Landscape

Experimenting with Patterns

Experimental Crop Fields, Hillaton, Nova Scotia - Ellie Kennard 2016
Experimental Crop Fields, Hillaton, Nova Scotia – Ellie Kennard 2016

Almost every time I drive past this scene I want to photograph it. It’s so close to where I live that I pass it several times a week, so I suppose it’s a good thing I don’t give in to this impulse each time or my hard drives would be filled with images of these experimental fields. And you, dear viewers, would be tired of them… But maybe you wouldn’t be bored, but would be as drawn to them as I am. The attraction of this scene is the constantly changing designs, growing over the original hard work of the farmer. In the spring the patches look wonderful with the neatly plowed rows and squares, then come the patterns of the sprouting crops in their straight lines; in the summer the grain varieties grow at different rates, but the overall look still remains crisp and defined in the blocks so carefully arranged by the planter. There is even a little, older tractor that is used to cultivate these as they are too small for the monster vehicles normally used in modern day agriculture (and by the same farmer on different fields).

So although I am pretty sure that I have shared an image of this scene previously, I hope you will indulge my obsession and enjoy an October evening view as the fields are ready for harvest. The foreground is an expanse of soy as a foil to the crops behind. Two days after I took this, the soy was harvested and it all looked different again.

View the full gallery of landscape photography here: Landscapes

It’s Not Just About the Moon

Supermoon with Clouds, Minas Basin, November - Ellie Kennard 2016
Supermoon with Clouds, Minas Basin, November – Ellie Kennard 2016

When we were out photographing the moon last night, Steven said something that resonated with me when I saw this image. He said “it’s not only about the moon, it’s about what’s around and under it”. And this photo is about the moon, but also about the clouds, the light reflected on the waters and the shining mud of low tide, as well as the tiny lights glimmering on the shore on the other side of the bay.

It’s so much more than just a beautiful big moon. It’s what it’s all about when I’m out with friends, in beautiful surroundings, in the still of a cold night as the moon rises through the clouds over the Minas Basin, in Nova Scotia.

See the rest of my Landscapes gallery here: www.elliekennard.ca/ekgallery/landscapes/

Farm Seasons Changing to Fall

The Crops Safely Gathered in - Grand Pre Nova Scotia - Ellie Kennard 2016
The Crops Safely Gathered in – Grand Pre Nova Scotia – Ellie Kennard 2016

For every photograph that I take, there are far, far more that I miss. They are the pictures stored in my memory, ready for when I plan to go back and spend the time it takes to get it right. They are the ones that got away because the scene is never there again. That first time, the light was just right, the elements all came together in a pattern or shape that was perfect, or something else about it made that moment (as every moment) unique. You can never get it back. As we drove by this scene at the end of the summer, the light and dark lines in the harvested fields, cresting the curving hills really made me want to photograph it. Unfortunately each time we were passing it we were in a hurry to go somewhere and it is right on the main highway, making a sudden stop a dangerous manoeuvre. So every time I had to content myself with looking longingly at the curves of the landscape and the straight paths left by the mower, the big round bales and the smaller squared ones.  I knew that soon these would be gathered in and the green growth would blur the clean look of the field, the impression of all the elements flowing like meandering streams down the hill. On this particular weekend we set out specially to catch it. We had to stop on the side of the busy highway, with cars and trucks rushing past and the wind they created making it difficult to be still enough for the photograph. I had a long walk to get to this particular vantage point (sorry on the one hand that I had not brought my tripod, but also glad as it would have been so heavy to haul along the shoulder of the highway) and the day itself was a very blustery one as you see by the sky. I could already feel the shift of the season beginning with the gathering in of the crops. continue reading

The Night After the Night Before

Hunter's Moon Super Moon with Clouds - Ellie Kennard 2016
Hunter’s Moon Super Moon with Clouds – Ellie Kennard 2016

The night of the full moon (the night after my previous posting) I went out again, this time with Steven, hopefully having overcome the technical issues, to try to get a better photo of it. That night, the elements decided to get involved and a single big cloud rose with it. There were stars around the sky in other places, so this really was a cloud dedicated to obscuring the Super Moon. I took the photo above in spite of it, as the colours reflecting off the water in the bay and the cloud around made it look more like a sunset than a moon rise. It was much darker than the night before as the sun had gone down over half an hour earlier.

From Home

After taking a few photos the cloud really thickened so that we could barely see the moon any longer and we gave up and decided to pack up cameras and tripods and head for home. As we drove away we remarked to each other that for sure as soon as we left that cloud would disappear and we would be in the wrong place to get a picture. Sure enough, as we turned into our drive, the moon was appearing above the trees at the bottom of our field. The cloud was beginning to break up and you could just see that full moon coming through, though looking much smaller than it had before. This next photo was taken from our driveway, when a ring began to appear around it, with the trees silhouetted underneath. So after this we now will choose a location for next month and wait and hope that the elements will be kind to us and the night not too cold.

See more of my landscape photographs on my gallery: Landscapes

Hunter's Moon Super Moon from home - Ellie Kennard 2016
Hunter’s Moon Super Moon from home – Ellie Kennard 2016

Hunter’s Moon, Super Moon Over the Minas Basin

Hunters moon, Supermoon over the Minas Basin- Ellie Kennard 2016
Hunters moon, Supermoon over the Minas Basin- Ellie Kennard 2016

We had a fun time, Linda and I, planning our trip to try to photograph the Supermoon which was also the Hunter’s Moon this month. We chose the location to try to get the reflection of the moon in the little water that would be visible at one of the lowest tides, if possible. We also hoped to get some cliffs in the scene, but I miscalculated the position of the moon and it rose in a different place from where I thought it would so we only have the tidal flats and water in the scene. (Note to self for next time: calibrate the device for the app before using it if you hope for any degree of accuracy.)

This was the night before the full moon which was the best for getting some light into the landscape as the sun set just before the moon rose. The next night it was much darker as the sunset was half an hour before moonrise and it wasn’t possible to see much foreground.

I liked this one with the colours of the fading light from the setting sun which just showed a hint of the foreground detail and warmed the sky. The atmosphere on the horizon gave the moon the reddish tone.

We had a few other little technical difficulties which meant that most of the images from that night are not usable, but every photographic session seems to be a learning experience and we plan to try again next month on the 13th, putting into practice what we learned from that evening’s results. And I have in mind a setting where we can get some cliffs into the scene as well. What we have to hope for is the same clear weather on that night, though a few wispy clouds would work nicely, too!

See more of my landscape photographs on my gallery: Landscapes

A Dream of Country Sunsets

Dream of a country sunset - multiple exposure - Ellie Kennard 2016
Dream of a country sunset – multiple exposure – Ellie Kennard 2016

A path that runs along the side of a field that’s near our house has always given the best view of sunsets within a 5 minute walk. As we have so many trees around us and the ground rises in the direction of the setting sun, the most glorious bursts of colour in the evenings can go completely unnoticed if we don’t make a special effort to get to this clearing. Yesterday night I saw the reflections in the clouds in the east and practically ran out with Joni, camera (and blue ball) in hand, hoping I was not too late. The display was almost over when I got there, but the landscape has changed since my last sunset visit there. For the first time in 19 years the farmer has planted corn in that field that has lain fallow for so long. The ripening crop stands about 3 feet taller than my head, with the path on a much lower level. The foliage makes an interesting silhouette in the foreground, but the (in camera) multiple exposure gives such a dreamy feel that I decided to share this. Dreams of country sunsets.

Reality Check Now Available in Audio Format

for your listening pleasure

I’m happy to post another audio recording of one of my stories.  This time it’s a thought provoking one of alternate realities.  The audio file is available on the original story page as well as on the audio sections of the site and via podcast downloads.  Enjoy!

'Reality Check', another read me a story Audio file and podcast now online
‘Reality Check’, another read me a story Audio file and podcast now online

This is also available on the Podcast page: http://elliekennard.ca/podcast/

Let me read you this story on the linked page using the audio player while you browse the images.

If you have subscribed on iTunes or Google Play Music the new one will be available shortly.

Reality Check

The Sea Bottom

Sand dunes on the sea bottom, low tide, Minas Basin, Nova Scotia - Ellie Kennard 2016 Ellie Kennard 2016
Sand dunes on the sea bottom, low tide, Minas Basin, Nova Scotia – Ellie Kennard 2016

Living, as we do, very close to the Bay of Fundy which boasts the highest (and the lowest) tides in the world, twice a day we are able to walk far out along the bottom of the sea bed to the edge of the receding water. It is a strange feeling, knowing that within a few short hours the water will be many feet, even meters above our heads as we walk out on the hard sea bottom. It is a constantly shifting underwater landscape, with the perpetual motion of the waves sculpting the sand and rocks into new formations twice a day, every day. The movement of the water doesn’t allow for anything but buried sea creatures and crabs to remain for long. It gives a clean sweep, every 12.5 hours. Here it looks as if the sand has taken the form of the receding waves themselves. This is Kingsport Beach, about 10 minutes from where we live.

Snow Geese on the Banks of the Saint Lawrence River, Quebec

Snow Geese, St, Lawrence River, Quebec - Ellie Kennard 2016
Snow Geese, St, Lawrence River, Quebec – Ellie Kennard 2016

On our recent trip along the shores of the Saint Lawrence river, wending our way to Quebec city, we stopped to watch this flock of snow geese wading through the marshy mud flats, feeding on he various aquatic plants, grasses etc. I was mystified by the black legs as the bird is described as having pink ones, until I realized that they were probably just covered in black mud! Snow geese, according to my birding app, pass through on their way in a Spring migration, and this was a first sighting of these birds for me. According to iBird, during the summer their heads are often stained red from gathering food in iron oxide laden mud.

Across the river you see the mountains of the opposite shore rising out of the mist, with the last of the snow trails just visible.