Double Present Month!

12/12 "Kodee" Holiday Festive 

 I love this saying and think it will be my motto for 2015! 

Poor Kodee doesn't have much say in the fact I so often make her look silly! December is her birthday month and this year she turned 8 yrs old! Don't tell Kodee she is a senior though - she is still a very active and spunky girl!


 Last year I joined in a group on Flickr where we had to choose one dog to photograph each month for the year. 2014 was all about Kodee. I loved having to push myself each month to follow the monthly themes and think of new creative compositions. It was loads of fun getting to know other dog centric photographers and their dogs! These are a few of my shots for the theme "Festive Holidays".


 For 2015 my focus will switch to Becky! That will be a challenge because she is a bit harder to photograph some days with her all black coat.

Winter Sunsets


Just a quick share of our sunset walk along the waterfront last weekend. I love walking down by the lake year round. We stumbled across this amazing back lighting on the tall grass which I guarantee you was even more breathtaking in person.


The lonely birch tree. 


Toronto's famous CN Tower is about 58 km from where I was standing so just a small outline can be made out.

Monday Morning Movement!

"Christmas Garland


"The Snow Storm"
A slow winter's night with too much time on my hands! A bit of abstract "Intentional Camera Movement" fun with my Christmas tree. I will get around to showing you this year's tree soon but in the meantime here is one of my all time favourite Christmas photos of Kodee and Becky.

Photo A Day Advent Calendar: Day 8

Dear Santa Paws


 Dear Santa Paws, 

 I have been so
good this year.
Please may I have lots of treats?
Can you take Kodee?

Hugs & Licks Becky
Edited using kk_littlethings

Farewell Autumn


Ah what a magnificent fall we have had this year. Not thrilled though this week brought on a sudden drop in temperature plus that horrid white fluff descending from above. I quickly made a "Winter Keep Sane List". It is a collection of indoor creative projects to tackle on those "do not venture into the blizzard days". Looking forward to working on stills & macro, a few ideas involving the pups in studio shots and trying my hand at keeping a watercolor journal.


So for our last fall hooray hike, we headed out to Purplewoods Conservation which is a very popular sugar bush - you can spot the blue syrup tubing along the side of the trail.


 After a long decline on our path we came to the Sugar Shack. Here we spotted a notice tacked to the wall. 

Black Bear Sighted at Purple Woods Conservation Area - July 13, 2014 at 4:00pm. A visitor to the conservation area reported seeing a black bear down by the Sugar Shack on the above date. For your own personal safety, and for the well being of bears, it is important to learn about bears and their behaviour. Bears usually avoid humans. Generally, you won't see a bear even if one is close by.

Look left - look right...just a tad nervous after reading that! Being the brave [not] soul I am we ventured on.


I love the woods after a rainfall - so vibrant with green and gold.


At the end of the trail we found ourselves on the roadside by an old train track.


And then we saw the most magnificent view! The clouds were like a giant softbox creating this golden glow over the fields. 


A car pulled up beside us and said "gorgeous view isn't it! Just so you know the property owners do not take kindly to having it photographed though". Oh ok thanks I said. As she drove off I thought; public road, public view... well worth savouring the moment. So I snapped. After editing these I think I am happy I'm a bit of a rebel.
Fact 26 About Me
[Part of the "30 Things About Me" Series]

The Urban Dictionary says a "rebel is a person who stands up for their own personal opinions despite what anyone else says. A true rebel stands up for what they believe is right, not against what's right." Yeah that's a bit like me.

100 Dog Strangers - Chill'n With Mom


Playing Puparazzi at the dog show. Just chill'n with Mom. Who can tell me what breed this is? I'm stumped! At first I thought an Irish Wolfhound but the hair seems a tad too long?

The Happy Dog's Bedtime Prayer

Now I lay me down to sleep,
The queen-size bed is soft and deep.
I sleep right in the center groove,
My human being can hardly move.

I've trapped her legs,
she's tucked in tight,
and here is where I pass the night.
No one disturbs me or dares intrude,
Til morning comes and I want food.

I sneak up slowly and it begins,
My nibbles on my human's chin.
she wakes up slowly and smiles and shouts, "You darling beast! Just cut it out!"
But morning's here and its time to play,
I always seem to get my way.

So thank you Lord, for giving me,
this human person that I see
The one who holds me tight

and shares her bed with me at night!
~ Unknown
Adding to my
The Canine version of "100 Strangers".
A photographic record of all the wonderful dogs I meet in my travels.
 Began in 2012 and ending... TBD.

Black & White 5 Day Challenge: Day 5

Truth Revealed
If a smoke screen hides the truth then I supposed inverted smoke perhaps reveals the truth.


Recently I attended a workshop by Andre Gallant and was so inspired by his work. Andre is a Canadian photographer whose works have appeared in numerous photography magazines, has published 5 books and  conducts workshops on occassion. I purchased his book "Inspiration - Creative Photography Projects which I plan on working through this winter. I fully intend to hibernate and avoid the cruel cold and deep snow they are promising Southern Ontario. It is a great book that goes into expressive photography techniques, alternate processes, post-processing and creative exercises. 


That is the end of my Black & White 5 Day Challenge and I learned a lot but also got inspired again to pick up my camera. Sometimes photographing gets stale and finding these little projects helps to get the creative spirit going again. The smoke photography was very relaxing and I really love the look of the inverted one. I will revisit this exercise again I am sure.

A good video on how to set your flash and additional lighting for Smoke Photography
Day 5: Black & White Inversion

Black & White 5 Day Challenge: Day 4

The Un-Seen World
Things seen are temporal and things unseen are eternal. ~ Helen Keller

 Infared (IR) Photography is the light we can't see with the naked eye. It is the colours at the end of the rainbow after red or so the photo gurus tell me. For me - it is an action I hit in Lightroom that turned my leaves on the white side for an unusual effect! 

I took the photo at a local conservation park - Purple Woods in mid October. It was just after a rain so the leaves were really jumping out in colour. When we got to the bottom of the hill deep in the woods we saw a sign saying black bear spotted in July. Look left - look right.... lucky for us no bears seen that day!
Day 4: Infared

Black & White 5 Day Challenge: Day 3

 Mad Hatter Tea Party
There is no great genius without some touch of madness
 ~ Seneca

Aren't we all a little bit mad? Ah yes, this is the same hat you saw Kodee wear on Halloween. My daughter has the best props so I raid her closet often!
Day 3: Hi Key

Black & White 5 Day Challenge: Day 2

11/12 Kodee 2014 "Black & White" 

What do you mean there is NO DINNER?!

Poor Kodee she was completely baffled why I was not telling her "OUT" as I usually do when she climbs in the fridge. Instead I was pointing to the fridge and saying "LOOK" encouraging her to spread her dog hair about my food... plus hiding cookies and smears of peanut butter in it. 

I wanted to try my hand at either an ipad front lit or fridge rim light photo. In these photos often you have to use a higher ISO, but I wanted to try a grainier look. My only regret is my kitchen layout didn't really allow for a wider shot.
Black & White 5 Day Challenge
Day 2: Side lit with a little rim lighting effect, high contrast

Black & White 5 Day Challenge: Day 1

Simple Things

"Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart.  He taught me to appreciate the simple things - a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in the shaft of winter sunlight". 
~ John Grogan

I am embarking on a week long quest to improve my black and white photography. I am such a huge fan of it but rarely like my own attempts. So this week I am setting out to get a better understanding of how best to go about this! 

Meet Calvin, the sweetest Cavalier from Utah - one of Becky's first nephews.  I loved this photo in colour but was surprised how much more I love it in B&W. Without colour I find I am really drawn to the dog's face and his pure expression of love and enjoyment! To me the bond of this pair is evident and B&W only helps to convey that message more.  
Black & White 5 Day Challenge
Day 1:  Soft focus conversion with a mocha tint

Hanging On To That Last Bit of Fall Colour!


You know your a slightly obsessed dog owner when your supposed to be composing your photo but instead your head can only think "how many ticks and fleas are in that tall grass?" My dogs are nicely trained but I am not going to pretend they were up on that hill all alone just waiting patiently for me to take a picture. The end result just looked better with my husband and leashes cloned out!


So thrilled we are still in a blanket of  fall foliage here. The last few years were not very showy so I'm thrilled this fall is making up for it. We need this long, colourful fall because if the weather report is bang on then we are in for a brutally cold and snowy winter here.


This path is one I have yet to venture down - so still lots to explore here. I just need my weekly hike - my world never seems right without it.


I look at this photo now and have to laugh at how tense I was when I took it. It was a windy day and my patience was wearing thin as I gripped my camera and held my breath trying over and over to click at just that moment the wind settled for only a split second.


It has to be the most popular spots in our region for fall family photos.


A pull back of the same tree and a rare moment to find it empty. Usually you fine a few photographers lined up - some with their battery powered light boxes in tow.


One reason I love hiking here is because it is the best kept park in Durham Region - the Town of Whitby needs to step up because Ajax Conservation and Waterfront trails put ours to shame. Greenwood has the most immaculate trails even in the thick of the woods.  They also have nicely paved trails if easier walking is needed for strollers or wheelchairs.



There is still a small amount of colour left here so we might squeeze in one last fall hike this weekend. My bones tell me winter is just around the corner though.

10/12 Kodee 2014 "Fall Crowns"


I attempted to roll leaves to make a crown for the girls. It did not turn out as planned! Instead I made a nice bouquet of fall roses from the leaves.The iphone photo is on my instagram.
Joining in Kim Klassen's "Friday Finds"
"Friday Finds…..that we stop …. pause…..simply…. cherish life’s simple pleasures……"
This week's Friday Find for me is the simple pleasure I get from hiking - it just balances my world.

Moulin Rouge Halloween


 Happy Halloween! May your night be filled with more treats than tricks!

Storm clouds may gather and stars may colloid but I will love you till the end of time. ~ Moulin Rouge


 The greatest thing you will ever learn Is to love and be loved. ~ Moulin Rouge


 Actually these are really Mad Hatter hats but Becky and Kodee's eyes were giving off more of a Moulin Rouge feel to me. I can tell you one thing, the dogs are not as amused as I am this evening! 

Participating in "Spooktacular Blog Hop"

Four Seasons One Location ~ Fall


Easy seasons

Spring's all buttercups
and breezy.

Summer's hot and

Autumn's bright with
colored trees-y.

Winter's snowy,
sniffly, sneezy.

Alan Benjamin


Autumn Wonders


You can't hide your true colours as you approach the autumn of your life. ~ Anonymous 

I turn over a new leaf every day. But the blots show through. ~ Keith Waterhouse

As the bloom's colours die down - autumns splash is just beginning. Still sorting through my photos from our trip to Alogonquin Park. Love these single leaf reflections. The lake was so peaceful and cheerful with the colourful reflections. Winter though is approaching much too fast! They say in Southern Ontario it will be a brutal one... Betting on the weather man being wrong again on that one!

Participating in Kim Klassen's Textured Tuesday

Algonquin Park Adventures


Algonquin Park ~ Tea Lake

Fall! My absolute favourite season followed closely by spring! Call me crazy but I rate summer right up there with winter. We kept watching Friends of Algonquin Fall Peak Colour Report for the perfect day to visit the park for the showiest leaves. We arrived at the Park at it's peak colour for 2014.


Oxtongue River ~ Ragged Falls

I had better love this photo because I  crawled through some little string webs that had tiny worms hanging off the tree to capture this slow shutter shot. I like how the orange leaf colour is reflected very subtly in the waves.


Oxtongue Lake ~ Algonquin Outfitters

The word breathtaking was meant for this view. The most amazing colour, light and reflections I have ever been lucky enough to view.


Lake of Two Rivers

Just as we were calling it a day and heading back to Huntsville we spotted off the highway a thick fog along the shoreline.


Lake of Two Rivers is the oldest and best known campground at Algonquin. A little bit of mystic moon :) to end our day.


Hidden Valley Resort

Tired, cold and hungry we headed back to Huntsville to arrive at the Holiday Inn where we had a pre-paid room. Not too happy to find out they overbooked and we were room-less. They arranged for us to stay at the  Hidden Valley Resort. We drove back out of town and then down a twisted and dark road with not a clue what sort of place we would end up. Turned out to be the best mess up! When we threw open the curtains this is the spectacular view off our balcony! Great dining room, outdoor pool to side of lake, indoor pool and pet friendly.


Hardwood Look Out

I heard Algonquin is the best spot to be for fall colour viewing - but THIS, exceeds any expectations I had. By day two I conceded I was getting old and broke down and bought a walking stick. Love it and not sure what took me so long to loose my pride and get it. It folds up small and fits right in my photography bag. It's hot pink of course ;)

There will be a part II  to this post because I have loads more to share, so watch for it.


Participating in Friday Finds, and Weekend Reflections.


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