Archive for August 2011
As mentioned yesterday, I have no new shots at the moment, so I’m dipping into the archives. I think I’m going to go with an animal theme for the next few days. This evening as I sat down to do my blog entry, I saw fellow blogger Brandon’s post and I decided to synchronize posts. Sort of. If you want to know what I mean, you’re just going to have to follow the link to see what he posted today!
It’s been a cool couple of days in Edmonton. We had a high of 14C today and they’re forecasting 17C tomorrow and just 13C on Friday. It’s warming up on the weekend, but it still feels like summer is making an early departure. While we’re enjoying this cool change, I’ve picked up a Lee Child book called 61 Hours. It’s from his Reacher series (all about an ex-special ops dude and coming soon to a silver-screen near you featuring Tom Cruise in the lead role).
The novel is fine, but it’s setting is putting me a bit off. It set in South Dakota in the middle of winter. In the story, there is snow everywhere and it’s bitterly cold. He talks so much about the snow and ice that it’s almost the other major character in the novel. It keeps talking about how miserably cold it is and with almost every page turned the weather is getting colder. Makes me cold just reading the book and reminds me way too much of winter in Edmonton. It’s far too early in the year to be this stuck into winter.
The next book I read needs to be set somewhere in the tropics.
This picture is honestly a couple of years old. Sorry, I’m a bit short on publishable new material at the moment, but with the kids back to school in just two days, hopefully I’ll remedy that soon!
This is another picture from Salt Spring Island, BC. You gotta love a sense of humour in your retailers. Funny though, I’ve never heard of this variety of potato before.
Taking advantage of a Groupon that was on offer a couple of months ago, I attended a two-hour refresher workshop on studio lighting this morning. I studied lighting at Langara College about ten years ago, but I don’t get in a studio very often (other than my home studio) so when Lightrein/Lighttools offered their deal, I jumped on.
In the ten-person workshop, it turned out that I was the only person in the class who’d used studio lighting (or off-camera flash). That left nine people for whom this was an intro workshop. As a short intro to lighting, I think the guys at Lightrein did a great job. They ran through the basics from a single natural source, to reflectors, to hard lights, softboxes, and multiple lights. The instructors (Stephen Pilby and Monty Noyes) were friendly and approachable and gave everyone a chance to shoot.
For my part, I enjoyed the refresher and I discovered a new, local photographic equipment supplier (lights, reflectors, light modifiers, backdrops).
The shot above is from the workshop this morning. This is actually just using natural light through a single, tall, narrow window with a reflector at the model’s back.
Haven’t done a portrait in a little while so here’s a post-swim-lesson-crazy-hair portrait of Mischief the Kid. Or maybe I should call her Giggles. Perhaps Tiny. Her favourite activity is stealing her big sister’s stuff (toys, books, bookmarks, … anything really) and running off to hide it. You’d think no one ever paid her any attention.
Shot indoors with off-camera flash bounced off an umbrella reflector. Black and white conversion done with Silver Efex Pro.
Edmonton is the “City of Festivals” and during the summer, they just keep coming. This past weekend was the Dragonboat festival. It takes place on the North Saskatchewan river, the river that bisects Edmonton into the north side and the south side. The river valley is a great spot to spend the kinder months of summer (which at this stage seems to be just August!), though apparently not at night, but that’s another story I suppose.
Dragonboaters competed all weekend in some of the best weather we’ve seen this year. This was one of the last races of the festival. The three teams are paddling vigorously up-river, which sounds a bit challenging. Seems to me it would be a fair bit nicer to paddle downstream…
A week ago, I’m out with the kids walking on some of the extensive trails that run all over Edmonton’s river valley and we come to this little wood enclosure with a bench. There’s a railing all the way around and the floor is covered in sunflower seed shells and peanut shells. Being the annoying type of dad that takes every opportunity to share a lesson with his kids, I point out that all these shells mean that people are feeding the animals. I explain that we should not feed wild animals people food because the animals may become reliant on people for food and it’s not their natural diet. It may be fun to feed the animals because we get to see them up close, but we still shouldn’t because it isn’t good for them. [Full disclosure to the kids (and you), I fed chipmunks and squirrels nuts and seeds when I was a kid but I’m reformed now.]
No sooner am I done with my little lesson for the day when this little fella turns up to the full delight and wide-eyed wonder of my girls. This chipmunk came running right up to us to see if we had anything good for him (or her, I didn’t check). Taking advantage of the chipmunk’s appearance – I used him as an example of a critter whose perhaps too accustomed to people.
He ran off when we showed no sign of offering him dinner. Next came a series of sparrows flitting in to see what was on offer. Then came a squirrel – who came within inches of my six-year old’s head before I pulled her out of head-jumping-on range. Then came a mouse. Clearly these animals are used food coming from anyone who steps into this box!
To my delight, my 10-year old turns to me and says now that we’ve been here and not fed them, that’s one more family that hasn’t fed the animals. So endeth the lesson.