Saturday, December 2, 2017

Broken Pottery.....

This little image is another of my efforts at still life photography. It is a learning process, and as I am finding out, it requires a lot of patience. The broken pots were hanging on a nail on our back deck, and the redish twigs are what is left of a burning bush plant in our front yard. Tonight, I decided they might make for an interesting image, and I guess it gives me a little bit of a buzz to take a bunch of old stuff laying about, and put them together, add a bit of light, and see what happens. Hope you enjoy it also.....

Thursday, November 23, 2017

LED Lit Lilly

Tonight I got playing around with some LED lighting. The image here is shot with my old Minolta 100mm Soft Focus film era portrait lens. The results are not everyone's cup of tea, but I guess to each his own. It would not likely be suitable for entry in the Windsor Camera Club competition, as it is not tear your eyes out tack sharp from foreground to background. It was shot at f2.8 for 1/60th of a second. It works for me, and hopefully some of you who might look in also.....Cheers!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meet Padraic....

It is a rainy, dreary day here in Windsor. Autumn season is upon us. At one time I used to enjoy going out into the inclement weather and photographing the rain drops hanging from the various colourful leaves, etc.. But circumstances dictate that I hang close to home anymore. My wife calls this little fellow Padraic. He is the gnome who lives in our garden all summer long, and it is time to tuck him away for the Winter. So before he goes into hibernation, I decided to do a little portrait of him. Hope you enjoy it also.........

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Moonlight & Roses....

Last evening while returning from my garage, I looked up and noticed it was full moon time again. Today, I got to taking a few shots with my old Minolta 100mm Soft Focus portrait lens, and one of them was of this bouquet of Roses that my wife had clipped from our garden yesterday. It was shot in available light from a North window. Anyway,  I thought it might be fun to try to combine the two. The Illustration effects were applied in camera, and the images were combined in Photoshop. It was a bit of fun to see what I could come up with, and I hope someone else will enjoy it also.....

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Old Cliff's Fiddle.....

He loved to play his fiddle, and I'm sure he often recalled the many dances he played for in his younger days. This image is my tribute to a really great man. I seem to be doing this a lot lately, and it is to be expected as we can't live forever....nor should we. It was four years ago this month that he left us at 99 years of age....sharp as a tack till the very end. Three days before his leaving, he was riding on a hay wagon hooked up to a team of horses, as they hauled him and a few others around a pumpkin patch. Someone took a quick snap of him waving his hand, and passed it on to us....it meant so much. Every time I take his old fiddle out of its case, it brings a warm feeling to me, as I remember the countless number of jams we played together.....thanks Cliff!....

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

An Evening Snack With Jethro......

This image is another of my efforts at still life photography. However, for this photo, instead of using my Bowens studio lighting, I used 2 SONY dedicated flashes in wireless mode, and tripped them with the little on camera popup flash. The lighting was softened a bit by hanging a Kleenex tissue over the front, hopefully giving the effect of using a soft box. Anyway, the figurine in the center of the image is one that I made when I was about 12 years old. The old gent I worked for/with had made the molds for these little figurines and I would pour plaster of Paris into them, and after drying, I would paint them. They were sold in the local home town stores such as the T. Eaton Co. (remember them?) as souvenirs of Newfoundland. Back then, there was this fellow, Mr. Ted Russell (1904 - 1977) who was a well known storyteller, playwright, and broadcaster. He had a monologue on the radio around supper time, telling yarns (tall tales) about the goings on in this place called Pigeon Inlet, and the various characters involved. Those characters were Grandpa and Grandma Wilcott, Skipper Joe, Aunt Sophy, Jethro Noddy, and of course, King David, the Billy goat. Above is my 12 year old rendition of Jethro Noddy. About 15 years ago, on a trip back home, I stopped by the Newfoundland Emporium on Broadway, in Corner Brook, NFLD. The owner, Mr. Dave LeDrew, happened to know the old gent I had worked for so long ago, and during conversation, I mentioned that I used to make these little figurines when I was just a kid. He gave me a slow smile, and said "hold on a minute" and disappeared into the back of the store. When he came out, he was holding this little figurine of Jethro Noddy, that I had made so long ago. I was totally dumbfounded. I never thought I would ever see one of these again. I asked him what he wanted for it, and he said, "it's not for sale b'y". I said, "I'll give you $100.00 for it. He said "nope, not for sale". I could not leave without it, so I offered him $200.00.....same reply, "not for sale". Then he reached across and took the bag from my hand and placed Jethro inside, and said "have a nice day b'y". This for me was one of the nicest moments in my entire life, and I only met the man that one time.....by the way, Jethro is a real good listener eh....and as the saying goes....pay it forward.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hosta Blossoms.....

With Summer winding down, I realized that my opportunities to photograph flowers were dwindling. So, while I was enjoying my morning beverage on our front veranda, I decided to grab a shot or two of these blossoms on the Hosta plants that my wife had placed by the steps up to our front door. The early morning light helps make it a simple and quiet little scene. Hope someone enjoys it as much as I do.....

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Her Afternoon Tea.....


She is into her 90's now, and legally blind, but her mind and wit is as sharp as a tack. If you need to know the history of the place and people she has lived with all her life, she can remember it all. To say that she is fiercely independent would be putting it mildly, and it was a pleasure to share a bit of time with her, and enjoy a cup of tea also. This illustrative rendition of her is deliberate, as there are times that I feel that a straight up photograph does not convey the type of individual sitting there. This more resembles a line drawing, and rather depicts a life lived well in a tough Northern community. The existing lighting also served well to create the ambiance of a quiet kitchen setting.....it was a pleasant afternoon indeed.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Safe Harbour - Trinity Bay, NFLD

This little scene was one I took a couple of years ago in Trinity Bay, NFLD. Tonight I decided that it would look much better as a panoramic, and did some rather severe cropping off of the top and the bottom of the image. Then I added a watercolour filter to give it a somewhat painterly feel. It had been my hope to travel down there again this summer, but other concerns have come to the forefront, and the possibility of a trip down East seems to be fading fast. Possibly, maybe, there may be a slight chance I can get to go for a vacation in the early Autumn, and I am keeping my fingers crossed....I have just about used up all of my material from down East, and the need for some time to "get away from it all" seems to be growing.....

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Two Tomatoes and an Ornamental Tea Pot...

In an effort to add a little variation to these images, I decided to go to work on this image tonight. When you get a week or so of scorching hot humid weather, you tend to want to stay inside with the A/C on, and try to occupy yourself as best you can. Hence this little image that I shot on the kitchen window sill. The colours were very vibrant, and when I opened the file, it seemed like a good one to play with a bit. After a bit of cropping, desaturation, and adding a bit of texture, this is the result. Sometimes it is a bit enjoyable to get away from the high saturation images that are in vogue nowadays, and go in the opposite direction. For me, the results are just as pleasing. Hope you enjoy it...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tiger Lily.....

Today I decided to get with the program, so I bought a new "Monopod" that everyone seems to be using these days. For years, I used tripods to keep the camera steady, but have you ever tried to use one along a rocky coastline, or while standing in a stream or river? You spend more time adjusting the legs to different lengths, to get something resembling level, before you ever get to snap a photo. The Monopod seemed somewhat of an excuse for a tripod to me, and how could it possibly be of any use. This image and the one below was shot at a shutter speed of 1/15 sec. and the thing seems to do a pretty good job of enabling to shoot at fairly slow shutter speeds. However, I must also figure in the fact that the in body image stabilizer was also turned on in my camera, so that probably helped as well....whatever it takes I guess. This Tiger Lily was hiding away in the shade behind my garage. It had not yet wilted as the temperature got up to +42C here in Windsor today. So later on when it cooled down to +30C, I ventured out to take a few shots in the back yard, and to give the Monopod another chance to convince me that it was not money wasted.....actually, I think the silly thing might just get used a bit eh.....Oh, BTW, in addition to the "Illustration" mode used to take this image, I also use the Craquelure filter in PS3, and added the frame using Corel software.

Hydrangea "Illustration" EFX.....

It would appear that I spent a bit of time playing with this image to get this "Illustration" effect. Actually no, this image is straight out of my SONY a77Mk2 camera. The software packaged in with cameras nowadays is amazing. Usually I just shoot an image, and play with it afterward, and in fact I had no idea this feature was stored away in the extensive menu items.....maybe I should explore inside the monster a little more. Anyway, for the purists and no nonsense types, this is totally a waste of time. But there are times when I just like to explore other areas of image making, and the fun is you just never quite know what the outcome will be. The "Illustration" mode seems to enhance the textures of an image such as this, and for me, it's all good.....

Monday, June 19, 2017

Silent Waves.....

This very lighthouse was one of the two featured today on CBC's Land & Sea TV program at noon every Sunday. If you happened to have grown up on the "Rock", but for what ever reason, have moved away from there, then very likely everything comes to a screeching halt to watch the program, to catch a few glimpses of the place lovingly referred to as HOME. For that reason, I decided to put together a little image of one of the nicest, most quiet and serene places you could possible get yourself totally lost in. Like the tree in the forest when it falls, does it make a noise when no one is there to hear....same thing goes for the ocean waves, right? At any rate, I am hoping to be there before too long, just to listen, and listen, and listen some more, and enjoy the nothingness, where everything is...

Sunday, June 18, 2017

For A Good Man....

Just a week ago, I was so very saddened to learn of the passing of my good friend and mentor, Ed Eng. Even though I knew of his ailments, it was none the less very difficult to realize that another of my friends had departed. He will be sorely missed by a lot of folks who knew him, as he had touched so many lives in a very positive way. This little image is just my humble attempt to pay tribute to a very good man....travel easy my friend...

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Good Morning.....

Since there was a Robin's nest just to the left of this image, I had hoped to post an image of the Robin feeding the 3 babies, but sometime during the night, it appears that one of the many feral cats in our area paid them a visit, and the nest was empty this morning. In any case, this is a little image of my little quiet corner of the world that is somewhat conducive to gathering one's thoughts together before the day begins. My wife's efforts at growing roses and various other bushes are on full display right now, as our whole back yard along the fences and up the sides of our deck are in full bloom...add a coffee and singing birds, and it is what I waited for all Winter.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Yesteryear's Cool

Okay, time for a break from the flowers and stuff. Tonight I thought I would post something from my old car files, you know....when cars were cars! They were made of real steel, and compared to today's standards of plastics and alloys, they were built like tanks. Anyway, one of the things the "old guys" liked to do a lot was individualize their cars with their own version of custom pin striping. Some of them were quite artistic and beautifully done. This one caught my eye as the reddish orange stood out against the black body, and made a fairly bold graphic statement. So, I thought I would see what I could do with this one, and cropped it severely to show only the graphic elements, and forget about the identity of the vehicle itself. Personally, I have always found graphics appealing, probably because away back in the mists of time, when I went to school, Geometry was by far my best subject. Consequently, it has wormed its way into my photography in these later years....hope some of you enjoy it a bit....

Fruit & Flowers.....

This image is the first of what I hope will be a style of photo I would like to do more of in the future. It probably needs quite a bit of refinement, but that will come with time and practice. Meanwhile, hope you enjoy this one a little bit...

For Mothers...Past & Present.....

This little still life is for all the Mothers that we hold dear, past or present. After the hockey game, I took these little sprigs of blossoms that I had gathered between periods from our back yard, and decided to give them the best lighting my feeble mind could muster. So I set up my studio lights, and did a little table top shooting. The original shots were of fruit and these flowers, but I decided to simplify things, and just go in close on the little blossoms. That meant digging out my old macro lens, and moving to within about 6 inches of the flowers. The aroma was lovely during this little photo session, and the fruit was tasty also....This is the result after doing a little bit of tweaking in Photoshop, and Corel softwares. Love and Best Wishes to all the Moms everywhere.....

Friday, May 12, 2017

Monet's Night Garden.....

Sometimes you shoot an image that is less than perfect, but for some reason, you feel that you can still do something with it. This image was one of those. Shot at night using off camera wireless flash, I added a full moon that I had shot some time ago, and gave it a bit of an eerie glow, to add a little bit of interest or mood. Sometimes these "experiments" work out, and sometimes not. It is all up to the preferences of the viewer of course.....a little while ago, I read somewhere that a sure fire way to create meaningless art is to constantly turn out images that everyone likes....it is what it is folks, and I hope some like it and some hate it....it's all good.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Backyard Blue Blossoms.....

This image was taken in our back yard a couple of days ago. The lighting was flat, in fact it was almost dark outside. The appearance of a sunny day is provided by my off camera flash which was placed in the grass behind the little blossoms. It was triggered by the on camera pop up flash, and this setup usually gives me a 2/1 lighting ratio. I like to back light flowers etc, and the nice thing about using off camera lighting is that you do not need a nice sunny day in order to make an image. Lately I have found that I almost prefer shooting on dull days, or a subject in the darkened shadows. Then it is just a matter of setting up the automatic wireless flash lighting, and you have full control of the direction and quality of the lighting and the resulting image. If necessary, white foam core reflector cards can be used to also help with filling in any shadow areas. It is not nearly as difficult as it may sound....give it a try, and enjoy.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dali's Very Vivid Dream.....for John.

For whatever reason, I decided to expand a little on old Dali's Dream and make it more bold and outrageous, so this is the final result. A couple of nights ago, I entered this in the Windsor Camera Club's Digital Altered Reality category, just for the pure heck of it. It rather "bombed" as I found out afterward that at least one of the 3 judges didn't know who Dali was, and could not make any sense of this image at all....which does not surprise me. Sometimes I like to depart from the usual things that everyone photographs, and try in my own feeble way to give some sort of photographic rendition of an idea, or concept. Most times I do not set out with that in mind, but it sort of evolves in that way. It is fun to try to depict something such as "insomnia"; "nuclear winter's night" or in this case, my somewhat twisted idea of just what old Dali may have dreamed one night. It is a concept that is not easily accepted or understood by others apparently. I came up with this second rendition the day after St. Patrick's Day, so I guess I should have entitled it "Guinness Afterglow" or some other such nonsense....It somewhat appeals to my quirky sense of humor, and after all, I really am doing this purely for my own enjoyment, and hope that maybe by sharing it with you on my little blog, it may help someone out there to "lighten up a little" in this world gone mad........

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Junk Store Vase....

This will be the final image from my last little table top session. There are things that we come across sometimes that give us a lot of pleasure for a very small price. For a mere fifty cents, this little vase seemed just right for a picture that I had in my mind, and here it is. One man's junk is another man's treasure, and so it goes......Just a touch of soft focus was added using Corel PaintShop
Pro 7 software. Hope you enjoy it.....

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dali's Dream.....

This image is originally from the same table top shoot as the image below. However, tonight, I let my mind do a bit of haphazard wandering, and played with a few filters in Photoshop. This was the final outcome, and after deciding not to ditch it as total foolishness, I changed my mind, and will expose it on here for all to see. It for me is pure whimsy, and there are times when I get a little tired of doing "serious" photography.
Hope it gives some of you a little chuckle.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

For Rebekah.....

During a recent visit from our Granddaughter, who is quite an accomplished artist, I decided that since she is showing considerable interest in photography, a little table top shooting might be of some interest to her. This image is one of about 15 that we shot together. I used my Bowens beauty dish for the main light, and a soft box for the fill, with about 3 f-stops ratio between them. The little vase I picked from a junk store, and the "fine linen" is the material used in gardens to spread on the ground to keep the weeds from growing up through. I gave it a brownish tone by splashing coffee leftovers on it and hosing it off afterward. It makes a nice warm toned background for this type of work, without spending a fortune. The violin used to belong to my late Father-in-law....God love him! Hope you enjoy a little....

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

January Thaw 2017 - For Mike de Moree

This image is what it looked like outside my front window as I sipped my morning beverage a couple of days ago. The thermometer said it was +14C and it was hard to believe that it was the 21st of January. My fellow blogger and friend, Mike de Moree,  Silverpixel,  just posted his image of January thaw in North Bay, Ont. and I have to be honest Mike, I miss the snowy scenes I used to get to photograph up there. Here in Windsor, Ont., the climate is vastly different, and as you can see, the green background in this image is my front lawn. I still haven't gotten used to the winters here, but I also have to admit that it is much easier for us to get out and shop, etc., as there are no snow banks to climb over to get into a store or other place down town. We did have one snowfall, and I got out the snowblower just to make sure it still worked. I fear that we will pay dearly for this mild spell as things usually start to bud out early, and then we will get a very cold snap in the weather that will kill a lot of plants and trees. Our neighbour Terri was telling us that some of her bulbs she has in her back yard has come up about 2 inches. Anyway,  it is what it is, and there is not much to be done about it except accept and adjust as best we can. Cheers.....

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Beautiful To The End.....

A little while ago, I took this image of what was left of a rose that was still clinging to the trellis attached to our back deck. It was about to be blown away in the wind, but to me it was old, weathered, and beautiful, much like a few people I have encountered along the way. At first I was going to print the image straight up as I saw it. But then, something told me to put a little more into it. So as a result, I came up with this image of it gradually disintegrating into a million fragments....just like we all do. To me it is beautiful to the end, and I knew a lot of folks, both young and old who were just that.....Cheers everyone.....

Another Time and Place.....

Well the New Year has arrived, and it is time to try to return to normal again, or whatever could be loosely construed as normal. Is anything "normal" anymore? Would we be able to tell? It seems that the world has gone bonkers in the last few months, and thankfully, I have my photography and musical interests to be preoccupied with. To watch the news channels is unbearable for me now. As such, it was not too difficult to find myself digging up some old negatives to work on a bit. People photography has long been an obsession of mine, and for the most part, I tend to stay away from the looking at the camera and smiling....or glaring at it, which seems to be in vogue these days, type of shots. This image sort of portrays a certain moodiness or angst, which I personally find more interesting. Some might say that it is too "posed" or "contrived" and not "candid" enough. It seems that the candid photos have evolved or dare I say, degenerated, depending on your personal opinions of it all, into the currently popular "selfies". It seems that the days when a photographer took great care in doing an elegant portrait of someone, anyone, have gone by the wayside, in favor of the sassy and glib that makes not much of a statement of any kind. The guys or gals who do "street" photography certainly make statements of many kinds...but most of them are also able to run really fast. So I tend to meet folks on a casual basis, and eventually, weeks or months later, get around to having them let me do a few shots of them. Occasionally, I get to make a few nice portraits of folks who have never had one before.....it keeps me sane folks. Want to feel good this New Year? Do something nice for someone....