Pirates Bust

What a weekend. Hot is the word.

My mom came down on Friday to visit Sprout. This meant Sox and I got time for a date. We headed out to see Pirates of the Caribbean. Fun movie with good action and decent effects. Long though. It was very nice to sit in pretty confortable seats in the air conditioned theatre. When we stepped outside the theatre after the movie we were greeted with the pleasantly warm evening air. Still a little humid, but very soothing and pleasing.

Saturday night we headed out for dinner (with Sprout this time). 6 adults and 3 babes = 1 very fun time. Excellent food and good conversation. It was hard to leave but Mr Sprout was up past his bedtime and was getting more than a little cranky.

After returning home I had planned to head out to Luminara to take some pictures. I wasn’t realy feeling into it, and really just wanted to stay home instead. I forced myself to pack my gear and get out there. As soon as I got close to Beacon Hill park, I was regretting going. Traffic was bad, people were streaming out of the park, and I was hot, tired, and cranky. As I was preparing to turn around and go home, I spotted a parking spot. On a whim I took it and headed in. It was a bust. Too many people, no inspiration, and it definitely wasn’t as cool as I remembered it. I took a few shots but just wasn’t into it. Also, lots of others were there taking pics too, and many of them were using their flash. This caused my pics to look like crap. *sigh* it just wasn’t meant to be. I quickly packed up and headed home.

Tonight we have another BBQ, then tomorrow some family arrives for a few days. Next weekend we are away. Busy times 🙂

Midway Blur

Last night I finally did something I have wanted to do for a very long time. I went out for a night shoot to a fair. Buccaneer Days has a Midway complete with twirly rides, cotton candy, games of chance, and lights. Lots and lots lights. Fun.

I had to wait until it was pretty dark before I headed out shooting, but it was worth it. It was too light when I first left, so I headed down to a lookout and shot some pics of the harbour, and the cruise ships docked at Ogden Point.

Digital is the way to go for night photography though. Easy to see and correct for exposure mistakes.

The key is to try and imagine what you are trying to accomplish, and develop a plan to make that image. Some of the pictures I took were up to 10 second exposures. With time like this, you can easily miss out on chances to reshoot.

Do you want to stop the motion? Get a slight blur of the lights? Create arcs of light? Can you even achieve what you want with the equipment you have on hand?

The prize at the end of the shoot is the images you have created. Definitely a good investiment of time and effort.

Pics are here.

Wind Fill

This past Wednesday I got out to shoot some pictures with the photo club. Sox and I had been in Saxe Point Park recently and had noticed the flowers, so that was where I decided the club should meet. The sun was out, but so was the breeze. Taking pictures of flowers in the breeze is always a difficult taks. You set up your shot, wait for the right conditions, then just as you squeeze the shutter release, the wind kicks up again. This can be incredibly frustrating.

Sometimes it is better to work with the conditions rather than fight them. Keep the shutter open a little longer, and aim for a blurry flower while the background is still. This can be an interesting effect.

I was quite happy with my shots. I even used my flash for a few of them to lighten up the shadows and to fill in the details.

Pics are here.

Beer Dreams

“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drink I feel ashamed – Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, ‘It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.'”
-Deep Thought, Jack Handy

Save Hatley Park

This is an appeal to photographers in Victoria. As I wrote about previously Royal Roads University wants to put Hatley park behind a fence.

Some people I know are organizing efforts to stop this fencing. Please visit
savehatleypark.com and sign the petition and get involved if you can. As of this writing work on the fence has been halted pending a review by a federal heritage agency. It is important that we stop this fence.

From the pictures on a recent canada.com article, and savehatleypark.com this fence should be abolished. When I read a fence was going to be erected, I was thinking stone fence a wood fence or maybe some other nicety. Apparently a chain link fence looks good these days.

If I wasn’t against fencing Hatley Park before, I am definitely against it now. This is truly an abomination, and I just can’t imagine what the Royal Roads committee was thinking when they gave the green light to a chain link fence (regardless of it following historical fence lines). Royal Roads is a university, and really should not be in the tourist business. The gardens on the site cannot stand the traffic of tour busses. How disruptive to schooling will it be to have tour busses driving in and out of the grounds, and large crowds flowing across the grounds?

I just wonder why Royal Roads feels it necessary to embark on this? Before taking over the grounds they should have done their research and know what would be involved in the upkeep of the gardens. The gardens that are so beautiful and rich obviously cannot be kept in good order for free. Even I know that.

Please get involved if you can.

Single Gorgeous

This past weekend some of Sox’s family was visiting, and they noticed that a house plant of ours was about to flower. Apparently the bloom only lasts a single day.

Sure enough yesterday when I got home it was in bloom. Gorgeous. I snapped a few pictures. This morning when I got up the bloom was done. Very glad I was able to get some pictures.

All the pics are here.

Update: this is called an Apostle Plant or Neomarica gracilis. You can see from this University of Hawaii Botany page that their picture of a flower looks exactly like mine.

Upkeep Homework

I read Canada.com regularly, sticking to the Victoria Times Colonist stories. One article from Mar 15 got me a little riled.

Hatley castle is a wonderful place to take pictures, and it sickens me that they want to erect a fence around the castle and the gardens so that they can charge an admission fee. I understand that they want to recoop their cost of upkeep, but surely Royal Roads did their homework when they took over the grounds? Didn’t they do financial forecasts to ensure they could afford this?

I really have no sympathy for them if they did no homework. That is a pet peeve of mine when this happens. Who has to pay? The public? How is that right? Those park grounds have been free for as long as I have lived in Victoria.

Like I said, I am sickened by this change. Yes I have a vested interest in keeping it free. I have gone on photo shoots there a couple times now, and would like to continue to keep shooting there. Not sure how likely I will be willing to pay to do this.

LOTDs – Difficult Lights

This is a pretty cool home built light box for photography. I want to build one some day, because I can see the usefulness of it, especially in the winter when getting outside to shoot is more difficult. Looks easy enough, looks great price wise, and looks like it works quite well.

via photoblogs.org

The same guy also has this great article on making your own ring light. Pretty nifty. Not sure if I would make this one or not, but it certainly seems like it would be fun to try. I’m not exactly into studio shooting, and this isn’t a portable rig. Cool tro try out, but most likely wouldn’t have lasting appeal.

again via photoblogs.org

Last Link of the Day is another Do it Yourselfer. Make your own macro light ring. This is one I could see myself building and using. Have you seen how expensive ring lights are? One of the Canon ring flashes retails for around $750.

via Camera News