20151124 Winter Wonderland in Britt after the snowstorm

As  mentioned on the last post, 20151123 … , we spent a few hours Tuesday morning taking photos around Britt.

(Some of these are worth clicking on to get a full screen version.)

Here are the first two of the morning at 8:15AM, Still River from Hwy 526:

P1720484-1-2 P1720493-1

About 40 minutes later I went to Old Legion Lane to capture these two:



Then we went along Riverside Drive to see what the Inlet  looked like:

P1720529-1 P1720544-1

Mill Island reflections…


Nice cottage ….





Along Riverside Rd this birdie was enjoying the first big snowfall of the season:



Then the sun came out for a few moments, just before that big black cloud got overhead:


A little drama!



Nice geometry …


Male Staghorn Sumac …


The grass has disappeared, leaving the sedge exposed.



That little maple is growing out of a Giant’s Kettle, which was drilled during the retreat of the last ice age.


After spending the day in Sudbury I managed to catch this mallard dipping his bill in the water …


…. just before the western sky lit up with a brilliant sunset.



Quite a nice day!!!

20151123 Heavy snowfall hits Britt.

On Monday, 23 November a very strong streamer started in the afternoon and kept loading snow from SW Lake Huron directly at the Georgian Bay at Britt, the Environment Canada Radar site at the centre of the co-encentric circles.  It ended by early morning on Tuesday, 24 November.  This was a typical radar plot:

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 3.33.54 PM

So on Monday afternoon, we spent a few hours trying to capture the snow as it was falling.

The next four photos are all at the mouth of the Still River taken from the truck on Old Legion Lane.

P1720361-1 P1720375-1 P1720379-1 P1720383-1

The snow varied a lot, from sleet, to snow grains, snow pellets and, often, these snowflakes.  (The angels fluffing their featherbeds.)  The air was quite calm, probably <15 Km/hr.


Here are those clumps of grass and sedge (again) with no snow falling:


These were all taken on the Old Still River Road, late in the afternoon.

P1720445-1 P1720451-1 P1720457-1 P1720472-1

Although the light was very flat in the very light snowfall, the snow had accumulated significantly since the first shots, encouraging me to photograph the scenes before the wind freshened.

The challenge in the first few photos was to get useful streaking (longer exposures to get motion blur) of the snowfall, along with a good exposure so that I could capture the texture of the scene as much as possible.

The late afternoon shots were a bit trickier as the light was so low.  To minimize noise the ISO was kept at base (125) for all of the photos.  The very last shot above was shot from the truck window, elbows braced, ignition off, FL 25mm (equivalent), f/4.5 (DoF equivalent f/11.8) and shutter interval of 1/25 second.  Shot in RAW, converted and processed in LR 5.6.  The processing was simple: I pulled back highlights, pushed whites and shadows where required and increased clarity a bit … usually to strengthen a horizon or tree line where the precip was heavy.  Getting snow texture is tricky but I am quite satisfied with the above results in very flat light!

The focus peaking and zebra striping (105%) of the FZ1000 came in very handy as most of the images were manually focused using Manual Assist and exposed “to the right” of the histogram using spot metering and locking the exposure when the zebra striping indicated that I was starting to blow highlights.  These two very nice features were transferred to still cameras from high end video cameras.  They are especially valuable with shooting Live View with Mirrorless Cameras.


I believe that you can see the exif files for all of these photos if you download them…. or, if you are using Firefox as a browser, use FxIF (right click with mouse on image, bottom of the list) to read the exif data.


Next post is what I was able to capture the following day, Tuesday, 24th.   I didn’t have much time as I had my regular appt with our Nurse Practitioner and then a luncheon appt in Sudbury, 100km on slippery roads.  But I did manage to get a few photos that were quite nice.

20151123 A Test of WordPress

When I posted the last entry, “20151121-22 Snow Day and the Day after” WordPress used a very different interface than earlier.  The result is a post which did not allow the user to enlarge any of the images (to better see the snowflakes.)

So here are two images to see if this interface will preserve the ability to enlarge images:

P1720236-1-3 P1720262-1

I hope that this works, as the ability to enlarge images to full size was one of the reasons that I chose WordPress in the first place!

20151121-22 Snow Day and the Day after

We finally got our first real snowfall of the season this weekend.

Last weekend we also had a very nice sunset, as seen from the “Acid Dock” in Britt.


It started snowing on the afternoon of the 21st, 3 weeks later than our first snowfall in 2014.  Here are some pix taken during the very wet snowfall:


I find it a good challenge to try to capture the snowflakes, adding a chilling effect, I hope!  It seemed to work quite well with the two clumps of grass and the Still River above.  Click on the photos to bring them full screen to see.

On Sunday morning the clouds lifted and we went down Hwy 529 to see the sights:








The temperature is -7ºC now, Sunday evening, so we’ll enjoy the snow for a couple  of days before it disappears in the warm(ish) weather forecast for mid-week.

Photography note.    That photo of the two clumps of grass turned out the way I planned it.  I wanted to capture the blurry snowflakes against the obscured overcast above the ledge.  That required a precise exposure with shutter speed, 1/200  sec and f/ of 6.3.  The other challenge was to stop the lens down sufficiently to get all of the two clumps in focus. The f/ 6.3  gives a Depth of Field equivalent to  f/18 on a Full Frame 35mm sensor.  I brought out the colour a bit using Lightroom 5.6.  Lotsa fun!

20151108 Light Frost and some prattle

Last Sunday we had a light frost on the light blue coloured hood of the truck …


and on the Common Burdock (Arctium minus) emerging into the sunlight from the shadow on the north side of the barn….


(Click on the above to see the frost crystals and what George de Mestral saw though his microscope.)

I went a whole week without taking any photos!  Busy catching up on things and getting ready for winter.  But I have been doing a bit of thinking and writing about the subject.

This is what GeorgianBay1939 said to “texture and fabric”  this morning on a Digital Photography Review Forum.

“I … Know what I do, am unmoved by men’s blame Or their praise either”.
In reply to texture and fabric, 4 hours ago

texture and fabric wrote:




Great article.

Initially it reminded me of Rob’t Browning’s Andrea del Sarto which has this tidbit:


I, painting from myself and to myself,
Know what I do, am unmoved by men’s blame
Or their praise either. Somebody remarks
Morello’s outline there is wrongly traced,
His hue mistaken; what of that? or else,
Rightly traced and well ordered; what of that?
Speak as they please, what does the mountain care?
Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp,
Or what’s a heaven for?


But then I got to this startling advice, about 2/3 the way into your Defence :

In a recent interview Sebastião Salgado, when asked about what advice he would give to young photographers, stated the following:

“If you’re young and have the time, go and study. Study anthropology, sociology, economy, geopolitics. Study so that you’re actually able to understand what you’re photographing. What you can photograph and what you should photograph.”

In my opinion this deductive approach to any art form is self-limiting. I would rather encourage any beginning artist to be inductive in approach. Perhaps it is my scientific “training” which guides me to seek truth via observation rather than the advocate’s (politician’s) training to tell truth via ideology.

In my case, a few years ago I got serious and found that my practice of photography led into a whole new chapter of exploration of various sciences and arts. Although I have always enjoyed “good art”, I now feel that I can experience it’s creation. …. Even to the point where I am dabbling in oil painting … at a very ripe old age!

This probably doesn’t help to legitimize the inclusion of “photography” as an “art form” but it does exemplify the diversity of “art” in the mass culture, outside of our “cultural” institutions.

— hide signature —

The best part of growing old is having the opportunity to do so.

20151029-1106 Late fall scenes close to home

Despite the F150 truck being on its last legs we have been out and about a bit.

While cruising along Hwy 529 we had a momentary burst of rain coming out of the sun.

I tried to capture it and got this:


Even setting up the camera up ———– f/8;  (f/22 equivalent for a 35mm sensor); ISO 125; shutter interval 1/30 sec; mid-range manual focus;  50 mm equivalent FL ———-   inside the cab and then opening the window momentarily to get the shot did not prevent some blur spots due to water on the lens.  I think that snow will be easier … if/when I see a backlit snowshower!

The following evening we saw a nice sunset over Gereaux Lake.


Check out the similarity of the foreground  to Eastern Cree Syllabics.

A little later, a more conventional shot …


In a few years the new Highway 400 will take out this farm.  The current owner is cleaning up all of the old implements and uses this tractor to haul stuff and clear snow, with a back scraper.  1950s Case, with an obvious change from 6v to 12v.


Cattails (NOT bulrushes please!) shedding seeds (“The seeds are minute, 0.2 millimetres (0.008 in) long, and attached to fine hairs.”)  Cattails have many uses for humans.


The hackmatacks are losing their needles.


Some plants still have brilliant leaves, like these blackberries and blueberries:

P1710966-1 P1710980-1

A gentle calm between the wild west winds that we have been getting lately.


Yesterday we had some heavy rains which left some drops and stimulated the lichens.

P1720038-1 P1720079-1-2 P1720097-1

Hammered Shield or Wax Paper Lichens. on a dead Jack Pine branch.

For those still running on generators or who’ve just got their power back, THIS is what we got October 31, 2014:


This year the weather prognosticators are indicating no snow until Grey Cup Weekend, maybe later!  I am not sure what I think about that as I like snow!

A good one: Nobel Laureate Art McDonald explains the importance of the team’s findings at the Sudbury Neutrino Lab …. in a easy way.  He says some nice things about Science North, where I used to work.  He was a great guy to work with.  I hope that his award will help to restore Canada’s world position in scientific research and to inspire the Canadian government to restore basic research to the mandate of the NRC.

Mary Holland has an interesting post about Chipmunks.

Time to get out and take some pictures!