Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Finally! Some colour in the garden. Unfortunately, it's only in one small spot (about 10 tulips) and won't last long. Some of my perennials haven't even broken through the ground yet, never mind start to bloom. We had lots of snow cover so they all should have been well protected, but it sure would be nice if more of them decided to show themselves so that I know that they are ok.   Oh, well. I guess I'll take what I can get.

Tulip centre

Saturday, May 11, 2013


Small harmless, non-poisonous garter snakes.   I don't love that these guys frequent our yard, but they do make great photography subjects. 

It's hard to see here, but there's 1 female with 3 smaller males in a small mating ball.

Garter Snake

One snake as it slithers away.  Apparently, not too happy that I got too close.

Garter Snake

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Photo Friday - Little Things


Aren't these guys great?!  With the recent warm weather we've been having they've all been waking up from their winter naps and driving me crazy.   This guy had been crawling around in some sawdust. 

I intended to do some more post-processing using Photoshop Elements on this older photo. However, I somehow screwed up PSE 9 on my PC; it took me all day to fix. When I finally got it working, I didn't have all of my usual actions installed, so I did just a little brightening and called it done.

That was scary, but it appears to be working correctly now. Whew!

For more "Little Things" photos, visit the Photo Friday website.

For more of my submissions, please see my PhotoFriday set on my Flickr page.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Photo Friday - Pets!


Dakota, the neighbour's dog.

For more "Pets" photos, visit the Photo Friday website.

For more of my submissions, please see my PhotoFriday set on my Flickr page.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Photo Friday - Springtime


Yep, this is spring 2013 near Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Last year, at least one golf course was preparing the greens. This year, hmmm...probably not. Whoever said, "No winter lasts forever..." obviously hasn't been to Southern Manitoba. Enough with the snow already. :(

For more "Springtime" photos, visit the Photo Friday website.

For more of my submissions, please see my PhotoFriday set on my Flickr page.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My New Camera Bag

I've had a few camera bags over the years, but not one that I loved or found terribly useful. Up until now that is!

I'm not really a girly-girl, but I wanted something different from the norm. When it comes to camera bags, that's black and square-ish. I wanted something that looked more like a purse. Also, there's nothing like carrying around a big black camera bag with the red blaze of Canon that screams "I've got an expense camera/equipment here. Any takers?" Maybe not, but it could happen.

I looked online first and had been eyeing the gorgeous ones at Kelly Moore Bags. They are a bit pricey and I really wanted one, but I also wanted to see the bag in person before shelling out that amount. Not that I wouldn't pay that price if I absolutely loved the bag, but I really wanted to get just the right one. Because no one in my area carried them, I decided to see if I could find something in a local store first.

I looked at a few places before stumbling upon at a few at a local big box electronics store. Even though I'm really happy with the bag, their service is sometimes suspect and I'd rather not give them any publicity. They shall remain nameless.

Anyway, the bag I bought in that store is from Jo Totes, who specialize in "camera bags for ladies". I'm pretty sure mine's the "Betsy" in Chocolate, however the one I got didn't come with the laptop divider. That's just as well, because I would have just removed it. It looks more like a purse, doesn't have any camera maker logo on it and fits most of my gear, the pieces that I use most often. I do have a few peripheral items that don't fit, but I probably wouldn't carry them around anyway.

The bag comes with a few adjustable padded dividers so that it can be configured in a number of ways.  I also borrowed a small one from my old bag, so that I can stack the shorter lenses and have more room.   The bag is heavily padded and seems to protect my stuff really well, although, it hasn't really had any hard knocks yet.  I generally try to avoid those.  ;)

The best part is that if I remove a few items (that I'm not going to use that day), the bag can be used as a shooting bag.  If I wear it as a messenger bag (across my body), I can flip open the flap and grab my camera without having to set it down.  I can also just leave the flap open to grab another lens or what have you.  If I do set it down, it stays up-right because of it's flat bottom. 

Here are some shots of it. I took these with my smart phone, so I'm not that pleased with them, but they show what they are supposed to.

Front view:  The two front pockets are good for small items, like spare memory cards,  spare lens caps, remote trigger, cell phone, keys, etc.  The flap features a zippered pocket that I've been using to store my manual and other papers.    Here, I have the messenger bag handle attached here.  However, it also comes with a shorter handle and a shoulder protector. 

Side view.

Back view: The back features a large pocket big enough for a tablet. 

Inside view:  All my gear inside.  It's hard to see here, but there's a little room to spare.  It's also deep enough, that I can throw my wallet or other stuff on top providing I cover up the back of the camera first.  I'm not sure if this is the best way to store the camera, with the lens facing down, but so far it's been working for me.   I usually tuck in the blue camera strap beside the camera, but here I moved it out of the way to see the inside better. 

Bag and gear:  Just so you can see what was inside, here's a shot of the empty bag and all of the gear in front:  Canon 40D camera body with a 17-85mm lens attached, 55-250mm lens, 60mm macro lens, 50mm lens, battery charger, battery pack, spare card, spare lens/body cap, remote, and manual.   Like I said above, I could probably fit a little more in. 

I could go on and on.  I just love this bag.  I only wish I'd found it sooner. 

Wordless Wednesday - Ice Crystals

Ice crystals

More Wordless Wednesday. March 14, 2013: Updated with a better quality image. Stupid Blogger.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Digital Photography Through the Year by Tom Ang

Now for something a little different....

I recently reviewed a terrfic photography book on my other blog, Daisy's Book Journal. Since there are some wonderful photographers following this blog, I figured I'd post it here also.  I hope you find it useful. 

In Digital Photography Through the Year, Tom Ang answers the questions of "what to shoot", and "how to shoot different subjects in different situations". The book features lots of photographs in various sizes with explanations on how the results were achieved. It's divided into seasons so the reader is armed with ideas and inspiration for the whole year.

I loved this book! It not only offered tons of advice on how to shoot the things I'm already shooting, but also opened my eyes to other subjects that I hadn't thought of shooting. It's so inspiring. It gave me so many ideas that I couldn't wait to pick up my camera to start going through some of Ang's tips.

The book is divided into seasons, then further divided into three other sections, early, mid-, and late. For example, there's a part of early spring, mid-spring and late spring. While the four seasons may be been enough, I like the smaller sections. It divides up the information into "bite-size" pieces that can be easily digested.

On each two-page spread, there's a large photograph with 3 key points clearly labelled and explained. Ang also included camera settings (mode, lens setting, ISO etc.), alternative approaches (different ideas on how to shoot similar subjects) and one or two different sidebars with even more ideas. The spread also features a list of other pages that focus on similar subjects or situations. For instance, the bottom right hand corner of the page titled "Splash" lists the following references: "Waterfalls, pp. 134-35", "People under water pp. 174-75", "Watersports pp.182-83", "At the poolside pp. 200-201". I especially love this because it allows me to find the many examples of the look I'm trying to achieve. It also shows me things I never would have thought of.

At the end of each chapter, there's a "Exploring Technique" spread that deals with a specific aspect of photography. i.e. Camera Modes, Close-up and Macro, Exposure, Using a Flash. Ang uses text and lots of photographs to explain the different aspects of the technique.

I love that the book features 4 very distinct seasons. From snow in the winter and rain in the spring to sandy beaches in the summer. However, not everyone is going to have that, especially the snow in the winter. Ang makes sure there's something for everyone and includes photographs and tips that will be useful in all kinds of weather in each of the sections. He also includes lots of indoor shots/situations so the photographer will still be inspired when shooting outdoors isn't possible or when the situations calls for indoor shots.

I've also read and continue to use Ang's, How to Photograph Absolutely Everything (my review) and Digital Photographer's Handbook 5th Edition (my review). Both are excellent. This book, though, is my favourite out of the three.

Highly recommended. I'll be referring to this book time and time again.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit DK's  website.

For more information about the author and his other books, please visit Tom Ang's website. A list of other Tom Ang books available from DK can be found here.

I'd like to thank those nice people at DK Canada for this review copy.

Digital Photography Through the Year by Tom Ang, Dorling Kindersley (DK), ©2012. ISBN 9780756698348(Hardcover), 360p.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday - Snow and Trees

The sun it actually shining today, but that hasn't been the case for the last several days. I took this shot last week. I was trying to capture a "long bleak winter" shot.  I don't love this shot and I'm not sure I succeeded, but I figured I should post something to let you know that I'm still around.  

If you have the time, it's worth clicking on it to view it in a large format.    

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Photo Friday - Shadow

Variation on the shot I posted last year for Valentine's Day. I also took this shot that day.  I'm so lazy I didn't even do any additional post-processing, other than what I did back then. I probably could have done a better job now, but I didn't feel like it. 

Again, I directed Photo Friday viewers to my Flickr page rather than here. 

For more "Shadow" photos, visit the Photo Friday website.

For more of my submissions, please see my PhotoFriday set on my Flickr page.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Photo Friday - Serene

This is another older photo (one from my 365 project in September) that I took back into post-processing and reworked it. Dakota, the neighbour's dog, just looks so calm and relaxed here. To me, it says "serene".

Despite having figured out how to make the photo here bigger, I'm still using the Flickr link for PhotoFriday.   To me, the photo doesn't look as sharp as it should be.  If I click on the photo to see it enlarged, it looks sharp, but the smaller one does not.  It could be just me, but I'm not sure why that is.    

For more "Serene" photos, visit the Photo Friday website.

For more of my submissions, please see my PhotoFriday set on my Flickr page.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Photo Friday - Pattern

I submitted this for Photo Friday - Pattern. I really like to challenge myself and take new shots for this challenge, however, I'm sort of busy this week, so an old one will have to do.

In addition, I used the link from Flickr because it presents a larger photo. I'm hoping at some point to figure out how to make the photos larger here. I know it can be done, because I've seen it, but I haven't figure it out yet.

For more "Pattern" photos, visit the Photo Friday website.

For more of my submissions, please see my PhotoFriday set on my Flickr page.

There's always room for more participates. So if you like taking photos and are up for a challenge, check it out. You don't have to join or even do it every week.  Besides the challenge, I like seeing how others have interpreted the theme.