When 2015 began I didn’t have any definite plans, just some directions and intentions — such as taking our boat to the Bahamas in the spring…But as often happens, unexpected opportunities popped up and so did some nice surprises, leading to a full, rich and rewarding year.
Of course there were some sad times too, such as losing our beloved Charles the Westie in December, but these were outweighed by the good ones.
Here are just a few highlights in pictures…
Attending a photography workshop in Delray Beach — February
I decided to go to this workshop on the spur of the moment when I was in Florida and am so glad I did. Contemplative photography is about recognizing flashes of perception, staying present and keeping open to what is really before you — so that you see and photograph in a fresh way. We shot texture and colour and patterns. It was enormous fun. Windex for the eyes. Read more here.
Falling in love with a litter of Golden puppies — February
These five puppies stole my heart at the marina where we were living. Their frolicking and affectionate cuddling brought daily joy. All of them lived on a boat with their parents Punkin and Fuzzy and came to shore several times a day for play time. I had such a great time capturing their antics. Happily, they all went on to find good homes. Read more here.
Sailing to the Bahamas on Windsong II — March/April
How could this not be a highlight — cruising the pristine waters of the Bahamas in a sailboat, meeting new friends and meeting up with old friends from home? We did it for about five weeks and saw new and gorgeous places this year — so much beauty I couldn’t begin to capture it all, so I had to take a lot back in memory form.
Shooting the New Vintages Tailgate Event in Niagara with my sister on her birthday — June
This was my first foray into paid event photography. I went to visit my sister to celebrate her birthday and she asked me if I would like to be second shooter for her at a wine event. Well, I thought I would give it a go. It turned out to be quite a challenge, which I knew going in, but it was also totally enjoyable. I have great admiration for my sister, who does these kinds of shoots on a regular basis as part of her marketing/communications business.
Having an image published in a spread in the LCBO Vintages magazine — June
Well, this was fun. Through my sister, the good folks at i4c (International Chardonnay Celebration) asked if they could use one of my images of their 2014 event in an advertising spread in the LCBO Vintages magazine. They offered to pay in wine. Well, that was a no-brainer. Of course they could.
Trip to the Northwest Territories to see family — August/September
A very important part of our family now lives very far away from us — way up north of the 60th parallel in the Northwest Territories. This is not an area that too many Canadians ever travel to. We don’t know how long this phase of their life will last so we decided to go visit and see what they were experiencing for ourselves. The terrain was rugged and fascinating and the wildlife was amazing — but challenging to capture with my camera. The highlight of this highlight was playing with the grandkids.
Quick trip to West Virginia — September/October
In mid-fall, we accepted a friend’s kind offer to spend time at a cabin in West Virginia. We hit some cool and rainy weather, which gave me the welcome chance to shoot some moody, misty shots.
Donating an image to the Mosaic on Mental Health in Halifax — October
My cousin helps organize an art festival to support mental health programs in Nova Scotia every year. She asked if I would be willing to donate one of my images. I was honoured and delighted. It was way too far to go to see the exhibition, but it was a huge success and a lovely lady was pleased to walk away with my piece. Win/win!
Winning the Grand Prize in a photo contest — November
Well, this was a stunner. On a whim, I entered a photo contest that was looking for images of my county — Lanark County. I submitted a barn image made near my home on Christmas Day and another one of our river. A month later, I received an email to say I had won the Grand Prize and smaller prize. Frankly, I was gobsmacked. I did put the prize money to good use though — some I donated and the rest went to camera equipment!