Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Joy to the World ...

Luke 2:10-11

10  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of 
       great joy, which shall be to all people.
11  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

May you too experience the joy that the angel proclaimed to the shepherds, and which God intended for all mankind, not just at Christmas but throughout the year.

Have a blessed Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year !

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Speaking of brass monkeys ...

I can state with certainty that I am not now, nor am I likely to become, a member of a polar bear club. You know, those people who think it's a lark to go out on New Year's Day and plunge into a hole hewed out of the ice in nothing more than a bathing suit. Having said that, I did find myself outside very early this morning in weather that would have prompted owners of brass monkeys to have brought them indoors. It was -26C and for those who keep score in Fahrenheit, that's 15 below zero. Even Sasha decided that only fools would be out in those temperatures.

I seem to have standing orders to be awakened if there's the promise of a sunrise worthy of being captured on camera. There was enough time to acclimatize the camera and I spent about 40 minutes traipsing around the yard alternating between preventing frostbite in my fingers and capturing the amazing colours.

Sometimes you do what you gotta do ...

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Night Alight

Like moths attracted to a porch light, we were likewise drawn last week to the 'Alight at Night' festival at Upper Canada Village, a reconstructed town that replicates life as it was in the mid-1800s. It's hard to imagine how long it took to string up the almost 1 million lights that illuminate the village during this season of light.

It was certainly impressive as we toured the village on a horse-drawn wagon, and enjoyed a ride on the riotously-festooned train.

Hop aboard.

[since there would have been no opportunity to deploy a tripod, these are hand-held using my trusty $92 50mm f1.8 lens - a must have in every camera bag]

"No, I am NOT tired !  Why do you ask ?"

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

We Ain't Goin' Nowhere

I live in a country that converted to metric 35 years ago. Unfortunately we didn't convert to metric time so we could have 100 hours in a day. It's been a roller coaster month since I last posted here. During that month

  • I relived a lifetime of memories as I kept vigil with my family as my father passed from this life into the next [I don't tell you this to elicit words of sympathy – he almost reached 89 years and was ready to be welcomed into the New Jerusalem]
  • Sasha was diagnosed with diabetes and I've become fairly adept at giving her a daily insulin shot [a side effect of her condition is that she can no longer accompany me on photo shoots – which were a rare occurrence in the last month anyhow]
  • in support of my daughters' dog rescue team I've been researching government requirements to set up a charitable organization [and you thought completing your income tax return was complex !]
  • I got an early Christmas present [Adobe Lightroom] and have been dabbling in learning its features. One of the prime reasons for getting it was to tame my rapidly-becoming-disorganized library of thousands of photos – a task that will likely require some months still

Thanks to all of the kind folks who dropped by and left a comment. Why don't all of you relax in the sunshine, get your mind off wintertime, and flop down in the easychair (click on the link below the photos to give it a try).

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Still in a fog

I've been on a bit of a hiatus lately. The return of an old friend prompted me to raise my head momentarily. If you can take it, I have some more to share from last month's photo shoots. I hope to be back on a more regular basis in a couple of weeks. Until then I shall visit as I can, and wish you happy shooting.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Almost Heaven ...

Well, I've just been on the road ... for a long time (which is why you haven't seen me around for a while). But a week or two before I hit the road again, I spent some time traveling along country roads. If you'd like some accompaniment while you travel with me along my country roads, click the link below the photos and listen (or hum or sing along). And yes, I saw some of West Virginia, but that's not where these scenes are from. Hope to see you soon.

[update] perhaps it's my eyesight but the photos only appear to be in focus when I click on them vs how they appear in the post; is it me or are you seeing that too ?

Friday, October 11, 2013

An autumn evening

I couldn't conjure up appropriate words for this evening's display, so I turned to the muse.

An Autumn Evening

Dark hills against a hollow crocus sky
Scarfed with its crimson pennons, and below
The dome of sunset long, hushed valleys lie
Cradling the twilight, where the lone winds blow
And wake among the harps of leafless trees
Fantastic runes and mournful melodies.

The chilly purple air is threaded through
With silver from the rising moon afar,
And from a gulf of clear, unfathomed blue
In the southwest glimmers a great gold star
Above the darkening druid glens of fir
Where beckoning boughs and elfin voices stir.

And so I wander through the shadows still,
And look and listen with a rapt delight,
Pausing again and yet again at will
To drink the elusive beauty of the night,
Until my soul is filled, as some deep cup,
That with divine enchantment is brimmed up.

[Lucy Maud Montgomery  1874 - 1942  author of Anne of Green Gables]

Monday, October 7, 2013

It's a beautiful morning ...

... or I should have said it was a beautiful morning a few days ago even though my wife interrupted my (much-needed) beauty sleep to tell me of a sunrise that I should see. Knowing that the lifespan of a sunrise is usually measured in minutes, I was outside in a flash, camera and tripod in one hand while trying to remove cobwebs from my eyes with the other.

You might recall the song (click link below the photos) which came to my mind - and stuck around - while I basked in the early morning sun (and those of you who've been around my blog for awhile know that that's a rarity).

I hope your new week is off to a similar auspicious start !

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Reflecting on autumn

"I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it." [Lee Maynard]

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” [John Donne]

“There is something incredibly nostalgic and significant about the annual cascade of autumn leaves.”  [Joe L. Wheeler]

“Time remorselessly rambles down the corridors and streets of our lives, but it is not until autumn that most of us become aware that our tickets are stamped with a terminal destination.” [Joe L. Wheeler]

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Starry, starry night

Psalm 8
[3] When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, [4] what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?

Have you ever been out on a clear night far away from city lights and stared up at the stars ? We're lucky to be out in the country where only clouds can interfere with seeing them. A few nights ago I set out to capture star trails - this is just a small sample of the myriad galaxies and stars in the vast universe created by our Father. Who can look up and not be in awe ?

Take a few moments to listen to the song (link below the photo) while you count the stars (these were produced over a 1-hour period):

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Open up your heart - let the Son shine in

When the cares of the world weigh you down, it's hard to be optimistic. But listen to the song in the link below the last photo - it's a little video I put together - and imagine the 5th Dimension singing about the Son (as found in Revelation 7:9-17, and especially v.15-17). And join me on my stroll continued from last week through a little part of creation, when the sun came out.

Have a blessed Sunday.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Slowing it down

I'm a visual person, I've discovered. What that means for me is that if I don't see it, it doesn't exist. Hence my desk tends to get somewhat 'cluttered' (my term, not my wife's) as I strive to leave things visible that I need to read or do. It also explains why I need lists.

So I recently (re-)discovered some lens filters and a stepping ring that had disappeared into the bowels of my camera bag. A couple of these were ND (neutral density) filters that allow slower shutter speeds in (relatively) bright light. Now that the filters 'existed' again, I had to put them to use, so off to another favourite spot not too far away.

I had been here before in the winter. It's a very peaceful, hidden place unknown to most people. I hope a sense of that peace and quiet comes through in these 2 photos.

Monday, September 23, 2013

How can I keep from singing

It's that time of year again here up north when the creation starts bedecking itself with a multicoloured coat. Like so many opportunities that come by in life, you need to grab hold of it before it disappears.

We were having a typical fall day of blustery winds pushing along threatening clouds alternating  with momentary flashes of bright sunshine and blue skies. I set out for what I promised would be a quick trip to a favourite nearby spot to check how fall colours were coming along. I pulled myself away after 'only' two hours, knowing there'd be more opportunities. soon.

It's amazing how such peaceful beauty can be found so close to home. Reminded me of a song from another of my favourite artists (yes, I have many), Eva Cassidy - click the link below the photos and sing along while you enjoy the good creation given to us by our faithful Father:

you might recognize this road if you've visited my blog before

we've had an abundance of rain this summer/fall and the wetlands were, well, wet ...
 as you can see from the first photo, there's still a lot of green, however, there's also lots of fall colour

 while leaves are starting to fall, the grass is still green

 looks like Monsieur Monet also stopped by

Thursday, September 19, 2013


"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease." [Genesis 8:22]

This piece of nostalgia  from one of my favourite artists, Neil Young, came to mind as I pointed my camera skywards this evening (click the link below the photo to listen).

[I've been doing some harvesting of my own - more kitchen photos, which has kept me away from my blog and yours. Last kitchen shoot is scheduled for tomorrow.]

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Quelle surprise !

I had always thought of Hamilton, Ontario as being a bit of a dirty industrial town, owing to the steel mills on the waterfront, smoke belching from their stacks, leaving a layer of soot everywhere.

Yesterday I had occasion to visit Hamilton to help my brother and his wife celebrate 40 years of God's faithfulness to them in their marriage. Before I made the 4-hour return drive home, I decided a quick side trip to a nearby conservation area (on a tip from a restaurant waiter) would allow me to stretch my legs first.

It had rained earlier in the day which must have discouraged other visitors and I had the muddy trail to myself:

After crossing a couple of bridges, the short hike brought me to this:

This wasn't what I had expected to find in the city. When I got home, I googled this place (named Tiffany Falls) and was surprised to discover that Hamilton lays claim to the title 'The Waterfall Capital of the World'. Check it out for yourself here.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Alberta Bound - II

Continuing our journey past the foothills along the meandering highway 1A we eventually come to the picturesque town of Canmore. There's really not much point trying to use mere words to describe what your eyes are better designed to do.

the 'Three Sisters' from near our B & B in Canmore
 'Rock of Ages, cleft for me ..."
Chinaman's Peak (renamed to Ha Ling Peak) - I've climbed the back side
one more look at the Three Sisters

Brings Psalm 121 to mind ...