Saturday, January 30, 2010


It's been cold the last few days. This morning when I got up it was only 1F (-17C). We have also had some light powdery snow.

This photo is again in Ellison Park. The image has been processed using HDR (High Dynamic Range) techniques. I still have a lot to learn about the process but I think it has added some interest.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Giant melting snow pile -- defenseless tree

Freshly fallen snow, very pretty. Thawing snow scraped up from a parking lot, not so much.

It may not be obvious in the photo but this pile of melting snow is about 10 feet tall. It is a result of snow removal from a large parking lot. Space for this amount of snow is at a premium, and consequently it has been heaped upon this struggling tree.

Hopefully spring will bring some relief for the tree, but surely there will be more snow before winter decides to leave us.

Friday, January 22, 2010


One of the more unusual things I pass on my way to work is a tipi.

I have no idea why it is set-up in someones yard on the edge of Ellison county park, but it has been there for over a year. The tipi (or teepee) is a type of shelter used by the American Indians on the open plains out west. The Iroquois Indians in this part of the county would have lived in a long house.

Anyway, it is a well built and sturdy structure, and any amount of bad weather does not seem to effect it in a negative way. I sometimes think an Indian with a feather headdress could be living in there, but I guess there is not much chance of that.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

An old lens

This photo was taken with a lens that is over 40 years old and was part of the first SLR camera that I ever owned.

I recently bought an inexpensive adapter that allows me to put my old Pentax Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 lens on my Canon XSi Digital SLR. Why would I do that? Well, it is a very good lens that has not gotten any use in probably 20 years. It is fast allowing photography in low light. And because it is so fast (has a very large maximum aperture opening) it produces really nice shallow depth of field as is demonstrated here. The blossom in the foreground is tack sharp, and the backrough is nicely out of focus making the flower really "pop".

Using this old lens has many trade-offs. It is a prime lens, meaning you cannot zoom. It is manually focused, which can be tricky especially when using it with the large apertures. And the apature must be manually set, so if you want to shoot with a smaller apature (for more depth of field and less critical focusing) the image in the viewfinder gets very dark.

But it is fun to bring some life back to old equipment and take time to create images that would not be possible with the modern lenes that I own.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Lake effect

This time of year, when the conditions are right, we get lake effect snow courtesy of Lake Ontario. It is snow that is so light and fluffy that you can blow it off a branch. It feels like nothing on the snow shovel. The white downy frosting can be beautiful as it piles up 6 or 8 inches in a matter of hours.