Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Another week, two more trips

The secret places tour was just the start. Then there was an all day light and colour extravaganza down the Foothills, via Black Diamond, Longview, Hailstone Butte, Chain Lakes, Porcupine Hills, Clairsholm, and home again. We had spectacular light, and put off supper several times because of it.

Then on the weekend the Neil Zeller tour headed east towards Oyen. Yes, I know, the swingingest hot spot of Eastern Alberta that you've never heard of. It's not far from the town of Empress. Which you probably haven't heard of either, but that's your loss. Where else will you find groceries so valuable they are stored in an old bank vault?

That included 3 different ferries, (Finnegan, Estuary, and Bleriot) (yes put your vehicle on a boat to cross a river), the Great Sandhills for sunset, some star and galaxy shots and a moonrise if you were into it, a stunning sunrise across the fields, The Great Saskatchewan Stone Wall, the long and ultimately futile search for lunch in Oyen on Sunday, plus many abandoned places and things. 

And birds. Holy doodle the birds. I personally think that it was the same gang of birds (I'm told mostly Sandhill Cranes) following along with us, teasing the bird photographers by staying just at the outside end of the big lens range.

Between the 3 trips, plus the secret places one, there are almost 200 edited photos that have not been blogged. Never fear, I'm not going to make you scroll through all of them at once. But I have been considering which to show you. Don't forget that the readers on my email notification list already got a sneak preview of the Foothills trip photos. Here's a link to that folder; most of the photos have some comments with details. 

If you want to get in on the preview and behind the scenes info action, just send an email to keith at nucleus dot com and ask to be on the blog notification list. Or text, or Facebook/Instagram direct message, or use the smoker to send a signal while doing the ribs. Whatever.

In addition to my blogs, my photos appear on Instagram, Facebook (on my wall and a private group), with overlapping audiences, meaning people might or might not have seen a particular photo, depending on many things, including the vagaries of Facebook algorithms. There is no rule about which photos go where and when; I'm just making it up as I go along. 

So, where to begin with the photos? Decisions, decisions.

1. A sunrise is always a nice way to start a tour day. I took it as a good omen and it sure was!

2, 3, 4. All the bridge shots. The first trying to catch the light before it went, and the next two are more composed and are the same shot with different processing.  On the private photo page the likes are evenly split between the two versions.

5. Sometimes you look at the big sweeping landscape, other times at a small plant trying to make it in a tough climate.

6. Intentional camera movement and reflections.

7. From the exact same place as 6, one of my fellow travellers looking for something interesting.

8. Sunset from the Saskatchewan Sand Hills.

9, 10. Hand held, on a ferry, (Estuary) but first a serendipitous another ferry (Dawson City, I think).

11. The galactic core before the clouds rolled in, shot from east of Oyen. Sorry, I don't know which gas plant that is.

12, 13. An arty shot of the clouds rolling in and an action shot of the activity around the van.

14. Sunrise, north of Oyen, looking west.

15. About the same place, looking east.

16. The light on the fields was lovely! This pano is maybe a little too wide for the height (it would print out about 7 feet by 1 foot). You might have to enlarge and scroll to appreciate it.

17. There is a giant stone wall in Saskatchewan. Who knew? This is only a tiny fraction of it.

18, 19. The abandoned Hoosier school. I'm going to blog more about abandoned places and things, I think.

20. That tire is not from that truck.

21. We haven't had much rain. The sloughs are dry. No, Neil didn't drive the van across there.

There's more, but that's enough for now. To our regular feature.

Of the day

Flower. Some of the dahlias are still hanging in there.





Owl. Heather and George, you guess which is which.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

A tour of secret places

One of the cool things about hanging around with other photographers is learning interesting stuff. There's always something new to learn even about something you might know well, or even just a different view on it. 

Skyline, for example. For a while I shot a lot of skyline. Part of it was to learn how to use my camera, and all those lines and windows tell you if you've nailed the focus. Calgary has a lovely skyline, and even better, one can view it from all directions. Some are better than others, of course, and some need a judicious choice of lens. But it means that what with the seasons, changing weather especially near sunrise or sunset, and all the different places to shoot from, there's a lot of unique skyline photos.

Neil Zeller's day tour of secret places was mostly a tour of skyline locations. I like looking at skyline shots and trying to figure out where it was taken from. A couple locations we went to, I didn't know were publicly accessible, but I had explored the others or places nearby. We had a great time as we zoomed around throughout the afternoon went, coping with Mrs Google-Maps lying to us which led to a much more thorough tour of Kensington than had been planned, and the sandwich vendor losing our order. A different place serving yummy food was chosen, and all turned out well. Hint, at Flippin Burgers, don't order the large fries unless you're really really hungry, or several of you are splitting it.

The big win for these tours is getting access to places the public doesn't usually get to go. If you look here, you can see photos from the last such tour two years ago. This time it was into a building under renovation. Shooting through the windows was a bit of a problem because of the dust, but such is life. There was lots of interesting stuff inside, and outside made my day!

Here's a selection of photos from the day.

1. From where is left as an exercise for the reader.


3. Here's where the really secret part of the tour starts. I found it the most interesting part of the tour by far. All these down to 21 are from the same place. Where the perspective is weird, consider I'm using a really wide lens that distorts tall buildings.

4. Who doesn't love reflections in building glass?


6. I could have hung out there all day watching the light change on the buildings. All the reflections!



9. Normally panoramas are wide, but there's nothing that says they can't be tall. This would print out about 4 feet high by 2 feet, and could probably go bigger.




13. Telus Sky is an odd shape that makes it look even more distorted with a wide lens.












25. I missed the bus zooming by with the downtown backdrop, but several of the other crew got it. Watch for those shots.


Of the Day