Friday, April 29, 2022

One walk two cameras no editing

I think that's the first time I've gone for a photoramble and not edited any of the images. Yes, I captured a few digital images, but once I got home and saw them on the computer, they didn't really do anything for me. During the walk I didn't see anything that inspired me to put film in the camera.

What was important was getting out for the walk with a friend. In a recent blog I'd talked about running along the rivers, mentioning that the path along the west side of the Bow stopped at Edworthy. I'd done a bit of exploring but didn't know how far the paths went beyond that. Sean and I crossed the bridge, turned right and headed along the Christmas trail. 

Eventually the path sort of dead ends near the railway tracks, but there's an obvious path heading up the hill on the other side of the tracks. We followed along, stopping periodically to think about photos. This was all new to us, so we admired the view. Eventually we emerged to see the Shouldice bridge over the Bow. There was no bush whacking required along the way, but there are several fairly steep hills that wouldn't be much fun in wet ground.

We crossed on the pedestrian bridge, and came back along the shore of the Bow river. My regular readers will not be surprised that we stopped for a coffee and treat at the cafe beside the parking lot. I was amused by the bylaw enforcement officer stopping speeding cyclists. There was much good discussion about camera technology along the way, with some comparison between two very different mirrorless cameras, one brand new, and one about 40 years old. All in all, a wonderful morning.

I had another go at the blue flower, and got a yellow one along the way.

Of the Day


Lily, two similar shots, one with ant, one without. There is one more lily photo from last year in the pipeline, and that will be all till more bloom this year. I hope you enjoyed!

Michelle and Antje outtake during photo session.

A Linda serendipity, and Celina

Film abstract

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

The state of the garden

Even more little plants are optimists. I was out with the camera looking at the growth coming up in between everything left over from last year. Linda has begun to cautiously clean it up, but wants to be considerate of any little critters that might still think it's winter. We've seen a few bees buzzing around, but there isn't much for them to nibble on.

For readers new to the blog, I like to take photos of the garden throughout the year. I've got some ideas about getting a better red from the peony, and other interesting things to try. While the film camera is decidedly not a macro, I might try some photos with it as well. I am not a gardener, and typically don't even know the common name for the plants, let alone the latin. I know peony, rose, lily, and after that I'm on shaky ground. I'm told I goofed in the blog previous to this one. If you want to know what something is, or any details about it, leave a comment and I'll refer it to the gardening expert, Linda.

1. The green netting is to discourage the rabbits and deer from snacking on the tender plants.




5. I always think of these as the fractal plants. As you zoom in, there is ever more detail.



There was also a little blue thing, but I didn't like the shot. I'll try again.

Of the Day

Peony. This is an example of what I'm trying to avoid. The digital sensors really don't like this particular red. There will certainly be a film photo of this peony, perhaps several with different film stocks. Stay tuned.


Michelle and Antje, digital outtakes from our recent photoshoot.

Film, taken during a +15 wander after lunch with a buddy.

Monday, April 25, 2022

A non film walk

The weather here has been thoroughly spring. In Calgary that means nice days and snowy days, alternating at various intervals. Yesterday was a nice day, so I was out for a walk looking for film photographs. I took along colour and B&W film, but as you might have guessed from the blog title, I didn't find anything worth putting film in the camera.

Some of my long time readers will remember that in 2016 Michelle (BRBE!) and I did our weekend runs along the various rivers as we trained for a marathon. I was in charge of routes, and tracked them on an old bike path map marked up with highlighter. Over the year we ran along Fish Creek, Elbow River, most of the Bow river, most of Nose Creek, and some of the Wester Irrigation District Canal. What with construction, flood damage repairs, and other activities, sometimes what even the up to date map said disagreed with reality. One run in particular turned out to be somewhat longer than expected because of unexpected path closures.

One of the places we didn't get to run was on the west bank of the Bow river between Glenmore trail and Ogden Road. Earlier this year I had done a walk on the bluff above the Bow River near  Lynnwood, and saw people riding and running on that section of the path. Yesterday was the day to check it out. It's about a 6 K walk from parking under Glenmore Trail, to just north of the Calf Robe bridge, and back again. There is nearby construction happening for flood mitigation, and Bonnybrook Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion, so be careful if you walk or ride it.

They had put a tunnel under the railroad tracks, which was entirely new to me. I'd just made the assumption they had built the path to curve under the rail bridge near the river. So now you could travel along the west side of the river from south of highway 22x all the way through the city out to Edworthy park at least. I know there's some paths going further west but I don't think they connect up to anything. Maybe I should take the cameras for a walk there and find out. 

What amused me about such walks is that normally I'm nearly invisible, even when carrying two cameras. Few people say say hi, unless they're also photographers, and mostly those are bird watchers. But yesterday lots of people said hi, including cyclists. One cyclist actually stopped and chatted; he turned out to be a bird watcher and was wondering about the shot he had seen me get. (see below). The only difference is that I was wearing my spiffy black hat, rather than the usual grayish wool felt hat. Does it make me look more friendly or what?

We start with serendipity from a late 2016 walk in Fish Creek, with two edit versions.


2. Yesterday's walk. Railway bridge reflections.

3. B&W.

4. Reflections.

5. Tunnel. There are not many bike path pedestrian tunnels in Calgary. There's a couple on 37 street path under Southland and 90th Ave, and there may have been a few others installed. The only other one I know of off-hand is under MacLeod trail near Glenmore, and I think someone told me it's since been closed. There's a few sidewalks beside roads that go under the railway tracks downtown, but I'm not counting them. 

6. Emergency outflow channels in B&W.

7. Train and bike path tunnel.

8. Bird.

Of the Day
Driftwood and Serendipity



Linda and Celina on 6x9 film

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Double Exposure, not the CBC

Long weekends don't mean so much when you're retired. For most working people it's a bit of a chance to catch up on all the other stuff going on in life, or to sleep in. Lots of people don't get enough sleep, and maybe that's why there's so much crankiness happening these days. Trivial things blowing up to major incidents. 

Part of the adjustment to being retired is a routine. So far swimming 3 times a week, usually in the morning, is the most regular part of the routine. Some people start sleeping in once they don't have to get up and go to work, but that isn't the case for me. After I got off shift work and had my circadian rhythms settled down again, I found I was a morning person. Even when we were waking up at 5 to be at work for 7, I typically didn't need an alarm clock. And this was before we had Celina the alarm clock cat.

Now, I'm usually still up early, though Celina often helps. The morning routine of coffee and breakfast, reading news and social media goes quick. I've talked about how there aren't as many blogs to follow as there used to be, and there's lots less comments. Sometimes I'm writing or editing. Sometimes out for a photoramble if the light is nice. Today, for example, I had a film and digital shoot with some friends.

I'm on a bit of break between wine kits, since the first 4 are now bottled, and the store is still waiting for the last kit to arrive of the 3 remaining. There's been some supply chain issues, transportation snarls, and for a while they lost an entire pallet of wine kits. It will arrive sooner or later, and I'm planning a bit of a photo road trip when I get them.

Much of yesterday I was experimenting with negatives, looking for double exposure possibilities, and seeing how much I could zoom in on the negative to see how much detail is there. Lots. Part of the fun of photography is double exposures, where two images are overlaid to see both at once. Done right it makes for a rich and layered image. Done wrong it's a mess. 

Generally it's assumed the photographer does not want a double exposure, and the various camera manufacturers deal with this in different ways. Some of them have no controls and if you forget to wind on, the camera will happily expose the same square of film again and again. Most force you to wind on, and there's a procedure to do a double exposure. My GW690 makes it essentially impossible to take a double exposure. The only way is to finish a roll, rewind it in the dark back onto the original spool, load it into the camera again being very careful to start in exactly the same place, and shoot the roll again. This will produce 8 double exposures, and it's up to you to keep track of what each exposure was. As you might imagine, this is not terribly practical.

There is another way of cheating, and we tried that during the film shoot today. I won't know how it turned out till I get the negatives back. It involved low light, complicated timing, a hat, and cooperative models. The photographers reading this have probably already figured it out. 

Much simpler to overlay the negatives as desired and take a photo of that. My first experiment with that looks like this. One image is Michelle and Ken, the other is a shot of some fir trees in South Glenmore park that didn't work out the way I thought, but is perfect for this. I'm going to be doing more of this as I accumulate more negatives.

I like this version of it better.

Our latest TV binge is Castle, starring Nathan Fillion and Stana Katic. We're part way through season 2, and enjoying it so far. The actual murder of the week is typically easy to solve, though we've been stumped on a couple of them. We're more interested in the overall season arc, watching the interplay between the characters. It's good to see competent female characters in a leading role.

Relating to the double exposure idea, I've been thinking of a mashup combining Castle and Elementary, thinking of a New York with both casts interacting, perhaps as competitive precincts vying for top ranks in closing cases.

Of the Day




Film. This is the last 35mm shot,  done during a winter walk. I struggled with the composition on this, since the bridge and background lined up. I mainly like the colours and mood. 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

The flowers think it's spring

The rule here used to be that gardening before the May long weekend was an act of futility, and perhaps actual hubris sure to bring down the wrath of the weather gods. One year we planned on going to Vancouver Island specifically for an early dose of spring. Except that spring had already happened here, and the island was well into summer.

Day before yesterday was the first day of summer here, and yesterday it snowed a bit while I was taking photos at a kid's easter event. (Hint, check out the Woodcreek page on my photo blog if you like.) Today, for what it's worth, the weather page says a high of 4 and a 60% chance of flurries. Your guess is as good as mine.

Our front garden faces south, and even though we heap snow on it, it's the first to melt, and where the first flowers come up. But even the sheltered area in the patio has flowers coming up, almost buried beneath winter debris. We don't want to remove that just yet so as not to disturb nesting creatures.

Linda has already put up some green netting to protect the young plants from the marauding bunnies and deer. 

It's only early April. We are almost certain to get at least one more big dump of snow. I hope the little plants are up for it.

Of the Day


Film (35mm last two winter shots because I'm tired of winter.)