Dec 16, 2014

Merry Christmas!

We will be home and around, I even have new work for Challenging Reality that will be posted soon, but I think it's that time of year to settle down, relax and find some peace in whatever will bring it. Be that nostalgic cartoons (Garfield and Rudolph -- peeking from behind Angie-- are my favorite oldies with Shrek the Halls being my modern favorite), favorite music (Boney M is where it's at!), favourite movies (National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation) or whatever tradition brings the warmth of memories old and not so old. Try to find time to enjoy them.

Merry Christmas, happy holidays and a happy, blessed new year to all of you!

Dec 12, 2014

Black and White Five Day Challenge

A few weeks ago I was nominated for the Black and White Five Day Challenge going around on social media. It was fun to have something to think about each day and, regardless of how long the photo took to make, to produce something with parameters to adhere to. Especially since I'm not much of a fan of grayscale photos. If I may be technically correct for a moment, black-and-white is inaccurate. It should be called the Grayscale Five Day Challenge but it wouldn't be the first time social media got it wrong.

Four out of the five photos I used a DSLR for but the busyness of catching up after the preparations for Help-Portrait necessitated one shot, the honey bear, just being a quick cell phone photo. Without further explanation, here are the five photos I made in order of the five days that I made them.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I like nutcrackers. A point of interest in this photo, the large white ornament on the tree is the footprint impression of Fiona Angie made with a kit that she bought. It's a little bit big but to be able to look back at that over the years, and how tiny her feet were, will be special.

The bikes are always a huge hit at our Help-Portrait event. We are very grateful to have Bikers against Child Abuse (BACA) there to lend a hand, entertain people and add to the fun of our event.

Besides being in a bit of a rush, the shifty eyes of our honey bear were the perfect quick subject for this day's photo. A little bit of hard light added to the drama.

Finally, while busily working on a stirfry, to make a quick frame of the mushroom medley we bought to be the highlight of the dish. Button, shittake, oyster and portobello were in the mix and it was nice to try cooking with a greater variety. They didn't cost much more than straightforward button mushrooms but we both agreed that we didn't feel they added enough to the dish to buy them regularly. The portobello were very nice and I found the texture of the oyster mushrooms very interesting. To anyone who has texture issues with their food I don't think you would like oyster mushrooms. I would like to try cooking with these with some type of a white or plush pasta sauce.

Nov 24, 2014

Frosty Apples For Ma

My mom has wanted me to make a photo of frosty berries or apples for a long time. Finally all of the conditions came together for me to be able to make a few nice shots today when I got home from some business. The early morning fog made for the hoarfrost, the wind had not blown it away, yet, it was not too far into the winter that the apples were shriveled or ugly looking, and it was in a location that I could easily get to. Though, the excuse could be made that the teleconverter I have been coveting would have made an even stronger, closer photo than these. Angie supports the purchase but perhaps I will wait a little longer to see if it's the right idea. There have been more than a few instances lately where it would be great to have more reach and that seems to say to me that this purchase would be justified.

  Photograph Frosty Thunderchild Crabapples 2 by Jay Scott on 500px

First, I will complete a few more shoots, think about it a little bit longer and maybe save a little bit of money from Christmas to go with birthday money to make my decision. One of my doctors believes that it would be better for my neck than the 200-400mm f/4 alternative, and be better for my mental well-being if I had that extra technology at my disposal. Unfortunately, Dr. Branimir Gjetvaj is not a medical doctor but one of genetics and ecology and an acquaintance who also knows his way around a camera so a bit of the weight behind his purchase opinion is lost there since his background isn't so much concerned directly with my health. Today, though, I was told that because of the number of times I have recently wanted more reach, in addition to giving my disabled self every advantage I can, I would be wise to consider this. Of course, neither of these guys are the ones swiping the plastic for the purchase. :-)

  Photograph Frosty Thunderchild Crabapples 1 by Jay Scott on 500px

Nov 20, 2014

Three Months Old

Our dear daughter turned three months old today. Far ahead of the curve, in our opinion and as sweet, cooperative and agreeable as babies get.

Our love for you is limitless, Fiona Lily.

Time flies, doesn't it. During a hectic week, this was the best part. I very much enjoyed working on the photos from Saturday's excellent shoot but I have a verbal NDA with the family so I'll need to wait awhile to share them. What I can say is that I have at least one new portfolio shot from the day which means it was a successful shoot.

Today during our Costco run we bumped into a real estate agent I had worked with in the past. He was great and it was good to see him, say hello and catch up briefly. He's been monitoring me on Facebook and inquired about a family session so there might be another short notice shoot to try and get the photos made and ready for Christmas cards this year.

Because of that I had best quit rambling and try to scratch a few more things off of the to do list, including getting him the information he wanted. Tomorrow's exercise with Paul takes priority but the afternoon will mean resuming that ever-growing list to see if I can complete an item or two faster than what is added to it.

At some point this winter I may even have a video compilation of Fiona to share. However, that will require many more hours of work using software I'm not familiar with so, no promises. :-)

Nov 15, 2014

Little Lady Bugs

I've been meaning to share these photos of Fiona in one of the favourite outfits she's been given. Passifiers aren't that interesting to her, but she certainly has found her fists.

Beneath the cuffs of her pants are black bows on the socks. I didn't think I'd be so interested in the cute ensembles Angie put her in. The below shot was a tricky one because those legs just never stop kicking.

Red bum ruffles. Only a baby can get away with those.

She was a little tired after freshly waking up from a nap but I really enjoy the increasing number of expressions she shows us.

Since these photos she has had a visit from grandma and grandpa, grown so much, giggled to a degree that could melt the Grinch's heart and just continues to captivate us with her first experiences and developing personality.

For those tired of baby photos, I have more family shots and some other subjects coming, soon. Until then, Challenging Reality has been revived. Just in time, too. It will be featured in the next issue of Parascope, the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Paraplegic Association's quarterly magazine. I'll share a link to the PDF once it's out. The site updates will not be quite as regular as before but I've carved out time to commit to it so there are few excuses for it to not continue forward.

Finally, Help-Portrait is upon us in a few weeks. We've worked hard and it's looking good, except for donations. Last year we were flush with cash but had no location confirmation and few committed volunteers. This year we have plenty of people, but could use more money to ensure we can afford printing consumables as well as food. Each bit that has trickled in has helped. However, if you feel compelled to support us, please email me at jayscottphotography AT or b.johnson AT Next year we will try additional fundraising methods including auctioning or raffling off our work, steak nights or other things that give the donor more than just a warm feeling.

Nov 4, 2014

Kiwi in Red

  Photograph Kiwi in Red - Full by Jay Scott on 500px

I have no reason to believe that Kiwi has been neglected since Fiona arrived, though her behaviour might convince you otherwise. However, today's photo was for Kiwi and she knew it. She didn't pose quite as well as usual because her perch wasn't as comfortable as she's used to. But we got the shots and I hope she enjoyed the attention.

  Photograph Kiwi in Red - Headshot by Jay Scott on 500px

My biggest frustration was, once again, struggling not with the photo's execution, but with limited space, a wheelchair that just cannot hop over a precisely aligned lighting setup to tweak a setting and the other limitations not based on my photographic ability. As always, I was grateful for Angie's assistance with the photo and posing Kiwi as well as taking my van in for the seasonal inspection and winter tires.

Oct 30, 2014

Ten Weeks

In some ways it's so hard to believe that she is 10 weeks old and in other ways it seems like it has been so much longer. Maybe because of how quickly she has changed, how the adapting to our new family's routine is turning out and maybe because of how far she has progressed already in her little life.

  Photograph Three Bears by Jay Scott on 500px

We figured that a Halloween costume might be a bit of a waste for her this year but she did get a suit that included a hood with bear ears. It was only fitting that we put her between her to biggest teddy bears for a photo. It seemed like an adequate Halloween costume for her.

That suit, like many of her clothes, are rated for much older kids than her. She really is growing like a weed, strong as can be and way more interactive than I ever expected her to be at this age.

Is much as I don't love winter I am looking forward to the endless photos that will come with her along with our Christmas decorations. Probably in the exact same location with the exact same background as the above photo, nice bokehlicious Christmas tree lights in the background should make for a nice shot. I definitely want to get one of her on the floor under the tree. I don't know if she will be sitting up by then but we have our ways to help support her.

I may wear my Homer Simpson costume tomorrow but I'm pretty sure I won't be as cute as our little teddy bear.

  Photograph Three Bears - 2 by Jay Scott on 500px