Friday, January 12, 2018
Some days are absolutely glorious. The sun shines. The temperature is at the perfect spot of being cold enough to feel crisp but not so cold that you huddle into your coat. It invigorates and puts a smile on my face.
The sun sparkles on icy surfaces. When I was a child we used to like to break off icicles and suck on the. Now, armed with more knowledge, I shudder at the idea - the pollutants we ingested, the dirt...
And then overnight the mood changes as the temperature rose above the freezing point. Rain fell and a mist rose. A temporary winter reprieve.
I like the mystery of mist - the silence that seems to descend and the feeling of the unknown as vistas shrink.
Even the dogs in the dog park seemed more subdued - sitting as if adjusting to this silent landscape.
Winter will be back in full force tonight. Here is the forecast (temperatures are in Celsius) :
Mother Nature plans a lot of activity for Montreal to transform, yet again, our city.
Sunday, January 7, 2018
We have hit a spate of frigid weather. Each morning I get a new delightful piece of art painted on my windows.
I have to stop and admire each detail - lines and textures, painstakingly created.
The sun, despite the outdoor temperature of -23°C (-10°F) is washing it all away, cleaning the canvas leaving space for a new creation tomorrow.
Some days it is like an icy garden, others like fairies dancing.
A fleeting moment of beauty.
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
It is feeling like a good old-fashioned winter. Snow is on the ground and the temperature has remained cold. I wear layers as I go out and so far have not minded the cold. And when the sun shines in winter, the snow makes everything ultra bright.
The sky never seems quite as blue as a winter sky.
Even shadows take on the blue of the sky.
The squirrels are still out in numbers, scavenging what they can. This "squirrel snack bar" made this fellow happy.
City workers were out preparing the ice - an outdoor rink. With frigid temperatures expected, this rink will have no trouble keeping its hard surface.
Temperatures are in celsius. As a reference point -18°C is 0°F. I'll be putting on an extra layer and going out to enjoy the sunshine.
Wednesday, December 13, 2017
It's here. After a small snowfall on Sunday, yesterday brought over 18 cm of snow (about 7"). As it was cold, it was light snow, not the heavy wet snow that falls when the temperature hovers nearer to 0°C (32 F). I quite enjoyed walking through white - so much brighter than the greyness that permeates cloudy days before the snow arrives.
While this "dog" sits motionless letting the snow accumulate on its shaggy fur, its living friends were cavorting in the dog park - rolling in the snow, chasing each other, enjoying the novelty of the first real snowfall of the season.
Snow is silent - it falls without sound, unlike rain or sleet and it muffles the city sounds.
I did not stop to sit. I would not want to spoil the sculpted seats that nature had created. Snow brings its own kind of beauty.
Saturday, December 2, 2017
I have never been a great fan of November. It is a time when darkness starts to close in, when grey days and dampness permeates the landscape and the skin. Occasional snow brightens momentarily and then all settles back into moody November. And then the holiday lights start to appear, dispelling the darkness.
Whimsy starts to take over bringing smiles. As I don't take part in the frenetic and serious seasonal shopping, I am free to stroll and just enjoy the festive atmosphere.
The market has begun to fill up with trees and their holiday friends. The scent of the season is everywhere. As the days get shorter, the number of lights increases. And in only three weeks the slow creep to more daylight begins again.
Monday, October 23, 2017
Photographing has taught me to find beauty everywhere. I went for a walk with a friend in a park that we like - unfortunately our photographic opportunities were curtailed by renovation being done in the park. A wooden walkway across the swamp has been demolished to be replaced by a more solid one. so we had to get back in the car and enter the park from the other side.
Autumn has certainly taken hold with dried out flowers and coloured leaves.
There is delicacy even in decay.
While some trees have already lost leaves, others are holding on to theirs. Flashes of red stand out against the green of the plants that remain.
Back at home I walked through the park. This is truly a glorious season.
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
I was challenged recently to post black and white photographs for seven days running. I started to think about what would look good in black and white - or more precisely - black white and greys. I grew up with black and white photographs and they highlight different aspects of an image. The keyboard was too obviously black and white and I needed to find something to photograph that would work in grey tones.
A church nearby provided the next photograph. I think this allows us to see a bit more of the texture of the stonework.
Day 3 - I looked for strong lines. No need for colour when the emphasis is on the geometry of the photograph.
What else would look good in black and white - these reflections caught my eye - they were less about colour than form.
I found myself testing out the black and white transformation on my phone or in my camera to see if an image would work. You need a fair amount of contrast and not too much texture around the image. For that reason I felt this photograph did not work as well. The busy background texture-wise took away from the main part of the composition. I took a number of photos on my walk that day - it helped me understand the need for contrast and simplicity when shooting black and white.
While I like the look of the buildings, I am less happy with the composition. I took this while on a walk and did not take enough time to get the balance of buildings and sky right. But they will be there for another attempt. Also - a cloud-filled sky might have added interest - the weather was not cooperative in that respect!
This was a tough one. I wanted to focus on the texture - the bark and the squirrel but the squirrel was positioned in a way that he was against a dark background, but there was also a bright background near its tail. As a result the white is clipped.
I'll stick to colour for a while - but this has made me think about when and how I want to try more black and white shooting.