Aspens in the breeze

Aspens in the breeze

Aspen leaves flutter softly

And I hear the rain

The breeze gently blows

A Week of Haiku

Day 1

dandelion seeds
delicate tiny softly sail
toward your garden

Day 2

radius halos
wispy hazy cirrus clouds
crystals in the sky

Day 3

love is like a tree
growing of its own accord
despite the hardships

Day 4

towering shadows
flowers along the pathway
Warm evening ramble

Day 5

soft drizzle of rain
rush hour traffic inches
along the wet street

Day 6

The wind deploying
the prairie grasses waving
clouds sailing away

Day 7

haiku and photos
summer awakens for me
daily amazement

I challenged myself to write a haiku a day for one week, and as I am a photographer my inspiration would come from the photos I had taken. I have completed the challenge. Here are my thoughts, it was harder than I had first imagined it might be, more importantly, it was fun and interesting, and I’ve learned a few things about haiku poetry.
Here are the rules as explained by the Society of Classic Poets;
1. Be three lines of five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables.
2. Contain a nature or seasonal reference.
3. Be in the present tense (swims rather than swam).
4. Be subtle and observational.
5. Contain some sort of twist in the third line.
6. Not worry about rhyming.

Rule 6 was easy to live with, not rhyming is easier that rhyming! The haiku poems I wrote this week were more observational than subtle that would be the photographer in me, full disclosure, I have never been known for my subtly. The poems contained some mention of nature, and with all poems but one, the first poem, I managed the right number of syllables in each line.
I think it would take a lifetime to be really good.
Tell me, did you enjoyed the play between poetry and pictures this week? Are you interested in seeing more?

52frames – Week 18 – Dark

coffee time

Dark Roast
This week the 52frames challenge was “dark”. For anyone who knows me, coffee would be the natural subject, for this weeks challenge, I love coffee, but it wasn’t the first thing that came to mind, in fact, nothing came to mind. I wasn’t sure what I was going to photograph, I was stumped, but open to inspiration.

I was getting close to the deadline without any great inspiration, this was going to require some thought! It didn’t help that I was away from home, and had to do some creative thinking about what I would do when I did get home, and into my own space.

I had enjoyed setting up last week’s still-life with the dried flowers, so I started with the idea of building another still life, I have dark wood background and board, that would be perfect for the theme of Dark. I knew I was getting closer! I mentally went through my cupboards, what would be my subject, nothing came quickly to mind.

I knew from past experience, I was on the right track, and something, some idea would form, I just needed to give it a little time. Sometimes if I struggle too hard on these ideas I get nowhere, I have to leave it to percolate (pun intended). As we were driving back from Saskatchewan I sat quietly watching the scenery when the idea of using coffee as the subject came to mind. The dark roast beans Bill loves for his coffee, and a cup of espresso would be perfect. I could hardly wait to get home!

The other two images that I like, but did not get submitted to the challenge. Which one do you like?

52frames week 17

This week the 52frames challenge was upside down. I struggled, I wasn’t sure what I was going to find to photograph. To be honest, I have been at the computer most days, processing images for our travels. I haven’t been out and about with my camera. Sunday, we were going to drive to my home town, the weather forecast for the area wasn’t great, highway road report between here and there was less than ideal, so we stayed home, and I played… setting up a still life with a tiny flower jar and tiny flowers.

I wanted to learn more about focus stacking, both photographing for it and processing it in photoshop. I was clicking away when I decided that I would dump all the flowers out of the bottle, this would be my 52frames “upside down”

Focus stacking (also known as focal plane merging and z-stacking or focus blending) is a digital image processing technique which combines multiple images taken at different focus distances to give a resulting image with a greater depth of field (DOF) than any of the individual source images.

I love the way the still life turned out, and I love learning new techniques for producing images. Did you learn something new this week?

Seville Inspired

We loved our time in Seville, and I think I can safely say that we will return.

digital artistry, inspired by our time in Seville.

One of the unique features in Spain are the rolling shutters that cover the storefront doors. Metal doors, that roll down at night, or when the store is closed to cover the door. Many are painted with graffiti, but a good many are painted with unique pictures usually relating to the store. We have even seen a parking garage door painted with a Spanish landscape.

You can see some examples of these murals from the blog post about Madrid.

Bill and I spend a lot of time walking around the cities we visit, I was inspired to try my hand at a little digital art, during the quiet time, when my feet were too tired to walk anymore! Using several images taken during our stay. The image above was my attempt to capture the essence of Seville. Learning how to use blending modes, transform tools, selection tools, erasing, masking, and so many other features of Photoshop was quite a challenge.

This type of art has always appealed to me, but I am not sure I have the creativity for it! Have you tried anything new? I have to remind myself that learning new skills takes time, perfect doesn’t happen overnight, or in one magic moment, so I will keep trying during quiet times when my feet are too tired to walk anymore.

The Alcazar of Seville

One of the great sites to visit while in Seville is the Alcazar of Seville, a royal palace built for King Peter of Castile. It was built by Castilian Christians of the site of a Muslim residential fortress destroyed after the Christian conquest of Seville. The Palace is a beautiful example of Mudejar architecture in the Iberian Peninsula. The upper levels of the Alcazar are still used by the royal family as their official residence while in Seville.

The integrate details in the tiles cover the walls, mesmerizing to the eye. Arched doorways open into lush gardens, with the smell of oranges in the air. and fountains with just a trickle of water conceals the sounds of the people talking in the nearby rooms. I highly recommend the audio guide to learn more about the palace its’ history.

While in Seville we have also done some Sherry tasking, and trip through the white villages, and an evening watching flamenco dancing.

We have been having a great time here in Seville, but I time here has come to an end. We are off to Malta next week. How has your week been?

Have you been to Malta, any tips or suggests for things to do or see. I would love to hear from you

Hola from Seville

We are having a great time in Seville, sherry tasting, cooking classes and a tour of the city. We have spent time touring the Plaza Espana, the Alcazar, Triana, and the Triana Market. So many beautiful streets, cafes, and plazas.

This week the 52framers challenge was “city life at night” and I decided to try out the pano feature on my new phone

This week on Society6 is offering 25% off all products and free worldwide shipping, just in case you are interested in a new yoga matt, or tote bag now is a good time!

Hola from Seville

I love the light and beautiful balconies

We arrived in Seville late last week, and we have enjoyed walking all the pedestrian streets. I love all the beautiful plazas, amazing architecture, and I especially love the light. Early morning light and the evening light along the streets! 

I have been participating with 52frames, a weekly photo challenge, 

week 4 –

Macro, admittedly I wasn’t overly inspired by the challenge, I was lucky to find the daffodils were blooming in my cousins garden. Thanks, Sharon and Bob for a lovely four days! 

Week 5 –

dirty, okay I am struggling with the challenge, and I am going to have to think about how I approach the challenges each week if I am going to keep them up. While I have been struggling, I have been inspired by the images submitted by many of the photographers, and this does help to motivate me. 

Week 6 – my desk, there are a few coffee shops, we have been enjoying the “coffee con leche” coffee with warm milk, as well as the wonderful pastries while I sit process image, so I pretty sure I will have a better submission this week. 

If you have any suggestions for off the beaten path things to do in or around Seville drop me a line, or if you want more info on the 52framers weekly photo challenge, let me know, I would be happy to send you a link. 

While we have been away I have launched a new website for images taken during our Camino to Santiago de Compostela, I would appreciate if you have a look. I would love to know if you have a favorite image, or if you have done the Camino, your favorite memory or location. 

To see our ongoing travel photos check out my Instagram feed. 

See you again soon. 

Hello from Lisbon

Ascensor da Glória, Calçada da Glória, Lisbon

52Frames week three introduces each of us to fellow photographers from around the world. It is meant to encourage each of us to be a tourist in our own city, and explore the places we haven’t yet seen, or to see old familiar places from a new perspective, that of a tourist. 

I happen to be traveling this week, visiting the beautiful city of Lisbon, so I shall say hello from here rather than my home town.   I started by researching all the “things to do” and “places to see” 4 days into our visit and I feel like there is still so much to see and do, and I don’t think one picture can portray a city.

Lisbon is the city of Seven Hills, and while I feel we have walked all of them, we have used the trams, funiculars and metro system to get around as well. The trams or streetcars have been in use since 1873. Tram 28 provides on the best tours of the city and is a popular tourist attraction. 

While working on the project this week, and wandering around Lisbon I kept asking myself how would someone from Lisbon want their city to be remembered, I am not sure I have the answer yet, and there are still streets to explore.

tram 28 lisbon

52 frames weekly photo challenge – Self-portrait

self-portrait, reflection in the store window, with photo of model appears to be looking at me, the photographer
oh oh oh, people are looking at me!

This weeks challenge was to create a self-portrait, something I was not looking forward to. As a photographer, I am much more comfortable holding a camera than getting my picture taken. The 52Frames website provided a number of links and I recommend a read if you are interested in creating a self-portrait, or using this as a theme for an ongoing project, the links and information were helpful and inspiring.

A google image search for self-portraits was most helpful and inspiring, there I found the work of Vivian Maier, combining street photography with self-portraiture use to catch her own reflection in shop windows, and mirrors. I felt that the self-portraits not only gave us some small insight into her but also daily life and the city in which she lived and worked.

While Vivian Maier used a twin reflex camera, one that you would look down through a mirror to frame your photo. I used both my DLSR and phone camera for this project. Both the phone and DLSR allowed me to frame the image like the twin reflex camera Ms. Maier used, and I found that helpful. It was quite amazing to me how much the angle of the camera, and where it was held changed the final image from what I saw with my own eyes.

Some of the other challenges, finding dark windows, there isn’t much of a reflection when a window has a light behind it. Dirty windows, and the stuff found in the window alway made a difference to the outcome. I also found that there were occasions when the double pane window showed up, almost as a double exposure, and I think the effect was magnified more when the camera was held more at an angle to the window, rather than straight on.

Have a look at results from this week, I would love to hear which image you think was most successful, and why. Have I inspired you to give it a try?