Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 304 - Halloween Hockey

After handing out candy for awhile we had a bite to eat and headed off to watch one of my students play hockey. We were planning on going to yesterday's game but didn't make it. Although the points didn't go in their favour this evening it was a great game to watch. It's impressive to see how well these young players handle themselves on the ice. When we got home I loaded the pics onto the computer and did some playing in Photoshop. The above is a little portrait of J. Hope he likes it.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 303 - Clowning Around

Cheated a bit today and chose one of my pictures from yesterday. I figured it's okay as I'm sticking with the Halloween theme. After all, tomorrow is the big day. Tomorrow I'm going to one of my student's hockey games so I'm hoping to capture some action shots there for a change of theme.

Took M's picture while he was standing at the top of the stairs by our class. I mentioned that the colours in the picture behind him matched his costume. He then suggested that he 'hold' the balloons. It took a little time to direct his hand to the right spot but we were both fairly happy with the result.

Day 302 - Halloween Hallways

Today classes celebrated Halloween. Excitement was high and the event was enjoyed by young and old. Of course, some of us are more into this holiday than others. Throughout the day our hallways were filled with various characters. There were witches, doctors, super heroes, clowns, skeletons, princesses and even hippies. I like the contrast between these two pictures.

Day 301 - Kindergarten Firsts

Throughout the year our Kindergarten groups complete various projects. The intent of this is to teach and evaluate the process of building a project. They are done with partners, in groups or as a class. One of our groups completed their first class project this week, a haunted house. They were very excited and proud to show off their accomplishment. The principal was out when they came looking for her so I offered to visit in her place. I took a few pictures with my iPhone and listened to them as they explained the process they'd been through. Fun stuff!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day 300 - Walking Sticks

It's Day 1 for us today so that means time for Walk around the World. Thankfully, the weather was cooperative. We had a little bit of rain in the morning but by the afternoon it was sunny and HOT. Many students and teachers shed their coats. The fence was covered with coats of various colours and sizes. I tried to capture them but the pics didn't work out. I settled on this picture of Peg's hand as she's giving out sticks. Each stick marks 1/2 kilometre. You can't tell but the sticks are painted red. She does this so they can be easily identified and no uncoloured sticks get counted.

Day 299 - Fall Walk

I was walking around with my camera looking for photo possibilities. I saw these two youngsters walking in the leaves. It brought back memories of walking through fall leaves. Of course the best time was when the leaves were dry and crunchy. I like this shot because they seem to be synchronized as they're walking. I also like the contrast between their dark clothes and the colourful leaves. The red shoe sole fits in nicely as well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 298 - Take me out to the ball game

Although I played softball for almost 20 years I'm not really a big baseball fan. However, with the World Series only days away I figured I might find some inspiration at the baseball field near our school. It was a cold and gray day so I had the field to myself. While I was taking pictures I found myself more inspired by the geometry than the sport. I guess my subconscious is preparing itself for the upcoming geometry unit in Grade 6 Math. Whatever the reason, my eyes seemed to be attracted to the various lines and patterns on and around the field.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day 297 - Fall Frost

Got up early this morning and Peg told me that there was frost on the deck. I grabbed my Olympus and macro lens and shot about 20 shots. I don't know if it was the small size of the screen or my lack of alertness but the pictures seemed a lot clearer when I looked at them on the camera this morning. I chose this one due to the hole and the different tones in the wood. With winter approaching I'm sure I'll have a few more opportunities to capture frost.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day 296 - Moonlight Pumpkin

Did a little playing this evening with moons, pumpkins and Photoshop. Took one of the moon shots I got this evening and blended it with E's Halloween pumpkin. Interesting but I think there is more playing to be done. It does however, fit the mood of the season.

Did some more playing and decided to add the 2nd version below.

Day 295 - Towers

While out at the farm, I decided to venture outside the fence to the path by the power lines. These pictures were taken from directly under the tower. I really like the lines and patterns. Couldn't choose which I preferred so I decided to post both. What do you think?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 294 - Skittle Science

My students were doing a Science experiment today. We're looking at chemistry and I found some great action inquiry stuff using M&M's. However, I have peanut allergies in my class so we're using Skittles instead. Today they had to predict whether the colours of the skittles would collide or combine. Most predicted that they would combine but as you see in the pictures they collided. The kids were pretty excited about the results. I had left my camera downstairs (how convenient) so I used my handy dandy iPhone. The pictures aren't as sharp as I'd like but they show the reactions clearly. Oh, the fun!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 293 - More Milkweed

Okay, I kind of cheated today. These two pictures were taken yesterday but I processed them today so . . . This time I decided to put the 'blooming' milkweed as the background and added the empty pod. I learned a few more things as I was playing and was able to make it look more unified. I really love the softness of the fluff (sorry don't know technical term) attached to the seeds.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 292 - Milkweed

Finished up our workshop in Laval today. It was a great two days and I've learned a lot about writing and photography. I not only learned about the project and how to work on it with my kids but I got lots of great photography resources. The process has pushed me to think about my photos and the need to look at content as well as technique. As in life, I believe balance is the key.
On my drive home I did a lot of thinking and looked around for photo opportunities. Don't worry I kept my eyes on the road as well. There was lots of milkweed along the road and it made me think of the beautiful milkweed pictures one of the teachers took this morning. I took pictures of the milkweed at three stages, closed pod, open and dispersing and empty. I wanted to put all three together so I hit youtube and checked out the tutorial videos. I used the masking tool but only managed to get two of the three in. It's nice to know there's ALWAYS something new to learn.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 291 - And the winner is . . .

Had a great day working with the "Quebec Roots" team at LEARN today. As the horses and riders in the picture, I'm really looking forward to what's ahead. Tomorrow we explore photography and start planning with our writers and photographers. In the end, everyone will be winners in this publishing race.
Speaking of races, this picture was taken in the movie theater this afternoon. Seeing as there is rarely an English movie in Quebec, I decided to check one out while in Montreal. I went to see "Secretariat". It was a great movie and I had the theater all to myself. I tried to take a picture of the empty seats but didn't have enough light. This is a picture of one of the race scenes taken with my iPhone.

Day 290 - Hotel away from Home

Once we finished cleaning the eaves and emptying the pool I finished up packing, changed and drove to Laval. The king size bed was a welcome sight after a busy weekend. I took out my wide angle lens to capture as much of the room as possible. I also took out my flash as the one on the camera wasn't enough. If you look through the blinds you can see the lights from the cars on the nearby highway. Despite the closeness of traffic the room is quiet and I'm looking forward to a restful sleep. Good night.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day 289 - More cleaning

Yes, there was more cleaning today but no, it wasn't diarrhea, thank goodness. Our eaves have been quite neglected and as a result they've not been draining as they should. We decided to it was time so we went shopping earlier this week and bought a new ladder. Today we figured out how to set it up. Don't laugh, it's actually trickier than it sounds.
Anyway, with the ladder set up we started cleaning. We realized just how neglectful we'd been when we retrieved a plant growing in the eaves. Go figure why they weren't draining properly. In this picture you can see the sludge that was in the eaves. We got most of it out this afternoon and will finish up the job with a good rinse tomorrow.

Day 288 - Not just for colds

We knew IT had happened again as soon as we opened the door. Our dear Dexter had a case of diarrhea in his crate. Dexter has always had a sensitive stomach so it wasn't the first time we opened the door to that distinct smell. Peg and I usually take turns cleaning up and since she had cleaned up the last time today was my lucky day. She graciously released the dogs and took them outside. I changed my clothes and went to the bathroom to get the Vicks. As you can imagine the diarrhea of a 150 pound Great Dane can be pretty smelly so one develops various strategies to get through the clean up. Peg showed me this trick the first time we had to clean up one of Sadie's messes and now it's an integral part of the clean up routine. The above is a picture of the Vicks container on top of a clean crate. The picture was taken after Dexter's bath, cleaning of the crate (which included taking the trays out and rinsing them outside) and a shower for me. The good news is that all is clean and Dexter's stomach seems to be just fine.

Day 287 - School Portrait

Our secretary takes care of the school website. She asked me to take a picture of the school at the beginning of the year. I took some but wasn't really happy with them. I told her she'd have to wait until I got my wide angle lens. Although I got my lens a couple of weeks ago I only got to it today (Thursday). I took pictures at different times in the day, morning, recess, lunch and after school. It's amazing how although I was standing quite close to the school I was able to capture so much of the building. I may do some more takes but for now this is the picture on the website.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 286 - Baby Worf

Anyone who has watched Star Trek knows the very serious and often cranky character, Worf. Our friend Mike is a big Star Trek fan and after seeing his son 'D', we're convinced that it might be genetic. This is 'D's newest expression. He's not wearing the outfit and doesn't have a professional makeup artist but if you use your imagination you can see the likeness. From another character, Spock, to you all, "Live long and prosper."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day 285 - More Leaves

Found some yellow leaves that hadn't fallen to the ground yet. I like the contrast of the blue sky in the background. The sun behind them makes them even 'happier' than they already are. As always, the yellow makes me smile.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day 284 - Tree contrast

Had a lovely afternoon/evening with our godkids and their parents. We went to the park, had a yummy lamb supper, and carved a pumpkin. As Peg was pushing 'E' on the swing I, of course, was snapping pictures. As I was walking around to get a better vantage point I found this lonely red leaf among the wood chips. I like the contrast of the dark red next to the pale chips. Despite the differences between the leaf and chips they both have the same roots; they come from a tree.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 283 - Happy Turkey Day

Celebrated Thanksgiving today at our friend Mike's. The above is our bird right after being taken off the BBQ. Kind of looks like it's been sunburned but it tasted delicious. Other than taste the other advantage of doing the turkey on the BBQ is that your whole house doesn't smell of cooked turkey. It was a fun evening full of good food, good friends and interesting conversation. I consider myself lucky to have so much to be thankful for and it's important to remember to take time to be grateful.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Day 282 - Forest Floor

I was playing around with the camera and different angles today. I kind of like this one from a squirrel's eye view. The trees look taller than they are. The distance longer than it really is. The forest floor more lush and leaf speckled than it appears from above. Next to the ocean, the woods are Peg's favourite outdoor place. Being from the prairies, I marvel at all the growth that pops up in such a shaded place.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 281 - Contrasting Clouds

While walking at the farm today around 6:00pm. the clouds played a wonderful game of contrast. For the first half of the walk, the clouds were a cotton-candy pink on a blue sky. Then they changed to an ominous snow-blue on a pink sky. The only touching up I did was to crop out the power lines. Quite the feast for the eyes!

Day 280 - Here's looking at you

Still looking for inspiration... Today I played around with my two favourite lenses. I captured my zoom lens with my wide angle lens and my wide angle lens with my zoom. I put them sepia because I wanted the background colours to accentuate the subject rather than distract the eye. I like the elongated perspective on the zoom lens.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 279 - Lem-mums

Peg got these mums to lighten up our entrance. With the rainy month we've had they've been the only yellow in sight many a day. It's a full plant and is colourful and happy. With more rain on its way I thought I'd put this photo up so others could get some yellow in their day too.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Day 278 - Watercolour Tree

Took a picture of this colourful tree in our neighbour's yard this afternoon. Played with it a bit in Photoshop. I used the watercolour affect. I took the pic with my wide angle. I love the lens but it is very different from my zoom lens (70-200mm). Hopefully, the weather will cooperate so we can head to Baie St. Paul and take some fall landscape pictures this weekend. Afterall, practice makes perfect. Well, at least it brings on improvement.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Day 277 - WOW - Wide view Of the World

The long-anticipated and much "NEEDED!" wide angle lens arrived today! It's a Canon 10-22mm Ultra Wide. Needless to say it did not take me long to get to the post office to claim my parcel. I played around considerably trying different subjects and angles. Peg liked this one. The contrasts of light and dark, warm and cool colours and different textures caught her fancy. This is yet another view of our favourite field at the farm.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Day 276 - Floating Fall

Another beautiful day so we decided to head out to the farm with the dogs. The trees are full of colourful leaves and after all the rain, there is water in the pond once again. Along the walk Peg picked up a few coloured leaves. She thought floating leaves would make a good picture. I like the contrast between the three colours. I had an orange leaf but that one floated away. I also like being able to see the dirt and plant life below the water's surface. Thanks for the idea, Peg.

Day 275 - Happy Runner

We had our annual cross country run for our board. Thankfully after days of heavy rain, the weather took a turn for the better and we had a cool but sunny day. Along with great weather was an amazing team of organizers and enthusiastic participants. Number 26 goes to our school and I couldn't resist capturing his smile as he approached the finish line. To look at the picture you'd never know that only minutes before the race he was telling us he didn't want to run the 1 Km race.

Day 274 - Joy

Had a great time with our PreK buddies. My students were helping their little buddies make sunflowers using paper, markers and REAL sunflower seeds. One young PreK was itching to start the activity. I was grateful to be able to capture her expression. Unfortunately, it was a dark rainy day so the room wasn't very bright. I played with the exposure during processing and decided to change it to sepia to make the processing less obvious.