February Photo Challenge : Faceless Portrait

I have always liked taking photos of people from behind and walking away.  Most of my photos from this month are variations on that theme. I like how the photos of Adrian and his two friends portray a sense of their friendships.  They aren’t aware that I’m taking their photo, so the pictures are quite natural.

Can I reach it?  Fraser learns to walk and gets into everything.

Can I reach it? Fraser learns to walk and gets into everything.

Reading with Uncle Paul

Reading with Uncle Paul

Looking at the ice sculptures

Looking at the ice sculptures

Winter makes for many faceless portraits.

Winter makes for many faceless portraits.

Friendship (I think this is my favourite of the bunch)

Friendship (I think this is my favourite of the bunch)

And the moment is done...

And the moment is done…

January Photo Challenge: Up Close and Far Away

January was my month to choose a theme, and I wanted to make sure it was something very broad that could be photographed indoors as well as out, since I find that in January I often don’t get outside with my camera because it’s too cold.  That being said, I did get out on the Rideau Canal one afternoon when it was just below zero and possible to take off my mittens long enough to snap a few shots.  The rest of my month’s work took place around our “Lego World” that is constantly in a state of construction and flux in the attic.  Much of the building is still completed by Mommy and Daddy and other adults who happen to be around, but it’s an activity that we all enjoy and Adrian loves to play with all of the machines and buildings that we create.  I also discovered that it’s very hard to get good close-ups of Lego, at least using the lens that I have.  I never quite got the lighting and the focus just right…  (and for the record, whoever says that modern Lego is not creative has not been to our house!)

What's going on in Lego World?  Let's take a closer look...

What’s going on in Lego World? Let’s take a closer look…

Looks like the paramendics are out for a date.

Looks like the paramedics are out for a date.

Santa? is that you?  What are you doing on the roof of the blacksmith's shop?

Santa? is that you? What are you doing on the roof of the blacksmith’s shop?  Oh, just chasing that bad guy?  Ok, go get him…

There was a disaster and an earthquake flattened the city.  But the people rebuilt... newer and better coffee shops, bigger hat shops and more spaceships.

There was a disaster and an earthquake flattened the city. But the people rebuilt… newer and better coffee shops, bigger hat shops and more spaceships.

Let's have a cup of tea.

Let’s have a cup of tea.

And now for something completely different: Here are my photos from the Canal. I was relatively pleased with these.

Close Up

Up close…

Close Up

…up close…

And Far Away

…and far away (the Bridge into Patterson Creek)

Close Up

Up close…

and far away

…and far away

close up

Up close (Looking at the Chateau, under the Somerset Bridge)…

and far away.

…and far away (Looking down the Canal at the Somerset Bridge and the Chateau)

And a little bit of HDR for the last few shots: It’s always fun to play around with HDR to try to make mediocre images a little bit exciting.

close up

Up close (University of Ottawa)…

and far away (University of Ottawa)

…and far away (University of Ottawa)

Close up (Bank Street Bridge)

Up close (Bank Street Bridge)…

and far away (Bank Street Bridge)

…and far away (Bank Street Bridge)

And two more, that I just remembered from the beginning of January, we had an ice storm to start off 2015.

Far away... (after the ice storm)

Far away… (after the ice storm)

...up close (after the ice storm)

…up close (after the ice storm)

September Photo Challenge : up

After taking many photos in the summer, I took a bit of a hiatus in September. I did take the camera out on a few walks and was able to take some photos with the theme in mind.

We went on a walk and found these ladders to nowhere.  A sign said they were a memorial for volunteers who had died.

We went on a walk and found these ladders to the sky. A sign said they were a memorial for volunteers who had died.  Sadly, I decided not to bring my camera on this walk, and so only had the ipod for a camera. 

I love using high aperture numbers to get this sun burst effect.

I love using high aperture numbers to get this sun burst effect.

Looking up into the trees.

Looking up into the trees.  I had fun playing with where the focus was on these.

DSC_0802

Photo Challenge: Unique Angles

This month’s photo challenge was “unique angles”.  I finally got out with my big camera to take some purposeful photos. It was fun to try and find a unique angle to shots that I take pretty much every spring (tulips, flowering trees).

There is a cheesy set of newborn photos that people take where they put the wedding rings of the parents around the toes of the baby to show how little the baby is.  I didn’t want to recreate that, but I did think this was an unique angle to take a photo of the baby.  (and his tiny feet are pretty cute!)

tiny feet

tiny feet

Tiny feet (black and white)

Tiny feet (black and white)

My next idea for “unique angles” was to take photos of the backs of houses as seen between two houses. I have been walking around a lot since having the new baby, and I notice that you get a glimpse into back yards and back decks if you look down people’s yards and beyond. I was planning on doing a series of these shots, but then I only really ended up taking one that was really worth sharing.

Through the gap

Through the gap

The next two photos are somewhat random, a view through the window and some water splashing on a leaf. I’m not sure if the angle is that unique, but I’ll publish them anyhow.

out the window

out the window

water dropping

water dropping

Finally, I had the most fun on a walk down through the tulips at the end of the tulip festival when the blossoms and tulips were at their peak. Most of my unique angles are pointing straight up to the sky instead of looking down as would be more normal. There are a few that are not flowers, but they were all taken on the same walk. I was quite pleased with these photos.

looking down

looking down

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

tulips

tulips

looking up

looking up

looking up

looking up

blossoms and sky

blossoms and sky

blossoms and sky

blossoms and sky

reflection

reflection

Only Natural: April Photo Challenge

I have spent the month of April wondering what the photo challenge theme was.  I was convinced that nobody sent out a theme.  Then at the end of the month Dave (another member of the group) sent out a set of photos under the theme “Only Natural”.  Something twigged in my brain, that yes, I probably had seen this theme before.  Too bad it’s already the end of the month and I didn’t take any photos with the theme in mind because I had totally forgotten what it was.

However, I did have a little instagram photo challenge of my own for April which fits the theme (a nice broad theme will do that). So I will share it as my April offering.  The photos actually start on March 22, the first day of spring, and document the melt of snow from my back yard.  I did the same thing last year, and although this winter started a month earlier than last winter, the snow on the deck was melted on the exact same day, April 19.  The photos are taken looking out the back door at our deck and at our veggie garden.  The garden is where we pile the snow we shovel from the driveway all year long, so it takes a bit longer to melt than the deck – it’s covering of snow is “only natural!”.

March 22, 2014 - the deck

March 22, first day of spring 2014 – the deck

March 25, 2014 - Deck

March 25, 2014 – Deck

March 31, 2014, deck

March 31, 2014, deck

April 3, 2014 - Deck

April 3, 2014 – Deck

April 10, 2014, Deck

April 10, 2014, Deck

April 14, 2014 - Deck

April 14, 2014 – Deck

April 15, 2014 - Deck

April 15, 2014 – Deck

April 17, 2014, Deck

April 17, 2014, Deck

April 19, 2014 - Deck

April 19, 2014 – Deck

And the Garden…

March 22, 2014 - the garden

March 22, 1st Day of Spring 2014, Garden

March 25, 2014, Garden

March 25, 2014, Garden

March 31, 2014, Garden

March 31, 2014, Garden

April 3, 2014, Garden

April 3, 2014, Garden

April 10, 2014 - Garden

April 10, 2014 – Garden

April 14, 2014 - Garden

April 14, 2014 – Garden

April 15, 2014 - Garden

April 15, 2014 – Garden

April 17, 2014 - Garden

April 17, 2014 – Garden

April 19, 2014 - Garden

April 19, 2014 – Garden

It’s “only natural” that the snow would melt… eventually! Now if it would only warm up, we could really start to enjoy the spring!

Lines: Photo Challenge

I did not use the camera much this month, I don’t know if it’s a November thing, maybe once the leaves fall, the world seems a bit less photogenic, or if it’s a temperature thing, outside photos are more challenging when it’s colder.  Or maybe after shooting all summer and fall it was just time for a break.

Regardless, my lines photos all come from one morning walk that we did in the woods in Gatineau Park. I remember when we did the theme “wiggly lines” a little while ago, I had trouble finding any. This time, it seems I didn’t find many straight lines.

Here are the results.
DSC_0015The bridge had good lines. I tried to set up a shot to infinity… it sort of worked.

DSC_0018

DSC_0047Parking lot.

DSC_0042Making lines with a stick

DSC_0041Line on the ground. Lines in the air.

Ottawa River Sculptures

One of my favourite lesser known attractions in Ottawa is the rock sculptures on the Ottawa River at the Remic Rapids, just west of Parkdale. These beautiful, ephemeral sculptures are built every summer only to be knocked down by the ice and the force of the river each winter. They are never the same and throughout any one summer are constantly being added to and refined. I first visited these rock sculptures in 1997 – when the Boy’s Dad and I were first dating and spent many evenings getting to know each other going for long walks. I was pleased when I moved back to Ottawa over 10 years later to see that these were still created each summer. It’s worth a trip at least once a summer: We made our annual trip last weekend on our bikes. We were not disappointed. These are still as magical as ever.

Overview of the sculptures

Overview of the sculptures

Close-up of the balancing rocks

Close-up of the balancing rocks

I was impressed with this little wall.

I was impressed with this little wall.

A close up of the wall.

A close up of the wall.

Sculptures in the water.

Sculptures in the water.

Here’s a link to the artist’s home page: http://www.jfceprano.com/ – he’s been at it since 1985!