Sunday, February 28, 2010

(Day 59) Not a rolling stone

Well, it may still be winter in these parts, but the moss on this stone is certainly not deterred by it. It was a rather pleasant pre-spring (sounds better than late winter) day with the temperature around 6C (43F). We got some sun again this afternoon, and it brought nice soft colours to the moss and lichen on the rocks.

(50mm  f25  0.8 sec  ISO200)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

(Day 58) Reach for the sky

My neighbour has a very large tree on his property which I've often admired from our house. It's difficult to miss because it's the tallest thing around. I'm no expert at judging heights but it looks to me as tall as a 10 storey building, so I'm guessing 100' (30m). Now, that's not nearly as tall as a sequoia or a redwood, but in these parts it's got bragging rights. Today I trudged through all the snow we got yesterday, crossed the fence to my neighbour's,  and paid it a visit. I hope the photo conveys some sense of its size and height.

(18-55mm  f22  1/30 sec  ISO200)

Friday, February 26, 2010

(Day 57) Signs of spring

We saw the sun today for the first time in about a week, after a major blizzard last night. By noon it had gotten (relatively) mild too, so I went out for a photo shoot. I went down to the St. Lawrence River and saw an early sign of spring - the river ice was already broken up and on its way out to sea. Perhaps that's a harbinger of an early spring ? One can only hope.

(70-200mm  f4  1/4000 sec  ISO200)

looking upriver

(70-200mm  f4  1/4000 sec  ISO200)
ice breakup

(18-55mm  f22  1/50 sec  ISO100)

looking downriver

Thursday, February 25, 2010

(Day 56) Patience ...

... is something that's learned, not taught. And even if it's been learned, it isn't always exercised. However, for today's photo, patience (and perhaps some luck) paid off by the pond. Even though it snowed all day, the snow on the bridge over the pond was melting due to relatively mild temperatures, and the drops falling from the bridge caught my eye. So I aimed the lens at the area of greatest drop activity and took a series of shots. One of them captured the magic moment.

(70-200mm  f4  1/1250 sec  ISO800)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

(Day 55) A walk through the creation

The weather's been a bit of a 2-edged sword these days - drab and dreary on the one hand, but fairly mild compared to 'normal'. We get a bit of snow in the mornings, then the temperature goes up to 8C (46F) and it all melts again. But I wanted to get outdoors for a little fresh air and take some photos in the countryside. I knew of a little area not far from home; I decided to post a couple of extra shots of 'the beauty that surrounds us'.

(70-200mm  f16  1/20 sec  ISO200)

(70-200mm  f16  1/50 sec  ISO200)


(70-200mm  f16  1/125 sec  ISO200)

(Day 54) To sleep, perchance to dream

It's been a long day, for humans and dogs. Here our Samoyed, Sasha, is in her favourite position - prone, on the cool ceramic floor, oblivious to the sounds and lights around her, as was evident by her snoring. That's a position I soon hope to be in, albeit not on the ceramic floor.

(60mm  f11 15sec  ISO800)

Monday, February 22, 2010

(Day 53) Did I hear someone say chicken soup ??

Well no, our chickens aren't destined for the soup pot - they're layers. We get to enjoy fresh brown eggs regularly and we sell the surplus to a few good customers. Occasionally we still end up with more than we can eat so we donate the rest. Our chickens have it pretty good - a warm (insulated) coop, food and water, and fresh air (when it's not too cold out). In exchange for all that they give us great tasting eggs. Its a symbiotic relationship - and I don't mention chicken soup, at least not near their coop!

(70-200mm f2.8 1/80 sec. ISO200)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

(Day 52) All things must pass away ...

Remember the beautiful blooms that the amaryllis gave us just a few weeks ago ? (see posts on day 22 and 24). How quickly life passes - what was young and strong and beautiful just a short while ago soon becomes old and weak and no longer attractive. Take hold of those things that matter most in life - family, friends, relationships, Him.

(60mm  f3.5  4 sec  ISO800)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

(Day 51) All that sparkles is not ...

I thought I would work on a macro shot today. So I picked a piece of my wife's jewelry, and figured I could get some shots in a short period of time (I'm a bit rushed today since I'm refereeing in a hockey tournament). It turned out to be more difficult than I thought - finding a background, setting up some light that wouldn't cause too much reflection and wash-out, positioning the tripod/camera close to the subject, experimenting with different apertures, getting focus at a close distance from the subject ... I finally decided on a fairly large aperture which left the stone in focus vs trying to get the whole piece. (Oh - in this case, the jewelry is gold, with an amethyst stone).

(60mm f5.6 4sec ISO200)

Friday, February 19, 2010

(Day 50) Is everything made of light ?

I was playing around juxtaposing ordinary things and seeing what effect the light would have on them. I was surprised how things turned from being solid objects with defined lines and shapes into varying shades and colours of diffused light with no distinct boundaries. From the physical to the magical ...

(60mm f4.5 1/3 sec ISO200)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

(Day 49) Spotlight on ...

I've been trying to follow the 'ABC' of photography (always bring camera). Knowing I would have limited time today to get some shots, I put the camera and tripod in the car and headed off to referee hockey tonight. Afterwards I made my way downtown to take some photos of our city hall's clock tower, something I had been meaning to do for some time. It was a bit cold for photography (-2C or about 29F) but I hope it was worth it ...

(18-55mm f8 6/10 sec ISO200)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

(Day 48) The good ole days

Isn't it a strange quirk of human nature that quite often we remember the past as being the good old days ? Perhaps it's a blessing that the hard times that we couldn't wait to let slip into history also slip from our minds.

Conversely I'm sure that this barn's good ole days were far better than its present state. Physically we are headed towards a similar state, despite oils and creams and spa treatments that promise to delay the inevitable. We have the real promise that we can put our hope in a future that far outshines any glory of the present, or past. We simply need to take hold of it.

(70-200mm f5.6 1/200 sec. ISO200)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

(Day 47) One-armed bandit

Gambling has been around for a long time, and the slot machine is well over 100 years old. It has undergone many transformations and modern ones typically don't have a functional lever (or arm) to pull. But it's obvious how the machine got its well-earned nickname. I visited Las Vegas once, and fortunately escaped with only a slightly lighter wallet. In addition I brought back a working, but toy, version slot machine - it actually pays out (but of course we're only getting our own money back!). Unlike the real version, this one won't rob you.

(60mm f4 1/2 sec. ISO800)

Monday, February 15, 2010

(Day 46) Behind the 8-ball

... is where I found myself today. I hadn't been able to access a computer, I hadn't been able to post to my 365 project, and I hadn't been able to respond to fellow bloggers and photography enthusiasts. At the end of the day I did manage to capture an image to express the feeling.

(70-200mm f3.5 1/8 sec ISO800)

(Day 45) "Country roads, take me home ..."

Well, strictly speaking, the photo below doesn't depict what I would consider a 'country road'. However, these were the roads that carried us 2,500 kilometres (about 1,500 miles) back home. I thought about how long a trip like that would have taken 100 years ago - before modern roads (let alone interstate highways), and modern vehicles that could travel those distances without problems. A trip like that 100 years ago would surely have been seen as either impossible, foolhardy, or only for the real adventurer. I wonder whether talk about travel to Mars in the near future will be seen in a similar light 100 years from now.

(18-55mm f8 1/100 sec ISO200)

(Day 44) The day (and trip) are ending ...

Too soon our vacation in Florida has come to an end. While the weather didn't meet expectations, there were lots of positives, and memories, to take back home. I thought the photo below fit the theme:

(60mm f2.8 1/100 sec ISO200)


(Note - due to travel circumstances, it wasn't possible to post a photo taken on this day, so I 'cheated' and used one from a few days before - mea culpa - I hope the 365 project police don't come after me)

Friday, February 12, 2010

(Day 43) From flora to 'flesh' ...

Muscle, that is, as in muscle car. We took a step back in time today to look at some great man-made machines. It was difficult to walk through the huge display of over 200 vintage muscle cars because it was difficult to focus with so much eye candy. So, before I sign off this blog for a couple of days before I get access to a computer again, I wanted to post a colourful photo of a couple of them.

(60mm f5 1/15 sec ISO400)

And do you remember when cars had really cool hood ornaments ?

(60mm f5.6 1/40 sec ISO800)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

(Day 42) Back to the jungle

In a day or 2 we'll be leaving this place where I find a lot of the flora to be of the 'exotic' variety. I suppose if you live here it might not strike you that way. I'm sure more than a few people wondered why I was taking photos of plants (and animals) that they considered to be quite ordinary - perhaps I would similarly wonder why people would take photos of plants and animals where I live. So, despite a few glances from a neighbour out in his yard, I took some photos of the outdoor garden plants that I'd likely not find in a nursery back home.

I suspect that if man were to disappear from this area it would revert to jungle within 5 years.

(60mm f4 1/60 sec ISO200)

(60mm f5 1/160 sec ISO200)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

(Day 41) Flowers in February !

Where I live, the only living flowers in February are found indoors. So it's a wonderful experience to be in a climate, even for just a short time, where flowers can flourish outdoors throughout the year. I found the one in the photo posted below on a tree I was sitting under while waiting at a park. I haven't determined yet what type of tree it was, but the flower caught my eye. Perhaps people who live in a climate where this is a normal occurrence in February don't take particular notice; sometimes we can take the beauty that surrounds us for granted.

(70-200mm f2.8 1/800 sec ISO200)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

(Day 40) The invader

(this marks day 40 of my goal to complete a 365-day photo project. I'd like to thank the people who visit my site and continue to encourage me. 325 to go !)

It's difficult to do justice to today's subject with a single photo due to its massive size. We were certainly impressed when we 'discovered' a number of specimans on Gasparilla Island. It seems that not everyone is equally impressed since apparently this non-native, virtually indestructible, fast growing 'plant' is also very invasive and will grow in almost any type of medium in the climate zones where it flourishes. This tree is known as a Cuban laurel.

(18-55mm f5.6 1/8 sec ISO200)

Monday, February 8, 2010

(Day 39) Fire (but no smoke) on the water

Pine Island, Florida - with no beaches, but they did have no-see-ums. Found a real colourful area with little shops all painted in very bright colours. Got some great shots of pelicans but couldn't resist this very colourful reflection of a waterfront restaurant.

(60mm f8 @ 1/250 sec ISO200)

Well, I'll just add this bonus photo then in case you haven't seen a pelican lately:

Sunday, February 7, 2010

(Day 38) 'Cool' dog

Our dog Sasha has been a real trooper. She accompanied us on our long journey, without complaint and has adjusted well to her new, temporary home. But the brilliant sun today was too much even for her and she had to don a pair of shades. (photo credit: my wife)

(18-55mm f14 1/250 sec ISO200)

(Day 37) 'Creature' from the deep

All sorts of strange creatures inhabit the depths of the ocean. Strange because they are not part of our everyday lives. And they are also mysterious because we do not know their habits nor whether they might pose a danger - sort of like how we treat people sometimes (ref. 'People Are Strange' - Doors, 1967).

(60mm f4.0 1/10 sec ISO1600)

Friday, February 5, 2010

(Day 36) Against the wind ...

The wind was howling off the gulf onto the beach today creating mini dust storms of piercing sand. The effect on our legs was as if they were being rubbed by sandpaper. The wind brought on thick clouds, dark with rain. It wasn't a day to take a sight-seeing flight - even the birds were grounded.

(70-200mm @ f11 1/400 sec ISO200)

(Day 35) At last ...

It was a fitting end to a most glorious day - the sun setting into a bank of clouds on the Gulf. People sat or stood silently and watched the spectacle unfolding, or perhaps, folding. All was momentarily quiet. Mere humans could not have created such a scene. The beauty of photography is that it allows us to capture moments like this to savour again, and to transport us to the scene from another time and place. And at last we enjoyed a day that fully met the expectations we had had before our trip began, although we did partake too much of the sun, just in case the opportunity wouldn't present itself again. We agreed that we would pay the price without grumbling.

(70-200mm @ f8 1/200 ISO200)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

(Day 34) Hurricane-proof (?)

Solid concrete legs supporting a fishing pier stand side-by-side as a small wave makes its way toward shore. I don't know how long it's stood here or whether it replaced a wooden one, but with the history of hurricanes in this area, I wonder how long it can withstand the beatings it will surely face again, with waves that would dwarf the one pictured here.

(70-200mm @ f11 1/200 sec ISO200)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

(Day 33) Liquid sunshine

A little rain every now and then brings a welcome relief from hot and dry conditions. True statement most times, except when you're on vacation. Ah well, we all have to learn to live with what we're presented with weatherwise, since we're not in any position to do anything about it (which is a good thing since mankind would launch wars over the weather otherwise).

(70-200mm @ f8.0 1/6 sec ISO200)

(Day 32) The sea's bounty

Shell collecting is an ageless hobby. In some parts of the world shells have been used as currency. If that were still the case, we (and a lot of others) could be considered rich. As it was, we did consider ourselves rich as we scoured the beach for the treasures that the sea yielded. Here is a small sampling of today's 'harvest' - treasures that will bring back memories of scavenging to the sound of sea birds and the pounding surf.

(60mm @ f2.8 1/25 sec ISO400)

Monday, February 1, 2010

(Day 31) A girl's best friend

No matter where you are, no matter how you're feeling, whether you've had a good day or not ... you can always count on your four-legged friend to walk beside you and lend an attentive ear to whatever you say, without interrupting. After all, that's why they were put on this earth.

(18-55mm @ f5.6 1/400 sec ISO200)