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/

White Rose’s Glowing Heart of Summer

White Rose's Glowing Heart of Summer : Ellie Kennard 2016
White Rose’s Warm Heart : Ellie Kennard 2016

With the chilly temperatures of autumn creeping into our bones in Nova Scotia, I felt like seeing a flashback to the drowsy heat of summer. This white rose in multiple exposure shows the warm glow inside the cool white petals. This beautiful flower was blooming in the middle of Halifax in the public gardens which are like a quiet oasis of peace with the bustling of the city surrounding it. As the gardens in the city, the heart of a flower is an oasis of visual sweetness for the visitor to sit and contemplate, just as it is literally for nectar seeking insects. I hope this warm-hearted rose has brought back a memory of summer days and taken some of the chill you might be feeling from the cold damp days of autumn.

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

Michelle Cooking

Michelle Cooking - Ellie Kennard 2016
Michelle Cooking – Ellie Kennard 2016

An evening meal with friends is one of the greatest pleasures we can have. Wonderful food, interesting conversation, warmth and laughter. Nothing makes you feel as good on a long drive home as the feelings that linger. Thank you, Michelle and Kyle. It was a lovely evening.

Michelle Smiling While Cooking - Ellie Kennard 2016
Michelle Smiling While Cooking – Ellie Kennard 2016

Black-Eyed Susans Lighting up the Shadows

Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia_hirta) lighting up the undergrowth - Ellie Kennard 2016
Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia_hirta) lighting up the undergrowth – Ellie Kennard 2016

Life has become hectic as we prepare for the winter. Night is coming earlier and earlier and even during the day the clouds, whipped by the winds will darken the sky before releasing their chilly rains. The summer really has finished, but despite all of that, if you look into their secret hiding places behind bushes and in sheltered areas, you will find these bright splashes of light to cheer the gloomiest day. I hope you enjoy these sunny little wild flowers and that they brighten your day.

See more floral images on my Flora gallery. https://www.elliekennard.ca/ekgallery/flora/

Fall Hydrangeas

Autumn Hydrangea - Ellie Kennard 2016
Autumn Hydrangea – Ellie Kennard 2016

This particular type of hydrangea might seem rather subdued compared to the much more lush ones we usually see in blues and bright pinks, but for me it has an understated delicate appeal as the petals vary in colours even on the same branch, from cream to soft pink then tinged with pale brown in the autumn. They are one of my favourite subjects to photograph in the fall as they are such a contrast to the bright flamboyant golden and red display of leaves on the trees around them. Just looking at them lifts the spirits.

Continue reading and see more photos

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