Vacation time!

A few days ago, one of the women I work with told me she was going to visit her sister on Vancouver Island. I too, have a sister who lives there and have wanted to visit her for some time now. Her flight was $200 return, she told me. I decided I was going to visit my sister too. What a cheap flight!

Well, she must have been mistaken. The cheapest I could find was closer to $500 return. And I googled everthing. I refuse to fly some of the smaller airlines. They always go bankrupt. My airline of preference for inside Canada is Westjet. The service is fantastic. Even though you fly economy, they treat you like a first class customer.

I emailed my sister and she told me to try my air miles. I didn’t think I had nearly enough. Low and behold, not only did I have enough, I had 39 to spare! I couldn’t get a flight for the Victoria Day weekend, so I changed it up a little. I’m leaving a week earlier and staying a full week. No husband. No kids. Just me.

I have no idea what we’ll do. Both are broke. A trip downtown to see the area. A trip to the beach. The provincial capital building would be awesome to see. I’ve seen some pictures and it’s much more beautiful than the Edmonton capital building. The Empress Hotel is also a must see.

My sister is a professional photographer. I’m a photographer wannabe. My first day there, I’ll accompany her on a photo shoot. She said it could be a two day affair. Sounds like a lot of fun.

I was so excited about the trip, I couldn’t get to sleep last night. That never happens! I’ll be there in a month. I hope to have tons of pictures to post.

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iPhone pictures

Sometimes I don’t want to pull out either my point and shoot nor my DSLR, so I’ll grab my iPhone. Usually that’s because I want to upload the picture to Facebook, Twitter or Flickr right away. I know the quality of the picture won’t be all that good, but when you’re in a hurry to show someone something, quality doesn’t matter.

Yesterday it snowed all day. And I do mean all day. A heavy wet snow blanketed the city of Calgary with well over eight inches of snow. It’s Sunday today, and the snow is melting quickly. Tomorrow it will be +6C according to the local forecast and anything that’s left, should be gone by days end.

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Little Planets

I have wanted to learn how to make Little Planets for a few years. I’ve seen them on Flickr and thought there was so much involved. A few months ago, I upgraded my Adobe CS4 to CS5. I decided to buy a few books on CS5 and they sat here collecting dust most of the time.

A few days ago, I picked up one of the books and found the tutorial for making Little Planets. I was so excited!

My first few pictures I was proud of, simply because I managed to make them. But they were bad. I still posted them to Flickr. Then I did one that I was quite proud of, but the seam was so obvious, I had to cover the picture with a texture to hide it. Then I found a tutorial online that showed how to clean up the seam. And voila! I finally made a few pictures I’m very proud of. I hope you like them too.

Marken, The Netherlands

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Sometimes you just don’t want to drag out the DSLR and all the lenses and filters, so you decide to take your point and shoot.  Because I’m trying to stick with taking RAW images, I decided to get the Canon G12 10 megapixel camera.  I love it!  It is bigger than the average point and shoot, but it has so many functions, you forget it’s a point and shoot. 

Then there are those days when you don’t want to figit with manual focus or AV for that fact.  Especially when there are children involved.  They move so much that trying to get a decent shot is next to impossible.  For me, that is.

Last weekend, I was invited to my nieces daughters 1st birthday.  What made this birthday more special than most 1st birthdays is the fact this little girl only had a 30% chance of survival at birth.  She was born at 24 1/2 weeks and weighed in at 1 pound 7 ounces.  But she’s a fighter and not only did she surprise all the doctors and nurses, but she was home safe and sound with her parents and big brother, two weeks before her due date.

I decided to take the G12 along.  I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I usually do, only 67.  I ended up tossing a few even before I left the party.  But one picture I was going to trash, I looked at again and thought I should hang on to it until I got home and viewed it on my laptop.  The baby moved just as I snapped the picture and I cut off one side of her face.  Yet, I had to keep it once I saw it.

I then saw her cousin, who is one month older than her playing on the landing.  I sat myself on the other side of the landing and placed my camera on the floor then snapped a shot of him quickly.  I had to grab my camera quickly, because as I set it down, he pushed himself back onto the landing and was trying to high tale it to my camera to play with it.  This is what I got:

AHA!

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Calgary Panorama

Last night we went for a short drive to Cresent Heights where the view of downtown is beautiful. I grabbed my Xti and my G12, but only used my Xti. I didn’t take my tripod because I was in a rush to get the last light of the day.

We were driving west and I could see the sun quickly trying to hide behind one large cloud that hung over the Rockies. Oh well, I would do my best and hope for another day when the last light would cast a golden light over the skyline. I used my body as a tripod and fired off about 12 shots holding my elbows close to my sides and only turning from the waist. Camera in full manual mode to ensure the sky didn’t change colours.

It took about an hour in photoshop to complete this shot:

Calgary Panorama

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Learning HDR

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I have always wanted to try my hand at HDR photography.  I have taken some of my shots and run them through Camera Raw in Photoshop to give them the effect of being HDR, but never taken 3 images and … Continue reading

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