Diaphanous Crocus

Diaphanous Crocus- Ellie Kennard 2016
Diaphanous Crocus- Ellie Kennard 2016

We only had one patch of white crocus this year, so I decided to take several exposures of it and combine them to give one of my favourite effects, which I think distills the essence of the plant, while giving a translucence and delicacy to the flower petals. Spring is supposed to be on the way, but with the world weather patterns shifting there is every chance that we might end up once again buried under mounds of snow. Well, perhaps not every chance. And hopefully no chance at all. Please. Just some sun and warmth. With no black-flies or mosquitoes. (I can dream.)

Enjoy your weekend, whatever the weather!

The full “When Life is a Blur” gallery is here.

Looking for a Home

Looking for a Home - Ellie Kennard 2016
Looking for a Home – Ellie Kennard 2016

Ladybirds, ladybugs or ladybird beetles* are usually associated with the outdoors, climbing up plants and flowers in their bright hard shiny shells of red and black. This little one will not be staying there for long as the weather was becoming too cold and had crisped the leaves of this plant, one of the signs that it was time to seek shelter before winter arrived.

Here in Canada, these insects cannot survive in the months of winter cold and so they all search for a warm place where they can stay safe and wait for the spring. Somehow, despite the screens on our windows, they manage to get into our house where they choose to lodge in the top corners of our cupboards and bedroom walls and ceilings, where they congregate in big heaps. I don’t mind seeing them there as they always remind me that if they can be patient just sitting there waiting for the winter to pass, then so should I.

As the days start to lengthen and the warm sun streams through windows, they begin to wake up and start to stretch their little legs and wings, preparing to start their new cycles, raising their young in the great outdoors. While it’s still too cold outside, the ones in our house take their daily (and nightly) exercise in our bedroom, landing on lampshades and even on our faces at odd times in the night. I was shocked when I realized that they have a little nip to them when they are upset (when you accidentally brush them off your face too roughly when you are woken up by them!) I like them much better when they are outside, like this one.

View the whole “Tiny Wildlife” gallery here: “Tiny Wildlife”

 

* Ladybirds (UK), ladybugs (US): From Wikipedia “Entomologists in the United States widely prefer the names ladybird beetles or lady beetles as these insects are not true bugs.”
 

Purple

Multiple Exposure Purple African Violet- Ellie Kennard 2016
Multiple Exposure Purple African Violet- Ellie Kennard 2016

The world has lost a great musician this week so purple seems to be the appropriate colour in memory.

Somehow seeing a grouping of African Violets in a multiple exposure image intensifies the experience as they are photographed from multiple angles and combined. This one is a lovely rich purple with beautifully contrasting yellow centres. The tiny hairs on the petals seem to be highlighted by this process.

View the full “When Life is a Blur” image gallery here.

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A Posy of African Violets For Your Sunday

 

I love the multiple exposure of small flowers and this one of a pink African violet I have on my window sill is one I took this week. I love how it seems to distill the various flowering stages into this one image making it seem to be a small bunch, a posy of colour and light!

Enjoy this on your Sunday wherever you are. It is sunny here, if still quite cold and I am going to take Joni and have a walk on the beach now that the tide is on the way out. I hope you do something as relaxing for the rest of your day.

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“MY BABY!”

This beautiful dog, named Zoë really seems to be saying in no uncertain words “This is my baby”! I was visiting my friend with her tiny, gorgeous new baby, Scarlett when I met her lovely year old dog Zoë for the first time. She was boisterous and determined to jump all over me in her excitement. For the first time I tried out the famous “don’t look at her, don’t talk to her, don’t touch her” trick of the Dog Whisperer (Cesar Milan). We both were amazed at how quickly Zoë relaxed and calmly sat to watch me. She was still and quiet while I moved around, letting me take her photograph (she didn’t see my eyes looking at her behind the camera), while little Scarlett and her mum chatted with me. After she calmed down (Zoë I mean) we had a good pat as her reward!

I love those eyes that look at us with such warmth and wisdom.

I’m so sorry that I have neglected my postings lately. I have been very busy after my bout with the flu’ helping with the Camera Basics mentorship. I hope to get back to resume my regular programming once the mentorship is over in a couple of weeks!

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Seeing Into the Heart

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See the whole album here: Joni, the Definitive Collection

I had taken this photo of Joni a few weeks ago (just before we were hit with the horrible flu virus that has kept me silent for weeks). I wanted to post it, but it wasn't until I made a reply to a comment from someone on a post that I had the thoughts right for what I wanted to say about it.

You see, you look at this picture and you see a dog, someone else's dog. If you like animals you might like the photo, especially if you are a Border Collie fan. But you can only see so much. The picture shows bright shiny happy eyes a snowy face, obviously from a time of play, clean white teeth (could be scary for some). But you can't see the heart of this dog the way you can with your own.

What I am saying is that all dogs are special to their owners who love them and who have seen into their hearts. So when I look at your dog in a photograph, as lovely as it is, I only see a small part of this special animal. It's a bit like an iceberg. So much is hidden beneath the surface. Isn't that the same with us all? You have seen some child misbehaving, perhaps, pitying the poor parents as you see them struggling. They alone really see into the heart of this child and know the beauty hidden in there. Or a good friend of yours might be going through a rough patch and when someone who doesn't know them very well is taken aback by a careless (or cutting) remark, you understand and stick with your friend from the love you have which opens your eyes to see into their heart. You see below the surface.

So I hope you enjoy the photograph of this dog. My dog. When I look at it I see the heart shining through in her eyes. I see a smile.

(I am not sure where the new Google+ is taking us with photos, so am sharing the Definitive Joni album in the hopes that it might encourage people to browse the other Joni images if they want!)

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We Two/Three Are One

 

A little while ago we were asked to provide a recent photograph of ourselves. It was supposed to be taken out of doors (it was cold at the time!) and to show some context, with Steven's workshop in the barn. We tried different places that we thought might work but nothing seemed ideal, so in the end we decided that the doorway to the workshop would be the best location. We set up the camera on the tripod and discussed how we thought we should be standing. I didn't want to be bundled up in a winter coat, tempting though that was, so settled on a light jacket. Steven wanted Joni in the photograph and asked me to hold her while he set the camera timer and ran back to his place in the scene. Joni really did not want to stand still and was squirming so much that I was forced to let her go as the shutter clicked leaving two blurred figures out of three.

Take Two

"Forget Joni", Steven said and so we prepared again and he ran back. As he did so I called her name once. She ran straight up to me and sat as you see her. As the shutter clicked she had just begun to turn her head toward the camera, but at least she is shown here as part of the family and not blurred. The Kennard family at home!

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The Lure of the Big City Lights

I was brought up in a big city (Montreal) and I remember so well as a little girl the rare times when I was coming home with my parents late at night in the winter (had we been perhaps visiting a friend or relative?) in the back seat of our car. My mother sat with me, I remember and I was cuddled into her side against her warm soft coat of some kind of fur, smelling her perfume and hearing her soft voice. The car was warm though it was wintry cold outside. From that feeling of sleepy, comfortable love and security I would watch the city lights below me as we drove across the top of Mount Royal. I would wait for the sweep of the searchlight on the top of the mountain as it made its way back around the dark sky time after time. Though this was very long ago now, still, the lights of a city always bring back some of that same feeling.

This was taken during our visit to the city of Québec.

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Just When You Thought it Was Over

Life and Nova Scotia weather have a way of surprising and delighting you. Yesterday the snow had entirely melted leaving behind only the dull brown of mud and winter grasses. It was really too early for Spring promise and the world seemed to have been caught in a state of embarrassing unwashed undress. Then, as though she had coyly pulled her fluffy white eiderdown over her, this morning she looked all resplendent once again, her nakedness buried in a modest covering of white.

Yes, the Spring will come, with the green pushing through to quickly cover the mud and dead grasses. Just not yet.

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