In the Forest; Monochrome Madness

in the forest; copyright jmeyersforeman

in the forest; copyright jmeyersforeman

Another image from cottage country; while there I spent a little time walking around the cottage, thick dense forest. with lovely mushrooms growing out of the old stumps, wishing I had my macro lens with me. Accepting my limitations, and learning to work with the equipment I have, not always wishing for something else, I watched the sun’s rays stream down lighting small areas of the forest floor, and the leaves that were waving in the small breeze. I needed to have a shallow depth of field to separate the leaves from the busy background. I had to move around this little branch to find the right composition, I thought it made sense to have the branch flow from the bottom left to the top right where the sun flare magically lights the top leaves.  Occasionally when I am out with my camera I think more intentionally of the compositional rules, but most times, I work my way round the scene with and idea in mind until I find something that works, and many times I cannot even tell you why it work, until I get home and start review and process images.

A forest scene like this can be busy, all the different textures, and shades of green in the background, and I found that it was a perfect candidate for a monochrome images. Removing colour simplifies the image to shapes, flow and light. Once completed I decided to submit it to Leanne Cole’s monochrome madness weekly post that features many, many photographers and their best, their favourite monochrome image for the week. Through this block I have, at least online, met several photographers whose work I admire, studied different approaches to monochrome images, and photography in general, and spent several hours just enjoying the creative photography submitted.  I highly recommend you take a trip to Leanne Cole’s blog.

Cottage Country, dipping my toes in the water

Cottage country, dipping my toes in the water

Cottage country, dipping my toes in the water: copyright jmeyersforeman

We have been in Calgary for a few days, visiting with friends and family, but I wanted to share a few more images of our time in cottage country, Ontario.

Growing up in Saskatchewan we as a family did not head to the lake for weekends or holidays, and while I love to sit beside the water, and it doesn’t matter if it is a lake, seaside or ocean or even a pool,  I am not to likely to get much more than my toes wet! Sitting up at the end of the dock with a cup of coffee or glass of wine, feet dangling in the water is wonderfully relaxing. The view so peaceful, the air so fresh, and the world so quiet I can understand why so many people are drawn to cottage country. 

Monochrome Madness; The Thames River in Infrared Black and White

Thames River, United Kingdom, infrared image.

River Thames; copyright jmeyersforeman

My cousin’s in England live in the area of Reading, and while we were out touring the countryside visiting several little towns and enjoying the sites we crossed the River Thames several times. We found several pretty views, as we crossed bridges and walked in the parks. It seems like it would be a lovely peaceful way to spend a couple of weeks during the lazy days of summer, provided the weather was sunny.

I haven’t been doing a lot of black and white images lately, but I wanted to participate in Leanne Cole‘s a weekly blog post of Monochrome Madness.  Photographers from around the world submit their favourite monochrome image for the week. I recommend you head over to her site if you are interested in seeing more monochrome images.

For this image I used Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Infrared black and white to process the image. I like using the Nik Software, there is a lot of presets, but each preset has many ways to customize the affect to one that best suits the photograph. For this image I was able to adjust the highlight and shadow sliders, preserving detail in the image that had been eliminated with the original present and I was able to achieve that dreamy feel of a quiet afternoon landscape.

Aspen’s in Motion

aspens in motion; copyright jmeyersforeman

aspens in motion; copyright jmeyersforeman  

we are on our way to the cottage for a couple of days at the lake, the weather looks promising; lots of sunshine head. no phone, no internet, just time to sit beside the lake and read. It has been a couple of years, maybe even 10 since our last visit!

I can only photography the trees so many times before I start to experiment with intentional camera motion, as I have done with this image that was actually taken in a park in London England last week.

I am also looking forward setting up the tripod and spending a little time working with the neutral density filter on some long exposures of the lake and the sky.

What are you working on this week?

The English Channel; early morning seascape

Blue; sky, clouds and ocean

Early morning seascape; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Yesterday was a long day, 11 hours in transit; bus to ferry, ferry across the English Channel,  and finally a train from Portsmouth to Bath. We started our day at 5:30 in the morning and arrived in Bath about 5 pm. I am always amazed at how tired I am on days like this, because it seems the majority of our time is spent sitting watching the world go by, reading and eating, but exhausting it was.

I did promise photos of Caen, and I will get back to those before too long, but we have one day in Bath, so we are  off to visit the Abbey and see the sights. Photos to follow

Rushing by the Sunflowers and the French Countryside

rushing by the sunflowers and the French countryside

rushing by the sunflowers and the French countryside 

We took a four hour train ride from Bordeaux to Nantes, long train rides are usually good for getting a little work done but I find I often get distracted, watching the French countryside rush by.  I have commented several times on Spain’s train system, it was pleasure to travel with them I was convinced that they could not be outdone. Well the French might not have outdone the Spanish rail service, but it is just as easy, just as comfortable, just as easy to recommend.

During our four hour ride we watched the cities, towns and farmland roll by. I think this is as close as I will get to the sunflower fields this year! Robin has a great photo of a sunflower on his blog this week, he wanted to alert the photographers in his area that the bright beautiful flower is in bloom.

This image and others are available in my photoshelter gallery. I invite you to check them out. I have had the gallery, but just now finding some time to develop the site a little further.


Travelling on the FEVE train; Asturias Spain

view from the FEVE Train; copyright jmeyersforeman

view from the FEVE Train; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Asturias, officially the Principality of Asturias, is an autonomous community in north-west Spain. The FEVE train that we have been using for travel runs along the north coastline, with beautiful views of the ocean, rivers, hills, towns. While I have to be quick with the camera, the train does move slow enough to get some images to show you this wonderful area.

We are travelling from Llanes to Leon Spain on the FEVE train today, so I am expecting to see more lovely Spanish countryside.

Riding the FEVE Train in Spain

a small town along the North Atlantic Coast of Spain  copyright jmeyersforeman

a small town along the North Atlantic Coast of Spain copyright jmeyersforeman

We have been riding the narrow gauge FEVE train, that follows along the north coast of Spain, through many small town.  It seems the skies are either a bright cloudless blue or, as in this photo, a foggy grey. While the foggy grey skies gives us shadowless images with saturated colour along the streets and rivers, the skies do unfortunately look a little lifeless. They are poorly represented in the photos, as it is wonderful to watch the misty fog roll along the ocean and countryside.

Much has been written of this wonderful journey along the narrow gauge line; it is more often used by teachers and student going on a field trip, commuters going to work or those out for a little shopping, then travellers trying to get somewhere. It is easy to figure out the ticket machines and time schedule, if you have trouble it seems there is always someone about to help, and the view is most certainly one you will not see anywhere else. If you have a week for leisurely travel then I would recommend this trip as a great way to relax and enjoy Spain.

FEVE; across the north coast of Spain

FEVE Train; northern coast of Spain

FEVE Train; northern coast of Spain 

Yesterday I mentioned we were travelling on a narrow gauge rail line operated by FEVE. Best described as quaint, it is used by commuters, school children as well as a few tourists and travellers. If follows what has been described as the rugged northern Spain through coastal towns; we have visited Ferrol, and Ribedao and Gijon.

view from the FEVE Train

view from the FEVE Train    

Accompanied by the clicky-clake of the train wheel and the gentle rocking of the car we watch the beautiful countryside amble by. I do say amble as the train travels at a leisurely pace, slow enough we can enjoy the view of hills, towns and hidden beach coves as they passes by.

foggy countryside of northern Spain

foggy countryside of northern Spain