Monday, July 1, 2024

June Image of the Month

Two unusual things for this month. First that I actually chose the images early, around the 23rd or so. I knew I'd be wrapped up in flight preparations. Which, if you haven't heard the story was a bit stressful. First there was a strike notice and a few flights cancelled, then they were back to negotiations. Then there was strike notice, then the binding arbitration notice, so our flights went ahead on Friday. Then they went on strike anyways, so if our flights had been on Saturday, rather than Friday, we'd be stuck at home. Or worse, in Toronto. They have a month to sort it out, though I was having nightmares last night about the whole thing.

Second, and actually more topical, you know I like wandering along Calgary's rivers looking for interesting photos. Sean and I had never been to Policeman's Flats, a boat launch just SE of the city. There were some lovely photos there. (Hint, anticipate the last photo below.)

After that we wandered over to Predator Bay because it looked like another place to get at the river. Except the sign says "No river access." We thought this might mean no river access for boats, but there might be paths. I knew there was a parking lot near the river, and it looked like there might be paths, so we explored. It turns out to be a private club for water skiing, on private land with a private lake. Completely by chance we met up with a person involved with the organization and were prepared to apologize and skedaddle. When we explained what we were doing, we were invited to wander around and take a look. Then we got invited back for a weekend ski competition.

We were excited to do that. We said neither of us had ever photographed people water skiing, and had no idea how it would turn out. Well. Holy Doodle. 

On Saturday we basted ourselves up with sunscreen, found a good spot, and worked hard at figuring out the camera settings. I took a bazillion photos. I deleted a great many from the camera because they were badly out of focus, or I had completely missed the photo. And when I say a great many, I mean a great many hundreds, and then ignoring hundreds more on the computer because the focus wasn't quite there.

The competitors are moving very fast, the camera auto focus wants to focus on the water, and the shutter speed has to be very high. This one is 1/3200th of a second. (In comparison, an eye blink is about 1/10th of a second.) Motion tracking is hopeless. I've never had to have the ISO that high in brilliant sunshine. These are the most technically difficult photos I've ever taken. Good thing each competitor made multiple runs.

I was hoping to get just a few good photos, but once I got dialed in I ended up with lots of good ones. This is the first one that really scored. Even just looking at the back of the camera I knew it was good. And then when I edited I was really pleased with myself. This one just exploded off the screen for me.


We put the first days winners onto a laptop and showed our new buddy, and some of the competitors. They loved them!

A bit of a digression. The question for me was, are these in the running for image of the month? My community association and race photos are not, and neither are photos done for a private client. But these were done on spec, for fun. And if you like bright colourful action photos, well, I could pick out 3 no problem.

So Linda suggested this be treated as an honourable mention, and that seems like a great idea.

2nd Runner Up
So there I was, between water ski rounds with this dragonfly showed up. Change the camera settings, find focus, a couple tries and here we are. I love catching dragonflies in flight.


1st Runner Up
A long exposure of the Bow River.



Image of the Month
I was struck by this one as soon as I saw the roll of negative film pulled from the developer tank. Some of you know I share images on VERO. This one got posted there and has done quite well, with a number of nice comments. 

There's been lots of long exposure photography lately, and I'm just loving it!



Friday, June 28, 2024

Flowery Friday 3

A flowery Friday from mid to late May. All tulips, except for a lurking tree peony that recently put out a single lovely blossom. Maybe one of them is an iris, I never really know these things. 

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Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ)

Yukon

Film (new)

Michelle


Thursday, June 27, 2024

Peonies progressing, and more

It just rained, and the garden is beautiful. The peonies are almost there. Here's what they and some other flowers look like this morning. Just because.

1. The white peony looks like it is sending out an exploratory probe.


2. The anticipation is killing us! I'm going to miss seeing the peonies this year. I hope our house sitter captures some images.


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4. I hadn't noticed the ant while focussing on the water drops.


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9. I noticed this ant.

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12. The tree peony blossom is beginning to fade, but it's still beautiful.


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14. The back patio garden is amazing!


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Of the Day
Driftwood (NZ) and Yukon are serendipities of each other.



Film (new)

Michelle