December 7, 2017
What I am about to type, I first wrote by hand in a notebook, very unusual as I have a tendency to type more than I write, a speedier process, but perhaps one that does not give me enough time to think about the actual words I type….
I have not written in this notebook for a long time, more than six months! I am currently waiting for my desktop computer to catch up to my commands. Why is it so slow? It may have something to do with saving to the cloud. That cloud must match the one outside. It is saturated.
Georgian Bay is long gone .The lighthouse is disappearing into a uniformly grey sky.. The tone of that grey is getting darker as night descends. Somewhere the sun is setting but it is not at all visible in any direction at Cobble Beach today.
This week I have been experimenting with black and white photography. Why, you might well ask. A friend, Marie, issued me a challenge on Facebook to post a black and white photo each day for seven days. I am to post each photo with no people, no comment, no explanation, photos of my life. Then each day I have also dutifully extended the challenge to someone else. This is day five of the challenge for me.
In the course of the past five days my world has become more and more monochrome as the days shorten and the snow falls, and falls. In the past twenty-four hours more than thirty centimetres of snow has blanketed our neighbourhood.
The snow began in earnest yesterday afternoon with fierce winds driving it horizontally past my windshield as I drove home from a delicious potluck lunch in Port Elgin. I left behind the waves crashing on Lake Huron’s shore, splashing onto the road and icing the branches of shore-side trees and shrubs. The drive reminded me how grateful I am to be retired. I do not have to drive anywhere if I do not feel like it. My preferred mode of travel is walking, cycling and skiing. I will be able to take up skiing tomorrow after four days of golfing this week! Amazing weather changes!
I shoveled out our driveway when I arrived home yesterday. Brian cleaned it out again this morning. I reshovelled after him, adding the steps on both sides of the house and the front walk and porch.
This afternoon in the space of two hours as I cleaned out two friends’ driveways, the snow continued to fall straight down in huge wet flakes with no wind. The kind of snow that sticks to eyelashes. I love it!
Although I have seen such constant snowing in the past I still marvel at the magic and power of such a snowfall.
My efforts at cleaning driveways is no longer obvious as an additional fifteen centimetres have filled them in. My snow angel will soon have disappeared.In fact it is now so dark that I can no longer see it in the yard below even though the white snow is bright in the darkness.
Black and white, yes that is our winter. However, in the natural black and white winter world, I see colour. In the milkweed pod, a golden glow of seeks peeks out of the cracked pod. In a dark sky sunrise varying shades of pink and gold slowly leak across the horizon and line the clouds. Some days, not today, a patch of blue briefly sneaks into existence, a bright spot in a dull day.
Right now, as I look out, the bay has reappeared. The grey shade of the bay is now distinguishable from the far black shore, the medium grey sky and the white snow.
Alan did a fine job of decorating six small trees outside his townhouse, five with white lights and one with red. These sparkle in the black night. Our own small pine in the back yard is weighted down with red and white smudges of light.
I like colour photos more than black and white because even on a monochrome day, I glimpse colour, subtle perhaps, but there, and I like it. That little bit of colour warms my heart and brightens my life.
This black and white challenge is teaching me a thing or two about photography. I think it is more demanding of talent or skill or both. I need to learn more about editing photos and taking the photo using the optimum light in the correct direction.
I chatted with Brilynn on the phone as I waded shin deep through the falling snow along the buried golf course path. I consulted my photography expert on what I had to do to give my black and white photos more definition. Brilynn suggested that I download the snapseed app. I have done so and have even looked at a couple of the tutorials. I have so much to learn about editing photos: colour or black and white.
I sent Brilynn some of my colour photos and asked her to edit them as black and whites. She sent my milkweed pod back in seconds, edited with snapseed. I clapped my hands in delight. The monochrome milkweed pod no longer has black blobs hiding the features that I saw in real time, features I tried to capture with my IPhone. The seeds were missing in my black and white version. Brilynn knew how to use the tools to highlight those seeds.
I finished creating a forty-page book of colour photos this week. I like to assemble my photopages as collages. Many of you would probably say I included too many photos and that the photos would have stood out more with white space and fewer larger photos. No doubt you would be right, but making collages brings me joy. And that is good!
Brilynn pointed out that many of the editing tools are available in the editing software of my iPhone and iPad. I just have to dig a little deeper in those menus. Now perhaps if I learned more about editing I might even select fewer photos but spend more time making them just right. Unlikely!
It is a good thing that I typed this immediately after writing in my notebook. Probably a month from now I would not be able to decipher my hieroglyphics. Decoding handwriting is another reason to opt for typing or thumbing my blog. The resulting black and white text is legible.