Winter sprang into Spring today but ever so slowly! After I dropped off my grandson at pre-school this morning, I headed straight to Grande Pointe to photograph a huge cottonwood tree I discovered last fall. With the milder temperatures and snow covered landscape, the humidity hovered at 92% resulting in a heavy fog that blanketed the entire countryside. I brought the rather monochromatic image into 'onOne Software's 'Perfect Enhance' preset and added a slight warm vintage effect. While some of the trees in this area were quite heavily laden with hoarfrost, the sun never did break through the fog until past noon after which the hoarfrost disappeared quite quickly. On the bright side, birds are beginning to return and I even heard the sound of a pileated woodpecker nearby. 'Knock on wood' that spring is just around the corner!
Speaking of pileated woodpeckers, 'Knock on Wood - Winter Piece' is one of my favorite compositions from Ian Tamblyn's 'Over My Head' CD (1986). I have spent countless hours driving around the countryside listening to this superb CD of instrumental music blended with bird songs. The CD came about when Ian received a commission from the Canadian Museum of Nature to present a concert celebrating a forthcoming bird exposition. Since then, whenever I hear a pileated woodpecker, I think of my good friend Ian. Personally, I think Ian is one of our fine musical heroes who has celebrated a lifetime of writing and singing about love and the environment. Ian was the recipient of the 2010 'English Songwriter of the Year' Award from the Canadian Folk Music Awards held in Winnipeg as well as a 1976 'Juno Award Winner' for his self-titled album 'Ian Tamblyn'. And ...speaking of Juno Awards, they are coming back to Winnipeg next week, bringing us back full circle! Ah yes, CIRCLE ! I am very excited about starting another major project with Circle / Tétro and Plaines to be announced shortly. The thought of Spring can make you go in circles ...
The 2014 Spring / Summer issue of OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHY CANADA magazine is now out! In my regular feature called DISCOVERING CANADA, I focus my lens and thoughts on one of my favorite places, my 'home town of GREATER SUDBURY. It's hard to believe that we've already highlighted 28 other wonderfful locations across this great country of CANADA. Subscribe or pick up your copy at your favorite newstand.
Last night I posted a few photographs of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights showing the 'Tower of Hope' lit up GREEN in celebration of St. Patrick's Day. I made those images under blizzard conditions, with the wind howling and snow falling quite heavily.
Always persistent in trying to get the best image possible, I woke up this morning at 4 AM and returned to last night's location on the Saint-Boniface Promenade. I hiked down to the waterfront once more, trudging through snow. Conditions had improved but clouds still covered the sky. I made a few more images and returned home. While making coffee, I noticed that the clouds were starting to clear in the western sky and that the full moon was also setting. I drove back downtown for the third time in 12 hours and made the resulting image you see above, including a few more in the accompanying gallery. Unfortunately, the moon had decended behind the clouds by the time I arrived downtown.
Click on the 'main image' to see the additional photos.
The new Canadian Museum for Human Rights celebrates St. Patrick's Day by 'Going Green'! Its 'Tower of Hope', which normally lights up 'white' will 'glow green' on the eves of March 16 and 17. The CMHR joins iconic buildings all around the world in Tourism Ireland's "Global Greening" celebration. Other participating world iconic structures include the Great Pyramids of Giza, the Sydney Opera House, the London Eye, South Africa's Table Mountain, and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
"The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is one of eight Canadian landmarks to take advantage of this opportunity for global publicity and awareness as part of a massive campaign on traditional and social media" says Maureen Fitzhenry, the CMHR's media relations manager. The other Canadian locations are Niagara Falls, the Canadian Museum of Nature, Hotel de Ville de Montreal, Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, Whistler's Olympic resort, St. John's City Hall and Toronto City Hall.
As the 'luck of the Irish' would have it, Winnipeg is experiencing blizzard conditions today. That didn't stop me however from getting a few images. This evening, the ambiant light above the city had a very warm, 'otherworldly glow' to it!
Click on the 'main image' to see a few images of the 'Green Tower of Hope'.
It's the middle of March and Winnipeg is again under blizzard conditions! I figured then that it was appropriate to post another ... well ... winter image!
While researching images for a recent calendar submission, I came across this image of a magnificent sun halo accompanied by prominent sundogs. I hadn't seen this image for a few years and decided to 'bring it back'! While all the details were fully captured in the original transparency, the image was rather light in tone and the contrast was fairly low. I scanned the slide and reduced the exposure to bring out the details in the original image.
According to Tim Herd, expert Meteorologist and Naturalist, "halos are created in illuminated ice crystal clouds or a sky filled with falling ice crystals". This 22 degree halo around the sun is one of the most commonly observed. On either side of the sun - sitting on the halo - are the sundogs, also known as parhelia. At the top of the halo, I do beleive we are seeing a circumzenithal arc!
Tim Herd's wonderful book 'Kaleidoscope Sky' (ISBN-10: 081099397X) contains a wealth of information about all kinds of celestical phenomena. 'Kaleidoscope Sky' is my 'go-to Bible' for everything about the sky.
This is one of my favorite images of the Royal Canadian Mint!