Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Space Shuttle over Calgary

Is the smudge leading away from Venus towards the left. Click on the picture for a larger version.

Was leaving work for the first time.. Didn't recognize that guy in the mirror in the elevator, realized that I'd taken off my glasses to rub my face or something and had left them in my office. So, I went back up and got them. On my second attempt to leave I ran into Dave.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Botanical Garden at the Zoo

The new Botanical Garden opened up at the Zoo yesterday. I've been waiting for over a year for them to re-open it. I use to frequent the old one quite often with my camera, macro lense and tripod in hand. I have been able to capture a few nice pictures from my visits. I enjoyed all of the flowers and the butterfly house was always lots of fun.

Purple orchid.. at least I think its an orchid, 
I love the green leaves in the background

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Drumheller Sunday

Lying in bed dozing on a Sunday morning, Conor comes in for a snuggle. I was thinking that I want to go to the mountains. I've not been to the mountians for what seems like months. I want to go west, he says we should go to Drumheller. Conor wants to be a palentiologist, he wants to grow up and study marine dinosaurs. When I was 8, I remember trying to find money so I could go spend it at the arcade - Joust, Tron, Asteroids, Wizard of War, Defender.. probably couldn't even spell dinosaur when I was eight.

Skull fossil found in the Badlands of Drumheller or a cleverly designed fake ?

So here he was, trying to get me to agree to Drumheller, and I looked out the window from the bed where I was lying.. all I could see was a dull grey sky and I could hear the wind howling. Tried to imagine being in the mountains in the wind, in the cold - there is probably snow everywhere out there. We've not had much snow yet this year and I don't know if I'm prepared yet. If I'll have all the right stuff - mitts, hats, boots. I didn't really want to go anywhere if the weather wasn't going to play along but I also didn't want to stay home - I'd spent too much time on the couch the last few weekends with my best friend - the TV.

Went to the Zoo

I like to go to the Zoo and try to take interesting pictures of the plants and animals. I have an annual pass so it's easy to go there and just spend a couple of hours walking around with my camera. The Zoo closes at 6:00pm, but they stop letting people in at 5. I like to go between 3 and 4 because often it's not very busy. Conor and I went today.

I get real excited when I can find some nice light like I found on this flamingo here. We walked into the Destination Africa building and there was this beam of sunlight coming in. He was the just standing there and it didn't last more than five minutes before it all faded away. I love how the light and shadows define the texture of the feathers on his neck.

This and two other flamingos were in the Destination Africa Exhibit where the vulture lives. There were a couple of Zoo staff in the pen feeding the flamingos with pans of a pink liquid, which I guess was some kind of shrimp mixture. Whats cool is that you can see the teeth along the beak of the flamingo that, I'd guess, they use to strain shrimp out of the water.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Jr Boys Volleyball

My sister asked if I'd like to shoot some pictures of my nephew playing volleyball. He's on the Boys Jr. team, and this was the last game of the season before the playoffs start next week.

I said YES!! because I really really like taking pictures. He was playing a home game at the same high school that I went to - too many years ago.

I thought I'd be overwhelmed with memories when I was back inside the building, but it didn't happen. Possibly because I didn't spend enough time in the gymnasium when I went to school or I was just too busy thinking about the photos. I did find that being in that environment made me wish that I'd been more involved when I was that age.

The games were pretty exciting. It was best of five. They got off to a slow start and had lost the first two matches. They were able to win the second two and force a tie-breaker. The scoring in all the games was close. They won the final game 15-12.. Maybe I'll be lucky and they'll ask me shoot some Playoff games too.

Click on the photo to see some more. My challenge was trying to keep the shutter speed up there, I was shooting at 1/200th or 1/250th of a second at F3.2 which put me at an ISO of 1000 or 1250. One day I'll upgrade the camera to something that has a nice clean 1600 or 3200iso to play with, but those cameras are expensive.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pictures witout context.

So I signed up for an account over at Smugmug to host my pictures. I'm still fidgeting with setting up Smugmug how I want it, and thinking about having all those pictures up there and I'm afraid that pictures will just turn into a LARGE collection of photos without any context.. so I thought maybe I could utilize this blog to add some context to the photos, and make them a little more interesting to look at, or at least to give you a backstory to the photos and all the adventures that I get to take part in.

Not sure if this will work out how I expect, but I'm going to give it a try anyway.

So here is a picture of Conor in his Halloween getup.

I was going to shoot him in the basement against the cabinet when I remembered the walls in his room are red. I think it made a nice background for the theme.