Wednesday, September 02, 2015

A quiet week, photographically.

The past couple of weeks have been busy, mostly spending time with friends, the usual Toronto trek and without a camera in my hands! But you know me, I never stop shooting pictures. The camera club, planning events, thinking about what's going on next month...(If you're an HHCC member, think "Algonquin Park", fall colours, October 5th), But before I get started,

Last week I expressed my concern over a proposed generating plant proposal from Orillia Power which would have dramatically affected the beautiful white water rapids in the Minden Wildwater Preserve.
I'm delighted to announce that the Minden Town Council has unanimously voted AGAINST the proposal and it is now effectively dead. Congratulations to the council for their insight and foresight.
I'd like to think that the letter I wrote played some small part in that decision but I guess I'll never know. 

But the Town of Minden Hills gets one of these too. At the end of June or beginning of July, the town prepped Red Umbrella Road for repaving (they'll say "top coating", not repaving). And they said they'd finish it by the end of July. It's now September.

Why am I complaining? Every time a car drives by, a huge dust storm rises of the graveled road especially when the wind is from the lake as usual. So much that the front yard of my house, the table and chairs in the gazebo are coated with dirt. You can't sit outside. All summer I've only eaten al fresco twice, when the wind was from the east.

Every now and then a water truck comes and sprays the road. That keeps the dust down for, oh I don't know, 30 minutes? Today was 30°C and I had to keep my house closed up tight to prevent the dust from coming in.

First the delay was because of the PanAm Games. Yeah, they've known about that for, like, two years. Then it was because of the weather. I spoke with the road superintendant mid-August. He PROMISED it would be done within a couple of weeks and apologized for the delay. I emailed him today and got this response:
The road will be sealed up soon, the contractor is saying within the next two weeks. Please try to understand that surface treatment contractors work across Ontario and cover tens of thousands of kilometers per season. When they are rained out in one area it has a domino effect on everybody else. 
On Sunday, the Inn is having a RibFest, with live music and everything. I hope for their sake the wind isn't coming from the East that day. You dust ribs with spices and BBQ sauce, not road dirt. Stay tuned.

Back to painting again

It's so much harder than taking pictures! And I really can't draw or sketch, as I confirmed when Janie and I tried sketching the same scene (from the picture above). I painted it, though – twice! The better one is when I just went for it, with loaded brushes and heavy strokes.

Can you tell from the picture that I put gobs of paint on it? I think I captured the feeling of the rushing water, but I know I got the perspective wrong. Mixing paint colours is a challenge for me too. 

Reminder: Topaz ReMask 5 is on sale until September 18th, $20 off. If you don't have it and you've ever tried to select something out of an image, you need it! Read last week's blog for more details or go to the Topaz site.
Here's the link to the ReMask product page. You can try it out for free... but complete your purchase before the 18th to take advantage of the sale price. At checkout, enter the code. "GetReMask5". 

Lambs and Ivy

 Cheryl was up from Oshawa way and we spent the afternoon shooting some pictures. We also tried for a sunset, but the skies didn't cooperate, not too exciting.

Inside the barn at Lambs and Ivy, low light!

I took that picture at Lambs and Ivy, an antiques barn where they have no problem with us taking pictures. It was pretty dark in there and I didn't feel like bringing in a flash or reflector. The D800 does a great job at high ISO. Also, I limited myself again to the 105mm lens. It's so flexible except that you have to zoom with your feet!

Focus on the eyes, they say! 

Loved this old typewriter. Again it was hard to get back far enough to fit it in. And the big problem here was that the backgrounds were always cluttered and busy. We could have spent hours in there, though! 

Lambs and Ivy have some fabulous gardens. Here are some examples:

Processed with Topaz Glow and Impression. 

Sunflower macro. I did one even closer but I liked the symmetry and pattern in this one. 

My favourite, I think. Topaz Impression, "Turner Afternoon" preset. 

Carden Plain

On the way back from Toronto a few days ago, I decided to see what was going on at Carden Plain.


I don't think I saw more than two birds, and none close enough to shoot. I walked down the Sedge Wren Marsh trail, again nothing. I did take the 105 macro with me, so I got a few shots.

Forgive me. I know people are tired of the "Twirl" but this brilliant red leaf (it's coming!!!) lent itself perfectly to this treatment. Here's the original picture:

This flowering plant is called bugloss, or blue weed. This is actually two images focus stacked together. 

After leaving Carden Plain (well, technically I was still there, on Victoria Road), I saw this gentle sunset and managed to capture it:

The unprocessed shot looked pretty good but since I can't leave well enough alone, I of course opened it in Topaz Impression to make it a bit more surreal. 

All in all, not an exciting week, photographically, but I think I made the best of it.

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