Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge – July 16, 2017

…..thanks to Cee for hosting Odd Ball Photo Challenge

Some of my odd ball photos come from experimenting with my camera and my different lenses. Here are a few at I took at the cottage the last two weeks.

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Enjoying the Peace at the Cottage

…..so happy that I opened the cottage earlier in June

On my first trip to the cottage after opening it three weeks earlier, I was really looking forward to my stay. The only big thing that I still had to do was move the fridge outside, hook it up to the propane tank and fasten the tarp to the edge of the roof to keep the rain off the fridge. I managed to do most of this on my own and the only part that I needed help with was lighting the burner at the back of the fridge while I pushed the buttons on the front. Luckily my friend’s son had arrived the day before and was able to assist me with this final step.

For the most part the weather was very nice. I took several long walks along the beach that is mostly under water this year. When I wasn’t walking, cooking or cleaning I started and finished a book called The Last Days at Cafe Leila by Donia Bijan. A lovely summer read that gave me some insight into how the lives of Iranian citizens were affected by all the political and religious unrest that has taken place since the 1930s. The story centres around the owners and staff at Cafe Leila and the children who were sent to America after their mother was murdered by the police. When the daughter is separated from her estranged husband her father asks her to come home after being apart for more than 30 years.

When I wasn’t reading I took time to go and explore and take photographs. A couple of times I had to drive to the dock to drop someone off or pick someone up from the boat; consequently, many of the photos are from that area. The rest were taken at the beach.

The shots from the beach were taken in the early evening just as the sun was setting.

The day after the previous pictures were taken the weather had become quite windy and very cool. For most of the day I wore my longer pants and sweat shirt.

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Sunday Morning Walk

….an exceptionally beautiful day

I knew that I would be indoors for most of the day trying to clean-up the two rooms upstairs so I went out for my walk early today. Frances and I headed out towards Col. Sam Smith Park. It was a glorious morning and the runners, dog walkers, nature photographers and cyclists were out early as well. With my iPhone in hand I took as many photos as Frances would allow.

Playing With Geese

….more like playing with my camera

Usually when I approach birds of any kind they tend to fly away. I was hoping that my new zoom lens would allow me to get closer without actually having to physically approach my subjects.

A few day ago, when I left the dog at home, I walked into the Col. Sam Smith Park hoping to find some birds to capture with my camera. Despite the bitter cold, I found a gaggle of geese along the first beach as I entered the naturalized area of the park. To my surprise the geese did not fly away. Instead a couple of them walked towards me as if looking for something. I don’t know if it was curiosity on their part or if they were looking for a handout.

At one point they got so close to me that I found myself actually backing away from them. One thing I know about geese and swans is that they can be rather nasty and they will bite if they feel threatened. Clearly these two weren’t threatened by me or this big black contraption hanging from my neck.

I’m pretty pleased with the photos I managed to get. In fact, I didn’t have the zoom lens with me. I used the macro lens. These birds were way to close to me for the zoom lens anyway, unless I wanted pictures of their eyes.  I’m sure that an expert could find plenty wrong with them. The day was overcast, Canada Geese don’t have a lot of colour and the beach we were standing on was also void of a lot of colour. Consequently there’s not a lot of contrast and everything seems a little muted. None the less, it is what it is and I finally got a close-up even without my zoom lens.

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Another Bitter Cold Day

….but lovely enough for taking photos

My husband has been suffering all week with a miserable cold and sinus infection, so when the dog barked non-stop to go outside and no one moved from their cozy chair in front of the TV I knew that I would be the designated dog walker for the day.

If I had to go outside I might as well take my camera and make the best of it. I bundled up, knowing that the temperature had plummeted to well below freezing and I tucked my camera inside my coat.

Now taking photos with a dog at the end of a leash is not easy but I did manage to take a few interesting shots close to home. I’m still experimenting with my macro lens and sometimes it’s very hit or miss but with a digital camera it really doesn’t matter. There’s no waiting for film to be developed and you can see immediately if the shot worked or not. In the photos below it’s difficult to see but I started tracking a couple of geese but as I got closer they flew down to the water.

Later in the day I had to pick up a library book so I drove and left the dog at home. I decided to park the car by Sam Smith Park after getting my book in hopes of getting a few more shots.  The lake side was ice free but on the pond there was a thin sheet of ice across most of the pond. P1020948P1020951P1020952P1020969P1020971P1020972P1020981

After an hour or so of hunting around for interesting shots my fingers started to freeze. This is the one downside of taking photos on such a cold day. Wearing mittens is impractical and my leather gloves are fine when I’m moving a lot but they don’t do a very good job of keeping the cold out when you’re standing around, fiddling with dials on your camera. Keeping the camera inside my coat helped preserve the battery somewhat. Batteries don’t like the cold either.

Do you have any tips for taking photos on freezing cold days? I’d love to hear about them.