Friday, January 09, 2015

And so it begins!

A new year is upon us. What will it bring? 

It is winter in the Highlands... when the wise man stays inside to edit his images instead of going out in the -30° temperatures and vicious windchill to take more pictures. Nobody ever called me wise...

So there's a mix here, of musings and images! 

To start things off, here's the new banner for this blog (I change it every now and then). 



I took this from out on the ice, between my dock and the Red Umbrella Inn. After some other edits, I used the "Turner Afternoon" preset to capture this impression of the southern shoreline 




I came across this inspiring list the other day and saved it to my desktop. I spent some time searching for it so I could properly attribute the list, but failed. The deepest I managed to get was to an image on Pinterest. Anyway, here it is, "author unknown":



Rules to live by? I admit it's a lot easier when you don't have to go to work every day... 
Gallery Exhibit

As mentioned earlier, there's an exhibit at the Agnes Jamieson Gallery in Minden: on until February 7th. 25 outstanding photographic images, all available for sale but they'll be gone by the time the exhibit ends, so get there early. This is a juried exhibition, pictures selected by the Curator of the museum (Laurie Carmount). The gallery is located on Bobcaygeon Road in Minden, Ontario. If you're not from this area and you're interested in any framed (or unframed) images, let's talk...



Note: my images are individually hand signed but not numbered: which makes them unique... 


 

  
From the "Sporadic Musings" department...


Early Adoption 
I was thinking about the pros and cons of being an "early adopter". I've been one from time to time over the years (less often now because I need to watch my pennies more).  As an "early adopter" you get in before they get the bugs out! But you do have the "latest and greatest"!
Take my iPad, for example. I bought a Gen1 really early and loved having it. But in their infinite wisdom, Apple decided to keep coming up with updated operating systems which won't run on the old iPad 1 (best I can do is iOS 5). Because the app suppliers follow suit, a lot of apps won't run on my iPad. Facebook crashes every time I click a video in it. Time for a new one, I think. But if I had waited for Gen2, I'd still be in business.
I also "early adopted" a Sony BetaMax VCR many years ago. 'nuff said?
I guessed wrong with my D600 too (insurmountable technical issues). I was lucky enough to be able to swap it for a D800. Of course 6 months later along came the D750...  
It occurs to me that one derives great satisfaction from having the latest and greatest, but only for a short time until the rest of the world catches up. Then the next generation comes along and suddenly you're behind! And no way to catch up unless you have bottomless pockets...
This is different from putting off buying something because something better is in the wings. There's always something bigger and better coming along if we're talking about technology: but if you wait until the absolute best camera or computer or car comes along, you'll be without one until the day you die.
PanAm Games

I drove by the Minden Wildwater Preserve the other day, site of the PanAm Games this summer. It's hard to imagine how they're going to accommodate so many people there. It doesn't make sense to enlarge the little parking lot for a one-week event. And there's room for MAYBE 100 spectators on the riverbank. (in fairness, there's the other side of the river too: but room for fewer people and physically quite challenging to get to, so I wonder about liability issues). 






I also heard that people up here are thinking they can rent their homes and cottages for the week for hugely exorbitant sums of money. Wishful thinking, I expect. 

My application is in for press accreditation, I'm sure they're going to severely limit the numbers. They responded to my email inquiry saying, "you should be hearing from the Olympic Committee shortly." Stay tuned...
Here's a pencil sketch of what the river looked like on New Year's Eve. Rendered using John Stevenson's complex action for Photoshop CC and Topaz Impression, with a bit of dodging and burning and tweaking.
And so it begins...

The ice fishing season is under way. As of yesterday, there was 8" of ice on 12-Mile lake. And because of the weather conditions in the past week or two, it's good, solid clear ice. This thickness is more than enough to support a car. Certainly I had no worries about driving my ATV out there this afternoon.



I had these two kids pose with the ice blocks their father had cut from under the ice fishing hut. I added some saturation to the blue of the ice so you could see it better, and the kids give it a sense of scale. You can see the real colour on the second block in the image.



Here's their vehicle, a Polaris side-by-side ATV. Some of my neighbours take winter seriously! 



Another neighbour has this beautiful ATV. I was struck by two things when I did this image out on the ice this afternoon. First of all, the smooth delicate colour transition in the sky (although I admit I increased the saturation for this shot) and the awesome vehicle my neighbour acquired for riding out to the ice fishing huts and clearing his snow. It's a Bombardier Can-Am side-by-side ATV with bogie-driven tracks and I'm guessing this can go ANYWHERE. 

I used a Topaz Impression "watercolour" preset selectively on this image, and added a motion blur to the background. I was trying to convey a sense of power out on the isolated ice surface of 12-Mile Lake.

UPDATE: I wrote the above a week ago. The banner image at the top of this post was shot today, and so was the following shot which I have repetitiously titled



"and so it begins"! There will be a couple dozen more Ice Fishing huts out there soon 

And last one for today:



I'm not sure why I'm taken with this picture.You have to blow it up to appreciate it (click on it). The subtle textures and brushstrokes of the Cezanne preset (modified) match the lighting and gradation of the scene. I'm debating printing this to canvas.


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