John Harvey Photo

December 2012Go to
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A busy photography time of year.


Aunt Jennie Returns to Hong Kong

Jennie Waving Goodbye Jennie And Claira

Helen's Aunt Jennie has been staying with us for a few months since Claira was born and has helped out a lot.  Sadly, all good things come to a close and Jennie is returning back to Hong Kong to see her family and experience warmer weather.  Before Jennie went I wanted to get some portraits done so Jennie has pictures to show around.

Jennie Claira And Nara On Couch

Bright Nights in Stanley Park

Canada Flag Made Of Stars
Every year the various firefighters around the lower mainland setup a light show in Stanley park.  Each city sets up a little diorama - some are quite new, some are showing their age.  They collect a donation ($5 recommended) at the entrance and the show gets busier as we get closer to Christmas.  I went last year with my mother so this year I wanted to try something a little different - I added a paper cutout to the front of the lens.  The paper cutout was made of black construction paper and I cutout a star about the size of quarter.  The results speak for themselves.



Nara Looking Over The FenceNara With Stars BehindNara With Glowing Face And Stars
 
 I seemed to get best results when I had Nara close to a light source to light up her face.  Most of the show has short fencing with lights so I made sure that Nara was close to the fence (with working lights) to get that illumination.  The paper cutout obviously influenced the bokeh (out of focus regions) but it also added a strong vignette that helps focus the eye on the subject.  Obviously this was all shot wide open (f1.4 in my case) to maximize the out of focus area.
 

Victoria for the Holidays

Nara On Platform
Where better to learn about Christmas than Grandma's house?  I took a few days off before the holidays began, we packed the family in the car and headed for the Island.  Traveling non-peak sure is a luxury - we caught a ferry an hour earlier than expected and it was only 30% full so there were free seats everywhere.

Nara On Swing
 
Nara and Grandma took a walk to nearby McMinn Park which has a playground.  Nara's interest in playground equipment is evolving - the swing used to be her favorite gear, but now she has a real enjoyment of the balance beam.  Grandma helped Nara get started and Nara jumped off at the end.
 
 
Nara On Balance Beam With GrandmaNara On Balance Beam StartingNara On Balance Beam SmilingNara On Balance Beam Jumping Off

Christmas Trees at the The Empress Hotel

The Williams arrived for an overnight.  After dinner we had originally planned on going to Butchart Gardens but it was raining so we decided to go to the Empress/Victoria Convention Centre to see their Christmas Tree display.  Most of the 30+ trees were setup by companies with varying degrees of gaudy sponsorship.  The tree in center of the Empress Foyer was quite impressive though - it was more than two stories high and had a monochromatic decorating scheme - something I quite like.
  James Reaching For OrnamentMarcus With OrnamentNara Look At Herself In Reflection

Williams In Front Of Lobby Christmas Tree
The Williams stopped for a family portrait in front of the tree.  With so many lights behind people, you would expect some silhouetting, but the foyer has some fill lights to ensure the tree doesn't overpower the scene.

Williams Closeup

Nara Fashion Shot In Front Of Lobby Christmas Tree Nara In Front Of Lobby Christmas Tree
Arranging a Harvey Family Portrait was a bit of a challenge so I just took some photos of Nara.  I'm using my 35mm f1.4 (Manual Focus) which gives quite a nice look to the out of focus areas. 




  Helen And Claira In Front Of Christmas TreeNara And Grandma In Front Of Christmas Tree
We found some trees in a darker part of the Hotel was made for some nice lighting and contrast.  Nara was full of gusto so we took a quick trip around the inner harbour to see the lights there as well.

Nara Twirling In Front Of Legislature


 
 
James Tearing Into Wrapping Paper
The next morning we had a small gift opening.

Marcus With Cars LegoJames And His Racing CarsJames Pressing Buttons On The KeysNara With AWrench
 
  Marcus Pulling Nara In Wagon
After gifts, we took a walk to the park.

Nara Smiling With Her Stick
Marcus and his brother have "walking sticks" and I don't think Nara has ever played with a stick.  (When your kid is in Daycare, you don't really know what they know - they surprise you sometimes by knowing how to do things you have never seen them do before).  Found some sticks and the kids started poking around in the pond digging up leaves.  I said yuckie (I didn't want them on my jacket) and all of the sudden a game was on.

Marcus Digging Leaves With AStickHappy Kids In The Swings

Butchart Gardens

  Nara Starting Carousel RideNara Riding Carousel
The following day it wasn't raining so we decided to take that walk around Butchart Gardens.  We drove out around 5:30 and encountered the wicked queue of cars going to gardens - maybe 15 minutes of stop and go.  The usual parking lot was full and we were directed to park in the bus parking area - a new experience for me.  We walked for about 20 minutes before it started to rain.  Oh well.
Nara With Fountain Lights
 
Nara quite enjoyed the Carousel.  There is only so much rain I want to subject my camera gear to. The irony is that after rain is probably the best time to photograph lights because the wet surface reflections double the number of light sources.

T'was the Night before Christmas

  Mom And Dad Winding WoolClaira On Grandpas Leg
Another year around the sun, another Christmas!  Grandma and Nara put out a plate of cookies (two) for Santa and they laid out the stockings on the table.  My mother was quite impressed with the pattern Nara layed them out in - I should have brought my camera.  Nara was excited about Santa coming but wasn't much trouble to get to bed.  Claira has her own schedule, but she too eventually went to sleep.
 
Dad With Snap On Extension Cord
Christmas proper didn't get started until quite late.  My mom volunteers at Hospice and her day happened to line up with Christmas so the least we could do was wait until she got back before we started opening gifts. 

Grandma Has ANew Dresden FigurineJohn Got Money
 
 
Nara Using Her New BottleNara Wants To Try The CandyNara Playing With Dolls

Nara was a bit confused by the whole thing.    My mother had brought out a bunch of toys from my sisters childhood so Nara was quickly overwhelmed with new things.  We wound up bringing half the gifts home still wrapped because she had enough stuff to do and didn't even notice them.  I think that behaviour is better than some of the frenzied behavior I remember from my own childhood.

  Claira Got A Green BallClaira With OrnamentClaira With Pull Toy

Outerbrige Park

Woodpecker High In Tree
Just around the corner from my parents house is Outerbridge Park.  When it was someones personal property (9.3 acres), the owner made it into a garden with water features and plant species to attract birds - their own little Sangri-La.  The owner has since passed the property to the municipality and the property has transformed.   The municipality has done some work to keep the place up (there are really good foot paths) but not everything has been preserved.  The original owner planted a number of invasive (but ornamental) species and some of them have exploded.  Volunteers are reshaping the park, but much of the original character still remains - especially the attraction to birds.  There are a number of dead standing trees (large Douglas firs) and I saw two species of woodpeckers when I went to visit.


The volunteers (I assume) had just spread a new layer of mulch in some of the beds the ground birds were having a great time eating bugs in the soil.  Watching the spotted Towhee's (probably a dozen of them) dig up the soil was actually quite entertaining.  A Varied Thrush (quite a skittish bird) stopped by - I only saw it once before it flew away - but it's orange and black features are quite memorable.

Spotted TowheeSpotted Towhee In CompostVaried Thrush

Annas On Branch
The real prize for me was the resident Anna's hummingbirds.  These tiny birds (there are at least two males in park, maybe more) are easy to miss as they fly around from food source to food source.  I was surprised to see them given the cold temperatures and lack of flowering plants, but apparently they don't migrate much in the winter.  The iridescent black feathers on the birds head are quite striking - at most angles they are a dark black, but caught at the right angle they glow bright pink. 



Annas Beating WingAnnas Perched On ABranchAnnas Red HeadAnnas Drinking Nectar
 
 



Nara With Glowing Face And Stars
Person: Nara
Tags: bokeh, Bright Nights, stars, vignetting
Nara Riding Carousel
Person: Nara
Tags: Butchart Gardens, carousel
Williams Closeup
Person: James, Marcus
Nara Using Her New Bottle
Person: Nara
Marcus With Ornament
Person: Marcus
Woodpecker High In Tree
Species: Picoides pubescens (Downy Woodpecker)
Tags: bird
Nara With Fountain Lights
Claira Got A Green Ball
Person: Claira, John
Marcus Digging Leaves With AStick
Person: Marcus
James Reaching For Ornament
Person: James
Tags: christmas tree
Nara In Front Of Lobby Christmas Tree
Person: Nara
Tags: christmas tree
Nara On Balance Beam Starting
Person: Nara, Janet
Dad With Snap On Extension Cord
Spotted Towhee In Compost
Species: Pipilo maculatus (Spotted Towhee)
Annas Perched On ABranch
Species: Calypte anna (Anna's Hummingbird)
Spotted Towhee
Species: Pipilo maculatus (Spotted Towhee)
Nara Looking Over The Fence
Person: Nara
Tags: bokeh, Bright Nights, fence, stars
James And His Racing Cars
Person: James
Jennie Claira And Nara On Couch
Person: Claira, Nara, Jennie
Marcus Pulling Nara In Wagon
Person: Marcus, Nara
Tags: wagon
Nara Look At Herself In Reflection
Nara On Platform
Person: Nara
Tags: playground
Grandma Has ANew Dresden Figurine
Person: Nara, Janet
Nara On Balance Beam Smiling
Person: Nara
James Tearing Into Wrapping Paper
Person: James
Nara On Swing
Person: Nara
Tags: swing
Mom And Dad Winding Wool
Claira With Ornament
Person: Claira
Claira On Grandpas Leg
Person: Claira
Nara With AWrench
Person: Nara
Canada Flag Made Of Stars
Tags: Bright Nights, flag, stars
Nara Playing With Dolls
Person: Nara
Nara With Stars Behind
Person: Nara
Tags: bokeh, Bright Nights, stars, vignetting
Jennie And Claira
Person: Claira, Jennie
Nara On Balance Beam Jumping Off
Person: Nara
Annas Beating Wing
Species: Calypte anna (Anna's Hummingbird)
Nara Starting Carousel Ride
Person: Nara
Tags: Butchart Gardens, carousel
Marcus With Cars Lego
Person: Marcus
Nara And Grandma In Front Of Christmas Tree
Person: Nara
Tags: christmas tree
John Got Money
Person: John
Annas Red Head
Species: Calypte anna (Anna's Hummingbird)
Tags: Outerbridge Park
Nara Fashion Shot In Front Of Lobby Christmas Tree
Person: Nara
Tags: christmas tree
Nara Smiling With Her Stick
Person: Nara
Williams In Front Of Lobby Christmas Tree
Tags: christmas tree
Nara Twirling In Front Of Legislature
Person: Nara
Claira With Pull Toy
Person: Claira, Helen
Nara Wants To Try The Candy
Person: Nara
Annas On Branch
Species: Calypte anna (Anna's Hummingbird)
Tags: bird, Outerbridge Park
Nara On Balance Beam With Grandma
Person: Nara, Janet
Annas Drinking Nectar
Species: Calypte anna (Anna's Hummingbird)
Tags: Outerbridge Park
James Pressing Buttons On The Keys
Person: James
Helen And Claira In Front Of Christmas Tree
Person: Claira, Helen
Tags: christmas tree
Varied Thrush
Species: Ixoreus naevius (Varied Thrush)
Tags: Outerbridge Park
Happy Kids In The Swings
Person: Marcus
Jennie Waving Goodbye
Person: Claira, Jennie
Tags: christmas tree(6), stars(4), Bright Nights(4), Outerbridge Park(4), bokeh(3), vignetting(2)
People: Nara(23), Claira(8), Marcus(6), James(5), Jennie(3), Janet(3)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2016 to 2005 > December 2012

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