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Saturday, March 29, 2014

School Of Digital Photography: Perspective Control A.K.A Tilt Shift Lenses

School Of Digital Photography: Perspective Control A.K.A Tilt Shift Lenses: Tilt-shift lenses provide the DSLR shooter with a limited amount of functionality of a view camera. With a tilt shift lens mounted on a ...

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Easy and Delicious Sheppard Pie

All photos done using a tripod, Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, window lights.


Served and Enjoyed, f18, 20sec. ISO200

We had this delicious Sheppard Pie  for Dinner to celebrate St-Patrick Day, I have enough Irish blood,  my grandma use to transform her house every year for that celebration, a lot of green!!!

This is a easy recipe using left over,

Ingredients,

8 ounces of left over Lamb, or cooked meat diced
1/2 cup of gravy, I used the juice and gelatine from my left over lamp roast, "full of protein"
6 garlic cloves minced
1 red onion minced
1/2  14oz can of mix carrots and peas,
1/2  14oz can of diced fired roast tomatoes
1/2 cup of white wine
1 tablespoon of Worchester sauce
1 tablespoon of butter
 Ground pepper, and sea salt
3 cup of left over mash potatoes, I used a mix of Yukon gold and yams
4 ounces of grated German Suisse cheese
1/3 cup of pine nuts

Mix all the ingredients except the potatoes, cheese and nuts,  f6.3, 1/60sec. ISO200
Method,

Oven at 350
put onion and butter In a Pyrex baking dish and microwaved for about 2 min. at high, add all the other ingredients of the list except the potatoes, cheese and nuts, microwaved for 5 min. at med high.
Top the mix with the potatoes, cheese and nuts, put in an oven at 350 for about 30min. broiled 2 min. to colored the cheese and nuts.
Served, and enjoyed!!!

Just out the oven, f11, 5sec. ISO200


Perfect, f18, 30sec. ISO200



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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Corel Painter Transforming a Photo into a Painting

Stephen Avenue Walk Downtown Calgary

Mirror
 I used Corel Painter for many years, starting with Painter 10 now using Painter X3 or 13. you can view many my work in my website gallery Concept and Fine Art, Fine Art Trees and Fine Art Flowers.
 Corel Painter is a wonderful software, one of the best. One thing great about Corel, is the 30
days full software trial, it's a big software and can be intimidating at time, the best way to
learn how to use it is by trying it, watch video tutorials and practice, same as when you download Photoshop
for the first time, after a while you get use to it, and more you use it, better you get at it.
I love using Corel Painter to transform photographs.

To do the digital paintings on this post I used different brushes, paper textures and paints, I still need to learn a lot more about all the features and how to use them, Painter is such a complete program, it will take me many years to learn maybe half of it, that lack of knowledge is not stopping me to use it, and should not stop you either.
I never rush this kind of work, it can take me few hours, too few months, depending of what I
want to achieve.


Canadian Forest, Calgary Alberta

Impressionist Forest, Banff Alberta

Escape, White Rock British Columbia

Sunset After the Rain Plaza San Martin, Buenos Aires, Argentina

The End of The Road, Canmore Alberta

Soft Flower

Floral Expression

Mendoza Tree, Plaza Independencia, Mendoza Argentina

Walk in the Park, Park San Martin, Mendoza, Argentina





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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Family Matter Marc Surgery,

Getting the camera ready for tomorrow Marc surgery
5:20am Admission to the Foothills Hospital Calgary
We didn't get any sleep, were up by 3:30 leaving the house at 4:20am for the hospital,

We were kind of first one to register, they picked Marc up for surgery around 6:45,

We are speaking about a serious back surgery, but for some reason when he was in recovery his

desired to come home right away, confused the staff, and even if his surgeon required at least two

nights stay, they wanted to release him, means I had to find him from one unit day surgery to another

spine surgery, no one really new what was happening. Cause in Alberta like any places in Canada

most  hospitals are short in beds, after waiting too long in the day surgery care he lost his bed in the

spine unit, they had to transfered him to a new unit in the new tower were he had the surgery, he was

kind of happy about it, he is doing very well the surgery was a success, and he should be home by

Thursday.

I asked him what he wanted to celebrate his successful surgery, we have been waiting many years for

this, and his response was, we will travel a lot more, but this week end I want a great Rosee "Wine"

and great chocolate to go with it, even a cherry blossom, he never asked for sweet before, and he will

get what he asked for for sure.

Thanks to all my family and friends that help us during this difficult time, a special thanks to our

great friends Marge and Tom, thank you so much guys, we love you,

Diane

All the pics were done with my small Panasonic Lumix,


Marc great spirit before the surgery

Marc favorite slippers,

Almost time to go, 6:45am


Back from surgery, it was a success, he is doing real well,

He should be out in a couple of days.


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My Husband Marc, third back surgery

We meet in 1976, got married in 1978, got one son Sebastien born in 1982, since we moved a lot  crossing our country few times.


Our wedding, many years back
15 years ago Marc, had difficulty feeling his fingers, and toes, went to a regular check up, sent to be scanned, to find out he needed a urgent neck fusion surgery,  a "cervical fusion"  a surgical procedure that links together damaged segments of the vertebral column in the neck.  They fused the lower one C4-5 and 6, this surgery goal was to prevent more tension on his spinal cord. The surgery  was a success, but it didn't stop the problem, and with the time he became disable, needed a cane to walk, and lately we bought a wheel chair.


Cause by his disability, he had to adapt to his new life, he is now focusing on art, doing ink, water color, paint and poetry. In a few months I will open a page on my blog  and a gallery on my website to share his work.


Marc Art, starting a new piece, a lot of his visual work are part of his poetry work, stay tune for a new gallery and page with his work.


Marc sitting at our favorite bar/resto in Canmore Alberta, The Sherwood, Canon 5D Markii, Canon 16-35 at 16mm, f2.8, 1/80sec. ISO 200

Marc doing is meditation, Canon 5D Markii, 24-105 at 28mm, f4, 1/125, ISO200, Flash on a stand. Black and White onOne Perfect BW
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Marc having a beer in Palermo Viejo, Buenos Aires Argentina Jan. 2011, Canon 5D Markii, 16-35 at 35mm, f2.5, 1/10sec, ISO200, window light

The second surgery was done last August, too many years after the first one, our health system is not the best, he should of got that surgery in 2008, but the Doctor he meet in 2008 didn't render a good diagnostic, and Marc condition worsen, till he meet Dr. Jacob assistant early 2013, learning that he needed a second fusion this time for the higher cervical vertebras C2 and 3, no choice if he didn't want to be completely paralysed. This second surgery was extremely risky but fortunately he got one of the best surgeon, Dr. W. Bradley Jacob and it was a complete success. Now all his cervical vertebras are fused.

Marc getting ready for his second neck fusion August 2013, using my little Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200, f2.8, 1/13sec, ISO100

Marc first meal after the surgery, August 2013, using my little Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200, f2.8, 1/13sec, ISO400

Dr. Jacob devotion for his patients is remarkable, he took the time to review Marc medical history, Marc suffered from intense lower back pain, and lost all the strength  in his legs, to help with this situation, Dr. Jacob will perform a lower back decompression surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve roots  the surgery does not correct the underlying degeneration of the vertebrae due to wear and tear of aging, however, so a return of symptoms is possible, Marc's third back surgery is today,  I will keep you posted,


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Monday, March 24, 2014

Mendoza to Santiago Chile, by bus



Leaving Mendoza entering the Andes, Canon Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 67mm, f10, 1/100sec. ISO100


You can fly, it takes only 25 minutes, passing through the Andes, price varied with the seasons, can be affordable around $180US returned to over $600US, Aerolineas Argentinas and Lan Airlines are offering many flights per week.
If you like to go by bus, we did it once, don't think will do it again, it was a very scary experience, we were sitting on the first row, left side #12 & 13 on the second floor of the bus, it means that the view was amazing, on the Argentina side the roads were great, going to higher altitude into the Andes, what was scary was our bus driver, passing vehicles all the time in very dangerous location.
When we got to the border, we had to pass customs in Argentina and Chile, took few hours.
The road on the Chilean side were not that great, and we had to go to a lower altitude, using a loop road, many loops, too many, very scary, we were sitting pass the front wheels of the bus meaning that we had the feeling that we were hanging over the cliff, the driver wasn't slowing down, shooting the road below was very hard, not because the view wasn't great, because it was so scary, I had a hard time to look down, my thoughts were all over the place, "if we blow a tire, we are going to die, we are way too close to the edge of the road, I am so scared".... you can have an idea looking at the image below. 

Scary Chilean Loop Road, hanging over the cliff, you can see a bit of the road on the left corner, it doesn't look too scary but believe me it was.                     Canon Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 24mm, f6.3, 1/100sec. ISO100      
We may do it again, the scenery is so amazing, and if we do we will do the leg from Santiago to Mendoza, that way we will sit inside of the road going up the Chilean dangerous loop road. If you plan to do this amazing adventure, bring your camera, I used a little Canon DSLR Rebel XSi, with my favorite lens my Canon 24-105 and a polarized filter for the window glare, it is sometime very difficult to avoid the glare, and a lot of my shots were not usable, too much of it, and because you're not the driver, you don't know what the weather will be, just keep shooting, you'll get great keepers, even if it was a scary experience, I am glad we did it... For more info follow this link "Platform 10".

Black and White using onOne Perfect BW

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 Argentina Road, Canon Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 45mm, f8, 1/100sec. ISO100

Argentina Road, Canon Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 28mm, f8, 1/100sec. ISO100

Chilean Road, Canon Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 50mm, f8, 1/100sec. ISO100


Chilean Road, Argentina Road, Canon Rebel XSi, Canon 24-105 at 35mm, f8, 1/100sec. ISO100



Friday, March 21, 2014

Scallops Night, "Food Photography"



Scallops with Lemon and Maple Syrup Dressing
 
The Scallops, bought at Costco, Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, Tripod, f11, 1/13sec, ISO200
I got that recipe from one of my sister, Johanne, and it's so delicious, that I had to share it with our dear friends Marge and Tom Bell.
We invited them for a celebration dinner the last one before my husband third back surgery schedule for March 25 at 7:30am.

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 shallot, minced
  • 4 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoon of lemon zest, minced
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • 2/3 cup of 35% cream
  • ½ tablespoon of pink peppercorns, crushed 
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 1/3 lbs of large scallops, bought mine at Costco, they were huge
  • I added few cooked shrimps, at the last minute!
Method
  1. Melt butter and sauté shallot in a pan.
  2. Deglaze with lemon juice and white wine and let simmer until reduced by half.
  3. Add the lemon zest, maple syrup and bring to a boil.
  4. Add the cream and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring throughout.
  5. Add the peppercorns and season with salt, to taste.
  6. Set aside and keep warm.
  7. Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat.
  8. Gently cook the scallops either 2 minutes on each side, or on one side only and until the top turns slightly opaque, add shrimps at the last minute!
  9. Serve immediately with the sauce and a side of seasonal vegetables.


  • Melt butter and sauté shallot in a pan.
  • Deglaze with lemon juice and white wine and let simmer until reduced by half.

  • Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, Tripod, f11, 1/15sec, ISO200

    Add the cream and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring throughout. Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, Tripod, f11, 1/30sec, ISO200 
    ½ tablespoon of pink peppercorns, crushed, Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, Tripod, f11, 1/30sec, ISO200 


    Add the peppercorns and season with salt, to taste. Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, Tripod, f11, 1/15sec, ISO200 

    Gently cook the scallops either 2 minutes on each side, or on one side only and until the top turns slightly opaque, add shrimps at the last minute! Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, Tripod, f11, 1/20sec, ISO200 


    Served with microwaved green beans flavored with sundried tomatoes in olive oil, and mashed  potatoes ( 2 orange yams, I purple yam, 5 pounds of Yukon gold yellow flesh potatoes, butter, milk, and Greek seasoning), wash down with a lot of great wine.  

     
    Serve immediately with the sauce and a side of seasonal vegetables. Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, Tripod, f11, 1/3sec, ISO200 

    Perfect Celebration Dinner Recipe.  Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, Tripod, f11, 1/4sec, ISO200 

    One of the bottle was a pleasant discovery, one of the best Malbec I had the chance to taste.  

    Cameron Hughes Lot 358, 2011.  Canon 5D Markiii, Canon 100mm Macro, f6.3, 1/60sec, ISO640, LED lamp 

    Lot 358,  Cameron Hughes 2011 Mendoza Malbec (Argentina)
    Description from Cameron Hughes Website;

     Lot 358 Malbec has juicy texture and lush fruit flavor, but is most lovable for its drinkability. Violet in color, with flavor aromas of black cherry and plum that carry through to the palate. There is a nice richness, it is very balanced, not an over-the-top style. It has a long and lovely finish with firm tannins. You could age a couple years, but why bother when its drinking so well now.

    Style
    Full, Bold

    Flavors
    Cherry, Plum

    Vintage: 2011
    Appellation: Mendoza 100%
    Grape: Malbec 100%
    Alcohol by volume: 13.9%
    Production: 6,000
    Drink/Hold: Now through 2019

    Note from Cameron Hughes Website;
    This Malbec was made with our longtime producer partner in Mendoza. We have worked together now for five years, and our relationship continues to deepen with each release. 2011 was an epic vintage in Luján de Cuyo and the neighboring Valle de Uco. We identified vineyard blocks in both valleys that reveal the sheer power and balance for which Malbec is famous. If you enjoyed Lots 258 and 275, this wine will stop you in your tracks.
    They are completely right, I have to get more, if you try it let me know what you think!
    Cheers,
     


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