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

2005 Photography in Review

Last year I did a year in photography gallery. I chose my best/favorite shot from each month, and made a special gallery containing just those picture. I continue this tradition today.

This is my 2005 Year in Review

snowy scene at thetis lake
Taken at Thetis lake, this was one of the very few snow days in Victoria in 2005.

trees at macaulay point park
A Macaulay Point Park walk with Yoshi. Nice sunny February day. I had looked through these trees many times before, but the light, the sky, and the clouds combined perfectly for this shot.Taken at Thetis lake, this was one of the very few snow days in Victoria in 2005.

cherry blossoms in black and white
This is an unusual shot of cherry blossoms done in black and white. In the camera I bumped up the contrast to achieve this almost infrared effect. Beyond this and the resizing, there are no enhancements.

streaming water effect
This is one of my most favorite pictures of the entire year. I saw this scene in my head as I looked at a slowly dripping fountain. I was able to achieve what I envisioned.

intertwined
Taken days after I got married. I love the colors, I love the rings, I love the depth of field, I love my wife.

large lily
The was one of the most amazing plants I photographed this year. While on this shoot I neglected to double check my camera’s settings. I was shooting ISO 1600 the entire time. This shot wasn’t ruined too badly though. I corrected the white balance, and bumped the contrast to accentuate the white.

craggy tree
A craggy old tree up at Rathtrevor beach, a wonderful backdrop, and a slight spotlight tokeep the eye interested. For some reason I can stare at this picture for hours.

ferocious lion
At a wedding reception for some very good friends the kids were entertained by clowns who did some face painting. E here was a ferocious lion. I can never get over how lucky I was with this shot. The right location, right timing, the right pose. I love it.

macaulay point sunset
Sunsets can be hard to capture. What you see is hardly what you get. I took many shots this day, but this is one of my favorites. The setting sun, the textured water, the fading colors.

covered bridge
Taken in Ottawa during the fall, the colors were a little more muted that previous years (or so I am told). On the way to a walk we drove through this bridge. After the hike we stopped a few times along the way so I could take some pictures.

rising mist
A smooth lake with a mirror finish, mist rising lazily, people out walking dogs. There definitely is an element of luck in photography.

dreamy fern
This was the highlight shot for December. Tough month photography wise. I didn’t get out very often due to Christmas plans. For this shot I stopped down the aperture, and bumped up the exposure time. With the shutter open I took half the time to zoom in, and the other half to expose the leaf. This creates a somewhat dreamy leaf.

Season Genie

xmas lights

Busy time of year like always. Seems I haven’t made time for blogging, something I will try to do more of.

The last couple weeks are work have been extremely busy. I have worked hard for many long hours. The goal was reached though, so it has relaxed a little. The customer is happy with the product, management was happy with the effort. The worst day I worked from 9am until 4am the next morning. That is a long, tiring day.

This past weekend, Sox’s mom came over for a visit. We went and saw Walk the Line, the Johnny Cash movie. Excellent movie. I really enjoyed it. The focus wasn’t on his music, but about him and his life. It was very well written, well casted, and the actors provided a great performance. I don’t know a lot of his music, but I am more inclined to check it out now.

The Christmas season is most definitely upon us. I am happy to report that I am well into my Christmas shopping for this year. Maybe I will even finish early. That never happens for me though. We got our outside lights up this past weekend, and we are quite happy with them. We did something different that past years, and we quite like it. We bought our tree last night, and tonight it will be decorated. If we don’t run out of steam, then we may decorate the house. I am not counting on that one though.

Also this past weekend was Sox’s companies Christmas party. It was pretty fun, but the food was outstanding. They held it at Sauce (a nice restaurant downtown) again this year. Their prime rib was one of the best I have ever had. Tomorrow is my companies Christmas party at Laurel Point Inn. I am looking forward to it. I think it is going to be a very good time. We have a secret Santa exchange, which is different from the anonymous gifts of years past. Anyone remember the Christmas Cock?

xmas lights

Yoshi has been busy the past couple weeks too. He has yakked on the floor a couple times, destroyed the refill to the diaper genie, and generally driven us nuts every couple days. Who says neutering slows dogs down? They obviously haven’t met Yoshi.

Yoshi meets diaper genie

Yoshi meets diaper genie

The last thing to note is that I heard about a 1 day course being offered this month for learning digital image manipulation to get it ready for printing. There were only 5 spots, and I managed to get one of them. I am pretty pumped. I have learned from the instructor before, so I am quite excited about the course. Dec 17 is the day. Some of the topics:

  • Introduction to Photoshop CS
  • Workflow colour management
  • Basic raw image conversion
  • Common Photoshop tools used for image manipulation
  • Tips & Techniques to emphasize the best in your image
  • Image prep for print out
  • Printout of the final images

That will be my present to myself. Merry Christmas to me! 🙂

Amazing ISO

gorgeous sunset at Macaulay Point Park

Friday night I witnessed a beautiful sunset from our house. Last night I vowed to get to the park and shoot it. I wasn’t dissapointed in the least. The light was pretty amazing, and the only thing that could have made it a little better was if there were more clouds in the sky for effect. I also forgot to check the setting on my camera (once again), and shot half of them at ISO 1600. :grr: You can also see in some of the shots, there is something on my lens. Another :grr: on me. Next time I will try to be more prepared.

gorgeous sunset at Macaulay Point Park

gorgeous sunset at Macaulay Point Park

gorgeous sunset at Macaulay Point Park

gorgeous sunset at Macaulay Point Park

All pics are here.

Biker Conditions

While Sox was on the run leg of her Triathlon I checked out the local skate park. As with every year, there was a bunch of kids from the tri there goofing around. Unlike other years though, there was a biker there doing tricks. I asked if he would mind if I took a few shots. He gave the go ahead, so I did. Here are the results. Some turned out pretty good, but the shooting conditions were less than ideal due to the really bright sky. My hat is off to the pro photogs who shoot in Bike mag and other professional magazines. It must take a long time to set up a really good shot.

unknown rider at the Qualicum Beach Skate Park

unknown rider at the Qualicum Beach Skate Park

unknown rider at the Qualicum Beach Skate Park

unknown rider at the Qualicum Beach Skate Park

unknown rider at the Qualicum Beach Skate Park

unknown rider at the Qualicum Beach Skate Park

unknown rider at the Qualicum Beach Skate Park

unknown rider at the Qualicum Beach Skate Park

Sendoff 2004

This is my sendoff to 2004. It was a great year that held many suprises and some big changes for me. Photographically speaking I am quite happy with how I have progressed. I fell my signal to noise ratio of pictures is getting better.

January
January Favorite
An awesome snow walk with Yoshi and Digger. I woke up extra early that morning for some unknown reason so I took the dogs to the off leash park for first tracks.

February
February Favorite
One of my most favorite riding photos from 2004. Taken at Broom Hill, I managed to freeze Shane in the air like I had intended.

March
March Favorite
Sue and I up at Point no Point. This was taken right before I asked Sue to marry me.

April
April Favorite
Cheena. May she rest in peace. This was Suede’s dad’s dog.

May
May Favorite
Some flowers on my front porch right after a lovely rain shower.

June
June Favorite
This is spook, Suede’s mom’s cat. This was right after Pat arrived home with her new puppy. The cat was a little “spooked” and climbed up here for saftey from the pup.

July
July Favorite
Taken at Christ Church Cathedral, this shot just speaks to me. The slight off axis tilt, the color, the composition.

August
August Favorite
Reflections have been big with me lately. This boat caught my fancy, and since the water was so calm, the reflection was quite intense.

September
September Favorite
A fluke that I spotted this shot. Originally I was shooting across the street from Esquimalt City Hall. As the sun was seting I headed back to my truck and cought this super shapr shadow.

October
October Favorite
Suede and I enjoying a beautiful suinset on our Mexican cruise.

November
November Favorite
A lucky catch on morning before work. This sunrise is facing east off the deck of the house we are renting. I had to stand inside, and hold the camera over my head since it was raining, and I wasn’t dressed to go out in it.

December
DecemberFavorite
A wonderful photographic experience. The photoclubmet early one morning to catch a sunrise. After waiting for what felt like an eternity in near freezing temps, we witnessed a spectacular sight. The clouds in front added a lot of drama to the shots from that morning.