Saturday, June 28, 2014

Alberta Roadtrips - Wetaskiwan County

Road trips down the back roads of Alberta has got to be something photographers should try, even if they don't like shooting landscapes (like me). The drive alone is inspirational (if not calming).  Getting lost is bonus -- even if it's one hour before sundown, storm clouds moving in,  and you're driving alone in a car with an iffy gas gauge.

These were taken just south of the city of Wetaskiwan, in Wetaskiwan County. (Hover mouse over photo to activate navigation arrows.)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Rainbows, dancers, and noon hour buskers

Yesterday was an interesting day for shooting photos. But then isn't every day?  These were shot with my Canon PowerShot G15 point and shoot; edited with Nik and Photoshop CS5 softwares. Click on the images to see larger sizes and all the images streamed.

My day started off with a double rainbow in between rain showers as I walked to work. Not the greatest composition, but by the time I reached a pretty vantage point the rainbows had faded. I really had to play with Nik software to bring out the rainbows in this shot taken from Rotary Park. Nik Color Efex has a filter that allows independent adjustment of upper and lower tonalities. Very handy for darkening rain clouds and rainbows to make them stand out, while lighting the lower part of the photo.

Further along, on the Riverwalk bike path, a couple of young First Nation dancers started performing for a CTV News cameraman. Since Aboriginal Awareness Week ended last weekend, I have no idea what was happening. 

At lunch, I wandered down Stephen Avenue where a few buskers were performing. A couple of days ago Michael Buble sang My Only Sunshine with a couple of teenage girls busking for fun on Stephen Avenue. Buble recorded it and then posted it to Instagram. No such luck for me, but still had fun.

While watching this guy perform, a fellow in front of me watching from a wheelchair turned and explained that the busker had magnets surgically implanted in his arms so that the globes would stay. A woman sitting next to him snorted and said rather loudly, "Don't tell me you fell for that!" Apparently, I missed a busker joke.

The G15 isn't the greatest for capturing action shots. You pretty much have to anticipate what is going to happen. I was concentrating on catching a smile, then I caught two. Didn't notice the reflection until later when I looked at the shot.  Update: This photo of Noah Weigel was the July 15, 2014 Photo of the Day at PhotoRepublik.

A saxophonist and drummer were joined by a guy swinging wooden objects on strings in time with the music. Here I tried playing with slow shutter speeds to see what I'd get.

The old guy was trying to engage me in conversation. There's more money to be made, I guess, if you chat up the audience. Unfortunately, I wasn't the most talkative as I was concentrating on getting an interesting photo of the two busking together with the balloon.  

"I'm from Tuktoyaktuk," he said.  "Have ya ever been there?"  

I shook my head.  

"Sprechen Sie deutsch?" he asked.  

"No," I replied.

"Are you from Calgary?" he then asked.

I nodded my head, eyes fixed on the pink balloon.

Now I wish I had talked to the buskers. Sometimes I do, but I am not really keen about being noticed. I prefer being the anonymous observer photographer. It makes for more interesting photos. I should have at least asked their names, though. As far as I can tell, there isn't a page that gives information for the buskers playing downtown.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 21...

Today (June 21) is the first day of summer, Calgary's  Neighbour Day, and International Go Skateboarding Day.  It was also another one of those Saturdays where I ran all over the place taking tons of photos.

First, it started with a talk about lenses and then a field trip with the Calgary Public Library Photo Club.  The field trip had us practicing shooting slow shutter speeds and panning.

While shooting everything of interest that moved I noticed there were more skateboarders than usual downtown, so I asked one heavily tattooed guy if there was an event going on.  He said that today was International Go Skateboarding Day and that people were skateboarding all over the world.

So after the walkabout a friend and I went to Shaw Millennium Park where dozens of skateboarders (of all ages) were competing for some very strange prizes (size 8 shoes and underwear).

We ran into an Aboriginal Awareness Week celebration complete with tee pees and country music, also taking place near the park.  We saw a fiddler that could easily win a duel with the devil playing the Orange Blossom Special.  He was fast, frantic, and wicked!

Next, I went to Bridgeland to check out Arusha's Re-Localization Fair.  I hopped the c-train and got off at the City Hall stop.  From there I walked past the DI and discovered a community of gophers.  At the DI I took photos of a young gopher who looked so cute; even with the red nose and claws.  I heard that gophers were cannibals.  Well, I saw for myself.  A few seconds before taking the shot the little critter was nibbling on a relative; recently road killed.

At the Fair I picked up some fresh BC fruit, bumped into some people I know, and explored some of the businesses on Bridgeland's main street.

Then on the way home I discovered a house party with young people sitting on the roof and a garage punk band blaring from the back yard.  I'm thinking it was part of Neighbour Day.  By this time my energy level was running on empty and I was more focused on getting up the hill to get home than taking any more photos.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

YYC Runway

Canada's longest airport runway opened today with a party (of course) and a runway run.  Didn't see the run, but here are some photos of what I did see.

On the bus ride to Calgary's newest runway we were told a bunch of statistics that I don't remember, except that the runway is the same length as the distance from Chinook Centre to the Calgary Tower.  It was also long enough that I didn't see any of the photographer friends that were also there (I can tell by today's Flickr uploads).

These were shot with my Canon PowerShot G15.  Edited with Nik and Photoshop CS5 software.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Centre Street Bridge

A photo Meetup group I belong to has a Virtual Photo assignment to shoot bridges along the Bow River during the month of June.

After shooting the Calgary Marathon last weekend, and loving the light, I thought I'd see what I could do with traffic on the lower deck of the Centre Street Bridge on a Sunday morning.  Lucky me!  City crews were power-washing the lower deck (maybe there was too much runner sweat, I dunno).  Shooting city workers -- always more fun than traffic. : )

When I thought I had enough, I then took shots from around, over, on, and beyond the bridge.

Editing was done with Nik and Photoshop CS5 softwares.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday stroll

Wow, what a day!

Within four hours I found a couple Carifest dancers posing for photos (not mine, but I snuck a couple), watched city workers power clean Centre Street Bridge (it's like they shut the lower deck just for me to take photos), stumbled upon a World Partnership Walk on Prince's Island Park, captured more artist work at the DI mural, and a whole bunch of stuff in between.

The goal today was to take bridge photos for one of my Meetup groups and get more shots of the DI Mural.  The day was filled with bonus shots.

A young person watches DI mural artists, while Dermot Baldwin seems to be watching him.