Little Cousins

Last month I had a wonderful two day trip out to Belleville. I got to spend time with my aunt Cathy, cousin Paula and her two beautiful girls. I hadn’t been out that way in a long time and it was a great visit. I brought my camera along to try and get some photos of my cousins (once removed) who are notoriously camera shy.

I’d like to think I succeeded – they seemed to enjoy the visit as much as I did. Thanks Paula for letting me take some great photos! There is a complete set of prints (11 in total) in the mail, you should get them next week.

Child’s Play Charity

Just thought I’d mention one of my favourite charities this time of the year.

Child’s Play was a charity started a few years ago with the goal to give video games, toys, board games etc to children in hospitals around the world (including our own Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto). You can buy game consoles, games, or give donations or anything you’d like to the charity and they get the gifts to Children in time for Christmas.

Especially this year when there is probably less money to go around for families paying huge medical bills, making a kid’s Christmas or just helping them take their minds off of the pain is a great idea. I donate $20 every year, and they raise over a million dollars in toys and cash every Christmas.

You’ll find the link of the right side of my blog until sometime in January. Here’s a letter from the site:

I thought I’d bring you up to date on what we’re doing with the funds from your grant. We bought a number of handheld video games which can be loaned to patients who are confined to their beds. In addition, we bought a Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit. This is a HUGE success and we will probably buy several more. Not only are they suitable for recreation, but they serve a therapeutic purpose as well. We have discovered that spinal cord injured patients can sit on the Fit’s balance board and work on core balance by playing the games. Although we had initially thought we’d buy computer equipment, this is a much better use of the funds, and, I hope, you’ll “approve.” So, in addition to the library reaping the benefits, we are able to get the equipment out to where the patients live at our hospital – on the units and in the gyms. Thank you again for the generosity of Child’s Play. I hope that, in the future, we might be able to apply for additional funds. There are plans to convert space into a patient recreation center and would like to include additional games, equipment, etc. that would enhance their quality of life.


Amy L. Frey, MA AHIP
Manager, Health Sciences Library & Resource Center
Hospital for Special Care
New Britain, CT

Tribute to my Gameboy Camera

Rewind to my childhood, somewhere around 1998 when I was about 12 years old. I had become a huge fan of Nintendo’s Gameboy system, one of my first real video game experiences. For this little handheld videogame system Nintendo released a most interesting accessory: a black & white (four shades of grey) 0.1 megapixel camera capable of storing 30 photos. This was my very first digital camera.

What did the photos look like? Well, I still have the thing! Through a complex series of steps and peripherals, you could get the thing to “print” to a parallel port on a computer and saved as an image, just like this one:

As a 12 year old, I got a very creative idea. How would I be able to take a colour photo from a black and white camera? Hmm. I remember around this age getting really close to a TV to try and figure out how it worked. Dad told me that each bit of colour was made up of red, blue, and green of different intensities, which sparked the whole idea. I also had tons of fun playing with those “3D” pages in certain magazines that required you to use the glasses with one blue lens and one red lens, isolating colours for each eye and producing an image with perceived depth. Blue things showed up black through the red lens, and red things showed up black through the blue lens!
So then, what would happen if I put a filter over the lens of the camera, one red, one blue, and one green to try and make a colour image?

I couldn’t figure out how. I got the three images, but I had no idea how to merge them into one image. It wasn’t until a number of years later that I fully understood image editing on computers and learned how to edit individual colour channels of an image. So, simply using each “filtered” image as a specific red, blue, and green colour channel produces…

Neat, eh? So that’s how you take a colour photograph with a camera that isn’t capable of it. Even though the original images were only four shades of grey, when combined they can produce a wide variety of colours. Once I figured out how to do it, I had some fun and tried a few others. Check them out!

Winter Wonderland

Its that time of year again! Over the past two days we have been dumped on by snow. Hard to believe that only a little over a week ago the temperatures were above 20 degrees here! I decided to take my Rebel XTi out for a walk down the road and found some very beautiful scenery.

There is this one house with a beautiful back yard. From the photo it might look like some public park, but these folks actually have a river running down the center of their property. I’ve taken photos of it at various times of the year, but this shot tops them all:

I asked the owners if I could get a little closer to the ducks down by the river, and they were happy to let me do just that. I had gone home at this point to grab my telephoto lens to get right up close.

Usually I’m not a fan of winter. Its cold, I have to constantly clear the driveway and here in the “snow belt” we get more of the white stuff than most places around us. Sure is beautiful though. 🙂