To all ye who want to paint with light ...

I should have started this blog many moons ago as I started experiencing the joys of rediscovering the art of photography. But as the saying goes - it's better late, than never!
So, here I am, in the hopes of recording what I learn as I progress from ignorance to enlightenment; about what my eyes can see that my camera can capture; and, what my mind imagines and my camera paints with its capabilities.

Please feel free to add any comments and share your wisdom (tips or tricks) that you have picked up along the way.

And do check out my How-To and Birding pages as well.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 101 - And the rains came

Been busy and not posting.. neither clicking everyday.. bad, bad, bad!

These shots are from 5 days ago!

I wish I could have had a better background to show off the raindrops in the last image but being limited to a small balcony corner didn't afford much option.  Enlarging this shot will probably make the raindrops a bit more visible.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 100 - Yay!

Celebrating 100 days of my photo 365 with a big splash!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 98 - Down by Sleepy Hollow

I found a little neighbourhood that is really quiet and green.. the only sounds coming from the population of green frogs that live there.  An occasional "gunk gunk" is all that punctuates the silence.  This neighbourhood is complete with a creek and a willow tree.  I found some damselflies and some frogs there.  The water lilies are starting to bloom and a flock of wigeons were seen foraging among duckweed.  I have to revisit this place as I got some shots of the green frog that didn't turn out the best.  I had to almost step right into the water to get this shot.

Day 97 - I see red

I thought of photographing three red subjects today since I'm fast running out of ideas and inspiration again.  Here are my finds - red on the licence place (the logo of the Montreal hockey team), red cherries on a tree, red-bricked house.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 96 - By the river

Day 95 - The Baltimore Oriole

Saw this guy foraging for insects just outside my bedroom window.  As I've mentioned in my earlier posts, these little guys are extremely restive and aren't the perching kinds.  They just flit from one branch to the other without slowing down - very tricky to catch without a super telephoto lens either.  This is the best one I got through the glass window.  I blew out a couple others that could have been better handled.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Day 94 - Rainy day holiday

Since I have nothing to post for today, I'm going to post a couple from yesterday's shoot.  I love the summer for all the birds and wildflowers.  However, I'm yet to see many butterflies.  This was my first encounter with one. 

I was shooting in shutter priority mode as there was quite a breeze and I was having issues with getting a single shot with sharp focus.  

I accidentally forgot to adjust my high ISO on this one, so I had to fix the highlights a little bit in post-processing.  
I fixed the ISO for this next one though.  

This was taken with my 250 mm lens - a tiny critter, but the ray of sunlight illuminated a part of the wing really beautifully.  

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Day 93 - Another spectacular dusk, but I was in a hurry

Taken with the 55 mm end of my telephoto lens.  Missing the wide angle view.

I tried to blur the main subject her and kept a small part of the foreground in focus.  

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day 92 - There will be sunshine after rain

I believe what Dire Straits said in their song "Why Worry":

"There will be laughter after pain,
There will be sunshine after rain,
These things have always been the same -
So, why worry now!"

And so there was - one entirely gloomy, rainy day and look at how the sun burst forth during the early evening!

This 1-banded snail was suddenly lit up by a single shaft of sunshine that somehow penetrated the deepest part of the forest.  I would have stepped on the poor guy, otherwise!  One lucky day for this little soul!  Hope he got out and away of the forest path.

I couldn't get the exact effect I was after.  But the wind was bouncing this in and out of my frame and I was afraid the droplets would roll off if I didn't get a quick shot.

Backlit wildflower with a gossamer web almost setting it's boundaries for it to stay within.

This flower was a little bit in the distance, but most importantly deep in the marsh preventing me from getting close to it.  But my attention was caught by this single flower with another single stalk a few inches away from it.  They seemed to have sprung from nowhere.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Day 91 - Little kitty

Saw this guy from my bedroom window.  I didn't have a lot of room to play with, since I had to almost wedge myself into a corner to be able to get a proper view.  The dappled lighting went in favour of these shots, I think.  Since my windows were cleaned not too long ago, I managed to get a decent enough shot from the second floor.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 88 - She sells sea shells.. no.. she just sees shells!

The shots didn't quite turn out the way I wanted them, but I kinda like the second and last shots the best.  I used a lamp with a "soft box" to illuminate the shell from below in the last one.  The other two shots are taken in ambient light.   The background turned out the best in the last one, I think - I love the soft diffused background and the 2 levels of reflections.  

Av, spot metering, f/6.3, exposure compensation of -1, ISO 200

Av, spot metering, f/6.3, exposure compensation of -1, ISO 200

Av, spot metering, f/10, exposure compensation - 2 stops, ISO 200

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Day 87 - More birds

Two men and their dog gone fishing on the St. Lawrence River.

I spotted two more birds this evening - the common grackle and a couple of cedar waxwings.  I saw a couple of yellow warblers, but it was already too dark and they were too high up for me to snap them.  Oh, well!

This is most likely a lincoln's sparrow, but I'm not completely certain.  

The beautiful colours of the common grackle, captured in the glow of the setting sun.

The cedar waxwing - it very difficult to snap this one as he was hiding behind leaves.  Took a while to get shots clear of branches.  This is the best one I could get.  

Monday, June 7, 2010

Day 85 - Sunrise without the sun

I went out at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday seeing that there were some pretty thick and patchy clouds.  Clouds usually make for interesting sunrises and sunsets, so why not?  It was chilly and pretty windy, but I heeded that not and went up to the new patch of riverside I was exploring the day before.

I was greeted by a great blue heron sitting knee-deep in the shallows.  After waiting for over 45 minutes, I realized that the sunrise wasn't going to happen because a thick cloud cover had rolled in.  So, the sun didn't rise at all.  Instead, the wind was bone-chilling and then there was rain!

I'm lucky this guy was so motionless - this was taken at 1.6s, f/5.6, ISO 100, to give the effect of the heron standing knee-deep in silky waters.

This was taken seconds later and the guy was doing something totally different.  It was no small luck that I got both the shots the way I wanted them!

But the highlights were that I spotted two new birds - the yellow warbler and the song sparrow although I have no good photographs of them.  Low light, small birds, and a 250 mm lens don't go a long way to getting good shots.  I also saw a juvenile red-winged blackbird that the parents were guarding fiercely.   It's a great time of year to see the young 'uns.

A not so good shot of the yellow warbler.  I have to find ways to improve these shots.  I'm losing too many good photo ops.  Usually these small birds are very active and hide in the foliage very high up on tall trees.  Go figure!  

This is the baby red-winged blackbird that was sitting not too far away from where I positioned myself.  I had almost passed it by, but the slight movement in the foliage alerted me to this little guy's presence. :-)