Self Portrait

 

Week 11/26 #BWProject26

I am always in a hurry to get things done, so I just zoomed in to take this then zoomed out again!

I am not a great one for taking self portraits, there are many much more interesting subjects around, but this is the theme for this week and who am I to fight it? As this week I am focusing on the zoom, this seemed an ideal opportunity to try out different techniques.

With a tip of the blurred hat to those of us taking part in the blurred mentorship run by +Alex Lapidus, I am posting my blurry self portrait image for the B&W project. You can still see it is me, so that works for me.

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#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery +Brandon Luk +Lauri Novak +Alison Christensen
#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome curated by +Luis Vivanco S. +Оксана Крысюкова +Howard Salmon and +tri rini nuringtyas
#hqspportraits +HQSP Portraits curated by +Heiko Köster +Frank Nöthe

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Sharp Focus on Blur : 1

 

Plus Post Week 1 Blurs and Unsharp Photography: Guided Play 2015

Focus on Blur? Oh yes! And you wouldn't guess how hard that can be. Hard as in hard to stop! I am having such a lot of fun in learning from +Alex Lapidus in this mentorship that is enabled by the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers team. There is a wonderful freedom in mastering the techniques that allow you to choose to take images that are out of focus, in whole or in part. Blurring the extraneous and distracting details can really focus in on what is important in the mood of an image.

Before learning the techniques we have discovered this week, if I ever put my camera into manual focus mode, it was to be sure to focus as sharply as I could on my subject. In some cases this is important. But sometimes the story you are trying to tell needs a different approach. And learning when to do that (and how to achieve the effect) is both refreshing and freeing. And fun! (Did I say that it is also a little addictive?)

We have a fabulantastic group of mentors who are sitting at their computers or devices 24/7 (or so it seems) ready to give encouragement or assistance where needed. The students are also crazy, fun and committed to enjoying this to the full and producing images according to their own unique visions. If you ever see this mentorship being offered, don't hesitate to sign up for it as I guarantee that it will change your focus and perspective in a wonderfully positive way. Thanks Alex and team and fellow mentees. On now to week 2! I wonder what Alex has in store for us?

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#unsharpsaturday +Unsharp Saturday v2.0 #intentionalblur #photoplay #camerafun

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Mother Earth : Louise Pentz’ Voice in the Conversations with Makers Series

Once again, +Ben Proudfoot  and team at Breakwater Studios, courtesy of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council and Craft Alliance has produced a powerful cameo of a gifted craftsman. He has done a masterful and sensitive job at enabling Louise Pentz to tell her story. This is such a beautiful profile, another 10 minute video from the series that is well worth watching. Just look at the faces on those figures!

Snake in the Sun

 

It's so wonderful to be able to go into the woods and just walk on the ground again! Most of the snow is melted and we don't need to pile on our warm clothes, boots, snowshoes and all the paraphernalia that a winter walk involves. It is so wonderfully freeing ! On this particular afternoon I almost trod on a snake, just caught myself from putting my foot down on it by grabbing onto +Linda Jess's arm, much to her horror as she has a pathological fear of the reptiles. That time the slender creature slithered away out of sight in the undergrowth at the side of the path before I could put my camera to my face. I was so cross to have missed that chance. After about 40 minutes or so we were walking back along the same trail and I spotted this one just lying in the path in the sun. He never moved no matter how much I walked around him, taking photographs in case he decided to make a run for it or moved myself to get in closer for a better view. He kept an eye on me, but didn't seem to be worried by our proximity nor by Joni who was waiting a little distance away. It was as if he was sitting for his portrait in his favourite environment. Did I see two snakes that day? Or was it the same one, overcoming his pathological fear of humans and hoping to get a closer look at us on our way back?

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#hqspanimals +HQSP Animals curated by +Alejandro J. Soto +Andy Smith
#wildlifewednesday by +Mike Spinak +Morkel Erasmus

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The Culprit : Superstitious Pileated Woodpecker

 

For those who saw my black and white posting referring to a superstitious bird (knocking on wood, of course) linked below, I thought I would share a photo of the actual culprit, the pileated woodpecker himself. He was on a huge and very old maple that is one of my favourite trees, behind our house. This bird is doing his best to bring it down single handed beaked.

Superstitious bird posting: https://plus.google.com/+EllieKennard/posts/Tb49kSrCsA4

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#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Andy Brown +Dilip Mundkur +Wade Cochran and +Serkan Mutan
+Backyard Birding Monday #BackyardbirdingMonday/105832555748880810955 curated by +Ricky L Jones 108602149449027340564 and +Marilou Aballe

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Flight of Silken Flowers

 

In setting up my photograph for this week's Black and White project, I had played with a silk print using various lighting and techniques. One of the effects that I particularly liked was this, taken with a slow shutter speed and intentional camera movement (blur). I was partly thinking of the mentorship that +Alex Lapidus​ is beginning soon, where he will be guiding the (fortunate) chosen participants to play with such techniques to produce just this kind of effect. The colours in this were way too lovely to desaturate them for a black and white image, so I am posting this as it is, in glorious colour. Abstract, but still obviously floral in design.

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#unsharpsaturday #intentionalblur #photoplay #camerafun #colorsonfriday +ColorsOnFriday​ by +Britta Rogge+Karsten Meyer

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Floral

 

Week 10/26

The subject for this week's black and white project was 'floral', but I wanted to avoid the obvious subjects (the only ones in the garden at the moment are crocuses and bluebells) so I decided to think out of the garden.

#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery +Brandon Luk +Lauri Novak +Alison Christensen
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“Turns” : The Voice of Steven Kennard in the Series “Conversations with Makers”

The voice of Steven Kennard, as part of the series “Conversations with Makers”. A lovely short documentary film. Enjoy!

his website is here: http://www.stevenkennard.com

Eastern Townships, Quebec

 

The Eastern Townships, outside of Montreal, Quebec, have a special place in my heart. My uncle's dairy farm in Waterloo was the warmest and most welcoming place that I knew. His barn, full of the scents of the gentle Jersey cows, milk, sweet molasses and hay represented a place of calm and security. The soft sounds in the early morning, with the rhythmic milking machines, the swish of grains thrown from a pail, the munching and movements of the animals and the voice of my uncle were like music to me. My happiest times were spent sitting in that barn, on the edge of the stalls, listening to him explaining to me everything he was doing. I felt enormously proud when I held the buckets to feed the calves and watched the wild barn cats and kittens crouched over the saucers of milk I put down for them. My proudest moment though, was when a beautiful, newborn calf with her large, soft, brown eyes was named after me. Although I rarely visited, the times I spent there are the strongest of my childhood memory. For me it was a place of love, of security.

When I got older I always yearned for a Jersey cow of my own. It was as if my life was not complete without one. When we had the farm in France we finally got our Florette. The association of those same smells and sounds in the warmth of her stall in the early morning made me feel that I was the richest person in the world. I would rest my forehead against her warm flank as I milked her into a bucket and listening to her deliberately chewing her hay I would be transported back to those days of quiet calm and remember that special, loving family in Quebec.

I still feel that my uncle is one of the wisest people I have ever met. We go to see him when we can as he is still very much alive and active, though no longer farming as he is in his 90's. Instead of milking he gardens and golfs in the summer and curls in the winter.

I feel as if it's been ages since I posted an image of a landscape. This was taken not far from my uncle's farm, in the Eastern Townships, on our trip to see him last fall. I remembered it when I saw an image posted here the other day, where snow frosted the mountains in Colorado.

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#hqsplandscape +HQSP Landscape​​​ curated by +Michael Garza​​​ +Leo Schubert​​​ +David D​​​ +Jesse Martineau​​​ +Mike Hankey​​​ +Peter Marbaise​​​

#LandscapePhotography +Landscape Photography​​​ +Margaret Tompkins​​​ +Kevin Rowe​​​ +Toshi Nakamura​​​ +Bill Wood​​​ +Tony Phillips​​​ +Jeff Beddow​​​ +Krzysztof Hanusiak​​​ +Dennis Hoffbuhr​​​ +Dave Gaylord​​​ +Doug Hagadorn​​​ +Eric Drumm​​​ +RJ Wilner​​​

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