Archive for the ‘spring’ Tag

Transformation   11 comments

Spring, Winter, thaw, snowfall, winter storm, spring storm, Edmonton

Okay, so this isn’t art, but it’s a bit of fun. We, like much of North America, are having a pretty warm Spring here in Edmonton, but Spring has had a lot of false starts here. It gets warm and the snow melts, then it snows again. Thankfully, with the warm weather, the snow hasn’t been sticking around. Yesterday the weather folks put out a winter storm warning saying we were going to get 25cm of snow. While enjoying a sunny day at 11C, it seemed hard to believe that a snow storm was on the way, but just in case they were right, I set up my tripod to take a before and after shot.

The right side of this image is from yesterday afternoon around 5pm. There was no snow in sight. At about 4am this morning the storm hit Edmonton. The left side of the image is from 8am after we’d been hit by more than 15cm of heavy snow.

The forecast is calling for above-zero temperatures for the next week so hopefully this return to winter will be brief.



Day 183 – So, What Do You Want First? The Bad News? Or Perhaps, The Bad News?   13 comments

To explain a few non-posting days and many very short posts of late, I’ve been doing the family vacation thing – a combination of camping and visiting in British Columbia. I was away about two and a half weeks. This is not the bad news.

The butterfly above is also not the bad news, though he clearly had bad news of his own. He’d lost about one-third of his wings – the back left wing is entirely gone as well as a decent chunk out of his right wing.

This past Saturday, we were camping in Yoho National Park in British Columbia. All is going fine. On Saturday evening I was capturing a couple of shots of camp life and instead of my standard shutter sound I get the ‘click’ and I get a ‘tink’. The ‘tink’ is accompanied by a blackened view finder. With a perplexed look firmly planted on my face I look around to the front of the camera to check for the lens cover (pretty sure I was just shooting, but must check anyway). I then look through the viewfinder again. Still dark. Better look inside. Found the mirror. Detached. This is definitely the bad news.

I’m happy to say that I did not cry at this stage. I took the bad news calmly albeit it with a mild dose of disbelief. What am I supposed to do on vacation without a camera?  I still had plans.

After getting home and searching online, I learned that a detached mirror is unfortunately a common enough problem in 5Ds. So I decide to track down my local Canon repair agent. Lucky me, Canon decided to centralize that capability in 2009. The only service centre in all of Canada is in Toronto, so I have to ship it. This is more bad news.

The online auto-estimate is $250 plus tax, plus shipping. Not as bad as it could be I suppose. The estimated repair time (excluding shipping) is three to four weeks. Could be longer depending on how busy they are. Looks like I’ll be without camera for at least a month and probably a month and a half. This is more bad news.

Starting up a photography business and not having a camera seems like a less than ideal situation. So, it seems I need to invest in a backup camera body (as, of course, I should have a while ago). My first thought was a used 5D. Then I thought maybe a 7D as a backup. Now I’m wondering if a 5D MK II would be a better long-term investment with my soon-to-be-repaired 5D as my backup. Thoughts?

Day 145 – Can Flowers Be Manly?   2 comments

DaisiesA good friend of mine, back in Melbourne, suggested recently that after all the cherry blossoms I’ve been posting on the blog that I needed to post something a bit more “manly”. Yet, here I am, posting more flowers. What’s a guy supposed to do? It is Spring after all!

Any suggestions for more manly topics? Fire? Cars? Trucks? Engines? Tools? Construction?

Processing notes: Cropped to a pano ratio because I really like wide shots. Darkened the background to bring out the foreground daisies a bit more. Added the border using Silver Efex Pro blending the new layer for Luminosity to allow the colour to keep the colour. Partial opacity kept the border dark green and let some of the textures and colours blend through to the edges.

Day 140 – Buy My Services or Else!   5 comments

Cherry BlossomYesterday morning, a salesperson came to my door telling me she’s aerating lawns in the area and would I like her to aerate mine. I said no thanks. She decided to push on anyway. She started by telling me about the virtues of lawn aeration and what it can do for my lawn. She then pointed out the bare patches in my lawn that need desperate help. I told her how we only just moved in before winter arrived and with Spring only young in Edmonton, perhaps it was a bit soon to panic.

Concerned that she wasn’t quite engaging my interest she said I must be embarrassed to have people over with my lawn looking like it does. At this point, I take a step back into my house to subtly indicate that she has put me off a bit with her aggressive tone. She didn’t notice. She then suggested that I must not care about my lawn and wanted to know if I even water it.

I suggested that her sales approach was perhaps a bit aggressive and she might want to try not insulting her prospective clients as that might lead to fewer sales. She assured me that she is the top salesperson in her company so she must be doing something right.

I can only sigh and shake my head (and enjoy my lawn just the way it is).


Day 139 – Distracted   5 comments

Comic Strip PhotoshopOkay, so apparently I forgot to blog yesterday. I didn’t even realize I didn’t post anything until I got up this morning. The thing is, my wife’s away. So, I blame her. It disrupted my routine. She’s off enjoying some conference.

In the meantime, I’m spending altogether too much time sitting in front of my computer tinkering with photos (like the one above). Last night, when I’m sure I had every good intention of posting a photo, I had my nose in the depths of Photoshop. I look up at some stage to discover that it’s nearly one o’clock in the morning and I decide maybe I better get myself to bed.

The blog never even entered my mind. You’d think 138 days of blogging would have established some sort of routine.

Processing notes: While I can apply this technique to a photo in about five to ten minutes, it would probably take a long time to explain. If anyone cares, I’ll post a follow-up with the details.

Day 138 – Keeping Them Coming   3 comments

Cherry BlossomI seemed to have developed a nasty habit of late posting this week. I’ve been busy during the last few days finishing up the wedding photos from the weekend. It definitely took me a little longer than it should have, but I wanted to take particular care. I also had more photos that I wanted to give a bit of special treatment to than I should have strictly allowed. I’ll have to try to streamline my workflow a bit for next time!

I prepared today’s cherry blossom a couple of days ago. It’s a simple crop, B&W conversion and split-tone.

Day 136 – One Little Tree, So Many Possibilities   3 comments

Cherry BlossomsLook, more cherry blossoms! I’m looking a bit repetitive this week, but having this beautiful tree in my backyard is really allowing me to get blog material rather easily while I work through the 750 photos or so from the wedding on Sunday. I’m really happy with how the wedding shots have turned out and I’m looking forward to sharing them with the bride and groom in the next couple of days.

Processing notes: I used Silver Efex Pro to convert this to B&W. In Silver Efex, I washed out some of the details in the background and brought out the details in the foreground. I added a bit of a white vignette before dropping on the border. I then chose a hard light blending mode and changed the layer opacity to around 50%. That gave me the ability to darken and desaturate some of the colours while bringing out the details in the foreground flowers.