Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Country Harvest Music Show

As some of you may recall, I have been taking event photos for the town as part of the Canada 150 celebratory year. I think I am up to 18 events now, the latest being the Country Harvest Music Show with proceeds donated to the hospital building fund. I am pleased to do this as my little contribution to the community.

What I do, along with mostly one other photographer is go to an event, shoot photos, and then upload them to a dropbox where, as I understand, they are stored by the town in some sort of perpetuity for future citizens to look back upon.

This concert wasn't held in the townhall venue, which I am more familiar with, so I was being a little shy about approaching this event and being so bold as to play photographer in a strange place. I was going to leave this occasion up to to Bob, the other photographer, but he demurred with the flimsy excuse of celebrating his 45th anniversary. Seriously Bob, get yer priorities straight!

Bob is a very friendly, outgoing, knows and talks to everybody sort of bloke, and I'm not, so I was uncomfortable in this case. But I was able to relax a little as the evening wore on, particularly when a press photographer showed up for awhile and I could see him scurrying boldly hither thither and yon. He became a role model of sorts although I can't see that I could even approach his level of bold.

Anyway, I persisted and got some shots of all of the main performers and three out of four of the accompanying band. I came home and processed and cropped. Processing is important to try to fix the crazy light balance issues that come with night concert photography. And sight lines are such that very often cropping is necessary.

I narrowed about a hundred shots down to less than 20 and uploaded them to the town. As requested I tagged them for easy identification in the future. This is the backup band's fiddler.

I don't know why I haven't thought of it for another event, but in addition to submitting many individual photos, I decided to make a collage. I have made all sorts of collages in the past, but I just hadn't thought of it for these events. I did it poster size just in case.

From top left are the four performers in the order in which they appeared. The lady in red was the first, and I think she was the best. She had a very clear, powerful, deep alto voice and sang the older style of country. Since much of the audience was older, that was much appreciated.

You have noticed that I got the pretty young lady in the collage twice, but this is not totally because I was smitten by her looks. I needed something in the centre to balance the photo once I had all of the individual photos in place. I tried the fiddler's photo, but it just didn't work. I think this one does. However, I do think that she is so appealing (in a nice way) that I am contemplating doing another collage of just her. We shall see.

There will also be a Christmas Country Concert at the same venue early in December, and I think I will be more comfortable, knowing what to expect.

EDIT: Well I got up early enough this morning to throw that other collage together before posting this. It's a quick hack job, but it was something to have a bit of fun with. The plain background that comes out in different shades in different photos doesn't help the blending, but it doesn't really matter because it's just for fun. I don't know the young lady's name.

EDIT2: Just for comparison, here is my birthday collage of/for Danica. Where the backgrounds are busier, blending seems to be easier or at least work better — for the most part anyhow.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Believe it or Not Walkabout

Linda is quite the historian and took us on a Friday 13th group walk along our main street. She told us about the past and of ghosts inhabiting various buildings.

For better or wrose, Sue and I have the habit of being very punctual. We were the first to show up, and I squeezed this shot of Linda (who dressed for the occasion) and Sue while we waited for others.

Others began to filter in.

Soon there was a large contingent and off we went. We met in front of this building which used to be a hotel and now has the mural of Roy Brown, the local man credited with shooting down the Red Baron.

Town hall in the background of the first photo and the historic Moore House in the second.

By the Queens Hotel.

Walking from stop to stop.

We finished at the other (south) end of Bridge Street by the present Grand Hotel, formerly the Mississippi Hotel.

And just a few more group shots.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

To The Sugarbush Once More

Somewhat immodestly our county, Lanark, calls itself the Maple Syrup Capital of Ontario. There are many operations withing striking distance of home, but 3 of them feature dining facilities. Our favourite of the 3 is Wheelers which is the one farthest away. But the trip takes less than an hour, and we probably do it 3 times in a typical year: winter, spring and autumn.

I post a blog after just about every visit, so I won't post photos of the buildings and museums this time, except this one of Sue happily awaiting her pancake, french toast and sausages. Mmmmm.

After our fine repast, we walked the shortest of the several trails. It was definitely fall in the sugar bush, but it was such an overcast day that the picture opportunities weren't inspiring. Putting the camera in shade mode (you can also do this in post) helped bring more life into the photos, but they still missed being lit up by the sun. It is also unfortunate that there is no red in the sugar bush.

But we take pictures anyway and take pictures of people taking pictures. (We recently joined the 21st century and purchased smart phones, and the pic above of Sue and this one of me was taken with them.)

With grand scenes not being very grand to say the least, I tried to concentrate more on little things.

I thought leaves on this boulder might be interesting. It wasn't actually terribly interesting, but it was something. You can see a sap line in the background.

There are boulders strewn all about the sugarbush: erratics deposited by the receding glaciers. I liked this one with the interesting tree behind it.

There are quite a few of these boulders in this pic of Sue, which is a little fuzzy because the shutter speed was quite slow for this pic. Sap lines are also prominent in the background.

There is a wee barn at the end of the trail, and this fellow met us there.

And off we went, taking a somewhat long and circuitous route home. The foliage was so-so on this dull day, but it was still worth seeing. Mostly, we are resigned to seeing and enjoying in passing, but at a T-intersection, I was able to stop and snap this just to give an idea of what the drive was like that day. You can also see how overcast the day was.

And that's it. I suppose that we'll more than likely be back in winter, probably late winter if traditions hold.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Davis Lock

After Chaffys, we motored over to Davis Lock, our third and final stop of the day. We had actually had pictured Davis in minds when we went to Chaffys but got the two of them confused. We like Davis Lock somewhat more than Chaffys.

It's a single lock which you can see bits and pieces of in the following three photos. I was more concerned with capturing foliage than the lock itself.

Looking downstream from the lock, south toward Sand Lake

Looking upstream from the lock, more or less west toward Opinicon Lake

The same red chairs in both shots above from close to the same spot with different zooms. The chairs were the main intent of the first photo and the dock in the second. I thought the diagonal line might make a good element.

The above directions and lakes are my best guess as my camera GPS shows me the spot from where I took the picture but doesn't automatically tell me in which direction I was pointing. So, I look on the map and orient myself as best as I can.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Chaffys Lock

What the heck happened!? I must have forgotten to check posts for a few days, and there were all sorts of them in the queue when I finally checked in on Feedly. Some people had 3 or 4 — it's been that long! I perused them all and commented on some. I got around to it early this morning after a very smelly cat offering woke me up ~4AM. 😒

Even I had 3 posts in my own queue, and another appeared as I finished going through everyone else's. I'm a bad AC. Very bad.

Shall we get back to our lock tour from Tuesday?

After visiting Jones Falls (previous post here), it was still early, so we decided to take a run over the Chaffeys Lock. Yes, I think it is usually written without the possessive apostrophe, and I'm good with that as I think apostrophes in titles can be quite pretentious.

There is a single lock at Chaffeys. We didn't stay long, but I took a few photos. I'll share 2 of them.

The white house almost hidden behind colourful trees with the part of the lock and lamppost in the foreground.

We went down below the lock on the left where I took this one, looking more or less north toward Indian Lake, the lock allowing access to the higher Murphys Bay behind.

Then, we were onto the next lock. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Found Again

When we first moved to the area, we somehow stumbled onto a site with a pedestrian causeway and an old but still functional hotel. We even remembered enough about it to manage to find it again in those early days.

Then, we lost track of it. While I could remember the building and the causeway, I couldn't even remember the locks for some reason. If I had, I think I would have been able to track it down again because you can google the locks for pity sakes.

I can remember Shauna and at least one of the kids being with us on the second visit, but she was no help because she couldn't remember the visit at all. Period. We took pictures in those early days, but searching my folders high and low, I could never find them.

This summer, however, a local blogger, Jenn, posted some photos of the place, and I recognized them. The place is Jones Falls Locks, about an hours southish from here and near enough to two other locks, which were in our memory banks — Davis Lock and Chaffey's Lock. We purposed to go back when the time was right, and it was right on Tuesday on a nice day when the leaves were also beginning to look a lot more autumnish.

Let's start with what I clearly remember, Hotel Kenney and the causeway. The hotel is the building on the right.

Here it is again. The picnic table has been tilted on its side because as I said in a previous post, Canada shuts down after Thanksgiving, and this was the day after. At least the more touristy areas tend to close up shop. Finding bathrooms on this day was highly problematic.

Why I had forgotten the locks, I know not, for there are three, which makes it perhaps the one of the most notable of the Rideau Locks. This is the lowest of the three locks.

The same lock from the other side.

From the front with the second lock visible in mid frame, just beyond the two gentlemen chatting on the bench. You can also see the third lock in the background if you just follow the line from the causeway.

Another look from the hotel grounds.

Twp photos of the visitors centre, which, it being after Thanksgiving, was closed. Naturally. More upturned picnic tables in the second photo.

At the top of the locks.

It was a beautiful day, and Milady enjoyed it.

Too many pictures I guess, but I think the place is quite firmly in my memory banks now.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Around Town

I have a few 'just moseying around town' photos to share today.

When I drove to the arena to access the trail, the parking lot was closed for some paving. So I continued over to the old railway bridge.

Looking upriver toward townhall in the distance. That's the former Boulton Brown Mill on the left.

Farther along the same bridge and looking to the other side is the McArthur Mill.

On another day, we went for a stroll in the park. A father and son were fishing. I converted the photo to black and white and then applied some tones. Sort of sepia but not really.

That's all. Just a quick post today. Have a good day.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Coins, Skateboard, Dragons and Hockey

Two weeks ago, Danica had a sleepover, so it was JJ's turn on Saturday. I don't know if the kids do this to humour the old folk or because they actually like spending time with us. Whatever the reason, I'll accept it.

He recently got interested in sorting pennies, and then Sue remembered that we had some old coins from my mother, so she had them ready for him as his first activity on this sleepover.

The oldest coin that he found was a half penny from Hibernia, 1822. I found out that Hibernia was an old name for Ireland, and I had thought it would be Scotland. A little bit of Googling indicated that this coin might change hands for $20 - $50 today, depending on its condition. Not that one would want to sell it, but it was interesting to discover this information.

There is some Irish ancestry on both sides of my maternal line although it seems to go back a few generations, so I guess that's how the coin got into the family.

Sidetracking: My maternal grandmother was born in Canada, but she came at least partly from Irish immigrants. I am not sure if her parents were first or second generation Canadians though as I haven't traced that far back. My maternal grandfather came to Canada from England, but his family had moved from Ireland to England at some point. If I recall, without looking it up again now, he had been born in England but his father emigrated from Ireland.

Although it had rained earlier it cleared sufficiently to take the boy out to try out his new skateboard.

Then we walked the adjacent tail for a while. JJ wanted to find a tree to climb, but low branches seemed to be unavailable. There were stones to skip, however.

His sleepover present was a book, Dragonology, that he had seen when his cousin visited, and he fell in love with it. It was hard to get, but it arrived from the UK just before his sleepover after I had given up hope, thinking it had been lost in transit after more than a month of waiting.

We read the first few pages at bedtime.

Sunday morning and his first hockey game of the year. As so many things in Canada wind down after Thanksgiving, there is always hockey. 😄

He's the one with the puck in this photo, and he got off a good shot. What shocked me was seeing this relatively tall kid out there; I barely recognized him at first. It took me awhile to get used to his new size, for last year as a first year player in Novice, it just didn't look like this. Now, in his second year, he is one of the bigger boys.

That afternoon, Sunday, we had our Thanksgiving feast although officially, TG is always on a Monday. As I write this on Monday, I'm not sure what we are going to do today, if anything. The leaves are finally showing some colour and we would like to take them in, and there is a studio tour nearby which would be nice to visit, but it's gray now and there is rain in the forecast, so we may be housebound.