Thursday, October 17, 2013

Life... our own amusement park.

So if there is one thing I have realized in the past year it is that Life as the saying goes, is a roller coaster. I have never given that expression much thought until I was editing these photos that I took at the Navy Pier in Chicago a few days back. This past year has been one of many ups and downs for me and in my opinion far too many downs. That said, I know we all experience periods of high energy, growth and excitement, as well as periods of darkness, fear, and skeletons in our closet. (Wish I had a picture of a haunted house to go along with that sentiment!) It has been a year of much personal growth, and I know the ride is not over yet, but is it ever?
 I guess what really matters is how we embrace this ride. Do we opt to to stay on the ground, and watch as bystanders, or do we face our fears, put on our seat belts, and get on the ride? Do we watch others silently by the sidelines, or do we raise our arms, let the wind rip through our hair (ok, so that one doesn't apply to me) and scream with joy and a sense of letting go? Do we become adults who stop having fun, or do we get in line with the children and teens and say fun never stops? Some of us grow up too fast, speed through our childhood for whatever reason and are thrust into adulthood perhaps well before we should. We forget to laugh, to let go, to see the bright colours, to take risks, and our life becomes too serious, too routine, and at times too painful.

In many ways, I have been learning to let go, and to feel, and experience things I had forgotten about or stuffed to deep inside me. To embrace the past, to own it, to experience the feelings, and then to look forward. Sometimes you need to see life or a certain situation from different angles. And you can do that at a pace as slow as a ferris wheel, a nice jaunt like a merry go round, or as fast as the swings that zip up and down through the air and the roller coaster speeding along the peaks and dips of the tracks. Follow your heart, honour your inner child, and embrace the ride, have fun!! If you don't like a particular ride...well then march right over to the next line and get on the next one. Give it a whirl! No one is judging you, and if they are it is because they are stuck in a set of rules or a fear that is limiting their ability to move forward, and to take an exhilarating ride along with you.


 This photo is one of my favourites from my whole trip to Chicago. Not just for the image alone, but because as I was capturing this shot, I had a sense of envy. There were only a few riders on the swings, and all of them were adults. Isn't that great!!?? And I was watching them not thinking, "oh grow up!" or "how ridiculous!" but rather "GOOD FOR THEM!" And here I have to make a confession. In many ways, I am still the bystander, the one on the ground watching in envy. And believe me, it's not much fun. But as I mentioned, this year has been about taking risks, and embracing new thoughts and experiences, and so I promise you that I will soon get in line with all the other kids, teens, and adults and raise my arms, scream, and let go. I can't wait. I did however manage to face a fear, and take a risk on this trip, but that my for another post.

Monday, September 30, 2013

You've Got Mail!

Before there was texts and E-cards, there was snail mail. Remember that? Am I the only one that still has a pen pal, and forces my friends to send me postcards as they travel around the world?? I probably am. Those that know me, probably are not shocked. I live in a nostalgic world. I'd have a horse and buggy if I could, and chickens in the back yard.

Not to say I don't spend a fair amount of time with technology. It's not my best friend, but I have sure embraced it in the form of my camera, my iPhone, and of course the Mac. So I guess I like the best of both worlds.

I'm working on a project I've had in mind for a while, and hopefully some day I will see it through to the end. In the meantime, I have started noticing a little collection within my collection which sparked todays entry. It's cute and quirky, and it speaks to me.

Oh! Gotta run, I think I hear the mailman!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Line and Form.

Line and Form.

Not only does Mother Nature provide us with brilliant tapestries of colour in the form of landscapes rich with ever changing hues, she is a brilliant architect. 

Often when I'm out, and surrounding myself with nature, I am drawn not only to the colours, but also the patterns and textures of such things as trees,plants,flowers, rocks,and water. Strip away the colour, and you are still left with a beautiful image and the ability to see the lines and formation of the object with much more clarity.

Now..I will never give up my love of colour and how colour translates into a mood or feeling but I will also continue to have a faithful collection of photos in black and white that speak to me on a different level.

Much like my love of capturing architecture, and architectural details from the city, I will continue to capture natures architecture.Building styles come and go. They are built and they are altered, and they are demolished. Natures architecture lives on forever not following any trends. It's perfect. It's beautiful.

Here are a few of my favourite recent, and earlier black and whites that I enjoy for their lines and forms.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Have you seen the new painting that was discovered to be a Van Gogh original? The title is "Sunset at Montmajour" and it was painted in July of 1888. Long thought to be a fake it was stored in an attic (doesn't that seem to always be the case?) and then recently was brought to light and deemed to be an original after all. He (Van Gogh) actually mentioned the painting in a letter (to his brother I believe) and made a point of describing the romantic golden tones the sun had cast on the landscape. I personally love the hues in the painting and think it is a brilliant discovery. Here it is:

                                          photo: Peter Dejong/associated press

About a week ago I decided to go back to one of my regular haunts that I tend to go to when I need a break from the sirens and concrete, and school kids screaming in the school yard. (I am happy, they are outside and not on a computer 24/7, so I do forgive the screaming that comes along with chasing each other in a game of tag.) So armed with my camera, an apple, a notebook and a pen I set off on streetcar 506 to High Park.

It was the last full week of summer, and as I strolled along the tell tale signs of the approaching fall were everywhere. Still a ways away from the scarlet reds, and fiery oranges, there was however a golden hue to everything along with muddy, mossy, olive greens. Grasses were starting to dry up, the lily pads were getting a little mottled, and the acorns were falling. I took quite a few photos, not really with a 'purpose' but since photography is peaceful and enjoyable to me, it comes as a natural part of relaxing and stopping to admire and soak in my surroundings.

I spent about 5 hours in High Park, and at one point sat on a fallen log, ate my apple and pulled out my notebook and pen and started writing down what I was observing through sight, sounds, and smells. I then compiled the observations, and found that I had written something I wanted to share.

Once back home, I started editing the photos and as I did so I found I was highlighting the soft golden and earthy green hues that had pretty much been the palette of the park on that given day. I also fine tuned the notes I had made, and decided to actually put the words on one of the images I had taken that day.

Yesterday I was commenting on Mr. Van Gogh's painting and I suddenly realized that it was the same hues in High Park that I had been drawn too as Van Gogh seemed to be appreciate to
in 1888 when he painted "Sunset at Montmajour".
Hence the reason for this post. So I would like to share with you the words I wrote, and some of the photos I took that day. I'm no poet, and I can't paint, and I'm not a world renowned photographer. But I do share a passion for nature, colour, seasons and wildlife. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Its one of those dark dreary days in early fall when all you want to do is stay in bed or curl up with a good book. Well....if you are like me it probably will also include a long afternoon nap. Despite the gloominess, I still managed to find a moment to capture with the camera. Rain drops on the window and off in the distance fog wrapped around the office towers.

Recently, as part of the previously mentioned self discovery work, I started putting my thoughts and feelings down onto paper as a way to get them out of my head. The more I wrote out my thoughts, the more certain images popped into my head that helped me create an image to the thought I was having or express the feeling I was having at that moment.

With this particular photo it was a little different. I saw the rain on the window, and wanted to capture the moment because words were coming into my head as a result of the image, and not vice versa.

Now.. I'm no poet. I also don't write, other than the journal work. And in a group of people I am the one that remains silent, and listens and learns. But for whatever reason, these words came out, and I thought they very much suited this wet September day.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I found this quote from Mr. Adams appropriate.

If you glance at the date of my last post you will see I have been silent from this blog for about a year. And what a year it has been. On one hand, it has been one of the most difficult years for me, and on the other it has been a great year in terms of self discovery, and acceptance.

I won't go into details at this point, but will just let this entry be simple and to the point. What is the point you ask? Well... the point is that after a year of silence it is time to once again dust off the camera, and get back out there and try to find the images that will help explain my new found perspective. As much as I enjoy silence, it is time to find my new voice, and rekindle my passions.

I sincerely welcome you back. I'm glad you are here.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ottawa Visit

Hugh and I just came back from a trip to Ottawa, our Nations Capitol. Neither of us had been there as adults other then for me a quick excursion to the Ikea store and market while I was living in Kingston. The vacation was a bit of a last minute plan, and included a quick stop in Kingston, and many, many hours of back road driving through Ontario's countryside, small towns and villages.

My goal was to not only relax and enjoy the vacation, but to also take my camera and add to my collection of black and white architectural details series. For those that don't know, I sell this series in the shop I work at in Summerhill (Toronto). In the back corner is my little collection wall of framed and unframed black and white shots. They do very well for me, and so I wanted to broaden my collection.

I was not disappointed in the amount of details to capture, and came home with over 500 photos to edit. The majority of the series came from the Parliament Buildings and surrounding area. The predominant style of architecture (excluding modern architecture) is High Victorian Gothic Revival. Arches, points, ironwork, grotesques, gargoyles,and rough stone make up the majority of the buildings around Parliament Hill. There are also some stunning Art Deco buildings, and other Victorian styles to be found. Not to mention, there are references to the Queen and Crown everywhere.

Ottawa is a very walkable city, picturesque, and clean. I am sure it would look equally stunning during the annual tulip fest, autumn, and even during the winter under a blanket of snow. Here is a collection of shots taken while there....... enjoy.

p.s. The sun was very intense during the two days, so some of the shots were blown out or overexposed, but better to take the shot then not. :)