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Jun 30, 2015

Postponed Father's Day Photoshoot

  Photograph First Fathers Day-2 by Jay Scott on 500px

We tried to make a long overdue daddy-daughter photo a few days before Father's Day but the weather didn't cooperate. The weather on Father's Day didn't cooperate, so we did it the next day when the weather and the baby were in the mood.

Of course, credit and appreciation goes to Angie for making the photos for us. And, of course, for putting Fiona in the cutest little outfit. She has finally grown into the one pair of pants that is both slender enough in the waist but long enough in the legs. We hope they will last her a while since she has such a tall body. At least her shorter pants can pass for Capri pants this summer.

  Photograph First Fathers Day-1 by Jay Scott on 500px

I'm pretty sure this final photo is my favorite one of me with her. Her head always smells so good and when she is cuddly it's just so nice to hold her. She has become very good at hugging us and her toys. Her babbles and conversations are so adorable I can barely stand it. She's so busy telling her stories and uncertain she knows exactly what she's saying. Soon enough we will, also, and what an amazing stage that will be once our communication is even better.

Jun 29, 2015

Our Deck Guest

  Photograph Wolf Spider by Jay Scott on 500px

A good photo should evoke a reaction from people. I know that the reactions will certainly be mixed about the first one in this post.

As the title indicates, we have had a guest making good use of the structures on our deck to make its web. I wasn't sure how large the spider would get, starting from the tiny little thing that it was. But, I've intentionally left the web alone so it had the opportunity to grow. A few days ago I tried to rescue a few damselflies in distress but they were too wrapped up in webbing and died shortly after I freed them.

It took a few days for the spider to rebuild its web, especially as a new smaller spider of a different genus moved in and was competing for the web presence. Last night they had a small face-off just before I made this shot. With this heat and today's smokiness, I wonder how much longer this growing arachnid has, especially as it is getting too large for its usual hiding spots. I will keep watching and make a few more shots as it grows.

A huge credit goes to Angie and her boundless love and devotion as she helps me set up flashes, at 10:30 at night to make a picture of something she doesn't care to see much of. Credit goes further to her for making the two photos of myself and Fiona coming in the next post.

My apologies if you will be humming the Spiderman theme for the rest of the day…

Jun 20, 2015

Beauties and Cuties

  Photograph Peonies at the Forestry Farm 1 by Jay Scott on 500px

It has been a very productive week, photographically speaking.

You have likely already seen the post from earlier this week with some floral work. While, the peonies have been coming into bloom around the city so I thought it was time to hit up the Forestry Farm to see what state they were in. Thankfully, the way that they grow there they can be enjoyed for a much longer time because of the varying light. Their variety of locations mean that for much longer period of time some of them are in bloom. In fact, because of the abundance of shade, I was a bit early compared to other plants I had seen in the city.

  Photograph Peonies at the Forestry Farm 2 by Jay Scott on 500px

There were a very few that had opened up so my options were limited but the winged insects that pollinate and the ants that cause them to bloom were very cooperative while I was there. Obviously they are beautiful when they have opened up but before that time, when they are a tight sphere of petals, I find them very intriguing, as well.

  Photograph Peonies at the Forestry Farm 3 by Jay Scott on 500px

This session for the peonies was organized under a new group I've begun on Facebook, Unlimited Photographers of Saskatoon, originally beginning with the support of the CPA. The point of the group is to provide regular and frequent opportunities for photographers with mobility disabilities to join others in unhindered photo excursions. One of the most frustrating things about being a disabled photographer is when your struggles to make a great photo are twice what they should be because of difficulty getting to where you want to be or setting up or framing the photo because of that disability. It should be about working the photo and practicing skills to make better photos, not spending time and energy on getting to where you want to be, if it's even possible to get where you want at all.

There are not a lot of fully accessible places to go in Saskatoon but it is the group's aim to make those opportunities available for the places that are accessible. The group is not limited to people with disabilities. Probably more than half of the members are able bodied. Just know, if you request to join it, that our locations may not be as exciting as you would like, but they are locations that will not hinder us. Of course, having an able-bodied person around to give a hand, should it be needed, is always helpful and appreciated.

  Photograph Freshly Groomed Schnoodle by Jay Scott on 500px

Next up is a photo I have been meaning to make for a long time. I have been wanting to emphasize the sheen on Kiwi's coat when she has been freshly groomed and is soft and shiny. In addition to that, I have wanted to her to give me one of the over the shoulder looks that she sometimes gives. Her positioning was essential to emphasize the sheen on her black fur, and not the white. Of course, those looks that she gives are almost always followed a split second later by her spinning around when we get her attention. Today was not much different, but she cooperated fairly well for me, with Angie's help.

  Photograph 10 Months-1 by Jay Scott on 500px

Finally, who could forget that our precious Fiona turned 10 months old today? As cute as ever, she cooperated wonderfully with her sweet recent trick of hugging her stuffed toys. We couldn't decide between the green monkey I bought for Kiwi to play with a long time ago or the bunny from grandma and grandpa for Easter. We went with the bunny because I wanted to use some pastel lights which would match the patterns on the toy.

The final photo is your classic outtake. She was getting a little bit restless but still behaving in hilarious ways. At this point she was more interested in standing up on the couch and looking out the window. I got one shot of her looking back at me while standing, but she is so busy the focus was off so I cannot share it here. :-)

  Photograph 10 Months-2 by Jay Scott on 500px

Jun 14, 2015

Springtime Flora

It is my annual intention to make something nice out of the short lived bleeding-hearts in our front garden. Last year yielded some nice results and I believe that photo still holds up well to the other bleeding-hearts photos on 500px. Our early spring, combined with life's obstacles, meant I didn't get to photographing our bleeding-hearts until they were past their prime so I needed to de-emphasize their waning state. How to meet or beat last year's photo? Lasers!

  Photograph Heart Within a Heart by Jay Scott on 500px

Add to that my new self-made strip light from the bottom, my assistant adding a nice touch from the top (after I realized something more was needed from above) all while holding Fiona and I think I managed to create something unique.

One of the bigger struggles lately in me having time and space to make a photo is our busy and remarkably fast daughter. I don't dare leave anything set up on the floor because of her fast speed she could have a hold of it, and potentially drag something down on top of herself, before we could catch her. Nobody wants any equipment damaged and we definitely do not want her hurt. She has enough little bumps all by her own efforts as she learns her fine motor skills and balance.

Last Monday we joined my in-laws at Pike Lake for a potluck and wiener roast. It was a beautiful +32°C with added humidity. I was loving it, the rest were feeling the intensity of it. Before Robin and the boys could join us, there was plenty of time for relaxation but you know that's not something I am very good at so I set up and tried to capture the beauty of one of the more despised flowers you can find anywhere. Dandelions.

I have never really minded them. I know that an unhealthy lawn can be taken over by their pervasiveness but I like their smell, color and feel, even if they are weeds. I hope the below one-light macro shot brings a bit of appreciation to their delicate beauty.

  Photograph Simple Beauty by Jay Scott on 500px

And, what cove of lovely dappled light, tucked away in the corner of the camp site, would be complete without a photo of our cute and precious little Fiona? She had an amazing day until her tiredness and the heat caught up with her and we had to make a pretty quick drive home. We still had a good number of hours enjoying a bit of roughing it, and the sound and smell of the campfire sure were refreshing.

  Photograph Fine Afternoon at Pike Lake by Jay Scott on 500px

Oh, and for what it's worth, that was an outfit she was wearing. As much as she's good at getting a hold of things like dish towels and table cloths, this time it was when she arrived with. It suited the unplanned photo perfectly.

Jun 6, 2015

Ah, Barbecue Season

I have been working on this post for almost 2 weeks, now. We have been thoroughly enjoying our barbecue season and often feel remorse when we choose something made inside when we could be outside grilling up a storm. So many of our excellent recipes and creations are made inside because the barbecue season is fairly short. We do our best to get creative and grilled vegetables are an example of something other than just meat that we love to cook on the barbecue. But, after a while, it starts to seem quite similar and anybody who knows us knows that we are not the meat-and-potatoes types.

  Photograph Cedar Plank Steelhead Trout and Mexican Bean Salad by Jay Scott on 500px

Certainly, a person can do much more than just meat and potatoes on the grill but those dishes where the flavors all combine and come together to be something more than the sum of themselves don't seem to often happen for us cooking that way. Don't get me wrong, few things satisfy me the way biting into a tender and flavorful piece of meat does. It's just that a lot of our favourite flavours don't often go the same direction as a lot of barbecue flavors. I guess that's just why we will need to keep watching online and searching for some exciting ways to cook on the barbecue.

We've been trying to include more fish in our diet and are very thankful that Fiona seems to always like any type that we give her. The cedar plank steelhead trout and Mexican bean salad were a hit with all three of us. And the best part was that everything can be made ahead which resulted in virtually no dishes. That is a win in our household.

  Photograph Banana Maki Rolls by Jay Scott on 500px

Finally was a photo that I took a long time to get around to making. These kid-friendly maki rolls mimic sushi in a delightful way. Simply a white flour tortilla, spread with peanut butter and rolled up then sliced into bite-size pieces. The strawberry sauce drizzled on the top was an analog for the spicy sriracha mayo you will often find on maki rolls, in Canada, anyway. The analog for soy sauce was chocolate sauce and the vanilla yogurt stood in place of wasabi. They were quite tasty. My only regret is that the strawberry sauce was not cold enough so it did not maintain the proper shape. I look forward to seeing what Fiona thinks of these once she gets a little bit older. I have collected a number of fun food items to prepare for her and hope that I don't need them, but have the opportunity to enjoy making them for her just for fun, not because she is going through a phase of picky eating.

Time will tell.