Thursday, February 28, 2013

Portrait Session

Although it has been a difficult time (thank you for all your kind condolences), we did have something good happen in February! Our son Cody visited us from Toronto for a week. I arranged for Cody and I to have a portrait session while he was here. 

This year is a special year for us, and it's all about the number 26. My birthday is May 26th. Cody was born on May 26th, on my 26th birthday. This year he'll be 26, and it has been 20 years since our first official portrait was taken so I got to thinking that this was the year for another special portrait.

This photo is from 20 years ago, and is dry mounted in a 19 x 19 inch square, hanging in our bedroom. I just love the expression on his face...he was six years old at the time.
I asked Bridgewater photographer John Burnett if he would take our portrait. John is a member of our local photo club and a wonderful portrait photographer (as well as a spectacular photographer in general!) John's website is here if you want to take a look: 

"The Kiss" is my favourite....we are huggers....not this is truly an historic moment! I'll be adding it to my bedroom wall beside our 20 year old portrait.
John Burnett will be displaying his photographs at The Flying Fox Bakery, 16 John Street in Shelburne, NS during the month of March.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Mulligan 1999 - 2013
On Friday we said good-bye to our dear girl. 
Mulligan - 1999
In 1999, we adopted Mulligan from a dog rescue group called BARK, based in Ottawa, Ontario. She was found as a wee pup...about 5 weeks the side of highway 7 in Ontario. When we left our house to go see her for the first time, there was a double rainbow arching through the sky. I told John it was a sign. And it was. 

We brought her home and added her to our crew. She joined our cat Phantom, and dogs Bailey and Cinder. She was gentle and soulful. 

She was adventurous in her youth. She dug holes and chased chipmunks. The snow would drift over our 4 foot fence in the winter, and she would go exploring. But never too far, and we always quickly got her back into the yard.

She loved bananas. She loved all food.

We only had her 3 days when our husky bit her and tore her eye open. That was a terrible day. Rushing to the vet with her screaming in my arms. Blood everywhere. Her eye was uninjured, but her eyelid was permanently damaged. I thought her beautiful anyway.

People always noticed and commented on the beauty of our dogs. Only one person (a young boy) ever said "I like the black one best".  A bump on her nose required surgery when she was about five years old, and she managed to get porcupined once. She hated the water. She ate poop.

She never learned to fetch. She never walked a straight line. She had the most beautiful golden brown eyes. She would scratch our chairs as we watched tv when she wanted a pet but she wasn't a cuddler. She liked me to hold her paw as she laid beside my chair.

Even though she was a quiet girl, the silence in the house now is deafening. There's no slobber to wipe off the floor. She was a lady with a gentle heart. She was the last one of our original crew, and now she is gone. Fourteen years went by with the blink of an eye.

I loved her. I miss her terribly. She was my Miss Mulligan.

Mulligan - 2010

Friday, February 8, 2013


East Port Wharf Road
I have been out and about a bit working on my assignment number two for my Creative Photography course. This photo has nothing to do with my assignment, but I love it (sun spots and all). Looks cold doesn't it? Well, it was! (and still is). We are hunkered down now waiting for the blizzard to hit.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Assignment 1

I am currently taking a "Creative Photography" course. It is a six session course, held bi-weekly, and it started on January 10th. There are 10 of us taking the course (the maximum that the instructor takes). For the first session, we had to submit 6 creative photos that we felt represented ourselves and our photography. I spent a fair bit of time selecting my six photos, because basically I don't think I am a "creative" photographer...the whole reason for me taking the course in the first place.

Anyway, we spent the first session going through all 60 photos. Our homework assignment was to use one of the photos from that session (not our own!) that was a different style than our own, and use it as inspiration. There were a couple of photos of moving traffic, and a couple of photos of night photography. So, I combined those two things for my inspiration. My first thought was to actually take photos of traffic, but when you live out in the boonies there isn't much traffic around.

So here is what I did...

I went out at dusk (it was -16C for these photos!). I strapped spikes onto my boots because our driveway was pure ice. I set my camera up on a tripod and used my remote. I set the camera for a 30 second exposure, hit the remote, and started running holding 2 flashlights. I did this again. And again. And again. Until I was so cold, I couldn't stand it anymore. This is a photo from my first attempt:

I tried the same technique in different locations over the 10 days I worked on this assignment. The second photo is from my final session. I had a particular spot in mind to try it....there are some tall pine trees at the entrance to Rissers Beach. I went at sundown and did the same set up with my camera, tripod and remote. Then I ran around the trees with flashlights in my hands. I quite like the way this one turned out. 
And thankfully no one was around to watch this spectacle!

Our assignment for the next session is to photograph as we normally do, but to remove all "ground" "bottom" or "foreground" or "foundation". Hmmmmm......