Prairie Pano Plus

Dear Reader (2019-11-13),

Though I had been thinking of photography, I hadn’t actually been out there with my camera for too long.  On Monday, photography began later than originally envisaged. But, I did get out.  That was a good and needed thing.  When I started driving, my mind was blank of ideas and imagined images.  For the next 3 / 4 (or maybe it was 5) hours I drove 4 sides of a rectangle out NE of Strathmore.  The drive was filled with a multitude of U turns and reverses.

Content as I was, emotionally I wasn’t sure where I was going, what I was doing, or even what I had.  I did think there were some new additions to a series that is not yet ready for prime time.  It wasn’t until the day’s collection was in post that I discovered there were quiet successes.  Despite those successes I remain unsure of many of the images in today’s collection.  For instance, photo 4 (16 x9) and 5 (pano) are taken from the nearly identical spot.  Does one work better than other (based on any criteria that comes to mind or heart)?  Again, what about 6 and 7?   I really like 8 and 9 might be a 5 (too early to tell).  10 is a nearly (nearly good but is probably a 3). The fence is too close to the bottom edge and the left side is cut-off. The result is the whole image feels cramped.

As always, I invite your comments, especially given my above indecisiveness.  Also as usual, this set will work better on a monitor than a phone.

Cheers, Sean

Not The Limpopo River

Dear Reader (2019-11-03),

This collection is not about crossing the great green greasy Limpopo River.  For fans of Rudyard Kipling and the Just So Stories, the Limpopo River is where the elephant got its trunk.  In my case I met a couple of people crossing the Red Deer river who were returning to their home in the Maritimes, after travelling by motorcycle through 13 states and as far as north as Alaska.

I met nothing that even vaguely resembled a crocodile when I drove out into the Prairies late August, in the general vicinity of Drumheller. Some of these images are panoramas and would print very nicely very wide.

Cheers, Sean

PS Thank you Kelly for adding me to your blog roll.

A Walk in A Park

Dear Reader,

I have recently handed in my resignation, and now I can get back to important things like sharing my recent wanders with you.  Yesterday was a walk in a park with an old friend and new friends whom I had never met.  The park was the western end of Fish Creek.  Keith was our enthusiastic lead wanderer.  Before I left the house, I decided my constraints would be my 35 mm (on a crop sensor), and a tripod.  At the start of the wander, I waffled about the tripod constraint.  As you can see from the images below, waffling was resolved.

All the photos are 4s except for photo 5.  That one is really a 3.5 because the focus is off.  But, I did take my shoes and socks off and waded into the f..g freezing creek with the tripod.  I give myself points for seeing the image.  I lose points on the execution.  Maybe, next time I will carry boots with me.

For the record the image that is currently holding my attention the longest is the vertical one – go figure.

A walk in a park is always rewarding – it was a good wander with good people.

Cheers, Sean

From the Shot List

Dear Reader,

Between my mind and recorded fragments, I have a shot list. Sunday morning, I had plans, and then I saw the fog, crabbed the camera bag and tripod, and drove downtown to the Gas Plus bar to retake a photo. My previous attempt had been a bit of a pig and lipstick story. No matter how much post-processing I did it was still a pig.

Sunday, was a different story. While I was setting up the tripod and doing a couple of test shots, I noticed a man and his belongings off to my right. When he looked as if he was going to cross my path, I asked if he minded if I took his photo. In the first dozen images he was playing to the camera. Those images didn’t work. I am pleased with the one below. I asked our daughter if she preferred the colour of the b&w version. She like the b&w version because it is easier to see the cart in the b&w version. She is right. The colour though initially captivating is actually distracting, and the story get’s missed. I am also pleased because I took this photo with the subject’s permission (I am slowly learning to ask strangers for permission).

The pair of photos is of a scene that I wanted to make sure I captured before the bridge was lost. In the past 2 months I have lost now vanished scenes because I didn’t plan soon enough. I actually like both versions of the image. Do you have a preference?

Cheers, Sean

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Ahh To The Sea Again

Dear Reader,
Today we end the 2019 Devon Trip with a horizontal feast. Besides this post the 6 other posts in the series were:
~ Ahh To The Sea (2019-07-24; 9 images)
~ Dawn to Dusk (2019-07-25; 4 )
~ On the Edge Walking Part 1 ( 2019-07-26; 9)
~ Geology Here and There (2019-08-10; 9)
~ Happy Vertical Day (2019-08-11; 10)
~ Devon Miscellany (2019-08-12; 13)

Total Number of Images Including today’s set 64
Total Captured > 900
Total Deleted > 300
Total >= 4 stars 94

As you can probably guess I’m thrilled with today’s collection. As both a family event and photographically, the trip was a great success. If there are any photos that you found particularly rewarding or disappointing I would love to hear about them.

Cheers, Sean

Devon Miscellany

Dear Reader,
I believe this will be the penultimate collection from Devon. As the title suggests, if you are looking for a theme or semblance or order here, you are going to be disappointed. On the other hand, you may be interested in my whims of the moment. That is not entirely true, because 2 and 13 were from rambles with a cove in mind.

Cheers, Sean

Happy Vertical Day

Dear Reader,
For those from a western (Euro/American) background we read from left to right, and our default starting point for scanning an image / page / screen is from left to right. Our cameras are primarily designed for some sort of landscape format. All three of the above observations contribute to how we make our images. But, every once a while the scene says “make me vertical”. Today’s collection is a response to that voice.

King George IV (British monarch from 1820 to 130) led a lavish lifestyle. He had John Nash, the architect also known for Buckingham Palace and Marble Arch, enlarge and redesign an existing building. That building became Brighton’s Royal Pavilion. Today’s first two photos are details of that pavilion. The remainder are from north Devon towns and villages.

As and aside and according to Wikipedia, the formal Regency period refers to the time George IV was on the throne. The Regency era refers to the years from 1795 to 1837.

As always, I look forward to your comments.
Cheers, Sean

Geology Here and There

Dear Reader,

This first 5 photos (by number) are from Devon. The remaining photos are from Ptarmigan Cirque from over a month ago. Once upon a time I took a course in Geology, and most of it has long since been forgotten. I do though continue to appreciate the lines and forms of rock formations, and still marvel at the concept of geological time, which makes my head hurt. Once we get into astronomical time and distance, my head just becomes painfully agog.

Cheers, Sean

Five Four Piggies

Dear Reader,
You may want to grab a mug, or a bottle – this could take a while. Today is a continuation of my last post “Return to Gleichen“. In that post I introduced a dozen uncleaned fish. One of the fish was infected with a parasite and had to be tossed. I tried dressing it and putting lipstick on it. Even though it looked like a good fish, it was just a piggy – no market for you.

The remaining fish are presented as pairs – raw fish followed by cleaned fish. The tools I use for cleaning fish are Lightoom, The Nix suite, and very rarely Adobe Photoshop when I want to remove something. Silver Efex Pro is from the Nix Suite and is wonderful for working with black and white images. Analog Efex Pro is also from the Nix suite and it is used to emulate old film, complete with flaking paper. Colour Efex Pro is another Nix tool and is used for bringing out detail.

The first pair of images is in response to a curiosity Keith had. First, I went too far in the post processing department, and then dialed it back to something that wasn’t too garish. I used both Colour Efex Pro and Lightroom. I am undecided with the result. The image gets 3 stars because it does not merit 4. Score: 1 piggy; 1 – 3 star.

In the following quartet of pairs, the adjustments included applying the landscape colour profile, changing the aspect ratio on two of them to 16 x 9, selective sharpening, and minor dehaze and clarity changes. I am pleased with all of them, and especially pleased that there is at lest one new addition to the thin line series, and possibly a second addition. Score: 1 piggy; 1 – 3 star, 4 – 4 star.

On these next two pairs my photographic and processing intents were unclear. For fun I played around with Analog Efex Pro. The results get experiment points, but because my intent was vague at best, the final images leave me neutral. There is not enough, too much, lighting isn’t flat enough, no heart. Score: 3 Piggies; 1 – 3 star; 4 – 4 star.

On these next three pairs there were a range of adjustments They included applying the landscape colour profile, selective sharpening, minor dehaze and clarity changes, and Silver Efex Pro for the black and white one. The bee hive photo from a previous Gleichen ramble now has a buddy, and that makes me smile. The black and white image nearly didn’t make it. But once the distracting red was out, the image was much better.
Score: 3 Piggies; 1 – 3 star; 7 – 4 star.

A fishing trip begins with a particular cove in mind, and I rarely get as far as the intended bay. There is also in the back of my mind a list of ongoing collections, for which I am on the lookout. Silos is one of those collections. At the time of capture, I thought the next image might be a 5. A few light touches later, my initial thought was confirmed. Score: 3 Piggies; 1 – 3 star; 7 – 4 star; 1 – 5 star (yeah me). As a general trend the number of piggies is a little high, and 5’s are just so very rare. It was a very good fishing trip.

As always I look forward to your comments
Cheers, Sean

Return to Gleichen

Dear Reader,

Today, we step aside from the Devon coast, of which there will be more soon, and return briefly to the prairies.  On Sunday, J and I went for a ramble on what I now call the Gleichen, Arrowood, Mossleigh loop.  The paved roads were familiar but some of the gravel roads were new.  Though I am not a fisherman, I appreciate the idea that catching fish is a bonus to just being out there afloat.  Looking for fish is a pleasure on its own. J hadn’t been out to the prairies for a long, long time, and also thoroughly enjoyed the ramble.

In a complete break with tradition I thought it might be interesting to share with you the dozen Sunday fish before they are cleaned.  These photos are fresh off the line and are in their pure raw form (converted to jpeg and compressed for the web).  I haven’t even changed the colour profile let alone performed even the smallest of adjustments or spotting.

Cheers, Sean