Sunday, March 18, 2018

Vegetable Prep Still Life.....

It has been quite a while since my last post on here, and it has been busy, so busy that I had not taken the camera out of the bag for several weeks now. So tonight, after our evening meal, I thought I would try a shot or two of some vegetables that were sitting on our window ledge. The lighting was LED's and the tangle of dead leaves in the background is from a plant of some sort that had died last summer. It kinda looked interesting to me, and instead of pitching them into the garbage, I hung on to them just in case I get the urge to use them in a picture. Well, this is the result. Maybe I will print a small one for some corner in the kitchen area....then again, I probably will get "the look", and think better of that idea. Anyway, hopefully someone will enjoy it a little also. And for those who might be interested....

Camera: SONY a77Mk2 on tripod, & SONY 18 ~ 135mm lens
Lighting: 2 Aperature Light Storm 20C LED's + 500 Lumens LED bounced in white umbrella for fill lighting.
Exposure: f11 for 1/2 sec

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Roses Still Life.....

This still life image is another of my feeble attempts to drive away the Winter blahs. Since roses seem to be occupying my mind tonight, I figured that one more probably wouldn't hurt....at least I hope not. For whatever reason, I have not gotten my head into the Winter Olympics this year, except to watch the luge runs....nerves of steel they have. Anyway, this image is one of my experimenting with still life photography, and in this instance, I threw in some blue gels to see if it might make it a bit interesting. It sort of works for me, and hopefully for you as well.....

Monday, February 19, 2018

Rose After the Rain.....

It rained all day today, and it gave me a chance to print a couple of prints for the WCC Competition tomorrow night. Afterward, I got digging around in my old files again, and decided to see what I could make of this image. It was one that I shot late last Summer after a rainfall, and needless to say, I am getting a little antsy to be out in the garden again after this Winter is gone. Hopefully most of our roses will have survived this rather harsh weather lately....can't wait for the return of the birds, and coffee on the deck in the mornings. Hope you enjoy it a little....

Monday, February 5, 2018

Cherished Moment.....

A little while ago, one of my coffee buddies asked me if I would do him a favour. Before knowing what it was, I told him I would, no problem. As it turns out, his son was about to become a Father for the first time, and he wanted me to do a portrait of the couple before the event. This image was one of the last of the session, and instead of the usual flash setup, I decided to try to use my new LED lighting. Even though they are very bright, you still will be using the widest or near widest aperture along with a slow shutter speed. Obviously, the camera is on a tripod. The lighting was just 2 LED's positioned just slightly behind and to the couple's left, no fill lighting whatsoever, and the background was a dark charcoal paper roll about 5 feet behind them, ....not my usual set up at all. Indeed it is has a high contrast ratio, but I was only interested in lighting the bare essentials to tell the story of their impending joyful event. Shadows make highlights "pop", and it was my intent to step outside the box a bit, and go for something a little different.....

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Summer....Where Are You?

Tired of Winter already? This is the time of year when you can just barely notice that the days are starting to lengthen out a bit, and the sun is actually starting to have a bit of warmth to it, especially when driving in the car on a sunny day. Tonight, I was foraging about in my files from last Summer, and came across this one. I had used my old Minolta 100mm Soft Focus Portrait lens, and that old lens has a really nice warmth to the colours and tones. The old Minolta glass was well known for that feature, and that is one reason that old die hards like myself, can't even think of parting with them. Anyway, I digress. This image just takes your mind away from the reality of dirty snow, and freezing rain, and helps calm the nerves whenever you think that in a few months, we will be able to go outside and shoot more roses, or whatever kind of blossoms that are around.....can't wait.....

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Orchid.....

We took a little drive out to Colasanti's Tropical Gardens in Kingsville today, and while walking about, I managed to grab a couple of shots of some lovely white orchids. This is a crop of the original image, and it really simplified the image greatly. It is a stark contrast to the rather wild images of flowers that I recently posted below this one, and hopefully the horticulturists will give me one more chance at redeeming myself.  Maybe some of you will enjoy this one also...

P.S. FYI: Camera; SONY a77M2
                Lens; SONY 18 ~ 135.....hand held.
                EXP; f5.6 for 1/30th of a second.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Captain Morgan's Rose.....

This one is for my friend John....sorry John, I just couldn't help myself tonight. From now on, I promise to get "serious". My wife just hates when I do this sort of stuff, but in actuality, it is just a method of "reclaiming" a very much less than perfect rose that I shot on our back deck last fall. Since I strive to keep cloning to a minimum, it is a bit of a challenge for me to take images that are blemished, and cover it all up with a few filters in Photoshop & Corel, and create something totally different or unusual. The folks at the horticultural society must just go nuts when they see such "violence" done to flowers and such. But, I have to admit, it is fun, and you do not need any Captain Morgan to get a laugh from it.....'tis all about fun from now on remember....but I'm sure some of you are saying, "go on back and hide in the darkroom old man, you are a digital disaster".....Cheers! 

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Rose Abstract....

No, I'm not high or inebriated, but this image is the result of more experimenting, and probably some may view it and say, "Yup, the old guy has gone over the edge now". It is just me letting my imagination run wild...sort of reminds me of Cathy Jones of CBC's This Hour Has 22 Minutes, who used to end her monologues with "I'm just goofin' around, that's all". For quite a while, I felt like I had "hit the wall" creatively, and after much mulling it over, I realized that I was not having any fun with my photography anymore. So, starting this year, I've decided to have fun. Not too sure where this will take me, but we shall see. It is time to stop being so serious about it all, it is just pictures, right? At one time, capturing the perfect flower, or bird, or whatever, used to be the end goal. Now, for me, capturing the image of an object, is just the starting point. I have no preconceived ideas of what I intend to eventually do with it. That is the fun stuff....and hopefully now, it will be all about having fun....hope some of you enjoy it also.
Again, Happy 2018!!

Hosta Abstract...

It has been a while since I was last on here, and we somehow survived the Christmas/New Year festivities. So, to start out 2018, I decided to post this rendition of a hosta blossom that looks like it is embedded into a plaster surface of sorts. When I started this image, I was working with some new software that I was not too familiar with. That was due to good old Microsoft deciding on Christmas Eve to update my computer with their latest version of Windows 10. After that, my Photoshop CS3 would no longer work, as well as a couple of other items...Merry Christmas eh! Anyway, I refuse to pay a monthly fee to Adobe for their Creative Cloud software, regardless of how wonderful it is. There are other alternatives, and it looks like I shall have to go exploring. If Corel or any of the other photo editing software companies decide to go the Creative Cloud route, then it is back to the darkroom for this old guy. At this point, I don't care to be bullied by big companies like Microsoft or Adobe. Since most of my photo editing is done in Corel Paint Shop Pro, I probably will not have to go back into the darkness again for a while.....then again, I used to enjoy the smell of developer and fixer on my hands after a long evening in the darkroom, listening to classical music on the old radio....Happy 2018 to everyone! Lets hope the idiots keep their fingers away from "the" buttons on their desks....

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Broken Pottery.....

This little image is another of my efforts at still life photography. It is a learning process, and as I am finding out, it requires a lot of patience. The broken pots were hanging on a nail on our back deck, and the redish twigs are what is left of a burning bush plant in our front yard. Tonight, I decided they might make for an interesting image, and I guess it gives me a little bit of a buzz to take a bunch of old stuff laying about, and put them together, add a bit of light, and see what happens. Hope you enjoy it also.....

Thursday, November 23, 2017

LED Lit Lilly

Tonight I got playing around with some LED lighting. The image here is shot with my old Minolta 100mm Soft Focus film era portrait lens. The results are not everyone's cup of tea, but I guess to each his own. It would not likely be suitable for entry in the Windsor Camera Club competition, as it is not tear your eyes out tack sharp from foreground to background. It was shot at f2.8 for 1/60th of a second. It works for me, and hopefully some of you who might look in also.....Cheers!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Meet Padraic....

It is a rainy, dreary day here in Windsor. Autumn season is upon us. At one time I used to enjoy going out into the inclement weather and photographing the rain drops hanging from the various colourful leaves, etc.. But circumstances dictate that I hang close to home anymore. My wife calls this little fellow Padraic. He is the gnome who lives in our garden all summer long, and it is time to tuck him away for the Winter. So before he goes into hibernation, I decided to do a little portrait of him. Hope you enjoy it also.........

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Moonlight & Roses....

Last evening while returning from my garage, I looked up and noticed it was full moon time again. Today, I got to taking a few shots with my old Minolta 100mm Soft Focus portrait lens, and one of them was of this bouquet of Roses that my wife had clipped from our garden yesterday. It was shot in available light from a North window. Anyway,  I thought it might be fun to try to combine the two. The Illustration effects were applied in camera, and the images were combined in Photoshop. It was a bit of fun to see what I could come up with, and I hope someone else will enjoy it also.....

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Old Cliff's Fiddle.....

He loved to play his fiddle, and I'm sure he often recalled the many dances he played for in his younger days. This image is my tribute to a really great man. I seem to be doing this a lot lately, and it is to be expected as we can't live forever....nor should we. It was four years ago this month that he left us at 99 years of age....sharp as a tack till the very end. Three days before his leaving, he was riding on a hay wagon hooked up to a team of horses, as they hauled him and a few others around a pumpkin patch. Someone took a quick snap of him waving his hand, and passed it on to us....it meant so much. Every time I take his old fiddle out of its case, it brings a warm feeling to me, as I remember the countless number of jams we played together.....thanks Cliff!....

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

An Evening Snack With Jethro......

This image is another of my efforts at still life photography. However, for this photo, instead of using my Bowens studio lighting, I used 2 SONY dedicated flashes in wireless mode, and tripped them with the little on camera popup flash. The lighting was softened a bit by hanging a Kleenex tissue over the front, hopefully giving the effect of using a soft box. Anyway, the figurine in the center of the image is one that I made when I was about 12 years old. The old gent I worked for/with had made the molds for these little figurines and I would pour plaster of Paris into them, and after drying, I would paint them. They were sold in the local home town stores such as the T. Eaton Co. (remember them?) as souvenirs of Newfoundland. Back then, there was this fellow, Mr. Ted Russell (1904 - 1977) who was a well known storyteller, playwright, and broadcaster. He had a monologue on the radio around supper time, telling yarns (tall tales) about the goings on in this place called Pigeon Inlet, and the various characters involved. Those characters were Grandpa and Grandma Wilcott, Skipper Joe, Aunt Sophy, Jethro Noddy, and of course, King David, the Billy goat. Above is my 12 year old rendition of Jethro Noddy. About 15 years ago, on a trip back home, I stopped by the Newfoundland Emporium on Broadway, in Corner Brook, NFLD. The owner, Mr. Dave LeDrew, happened to know the old gent I had worked for so long ago, and during conversation, I mentioned that I used to make these little figurines when I was just a kid. He gave me a slow smile, and said "hold on a minute" and disappeared into the back of the store. When he came out, he was holding this little figurine of Jethro Noddy, that I had made so long ago. I was totally dumbfounded. I never thought I would ever see one of these again. I asked him what he wanted for it, and he said, "it's not for sale b'y". I said, "I'll give you $100.00 for it. He said "nope, not for sale". I could not leave without it, so I offered him $200.00.....same reply, "not for sale". Then he reached across and took the bag from my hand and placed Jethro inside, and said "have a nice day b'y". This for me was one of the nicest moments in my entire life, and I only met the man that one time.....by the way, Jethro is a real good listener eh....and as the saying goes....pay it forward.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hosta Blossoms.....

With Summer winding down, I realized that my opportunities to photograph flowers were dwindling. So, while I was enjoying my morning beverage on our front veranda, I decided to grab a shot or two of these blossoms on the Hosta plants that my wife had placed by the steps up to our front door. The early morning light helps make it a simple and quiet little scene. Hope someone enjoys it as much as I do.....

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Her Afternoon Tea.....


She is into her 90's now, and legally blind, but her mind and wit is as sharp as a tack. If you need to know the history of the place and people she has lived with all her life, she can remember it all. To say that she is fiercely independent would be putting it mildly, and it was a pleasure to share a bit of time with her, and enjoy a cup of tea also. This illustrative rendition of her is deliberate, as there are times that I feel that a straight up photograph does not convey the type of individual sitting there. This more resembles a line drawing, and rather depicts a life lived well in a tough Northern community. The existing lighting also served well to create the ambiance of a quiet kitchen setting.....it was a pleasant afternoon indeed.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Safe Harbour - Trinity Bay, NFLD

This little scene was one I took a couple of years ago in Trinity Bay, NFLD. Tonight I decided that it would look much better as a panoramic, and did some rather severe cropping off of the top and the bottom of the image. Then I added a watercolour filter to give it a somewhat painterly feel. It had been my hope to travel down there again this summer, but other concerns have come to the forefront, and the possibility of a trip down East seems to be fading fast. Possibly, maybe, there may be a slight chance I can get to go for a vacation in the early Autumn, and I am keeping my fingers crossed....I have just about used up all of my material from down East, and the need for some time to "get away from it all" seems to be growing.....

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Two Tomatoes and an Ornamental Tea Pot...

In an effort to add a little variation to these images, I decided to go to work on this image tonight. When you get a week or so of scorching hot humid weather, you tend to want to stay inside with the A/C on, and try to occupy yourself as best you can. Hence this little image that I shot on the kitchen window sill. The colours were very vibrant, and when I opened the file, it seemed like a good one to play with a bit. After a bit of cropping, desaturation, and adding a bit of texture, this is the result. Sometimes it is a bit enjoyable to get away from the high saturation images that are in vogue nowadays, and go in the opposite direction. For me, the results are just as pleasing. Hope you enjoy it...

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Tiger Lily.....

Today I decided to get with the program, so I bought a new "Monopod" that everyone seems to be using these days. For years, I used tripods to keep the camera steady, but have you ever tried to use one along a rocky coastline, or while standing in a stream or river? You spend more time adjusting the legs to different lengths, to get something resembling level, before you ever get to snap a photo. The Monopod seemed somewhat of an excuse for a tripod to me, and how could it possibly be of any use. This image and the one below was shot at a shutter speed of 1/15 sec. and the thing seems to do a pretty good job of enabling to shoot at fairly slow shutter speeds. However, I must also figure in the fact that the in body image stabilizer was also turned on in my camera, so that probably helped as well....whatever it takes I guess. This Tiger Lily was hiding away in the shade behind my garage. It had not yet wilted as the temperature got up to +42C here in Windsor today. So later on when it cooled down to +30C, I ventured out to take a few shots in the back yard, and to give the Monopod another chance to convince me that it was not money wasted.....actually, I think the silly thing might just get used a bit eh.....Oh, BTW, in addition to the "Illustration" mode used to take this image, I also use the Craquelure filter in PS3, and added the frame using Corel software.