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.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


I bet you've all been wondering if I'll pass on the X is for something related to photography!  Hah!  Fooled you all...this is something I've never done before and probably never will do.  But there actually is such a thing as x-ray photography.  You've always thought of it as a simple X-ray - of your lungs, your bones, your stomache, your teeth...Well, yes that's exactly what it is.

"While our society is taught to concern itself with the alluring surface of things, Nick Veasey uses industrial x-ray machines to peel back those upper layers, often revealing a far more beautiful, and complex, underside. Having produced the largest x-ray photograph ever – a Boeing 777 that required over 500 separate x-rays of individual elements."  Nick's career began like this:
“My girlfriend’s father used to be a lorry driver,” explains Nick with a mischievous smile. “At one time he drove a lorry for a couple of days which contained thousands of cans of Pepsi, one of which had a ring-pull prize worth £100,000.
“I thought I’d try a scam. I decided to hire an x-ray machine from a local hospital to find the winning can. I never did find it, but it sparked off the ideas for the career I have today.”

There is no way I'd ever do this type of photography, but it is fascinating!  For more information from someone else who does this type of photography (Jim Zuckerman who has appeared in Outdoor Photographer, publications of the National Geographic Society, Omni Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Shutterbug, Petersen's Photographic Magazine, and scores of other magazines), click here.  You will find his photos absolutely incredible.  Here's a tiny taste.  And for more photos of Nick Veasey's work, you just have to go HERE!  There are some amazing photos on this site!
Exuberant thanks to Denise Nesbitt, the creater of this excellent ABC Wednesday meme.  This is exactly the type of writing I enjoy as it challenges me each week to come up with something extraordinarily creative. It does not exhaust me; it exhorts me to succeed; it excites me into explosions of ideas!  We on the team extend an invitation to all who have an interest in anything creative to expound and expose (no nudity, though - *wink*) your ideas, photographs, drawings, or writing.  We will examine your contribution and expand on your posts by executing our best comments. To check out ABC Wednesday, simply click here.


About the closest I get to photographing wildlife is the local squirrels, raccoons, and birds that live in my area.  I've been able to get some decent shots of eagles, snowy owls, herons, and ducks but anything more "dangerous" like bear, moose or elk has eluded me.  However, there are some photographers who actually specialize in wildlife photography, especially those who work for magazines like "National Geographic."  Here are just a few whose websites you might like to see.

Michael “Nick” Nichols (http://www.michaelnicknichols.com    Africa, Australia, biodiversity, endangered species
Joel Sartore (http://www.joelsartore.com/)  Africa
Andy Biggs (http://www.andybiggs.com/)  Africa
Daniel J. Cox (http://www.naturalexposures.com/)  Arctic and Costa Rica
Anup Shah (http://www.shahrogersphotography.com) Africa, especially primates
David Doubilet (http://www.daviddoubilet.com/)  Under the sea

And here are a few of my own wildlife shots.

A couple of backyard critters - cheeky raccoons and squirrels
Finally, a panorama of snow geese that landed in a farmer's field.
Wonderful words of thanks to Denise Nesbitt, our wild and woolly hostess with the mostest! Welcome to new contributors and just to let you know, we (her wacky team of assistants) warmly warble and whistle happy little tunes to let you know how much we wish you'd joined us sooner.  We will make comments on your wondrous posts and will leave wiser but wretched that it will be a whole week before we see you again. To check us out, click here.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

V is for VIDEO

Continuing with my theme of photography for Round 10, I'm writing about taking videos.  Most digital cameras these days have the capability of taking videos, but before doing so, you need to rethink your methods.  If you want to video a wedding, your children or grandchildren, travel adventures, wildlife, sports or a concert, it's always best to be prepared. Whether you use a point and shoot or a fancy DSLR camera, I know that I found these hints to be helpful.

First, when taking a video you must never move your camera into a vertical position.  Keep it horizontal and try to tilt the camera up and back down to get the full image.  Also, never use auto focus but rather use manual mode.  With a DSLR, set your camera to 24 frames per second, the shutter speed to 1/50 second, and adjust the aperture depending on the lighting of your surroundings. 

Remember, with video it's all about movement so find an interesting angle, shoot the same scene in different ways, and get close to the action.  Use a slow pan or a still.  Going from still life to real life makes photography much more interesting.

Even though cameras can work straight out of the box, accessories can be helpful to expand your shooting options.  Try using a telephoto lens, which is sort of like using binoculars to get up close to the action.  A wide angle lens gives a greater range and an external mic gives better sound quality.  Finally, a tripod can move your camera with the action while at the same time keeps it steady.

I guess the next step for me is to start experimenting with the video capability of my camera.  Let me know how you do with your videos

Vast thanks to Denise Nesbitt for her valuable contribution to world-wide friendships.  I love visiting as many posts as I can and try to be vigilant about voicing various observations.  By the way, did I ever mention that I once saw the volcano in Sicily erupt?  Take a look at the following from BBC about its eruption and check out the techniques used in this VIDEO.

Sunday, June 03, 2012


 Before I begin this week's post on the theme of photography, I would like to honour Queen Elizabeth and her Diamond Anniversary on the throne of England.  As part of her Commonwealth, we Canadians are proud to have had a special part in the parade along the Thames.  "Canada One" was the only canoe in the 11 km long flotilla.  Click on the link to watch a brief video about its history.  Also, there was a dragon boat in the parade full of Canadian breast cancer survivors!  Here's to the Union Jack, the flag of our mother country!

One of the very first things one must do in the field of photography is learn how to use one's own camera.  It's essential to understand the parts of your camera and all the things it can do. First, you need to familiarize yourself with the camera you use.  I've graduated from a Samsung Digimax V700 to an Olympus SP-800UZ.  What's the difference, you may ask.  My newer camera has a lot more functions in it with regard to settings for aperture, ISO, zoom, image size, shadow adjust, compression, plus automatic, scene, magic, and beauty modes.  Within these modes are more functions!  My newer camera also has greater zoom capability and image stabilization.  The older camera has 7.1 megapixels while the newer one has 14 megapixels.

Do you understand the parts of the camera?  The "body" is the your camera's house.  It holds all the functions and settings.  The lens is the eye of the camera and the sensor is the digital equivalent of the old-fashioned film.  The flash card saves your images and the battery is just like any other electronic device that keeps your camera working. Your camera might come with a flash, but if not, you can always purchase an external one.

The group that I attend every week has decided that we are going to be just that - a group, a group of women who have a common interest and who have a desire to learn how to take good photos.  Anyone can join in at any time and those of us who may know a bit more about photography will help the beginners.  We'll also share ideas and get instruction on an as-we-need-to-know basis.  I think this makes it much more fun and inviting and forgoes the trepidation that comes with feeling like we don't understand a concept as well as someone else does. 

As you begin to understand your camera, its functions and how to use them all, you will begin to experiment with these functions and gain great joy in learning fascinating ways of photographing objects, people, or places.

Thanks to the ultimate in leaders, Denise Nesbitt, for creating this unbelievably fun meme! Her untiring and united team of assistants understand how useful it is to receive feedback on posts.  Therefore, we do our utmost to visit you all and give you our undivided attention along with some unparalleled commentary.  To join in, just click here!