Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Exceeding Expectations

Exceeding Expectations

That's what I'm hoping for, for 2014. And I'm off to a good start! What comes to mind first is the new Haliburton Highlands Camera Club.

As I write this, we have 22 members. And I know of several others who will join in the next weeks, if you remember we had to postpone our inaugural meeting because of weather and a lot couldn't come.

What's most gratifying is that I perceived a need for such a club up here, bit the bullet and made it happen, and people overwhelmingly agreed with me! I have a real mailing list of almost 70 people at this moment who are seriously interested.

If you live up in the Highlands, or you know someone who does, send them to where they can learn more about us and the programs we're putting together!

Now the challenge will be to put it together so that it can exceed our members' expectations. To do that, I need to assemble a team to administer the club, because I certainly can't do it myself (OK, maybe I could but I don't WANT to!). What I WANT to do is to teach, to write seriously, and to have the opportunity to shoot some quality images this year, to explore and advance my artistic side. I'm hoping that my health and other factors will let me travel a bit this year. I really want to do Newfoundland again and perhaps be able to go to Iceland and/or the British Isles but that would be exceeding my expectations!

Adobe Rumour

I heard a rumour that Adobe has extended their $9.99/month offer for PS/LR until February 28, but just for people who have registered copies of CS3 or newer. I saw it once but haven't been able to find it again... perhaps by the time you read this.

Most Popular Image

My most popular image of 2013 was my next-to-last one. On the way into Toronto on Monday, I drove South on Bathurst from Aurora. There are some picturesque rolling fields on the west side as you approach Aurora. I've shot there before, mostly in summer and fall but in view of the ice storm happening over Christmas in Toronto, I was looking for rime ice remnants, found a few but nothing really exciting.

I drove home on New Year's Eve and deliberately up Bathurst Street. There had been a dusting of snow so I didn't expect to see much if any crystal clear ice, and I was right. But there's a little grove of gnarly trees that I've seen before and I slowed down to have a look. By the way, it was 20° below zero and there was a biting cold wind. I was cold in my down coat and fur hat!

As I write this (New Year's morning), this image has had over 100 views on Facebook which may not sound like a lot but considering I only have 60 'friends'... It's been reshared and lots of great comments! It needed to be black-and-white, not colour and I looked at several versions before picking this one. Topaz Simplify and Nik Silver Efex if you're keeping track.

If I hadn't already chosen my 'best image of 2013', this would have been a candidate. Something compelling about this shot. I'll make it available as a fine art print and put it on Fine Art America and RedBubble later today. You can buy a museum-quality art print of this by sending me an email.

Just to set the scene, for those of you who don't know the area, Bathurst is two lanes in either direction with a centre untravelled lane mostly for making turns. Since there had been a touch of snow, you could see that nobody had driven there. Shoulders were non-existent because of snow clearing so it was hard to stop safely without blocking an actual driving lane, unless you were in the median.

So that's what I did. Rather than risk traffic and make people drive around me, I parked in the median when I got out to take pictures. A police car pulled up, the officer wondered what I was doing and said, "technically you can't park in the middle of a highway..." then he actually said, "you're not in any trouble. Be careful and have a Happy New Year!" York Region's Finest.

This was actually the LAST image of 2013. In this case I had stopped in someone's driveway. I was trying to find something to document the devastation, the broken trees from the ice storm. I know there are worse events elsewhere in the world, but a ripped-up palm tree that takes a few years to grow full sized isn't the same as a  splintered 100 year old oak

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