Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Another year has passed and we are on the eve of a new year. I wish all of you a happy and healthy new year.

I chose night shots to share with you today. These were taken in Holyrood in 2004. I used a tripod and ISO of 400. The camera chose an 4 second exposure for the first image and 8 seconds for the other. Night photography is tricky and virtually impossible without a tripod.

To capture the fireworks, I focused on the lights in the town, pressed the shutter when the fireworks were launched, then hoped they would explode in the field of view I had chosen.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Ice Formations 3

More ice formations again today.

The first two show medium shots of ice that has formed on branches overhanging a small river. If you examine the ice closely, there are interesting shapes and textures.

The third photo is very interesting. It shows a close-up view of the bottoms of icicles that are barely touching the water as it flows by. Look closely around the edges and you can see tiny ice crystals that have formed as water flowed by. There doesn't seem to be any on the third one; probably because it is the opposite "side". You can't see any on the opposite sides of the others either. To be honest, I didn't notice the crystals until I downloaded the photos.

As I have stated many times before, photography helps me see interesting things that most people would probably miss.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Ice Formations 2

I am sending two photos of "balls of ice" in the same little river that I referred to yesterday. These formed on the tops of plants that were growing in the river.

In the first photo you can see the water bubbling around the three ice balls. In fact the smaller one on the left is partially obscured by the rushing water. I cropped a closer image to show the interesting designs created by the light passing through the ice.

I took ten photos of these ice formations and each is different because the water was in constant motion.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Ice Formations

Yesterday, during my hike to the hills behind my house, I photographed ice covered branches in a small river. I liked the shapes and textures in ice created by water that was melting and freezing as drops from the moving water washed over the mini-ice formations.

The formations you see in the first photo are about 3 inches long and are hanging off a branch that extends over the banks of the small river. If you look carefully you can see the water flowing underneath. Occasionally drops of water land on the ice helping form the interesting shapes as they freeze and/or drop off.

The ice on the second photo has a bluish cast - no doubt caused by reflection of the bright blue sky. You can see how the ice has formed around the tiny branch.

The third photo shows ice that has formed in a "quieter" section of the river. The "designs" are a lot more even because the water isn't moving as much.

I have taken over 100 photos of ice formations over the past couple of days and will share a few over the next while.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas at Port de Grave

Every Christmas the fishermen in Port de Grave (near Bay Roberts) decorate their fishing boats with lights. Last night we went to photograph the harbour.

I used a tripod with ISO 1600 to capture the two images I am sharing today. I shot from a nearby hill to get a good view. There was a very cold wind and, because I had left my gloves in the car, I didn't get very many photos.

If you live near the Port de Grave/Bay Roberts area, it is worth the drive to see the all the coloured lights in the harbour.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Today, I have chosen three images taken during my hike to the mountain last Saturday. As you can see from the photos, it was an absolutely glorious day. I included my shadow in each of these photos because I wanted to have a "human element". Of course I took similar images without my shadow.

As I walked across the bog in the first photo, I noticed the long shadows of the trees and stopped to take a photo. The bog I am walking on is in a valley between the second and third ridges of hills.

The second shows my shadow stretching across a patch of very hard snow near the top of the mountain. I am carrying my snowshoes because there the little snow on the ridge was hard enough to walk on without them. The highest point in this photo was my destination.

The third photo shows my shadow with another ridge of hills in the background. I held my walking stick away from my body so you could see it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Thanks for the great response to the photos of my snowshoe hike to the mountain. I did it again yesterday - that's twice in two days. Hopefully I will get time for a few more hikes during the Christmas break.

The two photos this morning depict images of Santa that are a little different than the thousands of images we have been bombarded with since October. To be honest, this year I saw Christmas decorations and "stuff" in stores as early as August. I try to ignore all the commercial hype about Christmas and, because I haven't been watching much TV since moving to my new house in mid-October, it hasn't been as overwhelming as other years.

The first photo was taken at a friend's house a couple of nights ago. I shot it without a flash or tripod and like the warm colours created by the bulb inside the decoration. I sent the second photo last year and still think it is one of my favourite images of Santa. He is not in his typical suit and is holding the Baby Jesus in his hands while setting up his Nativity Scene. The artist who created this decoration shows that even Santa remembers the real reason for the Christmas season.

Have a great Christmas and enjoy time with family and friends.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

To The Mountain

Yesterday, after sending my Photo of the Day, I put on snowshoes and walked to the top of the highest mountain behind my house. I have lived here for over 25 years and this was the first time I attempted it in Winter. When people asked me my plans for Christmas break, I told them my goal was to snowshoe to the highest peak on the mountains behind my house. I achieved this goal on the first day!

I took several photos of the snowshoes laid against the pile of rocks that I, and others, have built at the highest point. The photo I am sharing is looking north towards Holyrood Harbour and Conception Bay. The self-portrait was taken by holding the camera (set at the widest view) towards me and shooting. I figured this would be proof that I made it. :)

It was a beautiful, clear and crisp day and it was extremely cold up there because of the winds and open space. I only stayed there for a few minutes because I had been perspiring a lot and as soon as I stopped, I began to feel cold despite the heavy clothing I was wearing.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Solstice

Today is officially the first day of winter which, in this part of the world, means that it is the day with the fewest hours of daylight. Starting tomorrow the days get longer and the nights shorter. Of course, it will take a couple of weeks before we notice it. These days, it is dark when I leave for work in the mornings and nearly dark when I drive home in the afternoons.

In honour of the Winter Solstice, I chose two photos taken on one of the lakes that I walk to while hiking in the woods behind my house. I checked out the tracks but, because it had snowed on them, I couldn't identify the animal for certain. I guessed that it was probably a fox because of the size and type of track.

The first photo shows a wide view across the lake and the second shows a closer view, taken when I changed lenses from a wide angle to a telephoto lens. The tracks add a little interest to the scene.

Friday, December 21, 2007


The anhinga is sometimes called the snake bird, probably because it has a long skinny neck. I read that the blue around the eyes get bluer during mating season. I assume it is mating season because the ones I photographed last year didn't have as much blue around the red eyes.

During my last two visits to Florida I was lucky to get so close to anhingas. When I see one drying its wings - usually after a successful underwater hunt - I know that it will allow me to get fairly close. This bird was resting on the banks of a small pond in Citrus Park, near Bonita Springs, Florida.

I have more photos of anhingas at:

Thursday, December 20, 2007


I thought the warmer colours of a sunrise would be a welcome change today since I know that many of you don't enjoy the cold weather.

These photos were taken in Florida, where I photographed the sunrise nearly every day I was there.

People from anywhere in the world could send photos to our school during the Christmas Season. Our students study Christmas in Other Lands and it could be a good source of photos for them. Send to If you know how, please resize photos to 640 x 480 before sending.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Winter Scenes

I hope you aren't tiring of snow photos yet.

Today I am sharing three more photos that I took during my walk on Sunday. The first is another view of snow-laden trees on the trail to a lake that I visit often. The second was taken as I looked across a part of the lake to the woods in the background. The tracks you see in the snow are actually moose tracks, not human. There are quite a few moose tracks in the area.

The third photo was taken looking across the main part of the lake to the hills in the background. I have often sat on the highest peak looking out over the lake, forest and Conception Bay. I am hoping to go there during the Christmas break! I have never been up there during the winter and want to make the trip on snowshoes. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Today's photos are a little different than the bright scenes I have sent over the past two days. On my walk on Sunday, I photographed everything using my 17-40 mm zoom lens. On my return trip home, I used my 75-300 mm lens.

Today's photos were taken in the darkest parts of the trail where only a little light was getting to the snow. I liked the backlighting on my snowshoe trail from the day before, as well as the textures in the snow on the branches.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Winter Morning

The trees in the first photo are growing in an area that was clear cut back in 1988. I remember taking black and white photos here that year and feeling sad that the forest had been destroyed. Now 20 years later (seems like yesterday) the trees have grown quite tall and the "forest" has returned.

The second photo shows one of the trails and the tracks left by my snowshoes as I walked through here on Saturday.

I stop often to listen to the "silence of winter". There was no wind yesterday, so it was especially quiet. Very peaceful, and beautiful. I consider myself lucky to have all this beauty so close by for the past 25 years.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

House in Winter

Today was a perfect day for a walk in the woods. The two photographs were actually the last ones I took today. I shot these from a trail behind my house.

My house is the newest addition to this section of woods. These views give an indication of how close to the woods I live. :)

Over the next day or two, I'll send more photos I took on my walk.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I haven't sent photos of fences in a while so I chose two "winter fences" to share with you today. I remember taking photos of fences as far back as 1971. Since "going digital", I take lots!!

Sorry I am late sending my photos today, but I went snowshoeing for a couple of hours this afternoon. It was very dull, so I didn't take my camera ... sorry. If it is nice tomorrow, I may go again and this time I will take photos.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Winter Wonderland

On Wednesday night we had over 20 cm (8 in) fall in this area of the province. It was a beautiful morning and I would have really enjoyed it, had I not had to drive to St. John's. The drive wasn't too bad; it took me 50 minutes instead of 30. People were driving slow because of the slippery conditions and blowing snow. When I got home, I spent 2.5 hours shovelling (scooping) my driveway. A good workout!

Our area certainly is "beginning to look a lot like Christmas". It will be different because we have had little or no snow for the past few holiday seasons. As well, I should be able to go snowshoeing soon. I enjoy that winter activity a lot.

I plan to shoot lots of winter scenes this year and may even try a few at night.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


The Salmonier Nature Park, located about 8 km from my house, is a great place to watch and photograph wildlife. Today I am sending a couple of photographs of owls.

The great horned owl is in a wire mesh cage and I had to get as close to the enclosure as possible in order to make sure the wire wasn't visible. I sent 3 other images of this owl to my Photo of the Day Blog on September 5, 2006. Feel free to check them out!

The snowy owl was in an open enclosure and I walked within 30 feet of this beautiful bird.

I have photographs of 25 species of birds, including several species from Florida, on my web site. Feel free to check those out as well -

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Abandoned House

I have photographed the house (located in Brigus) in today's photos numerous times since I moved to this area of the province in 1982. It has been an interesting photo study and I have seen it deteriorate from an abandoned house to a shell which may not survive this winter. The fence is rotting away, and Nature is slowly claiming back the land.

If you wish to see closer views of this house, check my June 3, 2007 Blog.
Feel free to check out other photos of Brigus -

My apologies for forgetting to change the titles under a few recent photos, especially the Seals I sent recently. It should not have read Food. This happens when I am up at 5:30 AM trying to decide which photo(s) to send and what to say about them. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Sunrise at Cape Spear

A sunrise at Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America, is well worth an early rise during the summer months. In winter, it would be very cold with the wind blowing off the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean, but just as beautiful no doubt.

I wanted to share the first one to show you how bright the sun is as it rises above the horizon. It is almost too bright to photograph and the photo is very dark except for the sun, which is still partially hidden. DO NOT stare at the sun for any amount of time or you could damage your eyes.

The second was taken minutes later when the sun was behind the clouds. I think the second is the better photo. If you want to see other photos of this sunrise, visit my Photo of the Day Blog and search for Cape Spear. There are 4 photos posted on September 9, 2006.

Monday, December 10, 2007


Seals are common around Conception Bay during the Winter months. When there is ice around they climb out on the ice to relax and take in a bit of sun. It was bitterly cold when I took the two photos I am sharing this morning, and I was amazed that they look so warm even when they go back into the freezing water.

The photos I am sharing today were taken a couple of years ago. It isn't cold enough here for the ice to freeze yet. It was 6°C (44°F) on Saturday and it rained for much of the day. The snow we had is nearly gone and there is lots of ice around driveways. There is still a bit of hard snow left in the woods. This is going to be a cold week with highs ranging from -3°C to -8°C. (26°F to 10°F).

Feel free to check my Seals Galleries -
Have a great day!

Sunday, December 09, 2007


The Christmas "season" is a time when there seems to be lots of food around our house and most that I visit. I am sharing two photos of food items that can be found in our house during the holidays. Both photos were taken without a flash in front of my living room window. I zoomed in on each subject to eliminate distractions.

This year, feel free to photograph foods and send them to our photo gallery.

I plan to take lots of photographs of food and ornaments over the next few weeks. You will probably see many of them throughout the year.

Minimalist - Water

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