Writing with Light

Project 52

It’s Been A Year…Entry #52 – A Museum with a View

For those of you that have been following this blog you’ll know that I started this blog as a 52 week project. I wanted to challenge myself to shoot more often and I decided to start a blog and commit to posting a new image once a week. I started blogging using iWeb but quickly realized that it just lacked certain features and controls that I wanted on my site. Enter WordPress…after a lot of research, reading and immersing myself in all things having to do with weblogs I started this site.

The first post on my new WordPress site was on June 2, 2011. Now I’m sure that it’s quite obvious that I’ve been posting more than once a week. Buoyed by an indescribably wonderful photographic community and the many photographers and bloggers that I can now call “friends” this little blog grew every month. 52 weeks and just over 46, 550 hits later I can now say “Happy 1st Anniversary to the Little Blog that Could!”

One of the most wonderful benefits and outcomes of this blog is the wonderful community that I’ve now become a part of. I think I’ve said it before (and I will keep reiterating it) that the individuals in this photographic community are talented and generous with their time, knowledge and feedback, sharing information and tips that benefits not just myself but the whole community. You all foster in me a craving to learn more and be a better photographer. I thank you for that, I thank you for all your visits, comments and “likes” and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of this community.

So for Entry #52 I’ll take you back to Florence, Italy. This is a view of the Ponte Vecchio from the second floor of the Ufizi museum.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to purchase a print.

View of the Ponte Vecchio from The Ufizi Museum, Florence, Italy

Tunnel Vision

Project 52 Entry #51

In Monday’s post, The Stables at Casa Loma, I mentioned that there were tunnels that led from the Hunting Lodge and stable complex to the main house. These tunnels are 800 feet long and 18 feet deep.  This is the last section before reaching the main house.

Casa Loma Tunnels

Take a Trip to Mars

Project 52 Entry #50

Welcome to Mars Diner.

Sometimes your eyes and you brain “see” very different things. Has that ever happened to you? I have a very romantic idea of what a nostalgic diner should look like and while Mars Diner is a fun place it was missing some oomph.

After processing my brackets through Photomatix & Photoshop I then provided some “oomph” using LucisArt and then a touch of glow in OnOne Perfect Effects. This is what my brain saw! The fact that there was a gentleman sitting on the stool and someone behind the counter was sheer luck.

Click image to enlarge (honestly it looks better) or to purchase a print.

A Splash of Red

Project 52 Entry #49

Port Credit is located on the south shore of Lake Ontario in the City of Mississauga just west of Toronto. It’s commonly referred to as “the village by the lake” and in the summer it hosts jazz festivals, waterfront festivals and annual boat show. The summer is a busy place in Port Credit but spring is a perfect time to walk around and enjoy the sights and sounds before the crowds overtake it.

Last week I received a 10-stop ND filter that I had ordered and thought what better place to try it out then to shoot by the water.  The image below is my first attempt at using the  filter. The water was pretty choppy because (although you can’t see it) there were boats passing by before the exposure. I think I still need more practice though as I would have liked the water & clouds to have been a little bit smoother.

To enlarge (it does look better) or purchase please click on the image.

Enter At Your Own Risk

Project 52 Entry #48

This past weekend the weather in Toronto was beautiful. On Sunday, my husband and I decided to enjoy the sunshine and go for a walk. Of course the camera came with.  We headed to Unionville which is a small village in Markham, Ontario. Main Street is pretty much what you would expect of a small village…small quaint shops, restaurants, ice cream parlours. We veered off Main St. and walked up one of the side streets taking in all the pretty homes. As we were making our way up the street I spotted a house whose side windows were all boarded up. I thought to myself…hmmm, it would be great if I could get in there. Well I obviously didn’t just think it I must have said it out loud because my husband then said “look the back door is open.”  (Yes you could see through the front window to the back of this tiny house.) Much to my husband’s dismay, off I went to the back yard, through tall grass trying to avoid the wooden planks with the nails sticking out of them and the cinder blocks that were strewn all over the side of the house.

I cranked up my ISO and fired off a number of brackets. It was a tiny house so not to much to explore. I probably would have spent a bit more time in there and I was tempted to go upstairs but then I heard creaking coming from the second level so I high tailed it out of there. I’m only brave up to a certain point. 🙂

Yet (i) Again!

Project 52 Entry #47

Sorry…so sorry about the post title. I just couldn’t resist.

If you missed Monday’s post (have a look here), I introduced Yeti, a Canadian Lynx that I photographed at the Muskoka Wildlife Centre. I was finishing up processing a few more shots and I just loved this one. Yeti was getting too comfortable just lounging in the sun so the staff member that was in the lynx enclosure with us fearless photographers waved a broomstick in front of her (just playing) which made her swat at it. You can see the snow flying in the foreground.  You gotta love those paws…she’s just a pussycat after all.

Click to enlarge (it really does look better) or to purchase a print.

Muted Reflections

Project 52 Entry #46

I continued working with texture overlays this week. I posted an image, on Monday, that I shot in High Park (you can see that post here) and today I’ll share another in the “Reflections” series. Once again I used a texture from Joel Olive’s Artisan Collection.

Click on the image to enlarge for a better view or to purchase a print.

The Corner Store at Via Della Panetteria

Project 52 Entry #44

I was revisiting some of my Italy shots and came across one that I really liked but realized I hadn’t posted. Actually there’s still a few of those.  This was shot on our last day in Rome just walking around the city. I just loved the look of this scene and wanted to capture it all in the frame. The store front, the terracotta colored wall, the bicycle, the signs. It all just fit together so nicely.

Click on the image for a larger more detailed view or to purchase a print.

Graffiti Wall Pano

Project 52 Entry #43

Back to the Don Valley Brickworks today. There was some really great graffiti all over this place. I really wanted to capture this particular wall of graffiti in its entirety but even with my 10 – 20mm wide angle lens I was missing parts of it. I created this panorama from 9 different images which I merged in Photoshop.   I then used Topaz Adjust to bring out the detail in the bricks.

You can now save 15% on any Topaz Labs products when you use the discount code ELPHOTO.

Click on the image to get a larger more detailed view.

Pipes Gone Wild

Project 52 Entry #42

While at Brickworks this weekend I decided to get up close and personal with some of the exposed piping and do some zoom bursts.  This is one exposure at 3.2 sec. I was gently zooming out while taking the shot. I used Topaz Adjust to bring in some slight detail into the bursts.

Click on the image for a larger view or to purchase a print.

Never Forget

Project 52 Entry #41

Never Forget…how can we.  This past trip to New York was the first time I’ve been back since the unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial. It was a sobering experience. I suppose it always is when one thinks of the senseless loss of life.

Freedom Tower

Project 52 Entry #40

Formerly known as the Freedom Tower, One World Trade Centre is the lead building, currently going up,  as part of the new World Trade Centre complex. It’s quite an impressive building standing high above lower Manhattan. This shot was taken from the churchyard of St. Paul’s Chapel directly across the street.

I converted this to B&W using Topaz Black & White Effects and then used a layer mask to bring back the color in the tombstones.

You can click on the image to view a larger version or purchase a print.

Brooklyn Bridge

Project 52 Entry #39

We were in New York last week for a family function in Long Island and was able to spend a couple of days in Manhattan. While we had a wonderful time, my visit was greeted with a dull grey sky the whole time we were there…not great for photography, but didn’t stop me from walking the streets of this great city. I’ve been to New York so many times (here’s a little tidbit you may not know…I’m a Musical Theatre nut and actually have a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a major in Drama…ahhh the truth comes out.) but I’ve never photographed the Brooklyn Bridge. I contacted Mark Garbowski before I left to get some tips on where the best place to photograph the bridge from. Mark is a NYC photographer whose blog, Too Much Glass is filled with amazing images of New York. If you haven’t done so already you should check out his site. He suggested that I head down to the South Street Seaport which is where this image was taken.

With the sky being overcast and grey on not too much definition in the clouds I felt that this image worked better in a sepia tone.

Click on the image for a larger more detailed view.

Standing Tall in Rome

Project 52 Entry #38

A quick post today  as its shaping up to be a busy one. This was taken this past summer in Rome. This is the view walking out of the Roman Forum and Palantine Hill. Actually the view standing pretty much anywhere is quite spectacular.  I was revisiting these shots and realized that I hadn’t really posted any from this incredible part of Rome. There’s some more that I’ll be sharing in the next little while.

Click to see a larger more detailed view.


Project 52 Entry #37

Continuing our visit to the Muskoka Wildlife Centre (you can click here to see yesterday’s post on the Grey Wolves) I’d like to introduce you to a Saw-Whet Owl named Luna.  Saw-Whet Owls are native to North America and weigh on average 2.8oz making them one of the smallest owls in North America. Luna was brought to the Muskoka Wildlife Centre because she was found injured. The folks at the centre believe that she may have flown into a power line. As you can see from the images they’ve taken excellent care of her and she is just the sweetest little owl.

Just a little bit of trivia for my Canadian readers…Luna is actually quite famous in her own right. She is featured in the Telus commercials.

Click o the images for a larger, more detailed view or to purchase prints.

Sunset on the Lakeshore

Project 52 Entry #36

This past Sunday the weather was unbelievable…sunny, mild it really felt like spring. Actually I witnessed something this weekend that I’ve never witnessed before (and can you believe I didn’t have my camera with me??)…my husband was washing the car…in the driveway…in February.

This shot was taken by the lakeshore in downtown Toronto on my late Sunday afternoon stroll. This shot was straight out of the camera. The only thing I did was crop the bottom to make it a pano.

The Photo Studio

Project 52 Entry #35

Back to Black Creek Pioneer Village for today’s post. Imagine my surprise and excitement when I spotted a Photography Studio as I was exploring this quaint turn of the century village. I headed over there before you could say “Cheese” but alas it wasn’t what I thought it was. It was a modern set-up were visitors can put on turn of the century clothes and have their portrait taken holding a gun or bottle of whiskey.

They did have a little display of some antique cameras (which by the way I love and collect). I felt given the subject matter I would give these both a late 19th century / early 20th century feel to them in post processing. Both images were processed using Topaz Black & White Effects.

Click on the images to see a more detailed version.

The Greatest Remedy

Project 52 – Entry #34

We’re back at Black Creek Pioneer village. I shared a number of images from this terrific place before Christmas and I still have a few I want to share with you. Can you image a peddler steering this horse drawn carriage through a village selling his “Greatest Remedy” concoction. Good for both internal and external use….hmmm?

Click on the image to view it larger.

Icy Waters

Project 52 Entry #33

A quick post today as it’s shaping up to be a busy one. This is another shot of the frozen waters of the St. Lawrence River. This is one exposure and I applied the Clarity filter in Topaz Adjust to give the ice a little more of a crystallized look. I then cropped it into a panorama.

Click on the image to view a larger version.

Quebec – The Old City

Project 52 Entry 32

Quebec City’s “old city” is a charming place full of heritage building, cobblestone walkways and quaint restaurants. Walking around really reminded me of being in Europe and of course with French being spoken around me this illusion wasn’t a far stretch.  It was a very cold day (did I mention that before) with a dull grey sky but as we were walking back to our hotel I had to stop and take this shot. I really liked the way these 2 buildings looked like they were intersecting from where I was standing. I converted this to B&W using Topaz B&W Effects and then used the local adjustment tool to bring back the color in the window trim.

For possible savings on your next vacation to Quebec, use this Orbitz coupon code.

Laskey Emporium

Project 52 Entry #31

We’re back at Black Creek Village. In my last post we visited the The Saddler & Harness Maker which you can see here if you missed it. Today we pay a visit to Laskey Emporium, a general store in the traditional sense.

Here you can pick up dry goods, toys for the little ones or textiles to make a pretty dress…the Walmarts of its day. As I was standing inside the store I was just imagining how simple it must have been back then. Shopping for gifts must have been easy…..

Click on the images to see a larger version

A Day in the Country

Project 52 Entry #30

A quick post today. This was taken this past weekend at Black Creek Pioneer Village here in Toronto. I spent a wonderful morning shooting there and I’ll have a whole series of images to share with you next week. Can you believe this is the month of December? No Snow 😦

Last night was the first night of Hanukkah so I’d like to wish all those celebrating a very Happy Hanukkah.

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like……

Project 52 Entry #29

This is the lobby of the Fairmount Royal York hotel in downtown Toronto. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in here but outdoors there’s not a snowflake to be seen. Actually its one of the mildest December I can remember.  Hopefully we’ll get some of the white stuff before the holidays.  Have a great day everyone 🙂

Montreal Lights

Project 52 Entry #28

We were in Montreal this past weekend for my son’s hockey tournament and stayed downtown at the Chateau Champlain. In anticipation of our weekend getaway I decided to rent a fisheye lens which I’ve always wanted to try out. This is the view of  downtown from our hotel room.  The Fisheye was the Canon 15mm…let me know what you think.

Click on the image to view a larger version.