Hard Headed


I believe what you’re looking at is a Downy Woodpecker.  This photo was taken on January 19, 2018 in a wooded area near a park in my neighbourhood.   I’ve recently started getting into photographing birds.  For this photo, I used my 70-300mm telephoto zoom lens.  As you can see it still wasn’t powerful enough to get a close up shot of the bird high up in the tree.  In any case,  it’s really fun taking photos of local birds.  It can takes some patience to find them though.  And some birds are quick and move around a lot so that means you have to be fast as well.  I’m always so happy when I can snap some photos of them.




I believe this photo shows a dormant beech tree, but I’m not 100% certain.  It was taken on January 10, 2018 at a park in my neighbourhood.  I love the colours in this photo: the soft blue and the orangey brown.  It’s nice to see colour in the dreary winter months.



Pictured here are layers of snow found at the end of someone’s driveway.  This photo was taken about a week and half ago in my neighbourhood. I converted it into black and white because the actual colours are pretty dirty.  I also wanted to highlight the textures.  The photo has an abstract quality and almost reminds me of granite or marble.  Not bad for plain old snow.

Complex Cluster


If you have been following me over the last year, you would know that I do critiques of my own photos.  I have been doing this for nearly a year now.  A brand new year ushers in a major change.   Starting today I will not be doing photo critiques.  Instead, I will just share my photos with you and give a brief description.   Here’s the first photo of the 2018!

This photo shows a dead wild carrot plant with snow in the background.  It was taken last Tuesday at Lemoine Point.   Lemoine Point is a conversation area at the west end of Kingston.  It has 136 hectares of forest, field and marsh, and a wonderful waterfront.  On the day that we were out, the weather was quite nice, not too cold and partly cloudy.  We saw an owl in the wooded area, but I didn’t have my telephoto zoom lens to capture it.  I did take this photo of an intricate wild carrot though.

Goals for 2018

IMG_0591The start of 2018 means it’s time for setting goals for a new year.  Setting goals help keep me focused on tasks and help keep me motivated.  Here are my goals for 2018.

The first goal is one that I set in 2017, but didn’t complete.  It is to finish revising my novel.  I’m hoping that I can finish editing by the end of 2018 and have something ready to be submitted by this time next year.

In 2017 I began to seriously study web design by learning HTML, CSS and Javascript.  For this year, I hope to finish the majority of the courses that I am currently taking.  I would like to finish the web design module in Lynda.com, and also an HMTL/CSS course on edX.  Additionally, I’m hoping to finish the Javascript/jQuery book by Jon Duckett .  So it seems that I have a lot of learning to do this year.

My last goal is to continue to produce content for Hubpages and Shutterstock.  My goal is to write an article a week or every two weeks for Hubpages.  That works out to be about 25 articles for 2018.  I’m also hoping to submit perhaps 25 to 50 images to Shutterstock.  I think these are achievable goals for content creation.

This year is all about writing, learning and creating.  I think if I keep at it I will be able to achieve these goals.  Here’s to a good year in 2018!

Looking back at 2017

IMG_1182  In the beginning of 2017, I set goals for myself.  Let’s see whether I have achieved any of these goals.  Here, is a look back at 2017.

I was hoping to finish revising and editing my novel by the end of the year.  This did not happen.  I’m still working on it.  It has taken more time than I expected.  I’m just not happy with the current draft.  I think it will take a while before I’m pleased with it.

For 2017, I wanted to earn an income from my artwork (my watercolours and photographs).  To achieve this goal, I put my paintings and some photos on Fine Art America in February.  So far I haven’t made any sales.  It’s quite disappointing.  I also put my photos on Shutterstock.  I was pleased that I was accepted into the program and that many of my photos were approved.  However, I haven’t earned very much from my photos.  I also started writing online articles on Hubpages.  Like Shutterstock, I haven’t earned very much from my writing either.  So it seems selling and earning an income on the internet has been very difficult for me.

Another goal was to learn and master Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.  This goal was mostly a flop.  I took a few Photoshop and Illustrator courses on Lynda.com, but I honestly can’t remember much as I didn’t get to practice on the actual software.   I decided not to purchase the software in 2017 (it was too much) so had no access to the programs and no way of practicing.

I did manage to make a new friend in 2017.  We met initially at a Christmas party in 2015, but didn’t talk to each other afterwards.   In the fall of 2017, she started to play badminton, a sport that I have been playing since 2015.  It was fun playing badminton with her and reconnecting.   We started emailing each other.  And later on, we went out for lunches a few times.  I now consider her a good friend of mine.

Health-wise, my anxiety was really bad this year.  My physical symptoms of anxiety are nausea, gagging and vomiting.  I would often feel like throwing up doing some of the most mundane things such as cleaning, going to the gym, flossing and brushing my teeth.   It was really severe when I had to go to the doctor’s appointment and particularly the dentist.  It doesn’t help that I have a sensitive gag reflex either.  I’m always afraid of vomiting at the dentist office, which so far hasn’t happen yet.  In any case, the anxiety and associated symptoms are very uncomfortable.

I have done many things to try to alleviate my anxiety, including going to the gym regularly, playing badminton, doing yoga, and deep breathing.  Some of these things help, but it hasn’t completely gone away.

Overall, most of my goals weren’t achieved in 2017.  But I think some of them are just initial steps in a much bigger endpoint.  So I will continue to turn these goals into reality for next year.  What I’m most happy about this year is for the friendship that I gained.  I’m also happy that I was physically very active, which helps to maintain mental and physical health.  Taken together, it wasn’t a bad year after all.

Merry Christmas!


I just wanted to say a few words about this photo.  What you see here is Springer Market Square in Kingston, Ontario, all decorated for Christmas.   The big historic building on the right is City Hall.  In the centre of the square is an ice rink for skating.   I took this picture on December 15th 2017.    The photo shows just how festive, bright, and beautiful our historic downtown really is.

I’d like to thank all of my followers and visitors for reading, viewing my photos, and for interacting with me on here.   I appreciate all of your support and feedback!

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, peace, health and happiness.

Happy Holidays!

Christmas Welcome – Photo Critique


For this week’s photo critique, we will look at “Christmas Welcome.”  It’s a photo of a Christmas wreath on the door of City Hall.  It was taken last Friday.  Let’s discuss some of the positive and negative aspects of this photo.

I love all the interesting textures in this photo.  You have the prickly needles, the rugged cedar leaves, the shiny textured bow and the smooth glass and wood.

The colours are also very appealing.  There are cool blues and greens.  This contrasts with the warm glow of the golden bow.

The composition could have been slightly better.  It just seems like the photo was cut off at the bottom.  I should have shown more of the bow and wreath.

There is a distracting “D” a few centimetres above the centre of the bow.  If I had Photoshop, I think I would have removed it.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!

Snow on Perilla – Photo Critique


This week’s photo critique is on “Snow on Perilla.”  The photo shows dead perilla flowers covered in snow.  These perilla herbs are from our garden.  The photo was taken in late November.  Let’s go over its strengths and weaknesses.

I love the minimal colours in this photo.  There are just white, brown and grey.  It sort of looks like the photo has gone through a sepia filter.

The photo conjures up a different scene than what it really is.  If you squint, the background looks like snow covered trees in a forest.

The exposure is slightly off.  The photo looks a bit underexposed.

The focal point of the photo, the foreground perilla stem on right, is not all in focus.  The top portion of the stem is sharp, but as you go down, the focus is lost.

Please let me know what you think!  Thanks!