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Icy bubbles

I am Canadian. I love winter. (sort of) OK, if I MUST endure winter, I will focus on the beauty. My recent obsession is freezing bubbles….

Winter Wonderland

We’re experiencing a minor (major?) freezing rain & ice storm this weekend in Ontario- but rather than get all stressed about it, I decided to enjoy my time at home with some photography… there is so much beauty in ice & snow.

Spring Ice Storm

I got a new lens… I am SO in love with it- a 70-200 2.8 Sigma for my Sony a77. We had our last (PLEASE let it be our last) ice storm of the winter/spring season here in Ontario last Friday.  Of course, I went out in the freezing rain to capture some images of […]

Photoshoot at Bon Eco design in Tamworth, ON

This week I had the opportunity to work with a friend and very talented jewelry designer, Lily MonsterMeat ( ).  For those more conservative of my friends, don’t let the scary name throw you, she’s actually a total sweetheart, with a crazy awesome creative spirit.  She set up the photoshoot at Bon Eco Designs in the quaint village of Tamworth, Ontario, where they specialize in gorgeous upcycled items- both artistic and functional. Most of the items in the background of the shoot are designed by the owners, Hans and Carolyn and are available in their shop,.  They are very supportive of the community and local artists- so if you’re in the Kingston area, it’s worth the short drive North.  The belts in this shoot are designed by Jake S Baer.

Special thanks to fellow Photogs on site, Cathy Burrell at lights edge,  Los Tha Don LTD Photography & Design, & Bic E Dee Holly J.  Also, Thanks to Jo Plumridge, Make Up Artist, and our awesome models, Arielle, Kelsea and Tiffany.  It’s amazing what a small group of local artists can accomplish when we work together!

This dividing wall was made entirely from tires:


a fashionable funky belt made from a tire tread by Jake S Baer.  the bracelet is by Lily MonsterMeat.Image


My personal favourite piece, an upcycled Mac, made into a hanging lamp.




Another fabulous belt by Jake Baer.  Unique Stone Pendant necklace by Lily MonsterMeat.


An amazing piece of art created entirely out of used tires:


A portrait against the tire wall:


This mirror is framed with an upcycled tire.  The headpiece & necklace are by Lily MonsterMeat.Image

They’ve even created some funky clothing out of tires:Image

My Sweet Pearl

While I had my camera out practicing some off-camera flash techniques with still life subjects, my pets were curious, and so they became my practice subjects. This is my sweet dog, an almost-four- year-old Golden Retriever-German Shepherd cross.
These images are straight out of camera, taken with a cluttery background in my kitchen, just using the flash to overpower the normal household lighting. (in the last image I darkened the blacks slightly using levels, just in one corner). I love how creative I can get with lighting!

There’s more than one way to light a scene!

The following photos were taken within about a 15 minute window- just in the few golden moments at the start of a sunset. There were some changes in light as I went along, but most of the differences between these photos are the result of changing exposure in-camera, and adding off-camera flash. I made very few modifications in photoshop- I cropped slightly, cloned out an ugly electrical line, and added a bit of saturation to enhance the sunset, but otherwise the lighting differences are Straight-out-of-camera.

This first image brings out the beautiful cyan hues of the ocean, and is all about a wedding on the beach.
(taken at F2.8, ISO 160, 1/125)
Destination Wedding Photography

In the photo above, however, the couple isn’t well lit, so I added an off-camera flash for a different look. You can still see the cyans of the ocean, but the bride & groom are more the focus of the image.
Rosanne & Jeff_0262_edited-3

Here you can still see some details of the couple, the gazebo, and the ocean behind, with only the beginning hues of the sunset.
(taken at F2.8, ISO 100, 1/400)
Cuba beach wedding 2

Simply by increasing my shutter speed, this turned into a silhouette with an intense sunset behind.
(taken at F2.8, ISO 100, 1/800)
Rosanne & Jeff_0290_edited-3

In this one, my settings were the same, but I moved myself just slightly to find the best angle for the colours and light.
(taken at F2.8, ISO 100, 1/800)
Rosanne & Jeff_0292_edited-3

Adding off-camera flash in a gazebo with a white ceiling, perfect for reflecting the light, creates an image with focus on the bride & groom, but also allows the definition and colour of the sunset behind them.

In the Wedding Gazebo

In the Wedding Gazebo

I love the creative freedom that comes from changing light!
Do you have a lighting preference among these images?

Destination Wedding Photography -Cuba

These photos were taken at the Beautiful Playa Pesquero, in Holguin Cuba- near Guardalavaca.
Contact me at
a romantic walk along the beach

The iconic train in front of Playa Pesquero

The iconic train in front of Playa Pesquero

Classic Beach shot of a Gorgeous Bride

Classic Beach shot of a Gorgeous Bride

In the Wedding Gazebo

In the Wedding Gazebo

In the 24-hour Beer Garden near the beach at Playa Pesquero

In the 24-hour Beer Garden near the beach at Playa Pesquero

Sunset by the pool, Playa Pesquero

Sunset by the pool, Playa Pesquero

Happy Halloween…

Don’t eat the apples…

An unexpected portrait….

I was setting up the lighting while waiting for the bride and groom to come out, and the brides brother and his partner just happened to be sitting nearby. I asked them to stand in the doorway for me so I could test the light – and instead of a test shot, I ended up […]

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.

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