Sunday Afternoon

Today the rain held off and the temperature was somewhat warm, warm enough to sit outside for a while.

It’s always nice to have a nice, quiet, relaxing Sunday afternoon, where i can kick back and slowly drink a coffee.  It’s even better when i can spend some quality time with my daughter.

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Last weekend, we went bug hunting around the backyard.  This weekend, we played a bit of tag and also played with some of her Lego bricks outside.

As we played, we had a few visitors come to visit us.

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It was nice to finally be able to capture the Cardinal, even though he was some distance off.  He has been very elusive this Spring, with me always hearing him, but rarely seeing him.

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I put some pieces of stale bread on the ground, hoping to attract some more birds to take photos of.  However, i attracted the wrong kind of bird.

Before i knew it, three seagulls started to circle the backyard, ready to swoop down and get the bread that i had laid out.  I really did not think they would detect it that fast.

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However, only one of them managed to retrieve a piece of bread.  The rest of them seemed to be far to wary of the presence of my daughter & myself.  We would just have to make furtive movements and they would pull up out of their dive.

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Well, if the seagulls were not going to be brave enough to come and get the bread, the squirrels were not shy.

Two squirrels came after the bread from both flanks, like SAS soldiers about to take out their target.  One of them took one piece and retreated, while the other one hung around for a bit and had a good meal.

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Aside from playing tag and with the Lego bricks, my daughter and i had a fun time watching the little creatures that come to visit our backyard.

Thanks for looking

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Hoping For Warmer Temperatures

The weather here in Montreal has been really bi-polar for the last couple of weeks.  Not long ago, we were up to about 20 degrees Celsius.  Then, all of sudden, it started to nose dive and even went below zero at one point.

To top it all off, it snowed!  Yes, it snowed.  We’re in the middle of April for goodness sakes.  What ever happened to a gradually warming Spring??

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I apologize for the varying sizes in my watermark, which is due to the fact that all the photos are of different sizes.  I took these photos back in 2012 and i was not doing things as consistent as i do today.

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I took the photos with my D5100 when i had it.

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One can only hope that mother nature starts to cooperate and gives us some spring-like weather in the coming weeks.  No more teasers with single days of warm weather.  Just give it to us.

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Looking at these photos gives me hope that warmer weather and a bit of color, is just around the corner.  With warmer weather, comes new flowers and new photo opportunities.

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When the flowers do finally start to bloom, i hope to do some more extensive macro work with my 60mm on my X-Pro1.

And instead of delaying it even more, i think i am going to get myself the 16mm extension tube so that i can get closer focus with the lens.

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Be patient, spring – the real spring – is coming.

Thanks for looking.

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A Piece Lost…

I have been using my X-Pro1 for nearly 2 years now and it has never once failed me.  I tend to keep my equipment, whether it be cameras or tools, in very good condition.  I look after my cameras the same as i did when i first purchased them and so i should.

It was bound to happen one day and it finally did: i lost the pc sync terminal cover on my X-Pro1.  Actually, it has been while since i lost it.

The pc sync terminal, which is used to sync up your off camera flash unit to the camera, is located on the left hand side of the camera and is covered with a rubber cap when you purchase the X-Pro1.

If you do a search about this topic, you will find that many X-Pro1 owners have lost this same part.  Some lose the part in the first couple of weeks of owning the camera, while others have lost it after many months of constant use.

It seems that losing this part is some sort of “christening” or “rite of passage” for the camera.  If you really use your X-Pro1, you are most likely to lose this part.

Funny enough, when i noticed that it was missing, i remember picking up a small rubber cap off the floor in my house perhaps a few weeks before hand.  I did not think much about it at the time and simply dismissed it.  In the end, i believe i chucked it out.

Is this a critical part of the camera? No.  I suppose if you actually use the pc sync terminal, you would want to protect it from dirt and damage; therefore, you would want to invest in a new rubber cap or think of some other way of covering it.

Personally, i am not so worried, since i don’t use the terminal.  Though, it would probably be a good idea for me to cover the terminal in some way in order to keep it clean.

Thanks for looking.

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New Look

I have been looking at my blog for the past couple of days and i started to think about making a change to it.

In seriousness, i was becoming tired of looking at all the black on my blog.  I wanted a cleaner, more minimal look.  So, off i went to hunt for a new theme.

As you may realize, i don’t pay for my wordpress site.  As it stands now, i can probably upload about another 700 photos to my site if i keep them under 1mb.  Though, i have been thinking quite a bit about going Premium and will most likely have to if i want to keep this blog going for years to come.

I am also not partial to paying for themes.  There are so many good free ones out there, such as the one i chose, to give my blog a fresh look.  The theme i chose, is called “chateau”.

As soon as i previewed the new theme, i liked it immediately.

I love the clean look about it.  One basic color for the background, without any other interfering and making things look cluttered.

I also like the font, which gives the whole theme a somewhat classic look.  Far better then the boring, block font that my last theme had.  The layout is more appealing to me as well.

Most importantly, i hope you, my readers and visitors, like the new theme.

Thanks for looking.

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Rainbow

Yesterday afternoon was quite an overcast one.  The clouds looked somewhat menacing, but they only managed to sprinkle down a few drops of rain.

As the afternoon wore on, i noticed a beautiful sight in the sky.  A wonderful and colorful rainbow arched it’s way across the tops of the trees and houses at the back of my home.

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I really had to play around with the colors in these photos.  I wanted the rainbow to “jump” out a bit by making the colors a little saturated.

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It was really nice to see this rainbow come out yesterday afternoon.  It really brightened up what was otherwise a dull afternoon.

Thanks for looking.

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First Real Photo Walk Of The Year

I’m not much of a winter “photographer”.  I do get out once in a while during winter, but nothing like during the summer.  For one, at times it is just to cold in the winter for the equipment to be operating in.  Therefore, when this past weekend was blessed with gorgeous, sunny weather, i took advantage of it.

Last weekend was my first real “photo walk” of 2015.  Yes, i have been out before during the winter months to take a few photos, but this was the first time that i was able to stroll around and just enjoy the outside while taking photos.

For this photo walk, i took the X-Pro1 with the 35mm mounter and the grip attached.  I put the spare battery in my cargo pants pocket and off i went.  Nothing else needed.

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I set my camera up to shoot in 16:9 once again.  I really wanted to have a good go at shooting in 16:9 before coming to some conclusions, which i will save for another post.

For me, Old Montreal is full of photo opportunities.  You can go back there again and again, and always find different perspectives on certain scenes.  Furthermore, there is lots to shoot.  You just have to look around and you will find all sort of photos.

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Despite it being a gorgeous day, it was not that busy down at the old port.  There was a a good flow of people coming into the area, but nothing like you would expect on such a nice day.

If you follow the news, you probably heard about the guy who ran out onto the ice to save his dog.

I was down there when it happened, but did not actually see what occurred.  Though, now i know why all the security vehicles were racing down to that area, with sirens blaring and lights flashing.

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The fact that there was not to many people out, made it much easier to have a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk.  During the summer time, you feel like a pin ball among all the people.

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The AML boats were docked and seemed to be getting ready for the summer boating season.  My wife and i came to the conclusion that we have to experience one of the cruises this year.

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I converted the below photo of the ice into greyscale, because i felt greyscale served the photo much better then leaving it in color.  Besides, there was not much color to it in the first place.

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I am sure the subsequent warm days have taken care of the ice that is present in the below photos.  The seagulls seemed to be enjoying standing and sitting on it though.

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It was nice to see the musicians out in Old Montreal again.  This guy had a bit of an audience while playing, including me.

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All in all, it was a great day.  I was so relaxed strolling around and taking photos.  For me, that is the best way to go about photography.  Just take your time, slow down, compose, shoot.  Think about the shot.

Thanks for looking.

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The Photos In My Blog

All the photos that you see on my blog are mine and were taken by me.

Equipment used: I currently use a Fuji X-Pro1 and a Fuji X10.  All of the photos that i post these days, are taken with my Fuji cameras.  In regards to any photos taken prior to September 2013, they could have been taken with any one of my Nikon DSLRs that i once owned.  I do try my best to indicate which camera i used.

Settings: I don’t usually post what settings I took the photo with.  If you really want to know, you can ask me and I will take a look at the original file for you.

Post-Processing: I have only recently started to learn Photoshop Elements 9.  So far, i have learnt how to watermark, add a frame, add an outline, merge exposures and paly with different layers.  I’m getting there.

I have also recently started to use a new photo editing software called Photo Director.  I have had to start using this software because for some strange reason, NX2 stopped working.

JPEG or RAW (RAF): The JPEGs straight from the Fuji cameras are very good.  As a matter of fact, one of the reasons i switched to Fuji, was to be able to shoot JPEG and have no worries.  Honestly, i don’t want to sit in front of a computer for hours and process RAW files.  The minor tweaks i do on the JPEGs take long enough.  I have shot RAW with my Fujis, that is how i did my HDR photos.  Though, I can’t see myself shooting RAW all the time.

At one point, i did shoot RAW quite a bit and used the in-camera converter to turn the photos into JPEGs.  It’s great to do it in-camera if all you want to do is push or pull the exposure a bit or sharpen a bit.  But, if you are wanting to get into more detail, you really need to bring the photo up on a larger screen.

Resolution: I very rarely post the full resolution photo.  First, it takes up to much space and secondly, it takes longer to upload and i do tend to upload quite a few photos to my posts.  I use a tool called Fotosizer and i reduce my photos to “webpage/email” size. This will take some of the resolution away, especially if you zoom in on the photo.

Please don’t steal: I worked hard at taking my photos, so please respect that. For me, these are my little pieces of art. If you like any of my photos and want to use it somewhere, please don’t steal it.  Ask me.

Thanks for looking.

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