Thursday, April 19, 2012

Life's Distractions

Would you believe I let life get in the way of taking pictures? Me? Oh the horror.

Now if I could report that I actually achieved something, it would be different. With one exception, everything was "reactive" as opposed to "proactive". The only thing I've made some progress on is my basic DSLR photographer's course and I AM getting somewhere with it. The concept is complete, and now it's all about getting it down on paper. Well, not 'paper', but you know what I mean. A few more weeks...

Non-Photography note
Just a non-photography note: I don't know about you, but I HATE those in-ear bluetooth thingies. First of all, it makes you look like a Borg, second it's uncomfortable and for me at least, won't stay in, and third, there's something that psychologically bothers me about there not being a microphone in front of my mouth somewhere.

As many of you know, I have problems with my voice and if I try to use the built-in bluetooth in the car, nobody can hear me. For years, I've been trying to find a headset that goes over my head instead of in the ear, but they don't make one to fit the Blackberry. My friend Styles found one: it's bluetooth as well, but it goes over the top, not in the ear, and there's a boom mike that sits in the usual position near your mouth. They have them at Radio Scrap (oops, I mean "The Source") for $50.

Why am I telling you this? Because I found a product I really like and I wanted to share it.

On to some pictures!
Spring is starting to appear up here. I was in Toronto earlier this week and the buds on the trees are magnificent. I didn't have time to stop for photos, unfortunately. There's really nothing like that up here since the trees are not 'ornamental', and anyway, we're a couple of weeks behind the big Smoke. Rather stark, but here's one of my raspberry stems, just starting to revive:


Although it's cropped out of a larger image (I don't have a macro lens!), not much other than sharpening has been done to this shot. Hmmm. Black background. Hmmm
I also shot my one and only daffodil (there will be more. This one appeared all on its own, for some reason)


I did do some work on this image. Not as much as you might think,though. Mostly sharpening and getting rid of some extraneous objects; plus a dark vignette to isolate the flower. Hmmm. A black background. Hmmm.
One more: here's a shot of my wind chimes. I was trying to be creative, responding to the theme "music" for the monthly NAPP rally.


This is a 5-shot multiple exposure, all done in the camera! I used my flash off-camera to light it and made them move between exposures. You might have noticed that I shot it on a black background... hmmm.
By now, the more astute and observant of you might have noticed that I have become enamored of black backgrounds! I did some pictures a few years ago on black, and my interest has been rekindled. So I did some research and found that there are some sneaky ways to create "invisible black backgrounds" using flash, and while I want to try that too, it wasn't what I had in mind. I found a really simple and very cheap solution and I documented it in my technical blog (link here).

You can't take a bad picture of your kids.
OK, well actually you can, but you can get away with a lot of stuff when the subject of the photos is so near and dear to you. I only took a few shots when my son and daughter-in-law brought my granddaughter for a visit last week, but here are my favourites.


Leah is sitting with my mom and I can feel the happiness in this picture. Almost 90 years separates these two. The light is entirely from a big north-facing window, my favourite lighting scenario!


Here's Leah with my other two grandkids, Kelly and Ryan. Ryan likes hamming it up for the camera and Kelly's picture is in the dictionary beside the word "precocious". I couldn't tear her away from my iPad, though!
OK, one more to share with you. I drove by my favourite spot, the Minden Wildwater Preserve again, just to see what was going on. Sunset, that's what. But when I finished with this picture, it looks more like a huge forest fire than a sunset!


Conflagration. The sun was still illuminating the trees in the background, but the front ones were already in the shade. This is NOT an HDR, although I did shoot for one (5 exposures). They didn't work because the trees moved too much between shots. So I used one frame, and toned it.
Have I bored you enough for today? OK, OK. Say goodbye, now! Until next time...

PS: Photoshop CS6 is scheduled to be released on April 23rd. Are you going to be an early adopter? Not this cowboy!

— 30 —