Photo-Art by Neil de Boer

Archive for January, 2012

Market Flowers

Market Flowers

Here is another shot from the St. Jacobs Market on Saturday. Flowers seem to be a popular item. Especially at the end of the day when they go on sale.
Here is a photography tip for you. Take Pictures. I know it sounds simple but it is true. If you want to get better at something it takes practice. So don’t just take your camera with you. Take it out of the bag or your purse or where ever you keep it and put it in your hand. The neat thing that happens is that it really makes you aware of what’s going on around you. When we went to the market I didn’t just wonder around aimlessly, I actually was looking for things to photograph. Look for patterns. Things that repeat. Interesting lines and interesting people. Most of all Have Fun!!


Market Preserves

How Do You Choose?

We made a quick Trip to the St. Jacobs Market today and this stand had a multitude of preserves. I don’t know how you would choose. One of each maybe?
Click on an image below to see larger versions.

Kel-Care Fire Video

Fire at Kel-Care in St. Jacobs

This is a video I made of the pictures I took at the fire.

Tree of Life

Tree of Life

And the Oscar goes to “The Tree of Life” !!?? If you have seen the movie the Tree of Life you probably either liked it or hated it. I rented it a while back and although I liked it I’m glad I didn’t pay to see it in the theatre. It is very artistic and I guess I was in the mood for something different that night. What I liked most was the story / message which is what keeps you engaged. Any way this old tree made me think of the movie. Not sure why but there you go.

Kel-Care Fire St. Jacobs

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Kel-Care Fire St. Jacobs, a set on Flickr.

This evening I got a call from my friend Steve Morris – knowing I would want to take pictures – with the news that there was a fire in town.Thanks Steve.This building is on Albert St. near down town. They are a metal polishing company that have been here for years. Fortunately no one was hurt and our terrific Volunteer Fire Fighters did a great job of keeping it under control.

Wood and Steel

Wood and Steel

Here is another shot from under the rail bridge in St. Jacobs. This bridge crosses the river and when the water is high it floods this area. The result is a chaotic jumble of wood and steel.

This HDR shot is three exposures +2,0,-2 processed in Lightroom, Photomatix, Photoshop, Topaz

Share Your Path

Share Your Path

My wife and I went for a walk the other day and we came across this couple doing the same. Some may say they were not up the task. That they shouldn’t risk it. They should take an easier path. But together they made it. Shared an adventure.

We share paths in different ways. I shared this path as well as sharing my life path with my wonderful Wife. Now I’m sharing this photo and a few humble thoughts with all of you who read this. I guess that is why we teach our kids to share. It’s always better that way.

Do you have a caption for this picture you would like to share. Why not post a comment!

Water Colours

Water Colour

Sometimes something will grab your attention and you think to yourself “that’s cool”. Of course it is different for everyone but these sail boat masts reflecting in the water made me stop and shoot a few shots.

This started out as a single camera raw shot. Processed in Lightroom – softened with some noise reduction. I just kind of played around with it the software till I got it to the point were I was satisfied with it. That’s one part of the Art of photography I enjoy.

Safe Harbour

Safe Harbour

This shot was taken this summer at 50 Point Marina near Grimsby Ontario Canada. We sailed across the west end of Lake Ontario from Bronte Marina. Though we had mostly sunny weather we could see thunder storms all around us. We got safely docked and the sky opened up with lightning and thunder. After the storm we were treated with this beautiful sunset!
This HDR is a 2+/0/-2 three exposure shot process in Photomatix – touched up in Photoshop, Topaz filters, Imagenomic Noiseware noise reduction.

Pick Your Poison!

This was taken in an abandoned barn just out side of Waterloo Ont. Canada. These old bottles with who knows what in them were lined up across from the abandoned toy truck which I posted back in December – “Forgotten Memories”

This was shot with 3 exposures +2, 0, -2 – Raw – processed in Photomatix and then in Photoshop and Topaz.


Beautiful Junk

A visit to our local transfer station (where you can bring stuff to go to the dump) is always an adventure. The attendant there is very creative in making displays of beautiful junk. The tree beside the attendant booth is decorated with numerous lanterns like this one.
I ran this through topaz adjust – then added a texture to the background and masked the lantern back in. Then added a little vignetting and a frame.

Find An Inspiration and Run With It!

I was talking about photography with Dave Small, the music director at our church, and he told me his Uncle is Michael Orton who pioneered a photographic technique which gives a painterly look. In fact Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 was released containing an “Orton Effect” guided action. I checked out his web site and was inspired by the beautiful abstract images.

The wonderful colours made me think of the beautiful quilts my wife Elizabeth makes. I grabbed my camera and went up stairs where some of her quilts hang on the railing. The sun was beaming in the window and created a interesting shadow effect on one of the quilts so I shot that first and then changed my setting so that the shutter speed was about 1/5 of a sec. I then panned the camera across the quilt as I shot to get a motion blur. It remind’s me of looking out of a subway car window when it speeds through a station and every thing is blurred. The second set is of a flower quilt Elizabeth made. The first shot shows what this beautiful quilt looks like. The second was shot at 1.3 sec. while I rotated the camera 45deg. So when you see something that inspires you let your creative juices flow and experiment! You never know what you will come up with. Click on the pictures to see a larger version.

Under the Rail Bridge

Under the Rail Bridge

This is a location I have not explored until now. It is under the railway bridge just out side of the Village of St. Jacobs Ont. Canada. I really liked the shape of this tree in contrast to the steel girder. When I processed it in colour it just didn’t do anything for me so I changed it to black and white and added a few textures. I thought the image was going to be a write-off but by changing it up I think it worked out ok.

Question: I share my Blog posts on Facebook and Google+ so when you click on the Facebook or Google+ post it takes you to my Blog to see a larger version of the picture. The question is for those of you on Facebook and Google+ do you find this annoying? I do it because it is easier for me to make one post and share it but I don’t want to discourage people from clicking on the image just because it takes them to a different page.

Over the Horizon

Over the Horizon

We went for a walk  last Saturday ( I can’t believe a week has gone by already) and I looked over and there was this tree peeking over the horizon with a band of dark clouds above. Just a little tweaking in Photoshop and added the frame.

Happy Birthday Stephen Hawking

Perimeter Institute and the new Stephen Hawking Centre

This past Sunday, January 8, 2012, was Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday. September 17, 2011 the Stephen Hawking Centre had its Grand Opening at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo Ont. Canada. This is a shot I took this past summer and I thought I would post it in honour of Mr. Hawking’s birthday. If you would like to learn a little more about the Perimeter Institute and the Stephen Hawking Centre, here is a link.

Winter Sunset

Conestogo Bridge at Sunset

The sky this evening looked promising for a good sunset so after work I went back to the bridge in Conestogo to shot it from the opposite direction. The sky was changing quickly but this one seemed to work out ok.

Colour VS Black & White

Conestogo Bridge HDR Colour


Conestogo Bridge Black & White

This image is of the old steel bridge just outside the Village of Conestogo Ont. Canada. Saturday morning was beautiful with just the right amount of clouds for an interesting sky. So the question is – do you like the Black & White or Colour version best. While I love the blue sky with the clouds I think I prefer the dramatic feel and vintage look of the B&W version.

So – I have upgraded my trusty 7 year old Canon Rebel 6mp camera to a new Canon 60D 18mp camera. I took it out for a test run Saturday morning and it was great. Lots of flexibility – easy to change the settings – built in level – bright articulating view screen. My only issue now is that the file size is so much larger that my trusty old computer is having a hard time with the extra processing I do to get the final image. Do the upgrades ever end?

Love the Summer Sunsets

Conestogo River Flower Box Sunset

Since I started shooting HDR (high dynamic  range) I have become more aware of the morning and evening light. I’m now always on the lookout for that special combination of cloud and colour at sunrise and sunset. I have noticed that the sunsets have not been as colourful this winter as they were in the summer. I wonder why that is? Maybe something to do with the temperature or pollution levels?
What I like about this shot is how the foreground and the background are in focus. When you look at the bridge in the background your eye does not focus on the foreground flowers and when you look at the foreground flowers your eye does not focus on the background. Just as if you where there. I find it interesting how your brain does that with a 2D flat image.

Christmas Reflection

Christmas Bulb

Christmas Reflection

Here is a fun shot. We had a couple of chrome bulbs on the tree this year and it made for a nifty reflection.
When I reflect on this past year I feel truly Blessed and thankful and look forward to the new adventures 2012 will bring.

Parked Bench

Parked Bench

Happy New Year!

I came across these old park bench ends last summer out side Artefacts in St. Jacobs. I loved the shape and colour.
I processed this one to make the colour pop and then added a grungy texture to the background. Hope you like it!