photos of the days: the swans are back

18 04 2009

Somehow time and words have got away from me for the last couple of weeks, and it’s the latter that is most concerning, and which has given me a case of the blahs.  The Artsy Mama suggested that I start each day by thinking about something wonderful, something that makes me happy, so today, I decided to think about the swans.

They may be a bit vicious up close if you get too near them or if a dog has just been by and has them all riled up.  Once the tourist season picks up and people are gawking and in some cases pestering them, I try and give them a wide berth.  But last week, just after their release onto the river, I headed down with my lensbaby and was permitted to get pretty close to them.

I did almost wind up in the middle of a fight.  I guess we all must suffer for our art.


photos of the day: a rainy day

5 04 2009

Today’s not a rainy day.  It looks like a beautiful day is dawning – perfect weather for the swans to march back down to the river in their yearly parade.

I took this picture with my lensbaby a few rainy days ago.  After the rain stopped I went out with my lensbaby and my macro kit and tried to shoot some rain drops.  It proved a frustrating venture since I only have the plastic optic and it didn’t get the drops themselves as sharp as I wanted.  I also found it harder to hold the focus than I usually do – I guess because the drops were so small.

I did like a few of the shots.  First, there was this one where I used the macro attachment and the star aperture.

The focus isn’t there, but I loved the burst of light on the drop itself and then the faint and unexpectedly large stars caught in the background.

Then I turned and taking off the macro attachment, I looked quickly through the viewfinder, expecting my shooting was over for the day, only to find all the little droplets highlighted against a tree trunk looked like little fairy lights.  That’s what I love about photography: the totally unexpected and unplanned shot that turns out to be the one that stays the longest in your memory.

photo of the day: spuds on the sill

4 04 2009

I picked up the potatoes for the garden this week.  They need to be out of the box to sprout a bit more before they go in the group so they are lining the window sill in the dining room.  Good thing we don’t have dinner guests very often.

I turned the lensbaby on them this afternoon.  This was one of my favourite shots because the sprouts on this little fella make it look like he has a nose and a crown.

reading notes: marion bridge and outlander

4 04 2009

I’ve taken to reading plays recently.  Partly because I’ve always loved reading plays.  I took as many drama courses as were offered by the many English departments I’ve been through and since leaving school I’ve missed that type of reading.  It’s also to do with my “training” (I’m not sure what other word to use) for my current writing projects.  In many of the writing about writing books I’ve read, they recommend turning to the masters, so I’m trying to same strategy now that I’ve moved to plays.   Luckily for me our local library has quite a large collection of plays – I guess that must be expected since I’m in a theatre town – and I’m working my way through the Canadian playwrights to start with.

I’m making my way (slowly) through all three volumes of Peter Hinton’s The Swanne, and in between I read Daniel MacIvor’s brillant Marion Bridge.  I haven’t seen any of his plays staged lived, though I did attend a reading of his play His Greatness about a year and a half ago.  Marion Bridge is a beautiful and personal story and it revealed a lot to me about crafting the relationships between sisters.

I also read Gil Adamson’s The Outlander. I’d heard a lot about it and it was one of the books selected for Canada Reads this year.  The novel follows Mary Boulton, a young widow in the 1900s who has just killed her husband and who has gone into the wilderness to try and out run her two brothers-in-law.  I had to read it quicky as I only had a seven day loan from the library.  I’m not sure if the quick reading hindered or helped the book for me.  I enjoyed the first part of the book immensely and the immediacy that Adamson captured in Mary’s flight, and she made the brothers-in-law were suitably menacing throughout.  What I found was that I had difficult suspending my disbelief about a third to halfway into the book.  I was reminded of a season of 24 I watched where they put Jack Bauer’s daughter through one crisis after another and the dangers began to seem to forced.  I did enjoy the book more once the widow settled in the town of Frank and felt there were some interesting interactions with the characters there.

Next up:  I’m not really sure.  I’m going to continue with The Swanne and probably try and get through another couple of plays.  In terms of a novel, I’m not really sure what I’m in the mood for.  I might have to lay out the TBR pile and play a game of enie meanie minie mo.