C B Images

Photography by Chris Bates


Itsy Bitsy Spider_
Itsy Bitsy Spider: ISO 1000, 210mm, f4.0, 1/250

It has been awhile since my last post. My life has been busy in the last year and have not had much opportunity (energy) to go out after working and exercising my photographic eye. Today, I got a chance to review some old shots taken last year.

Last summer, I was sent to work in Invermere, British Columbia. After one of my shifts I was sitting on the balcony of my hotel room during a light rain and spotted this little guy hard at work on the siding of my balcony view.

Close up Poppy
Iceland Poppy Close up: ISO 400, 190mm, f/4.0, 1/1250

We planted an Iceland Poppy in our backyard garden this spring. We had them in our garden in Red Deer and missed their colour and constant blooms.

The flowers on this new plant are much larger than we experienced in Red Deer. This bloom is about the size of a palm of a hand. I believe that is some sort of tiny bug on underneath the right side filaments.

Pink Tulip
Pink Tulip: ISO 200, 90mm, f/4.0, 1/800

Spring is finally here in Southern Alberta. Our tulips are in full bloom and have survived our on again/off again spring.

Pool Butterfly 2018
Feeding Butterfly: ISO 320, 175mm, f/5, 1/1250

The butterflies were out at my Dad's backyard garden in Ontario two weeks ago.

This particular butterfly was floating around these purple flowers from one of his hanging baskets. You can see his long tongue seeking food.

Large Boulder
Large Boulder: ISO 200, 29mm, f/6.3 1/60

I found the textures and colours on this rock to be interesting. It also looked out of place in the Alberta Badlands where I found it.

Big Hill Springs Macro
Small Wild Flower, Big Hill Springs Provincial Park: ISO 500, 40mm, f/3.2, 1/500

Last week I decided to check out a provincial park that is close to where I live. Big Hill Springs Provincial Park is located north of Calgary between Cochrane and Airdrie.

It is a nice little hike through parkland and foothills. A large natural springs flows through the park. I was surprised by the abundance of wild flowers and birds singing. I will be returning to this nice oasis away from the big city.

Bottle of Coke
Bottle of Coca Cola: ISO 800, 23mm, f/7.1, 1/50

Bottle of Coke (looking down)
Looking Down on a Bottle of Coke: ISO 800, 35mm, f/7.1, 1/30

To my regular visitors, I am sorry about the lack of updates recently. Work has taken over my life this past month.

I missed my camera and thought I would play around with my it to get my creative juices flowing again. The above two images are not the normal subject matter posted on my blog but I found this bottle interesting for a number of reasons. First, the signature Coca Cola shape. Second, the colours of the bottle itself and the iconic red.

Hopefully this is the start of my inspiration and getting me motivated to post more regularly.

Orange Lily, nature, floral, Alberta, macro
Orange Lily: ISO 200, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/800

Our neighbour over the last couple of years has given us lilies to plant in our garden. I guess they multiply rapidly and she doesn’t like to waste flowers. I believe she sees them as a major investment.

This year they have finally bloomed and there is an abundance of them. I cheated by adding a little Miracle Grow a few times.

This was taken a couple of evenings ago as the sun was setting. I was trying to capture the shadows of the stamen and carpel of the plant. See Mom, I paid attention in science class!

Peony, bud, bloom, ant, ladybug, macro, nature
Before and After: Peony Bud and Bloom

We have a few peony plants in our garden. We notice that ants seem to love the bud heads in early spring.

After doing some reading the peony and ant seem to have a symbiotic relationship. The peony bud produces nectar to attract ants. The ants are protective of food sources which in turn will keep other pests away. The end result is well feed ants and beautiful and huge peony blooms.

Ladybug on Leaf macro ladybug Alberta Canada
Ladybug on Leaf: ISO 800, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/4000

I was enjoying the spring sunshine one afternoon last week and noticed this lone ladybug checking out the leafy foliage of some of our perennials.

I used my Tokina 35mm f/2.8 macro lens to capture this image.

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.

nature, bee, working, flower, Lakefield, Ontario
Busy Bee: ISO 400, 35mm, f/4, 1/500

Things have been a little crazy at work so my photography hobby has taken a bit of a back seat. I feel like a bee. Always moving and feeling like my work is never done.

This was shot with my 35mm macro lens in my parent's backyard a few weeks ago.

Nature, water drops, flower, green, Red Deer, Alberta
All Roads Lead to the Centre: ISO 200, 200mm, f/5.6, 1/125

We have had plenty of rain the last 2 weeks. Our plants are loving it especially when the burst of heat comes.

This is leaves of a lupine waiting for the suns rays.

Tulip, Red Deer, Alberta, Macro, spring
Snake Charmer: ISO 125, 7mm, f/4, 1/100

The tulips have pretty much come and gone from our garden. Everything is a little late this year so most of our perennials are coming up at the same time. Can't keep up with the picture taking!

This was taken with a point and shoot camera. Looks like six "snakes" surrounding a single "charmer".

Poppy, yellow, backyard
Morning Poppies: ISO 100, 6.1mm, f/4, 1/40

Our poppies are starting to bloom.

As you can see by this image there are plenty of "heads" that will flower on this plant. The last couple of years the house sparrows have been eating them so there hasn't been as many flowers. This year should be different.

Spring Tulips Chris Bates Photography Alberta Canada
Spring Tulip: ISO 200, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/100

The weather is getting warmer now. The perennials are coming out of the ground.

Despite all the snow we have gotten this winter the ground is starting to get dry due to the lack of rain. I had just watered the beds this morning and taken this picture after the morning chore.

Spring Flowers Macro Red Deer Alberta Canada Chris Bates Photographer
White Spring Bouquet: ISO 200, 90mm, f/4, 1/3200

As mentioned yesterday we have a white version of the same flower posted previously. These white flowers with a blue strip are much more abundant in the flower bed under our crab apple tree.

This was shot using a dedicated Macro Lens.

Blue Flower Macro Spring Red Deer Alberta Canada
Sign of Spring: ISO 100, 90mm, f/2.8, 1/1000

Spring is finally here! These are the first of the flowers from our gardens to bloom from the long hard winter.

Not sure what these flowers are called. They are very tiny and come in blue or white. I took some pictures of the white flowers but since the last few images contained a lot of white snow thought I would stick to some colour!

Death Mouse Cold Winter snow covered
Harsh Reality of Winter: ISO 200, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/250

It has been cold here the last week. Minus 20 Celcius weather. I went outside to take pictures of the snow covered fences and vegetation this morning and I noticed this poor little guy on our sidewalk. There has been so much snow that we have been shovelling at least once a day. We might have buried the way to his home or his food source.

Photoblog Awards

ice, icicle, melt, water droplet, winter
Frozen in Time: ISO 200, 15mm, f/4, 1/800

If you have been visiting this site regulary you might get the impression that things are very cold.

Even though it is winter and for the most part the temperatures are consistently below freezing the sun will come out and warm things up.

I was playing with my point and shot camera and noticed that the snow was slowly melting off our black roof. I was trying to catch the water droplets falling off the icicles.

One of the drawbacks of a point and shoot (Pocket Camera) is the delay from the time you press the button to when the actual picture is taken. I took a few shots and this is the best of them. I had to snap the picture before I even seen the water drops fall to the ground.

Frost winter Christmas lights macro dark
Frosty Night: ISO 800, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/20

Frost Leaf dark Christmas Night lights macro
Frosty Leaves at Night: ISO 800, 35mm, f/2.8, 1/15

These were shot in the backyard Friday night. Both shots were handheld at a high using a high ISO.

Most of the trees in our area have this hoars frost on them. Makes the landscape look very cold.

Macro Spider Red Deer Alberta Canada © Chris Bates 2010
Tiny Spider on Bee Balm Leaf: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/750

A friend of mine in Australia posted an image of a white spider on her blog this week. I found it some what similar to this spider which I found in our garden this past July.

We live on opposite sides of the earth and have different climates and habitats, yet there are still some things we have in common.

Mugo Pine, Snow, Winter, backyard
Canadian Cactus: ISO 200, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/320

The snow has fallen. It looks like it will stay around for awhile. Sub zero temperatures all week. BBbbrrrrrrr!!

This is our small Mugo Pine covered with the fresh fallen snow. Kind of reminds me of a cactus.

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

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.

California Poppy, flower, nature, backyard, Chris Bates, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, Photography
California Poppy: ISO 80, 6.2mm, f/2.8, 1/125

This summer I planted some California Poppy seeds in some of our beds. One patch managed to survive without being mistaken for weeds. I am posting this shot now as they have shown to be pretty resilient to the cold fall temperatures. They flowered up until a week ago when Angela finally trimmed them back for fall hibernation.

This was taken with a point and shoot camera. I set the camera to Macro Mode and it took care of the rest.

Ladybug, cattails, pattern, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, Chris Bates Photography, Bower Ponds
Cattails and Ladybug: ISO 800, 400mm, f/6.7, 1/1500

Without the Ladybug would you know what this is an image of?

I took this shot in August when I did a photowalk at a local park in Red Deer, Alberta. Bower Ponds is about a 5 minute drive from my backyard.

The ladybug is not as sharp in focus as I would have liked but she was moving at a brisk pace. As I had my long telephoto lens on and no time to set up the tripod I had to turn up the ISO to get a fast enough shutter speed to capture her.

The ladybug is a small part of the photo in my opinion. I think my eyes are drawn more to the pattern of the cattail grass and the way the sun creates definition and shadows on their blades. The ladybug just puts things in perspective and gives you a hint of what the actual pattern is made up of.

clematis Chris Bates Photography Red Deer Alberta Canada nature flower macro
Purple Parachutes: ISO 400, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/60

clematis Chris Bates Photography Red Deer Alberta Canada nature flower macro
Purple Parachutes II: ISO 400, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/60

We have a variety of clematis' in our yard. But this is the only one that seems to explode with flowers this 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.

Chris Bates Photography Nature Mosquito Leaf
Mosquito on Ninebark Leaf: ISO 400, 90mm, f/8. 1/250

These little guys are in huge numbers this year. The amount of rain we got this summer is above average which provides the mosquito plenty of breeding grounds.

Poppy, Macro, Chris Bates Photography, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
Solar Seekers: ISO 80, 6.2mm, f/2.8, 1/500

Just like my previous post this was taken with a point and shoot compact camera set in Macro Mode. The camera did provide quite a nice bokeh effect in the distant tree.

I did some post processing work using Tiffen Dfx Software. Used a Warm Polarizer setting to deepen the blue sky.

Dragonfly, Chris Bates Photography, Nature, Macro, Red Deer, Ablerta, Canada
On Top Dragonfly: ISO 125, 6.2mm, f/2.8, 1/250

Dragonfly, Chris Bates Photography, Nature, Macro, Red Deer, Ablerta, Canada
Dragonfly and Rose Leaves: ISO 125, 6.2mm, F/2.8, 1/500

Dragonfly, Chris Bates Photography, Nature, Macro, Red Deer, Ablerta, Canada
Up Close Dragonfly: ISO 80, 6.2mm, f/2.8, 1/1250

Angela and I were preparing our supper on the Barbeque when I noticed this dragonfly flying around our one rosebush. Angela just happenned to have her Point and Shoot Compact camera outside because she was taking pictures of our cats.

I set her camera to macro mode and played around. If I had gone inside the house to grab my camera I probably would have lost track of this little guy.

Point and Shoots are great for macro photography. The small sensors capture the details nicely. For me the drawbacks are the camera chooses the settings and only shoots JPEGs.

Angela's camera does allow manual settings but by the time you change everything the shot is gone. When you set Angela's camera to Macro mode it fixes the Aperture to f/2.8 and the camera's processor figures out everything else.

When I shoot with my DSLR my cameras are set up to shoot in RAW instead of JPEG. RAW means that the camera has done very little processing work. When I import the RAW image to my computer it allows me to do the processing work as I would like to see it. If I do that too much to a JPEG you will notice image quality will decrease.

The very top shot you can see camera noise in the dragonfly's body and the rose leaves. I adjusted the exposure to bring out the details in the dragonfly as he was pretty dark in the original shot. With RAW I could have brought out more detail and colour without so much noise. However, if I used my camera I might not have gotten any of these shots at all.

To me Photography is all about catching the moment. You can only catch these moments with the camera you have with you.

3D Daisy, flower, macro
3D Daisy: ISO 200, 90mm, f/5.6, 1/1000

Some things come easy. Flowers lined up perfectly in their planter with no help from me.

Seen it, took it!

Moth Mosquito Flower Macro Chris Bates Photography
Moth and Mosquito: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/125

Moth Spirea Flower Macro Chris Bates Photography
Moth on Spirea Flower: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/125

These images were taken the same day as the previous post. The sky was overcast which allows to camera to be able to get a more accurate reading on the colours. The highlights will not be blown out while trying to get detail in the shadows. To make a long explanation short; the best time to take pictures is on a overcast day when the sun isn't shining so bright.

I mentioned to my wife, Angela, last week that our flower gardens do not seem to attract butterflies. Then this week along comes this moth. I have not been able to identify it's name but there are a few of them in our garden.

The top picture you can make out a mosquito hanging out in the top right of the same flower the moth is on. The bottom macro shot looks much better when enlarged (Click Here to See it). The details are much clearer, especially the antenna. If you click on either picture it will take you to my Flickr set where more images of this moth can be found.

Bee Flower Macro Chris Bates Photography
Bee Still: ISO 200, 90mm, f/8, 1/60

Took a walk around our garden yesterday. The sky was pretty overcast with the odd break of sun shining through.

I came across this bee and she was pretty still except for once and awhile one of her legs would rise above her head. I think she was was waving at me to make sure I noticed and got some shots of her.

Stigma, Style and Stamens: ISO 200, 90mm, f/9.5, 1/125

The height of summer is upon us. With the warmer temperatures our Lilies have decided to start blooming.

Not sure what type this is but the flowers hang almost facing down. I had to lie on my back to get this shot.

Air Traffic Control Needed

Air Traffic Control: ISO 400, 90mm, f/9.5, 1/350

Took this shot tonight. Bees were all over these flower collecting pollen.

Now that the birds are done nesting the telephoto is off the camera and the macro lens will be on for much of the summer.

Morning Sunrise

Morning Sunrise: ISO 800, 90mm, f/8, 1/125

Actually shot this last night so technically it is a evening twilight shot. A newly seeded daisy in our front garden.

Coming Out

Baby on Bark: ISO 800, 90mm, f/19, 1/250

Gaining Strength: ISO 800, 90mm, f/8, 1/250

Peering Out: ISO 800, 90mm, f/8, 1/45

The backyard is very quiet now. The House Wrens have left the crabapple tree and our yard. I was very fortunate to have the day off when the babies left the nest. I am still processing the images and video!

The above shots were of two different babies. The first two photos are of the same bird. He/she was the first to literally fall out of the nest. The bottom picture is the second bird to fall out. I managed to video record the second baby falling out. I will upload here when I get a chance.

I ended up using my Tamron 90mm 2.8 Macro lens to get these shots. My zoom lens could not focus at the short distance I was able to get to the nest. My 35mm was not filling the frame and I would have to crop a lot of the shots. I forgot how versatile the 90mm is for not only macro but for all other shooting situations.

I also had to increase the camera ISO to 800. This was uncharted territory for my newest camera (Canon 40D). One of the reasons I hunted it down on Ebay was because it was to have good image quality and low noise at 800 ISO or less. I am very happy with the results. You can detect noise in the darker areas of the photos but the detail is still pretty good in my opinion. I hope you agree.

Nothing Like Comfy Slippers

Lady Slippers: ISO 200, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60

Just got back from a trip to Ontario, Canada visiting my parents. I was hoping while we were gone that I would not miss the annual Lady Slipper bloom under our front yard's cedar tree.

Every year we get more flowers. This year we have 7 flowers pop up. Last year we had 4.

First Tulips

First Tulip: ISO 200, 35mm, f/3.2/1/1600

First Tulip Macro: ISO 200, 35mm, f/3.2, 1/3200

First Tulip Experiment: ISO 200, 35mm, f/8, 1/60

Our first bunch of Tulips bloomed!

We have been watering the gardens an abnormal amount this spring. The rains just aren't coming. The temperature has been warm and we have large bunches of tulips this year.

Should be a bumper crop of pictures!

Messed Up

Poppy in Snow: ISO 200, 90mm, f/5, 1/250

I have been going through my photo library the last few days and have noticed some photos I have not shared. Well, okay there are a few thousand but only a few I deem worthy enough to share with you.

The weather here has been normal spring weather for Alberta, Canada. Warm weather one day and sub zero temperatures the next. However, we are currently experiencing a very dry spring. The local governments have declared drought in some regions.

The "Poppy in Snow" image was taken last May and cleary shows the spring weather we experience where I live.

Early Spring?

March 7 Tulips: ISO 200, 35mm, f/9, 1/25

March 7 Backyard: ISO 200, 35mm, f/8, 1/640

As promised I bring you our tulips breaking earth during an Alberta, Canada winter. These photos were taken this morning with a temperature of minus 7 degrees Celcius. That’s right it was well below freezing. Not a chance of Frost; a 100% guarantee of frost!

As you can see by the backyard picture there is still snow on 90% of our yard. In places it is over 6 inches deep! Mid day temperatures have been reaching the plus 5 to 9 range.

The tulips are in a garden along the back wall of our house. The back of the house faces south and catches the sun all afternoon. So the tulip bulbs are feeling the warmth and thinking it is time to come out and show their colours!

PS: They are calling for more snow early this week!

Winter Blahs

Pink Tulip and Columbine: 90mm, F5, 1/500

Well, it is Groundhog Day today. This is North America’s tradition to see how much longer winter will last. It is not very scientific. If the groundhog sees his shadow we have six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t, winter will end soon.

The Albertan Groundhog, Balzac Billy, didn’t see his shadow. http://bit.ly/aAb48b Could Alberta be so lucky? An early end to winter.... Stay tuned.

Falling Stars

ISO 100, Focal Length 90mm, F4.5, Shutter Speed 1/45

The snow has stopped falling but the temperatures have not. Winter is officially back...just in time for the Olympics.

This is a macro shot of a cluster of dead rose blooms shot a couple of weeks ago when the hoar frost was heavy.

Out of the Fog

A fog rolled in last night and continued into this morning. I took this picture late this morning. The camera actually captured the fog when taking a macro shot of a rose branch creating a dreamy effect.

Fog in winter here means things get a good coating of frost. Just like the previous pictures posted around Christmas and New Year.

Still Snowing...

We have a pile of snow this year and it doesn’t look like it will be melting any time soon... I am actually running out of room to put it when I shovel the sidewalk and driveway.

This is a macro of a pile of snow on our driveway lamppost. You can see the neighbour’s fence in the background.

Oh Look! Another Frost Picture.

This is another image I took back on the 12th. It’s too cold to go out now to take new ones! Minus 30 Celsius then add the windchill factor.

This was a rose. Now it looks like something right out of a science fiction movie. Where is Sigourney Weaver when you need her?

Crown of Frost

Another image from earlier this week. Frost on a rose branch.

Lights, Camera, Cold

Two Journal entries in one day! More -30 C images. Took this before the lights came on. Didn’t want the photo opportunity to melt.


Minus 30 Celsius today! Leaves are trying to keep warm by covering themselves with a frosty blanket.

Christmas is Near

We finally got some snow. But it almost melted away today. Now it is starting to feel like Christmas is just around the corner.

Is it Spring Yet?

I finished putting away the lawn furniture. Next chore is putting up the Christmas lights. The good thing about the lights is that it will bring back colour to the yard.

I posted this spring picture of the ornamental plum bloom to remind me that fall has to come in order to get back to spring.

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.

Glad Days are Here!

We were worried they would not come this year. Our Gladiola’s are finally starting to bloom. Took this shot last night as the sun was setting behind this flower.

Old Deck

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Wet Slipper

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May the Fourth be with You

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Nothing Says Spring Like Apple Blossoms

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Glowing Hearts

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Deep Purple

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Soft Harbour

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