Canadian in Candia

October 2, 2009

Picture perfect

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 12:05 pm

Yesterday I was running out of the house getting heading for work. I had my camera with me because my commitment to posting on this blog again requires that I take pictures. And with the beautiful color in New Hampshire this early October I didn’t want to miss a great shot.

I found a great shot, right on the top of my car. A dew covered leaf had fallen on the car.  I grabbed the opportunity to get a shot, hopped in my car and promptly forgot about it.

When I went to look at the pictures later that evening, I was stunned by that same shot. It turned out better than expected. Better than all the carefully composed pictures I had taken later that day. It may not be perfect, but I loved it so much that I couldn’t think of a single way I could improve it.

So I give you, my favorite picture so far from my 2009 Fall Leaves series.

Remember, grab those good shots when you can. They may turn out better than expected.


October 1, 2009

Photo Editing

Filed under: Garden, Photography — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 10:06 am

I have this bush in my backyard that has the most amazing leaves in fall. They actually turn an amazing  pinkish red. The picture below is actually a pretty accurate color on my monitor. It’s beautiful.


Just for fun though, I decided to throw the picture into Picnik’s AutoFix. This is what came out.

Wicked EditingPerhaps Picnik decided that the leaves pink was bright enough that the greens had to be brighter. Just a reminder that autofix can make things better, but you can actually lose your natural color schemes in the process.

Anyone know what my pink leaved bush is? I’d love to know.

Here’s a couple more pictures of the plant.

August 31, 2009

Polaroid Modifications for Digital images

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 11:51 am

Digital images essentially reduced the importance of Polaroid pictures in our society. But people still have nostalgia for them in scrapbooking purposes. So frames and actions are available in Photoshop to give your images that polaroid look.

I found a new free internet photo service that lets you create polaroids using various effects sans photoshop. It’s called Rollip.

To demonstrate lets use the picture I love of Cooper the second day he lived with us. I can’t believe how much he’s grown, it’s almost like having a different dog now.
Cooper at the Beach

Rollip’s site currently has 6 small polaroid options, 6 full size options, and 12 frame options for the small polaroid. The frame options allow you to leave the font section blank. I’m applied the modifications and frames to the images with 1 to 6 being top to bottom in the modifications options and 1 to 6 being left to right, down one row, left to right on the first page of  frame options.

Rollip Polaroid Modification #1
Small Polaroid #1, Frame #1

Rollip Polaroid Effect #2
Small Polaroid #2, Frame #2

Rollip Polaroid Effect #3
Small Polaroid #3, Frame #3

Rollip Polaroid Effect #4
Small Polaroid #4, Frame #4

Rollip Polaroid Effect #5
Small Polaroid #5, Frame #5

Rollip Polaroid Effect #6
Small Polaroid #6, Frame #6

Rollip Polaroid Effect Full Size #6
Full Size #6

For some reason, frame 2 and 6 don’t seem to accommodate numbers. There is actually a second page of 6 small polaroid frames that I missed the first time I went through them. I’m sure you’ll enjoy them if you like Polaroid style pictures.

Picnik also offers a free polaroid frame if accessed through their site instead of through Flickr. It’s advantage is that you can rotate the polaroid framed photo.
Picnik Polaroid

You can also combine the Polaroid effect with the other free effects and text tools offered on the Picnik site. The one below uses the 1960s effect with one of the free fonts.
Cooper Polaroid with 1960s effect

Which do you like the most?

I never had a Polaroid camera so I can’t comment on how authentic it looks. I sort of like all of them except for modifications #4 which I feel is much too washed out.

Let me know if you try a web-based polaroid creator.

August 21, 2009

The Eaglet

Filed under: New Hampshire, Photography — Tags: , — Miriam @ 8:00 pm

The Eaglet is a prominent free standing spire in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire. It is regularly climbed and is one of the features pointed out on the trailside signs.
The Eaglet

Being the photography nut that I am I decided to play with depth of field a little bit. I put the flowers out of focus in front of the Eaglet.
The Eaglet

And with the flowers in focus with the Eaglet blurred.
The Eaglet

I wish I had taken this picture with larger more prominent flowers. I think I’ll head back up there next June to see if I can get the same picture with Lupine in the way.

August 14, 2009

The Swamp down the road

Filed under: Dogs, Photography — Tags: , — Miriam @ 2:00 pm

I just got a new 50mm f1.4 lens for the Pentax *ist because I’m shooting a low light wedding in September. I’m pretty excited but I’ve barely had the chance to use it.

I brought it along on my daily walk with Cooper the other day. I was testing out the camera by taking pictures of the swamp. Then Cooper spotted a frog. I caught this picture right after the frog jumped.

Our Local SwampI need to find some other opportunities to practice with the camera before the wedding. I may be shooting the wedding as a wedding present, but I want to do a good job (the pictures will be their memories of the event).

If anyone in the New England area (or in Quebec the weekend of August 22-23) wants to play model for me, let me know. I’ll take pictures of you for free.

August 4, 2009

Picnik Fixes

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 10:45 am

Lets face it, I work a full time job, I have a husband, a house, pets and way more hobbies than anyone has a right to participate in. Sometimes I just don’t have time to work in photoshop for pictures I’m using for blog posts. So often I just throw the original jpg into Flickr and use Picnik to fix the flaws.

And when I resort to this lazy method, often all I use is the Auto-Fix feature. I guess there’s all sorts of fancy Picnik Premium features, but I find the yearly cost of Flickr Pro ($24.95) hard to justify to my spouse right now. For some of the effects you can do with Picnik Premium (including some pretty neat collages) an additional $24.95 is cheap money, but I can do that editing from my Photoshop.

Here’s an example with a lily from my garden.
Picnik collage

A larger version of the auto-fixed flower:

The key is still to catch the best picture you can initially though. Dew is so conducive to photography.

July 26, 2009

Vermont 100 – Pretty Details

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , — Miriam @ 12:00 pm

Central Vermont in July is truely a beautiful place. The Vermont 100 course goes through hilly grassy horse country. Some of the barns are more beautiful than most homes. The hills and mountains make for amazing views. Even something as simple as a wooden fence can draw your eyes.

Most beautiful is how green everything is. This is similar to New Hampshire. When Adam and I took our post graduation vacation to Nevada-Utah-Arizona at one point we agreed that the sights we were looking at were simply some of the most beautiful we had ever seen, but that we missed Northern New England’s sea of green.

I was happy to catch this fence as sun was setting on a horse farm on the course.

IMGP1729I loved this whirligig detail at the end of the chute at Westwind Aid Station.

IMGP1630Mount Ascutney in the distance.

IMGP1443This handler crew was having a great time with costumes at different stations. I loved this series of hats.

The rest of the Vermont 100 posts:

  1. Race report/results
  2. The horses in the race
  3. The people behind the racer
  4. The importance of a pacer

I took over 700 pictures during the race. Some were dark, some just turned out blurry. So I think my flickr set only has about 433.  I uploaded plenty of pictures of people I do not know. So if you find a picture of yourself and like it, feel free to download it in original size and keep it for yourself.

July 1, 2009

Point and Shoot

Filed under: Photography — Tags: , , , , — Miriam @ 9:46 am
We had a new housemate move-in last weekend. There was the hustle and bustle of several of his friends running stuff up our small stairwell to the second floor.  There was Cooper dancing around because he loved all the people.  There was the wonder of how the Uhaul looked so full of things and yet the bedroom looked empty with the same items because it’s so large.  There was a great time at the Chinese food restaurant afterwards.  And of all those fun activities, all I have is a grainy cell phone picture of the scorpion bowl I drank with dinner.

There are situations were the DSLR is just too big, too clunky, too obvious and too delicate to be taken out and used.  Sometimes people shy away. Or ask you if you are a “real photographer” in either a questioning or taunting tone. It can be harder to get candid pictures (if you don’t have a telephoto lens on) because people notice the big long lens aimed their way (*I’ve heard that photojojo’s spy lens can help remedy this problem). I become fearful of it getting bumped or damaged. Other people become concerned for my camera’s safety too.

I love the clarity and control offered by my DSLR, but I feel the DSLR means business. I sometimes wish I still had a little pocket sized point and shoot camera.  Something that allowed me to whip it out and take pictures of the good times when I don’t want to be carrying around a one pound plus camera. A camera that I could sneak into places where cameras may or may not be permitted. A camera where I could ask a passerby to take our picture without having to explain that the DSLR is set to automatic, or be fearful of the passerby damaging the camera.

Point and shoot digital cameras, in my opinion, are probably the biggest improvement I have seen between the film and digital world. The features on the new Point and shoot cameras, the quality of the prints and the ease of use can turn even the most unsure photographers into someone who takes decent pictures. Good enough pictures to trust your memories to. And some point and shoot fans (eg. Jes the Bes) manage to take stunning pictures with their point and shoot cameras. Jes actually occasionally does posts trying to help people get the most out of their point and shoots.

I remain a loyal fan of SLRs (especially my 30+ year old film SLR which has been my friend since before birth) but I do understand the major benefits of a point and shoot camera.  Especially because my cell phone camera just doesn’t do anything justice.

Scorpion Bowl from Asian Breeze on Saturday

Scorpion Bowl from Asian Breeze on Saturday taken with a Camera Phone

Anyone else love their point and shoot? Anyone hate them? Want to complain about your cell phone camera? Leave me a comment 🙂

June 3, 2009


Filed under: Family, Photography, Uncategorized — Tags: , — Miriam @ 8:20 am

I caught a couple of pictures that I loved when I was in Canada a couple weeks ago.  Both my brother and one of my cousins were caught by my lens looking purposefully moody.

My brother with his tie undone and a moody face that looks like it’s on the verge of breaking into a laugh. I was complaining to him that I had wanted to get a picture of him when he was all dressed up but that I hadn’t gotten a chance.

This picture of my cousin would have been perfect if my uncle did not show up behind him just as I snapped the picture. As soon as he heard the camera click it ruined his moody looking demeanor.

I love getting pictures of people when they aren’t smiling. In real life the people we don’t and love have so many more faces than those we generally capture in images.

Do you like to capture candid images? If so what’s your favorite emotion to capture.

May 31, 2009

First Panoramic Picture

Filed under: Photography, Photoshop — Tags: , , , — Miriam @ 8:30 am


I stiched together my first Panorama in Photoshop today.  This is the view from my aunt’s balcony, well 90 degrees of the view.  She sees both the Stade Olympic and Mont Royal from her 14th floor balcony.  If I had that apartment I’d be spending all my time on that balcony. Click on the picture and select “all sizes” to see it larger and more detailed.

I found making a Panoramic picture very easy in Photoshop CS3 using the auto-align and auto-blend features.  If anyone would be interested in me posting a tutorial let me know.

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