Thursday, May 19, 2022

Dubious yet skeptical

Poor Celina. Life is so difficult for her. Stupidest humans ever. She tells us over and over (and over and over and OVER!) again what it is she wants. And she wants it now, in case you've never lived with a cat and don't know that about them. 

We can't tell if she is lonely since Curtis left us, or if she feels she is overworked, trying to provide the same levels of supervision and instruction that two cats used to provide.

In any case, I'd just come in from a garden photo session, and she was sitting there, just looking at me. I think I disturbed her sleep. I had time to sit down and work through several photos to get this one, making her feelings perfectly clear. 

Worst of all, she doesn't believe us when we tell her we regularly poll other cats, and without fail they tell us they want to suffer like Celina does, and could we please take them home with us. It may have been a coincidence that I was telling her that as I took this photo.

I don't yet have the first developed negatives back from the new (to me) 35 mm camera. I've taken it on several walks so far and it's working out well. I'll give you a photo of it when the negatives come back. If the rain holds off, I'll be taking the big camera on a photo ramble with buddies on Friday, and the small one on a downtown walk with a buddy.

My friend Janice commented on a recent blog, mentioning that she used Chrome and it didn't get eaten. Considering that Chrome is the only browser that I can use to add photos to the blog, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. So if you're burning to leave a comment, try using Chrome. If you're really up for the experiment, try using Chrome on your phone. Leave a comment and text or email me to say you've done so, and we'll see if the blog trolls ate it.

Of the Day

Peony. There's about a couple dozen to go from last year. I'm thinking to plunk them all into tomorrow's Flowery Friday. 

Flower, but first a serendipity that I can no longer recall taking. It was taken 20170107 in Calgary.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

The raw state

The word raw has many meanings. It's often used to describe a place or situation that has been untouched by humans. Which, as an aside, isn't much these days. Even remote places are affected by climate change at the very least.

There's also a meaning of unrefined. When one is contemplating making a change, we normally think about the completed change, the end state. Most people get stuck in, flailing away trying to shape the situation into their desired state. Often they fail. 

There's two reasons. Usually the main one is that they have not fully considered the existing state of things. I've learned that it's always more complicated than you first thought. Or in a related sense, they have not fully considered the desired result, and once they get close enough to start seeing it, they realized it isn't quite what they had envisioned. The other main reason is not understanding everything that is necessary to achieve the change. They get bogged down in the details, or made a mistake in a transformation, or got sidetracked into an irrelevancy, or they get overwhelmed and just stop in the middle.

One of the conscious decisions we made when we built this house is that we didn't want a huge mansion. We didn't have much stuff back then and it seemed like we'd have lots of room. We didn't fully appreciate that our stuff breeds when we aren't looking. Not just us, everyone. That's why when I go for a walk and look into our neighbour's open garages, they're usually so full of stuff that is not a car, that they can only get one car into a double garage. Some can't get any cars in. We have a single garage, and there is barely room for our little car. 

The basement used to be a big enough empty space that I could ride a bicycle in it. That was a long time ago. Various areas have been repurposed over the years, most prominently when we were doing renovations on the main floor and had to move stuff out of the way. Just in case you didn't know, books are a pain the butt and back to move.  I don't want to think about having to move the wine bottles. 

This is why we've said that our only move from here is going to to be into an assisted living facility. Somewhere between that day, and today, a great deal of stuff is going to have to be dealt with. We have no children that we can inflict it upon. Much of it will be of no real value to anyone, I suspect. It will end up being another example of the transience of life.

More to the point, I've been contemplating some photo projects that require a bit of space for me to set up a scene, and play with lighting and cameras. Not a full blown studio, just a table top. An empty tabletop. Which is a harder thing than you might think. Horizontal surfaces seem to be a prime breeding ground for stuff. Like this. This is the table I'm wanting to use, and it's current state.

Yes, I could have turned on all the lights, and let you see every speck of dust. This is it's natural state. Dark. Mysterious. Even I'm wondering what some of that is, and how it got there. 

When I'm actually working on it, I will of course turn on the lights. After all, I have to see what's there, and consider where to move it. And in a recursive thing, where I want to put it probably already has stuff, which will need to be moved or re-arranged. Which in turn, blah blah blah, you get the idea. Which is why you are not seeing the end state photograph here. Stay tuned for photo results using this space, but don't hold your breath. It's a work in progress.

Of the Day
This years peonies are up and seem to be happy. Soon I'll have some to show you, while there are still lots of last years. Maybe I'll do a peony blowout blog.

Flower serendipity. The lily is from 2017, a little later in May.

Film news, if not a photo. Some of you know I spent some of my first CPP payment on more photo gear. I'm hoping more 35mm film shots will be showing up soon. They're at the lab now. Stay tuned!

Friday, May 13, 2022

First 2022 Flowery Friday

The popular Flowery Friday feature returns, now that the flowers are up and doing their thing, and I'm doing my thing documenting them doing their thing. As always, I've no idea what many of these are. This time of year it's likely to be tulips. Beyond that I'm out to sea.


2. But lets start indoor so this one doesn't feel left out.



5. The yellow things perked up again once the snow melted.


7. This tulip just wants to be free, but we are protecting it from the marauding rabbits.


9. This looks a little odd because it was shot with extension tubes to get a better look at the fine detail, thus the blue is a bit out of focus.

10. Was loving the oranges and yellows in the afternoon sun.






Of the Day


Michelle and Antje out take. This is the last one till the next photo shoot.

Monday, May 9, 2022

This is why you do it today

Yesterday I strolled the garden after coming back from finishing off a roll of film. It was cool and raining a bit. I'd been out the day before to get some flower photos, and was thinking of getting some wet flower shots, which are usually interesting. Except I was hungry, and the rain was getting harder, and there was a wine kit to start, and I figured I could do it tomorrow.

Except the rain turned to snow. We retreated to the media room and continued to binge Castle. We're in the middle of season 5. There was a huge crack of thunder and a flash of lightning along the way. We peered out to lots of snow, and slush building up on the road. It snowed all night. The roads are wet, but there are several cm of snow on the lawn. The flowers are pretty well buried. So much for those shots of water drops on the flowers. Maybe I'll put on a jacket, hat, wet boots, and go look to see what shots are there. 

Maybe. The coffee is really good this morning. No, we are not out on the patio in those nice deck chairs drinking our coffee. 

Except the light is really nice and soft, and snow sometimes makes for interesting patterns as it piles up on stuff...

1. Not my best shot ever of a tulip, but the first one this year. Oddly enough it's in the back garden.



5. The first peony I've noticed.

Of the Day
Driftwood. I went looking for a shot of driftwood that included the rest of the beach. The warm, non-snowy beach.


Michelle and Antje outtake

Film. Michelle again, testing the limits of capturing only a small part of the negative with a high powered macro lens.  You can see the entire photo here. I've got two more rolls of film at the lab being developed. Watch the photoblog for the results of a walk in Kensington with friends.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Tricky daffodils

One of the things I want to try with garden photos is reflected light. The idea is to change the light that normally falls on the garden. The reflectors even have some different tints. The first attempt was with the gold tint, on the daffodils beside the house, which were in shade when I was shooting. The vision was to have the yellow blooms show up like a flare, while the grass is dark and almost disappearing. What you see is what you get.

And with a similar idea, still with the gold tint. This had afternoon sun coming from the left, and the reflection onto what would be the shaded side, which seems to emphasize the texture. This will work a whole lot better with someone else holding the reflector.

The chairs showed up as a standalone on Facebook, where I suspect most readers have already seen it. This is after one day of Linda shopping for plants to fill her various pots and containers. But first, not one, but TWO serendipity photos.

Of the Day


Michelle and Antje outtake

Film double exposure

Thursday, May 5, 2022

It's bee season again

As regular readers know, one of my favourite photographic subjects is our garden. Between all the varieties of light over the season, all the different kinds of flowers in different stages of their lifecycle, and all the little critters around the flowers, there's lots to shoot. Plus, and I probably shouldn't say this, it's really handy. A few steps and I'm engrossed by a world of subtle colours and textures, playing with focus and depth of field.

So there I was yesterday, out looking for a new angle, a new way of capturing flower related images. After all, I wouldn't want my readers to get bored, saying "ho hum, another pretty flower." I'd picked up an orchid picture book from the library, but was actually disappointed in the images. I think they were cut flowers draped over a light pad, so it seemed to wash out the colour.

There are lots of flowers in bloom just now, and the bees are out as well. I was tracking two huge bees, and it's clear I'm out of practice. The colour and texture of their fuzz, especially this orange, really attracts me, but the real challenge is getting their eyes and face in focus.

And I'm reaching here, this really is a bee. I'd goofed on the settings a bit, so it's dark, and it's mostly hiding being that leaf. There will be more bee photos, stay tuned!

The other flower photos from yesterday. Don't ask.

I've got a busy several days of photography and related stuff starting today. A friend is coming over to try out the copy stand and think about the related workflow. He has many negatives from back in the day. Then Friday is a photo ramble with buddies. I'm going to bring some nice black and white film and look for contrast and texture. Saturday is a community association event. Sunday is a family shoot for a friend, and I'll try some film for that as well, if they're patient, and when I say they I mean the infant. 

Here's the copy stand, it's used to hold the DSLR to capture a photograph of a negative. This is much, MUCH better than trying to set the tripod up every time. Since this is my old T6i camera, it can just live on the copy stand, unless I need it for back up at an event or trip.

Of the Day
Driftwood, but first a related serendipity.

Peony. I'll for sure be trying this shot with different film stocks. I recently acquired a high tech diffuser shade thingy, and I'll be trying that out as well.

Michelle and Antje out take.

Celina, through the window, disapproving.

Film, the other building in the industrially scenic tour.