Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Morning, Photography and Urban Gardening...

The Introduction to Digital SLR Photography course I took this past weekend was great. I've been wanting to get beyond the Automatic features of the camera since I got it, but never seemed to find the time to learn which button did what and why I might want to turn that wheel or in which direction. In fact, curious about how long this has been the case, I took advantage of the archival function of my blog, and it turns out I've had the camera for over 7 years, it having been under the Christmas tree in 2007!
No wonder I needed to retire!
Kidding, but with a side of serious...

Just because I'm retired, though, doesn't mean I'm suddenly going to be turning out wonderful photos. In fact, while I have a head full of information about digital photography, that information was downloaded intensely, twelve hours in two days. There are files scattered all over the floor of my cranium, and someone needs to pick them up, read them, file them, and begin to figure out how to use them. Personnel are scrambling around up there as we speak, and I think I need to go lie down and let them do their work.

Kidding again, obviously, but I know I'm going to take time to figure t what I've learned and then figure out how to use it. For the meantime, I'm really pleased that I've taken a first solid step onto the big Ladder of Learning Something New. I'm also happy that a busy week in the city is behind me now. It's been fun, but tiring, and I'll probably take more care with scheduling for the next while.

Now I get to head back to the island for as quiet a week as I can manage and still get my campus office cleared out. There are unlikely to be any stellar examples of any newfound skills with my Nikon DSLR displayed here for a while.
I do, though, have some iPhone photos from city walks, and I hope you might enjoy these. We have some wonderfully dedicated garden volunteers in the neighbourhood, beautifying urban concrete through a program called Green Streets.
A meditative Happy Place under the bridge in the early morning sunshine with a laughing Buddha? That seems like a good place to begin a week from, doesn't it? happy Monday!
And if you have a minute, a couple of questions for you: What, if any, Learning Ladders have you been climbing lately? Or which would you like to?
And is volunteer urban gardening happening where hi you live? Or Community Gardens, perhaps? I think both forms are such a declaration of hope, honestly...your thoughts?


22 comments:

  1. I have intended to learn to use my DSLR features but haven't made more but rudimentary progress. Took a shorter course, got overwhelmed with information, tried a few things, got distracted. Mostly I'm back to iPhone photos as opposed to lugging the camera. Love the shots from your walks.

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    1. There is SO much information and sorting out what matters is almost as overwhelming as trying to remember what's what. I think I've sorted out a plan of attack, though, and I'm pleased to finally be using some of the capabilities of a camera I've had for so long. Still, I suspect that I'll be like you and continue to enjoy the iPhone camera's lightness and spontaneity.

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  2. I'm still relying on my automatic features, too. Heading out on a learning curve would be a good thing. These days my mind is full of family issues - nothing too serious, but enough that my daughters are constant in the back of my head - small worries for their happiness and well-being.
    I love the idea of community gardens. They are here, too, as you likely know. When we visited our daughter and SIL in Vancouver, we enjoyed seeing the creative garden spaces, some small, some larger. A little green is always good.

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    1. Yes, I know that sense of carrying my children with me. My happiness and ability to engage is directly related to their current well-being. . .
      I hope that community gardens become even more common, more easily available -- I doubt we'll maintain a yard of our own into our late 70s, but I'd still like to be able to garden at that age -- such a great way to stay active and productive.

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  3. These photos are lovely (wonderful light you've captured!), and so nice to see those concrete spaces softened with a bit of nurturing greenery.

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    1. I do love that morning light -- and isn't it surprising to see how beautiful such spaces can become?

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  4. You've given us wonderful photos for years, so why would that change ;)

    I look forward to your strolls and experiments wherever you shoot.

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    1. Oh K! You're so kind! Thank you. . .

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  5. Beautiful light is beautiful light, no matter how one captures it!

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    1. I think that's true -- and actually it matches the notion of the gardening beauty found in such a prosaic part of the city. . .

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  6. Oh, the Learning Ladder. I am sitting on a rung right now with my feet dangling. I have been taking online courses toward an almost completed Commerce degree (mostly to fulfill PD requirements). My core requirements were fulfilled by my professional designation so I am just working through some electives. I love the courses (most recently Art History) but it is difficult to meet expectations without discussions or lectures (that is a feeling I have about it; my marks are fine). I will wait and see how I feel post-retirement. Once my days are free I will have the option of auditing at one of the local universities. Or just reading about the subjects that interest me. Or, or, or...

    I agree with the others, the light you have captured in these photos is lovely!

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    1. Good for you! I would love to take an Art History course (and I suppose now I might, someday) Like you, my best learning seems to happen with discussions, so I'm not sure about the online approach. . . I'm thinking I'll at least audit a course (French Lit, for example) but not for a while as I'd like to keep free for travel. . .

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  7. I am at UBC today and meeting friends later at Granville Island. Monsieur and I had our first Ageless Pursuit lecture yesterday. You would really enjoy these (I think!) We are studying the history of refugees and Greek mythology through literature. Two lectures each morning. I did a few readings last night (suggested not required) and I feel keen and energetic this morning. My walk from the University gates to Waterfront Theatre should provide a few photo opportunities but I am really a beginner when it comes to photography. Your photos are always beautiful and we are lucky to walk in such beauty.

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    1. Those lectures do sound interesting, although I'm not sure I'd be ready for them at the moment. It does keep one fresh and engaged, though, doesn't it, learning something new?!
      That's a long, good walk you took on Monday! Hope it wasn't too hot.

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  8. I liked your photos before and these are sooo beautiful. You have learned a lot(and for now it is maybe unconsciencly,but the new knowledge is here,we can see it.
    After an early retirement I took some ecconomic and legal (about taxes) courses on "real" university (it happened that there were some family affairs to control ,and I wanted to learn something more),and I learned italian ,so I really recommend to everyone to learn something,it is big pleasure!
    We don't have this kind of community gardens,but there are some paths leading to them,so,let's hope
    Dottoressa

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    1. Thanks, D! These photos are just with my iPhone, and I took them before I started the class, but I'm excited to see what I'll be able to do with my good camera.
      You've done some impressive learning post retirement -- I agree that it can be such a pleasure.

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  9. It's my first time visiting here…so don't know the lead up to this post! But have you tried Shutterfly courses? I bought my DSLR two years ago and have never used the automatic (big pat on back!) but have really enjoyed learning. My husband is a photographer, but you can bet I don't ask him!! However, I find now that my new iPhone 6 takes just as good pictures…except when I want something "tricky" or unusual. This technology is so amazing, no?

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    1. Welcome, Libby! Glad to have you here and so pleased you took the time to comment.
      I tried looking at the Shutterfly website, but as far as I can see, their services are only in printing photos in various formats. Where do you find their courses? And yes, I love my iPhone 6 camera, although the range is limited for further objects and for real close-ups as well.

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  10. I do envy you all the time to organise your new life at present. And time to learn something new. This all sounds much more reasonable. Gardening...I once read that, after a certain age, women either got God or a garden. Urban gardening is a brilliant idea. I hope you find a joyful rhythm.

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    1. It is enviable (I know that's how I felt when I was still working too hard to add new projects). God or a garden? Really, the two could be combined as well, couldn't they -- seems as if you might find God/god(s) in a garden. ;-)

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  11. No learning ladders here recently, but I feel sure another will be along soon. I did get a step higher up the crochet ladder than previously a little while back but I still fell off it.

    That's a gorgeous urban space you've photographed. We've nothing like it here, just a few rose bushes around the war memorial and some wild flowers sown by the local school children in the verges where the lane turns into the village. But then I live in a small rural village where almost every house has a garden.

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    1. Yes, you hardly need community gardens or guerrilla garden when everyone and her dog has her own! When we were in Portugal a few years back, the houses were all clustered together in the little village but everyone walked down to their plots alongside the river where they seemed to garden almost side by side, stopping at lunch to gather up their harvest and walk back home. . . Interestingly, even on our little island, where everyone has potential for a garden in her/his yard, we have a Community Garden which allows not only for more sunshine but also for companionship. The urban one I photographed is, as you can probably see, flowers only, and quite a wide swath is cared for by a man who lives in a fairly small apartment and can be seen at almost any time of day maintaining the little oasis he's created.
      And judging by your blog, you've climbed many learning ladders and there are sure to be many more. . .

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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