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.

 

Going to Seed

Going to Seed; copyright jmeyersforeman

Going to Seed; copyright jmeyersforeman 

As much as most people hate the little yellow dandelion flowers growing in the yards I love the delicate little seed heads, and they make a great subject for a macro still life.  The delicate seeds ready to fly off in the next breeze.

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?

Fall has arrived and the leaves are changing colours

Autumn, the leaves are changing; copyright jmeyersforeman

Autumn, the leaves are changing; copyright jmeyersforeman 

We see it everywhere, the fall has arrived and the leaves are changing colour. Driving the back roads in the Saskatchewan the crops have all turned a golden colour, many of the crops have been cut and or harvested. It has been cold and rainy, so no photos of the golden hills and big skies, maybe tomorrow!

Hand in Hand; the decisive moment in

Walking with mom; copyright jmeyersforeman

Walking with mom; copyright jmeyersforeman

We have been visiting family and friends in Saskatchewan, and while I have been wandering around with my camera on a couple of occasions, it has been cold and rainy.

When not visiting with family and friends I have had time to process some of the images from our last trip. For this image I waited for the decision moment, Henri Carter Bresson style. Waiting for the mother and child to reach the apex of the bridge, while their feet where still visible, but the line of the bridge did not cut through the bodies.

I processed the image in Lightroom, it is very easy to edit between Lightroom, Photoshop and the Nik Software Plug-ins. This image was processed using the Lightroom black and white presets, I wanted to give the image and aged feel, and I added a touch of vignette. Stacey Fisher does a before and after blog post once a week, there are a few fellow photographers who contribute image and discuss their process, it is a great place to learn some processing and workflow tips. Head over to her site to check out the latest contributors.

 

Bill; a black and white portrait

Bill in Bordeaux; copyright jmeyersforeman

Bill in Bordeaux; copyright jmeyersforeman 

Taken while were standing on the platform of the Bordeaux train station waiting for our train. This is one of the many great images I used while working through the steps and stages of processing images with Lightroom 5. As many have said processing images in the Develop module of Lightroom 5 is quite similar to Camera Raw. One big difference I have found as been in output. In the Library module we have Publish service, once these are set up to your specific needs then it is a one button process to have the images sized, watermarked and exported to the location of your choice!

So much faster than my old processing steps. so far learning Lightroom has been worth the time! 

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. 

 

Family Portraits; Calgary

Calgary Family Portraits; Abbey Family

Calgary Family Portraits; Lindsay and Family 

We have been back in Calgary for a little while now, 10 days to be exact, and I am not sure where the time has gone. I bet you have been wondering what we have been up to! It has been great to see so many friends (still so many to see), getting some business organized, and even shoot some family portraits!

I have photographed Lindsay and her family before, and it is fun to see them again, and to see how much the children have grown during the year. This is one of the first photos we took, and one of the first photos I looked at when I opened the file. I was so excited I had to share it right away, now I have to go back to the file and see how many other great photos we have.

Lindsay – it won’t be long and I will have the proofs to you!

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.