Tuesday, March 29, 2011

There is no place like home...

There is no place like home... except Grandma's (& Pa's) ~ Author Unknown

Growing up, I spent a lot of time at both of my grandparents' homes. We all lived in a small town in the Rocky Mountains, so no one was ever more than 5 minutes away. I cherish the memories that I have with them and the time that I spent at their houses - family dinners, exploring, playing with my cousins, eating grandma's cooking, and generally just being spoiled.
Last week when I went back to visit my grandparents, I felt so lucky to still be able to visit the house where my mom (and in a lot of respects - I) grew up. Although I could have probably used an entire roll of film (or two) just taking pictures of things around the house, I was impeded by 2 things: firstly a lack of bright enough light with no flash, and secondly only my one long lens that is really difficult to use in close ups. Also because of the expired film I was using, I had to do some major touch-ups with photofiltre. Some of the images still have what appears to be light leaks (though I usually don't get light leaks on my Pentax) that could not be fixed with any photo software that I have.
All photos taken with my Pentax K1000 (the camera that was originally my grandfathers but that he imparted on me. He was happy to see it again and we had some good photog discussions). Now without further ado..

Memories of Gramma & Pa's... 

Gramma's canning - Peaches, pears, apricots, cherries (Peaches were my favourite)

Gramma's ceramic shop where she would teach lessons. These are the remnants of this lost (?) art.

Pa's tool room where he used to make the best wooden toys and puzzles; including doll beds for each of his granddaughters and a toy castle for his grandson.

And... random mystery objects that always seemed so fascinating when I was a kid. 

"Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting" ~ Author Unknown

Sunday, March 27, 2011

West Coast Winter

Just to be fair... here are a few pictures from the surprise snowfall we got here in Vancouver at the end of February. It lasted about a day or so.
I have been thinking about it, and I think that one of the reasons that I am so unexcited about winter this year is because I have such an exciting spring/summer coming up! I just want the winter to be done because then I will be that much closer to all the wonderful things that still await me this year :)
All photos taken in Vancouver with my Pentax K1000

Friday, March 25, 2011

Wicked Winter

Though I have been a little pessimistic about the snow this year - in the Kootneys and here in Vancouver, I usually am quite happy when the white stuff falls because we see it so rarely here. (See here here). This year is just one of those years when I am done with winter sooner than usual. I don't know why.
So, to be fair, here are a few more pictures from my trip into the Rockies this week that would have been a whole lot less interesting if it weren't for the snow. All photos taken with my Pentax K1000

Thursday, March 24, 2011

West Coast Wimp

I am a self-proclaimed, adapted, West Coast Wimp. When I first moved to the coast I would "wow" my friends with tales of 6 foot-high snow banks, downhill skiing in -35 degree celsius weather, walking to school (uphill both ways, of course) while my eyelashes frosted together and a frozen snot mustache grew on my upper lip.
Well now - how the mighty have fallen! I went back to my Rocky Mountain hometown for a visit last weekend and I am appalled that there is still several feet of snow on the ground in some places, and that it was actually snowing on the first day of spring!
"Why the heck is it still winter here??"
Of course, my friends and family who live there simply laughed at me and replied "You have been away too long... this IS spring!"
*Le sigh* and a grand realization - I am officially a West Coast Wimp.
You guys be the judge... is this not ludicrous for mid-March?
All photos taken with my Pentax K1000

As a comparison, here is a photo I took yesterday (just 1 day after my trip to the Kootneys) with my Digital Canon EOS Rebel XS here on the mild West Coast.
Je t'adore Vancouver.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

WAW #4 - Detail

This week's Weekly Assignment Wednesday was to take a photo of "detail". It is probably a good thing that I was away for a good chunk of this week and didn't have the digital camera with me because up-close, detailed photos are my favourite kind to take... I would have ended up with 100's to choose from!
I think my fondness for close-ups is partially due to the fact that when I got into photography, I was using my Olympus PenF film camera which only has a 38mm lens on it (no zoom). I got used to getting in really close to capture interesting photos - it is really tough to get an interesting distant shot on it. Of course once I started using my Pentax K1000 which has a 45-125mm zoom lens on it, I had to completely reevaluate how I took photos. As a side note, I played a little with Jeffrey's Pentax lens yesterday which is a 28-80mm lens with a macro zoom function. I really liked it and I think between our 2 Pentax lenses, we have a wide range of possibilities.
The digital Canon Rebel XS has a 18-55mm zoom lens on it, and of course, being digital, it also has all sorts of gadgets and settings to help get a good close-up shot. I am finding that since I learned how to use the manual zoom on this camera, I like it a whole lot more!

Next week's assignment: Self Portrait (hmmm... shouldn't be too hard. Just need to find a way to make it interesting/unique).

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gramma & "Pa"

I just got back from a visit to the town where I grew up. I went to visit my grandparents and a dear friend who lives there... but I was also met with cold and snow! I know snow in March isn't surprising to most of Canada, but as an adapted West Coast Wimp, I was less than impressed by the white stuff. On the bright side though, it gave me a great excuse to stay inside and lounge around visiting.
Growing up, I think I spent half of my time at my grandparents' house... my mom always says that they helped to raise my brother and I. I have very fond memories of their house and of spending time with them.While there, I managed to take about 1 and 1/2 rolls of film on my Pentax K1000 (which was actually my Grandfather's camera before he gave it to me... along with every other camera or video camera he had in his house - in his attempt to get rid of some "junk"). I have yet to get them developed, but will soon... in the meantime, here are pictures that I took of them a few summers ago when I first got my Olympus.
I love my Gramma & Pa so much, and I am so fortunate to have been so close to all of my grandparents.
Though it is over 10 years since my other grandparents passed, I still miss my Grandma & Bubba every day.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

WAW #3 - Storyboard

The third Weekly Assignment Wednesday was to create a story board that tells a story (with a beginning, middle and end) in 3 frames. I cheated and used 4... I just needed that one extra frame. Thank you to my wonderful friend Mandy for indulging me and allowing me to capture my true "Sunday Coffee" story.
Photos taken with my Canon EOS Rebel XS, story board created using photofiltre software.

Next week's assignment - Detail

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Life has been pretty crazy lately... mostly work-crazy more than personal-crazy, but it still leaves me feeling exhausted and frazzled at times. The other week when I was home sick, I was thinking about the healing power of water. I am not sure why, but water just seems to nourish the soul. Whether it is taking a hot bath, or floating in a calm lake, or listening to the babble of a stream... the presence of water seems calming to me. This may be one of the reasons why I have so many pictures of water (also because it tends to be so visually interesting).
These are a few photos from our photo adventure way back in January (I haven't been able to actually finish another roll since then!). They are taken with my Pentax K1000.

Jeffrey actually made a comment this day "You really like taking pictures of fountains, don't you?"
I know... I am so predictable.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

WAW #2 - 10 minutes from home

Our Weekly Assignment this week was to walk, bike or drive 10 minutes from our home and take a photo (or two)... not 9 minutes, not 11 minutes, but 10 minutes.
I live in a gorgeous neighborhood and therefore the majority of the pictures that I take are within 10 minutes of my house. Jeffrey & I are always out on photo adventures snapping shots in our 'hood. So, last Sunday, when we decided to ride our bikes over to the east side to meet up with some friends for brunch, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to complete our assignment. On bikes we would be further from home than by foot, so we would be out of our comfort zone, and it would make things a bit more challenging.
Well, if it was a challenge we wanted... it was a challenge we got!! When the alarm on my phone went, we were on possibly the ugliest corner in all of Vancouver. And no, it wasn't Main & Hastings... there are tons of interesting things to take photos of there! This corner was nothing but boring, ugly condos and construction on the outside of VCC... not even any interesting urban decay, or nature, or graffiti... just blahs-ville!
So, this is what I ended up with...

All photos for Weekly Assignment Wednesdays are taken with my EOS digital Canon Rebel XS (to help me become a better photographer and be versatile in my medium)

Monday, March 7, 2011

What the...?

Every time I see this, I wonder what the story is. It also reminds me of the scene in the movie Big Fish (which I love). Apparently I am not the only to wonder, and even all-knowing Wiki has no one clear answer. I think I'll choose to believe in the less sinister and more whimsical theories.

Taken with my Pentax K1000 - January 2011

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Man vs Nature

Why do I love film cameras? Other than the 11 reasons listed here in this post? Because I get shots like these. And I have no justifiable reason as to why these photos turned out the way they did (with that eerie shadow and almost saturated colour look) because I did nothing different than any other photo that I have taken. The only rational explanation is quite simply... film is cool.

I stopped to photograph this wall because I love how it didn't stop the tree from growing the way that it wanted to... the tree simply found a way around the barrier. This wall is the exterior of the Dr. Sun Sat Yen Chinese Garden, and it is almost as if the garden is saying "Screw you people! You can't fence me in!"
All photos taken with my Pentax K1000

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Weekly Assignment Wednesdays - Still Life

My colleague and good friend Michelle recently received a new d-SLR as a gift. In order to learn more and become a better photographer, she has taken on the challenge of a new photography assignment every Wednesday. She has invited a few of us along for the ride - invitations to the flickr group are still open if any of you are interested. 
So every Wednesday (or as I finish my assignment) I will post my best attempts at getting better at digital photography. (Though it should be noted that I miss my film already)

Weekly assignment #1 - Still life
Much harder than it seems and motivation in and of itself to invest in a swivel flash that gives a more flattering and natural light. I am not 100% happy with all of these as I think the lighting is a bit cold... I have heard that a swivel flash can help to fix this. Though I think I am also just so used to film with it's natural warm glow.

Next week's assignment "10 minutes from home"!
All photos taken with my digital Canon Rebel XS.