Winter Walk in Claireville

I’m back in Claireville again. This time it’s a quick walk by myself for some fresh air and hopefully something interesting to photograph. After trying to find some inspiration I came across some ice in the river that had loads of potential.

Icicles

Icicles

It took some time after photographing these to decide how to portray them.I thought monotone colour would be best to showcase the details of how the ice has formed on these rocks in the middle of the river. In the first photograph I choose a more traditional black and white photo.

Icy Rocks

Icy Rocks

After playing around with the second image I decided to not do the black and white but to choose a blue cast to give it a cooler feel. Would you have processed these differently?

The Shrieking Shack

I was visiting my friends, Brad & Tracey, for a Christmas celebration last night and on my way home this afternoon I decided to stop at a shack I discovered awhile ago. It’s my new favourite ruin up here in Grey County since the old house on highway 10 collapsed in a big storm. 

Old Shack

Old Shack

Abandoned sheds/homes/buildings have so much more character than newer ones. It has a history to it and figuring out its story is what makes it fun to revisit time and time again.

Old Country Road

Old Road

Before leaving Grey County I made one last stop at this old road. I don’t know where it leads.. Where do you think the road will take you?

The Summer Homes of Sintra: Pena Palace

A short train ride away from Lisbon is the city of Sintra. Located on the west side of Portugal, Sintra was once a summer retreat for the kings of Portugal. There is a lot to see and do here and certainly not enough time in the day to do them all. I limited myself to three locations hoping I could tackle them all in the time I had.

When the train pulled into the station I wandered out into the streets to find the local bus that would take me up the hill to Pena Palace. By starting at the top I could walk down to the Moorish castle and then into the heart of Sintra to Quinta da Regaliera. It was best not to look out the windows as these experienced drivers whipped up the hill along narrow, twisty streets.

National Palace of Pena

National Palace of Pena

Arriving safely (thank goodness) at Pena the photos I had seen did not do it justice. The unique architecture and colours of Pena Palace and Park are an example of Portuguese Romanitcism. Built in the 19th century it is one of the more popular spots here in Sintra and one can see why. Reds, yellow and blues merge together to create a one-of -a-kind castle. And, of course, the views from this far up ain’t too shabby either.

Looking out over Pena

Looking out over Pena

The crowds here were crazy but with a little patience I was able to get a few shots during some of the lulls. From the castle I walked down into the palace grounds. Pena Park, as its known, is very large and unfortunately I did not have enough time to explore much, but I did get some time to see a small portion of it.

Fountain of the Small Birds

Fountain of the Small Birds

This moorish building is called the Fountain of the Small Birds. Inside its structure is just that, a fountain. As for the small birds I did not see any but I”m sure they visit here during the quiet times. Heading out of the grounds I walked downhill to the Morrish castle. From its walls one can see Pena Palace in the distance. And it is quite a sight.

Pena Palace

Pena Palace From the Morrish Castle

In my next post I’ll take you through my walk at the Morrish castle.

An Adventure in Portugal

OMG! Guys!! I am in Portugal. It was a mid summer suggestion from friends of mine to join them in their rental in Lisbon and now here I am! And all I can say is WOW. First its damn hot and second I AM IN LOVE. It’s so beautiful here and I’ve only explored a small section of the city.

Vine Wall In Alfama

Vine Wall In Alfama

During my first afternoon I wandered over to Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest neighbourhood. This section of Lisbon that was first settled by Romans and flourished under Moorish times. The narrow streets take you back through time as you walk along its meandering path. Here you will also find Castello de Såo Jorge sitting on the crown of the hill. I didn’t explore this today but I will definitely be paying a visit soon.

Number 32

Number 32

Old European cities are my favourite places to wander. There are so many things to photograph and Number 32 is a great example of the kinds of things I love to photograph. The old ornate wooden doors with their paint peeling tell a story of better days.

Lisbon Streetcar

Lisbon Streetcar

Wandering back into the bustle of the neighbourhood of Baixa and Avenida I started noticing these yellow trams. Tram number 28 is the traditional way to see Lisbon’s sights. The tram winds its way around the city, up its steep hills and through the narrow streets to give tourists an easy way to see the sights without all the leg work. On hot days like today I think I would rather walk the streets than be huddled together in this small tram.

Backyard Views

I was sitting out on the patio this evening with my camera in hopes of catching something interesting. 

One-Legged Robin

One-Legged Robin

I got lucky when a robin decided to visit. She look a little rough land in this photo seem to be a one-legged robin. Okay, she wasn’t really one-legged but she kept sitting there staring at me with her foot up. It looked so odd. Eventually she had enough and flew away. After her brief visit I decided to explore the garden and work on some close-up photography.

Cherry Bark

Cherry Bark

This closeup is of a cherry tree that is over 40 years old and unfortunately will not be around much longer. The trunk has been split open for years and the main branches have broken in the past due to the weight of the cherries. Nowadays there are very little cherries to eat in the hot summer sun so its time for this tree to go and a new one to take its place.

A Study in Long Exposure

It’s been a couple weeks since I’ve gone out to photograph and today with the sky overcast I thought it would be a good time to head back to 50 Point Pier for some moody photos. I brought along my 10x ND filter to get my experiment on.

ND or neutral density filters are like sunglasses for your camera. The filter can be either screwed on to the front of your lens or it can slide in front of your lens with the help of a filter holder (sold separate from the filter, lens or camera). When placed on the lens it reduces the amount of light getting in to your camera’s sensor. 

Pier without the ND filter

Pier without the ND filter. Shutter speed 1/6th of a second

 There are different densities of filters. Some are only slightly tinted while others are more tinted. The different levels of tints allow you to shoot slower shutter speeds or open your aperture depending on what you are looking to accomplish with your photos.

Why would you want a longer shutter speed? When allowing your shutter to be open longer anything moving in your scene will essentially smooth out as shown in the photograph below.

50 point pier with 10x ND Filter. Shutter speed 87 seconds

You’ll notice in the photo above that the colours are very different from the photo at the very beginning of this post. ND filters are supposed to be a neutral grey colour, however, they usually tend to have a little colour in them. This colour becomes more prominent when shooting a long exposure. You will notice the one I use shifts the colour toward a more purple shade. This is because there is a little purple in the grey tone of my filter. 

50 point pier in Black and White. Shutter speed 15 seconds

One way to get rid of this colour shift is to create beautiful black and white images. Of course, if you are shooting in RAW you will be able to adjust the colour in your post processing to create the look you want.

Photography is all about experimenting and having a little fun. Most people don’t usually have a 10x ND filter but have one of the more common ones like a 3x or 6x. You are the artist so you decide which one works best for you.

Happy Experimenting!