Archive | September 2012

And now back to photography….

I’ve lost focus for a moment or two (get it… focus… in a photography blog??? lol)
BUT, as my friends often say, I have ADOS (Attention Defecit… OH! shinything…)
I think that part of understanding why I love photographing such diverse subject matter, is really in understanding who I am as a person- I find so many things fascinating, and funny, and I really enjoy connecting with new people. (especially those who also find me funny) I love learning new things, and I love travel.
So… today I’m going to go back to November 2011 and share some pictures I took on a trip to London with my friend Chris. He’s an event planner for a Queen’s University school of Policy Studies, so I had an opportunity to go along with a group of British and Canadian Diplomats and Professors for a deeply discounted trip in exchange for some photography at a couple of official dinners. It was an amazing trip- I ate with former High Commissioners, and dined at the home of the Lord Mayor of London.

Added to that was lots of sightseeing, I could (and might) do several blogs showing the beautiful buildings, the streets, the lights… but for this blog, I’m showing you some of the funky, strange and artistic stuff we did with photos.

Chris and I took the same photography course in highschool (that was a long time ago- when we had fully manual cameras, and developed our own film and prints in the school darkroom.) One of the course projects was to create a photo collage- which, back then, was MUCH harder because we literally had to piece together real photos. (and with film, you couldn’t flip back on an LCD screen to make sure you got all the proper views as you were going) Now, with digital, you can nudge, and enlarge, and do all kinds of cool things to make it work. One of the important things to remember is to anchor the collage in some way- one way is by showing your feet to reference your position in the scene, another technique we used was to start by showing another person as the photographer in the scene. Here are a few collages from both of us. Because they are so wide, it is worth clicking on them to see them full screen.

Trafalgar Square in the daytime, collage by Chris, with my hands in the photo.

Trafalgar Square at Dusk, Collage by me, with Chris’s hands in the picture.

A collage by Chris, a street scene in the village of Steyning.

The Church Yard Collage by me.

Collage by me- the fancy bedroom where I stayed at Wiston House.

A collage by Chris, at the Tate Modern

Which brings me to our visit to the Tate Modern.
I love art galleries. Even when I don’t understand all of the art contained therein, I always enjoy being in the presence of creative energy. At the Tate though, I have to admit that BOTH of us were a little… well…unsophisticated in our behaviour. In our defence, we were tired and a bit punchy from several days of busy touristing. I LOVED the Matisse, and the Picasso, and even several other artists I hadn’t previously heard of, but enjoyed nonetheless. It was some of the installations that I didn’t understand. The slight giggling began at an Ai WeiWei exhibit which was a pile of lovely ceramic handpainted sunflower seeds. The display was supposed to be sensory and interactive- that visitors could touch the seeds- that sounded quite interesting actually. BUT, the gallery decided instead of letting us touch them (someone might steal a seed) that they would sweep them into a pile in the centre of the room, rope them off, and then talk in a very serious and sombre tone about it. The laughter got worse at an exhibit that resembled piles of poo, and there was a sculpture nearby that we interpreted as MANY things, but I think turned out to represent a goat. I didn’t see it at all. Finally, we absolutely lost it at a large exhibit about families and genetics. There were actually some VERY lovely photographs of generations and different cultures- I was enjoying them, but then there was also frame upon frame upon frame of families of bunnies. Of course bunnies wouldn’t sit still, so they were all photographed sitting under plexiglass enclosures. In our delirious and tired mental state… we couldn’t stop laughing about the poor boxed bunnies. (OK, art is supposed to solicit a reaction… don’t judge our reaction!!!) I think you have to see it to understand:

The boxed bunnies at the Tate

This led to a discussion between the two of us about what Modern Art is, and then the BRILLIANT idea to create some of our own. We went over to a nearby white wall and took several photographs of each other, with the intent that we would use the photos to create our own photographic modern art. Yes, we got VERY silly, but it was actually one of the most memorable moments from the trip (well, that, and the time I woke him up at 2 am to tell him that I thought I heard horses outside the window of that beautiful royal bedroom in the collage above)

We both found GREAT inspiration from the boxed bunnies, as you will see. Photos taken of me were artistically rendered by Chris, and photos of Chris were transformed by myself. You’ll have to click on the first two to fully appreciate the details….

Many many thanks to Chris Cornish, one of my oldest and dearest friends for sharing the art with me….

Disclaimer: We didn’t intend to have our “modern art” taken too seriously- it was just a fun project for the flight home- and don’t yell at me for hating on the modern artists in the Tate. I LOVE art, I just don’t always understand it- and I laugh really easily.

I think my cat is trying to take over….

Some of you will think I am crazy. OK, most of you KNOW I’m crazy. (in a good way right?) But I think my cat, Chat, is trying to take over. He is becoming computer literate (on a Macbook no less) and I believe he is trying to communicate with other cats out there. Has […]

Why I love my job!

…among a bazillion other reasons why I love my job at Christian Horizons EVERY day, one of the most obvious reasons is that we CELEBRATE together. Once a year we have our district staff retreat, and every year for the last 4 years they have put me in charge of team activities. That means that EVERYONE gets to be a bit kooky, just like me. However not EVERYONE is brave enough to wear wacky pink hair. That is reserved for me, (below in the cyber-dreads) and one brave coworker, Mandy.(she’s the one in the pink bee-hive.) This is some SERIOUS team building folks!!

I’m usually behind the camera for the purposes of this blog… but here I am in all my colourful plumage.

I work with some really amazing people- who else has a team that will wear a pink wigs together?

Also, for anyone paying attention, I have TWO jobs that I love- one, as a Program Manager at Christian Horizons, supporting people who have exceptional needs, and the other as a photographer- the primary reason for this blog. I know that I am SUPER blessed to be surrounded by people who love and encourage me, and that allows me to pursue my passions in both careers. (and often, I get to be the designated photographer at staff events such as this one) Often I learn a lesson in one setting that transfers over. For example- at one of our seminars at this CH staff retreat, I heard a great quote that I have been pondering since: “If you are big enough for your dreams, then your dreams are not big enough” (Erwin McManus). I think that will be the subject of a future blog post- but for now I am just letting it roll around in my head and my heart a little bit… while I wait for another appropriate opportunity to wear that pink wig again….

Snow White, Re-imagined

Gananoque Photographer

I have a friend named Maddi who is 13. She is absolutely gorgeous,and very photogenic. I did a creative modelling photoshoot with her older sister Erika a little over a year ago, and a photosession with the whole family last fall. Since then, we’ve been talking about doing a creative collaboration together, and a couple […]

Labour Day Weekend (this is why I drive a minivan)

I had a bad August.  I was sick for most of it.  My gall bladder is the most likely culprit.  I am feeling much better now though, and a bit stir crazy.

So this weekend, Labour Day Weekend, the last official summer weekend… I decided to pack a whole lot of fun into a short time…..and a whole lot of stuff into my van.


Yesterday, I spent the afternoon with my very best friend  (since we were 10) at my parents house by the pool… every day with her is just what I need to restore my soul.  After dinner, I accepted a last minute invite from another good friend (since highschool) for a waterfront bonfire at his parents home. (yes, we are all in our 40s, but our parents have awesome houses, and we all love each other’s moms and dads).  Nothing like a bonfire on an early September night!!!  The discussion there, however, led to plans for today.  I do my best to NEVER say no to an adventure.  SO… I said yes.  

That is why today I loaded my van with my kayaks, and my husband’s bike (mine has a cranky chain), some paddles, lifejackets, a beach bag, my camera (not even used… I was too busy!) and some snacks.


ImageI feel obliged to point out that I am not athletic on a good day- not to mention after 3 weeks of not eating due to gall bladder issues.  (I’ve been eating light for about 3 days now).  We started out on a planned 10km bike ride, off road, and then down the road to a cute little ferry to Howe Island  I made it about 3km (maybe close to 4km) before deciding that I was done.  It was fun, but I am weak.  Instead, 3 of our group went to the island by bike, and 2 of us paddled across by kayak (much more my style).  The sun was lovely, there was a nice breeze, but the river wasn’t too choppy.

I got to look “cool” in 3 awesome ways:

#1. driving my van with kayaks on the roof is always WAY cooler and more SUV-like than just driving a boring grey minivan.  I go from boring mom to sporty mom just like that. (in my own head anyway)

#2. today I got to be one of a group of cyclists pedalling along the highway looking all athletic and awesome. (again, this is in my own head… I may ACTUALLY have looked clumsy and stupid…lol)

#3. ANYTIME I am in my kayak and I get to wave at the people going by on tour boats or power boats, I am immediately the coolest person I know. (for the moment at least) When I was a kid and rode the Gananoque Boat Line tour, I remember looking at the people on the big river in their kayaks and canoes and dreaming that I would be one of them someday. Now I am!!! I absolutely LOVE the rolling waves coming from the wake bouncing me around on the water.

I am now pleasantly tired, with tired muscles, but nothing painful.

I have worked up an appetite, and I am more hungry than I have been in almost a month.

And, I think I really crammed a whole lot of summer into just two days.


My best friend and I in the pool.  I am brave enough to show myself with pool hair!!! (I’m on the left)

I might even add a cool shot of my in the kayak when my friend emails me the pictures from his phone.

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