one by digging up some of last years photos of "back home".  This simple scene is of Trouty Cove, Trinity Bay, NFLD, and the old buildings looked like that they will be a thing of the past pretty soon, as they appeared to be ready to fall down. Like everywhere else, things are changing back there, and I was glad to be back to catch a few shots of things, as they used to be. It brought to mind the words of a Stan Rogers song, that described the changes of the old places... "Upper Canadian concrete and glass, right down to the water line....I heard an old song down on fisherman's wharf....can I sing it just one time"..... The words to the Newfoundland folk song, "Where Fishermen Used to Be" would also be very fitting for this scene....

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Rose of Sharon "Drawing".....

The little "breakfast nook" on my back deck is totally surrounded with Roses of Sharon right now, and while I was doing a couple of burgers on the BBQ this evening, I took a couple of shots of this blossom. It was shot using RAW and processed in Capture One Pro 9.2 software that I have been using lately. I still am trying to wrap my feeble brain around this new software, and as a result, haven't posted much on here for a while. I purchased Capture One Pro 9.2 so that I could tether my SONY camera to the computer, and send images directly to this software as I shoot. This would be handy for loading images into a laptop while on location etc.. The images are very high quality, and it is easy to make the necessary adjustments to RAW files.  Anyway, this image is one that I finally liked presented as a coloured pencil drawing. This final treatment was done in Photoshop CS3, and I thought it might look nice on a little greeting card or some such....hope some of you like it a bit.....

Sunday, June 26, 2016

RAW Roses Still Life....

For the most part, most of my photography up till now has been shot as jpegs, and I decided to give the RAW format a go for a change. This image was shot in a ramshackle studio set up, and I will be the first to admit that I am lacking quite a bit of skill when it comes to still life set ups. However, we must all start somewhere, and make as many mistakes as we can, because that is how we learn what NOT to do. Just ask Thomas Edison about that....but I digress. Anyway, for this image, I used a Bowens 750WS monolight as the key light, with a red gel filter over the 15 inch beauty dish. The fill light was a Bowens 200WS light with a soft box, and I used a really really old Bowens 400WS light with a snoot on it for a bit of back lighting. Most of this gear is left over from my Wedding and Portrait photography days, somewhere in the misty distant past....but I digress yet again eh! This image is not really simple or clean enough for my liking, but it was a first attempt at studio still life for quite a while, so I am cutting myself a little slack on it. The thing that I like about it is the lighting is soft enough that the highlight areas of the yellow material surrounding the vase, is not too blown out, and the red gel on the beauty dish paints some nice pinkish colours on the material which mimics the colours in the roses a bit. The roses came from our garden, and were so heavy, they were dragging on the ground, so my much better half saw fit to snip them for our dinner table. They smelled just lovely, and I hope you enjoy it also.....

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Nikko Deutzia "Transformed".....

Sometimes I tend to get a bit carried away with experimenting with the effects of various image editing softwares. I guess it is almost the equivalent of watching an image appear on a sheet of paper in the darkroom for the first time. You have this idea in your head as to how you might like an image to look like in its final output. So it is, that I got fixated on this image tonight, and this is my last and final "experiment". Not everyone will like or appreciate it, and then some folks might. It is all open to individual taste of course. Hope some of you will  get a little enjoyment from this rendition also.....

Nikko Deutzia on Railing.....

This afternoon my wife informed me that I should get off of the computer and take a few shots of the roses etc. in our back yard. So I took her advice and went on a safari in our back yard, and also in our neighbours yard as well. After a few shots of the roses, I wandered over into our neighbours yard, and commenced to take a few shots there also. For what ever reason, this little sprig of blossoms hanging over a black iron railing was my favourite, and I decided I would use it for my blog posting tonight. However, I had no clue as to what to call it. So after checking, I was informed that it is a Nikko Deutzia plant. Thanks Terri, hope you like it.....

P.S. For a black & White version of this image, click here

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Columbine Portrait.....

Yesterday, I was sitting on my front veranda with my camera, enjoying a beverage, and decided to take a few shots of the Columbine, and Iris that seemed to be springing up everywhere. The Columbine I am told, while not a weed, acts very much like one. They are very prolific, and are even growing under the veranda and up through the cracks in the boards. This shot is one that I decided to do a little playing around with, and I finally got it to a place where I liked it....soft and delicate. Yes, the colours have been muted somewhat, and it looks more like a coloured pencil sketch, than a photo. But that was my intent, and I hope some will enjoy it also.....

P.S. This one is for my friend, Gerald Booth. Thinking of you guy, and hoping you are feeling better soon.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Beer Bottle Bouquet.....

Spring time here in Windsor seemed to be dragging it's heels trying to decide if it was going to bother showing up this year. The temperatures for most of March, April, and May were below normal and not a lot of sunshine. However, this past week, we went straight into Summer weather, and the temperatures have been in the high 20's C. and that means BBQ time. This past long weekend, we enjoyed a lovely dinner with our neighbours. During the course of events, we decided to pick a few blossoms that were springing up all around us. They were a mix of Lily of the Valley, Columbine and French Lilac, and of course we used the handiest vase available, a beer bottle, to grace the table. The fragrance was wonderful, and afterward, while I was still "motivated" I decided to take a quick picture of it against a black background. It is not intended to be a work of art or anything that grandiose, but just a splash of colour to hopefully cheer a few folks up a little....

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wreckhouse, NFLD....

When you listen to the Weather Reports on TV, you will often hear them mention this place....Wreckhouse! It is located on the Southwest coast of Newfoundland, and it is a place where wild winds do blow! Not far away is a road sign that warns motorists that it is not unusual for them to encounter winds that may exceed 125 MPH! Yes, that is MILES per hour. It would come screaming in off of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and many times it would make it impossible for the CNR ferries to dock in near by Port aux Basques.  As a kid I would often hear news reports of the winds in this area that would blow the old steam engines and cars off of the narrow gauge railway tracks. It was often referred to as the "Newfie Bullet", because it was so slow. There may have been homes there at some point, but none can be seen now. They have all disappeared over time, and if you should happen to step out of your vehicle, it is not unusual for your pant legs to be blown tight, and the rest would sound like a flag flapping in the wind. This would be nonstop, and it is not much wonder that no one lives there anymore.....

Interior Archway, McKenzie Hall....

This twisted tangle of plaster that soars over the archway inside McKenzie Hall, in Olde Sandwich Towne, is truly a work of art. The craftsmanship that it took to shape and erect this is truly amazing. The more you look at it, the more you wonder just what is keeping it up there, and at what point will it come crashing down. My guess is that when they conceived this idea, they made sure that this would not be happening anytime soon. Of course, to really accentuate the piece, I removed any and all distractions from the walls, such as plaques, and a large flat screen TV on the wall right in the middle of the archway. Without today's digital software, that would be extremely difficult to pull off. After that, I enhanced the texture of the work by using the Poster Edges filter again. It gave it a more stippled effect, which I found rather attractive. If you would like to see it in Black & White, you can visit my other little blog, Black & White Dabblings at http://blackwhitedabblings.blogspot.ca/ . For me, it is a toss up, which rendition of it that I like the most. It is a place that I will have to go back to again sometime as it has many photographic possibilities.

P.S.  This posting is for my friend John, who works for an architectural practice in North Bay, Ont. Hope you enjoy it!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

A Place for Contemplation...

On a recent photo outing with the Windsor Camera Club to Olde Sandwich Towne, we visited this old church that dates back to the War of 1812 era. This image of the stained glass window was just a simple record shot of a quiet corner inside. While, I do not subscribe to any religious denomination, these old churches do leave you in awe somewhat, with the beauty of the architecture and old stained glass windows. The craftsmanship that went into building these old churches and town halls, etc., is just amazing. Anyway, when I opened this basic shot of a quiet corner, I felt that it had more potential, so I decided to experiment a bit with some On 1 software filters. When I dropped the heavy clouds over the image, and after that a tattered paper filter, it took on the look I was sort of hoping for. To me, it rather makes a statement of religions in general in our society today. They seem to be being abandoned, and drifting off into the mists of time.....

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Variations on Pink Blossoms....




These are just two more renditions of the same blossoms as posted below. They could be used for various purposes or end uses. For me, it is examples of the other "hidden potentials" of an ordinary shot of a couple of simple pink blossoms from a little bouquet that I picked up at the grocery store on my way out through check out one day. My personal choice is the most muted one on the top. It has a quiet simplicity, and for me, elegance, that the others lack. Less is more maybe? The second image below is more intense. To me at least, it seems that everywhere you look these days, everything is more intensified, and garish to the point that it starts to grate on your nerves. Whether it be music, or photo illustrations, the sound and colours have been amplified, and in your face. What used to be elements of serenity, and elegance, have grown tired and passe' in the unfettered surge to "whatever or wherever".....  A quiet stream and a fishing rod are starting to sound really really good to me....I am sooooo off the island!!






Pink Blossoms for Terri....

This is a reposting of the pink blossoms just below. My neighbor found it to be rather ho hum, so I am sending this one out to her, totally without any manipulations in Photo Shop or anything else. Personally, when I saw this picture after I shot it, I felt that it was absolutely nothing special or even artistic. The composition is admittedly nothing special, as it is basically just a recording of a couple of blossoms.  My grandson could have taken this shot, as he has done a few times when he got to playing with Poppee's camera. However, having said that, I felt that it had some other potentials hidden in there, and decided to explore some of them. Sometimes rather ordinary photos can be transformed into works that might be suitable for other uses, such as stationary, or greeting cards, or just splashes of colour for a drab corner somewhere. It is fun to explore other uses for images that seem rather ordinary or mundane, hence my posting below that has more muted tones. Hope you enjoy this one more Terri....

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Blue Blossoms.....

What the heck, lets go for a third posting this evening eh? For this shot, I did the exact opposite of the pink flowers below this one. Instead of muting the colours, I decided to intensify them. Firstly, I waited until the sun had passed by, and they were in fairly deep shadows. My SONY HLV-58AM flash was mounted on its little plastic shoe and placed about 2 feet behind on the ground, while the little pop up flash on my camera triggered it remotely, giving a nice 2/1 lighting ratio to provide a rim light for the green leaves behind, and show a bit of light coming through the petals as well. Then a bit of Poster Edge filter in Photo Shop gave it the effect I was more or less looking for. It has been enlarged to a 16 x 20 inch print in the meanwhile, and it looks just great! If I am not mistaken, this is just a weed of some sort, but it was worth crawling around on my belly on the ground for anyway.....Ohhh me knees!!

Pink Flowers.....

This little bouquet of pink flowers was originally much more vibrant in colour. However, I just felt that it might be a nice thing to soften it a bit, make the colours a bit more muted. Then when I experimented with a poster edges filter in Photo Shop, it was more of the effect that I was looking for. Hope you like it also.....

Remembering Mothers.....

This posting is almost just in time to be too late for Mother's Day. Hopefully we all took time out to visit or if that is not possible, to remember and pay respects to them. This shot is from late last Summer and is a rose in our garden that we planted in memory of my Mother. It is by far the most lovely and fragrant of all of the roses that we planted. Needless to say, it doesn't take much encouragement to "stop and smell the roses", and remember all of the good times......it was my good fortune to have had a wonderful Mother-in law as well, and I will love these two ladies 'till Mt. Everest is a hole in the ground.....

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Along the Way.....

Yesterday, I went for a photo walk about in old Sandwich Towne with a few members of the Windsor Camera Club, where we visited a couple of interesting buildings and took mostly interior shots due to the inclement weather outside. Afterward, on our way to one of the local pubs for lunch, I saw this bus shelter, and the graphics instantly caught my eye. So I mentioned to my friend Ed, that it needed a person sitting in it. Without saying a word, he went over and sat inside, bowed his head, and let his shoulders slump forward. He was the picture of a person who had seen his share of life's burdens, and it took me all of a few seconds to compose and shoot this scene. When I got back home afterward, I took it into Photoshop CS3 and after applying a couple of filters, came up with this rendition. Hope you like it......and thanks Ed!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Happy Easter Everyone....



It has been a while since I was able do any posting here, but I am still kicking around. Things have been rather busy lately, as I have been spending a fair bit of time on things musical...and yes, I survived 3 gigs for St. Patrick's Day, but was pretty well done in for a few days afterward. Anyway, lately I have been doing a little reworking of some of my Newfoundland photos that I took last summer. Of course I have been using various softwares from Adobe, Corel, Alien Skin, and Perfect Effects etc. Instead of trying to get "perfect" photos, I decided to try my hand at making the photos take on an "arty" look. It is getting to be addictive, and whilst most photographers today are all fired up about "noise" or lack thereof, it makes no matter at all to me. In fact, noise sometimes enhances the effects that I am looking for. So, hope you enjoy this little sampling, and from our home to yours, a very Happy Easter....peace!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Away From It All.....

With all of the garbage that we seem to be constantly bombarded with in the media these days, haven't you ever wished that you could just get away from it all? There aren't too many times when I am envious of someone in this world, but I have to say that when I went to Brigus, Newfoundland, and saw this house sitting all by its self across the bay, it gave me a total body ache. How this person found a way to build his home in this remote and profoundly beautiful place is an example of what some folks will do to gain total peace and quiet. If it were me, there would be no TV, no computer, no phone.....just the wind, the ocean, seagulls and a boat of course....put on the kettle, it's time for a "mug up". (cup of tea) Sit on the veranda and watch the sun drop down into the bay... Oh yeah! As many of us old photographers would say, "keep it simple" and "less is more".....makes sense to me.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year - 2016

This image is one that I shot in my very brief visit to Brigis, Newfoundland this past Summer/Autumn. Lately, I have found that my interests are drifting to turning photographs into various forms of art. This one has a poster edges filter applied, and I rather like the look of it. For most of my many years doing photography, the photograph was the ultimate end of the process. However, I guess I am no longer a "purist" in that regard. Many of my photographic friends spend most of their time shooting nature images, but even though I greatly admire their images, I guess I am a landscape, seascape, portrait and other "stuff" photographer. That is just fine with me, as we can't all be interested in the same things. At the end of the day, my wish is that everyone find something that makes them truly happy and peaceful inside, and enjoy the good things in our lives, be they many or few....Happy New Year everyone!!!