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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Forgot to Mention Montreal

I went to Montreal for work from February 11th to 13th. Yes, we flew home on Friday, the 13th - and that has its own story (I almost lost my passport - which you now need to go in and out of Canada from the US). I was excited to have a day after the work was done to see the city. Since I had my camera there for work it was a double bonus - and our expert even volunteered to show us around. He had lived in and around Montreal all of his life and knew lots about the city. But it was sooooooooooo cold that all I wanted to do was stay inside. We saw a lot of the city - but by car. And since I was the driver, it was not ideal for seeing stuff. The only opportunity I took to break the DSLR out of my camera bag was from an overlook on top of Mount Royal. We also went into the underground city for a bit and while the food court type place that we explored was quite colorful, I didn't really feel like taking any pictures there. So here is what I got.

You can't miss the "Big O" in this image. The Big O is the Olympic Stadium from the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. Our guide told us that they have finally finished paying for the stadium. We had the chance to drive by the Big O. Yes, it is BIG!!!

Montreal is on an island so there are many bridges and tunnels. I think that we also drove under this bridge - maybe even over it. My normally good sense of direction got totally twisted on this trip. I was driving but just following the directions of our guide.

There are a few more shots on my Flickr photostream. Feel free to take a look.

I guess that I will have to go back to Montreal when it is warmer - summer looks to be an exciting time there.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Before I Call It A Day

Today, I went to the National Arboretum in Washington, DC for the purpose of shooting a self-portrait for my Flickr Fifty Two project - 1 year of weekly self-portraits. This was the end of week 3 and while I had shot a few things earlier in the week, I was hoping for something better since I would have more time to concentrate.

I got several shots which are posted here. This is a link to my main Flickr Photostream. I only chose one for this week. To see my entire Fifty Two project, click on the set that will appear to the right of my main photostream.

Here is one that I liked but didn't make it to my Fifty Two Set:


Saturday, February 07, 2009

A little warm weather and ...

The other day I suggested (to my photo moms photography group) that we take portraits of each other - and to make it more interesting, we should take portraits of someone in the group that we didn't know very well. Michelle volunteered to be my guinea pig so today we met up at a local park to play at photography. It was at least 60 degrees after what seemed like cold that would never end. We weren't the only ones out there. The park was teeming with hikers, kids, dogs, etc. enjoying the sunshine. If I hadn't planned on the photography, I would have taken our dog, Ivan, out to play too. But it is probably good that he didn't join us, since I'm sure that he would have ended up in the creek or the pond. And what a mess that would have been!

I always have trouble finding things to shoot this time of year. While the weather was fantastic, the landscape was barren and mostly brown. There was still some ice on Walney Pond. And the ice and snow that had melted on the paths made the ground muddy - which I found out first hand when I slipped on a bank of the creek and ended up with a muddy backside.

Despite it all, I am pretty pleased with my shots today. Here are some of my favorites (click on any image to see it BIGGER):

There were some interesting dried seed pods and some interesting textures in the remaining ice so this is a combination of the two. I was inspired to try this image overlay technique after reading a John Barclay blog entry. John is one of my photography friends (and teachers). He really pushes his students to be creative with their photography - to try new things. So I did.

The idea was to take portraits so here is a shot of Michelle shooting me shooting her.

I always like shooting reflections in water. The sheets of melted ice on the pond made for some interesting images.

I really liked this seed and its wispy wings. There was a slight breeze and the shape of the wings changed in every image I shot. This one was my favorite.

Yes, I know, I said that the landscape was devoid of color ... not quite. These red berries caught out attention. Unfortunately these were across the pond from the parking lot which didn't make for such a great background. But as John and my other photography mentors have told me time and time again ... you have to work a subject. If the first shot doesn't work, try it from another angle.

Self Portrait in the pond today.

I will be posting more of today's shotes to my website:
Beyond Mere Words soon.

I'm heading to Montreal next week with my camera (I am actually going to Montreal to take pictures for work so, of course, I will have my camera) so my next post (unless I am inspired to shoot again tomorrow) should be images from my trip where it will be much colder than 60 degrees!!!