Apr 092017
 

I took these photos back in October, 2015 when my work took me to a conference in Niagara Falls.  After dinner I grabbed my camera and a tripod to take some night photos.  Some were taken from my hotel room and others outside.  It was unusually cold and I was not quite dressed for it, but I managed to grab a few shots before walking back to my hotel.

I forgot to post these photos online upon my return home as I had far, far better things on my mind.  Once I returned home, I proposed to my beautiful wife, Melissa Faucher.  Yes, she said yes ūüôā

Jun 282015
 

Poor Jared the Jay, soaked to the bone.

Recently we’ve had a bout of some very rainy weather here in Southern Ontario. As he does each day, Jared waits patiently for me to provide him with some¬†peanuts. ¬†This nearly tame bird looked a bit miffed, but remained vigilant until I opened the door. ¬†Normally I’ll have a little chat with him and then he will take several peanuts away to his hidden stash.

 

 

 

 

 

May 142015
 

In my last post I uploaded photos of dead salmon by the shores of Lake Ontario, no doubt they were the unlucky ones after spawning season.  I had also alluded to posting some more pleasant photos, which are contained herein.

This is an odd time of the year for folks living in Southern Ontario, it seems we no longer have a gradual transition from winter to spring.  The new normal is a long, harsh winter which ends abruptly, then a warm front moves in and it is here to stay until October or November.  This is a far cry from the gentle transition to spring I remember as a kid growing up in Montreal.

The gestalt transition to warm weather occurred about a week ago.  It is definitely motorcycling season, but it is still too early to see leaves on the trees or lush green fields.  That said, it was still fun to get out and take some photos, despite being harassed by clouds of Mayflies.

All photos taken with a Pentax K-3.

May 122015
 

If you recall a song by the same name as this post, guess what?¬† You’re probably getting old as well!¬† It was recorded in 1979 by Barnes and Barnes, since then it’s become something of a cult classic.¬† That insipid melody became an ear worm as I took these shots.

Last weekend, Missy and I hopped on the Harley to enjoy the fantastic weather and take some photos at Wilmot Creek Conservation Area.  Normally this would have been a very pleasant outing, but we were ravaged by tiny Mayflies.  In fact, we were covered by them and it literally clouded the day.  Even my camera bag was covered by hundreds of these pests.

Adding to my bug woes, I noticed that I had forgotten the base plate for my tripod and had to walk to my bike and leave it the trunk.  As it turns out, this was good fate as I needed a free hand to wave off these insects.

When we got the shores of Lake Ontario, the beach was littered with dozens of dead salmon.  I guess spawning season is done and these are the unlucky ones.

Rather than posting some typical rock, lake and tree shots, I thought it would be fun to first show these grotesque carcasses.  A kind of Edgar Allan Poe flavour compared to the Henry David Thoreau nature themed and prettier images for my next post.

All images taken with a Pentax K-3, post processing and grungifying done in Adobe Lightroom.

Apr 202015
 

This bluejay, who we have named Jared is a frequent visitor to my backyard.¬† We started putting out peanuts in the last month and he comes looking for his treats every weekend morning or any day I am lucky enough to be at home.¬† In fact, if I’m not paying attention, he will sit on my deck and call out to me.¬† He won’t leave until I give him a treat.

Dropping In

Dropping In

Jays are smart birds and over time, Jared has started to develop a rapport and recognizes us.  In the last month, he has become more accustomed to our presence and will even hang around just a few feet from us on the deck, look at me with curious eyes and then fly away with his peanut and return a minute later for second, third and fourth helpings.

20150419-12-07-PENTAX K-3-smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited-51

He Will Be Back

Little by little, we are earning his trust and soon it will not surprise me if he eats out of my hand or at least becomes bold enough to lose his fear.¬† For the time being, he’s been quite the character and seems to like having his photo taken.

 

Apr 202015
 

Ahhhhhh, sweet bliss to finally get the Harley out of the garage and go for the first ride of 2015.¬† The weather was perfect and after an insufferable winter, this weekend was a blessing.¬† I took my girlfriend, Missy, along for the ride and it was also a thrill for her to get out on two wheels.¬† Our first stop was to visit some friends in Oshawa and then head out to Bluffer’s Park in Scarborough.

Faded Postcard Look

Faded Postcard Look

I have photographed Bluffer’s Park a number of times with “serious” camera equipment and that means hauling around a chunky camera, tripod and a heavy bag full of lenses.¬† This time around, I just wanted to have fun and not feel encumbered by any bulky gear.¬† As a matter of fact, I was not even sure I would take any photos.¬† So, I grabbed my tiny Pentax Q10, a polarizing filter, spare battery and everything goes into a small belt bag. ¬† Nice, simple, light and liberating.¬† Also, I wanted to experiment with photos that distort the world, rather than produce a mirror image of it.

Scintillations in Green

Scintillations in Green

Mine is Smaller

Mine is Smaller

I was not interested in high resolution¬†photos with accurate colours, great dynamic range and razor sharp optics.¬† Instead, I would embrace imperfections such as distortions, strange colours, noisy grain, blown highlights and blocked up shadows.¬† This is just another excuse¬†to play around with the Pentax Q10’s “art” filters, enjoy the day and do photography for the sheer fun of it.

20150418-17-53-PENTAX Q10-02 STANDARD ZOOM-65

BBQ Smoke Screen

I did not stick around for the golden hour of sunset and make postcard shots.  We wanted to get home before sundown and enjoy our own BBQ.  The rib eye steaks were delicious.

Feb 252015
 

Weekend mornings with my girlfriend, Missy, are always a great time for us.  Not only does she cook a fantastic breakfast, we are also treated with a bevy of wild birds in the backyard.  I often keep my camera handy just in case we get some interesting visitors.   Despite the frigid temperatures outside, the birds are out and about in droves.

Recently, the seed bell suspended over my deck fell apart after being devoured by a gang of starlings.  So, I put the remnants back on the rail to see if I could attract some smaller birds and it worked.

A woodpecker, who we have named Woody (duh), has been coming by daily to look for treats along with the chickadees.  He has now become a regular visitor and I bought a new seed bell for him.

All photos taken with a Pentax K-3 and a D-FA 100mm f2.8 macro.

Woody Woodpecker

Woody Woodpecker

 

 

Feb 022015
 

Whenever I get a snow day, I am always amazed at the cavalcade of birds that come out after the storm has abated. My girlfriend, Missy, and I stayed at home today as the overnight winter storm had virtually shutdown the roads. We were rewarded with dozens of birds who took advantage the various bird feeders in my backyard.  Indeed, they added a lot of colour and character to the blanket of snow outside.

This blue jay is checking out some peanuts I left out on the deck.

This blue jay is checking out some peanuts I left out on the deck.

The above photo was taken with an¬†Olympus OMD E-M5 and a 40-150 zoom lens. ¬†The little Olympus is great for quick shots when the birds are my deck and I do not need a lot of magnification. ¬†It’s quick and light. ¬†The other shots were taken with a Pentax K-3 and a Sigma 150-500mm zoom lens, which stretches the limits of what one can shoot handheld.