Tuesday, December 24, 2013

'tis the Season

You'd think that with everything spooling down at this time of year for the holidays, there would be more time to get things done. Just the opposite, I'm afraid. I'm playing a continuous game of catch-up!

First of all, I've been in-and-out of Toronto for some family and some medical stuff (which will hopefully work out OK, it's hard to concentrate when you have things on your mind). I had to write three newspaper columns in one day and I'm still struggling to catch up on the promises I made to the new Camera Club.

Then it snowed. My ATV's having some difficulties (the 4WD only works when I'm curving to the left. You can't plow heavy snow – with or without a rime of ice on top – without 4WD. YOU try plowing a straight driveway in curves! That said, I have it easier than my Toronto friends, some of whom are still without power since Saturday's massive ice storm (it's Tuesday as I write this), and it's supposed to go to 20 below tonight. I hope they're all finding ways to stay warm.

I shot this in Toronto on Saturday around noon, BEFORE the big ice storm.  

I said people were welcome to come up here. I have power (as I write this!) and a fireplace to keep warm. By the way, ISO 6400, the only other light a small lamp off to the right that just provided the rimlighting on my head. I painted this with Topaz Simplify. 

Family shots

It was great seeing my son, daughter-in-law and 1.75 of my grandkids last weekend (Jamie and Maria were in from New York, with Leah and a new little one due in about 6 weeks!). I only took a few pictures, Leah wouldn't hold still for a second and refused to pose for pictures, so I grabbed what I could.

Nothing does my 92-year old mother's heart more good than a visit from her great-grandchildren. Simple North-facing window lighting. 

It was hard to choose which image of Leah to use. I kept hitting "Pick" as I went through them. I've always said you can't take a bad picture of your kids! I chose this one because of her expression, and included her favourite "Princess" doll.  

Back Home

I said we got snow up here, not ice. This will give you some idea. There was about a foot of fresh white stuff, more after I shot this, and more to come tonight!  

I did venture out with the camera and took a few shots across the lake. But I've shot so many of these, I thought I'd try to make it a bit different, so I painted and textured this sunset shot. By the way, that's not open water, just darker ice. Certainly not enough to walk on yet, let alone drag ice-fishing huts out! 

Again, I have a lot of pictures of the Red Umbrella Inn, so I painted this one to make it a bit different. It's a 3-shot HDR, rendered with Nik HDR Efex Pro 2, then painted with Topaz Simplify.

You may have noticed the grey drop-shadow framing on some of these images. I'm experimenting with how to present my pictures better online. Please let me know if you have a better idea!

Weekly Blog

My goal is to blog once/week. This is #45 for 2013 (I had exactly 52 in 2012, and 48 in 2011). So there will be one more, #46, but I also wrote 6 technical blogs on the other site this year, that I'm going to count, so that adds up to 52! Let's see what 2014 brings!

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