Des, our cat Pitbull and I watched the chickadees, bluejays and nuthatches snacking on the bird seed on our deck this afternoon. It was a mild day and they were excitedly flying, feasting and chasing each other between the railing, our tea cup bird feeder and the forest in our backyard. I photographed them to catch the fine details of their feathers and features as well as focusing on them in motion as they flew back and forth. This image wasn’t either of those. It was one of those beautiful errors – whether it was me not reacting to the incoming bird fast enough or my camera’s autofocus wasn’t up to the job, I really loved how this out of focus Red-breasted nuthatch looks like a painting. The backlit halo framing the bird, the narrow strip of focus on the bird seed and the angles of the deck create an interesting scene. I had fun capturing the shots I was working for but always want to give space to the happy accidents. I love how this one came together.
Sunset and silhouette
I photographed birds at the Inglewood Bird Sanctuary this afternoon. With the sun out and the temperature rising close to zero, it was a beautiful day to wander along the Bow River. I walked back as the setting sun painted the clouds. The colors stopped me in my tracks. It was a stunning way to let go of the day.
Silhouettes and city lights
Watching the dusk fade from the east side of Calgary, the color in the sky softened into pastels. The city’s lights glowed and cast tall stalks of grass into silhouette. It strikes me a little melancholy looking at it now – and beautiful.
No Trespassing Sunrise<p value="<amp-fit-text layout="fixed-height" min-font-size="6" max-font-size="72" height="80">I enjoyed a beautiful autumn dawn over the prairies northwest of Calgary near Big Hill Springs Park in late September. I enjoyed a beautiful autumn dawn over the prairies northwest of Calgary near Big Hill Springs Park in late September.
Using a headlamp’s red light, I painted this fence and illuminated the sign during one long exposure. There is a juxtaposition of the invitation a sunrise extends at the start of a new day with a sign meant to keep people away that I ruminated on while I photographed the morning.
A lounge leopard
… not a real leopard but this one behind the behind the bar at the Calcutta Cricket Club on 17th Avenue in Calgary is stunning. I hope to see one in the wild – perhaps with my friends in India – sooner than later.
An impression of autumn
When the snow was falling last week, I enjoyed trying to create some interesting images from the collision of weather with the fall landscape. The photograph I shared earlier drew some very kind comments about the style of painting it was similar to. I agree with Linda who saw suggestion of Pointillism. Using a short exposure of 1/400th of a second froze the snowflakes in that photograph. Here, I used a longer exposure of 1/40th of a second. The slower shutter speed let the snow trace blurry paths through the scene. I liked the level of abstraction that created.
Gulls in motion under the city lights
Last week one of the snowstorms that came through Calgary picked up intensity after dark. I was staying downtown near the Bow River and watched as the increasing snowfall was illuminated by the city lights above one of the bridges crossing the water. A silhouette sped in front of a light at one moment and then a dozen more did the same the next.
A colony of gulls threw waves of their silhouettes into the storm circling low over the water and then above the lights for several minutes before they appeared to settle down.
I don’t know if it was the weather, disturbance by a someone or something or members returning to congregate for the night but they were excited for a short while. I loved the grainy sky created by the snow and the shape of these dark blurs as they flew into and out of the light.
A science fiction abstract
Any guesses what this is? I’ve answered below but it’s kind of fun to let your imagination run on what it could be.
This is from a large inflated mat at the bottom of a tower at an indoor play structure we went to for my daughter’s birthday. The cords were lit and looked super cool. In post, I flipped the image, converted it to black and white and then darkened the two shadows at the bottom. It became this abstract science fiction scene to me.
Happy New Year!
I wish you and yours a great 2018. I hope the snakes are short and the ladders are long.
I created this image after the fireworks display in my small community (which was great!). The full moon made the whole winter landscape gleam. The lights from the skating rink to the right created interesting shadow layers in a covered trail across the sports field. An abstract start to the new year.
For me, I’m eager for a new year and all of the experiences that will hold. Looking back over 2017, I hope to crisply remember the many wonderful memories from the past year, and let those that were not soften.
On the first day of October, I was in Banff National Park and found great fall colors across the Bow Valley. I returned to Hillsdale Meadow along the Bow Valley Parkway where I expected the larch would be showing their best golds and yellows. I wasn’t disappointed! For this image, I used a slow shutter to abstract the landscape similar to how I had done with the same stand of trees in July. I moved the camera downwards during the 1/40th of a second exposure to exaggerate the vertical lines present in the golden trees and echoed in the evergreens in the mountainside behind.