Sunday, April 7, 2013


While in New York we saw a few Apple Stores.  The above picture was taken in the evening.  This logo is from the one closest to our hotel in Manhattan. I really like the duplicity of the logo on the glass entrance. I was selected as an Apple Distinguished Educator this year. I will be heading off to Austin, Texas in July for training. I am thrilled to be given this opportunity.


My favourite hobby is of course, photography.  For this theme I decided to take a picture of camera with the new accessory I purchased while in New York at the amazing B&H Photo Store.  I thought it would come in handy when taking pictures of the little ones.  It even has a little squeaker in it.  The other camera you see reflected in the dusty lens filter is the new point and shoot that I also purchased in New York.  I could have spent so much more money in that store but managed to restrain myself. 

Brand New

A brand new lemon tree seedling is portrayed in this picture.  We're not sure how big these seedlings will get but we're enjoying watching them grow.  They came from seeds Peg got from a lemon.  Every time I see it I get the       'Lemon Tree" song playing in my head.  Oh no, there it goes again.  "Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat."

Soup Man

Well, this picture doesn't really fit into any of the themes but I thought I had to include it, especially for any Seinfeld fans who might be following my blog.  This is the where the line, "No soup for you." originated.  We didn't get a chance to stop by for a bowl of soup but I managed to snap a picture of the sign as our tour bus went by.  So there was no soup for us.

Texture - Prickly Cactus

A macro shot of a cactus we have on the windowsill in the washroom.  I thought this would be a good picture for this theme as it has a variety of textures. 

Landmark - Grand Central Station

While in New York City we had to visit Grand Central Station.  This is definitely a well known landmark and has been portrayed in many movies and shows.  I have to say it's definitely the most beautiful train station I've ever seen. Peg couldn't stop looking upwards!

Foolish and Fun

Spent Friday, April 5th at the Museum of Civilization here in Quebec City.  No, I wasn't visiting the exhibits.  I was attending our Annual Regional Robotic 'Amicale" (loosely translated ...a friendly meet).  I was responsible for taking the photos.  Our School Board had 4 teams participating and one of them placed 2nd. There were 17 elementary teams and 11 high school teams.
This young man is from one of our schools and was having some fun.  He seems to be a very happy young man and his smile is contagious. A great reminder to take time every day to let yourself be a little, or a lot, silly.

Eyes Closed and Dreaming

My friendly Mourning Doves have become regular visitors in our backyard.  I caught one of them taking a nap on the deck railing.  I don't know for sure if he/she is dreaming but I figured the picture fit the eyes closed part of the theme.
I'm hoping the doves build their nest somewhere nearby and lay some eggs this spring/summer.  Only time will tell. 


Spent a week at my former school, Everest.  On the last day of school before the Easter break, the P.P.O. (Parent Participation Organization) organized a sugar shack event for the students.  They set up in the back yard and kids and teachers enjoyed sugar on snow.  I snapped a few pictures after enjoying my sweet treat.  This is Valerie, one of the PreK teachers.  I snapped her photo while she was busy supervising her students. 

Sweet Treat

We were celebrating Tara Lee's birthday at work so I asked Peg to make her infamous chocolate cake.  This treat is indeed delicious but very rich.  We only make it when we know we will have lots of friends to share it with.  Heck, if we're going down we're taking y'all with us.

A Performance in New York

Spent the first part of March break in New York City.  It was my first time in the Big Apple and we had a great time.  Captured this picture of the Statue of Liberty (nope, not the original) while walking around Times Square one evening.  New York is one busy city with so much to see and do.  I will definitely have to head back again one day, hopefully when the weather is a bit warmer.

A Tree in Hiding

 Once again, I've let myself get way behind in posting my pics.  I'm continuing to use Katrina Kennedy's daily suggestions.  Yes, there is a tree underneath the snow and cover.  This is my lilac tree that we planted three years ago.  It has yet to get any flowers but I'm feeling hopeful for this year.  If it does bloom I can guarantee I will capture the moment.  Until then, we're just waiting patiently, or not so patiently, for all the snow to melt.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


February 5th's photo prompt from Katrina Kennedy was 'Nap'. I captured these Mourning Doves trying to catch a view winks and stay out of the snow.  This is one of my favourite birds and I love hearing its soft cooing.  I was very surprised to see these two on our deck and ran to get my camera right away.  I didn't want to scare them away so I took the pictures from the inside of our French doors.  I accidentally banged the window a couple of times with my lens but it didn't seem to bother them at all.  They just looked at me and then went back to relaxing.  There stayed on the deck for a couple of hours and eventually moved under one of the benches when it started to snow.  I haven't seen them since but am hoping they come back again to visit or maybe catch a few winks.

Colour from the Garden or Vase

Tomorrow's photo prompt is "Colour from the Garden".  Since the only colour in our garden right now is white snow, I decided to take pictures of the tulips and daffodils we bought to add some colour to our dining room.  The tulips are in a vase but the daffodil bulbs will be planted in our garden come spring time. 

More than One - Marbles

 One of February's Photo Challenges is "More than One".  Peg suggested I use marbles.  I wanted to take the pictures outside but the new snow made it a bit challenging.  I decided to settle for the dining room table.  I played with various angles and lenses.  My Macro seemed to work best.  I chose these 2 angles and played with various presets in Lightroom.
One of our godsons LOVES playing with marbles and is just learning the different rules.  His birthday is in April and Peg and I thought we could make him a picture book with descriptions of different game versions and rules.  Hopefully all the snow will be gone in time so I can take my next marble pictures out in the sand.

Angel of Happiness

Pictured above is our Angel of Happiness.  Unfortunately, shortly after taking this shot, she fell off the table and broke.  Not so sure she's still happy.
Took this picture using my black cloth background.  During processing I used the brush to make what are supposed to be stars.

A Proud Moment

For this entry I was to take a picture showing pride.  Although I am in this picture and it was taken with my camera, it was my friend Debbie Markous who snapped this shot.  She was in charge of taking pictures while the Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, was visiting one of our schools.  He and I are pictured here discussing the benefits of robotics in school.  We were both impressed with what today's students are capable of doing with technology. It was a privilege to speak with such a human and empathetic gentleman. He and his wife touched us all with their enthusiasm and support.
I was proud of our students and staff and honoured to be part of this event.  

L-O-V-E Spells Love

Okay, I promise this will be the last post using the word love or hearts, for a while anyway.  Used a combination of Scrabble letters and wooden hearts.  Gave it a red tint during post editing.  This word may only be worth 7 points during a Scrabble game but outside of the game, priceless.

Love is in the Cards

Got this idea from Katrina's Valentine's Day Photo Prompt which was, you guessed it, LOVE.  Her picture really caught my eye and I wanted to try the post editing.  I'm pretty happy with the results but now that I'm looking at it, realize the L (or 7) is at too much of an angle.  The cards I used are the 7, Queen, Ace and 3 of Hearts.  The editing was pretty easy.  
So, I hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine's Day.  Hopefully, love is in the cards for you today and everyday. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Amour = Love

The theme Katrina assigned for today was "A Pop of Red".  I tried a few things and decided I would use red but have the white 'pop' out.  I used cinnamon hearts as the background and one white sweetheart among the bunch.  Normally, I don't like the effects of a flash but this time around I like the reflections it created on the cinnamon hearts.  I also used the Hawaii Five-0 preset in Lightroom to have the red of the candies and writing appear to be different shades of the same red.
I wish you and your families much amour (love) and happiness.

More Hearts

Yep, more hearts.  Guess the month of February and St. Valentine's Day is influencing my shots these days. 
We bought this wreath at Michael's  a couple of years ago.  We have it hanging in the dining room as it goes with our decor. Consequently, we can have it up all year long.


One of the themes from January was circles.  I thought the control panel of our stove might be an interesting idea.  I put it in grayscale during processing and touched up some of the glares.  As in the previous photo, there are patterns.  It's interesting how many different types of patterns you can have.


The theme for February 2nd was shadows.  It was a sunny but cold day.  I tried to take the pictures inside but didn't get anything I really liked.  I decided to venture out on the deck for a few minutes.  While not my best photo, I like the pattern of lights.  I decided to put it in grayscale to have more colour unity.


Thought I stick with the heart theme from the previous posting.  Got this idea from Katrina Kennedy's CY365 photo idea of the day, "Heartfelt Sentiments". While out today I picked up some heart candies.  While setting up the shot I thought I'd try one.  I'm sure if it's me or the candies that have changed but they're not as tasty as I remember them to be.  Guess that's good news as it means less calories ingested. 
Anyway, I set up the candies on our dining room table.  I decided to add a 'Dust Storm' edit during processing in Lightroom. I find that the filter helped bring out the font on the candies and the grain in the table.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

'Heart'y Hands

Bought a frame for our room and have been looking for ideas for the picture to put in it.  Originally got this idea from Pinterest.  We tried using one hand from each of us but without a 3rd person to be the photographer, this turned out to be a bit of a challenge.  Thankfully, Peg graciously agreed to pose for this one.

For the Birds

One thing I really enjoy is watching the birds in our backyard.  Originally, this feeder was on our Flowering Crab Apple tree in the back near the fence.  It seemed to empty out quite quickly.  I decided I'd like to have a feeder closer to the house to get a better view of the birds.  We bought a new feeder and anchored a post to hang it on.  The birds didn't seem to want to have anything to do with it.  We decided to switch the feeders to see if it was the feeder or the location.  Turns out that they really do prefer this feeder. 
Due to the weather we haven't seen many birds this weekend.  After I took this pic I went outside and cleared off the shelf so the birds could access the food easier.  We'll see what happens once the wind dies down.

Snow Fence

We had quite the dumping of snow last night with over 30cm falling. Our perennial garden in front of the house is home to our cedar post fence. Between the accumulated snowfalls and the snow removal crews burying it, this is all we see today. Keep in mind the fence is about 3 feet higher than the road. Hardly even need to close the curtains at this point!

Just a little 'bit'

I was giving an introduction to photography workshop to a Grade 6 class in one of our schools.  While everyone was experimenting, I decided to get in a few shots as well.  I had brought a basket full of ordinary items for them to photograph.  They were to try to capture the objects from various perspectives.  It was a fun activity and the students came up with some interesting shots.  As always, it's more than just a little 'bit' exciting to see the love of photography come alive in others.

Love is Love

After visiting Pinterest for awhile looking for photo ideas I found this one.  I thought it would be a good one for weddings or anniversaries. 

As you can see, I did some post editing - filters, writing etc. Overall, I'm happy with the results but would have liked the rings to be a bigger part of the picture.  I used 8.5 x 11 paper to make the heart.  Perhaps I'll experiment using a smaller piece of paper and see if I can get in closer to the rings without losing a piece of the heart.

Squishy Ball

As a technology consultant I get to work/play with lots of toys such as iPads, computers and SMARTboards.  However, one of the most popular toys I have on my desk has very little to do with technology.  This toy is, for lack of a better label, my squishy ball.  Although I use this ball for various SMARTboard activities when working with teachers, it seems to get used most by my fellow consultants and I as a stress reliever.  It's fun to squish and sometimes it even gets thrown.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Saying it with Words or a Word

To help me with inspiration this year I'm using Katrina Kennedy's "Grab Your 365 Photo Prompt".  I've signed up for her prompts and get a new one for each day.  She also sends out a monthly list.  She has a site with ideas, samples and lessons.  You can even sign up for courses.  If you're looking for inspiration, I highly recommend checking out her site
Today's prompt is "Photograph with Words". The above picture is a portrait picture I took of little Liam.  As you can tell, I did a little bit of 'Photoshopping'.  He was wearing red socks but his outfit was also red so the socks blended instead of standing out as I wanted them too.  I added a black and white layer and then erased the layer from his socks. I originally got the idea for this photo setup from Pinterest, another great place to look for ideas. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

One Step at a Time

 I was sick with a bad cold for most of the break so it felt great to get outside and enjoy the fresh air today.  Peg and I have a membership to the ski/snowshoe centre here in Charlesbourg.  The land is owned by a group of people who allow members to ski and snowshoe on their land during the winter.  The membership fee we pay goes toward the cost of maintaining the paths.  It's only about a 10 minute drive from our place and it's a beautiful area. 
We managed to complete the 5.8 km loop, hills and all.  I took this picture with my iPhone when we got to the top.  I was surprised to get the shot on the first try considering I was using the back camera.  Lucky I guess. 
We haven't been since last year and are feeling a bit out of shape as we nurse our stiff muscles.  The good news is that with each next step it'll get that much easier.    Here's to getting healthier, one step at a time.

Catching the Photo Bug

When I purchased my new camera last year I gave my old one to Christopher (my stepson).  He has played with it a bit and I believe got the 'Photo Bug'.  We bought him a new zoom lens for Christmas.  One afternoon we were sitting around recovering from the not so pleasant cold bug we both managed to get over the holidays.  We noticed the neighbour's tree out front was filled with Bohemian Waxwings.  We bundled up and took our cameras out to take some pictures.  While it was fun to snap a few shots myself, it was even more fun seeing him enjoy himself so much.  I gave him a few tips and he managed to get some good shots.  He was pretty proud of himself and rightly so. 
During the session I managed to get this guy in action.

Missing Danes

2012 was a difficult year for us and our Danes.  Sadie passed away early in March and Dexter midway through August.  Many tears have been shed and we miss them both dearly.  Our home just isn't the same without a 'DAWG'.  Over the Christmas break we were able to go visit Dantry Danes (Where we got both Sadie and Dexter.) in Ontario.  It was great to see Matt and Danielle and it was wonderful to be in a house full of dogs.  We got lots of petting in (You can see Sophie was pretty happy to snuggle with Christopher) and even went to see a couple of them strut their stuff at a nearby dog show.  Oakley did very well.  The best news is that we put in our order for a new puppy!  We will be getting a pup from Sophie and Oakley's litter. The pups are due to be born sometime in May so we should be able to bring our little one home in July.  Both Sophie and Oakley are beautiful, inside and out, so I'm sure it'll be an amazing litter.  We're hoping for a blue boy and have already started looking at names.  Suggestions are welcome.

Upside Down

Saw the idea of an upside down snowman on Pinterest and just had to try it out.  We'd had a significant snowfall and it was that heavy wet stuff; hard to shovel but perfect for building snowballs and snowmen.  I decided to build the snowman, both for fun and to lighten the shoveling.  We had some technical difficulties with his eyes, they kept falling off, but were finally able to get everything to stick long enough to take the picture with my iPhone.  When Peg's family came to visit her brother made a comment about snowmen not having legs.  Her witty niece responded, "Actually they do, but they're usually buried in the snow." 

Another New Start

After a rather lengthy hiatus, I've decided to return to photo blogging.  As you have probably already figured out the '100 Strangers' project didn't work out.  It's an interesting challenge and one I may go back to but for now I'm putting it on the back burner.
Although I haven't been blogging I've still been taking pictures.  I've had the opportunity to do a number of portraits for friends.  So far I've worked with 'kids' from two months to twenty years.  I've also done a few family sessions as well.  I really enjoy doing portraits.  I think it's because I enjoy being with people in general.  Each age group has it's own charm and sometimes challenges.  I hope to continue doing portraits and that is one of the reasons I've returned to blogging.  I found when I was blogging I naturally took more pictures and was able to improve my skills/knowledge at a more significant rate.
This year I promise to try new things, accept new challenges and hopefully become a better photographer and person with each new day.  I look forward to getting back to following my fellow bloggers as well.  All the best for 2013!