Catchlight Canada: Blog en-us (C) Catchlight Canada (Catchlight Canada) Mon, 08 Jan 2018 21:13:00 GMT Mon, 08 Jan 2018 21:13:00 GMT Catchlight Canada: Blog 80 120 I hate snowmobiles I really feel for Arwen. Ever since she was a pup, she's had very sensitive ears, and loud noises of any kind obviously bother her. The bane of her (and by extension, my) existence in winter time is snowmobiles. I don't have any patience for them on any level: they are loud, they stink (the diesel fumes spread and hover in the air long after they're gone) and they seem to attract the same idiot, selfish, prone to drinking-and-driving demographic as the jet skis do in the summer. Their effect on Arwen simply compounds the antipathy. 

When she hears the rip of a snowmobile accelerating, even at a long distance, Arwen panics and skulks over to my feet. She won't even find an interest in her ball. I grabbed this picture of her when we heard the distant approaches of one. You can see by her expression that all is not well.

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Wed, 17 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
More ghosts in the snow

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Tue, 16 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Pane in the glass get it?

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Mon, 15 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Blast from the past Arwen as a baby

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Sun, 14 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Tiny bubbles What do you do when it's bitterly cold outside and you need to take a daily photo but the indoors is absolutely uninspiring and dull? You make bubbles.

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Sat, 13 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
The ride home We had to take Soleil to the vet just before New Year, thanks to some holiday overindulgence. I grabbed a couple of pictures with my phone on the way home; this is how the two dogs spend the greater part of any car journey we go on. Can you think of anything more snuggly than this?

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Fri, 12 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Funny face, I love you...

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Thu, 11 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Barrett and Joy's 12th birthday - the other pups Between us, we had six Labradors, and while the seniors had a quick portrait session, the younger ones romped and also paused to pose.

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Wed, 10 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Barrett and Joy's 12th birthday Two dogs, belonging to two friends, born on December 24 of the same year. It's become a bit of a tradition to do birthday portraits of them, though I don't ever remember it being so cold. Barrett's fighting cancer at the moment, and Joy's paws were freezing, but we managed a few and continued the tradition. The most beautiful moment I will have to leave to your imagination, as it wasn't captured by the camera: Barrett's change in demeanour when his best friend Joy arrived.

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Tue, 09 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Elastic-band dog

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Mon, 08 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Treadmill sit-in

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Sun, 07 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Stripes at twilight

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Sat, 06 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Serendipitous slow shutter speed I take a small, plastic, very basic nikon DSLR out on my dog walks, and in inclement weather I tuck it inside my coat, near the armpit/ribcage, to protect it and keep some body heat on it. 

For the price, it performs remarkably well in all conditions, and I have to give it credit in that at minus 30 and below, only the autofocus becomes a bit slow and capricious. Many other cameras simply would not work at all in that kind of cold.

The camera has a dial on the top of it that you rotate to choose shooting modes. I most often have it in aperture priority or manual, but somehow the dial must have been knocked into shutter priority. The first two photos that I fired in burst mode gave me a very slow shutter speed, and I looked to see what was wrong with the camera and saw that the dial was on shutter priority. I corrected it to Aperture priority and went on shooting.

When I got back to the house, I looked at the pictures I'd taken and saw that the erroneous shutter priority ones had given me a couple of beauties of Soleil in blurred, stylized form, against the white canvas of the snow.

So when the time came for our afternoon walk, I popped the dial back on S and played!



]]> (Catchlight Canada) Fri, 05 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Twinned These two are as one.


]]> (Catchlight Canada) Thu, 04 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
How do you describe this kind of cold? I cannot remember a cold so deep nor so enduring. It arrived on Christmas Day and has been relentless ever since.

Words such as bitter or frigid just don't seem to convey the intensity.

So I'll try to describe it in images and tropes:

It's too cold to snow. The days are blindingly bright and the sky is so blue it's almost indigo. 

When it gets really cold, we get frost filigree all over our porch windows. When it gets even colder, the frost disappears. This is the first time I've witnessed/observed this.

To venture outside, I have to put on a winter coat and then put a down vest over top of that. Dog walks last maybe 5 minutes, and I know exactly how many steps it is to get back from the corner to our house. I count down.

The cold air actually feels like it is searing exposed skin.

The dogs appear to be ''holding it'' and when they do go, it's impressive.

The wiper fluid in my jeep not only froze, it expanded and broke out of the container that holds it.

The snow gets more and more squeaky the colder it gets.

We keep hearing sounds like gunshots. It's tree branches shattering.


Arwen's eyelashes became encrusted in ice after just minutes outside.


]]> (Catchlight Canada) Wed, 03 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Contrails Contrails

Such a pretty word.

How does my landscape appear

To a person on that plane,

Looking down?

A quilt of forests and fields

Tidily seamed by road and rail.

Up there in the ether, do they ever wonder

If someone is looking up at them

As they glide through the sky,

While the vapour of their passage

Unravels back to nothing.


]]> (Catchlight Canada) Tue, 02 Jan 2018 20:00:00 GMT
Here goes nothing... Happy 2018!

I've spent a good part of the last two or three years ''finding myself'' as an artist, and while I still have a long road to go (which is not a bad thing; quite the opposite), I've decided that in order to have others believe in me, I first need to believe in myself, and truly own the identity of artist. 

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I already have a longstanding habit of putting out a post on a daily basis: sometimes just photographs, but often with some text of my own, or some borrowed poetry. Before I used this platform, I spent a few years on Blipfoto doing the same. And I will continue to post this blog as a daily exercise and as an outlet for my photography.

I am also launching a new blog, following the model of Blipfoto's 365 project. For 2018 I have set myself the challenge of painting every single day, as well as posting a painting/blog every single day. The painting that I post may not necessarily have been done on the day it is posted, but there will be 365 paintings done and 365 posted. To this end, I have set up an artist website which will grow and develop along with the project. If you are interested, please do have a look and follow along. The first blog post is up. Just click on 'blog' in the main menu at the top.

Thank you to the handful of readers who stop by here regularly. I have no means of replying directly to the comments that you leave, but I receive them immediately in emails, and I read and enjoy them all.

All the best to all of you for 2018.


]]> (Catchlight Canada) Mon, 01 Jan 2018 18:20:06 GMT
The Blue Period Another day, another Extreme Cold Weather Warning. This writeup is an interesting and informative capsule about the cold phenomenon that has most of North America in its grip at the moment. The colder it gets, the more blue-purple the light - and therefore the snow, since it is reflective - becomes. We managed 15 minutes at the park before I turned into a popsicle. 

Tomorrow will bring a new year, and along with it, an exciting announcement. 

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Sun, 31 Dec 2017 22:21:24 GMT
Baby it's cold outside, part deux

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Sat, 30 Dec 2017 22:29:18 GMT
Baby it's cold outside these birds can attest :

]]> (Catchlight Canada) Fri, 29 Dec 2017 23:50:19 GMT