About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Friday, February 24, 2012


Grayscale is a photo that is made up of varying tones of black and white. Grayscale is basically black and white photos. These images are also monochromatic, which means there is only one (mono) colour (chrome) in the image. Most people have some sort of computer imaging software and will tweak their photos by fixing the contrast, colour levels, hue, tint, saturation, and will also tweak the dark and light shadows. In contrast, you can also put colour into original old black and white photos with these software products. Click to enlarge all photos.

Some of you may have previously seen the following photo on my blog. However, see what you think of the photo when I transform it into grayscale. What are your thoughts?

I think that the simple act of turning the photo into black and white, or grayscale, makes the photo look more like it was taken in the 40s or 50s instead of in 2006. Also, you notice the shadows and the men instead of being distracted by the colours they're wearing.

Here are a few more photos that I converted into grayscale:

What did you notice about my choice of photos to convert to grayscale? If you thought "all the photos are of historic places or things," you would be correct. The old shipbuilding warehouse in the village of Steveston, the railway station and tracks in Fort Langley, the old 1940s luggage, the World War 2 cannon in England, and the historic church all look even better in grayscale. Not everything works in grayscale, although you might have noticed that lots of young couples are getting engagement or wedding photos done in grayscale.

Here's one more photo to consider. The first has the shadows lightened to the maximum, the second has the shadows darkened to the maximum, and the final photo is my preference with a midtone contrast. It's all in how you prefer your photos.
This week, I encourage you all the experiment with your photo software! Try converting some of your photos to grayscale and see what you think about it.

Thanks as usual go to Mrs. Nesbitt for her gargantuan effort to keep ABC Wednesday alive and growing! Her gallant gang of gorgeous and good-natured teammates will visit all participants and let them know how much we appreciate their contributions. Some of us are goofy, some are gushy, some are grouchy but we are all gleefully generous in our glowing praises! You will all receive a gloriously great grade just for joining in!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

F is for F-STOP and FILES

First of all, I want to thank everyone for stopping by last week to comment on my post, especially those who really liked the photo of the reflected boat sheds (a lot of blue). I had entered that photo on Red Bubble, and it was featured in the Beautiful BC Group on Friday. So thanks again!

One of the most difficult things for me to understand so far in my study of photography is the F-Stop. I think it's because I don't have an SLR camera, but rather a high-level digital. I only get to practise changing the aperture settings to a certain extent, so it's still a bit of a mysterious part of photography. I will try to explain it so you and I both will get it, though. This is all thanks to many websites I've checked out so here goes.

First, we have to understand what "aperture" means. It is the opening formed by a system of metal leaves in the lens that open up and close down to control the volume of light passing through the lens. It is the lens's equivalent of the iris of our eye. (from here) Keeping this in mind, the F-Stop is the number given to indicate how much light is allowed through the lens. Simply put, the higher the number equals less light allowed in and the lower the number equals more light allowed in. A photo taken at F-2 will be brighter than a photo taken at F-16. Here are a couple of examples of photos I took of a rose at different F-stops. The one on the left was set at -2.0 and the one on the right was set at +2.0. Neither is right for the photo, but from practise, I found the proper setting.

Something that my photography tutor suggested is that when you upload your photos, always save the original in a special File. Then when you crop, resize, adjust contrast and levels, etc. save it again in a different File. That way, if you want to try different things like colour, saturation, cropping and sizing at another time, you'll always have the original to work from. I have to admit that I don't always do this except for photos that I consider to be first rate. My cameras seem to take photos in 72 or 96 dpi, too, so I always change it to 300 dpi. Here is an example of an original photo that I cropped and increased to 300 dpi. It was taken in Italy in 2006.

Special thanks go to the Fabulous Denise Nesbitt for creating ABC Wednesdays. She and her formidable team of faithful, fashionable and far-flung cyber family help her out by visiting all the contributors to make comments and let them know how much we appreciate their posts. Please join in as it's so much FUN!

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Exposure in photography means the amount of light falling on the image during the process of taking a photograph. This can be very complicated when trying to educate oneself, as I am, especially when I don't have an SLR camera, but rather a high-level digital. Simply put, it refers to the length of time the shutter is open. Low light requires a longer shutter cycle while strong light requires a shorter shutter cycle. With SLR cameras, the photographer adjusts the exposure manually, whereas with the type of camera I have, the exposure is calculated automatically. To read more detailed information about exposure, click here or here for a video explanation.

Don't forget to click on the photos to see them in a larger format.

The following are examples of (1) low light exposure (photo courtesy of L Evans copyright) and (2) bright light exposure (my photo).

An extreme in photography is anything that surpasses the standard or is rare. For example, not rather high, but extremely high. Not a little cold, but excessively cold. Not some emotion but exhilarating emotion. Not some details, but excessive and sharp details. Extremes bring drama or visual impact and are related to what are called oddities. These oddities will become weird or bizarre when taken to the extreme. Also, an extreme does not need to be an oddity. For example, a fire is hot as we all know, but its excessively high temperature can be called an extreme.

This photo is considered to be extreme because of the contrast between the dark foreground shape and the brilliant fire-like sunset. The following one is extreme because of its contrast - it is not really black and white but appears to be. (Photos courtesy of L Evans copyright)

The following two photos of my own are "extreme" because the first one is not a little blue, but extra-brilliant blue. And the next one is extremely high.

Extremely excessive thanks to our extraordinary hostess Denise Nesbitt for designing this exciting ABC Wednesday. Her enthusiastic ensemble of assistants will drop by all the participants' contributions to give expansive comments on your posts. Please join in the fun if you haven't yet by simply clicking here.

Sunday, February 05, 2012


A digital camera is one that captures the photo not on film, but in an electronic imaging sensor that takes the place of film. I purchased my first digital camera in the spring of 2006 and was absolutely thrilled with it. Taking it with me to Italy for a month that fall, I captured lots of great shots, one of which actually came in 3rd place in a recent challenge on Red Bubble.

My next digital camera was an income tax return gift to myself about a year ago. Funnily enough, even though it's a better camera, it was about $200 cheaper than the first one! With this new one, I can do so much more and have learned ooDles more about taking proper photographs. To be honest and direct, I don't understand how to set the depth of field on my own camera very well because it's not a manual camera. I have to determine it by trying different shots of the same thing and then checking to see how the photos turn out.

Depth of field refers to the range of distance that appears acceptably sharp. It varies depending on camera type, aperture and focusing distance, although print size and viewing distance can also influence our perception of depth of field. (from http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/depth-of-field.htm) For example, the higher the f-stop number, the clearer the image. Below, the photo on the left was set at f/8.0 while the one at the right was at f/2.8.

Here are a few of my own shots that show what is in focus and what is not in focus.
Notice that I wanted to show the two-toned maple leaf and focused on it, causing the background to blur out. And in the next shot, I wanted the heron to stand out, but I mistakenly made the grassy reeds clear and blurred the heron.

Ah well, we learn by making mistakes in all things photographic. The last detail about digital cameras I wanted to define for you is DPI, which means "dots per inch." This measures the resolution of the image - the higher the number the greater the resolution. I have found that my camera seems to have an "automatic" setting and when I upload my photos, I change the resolution to 300 dpi. Take a look at the following photos of a yellow dahlia. On the left, the resolution is at 96dpi and the one on the right is changed to 300dpi. Click on the photos to view them larger. I hope you see how the one on the right is a sharper image.

eepest regards to Denise Nesbitt, our dynamic leader who continues to lead the charge every week for ABC Wednesday! She and her daffy but dapper, dashing and dependable group of assistants diligently diverge from their daily lives to visit all the participants and leave a short, delightful note of admiration. Please join us by clicking here! It's quick and easy and we'd love for you to be part of the group.