Monday, August 20, 2012

The best laid plans...

Sometimes stuff doesn't work out. Nothing dramatic, but I didn't get to shoot the pictures I was planning on this weekend.

I was booked to go to the "Tough Mudders" event at Mount St. Louis/Moonstone, as a spectator, not a participant! 12 miles of military style obstacle courses, imagine the photo ops! But I must have pulled a muscle at the motorcycle course last week because I really didn't feel that much up to going. Then to top it off, they sent us an email saying that there was no parking on site, they had a designated parking area and shuttle busses: almost 1 hour away from the venue! So that would have meant 5-6 hours of travel to get there and back, and I passed. I saw some pictures that someone else took and I was envious, but that was too much travel for me for a one-day event.

So on Saturday, I got on my bike and rode into Minden. While I was there, I saw some offroad Jeeps all covered in mud and thought, "hmmm. Jeeps crashing through puddles, climbing over rocks..." and I went off in search of their staging area. Here's a shot I took there:

HDR processed in Photomatix Pro 4. I also edited out a trailer in the background with Content-Aware Fill in CS6. 
Here's a closer shot of his tire:

This picture sits next to the word "Grungy" in the dictionary! 
In talking to the organizers, I found out that the only way I was going to see these guys doing their thing was if I went into the bush with them. Not gonna happen. Then someone told me that on Sunday, there was a venue visible from the road: all I had to do was to follow a road called "Black River Road", then turn off onto the "Hinden Forest Access Trail" to where there was a venue they were using to do rock climbing with their Jeeps. Cool.

Some Jeeps returning to the campground 

You've got to love what it says on this guy's windshield! 
Later that day...
I took off on the bike to look for other photo ops (this was still Saturday) and ended up 'way down a road from Minden to Bob's Lake. There was an old cabin there that looked really picturesque and I stopped for a while to shoot some pictures. Now when you think "gritty old cabin in the woods", the letters "HDR" come to mind. I worked the scene for quite a while, but just didn't come up with anything extraordinary. However when I got home, I took one image into HDR Efex Pro and played with it. Then I tried the Oil Paint Filter in CS6 and:

Very interesting how the oil paint filter added texture to the old building. 
I looked at this image blown up and found some really interesting extracts: here's one

There were actually a number of interesting areas to explore. HDR and Oil Paint filter. Cool. 
On Sunday, I went off in search of that rock climbing venue. Suffice it to say that after 35 km of driving (in the car, I wanted to bring more stuff than I could carry on the bike), here's where the "it didn't work out" kicks in. When I ran out of road I was comfortable with — getting momentarily stuck in the sand after clumping over a rock was my first clue — I gave up and turned around. Never did find them. I was halfway to Bracebridge, so I continued on in search of photo ops. How shall I put this: there are no rapids in Housey's Rapids. Cooper's Falls doesn't have a waterfall. OK actually it does, but you can't get near it because it's on private property. It started pouring rain on Monck's Road, and didn't stop until I got to Minden. Kind of a disappointing day, photo-wise but I had fun exploring anyway!

Here are a couple of pictures from the previous weekend.

I happened on an equestrian competition. Pretty boring: just riding around in a circle at a walk, sometimes a trot (a dressage show, I'm told). Anyway a couple of good horse pictures. 
Remember my macro shots?

You have to admit it takes nerve to shoot a wasp from 1" away... 

Here's a little flower. Love that oil paint filter! 

Now a challenge!
On Saturday I passed by this garage sale where the daughter dressed up in something called a "Morph Suit" and stood out on the roadside trying to attract potential buyers. I got her to do a dance for me.

This would make a cool composite, wouldn't it? I was trying to imagine it on a variety of backgrounds. But no particular one came to mind. So, dear reader, what about you? Ready to show off your creativity? There's a 680x1024 pixel image here: Go ahead and download it (I relinquish copyright) and go nuts. Please email it back to me at and show me what you can do! I'll publish a selection of them here.

This kind of challenge goes on at the new TIF Forum.
TIF is the place for creative minds to share photos, grow in skill, and learn new skills. We are a community of Photographers, Graphic Designers, Illustrators, Web Designers and other Creative Minds with skill levels from hobbyist to professional! 
Please no nudity, bad language or discussions regarding politics or religion. Please keep our community safe and enjoyable!
It's a newly created forum which (as I write this) has about 50 members. It's still a work in progress, but eventually it promises to be a resource where people can share images and other contributions, where there will be a variety of experts available to answer any question or address any problems you might want to bring up. It's totally free, but you have to register to participate (to avoid spammers). Your name and logon information will never be shared with anyone. Go here: Get in on the ground floor!

See you next time!

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