Hydrangea season

Pink hydrangea 3

Pinks and whites, from the garden.

White hydrangea 3

Pink hydrangea 4Pink hydrangea 2

The flowers tell the time in the garden. Now that summer is coming to a close, the hyrdangea (along with a few others such as japanese anemone and black-eyed susan) are taking their turn in the garden.

White hydrangea 1Pink hydrangea 1

White hydrangea 2

I can't believe that tomorrow will be September.


Yellow iris, lots of words, a screenshot and smoothie

Yellow iris

These were taken earlier this season from the garden. Taken with the D70s* + 105mm lens, which gives it the smooth out-of-focus areas. Love the 105mm for that. I've started using both the D300 and D70s this past summer, with a wide(er)-angle on one and the 105mm or 18-200mm on the other. I have a fear of changing lenses in the outdoors for fear of dust on the sensor.

Yellow iris 3

This one was taken with the Nikon D300 + 35mm 2.0 lens. I love this little lens. It gives me more room on the crop sensor D300 vs the 50mm. And the way it handles light is amazing. I think the ƒ2.0 was being replaced by a ƒ1.8 version. I remember having to search around a bit to find the 2.0 (so worth it).

I was hoping to get more into the rhythm of blogging, but this week has been so busy. We had the roof replaced and got a new car and I've been following an online course put together by creativelive.com. (They offer all sorts of free streaming online courses, check out their calendar at the link. Live streaming is free, you can select to download but they charge for that.)

The course I've been watching this week features Jasmine Star, wedding photographer. It's been really interesting and informative over the last four days (today is the fifth, and last day) seeing her photography background, mistakes she made and things she did well, her business branding, her gear and software, how she preps for a wedding, shoots a wedding (interacting with wedding couple and guests), and edits photos from the wedding. They actually shot a real wedding on Friday. Kudos to the all involved for pulling it off so successfully (quick side note: thanks to zack arias, I can no longer use that word without thinking of his sucksessful vids. Heh.)

I think the most compelling take-away for me so far, has been Jasmine's 'Repel or Attract/Connect' mantra. She knows not everyone will like her and that's okay. She only wants to attract the people who want to work with her, who appreciate her style. It's a big world, photo-wise, and there are a lot of options for people. Why do we all have to be the same? Not everyone is going to like your work and you aren't going to like everyone's work either. We can spend an inordinate amount of time and energy trying to make everyone like us, not being authentic, afraid to post or censoring our words. Stop. Be true to yourself. It all comes down to keeping it real, as she would say, in action.

In light of the above revelation, the most surprising/not-surprising (if that makes sense) take-away from the last few days is how many haters she has. LOL, I get that she's not everyone's cuppa, but c'mon. There are a lot of people online who like to hate. And you know, I understand and appreciate why they're upset, the issues they're hating on with respect to some of these 'photo-rockstars' (i.e., selling workshops after having been in business one year, actions out the wahoo, books that claim to make you an overnight sensation, you-name-it). In light of all that, I get the push-back. I get it. But at the end of the day, really, all that negativity is just not a place I want to spend my time.

Overall, watching Jasmine Star this past week I'm more impressed with her attitude than anything. I've followed her work for a long time now and I'm in the 'like her' camp, but wow. She has one great attitude/outlook on life.

And freaking amazing arms (toned like no one's business.)


Smoothie beforeSmoothie in the making

One other quick note. I've read about green smoothies/bloggers doing green smoothie challenges over the years, so I decided to give it a try a few weeks ago. The thought of putting that much spinach in a fruit smoothie seemed off-putting. Well, as it turns out, you can't really taste the spinach. Win! (Except for Andi, who likes spinach. ;-) However, the way it makes me feel is a revelation. So, so, so much better. And not in any specific way that I can articulate. Lame, I know.

I experiment with different fruits, but keep coming back to this basic concoction:

1 banana
1 C wild blueberries, frozen
1/2-3/4C strawberries, frozen
1 1/2 C water, maybe a bit more to thin if required
5 large handfuls of baby spinach

This makes two large glasses.

Seriously, I can't believe how drinking these a few times a week makes me feel. I would not have believed it if I hadn't tried it.


Friday cloud blogging

Friday cloud blogging 3

Images in Friday cloud blogging this week are from the archives - you may recognize some of them. The shot above was taken in 2007, at Andrew Haydon Park.

Friday cloud blogging

The ocean at dusk near Dubrovnik, taken in 2008. Ah, seems so long ago now.

Friday cloud blogging 5

Taken in 2009, the trail off Corkstown Rd.

Friday cloud blogging 2

From the Experimental Farm's Canada Day celebration in 2007.

Friday cloud blogging 4

Another taken back in 2007, at the infamous Crotch Lake.




Some random swamp images set aside as I work through old photo hard drives - culling, cleaning, etc. It's been interesting to go back and look at old work.


Swamp 3

Swamp 8

Swamp in winter.

Swamp 7Swamp 6



Dahlia love

Dahlia 5

When I was out erranding yesterday I spotted some dahlia in the cut-flower section of the market. Dahlias are awesome, the way the petals look like scoops and how they unfurl and form petal pom-poms. I've never had the opportunity to photograph them before. To say I was giddy would be an understatement. ;-)

After spending a bit of time with them, I love dahlias even more.

Dahlia 4Dahlia 3

The yellow areas of the orange/red/yellow blooms just glowed, like they were lit from within.

Dahlia 7

DahliaDahlia 6


Peony petals, inside and out

Peony colours

Inside petals on left, outside petals on right. From the garden earlier this summer.


Friday cloud, raindrop and sunset blogging


Some interesting patterns and pretty colour from Wednesday, thanks to the work of M. Nature. A rainstorm blew through quickly (at least in my end of the city; to the east there were power outages and downed trees), breaking up the clouds as it left. The nifty cloud patterns were caught and mirrored in the water drops on the window.


A closer view of the drops (cropped from original) below.


The setting sun hit the remaining water drops hanging on the glass, creating pretty bokeh lights.


And then the sun hit the clouds, colouring the sky gold and pink.




Faraway frogs

Amazon milk frogs

Over the long weekend we got a chance to visit the renovated Museum of Nature. The glass structure at the front of the building is interesting - lots of light, neat patterns with the glass and cables. I took a few photos, but they were setting up for a wedding so too many people around. These photos are from the frog exhibit currently on display. The frogs above are Amazon Milk frogs. They were hanging out in groups like shown. Pretty colours.

Chinese gliding frogs 2

The Chinese Gliding frogs have huge sucker-like toes, their skin is such a vibrant green with a texture that makes it seem as though they're made of rubber.

Blue dart frog

Dart Poison frogs - they had blue and yellow and green ones. Little guys, a bit smaller than a golf-ball.