Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A visit to Ireland - Day 1

Royal Irish Tours
Royal Irish Tours


Back in at the end of May, Marilyn and I took one of our "Trip of a Lifetime" trips to visit Ireland. (I say 'one of' because we hope to be able to take several more.)

We choose Royal Irish Tours because of recommendations of friends and because they appeared to have the most extensive and inclusive trip. They offer several different packages. The tour we chose was the Shamrock Royal.

The first day of the tour was spent recuperating from the overnight flight out of Toronto to Dublin. But we still managed some site-seeing.

Irish Sea
Cliffs over looking the Irish Sea - Malahide Co Dublin


Beacon House
Beacon House out on Baily road overlooking Dublin Harbour


Grand Hotel

Our Hotel - Grand Hotel - Malahide, Co. Dublin



This was an amazing experience for us, one we will never forget. (And to ensure that I took a fair amount of photos to help remind us. (smile))

I'll post additional photos in the future from the other 14 days we spend on the Emerald Isle.

Remember that clicking on any image on this page will open the image in my Smugmug site, where you can view a larger version. Please use your browser's "Back" button to return to the Blog.

Other images taken on our first day in Ireland can be seen in my Day 1 - 30 May 2009 - Arrived in Dublin gallery.

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog, in my Guestbook or in the photo gallery.

Thanks for looking. And please stop by again.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Light and Shadow

Shadow Tree
Shadow tree - Corner of Tupper and St-Mathieu -Downtown Montreal


Back in May I walked around downtown Montreal trying to get images that fit a photography Challenge theme of 'Light & Shadow'. The above photo was my sure-fire winning entry. It received lots of nice comments but wasn't the winner. Oh well, next time. (smile)

But it was different, at least for me, going out trying to find subjects that fit a theme rather than shooting whatever caught my eye. Okay so I did that too. (Smile) But the majority of the shots taken that day were theme shots.


Shadow leaves
Shadow leaves


Shadow flower box
Shadows on a flower box


And then there is light - back light that is.

Fountain of Light
Fountain of Light

Fountain of Light
Fountain of Light close-up


Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Remember that clicking on any image on this page will open the image in my Smugmug site, where you can view a larger version. Please use your browser's "Back" button to return to the Blog.

Other images taken during my walk around Montreal can be seen in my Light & Shadows around Montreal - 21 May 2009 gallery.

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog, In my Guestbook or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And please stop by again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Carillon, Quebec

Hydro dam
Panorama created from 8 - 12meg landscape oriented images of the
Hydro Quebec Dam on the Ottawa river between Carillon and Hudson, Quebec


When we headed up to Ottawa for the Tulip festival, we took a different route than we would normally travel. We traveled along the north shore of the Ottawa river in Quebec. As a result we stopped in Carillon, Quebec, where I took the photos used to create the above panorama.

Looking south across the Ottawa river, you see Pointe Fortune, Quebec.
Pointe Fortune, Quebec
Point Fortune, Quebec.


There is a canal and lock (Carillon canal & Carillon Lock) that permits ship traffic to by-pass the dam. You can see them in of the right side of the panorama above. The following shows the approach to the canal.

Pointe Fortune, Quebec
Approach to the Lock of the Carillon Canal - Carillon, Quebec


On our return from Ottawa, we took route 17 which allow us to stop of the south-side of the Ottawa river to take one last photo of the hydro dam.

Hydro dam
Hydro Quebec Dam on the Ottawa river between Carillon and Hudson, Quebec


Hope you enjoyed the photos.

Remember that clicking on any image on this page will open the image in my Smugmug site, where you can view a larger version. Please use your browser's "Back" button to return to the Blog.

Other images taken during our visit to Ottawa can be seen in my Ottawa Tulip Festival - 11 May 2009 gallery.

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog, In my Guestbook or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And please stop by again.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Some more of my favourite things


Ottawa Tulip Festival - May 2009

Tulips
Many coloured Tulips


Back in May, my wife, Marilyn, and I once again headed up to the Nation's capital, to enjoy the annual Tulip Festival. I am always amazed by the millions of tulips on display. A multitude of tulips is another of my favourite things.

For your enjoyment, here are a few images taken during that visit.


Barbados Tulips

Barbados Tulips


Pink Tulips

Pink Tulips


A rainbow of Tulips

A rainbow of Tulips


Tulips

One dares to be different



Thanks for coming along to see the tulips. Hope you enjoyed it.

Remember that clicking on any image on this page will open the image in my Smugmug site, where you can view a larger version. Please use your browser's "Back" button to return to the Blog.

Other images taken during our visit to Ottawa can be seen in my Ottawa Tulip Festival - 11 May 2009 gallery.

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog, In my Guestbook or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And please stop by again.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Some of my favourite things

Idea leuconoe
Idea Leuconoe or Paper Kite


One event I look forward to each year is the Butterflies Go Free exhibit at the Montreal Botanical Gardens. (Typically it runs from mid-February to early April.) This year I visited the exhibit on three separate occasions.

I split my time there between the butterflies and the floral exhibits. Though this year I must admit I was a bit disappointed in the orchids. Just didn't seem to as many as in previous years.

Going at different times during the 8 weeks or so that the exhibit ran, allowed me to see a few butterflies I've not seen in previous years.

These are some of the new sightings this year:

caterpillar
Attacus atlas (Cobra moth) caterpillar


White Morpho
Morpho Polyphemus (White Morpho)


Cecropia moth
Hyalophora cecropia (Cecropia moth)


Banded peacock butterfly
Papilio palinurus (Banded peacock)



Hope you enjoyed these images of some of my favourite things

Remember that clicking on any image on this page will open the image in my Smugmug site, where you can view a larger version. Please use your browser's "Back" button to return to the Blog.

Other images from my three visits to the Botanical Gardens this year can be seen in these galleries:
        Visit 26 February 2009 - Flowers
        Visit 26 February 2009 - Butterflies
        Visit 17 March 2009 - Flowers
        Visit 17 March 2009 - Butterflies
        Visit 26 April 2009 - Butterflies & flowers

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog, in my Guestbook or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And please stop by again.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Photo Art

Phalaenopsis
Phalaenopsis


In a previous post, I mentioned that I had developed an interest in Photo Art. I suspect that a number of you were scratching you head and asking, "What's Photo Art?"

The best definition of the term that I've come across was written by Danny Raphael on the RetouchPro forums. He wrote, [Photo Art is] "Art that is created using computer software in which a photo image is used as a basis or reference."

My interest in Photo Art grew out of my trying to create images for use on note cards that looked more like paintings than photographs. Built-in tools, plug-ins and scripts in PaintShop Pro were what I used initially. To that I've since added two great software, one free and one very inexpensive.

Fotosketcher is the free software. An amazing little software that creates realistic painted images. The following is an example of an image created in FotoSketcher with some post processing done in PaintShop Pro.

White Rose

White Rose


The other software is Dynamic Auto-Painter (DAP). I can not praise this software enough. Use the link to see just how amazing this software is. And then download the trial version. There is a support forum
where users share different templates and techniques as well as post examples of their finished work.

The first image in today's post (Phalaenopsis) and the next (Daisies) were both created using DAP with some additional post processing tweaks in Paintshop Pro.


Daisies

Daisies


Remember that clicking on any image on this page will open the image in my Smugmug site, where you can view a larger version. Please use your browser's "Back" button to return to the Blog. Other Photo Art images can be seen in my Photo Art gallery.

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And stop by again.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Official launch of the New & Improved Photos by Healy site.

Over the past several weeks I have been working to improve the look and feel off my photo site. This includes a better integration of this blog with my Smugmug site.

So please explore the navigation links and let me know what you think by leaving comments here or on the photo site.

Thanks for looking. And come back again, soon.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's been an even longer Spring and Summer


I've missed a few seasons of posts. But hopefully I'll be better at posting on at least a semi-irregular basis.

I've made some changes to my Blog & my photo site, trying to integrate them more closely in both look and content. Hopefully you, the viewers, will find the changes both interesting and pleasing.

I've developed an interest in Photo-Art. I'll explain a bit more about that in a future blog. For now I'll leave you with this image that I've recently created.

Twilight

Twilight


Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And stop by again.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

It's been a long Winter


I'm not a Winter person. While others love the cold and snow, I do not. So of course I choose to live in an area where it has been said to have "10 months of Winter and two months of lousy skiing".

What I miss most in Winter is colour. Looking over my photos, I notice there is a lack of Winter scenes. I found some images of when we visited Niagara Falls in February 2005.

Niagara Falls Canada


Then there was that trip we took to Toronto in February 2008. We stopped off in Whitby and I spent a wonderful afternoon taking pictures with a great chap named Joe Noordman at the Lynn Shore Conservation Area.

Lake Ontario


We took another trip in February 2007 down to Northern New York and Vermont. While touring the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, I took this shot out a window.

Picnic tables in snow


Back in December 2006, we visited Upper Canada Village in Morrisburg, Ontario during their "Alight at Night" festival. This was definitely something to see. But you MUST dress warm. It was -14 C with a steady wind the night we were there.

Picnic tables in snow


As I look back through my photo galleries looking for Winter scenes, one thing became very obvious. I took more flower shots in 2008 than all the Winter scenes I've shot over the past 4 years. As I said at the start, I am not a Winter Person.

Please remember that clicking on any image on this page will open a larger version. Use your browser's "back" button to return to the Blog.

Anyone wishing to see other photos taken on any of the above mentioned trips can do so by clicking on these links:
Toronto & Niagara Falls 2005
Whitby Ontario - 2008
Short trip to Northern NY and Vermont - February 2007
Upper Canada Village - December 2006

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And stop by again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Montreal's Mont Royal Park

Montrealers are very lucky in having a very large and beautiful park - Mont Royal Park - just minutes from the downtown core.
Montreal skyline

Mont Royal Park
Mont Royal Park

Took a walk through Mont Royal in Mid October last year. It was just past the peak for the Fall colours. Everywhere you turned you saw gorgeous oranges, reds and golds.

Beaver Lake Montreal
Beaver lake - Mont Royal Park

Beaver Lake looked like something out of fairytale; the bright sunny day making every- thing glow.

It doesn't matter what day of the week or which season, there are always people strolling about, enjoying the peace and quiet, appreciating the beauty of nature.

Mont Royal Park

Mont Royal Park

Mont Royal Park

Hope you've enjoyed visiting Mont Royal Park with me. I'll save a few images for another day.

Remember that clicking on any image on this page will open a larger version. Use your browser's "back" button to return to the Blog.

Other photos taken on this outing can be seen in my Fall Foliage Walkabout Parc Mont Royal - 17 October 2008 gallery.

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And stop by again.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Out and about in Montreal - Part2

Outdoor Terrace
Outdoor Terrace in mid-October

Montreal is a colourful town. With its love of outdoor terraces, its mix of architectural styles, its French/European flavours, there is something to catch your interest.


workmen
Workmen on break

I lived here for over 35 years now, and I never grow tired of it. Language issue not withstanding, Montreal is one of the best cities to live in. Or in my case, live near.


  One of my favourite buildings along
  Cote-des-Neige Blvd

A good deal of my time in the city is centered around Guy and Ste-Catherine. This is largely due to the fact that most of my medical Specialists are at the Montreal General Hospital. And because after taking the Metro from the south shore and getting off at Guy, you can grab a bus that takes you up to Mont Royal park.

Here are few more shots taken along Cote des Neiges, heading up to the park.


Dr Penfield
Looking west along Dr Penfield from Cote des Neiges


Old Nurses' residence

Old Nurses' residence at the Montreal General


Cote des Neiges Blvd
Looking west along Cote des Neiges Blvd in front of the Montreal General


There are still the images taken on Mont Royal. But they'll be the subject for another blog.

Remember that clicking on any image on this page will open a larger version. Use your browser's "back" button to return to the Blog.

Other photos taken on this walkabout can be seen in my Walkabout Montreal - 17 October 2008 gallery.

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And stop by again.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Orton-izing your images

Something a little different for today's post. A while back in one of the newsgroups I participate in, we had fun Orton-izing images. Orton-izing images or applying what is called the Orton Effect, is a technique originally created by Canadian photographer Michael Orton.

Mr. Orton has published a book called "Photographing Creative Landscapes". A very interesting preview of the book including some of his photos and explanation of how he created them can be found on Google Book search. Click here to see the preview.

A small portfolio gallery of his images can be seen here.

There are a number of sites found on the web that talk about the Orton Effect and how to reproduce it on your own images. One of the better ones in my opinion can be seen here.

The hard part in creating an Orton-ized image is not in the creation process but rather in finding a image where the process works.

In most photo editing software that supports layers, you can Orton-ize your image as follows.
  1. duplicate original layer.
  2. set blend mode of duplicate to 'Screen'.
  3. merge down.
  4. duplicate layer, setting blend mode to 'Multiply'.
  5. apply Gaussian blur to duplicate layer using a value between 15 to 50. I tend to use 35 for my images.
  6. Create an HSL adjustment layer. Here you can increase or decrease the saturation until you achieve the desired effect. Again from personal experience I find I like increased saturation (15-30 values). The main exception to this is when there is a great deal of Red in the image. This is when I will decrease the saturation a bit.
There are times when the resultant image looks dark. The quick and simple fix is to duplicate the lower layer (the one that was a result of merging the two layers with Screen blend mode) and set its blend mode to 'Screen'. A second and more precise method would be to add a Curves layer where you can tweak just the darks and shadows.

The following are some of the images I have created following the above steps.


Orton Effect

Orton Effect

Orton Effect

Orton Effect

Orton Effect


Hope you found today's topic interesting and enjoyable.

Remember that clicking on any image on this page will open a larger version. Use your browser's "back" button to return to the Blog.

Other photos that I've applied this process to can be seen in my Digtal Effects - Orton-ized gallery.

Please feel free to leave comments here on the blog or in any of the photo galleries.

Thanks for looking. And stop by again.