They Just Keep Falling

Such wonderful winter weather we have been having lately! I don’t like that many things about snow – but this year I have definitely been able to capture its beauty:

I could take photos of snowflakes for hours – each one is stunningly unique, and the near-perfect symmetry adds so many intricate details – definitely another favourite:

I hope that I have another chance to get out there and photograph snowflakes before the weather warms up too much. We’ll see!

On a side note: tonight I spoke at the Barrie Photo Club about travel photography – the presentation was very well received and it started some very interesting conversations. I’m very glad it turned out as good as it did! I had some very positive feedback from one-time visitors as well. Hopefully I’ll have the opportunity to do this again at some point! We are planning a workshop on an introduction to photography in March too – something I am co-hosting. While sometimes I feel too busy – the accomplishments always seem worth it.

Valentine’s Day in Niagara Falls

This past weekend was a nice getaway for Desi and I. I treated her to a night in Niagara Falls, complete with dinner at the Skylon rotating dining room overlooking the city. We had a absolutely wonderful time, and it has convinced me that we should have little getaways like this more often. This was the best Valentine’s Day ever, I love you very much Desi! 🙂 Here’s a photo of us by the falls:

I took a moment to take the photos needed to make a panorama of the falls. Here’s a very small version of the panorama, the full version is 236 megapixels:

We visited the casino and had a great time spending $12 and winning back $2. We were a little startled when we found out that the parking cost more than our gambling though! Our final stop before we headed home was another surprise – the butterfly conservatory. Desi and I walked around the paths about three times, chasing after the butterflies for photos, and just enjoying the tropical environment in the dead of winter. I got some great photos, and Desi too!

Some of the butterflies were extremely colourful, and the the photos turned out great. Desi and I were talking around and pointing out the most colourful ones, especially the wings on this one:

We really enjoyed our visit to the butterfly conservatory, and noticed some nice hiking trails in the area. This is probably a place we’ll go back to in the summer! Here’s another photo, and the gallery below:

And I’d like to take a moment and thank everyone for all of the comments you leave on my blog. I read every one and look forward to them always. Thanks so much!

Return Trip to Springwater Provincial Park

I decided to take a group of Barrie Photo Club members to Springwater Provincial Park last Saturday, with great results. The animals were cooperating for the most part and, while it was a little chilly, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. I tried to get photos of different animals this time, so first up is the coyote:

I also ran into this little guy, completely unexpected as it landed on a tree that I was standing next to:

And probably my favourite from the outing, these Trumpeter Swans making a wonderful display:

It was a great day for photography, and I hope than the other club members came home with some great photos as well. While it can be bitterly cold, the winter landscape is full of amazing things.

Picture the City Contest

I got a great e-mail today – saying the winners were announced to the Barrie Picture the City photography contest. This is a contest that I wanted to enter, and didn’t – initially. The rules were a little… draconian. Many photography contests (this one included) stated that any submissions (regardless of if they win) would become exclusive property of the contest holder (the City of Barrie in this case). I really didn’t like this, and complained. Long story short, I ended up re-writing the contest terms of use and policies which were subsequently adopted.

So, then I entered the contest.

Here’s a photo of some of the winning photos, currently displayed in the City Hall rotunda:

You might notice some familiar photos in this shot. Here’s a closer look:

These were the runners-up. Photos that didn’t win, but still deserved to be displayed. I don’t like the way they printed my Maple Leaf Flag photo – far too dark. I’m glad it is being shared though. Well, how about the winners?

Here are the first and second place winners, as well as the honourable mentions. Great photos, Barrie has a lot of photographic talent. Some of you may recognize the photo in the top left. Here’s a closer look at the label:

So, this is the first award that I have won from my photography. The contest was partnered with Henry’s, a camera store chain. The prize was a gift card and a few little freebies (a tote bag and a pin) – I’ll put the gift card to good use for sure! I’m very glad that everything turned out great. I talked to the contest coordinator when picking up my prize and she said that they were surprised by the overall quality of the submissions. This means even more to me that I won when up against such impressive competition.

This made my day. 🙂