Over the past twenty years or so, our Christmas celebrations have shifted away from presents towards presence. This year our celebrations included preparing and enjoying several meals with extended family and friends, movie and board game nights with our young adult sons, and plenty of nature walks for the two of us! It was a Merry Christmas, indeed!
Winter, like any other time of year, is a great season for being out and about in Canmore. The amazing mountain scenery enhances any outdoor activity, whether pond skating, cross-country skiing, fat biking, snowshoeing or simply (Nordic) walking. Heading out on familiar trails, time after time, could be boring. But by choosing to observe the changing of seasons and search out previously unnoticed details, it’s possible to enjoy the same trails season after season, and year after year…
You’d think making five photographs for this month’s theme would be straightforward. Plain, uncomplicated images should be simple to create. Instead, this month’s challenge turned into an extended lesson on a basic tenet of composition: keep working the scene until your framing leaves out anything extraneous. This meant trying multiple angles, heights and distances before finally pressing the shutter button. It also prompted me to turn away from majestic mountain landscapes and search out singular details of nature.
People sure make different choices when it comes to vacations. Budget, family circumstances and personal interests shape holiday plans. Our family vacations tend to one extreme or the other – we go big or stay home! This spring vacation, we opted to unwind with a nine-day nature break in Canmore, featuring daily photo walks. Our vacation pics reflect the tussle between winter and spring that takes place at this time of year in this part of the world.
I haven’t done much black and white photography. But that changed thanks to this month’s photo blogging challenge. I switched my digital camera to monotone mode; that camera processee the jpg files in black and white while leaving me with full colour RAW files for blogging, tweeting, etc. The other result from changing the picture mode to monotone is that everything seen through the EVF and on the LCD screen is in black and white. That really helped me focus on shape, form, lines, patterns, textures and other sources of tonal contrast – elements of composition that become particularly important when colour isn’t part of the equation. The biggest thing I learned by doing this is that viewing a composition in black and white makes for stronger compositions; I think I’ll use this mode on a semi-regular basis.