Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year!

How does that expression go? A day late and a dollar short? You still have 365 days to enjoy because 2012 is a Leap Year, so get with the program!
I had an enjoyable holiday. Rosa was here and I spent less time than usual Behind the Camera and In Front of the Computer (™ and ©. Can you sense a book title coming?). So I missed my 50 blog posts in 2011 by one. My bad!

The photo above was taken early in December, just as the sun broke out of the clouds and illuminated some of the trees, as you see. When I wanted to participate in a thread on the NAPP site asking about your best photos in 2011, this is one of the two 'finalist' shots I decided upon. The other one was the aluminium boat with the red stripey design that I posted here last time. I couldn't choose, so I posted them both.

What's interesting about this picture is that it's almost exactly as it came out of the camera, with no photoshop edits to speak of (I straightened it and tweaked the exposure a bit). When I put the text on, I noticed some power/telephone lines that I got rid of but didn't really need to. I did try an HDR of this scene but the original single photo is more powerful. I hope you like it as much as I do.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

As I said, I spent some time enjoying the outdoors in the last week or so. Although I'm bothered a little now by the cold, winter is really a nice time up here in the Highlands. As I said last time, it would be nice if winter would make up its mind, though. We got about 12cm (5") of snow one day and it was enough to unlimber the snowblower.

I felt like Tom Sawyer. You know, the 'whitewashing the fence' thing? Rosa begged me to let her blow the driveway, so I reluctantly allowed her to, while either taking pictures or sitting in a lawn chair watching (I love work: I could watch it for hours!).

Now I ask you: does she look like she's having fun?

This is what I was shooting behind my house while she was working! An HDR, of course. Some might consider it overdone but I love the texture and detail of the foreground especially.

I even let Rosa use my camera! She took this shot on Saturday morning when we were enroute to Toronto for New Years.

I took this picture a couple of minutes later from the same spot. By the way, the first picture (the New Year's one) was shot about 200m down this road, where Scotch Line Road meets Highway 35. It was taken a few weeks earlier, though.

Sunday morning was a lot warmer and when I drove back up  it was about 4°C (about 40°F) and everything on the trees had melted.

I think this is a Asiatic Lily but I'm not 100% sure. It was in Valeria's kitchen at her house near Bancroft — Rosa and I spent one night visiting there. I tried to focus-stack this shot but it didn't work so this was manually blended.

Here's another shot, with Rosa looking a the same flower

I should have taken more pictures of it. The backlighting produced a great effect. By the way, for you budding photographers out there, ambient lighting from a window is the best you can get! A North-facing window would have been better (this one looks East, and it was still morning) because the light is gentler. I will be talking a bit about how to use it in my book, which is on Chapter 4 right now, thanks for asking!

So up until yesterday's thaw, it was a winter wonderland up here. It's snowing again today but it's too cold and the snow isn't really sticking to the branches but the clean, bright white blanket of snow is so invigorating: that's why I moved here from "The Big Smoke".

See you next time! Feel free to comment or share some pictures with us!

— 30 —