two friends

I took this shot at Niagara Falls today of two friends. They appear to be tourists who have very different approaches to their holiday photos. The friend on the left has a point-and-shoot while the friend on the right has a Canon EOS 1 with a 70-200 f/2.8 zoom — just about as professional as one can go! I watched her for a while and she seemed to really know what she was doing. I tried to copy some of the scenes and angles she was shooting, but alas this was my best shot of the day. Gee I wish I could have seen her shots!

airport parking

Trying to park today and pick up visitors at Toronto's Pearson International Airport.

photofriday - flight

You have seen this photo before in 2006. I am posting it again because it just got a "noteworthy" award at photofriday here

eating grain

As I was walking through these wheat fields with my nephews we remembered how one weekend many years ago Jesus walked through grain fields with his disciples and they picked heads of grain to eat. We did the same but wondered if we might be breaking the law – way back then there were all kinds of provisions that allowed hungry travelers to pick and eat – but I don’t suppose those apply to us today. So we did not eat too much – just a little to help imagine that history.

dof lessons

My nephew learning about depth of field.

wall painting

A wall painting from outside an alabaster store in Egypt.

songs of travel

I shot from Egypt earlier in the year. As I wondered about the ancient cities and treasures that may lie beneath this lonely desert trail I could not help remembering the words of Kipling:

Where's the lamp that Hero lit
Once to call Leander home?
Equal Time hath shovelled it
'Neath the wrack of Greece and Rome.
Neither wait we any more
That worn sail which Argo bore.

Dust and dust of ashes close
All the Vestal Virgin's care;
And the oldest altar shows
But an older darkness there.
Age-encamped Oblivion
Tenteth every light that shone.

Yet shall we, for Suns that die,
Wall our wanderings from desire?
Or, because the Moon is high,
Scorn to use a nearer fire?
Lest some envious Pharaoh stir,
Make our lives our sepulcher?

Nay! Though Time with petty Fate
Prison us and Emperors,
By our Arts do we create
That which Time himself devours--
Such machines as well may run
'Gainst the Horses of the Sun.

When we would a new abode,
Space, our tyrant King no more,
Lays the long lance of the road
At our feet and flees before,
Breathless, ere we overwhelm,
To submit a further realm!


I took this shot last week on one of the few fair-weather sailing days we have had recently. We have beached the sailboat (retractable keels are so useful) and my nephews and their dad are heading for the beach.

Oh and update on the steering problem with the sailboat. I have the old steering mechanism removed and a new one purchased and ready to go in. It is not the easiest job in the world – but when I was a child I always wanted to be a marine engineer – so now is my chance to pretend!


yours to discover

Early evening moon over farmland in Burlington, Ontario.

On a separate note, if you have never viewed this site with a dark background (i.e. if the background is default white) then give it a try. It is usually better to look at photographs against darker backgrounds.

The Light / Dark controls are at the bottom on the screen but I have reproduced them here for your convenience: Light / Dark


popup flash

I was supposed to be sailing to Kingston this weekend but I did not go far from the marina because of what the weather stations have been calling “popup thunderstorms.” And sure enough it was not long before I heard the thunder, so I scooted back to my slip at the marina and this was the scene just before the lightning came.


When it comes down to it - portraits are what I really like to shoot. You may remember this guy from a picture 3-years ago here


When I was a small child I would lie in the long grass all on my own for hours and look at the shape of the clouds drifting by and wonder about the earth, the sky, where we all came from and where we are going. After a hiatus of many many years I tried it again the other day and I highly recommend it!

So if ever you did this as a child and even if you didn't, no matter how old you are now, on the next sunny day find some long grass and lay down for a white to look at the sky and simply wonder! It is good for you – honest – as long as your neighbours don’t see.

unhappy swan

I was sitting on the shores of Hamilton Harbour taking pictures when a swan crept up and looked right into the lens of my camera. I did not realize it was there until I saw it suddenly staring at me in the viewfinder. I quickly refocused the camera on the swan and the same time switched to f/2.8 to decrease the DOF and clicked the picture!

I got a number of shots today that I was happy with—the Nikon D300 is working out even better than I had hoped!

UPDATE: Someone suggested a title change from “stealthy swan” to something that mentions how the swan seems so unhappy. I took up the suggestion because for sure the swan did not seem happy at all with me taking pictures - and the glare at the camera I am sure was a protest!

nephew helps with lens test

With the assistance of a nephew this is a quick test of the Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 that I picked up today. You can’t really see in this low resolution image—but as I suspected the full resolution copy rivals the Canon 5D and glass—which means that so far the Nikon plan is working out perfectly!

sitting duck

Another quick test with the Nikon D300 and the 18-200 lens confirms yesterday’s results that gave reasonable images. This means I can use the camera with this light lens for everyday photography. For the more serious shooting though, I have to decide which lenses to get. I am wondering about the 105 Macro.

nikon d300

Today I picked up a Nikon D300 with an 18-200 leans (the same lens I used to use on my D80).

The 18-200 consumer lens gives a huge focal range but at the cost of image quality (IQ). Never-the-less today’s image compares reasonably well with the Canon shots of a goose and a swan from a few weeks back. Of course when I review the full size image the Canon IQ is noticeably better, but that is to be expected with the 5D’s full-frame sensor and the professional lenses I was using at the time. I did not come back to Nikon for better IQ but for the familiar ergonomics. This Canon vs. Nikon IQ difference will narrow considerably when I begin to buy and use some of Nikon’s professional lenses, but even then I will no doubt revert back to this 18-200 lens most the time just for the convenience of having so much range in one relatively light lens.

So first impressions of the D300 – it is really very nice to be back with Nikon – it feels a bit like coming home after being away.

egyptian roadside

I am still without a camera so here is an older picture from Egypt. I am likely to buy a Nikon D300 later this week.


Some of the children who live on the Nile in Nubia paddle out to tourist boats that pass by and sing songs for money - nice songs too.

jersey girl

My niece visiting from from New Jersey making fun of me by pretending to take a picture.

sea of paradise

Lake Ontario on Canada Day. I took this shot with a borrowed Nikon – actually my old Nikon D70s that I have borrowed back for a few days.