Can't say this was my idea ;-) Thanks to Candis Sabean for the inspiration.
Had some light fluffy snow last night. The sun was shining on the new snow so out this morning with the tripod and the maco lens. No crops here, full size images. Only spent a few minutes outside in my t-shirt and have since discovered my camera was set to an insane 1600 ISO - DOH!. Might try this again and put some effort into it.
It baffles me how much I dislike winter yet I continually dream and long for the arctic and antarctic. It's just strange. Every morning I moan about having to put on the jackets, the boots, the hat, gloves and go out and clean the truck off and shovel the deck. Yet I long for another trip into the north. I guess up there it just feels more natural? Ottawa is +30C in the summer and -30C in the winter. One extreme to the next.
So I find myself leafing through my exploration books, looking at pictures of the Ernest Shackleton expedition ( photos by Frank Hurley who in my opinion is one of the best photographers ever ), Roald Amundsen, and Sir Robert Scott. And that's just the Antarctic stuff, then there is all my arctic books on Greely, Amundsen, Nanson etc etc.... It's been 2 years since my last trek into the arctic so I must be having withdrawals or something ;-) How can someone who dislikes winter want to travel north so bad?
But anyhow, I'm sure a few of you are shaking your heads, but I thought maybe I'd share a few links that I check from time to time to get my "fix". These are webcams of various locations around the Antarctic. Some only update daily while others update every few minutes. Some show the south pole station while others show penguins. Regardless, enjoy, I know I do ;-)
Back several weeks ago, a friend contacted me about using some of my images for his stain glass work. "Of course" I said, "I'd love to see a few of my images on glass." Got a facebook note from him on Friday night that one of my images would be on display Saturday at "Stained Glass Stuff" and to come down and take a look. Jen and I took a run over and they didn't have 1 of my images done, they had 4 of them done up! I have pictures on my little Lumix but Jen doesn't have an SD card reader and I forgot my cable. So pictures coming on Monday or Tuesday ;-) The work they do there is amazing! Wait till you see the shots of what they did/do.
Saturday afternoon was putting up the tree and today (Sunday) will be baking ChriFSMas cookies, tree decorating and watching the snow and freezing rain fall. I'm snowed in for another night ;-) I have no plans to be running around in the freezing rain so will just stay another night and off to work tomorrow. Calling for only 5cm's of snow but then changing to freezing rain and 50km winds. I'm staying put!
For the critical eye who noticed ChisFSMas in the above paragraph, no it isn't a typo ;-) With all the controversy every year about the word Christ in Christmas vs Happy Holiday and all the other foolishness I thought I'd drop another one in there to celebrate Mythmas ;-) Most people know that I am not religious but am spiritual. But I am also respectful of everyone's opinions. Each persons belief is their belief. You want to say Merry Christmas to me - great!, you want to say Happy Hanukkah to me - great!, you want to say Happy Holidays - great! or any other greeting that means something to your beliefs at this time of year.
For those who take religion serious, skip this part, but for those of you who want a chuckle, check out Pastafarianism - also known as The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Heck FSM is even found in Wikipedia. I was introduced to this a few months ago and I check the website from time to time. It's a good poke at religion but unfortunately some folks take it way too seriously. But good for a chuckle if you need one!
Have a great weekend everyone and hope to have pictures of the stain glass up in a day or two.
Since we're on the theme of new Tattoo's, Jen asked me to post a few images of her's. She got a new one the week before I did. Her's covers up a very old tattoo from when she was much younger. There is no sign of the old one, just this lovely new one. These pictures were taken just 2 days after she got it so still in the healing process. Thus the bruising. The beads of water are actually just water ;-)
It amazes me how much the technique, colours and technology has changed over the years. Greg from the Inkspot also did this wonderful job and this was the one that sold me on letting him do my new tattoo.
Yesterday was blowing a gale, gusts up to 70km/hr. Today so far it's -6C so fair to say we're just hanging around the farm watching movies and sipping on wine this weekend.
60 new bottles of wine hit the house yesterday. I make them up at DeFalco's in Orleans. Unfortunately they are still a little to "fresh" for drinking but the Raspberry Merlot should be ready for Xmas and the Shiraz in about 3 months. Time to get a rotation going so I always have aged wine around. Jen and I both had a great time bottling, corking and then doing the labels at home.
I'm starting to sound like a stuck record - sorry I haven't been posting. It continues to be crazy in my life, and the lack of time to get out shooting. Nothing gets me posting like having new images. Gonna try for this weekend but might have to work late Friday, Jen and I are bottling wine on Saturday (yum!) and the weather is questionable. So we'll see!
But to tie you over, heard this on XM this morning and brought back some good memories ;-) Hope it does the same for you!
My thoughts are with our men and women who have served and are serving in our armed forces. I'm proud to have worn the uniform for 16 years and I still continue to support those serving.
An image I took a number of years ago that I always display with pride each year;
But as stated, summer is now officially over for me. The boats are loaded up and ready to head to the barn for storage tomorrow ;-( A sad day each year. They didn't get as many miles as I would have liked but they got a few. But not a single overnight trip this year, but I really didn't feel the urge. As everyone knows it has been a very different year, extreme lows and extreme highs. But things have really stabilized this past 3 months, mostly due to Jen, she's been a rock for me. Still rocky roads ahead with the separation saga but there is life afterwards, and a much better life. Next year I hope Larry will get down for a week in Algonquin and I hope to introduce Jen to "being on the land". May I double the miles next year ;-)
Was in Baltimore most of last week, although a bit cool, it was a decent trip. Right up till I seen the Santa Claus already in the mall - ARGH!
Made it back safe and sound on Friday night and spent a good part of the weekend working on Bermuda Images. Still a work in progress, but feel free to check it out. Still organizing images and uploading and not 100% certain I'm happy with the layout. But I like it better then my old photography site.
Back to work tomorrow for 2 days and then a 4 day weekend!
What a weird weekend. Most of my plans got dumped into the garbage. For some reason, Saturday decided to start off with rain and then switch to snow. In FRIGGING Oct!!!! It was suppose to be a light dusting of 2cm's but we ended up with over 5cm's. And did it melt on the Sunday? Nope! Still on the ground. So I didn't get many of my chores done - like take down the antennas at the ex's. Fingers crossed I get a nice weekend somewhere before the real snow flies. And this had better not be the real snow! ;-)
On a positive note, Northern Foto got it's main page update with a nice flash show. Only 7 images on the flash show for now but there will be many more over the coming weeks.
But, my other 2 domains have also been purchased. Bermuda Images and Canadian Images! Bermuda images will exclusively link to my Bermuda work and Canadian Images is just parked/redirected to Northern Images for now. The Bermuda images it the one that I hope will get things rolling. I would think that the words Bermuda and Images would be fairly common in web searches? In fact I was very surprised that both domains were available for purchase. The Canadian Images domain I'll deal with after I get Northern and Bermuda up and running fully.
So both are now launched but much work to do yet. Still have done no key wording and only have a few images posted. For now I'm not flogging the websites too heavily. Going to need some free hours to get everything up and running the way I want it.
Managed to purchase the domain name and got a very temporary homepage up and running @ Northern Foto but still have lots of work to do. I also have 2 more domain names on order and hope to have those by the end of the day. In the end I should have 3 photo "homepages" that all use the same backend for the purchasing. The 2 new domains that are coming should get picked up by the search engines on a regular basis. Then will come the keywording and getting out there trying to advertise a bit to drag people to the sites. Fingers crossed that I can make a go of this!
But haven't had much time to upload photos or put much work into things. Have been preparing all week for a trip to Baltimore next week. I have to give a presentation so been building that up and living in powerpoint hell.
This weekend I'll be back at my ex-wifes place taking down all my antennas and tower now that the leaves are off the trees. This is pretty much the last thing I have to do at the old house and I need to get it done before the ground freezes and while the leaves are down. Will probably take me most of the day and I still have to rent a truck and cart away the tower sections to a friends, who is kind enough to loan me some barn space. I still need to get the canoe and kayak cleaned up and put away for the winter as well. Not enough days left before the snow flies.
And then off to the states on Monday. So sometime in there I hope to get the webpages up and running and maybe add a few pictures.
On an interesting note, a friend of mine (and former boss - luck bugger is retired) Bob, works with stained glass. He's requested a few of my images to attempt to do them on stained glass. This should be pretty cool, really looking forward to seeing the results as his work is very nice! They promised me some pictures so will be sure to post them when available.
That's the news for now, here's a tune to end our week with. Rush in the very early days before Neil Peart and before they could play bars in Ontario due to the drinking age of 21. They are 18 years old in this video, this is the song that propelled Rush into the limelight. I think most of us can relate to this song - Working Man! Have a great weekend everyone.
Hey everyone! Received a few notes wondering if I'm still around and if everything is ok? Yes and yes!
Been a busy few weeks. Getting ready for yet another business trip and for some reason the powerpoint juices are just not flowing. I gotta get this presentation done before the end of the week. So that and an "in-house" conference have been taking up much of my daily time.
Last weekend Jen and I were out and about but no camera work. We made wine instead! I've been brewing wine at DeFalco's for years and have recently run out. This after having over 200 bottles at one point a few years ago. Decided to try out the Orleans store so Jen and I went up. A lovely store and seems much better laid out compared to the Gladstone store. But the staff at both locations are wonderful and had a good time putting on 2 batches. One Shiraz and one Raspberry Merlot. Back to bottle in 4 weeks. Jen had never made wine before and I think she enjoyed it. It's almost like a religious experience ;-) The smells in that store are just amazing!
The rest of my time has been spent working on my long dormant photo business - Scott Crouse Photography. It has made enough over the previous years to pay for the website but that has been pretty much it. I've been fairly happy with smugmug over the years but I'm finding it getting a bit stale. The site doesn't offer a few products that I'd like to see, such as an easy method to do matting and framing, and I've been finding their template restrictive and everyones websites look the same. Last year I used a company called imagekind to do some printing and framing on a few images that I gave as Christmas gifts. As they have a 30 day money back, no questions asked, policy I opened the package and I was suitably impressed. The framing, matting, printing, packing and shipping was wonderful! I started to look at them more closely. They offer a storefront (like smugmug) but it's more customizable if you know how to manipulate CSS coding. Pretty much unlimited uploading and overall pretty reasonably priced. I get to do my normal market up and also get a 15% commission on the framing.
I've spent the past few days "learning" CSS and manipulating the code. Pretty easy once you put your mind to it and understand what's going on. I've managed to create an entire new back-end for the purchasing. I have no intention of using the website as the front-end given that it's CSS and not very "flashy". The plan is to purchase 2 domains and have 1 business under 2 domains. It'll make more sense when you see the finished product. Both domains will use the same back-end ordering system. Should be pretty cool, I just need to purchase the domains and setup the webpages that will be the front page. At the same time, Scott Crouse Photography (which is one seriously boring name!) will be slowly phased out over the winter and "Northern Foto" will be created.
For those who would like to check out the backend of the website, you can see it at Northern Foto Imagekind. I will link the full webpage when it's ready. Remember, it's a work in progress, only the back-end, only a few pictures to figure out the "look and feel" and it's changing on a regular basis. Any comments, criticisms are ALWAYS welcome. Remember, I'm not a pro-programmer but I try ;-)
Thanks to Jen for putting up with my "mind wondering" moments this past week while I try to mentally get a handle on what I'm trying to build here. Still lots of work to do building the front ends, tagging, key-wording, uploading and trying to make default frames and stuff. Going to take some time. I also plan on working on the marketing much harder this time round. Want to setup a facebook store, a flickr site for promoting and some other ideas that have popped into my head by doing more and more research. I want to take my old "winter gaming time" and put it to more productive use.
That's why I haven't been blogging as much, building that webpage that's going to make me rich and famous! hahaha, not likely, but if it could buy me a new camera every few years and pay for itself I'd be a happy man.
A short walk around Long Island Locks on the Rideau this past Saturday. Many of the leaves are gone or are going but still a few trees with colours of fire around. All shots were taken with my little Lumix FH20.
BTW, check out the 2 new links from some friends (both very good photographers) on the side;
I haven't been watching the camera market for some time now as I just found it to be very depressing. All these new cameras and lenses coming out and they get more and more expensive. I'm also one of those who continually uses the line "it's not the camera that makes the image". I watched the full frame D700 come out and I drooled over it, but in the end reality reigned. Replacing all my lenses and camera body would have cost a small fortune. And would full frame really give me that much more?
On the DX format, which I currently use, the D300 was a bit of an upgrade and the S version was even more so. But not enough to grab my attention considering the price. I would love to switch to the Canon 5d Mk II, a wonderful landscape camera but again I'd be forced to replace my lenses to Canon and the body itself is not cheap.
But along comes a new DX Nikon camera. The D7000. Very similar to my older D200 but many new advanced features and a new generation of sensor. Much lower noise, more mega pixels (not a big deal), dual SD slots, HD video with auto focus, silent mode (wonderful) and saved setups (about friggin time). All for a fairly reasonable price, as DSLR's go, around $1200 USD. Early reviews are giving this camera very high marks. More expensive in Canada but I'll bring it across the border from the states.
This would/should be a worthy successor to my D200. So is the time here to put my old D200 out to pasture? Or make is a backup camera? I would like to have to cameras so I can stop switching lenses all the time....
A miserable rainy day here in Ottawa. It's after 7am, I'm in the office and it's still dark out. Still shaking some of my cold that just won't go away, skin is all yucky as the air is dry thanks to the heat being on, didn't sleep well cause I was to lazy to get up for a pee so I just laid there, think I snored most of the night so have a sore throat and just feel grumpy! ;-)
This seems to match my mood;
What a great song that brings a smile on a crappy day!
But should be a good ending to the day. Cooking a turkey for Jen after work, I see turkey, wine and a movie in our future!
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends! A long weekend ahead of us. Jen's coming out to the farm, wine is all purchased, steaks and pork chops are in the fridge, the weather is suppose to be awesome, the trees are in fire with colours, camera batteries are charged and a hiking path has been picked!
And my cold is almost completely gone! Woot!!! Have a great weekend everyone and will post pictures when I can. Maybe someone will play model this weekend?
Haven't had time to think of some good tunes to post but here's a couple that caught my attention today, an oldie and a newer one;
Don't we all wish we had hair like that? Ah the good old days!
A newer one;
Can't understand why they haven't made an impact in North America yet.
Hey everyone, just a short update. Sorry for not being around much this past week.
Was in Baltimore all last week on business where it rained, rained and then rained some more! But not a bad trip, the conference was really good and interesting. Flew back on Friday night and by Saturday I had a lovely head cold. Seems I picked something up on the plane. I keep swearing that I'm going to start wearing a mask on airplanes, just worried about looking out of place and getting kicked off - lol. But that Dulles airport is wall to wall people, god only knows who I picked the bug up from. Unfortunately I felt find on Friday when I got home so promptly gave the bug to Jen. Seems to have about a 12 hour incubation, it's a fast one. So we're both off work today snuffing and sniffing. Each suffering at our own homes.
Hope to return to work tomorrow but I'm about 50/50 at this point. Jen seems to be recovering faster, must be the Cold FX she takes.
I had recorded Stephen Hawking's "The Story of Everything" and this line sort of hit me - "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."
And my all time favourite Hawking quote - "I have noticed even people who claim everything is predestined, and that we can do nothing to change it, look before they cross the road."
I know that many of my readers are running Mac's but most of these programs are available to them as well. but I've installed and used them on Windows 7. Was a quiet morning so had some time to check out some programs that have been on my list and a few oldies that I still love.
1. GO-OO. For many years I have been using Open Office instead of Microsoft Office. Why spend hundreds of dollars for a Microsoft product when there is a free version that is smaller, faster and does exactly the same thing? But GO-OO is a version of Open Office that is even quicker then the original Open Office. Works beautifully, is fast and is free. The only snag I hit was that I needed to uninstall my old Open Office manually before installing it. Webpage and download - http://go-oo.org/
2. Firefox 4.0 Beta - I stopped using Firefox about 6 months ago and switched to SRWARE Iron, but I heard that 4.0 was an improvement. Downloaded it and it is much improved and much faster then the old version 3. Still not as good as Iron but much improved. http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all-beta.html
3. SRWARE Iron - In my opinion the best browser available. Lightening fast and easy to use. It's based upon the Google Chrome package with all the sneaky google advertising and tracking removed. Also has an Adblocker built in. Download and install - http://www.srware.net/en/software_srware_iron_news.php Then go to this webpage and copy the contents - http://www.srware.net/downloads/adblock.ini and then paste the contents into the adblock.ini file in the SRWARE directory. Will block 99% of all banner ads. You can also sync your bookmarks to your google account allowing you to access your bookmarks from anywhere in the world. Handy for those who travel.
4. Lightroom3 - For my photographer friends. A powerful suite of software for a fraction of the cost of Photoshop. If your not heavy editing with layers and stuff this program is for you. 30 day free trial from adobe - http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/
5. Pixresizer - an oldie but still the best that I have found. This little freeware program is the best for resizing your pictures for the net, e-mail or whatever. Does single files or entire directories - http://bluefive.pair.com/pixresizer.htm
Quiet weekend, hanging out with Keaton and hoping that Jen will drop by. Off to Baltimore for a quick business trip next week but will have full access to the world on my laptop. So out of town but not out of touch ;-) Hope everyone has a great weekend!
Ok, I swear that all the people who used to drive Oldsmobile's have moved to Hondas!
Just about punted 2 of them off the road this morning. Can they drive any slower? Is the Honda incapable of taking a corner with any speed? Do they really need 64 seconds to reach 80 kms/hour? And 3 km's to stop? Are brakes optional? Do you have to pay a lot of money for options like signal lights?
Or do they just get scared when they see a superior automobile like my Toyota coming up behind them?
What a rough weekend all around me this week, first separation mediation session last week which was rather stressful, my friends in Bermuda undergoing the wrath of Hurricane Igor (fortunately no major damage to their lives or property) and Jen lost a couple of very close friends through an act of stupidity. A 20 year old kid stunt driving on city streets loses control and shatters a family. Mom and Dad both dead and 3 orphaned children. All because of someone acting like an idiot. And his life is now ruined as well. Having to live with killing someone and wiping out a family. His hopes and dreams are gone as well. All because of one stupid act. Makes you think how easily you could fuck up and do something and everything be over in an instant. A sobering thought.
But we did get away from the world for a bit and took a walk on a local green space/bog called Mer Bleue.
A few pics from the rather long walk;
From the boardwalk.
and a colour version.
Not as clear as I would like but bees are hard to shoot!