Saturday, August 22, 2009

A moment..

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: I got a few good macro shots of this shield bug on my thyme. I caught this shot a moment before it flew away.


Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: My daughter forgot her empty milk glass by the couch. The cat discovered it. She'd dip her paw into the dregs of milk on the bottom, then start licking it off. She wasn't quite sure if me with the camera was a good thing or not. *L*

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Foggy Morning

Philippe: Love foggy mornings..

This one is a stitch of three shots, just for fun

the fact that you can see the moon in the top right, and the sunrise in the bottom left is just fun :D

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Davis Concert Organ

The Davis Concert Organ
Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: The girls and I were able to take in a free concert put on by the Winspear Centre for Music today. It was the first time we got to hear the Davis Concert Organ. It's also the first time I've seen a pipe organ that had the keyboards/stops/etc. section seperate from the pipes! That section was on the stage below. (You can see the other photos here.)

The performers were Duo Majoya, with Joachim Segger on grand piano and Marnie Giesbrecht playing the organ. They played Pictures at an Exhibition with ESO Principle Trumpeter, Alvin Lowrey. During the performance, the pipes were lit up in blue, red and purple, which made for some very striking photographs.

The last concert we took in, there were signs all over saying no photographs. I didn't see any this time, so I was glad I brought my old Sc along - though I did have to take the shots at 800 ISO. The images are quite grainy, but I'm still happy with them.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Morning rewards

You know, Anna thinks me a little strange for liking mornings so much... All I can say, is that they *do* have their rewards :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Cariwest Parade

Cariwest Parade
Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: Philippe got some really amazing shots of the parade (see below) using the 70-300mm lens. I used the 18-55mm lens to get the distance shots he wouldn't be able to get. I've got mine uploaded here, if you want to see the rest.

Keep in mind when looking at these photos, we were near the very end of a long parade route. Not just in distance, which would have been enough to tire participants out, but in time. The police were able to close the main route to traffic, but there were a number of cross streets they couldn't close completely. Every now and then, between floats, they had to stop and let the traffic through. The parade was supposed to start at 12 or 12:30 (depending on where the info was coming from) but it was past 1 before we saw the start. It was past 2:40 by the time we packed up our chairs and headed home, so it would have been closer to 3 before the tail of the parade reached the end, a few blocks away from where we were.

This is one of the few decent frontal shots I managed to get. It was a fantastic parade with amazing costumes, but I wasn't able to get many clear shots, and those were almost all profile and back shots. Mostly due to one particular old woman who kept blocking my view, though she wasn't the only one. We were near an intersection, and whenever a new group drew close, a surge of people would step into the crosswalk area, taking pictures. Some would take their shots and step out, but a couple just stayed out until the group had passed, blocking everyone's view. By the end of the parade, people were actually walking into the parade, following people around, blocking any chance I - and others around me - had of getting a clear shot. It was very frustrating! I found myself glad I thought to bring my old S3 along and took some video, allowing me to catch the costumes in the gaps.

CariWest parade

Philippe: I got about 225 shots total, but only about 30 or so that were worth posting; here's a few of them :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Morning Fog

We've got a morning fog rolling in from the river; it usually dissipates fairly quickly, but the shots are still fun while it's there :D

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Edmonton Folk Festival from our balcony

Anna: Our balcony happens to be directly across the river from the park used by the Edmonton Folk Festival. The festival starts tonight, but last night they had a sort of pre-concert, with performances by Tracy Chapman, Meaghan Smith and Sarah McLachlan. We can't really hear much, but this is what we can see.

(click on images for access to larger sizes)

Folk Festival pre-concert

This was taken using Philippe's 70-300mm lens at almost maximum zoom. This is the crowd about 45 minutes before the concert was supposed to start.

Folk Festival pre-concert

Usually candles are sold on the grounds, but for this night people were given free candles at the entrance. It made for a lovely sight! This is a 2 second exposure.

Then I decided to experiment. :-D

Folk Festival pre-concert

I switched to manual and tried a technique I'd read about in a photography magazine. It's a 30 second exposure, but I started it at minimum zoom. For the first 10-15 seconds, I slowly zoomed in as far as it would go, then left it for the remaining exposure time. I tried it the other way around, too. This one turned out the best, I think.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Anna: Today we got to visit with someone we haven't seen in many years, taking the opportunity to explore new areas. One of those was the town of Beaumont, located south of Edmonton.

St. Vital Catholic Church, Beaumont, AB

This is the reason we stopped. From the highway, we could see this striking building at the top of a hill. It's the historic St. Vital Catholic Church.

The Sower, Beaumont, AB

This statue is in front of the church (it has a grotto, too). I played around with the lighting and contrast of this photo, after using the clarify function on my PSP X2. I don't usually like to modify photos much, but it really made an otherwise flat looking photo pop, and the white of the statue stand out from the white of the clouds.

So tiny!

Originally uploaded by amkb

Anna: The family and I took advantage of the time left on the day pass for Elk Island National Park we got yesterday. We took in the Bison Loop again, then headed for Astiton Lake, which had some of the shorter trails. It was hot and extremely muggy, so we didn't do an all out hike, but we did check out a few spots.

We had just parked the van and headed towards the open water we could see with a boat launch. As we got closer, the girls spotted tiny frogs hopping all over the gravel, heading for the water. They caught this one, then released it near the plants along the water, so it wouldn't get stepped on.

The water here was very muddy and murky. Not only did we see more tiny frog swimming in it, but it was seething and rippling with leeches! It was fascinating, if somewhat creepy, to watch.

Later on, we could see a beach with people playing in the water. I'm sure the water was deeper and clearer there, but after seeing what we did, I don't think I could ever set foot in that lake! *L*

Saturday, August 1, 2009



Anna: Why did the bison cross the road?


Who's going to stop him?

Being the new owners of a vehicle we aren't afraid will fall apart and die any moment, we went for a drive outside the city and ended up visiting Elk Island National Park. We didn't take very many photos, as we weren't prepared to be there for any length of time, but will definately be going back. Aside from bison, we saw some deer, oodles of prairie dogs, beaver dams and waterfowl. Next time, we need to come prepared for hiking!