Monday, March 31, 2008

Bonus: birds

These are mainly bird shots, though there's one non-avian in there; he was, however, up a tree so he was fair game :)

They look like they're all watching the game.. I guess even the geese are pulling for the Oilers this year. :)

I got a few of these, but this is the best of the glide shots.

A la queue-leu-leu, ma tante lire-lire-lire (you won't get that unless you're French)

I could call this something poetic, like "floating gull", but I'm frankly working on my panning technique and it was handy :P.

Sunlit Snooze.. I thought of joining then :-D .

This was fun to crop, as I took it over Anna's shoulder (you can see part of her camera strap in the bottom right of the frame). Still, the shot is nice :).

Anna's got a bunch of this guy, but I liked him enough to post at least *one* shot of him.

I *almost* got him (her?) in focus.. Still working on the panning bit.

See? he's in a tree, so *technically* he fits in the category.

This one was just cute.

Frankly, this one is likely the best of the bunch today. I got very, very lucky with it :D.

32:365 - Cold morning - updated: chickadees

Philippe: I have to admit this is the type of shot I prefer taking; it's one of the only side benefits to getting to work early. I have to admit I let a bus go by to get the shot though.. (got to work a bit later but it was worth it ;) )

Anna: We got so many great pictures at the park today, it was hard to choose. They're mostly Canada Goose pictures, though, so I chose these two chickadee pictures. This picture is actually of the second one that I saw, pecking at this hole in the tree like a woodpecker...

... meanwhile, the first chickadee I saw pecking away at the same spot stayed to watch from above. It was looking so puffy and windblown.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

31:365 - You are mine to toy with! - updated - Dang! Thaz-ugly...

Anna: I think I've mentioned before, that we have a very co-operative cat. ;-D

She's "hunting" my camera - moments later, she was rubbing her cheek all over the edge of my lens. *L*

Philippe: Words fail me... Luckily, it's for better or worse... :P

Anna: I want it to be publicly known that I took this photo for Philippe under duress.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

30:365 - Tracks - updated, Bird

Philippe: This switch was interesting..

Philippe: The old tracks for the trolley, now only used in the summer; they run right over the high-level bridge.

Philippe: k.. I've got a thing for tracks, I admit it.

Anna: I headed to a job interview and hour early this afternoon, as it was at a location we frequently go to for photos. As I wandered around the outside of the building, I found a bunch of these birds. I really wasn't sure know how well the pictures would turn out, as I didn't dare get any closer and used my maximum zoom. I'm really happy with this one!

Oh, and I had the job before I even walked in for the interview, it turns out. It's weird to go for an "interview" and not be asked anything! I go for training 2 Mondays from now.

Friday, March 28, 2008

29:365 - Downtown hideys - updated - Art

Philippe: This guy's just hanging around in the building next door. Lighting isn't the best and I can't really play with it here, but it's still kinda nice :)

Anna: Look! It's... art! Or something... ;-)

This is a detail from a sculpture next to our city hall. It's supposed to be a ship. At least I think it is. One of my daughters thought it was supposed to be birds, and thinks it looks like a diseased insect. *L*

Thursday, March 27, 2008

28:365 - Queen and Tools

Philippe: As if there was *any* question as to who is the queen and who is the pushover in the family...

Anna: As you may have noticed from previous photos, I like to do a variety of crafts. I thought I'd get a photo of some of my tools. I find the pliers are indispensable when doing temari.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

27:365 sentimental value

Anna: Detail of a carved wooden box, the largest of three nesting boxes, each with the same designs carved on the lids and sides. They're from Poland, and are a popular item for export. I see variations of them all over. These ones, however, are more than pretty nic-nacs. Some years ago my father made a trip to Poland, the first and only time he's been back to the country of his birth since coming to Canada shortly after WWII. He brought these back as a gift for me. The artist in me appreciates the designs, the colours and the technique. The sentimental part of me sees these and thinks of my father, and I find myself smiling.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

26:365 Playing with the camera - updated

Anna: I haven't really spent a lot of time exploring the manual settings on my S3. Tonight, I decided to play. I got my daughter's fiber optic lamp going and used the Tv setting on the camera. Shutter speed is 10, and the aperture value 7.1 Once on the computer, I did do a one step digital noise removal before resizing because the wall looked so grainy.

Philippe: I had fun with this, actually. My favourite part is the horns created by the eyebrow shadows :D. I used a directional light and this was the best (well, the most fun) angle out of the bunch. Eldest daughter actually took the shots. Oh.. and Blogger sucks...

Monday, March 24, 2008

25: 365 - Nature Walk (updated)

Philippe: I couldn't decide on which pic, so I'm putting up the three best ;).

This one took me most of the afternoon to chase down; he just wouldn't sit still :)

Philippe: Since I had the big lens out anyway, thought I'd play a bit.

Philippe: This was taken with my wide-angle; it's just so surprising to find this kind of stuff within
the city. :)

Anna: The entire family went out to walk the ravine we found yesterday. This time, we decided to see where going the other way would take us. A wonderfully scenic path that eventually dropped us off at one of the parks following the river. I found this fungi along the way. :-D

Sunday, March 23, 2008

24:365 Discovery

Happy Easter! I hope that everyone had a lovely day today. :-)

Anna: After we all decimated the contents of our Easter basket, my elder daughter and I decided to go for a walk and explore some areas we haven't been to yet. After walking down a residential street overlooking the river valley, admiring the architecture (and finding the home of some Franciscan Friars), we started meandering our way back home. That's when we discovered a set of stairs going down into a ravine. This is where those stair led us. Half way down, the first set of stairs ended at a path. Off to one side, a second set led down to this bridge at the bottom of the ravine, where my daughter stopped to take a picture of some anti-nazi graffiti. We didn't go up the set of stairs in this picture. Instead, we back tracked to the path and followed it in the general direction of home. We had no idea where it would take us. Eventually, we found ourselves as a park and playground just a few blocks from where we live.

We're definitely going to have to drag the rest of the family back there and see where else the paths will take us!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A welcome and thank you.

from Anna: This is a very new blog for us, having been up and running for less than a month. As such, I've been very pleased and surprised to see how many people have found this site. I just looked at our statcounter and found we're getting visitors from Canada, the US, the UK, Greece, Portugal, Malaysia, Chile, Venezuela, Estonia, Peru, Argentina, Hong Kong, Mexico, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

A heartfelt welcome to all our visitors! Thank you all for taking the time to stop by for a visit, and for the kind comments as well!

23:365 Ready for blessing

Anna: This morning, we put together our traditional basket for blessing, to be indulged in tomorrow. For the symbolism behind the contents, you can view this pdf. Our basket contains bread, eggs, cheese ball, ham, sausage, butter, salt and horseradish paste (usually I use a piece of horseradish root, but our local grocery store doesn't carry it). The chocolate is my only secular addition. ;-) Thanks to the generosity of Philippe's parents, the girls each have their own baskets of chocolate treats, too.

I couldn't resist including this bonus picture. Our basket is always covered with a fine, embroidered linen. This is a detail of the one I usually use - an antique piece I bought many years ago, with matching napkins. The embroidery on the corners and edges is pretty much flawless. Whoever stitched this was highly skilled.

Friday, March 21, 2008


from Anna:
I just finished updating the list of links on our side bar to other photo blogs, adding a few more I've discovered and visit regularly. I thought it'd be a good time to throw a plug in their way. These are the sites of some very talented people who inspire me in my own photos, and I heartily encourage visiting them.


22:365 More eggs and Easter bread

Anna: As requested, here are the eggs. Of the pisanki, I did half (the brightly coloured, tacky ones), while our elder daughter did the other half (hers are the simple, elegant designs). I'm not very good at doing wax resist dying. :-/ Ah, well.

The eggs in the centre are kraszanki - eggs cooked with onion skins for 45 minutes. I didn't have very many onion skins this year, so they're a lot paler than I usually make them.

Philippe: I love baking.. I really do. I've gotten the kids involved and now my eldest bakes bread as well.. Every once in a while though, Anna will get in the kitchen and show us who the *real* baker is in the family.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

21:365 Eggs, but not the edible kind. ;-)

Anna: I'll probably posting a lot of egg or Easter related pictures in the next while. After being sick for a couple of days, I've got some catching up to do for Easter!

I decided use the light box again and broke out the plastic grass to make a nest for my slowly growing crafted eggs collection.

For the crafty people, all the egg cores were done the same, using a foam core wrapped with sewing thread. The temari egg on the bottom was done using rayon floss. It's extremely slippery and hard to work with, but the shiny floss is very effective. The top one is done in ordinary embroidery floss - no specialty threads at all.

The two beaded eggs were done in the same manner. For the floral egg, I added a leaf bead with the 7th shared bead from the top, every 3rd join, so there's 5 of them altogether.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

20-365: Skyline - Wax Resist

Philippe: Anna discovered a parkade where the top level is open-sky. After being confined for the past few days (sick) I decided to go take a look. A $3 parking fee was well worth this shot :D. This is actually a composite of about eight shots put together for a final 'fisheye' effect. Not sure if you can tell, but the top left of the shot actually has no input, but it matches fairly well with the rest of the night sky so I didn't crop it out as I would have lost the moon.

Anna: Philippe is posting this on Anna's behalf, as she's a little busy (doing the egg stuff ;) ). The shot is of Anna warming the stylus full of wax in preparation for adding wax designs on the egg for colouring; it's a Polish Easter tradition.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

19:365 Work in progress

I was shooting for a spring look when I chose the colours, but it looks more like Christmas to me... ;-)

Monday, March 17, 2008

18:365 Chickadee and droplets

I took a walk while at the park today and found a tree with chickadees popping in and out among the twigs above me. They just don't stay still, do they? *L* This was the only shot I managed to get of them.

Philippe: The joys of a fast lens.. The down side is that the auto-focus took it's time getting the water focused over the trees. I'm thinking of getting a prism replacement to give me the manual focus aides you used to find on film SLRs..

Sunday, March 16, 2008

17:365 updated - Cat-Toes and Egg

Philippe: No matter where we are, the cat comes over for cuddles.. Of course, in this particular case, she looks more interested in the toes than in the scritches. :P (I really, really need to get out of the house for pictures.. )

Anna: I just finished making this and taking pictures for a craft group I'm on, and the family voted this picture for my picture-a-day submission. Who am I to argue?

For the crafty types out there, this was done using No. 10 seed beads, netted from a ring of 30 alternating colour beads, and finishing with peyote stitch at the base after the egg was tucked into place. The egg itself is the same wrapped foam core I use in temari. The instructions I was following suggested wrapping the egg in coloured foil (and No. 11 size beads, which I didn't have), but the beads I used were shiny enough on their own.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

16:365 You weren't expecting spring, were you?

Anna: It's an almost fairytale view off our balcony this morning, including this tree.

Too bad it's the middle of March. Not that it wasn't expected. Our first year here, we had a snow storm on an April Easter day.

Philippe: There are good *and* bad sides to indoor parking.. Ours can put a solid layer of dust on a car within a week.

Friday, March 14, 2008

15:365 Look up.

Anna: The kids and I took advantage of our weekly downtown library day to explore and get some pictures. This is one of my favorite buildings. You can just see that, even under the eaves, there's carved and coloured decorations.

Philippe: The joys of getting old.. Shaving my *ears*, is becoming a regular thing...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

14:365 Flutes

Anna: More fiddling with the light box, using a pair of South American flutes. I love the tone in the large terracota flute. It reminds me of the flute played by Totoro in the Miyazaki movie, My Neighbour Totoro.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

13:365 Little chicken

Anna: When our older daughter was about 5 years old, we discovered the American Girl dolls. She really liked them and wanted one, so we told her that for every dollar she saved towards purchasing a starter set of the doll of her choice, we would match the amount. She chose the Josephina doll and was so motivated, she put every dollar she got, from the tiny allowance she was getting at the time, to birthday and Christmas money, towards the doll. Even after pointing out that she didn't need to put *all* her money aside - that she could actually spend some of it on something else if she wanted, she chose to save for the doll.

At the time, getting the set would cost about $500 Canadian, including shipping. It took her a full year to save up her half of the money. Then we moved unexpectedly. I told her that, because of the move, ordering the set would have to wait a few weeks, since we didn't have a new address yet. Things worked out differently, and I was able to place the order just a few days before we left, and it arrived shortly after we did. It was a wonderful surprise for her, but I screwed up on one thing. I made the mistake of mentioning that this was really expensive, and to be careful as we wouldn't be able to replace anything that broke. She became so concerned about breaking something, she ended up hardly playing with it at all and, eventually, it ended up sitting in a box.

Flash forward about 10 years. The girls are cleaning out their closets (without being asked!) and our younger daughter pulled out the box with Josephina. Included in the set was this tiny little chicken with its cage and single egg. Two eggs came with the set, but we lost one a few moves back. I always thought the tiny eggs were the cutest things ever!

And yes, those feathers *are* pink. They're not supposed to be. The cat knocked a watering can over, spilling water onto the box Josephine was kept in while not being played with. By the time I noticed, dye from the red skirt and paper "chilis" had spread and stained just about everything. Even the cage has a slightly pink tinge to it! *L*

Philippe: Oh, the things you see when you *don't* have a real camera along.. :(