Working on my Christmas decorations!

christmas sock decoration_IMG_3430

while working on the Christmas decorations, I can’t help myself, I stop and take photos of some of the decorations that the family made over the years. Such great memories get made at the craft table with the family and friends who have shown up over the years to make decorations.  Wishing everyone a happy holiday, whatever holiday you choose to celebrate this time of the year.

Treasure hunting; and the joy of old photos

Erin and Ken

Erin and Ken

Erin and Ken were married a little more than 4 years ago, and just over a month ago they were blessed with a beautiful baby girl. I have been lucky enough to be there to share these, and many other special moments, with them.

I have been spending a little time this week going through the inventory of old photos, something I call it treasure hunting.  Today I declare myself rich with treasures, memories and friends.

Ferry to Rhodes

Erin and Keri on the ferry to Rhodes

Erin and Keri on the ferry to Rhodes

This photo was taken quite some time ago, when the 6 of us travelled to Greece.  I am slowly getting some of my old slides scanned and uploaded into my hard drive, it is a great trip down memory lane.

We had spent a week on the island of Santorini and we travelling to Mykonos, where we spent the day, then onto Rhodes to spend some time.  Taking the ferry through the islands from Mykonos to Rhodes was an overnight journey, we had cabins, but it is not the most restful sleep. By early morning the ferry is stopping at some of the little island along the way, and we could watch the people, and vehicles, cars, trucks and transports moving on and off the ferry.  There was no time for us to get off the ferry and check out the little towns, hopefully one day we will get to go back and spend a little time exploring.

I love the feel of this black and white image, the girls deep in conversation, almost silhouettes against the view.

still life and wedding photography

wedding shoes

wedding shoes

The wedding shoe image was taken some time ago, just recently I pulled it from the archive to work with Nik Software, experiment with different processes, finishes and textures, all in an attempt to develop style and album options that will appeal to both myself and to potential clients.

I have a lot of respect for Wedding Photographers, they commit to a high energy, long demanding day, to capture moments that are both important to the bride and groom as well their family, and in some cases moments that few will actually see.  They are attuned to the emotions around them, without being caught up in them. Always on the look out for those family interactions that can be caught in an image without actually interrupting the flow of the day or the emotion of the minute. In some cases it is the photographer can be the “savior” of  the moment.

I have yet to meet a wedding photographer that didn’t have in their bag, a packet of pins, a role of duct tape, gum, kleenex, and just about anything else that is small and might be needed in the case of an emergency.  They can play with children and keep a group of 20 focused to get family pictures in the midst of the chaos and visiting that everyone would rather be doing.

But, for me, the most fascinating, the wedding photographer on top of all the people and activity, will walk around all day  also keeping track of the fine details that the bride has spent hours anguishing over; making sure that all those details are also photographed.  The detail images are  then processed and presented in an album that helps to pull the whole day together. A book of memories that will last a lifetime.

Grandpa’s Car; Old Photos bring back Memories

Grandpa's Car

Grandpa’s Car

A smile happens in a flash, but its memory can last a lifetime. - author unknown

Grandpa’s car was eventually parked up behind the old farm-house. It was no longer drivable, but I do remember driving it, and Grandpa home from town on the occasional Saturday night when he had been in town a little too long. It was our time to visit, and lots of time he sang to me was we drove down the dirt road to the farm. He wanted me to sing with him, and I eventually learned the chorus of some of his old wartime songs!

As the quote above states, memories can last a lifetime, and photos like this brings those memories back to mind, and bring a smile to my face.  Photos are a great tool for awakening our memories and bringing a smile to our face, and I love to go  back through old photos for those smiles.

This image was copied from an old slide, then color enhanced with photoshop and a blur layer added. I have always like the photo because of it’s memories, but it did have some  problems.  After reading about artistic blue on Kateyestudio I thought I would dig it out and give it another try.  I am happy with these results: I like the deep color of the car and grass, the blur around the trees and edges, it is as if the wind is blow by the movement in contrast to the car.

Let me know what you think.

Vanishing moments – and the Camino to Santiago

”We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory.”     Henri Cartier-Bresson

travelling the Camino to Santiago, walking the many miles, brought the point of Vanishing moments back to me every so clearly…….

Camino way marker, yellow arrow

Camino way marker, yellow arrow

scallop shell marker

scallop shell street marker  

PilgrimYield Sign

Pilgrim Yield Sign

Pilgrim at the Cross

Pilgrim at the Cross

once we passed a sign, I wasn’t in a hurry to walk back again to take a picture; if I thought too long about what caught my attention I would miss the moment that spoke to me. These are just a couple of the sites and signs we saw and photographed while on the Camino to Santiago.  The were route markers everywhere that was needed, not so often they cluttered the view, but often enough we knew which road to take.  In Pamplona we saw the steel scallop shells every 100 feet, other cities were equally well-marked; we saw the yield signs when we had to cross a major road or highway where we might encounter vehicle traffic;  and we saw the long rock arrows on the Meseta, the flat plains of Spain.

Sophie and her Aunt Mel

Sophie and her Aunt Mel

Sophie and her Aunt Mel

When you are a little girl, one of the best things is cuddling up on your Aunt’s knee and she wraps her arms around you! It is special!  I met Sophie for the first time between Christmas and New Years, while visiting her Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house! She is one happy little girls, and her Aunt Mel one of the special people in her life. It was great to meet Sophie, to visit with the entire family, to get a few pictures and share a few memories.

 

Camino Slideshow

You tube

I am a member to a wonderful business network group, everyone there wanted to see some of my images so I did my best to create a slideshow; because I have lots of images, but needed to keep it short (the lenght of the song) the images move quite fast, but if you have been following the blog many of the images have appeared here before with the stories of the day.

The memories are still quite strong, and I am enjoying sorting, processing, keywording my images, re-reading my notes, and re-living the camino, even if I have been spending most of my time in the basement office rather than outside taking new pictures.

I will move onto new subjects shortly…..

I hope you enjoy the slideshow, and the stories; I look forward to your feedback

Vierge d’Orisson, and a view of the French Pyrenees Mountains

Vierge d’Orisson_French Pyrenees

More photos from the camino, we arrived at the foot of this small statue, the Vierge d’Orrison, shortly after leaving Orisson, as the sun was just starting to lighten the sky.  It was an amazing sight, as the clouds and fog filled the valleys.  I could find very little information on its history, however it is said that the statue was brought from Lourdes and placed on this high rock by the sheep herders, and to this day they pray to be watched over and for good weather.  Today the pilgrims on their camino stop, many take a few moments in silent prayer, many just take a picture and move on. I climbed the high rock to stand by the statue for this image.

The day was off to a beautiful day and we wondered how any other day would be able to compare. But each day we were up early and most days on the road just before sunrise. I have since come to realize that the beginning of each day is a quiet and beautiful time, that it is possible I have been missing the best part of the day, and I need to get out of the house to witness more sunrises!

more from our journey and first day photos: Hola

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.