Friday, July 29, 2011

Hot Summer!

We have been having a hot and dry summer here in Winnipeg. This feels a little unusual though I'm not sure it is. The sun has been hot and beautiful! Apparently we're in for more of the same for the month of August. Time to break out the icy cold lemonade while visiting on the patio!

As we head into a long weekend full of sun and heat, take care to wear a hat and sunscreen as necessary and stay hydrated. And for goodness sakes, enjoy!!

Autumn's Ride

They are at rest on this autumn day, waiting for their passengers to return. A good pair they are, mostly vintage but with some new sprinkled in to keep things fresh but also to keep the old alive. They bask in the autumn sun and in stillness and silence, they are each others best company.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Urban History

The shutters are closed. The building vacant. What was? I need to know.

Is this my only way in? The doors have long since been closed, the shutters fixed, but I can't help but want to see inside. Who lived here? What did they do? History is waiting to be remembered.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Layers of Time

The plaster crumbles to reveal bricks and mortar that hold stories of their own. Who broke a sweat and maybe their back too as they built this wall? Did they have a young family? Or maybe someone more transient, working here and there and moving on, catching a train to their next adventure?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Energy is Tiring

Sometimes energy is tiring. Watching people expend great amounts of energy, jumping and joking, tossing and tipping, daring and diving can be very tiring. I wonder if it is too tiring sometimes...or if it is just right under a shaded hat with a cold lemonade nearby. Maybe it is exactly right, being close but not bumped, nearby but not always engaged. Maybe at some point it becomes just about perfect, being able to watch your loved ones frolic and enjoy each other, seeing that they are okay to do so without you being the one to take them to the park or to light the barbecue and maybe especially without you being the one whose shoulders are used as a launching pad into the pool.

Yes, I think this is so.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Morning Stroll

I took a stroll across my patio to my gardens this morning. The air was cool on my toes and the grass still damp from the rains.

The sun is out now and blue skies are all around. My toes will warm.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

So you walk.

How can you explain that you need to know that the trees are still there, and the hills and the sky?  Anyone knows they are.  How can you say it is time your pulse responded to another rhythm, the rhythm of the day and the season instead of the hour and the minute?  No, you cannot explain.  So you walk.  ~Author unknown, from New York Times editorial, "The Walk," 25 October 1967

Be Still

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Aging Architecture

I took a stroll through our Exchange District here in Winnipeg today. I thought "if these walls could talk..." more than once as I passed by some aging architecture. I would be sad to see all of the aged and worn pieces of our history replaced with perfectly shaped bricks, void of character and charm.

Seeing age breaking off and crumbling out reminds me that there are those who have gone before me, those who have worked hard and taught much, those who have contributed to my life and living today, even though I've not met them. Thankful.


Leaning against the railing, I waited. Would he come? Or, like time's footsteps on the cold metal, would time also pass me by? I could hear footsteps behind me...too heavy for a woman's...could it be him? Did I dare turn to look?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What in the World?

This image reminds me that there is beauty in the ordinary. Take a look around you. Look at the most ordinary object that is within your view. What do you see? Is it beautiful or merely functional? Now look closer. Turn it around if you can. Examine it from a few angles. What is beautiful about it? And why?

Now, I won't tell you right away what I think is beautiful about this image because I don't want to give it away...the answer to the What in the World puzzle, I mean. Do you think you know what this is? If so, comment below.

Framed in Love

"If we are to love our neighbors, before doing anything else we must see our neighbors. With our imagination as well as our eyes, that is to say like artists, we must see not just their faces but the life behind and within their faces. Here it is love that is the frame we see them in."
— Frederick Buechner

This quote is my facebook status this morning. These days, it seems many of us do the best we can to maintain our privacy within our neighborhoods, workplaces, churches, etc. We construct fences and walls...and our personal space grows. Don't get me wrong, some solitude is good. For those of us who regroup and re-energize in the quietness, it is a critical piece to our well being. But once we've done this, do we see our neighbors? Really, I mean. Do we see their faces and more than just their faces? And, say we do, do we frame this view with love? Or, if you're at all like me, is the frame of choice made of a solid, immovable critical spirit that won't allow for the possibility of real life stories...real life stories that expand understanding and spark a little compassion?

When I frame my work, I choose the frame carefully, thoughtfully. I think I would do well to frame my view of my neighbors with the same level of care.

Image by Tanja Askani

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tomato - Foto and Food

I just love the movement in the background of this image, the texture of the stem and foliage and the colours in the tomato itself. I also love what I will do with my tomatoes this year. I hope to make bruschetta and salsa but also eat plenty of them fresh off the vine, still warm from the sun.

Here is my favourite Bruschetta recipe:


3 ripe tomatoes
2 T olive oil
1 - 2 cloves garlic, minced (I always bump this up to three)
1/4 t salt
1 - 2 T chopped fresh basil
1 baguette or French bread, sliced in 3/4 inch slices

Dice tomatoes. Add oil, garlic, salt and basil. Mix well and marinate at room temperature for at least an hour (the longer the better).
Toast baguette or French bread slices for about 5 minutes in 350 F oven or until lightly toasted.
Spoon mixture on to bread slices and serve.

*sometimes I add shredded parmesan at the end and pop them back into the oven for a bit.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Individuals, together.

I quite like this pair of blooms. They are together yet see the world around them from different angles. Rooted and grounded together in the same soil, growing together side by side, influenced by each others presence for sure and I'd also like to think they enjoy each other yet they are individuals. I am thankful for the blooms that grow alongside me in this garden of life!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Christmas in July sale!

Enter coupon code MERRYMERRY on your order from my Etsy shop and you will receive a 20% discount on your purchase! Falalalala!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Road

There is a bunch to learn along this artsy road. I can get quite overwhelmed at times and feel like it is just all too much and want to step back or even step out (of the world of art, I mean) but I don't think my heart can really do that, step out.

I believe I was created by God with a creative bent. The creative touch was not by chance but rather an intentional gifting. The purpose of this gift is to touch the world around me in many ways I likely won't even be aware of and to point back to my Creator, not to keep it to myself, buried and useless.

As I've chosen to become vulnerable in putting my work, myself, out there, I have learned a great deal about photography of course, but also about so much more. I have learned about the business end and logistics of the art world. I have learned about relating to people and engaging with them in some really quite remarkable ways that speak into my life. I have discovered ways to move through work that seems beyond my ability to do, step by step, until I get to the end of whatever it is that is put before me. I have learned that there is much to learn and the fear of being exposed as unlearned is a pretty bad reason not to learn and proceed and reach for more. I have learned that self-doubt and negative self-talk often come after an exciting opportunity is presented to me...and I accept it. I am learning how to recognize that and work through that, and not allow it to influence my decisions.

I have also learned more about who God is in this process. It amazes me how He reaches into my spirit and my circumstances to reveal Himself to me on this journey. This is a rich road of learning and one I am so thankful to be on.

Each of us is on a road of learning. What the roads look like will vary greatly from person to person, but some of these things that I am learning, you too are learning in ways that are specific to who you are.

So on we go, sometimes overwhelmed but hopefully with a continued zeal for learning more as we journey on.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lines, simplicity and chaos.

True to my composition preferences, lines, simplicity and a little bit of chaos are all present in this image. These components are not something I consciously think about when I am composing a shot. Rather, I discover their presence more often than not once I see my images on the computer screen.

The lines you see here are a source of strength, and this represents my faith.
The simplicity in this shot represents how I try and live my life.
The chaos in the dark shadows is the reality of life's twists and turns.
Each of these pieces contribute to the beauty of the shot, even the chaos. Kind of like life.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Belles of the Ball

Giggles erupted from the cluster of belles as they flirted and fancied the boys at the ball. Dreamy in their finest gowns, the girls were sure to be noticed. The boys, shy yet determined, gradually and with great and obvious effort to be nonchalant, made their way closer to the the cluster.

Monday, July 11, 2011


The twine was her stem and the wood her soil. Rising high above both, it was as though she was floating, like a cloud of colour on a grey day. Her beauty was so unexpected here, a bit of a shock, really, but a pleasant one to be sure. I think I'll linger here awhile longer; I can't bring myself to walk away.

What in the World?

I haven't done one of these in a while. Are you good at solving puzzles? Put your thinking caps on and take a look at the image below. Do you know what this is? If you think you know it, or if you think you have a pretty good guess, comment below.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sweet Kisses

Stolen kisses require an accomplice.
  ~Just One Fool Thing After Another: A Cowfolks' Guide to Romance

Always remember this: 'A kiss will never miss, and after many kisses a miss becomes a misses'.
     ~John Lennon

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Engaged and Engaging

I've recently had the delight of doing an engagement shoot for my lovely niece and her fiance. They were easy to take pictures of, easy on the eyes and easy going too. This is not the type of photography I usually do nor is it something I'm looking to get into on a more regular basis but I have to say, it was a fun day.

I've noticed that I don't often take pictures head on. What I mean by that is most often I'll try and take pictures of the subjects interacting with each other or their environment. I think it shows more of who they are rather than just staring straight ahead. This also renders me relatively out of demand for things like wedding and portrait photography, which seems to work fine, given my wee niche and great passion in the photography world.

Here are a couple of shots along with some cute quotes that seem to work well with the images.

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.  ~Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally


Nobody has ever measured, even poets, how much a heart can hold.  ~Zelda Fitzgerald

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Get Close

Get close. Reach in. Part the blades of grass. See. Tiny petals curl around a stem, loving and caring, holding. Blooms nestle in, close to one another, close to me, quietly. See. Gentleness. Intimacy. It catches my breath.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Homegrown Tomatoes

“It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”
         ~Lewis Grizzard

For me, this is so. There is nothing like eating a tomato freshly picked from the garden, still warm from sitting in the sun. I took this shot last summer but have twenty one tomato plants growing in my gardens this year, promising to please my palate. Add to that a little garlic and basil and the sweet tastes of summer begin to salivate in my mouth.


Powerful and engaging on its own, the daisy evokes a response from the beholder. Strong, playful, delicate and lovely, her essence reaches the hearts of many.


Macro photography allows us to see detail we don't normally get the chance to see. These images were shot with my 60 mm macro lens. Because of the slow shutter speed I needed to obtain adequate exposure, I mounted my camera on my tripod. With excessively slow shutter speeds, I'll often reach for my remote switch as well. It doesn't take much at those speeds to show the smallest camera shake...even from pressing and releasing the shutter on camera.

My settings were the same for both images. My shutter speed was 1/8, aperture f/2.8 and focal length was 60 mm. ISO was fixed at 100.

He is Crazy About You!

If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If He had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning... Face it, friend. He is crazy about you!
                   ~ Max Lucado

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Learning to Shoot Fireworks on Canada Day

We went to The Forks in Winnipeg yesterday and caught the Canada Day festivities. I loved the live bands (well, most of them), dinner on the patio, wandering through the grounds full of happy and some very interesting and unique people, looking at the kiosks,  and of course the fireworks at the end of the night.

Though not new to photography, this was the first time I've been out intentionally shooting fireworks. I learned a bunch with this shoot and look forward to my next opportunity to implement what I've learned from the mistakes I made and improve on some of the things I got right. My location was prime and I will set up in the same place again, though maybe a few feet closer to the water. Including the river in my shots turned out well for me. The lit up boats and reflection added a lot of interest. My tripod and remote switch were necessities to stop camera shake in the low lighting. A faster lens and shutter speed stopped the action fairly well but next time I will keep it open for longer to include the initial burst right to the end of the movement of the fireworks in one shot. This makes for beautifully smooth images that show off the movement and action of each display. A wide angle lens would also be helpful.

Having exposed my learning curve, I will now show you a few of my shots.

Going backwards in the day, the people lined up against the railing on the Esplanade Riel and listened to the buskers play their tunes as they waited for the fireworks to begin.

What a great way to spend Canada Day!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Nostalgia and Innocent Romance

I couldn't pass these blooms by as I wandered in the gardens this morning. I stopped and took them in with my eyes, allowing my mind the freedom and time to wander and imagine. I was drawn into a world of nostalgia and innocent romance. And then I got my camera.

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day, my friends! I took this shot a couple of years back from a revolving rooftop restaurant here in Winnipeg. We were situated right in front of a window facing the fireworks over at The Forks when the turning stopped to take in the show. To this day, those were the best seats ever for viewing the fireworks. Too bad the restaurant is no longer in business. That would be a do-over.

What about you? Where are your best-seats-ever for fireworks viewing?