Sunday, June 29, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
This is Rochford Square One of four historic squares within the boundaries of historic old Charlottetown: Rochford Square, Connaught Square, Hillsborough Square, and Kings Square. These squares were laid out in a plan drawn by surveyor Thomas Wright in 1771. These squares have been sources of civic pride since the first community tree planting took place in 1884.
In 2000, as part of a millennium project for the Charlottetown Kiwanis Club, and in cooperation with surrounding neighbours, one of the four historic green squares was redeveloped. Rochford Square, a four-hectare rectangle across from the Provincial Buildings on Pownal St. was developed into a Victorian-style Garden, complete with new pathways, ornate flowerbeds, benches and new shrub beds. This is now a popular location for wedding photographs and tourist pictures.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Since we started the project a bit early, we are going to mark the official start of summer with our first photo challenge. To kind of get us into the swing of things without too much stress, our first challenge will be Photographer's Choice. Go out and take a picture of whatever catches your eye, whether it is on your list or not.
Ah, but there is a catch. You knew there had to be one, didn't you? I couldn't let you off that easy now, could I?
So what is the catch? Just this: instead of running out into the yard and snapping a picture of the dog or the garden gnome and saying you're done, I want you to think about your picture. Really think. How can I make this a better shot? How can I make this picture more pleasing to the eye? Use your rules of composition, your depth of field, and your exposure triangle (ISO, Shutter speed, and Aperture) to take, not just a shapshot of Uncle Fred, but a portrait.
Now I know that many of you have the rules of composition down, but for those of you unfamiliar with them, I will summarize them. For further review, an in depth article can be found here.
The first rule of composition is: Get Closer. When I was in the Navy, I went to one of my schools in Orlando, Fl. While there, I briefly dated a guy I'll call Randy. One weekend, Randy and I went to Disneyworld. While walking through the Magic Kingdom, Randy said, "Sit down on that bench and I'll take your picture."
I sat down and Randy promptly turned and walked to the other side of the park. Ok, I exaggerate, but he did walk at least 50 yards away. That's yards, not feet.
"What are you going to take a picture of?" I yelled. I had to yell because he was so far away, he wouldn't have heard me otherwise. "You won't even be able to see me from that far away. Come closer."
Randy took a couple of steps closer.
"Come closer than that!" I yelled, and Randy took a few more steps towards me.
"Closer!!!" I called again.
"What do you want me to do?" Randy yelled back. "Stand on top of you to take the #@*& picture?"
I gave in and let him take the picture he wanted to take. This is the result:
It's an --eh--picture, but not really a great one. I don't know why people think they need to take pictures from 1/2 mile away, but it is one of the most common mistakes beginning photographers make. How much better this photo would have been had Randy gotten close enough. (I employed a little creative cropping to get this image--thus the poor quality.)
To get even closer to your subject, don't be afraid to turn your camera sideways:
While you are getting closer, don't forget to check your background. Is it cluttered? Is there a light pole growing out of Aunt Rosemary's head? Are there Spongebob eyes peering over the Miller Lite monster's shoulder? That actually looks kind of cool, but in a nice portrait, the only eyes you want to see are that of your subject(s).
Rule #2: The Rule Of Thirds. Divide your photo area in to thirds, both horizontally and vertically. If you have a horizontal plane in your photo, place it along one of the horizontal lines. If you have a vertical object, place it along one of the vertical lines. For a single object, place it at the intersection of two of the lines. For some reason, the lower left intersection seems to be my favorite, as in this picture of blueberries:
Now, I'm not saying you should measure and divide your photo. Just eyeball it and you'll be close enough.
Rule # 3: Diagonals. Positioning your subject diagonally across the photo is also a pleasing composition. Notice in this picture of the polar bear and the picture taker:
the diagonal line from the upper left to the lower right. (Not to blow my own horn, but this has got to be my very favorite picture I ever took.)
Rule #4: Depth of Field. If your camera has a setting in which you can change the aperture, just remember, the smaller the aperture number, the smaller the depth of field. I can get into a long, boring explanation of focal lengths and whatnot, but really that's all you need to know. Why is depth of field important. The picture of the moth I posted on my blog, how cluttered would it have looked had all the details of my front yard been in sharp focus?
Now in some cases, you may want a greater depth of field. In that case, set your aperture to a bigger number.
These are enough to get you started. If you want to read about this subject in greater detail, there are many online photography sites to help you. The Morguefile site that I linked above has some great articles. Do go and check them out.
The Sand Springs Home was built by Charles Page, an Oilman, in 1906 and originally consisted of one large house for orphans. The orignal house has since been demolished, and been replaced by a bigger, much nicer home. In addition to the main house there are several large group homes that each house 4 or 5 kids and houseparents. Just to the east of where the group homes stand are two sections of duplexes named the Widows Colony, or "the colony". These duplexes are occupied by woman, unmarried/divorced/widowed, with two or more children. There are fairly strict rules that have to be followed if you want to live in the colony, like no alcohol is allowed on the premises, no overnight male visitors, you have to work at least part time and you have to prove that your children are enrolled in and regularly attending school. There are housekeeping standards that have to be met and you have to keep your small lawn mowed raked and trimmed. In the summer you are required to water your lawn every day.
They're allowed to place so many restrictions on their residents because the organization does not now, nor has it ever, taken any local, state, or federal funds. It has always operated on the money, land, and real estate that Charles Page donated for the cause.
The rules are worth it, in exchange for their compliance a woman with two or more children can live there rent-free until her youngest child is 18 years old. The colony pays all utilities too, electric, natural gas, water, trash, it's all included in the rent (which, like I said is $0). In addition to that there are several playgrounds, a swimming pool, a beautiful community center, and they operate a summer camp, each child gets to go to sleep-away camp for a week every summer that they live in the colony...FREE. That in and of itself is priceless, gives the kids a vacation...and the moms too.
OK, that was a long story, and probably way more than you wanted to know. I am just so proud that my community has such a place and I had to share the story.
You might have noticed the plaque on the end of the sign. Here's what it says:
Friday, June 20, 2008
Anyone who’s traveled on the American Great Plains knows the landscape is dotted with windmills... most of which are still functioning, drawing water for cattle and other livestock. In some parts of the country the standard joke is the windmill is the Unofficial State Tree. That’s probably true here on The High Plains of
One of Portales, New
The Dalley Windmill Collection
One of the residents of Portales has a collection of 75 windmills from around the world. You can drive by and see all of the beautiful windmills. On a good and windy day they will be turning and charming the eyes of viewers.
Phone (505) 356-6263
“A good and windy day” would be nearly any day in P-Ville, except for today. I took a ride out to the Dalley’s place to take the pictures you see here. I had hoped to talk to Mr. Dalley and get some background on his collection but no one was home…alas and alack. I was able to take pictures, though… and this post contains three such.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The birthplace of The Confederation of Canada and the seat of Prince Edward Island's provincial legislature since 1847, Province House National Historic Site stands as a landmark in Charlottetown.
Designed and built by local architect Isaac Smith to accommodate the provincial legislature and administrative office.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Farm or Zoo animal
Festival or Fair
Flip-Flops (on someone)
Food and Drink
Rain (Summer Rain)
Small Town Square
Something defining your region
Tree branches against blue sky
Wig (someone wearing)
The project will run from now until September 22. If interest is still high, we can compile a new list and start again.
I know that most of us know each other, but for those who don't let's begin by posting a brief introduction.
Finally, if you know of someone who is interested in joining us, don't hesitate to send me his e-mail and I will certainly invite him to join.