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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Official Trailer to the Series of 6 Conversations with Makers: “LIfe’s Work”

The Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council has written about this great series: (from http://www.nsdcc.ns.ca/news-opportunities/lifes-work-six-conversations-makers)
“Life’s twists, challenges, surprises, and possibilities have been captured by filmmaker Ben Proudfoot in a new series of short documentary videos called Life’s Work:  Six Conversations with Makers.   The trailer forLife’s Work, containing clips from all six videos, is being released today.”


“Life’s Work introduces viewers to six of Nova Scotia’s master craftspeople.   Through the videos we get to visit them in their studios, and learn a little about their lives and what inspires their creativity.   “The satisfaction that you get from actually making something with your own hands can’t be described,” says woodturner Steven Kennard, “The joy and the delight!”
Stone, featuring stone carver Heather Lawson was released last week.  Turns, featuring Steven Kennard will be released on Vimeo on May 5, followed by Mother Earth (May 19), Fibre & Wood (June 2), Lady Bug(June 16), and Rust (June 30).
Directed by Ben Proudfoot of Breakwater Studios International Ltd., Life’s Work is a collaboration between Craft Alliance Atlantic Association and the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council.  Funding for the project was provided by ACOA Nova Scotia and Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia who recognized and supported the opportunity to celebrate and promote our vibrant culture, our talented craftspeople, and our beautiful province to a global audience.
“There’s something that turns me on about the fact that, at the end of the day here’s something that I think is very cool that didn’t exist in the morning.  It wasn’t there last week.  It didn’t exist last year.  And here it is,” says sculptor Gordon Kennedy, “If you want to do things, do it.  This isn’t the dress rehearsal.  What matters is life.  Life matters.  Live it.””

Did Someone Say the Lighting With Intent Mentorship is Starting Soon?

 

Brent and I are really excited that tomorrow I am going to be starting this mentorship with the master of lighting, +Eric Raeber. This should be a wonderful period of learning and we have an amazing group of people lined up ready to explore the mysteries of lighting in photography. I am looking forward to being able to understand and use new techniques to make better use of lighting in my photography, including portraits. This was taken, as he was sitting waiting for his supper, so cute in his little leather jacket.

Brent is the son of good friends of mine and his expression shows perfectly the wonder and excitement I feel waiting for tomorrow's very first lesson to arrive in my inbox.

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#portraitgallery +Portrait gallery by +Aamir Shahzad
#hqspportraits +HQSP Portraits curated by +Heiko Köster +Frank Nöthe
#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome curated by +Luis Vivanco S. +Оксана Крысюкова +Nader El Assy +Howard Salmon and +tri rini nuringtyas

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The woodpeckers around here are really superstitious!

 

Week 9/26: Superstitions

The pileated woodpeckers in our woods make a terrific racket as they search for food in the trunks of the old trees and the holes that are left are impressive. I had seen this tree at the bottom of the field by the barn and knew that it would do for this theme. I knew it worked when Steven, on seeing the images said "The woodpeckers around here are really superstitious!"

#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery +Brandon Luk +Lauri Novak +Alison Christensen

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Life’s Work : Stone – Heather Lawson, Master Stone Carver

The first in a series of 6 videos to be released bi-monthly on the theme of conversations with Nova Scotian makers. This one is a glimpse into the life of master stone carver, Heather Lawson. Beautifully produced by +Ben Proudfoot of Breakwater Studios.

Sophia

 

Sophia is like a flower. She brightens up the room just as flowers do, by her very presence. She is full of light and love and joy with her direct, trusting gaze and that little smile that played around her rosebud mouth when she looked up at her beloved Dadda.

We met Sophia only yesterday and she touched our hearts. What a sweetheart.

Are you not able to comment on Google+ because you don't belong? Would you prefer to comment on my blog? It's right here with all my G+ posts on it: http://www.elliekennard.ca .

#portraitgallery +Portrait gallery​ by +Aamir Shahzad
#hqspportraits +HQSP Portraits​ curated by +Heiko Köster+Ryan Ottaway Martin
#themagicoflight +The Magic of Light​ by +Ray Bilcliff+Hamid Dastmalchi+Paul Stein
#inthelight +In the Light​ by +andi rivarola

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Watching Like a Hawk

 

But isn't it supposed to be spring?

This hawk sat in the tree outside our house keeping an eye on our bird feeders, during another snowstorm. Most of the photographs we took were spoiled by having so much snow flying across the bird that it was not even clear what it was. Also, the camouflage of this bird is striking and unless you looked very carefully you couldn't even see it at all. And yes, this was taken in April. So this poor hawk is probably thinner than usual and desperately in need of a good meal although the fluffed up feathers make him look big and fat. Will this winter ever end?

Apparently it will and the clue is the sound of birdsong is filling the air as it always does in the spring. We even had an invasion of robins that managed to find some verges that had been cleared of snow by the plows next to the towering banks of white snow.

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HQSP Birds
#hqspbirds +HQSP Birds curated by +Andy Brown +Dilip Mundkur +Wade Cochran and +Serkan Mutan

#backyardbirdingmonday +Backyard Birding Monday #BackyardbirdingMonday by +Celeste Odono +Ricky L Jones +Marilou Aballe

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Like A Candle in the Wind

 

Week 8/26: Asymmetrical

We were given this antique brass candlestick many years ago and I love the way the tarnish almost seems to give it texture, in a black and white image.

The candlestick usually sits on the mantelpiece above the wood stove in our living room. With the unusually cold temperatures this year, the fire has had to be kept fairly hot to keep the whole of the house warm. A couple of weeks ago I saw that the candle hadn't been able to take the heat and as happens so many times when looking at things a line of a song (or sometimes it's poetry) went through my head when I looked at it. So the title is the song.

I have to apologise for my absence in the public stream lately. I have been co-mentoring a terrific group of enthusiastic people who have been learning to break free of the bonds of automatic settings on their cameras. The mentorship is part of the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers and this program has helped me (and many others) to grow in my photographic skills. Check them out if you are interested in getting involved as a mentor or a mentee, on the learning side.

Are you not able to comment on Google+ because you don't belong? Would you prefer to comment on my blog? It's right here with all my G+ posts on it: http://www.elliekennard.ca .

#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery +Brandon Luk +Lauri Novak +Alison Christensen

#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome curated by +Luis Vivanco S. +Оксана Крысюкова +Nader El Assy +Howard Salmon and +tri rini nuringtyas

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Umbrella

 

Week 7/26 BW Project 26

I have a vivid memory of a dark and stormy night when I was about 3 years old. I was running across a lawn, holding my mother's hand to go to look at something that was happening at the house next door, although I don't recall what that was – maybe a fire, or flood or something. Suddenly I felt a pain in my eye and cried out. My mother swept me up in her arms, a look of panic on her face. I had been struck with the spoke of someone's umbrella. Blood poured down my face mingling with the driving rain drops. My memory of the rest of the night is hazy, but I was taken to emergency where my eye was examined and it was discovered that the spoke had just cut into my eyebrow, missing my eye, fortunately.

My poor distraught mother must have been devastated as she thought of her darling little daughter, my face (she thought) scarred for life. The cut was not large, perhaps 1/2 an inch in length, maybe a bit less. I had often wondered where the scar was (I had never seen it, it was really very small) but a few weeks ago, so many years later, I found where the scar was. As a result of the trauma (mostly caused by my mother's panic and hysteria) I never could be convinced to carry an umbrella, even during the 21 years I lived in England. I am always very careful when I walk by anyone carrying one.

A few years ago, I told myself that it was foolish to be so unreasonable about using an umbrella and I have since bought ones that I use occasionally.

The theme this fortnight is "Umbrella", however so far we are still buried under snow (although today it has rained, in sympathy with the theme!). I dug my umbrella out of the car door, dusted it off (not very well) and set up the photograph more as an art(icle) piece than utility. The theme brought back this memory to me of that long ago accident.

Are you not able to comment on Google+ because you don't belong? Would you prefer to comment on my blog? It's right here with all my G+ posts on it: http://www.elliekennard.ca .

#BWProject26 | Curated by +Tisha Montgomery +Brandon Luk +Lauri Novak +Alison Christensen

#hqspmonochrome +HQSP Monochrome curated by +Luis Vivanco S. +Оксана Крысюкова +Nader El Assy +Howard Salmon and +tri rini nuringtyas

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