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.

Horse Racing on the turf at Woodbine

Horse racing on the turf at Woodbine; copyright jmeyersforeman

Horse racing on the turf at Woodbine; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Sitting at the racetrack, so much going on, so much to look at, to watch and enjoy. People scrutinizing the racing programs, carefully examining the statistics of each horse in the race trying to pick a winner, and how much to bet? Do you bet the favourite,  a sure thing, safe money, or do you play a hunch, or bet against the odds and pick a horse that has a chance “with a little luck, and the right jockey” to make some big money?!

Some horse lovers and racing enthusiasts will head out to the warm-up ring for a closer look, watching how the beautiful well-trained animals. Will the colour of the horse, the way it is walking, the choice of jockey affect the final decision of a bet? Some people watch the TV’s screens scattered around the club house, watching races that are happening at other tracks, or analysts discuss the horses, jockeys, track conditions, and trainers.

Once the decision has been made people are off to the betting machines to place their bet. Betting slips in hand some people head to the rail along the track while other people stand around the TVs to watch.  The horses arrive on the track and parade past the clubhouse before heading to the gate.

We hear the call to post over the load speaker, then the announcer, “They are loading the gate” “The gate is loaded……annnd theey’rrrre offfff” the excitement builds, the  people yelling out the numbers of their horse. People in the seated area stand, more people crowd the rail. The horses round the final turn, galloping full speed down the final stretch. The excitement reaches a crescendo as the horses thunder by racing towards the finish line. Suddenly it is over ” photo finish” flashes across the jumbo screen that is sitting outfield, and TV screens. The excitement continues as everyone watches the relay.

While people wait for a final decision on the race, they are already reviewing the program and looking to place their next bet, some people are off for a refreshing drink, a bit of lunch, some head to the winner’s circle to see the winning horse and congratulate the jockey.

So much to watch and enjoy and a great way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon.

First Past the Post; Woodbine, Toronto Ontario

First past the post; Woodbine, Toronto Canada; copyright jmeyersforeman

First past the post; Woodbine, Toronto Canada; copyright jmeyersforeman 

One of the places we like to visit when we are in Toronto is the Woodbine race track., in fact, if there is a race track in any city we are visiting we are likely to spend a little time there.  We are not big gamblers  but it is always fun to sit in the stands, sun shining down on us and watching the horse run. I will get as close as I can to the start or finish line for a few pictures. I am pretty happy with this one!

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory; Cambridge Ontario

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory; copyright jmeyersforeman

Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory; copyright jmeyersforeman  

We visited the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, hundred’s of free flying butterflies in a tropical environment. It was a great challenge trying to get close enough to the butterflies to get a photo before they moved.

 

The Clock at Bath Abbey

the Clock at Bath Abbey, Bath England; copyright jmeyersforeman

the Clock at Bath Abbey, Bath England; copyright jmeyersforeman  

Wile we were in Bath England, we visited the Bath Abbey. During the tower tour we were taken into the clock room, and this is a photo of the clock from the interior of the tower. The guide explained that before there was an electric light someone had to sit in the tiny little room with a lantern so the clock was lit and the people of Bath Abbey would know what time it was. I can’t imagine sitting in this tiny little room for 12 hrs at a time breathing in the fumes of the lantern.

 

Elsa Tomjowiak at theTheatre Graslin, Nantes France

 

Elsa Tomjowiak at theTheatre Graslin, Nantes France, copyright jmeyersforeman

  Elsa Tomjowiak at theTheatre Graslin, Nantes France, copyright jmeyersforeman  

I have been experimenting with different templates and layouts in Photoshop, gathering new skills and figuring out ways to present photos in a series that collectively tell the story better than a single image, so today I will take you back to Nantes France.  Around the city we found several art installations as we wandered around the streets, visiting historic sites and tourist attractions.  The Elsa Tomjowiak’s art installation was at the Theatre Graslin.

Elsa Tomjowiak hung long strips of painted plastic in the very large front entrance to the opera house, the colour transforms the all white hallway with a rainbow of colour that dances and moves as the sunlight changes intensity and direction through the day.

I thought these images would work well in this template. The first image is  the view of the opera house as we first discovered it. Walking up to the front, the colour banners hanging down between the all white columns. As we approached the building curiosity drew us inside to find that the banners were also draped inside and we could witness how the colour had transformed the all white hallway.  After spending time in the now colourful front hallway we wandered out of the building to find a group of young people on the steps, using the opera house as a background and  singing to the people as they sat and enjoyed their lunch in the square.

Do you think that using these images to tightly together makes the collage to busy? I would appreciate any feedback you might have on using templates for storytelling.