Fall

Hwy 40 Views
Hwy 40 View: ISO 200, 15mm, f/8, 1/125

I have always wanted to take a drive on Alberta's Highway 40 which passes through Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. I finally managed to do that while my parents came out to visit us this fall.

It was a beautiful day. This image was taken near the end of the drive as the sun was starting to come down in the west.




Fading Summer Aspens
Fading Summer Aspens, Heart Mountain Trail, Alberta, Canada

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Confederation Park Path Fall 2013
Confederation Park Path: ISO 200,15mm, f/6.3, 1/400

Confederation Park Fall 2013
Confederation Park Fall 2013: ISO 200, 19mm, f/7.1, 1/160


It has been a long while since I posted to my photo blog. This past October we put our Red Deer home up for sale and made a move south to Airdrie.

My photo journal will undergo some changes as my main theme was images from the backyard. Our new backyard is pretty tiny and undeveloped compared to our past home in Red Deer. I will have to venture away from the yard and explore new things in our new home. Perhaps pushing me out of my comfort zone and getting out into the “wild”.

The above images are from one of my last photo walks in Red Deer before our big move. As you can see it was a pretty spectacular one as the way the fall sun was hitting the leaves on my walk home. It is the end of another season but like always I am sure what is coming next will inspire me.

Feeding Squirrel
Feeding Squirrel: ISO 800, 200mm, f/6.3, 1/160

Feeding Squirrel II
Feeding Squirrel II: ISO 800, 149mm, f/6.3 1/125

Peering Squirrel
Peering Squirrel: ISO 800, 159mm, f/6.3, 1/160

I filled our bird feeder earlier this week. The neighbourhood squirrels are feasting on the sunflower seeds and peanuts. There is a Blue Jay flying around the backyard waiting his turn and squeaking is displeasure that he has to wait.

Chickadee, Chris Bates, Photography, Red Deer, Alberta, nature
Chickadee Feeding: ISO 640, 140mm, f/5.6, 1/750

This is another shot from my previous post. Waiting for the Blue Jays to come to the feeder and tis small guy kept fluttering from the trees to the feeder.

That is a sunflower seed in his bill.

Yellow Rumped Warbler (1)
Yellow Rumped Warbler: ISO 640, 360mm, f/5.6, 1/1000

It has been awhile since I last updated my journal. When I started this project I wanted to post at least once a week. It seems now I am lucky to post at least once a month. Life is racing by and I have little time for my passion of photography. I have to make a conscious effort to not let this happen. I have to remember why I love spending time with my cameras.

The above image is such an example of why I must make this time.

Last month (September) Blue Jays were coming to my backyard feeders carrying away food for fall. Blue Jays love to hide food almost anywhere including compost heaps, eavestroughs, planters etc. I grabbed my cameras and sat on the deck by the feeder waiting for these big birds to return for more food.

As I waited patiently I started snapping shots of the other birds playing in the backyard. First, it was the common house sparrows. Then a chickadee fluttered back and forth from the trees to the feeder. Then I noticed a moving patch of yellow in the apple tree. I quickly focused and got a shot of this bird.

When new birds come to the backyard I usually want to get reference pictures so that I can identify them later with my Peterson Field Guide. I don’t want to scare the bird so as you can see my zoom is out quite away (360mm). I am hand holding the camera as birds tend to move about rapidly. To get the fast shutter speed I have to turn the ISO up. The picture isn’t the sharpest under these conditions but I usually have enough good snap shots to be able to identify the new visitor.

From my research in the Peterson Field Guide and Google I came to the conclusion this was a Yellow Rumped Warbler. I posted this image on Flickr and had one of my contacts confirm that I identified this bird correctly.

I am excited by these new finds. I live within a 10 minute walk to downtown of a city with close to 92,000 people. The backyard is like an oasis in this busy city. I must take the time to stop and marvel at the sights and not let life get too busy for my passions.

Leaf, color, colour, red, orange, rose, decay
Fall 2011: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/125

Fall is here. Time to put the outdoor gear away for winter hibernation.

This is a picture of rose leaves from our backyard garden. These add the traditional fall colours to our garden. Red, orange and yellow.

squirrel, mountain ash, berry, berries, leaves, fall
Waiting Squirrel: ISO 200, 200mm, f/4, 1/180

We purchased a new bird feeder for the backyard. One of the disadvantages of this new feeder is that the squirrels can get into it. The advantage is that we are attracting many new birds to our backyard. I have seen nuthatches, blue jays, chickadees, sparrows, crows, and magpies all eat out of this feeder since it can store seed and nuts. The tube feeders that we have in place just attract the smaller birds such as the house sparrow, chickadee and finches because it can only hold small seed.

I took this photo of the squirrel eagerly waiting for me to leave after I had just refilled the feeder. He was even coaxing me to leave with his non-stop chatter! I left after I got this shot in the berry abundant mountain ash tree.

Another Alberta Blogger, Kathleen Moors, has squirrels visiting her feeder but noticed that she had a woodpecker come visit. She asked if she could use one of my photos that I have used here. I would like to thank her for sharing. Check out her site as she is a wonderful painter.

Fall Sunset House Sparrow Raspberry
Warm Sunset: ISO 320, 170mm, f/5.6, 1/250

Some visitors did not like my last post. It was sad but that is how nature works. I had no hand in but just document what I see.

This is not a winter image but needed to show that with the bad comes good.

This is a lone house sparrow visting our backyard and the remaining raspberries and enjoying the warmth of a fall sunset.

Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, mountains, landscape
Mitsaya Canyon, Banff National Park: ISO 200, 18mm, f/8, 1/15

I have to make up for the spider picture. Got some complaints. ;)

Hope you enjoy this one more. Took this in October when we went to Banff National Park for the day. A few hours drive from the house.

Remember!

Soldier, Remembrance Day, Hero
Remember: ISO 200, 30mm, f/6.3, 1/15

Poppies Remembrance Day Veterans Day
Poppies: ISO 400, 250mm, f/4.5, 1/250

Remembrance Day is coming up. I have a few images I want to share this week in honour of this very important day.

Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote a poem called "In Flanders Fields." From this poem poppies have become a symbol of the sacrifices men and women have made during times of conflict.

The colour of the Remembrance Day poppy is significant as well. Red is a symbol of the bloodshed of trench warfare during World War I. In Canada, we wear the poppy close to our heart.

We grow poppies in our backyard garden and they alllow me to remember sacrifices whenever they bloom. These two images I am sharing today are identical. Top image is in colour and the bottom is in black and white.

It was interesting when I did some post processing work on the original image and discovered that the red colour turned to white, which is a symbol of peace, when converted to black and white.


Poppies Remembrance Day Veterans Day

House Sparrow, Rose Bush, Autumn, Fall, Fence, Colour
House Sparrow on the Fence: ISO 320, 240mm, f/4.5, 1/2000

My previous post I showed you the rose leaves on the ground. This post I will show you the ones still remaining on the bush.

It has been unseasonably warm here and the animals in our neighbourhood are taking full advantage of this. The house sparrows were playing in our backyard this morning paying me no attention.

Rose Leaves, Nature, Concrete, Chris Bates Photography
Rose Leaves on Concrete: ISO 100, 10mm, f/5.6, 1/80

I was walking to the garage this afternoon to dig out our outdoor Christmas decorations today and noticed that a few rose branches had fallen to the ground. They were showing off very autumn like colours (Red, Yellow, Gold).

I grabbed my camera and picked up some of these leaves and placed them in the sun. Since it is close to winter here our sun now tracks in the southern sky and does not cross directly above us. Because of this we get very long shadows this time of year. I wanted to show these shadows so I placed the leaves on a somewhat plain background.

The top picture is after some post processing work done with an Apple Aperture Plug-in that I have talked about before. The image directly below is the original image.

Rose Leaves, Concrete, sidewalk.
Rose Leaves on Concrete Original Image: Same setting as above

Halloween, Cemetery, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Halloween Scene: ISO 200, 28mm, f/6.7, 1/90

I took this shotback in late September when I photographed "The Chase" and "Falling Leaf."

There is an old cemetery on top of Michener Hill in Red Deer. I put this photo away knowing I would pull it out again for Halloween.

I did some post processing on this photo using a plug in for Apple's Aperture (Colour Efex Pro by NIK software). I used the Midnight filter to give this image a more eerie look.

Cedar Tree Snow Macro Photography
Cedar and Snow: ISO 200, 11mm, f/3.2, 1/160

We got some snow this week. It usually snows just in time for Halloween.

This is a macro of our cedar tree by our front entrance which faces north. Taken with a point and shoot set on manual settings.

Rose Leaves Alberta Canada Autumn Fall Colours Nature Photography
Fall Rose Leaves: ISO 400, 35mm, f/5, 1/100

My last post showed some bright colours of summer. This image is of some rose leaves changing to their fall colours.

For some reason when I transfer the image to my website it does not look as sharp as it does on my computer. Click on the image or HERE to see a sharper image.

I took this shot today on a very overcast sky without the use of flash.

Leaf, Fall, Nature, Apple Tree, Chris Bates, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, Photography
Last Leaf: ISO 200, 50mm, f/5, 1/320

Our colourful apple tree has lost all of it's leaves. I am sharing with you a photo taken last week of a leaf that is not willing to let go.

What is really weird is that the neighbour's Mountain Ash and our crabapple tree that is below it still have many green leaves. The background of this photo is the Mountain Ash's green leaves and orange/red berries. The majority of the other trees on our block are barren. It's quite odd.

American Robin, Chris Bates Photography, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, nature, fall, spring
American Robin with Autumn Leaves: ISO 400, 270mm, f/6.7, 1/180


American Robin, Chris Bates Photography, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, nature, fall, spring
American Robin: ISO 400, 270mm, f/6.7, 1/180

A sure sign of spring is when the Robins return to our yard.

Wait a minute, it's autumn!

We are still experiencing warm weather and it must be fooling the robins playing in our yard.

The parents may have returned with their spring babies to show them where they were born so that they will all return to us next spring.

Chris Bates Photography, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, nature, frost bitten, wilted flower, decay
Frost Bitten: ISO 200, 50mm, f/2.5,1/100

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all. 

Stanley Horowitz

I have never done this before but I have seen users of Flickr add quotes to describe their pictures. I found one that that sums up my postings for the month of October.

Chris Bates Photography, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, Nature, Apple Tree, Leaves, Fall, Colour
Up in Flames at Night: ISO 200, 24mm, f/5.6, 8.0s

I have read about painting your subjects with LED lights and wondered how hard is it to do. Well, I tried it the other night on our apple tree with all the different coloured leaves.

I set the camera on a tripod since I was playing with long exposures. The shutter stayed open for 8 seconds on this shot. In order for the camera to focus I had to shine my flashlight on a spot on the tree for the autofocus to find its mark. I also set the camera to take the shot 10 seconds after I pressed the shutter release. You can also use a remote or a cable shutter release (I don't have either for my Canon 40D) .

I set up my flash/strobe on a second tripod away from the camera and pointed it at the inside of a white umbrella. I thought that bouncing the light of the flash/strobe would illuminate the tree more effectively than directly pointing the flash/strobe at the tree.

I also warned my wife that if any neighbours come knocking on our door asking about crazy lights going off in the backyard it was me playing with the flashlight and camera.

Once I heard the shutter open (After the 10 Second delay) I then "painted" the tree with my LED Flashlight. After experimenting with a few different motions (Up/down, Side to Side) and different speeds I got a few shots I thought would work. It was hard to tell in the dark looking at the little screen on the back of the camera especially when my eyes were adjusting to brightness then darkness.

Before I started I had envisioned that it would isolate the apple tree from the distractions behind it (neighbour's motorhome, our white fence etc.) The finished project came pretty close to what I envisioned. I chose this one to show you.


Chris Bates Photography, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, nature, leaves, fall, colour, apple tree
Up in Flames: ISO 100, 18mm, f/6.3, 1/50

Our apple tree surprised us this fall. We have never seen it have this much colour at the end of a season. It usually turns yellow and a little orange. This year most of the leaves have turned red. As you can see they are also hanging on to the branches a little longer so that we can admire her beauty.

I have my circular polarizer on to help saturate the colours in the leaves and sky.

Chris Bates Photography Skateboard Park Sunset Fall
The Chase: ISO 400, 44mm, f/6.7, 1/125

Another "Indian Summer" image from Michener Hill in Red Deer. Two kids playing on their longboards on the steep trails of Michener Hill.

I was aware of the lens flare when I was composing this shot. I was using a lens hood but wanted to portray the warmth of the setting sun on this beautiful fall evening. Just the week before people in Red Deer had broke out their winter jackets to beat the cold weather we were experiencing. This week people are back in shorts and t-shirts.



Chris Bates Photography Red Deer Alberta Canada nature fall
Falling Leaf: ISO 200, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/90

The leaves are changing colour and falling off the trees. We are experiencing an "Indian Summer" right now. Warm summer like temperatures and sunny skies.

This image was taken just before sunset at Michener Hill which is about 5 blocks from the house. This hill overlooks downtown and the river valley.

Chris Bates Photographer Red Deer Alberta Canada duck nature pond
Like Water off a Ducks Back: ISO 400, 190mm, f/6.7, 1/350

Fall is here. I have seen Canada Geese flying south for the winter.

I took this in August at Bower Ponds in Red Deer. These ducks are pretty tame and you can get pretty close to them. These two might already be headed south for the winter as this shiny pond will soon become a cold hard surface in a few months.

Chris Bates Photography nature leaves fall ninebark Red Deer Alberta Canada
Ying and Yang: ISO 100, 30.5mm, f/4.5, 1/320

We got our first real heavy frost of the fall on Friday morning. The garden took a beating. Only the strong survived.

I was surveying the damage and came across this Purple Ninebark leaf. These are purple during the summer but half of this leaf is green. No Photoshopping was done in the making of this image.

Nature is cruel but she also creates marvels.

Chris Bates Photographer Red Deer Alberta Canada Tree Fall Leaves color colour bark
Fall: ISO 100, 8.1mm. f/4.5, 1/500

I'm guilty. I have not used my camera in a week. I pulled this image from a photo walk I did last fall in the town in which I work. I used my point and shoot as I left my heavy gear at home. I just wanted to enjoy the sights and sounds of fall and not worry about what lens I was going to use.

Currently, the weather has been full of rain and clouds. Luckily, the clouds are keeping in what little heat we have left from summer.

orange flowers chris bates photography red deer alberta canada nature
Fall Colours: ISO 400, 90mm, f/4.5, 1/640

orange flower nature chris bates photography red deer alberta canada
Warm Fire: ISO 400, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/100

End of August already. Our not so hot summer is coming to a quick end it seems. I know the end is near when these flowers bloom in our garden. Nature's way of saying I need to dig up the potatoes.

Fall Leaves


Took this picture yesterday before the strong winds started to swirl the leaves around.

Photo was converted to black and white using Nik’s Aperture plugin Silver Efex Pro.

Frosty Rosehip



It's Fall


Snow is gone and we are back to normal seasonal temperatures. Leaves are starting to fall off the trees and there is a lack of colour.

Took this picture late September. This flower comes up every year just as summer is ending.

Frozen


It is still snowing. Leaves never had a chance to change colour on most of the trees in our neighbourhood including our crabapple tree.

Cold Roses


Second day of snowfall and it looks like today the snow will stay longer than a couple of hours.

Kinda Blue


Our batch of warm weather is gone. We have been consistently getting frost the last few evenings and chances of snow are now in the forecasts. Fall is finally here.

This Blue Delphinium re-bloomed again in late September. This was shot the same day as “Fall Showers bring October Flowers.”

The Big Haul


Dug up the potatoes from the garden today. Should be able to feed us for the winter.

Fall Showers bring October Flowers?


It finally rained! It will be interesting to see if we still have rose blooms at this time next year. As you can see by the picture there is still buds on this plant waiting for rain and the warm weather to continue. This was taken yesterday afternoon (September 26, 2009).

Happy Canada Day

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