Photography and Art

Monday, October 31, 2011


I've got all these little projects on the go that rejuvenate photography when it gets a little dull. Earlier this week, it was time to feature rural mailboxes, an ongoing project that is a lot of fun although it sometimes irritates people who are along for the ride when I suddenly screech to a halt, do a u-turn, go back 100 yards, do another u-turn and leap out of the car with the camera to take a shot of a rare find, like a mailbox shaped like a dog or a tractor. There's one shaped like a fish that I keep passing when the light isn't any good. I'll get it one day too.

Windows are another pet theme. Architects and builders put a lot of effort into making interesting windows and people generally put a lot of effort into decorating them. It's another expression of individuality. Here are some windows that have caught my eye recently:

Here's a church window from a small town in New York State that I passed on the way to go hiking in the Adirondacks. I liked the original patterns of the window combined with the texture of the church walls.

This window was in a building in a pioneer village near Hamilton Ontario. The strong colour of the window frame combined with the window in a window effect drew me to the photo.

There's a beautiful fishing village in Scotland called Crail that has some very nice windows. Here's what I mean about people using window sills to make a personal statement. 

and finally, there's the allure of the silhouette in the window. When walking in Montreal last winter, taking pictures of Christmas lights, by accident I noticed a silhouette of a woman in the top left window. She was there for a minute and then the light was extinguished. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Late Fall Colours

By last week-end, the fall colours up north were starting to fade, but there was still enough left in the tank for a couple of photos. Here's the view of a wetland from Highway 35:

Further south, my eye caught a farmer's field where the tracks of the machinery were a different colour from the rest of the field:

Not really a fall photo, but here's a shot of an abandoned junkyard that resonated with me. Maybe it's the red white and blue colours that stood out.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Mr. Heron Comes to Call

It was nearly dinner time at the cottage on Canadian Thanksgiving week-end and my young grandson came racing up from the beach to tell me that a loon was catching fish in our bay. I brought the camera down to the shore and saw that it was a blue heron who had decided to pay a visit, not a loon at all. I took a lot of photos of the heron until he finally got fed up and flew away.

The next morning, there was a mist covering the lake and the heron was there again. I took more pictures of the blue heron against the grey water and sky. The heron was having a great time catching minnows.

The next morning, he was there again. This time, the sky was clear and we had a rip-roaring golden sunset that silhouetted the heron against the sky. Here are some shots of Mr. Heron:

We finally spooked him on the first day and he flew away. I like the water drops trailing from his feet.

Here he is perfectly reflected in the water.

The next morning was very misty. The sun just started to come out enough to highlight his plumage a bit. The reflections in the water are nice.

The second morning featured a glorious sunrise and a preening heron. Believe it or not, these are the colours right out of the camera. 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Self-Expression Through Mailboxes

Nearly every week-end, I travel to our cottage in Haliburton through southern Ontario farmland. This is some of the most beautiful farmland on earth. However, this post is not about scenery, it's about self-expression. One of my fascinations is how people express themselves through mundane objects. for example, if you walk along European residential streets where the houses are very close to the road, people are very careful to select objects to display on their window sills to express who they are and what they care about. In farm country, the houses are set far back from the road. The only venue for self-expression is the mailbox. Most people are content to use utilitarian mailboxes, but one in every ten chooses something that tells something about the family that lives down the lane. It may be a mailbox done in cow camouflage (holstein in this case), or it may be a mailbox that looks like a sausage dog. It doesn't matter what the subject of the mailbox, these tokens of self-expression show the lengths that people will go to tell their story.

Here are a selection of recent images of mailboxes. Enjoy!

The Holstein Mailbox

The Milk Can Mailbox

The Tractor Mailbox

Mr. Hum's House Outside a House

Mr. Sopha's Moose in the Woods

And...The Sausage Dog Mailbox