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!

Carriage Rides in Cordoba

Carriage rides in Cordoba Spain

Carriage rides in Cordoba Spain 

Imagine a romantic carriage ride through the narrow streets of Cordoba Spain, listening to the coachmen’s tales as he steers the ponies down the historic district of this beautiful city.

I wanted to re-create the feeling of an old romantic time, the little car following the carriage doesn’t really help, to reach the goal I used one of Kim Klassen’s textures, kk-waterfront18. Before adding the texture to the image I did a little work on it, first increasing the saturation and then taking it into the filter gallery to add the watercolour filter giving it a more textured feeling. Once this was done I added the layer to the image using overlay blend mode, giving it an old grainy photo look.  I then converted the photo to black and white using Nik Silver Effects Pro Software.

I read Kim’s blog regularly and her Texture Tuesday blog, dozens of photographers who use and experiment with textures link in, it is a great place to learn about the possibilities textures provides to change and add character to an image.

We haven’t tried the carriage rides yet, and with one day left in Cordoba I am not sure we will find the time, but I love to watch the horse and carriage drive down the street.

Seville Spain

Plaza Mayor, Metropol Parasol.

Plaza Mayor, Metropol Parasol 

There is so much to see in Seville that you would never see anywhere else. Here the Metropol Parasol, often called the Mushroom of Incarnation. It is both beautiful and functional it was built as part of the rehabilitation of the city centre.

boy chasing pigeons

boy chasing pigeons 

It doesn’t seem to matter where you go or what plaza you sit in, there will be pigeons, someone will feed the pigeons, a small child will try to chase them away, and I can’t help to try to get one picture. One of the many subject I like to watch and take pictures of.

Seville Cathedral and Giralda at the Plaza del Triunfo Seville Spain

Seville Cathedral and Giralda at the Plaza del Triunfo Seville Spain 

We sat in the Plaza del Triunfo watching people, the horse carriages and the sunset. By this time of day the tourists and locals alike have drifted away from the square and all was quiet. A beautiful finish to a wonderful day. It was time to find a Tapa bar and a glass of wine.

 

 

The Camino to Santiago de Compostela and Thich Nhat Hahn…..

“The mind can go in a thousand directions. But on this beautiful path, I walk in peace.  With each step a cool wind blows. With each step a flower blooms.”  Thich Nhat Hanh 

I have been reading poetry by Thich Nhat Hanh and it often reminds me of the quiet days of walking the Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. My mind could wander in a thousand directions, but it wasn’t until I focused my thoughts on the path before me, on the beauty around me that I truly began to enjoy the walk.  But if I wasn’t in the present moment I could walk and not see a thing, not remember the road I walked.

While on the Camino I learned that I had to stay conscous, I need to be thinking of what is in front of me, how it was shaped by the light, I and to think the story I wanted to tell, if I didn’t I was just getting snap shots or passing events. But it wasn’t work, I somehow managed to make it sound like work, but it wasn’t, it make the Camino, our journey, more enjoyable, more memorable.

This is a bigger problem for me at home, driving to work, thinking about all the things I have to do that day, and before I know it I am at the office, and I don’t remember the trip, what did I miss?  Did I miss waving to a friend, or the beauty of the sunrise.  Or while at work, getting caught up in the job, the chaos, going through the motions, and not really being engaged.

How about you, are you on a beautiful path, is your life blooming before you, are you finding small nugets of joy in your day/chaos?

Remembering our Camino, our journey to Santiago de Compostella

Pyrenees Pony, Orisson France, Camino de Santiago

We are home now, after 7 weeks on the road and it is time to sort, keyword, and process the many photos taken during our time on the camino route from Saint Jean Pied de Port France to Santiago de Compostella Spain.  As we left Orisson the sun was just coming up, and as we walked towards Roncesvalles one of our fellow travellers that day commented that at the rate I was going I would never make it. Stopping as often as I did for one more picture, I was not making great time on the road.  Here the beautiful pony was standing watching the pilgrims pass by.

During October 2012 17,790 pilgrims were received in the Pilgrim’s office in Santiago Spain. Bill and I were among the 20.26% who travelled from St. Jean Pied de Port France, and two of the 631 Canadians to completed the camino. The Pilgrim’s office provides up to date statistics and you might find it interesting to see the who is travelling the camino.

I it is going to be both challenging and interesting to go back through the many photos and notes taken during our walk and hopefully build a complete portfolio. For this images I processed in Nik Silver Effects Pro 2, then reducing the opacity of the layer by 15% I was able to bring in just a hint of the colour that was in the original images. I think it adds a bit of depth, let me know what you think.

friends at the calgary stampede,

I spotted these horses standing at the Olympic Way Gate, Stampede Grounds.  As I watched these two seemed to be whispering to each other as people passed!

check out my friend Hiro’s horse image, I love the emotion he captured.

Curious George, A Pretty Grey Pony from Bruckless Donegal, Ireland

We meet Curious George when we visited Ireland a couple of years ago.  A beautiful grey pony that visited with us every morning, poking his nose over the fence to see if we had anything to feed him!  I have been playing with textures and grain on photos.  Textures from Kim Klassen’s Cafe, she has several wonderful collections, and e-courses.

I have several projects I want to work on, just finding myself pulled in several directions and a little disorganized to get any shooting in this week! I am aim for the weekend with my camera! Below are to previous images/posts that were processed using textures from Kim Klassen’s collection. I love her work, and her blog.

Grand Torino in Black and White

Carly’s colt, Grand Torino, we got togethere in the summer to do photos.  I have been challenging myself to see things a little differently – trying a square format for some photos, and a lot more black and white images. On this photo we know the colt is with her mother, with the square format the mom takes on the role as background, with the standard ratio, the feelilng is quite different.

Curious, I was curious about him, he was curious about me

I love horses, I wish I knew them better and was more comfortable around them.  This guy didn’t take long coming over to the fence to see what I was up to, or maybe what I had to offer, I think he was looking for snacks!

Horse Racing at Hastings Park, Vancouver

A horse is poetry in motion.  ~Author Unknown