Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sunset from the Ferry

Continuing on a bit from the last few posts from July 2007, this was taken from the ferry as we were finally getting away after the false bomb threat. There is some white balance post processing on this but no Topaz adjustments. You will note that this was shot at ISO 400 with a fairly high shutter speed. This is because I had been doing a lot of shooting inside the ferry and simply forget to drop the ISO down. I do that way to often although, hopefully, less and less.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 68 mm, 1/1000 sec @ f20, ISO 400.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ferry Terminal Gates

This was taken the same day as yesterday's picture (July 28, 2007). I just took a few shots while waiting in the ferry terminal parking lot and I kind of like what the Topaz filters added to this pic. Later on, while the ferry was partway to Vancouver Island, it turned around and returned here due to a bomb threat. What fun. We spent way too many hours on this ferry until it was verified that there was no bomb on board and we finally headed across the strait.

Spec: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 47 mm, 1/200 @ f11, ISO 100.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Campground Deer

Another picture from the summer of 2007. Returning home from Vernon, B.C. we stopped for a couple of nights in Manning Park. The morning we were leaving a young boy from another site said that there was a deer that was grazing very close. This is that deer and I was able to get quite close.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 85 mm, 1/125 sec @ f6.3, ISO 100.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Old Thresher

I love old farm equipment because my Grandparents and many of my relatives on my mother's side of the family farm(ed) in Saskatchewan. In fact, for many years I think something like this sat in the tall grass at my Grandparent's farm. This is what they used to use to reap the grain and I think it was still fairly labor intensive unlike the huge modern combines they use now.

This was also taken at O'Keefe Ranch.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 50mm, 1/100 sec @ f8, ISO 100, Topaz Labs.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Serving Candy

O'Keefe Ranch has an old general store where they sell a few things, candy mostly. The group I was with bought some candy and this worker sold them for us and I took the shot. I thought it worked good in B&W and I used Topaz Adjust to convert from color.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 85 mm, 1/20 sec @ f5.6, ISO 1600.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Spinning at O'Keefe Ranch

One of the nice things at O'Keefe Ranch is that they have employees in character and sometimes with interesting, old-time skills that they demonstrate. This is Carole (according to her name tag) and she was demonstrating this spinning thingamajig (I don't recall the exact proper name). It made for a great shot (I was just shooting at anything and everything with what was a brand new toy at the time) and the imitation HDR that you can get with Topaz Labs adjust just pops out all the colors and details.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 28 mm, 1/50 @ f5.6, ISO 800.

Friday, April 24, 2009

O'Keefe Ranch Church

The old church at historic O'Keefe Ranch.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 17mm, 1/160 @ f9, ISO 100.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


While lost in the desert and almost dead of thirst I stumbled across this victim and managed to take a shot......

Actually, this was taken at O'Keefe Ranch just outside of Vernon, B.C. in July 2007. This display was indoors and behind glass but the benefits of shooting raw allowed me to just shoot and worry about white balance later.

Of course, I didn't know much about any of that at the time (I know a little bit more now, but still fairly new at this game). The great thing about trying to post a picture a day is going back to pictures that I've done little with because I didn't get into Photoshop much until later on in the year.

I took a lot of pictures at this historic ranch and will be posting a few over the next several days.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 38 mm, 1/10 sec @ f5, ISO 1600.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

More from the Garden

Here is another shot with the same info as yesterday's post except that, of course, this is not a daffodil, it is a hyacinth. I also used the gold reflector to get some light on the flower.

I did use a mild color pop setting in Topaz adjust.

Specs: Specs: Canon 30D, 70-200 lens @ 116 mm, 1/80 @ f8, ISO 100.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


There are two significant things about this shot. The first (and most obvious) is that I'm not a flower shooter so this is the best it gets. The second is that these are the first daffodils we have ever had in our yard in over 32 years of marriage. This past fall, in an effort to make our back yard look better, we set aside a spot for a flower garden. My wife planted a bunch of bulbs and she was happy to see them come up. I have been tardy in getting out with the camera so I missed the crocuses, but these will do and the hyacinth I'll post tomorrow.

The sun was not getting to these flowers since it was late afternoon and the sun was behind the fence in the background so I grabbed my 5 in 1 reflector and used the gold side to reflect some sun into the flowers. This helped pop them out from the background a bit. My wife held the reflector overhead to catch the sun and send it back to the flowers.

Specs: Canon 30D, 70-200 lens @ 111 mm, 1/125 @ f8, ISO 100.

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Trains

This is another shot taken in October 2007. We were on our way from Fernie to Fort MacLeod when we had to stop on the highway and wait for this train to go buy. So, I got out my camera and took a few shots.

I like trains, maybe because I worked on our yard train for a couple of years in the papermill where I work.

Tomorrow a new shot from my wife's garden.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 59 mm, 1/125 @ f8, ISO 100, Topaz Adjust filter.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fernie Downtown

This is another shot from our trip to Saskatchewan in October 2007. My wife and I lived briefly in Fernie, B.C. back in 1976-77 and so we stopped in to have a look around. I took this shot of one of the gorgeous mountains that surround the town, including some of the buildings on main street.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 85mm, 1/250 sec @ f10, ISO 100, Converted to B&W in Topaz Adjust.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Ferry Dock

I took this in April 2008 while we were waiting for the ferry on our usual trip to the interior to see family. I liked the angle and color and contrasting colors on the posts. It was on this trip, possibly this day, that I purchased the 70-200 f4 IS L Canon lens, my current favorite (because its my best) lens.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 85mm, 1/125 sec @ f8, ISO 100, Topaz Adjusted.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Banff Mountain

In October 2007, my wife and I took a trip to Saskatchewan to see my mother and some relatives I hadn't seen in years. On our return, we came through Banff and somewhere along the way I took this shot.

October 24, 2007.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 85 mm, 1/250 sec @ f9, ISO 100, Black and White conversion in Topaz Labs Adjust.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blurry Grass at Kekuli Bay

Later on in July, 2007 we camped at Kekuli Bay Provincial Park just outside of Vernon, B.C. I noticed this grass blowing in the breeze and lit by the warm glow of the campfire so I took a couple of shots one night and a few more the next night. I specifically was looking for the movement blur that a slower shutter speed would give. I've played with this picture several times and this is my latest attempt making use of the Topaz Labs Adjust filters.

Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 28mm, 30 secs @ f10, ISO 200, Topaz Labs Adjust filter.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fern and Leaf

One more from Stamp Falls in July 2007. I liked the color of this leaf surrounded by the green grass and ferns.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 85mm, 1/20 sec @ f5.6, ISO 100, Topaz Labs Adjust filter.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Torch Detail

Here is another shot from Stamp Falls in July 2007, this one from our campsite. We have a couple of metal torch stands that hold citronella oil. This is some detail from it.

The interesting effect is from, what else, the topaz adjust filter. The background blur is a combination of the natural blur from the f stop which is enhanced a great deal with the filter effect. I like it.

Specs: Canon 30D, 17-85 lens @ 85mm, 1/4 sec @ f 5.6, ISO 100.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mossy Branches

This is a shot from a camping trip at Stamp Falls in July 2007. We live in a temperate rain forest so there is a lot of moss. I liked how the light fell on these mossy branches.

Specs: Canon 30D, 1/20 sec @ f 5.6, 17-85 lens@47mm. Developed in Adobe Camera raw and Adobe Photoshop. Topaz Labs Adjust filter used.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Coast Guard Hovercraft

On July 28, 2007, while returning from camping in the Okanagan, the ferry we got on ended up being delayed a number of hours due to a bomb threat that ultimately turned out to be fake.

We were stuck on the ferry for several hours before, fortunately, we left and headed to Vancouver Island where we finally got home late that night.

I took a great many shots during that time and this is one of them. A Coast Guard boat came by and I took a couple of shots. The ferry in the foreground was another ferry delayed. The people there were offloaded before the bomb squad dogs searched the boat. They didn't offload us but they did bring the dogs on board. It was a very interesting several hours. The crew conducted themselves very well and there was no panic by passengers although a few were antsy. I usually don't believe these threats and so I just tried to enjoy the hours, although it was a bit frustrating.

Specs: f8, 1/500 sec, 17-85 lens at 85mm (I didn't have my 70-200 yet.)

Saturday, April 11, 2009


I was just wandering around our campsite area last June when we at the Living Forest RV park in Nanaimo, B.C. and saw these flowers (I think they're bluebells but I'm no botanist) after a rain shower.

Specs: f5.6, 1/50 sec, ISO 100, 70-200 lens at 200mm. Topaz Labs adjusted.

I'm still trying to get myself motivated to take the camera out and around to get some newer pics. Just haven't made it yet.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Hope Mountains

While returning home from another trip to Vernon on March 16th, we stopped at Subway in Hope, B.C. When we came out I saw this scene looking across the highway and over the Fraser River. So I took the time to take some pictures. It probably contributed to missing the ferry we wanted to catch but I liked the shot.

I used the Topaz filters to convert this to black and white.

Specs: f11, 1/160 sec, ISO 100, 70-200 lens at 173 mm.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Arrow Lake from the Ferry

While my wife and I were in Vernon last December for holidays (we go there often because we have family there, including our three precious grandsons) we traveled to Halcyon Hot Springs Resort and spent four lovely days there. The highway that takes you there requires a short ferry ride across Arrow Lake. I grabbed my camera and took some shots and this is the best one. This was taken on December 12, 2008.

Amazingly, I did not use the Topaz Labs filters on this one, but I did use some adjustment layers in photoshop with levels, curves, hue/saturation and black and white to achieve the look I liked.

Shot specs: f5.6, 1/100 sec, ISO 100, 17-85 lens at 26 mm.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Stamp Falls

Stamp Falls is a small, but intense waterfall near where I live. The view in this picture shows the fast moving rapids just before the fall. It is intense enough that there is a set of fish ladders to enable the spawning salmon to get up the falls a bit easier.

Now, of course, I have applied the Topaz filters here to get a simulated HDR effect that is all the rage right now. The interesting thing to me is that the saturation aspect of the filter picked up some color that must be reflecting into the water that appeared pretty much solid white in the original. I was a little blown away when I saw it.

This shot was taken on July 3, 2007 not that long after I purchased my digital SLR. I used the 17-85 lens that I purchased with the camera. The other specs: f22, 1/4 sec, ISO 100, lens at 28 mm. I don't believe I used a tripod but I was stretched out on a rock with the camera stabilized on the rock.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

More Remnants

Here's another shot from last June while camping at Living Forest.

Just a bunch of cable remnants left from whatever industry used to exist along the Nanaimo River.

I did use Topaz Labs to get rid of the noise and convert to black and white.

Specs: f13, 1/160 sec, ISO 1600(!!??), lens at 100 mm.

Monday, April 6, 2009


In June, 2008 my wife and I were camping at Living Forest RV park in Nanaimo. I took this on a walk along the Nanaimo River. Obviously there was once a mill of some kind along here because there are many leftover remnants of something that was here including these support beams. You can see another funny remnant here.

This was taken just before the premature birth of my third grandson that cut short our camping trip. You can see he's come a long way since his incubator days here and here.

Specs on this shot: f13, 1/1000 sec, ISO 1600 (I forgot to adjust the ISO back down after taking some low light shots), focal length 70 mm with my 70-200 lens. Until I purchased the Topaz Labs filters, this was quite noisy because of the high ISO (the higher the ISO the more digital noise you will get.) The two filters I bought are Denoise and Adjust. Denoise is obvious and made a real difference in this photo and then I used the Adjust filter for the look that I've become enamored of.

Another side note about ISO. You can get away with a higher ISO with a digital SLR than you can with the point and shoot cameras. Most of the smaller sensor cameras (ie. non-SLRs) get noisy real fast as you move up the ISO ladder. You should do some tests yourselves but you probably shouldn't go much above 200. Most of the newer cameras have auto ISO that will ramp the ISO up in low light situations. The amount of noise that is acceptable depends upon how important the shot is. With my Canon 30D, ISO 400 is usually quite acceptable, 800 less so (especially on bright sunny days, but that's another mistake), and 1600 definitely needs some noise reduction work.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Englishman River Falls 2

Here's another view of the upper Englishman River Falls. For this one, I climbed down, over the rail, off the path to get on a more even keel with the falls. I'm not real adventurous and this wasn't that dangerous, but I did have to take some care, especially carrying a camera and tripod.

Specs: f13, .06 sec, ISO 100, 30 mm focal length. Developed using my Topaz Labs filters.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Englishman River Falls

There is a beautiful Provincial Park about 30 minutes away from us called Englishman River Provincial Park. Within the park are two waterfalls, upper and lower. This is the lower one. It was taken on September 3, 2008 while we were camping there and, of course, it has had the Topaz Labs adjust filter applied.

It was shot at f22, 5 second exposure, ISO 100 and I probably had a polarizing filter on although I don't recall with certainty. It was taken around 7:00 in the evening with my 17-85 mm lens at 17 mm.

I wanted that blurred look to the falls which is achieved by longer shutter times. Of course, I used a tripod.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Horseshoe Bay, B.C.

Today marks 10 consecutive days of publishing photos in this new attempt at being more consistent. I am helped by being able to schedule these so I can do several in a row. Since I work shift work there I sometimes have more time to work at this than I do at others so it is a big help to just set them up.

As I mentioned in the first post of this new restart, we had a bit of a ferry wait in Horseshoe Bay, B.C. and I took a few pictures. This is a shot looking towards the park with a couple of walkways down to the marina in front. The blue building to the left is a lovely little coffee shop that makes a bold coffee comparable to Starbucks. (If you like Starbucks, which I do, a lot.) Unfortunately, it is closed during the winter months. A Starbucks has recently opened up across the road and, despite my love for Starbucks coffee, I sincerely hope it has no impact on this coffee shop. It will still be my preference when I want a coffee.

The other thing about this picture is that it is, like most of my pictures these day, processed with the Topaz Labs Adjust Filter. They recently released an upgrade and one feature is a button called "I'm feeling very lucky!" that randomizes all the sliders every time you push it. This look is one it came up with so I saved it and called it Lucky Dark Paint because it looks a bit like a painting to me.

The photo itself is shot at f8, 1/50 sec, ISO 400 with the lens at 89 mm. The lens I use most of the time (because it is the best lens I own and I love it) is a Canon 70-200 f4 L.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I went outside in Vernon to take some pictures of my two oldest grandsons but they had disappeared into their friend's house or backyard by the time I got there so I took a few pictures around the house. The neighbor's cat was watching me so I took a couple of shots.

Now, I'm not a huge cat lover but my wife is. We have two cats ourselves and I seldom take pictures of them. But, I thought I'd play with the filters on this picture and so we have this cat, with a bit more vivid colors than it really had, although it was still a lovely color. Hey, the magazines photoshop the celebrities all the time, why not a cat?

Shot at f4, 1/200 sec, ISO 100, with the lens at 200 mm.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Log Yard

One last shot from the car on the way back from Salmon Arm to Vernon.

Something like this is close to home for me since I also make my living from BC's forest industry. I work as a Power Engineer in the Catalyst Papermill in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.

The forest industry is a bit of a slump these days, especially paper but also many sawmills. This one certainly looks like it has a good supply of logs and hopefully is providing some good employment for the people of the area.

I used pretty much the same techniques as I have for the other pictures in this series. Shot at f4, 1/400 sec and ISO100 with the lens at 70 mm.

Now I need to find some other pictures in my library to post and then I'd better get out shooting again to provide some new material.

Note, too that I chose not to participate in April Fool's day since I haven't prepared a shot of any kind that would be suitable. Maybe next year if I can continue with this blog that long.