Photographs: Sunbeams

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Sunbeams, a set on Flickr.

I was heading into the house July 19th when I looked up and saw this. I ran into the house to grab my camera while thinking they would probably be gone by the time I got back and I wouldn’t be able to capture this. I was amazed at what I saw when I reviewed the photos on my computer.

Photography Goal Achieved!

I have to admit that leading up to Friday, November 30th, I was fretting that I would not be able to get outside with my camera to take enough photos in time to post the last 28 photos needed to reach my photography goal.  The weather has gotten quite damp and become increasing cold the past few weeks.  I don’t feel properly equipped to be out shooting in less then ideal conditions and I prefer shooting with the natural light of the sun.

Before we left the house, I was grumbling that I had a date with my camera but it was pouring out with rain again just like the day before.  My partner told me to take my camera with me in case the clouds parted at some point and then I would have it with me.  I had decided to drive past the university to pullouts along the highway.  I figured even if it was raining, I could scout it out for a future shoot.

After dropping my partner off at UBCO, it started to brighten up outside.  I was hoping the lake was reasonably calm because I had been wanting to take mirror shots.  Thankfully when I got there, it was relatively clam and I was able to snap mirror shots of the lake.

Very few trips with my camera involve a tripod but I brought it along for this trip figuring the shutter would stay open longer and have the potential for blurry shots.  I felt a bit awkward standing on the side of Highway 97.  I was there setting up my tripod while traffic screamed by me at 100km/hr and leaving a huge mist that I hoped would not reach my camera.  My fingers were frozen and I kept tucking them into my pockets when I remembered that I had two pairs of those .99 cent stretchy mittens in my coat.  I put one pair on and decided it should stay in my camera bag over the Winter.

Mirror shot of the Lake

After snapping up several shots on the side of the highway, I packed up my gear and headed to another place in Lake Country we had visited a few Summers ago.  Unfortunately, it was blocked off so I headed back into Kelowna, stopping for breakfast en route to downtown.

As I was driving into downtown, it was gross out again and I had pondered the thought of just going home and if it cleared up, I could go shoot outside in our yard.  Just as the thought had crossed my mind, the sun came out in full force and I knew that I was meant to go take more photographs.

I pulled into a parking metered lot and smiled as I did so because there was a large group of ducks behind my car.  I must admit that the smile was part smirk.  I knew if I went downtown to shoot that it meant birds.  Last year, we had gone shooting with friends downtown who had made the comment about being sick of shooting nothing but ducks.  I got out and took some shots of the ducks and then went back to plunk three quarters in the meter.

I walked around the harbour and have to admit, that not only did I not feel inspired but also bored.  I was also noticing that my camera was feeling the cold between the lens feeling “stuck” when focusing and how slow the camera was to respond.  Then I started to remember the type of photography I like to take is not photos of scenery and ducks but more the macro (close up) version of what I come across.  I love to take close up shots and thankfully after that, my mindset shifted from that of taking photos on the grander scale to that on the smaller scale.  I also remembered that sometimes the best places to take photos are off the beaten path or say, in an alley:

Lights in an alley on Bernard Street, Kelowna, BC

Although I did not upload the above photo to my Flickr account, I decided to post it here.  Every time I look at the photo, my eyeballs tweak because of the way the wall on the right jumps out at me.

Afterwards, as I had planned, I went to Starbucks for the latest free drink I have with them to warm up my fingers before heading home.  It was such a glum day out that I had no inspiration to head outside our house with the camera but as I was leaving to get my son, there was a bug on our gate that I had to run back in the house and grab the camera for a few last shots:

lil bug on the gate

Now that I have achieved my goal of using my dSLR camera on a regular basis, I need to set new photography goals.  I want to learn more about the advanced features, lighting, composition and whatever else will help me to better achieve the types of digital photographs I want to take.

I also have to decide whether or not to look into photo editing software.  To me, photography is about what you can do with the camera and not what you can do within photo editing software.  But I am curious to see how and if I can improve my photos using software.  I know that I can improve them with software but its more about how much of a “purist” I want to be when it comes to my definition of photography.  As much as I love my alley shot above, it (to me) is crooked as are a  lot of the photos I take and would have loved to post to Flickr, but the framing was off and could easily be fixed using software.  I am extremely picky about what photos I post to my Flickr account.  I have taken a lot of great photos but not posted them simply because the framing is off.

I will strive to keep posting at least 50 photos to my Flickr account per month and moved it down to the “Maintenance” section of my goals.  Due to my lack of funds these days, I will be putting it on my gift list for the Winter Solstice in hopes that someone will buy me a 2 year subscription!

Photographs: Post-Rain Fall Day

I have to admit, that for the past two Falls here in the Okanagan, I have been very disappointed that I finally have a dSLR camera and when the Fall colors are at their peak, the weather becomes absolutely miserable.

Today as I look out the window, I see what is left of the snow from yesterday melting and pouring off of my neighbour’s roof.  Around the same time that we started receiving heavy amounts of rain, the colors in our trees were finally getting to that amazingly bright red color.  I kept looking at our driveway displeased that these beautiful leaves were there set on the spotted black pavement but it was pouring with rain and I did not want to take my camera out in it.

Thankfully I got home on October 30th when the rain had finally ceased, the dark clouds were becoming lighter and there was a glimmer of sunshine so I could snap up these photos:

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Post-Rain Fall Day, a set on Flickr.

Before I finally got a chance to take these photos, I kept seeing the huge, wet, delicious looking water droplets on the grass, leaves and roses.  I had decided to do this shoot just trying to capture as much water droplets as possible.  It made me realize I really should have a topic of some sort before heading out with the camera because since taking these photos, I have realized part of the reason I am not out with the camera as much as I would like to be, is because I cannot decide where to go to take photos.

Looks like it might be time for me to drag out my photography books and magazines as well.