Friday, July 23, 2010

Earwigs: Friends or Foes?

I took this photo of an earwig hangin' out on a flower a few days ago while working in the garden. When I was little, I used to be scared of them as I thought they were really creepy.

Despite their scary appearance and reputation, earwigs are not directly harmful to humans. In fact, they are often beneficial, acting as scavengers of decaying matter and predators of insect larvae, slug eggs, aphids, and other garden pests.

Adult earwigs are about 1.5 to 2.0 cm (1/2" to ¾") long and have antennae about half as long. The male has a large, curved pair, while the female has smaller, nearly straight ones. The earwig uses these during courtship and as a defence against attackers. Earwigs have a long, flat body with a tough, shiny, reddish-brown hard outer shell and prominent pincers (or forceps) at the end of their bodies. They do have wings but seldom fly. The female earwig can lay up to two batches of eggs per season and protects the nymphs (young earwigs) for the first two weeks, often chasing the male earwig away.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fire Plug

Today's assignment was to rotate the camera a bit and make a slightly off-angle photograph, making sure the angle emphasizes the subject.

According to Wikipedia, the concept of fire plugs (or fire hydrants as we know them to be) dates to at least the 1600's . This is a time when firefighters responding to a call would have to dig down to the wooden water mains to quickly bore a hole to secure water to fight fires. The water would fill the hole creating a temporary well, and be transported from the well to the fire via bucket brigades, or later, via hand pumped fire engines. The holes were then plugged with stoppers, normally redwood, which overtime came to be known as Fire Plugs. The location of the plug would be recorded or marked so that they could be reused in future fires.


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Stirred, NOT Shaken......

It's summer in the Northern Hemisphere (whoo hoo!). Today's assignment was to make a photo of a cool, refreshing drink. To me, nothing says summer like a great martini. In this photo, I've captured a shot of todays apres work beverage: The Apple Martin.

Nothing matches the mystique of the martini. It's the ultimate cocktail for cool cats and lounge lizards alike. The classic martini is made with gin and vermouth. Although nowadays martinis are often made with vodka, purists still insist on gin. The "dryness" of the martini depends on the amount of vermouth used; less vermouth results in a "drier" martini. Back in the swanky 1960's, people were accustomed to a lower ratio of gin to vermouth, sometimes a 1:1 ratio. The modern trend is for drier martinis-often an 8:1 ratio. Experimentation will help you discover your own "perfect martini". Chic variations on the classic martinis use flavoured vodkas--orange, vanilla and even hot pepper for a spicy alternative. But remember, martinis should always be stirred, NOT shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously on top of one another.



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I like it Hard and Soft, Rough and Smooth......

Today's challenge was to create a photograph that emphasizes a change in texture.

I chose to photograph this small floral arrangement that I keep next to my kitchen sink. I thought that the softness of the flowers and foliage contrasted nicely with the hard glass container that the arrangement sits in. The glass container has a striped combination of clear glass and frosted glass which is an excellent example of rough and smooth.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Crinkled, Wrinkled and Folded

Ads promote removing wrinkles, but they often add character. Today's challenge was to shoot a photo of something crinkled, wrinkled or folded.

This photo captures all three of those elements. I wanted the bowl of the crinkled-styled potato chips to be the focal point of this photo so I made sure that my backdrop was dark so that the light coloured chips would stand out. I found some folded up black tissue paper, wrinkled it and unfolded it . The afternoon sun was streaming through the window and provided the only source of lighting I used for this shot. 

I also thought it would make an interesting entry into this week's theme of "Look But Don't Touch" here on 365 project since some of us may be watching what we eat and consuming a whole bowl of greasy chips would certainly be detrimental to our healthy eating lifestyles we are attempting to follow..........


Sunday, July 18, 2010


Today's challenge was to compose an image that has a soft and dreamy look.

I ventured out into the backyard between raindrops early this evening to capture a shot of a blush white Verbena. I loved this one as it seemed to be "deformed" with a few fuchia petals. I edited the photo simply by blurring the edges.


Saturday, July 17, 2010


After some late afternoon showers threatened the possibility of an evening photo shoot, I was glad when they passed through quickly. I made my way over to the Brampton Soccer Centre in hopes to capture some interesting shots of the unusual architecture that forms this building. I captured this shot as the sun setting was reflecting on the glass.

The Brampton Soccer Centre is a community soccer facility that opened in June 2007. Located on the southwest corner of Dixie Road and Sandalwood Parkway, this landmark building was created at a cost of $26.9 million dollars. The initial concept for the building was to have it host Ice Hockey, Basketball / Volleyball and Soccer. Feedback from the community resulted in a change of plans, thus rendering the inside of the building as a soccer only facility.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Jolly Rancher Martini

Everyone loves food photos! Today's challenge was to make a close-up of food that I was enjoying today. While this is technically a beverage, I was still enjoying it and it is something that I did'm going to say it counts.

It's the end of the week (Thank Darwin it's Friday!) and to celebrate I relaxed with this cold, tasty martini. Mmmmmmmmmm........Named after the famous cubed hard candy, this Jolly Rancher martini tasted just like the real thing.....


Thursday, July 15, 2010

Abstracted with Abstraction

Today's assignment was to get creative with abstraction by taking a photo of patterns and/or shapes that aren't recognizable objects.

I spent most of my day trying to find an interesting object to shoot. After clicking photos of this and that, I settled for this object. To add an "abstract" feel to it, I cropped it and enhanced the colouring to this everyday object. 

Can you guess what this is?


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The View From Down Here.....

Today's challenge was to take a photo from a low point of view.

I have to be honest... today I was not feeling very motivated to take photos (and it shows from this shot). Feeling sore from an intense class at the gym tonight and tired from lack of sleep over the last week or so, my creative energy is running very low. I wandered into my backyard, laid down on my patio and shot up capturing my Astilbe shrub and fence trying to make them appear more elongated than they really are. Original? No. Creative? Far from it. But, it's the best I could l do for today.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Busy as a Bee

I was watering my container plants early this evening when I spotted this bee busy at work trying to get the pollen out of this tiny, trailing Bacopa flower . After several hundred shots, I chose this one. I really liked how the wings on the bee seemed a bit iridescent.


Monday, July 12, 2010

You're such a tease!

Today's assignment was to focus on a fragment of an object today by only showing part of it, not the whole thing.

Can you guess what this is?

This photo is a shot of a curtain tie-back holder that I have in my living room. I liked the way that the shadow of the tie-back holder is blurred in the background.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

"Absolute" Domination

Today's assignment was to find a scene that's dominated by one colour.

I travelled to the "downtown" section of Mississauga today to purchase my new iMac. This area is booming with new condo developments popping up overnight! This particular project has been labeled a graceful, curving architectural wonder.

This is the fourth in the "Absolute" master planned community. This 50-storey landmark tower is not just the tallest tower in the neighbourhood , but is also catching the attention of many for its breakthrough in condo design. Eschewing straight lines, fixed points and verticles, this tower will be a slender, graceful, curvaceous form of glass and steel. Stunning!


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Me and My Shadow

Today's challenge was to take a self-portrait.

Since I've been behind the camera a lot lately, I've become quite self-conscious in front of it. Posing seems so unnatural to me--very awkward and forced. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is critical of the photos they are in. I found without having direction from someone as to how to pose so that my best features are shown, it made it quite difficult to direct myself from this side of the camera.


The Glass City

Yesterday, I travelled to the Big Bad City to meet a few friends for dinner and drinks. Anyone who knows me knows I love the city. I love the concrete jungle, the hustle and bustle of people, the constant activities that have the city buzzing. I love trying out the swanky restaurants, peering into the unique boutiques and watching all the weirdos go by. This is the view from my friend's office window and shows a great depiction of all the glass used in the office towers, condos and hotels that make up this fantastic city. I love how the mirrored building reflects other buildings in the surrounding area.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chinguacousy Park Fire/Life Centre

Tonight I tagged along with my friend Scribe as she zipped around to a few local landmarks around the city that we live in. Once of our stops was to the infamous Chinguacousy Park which, as seen through the lens of a camera, can be quite beautiful. Dusk was fast approaching so we needed to be quick. I snapped a few shots of this "house" with this week's architectural theme in mind.

Located near one of the park's entrances, the Fire/Life Safety Education Centre is a hands-on learning facility for training children about fire hazards in and around the home.  Upstairs, Stephanie’s Place models an average home with kitchen, living room, bedroom and bath. Children have the opportunity to find hazards and learn where to go when fire strikes and locate safe escape routes out of the house.
Vowing to come back, I've marked out a few other spots to photograph in and around the park. Stay tuned....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Light vs. Dark

Today's assignment was to search for an area with a big difference in light. I took a photo of the bright blue sky with it's billowy clouds. While the shot was nice, it appeared very "pedestrian" to me so I goofed around with photoshop and came up with this instead. I love how the "dark" clouds look so ominous while the sky itself takes on more of a sunset feel.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I spy with my little eye something that is.........BLUE

Today's challenge was to take a photo of something blue. I went for a short walk this evening to see if I could capture something exciting. Sadly, this was the best I could do. These metal blue benches are found throughout the city I live in. these particular two are located in a community park right around the corner from my house. I shot many photographs of the benches at various heights and angles and ended up with this my chosen shot of the day.


Monday, July 5, 2010

A Refreshing View on a Stinking Hot Summer Day

With the humidity, it was over 42 degrees Celsius (107.6 degress Fahrenheit) today. You can understand why I was feeling lethargic and not really motivated to create an exciting masterpiece today. I picked up my P&S and decided to stick my nose out the door to see what was close by. I took some shots of this flower from my neighbour's side garden. I croped the photo to give it a little added interest. Hoping tomorrow will be a better day for pics.......


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cheltenham Badlands

Tonight I decided to try my hand at sunsets. I know....this doesn't look like one. This was a "detour" on our way to scope out a good sunset view.
“Badlands” is a geologic term for an area of soft rock devoid of vegetation and soil cover that has become molded into a rolling landscape of rounded hills and gullies. Such areas are rare in Ontario and this is one of the best examples.
They exhibit the reddish hue of the Queenston Shale that forms them; the iron oxide in the shale produces this colour. The narrow greenish bands that can be seen throughout the shale are due to the change of red iron oxide to green iron oxide brought on by the circulating groundwater. The relatively soft shale is essentially clay and is easily eroded by water.
Vibrantly red, and totally at odds with a county typified by pastoral meadows and gentle streams lined with majestic black willows, The Cheltenham Badlands probably started to form with the erosion of soft, iron-rich Queenston shale when cattle grazing stripped a protective layer of vegetation from the site in the nineteenth century.
The Cheltenham Badlands are located on Olde Base Road in Caledon and are one of the most striking examples of badlands topography in Southern Ontario.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Posted Signs

Today's daily assignment was to find a sign in front of a vista that tells a story.

It was a pretty hot day today so I didn't feel like venturing too far from home. I took a walk in the neighbourhood and came across this pond. In order to get this shot, I had to venture through an obstacle course of animal poo, wild weeds and angry wasps. I often wonder what other photographers have to go through in order to get "THE SHOT" they are looking for?


Friday, July 2, 2010

Fireworks Gone Amiss

Ok, so technically this was taken last night, not today. Yesterday being Canada Day, there were many displays of fireworks going off in our neighbourhood. It's my first attempt to photograph the light show using my big-girl camera. It's not a classic textbook photo by anymeans. I know what I did wrong......I should have used my tripod and I should have used a faster shutter speed. I thought the way the light trails in the sky was still pretty cool though.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Perpetual Construction

Construction seems to be perpetual: streets, sidewalks, buildings. Farm land and rolling fields seem to be disappearing quickly and are being replaced with overpopulated subdivisions, monstrous shopping malls and busy highways. With nothing much to do on Canada Day, I took a drive about 10 minutes away from my home into the neighbouring city of Caledon. This picture represents a pretty good indication of how perpetual construction is starting to happen in this quiet community. You can see farm fields in the background that are soon to be replaced with (overpriced) large homes. This scaffolding structure dominated the landscape and tells of things to come for this area.