Fine Art

Times are changing

Last week I took a walk near my work at lunch. It was a 10 minute drive to a spot where a path followed a bit of the CN tracks up to Arnprior on the Beachburg subdivision. At one spot, the trail comes very close to the tracks, so I took a little detour up onto the tracks. I knew that the only train through here was on Wednesdays and it was a Tuesday. That and my Spidey senses are always in tune for a train or any train sounds, and the max speed is about 20 mph, so I knew that if something did happen to come, I would hear it well before and have time to get out of the way (and it didn’t stop me from looking over my shoulder constantly…just in case).

At one point there used to be a junction (switch) that would lead up the valley on a different route. A year or so ago, that was ripped out and all that is left is the remnants of where the rails went. I was surprised to see a lot of the track bits still scattered about the location. I figured they would have cleaned it up and sold it for scrap.

Bonus for me, as it made for some fine photo shots with my trusty Fuji X100T. Sad that there is a little less rail traffic in Ottawa. Especially for someone like me who likes trains.

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Purple rain

Its been a dry month in Ottawa. I think it hasn’t rained since early May. So I’ve taken to lightly watering the grass and plants. No too much, since the city decided it wanted more revenue from water so jacked the rates by 6%.

But I digress. I was watering the flowers and such and saw the way the droplets appeared on the flowers. I grabbed my Fuji X-T1 and 60mm macro and made some pictures. This is one of those.

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My friend suggested the title “Purple Rain”. Somewhat fitting since the death of Prince. I was never  a big fan of his (just his style doesn’t totally jive with mine), but I respected him as an artist and musician. He could really wail on the guitar.

Abandoned

I recently borrowed a bike to get some exercise. I haven’t ridden a bike in nearly 20 years, and boy do I like it. I have been out a number of times, and love it. I’ve been looking for routes around the area.

I was on a ride and I saw some abandoned cars in the woods. So I took the camera out to grab a few shots. There were two different cars. One from the ’40s and the other looked like an old VW Beetle.

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A touch of red

During my excursion from my last post, I brought along my girlfriend’s red scarf. The main reason was because of the time of year. In mid-April, everything is pretty much grey and brown. Nature hasn’t woken up from its winter slumber. So I tried to be artistic by adding a splash of colour.

This was the best result. Of course the breeze that I had at the beginning dissipated when it came time to push the scarf around, so I had to drape it over the branches. Oh well, nothing ventured…

Interestingly, this area was engulfed in fire a couple of years ago. The conservation authority has taken the opportunity to run a path through the area with a number of information kiosks about the hows and whys of forest fires, and how the regrowth occurs.

Shot with the Fuji X-T1 and the 16-55 f2.8 lens.

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Old Wood

Spring is arriving and temperatures are above the freezing mark. It makes for a lot of melting, water and slush. But, it also drives one to be outside in the fresh air again.

Yesterday I went out with my X-Pro1 for a walk. I haven’t used it in a long time, as the X100T has become my go-to carry around camera. But, with all the recent activity about the X-Pro2, I decided to reacquaint myself with this camera.  While waiting for a train to come by, I spotted a fence that has been there a while, and took a few shots.

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Its still a fine camera. The only thing really desirable to me with the “2” version, is the weather sealing and the newer film simulations. Not worth the upgrade though, as between my X100T and X-T1, I have all I need. Sadly, I waited a bit long to sell it on ebay or online locally. I suspect now that the “2” variant is out, there will be a glut of “1s” on the market. However, it is still fun to use, so its not all that bad to have some choice.

Rideau Falls

I’m not one to go for the Internet fads, but I found this photo in my archives, and figured bringing it out for “Throwback Thursday” was an option.

A few years back I took an online photography course through Harry Nowell. It was a six month span where he would provide a topic or theme, give regular video updates and at the end of the month critique a selection of photos. It was a lot of fun. I took it not so much to improve my skills as to get the creative juices flowing. It worked, and some of the photos I ended up selling as stock on istockphoto.com. Double bonus!

This was the first challenge/theme in April of whatever year it was – slow shutter speed. And if memory serves, the speed had to be no faster than 4 or 5 seconds. I thought of rushing water and it drew me to the Rideau Falls in downtown Ottawa.

I used my Nikon D700 with a 16-35 f4 lens. To get the soft flow of water with the 5 second or more exposure, I racked the aperture as small as it would go and put on a ND4 and polarizer filter. The filters caused a bit of vignetting which I had to crop out. But the end result was great. The black and white treatment works well, given the time of year when everything is brown and grey anyway.

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Entangled

Over Thanksgiving, while visiting family, I went for a walk on the RailTrail. It was for many years, a railway ling for the Toronto, Hamilton and Buffalo Railway (TH&B). After a landslide washed away part of the track, the line was abandoned. In its second life, it became a trail. The rails were taken up, the roadbed resurfaced and is now a major exercise hub with people walking, jogging, biking and the occasional horseback rider using the line.

But I digress. This particular photo is a group of Sumac trees that have died off. The look of a group of tangled branches caught my eye, and I knew it was destined for a monochrome photo with my X100.

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Obligatory Flower Shot

when you gat a camera, and start making images, one thing you do is make images of flowers. As a matter of fact, some nine years ago, when I bought my first dSLR – a Nikon D50, my first shot when the battery had charged was a flower on the Clamatis in the backyard. I’ve taken many a flower shot since.

But I haven’t for a long time, deciding to not go for the trivial.

However, this shot breaks that. It wasn’t on purpose. I was shooting the bees on the Sedum plant (photo to come soon) and I just pointed the camera a this flower and pressed the shitter button.
Shot with the Fuji X-T1 and the 60mm f2.8 Macro. No post processing. What you see is what I shot.

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Let it Rain

The one thing I like in the summer is a good old rain. This was a storm that came up one weekend. The neighbours were having their fence replaced, so I had full view of the rain drops (and resulting bubbles) in their pool.

Shot with the Fuji X-T1 and the 16-55 f2.8. The all weather sealed combination meant that if the wind picked up and blew onto the camera (and me) I needn’t have worried about them getting wet.

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Tiny Bubbles

XT013300Inspiration comes from from anywhere. This was a glass of water on the bedside table. The water had little bubbles in it, and the light from the sunshine outside gave it a nice backlight. I grabbed my X-T1 and used the 60mm macro.