Aug 24, 2014

Fiona's First Bath

At home, anyway. Of course she had one shortly after being born, but this one was in the comfort of our home.

Really hoping for something resembling sleep tonight. These might help ease the drain of sleeplessness.

  Photograph First Bath - 1 by Jay Scott on 500px

  Photograph First Bath - 2 by Jay Scott on 500px

  Photograph First Bath - 3 by Jay Scott on 500px

  Photograph First Bath - 4 by Jay Scott on 500px

  Photograph First Bath by Jay Scott on 500px

Aug 23, 2014

Day 4 - We're Home

At times, overwhelmed. But home, beginning a new phase, establishing new routines (to the extent a baby lets you) and better than trapped in that dim room. The help of the great nurses was very much appreciated and will be missed, but everyone needs to grow up and move on in independence. We are very grateful for our large support system and all they've already done for us.

Aug 20, 2014

Fiona's Birthday

We are ecstatic to announce the arrival of our daughter, Fiona Lily, born August 20, 2014, weighing 9lbs 6oz and 20 inches long, having a voice that commands respect.

Much, much, more to come...

Sunset at the Saskatoon Zoo

It has been my intention for some time to go to the zoo at sunset with the plan to make a photograph off of the dock overlooking the pond. I'm not talking about the fishing pond but the one tucked way off in the corner that most people don't know about. Unfortunately, the path leading to it is made of a very fine clay or gravel and not very wheelchair friendly unless we have had a long stretch of heat. In addition to that, the access to the dock was down a pretty sharp drop that was manageable without a camera bag on my lap but with that bag, and possibly a tripod, it was going to be something I would need a hand with.

I knew that they had rebuilt the dock, and the photos I saw online looked really good, but I had no idea what a beautiful job they had done re-landscaping it so that getting onto the dock was as smooth of a transition as there is. The path leading to it is still very soft after it had rained but before our trip there last Wednesday we had had weeks of significant heat and I trusted that the path would be dry. Irony defined, there was a bit of a rain shower a few hours before we went. I did not believe it enough rain to make the path impassable. Despite the heat, it was still a bit soft but nothing I couldn't manage.

  Photograph Zoo Pond HDR 1 by Jay Scott on 500px

The above photo was a simple HDR made through some trees while still on the path leading to the dock. It seemed a nice vantage point and Bruce made an HDR portrait of me while I was making mine of the pond. We were waiting for the light to be right so at this point we were just playing though I have no problem with the photo I made. It was nice that both Bruce and I have our typical techniques but it was nice to learn something from each other that we can both incorporate in our toolkit for the times that what we've learned is appropriate.

Seeing the lovely covering of seaweed and algae on the water, it seemed like a good time to continue my attempt at some abstract work. Like it, or hate it, I thought it was an interesting texture and contrasty subject.

  Photograph Zoo Pond Algae by Jay Scott on 500px

The first HDR landscape photo was facing east, this next one was facing north. If you click on the link below each photo that takes you to 500px, you can see the pinpoint location of where I was. From that you could see on Google Earth the aerial view of where we were, both for if you want to visit there yourself at some point or just to see the vantage point we had.

  Photograph Zoo Pond HDR 2 by Jay Scott on 500px

This next photo was facing south, overlooking a lot of the algae that was the subject for the abstract photo above.

I will admit that I had envisioned the dock facing a different direction. The winding path, combined by the 90° turn onto the dock had me turned around from which direction I was facing. The sky was still cooperative but I have other ideas for what I would like to see of a photo made on the dock with different weather conditions.

The operational hours of the zoo change based on the time of year. About the time of year that sunset is a convenient time of day is about the time of year that they back their hours off to closing at 7 PM, instead of 9 PM. That means for a few weeks each year you can be in the zoo after sunset. Right now is that time and I hope that I will have another opportunity to be there after sunset to try some twilight shots. However, as of the time of this posting, I expect to be photographing our baby and have little concern for scenery. It will come back, and I'm not going to give up great outings and opportunities but I have a feeling that there's going to be a captivating new little family member that will have the majority of attention of me and my camera for a long time.

  Photograph Zoo Pond HDR 3 by Jay Scott on 500px

Finally, and I know if this is not something everybody enjoys, is the piece I was most happy with. I've always wanted the opportunity to have some ethereal and moody photos shot after sunset. My ideas are numerous but my evening schedules, hatred of insects and lack of great places that are wheelchair friendly often dominate my motivation. I guess that's all the more reason to try little harder but I am quite pleased with the emotion my final photo from last Wednesday evokes. I would love to hear your feedback, whether it gives you the creeps, you love it, hate it, or whatever emotion it raises in you. I think the old ragged dock would've worked better, but whattayagonnado?

  Photograph Saskatoon Zoo After Dark by Jay Scott on 500px

Aug 15, 2014

Perfect Poser

  Photograph Yellow Dragonfly by Jay Scott on 500px

I'm quite happy to see the number of dragonflies that have been in our backyard for over a month, now. Combined with the hotter, drier weather, they have done a fine job keeping the mosquitoes at bay. I haven't seen any specifically eating wasps, but the nest under our deck that I will get dad to take care of when they come up (as of the writing of this our baby has yet to arrive so I'm assuming they are not here), probably has had its population reduced thanks to the dragonflies.

I always find it intriguing to see how they go through cycles. Early in the season you will see the lovely light-blue colored damselflies which often move to the deeper orange and fuzzier looking dragonflies before some of the turquoise and huge black ones emerge. I don't recall seeing this many of the yellow ones pictured above as I have this year. Maybe the food supply is better or maybe the weather is just right for them. Either way, they are a beautiful and harmless insect that takes care of all the other pests. I think the only reason to not wish the extinction of mosquitoes and wasps is that they are food for dragonflies.

Maybe we should put some money into researching other food supplies for dragonflies and technology for the near extinction of mosquitoes and wasps, at least in the city where they are of little help in pollinating crops.

Here's hoping the next photos I have to share our of our baby.

Aug 12, 2014

Still Waiting for Our Baby

  Photograph My Folks by Jay Scott on 500px

No baby, yet. We do have scheduled induction for this coming weekend or early next week so hopefully we won't get the call at some inconvenient time of day, but then, what would be convenient? At least this past Sunday we picked up the canvases I had on display at the mall and got a photo made of my parents-in-law. Now we just need to get Robin, and the boys, then one of Angie and I and probably one of Kiwi for the six frames I painstakingly painted to be hung in our child's room.

  Photograph Merv and Marilyn by Jay Scott on 500px

I thought about going to Innovation Place today to photograph the flowers that captivated me on Sunday when we made the above portrait, but my motivation was lacking and I decided to continue working on putting together some of the inserts for my new shelving unit. That's double satisfaction, right there. Organizing my disorganized mess of equipment and office clutter as well as building something with my hands. Even if it is just IKEA stuff, it still involves using a few tools and that great smell of fresh cut lumber.

I have one more photo that I'll share in a few days that scored me a lot of points on 500px and you might have already seen if you follow me on twitter. Sometimes it surprises me how popular simple snapshots with no lighting more than a reflector are popular. I'll share that with you in a few days.