Welcome to Smashography, the trendier-sounding thread replacing Photo of the Day! I don't have time to update every day so this title seemed so much more appropriate and had a lot more zing to it. (Thanks to Tali'Zorah for the title suggestion.)
I'm going to try to get my photos more "out there", wherever "there" is and possibly get a wider audience of people reading. Don't get me wrong, you guys are great, but more people can't hurt too much. As a result, I have a Tumblr account that really doesn't look too great but at least it exists. Feel free to follow me on there and tell your friends if you want to see some weirdo post pictures he thinks looks good. Any advice on how to make my Tumblr page better will be appreciated.
Since this is technically a completely new thing, I will be reposting older photos I already showed you in the previous thread, probably to fill long gaps while I take new pictures. But worry not because I will be saying new things about them if what was said before was extremely short. So it will promise to entertain. Or at the very least, mildly amuse.
Day 2 -
Day 1 - 10
Day 1 - Downtime - Dec. 7, 2012
Long overdue, but here is the first picture of this new set. I took it this past August at Beaver Creek, a creek known for its beavers. Unlike a number of my pictures, I meant to take this one. It was taken just as I was leaving, on the road out of the parking lot. I noticed the tree with the setting sun behind it, stopped the car and get out to take this picture.
To me, this photo perfectly characterizes the prairie. A lone tree surrounded by a sea of grass with nothing but the sky above it. Some think of the prairie as a dull place to shoot, but it's actually quite the opposite. The similarities of the prairie help to emphasize certain objects and gives a feeling of solitude and determination.
I've talked before about the value of lighting and here is comes into play quite well. The setting sun helps emphasize the tree's outline while illuminating the grass with a soft golden hue.
Day 2 - Emerald Umbrage - Jan. 25, 2013
It’s funny, whenever I start getting something ready, I always have an excuse to prolong it so nothing ever materializes. And that’s exactly what happened with this blog. It’s back (or finally getting started)! Ironically, it’s now after midnight and I only started the project I was procrastinating on (this) because I’m procrastinating on sleep.
Every once in a while in the middle of winter I need to look at pictures of what the city looks like the rest of the year to avoid the frozen hell outside. (At present, -30 and blowing snow.) Anyway, this picture is of a plant in the backyard that has the incredible ability to isolate water drops. A few years back in early summer when I first got my fancy camera I went out immediately following a rain shower to find this curiosity. (Or as some might call it, a plant.)
My favorite part of this picture is the line of dots that goes down from the middle of the leaf towards the outside. It seems almost staged. I really like the green as well. Maybe it’s me missing seeing green plants but the green in this shot has a lot of depth to it: many shades and it isn’t washed out at all (my favorite feature of rain, it brings out the best colours). Also notable is the dissonance between the round water droplets and the harsh edges and veins of the leaf. It’s all about the composition(italicized for pretentious term) of the photograph. The shot isn’t just flat, it’s layered in many ways. The same leaf wraps around on itself, giving another level, while in the foreground and background more leaves intrude on the scene.
Posted this on Tumblr two days ago but didn't have time or ambition to post it here until now. Laziness is great.
Part 1, Day:
Day 1 - Cake
I think this is from someone's birthday. I like taking abstract shots and oh god I want cake so bad now. It looks so delicious and moist.
Day 2 - Portrait
I already posted this somewhere on the site but I would like to put it on here again so it can get more attention. This is the family cat, Watchy. Silly name but he was born in our shed when I was in Grade 5 or so so we didn't know better. Anyway I like this picture because the lighting is perfect and you can see the detail in his fur. He looks so peaceful and cute.
Day 3 - Sand Hills
This is a picture of the Great Sand Hills in Southern Saskatchewan. Well not quite. It's actually a close up shot of a ridge of sand that I stepped beside to make it crumble. This was taken last summer during the camping trip my friends and I took, on our way back to town.
Day 4 - Sunrise
They don't call Saskatchewan the Land of the Living Skies for nothing. I love the colours here, especially how the sky is framed by the landscape at the bottom. This was taken with a zoom lens out of the backyard of my house. (That is not my house in the picture.)
Day 5 - Water
This one isn't necessarily the kind of picture your would put on your wall, but it's an example of perfect timing. It's almost an optical illusion of sorts. For instance, how does the water stop right there while still continuing underneath without the aid of glass? This picture is actually a perfectly timed picture of a wave. It's just reaching its crest so it hasn't yet started to bend downward. I particularly like the rays of sun that strike the upper layer of the water only to disappear in the lower layer. I didn't mean to take the picture at this exact time, it was just a lucky shot.
Day 6 - Askew
This is the messy instrument storage area at my old high school. To take this shot I climbed into one of the upper storage shelves. This shot is all about angles. The angle the camera is tilted at, the right angled shelves and the instrument strewn across the scene breaking the angles. This picture is lightly edited to remove the yellow of the lights and to focus on the red of the certain instrument cases for effect. Also the blue of the door frames.
Day 7 - Reflection
You won't see me taking many pictures of people but this is one of the few that I have taken. I generally prefer working with nature or common objects so people are generally of low interest. This picture is of my younger brother who is looking out the window on the VIA Rail train from Edmonton to Kamloops. It was taken in the summer of 2009 or 2010, I forget which. As I recall he was not happy that I took this candid shot but too bad. This picture is titled reflections for a variety of reasons. The first because it is obviously of a reflection, and second, because my brother looks like he is reflecting on something poignant.
I like this picture because of the clarity of the reflection which is generally pretty tough to get. The colours are relatively close to each other which helps maintain a somber mood. I think it makes a good point that his face is more covered in the part of the picture that is not reflected.
Day 8 - Rose
A rose in the garden after a summer shower.
Day 9 - Burning Bush
I needed an interesting picture for photography class a few years back so I decided to burn a tree. Burned it the backyard, it was a small cedar tree that died over the winter and was completely dry. It completely burned in about a minute. The heat was pretty intense and it caused a lot of smoke. The flames went pretty high. I'm sort of surprised that the fire department didn't show up.
Of course I had safety precautions, I burned it in a sandy area, not on the grass and I had a hose standing by. SAFE.
I like the intense patterns the flames make in this shot. It really wasn't as dark out as this picture makes it seem, it was early evening. The only reason it was so dark was because of the camera light balance; the flames were so bright that it made the rest of the shot dark. I think it looks much better this way. I also have some follow up shots that I'll be posting eventually.
Day 10 - Ski
This picture was taken at Blue Mountain this February Break. It's more of a river valley because there aren't any mountains in Saskatchewan. I went cross country skiing with my friend's family and I took this picture when I went off by myself at sunset. This was at the very top of the hill. I took my skis off because I wanted a break then I realized how good of a picture it made.
Day 11 - What.
Just an ostrich at the Calgary zoo. This is some real neat rule of thirds.
Day 12 - Roof of the World
This picture was taken 2 summers ago in British Columbia. Taken from a position near the top of a mountain.
Day 13 - Isolation
This picture is all symbolism. It's up to you to come up with your own interpretation.
Day 14 - A Moment of Pause
"April is the cruelest month, breeding lilacs out of the dead land, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain." -American sports legend, Charles Barkley
This was taken during a hike last summer at Cypress Hills. My friends and I stopped here for a few minutes to enjoy the greenery.
Day 15 - Onions and Giants
This is a weird one, I admit. This is an experiment of perspective and it makes the picture look alien.
Day 16 - Heavy Metal
Another macro shot. This is a close up of a school euphonium. The different metallic colours arranged in different scratch marks are what make this an interesting picture.
Day 17 - Here There Be Giants
More fun with perspective. It's quite convincing.
Day 18 - Embers and Ashes
This is the cedar tree that I burned shortly after the flames burned out. I am such a pyromaniac.
Day 19 - A Quiet Rain
A light drizzles accompanies this picture, taken in Vancouver, British Colombia. This drab weather is normal year-round and I love it. The smell of the ocean, the rain softly hitting the ground and the sky a blanket of clouds. Beautiful.
Day 20 - Underneath It All
The sky is amazing. Look up every day to see something you might be missing, I think Animal Crossing teaches us this idea well. The sky is incredibly interesting because it is never the same thing twice. They may look similar but each instance is unique and you can get some very interesting point of view shots with the sky, such as this one. The metal thing in question is an outdoor clothing hanger that we use to dry our clothes in the summer. This picture works well because of the strong parallel lines slicing the sky.
Day 21 - Even In Death
Disclaimer: I did not arrange this shot in any way. The apple tree flower petal landed this way in the wind and was like this when I found it. The pink of the petal contrasts nicely with the greens of the leaf and the shadows of the branches accentuate the picture. The leaf leaps from the background and into the foreground as is becomes the stage for the petal to land. I had to do some climbing to take this shot but it was well worth it.
Day 22 - Leap of Faith
The Great Sand Hills really are amazing. They are these huge sand dunes that slowly move across the southern prairie landscape. My friends and I stopped here on our way back from our camping trip last summer. We had been stuck in the vehicle for a while so we ran along the dunes, tossing a frisbee and even dune jumping. Dune jumping is basically just jumping as far as you can off the top of the sand dune. It was a blast! In this picture, one of my friends is in the middle of a jump and is wearing a green cowboy hat for some reason.
I decided to make this picture black and white because colour didn't add all that much. I find that the black and white makes the viewer more focused on the jumper and adds to her contrast with the light background sky. I left her hat subtly green because I felt that added to the pull of the eyes to the jumper and because it adds a little bit of interest. It's not too emphasized because otherwise that would be too overwhelming, subtlety is the key.
Day 23 - While the City Sleeps
Sunrise in Edmonton, Alberta. The early morning fog is set over the city like a cloud while the sun's rays send a rainbow of light across the sky.
Day 24 - It Takes Two
This picture was actually two pictures that I merged together in photoshop. Can you see where the seam is? I know that I had a bit of trouble finding it but it seems sort of obvious now. Other than the upper part, it barely looks like it was ever two separate pictures. This picture is of a friend of mine and his girlfried (at the time). I definitely prefer his girlfriend's half of the picture, the lighting is much better, and the pose is much better. To be fair, these pictures were taken mostly inconspicuously.
Anyway, what makes me proud of this picture is that these two shots weren't taken near the same place at all! I wasn't even trying to make a merged shot, it just occurred to me that they looked pretty similar and this was the natural result. Naturally the sky is predominant, it's hard for it not to be when that's the most interesting thing in Saskatchewan. Over half of my pictures feature the sky in some way.
Day 25 - Precursor
This is one of my older pictures, taken in 2005. Hard to believe I was 13 when I took this! You can tell it's old because pixels are showing and the lines are blurry. This is an elm tree in front of my house, I decided to take a picture of it because the leaves rarely have time to turn yellow in the fall before snow blows in. I will try to take this picture again with an newer camera if I get the opportunity. I think this shot is also the origin of my style of looking toward the sky from underneath an object.
Day 26 - Reclamation
Sometimes it's the little things in life that matter most. In this case, the little things are lichen growing on a wooden platform. Eventually, there will be nothing left of this wood because it will be broken down and turned into soil, erasing evidence that it was ever there. What we see here is only the very beginning of that process, which can take hundreds to thousands of years. The lichen colours contrast with the wood to make the picture brighter than it would have been. They also add some depth to the picture, the lichens look like mini mountains.
Day 27 - Symmetry of Perfection
This is probably my favorite picture of the lot. I took it a couple years ago at my cousin's wedding which was on a beach. It works really well. The silk comes in the frame at an angle and has a different texture than the rest of nature around it. The background has 3 different horizons, the beach, which reaches from the foreground into the background, the water and finally the trees.
Day 28 - Cold Snap
What you see here is the result of freezing rain on March 6, 2012. It rained really hard overnight and whatever the rain hit froze instantly, leading to everything being covered in a layer of ice. Each shiny strand in this picture is an individual blade of grass, frozen in position. Most are flattened by the weight of the ice, while stronger twigs stick out. This was taken down by the river, I was at university and I had some time between classes so I ran to take some pictures of this phenomenon before it melted, which it did that day. Someone walking by saw me taking pictures and then she decided to as well. It was pretty funny.
Day 29 - Forever in a Day
Ah the mountains. The timeless, majestic giants that outlast every living creature. Who among us can resist the allure of the mountains? They are amazing formations of rock, forced upwards by two gigantic plates of rock colliding.
This is another picture I like. It's like something off of a postcard. Once again there are 3 tiers to the picture, one being the turquoise lake, the next the forests and mountains and the top, the sky. This picture just seems to work. You can tell the old forest from the newer part that was probably crushed by a landslide or glacier years ago. This picture was taken two years ago on the Senior Hiking Trip of my high school. This was somewhere by Lake Louise, but not quite, considering this was after a 2 or so hour hike. Man I want to live there so badly.
Day 30 - Crepes of Wrath
I was asked to take pictures of people making crepes for a food fair for the school yearbook a few years back. This picture is the best of those. The focus is on the crepes that were already made, but the interest lies in the background, where you can see the steps that had to be taken to make them: The dirty bowls, the stove, and the flipping required.
Sub-note: I am not allowed near food pun titles again.
Day 31 - Favour the Bold
Smoke fills the cloudy sky in British Columbia. In 2007 there were several intense forest fires relatively close to some towns so these fire-fighting planes were called into action to dump water on the blazes. This plane was coming in for a landing so I managed to take a few shots of it, but this was the best one because of the cloud formations.
Day 32 - Shards and Shadows
Four days ago I mentioned the sleet that fell and covered everything in a sheet of ice. This is the aftermath once it started to warm up that day. My street has a lot of large elm trees on it and when the ice began to melt it fell off the trees in large chunks that covered the ground. It gives a glass-like appearance to the street and the angle of the sun adds interest to the picture in the form of shadows that crisscross the myriad angles of the ice.
Day 33 - Wild Blue Yonder
Another old picture of mine, this one is of my brother riding a small motorbike. The horizon is the tricky part of this picture, just because the camera was essentially just lying on the ground, slightly angling up when I took it. That adds the interesting perspective of not being able to see the background behind the bike, just the clear blue sky. The angle makes the picture look skewed, with the large foreground and the bike being almost as tall as the outhouse.
Day 34 - Explorers
Hiking is a great activity. Going out and finding new places and trails that wind through nature is a lot of fun. Last summer my friends and I did a lot of hiking when we went camping. This particular trail wound around from grassland to forest and again to grassland. June was the perfect time to go because all the flowers were in bloom and everything was still green from the spring melts. I'm not sure what my friend is doing in this picture, maybe pointing to where everyone else is or maybe testing wind direction.
I think this picture is good because it has a variety of things that draw your attention. First of all is my friend who is pointing or something, next is the perspective of the shot, then the focus on the flowers and grass, then the cloudy sky, then the rest of my friends hiking off out of the picture. You may also be able to see the trail that we took, though it was faint because it was early in hiking season and a dirt path hadn't been carved yet.
Day 35 - Cerulean Skies
I took this picture of a bus stop while waiting for the bus I catch to get to university. I find this picture interesting because of the angles and curves of the signs and the streetlight. Set it against a background of light clouds and you got yourself a decent picture.
Day 36 - The Thaw
This may look like ice, and that's because it is ice. But what you may not know is that this ice has not see the light of day in thousands of years! This is a picture of the underside of a glacier that likely appeared over 18,000 years ago. Water was flowing beneath it; carving out a small area that I stuck the camera into and took this picture. The dark spots on the top of the picture are bits of soil and rock that were carried in the middle of the glacier while it was moving. I think this picture is neat because even though the side ice is solid, you can still see some depth in it because of the the crystal structure of ice.
Day 37 - Worlds Apart
It's difficult to pin down why I like this picture. The composition isn't all that great, the lighting is atrocious and the background is ugly. But it works. It's a picture of one of my friends holding up a picture of a building. If I had planned this one out it would have been different, but this was a spur of the moment shot. I was cleaning the Light and Sound booth (in the background) when I came across a random piece of paper with a picture on it. My friend held it up and I took a picture for some strange reason.
Maybe this picture is more symbolic than just about photography techniques. Maybe about wanting to be somewhere else when you're stuck somewhere. Maybe a picture is just a picture. I don't know why I like this one.
Day 38 - Queue
There's a lot of pelicans around town, but it's fairly unusual to see them in sloughs where there probably aren't many fish. This picture was taken on a grassland reserve a fair distance from town. It's neat seeing them all swimming in a row, they don't normally do that either.
Day 39 - Things Past
The rich blue hues of mountain lakes add to the pleasant scenery of the Rocky Mountains. In this instance, they draw attention to an enormous piece of a mountain that fell into the water years ago. It really is large, this picture is taken from a distance up above using a zoom lens.
Day 40 - Mind's Eye
Before reading any further, look closer at the picture and guess what it might be.
If you guessed spotlight, you are correct!
Yes, I used my light and sound privileges to take pictures of some light equipment and see what turned up. And this is by far the most interesting picture. For some reason, I covered the front of the spotlight with a piece of regular white paper, and then took a picture directly at it. I changed some settings on the spotlight so the bottom was cut slightly out and presto! This is what came out of it.
Unfortunately, this is not the original picture. This is a picture of the picture because I can't find the original file so the picture quality isn't what it should be. Good enough I suppose. It's really cool how it looks like a mechanical eye.
Day 41 - Unique New York
New York is the tourist capital of the USA as evidenced by the many souvenir shops located along major roads. This picture was taken in one such a shop, during my Grade 11 band trip. This was an impromptu picture: I sneakily took it without looking, with the camera hanging around my neck. I like it because it focuses on the right hand side magnet stand with the rest slightly out of focus, but you can still see someone looking at other store merchandise. It's also neat because of the perspective because the camera was at chest level so it offers a unique perspective on the shop.
Day 42 - Shadowplay
I really do like BC too much; this is another picture taken there. This time it's in the middle of a forest. In my other pictures, light is important, but in this one, dark and shadows are important. It's difficult to see any specific element in the picture because the darkness obscures it and casts odd shadows around. It gives it an eerie, almost alien quality.
Day 43 - Growing Up
A pleasant June hike in Cypress Hills, once again from my camping trip. I made this picture in sepia tone because the photo feels like it requires nostalgia. The memory of two friends talking while they hike through the forest invites the dull, red tones of old pictures, almost as though it is being shown in a scrapbook years in the future.
The picture may be centered on the forest, but the focus of the picture is actually the two friends hiking along the trail, talking up a storm. This picture also helps convey how small people really are in comparison to nature, with the trees looming in the background and the swampy lowlands in the foreground.
Day 44 - The Sleepless Cold
We had a blizzard here on March 6th. The wind was blasting snow all over the place and you could barely see a few feet in front of you. This is a picture from that day. This is a skylight in a building at the university. I took the picture because the irregularity of the snow on the glass mixed well with the solid architectural design of the skylight.
Day 45 - Living Skies
I have previously posted this picture in the picture thread but I think it belongs here as well. This is from February break when I went cross country skiing with my friends' family. This picture was taken shortly after Day 10 - Ski, yet I feel it's different enough to warrant its own post. That is me standing in the picture; I set my camera on a rock and set the timer. I figured holding my skis and poles would make for a better picture so I did that, I basically grabbed my stuff and ran to spot I thought would be in line with the camera. The sky cooperated with me, leaving some blue as well as the yellows reflecting off the clouds. It certainly was a memorable night.
Day 46 - Unending
This is yet another picture from my camping trip at Cypress Hills last summer. This was taken from Bald Butte (don't laugh) and overlooks the prairie below. It's much higher than the surrounding prairie because it was formed at the same time and the same way the Rocky Mountains were. This is just a lot smaller than a mountain but it still stands out on the flatness of the prairie. I'm not sure how far you can see from here, probably about 26 km. Once again, this picture has 3 layers, something I always seem to do when I'm not pointing my camera right at the sky.
Day 47 - Divergence
This is an old path by the river that leads to an even older ski lift. (It doesn't work anymore.) The perspective is kind of neat, it looks down at the ground then lifts up to a shorter path. I like the level of detail that the camera captured of the ground, both close and far away, the texture is nice. The grass seems really tall but in reality it is only about waist height. I guess that could be tall for some people.
Day 48 - Glimmer in the North
This is a small inuksuk that is overlooking an ice bay by the Columbia Glacier. I thought it would be nice to have the inuksuk off to one side, revealing the bay and its ice floes. I didn't build this one, another visitor to the park must have, they were all over the place. You can see part of a glacier in the back that is on the mountain but slopes down into the water and is the source of the ice floes. This picture was taken pretty high up, I thought it was closer to the ice bay but I guess it isn't, you can see the beach on the bottom left, there are some small shrubs there.
Day 49 - Powers That Be
A thunderstorm rolls in while the sun barely penetrates the clouds. This causes the tree to have stark shadows in comparison to the the lighter sky behind it. This was taken in my back yard and I think it works quite nicely. The center of the tree is thicker, while the outreaching branches have light shining through them to create a halo effect.
Day 50 - Snow Pollen
Delicate crystals of frost barely dangle to the leaves of a pine tree. It's pretty amazing to think that snow is made up of tiny crystals like this, especially when there is so much of it. While shots of frost that are further away are common, I prefer the close up pictures of frost because they show the intricacies and details that are otherwise rarely noticed. I like the colours in this picture, the dull greens and oranges contrast well with the typical blue-white of winter. It's also pretty cool (ignore that pun) how there are other noticeable branches in the background, which add extra dimension and lines to the picture.
Day 51 - East of the Sea
This is a close up of freshly raked sand on a beach. The many strong parallel lines in the picture draw the eye, particularly around the gentle curve. Lines are even visible at a distance, by the water's edge. Having the water in the background is good because it helps give context to the sand and provides the brain with a visual rest from the yellow-orange of the sand. There's some small footprints in the sand that were probably made by some gulls like the one seen in the background here.
Day 52 - Ripple Effect
More of this famous blue BC water! Except this time it isn't quite as light blue as it was in "Things Past". It's actually a good thing the water isn't as light blue, or else we would not be able to see the reflection of the rock face as well as we can here. My favorite thing about this picture is the texture of the water. The ripples are really evident and skew the cliff reflection just slightly, so that you can still see what it is. Closer to the rock cliff, you can see some waves, which allow a transitional zone from ripples to the lines of the cliff.
Day 53 - Phantom Echoes
The icy walls of a glacial cave are actually quite smooth because of all the melting water smoothing the rough edges of the ice. This picture offers a slightly different idea on caves. Instead of being a typical cave, it is made of ice. Instead of being a shot looking in, it is showing a view looking out. This picture captures a moment that we rarely see: the beginning of an expedition. The group of people outside the cave's mouth look like they are about to begin exploring, while the woman glances upward as though fearing the glacier itself may collapse any second. The cave's mouth is barred by large sized sediment that has fallen from the mountain over the years and deposited there. Water runoff is captured mid-flow as it begins its lengthy journey to the ocean.
I like this picture because of the framing of the picture (caused by the cave's mouth) and especially how the surrounding frame has an interesting texture. Naturally, there is a sky and forest in the background, giving a sense of scale.The group of people outside is more of a bonus, I never intended for them to be in the shot. For the record, the cave isn't too deep, it goes back a few more meters but the rest is all caught up in debris.
Day 54 - The Expanse
This is what the top of a small mountain looks like. Of course, we didn't climb it, we took the lift to the top. This picture was taken several hundred meters away from the lift (the building in the picture) but it doesn't seem that far away. For some reason, this perspective makes things seem closer than they actually are. Where this picture was taken is uphill from the lift so it probably has something to do with it. See those orange dots down the path? Those are people.
This picture is neat because of where it was taken. The sides of the mountain come together at a point where the lift is. The sun on the nearby ground contrasts the darkened mountains and valleys in the background. There are some other mountains hit by the light so they provide some background contrast as well. The sky is also an interesting colour because this picture was taken in the evening, just as the sun was setting, which offers a nice, warm glow.
Day 55 - Softly
This was taken at my cousin's wedding because I loved the way the yellow lights played off the fabric covering them. That's a window on the left hand side, the solidity of the wood helps show the delicateness of the fabric.
Day 56 - Lonelands
This picture was taken 7 years ago so the quality isn't as good as it would be if it were taken this year. Despite this, the picture turned out all right. This was taken on a farm by the South Saskatchewan river. I'm not sure what that old machine is in the middle of the grass there, but it's definitely been there for a while and is probably still there. This was taken during one of the dry autumns, which is pretty obvious because the grass both in the foreground and background is brown and dry. I like this picture because it reinforces the fact that if we suddenly disappear, nature will take over without skipping a beat.
Day 57 - Scorched Earth
This is the final of three pictures that involves that burning cedar. This one was taken a few days later when I noticed a spider was investigating it for some reason. The spider's colour really stands out among the blacks and greys of the picture. You can see some of the other branches in the background, black against the lighter ground. The shadow under the spider gives it some depth and helps make it pop out.
Bonus Day - Timeless
I can't resist adding another picture before summer hiatus (despite it already being a month into the hiatus). I guess this is a picture of where I'd rather be right now instead of stuck at home and working. This is not shocking, but another picture from BC. It's amazing, be quiet. This is another many-tiered picture following the flow of a waterfall down a cliff face. Or down many cliff faces. Whichever you prefer. Ah the mountains, as beautiful as they are tall. That's all for now, see you in a month or two! Who knows, I may add another bonus picture next month to help tide you over until September 3rd.
Part 2, Day:
Day 1 - Eternity's Lament
This picture was taken on my mother's farm on the photography trip I went on in early August. In the middle of the field there is this abandoned farmhouse that I figured would make a good subject for some pictures. You'll see more of them later. But this particular picture was taken from a distance and is pretty much head-on.
There are a lot of reasons why I like this shot. Firstly, the canola in the foreground is a nice texture and colour that balances out the smooth blueness of the sky. There is a lot of sky in this picture, and that is intentional. The sky is more interesting because of the clouds. There is the lower, horizontal layer, then the diagonal streak. It gives the sky a sense of dimensions and height. Another thing about this picture that I like is the sun. Normally you try and avoid taking pictures at noon to avoid washed-out colours, but in this photo where colours are not very important, it works great, especially on the farmhouse. Thanks to the crooked back on the farmhouse, you see the sun hit it on the one side, illuminating it, then shadow on the other, giving more of a reality. The point of the farmhouse roof seems to emphasize the sky, pointing towards it in an almost perfect triangle. Lastly, the front of the house is not so dark that it obscures the boards, but not too light that it ruins the shadow effect.
The reason I chose the title "Eternity's Lament" is because this picture is of a building that was once used by many families, all trying to leave their own mark on the world. Now, years later, the building still stands, but as a shadow of its former self, abandoned to fold in on itself and become one with the soil on which it stands.
Day 2 - To Dust
Ah, the beach! A lot of people like the beach, and I don't blame them. The crashing of the waves is soothing and the feeling of sand on the bottom of the feet is fantastic. However, few look down and pay attention to what they are actually stepping on: Trillions of pieces of broken rock. That's where this picture comes in. It features rocks of all shapes and sizes sitting on top of what they will eventually become.
To take this photo, I held my camera a few inches above the sand while lying down. It offers nice perspective and lighting, showing the slight orangeness of the setting sun while preserving the shadows to give it depth. The little details I like the most about this picture is the little trails behind each rock that show where the waves are coming from.
Day 3 - Of New and Old
Okay I'll admit this one is sort of weird. First, what's with that screwdriver thingy? And that brown post behind it? And... is that a computer? In no particular order, the answers are: Yes. It's a dandelion remover. It's for holding up the deck. Now that all your possible questions have been answered, I'll get to describe this.
We have a bunch of junk under our deck, so naturally I decided to take pictures of it. This one had the best composition by far. I think it's poignant how the hand implement is in focus while the relatively advanced computer is lying in the dirt in the background, out of focus behind a plant. The detail on the handle of the dandelion remover is remarkable, I'm surprised at how well that turned out.
The colours work well together, the green in the foreground and the rich brown that follows the left side of the picture contrast nicely with the grey and white of the computer and the area around it.
Day 4 - Rediscover
This is an upside-down butterfly. I don't know about you, but I don't think I've ever seen an upside-down butterfly before. I took several shots of this butterfly but I like this one the best because it's unusual. Even at this angle, you can still see the butterfly's markings, though in a skewed fashion.
The right side of the photograph remains busy with the flowers and the leaves while the other with the sky. The butterfly straddles both worlds, both ground and sky in reality, and so it does in this picture.
Day 5 - Final Salute
Suddenly, coloursplosion! Okay not really but you know how much I love my sunsets. Hopefully you like them too because I think I have about 7 more pictures of them.
This picture was taken at Cranberry Flats, where, I'm sad to report, there are no cranberries. But I think this shot more than makes up for that. Here, we have a friend of mine about to step on the sun. Fear not, we convinced him to cease his tomfoolery the instant after this was taken. And by convinced, I mean we tackled him to the ground because he cannot be trusted with life as we know it.
I'm going to give this picture a rating of excellent. Not because I'm biased (and I am), but because it is excellent. The composition is almost perfect. The ground is rendered extremely dark, allowing the colours in the background to pop out, and do they ever! The silhouette of my friend is perfectly superimposed on top of the sky while managing to fade into the ground to add a bit of mystery because why not. He's also pushed over to the right side of the picture and that allows the left side to be a bit more open and showcase some more of the sky.
Now: the sky. It's spectacular. The orange doesn't so much transition into the blue so much as it mixes with the blue. The bright orange sort of stops at the lower clouds and the rest of the sky is blue, but some clouds further up have orange highlights that continue the colour. The cloud texture is also very neat. They aren't the fluffy clouds one normally sees, but flatter and more textured in intricate designs.
So, how was this picture taken? First, by endangering my friend's life by having him climb up on top of a tall wooden post. I stood several feet back and focused on the sunset. That's how I managed to get the clouds in focus. I was counting on the fact that since my friend was just going to be a silhouette in the adjusted light (thanks to the light sensor on the camera) that he would not need to be in as sharp as focus. As a result he is slightly fuzzy but it isn't that noticeable and in fact adds to the picture itself.
The title "Final Salute" refers to sunset as being the last gift the sun gives us as the world continues to turn and light dims.
Day 6 - Great Divide
This is the result of going as close as possible to the edge of a cliff then pointing your camera almost straight down. I recommend not to do this it home, even though I doubt most of you have a large cliff on your property.
I like pictures that are divided into sections. Apparently thirds are popular with me. I just like how the cliff stops, then there is an area of nothing at the bottom, then further along the trees start up. It's also neat to see the places where there aren't any trees further up in the pictures.
Day 7 - Exile
Two pieces of broken glass sit atop a windowsill in a long-abandoned house. This house is a heritage site in northern Saskatchewan. I believe it belonged to some Mennonite farmers when they first settled up North, but was shortly abandoned after the crops failed. Long story short, the house still stands and sometimes people can go inside.
I simply had to take a picture of the glass because of how different it looked from the rest of the house. Back then, everything was boxy, there was no luxury involved. That's why this glass stands out. It has curves and a brightness that the rest of the glass in the house didn't have.
The leading lines in this picture are very strong. You can see the edge of the window on the right and the wood grain of the windowsill that follows the sight line. It continues after the curvy glass and even through it, giving it a strong sense of uniformity.
Day 8 - Thor's Hammer
July was a hot and humid month. That meant a lot of thunderstorms and a few chances to take picture of lightning. Sadly, I failed to take pictures of lightning because I do not own a tripod and had to use the roof of my car instead. But regardless, this is still an interesting picture.
Hm, actually that might be some lightning on the far left of the photo. I amend my statement to any GOOD pictures of lightning. The sky in this picture is just so... cool. With all the lightning that was going on in the clouds and out of frame, it gave the clouds texture and showed the layers. The ground is sort of screwed up because I was holding my camera on the roof of my car, trying to stabilize it. Nonetheless, on the left side of the picture, the ground is copied and rotated a bit from the ground in the background thanks to the long exposure time.
Like I said, this isn't necessarily a good picture, but it is really cool. Since I've taken this picture, I have been reading up on how to take good pictures of lightning (and working on getting a tripod) so I will hopefully have more success next summer!
Day 9 - Expiration Date
So there's this old church in a small town. There really isn't a lot to say about it because it's been left derelict and it's been that way for over 20 years. It's actually unsafe to go inside of it because the floors are rotting which is too bad because it looks really neat from the outside and I would love to explore it.
But I figured it was about time that I captured the entire church in one shot, especially as it probably doesn't have too many years left. There isn't much to say about it, other than that if you stare at it, you could almost imagine how wonderful it looked in its prime. My personal favorite details are the crosses on the three spires, they look very interesting.
Day 10 - Mariposa
A nice quiet evening in my backyard often results in a bunch of pictures being taken. Evening is a perfect time to take pictures because the light isn't too intense and you can capture the last golden rays of sun before it sets. Morning is also a good time to take pictures, but who really wants to get up early in the morning? No one, that's who.
This picture is of a butterfly ornament that is hanging from a tree in my yard. I tried numerous exposures and focal positions, but this one turned out to be the best by far, especially after cropping out the rest of the picture. What makes this picture great is the framing. I cut out most of the excess vertical parts of the photo, but left the horizontal, which definitely looks a lot better than the original. This way, the butterfly is more so a focal point and less lost in the background. But at the same time, you get a sense of where this picture is set.
The butterfly's pink colour helps it stand out from both the dark and light areas of the background and the design is not so distracting that it detracts from the rest of the picture. It is a perfect balance.
Day 11 - Projections
I believe more sunset is in order. This is more dusk than sunset, but close enough. Clouds are pretty cool. They seem simple, but actually have a huge complexity to them. All the water molecules reflect light in the most interesting ways and that gives off some extraordinary colour and reveal the true inner workings of the cloud.
And that's what's happening here. The deep orange of the setting sun reflects off parts of the cloud, but not all of it. That leads to a mixture of blue and orange, which are two colours that work very well together. And then lower on in the picture there is less orange, but it's still there.
Day 12 - We Walk
Apologies for the delay, photobucket wasn't working when I tried to do this earlier and then I had a field trip. This is actually a picture I took just 3 hours ago. I just uploaded it from my camera. This is why I carry a camera pretty much everywhere I go. You never know when a good shot will pop up.
Woooo, perspective! I love doing perspective on trails and such. This time it worked out really well. I was behind the group because I was taking pictures (that didn't turn out all that great (sadface)) and I was about to catch up. Then I figured I'd try this because why not. The sun was starting to go down so I got some nice golds on the grass and the sky was a cobalt blue with some clouds that just MAKE the shot. It wouldn't be as nice a picture if it weren't for the way those clouds are facing and their design.
Day 13 - A Handful of Dirt
Are you hungry? I know I am after looking at this picture for a few seconds. Fresh fruit amazing, even more so when it is grown in your own backyard. These are some cherries that were growing in my great-aunt's garden in the summer. They were delicious and now I want some really bad. Note to self: Write these things AFTER eating lunch.
Like the oranges and blues from the picture a couple of days ago, this one also has nice colour contrast, only this time, red and green. The red is especially nice because of the sun hitting the cherries from behind making it glow. The bright background also lends a lot to the photo.
Day 14 - Meltwater
And... here we are, back at the mountains. You really can't stay away for long. This is a hanging glacier, which is exactly what it sounds like. I believe it's a tributary to some major rivers in Canada that flow East. And that is pure meltwater, having been frozen for a good several hundred thousands years. Therefore it is cold.
This picture makes it seem like that first rocky ledge is only a few meters high, but it's actually quite tall. That's essentially the one thing I like about this picture is how it distorts the vertical perspective. The other thing I'd like to note is the actual flowing water, which is really cool (pun intended) because it's more of a misty stream than actual water droplets.
Day 15 - Where Silence has Lease
Loneliness. A basic concept perceived by all living creatures to varying degrees. I feel this picture encapsulates what it is like to feel alone in the world through artistic means. Everything is grey except for the bird because the world is essentially meaningless to someone who feels intense loneliness. The only vibrant thing in reality is yourself, while nothing else matters except looking for another to love and be loved by.
As far as the picture itself goes, I'm glad that I have a 250 mm zoom lens. It helps me take pictures of animals, which normally don't like people getting too close. The tree on the right side of the shot helps establish the context of the picture, while the surrounding sky helps convey emptiness and loneliness, which is the theme of this picture. It shows us how small we (the bird) are in this world and how daunting a task we have to find another who will share it with us. And the bird is raising its head to sing which of course can represent a search for another.
Day 16 - Revelations
Okay this was a joke 2-parter, I apologize. Basically to forget existential loneliness, some people turn to alcohol. Wait that isn't funny. This was a crappy joke.
Anyway, this is the only practical application of alcohol that I can think of: Shining light through the bottles to take pictures. This was my way of fiddling around with some of the light settings on my camera. Basically I just took a bunch of different colour alcohol bottles off of the shelf them set some lights behind them then started taking pictures to see what would happen. And I think this one is kinda cool.
The bottom is bright but then it gets darker as you travel up the picture but you can still see the bottle outlines. The mixture of colours on the wall behind the bottles is interesting, especially at the top. I haven't played around with lighting much, this was just an intro into setting my own pictures up instead of just taking pictures of what's already there.
Day 17 - Travelers
There really isn't all that much to say about this one other than that the contrail following that plane is amazing.
Day 18 - Faith
Fun with some shadows. What makes this picture more interesting is the bottom of the picture frame at the top, which intercepts the window shadow. Otherwise it would be boring with just the projection on a flat wall. I desaturated the colour to make it more uniform, yet still preserving the glow of the sunlight.
The title "Faith" is used because in churches, it is typical for light to be shining through the stained glass windows, casting a delicate pattern on the wall or floor. Light is also intricately connected with spirit and good.
Day 19 - Renew
Raise your hand if you're ready for winter! I'm not, so thank goodness we have autumn, the buffer of best season to worst season. Autumn is sunny and colourful while winter is grey and depressing. Autumn is the holy grail of photography with the amazing light and temperatures that make it easy to head out into the field and shoot some awesome stuff. I've been taking a lot of pictures of leaves but I won't be showing those until later to liven up the inevitable grey snowscapes.
This is a picture of some oak leaves from the oak tree that I planted in the backyard about 14 years ago. This was just taken a few days ago, and right now all the leaves are an opaque brown colour so a good thing I took this shot when I had the chance! As with all fall pictures, colour is important. There is a lot of variety, which is exactly why I like this one! The three leaves in the middle of the picture are a progression of green to brown, while being surrounded by other colours.