Monday, May 31, 2010

Day 151 - Portrait

As you know, I bring my camera to school each day and take every opportunity I can to snap a few pictures. One thing I like doing is taking pictures of my students. Some of them love being my photo subjects while others, like me, prefer to be at the other end of the lens. 'S' is one of those students who usually prefers to be taking the pictures. However, every once in a while she'll ask me to try and take a picture of her. More often than not she doesn't like the end product and will ask me to delete it and sometimes I do. Tomorrow is her last day with us so we made a final attempt today. We both agreed that this was a keeper. She even asked if I could print her a copy. Her smile is natural, the colours seem to go together and it was overcast so the lighting wasn't too bright. I also think it captures her quiet but sometimes mischievous character. She's a neat kid and I've enjoyed getting to know her. I wish her all the best and will hopefully see her again soon.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 150 - Quebec Tourist

We had a nice visit with Peg's niece Ali and her husband Anthony today. They're on a cruise (Montreal, Quebec, Charlottetown, Halifax, Boston, Montreal) and their ship is docked here for the day. We met them at the port and walked around Old Quebec for a few hours before coming home for lunch. It was fun to see the city through tourist eyes. Although we live here we don't often take the time to explore this part of town. Of course, a set of tourist photos from Quebec City wouldn't be complete without a few shots of the famous Chateau Frontenac. The building is over 100 years old and is probably the most famous building in the city. It's definitely one of the most known.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day 149 - Flowering Chives

Had both cameras outside with me today. I started with the macro. The wind and no tripod (tsk, tsk) made getting a clear shot somewhat challenging. Guess that's what I get for being lazy. As you may have guessed, the picture below was taken with my Olympus using the macro. The one above was taken with my Canon using my telephoto zoom. Although the macro isn't as sharp as I'd like it, I like the droplets of water. I actually didn't know they were there until I viewed the pics on my computer. Oh, the powers of observation.

Day 148 - Got Milk?

While walking around Montreal I saw many tall buildings. I was looking up at one when I saw this milk bottle. It seemed kind of funny to see an old fashioned bottle amongst all the modern day buildings. It reminded me of the stories my dad told me about when he was young. When growing up in Saskatchewan, one of his jobs was to deliver the milk early in the morning. On really cold days he would pack up the buggy, cover up with the blankets and give his horse the signal to start the delivery route. Luckily for him, the horse knew exactly where to stop so he could stay covered up and warm in between deliveries.

Day 147 - Bronze Dreams

In Montreal for a few days. Since the hotel is only a few blocks from the Bell Centre I took the opportunity to go check it out. For their 100th anniversary last year they built a commemorative park with decorative bricks on a walkway, jersey plaques with documented information and of course the bronze statues. Some of their greatest players have been bronzed; Guy Lafleur, Maurice 'Rocket' Richard, Jean Belliveau. There may be others but these are the 3 I saw. I chose this pic as it doesn't single out any one player but symbolizes all players, old and young, and their dreams of playing in the NHL.

Day 146 - Foggy Morning

Got up early this morning to a very heavy fog. Quite a change from the clouds of dust yesterday. Humidity is now at 100% and it's supposed to be a hot one. Captured these Tamaracks from our neighbour's yard. It's funny how fog makes everything seem so soft and muted.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 145 - Thirsty field

Our soccer field took on a desert like appearance with the winds and lack of rain. Believe it or not, there used to be grass growing where the young man is standing. Lots of enthusiastic feet have worn away the greenery. Thankfully, we had some rain this evening so we shouldn't have to worry about sand storms tomorrow.

Day 144 - Windy Pride

While walking with our godkids we saw this Canadian flag blowing proudly in someone's yard. Our godson's favourite colour is 'rouge' (red) so we thought we'd take pictures of all kinds of red things. As luck would have it the Canadian flag just happens to have quite a bit of red in it so...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 143 - Birds of a Feather

Captured these buddies on the pond at the farm. We've seen many ducks and ducklings but this is the first time we've seen geese. They didn't seem to appreciate us being around, especially the dogs, and they weren't afraid to let us know. There was also a duck with a family of ducklings. She was hiding them against the bank. I took a few pictures of them too but unfortunately they weren't as focused as I would like. Maybe next time.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 142 - Peek-a-Boo

I guess I was a little tired yesterday. I published this post before it was completed. I hadn't even put a title in yet. Thanks to Kristy for giving me the idea for the title. The above is a picture of a cheeky little groundhog we saw while walking the dogs at the farm. I would have liked to get closer but I was worried that Dexter might join me. He likes to investigate the various burrows around the field and I'm pretty sure he'd 'see' the groundhog as a possibility for a new friend. Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure how one removes a groundhog from a dog's face. Any suggestions?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 141 - Learning Photoshop

You may recognize this photo from a previous blog. I've had Photoshop on my computer for a few months now and decided that it was time to start learning how to use it, especially after viewing the amazing things a few of you have been doing with this software. It was a major edit but adding colour to a B&W is something I've wanted to try for awhile. Hopefully, I'll learn many more things. I plan on taking advantage of rainy days during the summer vacation. By the way, if any of you have suggestions for good tutorials I'd be grateful if you share them. Thanks.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 140 - Caterpillar Centre

Saw this fuzzy little guy (or girl) while walking the dogs out at the farm. Peg picked him up so I could get a picture but as soon as she touched him he curled up into a little ball. That's what they do when they feel threatened and they stay that way and until the coast is clear. I had her place him on a dandelion and proceeded to take pictures from different angles. This one was taken while lying down, me not the caterpillar.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 139 - Airborne

Another beautiful day here in Quebec. Our older students are working long and hard on their ministry exams so as a break, we head out a little early at the end of the day. They need to blow off some steam after such intense brain work. I captured these guys on the soccer field. I'm not sure how they do it but there can be up to 5 games going on at the same time on the same field. I guess the different coloured balls helps them keep their matches from getting mixed up. I like this shot because players and ball are airborne. I also like the shadows. I cropped the top because they're not my students and I don't know how their parents feel about their faces appearing online. It was okay in colour but thought I'd put it in sepia for a change.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 138 - Singing in the Wind

These ladies hang out in our crab apple tree in the backyard and chime whenever there's a breeze. This adorable wind chime was sent to us from Peg's sister in Texas. Knowing this, explains the presence of cowboy hats and boots. It's really a multipurpose decoration as it makes us smile to look at it and makes music to listen to in the wind. I decided it looked better in B&W.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Day 137 - Blooming Blossoms

Is there anything that conjures up the smell of spring more than apple blossoms? Our neighbours behind us have a lovely apple tree and it just happens to be next to the fence that divides our properties. I couldn't get quite close enough to smell them but my new zoom lens got me close enough to take some pictures.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 136 - The World's Upside Down

This image was reflected in the pond at the farm. There was no wind or ripples in the water. Originally, I thought of flipping this picture but greenery didn't seem to be tall enough to make it realistic. I decided to leave it as it was captured. After all, we all feel like the world is upside down from time to time.

Day 135 - Paths

This was taken at the farm where we take the dogs for their off-lead walks. This path leads towards the sheds of nearby residents. In the winter it links up with the snowshoe paths. I like the softness of the trees. I also like the fact that one can look at this picture and imagine many different things this path may lead to. Almost like a fairytale. Once upon a time...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 134 - Ordinary jacket

I was in the photocopy room at school copying tests for Monday. I looked out towards the office and saw the principal's jacket hanging by her door. Something about the way it was hanging caught my eye. If you look at the arms it almost looks like someone is still wearing it. I'm guessing it's Linen due to the elbow wrinkles.
Anyway, just a shot of one of those everyday objects that we see all around us each day.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 133 - Change of plans

This picture is a perfect example of how we don't always end up where we think we're going. I was under the deck trying to get a picture of a spider in its web. The focusing was tricky, especially since there wasn't a great amount of light beneath the deck. As I was trying to get 'the' shot good old Dexter decided to walk on over and eat the spider and its web. Yep, the blind dog somehow managed to know there was an itty bitty spider hanging out for him to snack on. So, with my original plan sabotaged, I decided to stay under the deck and look around for other possibilities that Dexter wouldn't swallow. I looked over and Sadie seemed to know I needed a subject. I didn't intend to post yet another picture of the dogs but I really like the background in this one. Sadie is standing in front of the hedge between our place and our neighbour's yard. The blur and the sun shining through the bushes gave the above effect.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 132 - Give it your best 'shot'

Today in Gym my students were practicing for their upcoming Track and Field day. We refer to this day as Spring Challenge at our school. We have 2 challenge days during the year. The first is about doing something good for yourself while helping others. The Spring Challenge is about setting and beating personal bests. There are 8 events (obstacle race, 100m race, long jump, shot put, discus, high jump, baton relay and cooperative games). Today students worked on the obstacle race, 100m run and as the photo shows - shot put. They worked hard on their technique, including the grunt upon release. It looks like we might be seeing many personal bests.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Day 131 - Rivals

So, along with the usual spring fever that we experience in Cycle 3 (Grades 5/6) we also have some serious cases of hockey fever. As you see in the photo there's definitely a difference in opinion among the students. After last night's game the school yard was filled with shirts, hats, mitts, etc. of the NHL teams still in the running for the Stanley Cup. For the most part, it's a friendly debate but things got quite heated when we were discussing probability in Math today. I'm not too sure I'm looking forward to the aftermath (pun intended) of game 7.

Day 130 - Frosty Morning

It was a frosty morning here in Quebec City. However, we were pretty lucky because further south, yes I said south not north, they got snow. Not a lot but enough to cover the ground. Hopefully, the flowers and plants will recover from the frost and warmer temperatures will be here to stay soon. It is mid May after all.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Day 129 - Mother's Day Meal

Today is Mother's Day - Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. Each Mother's Day I go out and 'catch' a whopper of a lobster for Peg. Okay, I don't actually catch it. I drive to the seafood market and pick one out of the tank. Oh, the wonders of modernization. The 'little' guy above weighs about 6lbs. He makes for a great meal with leftovers for sandwiches tomorrow. We often wonder who the first brave soul was to decide this prehistoric looking creature might be edible. He or she must have been some hungry.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Day 128 - Locked In

Captured this latch this morning while it was still sunny and clear. I like the look of flat black and the warmth of the wood. It didn't take long for the clouds and rain to roll in. Brrrr. We may even see snow tonight. Here's hoping they're wrong.

Day 127 - Magnolia Bush

I love the contrast of the soft pink and fuzzy pods, smooth branches, light and shade. This was taken at Sarah's place while visiting at lunch. I was playing with my new lens. "E", at the ripe old age of 3 noticed the addition to my collection. He pointed to it and said "You got a new one?" He helped me take pictures of his mom's other flowers. He likes "rouge" ones best! Definitely a budding photographer in the works.

Day 126 - Cutting Edge Art

My class was working on an art project today. It's called transformational geometry art. They needed to create a design on a 2"x2" piece of white paper and trace it with a black fine point marker. When it was complete I made pages of 12 and photocopied them so students would have 12 copies of their own design. I did cut the squares for the students but the cuts were not exact. Students had to use the above paper cutter to trim their squares so they would fit together. The students LOVE using the paper cutter and are careful to use it properly. Students were focused and worked diligently to put their squares together. Once together, they needed to make a photocopy and then colour it. I will be sure to capture some finished projects as students complete their masterpieces.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Day 125 - Looking through and up

It was like Christmas in May today. I ordered a new lens from "The Camera Store" in Calgary. It's a great store to buy camera equipment from. Alberta doesn't have provincial sales tax so I only had to pay GST. I ordered the lens along with a new bag and UV protector for the lens. I placed the order on Sunday afternoon and it arrived today (free delivery by the way!).
When we got home I picked up the delivery card, went to the post office and rushed home with my box. Of course the first thing I did was put on my new 70-200mm lens and went out to the yard to 'play'. I was hoping to get a bird shot but they must be camera shy today because they didn't come anywhere near. Or maybe it was the 2 Danes in the backyard that kept them away. I ended up going to the front yard and taking some flower picks. I took this Hyacinth while lying on my side. I like the big sky as a background and the angle makes the flowers look taller than they really are. I know I have a lot to learn about my camera and new lens but it's the kind of homework that's fun to do.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 124 - Another Rainy Day

We've had some beautiful weather and in between some rain to keep everything green and growing. At school we were lucky as the rain has been holding off until the end of the day so the kids get to go outside and get some fresh air. The above picture was taken after a late afternoon downpour. This is the fence that stands between our gardens and the digging Danes.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Day 123 - Signs of Spring in Quebec

Yes, the grass is green, flowers are blooming, the snow is gone. But, that's not the most definitive sign of spring in Quebec. Here in Quebec we know it's spring when the tractors, trucks and construction workers are out in large numbers, roads are blocked and there's a detour at almost every corner. Yes, that's spring in Quebec. Now that I think of it, it's also summer and yes, sometimes fall. I guess winter's not so bad after all.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Day 122 - Tulips

As spring advances, our flowers are blooming. We have a little flower garden next to the house. As you can see, it's fenced in with the metal fence. In case you haven't guessed why I have two words for you, Sadie and Dexter. They're big dogs who can dig really big holes but amazingly enough a 2 foot high decorative fence seems to keep them out. One hard push with a paw and they would be in the middle of the garden. Luckily for us, they haven't figured this out yet and we don't plan on telling them. Shhhh.

Day 121 - Head Shot

Was wandering around the backyard with the pooches looking for some shots. We had just given them their baths outside so they were running around air drying themselves. Apparently we didn't get it all by towel drying. I've taken quite a few pictures of the dogs so I thought I would try changing perspectives. Here's a head shot of Sadie as she's sitting on the deck surveying 'her' kingdom. I'm sure she appreciated me waiting until after her bath so that I could capture her fur when it's clean and shiny.