Oct 28, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Portrait


It was a photographic equipment birthday this year. I had already mentioned the transceiver I purchased with birthday money from my parents but the gift from Angie had not arrived, or so I thought. When I accidentally stumbled upon the transaction in our bank records I had highly doubted that it would make it here from Hong Kong in the two weeks before my birthday. It did not. It arrived in one week with the free shipping option! When Angie explained to me why it took so long for her to get our A & W the other evening it was because she was stopping at the post office to pick up my gift.

Because of placing some orders with other Chinese companies I was aware of some political goings-on that were causing outgoing packages to be examined by Chinese customs as well as by the customs of the destination country, with the exception of the United States, which was resulting in 20 to 50 business day delivery times with standard airmail shipping as opposed to the typical 10 to 25 business day delivery times. Regardless, it did not affect us with this one.

What Angie had bought me for my birthday was a 90 cm x 90 cm soft box, essentially an umbrella-like box with a reflective interior and a white sheet of diffusion material at the bottom that softens the light to diminish the appearance of wrinkles, soften shadows and give a gentler appearance to the subject that it is being used on. There are other purposes but I will leave it at that.

I tried it this morning on a pair of nail clippers, which many people on Facebook thought was an interesting subject, for my project and then this afternoon asked Angie to pose for a portrait.



I am pleased with the results, happy that despite its significant and somewhat cumbersome size I can still handle it and that it will be one more tool when soft light is called for or when I need a pure sheet of reflected light and the appearance of an umbrella's ribs simply will not do.

Aside from the gifts, we had a very nice supper with good friends at Las Palapas last evening. We then came back to have some lovely banana cake with chocolate icing and coffee almond ice cream that Angie made for me with an even larger group of friends. Definitely what I would call a great birthday.

Oct 22, 2012

Oct 20, 2012

Haircut and a New Toy


As I wrote the title for this post I realized that I, too, got a haircut yesterday and have really been enjoying my new toy, the radio trigger purchased with birthday money from my mom and dad. No buyer's remorse here. I am really enjoying it. However, wouldn't you know, GoPro came out with their third iteration of their action camera. It looks like this one will do what I was hoping the second one would do. Regardless, I am glad that I did not get the second one because the third one, for the same price as the second one was, would have been an outdated version just weeks after it was given to me. Everything worked out for the best.

The title of the post was actually a description of our Kiwi. She got her hair cut this past Tuesday and was overdue for a new toy so we picked one up yesterday after my haircut.


I think it is going to be perfect for her. The loops make it easy for me to throw and give her endless enjoyment chewing on and she has yet to be able to squeak the deeply embedded squeaker. That shows her determination as she works at that thing make it squawk.

Certainly enjoy how soft she is for some time after a haircut. We may need to bath her at the halfway point so that brushing her is that much more effective at making her extra soft.

That's all I have for your Saturday dose of cuteness.



Oct 16, 2012

Hot Racks Bakery - Date Square

Along with the freshest, gooiest, tastiest cinnamon bun, we picked up an excellent, buttery date square from Hot Racks Bakery this morning.


Once again, they did not disappoint.

Oct 15, 2012

Fresh Squeezed Ancient Hop-Grain Juice

Our hops did incredibly well for their first year in our yard. It was very refreshing after killing two clematis vines two years in a row. I don't know if our hops are the kind used to brew beer, or just ornamental. Gave me the idea for the photo below, the title inspired by a quote from the Simpsons.

Oct 8, 2012

Thanksgiving Dessert

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you have had an excellent, restful and rejuvenating weekend with those you care about. We made the trip down to Swift Current on Friday to see my parents. It was some quality time, with much good food, a bit of park time for us and the dogs, a few hands of 31 and even a bit of planning for Christmas.

We gave mom her gifts (one hadn't arrived yet so we gave her a picture of it for now) and was I ever impressed with the metal prints from Don's. The colours and the way they gather light just makes them glow. I will be recommending them to customers for anything colourful. Even the brushed finish of the metal print used for a black and white portrait was arresting. I must say that it never ceases to amaze me of what a flora gallery of my work my parents' house has become. I may have to have a show there some day. :)

Angie prepared one of the desserts we enjoyed this weekend, a pumpkin cheesecake with candied pumpkin seeds topping the whipped cream. I was happy that there was a piece left over after the first servings for me to photograph the following morning.



She said next time that it could be a little bit sweeter and have more spices that the original recipe called for. You can find that recipe at the following link:


It seems to work best for us to combine mom's birthday, Thanksgiving and my birthday into one weekend since they are fairly close together. I received my birthday gift which I intend to use toward a Pocket Wizard +III. Originally Angie had planned with my parents to get me a Go Pro Hero 2 to give me some better video and time lapse capability. Of course, knowing me, I changed my mind after they had already made this decision. However, I'm not certain that the Go Pro is the right tool to add to my kit at the moment. It only has a very wide angle lens and that might be great for action videos but certainly not ideal for all uses including time lapses of smaller things. The increased capability of this new radio trigger will serve me far better, and multiple times per week, than the Go Pro which would have been more of a toy than a regularly used tool.

It was a good trip home, with perfect weather, less wind that was forecast and quiet roads. A nice break and trip but also nice to get back to routine.

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was super.

Oct 4, 2012

Paul, Barb, Emma and Olivia at Innovation Place


The more times you visit a location the more you find ways to use it. Innovation Place is not a difficult place to work at, but part of the challenge is making it less obvious of where you are shooting. This is made more difficult when both the photographer and one of the people you are working with are using wheelchairs.


There weren't many photos off the beaten path this day, but that is just fine. Those are the times you take the surroundings and go with it.


Paul and I have been friends for a long time but only in the last few years have we spent regular time together, much of it exercising together. During that time it has been nice to get to know the rest of his family better. As his daughters have come to know me better it only increases the comfort level and makes for better photos.


I was simply impressed with the girls' attention spans and patience. They had returned just an hour earlier from their aunt and uncle's farm, not having normal sleep being in beds other than their own, but they were great the whole time.


Emma has been exploring making time lapse and stop motion videos and showing excellent skill for such an early stage. I've been helping her how I can and look forward to watching her skill grow. She also has had shown and interest in modelling. For her age she really has posing figured out. I will be happy to keep working with her if she pursues it.


It was a great day together finished off by lunch back at their home. Quality time and enjoyable company on a nice late summer Saturday morning.