Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bacon Cove, Conception Bay

Bacon Cove is a small town in Conception Bay, not too far from my home in Holyrood. I visit the town at least once a year to take photographs.

The photo this morning was taken in the mid 80s from a wharf in the small harbour . I liked the boat in the foreground, the fish flakes and shed in the background. As well, I liked the man who was walking towards the shed, in fact, the small human figure makes the scene real for me. Viewers will probably make a connection between the man and other elements in the image, but I have no way of knowing if he actually owned the boat, flakes or shed. I suspect that the photo was taken in early spring or late fall because the grasses are beige instead of green.

I thought that this would be an ideal photo to convert to black and white because it already looks "old". Fish flakes (wooden structures used to dry cod fish) and boats with the traditional "make-and-break" engines are very rare around our province these days. This image is now an historical visual document. A year or so after this photo was taken the shed, fish flakes and the wharf, from which I took the photo, were gone forever.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Every time I drive on the highway, I keep an eye out for moose. This morning I am sharing 3 images of these large animals.

The first image shows two moose feeding on a boggy area on the Burin Peninsula highway near Goobies. These two animals were fairly far away so I used my 70-210 mm zoom lens to bring them closer. Even though it is still not a close view, I liked the result.

The second photo was taken near the Roaches Line on the Trans Canada Highway. It was taken in the early morning on my way to work. I was very lucky to have seen it standing in the middle of the highway. There are many moose/vehicle accidents in Newfoundland and Labrador every year and, unfortunately, in many cases both humans and moose are killed. This image is a reminder for people to slow down while driving on the highway, especially when it is dark.

The third photo shows a young moose on the Trans Canada Highway near Whitbourne on the Avalon Peninsula. Even though there was no problem seeing this moose during daylight hours, you will notice a car passing another vehicle in the background. When he reached the top of the hill, he saw cars stopped and a moose blocking the highway. Had it been darker, this could have been a more dangerous situation.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Alberta Galleries

Last week I sent a series of photos of a rescue in Banff. Because of interest in the photos, I have created several new Galleries that show photos of Alberta. I am sending three photos that illustrate the categories of photos in those Galleries.

Mountains in Banff

A selection of photos taken during my visits to Banff in the late 80s.

Art in Calgary

Photos of art on display in downtown Calgary.


Photos of an art exhibit that claimed to change the way we look at bras.

There are 6 different photo series in these new Galleries.
Feel free to check out the new galleries at:

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hawaiian Sunsets

In 1980, my wife and I vacationed in Hawaii for two weeks and I took one roll of 36 slides every day. If it were today, I would have taken many more with my digital camera. I wasn't used to seeing a beautiful sunset every night so I took a few photos of each one I saw.

I was standing on the balcony of our hotel when I took the first photo. I remember liking the golden edges on the dark clouds. Just as I was about to press the shutter release, a jet flew into the scene and I took the photo as the jet climbed quickly into the golden sky.

The second photo was taken from Waikiki Beach in Oahu. You can see many sailboats indicating that many people were enjoying a sunset on the bay. As I stated above, we were there 13 nights and there was an equally beautiful sunset every night.

In contrast, the photo I have entitled, "Winter Fridge", was taken yesterday morning as I prepared to shovel our driveway after the second storm in 5 days. As soon as I saw the snow piled up against the door, I thought of this photo.

It was a challenging shot because the sky and snowbanks in the background were very bright and the shadows in the foreground were dark. I tried focusing on the foreground, but the background was too overexposed. I used the little flash on my camera to add fill light to the foreground. The first few I took didn't show the door, but they weren't as good. The open door leaves no doubt about where the photos were taken. I was going to title the photo - "One Advantage of Winter", but it was too much text.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Roseate Spoonbill

Last night I came across a photo of a roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) that I took while visiting Busch Gardens, Florida a few years ago. I noticed that the photo of the mature bird was decent, but I didn't like the netting, quite visible in the background. I decided to make a photo object of the bird by removing all the background.

Once the background was removed, I pasted the bird and tree branch on a photo of sky and clouds. The second photo shows the result. I certainly liked it a lot more than the original image.

I wondered if it would look better with the clouds to the left, rather than the right of the new image, so I cut the bird from the image, flipped the sky photo, then pasted the bird again. The third photo shows the result and I think I liked it better this way.

Because the bird lives in warmer climates, I pasted it on a photo of a palm tree with clear sky. The fourth photo is the result.

Finally, I reduced the size of the bird and pasted on a different photo of palm tress blowing in the wind. In this image the spoonbill has much less impact, and is no longer dominant in the scene.

You may be wondering why I would go through all the trouble to create several images of the same bird photo, and it is a good question.

First, I don't usually like to photograph birds or animals in zoos, and for years refused to do it. In the original photo, I thought that the net was too predominant in the photo.

Second, I am practicing photo manipulation because I offer Creative Impressions as a photo service, and need examples to put on my web site. This morning's series will be added to my web site as examples of creative images.

Third, since I teach my students to create images like this during technology classes, I can use these as examples. Students are bombarded by hundreds of images every day and by having them view and create their own images they will become more visually literate.

Fourth, it is fun for me. : ) And, now that I have the bird as a photo object, I can paste it to any photo.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Ice Fishing in King's Point, Green Bay

While teaching in King's Point from 1971-1973, I took many slides with my first 35 mm camera. The three photos I am sharing today depict a frozen harbour that is a perfectly smooth sheet of ice as far as the eye can see. During our school's winter carnival, students had fun skating on this natural ice surface.

The first photo shows a herring net that is set under the ice. In the foreground are two chunks of ice with a stick and rope laid on them. Look carefully between the two pieces of ice and you will see a darker rectangle . This is a hole that is frozen over. The piece of rope that looks like it is frozen into the ice is actually attached to a net. About 60 feet away is another identical structure, shown in the second photo.

When the fishermen wants to check his net, he breaks the ice on both ends, then hauls the net out of the water, takes his catch, goes to the opposite side and hauls the net back in under the ice again. The little pieces of ice that you can see between the two ends were removed to help him put the net in under the ice in the first place. He used a long stick to move the end of the rope, bit by bit to each of the holes until he had the net completely under the ice. I have never seen this type of fishing before or since that time.

Later, I photographed the fisherman pulling the net and went to his home to interview him about this type of ice fishing. He was in his 80s, partially blind and certainly not afraid of hard work. I watched him cut the ice with an axe, pull the net from the icy waters, remove the few fish he caught, then pull the net back into the water, all in freezing cold temperatures. His gloves were soaking wet at first and iced up shortly afterwards. He told me he used the fish he caught as food for his family as well as his dogs.

I am not sure if fishermen in Newfoundland and Labrador use this method of fishing today, but if anyone on this list knows of any, please let me know.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Black and White Images

I have purposely decided NOT to get caught in the trap of sending snow photos every day. We are getting another storm on Saturday and, to be honest, I don't know what they will do with all the snow in St. John's. I suspect people living in northern climes would appreciate me sending photos of subjects other than snow and winter for a couple of days.

This morning I chose two scanned slides that I converted to black and white images. The feather on the sand has always been one of my favourite photos. It was taken on the sandy beaches in Gros Morne National Park, located on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland. It looks like it may have been set up, but while walking along the beach I noticed the feather and footprints and took the time to capture the image on film. I composed the shot very carefully and, if memory serves me right after 20 years, knelt down to get the image I wanted. I liked the textures of sand and feather as well as the footprints. (I don't think they were human). It was a natural choice to convert to b&w because there was very little colour in the original image.

The peaceful scene of a sailboat in Holyrood Harbour with calm water, mist, fog and clouds was also a good choice for b&w. When I view this image I get a peaceful, calm feeling - just as I felt when I took the photo.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

A Winter's Day - February 20, 2007

It took my son and I, 4.5 hours of steady shovelling to clear out our driveway yesterday. This storm was one of the worst I've seen since moving into this house 25 years ago. The drifts were very deep, nearly to the roof of my car.

I didn't take too many photos yesterday because I could hardly see over the snow banks on the highway and I wasn't trying to walk waist deep in the snow!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A Winter's Day - February 17, 2007

The Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador is being battered by a blizzard that started yesterday around 1:30 PM. Schools are closed all day because of the 30 cm of snow and high winds that have fallen in less than 24 hours. High winds are blowing the snow around causing white-outs and drifting.

On Saturday, I drove to the Witless Bay Line, not far from my house in Holyrood, to photograph "Winter". In some places it was clear, but the road was drifting in, especially when I came upon a heavy snow squall. The photos this morning show a few scenes I captured during the short trip.

I'll make another photo trip there as soon as possible - I am sure the drifts will be huge up there after today's storm!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Grasses in a Sunset

Today I am sending 2 images of a sunset in Grand Falls-Windsor that I photographed back in the mid 70s. I remember that I was looking for soil for my vegetable garden and decided to take a few photos as the sun sank below the horizon.

I focused on some tall grasses growing nearby and took a couple of photos. The first is a wider shot and you will see there are a few plants in focus. To make the second, I focused on one part of one plant causing the majority of the plants to be out of focus. I liked both images.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Rescue, Sulphur Mountain, Banff National Park

Today I am sending 5 images from a series I photographed while visiting Banff. I don't usually photograph people in pain, but I thought I'd attempt to photograph this rescue. If I hadn't been using slide film, I would have sent the photos to local papers, but by the time I got the slides back, this was old news and probably of little interest. You guys are among the first to see them.


In 1989, I was on top of Banff and witnessed a dramatic rescue. A woman had broken her leg in a fall. When I arrived on the scene, the helicopter was about to land. It was a difficult but safe landing for the pilot who had to be extremely careful of guide wires from a communications tower.


Rescue workers lifted the woman onto a stretcher. The pain must have been terrific.


After getting the injured woman into the helicopter, the pilot had to very carefully lift off the platform. Rescue workers moved out of the way, just to be safe.


Once clear of the wires, the pilot headed though the valley to the nearest hospital.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Birds' Nests

Today's photo theme is a little early in this part of the world, especially considering that there is a blanket of snow covering the land. However, I thought I would share a couple of photos of birds tending their nest in spring.

The adult osprey in the first photo is caring for three chicks in a nest that is located on a sign in the backwaters near Bonita Springs, Florida. I estimate that there are hundreds of small boats passing by this nest every day. As we went by I asked the driver of our boat to stop while I took a few photos. I took over 100 because it is the closest I've ever been to an osprey's nest.

The photo of the robin's nest was taken in Norris Arm, Newfoundland and Labrador in the mid 70s. I was teaching in the small town in Central Newfoundland and asked students if they knew where I could find a nest. One child said there was a nest in her yard so I went to her house during lunch. The nest was fairly high up so I climbed on the roof to get a better view. A few minutes later the mother flew in and as soon as she landed on the nest, the babies' heads popped up. I assumed they were expecting a meal, but the mother flew away as soon as she saw me. As soon as she left, the babies disappeared from view.

I waited and waited for her to return, but she was too nervous. Time was running out so I asked the people below me to use a broom to shake the branch a little. As soon as the branch moved, the birds' heads popped up, and I took this photo. I would have loved to capture the mother feeding the babies, but I was happy with the photo I got.

Friday, February 16, 2007

St. Patrick's Church

Another series of "slides" this morning. In 1983, I decided to photograph churches in the St. John's area. While I was mostly interested in the Stained Glass Windows at St. Patrick's, I photographed other things as well. All three subjects this morning were photographed without a flash. I can't remember if I used a tripod or not.

The first image shows a small window that is set in concrete. The pentagon and rounded-cross shapes, as well as the colours of light reflecting off the surrounding concrete caught my attention. The second image was taken through two doors that had windows in the shape of a cross. Since it was late in the day, the light coming through the window had a reddish-yellow tinge. The third image shows a stairway which are back lit by windows. I liked the shapes and soft lighting in this scene as well. You will notice that the scenes are dark except for the main subject. That is because I am shooting into the light in each case.

I have photographed this church again since "going digital" and reproduced each of the photos. They are not the same because I was there earlier in the day and I think the walls may be a different colour. I have 6 images of the church on line and am doing a slide show which I will add to my "List of Slide Shows".

More of the church -
List of Shows -

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Years ago, friends of ours gave us two kittens, one for each of the boys. They named them Snowball and Tiger. One day I saw the kittens lying together on the chesterfield so I got my camera. Since I was using colour slide film at the time, I only took the two photos I am sharing today. Too bad digital photography wasn't invented then (early '80s), I would have taken a lot more.

The photos this morning show what effect changing the angle a little has on the resulting images. Even though they are slightly different, the title of each could be "Innocence".

Thanks for the feedback on yesterday's Roses. Several people also identified with the comments I made about the "busyness of our lives" and taking a bit of time for ourselves. I am happy to be involved in photography because it forces me to look at the world in a different way; seeing, and experiencing, much of the beauty that is all around if we just take the time to look for it.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day,

I created a Valentine's Day card for you using one of a series of Rose photos I took a couple of years ago around this time.

I photograph flowers (cut, potted and wild) as often as I can. The colours, shapes and textures are beautiful and by taking the time to photograph them, I see and feel a little of the Beauty all around me. Because of my interest in photography, I understand the saying ... "Take time to stop and smell the roses".

I found the quote below and it also illustrates that taking time to photograph the things around me (things that most people take for granted) has a positive impact. Several years ago, after giving a presentation on Photography to a group of teachers, one of them stood up and made a comment that he felt I definitely didn't need Prozac. I hadn't thought of it like that before, but the process of taking photographs does bring a sense of Peace and Joy.

"Life is what's happening when you're too busy to notice." -Wayne Muller

Have a great day and take a little time "just for you".

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fishing Stage, Little Catalina

At first glance the two images this morning look the same, but I am answering a few people who wondered why I decide to convert some photos to black & white and not others. I can't really provide a complicated answer other than when I see some photos, I just feel that they will look good as b&w images. Today's photos are examples.

The first image was taken in Little Catalina, Trinity Bay, with colour slide film. It was a cloudy day and not too much contrast or shadows. In fact if the water didn't have a hint of blue, it would appear to be a black and white image already. As soon as I saw it last week, I converted it. I liked the new image because it looked "older". The stage already looks old (and it was) so the new image worked for me.

I like both images and I am not going to survey the group on this one because they are so similar, but if you would like to share your thoughts on the photos, feel free.

Before digital photography, I would have had to have a new negative made then reprinted in order to see if I liked it. : )

Monday, February 12, 2007

Weekend Sunrise

It was a beautiful weekend in this part of the world: clear, sunny, hardly a breath of wind, and cold. On Saturday I went out earlier than usual to get photos as the sun rose. I was not disappointed and was able to capture the sun as it rose over the hills behind my house.

The shape of the hills may look different to those of you who have seen many of the sunrise photos I have sent over the past 5 years. (Yes, I am in my 5th year of sending out Photo of the Day.) That is because I drove about 3 km (2 miles) down the road to take the photo. These photos were taken at 7:33 am.

There is another reason why I sent these two images out of the 35 photos that I took. They are similar photos but show different compositions. For the first image I used the rule of thirds to position the hills (1/3 of the image is black - the silhouette of the hills), but for the second I used a wider shot and recomposed so the hills took up a very small portion of the image. This allows the viewer to see more of the beautiful colours created by the rising sun reflecting off the clouds.

To attempt to get the best colours as the sun rose, I set my ISO at 100, focused on the brightest clouds, and let the camera do the rest. The technical information was recorded by my camera: 1/750 second (shutter speed) and f 9.5 (aperture).

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Black Legged Kittiwake

Approximately 30 minutes drive from my house is the Witless Bay Bird Sanctuary. Several boat tour companies operate in the area and during the summer thousands of people visit the islands to see whales, puffins, murres, kittiwakes and other seabirds that are abundant that time of the year.

Today I have chosen to send four images of kittiwakes, a small seagull that is fairly common around the Witless Bay area. The first one shows one of the birds sitting on a small ledge on the side of a steep cliff. The other photo shows these birds in flight. They are hunting capelin, a small fish that spawns on the beaches all around the Island of Newfoundland. Kittiwakes are excellent fliers and it is a pleasure to watch, and photograph, them.

I have uploaded a Kittiwake Gallery to my web site. Feel free to take a look at the other photos displayed there.

Islands Recently, I started a new Facebook Album to share photos of Islands around Newfoundland and Labrador. Most pictures were taken from ...