110: ptarmies

Running a bit behind.  I haven’t had a lot of time since I got up to Yellowknife, and I was stupid, and forgot my camera for the last two days.  So here’s an iPhone pic, and tomorrow’s will be a video.

photo (2)


108: the guilty party

Packing to head up to Yellowknife tomorrow, and this guy has been giving me the evil eye/third degree/how-dare-you-abandon-me face all day.



1/60sec, f / 2.0, ISO 1600.

098: natural predator

I’ve seen their tracks everywhere, but they often pass through, silently, in the midst of the night.  Unseen.

I saw [my] first deer of the season this evening.  And my cat saw his first deer, ever!  And he turned into a little predator!  When the moose were around in the winter, he’d hide under my bed, or under my covers for hours on end.  Deer, though?  I think he thought he could hunt them.

My tiny little killer.  He didn’t stand a chance.  Two steps outside the doorway is as far as he got before they took off.


1/30sec, f / 5.6, ISO 1600.


1/30sec, f / 5.0, ISO 1600.


1/15sec, f / 4.5, ISO 1600.


1/20sec, f / 5.6, ISO 1600.


1/25sec, f / 5.6, ISO 1600.


1/30sec, f / 3.5, ISO 1600.

095: slumber

My cat fell asleep in the sun, and the longer he slept, the more and more his mouth opened, until his entire pink little tongue was sticking out.

(by the way, the mouse died overnight.)



1/30sec, f / 5.6, ISO 400.


094: run little mousie!

We have a bit of a mouse problem at our house.  Today, I found the third one in the little over a year that we’ve lived here.  We can’t figure out how they get in.  The last one lived in our house for WEEKS before I caught him.  I won’t use mouse traps, because I don’t want them to die.  So I usually leave out food, and wait until I can catch them.

I didn’t know about this one, though.  I don’t know how long it’s been in the house, though with a cat, I suspect not long.  My roommate said that my cat was unduly interested in the bottom of our lazy-boy chair while I was out today, and then when I got home, I saw my cat checking it out again.  Curious, I went to see what he saw – and it was a little mousie!

I popped my cat into the bathroom (my roommate thought I should just “let him get it”), and I put him outside.  Poor thing has a bite mark in his head though, and his back paw was broken.  I gave him a big BIG piece of cheese outside, and I hope he makes it.

…I wanted to make him my pet.


1/50sec, f / 5.6, ISO 200.

086: Catan night!

I missed one again yesterday.  I’m sorry.

Here is todays: Just finished a game of Settlers of Catan, and apparently, I was really intent on rolling my dice.


1/13sec, f / 3.5, ISO 800.

Bit blurry, but my cat sat like this the entire time we were playing…


0.6sec, f / 5.0, ISO 800.

078: dog walking

I promised to walk a friend’s dog today (I do this pretty often, actually) but it was a gorgeous day out.  By the way, taking a photo of a dog who wants a treat is really hard!


1/200sec, f / 4.0, ISO 100.

And the pretty, pretty Hudson Bay Mountains (which is actually my photo for the day, somehow, they got switched when I uploaded them…)


1/500sec, f / 6.3, ISO 100.
(I really do love taking photos of this mountain)


We don’t have a washer and dryer at our house, so I often go to a friend’s house to do laundry.  Her neighbour’s have this cat that they leave outside all day, even in the depths of winter, and I’m pretty sure she’s neglected.  Every time she’s outside when I stop by, she runs to me and jumps on my lap or my shoulders and purrs and purrs, and I feel awful for her.  So when I saw her today, I brought her a can of wet cat food, and she was so happy!

If the poor thing didn’t legitimately belong to someone, I would have brought her home already.  She’s really fluffy, but she’s clearly been in a few fights (missing parts of her ear) and if you feel her, you can feel ribs underneath all the fur.  There’s not a lot of meat on her.


1/320sec, f / 5.0, ISO 400.


1/800sec, f / 8.0, ISO 400.


1/640sec, f / 7.1, ISO 400.


My picture of the day looked a lot better in my mind than it did in execution, sadly, but I still think it’s a neat effect.  And I included a picture of my cat, because, well…

I’m always taking pictures of my cat.


1/1000sec, f / 9.0, ISO 400.


1/100sec, f / 2.8, ISO 400.

065: more of my cat

I feel bad with how often I take photos of my cat.  But then I think that other people have spouses and children to take photos of, and I don’t.  So here’s two cute ones of my cat this morning.  He was trying to attack my lens.


1/8sec, f / 3.5, ISO 400.


1/8sec, f / 3.5, ISO 400.

062: The Night

My house had a showing this evening (it is for sale), so I had to be scarce for a bit while my landlord showed it to an entire family, with kids and everything, and I came home to something on my wall which was knocked down, but I digress…

Anyhow, I took myself, my camera, and my tripod out for a walk to see if I could come up with anything interesting.  Well known fact: Smithers turns into a ghost town after 6PM, and even my attempts at highway photography proved fruitless.  It’s hard to take streaky car photos when there’s only one every minute or two.

I can’t decide between two photos that I took, so I will share both of them.  The first one was taken behind my house in the alleyway, where the only light is the neighbour’s light to his shed.  The second was taken up the street, and see what I mean about deserted?


5 sec, f / 6.3, ISO 400.


2 sec, f / 5.6, ISO 400.

And one more from my phone, because it’s adorable.  Look!  It’s my two favourite things.

A cat and his camera.

photo (2)


050: Mom’s cat, part three

I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for fifty whole days.  I don’t do anything for fifty days in a row.  Not even work.

Mom’s ‘other other’ cat.  Java, who I refuse to call anything but Kitler, because he likes to attack my face when I sleep.  He’s also really hard to take photos of.  My camera wouldn’t even focus, and I ended up having to take the picture manually.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/15sec, f / 1.8, ISO 1600.

049: Mom’s cat, part two

Mom has more than one cat.  In fact, she has three.

Here’s her other cat (and tomorrow will be her ‘other-other’ cat).

Meet Marley.  His face is crooked because of an awful car accident last year.  He’s pretty lucky to be alive.

Mom loves him to pieces.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/60sec, f / 2.2, ISO 800.

048: Schrödinger’s Cat

I put my mom’s cat, Mango into a box.

She stayed in the box.

She was a “cat in the box”.

So I took photos of her.

With her tongue out.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/60sec, f / 2.2, ISO 800.

Day Zero Three Seven: January Photo Challenge: CHILL

Day 26 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com (oh my god, I’m almost done with this!).  Today’s challenge was “Chill”, and ain’t nobody chiller than Cindy!  

I always have this little check-list of friends I have to get through whenever I come home for a visit, and no matter how short or long my visit to Vancouver, I’ve always got to go see Cindy.  (but the visits are never long enough…)


Canon Rebel XS. 1/50sec, f / 6.3, ISO 800.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/8sec, f / 3.5, ISO 800.
Meet Zoey!


Canon Rebel XS. 1/13sec, f / 5.6, ISO 800.

Day Zero Three Six: January Photo Challenge: HEAT

Day 25 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com, and the challenge was “Heat”.

I’m going to be pretty busy for the next 24 hours, so I took this picture early this morning before the sun came up.  My mother’s pet lizard, Leroy, laying in the heat of his heat lamp in the early morn.  It’s not a great photo, but it’ll have to do.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/200sec, f / 1.8, ISO 1600.

Day Zero One Nine: January Photo Challenge: HOME

Day 8 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com!  Today’s challenge was “Home”.

Home is a superfluous idea.  Some people have one definitive place that they call home, but I’ve never been one of those people.  I remember reading an article while I was traveling last year (and sadly, I can’t find it, so I will have to paraphrase), but the gist of it was – home is a definite idea for people who have never strayed far from home.  The further you stray, and the more often you go, the less and less the concept of home remains to a person, because ultimately they’ve left little pieces of themselves in every place they’ve been.  What used to be this idea of ‘home’ becomes harder and harder to find, leading you to travel to more and more places, cycling back in upon itself.  Long term relationships are tossed aside for shorter, but more meaningful interactions with other humans, and you’re stuck forever trying to find the perfect place to call home.

I have many homes.  The homes of my friends and my family, where my bicycle is, where my boyfriend is.  A small cafe in John O’Groats where I ate a piece of shortbread, in the centre of downtown Mumbai, or sunrise at a Thai market.  The lavender fields of France are as much home to me as the house I currently reside in.  It is a curse and a blessing, but one I gladly make for myself.

For today’s photo, I took a picture, not of a place, but of a feeling.  For now, until I can fund another adventure or a trip back home, home is wherever this little guy is, and right now, that’s here with me.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/80sec, f / 2.5, ISO 400.


Day Zero One Four: January Photo Challenge: RETURNS

Day 3 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com!  Today’s challenge was “Returns”.

I’m not even going to lie, I had no idea how to do this challenge.  I checked Instagram (if you’re Instagram saavy, you can find other people’s posts at #firstthirtyone) …and, I really, really didn’t just want to take a photo of me returning something.  No offense to anyone that did that, but I pride myself on being “outside-of-the-box”

The little wheels in my head turned and turned, so much in fact, that I gave myself a headache trying to come up with something.

I thought “What if I go to the gym today? I haven’t been in a month, so I would be returning to the gym!” …well, I never went.  I made breakfast too late in the morning, and the only way to drag myself is to get up at 6-7AM, eat a quick breakfast, take a quick shower, and head off before the sun’s too high in the sky.  So nope.  No dice.

Then I thought “Well, I could do some yoga in my room for a bit.  I haven’t done that in ages.” …and my mind got all esoteric and I spaced out for a bit imagining high-lit silhouettes of me doing yoga poses, until I eventually realized I haven’t a room in my house where the backdrop wouldn’t be uninteresting, and I don’t actually own any high-powered lights to hide in front of.  Fuck it.

Then I ate lunch.  Who thinks on an empty stomach?

So I chose this.  It’s lame, I’m not happy with it, but…it’s what you get.  I decided that I was returning my house to its natural, non-Christmas state (excepting the Christmas tree, which I’m not taking down until I get the roommate approval.  I’ve learned not to mess with a man’s tree.)  I took down all the lights, and removed the stockings and the ornaments, and packed away my Christmas cards and shiny baubles.  I took the popcorn strings outside for birds to feast upon, and I placed the cedar boughs and cinnamon sticks that were upon my altar into the firepit, for burning later.  The only thing I kept up were the snowflakes on the windows (that’s WINTER, damn it) and the wreath upon my door.

Canon Rebel XS. Photoshop CS5.

And now, to make myself feel a bit better about my photography (and editing skills in general) …here’s some more stuff from the day.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/500sec, f / 6.3, ISO 400.
The sky didn’t actually look like this, this morning, but it was pretty close. We had a crazy sunrise! My camera apparently decided to take a little bit of orange in the sky and turn it to fire – I didn’t even edit this a tiny bit.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/250sec, f / 1.8, ISO 400.
While trying to set up the bokeh shot (which, by the way, was just a glass bauble on some poster board, with a lamp nearby, and I blurred the crap out of it) …I needed something to focus on. So I used a mason jar full of water, and one of the test shots turned out really neat.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/320sec, f / 5.0, ISO 400.
While outside hanging up the popcorn, my cat was watching me from inside the house. I thought I’d play around with the camera before he noticed I’d moved. It turned out kinda neat – like an old-school double exposure but without any of the effort!

Day Zero Zero Seven: Photo Project Thursday

For Christmas, Tim bought me a book called “Photo Idea Index: Things” by Jim Krause, which is a neat little portfolio of sorts, with literally, just photos of things inside of it.  I read the first chapter this morning during breakfast (gluten free, gingerbread pancakes, I’ll have you know) and I saw a panel of pinhole photos.  It got me curious, so Tim and I spent the morning figuring out how to turn my camera into a pinhole camera, without all the fuss of film and shoeboxes.  I think it turned out somewhat neat – I ended up taking thirty-something photos today, just around the house, and around town, and I’ve showcased the ones that worked out really well here.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, this is how to turn your dSLR into a pinhole camera.  Take your dust cover cap (that lovely bit that covers your camera sensor when you don’t have a lens attached) and a small drill bit.  Drill a hole in the centre, and make sure you tidy it up after – we wouldn’t want any pesky plastic pieces getting your sensor dirty when you attach it to your camera body.  Next, take some tinfoil and a bit of electrical tape, tape it to the inside cover of the dust cap, and use a pin to poke a hole through the middle of the tinfoil.  Attach to your camera, and voila!  It took some internet researching and a bit of experimentation before we realized that was the best way to do things.  At first, I (with the help of Tim) melted a pinhole directly into the dust cap, but it wasn’t perfect, and I ended up with a lot of shadowing on one side of my images.  The method with the tinfoil worked a lot better.

Note the black shadowing in the left hand corner for the next couple of photos, and the level of blurriness of them overall.

Canon Rebel XS. 6 sec, ISO 400.
yhe book that inspired the idea. this is the first photo I attempted to take that turned out, before we tried the tinfoil method. 
such a dreamy photo.

Canon Rebel XS. 4 sec, ISO 400.
Cedric moved while I was testing out my depth of field. a bit of Lightroom post-processing turned it black and white.


Canon Rebel XS. 4 sec, ISO 400.
another Cedric photo – he looked away, and looked back.

For this next photo, I tried to fix the shadowing that I was getting from the “melting pinhole” method.  I used the pin again, heated up until it was red over a candle flame, and tried to straighten the pinhole.  The initial problem was that the pinhole wasn’t 90 degrees to the cover cap, and the slight angle was making a shadow.  I…made it worse by trying to fix it.

Canon Rebel XS. 20 sec, ISO 400.
pinhole photography should just be called “dreamy and ethereal hipster photography” …I feel like this belongs on Instagram.

After making my photos significantly worse, we looked up the proper way to turn a dust cap into a pinhole lens.  All the photos that follow are done using tinfoil and electrical tape, taped over a hole made by a drill bit.

Canon Rebel XS. 13 sec, ISO 400.
the clearest photo yet. you can even make out words!

Canon Rebel XS. 8 sec, ISO 400.
Christmas is in the air (it just doesn’t want to die)

Canon Rebel XS. 30 sec, ISO 400.
R2D2 wanted to make an appearance.

It seemed by this point of the afternoon, that the pinhole photography test was indeed a success, and it needed some full daylight experimentation.  (Read: we just wanted to go for a walk in the snow)

Canon Rebel XS. 0.5 sec, ISO 1600.
a pretty sunset to a rather dull day.

Canon Rebel XS. 0.5 sec, ISO 1600.
just a splash of colour.

Canon Rebel XS. 1.3 sec, ISO 1600.
winter photography fun. takes the cake as my favourite of the day.

Canon Rebel XS. 1.3 sec, ISO 1600.
taking pictures of Tim taking pictures of birds – photoception!

Canon Rebel XS. 1.3 sec, ISO 1600.
an attempt at a crop of a bigger photo – Tim still trying to find the pretty birdies.

(sorry for all the dust specks – turns out my camera sensor is really dirty!)


Day Zero Zero Five: Merry Christmas!

I’ve decided to do a fun little thing for Christmas this year.  I’ve taken a photo an hour (approximately) as a way to document my first Christmas in Canada away from my family.  We woke up at 7:00, and started opening gifts, and then we made breakfast and started prepping for the day.  For dinner, we headed over to my roommate’s parents house for a bit of a shindig.  With Turducken!

Canon Rebel XS. 1/80sec, f / 2.5, ISO 800.
(it’s Christmas morning, bitches)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/6sec, f / 4.5, ISO 1600.
(one of the favourite prezzies – I’ve always wanted one)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/4sec, f / 4.5, ISO 1600.
(Merry Christmas, little guy!)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/200sec, f / 4.5, ISO 1600.
(Christmas candles for a Christmas day)

Canon Rebel XS. Triptych, Photoshop CS5.
(how a real man makes breakfast)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/250sec, f / 5.6, ISO 800.
(well, almost. The Christmas Moose!)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/60 sec, f / 3.5, ISO 800.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/25sec, f / 2.8, ISO 800.
(he’s hiding behind the Christmas tree)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/25sec, f / 2.8, ISO 800.
(the partial prezzies haul)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/50sec, f / 2.0, ISO 800.
(love and cuddles)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/5sec, f / 2.8, ISO 800.
(reflections of Christmas in the living room window)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/25sec, f / 2.8, ISO 800.
(accidentally didn’t focus on the turducken, but Linda’s sweater is lovely)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/50sec, f / 3.5, ISO 800.
(dinner preparations)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/30sec, f / 3.2, ISO 800.
(my roommate’s father in the 70s, a spitting image of my roommate)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/60sec, f / 4.0, ISO 800.
(a family gathering, they asked for the flash!)

Canon Rebel XS. 1/25sec, f / 2.8, ISO 800.
slightly after 21:30
(a man inside a man inside a man – manception)

…and 22:30 and 23:30 are missing due to the blood:wine ratio in my body.  A Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Day Zero Zero Three

Canon Rebel XS. 1/100 sec, f / 8.0, ISO 400.
The moose was back this morning while we were trying to burn the last of the yule log, and she brought an offspring. I actually got this close to them! Poor hungry buggers.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/25 sec, f / 4.0, ISO 400.
Roommate and a friend of the family spent the day prepping the three separate stuffings for their Christmas turkducken. Lorraine seems exceptionally pleased!

Day Zero Zero One: Happy Solstice!

As Autumn moves into Winter, the snow falls gently from the skies, as though to remind me that today is the longest night of the year.  For centuries, people have celebrated this day, across civilizations, under names which are as differing as the tides.  Candlemas, Yule, Jul…the Winter Solstice.  Tonight is the Longest Night – when the Northern hemisphere is plunged into the darkest of depths, only to emerge at the dawn with something faint, yet tangible.  Hope.  Hope for a new solar cycle, and a hope for warmth in the coming days.  Represented by beginnings, I bring you this.

This blog.  I will still post in my regular travel blog during trips, over at paienne.blogspot.com, but here, here is something new.  I deleted Facebook at the beginning of 2012, and I’ve fallen out of touch.  I’ve become reclusive, and secretive, and I’ve stopped doing something I love – take photos.  So, I guess in a somewhat-related 365 project, I’m going to try and post a photo-a-day.  Some days, like today, I will post more than one photo.  Some days, I suspect I will struggle to post just one.  There may not always be commentary.  But then again, maybe there will be.  That’s the beauty about new projects – they’re so fresh and young, and they haven’t fully formed in the mind of their author!  As Winter turns into Spring, it is my hope, that so too will this little place to put my photo memoires …my photo memories.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/30 sec, f / 3.5, ISO 400.Our Yule log completed!  Wrapped with fabric ribbon, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cedar, and pine.  Our birch yule log is tied with the wishes of our coming year.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/30 sec, f / 3.5, ISO 400.
Our Yule log completed! Wrapped with fabric ribbon, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cedar, and pine. Our birch yule log is tied with the wishes of our coming year.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/30 sec, f / 4.5, ISO 1600.The burning of the Yule log to represent the coming year of light!

Canon Rebel XS. 1/30 sec, f / 4.5, ISO 1600.
The burning of the Yule log to represent the coming year of light!

Canon Rebel XS. 1/100 sec, f / 7.1, ISO 400.
The moose came back this morning. This little beauty has been eating my plants all year. I’m surprised she can find anything to sate her hunger, this late into the season.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/10 sec, f / 4.0, ISO 400.
And the stockings were hung, from the wall with tacks, in the hopes I could stop Santa, dead in his tracks. Cedric pounced from the tree, with nary a thought, as Old Saint Nick, dropped the presents he brought. He jumped and he thumped, that poor head of his, and he swore and he threatened to beat us with fish, which is precisely how Cedric got his Christmas wish.

Canon Rebel XS. 1/60 sec, f / 5.0, ISO 400.
The wreath on my ruby red door. I made it from cedar, hemlock, and pine boughs I collected myself, and constructed it from a metal hoop and some hot glue. And cranberries, of course!

Canon Rebel XS. 1/25 sec, f / 5.6, ISO 400.
Bokeh Christmas lights, just to see if I could do it. I still don’t entirely understand this as an art form.