Though the temperatures dipped a bit between Christmas and New Years, it has been a mild winter. We had a snowfall then warm temperatures above zero on New Years day, which was all the incentive that I needed to go to the river valley and try to capture images of any bird I could find. I was lucky that there was a man feeding a squirrel and the chickadees, too. I hung around where he dropped the seeds and nuts and gazed until I saw movement, then raised my camera to my eye and focused on the squirrel or bird through the viewfinder, then clicked, sometimes successfully capturing an image.
Yes, I did get fur and feather blurs but also got fairly-focused images. I felt joy being outdoors and hearing the calls of Chickadees, Magpies and possibly a Robin and some Pine Grosbeaks.
It was a most enjoyable walk which I need a lot more of after enjoying all those Shortbread Cookies, Chocolate, Turkey and Ham dinners. Happy New Year Everybody!
Quiet, except for the slap of the skis on the trails and the puncture of the poles in the snow as skiers glide along the valley below me.
Lines of tree branches stretch, standing out from the grey in the distance.
I look up the stairs, and plod upwards , stopping every now and again to take in the view and catch my breath.
It was a dull, overcast day, but mild enough for a leisurely walk along the valley. I enjoyed it very much, though couldn’t capture an image of the chickadees that stopped to inspect me. Maybe next time.
I like this photo of the advent wreath celebrating the weeks before Christmas waiting for Jesus’ arrival. The candles represent Hope, Love, Joy, and Peace. The white candle in the middle is the Christ candle, lit on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. In the distance you see people visiting, a time of coming together to celebrate.
I follow the Christian tradition of beholding the birth of a vulnerable child, God with us, meditating on Love and Light, celebrating the life of Jesus the Christ and trying to live as God would have me do.
I respect all other beliefs and wish everyone Peace.
Many years ago, I took a horsemanship course in Ontario. I worked with a great bunch of students and though I failed, I learned a lot of horsemanship and personal skills and got a couple of jobs working with horses after that. One of the women that I took the course with looked me up on Facebook this year and left a message. It turns out that we live not too far apart and we finally connected this past week , the first time in 39 years!
We visited horses, of course, and though I didn’t ride, I petted them and took photos while we caught up on what we have been doing all this time. It was very humbling to try to step between the rails and found I needed to grab my leg and inch it over the rail, straddle the bottom rail, then slowly inch my other leg over. Pathetic! What tiny bit of muscle I have is tight, tight, tight! I am definitely not ready to ride, or even get on. I have something to work for now and even if I can’t build my strength and balance and flexibility to where I want, I will improve.
I was quite happy taking photos and just smelling that horsey sell on myself. We had so many memories to share and it was a fun afternoon.
Despite a slight drop in temperature and a breeze that carried a chill, I met a friend at the Legislative Assembly of Alberta to celebrate the turning on of the holiday lights. I rushed to get there and made it on time, but no fears, there were speeches to make and then the countdown with a cheer rising up from the crowd of people that were gathered. Carollers stood on the front steps of the government building and sang some of my favourite Christmas tunes and hymns and the smell of hot Cocoa wafted through the air. I thought I would leave right after my friend left, but I got curious about what the view would look like from this point, and another. I sang along with the carollers and walked the grounds to get “just one more shot.”
After the party at the church on Saturday, I could not resist hitting the streets in the neighbourhood to capture images of the lights from the decorations and the passing cars. I haven’t been shooting regularly for about a month and I felt joy as I got outside and played again.
During the editing process, I experimented with warm and cool tones and some cropping because there was more in the viewing fame that I wanted with the 18-55mm lens. I plan to go back with my zoom lens and see what I can do with it.
I usually do not take photos of people but started for activities at my church.We had a tailgate party at my church the night before the Grey Cup game in Edmonton, providing free food and refreshments to the community. There were games set up for the children to play and different tables set up with crafts, cookie-decorating and face-painting.
I spent time taking photos and even tried some bean toss to see if I still “had it in me.” I had a good time visiting with people and judging by the smiles on their faces, others were enjoying themselves, too.
Apple Cider, Coffee, Tea and Hot Chocolate
Cataracts have been wreaking havoc with my eyesight lately. The good news is I recently had an eye exam and discovered they are bad enough that I qualify for surgery. and got a referral to a surgeon. Just waiting to hear from their office. While celebrating Thanksgiving with friends last weekend I felt very grateful for our healthcare system here in Canada.
I wondered if it was possible to describe in photos how I see things. I cannot do it “exactly” but will try Here is a night shot that I took , then added the brightness, admittedly too bright, with the lines that emanate from a street lamp. The lines are more pronounced and extend only a couple of inches from the light source in all directions. I couldn’t change the tone but normally it just looks dark.The brightness that I see is more like the light on the outer edges of the lamp in the photo, not the center part. Also I only treated one light, they would all look this way as I get closer. Of course with all that brightness, the street gets darker and I lose the details in the darker areas.
The other night I was walking up the street , looking at how far the halo from the streetlight extended and seeing a kind of rainbow effect and just about ran into a fellow coming from the opposite direction. I did not see him at all until he was directly in front of me. Needless to say I am no longer driving because the headlights of the cars coming toward me blind me and I cannot make out the curbs on the street.
Next is a photo that I took through my window, which was fogged up a little, a fair description of how the colours get faded, sharpness is fuzzy and the light is so bright.
Next is another example of how I am seeing now. I took the photo in manual focus mode, blurring a little and adding some light while desaturating the overall look. It strains the eyes so I wear sunglasses to get a little more definition. Regardless, bicyclists and vehicles often seem to appear out of nowhere so it is definitely disconcerting if not downright scary! On bad days I cannot read a book or my email.The strain is affecting me now as I compose this post.
In the meantime I am taking fewer photos. When I do go out to shoot, I am relying on autofocus and adjusting my settings indoors.Feedback from others is welcome. Do you think I have described it right? Everyone is affected differently. Almost everyone whom I have spoken to, say that after cataract surgery things are sharper, brighter and have more colour. That will be a relief!
It is not often that we have a second chance so I am grateful that there is a solution.
Sometimes it is hard to get a photo of a Magpie. They are quick to move the moment that I focus my camera on them. but today as I came up behind one clinging to the trunk of a tree. I got two shots. Then I spotted a squirrel coming down the trunk of another tree and the magpie spotted it at the same time. I captured a shot just as the squirrel was running to the bottom of another tree with the magpie close behind.
Luckily the squirrel made it to safety on time.