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Showing posts from January, 2011

Cool Blues of Winter

This weekend was a cold one but very sunny and bright.   I take happiness in knowing that the sun is beginning to get stronger here and thus another sign that spring is coming to our part of the world if we just be patient a little longer.   I noticed that the shadows against the crisp white snow gave off a beautiful blue hue.  My husband and I took a little drive while the sun was shining and I captured these photos along the way.   I hope you had a great weekend.  Enjoy your week.   ValerieJoin us over at Mary’s for Mosaic Monday.   Mary has instructions on her site as to how you can create a mosaic and join in the fun.

Red Tulip Macro

At this time of the year my favourite store where I get most of my vegetables and fruit also carries Tulips in bunches.    I am compelled to purchase a few bunches every week to give me that happy feeling of colour when all around me is a sea of white.   This week I purchased different hues of pinky-red.   Are you feeling this need to see more colour too?   I have marked on my calendar some dates that suggests that Spring is not too far off with some of the flower shows starting in February.   You will see more flowers on my posts as time goes on.    Hurray.
I am joining Laura for Macro Friday   Have a great weekend.   Valerie

Sitting in the Winter Sun

The Mourning Dove is a regular visitor to the feeders in the back yard.  This one was trying to get some rays on the deck outside the kitchen sliders.   I love the soft grey browns in their colourations. I just adjusted the levels and added soft light for more punch.   I am joining Chelsey at Paper Heart Camera for Touch Up Tuesday.    Have a great day.  Valerie

A Cold Day in the City

“The screech and mechanical uproar of the big city turns the citified head, fills citified ears – as the song of birds, wind in the trees, animal cries, or as the voices and songs of his love ones once filled his heart. He is sidewalk happy.”      Frank Lloyd Wright Our camera class was encouraged by our teacher to join a photography club to share photos and experiences with people with the same interest.   The club that I joined tries to go out once a month on field trips.   Yesterday, was my first field trip and we went into the big city of Toronto where we were to meet at Union Station and then take a walking trip to the Distillery District.   It was one of the coldest days we have had so far and I bundled up with extra mitts and socks just in case in my camera bag.    My mosaic today is just a capsule of the sights we found along the way.  This particular view of BCE Place has been in many photographs of Toronto.  It is an amazing expanse of glass down a long indoor walk through. …

Photography is Fun

This past week I have been having a bit of fun with an idea I first heard of on the blog Gardening Gone Wild about a technique of taking macro photos with a  point and shoot type camera on the flower setting in a mason jar.   Her pictures just captured my imagination and I hauled out of the cupboards all kinds of things from coloured glass, pebbles, flowers etc.    Lona Dawn of A Hocking Hill’s Garden also posted photos this week using this technique.   It sure beats the blahs around here with no flowers to photograph.These photos are SOOC with the Lumix DMC-FZ20 on the flower setting.   I have not edited them.   I found it an interesting process and liked the results.  This one was taken with a faux sunflower.This one is a bit fuzzy.  I used the Canon Rebel XSi for this one.  I took it with the macro lens to see what would happen.   I hope you have some fun with your photography.   Sometimes you come up with some interesting shots.   I am joining Laura at Blogging From Bolivia.   Hav…

Pretty Tulips for Touch Up Tuesday

My husband knows I love Tulips and when he was in our local market he picked some up for me.   I am just starved for colour right now.  I guess you are too.   I received a new lens for my birthday back in October that I like to practice with.   It is a EF 50mm 1.8.   The great part about it is the ability to blur the background.This is the Tulips SOOC.  Realistically they do not any enhancement but I did want to play a bit. This one was loosely using Ashley Sisk’s tutorial last week.   Sometimes Black and White is nice. This photo was done using CS2 which I am having fun learning about.   I adjusted it for colour etc, added Pioneer Woman’s boost action and then a texture from Kim Klassen Cafe called break free.  I am joining Chelsey for Touch Up Tuesday.    I have learned so much from the participants of this meme and others that regularly contribute here.   Have a great day.   Valerie

From Our Kitchen Window

My husband built two new feeders for the birds in the backyard recently.  One is a tray feeder and the other is a pole to hang the cage type feeder and a suet cage.   I wanted to bring the birds closer so that I could capture them at a closer range.  Of course they are taken through the window so that does make a difference to the quality of the shot.Birds are so entertaining and I never get tired of watching them.  I am joining Mary for Mosaic Monday.   See you there.   Hope you have a wonderful week.   Valerie

A Easy Houseplant for Fertilizer Friday

I am sorry that I am late to post.  I had problems with my modem and had to get another one. I hate that when that happens.   I get crazy without the internet.  As most of us know we are in the dead of winter and us gardeners are unable to get out an play.  Well, we could but it cold out there and our gardens are snug as a bug under the covering of white waiting for the signal that the earth is warming up again.   Indoors, in the Sandbox there is a few houseplants that keep some colour  and bloom going if I remember to water them.Euphorbia millii or Crown-of-thorns is a tough plant that does quite well in my house.  It really doesn’t care if you forget to water it and maybe it prefers it that way.  It just blooms away anyway.  I have it sitting on the floor in a room that faces north so wouldn’t think that would be enough light but it doesn’t complain.  In the summer I put it outside on the deck.  One thing you will notice about this plant is the thorns or you prefer spines.  These a…

Amsonia hubrichtii – 2011 Perennial of the Year

It is just about time that I start to work on the first issue of a newsletter that I do for my Horticulture Society.   Each year I include the Perennial Plant of the Year chosen by the Perennial Plant Organization..   Plants chosen must be an all round dependable plant that is low maintenance, propagated easily, good in all most all garden conditions and soils.   This year’s choice is a plant I am not personally familiar with.   It is recommended for a US Zone of 5-9 and that my be why I have not seen it in my area.    I would love to hear from anyone that has grown it and how is performing in their garden.Amsonia hubrichtii is known by the common names of Arkansas Blue Star and Thread leaf Blue Star.  It is listed in my favourite go-to gardening book “Heritage Perennials Perennial Gardening Guide” so it a plant that does grow in southern Ontario.  The photos I borrowed from the internet and are not mine.Amsonia hubrichtii grows 36inches tall and the same wide at maturity in a mounded…

Winter View for Touch Up Tuesday

Soldier’s Bay on the Holland River  is a location close to home.   The day I took this was overcast but I wanted to capture the boats all shrink wrapped and waiting for summer in the marina next door.   I did up the saturation on this one just to give a little more colour.  In photoshop CS2 I cropped it to take out the spindly trees and then added Pioneer Woman’s boost action and then using P/W again added the seventies action.   I like the warm tones that appeared.  I then flattened the whole thing and sharpened.   It now seems to have a sepia look to it.  Don’t know which I like better but it was fun playing around with it.   More Touch Ups can be found at Chelsey’s Paper Heart Camera for Touch Up Tuesday.   Have a great day.  Valerie

A Faded Rose for Mosaic Monday

I was about to take the yellow roses that my Dad brought out to the compost when I noticed that they had dried so beautifully .   What a perfect opportunity to practice some still life photography.   Out of the cupboards came various items that I had noticed that photography bloggers use as props like beads, glasses, music paper etc.  I even stole   borrowed an item I saw Henrietta of Henrietta Hassinen do of photographing a flower placed on the white snow.   I am sorry friends I have very little imagination of my own but I really appreciate those that have it in spades.  My mosaic is a sample of some of my better shots. 

This mosaic was done using the same subject but using a template sent to me from Kristy at lnr-laboratory.   She does some amazing things with Photoshop and allows us to add our own contents to her templates.   You can see I spend far too much time in front of this computer.  Give her a visit and try some out too. 
I am posting to our Mosaic Monday hostess Mary an…

A Kiss Goodbye

I don’t know about you but I overindulge of goodies at Christmas.  I have a terrible sweet tooth and I just can’t seem to turn down anything delicious during the holidays.   So, this week I had to return to eating healthier and getting more exercise.  Inside us is a thin person struggling to get out but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake.   Author unknownThe macro of two Hersey Kisses is my contribution to the Macro Friday meme hosted by Laura at Blogging from BoliviaValerie

Open for Touch Up Tuesday

Several bloggers have shared a word for 2011.  This word is a template for their aspirations, dreams and desires for the New Year.   I began to think about a word that I would choose and I settled on OPEN.  Open for me a direction for me to move forward.  There are situations in my life that need change or at least a new direction.  I have belonged to an organization for many years that provided me with wonderous opportunities and I enjoyed every minute. In the past year something happened to that feeling of jubilation.  But, I am open to looking at the pros and cons of continuing with it or leaving it behind and moving on.  I have learned so much about photography this year and I want to be open to expand those learning opportunities.  I just want to take a look around and see what is out there to see and do and learn.  I love to learn new things.   So, my word for 2011 is OPEN. My image is two open books.  I love books. These are photography books.  My touch up was just to layer a t…

A New Year for Mosaic Monday

Have you cleared your Christmas decorations away yet?  I am working on mine today.  We have had warm temperatures lately and yesterday a great deal of rain.  Today we are down in the minuses again.  My husband is out counting birds for the Bird Count done yearly.   I am counting the birds that land in our birdfeeders at home.    I received an invitation recently  from Kristy at Life-n-Reflection to receive her templates for a calendar and learn how to use Photoshop to make my own calendar.   It was a  lot of fun.   The first square shows my January 2011 calendar.  The remaining squares are just a mishmash of photos from the present season showing yellow roses that my Dad brought, the pinky violet that is blooming on the windowsill, a plate of cookies, some icicles on our back porch, a little bear that my husband put in my stocking, the seed head of a milkweed with a snow cap and a landscape from the river near to us.  As many of you, I am looking forward to the new year with new begin…