Tag Archives: Colour

“Hugh’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Week 29 – ‘Open’

“Duffins Creek Rainbow Trout”

I have several interpretations to the OPEN theme. It could be open to any category of post or it could be the ‘opening’ of something, like a door. In this case, it’s the opening of the natural spring cycle in my area of Canada. Throughout the winter, this large creek lies frozen. Within a few short weeks it transforms from ice to a living place once more (another opening of sorts), as the Rainbow Trout begin their annual spawning migration up the creek. Once more, it’s a link to a photo I made back in April, and one of my favourites.

This creates another link to OPEN for me, because a few days after the spawn ends, the fishing season opens.

I was debating submitting this image as well because the snake’s mouth is very clearly open as well. Ah, choices!“Pain in the Butt” - Seaton Trail

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“Mature Alder Catkins”

“Mature Alder Catkins”

“Given the right lighting, all the colors in the world can be seen in a white object.”
– Michele Cooper

This time of year tends to be fairly challenging as far as finding interesting things to photograph. The ground tends to be muddy and accessing some areas is tough. There’s also the prevalence of browns and grays with very few bright colours. Yet, if I look around, I can still find some worthwhile subjects. In this case, the mature seed pods, or ‘catkins’ of a hazel tree growing in a local park. And, I was blessed with beautiful spring light, though spring is still a few short days away.

I liked the texture of the catkins and I though this particular composition had some potential, as I narrowed my depth of field to isolate on cluster. While my primary subject was the catkins, all sorts of bright colours emerged from the background as I processed the image. This made the photo even more appealing to me, as the background looks like some colourful drop sheet, and nothing like what appeared to be a mundane background when I made the image. Light always offers surprises.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/100 sec, f/5.0, ISO 250

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“Coloured Ice” – Duffins Creek

“Coloured Ice” - Duffins Creek

“When you see a fish you don’t think of its scales, do you? You think of its speed, its floating, flashing body seen through the water. Well, I’ve tried to express just that. If I made fins and eyes and scales, I would arrest its movement, give a pattern or shape of reality. I want just the flash of its spirits.”  ― Constantin Brancusi

I could not believe the colours on the surface of this ice flow, beneath the surface of Duffins Creek, a small river which runs through the area where I live. I spend a lot of time, as some of my regular readers may have noticed, hiking the creek and its tributaries.

On this day, the weather shifted regularly between sun, cloud, a brief shower, and then more sun and cloud. When I made this image, a small beam of sun shone on the a section of the creek, lighting up the ice below in whites and shades of turquoise, while the sections under cloud remained various shades of green and brown. I found it a curious effect, that a small section of creek would have so much colour variation, but it was driven by the effects of the sun, sediment in the water, as well as the varying depth of the water on top of the ice, or lack of ice altogether (dark green sections in the foreground), as the creekbed showed through in some areas. The entire image looks like some abstract painting, darker than my preference, but still interesting as your eye sweeps over the photograph.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 190 mm
1/250 sec, f/8.0, ISO 250

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“Pebbles in Melting Ice” – Duffins Creek

“Pebbles in Melting Ice” - Duffins Creek

“Ice contains no future,  just the past, sealed away. As if they’re alive, everything in the world is sealed up inside, clear and distinct. Ice can preserve all kinds of things that way- cleanly, clearly. That’s the essence of ice, the role it plays.”
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

A temporary reprieve from the cold of winter, hinting at a more prolonged thaw and the promise of spring ahead. Ice can preserve but the inevitable cycles of nature will eventually free those things locked away for winter.

In the image above, thawing ice reveals its treasures, slowly and wonderfully. The pebble tops emerge and just enough of the structure below is visible, yet the presence of the surrounding ice is undeniable. More could be revealed by breaking the ice, but that would affect the underlying order below. So, it’s best to leave it to emerge in time. Surely, this scene will re-freeze before spring comes to last but the glimpse into the promised warmth is welcomed.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 125 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 250

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“Autumn Delight” – Durham Forest

“Autumn Delight”  -Durham Forest

A final (possibly) view to the autumn of 2015, though there are so many more memories to share. The image above was made on one of the many wide trails that criss-cross through the Durham Forest. I like the feel of this scene. The wide trail meanders through the forest, following the general contours of the land. There is something about a meandering trail that I like. Perhaps it’s that there is a destination, but the straight line may deprive you of some deeper experience. I enjoy ‘wandering’ through the forest and taking in all it has to offer. It’s a deliberate wandering though. I always have a destination in mind and am generally in no hurry, other than when sunset nears. As J.R.R.Tolkien said, “Not all who wander are lost.”

There certainly was no hurry on this particular day. The trails were uncrowded, at least not where I was, and it was absolutely beautiful and mild, the late day sun glowing between the branches and warming the ground. This past fall will be well remembered as one of the nicest I have experienced.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm

1/100 sec, f/5.0 -0.33, ISO 250

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“Uphill Journey” – Durham Forest

“Durham Forest Uphill Climb”

This photo is a slight flashback to mid-November, when I went on a long hike through the Durham Forest, south of Uxbridge, Ontario.

At the time, we were in the midst of a wonderful, extended fall and many of the maple and beech leaves were still on the trees, but enough had fallen to let ample light into the forest. I had been hiking for a few hours and decided to take a lesser path, as a shortcut, back to my car. The shortcoming of this decision was that the trail went up a steep incline, but saved be about half an hour of additional walking. By this point, I’d already walked about 20km. But, I’m not complaining, because the trail also went through a wonderfully diverse hardwood forest, filled with poplar, birch, maple, beech, and oak.

The photo above shows the incline with the trail gradually fading away behind the canopy. It also reveals many of the bright colours of the remaining leaves, as the branches reach across the trail to form a bit of a tunnel above me. What a wonderful day that was to be out on the trails.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm
1/60 sec, f/4.0 -0.33, ISO 250

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“Crimson Bramble Leaves”

“Crimson Bramble Leaves”

Every now and then, a splash of colour catches you, unexpectedly. That was the case a few days back when I was hiking the Seaton Trail, near Whitevale.

Let’s keep in mind that was the first week of December. Last year we had already experienced a few substantial snowfalls and cold temperatures, well below freezing. This year, we are still well above freezing but everything has had a good frosting. So, with the exception of evergreens and  a few frost resistant shrubs and grasses, almost everything had turned a mottled tone of late-fall brown-gray. The sun was shining this day, but the forest and fields were generally quite muted. Across a rise, I spotted this patch of intense red and had no idea what plant could still be in fall colours. As I drew nearer, I found it was a small patch of brambles, or blackberry bushes (bramble is a general term for the blackberry family of thorny fruit-bearing shrubs).

Not only were the leaves still colourful, if you look carefully, you will see they have started to bud into leaf again. A strange year indeed. I imagine this will be the last we see of bright reds for some time, with the exception of some winter-hearty berries that the birds don’t like. The forecast is for cooler temperatures for next week, but still not typical for December. Part of me likes it, but another part wants some snow, simply for a change from brown and to brighten the days that start off dark and turn dark far too soon.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/40 sec, @ f/3.2 -0.33, ISO 250

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