Sunday, 11 February 2018

Milky Way - Niagara

This past summer Ralph and I were in Niagara and decided to try to take some Milky Way shots. This was a big challenge as we were surrounded by "light pollution".  When we got home we had a look at our pictures and were pretty disappointed with the results. I tucked them away in Lightroom and promptly forgot about them.

While cleaning up some of my camera cards this afternoon I came across these pictures again and decided to try to improve the picture in Lightroom.  I watched a few video's to get some ideas and set about trying to draw the Milky Way out in the sky.  Below is my first attempt at cleaning it up.

 It really is amazing because to the naked eye - we couldn't see the Milky Way.  We were fully dependant on an APP that we had on our phone pointing us to the direction to take the picture.  With so much light pollution (city lights) , it's just not possible to clearly see it.  

Winter Storm

It's been snowing alot this past week.  On and off leaving lots of fine snow around us.  I'm feeling a little housebound not able to get outside to practice what I've been learning on my course.  I am really enjoying the "A year with my Camera" course.  Emma Davies takes each concept and explains them very clearly.  It's really been beneficial for me.  Sadly though, the weather doesn't make it much fun to go outside and practice.  As a result, I put off some of my homework because my preference is to take "Landscape" pictures.  This week I pushed myself to get out (on Saturday) in the middle of a snowstorm.  I thought I might try to get another one of my pictures for my "Make 30 photos" assignment.  I had passed a grouping of tree's that I thought would work so I bundled myself up.  I had mitts, gloves, scarf, hat, vest and a coat on to keep me warm.  It was snowing so hard that I thought I should take my rain cover for the camera but after fiddling with it, I decided not to take me. I know I have to practice more on my patience, but this time, I figured I'd just cover the camera with my scarf.

So off I went and drove to Thistletown Collegiate where I had seen the 3 tree's.  I double parked (oops) and stuffed my camera into my jacket and then walked around trying to find the best picture.  I really should have taken my wide angle lens with me, but thought I wouldn't need it.  Mistake #1 - always be prepared.  So I made due with the lens I had and set up my tripod.  Of course the first thing I noticed was that there were tree's behind the 3 sets of tree's that I was planning on photographing.  It was so dark because of all the snow that I wasn't able to blur out the background tree's.  I'll have to figure out how to do that the next time I go out and the weather is nicer.  I thought if shooting from the opposite side, but there was a Bell Canada truck parked right behind me so that wouldn't work either.  I took a few shots and decided to head back in.

In the end, I decided to crop in the picture and only keep it to one tree.  It was a great opportunity practicing with my Histogram.  It's amazing how much of a difference that makes when taking a picture.  I had learned though, that practice is the key.  You can't expect to get a great shot without practicing as much as you can.  I still have lots of time to practice before we go away, so I'll plan to try to get out at least 3 days each week.

Friday, 9 February 2018

The family that plays together.....stays together

One of my favourite pictures.  I only wish my Dad was in it as well.  If I remember correctly, he had just purchased his first SLR camera and set us up for this photograph.

This always reminds me of the special bond our family has with each other. I am so thankful for the time we spend together. most weeks at my Mom's.    This currently hangs on a wall in her apartment.  I smile every time I see it.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Frosted Window Panes

This past week I noticed frost building up on my bathroom window (south facing).  It was quite pretty and I kept thinking to myself that I should set up my camera and try to photograph it.  Ideally I needed a black background to mask out the noise behind the frost but I wasn't too keen on taking the window and screens out with this cold weather not to mention that I might not be able to get them back in properly and then I'd be in big trouble with Ralph.  He usually is pretty good with my escapades but he draws the line when it means making the house cold.

On Saturday morning I was up early so I decided to give it a try. It's really difficult to get the colours right and I'm hoping my photography course will help me with that but I'm still pretty happy with how some if the pictures turned out.

I'm glad I took them yesterday as this morning all the frost was gone.

Saturday, 30 December 2017

A year with my camera

This week I signed up for a year long course entitled "A Year with my Camera". It's going to be challenging following along with this course while juggling work, vacation and other responsibilities but I thought it's a good way to learn new things.  The first challenge (they called it pre-course) material was to take 30 photograph's.  It's a lot of photo's but they don't need to be completed before the course is started.

The photo's must be centered around the following:

1. Fill the Frame with colour
2. Things in three's
3. Black and White
4. Taken at midday
5. Abstract
6. Snails eye view
7. Reflection
8. Lit by window
9. Older than me
10. Food
11. Shadows
12. Plain background
13. Balance
14. Urban
15. Extreme Edit
16. Eye catching
17. Behind the scenes
18. Pattern
19. Wildlife
20. Break the rule of 1/3's
21. Just 2 colours
22. Move the camera
23. Self Portrait
24. Movement
25. Stripes
26. Weather
27. Silhouette
28. Depth
29. Vintage
30. Texture

I completed a few of the photo's.  I guess I'll be busy over the next while getting them done.

6.  Snails Eye View

15. Extreme Edit

3. Black and White

5. Abstrac
23. Self Portrait

7. Reflection
16.  Eye Catching
9. Older than me

19. Wildlife

#21 Just 2 colours

24. Movement

26. Weather

30.  Texture

A few others that I took while I was out yesterday.

Saturday, 23 December 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

This morning our alarm went off just before 5:00 a.m.  Ralph and I wanted to go the St. Lawrence Market and also take some photo's of the beautiful tree's downtown with their lights shining brightly. It was a cold morning and we made extra sure to be dressed warmly.  We were downtown by 6:00 a.m. and parked near the Eaton Centre and started walking towards the market.  First we checked out the tree by City Hall but sadly the lights weren't turned on.  Not too worry as there were plenty to be seen as we walked south along Bay Street.

This tree looked almost perfect!!

Inside BCE place.  I loved the lights handing from the ceiling.

A Christmas ball chandelier hanging in BCE Place.

So beautiful!!

Picking up the groceries

Gifted musician playing Christmas music
I asked if I could photograph him and he was happy to oblige!!

Everyone is getting into the Christmas spirit

My most favourite building in all of Toronto

Beautiful Christmas balls.

Pigeons keeping warm on the sewer grates.

Very real looking Christmas display.

Adventures downtown

Yesterday Ralph and I went downtown.  He was meeting a friend for lunch so I tagged along and did some exploring.   It was busy in the city.  Crazy busy actually with people attempting to finish their Christmas shopping.  Thankfully we are done so we weren't into the craziness of all the people trying to get their last minute gifts.

I decided to go and explore the Christmas Market by City Hall.  I'd seen it a couple of times as I passed by on may way to an appointment. It intrigued me with all the little wooden shacks that were set up.  Great I thought!!  I anticipated handmade crafts celebrating the Christmas season.  I was sadly disappointed.  I was glad that Ralph was having lunch.  It wasn't anything like the Distillery District.  Half of the "shacks" were closed (I guess because it's the end of the Christmas rush) and there wasn't anything really that interesting.  Instead I browsed around for a short while and then took a nice walk down in the "lanes".

Poaiing in front to the Christmas tree in the Eaton Centre.

The tree at City Hall

A Merry Go Round I front of City Hall

I loved the graphics on this food truck!!
The painting on the back of the food truck looked 3 dimensional