(mostly) daily photoblog

Archive for November, 2011

Too late. Can’t think. Must post.

I promise there’ll be something well thought out and nicely composed tomorrow.  For tonight, another treatment of the “drive home” photos.  Sorry.  G’night.

4 degrees and raining. I need some surf.

So, here is some surf.  It’s a shot I took in Oregon this summer.  I took whole bunch of shots along the beach so that on rainy, crappy days like today I could go to my photo files and feel the summer warmth.

Comfort from the past.


Who’s more powerful?

This was in my rear-view mirror on the way home, so I pulled off the highway and went for the nearest rest stop and snapped this.

It strikes me as poetic that the sun, this gigantic power source, is dwarfing the high-wire power lines.  Haha!  Take that, man-made structures.

How strong is your inner voice?

Very similar to a photo I posted last week, I know, but it’s Sunday and I’m quite enjoying a lazy day.  The Grey Cup is on, I made a coffee cake with my daughter, my son made a snow globe with my wife and there’s nothing else on the agenda…

Um…what about that marking and planning you should do…

Shut up, conscience.  The last thing I need is you telling me what to do.  I feel a little “Assassin’s Creed” calling me.

Um…or maybe work out next week’s classes.

I’ve got next week planned.  I’ll write it down yet tonight.

No, you won’t.  But you should.

Okay.  Fine.  I’ll go do some work…right after I eat some coffee cake.  Ha!  Take that, inner voice.

Strongly built: Rugged

I found this while out on a run this morning.  There’s this run-down, old gas station situated next to a pub.  Somehow, people who were drinking did not gas for their vehicles, so the gas station went out of business.

I particularly liked this gas pump, mostly because the face has been taken off to expose the inner workings.  They look like they might last forever.  Very strongly built.  I can’t imagine that the new pumps look anything like this inside.  I think it would look a lot more like circuit boards and wiring than it would look like the metal machinery of the pump pictured above.

I went for this definition of “Rugged” for this week’s Photo Friday Challenge.

The family that flocks together

The WordPress Photo Challenge for this Friday is “Family“.  Honestly, I haven’t got a clue if geese hang out in families or if it’s more of a “birds of a feather…” kind of thing.

Either way, my drive home today was quite nice.  I took the side roads and managed to get some shots of Mt. Baker and the big, puddly remains of two days of heavy rain.  I love reflections and the geese didn’t want to move so…here’s your photo for the day.

I’m tired…here’s a rose.

Really.  I’m tired.  I’m not even sure why.  This week seems to filled with two or three weeks.  Why, oh why, is this week so long?

Also, aren’t roses pretty?

I wandered lonely as a tree…trees…grove of trees?

The sun was out for a bit this afternoon and my drive home was kind of pretty.  I stopped on Number 2 Road to shoot this.  The sun was catching everything perfectly and there was room on the side of the road, so lucky me.

I ran it through processing and tried out this sepia tone.  What do you think?

Photo-geeks, UNITE!

Pop Quiz!  What’s working well in the photo and what’s not?

1.  What’s working well?  Look at the photo and try to identify what makes this a good photo.  After looking for minute, look below for some possible answers.

2.  What’s not working?  After looking at the photo for a minute, scroll down and let’s discuss.


Working well:

It follows the rule of thirds.  The twin horizons of the bottom and top of the mountain are on the thirds.  By dividing a photograph into nine equally sized parts and placing compositional elements on the intersections of these nine parts, a photographer can create tension and energy and, thus, more interest in the photograph.

The horizon is straight.  If your horizon is not straight, it makes it look as though you are trying to disorient your viewer.  Or, it looks as though you might have been drinking the hard stuff before you went out to shoot your photos.  By the way, if you can’t shoot a straight for your life, every photo processing program has a “straighten” function, or a way to straighten out your photos while cropping.

The contrast is nice.  The brightness of the sky, leading to the whiteness of the snow, leading to the darkness of the base of the mountain, leading to the green-ness of the grass all leads the viewer’s eye through the photo.  I think that’s working well.


Not working:

There is no focal point intersecting on the “thirds”.  That is to say, there is nothing of particular interest in the photo besides the mountain and the snow, but there’s no object nor element that draws the eye of the viewer.  The only place that naturally draws your eye is the “V” in the mountain, which is situated in the middle of the photograph, precisely where a good photo should not lead your viewer.

The colours, though deep, are not bright enough.  Although the contrast from green at the bottom to blue at the top is working, the foreground loses detail in the darkness of it.  Also, the contrast could be a little stronger between the blue sky and the white clouds and snow.


So, that’s my opinion.  What’s yours?

I wish this was how my day ended.

Instead, my day ended with a drizzle at 4 degrees.  It did, however, end with a cold walk with a friend in that 4 degree rain and that was good.  The photo is from a few days ago when the weather still reassured me and made me feel like I was living in the most beautiful place in the world.  Now, I feel like I’m living in the “before” part of a depression medication commercial – all clouds and grey and cold.

At least I’ve got the memory and photo of last week’s beautiful sunset.

Here’s my NOON hour food prep

I roasted a turkey today.  My family was coming over and my parents are leaving in three days for Guatemala for six months.  They started working there years ago and have formed their own missions organization, Love Guatemala, wherein they show love to people through meeting practical needs – housing, water filters, clinics.  We (kind of) had Christmas today, as they’ll be away when Christmas actually occurs.  I’ll miss them a lot, so it felt right to do a big family dinner.  I made roasted potatoes, carrots and parsnips, stuffing and gravy.

So, I roasted a turkey today.  I like to cook and doing a turkey is fun.  I know, that makes me weird.  What you see above are the herbs that were combined with garlic and olive oil and then massaged into the bird, under the skin and then over.  The oil adds a nice golden-ness to the turkey.  The herbs are Italian parsley (I’m not sure what makes it Italian), thyme, rosemary, and sage.  I love fresh herbs and the chopping is particularly satisfying.  Something about wielding a big knife that appeals to the neanderthal in me.

Oh, and this week’s Photo Friday Challenge is “Noon“.  Seeing as I was chopping these around noon in order to get the turkey ready for dinner, I thought this might meet the challenge.

Why is it that a day off is more exhausting than a day at work?

Seriously.  Is it because I’ve been holding on all week, only to crash on a full day away from work?

Is it because driving from the library to Future Shop to the produce market to the supermarket is inherently tiring?

Is it that I have much more time to over-think things to the point of exhaustion?

Here’s a photo that has nothing to do with what I’ve written.  Ha!  Take that, logical sequences of thought.

Snowy power! Wait, no…Winter energy! Um…maybe…

It snowed last night.  Right here, in the Lower Fraser Valley of British Columbia.  It dumped snow for many hours, but there’s always a little green to go around.  This is kind of what winter looks like where I live.

This is one side of my commute home.  Despite my distaste for snow and winter cold, I do consider myself lucky that this is my eyeful on the way home every day.  Pretty sweet.  Or, maybe, just pretty.


Apparently my imagination is fairly…uh…stumped today.  I’ll save you the pain of trying to read my discombobulated thoughts and just post a photo for you.

In this post: wet streets and street lights

Yesterday, apparently, was the last day of joy in the Lower Mainland.  It was sunny and cold and beautiful.  The sunset (check last night’s post) was gorgeous.  Today?

Today, the temperature dropped.  Wet slush fell from the sky.  It’s currently raining so hard that I have to turn up the television.  The Lower Mainland’s winter has started.


Sunset Road

It’s late.  Sorry.  I had some grocery shopping to do and my wife’s got a bit of  a migraine.  Nothing I can’t handle, but nothing I want to ignore either.  The photographs can always wait a little.

This was shot on my way home from work tonight.  I guess it must have been a nice day.

Found treasures

I was flipping back through my photo folders and found this photo.  I posted a photo, nearly the same, that had been taken with a much closer zoom.  I liked this one because of its wider angle, but apparently never posted it.

If I’m honest, I totally forgot that I processed this.  A nice little found treasure.

Here’s my son, in colour this time (and yes, I’m Canadian)

I was asked yesterday what the photo of my son would look like in colour.  So I processed one of him, intently checking out a Star Wars/Transformers toy in his hands while sitting on a dock at Cultus Lake.  I had to monkey with the contrast in curves and definitely played with Burn and Dodge because I really shot this with black and white in mind.  I hope you like it.

p.s.  It occurred to me that my horizon was totally crap yesterday.  I don’t know how I missed that.

p.p.s.  Also, we add a “u” to a number of words here in Canada, hence the “u” in color.  Colour.  Same word.  Different spelling.

One: Photo Friday Challenge

Why is it that a photograph of one person immediately draws to mind the song “One is a lonely number”?  I only ask because my first inclination with this photo was to give it that title.  My wife, son and I went for a walk a couple of days ago and Ben decided that he’d had enough walking so he sat down on this dock.  Despite knowing that there were three of us on this walk, and that this is not a photo of some lost boy on a dock, my feeling was one of loneliness.

Maybe it’s his posture.  Maybe it’s the coolness of black and white.  Maybe it’s a psychological projection on my part to believe that when one is alone, one must be lonely.  But there doesn’t have to exist that connotation, does there?  Alone, oneness, does not have to be lonely.

Panoramagnifabulousity! (WordPress Photo Challenge)

The saying goes:  “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Sometimes a picture is worth one word, made up of four other words.  Wouldn’t you agree?

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is “Wonder” and I figured that, by slapping together three photos, I could recreate the “wonder” I felt while hanging around Cultus Lake yesterday.


Lake walk in full color.

I’ve been at home due to illness for the last two days.  Finally, this afternoon, I felt well enough to go for a walk.  We live about five minutes from Cultus Lake and I like taking walks at this lake in the fall.  There are few tourists, even fewer boaters and just lovely colors and peaceful water.

If you think it’s pretty, come on over.  I’ll take you for a walk that’ll knock your senses for a loop.

Thinking beachy thoughts

I’m sick.  That horrible, sore, head-achy, want to lie around on the couch while slipping in and out of consciousness kind of sick.  Besides the ginger ale and rest, I’m thinking about the beach, in hopes that the happy thoughts will help me feel better.

Here’s hoping.

“Rear Window”? Anyone here a fan of Hitchcock?

This photo reminds me of the “Rear Window”, the film by Alfred Hitchcock.

I love “Rear Window”.  Jimmy Stewart is great and brings such seriousness and levity to a role that confines him to a wheelchair.  It’s a great example of acting with restrictions.  Hitchcock’s direction is brilliant.  When Jimmy Stewart’s character sends Grace Kelly to the apartment in question and she nearly gets caught there…I nearly screamed, “Get out!  He’s coming!  Get out of there!”

Mind you, I do have a serious crush on Grace Kelly.  She is so stunning.  So beautiful…sorry…I got all caught up there.

Anyway, I snapped this last February while staying in Coquitlam.  I had to book the room again (staying there for exam marking) so it made me think of these photos.

Ducks? Get out of the way, ducks.

I took this shot on my way home last week.  It’s the Sumas River.  I drive alongside it most of the way home.

I thought I had this beautiful shot of the willows’ reflections in the water.  It looked great in the camera’s LCD.  I got home, downloaded it and found that there were two ducks mucking up the perfect reflections.

Thanks a lot, ducks.  I think it turned out alright, even with the water-”foul”.




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