Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

I'd like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a Happy New Year.

Last year I sent two night photos taken in July 2004. I included one with fireworks and another of the harbour looking towards the town. It was a beautiful moon-lit night - ideal for night photography with a tripod. This year I am sharing 2 images taken the same evening.

Tomorrow marks the 6th anniversary of my Photo of the Day. I started sending photos to immediate family members on New Year's Day, 2003. The list of people on my list continued to grow to the 750 people that receive my photos in their email every day. Over the past 5 years I have shared over 5 500 photos, more than most people take in their entire lives.

I started my
Photo of the Day Blog in the summer of 2006 and today's post makes 854 to date. There have been 10 104 visitors to my Blog over the past couple of years. Because there is a search function, the Blog makes it easy to find photos I have sent.

Many of you forward my emails to your friends and family members. If you would like to invite them to receive my photos directly in their email, feel free to forward this message to them and tell them to click on the link below, then click Send.
I accept your invitation to join the Photo of the Day List

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I have been visiting (and photographing) Main Beach Pond since moving to Holyrood over 25 years ago. I have watched the hills in the east reflect the reds and oranges of many sunsets, but I am not usually up there late in the evenings so I don't have many photos.

The first photo this morning is a horizontal (landscape) view of the mountains with the sun setting behind me. You can see the full moon in this image though it looks fairly small. I also shot a vertical image of this scene, but I do not like it as well. When I turned around to face the sunset, the colours were much more dominant despite the trees that were in the way.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Musical Hands

Yesterday's photos of the great egret illustrated why shooting a vertical (portrait) format works for certain applications. Today I am sharing a short photo essay of "Musical Hands" (a favourite theme for several of you). Most of the photos I chose were vertical.

The photos were taken in Citrus Park, Florida during an afternoon of great music by a local group. I couldn't resist making photos of the guys playing their guitars. The titles were added to let you see what the photos would look like as posters or magazine covers.

If you like this theme, feel free to visit my Musical Hands Gallery at:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Great Egret

This morning I am using two photographs of a great egret to illustrate the difference between horizontal (landscape) and vertical (portrait) images.
A friend once asked if I thought about "selling" a picture as I was taking it. I had to think about it for a few minutes before replying that usually I didn't think about selling an image until later when I was editing the photos. However, occasionally I will think that a photo may be good for a cover of a magazine and I will shoot a vertical image to make sure I have one if I ever needed it.

The first image shows a horizontal view of a great egret fishing in a small stream in Florida. Because the bird was in a shaded area, I knew that the background would be fairly dark compared to the white bird. I liked the reflection in the water as well. In order to capture the bird and it's reflection I had to zoom back leaving a lot of space with very little detail.

I rotated the camera and zoomed in which got rid of much of the background. I left a bit of room neat the top of the image for a title in case a magazine wanted to use it. This would be a decent image to use as a cover because it has lots of room for text.

When photographing subjects I often shoot vertical and horizontal images just to have both formats in my files.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Backyard Sky

Thanks for the positive comments about "Goats for Christmas". I'll pass the comments to the Power of 6 when school reopens next week.

A couple of evenings ago I was taking a photo from my back deck when a relative came by and said that it was too late to get a good picture. I told him I was trying to capture a good image of the deep blue sky with silhouettes of trees. This morning I am sharing three of the photos with you.

The sun had already set when I made these images so the sky was a very deep blue. Because the light was very low, I chose an ISO of 1600 and set the camera to Program (P). The camera chose 1/100 second at f 8. I knew the photos would be fairly crisp and capture what I wanted as long as I didn't focus on the dark area of the photo.

Since the three photos were taken from my veranda, you will have an idea of what my backyard looks like - a forest!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Goats for Christmas

Today I'd like to share a "Christmas Story" with you.

It all started in September 2007 when six young Grade 4 students came to see me with $1.62 their "business" had raised for the library. They had, on their own initiative, started making crafts and selling them to classmates. A week later they arrived with an additional $16 and I knew they were very serious about this venture. I spoke with the school administration and volunteered to work with the students to encourage the business. At the end of June Power of 6, the name they chose for their company, presented me with a cheque for $1033.88 an amazing feat for 6 nine year olds.

The Power of 6 wanted to continue their business again this year and we started meeting daily during lunch and/or recess. They planned 3 major projects that could make money for books. On December 12, their first project was held and they made over $1200 in one day of sales at their Flea Market .

Later, I requested a meeting with the Power of 6 and told them a story about a guy who purchased a goat from OXFAM which went to a family in Africa. He later went to Africa and made a documentary film about how much difference a goat makes to an entire village. They immediately wanted to send a goat to a family, but one of them suggested that since they had made so much money and they were the Power of 6, that they should buy 6 goats and help 6 families.

When I spoke to the local OXFAM office, the manager was impressed and said he would like to meet them. The next day he came to the school and praised them for their hard work and for giving so much. He told them how much difference they will make to families in poor parts of Africa. It is a lesson that they will remember for a long time.

That afternoon I received a call from a teacher at another school who had heard about our students buying a "Goat for Christmas" and wanted the get one for someone. Since then I know of at least three more goats that have been given as gifts as a direct result of the Power of 6.

The photos of the goats were taken in smaller towns as I drive around our province. I included the one with the young kids to tell you that when a family in Africa gets one of the goats they have to give the first female to another family thus adding to the sphere of positive influence the donation of one goat can have on an entire village.

These young children have made decisions that will really make a difference.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

My apologies for missing a couple of days of photos this week.

I would like to take this opportunity to send Christmas Greetings to the loyal members of my Photo of the Day list. I chose three photos of the Nativity to share on this special day.

The Santa, on his knees showing reverence to the true meaning of Christmas, is one of my favourite Nativity scenes. The second shows a traditional nativity with angels, animals and wise men following a star in the east. I liked the third image because of the lighting as well as the reverence shown by Joseph and Mary. It is interesting to see how different artists illustrate their perceptions of the Christmas Story.

I hope you have a great Christmas with family and friends and that the Peace and Joy of the season are with you all.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Peace March

In the early 1980's there was a Peace March in downtown St. John's. Of course, I attended the march with my 35 mm camera in hand. I am sharing two of the photos this morning.

The first shows a young man with a peace symbol painted on his face. I shot another photo of him when he got on a unicycle and talked to a young girl in a clown costume. I believe this person in Beni Malone, who now owns a circus in St. John's, and his daughter who is also a circus performer. The sign says "Proper Balance: No Arms on Either Side".

If I remember correctly, I took at least one roll of 36 slides during the parade (a cost of $16 in the early 80s). Obviously all the people I photographed on that day are 25 years older now and may never know themselves if they saw the photos. I can share these photos because they were on public display.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Making Hay

I have had a request for more People pictures and I have been searching through my files looking for appropriate images. Unless I have signed model releases or the individuals in my photos have given permission to send their photos, I can't legally use them. I can use them if people were on public display (a parade for example) or they are unidentifiable, such as the people making hay in today's photos.

I was driving along a side road in near South River/Clarke's Beach and noticed two men loading hay on a cart. I stopped for a minute or so and took 2 photos (this was before digital or I would probably have taken more) which I am sharing today.

This is a scene that I haven't encountered much in my travels around the island. It was interesting to see the process in action.

Friday, December 19, 2008


Another of my favourite photographic subjects is clouds and I am sharing three today all of which were taken in September, 2003.

The first photo is a close view of the interesting cloud formation. The second is a wider view which shows more of the cloud formation and the interesting lighting. The third photo was taken around 45 minutes later as the sun set. The cloud formation changed quite a bit, in fact, I was surprised that it hadn't changed completely.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Today's photos were taken in Holyrood the same morning as the photos I have shared over the past two days. Fishermen were checking their nets in the harbour and I liked the calm water and the way the orange stood out in the early morning light.

I took the first photo from the highway looking toward the harbour. The second image was taken towards the rising sun and I was standing on the same wharf from which I made the photos over the past two days. You can tell that I am shooting at a much lower angle to make this image. Next I zoomed back to show the entire boat, but revealed the oil storage tanks in the background.

While you are looking at the three images today, ask yourself if the photos have different messages because of the angle and "in-camera" cropping.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


A few people commented on the lighting in yesterday's photos of Holyrood so today I am sharing three more photos taken the same morning.

The first photo is a close up of the mountain that was shown in yesterday's photos. The interesting lighting with dark clouds and a hint of blue sky gives an idea of the type of morning it was.

I zoomed back to make a wider view and moved the camera to the left to make the second photo. When I talk about hiking to the hills behind my house, I am referring to those mountains in the background.

Next, a 180° turn changed the view completely - the image of a fish plant and wharf was much different than the hills. The sunlight seemed to be reflecting off the buildings more than anywhere else.

So far I have shared 5 photographs of Holyrood taken in the same place, but each is different. You should now understand why I can take so many photos on a photo trip. :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Thanks to those of you who sent me references to the symbols in the photos on December 13, 2008. The mystery has been solved. If anyone wished the references, let me know and I'll send them to you.

This morning I have chosen two photos of Holyrood showing George Cove Mountain. There is a trail that takes you to the top of the mountain and a magnificent view of the harbour.

I like the early morning lighting and strong reflections in today's photos. The first shows a horizontal (landscape) view of the peaceful harbour. The vertical (portrait) view shows the same scene with a couple of boats in the foreground. I tried to capture the entire boat, but the edge of the wharf was in the way and I really didn't like it in the image.

Once again today you see two photos of the same subject, but each is different. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Marble Sculptures

This time of the year I try to get to the Basilica Museum in St. John's to view the annual "Away in a Manger" Nativity Exhibition. It closes on Wednesday, December 17, so I am not certain I will get there this year. This morning I chose to share three images of marble sculptures that I took on previous visits.

To create the first image of Joseph with Mary and Baby, I bounced a flash off the ceiling which caused the strongest light to appear to come from above the subject. Because little light reached the background it is nearly black.

In the second image, I did not use a flash and relied on the lighting in a display case that had a red background. The reddish light on the upper portion of the figurine is caused by the light in the case and red reflections from the background.

The third image shows a sculpture of a baby in a crib. This particular figure is much larger than the others and was on the floor. When I tried bouncing the flash, the resulting image was too dark. As a result I fired the flash directly at the subject. The lighting is a little flat and does not show the details as well as in the first two images.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Brown Pelican

Unfortunately, I still don't know the meaning of all the symbols in yesterday's photos. I searched on line, but still couldn't find the answers. These symbols, especially the 2 1/2, are a mystery to me.

Every time I go to Florida, I photograph every species of bird that I see. By now you all understand that no two photos are identical, especially those of birds in flight. Once, someone asked me why I continue to make photographs of birds and animals when I already have lots. The simple answer is that I have fun taking pictures and receive an immense feeling of joy and excitement every time no matter what the subject. The process of photography is what I enjoy: seeing a subject, making the photo that shows my feelings about the subject, then sharing the images with others.

A seven year old child once asked me if I would ever finish my collection. When I asked him what collection he was referring to, he said, "Your picture collection." I thought about it for a moment and told him that I guessed it would never be finished since I was always seeing new things.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


There is a building in Carbonear, Newfoundland that I have photographed several times because of the interesting symbols just above the door. There is no sign to indicate what the building is for, but I have seen similar symbols on other buildings in other towns. I think it may be the Loyal Orange Loyalists (LOL). I have searched briefly on line to find the meaning of the symbols, especially the 2 1/2, but have not found anything. If anyone knows the meaning of the symbols, please let me know.

There is another reason for sharing these photos today. Over the past couple of weeks I have shown examples of making more than one photo of the same subject. The wide view shows much of the building, the medium shot shows the door and symbols and the third shows the symbols only.

Yesterday's photos of the puffins were cropped using a computer, but today's photos are examples of cropping with the camera. In each shot I used my zoom lens to eliminate more and more of the subject. You will probably agree that even though the photos are of the same subject, each one is different.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Atlantic Puffins

Thanks for all the comments regarding the photos of the miniature village. I agree with many of you that the man is an "artist" and the miniature village is his passion.

In 2003 I was fortunate to have an opportunity to photograph Atlantic puffins up close and personal. I took around 250 photos on that beautiful afternoon in July. The two photos I am sharing today were cropped from the original photographs. Puffins are interesting birds that live in burrows on the sides of cliffs around Newfoundland and Labrador. I like their interesting beaks with the unusual colours and shape.

Feel free to check out 20 images on my Puffins Gallery -

Reddish Egrets

Reddish Egrets Reddish egrets were rare around Citrus Park in SW Florida, however, I did see a few on Sanibel Island and in Lovers Key Park ...