Monday, October 23, 2017

Autumn Colours

Fungus on a Log

Photographing has taught me to find beauty everywhere. I went for a walk with a friend in a park that we like - unfortunately our photographic opportunities were curtailed by renovation being done in the park. A wooden walkway across the swamp has been demolished to be replaced by a more solid one. so we had to get back in the car and enter the park from the other side.

Dried Up Flowers

Autumn has certainly taken hold with dried out flowers and coloured leaves.

All That is Left

There is delicacy even in decay.

Like Semaphore

While some trees have already lost leaves, others are holding on to theirs. Flashes of red stand out against the green of the plants that remain.

In the Park

Back at home I walked through the park. This is truly a glorious season.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Black and White

I was challenged recently to post black and white photographs for seven days running. I started to think about what would look good in black and white - or more precisely - black white and greys. I grew up with black and white photographs and they highlight different aspects of an image. The keyboard was too obviously black and white and I needed to find something to photograph that would work in grey tones.


A church nearby provided the next photograph. I think this allows us to see a bit more of the texture of the stonework.


Day 3 - I looked for strong lines. No need for colour when the emphasis is on the geometry of the photograph.


What else would look good in black and white - these reflections caught my eye - they were less about colour than form.

Large Leaves

I found myself testing out the black and white transformation on my phone or in my camera to see if an image would work. You need a fair amount of contrast and not too much texture around the image. For that reason I felt this photograph did not work as well. The busy background texture-wise took away from the main part of the composition. I took a number of photos on my walk that day - it helped me understand the need for contrast and simplicity when shooting black and white.

Looking Towards Downtown

While I like the look of the buildings, I am less happy with the composition. I took this while on a walk and did not take enough time to get the balance of buildings and sky right. But they will be there for another attempt. Also  - a cloud-filled sky might have added interest - the weather was not cooperative in that respect!

Squirrel on a Tree

This was a tough one. I wanted to focus on the texture - the bark and the squirrel but the squirrel was positioned in a way that he was against a dark background, but there was also a bright background near its tail. As a result the white is clipped.

I'll stick to colour for a while - but this has made me think about when and how I want to try more black and white shooting.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Walking up to Summit Park


The city's leaves are also changing. Their display is never quite as intense as in the country but I still find myself stopping to admire.

A Touch of Red

This splash of colour begged to be noticed.


Gardens, too are in a state of change. Some flowers show signs of retreat while others are still at their peak of glory.

In Full Colour

Each tree in its time - while some stay green, others lose their green pigments faster.

Stopping to See the View

No walk up to Summit Park should be without a stop to look over the city.


Autumn, like spring, is a time of constant change - all the more reason to get outside so as not to miss these glorious moments.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Hiking in the Laurentians

Which Path

(From October 6) One path leads behind houses, the other up the mountain. We chose the path on the right - perhaps the road less travelled.

Follow the Markers

The trick is to find the marks on the trees. As you approach each mark, you should be able to see the next one.

Under the Tree

But don't just look ahead. There are many treasures hiding down low.

Remnants on the moss

This ghost of a leaf clung to the moss.

A Colony of Fungus

The trail markers were not always easy to spot. Especially when mushrooms almost obscured them...

Snaking Along

I loved the way this moss laden old tree trunk snaked along the forest floor.


From a distance this huge boulder looked like a small house. We couldn't imagine why it had been built in the middle of the woods only to discover its true identity.

Autumn's Fiery Colours

It's hard to imagine a bluer sky or more colourful leaves. We often had to stop to gawk.

Stump and Moss

And what do you see here? I pictured a nerve cell with its dendrites reaching out to make connections.

Orange Leaves

The colours change each year and each year I am enchanted by their transition.


These large fungi looked like an art installation. I loved their rhythm.


Back down at the lake the next morning we took a last look before heading home.

On Still Waters

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Season of Colour

Along the River

Autumn is a glorious season with leaves flaunting their changing colours. Reds and oranges, yellows and the remaining greens. Each day brings new changes to the palette.

In Transition

Change creeps in. Bits of leaves with dabs of paint - not yet fully transformed.

Maple in Fall

The reds are often among the first to appear.


The forest is home to many deer - silent, watching, aware.

Parc Linéaire

We walked along the Parc Linéaire - le P'tit Train du Nord. Admiring. Breathing in the smells of autumn.


Monday, October 2, 2017

Flying Over Greenland

Flying Over Greenland

On a clear day, flying over Greenland is astounding. My spouse took a couple of these photos as he had the window seat, but then I got my better camera and took a few more.

Frozen Land

It is easy to know when you are flying over mountains that they are mountains - but was that a frozen river?

Greenland Mountains

I wondered how thick the snow and ice is. The mountains led me to believe that this was not yet the huge glacier that covers so much of Greenland.


Although there are parts of Greenland along the coast that are inhabited, this looked quite inhospitable - but magnificent nonetheless.

Over a Glacier

Even from this height it was possible to see the patterns created in the ice and snow. An awe inspiring sight.

Saturday, September 30, 2017



We spent the last couple of days of our trip in Reykyavik, capital of Iceland and area with almost 2/3 of the population of Iceland. We walked past Tjörnin Pond admiring the city reflected in its water. Reykjavik is a human sized city - no tall buildings and very walkable.

Hoping for Food

There are many birds in the pond's waters and feeding them does not seem to be discouraged. I was intrigued by the swans with their black trimmed beaks.

The Unknown Bureaucrat

Icelanders are not afraid to laugh at themselves. This sculpture, The Unknown Bureaucrat, proudly stands near the pond.

I Wonder What They Recommend

Virtually all Icelanders speak English and in the capital there are English signs on most stores. I did not go into this one but did wonder about what records they were selling.


Although there were (too) many tourists - there is not the same sense of hustle and bustle you get in larger cities. Walking past this sculpture I felt a sense of peace. There is a lot of public art in the city.

Reykjavik Spires

While much of Reykjavik feels new, there is also the old. The two spires - on the left one of the older churches - on the right, the spire of Hallgrímskirkja


The church was designed by the late Guðjón Samúelsson. He took his inspiration from the basalt columns that sometimes form when lava cools. Construction began in 1945 and only completely ended in 1986. It towers above the city both because of its height and the fact that it sits atop a hill.

Organ in Hallgrímskirkja

There is an impressive organ inside made by Johannes Klais, an organ builder from Bonn
As the church is Lutheran, there is very little interior decoration. Light streams in and there is real sense of calm inside the church.

Leif Erikson

Leif Eriksson stands outside - the Icelandic explorer who "discovered" North America. He has a much more massive feel than the statue of him we saw in Newfoundland near where he probably landed.

House in Reykjavik

Many of the older homes are painted or covered with corrugated, coloured siding. I'm sure it adds colour to the long grey winters. Iceland in summer is vibrantly green and colourful. I am not sure I would feel the same about the short days of winter. Although Iceland is just south of the Arctic Circle, its climate is more temperate than Montreal. Although it is never very hot there, in winter the average temperature in Reykjavik is 0°C (32°F).

Pick Your Colour

These Fjallraven backpacks caught my eye - I could just picture a class of students, each with a different colour!

Public Bicycles

These public bikes are decked out in WOW's colour. We flew from Dublin to Reykjavik with WOW and enjoyed their sense of humour (Our call button was labelled: Honk if you're hungry - each button had something different).

Sign in Keflavik Airport

If I have any negatives about Iceland it is only that hotels, B&Bs etc. are very costly. While flights are cheap, once in Iceland your money will disappear quickly, hence these words of warning at the airport. Despite that, I would go back. I love the open spaces, the clean air, the jaw-dropping beauty, the variety of landscapes... The cities and towns are at a human scale - which the countryside is immense and full of wonders.