Wednesday, December 30, 2009

PhotographyCorner "Photo of the Year" contest

Some of you photographers out there might be interested in the $10000 worth of prizes offered in the Photo of the Year contest held by PhotographyCorner.com - a fairly extensive prize package for the winners. View the Contest Info page for details about entering. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Nature of Being Neighbours

Neighbours share a landscape - tied to the location by proximity if by no other factors. I came across this scene in Toronto's Distillery District.

[ f/5.6, 1/80 sec, 32mm, ISO 200 ]


The wonderful brick textures, the symmetry provided by the windows, the offsetting green drain pipe complementing the color of the bicycles, which fit in so nicely with the nostalgic feel of a simpler time that this scene evokes; the feel of the cobblestone - all factors enough to make me want to take this shot. And it reminded me of two neighbours living together, sharing a neighbourhood.

Both are bound together, but both are also separated by an enforced distance. The one at the right, slightly turned away, not sure if it wants to interact or talk to his neighbour. The one on the left is a little more protective of her property, but the covering is in a bit of disrepair, the protection against the elements perhaps not as up to date as one would like.

But neighbours share a common lifestyle and are as much bound together by that which separates them. A good fence, for example, acts to separate and mark boundaries... but it also provides a leaning post over which to converse. Neighbours are always tied to each other - the bonds between them forming a sense of protection and security that comes from getting to know each other better.

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I will be updating this blog about once a week; sometimes more. You can check the 'Blog Archive' links on the right side to see previous photos and posts. You are always welcome to go back through the archives to view and comment on previous postings. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, December 21, 2009

Rise Above the Crowd

Driving along a country road outside of Carp, I came across this view. The winter corn was still standing, forming a wall along the side of the road. Over the top were a set of trees towering over the corn stalks, regal overlords peering over their kingdom.

[ f/9, 1/400, 45mm, ISO 200 ]


So many themes came to mind as I approached this scene:

Rise Above the Crowd
Assert Yourself
Live Your Dreams
Breaking Away

Any of which would have made a good theme or title for the story being played out by the simple rows of corn, and even simpler tree that stands watch over them. What theme or story plays out for you?

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I will be updating this blog about once a week; sometimes more. You can check the 'Blog Archive' links on the right side to see previous photos and posts. You are always welcome to go back through the archives to view and comment on previous postings.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snowy Avenue

Winter is a season that is often surprisingly full of color. Oak leaves stubbornly hanging on, colorful architectural detail, or a splash of red - worn perhaps as a statement against the white snowy backgrounds and the colder air.

[ f/5, 1/640 sec, ISO 200, 24mm ]


"Snowy Avenue" evokes a moment of winter wonder, a clear day inviting you to take a stroll down a snowy avenue. I like the sense of 'journey' that the line of oaks suggest. Winter is an appropriate time for evaluating where you want to be. Venturing outside takes a more conscious decision than warmer days demand. Though I might hesitate on a decision to leave the warmth, a trip outside on a day such as this brings a breath of be-ing that only exists when braced by the freshness of a cold wind.

Cold at the start - yet a winter outing is rewarded with the warmth that results from the constant peek of color from behind the snow, the re-assuring crunch beneath the feet, red cheeks on fellow travellers...

and a sense of gladness or joy that comes from accepting Nature's invitation to experience a landscape so completely renewed when covered with a fresh layer of white...

After all, why else such stillness and virgin snow, devoid of footprints until you heed the call?

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I will be updating this blog about once a week; sometimes more. You can check the 'Blog Archive' links on the right side to see previous photos and posts. You are always welcome to go back through the archives to view and comment on previous postings. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Window Dressing

Walking in the Distillery District of Toronto is an eye-catching experience. The richness provided by a romanticized view of old world beauty combines harmoniously with contemporary fashion and art. And that describes a major aspect of the motivation behind taking this photo.

[ f/5.3, 1/160 sec, 165mm, ISO 100 ]


In "Window Dressing" there exists a most wonderful harmony between old and new. The immediate contrast between the items for sale viewed against the weathered window frame. A metaphor for inner renewal? For dressing up our imagination so one can escape the aging body? Or how about a contradiction to the old 'truism' of not being able to teach an old dog new tricks?

"Window Dressing"  - what theme plays out for you?
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I will be updating this blog about once a week; sometimes more. You can check the 'Blog Archive' links on the right side to see previous photos and posts. You are always welcome to go back through the archives to view and comment on previous postings. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Resolute

"A wise man who stands firm is a statesman, a foolish man who stands firm is a catastrophe.” [attributed to Adlai Stevenson]
Looking at this photo, I wonder which of the two is represented.


[ISO 200, f/22, 6 sec, 16mm, ND filter]


Certainly there is a sense of struggle between opposing forces here. Many of us can well remember the times that we've been asked to stand firm against a rushing tide of opposing thought or opinion. In some ways the test of our resolve became an important step in our growth towards maturity. Holding fast to our principles may sometimes feel like we are pushing against the tide. When the tide is a threat to justice, it is important that we act as the statesman standing firm.

The tree against the rushing current. Water eroding the soil base. A courageous act of defience? Or a stubborn person hanging on to an idea in contradiction to the flow of enlightened opinion? Two enemies embraced by their conflicting character?

A river, by its very nature needs to move. Otherwise, it risks becoming a stagnant pond, running shallow and drying up. A tree needs to stand firm. It's roots solidly embracing the soil on which it's nourished. Otherwise, it risks being uprooted by even the merest wind.

Sticking to a decision that goes against the public opinion?
The foolish man trying to hold back the tides of change?

Perhaps its just another struggle, another story of life and death, of predator and prey.

Let me know what YOU see. Comments are always welcome!
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As a brief aside, I expect that I'll be updating this blog about every 3 days or so. At least once a week anyway! You can check the 'Blog Archive' links on the right side to see previous photos and posts. You are always welcome to go back through the archives to view and comment on previous postings. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What's Love Got To Do With It?

I was wandering the Distillery District in Toronto when I came upon this shot. I was stopped by the heart. Someone decided to reach through the bars to make a statement. And I couldn't help but wonder about this. Why here? Why behind the bars? Why in a setting like this? I started to wonder what love had to do with this scene - hence the title of the photo.

[ISO 800, f/13, 1/8 sec, 55 mm]



I wonder if the love has weathered better than the dusty window, rusting bars, and rotting wood. Or is it worn and battered, shed long ago from the lovers like the flecks of paint expelled from the shutter?

Is this a love that has endured? That remains, protected behind the bars of re-assuring embraces, keeping out the elements that might assail the commitments made?

Is this a new love, still fragile, seeking protection to keep it from being hurt? Yet bold enough to proclaim itself to all that might be passing by?

The hinges, the shutter, the hook... at the ready to seal out the world.

Yet worn, from being left open.

What's love got to do with it?

***

Let me know what YOU see. Comments are always welcome!
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As a brief aside, I expect that I'll be updating this blog about every 3 days or so. At least once a week anyway! You can check the 'Blog Archive' links on the right side to see previous photos and posts. You are always welcome to go back through the archives to view and comment on previous postings. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Pine Forest

I like to tell myself that there is always a picture to be had. My job is to find it.

I have driven by this stand of trees almost every day for the past year. There have been a few times that I thought about stopping. Finally, this one particular day, I did stop. But I didn't have my camera with me. Seeing such wonderful light, I decide that I should hurry home and return to take this photograph.

It's title is simply "The Pine Forest"

[Nikon D300, Sigma 10 - 20mm @ 20mm, ISO 200, 1/13 sec, tripod mounted, ND filter]



Pine needles beneath my feet. A warm late afternoon sun on my face. Summer fading away.
Few green plants remain, reaching for light and warmth, desperately wanting to hang on beyond the changing season.

The sweet smell of pine filling the air. Bird songs echo, carried in the windy breeze.
They mask the nearly silent crunch of needles underfoot.

I feel peace here.
Alone, I embrace the solitude.

And I am warmed by the quiet comfort one can only get when surrounded by beings such as these.
My big brothers watching over me.

***

Let me know what YOU see. Comments are always welcome!
[ Click on "Comments" below to view/add comments to this post. ]

As a brief aside, I expect that I'll be updating this blog about every 3 days or so. At least once a week anyway! You can check the 'Blog Archive' links on the right side to see previous photos and posts. You are always welcome to go back through the archives to view and comment on previous postings. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Red Trillium Studio Tour

I am participating in the Red Trillium Studio Tour this weekend, so another photo entry will have to wait a day or two, unless I can find some time to add another entry this weekend. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Late Autumn Forest On A WaterColour Canvas

I came upon this scene, while out photographing with a friend. A flock of geese had just been swimming through the calm water, leaving this rippling reflection in it's wake.

The title of this photo is "Late Autumn Forest On A WaterColour Canvas"

[Nikon D300, Nikon 16-85mm @ 45mm, ISO 400, f/4.8, 1/200]


If this were a poem,
instead of a photograph,
each tree would lie within its own stanza,
each rippled ending would be a rhyme.

Whether the scene is created with light, or words, or water, or paint,
there is no mistaking the almost primal call
with which trees and water can draw us beyond our fragile selves.
The enduring forest, the ever present sea, dwarfs our briefest of existence
when set against the possibility
of the same view that generations of our ancestors enjoyed.

Perhaps it is that enduring sense
of grandeur and timelessness
that lures us often
from our urban dwellings
to be renewed within a forest walk,
a wondrous mountain view,
or the feel of sand against our toes
as we stroll the beach along a summer shoreline.

And recognizing
if even for just a moment
our connection,
our fellowship
with the nature around us,
we pause and breathe it in:
that sense of peace,
that sense of renewal,
that sense of life itself.

***

Let me know what YOU see. Comments are always welcome!
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As a brief aside, I expect that I'll be updating this blog about every 3 days or so. You can check the 'Blog Archive' links on the right side to see previous photos and posts. You are always welcome to go back through the archives to view and comment on previous postings. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Uncertain Future

I have always found myself attracted to photographing doors - and windows - like this one, titled "Uncertain Future".

[Nikon D300, Nikon 16-85mm@18mm, ISO 2000, f/3.8, 1/100]




The first attraction lies in the variety of stories that can be attached to a scene such as this. Who lived here? Worked here? Who stepped out of this door carrying with them the hopes of a new day, a promise of a brighter future? Or who stepped out and felt immediately weighed down with the gloom of another day without hope? A day of carrying the constant burden of unrealized dreams.

Perhaps this was a door to an entrepreneur's dream? A shop to lift oneself out of one's lot and into a better future that spoke a promise of better times for the sons and daughters that were loved so much and for whom the sacrifice of hard work was lessened by the very nature of the love one had for them.
Perhaps a young man carried his dreams of fortune with him as he confidently walked through this door to another day of honest work, with it's promise of advancement up the ranks - perhaps to one day owning his own business.
Perhaps this was the door through which a lonely person greatfully entered to the comfort of no more rejecting glances, at least for this day.
Refuge or relief? Which one accompanied the opening of the door?

There might be a notion that somehow this door speaks of the past... but to me, it speaks instead of what might have been.

Rust, worn bricks, crumbling foundation...once again, don't be shy. Let me know what YOU see. Comments always welcome!


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As a brief aside, I expect that I'll be updating this blog about every 3 days or so. You can check the 'Blog Archive' links on the right side to see previous photos and posts. You are always welcome to go back through the archives to view and comment on previous postings. Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, November 19, 2009

First Photo Posting

I have finally decided to launch this blog to complement my PhotoDiction web site. My expectation is that I will periodically publish a photo here, with the intent of discussing what drew me to the scene. My hope is that you enjoy the photos and that you get a glimpse into my rationale for taking the photo. I also hope that you will feel free to comment - on either the photo itself, or my comments about the photo.

The title of this photo is: "Friendship Endures".

[Nikon D300, Nikon 16-85mm @ 40mm, ISO 800, f/8.0, 1/320]





So... why did I shoot this?

The first attraction to this scene was the architecture (late 1800 - early 1900) juxtaposed with the colorful art panels painted on two of the windows. There are many elements showing wear and weathering - just as there exists in many relationships. The solid foundation is able to withstand or endure the elements that strive to wear it down. The bright and almost festive color of the art panels nicely contradicts and nicely complements the 'barriers' between the two women figures. The boarded window hides some element that was between them, long past broken down. But then... we all have secrets, don't we!

The top row sits upon a row of windows that show obvious signs of renewal. Though the foundation may be getting old, the refurbished row provides a good reminder that all relationships can be supported by renewing that which they stand upon. Be it love, friendship... or just a wondrous old building getting a new lease on life.

Don't be shy. Let me know what YOU see. Comments always welcome!

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