Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Still garden colour

I was a little mind blown after coming home from Yukon. Just a little, and it took a while to uncompress. When I left it was a hot and smokey summer, and when I got back it was fall verging on winter.

The dahlias were looking a little sad in the rain, and all the bees were tucked away in their hive, at least I hoped so. I figured we'd be getting snow soon, and a tiny bit of it blasted through, but Linda has been really good about covering things up overnight the last week or so. Some flowers are still going strong.

As of today, it's warm and sunny. The season is obvious in the state of the garden, but there is still lots of colour to be seen. If it stays nice for a while (crosses fingers) we will continue to see the glads, dahlias, and roses blooming, plus some of the hanging basket and potted plants that Linda drugs into a blooming over-drive.

Normally I wouldn't publish such an out of focus picture, but I like how the wings show up.

It sort of reminds me of a set of mouths open, ready for food. As long as they don't chase after me...

Mostly the orange tailed bees are small, but just the last few days I've seen a couple of huge ones, twice or three times the size of the small ones. Not sure if they're the giant capacity bees out to carry bigger loads back to the hive or what.

I thought we were done with poppies for the year.

The begonias are still hanging in there.

The glads in the back seem to be doing even better than the ones out front.

You never know with Calgary. We could settle into a pattern of warmish sunny days and nights just cool enough we don't have to cover the plants, that lasts until mid-november almost. Or we could get a foot of snow next week. I'm just enjoying it as it comes.

I've been working with some of the aurora shots for a time lapse movie, but I'm not particularly pleased with the results. At the time I was mainly thinking of trying to get a good photo of them, as opposed to a time lapse, so I was periodically moving the camera and changing the settings. As always, live and learn.

Thanks for all the kind comments on the various Yukon photos!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The long awaited Tombstone Park, Yukon photos

In some ways I'm still digesting the Yukon trip. Each photo I edit brings back memories and thoughts, these Tombstone ones in particular.

I still can't get over the light and how it reacts with the vegetation and stone. Sometimes everything is so dull because the shadows are so dark, and a few minutes later it will look entirely different because it's in strong sunlight. Plus I was taking photos with different lenses and focal lengths, so forgive me if it looks like I've repeated a photo.

If I went through the file numbers and thought about it I could probably tell more closely where the photos were taken, but all you need to know is they were on the main road, with a minor detour up a road you can't drive on anymore. We drove all the way to the north end of the park, enjoyed the view of Chapman Lake, and drove back, with frequent stops along the way. I don't think we hit every scenic lookout, but if I were doing it again, I would, and probably lots of random spots along the road. Maybe renting one of those RV campers would be a good idea, since it would take me forever to get anywhere.

Especially since the view changes about every 10 feet, and the light changes everything just as quickly. The landscapes beg to be looked at through the prism of lines, shapes, forms, textures, but then your brain melts and you're overwhelmed all over again.

Every time I think I want to print one of these, another catches my eye and begs to be printed as well. That might turn into a problem really quickly. I'm suspecting one of the Tombstone photos will be image of the month, but lets wait a week or so and see.

I'd like to think these will need to be looked at on a desktop, even if they aren't panoramas like the other day. There are still some auroras to be made into time-lapse movies, but I need to make some space for that. Plus there are probably some lovely photos that have slipped through my editing process, and I'll just have to include them as I go along. I know that will damage the souls of my readers, but you'll just have to cope.


Friday, September 22, 2017


Today was a quiet day, partly drinking mint tea and being a lap for cats, partly thinking about stuff. A cool rainy day is a good day for that. The most active thing I did was run 5K, 36:30, 7:17/K pace followed by editing a pair of contemplative photo. See below. Yes, Yukon, part of the large beaver pond in Tombstone.

I'm thinking about what my next photo project will be, now that I'm back from Yukon, though I'm still chewing through photos. I wanted to give myself a break today. I'm thinking of some art projects, but also of building a light box and learning to photograph small round shiny glass objects. Glass paperweights, if you must know. Plus macro stuff, of course. I have some ideas there. We are thinking of assembling a bunch of the 2017 garden photos into a large mural to get printed. There are several thousand shots to go through, and we need to think about how to design such a thing.

I'd also like to do some day trips with other photo people. I've some ideas there, including more winter Fish Creek walks/snowshoes, exploring more of the river pathways and pedestrian bridges. If you want to come along, or if you're looking for company on an expedition of your own, let me know.

Yesterday I finished the seasonal wine bottling, and I'm looking at the next batch of wine kits to buy. So far there are 5 or 6 kits that look like winners, but I don't think I've seen all the choices yet. Right now I've got 5 kit's worth of glass to fill. I've also got about 10 cases of glass I want to sell. It's clear, but the bottles have a dimple in the bottom I don't like, and are a touch narrower than the rest of my glass. I'll give you a good price on it if you come get it, and when the last of the wine in those kinds of bottles is done, you get first call on those bottles as well.

While up in Yukon I was hot to trot to buy a longer lens (150-600mm, still need to research the fine points of difference between Sigma and Tamron), and maybe a new camera body. Now that I'm home and reviewing my budget I'm less hot to trot. There's some storage space changes to be made first, I think, and my buddy Ken was really helpful in that regard.

I'm just coming up on 3 months without a day job, and I'm loving it so far. It seems like we've always got something on the go, and the weeks have gone by quickly. I guess the next few weeks are going to be putting the garden to bed for the winter, and tidying up the garage for winter. Linda has had a lovely summer in the garden, and is sad to see her plants bowing before the inevitable. She's started a Master Gardener course through the Calgary Hort society and the Zoo, and so far so good.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Yukon panorama day

Along the way I took various kinds of shots. Some documentary, such as signs about the places we were. That's an easy way to remember where and what the surrounding shots are. Some are tourist shots, because you can't help yourself. Some are HDR because of the lighting. Aurora and star shots, of course, that was the whole point of the trip. Some I've tried to be artistic in one way or another. A couple were macro shots. I'm a big fan of reflection shots and work those in wherever I can. Some are panoramas because, well, the scene is so huge. There was lots of huge scenery. Here you are. You'll probably want to embiggen these on your desktop, and play with your browser screen size to be as wide as it will go.

This is the Fox Lake Burn outlook. Loved the textures of the different trees and the hills. Just off to the right it's a long way down.

Pelly River outlook has a huge view. Here's the first shot you saw with the bridge. It's only a small fraction of what you can see. Just in front of us is a long way down.

Here's the panorama of it I was talking about. It's the widest I've ever done, and I'm not sure how successful it is on screen because it's 38437 x 5159 pixels, or just a hair under 7.5 units wide for every 1 tall. What you see here is just under a MB file size, while the actual image is about 900 GB. So much detail if you zoom in. Perfect for that really wide space you've been wondering how to fill.

This is above carcross desert, and is included here in case you missed it in the desert blog.

 Five Finger Rapids. There were stairs, but if you missed them, it was a long way down.

 Tintina trench overview through a wide lens.

Same view, through a 70 mm lens. This is 22794 x 5903 pixels, or about 3.8 units wide for every 1 unit tall. Say, 2 feet by 7.75 feet.

Tombstone day. I think was on the road to the park, not within it.

From the park interpretive centre. There will be more photos from Tombstone.

Technically, this isn't a panorama, but it feels like it, and plus, if you stepped forwards it was a long way down. This was the view on the last night, when we weren't looking up at the spectacular auroras.


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