Wednesday, November 30, 2016

I wanted to take today off, but

I didn't. I could have totally rolled over and gone back to sleep. I was up to make coffee like our normal routine, then was in the groove. Drop Linda off. Swim (kind of blah, 1K 18:30 plus a bit of drill, feeling tired). Caught the light for some hoar frost photos, but most of them didn't work out. Poor focus discipline on a tricky subject. Napped with the cats a good part of the day. Hope I can sleep tonight.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

First tusky photoshoot

Anyone reading this blog more than a year or so knows I periodically publish post-run photos of my tusks. They can be impressive if conditions are just right. I'm too lazy to post a link, but you could probably search for them pretty easily. Or, you could wait, and pretty soon in the great scheme of things I'll post another. Any week now.

But sunrise is often surprisingly cold and windy, even if the earlier morning wasn't. The sky looked really promising for sunrise. I headed out to a pre-scouted location, set up, and waited. Then the wind blew all the clouds away. I got a couple ok shots, but then zoomed off to see if I could get one of the sun lighting up the mountains.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! I got one that is a shoe-in for the landscape calendar I'm working on, and several others that I think are pretty good. When I got back into the car I found my moustache had frosted up to the point I had a tiny little tusk.

Back to the photos. I'm figuring that later next year I'll have enough to do three calendars, skyline, landscape, and flowers. I might have enough now, but I'd be rushed trying to get them out. My thinking was to see if I could produce good images, and then think about the possibility of trying to sell them. I've had some really good compliments (thank you!), so I think the good images part is covered. Now I'm investigating a sales channel. (Rest assured, this blog is not going to turn into "buy my photos, buy my photos.")

Zenfolio is looking good at the moment, but I'm scoping it out in detail. I'm also investigating what else can be used to help sell photos. Ginormous framed photos on canvas come readily to mind, but I expect that most of my potential clients will want something smaller. But if you do want a big print, by all means come talk to me! Gift cards, small prints in various mediums, photo books, all come to mind as well. Anything else that a photo can go on, that you might buy if it was one of my photos?

Lots of social media likes for Linda's greenery post! Thanks for the kind words, she is appreciative.

The sun was just beginning to under light the clouds, but the wind blew them away faster than the sun was rising.

Zoomed off to Road to Nepal. By then the clouds were a long way off.

This is the first time I've got the fabled pink mountain shot, and I wasn't in the best place for it. But I know they exist and I will keep chasing them.

This isn't the winner landscape, but it's ok, and I like the rows of plant stubble leading you in. Todays winner shot might be the first one on Zenfolio.

Once home again I was trying out a panorama trick. (It didn't work.) But while I had that lens on the camera I caught Celina looking regal in the morning sun.

So a couple questions, if you don't mind. Feel free to leave a comment, or get back to me via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

  • Would you follow a link from this blog, or other social media to a site (call it Zenfolio for now) designed to show off photos, if what you got there was only the winner winner chicken dinner quality?
  • I've been pretty open that some photos here are, shall we say, a learning experience in progress, or are an aid to telling the story. Would you rather continue to see that continue, or would you rather see only periodic photos here that are winner winner chicken dinner quality?
  • What are the odds of you actually buying something with my photo(s) on it?

Monday, November 28, 2016

Linda's greenery rodeo

It started first thing Friday. I just made coffee and tried to keep a low profile. Christmas trees were in at IKEA for a super price, and she wanted some for construction materials. There were other places on the list to go as well. Thursday I had braved a dollar store to pick up those wet foam florist blocks. 30 of them. The clerk was giving me a funny look, but I didn't care. It was just a warm up for Costco. I survived, nobody got trampled, so it was win-win all round.

Linda spent much of the weekend working during the warmer daylight hours on the decorations, with time off Saturday for a movie with buddies. I got some shots along the way. Who knows what order blogger will put them in?

She likes to mix up different elements and I think it looks really good, if difficult to photograph what with the bushy green boughs and the tall sparkly thingies. It was a full weekend for her doing all this, rearranging, tweaking, till it was just right.

The lodge.

I was having a very tough time trying to get the sparkle to show up in the photos.

Here she is, hard at work, firmly planting an element in just the right place.

This is an inside one.

At last, some sparkle! I had to shoot through the window to the outside.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Surprisingly hairy

Our eyes are pretty amazing, when they're working properly. We can focus on something that is just a few cm from our eye though that isn't much fun, or really far away. We can see in the dark much better than most people think. But there are limits on the resolving power of our eyes. The number is about one tenth of a mm. (for the metrically illiterate that's about .004 of an inch)

A camera with a good macro lens in steady hands or on a tripod can easily capture more details than we can see with our eyes. It's been fun taking pictures and seeing details on screen that my eyes can't make out on the real object no matter how I try. Here's three photos for you that demonstrate.

First of all, I don't know what the first two are. The frost fascinated me, and it's only when I developed them that I realized they were hairy. If you look really really closely in good light you can just see the hairs. But if you just look, the leaf looks a bit fuzzy.

A buddy of mine likes to photograph snowflakes. This is as close as I've come, catching a bit of the structure of a grain of frost. If you look really carefully you can see some rainbow patterns on the hairs.

These are lamb's ears, and they look really fuzzy to our eyesight. But once you drill in you can see how many and how fine the hairs are.

I've never been much of a flower person, but since I've started taking some of the macro photos I have a whole new appreciation of how intricate and beautiful they are.

There are photos in the camera of Linda's outdoor decoration, but she's still puttering. It looks really good, but getting good photos has been a bit challenging. Tomorrow. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Surprisingly red

Today was a photo day in the garden. You saw the two buds yesterday, and since the light was better today I was out trying again. I'm still working on developing. Stay tuned tomorrow for surprisingly hairy.

And lots more of todays were in focus, and the ones that weren't were only ever so slightly out of focus, except for a only a couple.

Linda is still working on the finishing touches for the outdoor displays.

We went and saw Arrival with buddies this afternoon, and chatted about it after. All of us liked it, with only one saying it wasn't quite what he had expected. I loved it right from the opening moments with the shot from inside the house out towards the lake. I wanted to freeze that frame and study the composition. The movie is a must see for science fiction fans. It's easily one of the best movies I've seen recently. There is no red in the movie.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Remember those two buds?

One of my favourite photography targets is Linda's garden. Some of you may recall that two rose buds have been featured several times, slightly out of focus, in focus, and with a slightly different colour balance. I was coming back from chatting with a neighbour and noticed that they are still hanging in there! So here is yet another photo of them, from a slightly different angle.

This would have been a lot easier to do if wasn't so darn windy out! I'd get all set up and the wind would blow them around.

The blew me around on the run today as well. Nice and warm for November so I wore shorts and a tech shirt. SHORTS, people, on November 25. 6K nice and easy, 40 minutes. Don't get too jealous, it's supposed to snow tomorrow.

In other news:

  • Yes we binged on Elementary Season 4. Awesome. Sherlock's father doesn't come into the original stories, but he is PERFECT here. One of the lines from a secondary character is, "Now, that's what a threat sounds like." And it does.
  • We did a secondary binge on Sherlock. Even though in the original stories Mycroft is corpulent, I do have to admit I like this series portrayal of Mycroft much better than in Elementary.
  • NaNoWriMo is on the verge of being recognized as out of reach this year. Sigh. I need a bunch of really good days of writing, and the story just isn't flowing at all. 
  • I was out for sunrise this morning with high hopes given the cloud cover, but nothing special.
  • Linda is busy doing exterior Christmas decorations. Once I'm cleared to take photos I will. Promise.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Not quite thirds

There is, or was, an infamous painting hanging in the National Gallery called Voice of Fire. It's three vertical stripes of paint, 2 blue, one red, and somehow it is simultaneously something that could have been painted by a grade one art class student, and the taxpayers were hosed to the tune of $1.8 million. Lots of days I don't understand art.

Then there is a photo by the famous Neil Zeller that is 3 horizontal stripes of a sort of magenta, then orange fading back into magenta, and blue. It's stunning, and clearly illustrates some composition rules for photographs. It will probably be on display during his exhibit at Village Brewery Dec 7th.

I was actually thinking of that when I took this photo. Really. It isn't quite thirds, but the idea is there.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Inversion murk

This first photo is not going to be picked up by the Calgary tourism department, but that's ok. They want the image of a nice clean city washed in the pristine air coming off the Rockies.

Some days, not so much.

No, I haven't done anything fancy in Lightroom. That's really what it looked like from the south end of the city. I've got several others from various perspectives, and they all look much the same. It's called an inversion, where a temperature difference traps atmospheric pollutants. It looks terrible from here, but the people downtown probably didn't notice unless they looked carefully.

In the department of lemons and lemonade, I thought maybe the murk would be a good thing for a skyline sunrise shot. There were some adventures along the way, and either I didn't drink enough coffee beforehand, or my eyeballs need calibrating.

I took 189 shots, and 103 of them were so badly out of focus they are useless for anything. They will be trashed. I started with 43 given one star, meaning look at them in more detail and compare to others to see what gets worked on further. Some of these got moved to the delete bucket.

In the end, 7 photos were developed, and I'm not even sure how much I like some of them. The murk as skyline backdrop idea turned out to be a bust, and the light wasn't anything to write home about.

But this is the one I want to talk about. Look at it carefully.

Sure, it seems a little flat and dull compared to the other one. This is straight out of the camera with absolutely nothing done to it but convert it to JPEG. So why didn't I work on it? I could, and in some senses it would end up looking fine, much like the one above.


I'm thinking more about composition now as I actually take the photo, or trying to. Some things you can fix in Lightroom by cropping or other techniques. That isn't going to work here. Why? Because I should have stood about 10 or 15 feet to my right to take this shot. Then the Calgary Tower would have entirely disappeared. Even better, the new Brookfield Place tower would have been nicely framed between the two condo buildings, and I'd see a touch more of the Suncor building and it's reflection. Sigh.

It's the small things that separate great from good. Before, I might have been happy with it, but not now. I know I can do better. Live and learn.

The better applies to other things as well. Workouts. Not every one will be longer, faster, or stronger than the one before, but the overall trend should be better and better. Writing. There's lots of ways to tell a story, but part of the trick is finding the right way, and using the right words. Otherwise you might end up trying to drive a gravel truck down a goat path and that probably isn't going to work out so well.

This retirement thing is almost 3 months now and I think I'm settling into a groove. This is good. The run today was almost in the groove. I could feel myself almost settling in, then I'd get jarred out by something. The whole run was balanced between not quite in and almost in the groove, with just a few groovy bits. 5K 33.

Now that the cooler weather is coming in, I've got an idea for a indoors downtown photo shoot. Just before I started at Penn West I wandered through all the +15s and took some photos. Who wants to join me for a long ramble? We can meet up for breakfast and plot a course.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Advice on paddling

A buddy asked my advice on paddling. Once a week ok? With her kids I suggested daily, with applications of duct tape in between. Turns out I had the wrong idea. I still think it's good advice, in some circumstances.

She meant using the hand paddles in the swimming pool. Now that we're all on the same page I can get started.

Sometimes you see people with big flat paddles on their hands. Often they've got a blue and white floatie thing tucked between their thighs. Back and forth they go. What's the point?

First of all, swimming well is an enormously technical skill. There are a zillion subtle things your body has to do in a very specific sequence in a very short period of time, over and over. This is why the swim kids are in the pool swimming endless K after endless K practicing their stroke. It's how they can swim so quickly.

Second is drag. Water is ruthless about slowing you down. Every little thing you do wrong is punished by the water. Bubbles trailing off your hand? A waste of energy and an increase in drag. Hips low and legs trailing? HUGE drag! If I had a choice about having my drag in the water reduced 10% or getting 10% more strength in my swimming muscles, I'd take the drag reduction in a heart beat, any time.

Learning to swim faster is practically the definition of endless cycles of  continuous improvement. When you first swim your body is in there thrashing away, burning energy by the bucket load, and going nowhere. Gradually you figure out the stroke and you start to move down the pool. You work on body position, and kick, and you move faster, but then your stroke needs to change, which leads to kick changes, and so on.

You have to have the courage and discipline to let some things go temporarily while you focus on other things. At first it's trying to move your arms and breathe while the kick could be anything. Then you'll think about your kick, and your stroke will fall apart. Gradually it all starts working together, even if you aren't thinking about it particularly. Then you start watching the clock, trying different things with the stroke, tweaking this, adjusting that, seeing what works, as defined by the clock. Faster is always better unless you got there with a shitty brute force ugly stroke.

There are two points to using the paddles. One is technique, one is strength.

Paddles can help you tune your technique, or they can ruin it. They magnify what your hand should be feeling in the water. They can help you learn a clean hand entry and to feel the catch. You need to pay attention to what your hands are doing from the fraction of a second before they hit the water, right through to when they leave the water. If you can't feel it with your hands, the paddles might teach you the wrong things.

They can help you build your strength by letting you push against more water. Or you'll injure yourself just as surely as trying to pick up too heavy a weight in the gym. The stroke should be slower and mindful of the forces you are exerting. If you have a shitty windmill stroke, using paddles is just about guaranteed to injure your shoulder. If you can't do the stroke right, you shouldn't use paddles.

Once your stroke is pretty good (clean entry, good catch, early vertical forearm, strong pull, relaxed recovery) then you can start thinking about paddles. Then think about them a little longer. What more can you do with your stroke? Have you tried faster turnover? There's a little clicker thingie you can tuck into your swim cap to help you make your stroke more regular. If you normally swim at say, 50 strokes a minute, try turning it faster, and swim at 55. Then 60. Then faster. Learn to turn your arms over faster and still get a good stroke. Find the stroke rate that suits your bodily build and cardio engine. It's different for everyone, and it might change for you over time as you get better. (I goofed on the stroke rates in the first edition. Oops!)

The other end is a slower stroke where you count strokes per length. Today I was swimming 19 or 20, sometimes 21 per 25 m at the very end of a 2 K swim. That's kind of typical for a good recreational swimmer, but it's not a magic number, it just happens to be my number. Whatever you swim at now, (What do you mean you don't know how many strokes it takes to get down the pool? Count next time. It's an important number.) try swimming 25 m with fewer strokes. Lots fewer, and not just by doing only kick. I can fairly reliably do it in 13 long slow strokes.

Then you work on both at once with your golf score. Swim 50 m and keep track of time to the second. Count every stroke, each arm. Add them together. Lower is better. If you aren't at least thinking about puking at the end, swim faster. This is at almost all out, as fast as you can swim clean. Once you've made some improvements here, you'll know your swim is improving. I haven't done it for a while but was usually around 80 when my swim mojo was happening. Maybe I'll do it next swim.

Now lets talk about the pull buoy, that hourglass shaped thingie I was talking about. What it does is add some flotation to your lower body. Ideally your body should be moving through the water like you were swimming down a narrow (just wider than your elbows), shallow (water as deep as from your elbow bone to your fingertips) trench, moving through the water like a spear. Your head should be low, your spine straight, butt right at the surface, and your heels and toes just splashing the surface. The buoy helps you get there so you know what it feels like. Then you build the core muscles and learn the body mechanics to get that position without the buoy. Don't tell me you can't float. If my tall skinny female buddy can swim flat in the water like a torpedo, you can too, at least the flat part.

I'd suggest the buoy first. That will help body position so you swim a bit faster with the same stroke. Pretend your big toes are tied together with thread. Some people put a band around their ankles to keep from kicking. Once you are swimming faster you can tweak your stroke, then try to do that without the buoy. You can't injure yourself swimming with the buoy. Hint, once that is going well, tie a towel to the band while using the buoy, then try band without the buoy, then try band and towel without the buoy.

And this is without even talking about drills to improve stroke (fist, and many others), breathing (3, 5, 7, 9), core (dolphin), or the biggie, getting someone to video your stroke. There is no better way to improve your stroke.

Get the idea there are lots of ways to improve without risking injury from using hand paddles?

In other news my swim this morning was excellent!
500 m warmup, 8:55
5x100 in 1:38 on 2
1000 m 18:15 nice and relaxed.
(No hand paddles or buoy.)

This photo is similar to one the other day, but is a panorama of 4 shots stitched together. I hadn't noticed the dog walker when I took the shots.

Monday, November 21, 2016

A bike ride in Fish Creek

No this isn't some virtual trainer ride on some fancy computer software.

Real bikes.

Real Provincial Park.

Real sunshine and actual nice weather.

Real buddies to ride with.

Real awesome! Thanks for inviting me along.

I figured out my novel blockage this morning. The aha moment came as I was brushing my teeth. This scene I had written was ok for bare bones sketching, but then I stopped. I knew what was supposed to happen next, but the way that first scene played out, the next scene started looking a little more implausible.

The solution is that scene doesn't have to happen there. It can happen later. And later opens up a way to do it slightly differently, betterly. It sounds like it should be easy, but for some reason it wasn't. I want to put obstacles in my guy's path and this scene was one of them. I guess it wasn't the right obstacle. There will be others. I wrote about a thousand words waiting for them to change the oil in the car. A bit more writing tonight and I should crash through 10K words. Yay me!

Except, no, not really. It's the 21st, and I should have about 35K words. So I'm just a little behind schedule here. If I'm going to make the NaNoWriMo goal, I'm really going to need to buckle down the rest of the month. So if I'm a little slow to answer a text...

But when my buddies called and asked if I wanted in on a nice easy ride in the park, I said yes. Actually I said YES! Long time readers know I'm a bit of a weenie on the bike, but it was just a hair under my border of 10C, and it was so sunny out. Plus it's not out on the road exposed to wind and buffeting from cars. I was dressed and waiting for them.

There were a ton of people in the park with lots of walkers and quite a few bike riders. No runners though. I was surprised. Sure, it's nice out, but it's a week day. I guess I'm still getting used to how many people are around various places during the day.

Once in the park we meandered along the gravel paths and through picnic areas. The river is frozen all sorts of different ways, with some areas open and in others the ice is thick enough to walk on. We looked at a little dam someone made out of stones for a few minutes. Some of the stones had these cute little ice caps on. My buddy Neil would have been in the water to get the shot, but I didn't even bring a camera. I just wanted to enjoy the day with my eyes. I didn't even track the ride.

It was nice riding along, not thinking about having to be somewhere. Normally if I'm on a bike in Fish Creek I'm going somewhere, even if it's looking for a spot to take photos. I just followed them and stopped when they stopped. I'm feeling great after the fresh air injection.

More keywording in Lightroom after I got back. We rode past this place today but didn't stop. I suspect it would be frozen over or nearly so. There isn't much of a current. It's a reminder of a beautiful summer day.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

The BBQ thing

Still happening.

That was today. Bison, in case you were wondering.

And these guys, still happening. This is actually an old photo I found as I was adding key words so I could find things again.

Sunset tonight was nothing special, but the light on the mountains had a moody sort of thing happening.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Just a little program called Lightroom

Today was an all day seminar on Lightroom put on by that famous Calgary photographer Neil Zeller. I'd seen some of this before in previous photography sessions with him, but there was always something else on the agenda. Today was full on Lightroom.

We started right at the beginning, getting images into Lightroom from a disc he supplied. I even learned a trick there I hadn't known. I will want to go through and tweak how I've got things set up. Then into image editing.

For those who haven't seen Lightroom, here's a screen shot, un-embiggended.

There's a lot of controls that do a lot of tweaking. It can be very intimidating to look at, especially since sometimes you see things, and sometimes you don't, depending on what else is selected. I'm glad I've had a chance to work quite a bit with the basic panel; it freed up brain power for some of the more detailed panels. I think the trick is to do a little at a time, either with someone helping you or looking at one of the tutor videos. Then go away and get that nailed down in your brain. Repeat, and keep on repeating as they add new functionality.

There are a lot of settings that let you apply changes to many photos at once. For example, suppose you did a series of head and shoulders shots for a corporate client. All shot in the same light, same lens, same background. You can tweak the settings in one photo, and copy those to all the other photos you select with one command. You might still want to go into individual photos and tweak them, perhaps to tone down that bright red tie, or fix where someone cut himself shaving that morning. Very handy. I could go on and on.

Now I'm even more tempted to go back and tweak some of my existing exports, now that I know more about how sharpening works. This one below, however, wouldn't benefit from sharpening, though I suppose I could go back and tweak the shadows to bring up more detail.

Neil does a super job walking people through a complex program, and giving them a chance to work with images right from importing to exporting. If you get a chance to take one of his courses, they are excellent value for money, you'll learn a ton, and you'll have lots of fun.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The quiet end of downtown

Sorry, just a photo for you. This was an afterthought, looking at the west end of downtown from the far west end of the bluff just north of downtown. There's some pretty swanky houses along there. Of course the sky isn't particularly dramatic, sorry about that. And this end of downtown isn't the dramatic end with the tallest buildings. Still, the Husky and Nexen buildings are pretty tall, and the view west and southwest from the top floor of Nexen can't be beat. Plus, Neil Z's favourite bridge is lurking in there.

In other news the computer domestication is going well. Found a few more bits of software I wanted. Remember that day I spent I don't know how long trying to figure out how to turn a bunch of still shots into a movie using iMovie? Well, screw that. It's called Time Lapse Assembler, you can find it here. You're welcome.

I'm still getting used to the big trackpad. It takes a light touch, and I don't have all the gestures figured out yet. And I'm still getting used to the screen. I've got Lightroom sprawled out all relaxed across the couch and part of the coffee table, and there's still room for other stuff.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The inner shark returns!

Here's another fun shot after waiting for the moon earlier this week.

This morning's swim was a complete surprise to me. Maybe the swim kids got the water all sped up for me, since I got in as they were getting out. The first few laps were pretty good, then I clicked into the groove when my inner shark showed up. Haven't seen my buddy for a while. (If you want a refresher, or you hadn't known about the inner shark, follow the link, and it will lead to an intro post with several links to other ones, including a revelation about shark expense accounts.)

There was no prey in my lane, and for the timed portion of the swim there wasn't anyone else around, and certainly nobody to chase. Still, he was feeling placid and was helping keep my stroke strong and steady and smooth. It stayed that way even in the dreaded 500 to 700 m doldrums.

He's been busy off celebrating my impending return to a relaxed life. Inner sharks don't like what we do for a living. I think they're allergic to offices. In any case it's good to see him again, and I hope he shows up more often now.

I finished the 1000 m in 18 minutes flat. That is 108 seconds per 100. I haven't swum that fast since I don't know when, and I wasn't particularly out of breath. I could have gone on, but I was beginning to feel things starting to fall apart. I took a break and did about 100 m easy and relaxed, the water still flowing fast. Then a strong 100 in 87 seconds! Wow! I've been struggling to break 90 seconds lately, and usually finish sounding like a steam engine about to explode. This time I was breathing fairly hard, but could have gone on, although a bit slower. Swim life is good!

Part of it is the stronger, better kick. It's coordinated better with the roll now, which helps. Something has changed with my catch as well. It's going better, and I can feel my momentum is carrying forward between strokes. Funny how some tiny little changes can make such a huge difference in speed.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Today is a big day! My new iMac arrived yesterday, and I'm glad I had it sent to the store. For a retired guy my life has had complicated scheduling lately. Stupid furnace anyway. Grrr.

A new computer is always lots of fun. When I bought the laptop the intent was to use it as a writing machine. Then I bought the camera and realized that the laptop was the only computer in the house that could run the software to do anything with RAW images. That's ok.

Except it wasn't, really. I didn't get a big hard drive because, text files. RAW files are about 25 MB each, and a photo session might generate anywhere from a few dozen to a few hundred photos. You can do the math. I have never in my life filled up an internal hard drive till a couple months ago.

For a while I was copying older images onto an external drive, but that isn't much fun either. Plus manipulating those files was really giving the laptop a workout, and the screen is a bit small, and the image changes depending exactly how the screen is oriented to eyeballs.

You can see where this is going. At the moment I've got both computers on one desk, for complicated reasons. It's handy to be able to look things up on one computer while working on another. Not that I did the migration thing, oh no. I want this one to be as lean and clean as possible. Image stuff only, and no Photos, or whatever Apple calls it's photo management thing. Right now there is about 400 GB free. Lets see how long that lasts.

It's all gone pretty well. All my image editing software has been installed, files moved, everything seems to be working so far. Let's just say its way, WAY faster than the laptop, and having all the Lightroom tools available without scrolling is going to be great. It will take me a while to get used to it.

Oh, and the screen is gorgeous! Looking at the panorama shots I've done is like being there again. I might have to go back and look at every image I've worked on so far. What's that you say? The first image I edited on the new computer? The things I do for my readers.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016


Here's some skyline from a new place, while I was waiting for a moon shot.

Let's see. Here's the most recent batch of books.

The car one started kind of interesting, then got pedantic. I stopped reading about half way through. It's like a techno-geek history of electric cars. I was hoping it was more about the sociology of electric cars gradually replacing gasoline cars.

It's sort of a chicken and egg thing, what comes first, the charging stations or the electric cars? Because some people can't decide they say it shouldn't be done. Hint, we went through that with gasoline.

Related is self-driving cars. They're coming too, in spite of lawyers wanting to try all the possible error cases before the cars are in general use. I say, lets see what errors happen, and figure it out then. It's clear that under almost all circumstances the self-driving car is a much better driver than a human.

The photo books were interesting and gave me some ideas, but none of them were really what I was looking for. Like so many things, it's hard for me to define, but I'll know it when I see it. This is why I love libraries. I did like browsing through the many photos, thinking about what worked and why.

I've been thinking about winter photography. The skyline works any season, so I'll probably chase some of those. But our flowers are pretty well done now till spring. Not many races now, and even those aren't likely to have a buddy of mine that wants good photos. Landscapes should be interesting, especially if I use my snowshoes to get off the beaten track a bit. I do have one indoor winter project in mind, but first I'll have to make a light box. Stay tuned.

Two swims, one clunky, one good. Water ran with one of them, did some really mindful stroke drill with the other. Hot tub was awesome.

Nice run this morning, just before the snow started. 5K, 34 minutes. It was never smooth, but not as clunky as some runs. I haven't been on the bike much, hoping for tomorrow.

Monday, November 14, 2016

The moon, part two

What goes up, must come down. This morning had clear skies. You bet I was out there, but not entirely happy with the result.

I've learned I can reliably get an ok shot of the moon itself. Boring. The image I have in my head was moon set over downtown, big bright moon, bright buildings. Right place, right time, right skies. Technique was not quite right. It takes at least two separate images to get both the buildings and moon properly exposed. Each is a bit tricky on their own, and together is tricky and difficult. Maybe I'm missing something. That's ok. You start, you learn, you get better. I'll be trying the shot again, though probably not this afternoon. More clouds.

Found this image a little later. It only occurred to me then if I'd walked a little bit to my left I'd have seen the moon going down the side the building. Live and learn.

Here's another view of the building the moon disappeared behind, that leftmost one, shot during sunrise. It's dark material anyways, not much internal lighting for whatever reason.

I had a buddy come along, and we amused ourselves with some other shots. Here's a corner of Fort Calgary, with some tail light trails.

My buddy captured me, hard at work.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The moon, part one

What's missing from this photo?

There should be a giant huge moon just to the right of the tower. Not, as you can plainly see. A band of clouds moved in during the afternoon to obscure the full moon. It's up now, high in the sky looking nice. Maybe it's laughing at us.

That spot is going to be a good spot, if the weather is good tomorrow night. I'll try again. There are some nice skyline shots I got, but that wasn't what I was aiming for.

What else is missing? How a buddy of mine earned the nickname 'The Club.'