Sunday, December 04, 2016

JJ at Hockey Now and Then

Somewhat unexpectedly, we attended both a practice and a game of JJ's last week. I took some video clips of both and stitched some parts together. I don't love doing video, much preferring still photography, but it is nice to have a video record too.

This is for the family record, so to speak, but you might wish to stay long enough to compare this weeks skating compared to the beginning, three years ago.

First the present day practice. They sure do some excellent drills.

Some game clips. He wants to score a goal but hasn't yet. He seemed to have a chance at around the 1 minute mark but hesitated and missed taking a good shot.

Whatever the outcome of scoring attempts, it's fun to watch the progress, especially when you compare it to his beginnings three years ago when he wanted to be left alone to sit at centre ice in a funk.

I thought that I had posted all this at the time, but I see that I hadn't for some reason.

His coach tried to persuade him to get up.

JJ eventually did get up and took some of his first, tentative strides, if I may call them that. It's so much fun to look back now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

More Verto Pano Fun

Last week I posted a merge of 4 photos — 2 across and 2 up. I mentioned how I used Lightroom to merge them and what a good job it did.

Creating panoramas isn't new to me, but I haven't done much with vertoramas, so on another ramble, I decided to play some more.

This photo is just a 3-shot vertorama focusing on the drainage pond in our nearby park.

Emboldened I next tried a combination vertorama/panorama. In the title, I opted to call it a vertopano, but I don't know what other photographers call it. Whatever the name, once gain, it is 4 shots, 2 across and 2 up.

The next and final merge is also a 4-shot, but I didn't go too high on the second layer: just a bit to complete the trees on the right. It's of the little bridge that you may or may not see in the distance in the above photo: actually both above photos.

They all show that winter has arrived but whether the snow will remain or not is still in question. Sometimes it stays until March once we get a covering like this in November, but last year, it was mild and snow-less on Christmas Day, and the kids went out to ride their scooters and without heavy coats.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Sunset Memories

On the weekend, some of the extended family were able to gather in Kingston from various directions to honour my brother-in-laws recent passing. It was neither a funeral nor a memorial exactly, just a coming together at this difficult time.

We were gathered in a house right on Lake Ontario, and I noticed the possibility of getting some shots of the setting sun.

I think this one is appropriate to the day. A life ends and a sun sets, but the sun will also rise in the morning, and for those who remain, life goes on with hope.

It was only after I posted this on FB that they told me that Bill's son and DiL had moved these rocks
to create a path. How appropriate.

My remaining brother-in-law, a fellow photographic devotee, shared the scene with me.

Oops ... I almost forgot this one.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Danica Learns Hockey Skills

Danica has had a yen to try her hand at hockey. The problem is that she has started late, so she is far behind other girls her age who began playing years ago.

So, what to do?

Well, her mom found a program called First Shift, which is designed to give kids a start in the game in a non-competitive atmosphere. As of yet anyway, they are not even playing but the many kids who enrolled divide into 4 groups and rotate to 4 drill areas through their hour on ice.

It is sponsored by Bauer and Canadian Tire, and for the cost of the program, the kids get 12 sessions and then get to keep the equipment. What a deal!

We were very impressed with how the program was carried out. The coaches all seemed to be dedicated and knowledgeable, and they kept the kids active and involved.

They got to skate with pucks and try a bit of passing and receiving.

The most interesting activity centre was the following where they had to hop over sticks, slide under a bar, and then push a coach on a chair.

My fave pic of the day is this one. It's her smile, and it's just her, the wonderful and happy kid that she is.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

First Snow and Last Fence

Somewhat fortuitously, our first snow earlier this week resulted in a photo with a fence in it. So, with one shot I am able to acknowledge the first snow of winter and Tex's last fence meme as she heads into blog retirement, or at least partially.

I took this on Sunday at the beginning of the storm which got severe enough to cancel school buses on Monday.

It is a 4-shot combination panorama (2 across) and vertorama (2 up) that Lightroom stitched together seamlessly. Impressive software.

I converted this to mono but it didn't look that much different in colour except for the house on the right.

BTW it is snowing again today. Oddly enough, just before this weather change last Sunday, we were exalting in the mild temperatures.

So, good job Tex and good luck in the future.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Annual Tree-Decorating Get-Together

We have been doing this for three and a half decades, give or take — getting family together to decorate the tree. I think we began this tradition when my parents moved to Sarnia in the early 80s.

It was never a big affair, but it was a tradition with seven of us: Sue, me, the kids, my parents and Val (a family friend). Although my mother and Allyson are almost hidden, we are all in this photo, except for moi who was taking the picture.

Dad was usually cajoled into hanging one ornament at the end. I pretty much do the same thing, letting the gals and the kids have most of the fun.

Here I am with Mom.

And so, the tradition continues. There were just five of us this year: Sue, me, Shauna, Danica and Jonathan. We now do this at the kids' house and not ours. It seems to make more sense, especially since we just put up a pre-lit tree now in our little place.

The tree was already up with the lights on when Sue and I arrived. JJ was happy to act out on the step ladder.

Then, Danica used to ladder to get a good view of ongoing progress.

The kids worked well and happily together.

Sue and Shauna did their part well.

And even, moi although this ornament had a very difficult string.

But mostly I took pictures and sat with the cat. It's good to know one's role.

And that's that until next year.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

JJ Plays Goal

It was the little gaffer's turn to play goalie yesterday. His team won 7-4 in a good contest in which our guys had a 5-0 lead before the other team got their mojo. The kids and fans had a fine time.

I took photos from various positions but all were through dirty plexiglass or through the netting (to stop pucks from injuring spectators) if I was up high. You can see the texture of the netting in some photos.

I took many shots, and not just of JJ, and I posted them on the team's FB page, but I'll just feature JJ here.

The Pregame Warmup

A good stop coming up

Getting down and dirty ... um ... icy

Stopped with the stick

Post game congratulations