091: please keep weed off the trail

So my backcountry excursion was a bit of a botch.  My roommate injured his ribs a few weeks ago snowboarding (…into a tree) and they flared up this morning while we were hiking.  We had some friends along, and one of them was really struggling to keep up, and didn’t think he could make it the whole 12km with overnight gear on his back.  So we hiked four kilometres in, had a snack and a bit of a rest, and assessed that it probably wasn’t terribly wise to go on.  Then we hiked out.


1/125sec, f / 10, ISO 200.


1/100sec, f / 8.0, ISO 200.

082: I’m back

So I didn’t take photos for the last two days, but I’ve been fairly anxious for the last couple of days, and it was impossible to get out and take photos.  I had things to take care of.  I’m better now, and photos have resumed.

Went hiking at Call Mountain today – it’s snowed for three days straight.  Yep.  It’s Spring…somewhere.


1/320sec, f / 14, ISO 800.


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.

066: hearts 2

I meant to do something more creative than this today, but I also meant to do a lot of things today that I didn’t do.


1/250sec, f / 13, ISO 400.

060: a painting

Took a one day art class on mixed media on Saturday, and this is one of the paintings I made.


1/80sec, f / 7.1, ISO 400.
(Watercolour paper. Watercolour, acrylic, and oil pastel. K. Doyon 2013)


my winter wreath, finally retired from my door, and awaiting the next bonfire.


1/250sec, f / 10, ISO 400.

Day Zero Two Nine: I quit.

Day 18 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com.  Today’s challenge was “Close up”, and it will be the last photo I do for this challenge.  I have spent eighteen days struggling to keep up with the photo prompts, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t find most of them to be all that interesting.  Some of the prompts have led me to take what I consider to be rather interesting photographs, and perhaps ones I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of, such as Slumber, Change, and Growth, but for the most part, I’m just taking “photos”, when I would rather be taking art.

If you have an Instagram account, I recommend searching out other people’s photos, at #firstthirtyone, as some of them are quite good.  But this photo challenge, I’m discovering, just really isn’t for me.

On Wednesday of next week, I leave for a conference in the city, and I just simply won’t be able to fulfill some of the prompts for that week.  In fact, if I manage to post photos each of those days, I would be surprised, with how busy I’ll be.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/60sec, f / 5.0, ISO 1600.
Close-up of our fire this afternoon. I’m sorry, but no amount of editing can make this a decent photo.


So, I leave you with this.  It warmed up to +8C today, when we should be having -15C weather.  I built a snowman outside, in a t-shirt, and then we built a fire, and had hotdogs with some homemade baked beans I spent the day making.  I ended the day with a few glasses of wine at Linda’s house, and after my cup of tea just now, I’m about to head to bed.

Bon soiree. 


Canon Rebel XS. 1/400sec, f / 11, ISO 400.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/500sec, f / 14, ISO 800.
(Mr. Snowman)

Day Zero Two Five: January Photo Challenge: FROST

Day 14 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com!  Today’s challenge was “Frost”.

It warmed up to just a couple degrees below zero today, bringing in a massive fog bank that hasn’t bothered to lift all day.  Haven’t been able to see much further than this tree all day, thanks to the frosty little molecules in the air.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/400sec, f / 16, ISO 400.

Day Zero Two Three: January Photo Challenge: FLAKES

Day 12 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com!  Today’s challenge was “Flakes”.

With two-plus feet of snow on the ground, today’s challenge wasn’t much of a challenge at all (which is wonderful, because I’ve really struggled with a couple of them – for the sake of keeping things interesting, and all that…)

My photo for the day is lovely Lorraine during our snowshoe hike today.  The day started wonderfully, and I dragged my sorry self out of bed and headed down to the farmer’s market to meet Linda (and get some fresh eggs!  our chickens haven’t been producing lately in the valley, so eggs are in short supply).  After lunch, we headed to Lorraine’s house and went snowshoeing up on the ridge overlooking town, and then down and across Col Lake.

It was a lovely way to spend the day.


Canon Rebel XS. 1/250sec, f / 13, ISO 400.
(lovely Lorraine)

And now a few extras!


Canon Rebel XS. 1/30sec, f / 3.5, ISO 400.
(the coveted item: farm fresh eggs)


Canon Rebel XS. 1/400sec, f / 13, ISO 400.
Hey look, I’m actually in a picture! I asked Lorraine to take a photo to prove I was on the hike (instead of the one photographing, like usual)


Canon Rebel XS. Photoshop CS5.
A pretty panorama of our ski slopes – Hudson Bay Mountain (on the right)

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 One Three: January Photo Challenge: BRANCHES

Day 2 of the First Thirty-One over at Fourtuitous.com!  Today’s challenge was “Branches”.  At first, I thought it was going to be really difficult.  How on Earth do you take a picture of barren, winter branches and make it look interesting?  Well, it turned out to be really easy.  I was stressing over the fact that the sun was just about to set upon the mountains (meaning any significant daylight I have left to me is going to dwindle in a hot-damn) and I stared out my bedroom window, realizing that there was just enough sun shining to illuminate the trees in my yard, turning them into a beautiful silhouette.  I took this out of my bedroom window!  It was almost perfect upon capture – very little editing was done to this (read: just a snippet of cropping, and a little noise-reduction).


Canon Rebel XS. 1/800sec, f / 7.1, ISO 400.
(so magical)

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 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.