Building Memories In Black & White

Photography 101, Day 12 Study architectural forms, and also train your eye to look for shots that will translate well in black and white. As we explored yesterday, color is a powerful element in photography. But let’s not forget black and white, or monochrome, which can be very dramatic! Black, white, gray, and shades in between interact in the frame in dynamic ways.


Boating around in False Creek one day (before I was born), mom took some photos of these two iconic buildings in downtown Vancouver, BC…Science World and BC Place Stadium. These places hold a few special memories for her. About 15 years ago, mom and her human sons, along with several hundred others human boys and adult leaders, slept in Science World overnight once as part of a Scouts Canada event. It got a little crazy she said, but was a lot of fun. A night she’ll never forget. Unfortunately none of the photos she took that night turned out.

BC Place stadium is home to the BC Lions football team, and in 2011 Vancouver hosted the 99th Grey Cup game. The humans cruised downtown in Minstrel and partied all weekend long during the festivities. It also got a little crazy, but was a lot of fun, and the Lions ended up winning the championship! With mom’s help, dad managed to get all the pawtographs of the Felion Cheerleader Dance Team featured in their calendar, which he gave to his nephew for Christmas. Meowee, they shore are purrdy fur humans! Vancouver is once again hosting the Grey Cup at the end of this month. Unfortunately the Lions aren’t in it.

I helped mom choose the black and white settings for today’s theme. We didn’t realize there were so many combinations of black, white, gray and monochrome! You can click on the photos for a larger view. We hope you like the results.

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Green Boating

Photography 101 Day 11, Colors can stir emotions within us, tell stories, and transform our images. Today, use one color to add life or drama to your shot.


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Pop of Green Floor Sign, Vancouver Boat Show

 

For over fifty years, the Vancouver International Boat Show has been, and still is, one of the best ways to find the latest & most innovative boating products on the market. For a modest entrance fee, boaters have access to free seminars put on by boating experts including hands-on skills training, and free 30-minute power or sailboat rides to get a taste of the boating life. The Canadian Power & Sail Squadrons is there too teaching boaters about being safe on the water. 

What about keeping the water safe? In our boating play ground called the Strait of Georgia (or Salish Sea) on the Pacific West Coast, which provides us with some of the most pawsome cruising waters in the world, there are over 350,000 boats! Meowee, that’s a lot! And we need to make sure we minimize our impact on it especially in high use areas such as marinas, anchorages and marine parks. Boat shows are a great venue to learn more about sensitive areas, birds, fish and other critters that depend on our waters. The Strait of Georgia Alliance puts out a Guide to Green Boating. As a green boater, you pledge to:

  • Manage your sewage responsibly.
  • Take care when fueling.
  • Use bilge filters or bilge pads.
  • Maintain your boat.
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products & bottom paint.
  • Dispose of all wastes properly.
  • Keep learning.

The next Vancouver International Boat Show will be held January 21-25, 2015 at BC Place Stadium and Granville Island. Our squadron has added the boat show as a cruise destination to our cruise schedule.  The marina we dock at is nestled on the waterfront of the vibrant Yaletown neighborhood and is a daytime hub of activity in the southeastern part of downtown Vancouver. It’s surrounded by parks, patio restaurants, urban apartments and modern condos of residential towers with spectacular views. The Vancouver sea wall passes right along by the marina and is one of the docking places for both the Aquabus and False Creek Ferry routes to Granville Island. All the amenities of gracious urban living can be found nearby, from the gourmet markets, yoga establishments and public transit, to the busy nightlife and boutiques. Our members have a lot of fun there and I really look forward to going, and you can look forward to my report on anything to do with boats and furiends.

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Caturday Art: To Cat a Mystery

Photography 101 Day 10 Show something uncertain, and manipulate light around you to enhance the mood of your image. To stretch yourself, manipulate the light available to you to create a particular effect — use it to cast shadows and highlights to create a moody image.


Painting with light. Dusk – the golden hour –  finally arrived and mom had us out on the deck . She tried a several shots, but it wasn’t until she turned to go back into the house that she spotted my shadow on the stucco wall. I decided I would sit still long enough for her to get her fill. She took a few with her iPhone too, but they look just like these. Can you spot the flaw(s)?

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All Warm & Fuzzy

Photography 101, Day 9 Today, capture an image of warmth, ideally using the sun as your source. Consider the direction of light: front light and side light.


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Front Light

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Side Light

All Warm and Fuzzy

I like to feel all warm and fuzzy

Hues of yellow golden honey

Face the sun it melts the cold

From the side it’s more bold

Depth and shadows mix

Drama depicts

when basking

in the

Light.

Keeping with the nine theme for November, this poetry form is called a Nonet. A Nonet has nine lines. The first line has nine syllables, the second line eight syllables, the third line seven syllables, etc… until line nine finishes with one syllable. It can be on any subject and rhyming is optional.

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The Nature of Leading Lines

Photography 101, Day 8 Capture a moment, big or small, and pay attention to the lines and curves produced by nature. Envision the bend of a stream, or the curve of a petal: how can you use these lines in your composition? If you see strong vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines, can you play with the orientation to create a more dynamic composition? Can you apply — or break — the Rule of Thirds?


If I was a tabby,  a bengal, or a tiger, I would have a lot of lines and curvy patterns on me for mom to photograph. But I’m not. Instead, she went through her photos  from all the pawsome places we went our cruises this summer to find examples of leading lines in nature and these were some of the obvious ones, but you could say they were unintentional. Going forward she will try to look for and use them more. One interesting tip she learned from this exercise was that there are leading lines and paths. The difference between a leading line and a path is that a leading line takes you to a point of interest in the frame, and a path tends to lead you to a vanishing point.

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Seamarks – Aids to Navigation

Photography 101 Day 7, Landmarks are everywhere: iconic places, meeting points, markers on a map. Today, consider a unique point of view as you photograph a landmark. These landmarks on a map can be famous and instantly recognizable, or sometimes they’re simple markers to help us navigate.

Monochromatic


 

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Sutil Point Starboard Light and Bell Buoy, Cortes Island, BC

A variant of a landmark is a seamark, a structure usually built intentionally to aid boaters navigating featureless coasts. These aids to navigation are very important for keeping furiends safe on the water. They are used to indicate channels, dangerous rocks or shoals, mooring positions, areas of speed limits, traffic separation schemes, submerged shipwrecks, and for a variety of other navigational purposes. Some are made to be visible in daylight only (daymarks), and others have some combination of lights, reflectors, bells, horns, whistles and radar reflectors to make them useful at night and in conditions of reduced visibility. Marks are shown on nautical charts, using symbols that indicate their colour, shape and light characteristic, and usually have a name or number identification.

Lateral buoys like the one pictured here are used to mark the edge of a channel or hazards. Until 1980 there had been 30 different buoyage systems. Meowee, how confusing that would have been.  Now, for historical reasons the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) combined them all into two different schemes used worldwide, differing primarily in their use of the colours red and green for two regions (A and B). Region B is the Americas (where I am), the Philippines, South Korea and Japan, and Region A is everywhere else (where Bailey Boat Cat is.)

In nautical terms,  humans call the left side of the boat “port”, and the right side “starboard”. The colours red and green also represent the sides of the boat. Red is starboard and green is port. When heading upstream (against the current) in Region B, green buoys must be passed on the left side of a boat and red buoys must be kept on the right side of a boat. In Region A, it is the opposite.

The Sutil Point light and bell buoy pictured here is almost a mile off shore near the extremity of the rocks and shoals that extend off the southwest end of Cortes Island. Getting up close to some of these buoys can prove interesting because many birds and other sea life like to rest or perch themselves on it.

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Being My Selfie

Just Being My Selfie

Being My Selfie

This is called being my selfie,

In it I capture what you see,

When I stage my own photo shoot.

 

 Hope it’s not too self-indulgent,

 To revel in my element,

On such a self-centered pursuit.

 

The camera’s held at arm’s length,

Looking casual is my strength,

I strike the pose, hey ain’t I cute.

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Another Nove Otto poetry form.


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A Feline Alone

Photography 101, Day 5: Capture a snapshot that conveys the state of being alone. As you frame your shot, apply the tried-and-true Rule of Thirds, which is a great introductory lesson in composition. Divide your shot into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, so you get nine parts. Place your subject at the intersections of these lines, or along them. 


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Anchored in Bedwell Bay, BC

Thoughts find themselves in solitude,

And flourish in the quietude,

Over a sea of calm they float.

From the brow I stare and ponder,

What adventures lie out yonder,

Somewhere On coastal shores remote.

Finding bays in isolation,

By celestial navigation,

My journey will travel by boat.

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For November we are trying the Nove Otto poetry form. November was the ninth month of the ancient Roman calendar and retained its name (from the Latin novem meaning “nine“) when January and February were added. The Nove Otto poetry form was created by Scott J. Alcorn. It is a nine-lined poem with 8 syllables per line (isosyllabic). The rhyme scheme is as follows: aacbbcddc.

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge: Minimalist photography is characterized by a large portion of negative space, a fairly monochromatic color palette with good contrast, and an interesting subject that is able to stand on its own to capture the interest of the viewer. At first thought, it may seem like it would be easy to shoot an engaging minimalist photograph, when indeed it can often be the opposite. A minimalist photo can also effectively tell a story, in spite of its relative simplicity, and it is anything but “plain”.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/minimalist/

Tall Drink of Water

Photography 101, Day 3: For day three, we want to see your interpretation of water — how might your image reveal more about you? Ever wonder whether a photograph will work better horizontally or vertically? It’s a great question to ask when looking through your viewfinder! After you snap your picture, rotate your camera and take a second shot from the other orientation — horizontally if you first took the picture vertically, and vice versa. If you’re aiming for an establishing shot, what orientation works better? How does a vertical shot affect your scene? Which version do you prefer?


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This is what water reveals about me. You may notice the water reverses my image. Almost all our photos taken with an iPhone are vertical (above), and almost all taken with the DSL are horizontal (below). Mom has been experimenting with refraction and water, and found a really unique photo on the web that she’s trying to re-create. We haven’t succeeded yet, but still working on it and these are what we’ve managed so far. We like whichever orientation fits with what we are trying to capture. A waterfall would probably fit  better vertically, where as a sunset would most likely be more flattering horizontally.

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Being the editor of our boating group’s newsletter, my human runs a photo contest and puts together a couple of theme calendars consisting of the winning photos taken by her fellow PMPSS (Port Moody Power & Sail Squadron) members. One of the themes is called Waterscapes, and the other is Pets & Wildlife. Those photos are from the 2013 calendar. The 2014 calendar photos will be uploaded to Flickr in December, and the 2015 calendars just went to the printer. One criteria that she insists on is that all the photos have to be horizontal because “landscape” (horizontal) is the paper orientation.

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