Shades of Blue; Upper Arrow Lake, Nakusp British Columbia

Shades of Blue along the Upper Arrow Lake, British Columbia; copyright jmeyersforeman

Shades of Blue along the Upper Arrow Lake, British Columbia; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Driving from Golden BC yesterday to Kelowna we decided to take highway 23. Much less travelled, but for a reason. The road is narrower, full of twists and turns, the speed zones from about 50k to 70k most of the time, with few passing lanes it is easy to get caught behind a camper van or logging truck and the only thing you can do is enjoy the scenery! In case you haven’t stopped to enjoy the view, there are two ferry crossings along the route, where you will most likely have an opportunity to get out of your vehicle. This is not a route for those in a hurry to get somewhere! We enjoyed the drive.

The early morning was a little foggy, by the time we got to the first ferry, most of the fog had lifted, but across the lake, even with the sunshine the view was enhanced with a blue mist.

Farm Fence and Big Sky Saskatchewan

Farm Fence, Big Sky Saskatchewan, copyright jmeyersforeman

Farm Fence, Big Sky Saskatchewan, copyright jmeyersforeman

While visiting Saskatchewan we made a trip out to the old farm. It is the place that my Grandfather received as part of his soldier’s grant after World War I, my father and most of his siblings were born there and where I with my brothers were raised. Grandpa has been gone for a long time now, mom and dad farmed there for almost 40 years before selling and moving to town. This was our first visit back in a while.

Most of the old sheds and granaries that my brothers and I play on and around are gone, as are the old cars that were parked between them. The old barn is just about ready to collapse the passage of time taking its tole.  A new, much young family has taken possession of the acreage round the house, the land sold to a rancher to raise cattle. There is a familiarity and a strangeness to walking around the yard where I grew up, but haven’t lived for years. While there has been many changes, there are still many views around the yard that felt familiar.

It was nice to visit the old farm,  to walk around the yard and recall favourite memories, and to talk to the new owner about his future plans. But most of all it was great to savour the views one more time.

 

Aurora Borealis; Northern Lights

Aurora Borealis; Northern Lights; copyright jmeyersforeman

Aurora Borealis; Northern Lights; copyright jmeyersforeman

I grew up watching the Northern Lights dance across the northern sky of Saskatchewan, but once I moved to the big city I rarely witnessed the dancing lights; city lights does make it impossible to see them. Known as the Aurora Borealis, the lights are most active from September to April and I had read that this week they were expected to be particularly beautiful and active due to solar flares. It was just plain lucky that I would be visiting my home town in Saskatchewan this week, and I had hoped to spend at least one evening out trying to photography them.  Monday we woke up to clouds and rain, Tuesday more clouds, well at least there wasn’t snow,  finally Thursday night the clouds cleared!

About 10 pm we headed north out-of-town. We didn’t to drive too far north before we were able to get away from most of the lights,  you see even in Saskatchewan where there is a population density of about 1 person per square mile, it is hard to get away from all the lights, so I was happy to get away from most of the lights!  We could see the green glow in the sky, drifting along, thin and hazy, a glow along the horizon that I would never really be rid of. To be honest the northern lights weren’t very impressive, at that moment. In fact there were naysayers in the car, but I had high hopes.

After setting up the camera, with the aid of the trunk light (I forgot a flashlight). I set the camera to as small an f-stop as I could manage with a 25 second exposure, I set the manual focus so the horizon lights were in focus, then I set a 2 second timer on the shutter and I locked up the mirror to reduce camera shake, I was ready to close the trunk lid and stand in the dark to watch the sky.

Before long the lights got a little stronger, a little brighter, and a little more beautiful. The moon was shining brightly over my right shoulder, and the longer I stood out there the more my eyes became accustom to the dark, and before long the Aurora Borealis started to get a little brighter. Before long I was able to capture the beautiful Northern Lights dancing across the Saskatchewan sky. I was thinking I would head out one more time on Friday Night, but the clouds returned and I was even more grateful for at least one clear night while here visiting my home town.

I don’t think this is too bad for a first attempt, and I think I have found a wonderful if not a perfect excuse to go for a late night drive into the country, don’t you think?

Carousels; The Classic Double Decker Carousel in Bordeaux France.

Double Decker Carousel in Bordeaux France, copyright jmeyersforeman

Classic Double Decker Carousel in Bordeaux France, copyright jmeyersforeman

This beautiful double decker carousel sits in one of the main squares along Bordeaux’s main shopping street. The day we visited was a little cool and rainy, Sunday morning. Many of the stores would not be opening that day, so the streets were quiet. A good day to be out and about with the camera.

Still a kid at heart I love the painted ponies, and it is guaranteed to will bring a smile to my face as I watch the children ride up and down, smiling and waving to parents and grandparent, family or friends as they travel by, around and around. So where ever I travel I check to see if there is a carousel in the neighbourhood.

This and more street photography/urban living photography can be viewed and purchased by visiting my gallery.

Aged and Charming at the St. Michel Flea Market, Bordeaux France

Flea Market Find, St. Michel's Bordeaux France,

Flea Market Find, St. Michel’s Bordeaux France

Call it aged, antique or rustic, I call it beyond the need for repair and charming just as it is. I spotted the old table and chair set while wandering the flea market at St. Michel’s at Bordeaux France.  I love the old table and chairs and if I could have them sitting in my little garden patio I would! Picture a little plant and pot of tea sitting on the table! 

Processed entirely in Lightroom, I have figured out how to edit image with Nik Software as easy as a click of a couple of buttons, right in Lightroom.  Another couple of buttons and the image is sized, watermarked and sent to my blog file ready for publishing. Wow, I know there is still so much to learn, but I feel like things have gotten so much easier in just a week!

this and other urban living and stock photography image are available for viewing and purchase in the gallery. I invite you to check out the website and let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you 

Olympic Plaza, Calgary Alberta

Olympic Plaza, Calgary Alberta, jmeyersforeman

Olympic Plaza, Calgary Alberta, jmeyersforeman 

Visiting my home town over the last couple of weeks has been great. Visiting family and friends of course the best part, but I have also had a chance to play tourist and see some of the city where previously I was too busy with work to see and enjoy. The Olympic Plaza just one the great gathering places downtown. It was built and used for the medal presentations when Calgary hosted the 1988 Olympic Games, and is now used for festivals and events. the pool is drained and bands play on the stage, there is square dancing during the Stampede, and during the winter the water is frozen and we can ice skate there. 

I used a fish-eye lens to capture as much of the skyline as possible, most of the high rise office towers in Calgary’s downtown core are to the west of the Olympic Plaza so we get a peek at the great Alberta sky, as well as the new Bow Building on the left side of the frame. The Bow Building is currently the tallest building.  

For the photographers who read the blog, to process the image I used Camera Raw, Lens Correction, Manual, it does an amazing job fixing lens perspective, and straightening lines. I was surprised! I also increased clarity and vibrance, and burned a little more detail into the clouds, but the work on it was very minor. 


 

 

The view from inside Wonderland at the Bow Building; Calgary Alberta

From the inside of Wonderland looking out at Calgary Alberta

From the inside of Wonderland looking out at Calgary Alberta 

Playing tourist in my own home town I am finally finding time to see some of the wonderful art on the streets of Calgary Alberta. 

 

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.