Sunday, December 08, 2013

"May you live in Interesting Times"

When I looked up this phrase to see to whom to attribute it, I discovered that it really is NOT an ancient Chinese curse and Confucius did NOT say it. However it is appropriate to the past couple of weeks for me.

This is actually a complete rewrite of what I penned yesterday. It all sounded like I was whining a lot but that's not my style. Let's just say it was an eventful time, and move on.

In the past couple of weeks, I've had some dental issues (by the way, if you EVER feel you need a new dentist, Ron is the best there is, anywhere. It's a bit of a drive to get to him, but worth it. Go to, there seems to be a nerve thing going on in my ear and I don't know, I'm just not feeling right. I think it's a 'time of year' thing. I've said before, I don't really like these "shoulder" seasons, waiting for winter to really set in.

Then I had some big car expenses, plus my ATV's just back from winter service and my desktop computer's exhibiting signs of being on its last legs. {sigh}.

That said, I was at THREE parties last weekend, had a great time with wonderful friends, I was interviewed by two newspapers (link to the Highlander article here).  and I'm working hard on the inaugural meeting of the Haliburton Highlands Camera Club next week (in 3 days, actually!).

So rather than bore you with lots of words, I thought I'd just show some pictures and restrict myself to a couple of lines of captions.

Spectacular sunset. The lesson here is "don't procrastinate". Remember the Norwegian fable about the "Three Billy Goats Gruff"? I saw this sunset (no colour treatment here: this is how it looked!) and thought, I need to find a better foreground, I'll drive a bit further. I passed up much better shots than this. I finally pulled over when I realized it was going to die in a couple more minutes. It was much nicer earlier. Next time: stop right away!

Last ATV ride in the bush until spring. I've got the snowplow blade mounted now and it doesn't have the clearance for trail riding with it on board. This was on my way in to the service shop (not allowed on the highway). I had to winch out a fallen tree that was blocking the trail (top shot). 

After a blustery cold day, the lake left its signature on the shoreline. Waiting for hard water... 

Matt Desrosiers, the editor of the Highlander, shot this picture of me with my camera and he gave me permission to use it as I wish.
By all rights, this shouldn't have worked that well. Handheld, 1/60 sec at f/8, F=116mm, ISO = 6400.
But I did some Photoshop and Lightroom magic and I really like this shot. 

There are three images from last weekend that reflect my mood. This is my favourite. I chose to do a soft rendering of Renée, a tight crop from a reception hall image, lit with my flash and Gary Fong diffuser.

One of the musicians at the Bar Mitzvah. I struggled with how to crop this but settled on this 8x10. Square works too, but it cuts off the top of the instrument. The composition works for me, as does the black-and-white and painted treatment. What do you think? (Please comment). I held the flash off-camera to the left, again with the Gary Fong diffuser on board.

Best Friends Forever. Talk about making lemonade from lemons: THERE WAS NO LIGHT! This was handheld, 70-200mm lens at 130mm, 1/4 second at f/2.8, ISO 6400. Read that again, photographers, this should not have worked! High key, Topaz Simplify, some work on the background, sepia treatment with Nik Silver Efex Pro. Make your own story here: are they dancing? Looking at something scary? Sharing some gossip?
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