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Showing posts from January 6, 2013

Photography and Dancing

Friedrich Nietzsche said,  "We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once."

One of my strongest childhood memories is watching my parents getting ready Saturday night for dancing. My father put in long six-day weeks running his own business and my mother, who worked in retail,  finished her week on Saturday after working an extra long day Friday. 

Yet no matter how weary, once the ritual began they were revived and ready to go.

Seeing them on the dance floor was always a treat too.  Dad was one smooth dude. When Mom saw my father for the first time, he was dancing at her sister's engagement party. She was, she says, instantly smitten. Later together they became well known at the area halls for their grace and technique on the floor.  I still meet older people today from my hometown who will comment on how nice it was to watch my parents dancing.  It was their passion and it showed.

While they may have passed that passion on to me,  a revolu…

Taking Great Portrait Photos

When our daughter was married a few years ago, the photographer she hired was noted for his wonderful candid shots. With a weekend destination wedding planned, having someone on scene who was able to be in the moment when that moment happened,  seemed sensible.

As it is with sports and action photography being at the right place at the right time with the camera ready is not a talent every photographer possesses. And there was no question when the results were finally shown that this guy had that talent — in spades. His candid shots were amazing.

What was interesting, though, was the quality of his portraits.  It was fascinating to me that while he was right there ready when one of the guests capsized a canoe,  and caught it in perfect focus and exposure, frame by frame,  he couldn't quite capture the same perfection in a posed photo of individuals or groups. Though the technical aspects of photography were perfect in his formal shots, the poses and little details that can improv…

Taking Great Sports and Action Photos

One of the interesting aspects about being an editor at a small-town community newspaper, I discovered, was that you have to know a little bit about a lot of things.

I spent over two decades covering the goings-on of my local area. While my interests may have been in the arts, and we fortunately lived in close proximity to both the Blyth and Stratford Festivals,  I also found myself at cattle shows, political meetings and sports venues.  Immersion is an excellent teacher, of course, and through time I was comfortable writing news articles on any of these subjects.

Photography, on the other hand, was a different picture, at least with sports events. Grip and grin I could handle with ease. Setting up a shot to tell a story was something my creative mind enjoyed, But being at the right place at the right time to get that split-second moment was generally elusive.

Having entered the job with a basic understanding of a camera, it was a challenge to cover that fast-paced world and come aw…

Hockey Photos Celebrate Canada's Game

I live in the Great White North, a country that knows cold and snow, though perhaps not as much as our neighbours to the south tend to think.  We do like back bacon (among lots of other things). We make great beer (but  lovely wines too). And we do love our hockey (end of story).

So it is this week that fans rejoice as the end of the National Hockey League lockout has been announced. With some final steps to take,  folks are eagerly awaiting the schedule and drop of that first puck.

Understand, my use of 'we' was editorial regarding this nation's favourite pastime. I did love hockey in the day of the NHL's Original Six — Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings and Chicago Black Hawks.  Saturday night was hockey night and  I curled up on the floor in front of the TV to watch the Leafs take on their opponent.

My uncle and I had an ongoing bet —  I cheered for Toronto and he rooted for everyone else. Though I suspect, b…

Collections of Images of Children Playing and Having Fun

It had been one of those winter days that makes you think of snuggling up with a good book and cup of cocoa. Having headed outside for a bit of fresh air in the morning, I was content for the remainder of the day to pass the time in cozy comfort inside.

Then as dusk began its gentle fall, a wonderful winter picture was exposed to me, framed through my kitchen window. A soft but persistent snow, the kind that's heavy with moisture and perfect for packing, had transformed our outside world into a very a pretty place indeed.

And taking full advantage were our neighbour children, who, with help from Mom, were putting the finishing touches on an elaborate snow fort. Imposing in size and ambitious in design, illuminated impressively by a dusk to dawn light at the end of the drive,  it stood as a monument to childhood and to the pleasures found in the simple things.  It was a nice reminder too, that it's not all about video games, YouTube and computers for kids today.

Here are some …