Friday, January 20, 2012

I'm Back!

To the members of The Toronto Digital Photography Club, this will not be the site (blog) for the online evaluation group. Those first 10 members who sign up will get the site location. I have licked my health problems and hope to be back to most of my previous activities very soon!

Max at Withrow Dog Park, full run!

Just to get things rolling, I had our dog out chasing the ball at a dog park. My intention was to capture a subject in motion. A dog running full speed at me was a challenge. My Nikon D300 was up to the challenge! While I captured about 20 images, I liked the position of his front paws and ears in this one the best.

For me, the critial camera settings were continuos autofocus, a high shutter speed (1/500th) @ 400 ISO, and AF-C Priority set to 'Focus'. I only use 11 focus points, which can be moved around to the location I want.

I challenge you all to try subjects in motion. It's very satisfying when they come out as hoped!

Next post will deal with flying birds.

Good Shooting!

Friday, May 27, 2011

It's been a long road...

One thing we should never take for granted, but usually do, is our health.

Props to the cardiac staff at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto.

Now I am better, although I can't say I'm 100% but I am at least 90%.

New postings should be coming soon. Thanks to all for your patience!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Freeman Patterson Presentation - January 30, 2010

Last Saturday night Freeman Paterson gave one of the more moving and emotional presentations I have ever seen. It certainly hit me where I live, in the heart. On Sunday morning he also addressed the congregation who invited him to Toronto, the Neighbourhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation.

On Saturday he showed two amazing audio visual shows. The first was an abstract theme using images taken of a wine glass holding water, with the sun hitting it, creating wonderful refractions and reflections. Also in the show were coloured lights as seen through cut glass. When asked where was the best place to take pictures, he replied "wherever you are". We often wish we could travel to Africa or Australia or South America. While it is true we see now places more closely becuase they are new, we could also learn to see our own area with new eyes and new ideas.

The second show was based around some southern US cemeteries, like the one in Savannah, Georgia. But the shows were not dark, but actually quite beautiful.  

His message at the service on Sunday related to the discovery and admiration of all the beauty found in the world. I have always held that beauty is to be aspired to and that there is nothing wrong with beauty. I think beauty, as in a special sunset, a flower, or a loving smile on a child's face, touches most of us very deeply. There is a sense of joy and uplifting when we experience these special moments that we call beautiful. Why does a rainbow seem so joyful, even playful? I thank Freeman for sharing this message.

It was a great presentation, and thanks Freeman, yet again!

Look with new eyes and be the change you wish to see in the world.
Thanks for listening (reading)!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Owls of Amherst Island

I was looking forward to going to Amherst Island last weekend, a place I had never been. And I wasn't disappointed. I stayed at a wonderful B&B, the Poplar Dell, which was very near Owl Woods, a portion of the Kingston Field Naturalists property. Thanks Susie for a great memory!

I found, with the help of others, a Boreal owl, a Saw-whet and a Barred owl. There were numberous other species which you could see from a distance, such as the 2-3 snowy owls.

And of course there are always chickadees, woodpeckers, and nuthatches around the feeders.

I wish to remind everyone who visits these woods, or photographs wildlife in general, to respect the animals and their needs. There were several people there with point and shoot cameras who walked right up (within 2 feet) of the roosting owls to take flash pictures. This is stressful to the birds. Please be respectful!

I hope to return in a couple of weeks and photograph the other owls and many hawks in the area.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Amherst Island Owls

This week I am ramping up to go to Amherst Island to photograph the owls that frequent there in the winter. I am getting excited as the have been several recent sightings of note.  There have been recent sightings of Boreal, long-earred, saw-whet, snowy and male Hooded Merganser mentioned by others, as well as lots of Mallards, Black Duck, Goldeneyes, Long-tailed Ducks, and Mergansers.

I'm afraid the weather forecast for rain will force me inside to the fireside and a glass of scotch.
Damn! Life is tough!

I hope to see some people I know there, and I hope to see some interesting birds.
My target is the snowy while hunting in the fields. I should be so lucky!

Anyway, good shooting my friends! Above all, have fun!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

January 10, 2010

Today Kate and I visited a few nearby birding areas. First stop was Lynde Shores Conservation Area in Whitby. This is a great place for kids, and we are two BIG KIDS!

Kate enjoyed feeling the birds pecking out of her hand.

From there we went to the nearest coffee shop to warm up! After that we went to Cranberry Marsh when several thousand Canada Geese were settling in for a rest. It seemed odd that they we sitting in the middle of a field but a local resident told us that there were coyotes in the woods that would come after them. Sitting in the middle of the field gave the geese a wide open area so they could see any danger coming a long way off.

We met a couple of very nice photographers while in Cranberry Marsh who told us about Thickson Woods, which was nearby, so off we went. We couldn't find anything there, but while there we learned that we were near, but not actually at the the Woods. Better luck next time!

Good shooting all!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

Dear friends and fellow photographers!

This is my first entry of my blog, but certainly will not be my last. Do bear with me until the dust settles and we all get down to dealing with things of interest and I actually finish adding the content to my website.

I have been a photographic judge going on 20 years and I have seen the same issue every time I judge. My people have good 'seeing' ability yet they ignore the most fundamental aspect of photography: light. Many good subjects are chosen, but rarely does the maker take the time to get the best light for the subject.

This is not because they are in a hurry, but more often that they have an idea in their mind that isn't actaully in front of them. Let's all work on seeing light, understanding light and getting to the point of actually using light to create great images. It really is easier than you think. It also makes your images more enjoyable to capture and view later.

from left to right: Paul Hamel, Tanya Zakrison, Kate Kent, Kieran Hamel, Michelle Zakrison and Danielle Zakrison