Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Photo a Day 55

Had to run around Langley to find some new neon, not easy with tailgaters everywhere. Finally parked and walked down Fraser Highway in the old shopping area. This was at least interesting but not a whole lot to choose from. Well. Done anyway. This will be the last post for the challenge, just turned into one more hassle.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Photo a Day 54

Every time I see a Western Union sign, it reminds me of the Pony Express. Don't know why. Spent a few minutes researching to discover Western Union was started in 1851 as a telegraph business - that part of the company shut down in 2006 when yearly telegraph volume dropped to 20,000 - and now survives mainly as a means of transferring money worldwide. They also invented the teletype machine, also confined to the dinosaur trash heap. Meanwhile Pony Express was formed in 1860 to provide speedy mail delivery from the eastern US to California and its 380,000 residents. By galloping across the plains and over the mountains, letters could travel from Atlantic to Pacific in only ten days. My confusion must result from watching too many cowboy movies with horse riders climbing up poles to intercept telegraph messages.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Photo a Day 53

Getting these shots at night helps, although I'd rather be elsewhere than furtively wandering the streets.
"Yes sir, we  really believe you are just out taking photos for your blog"
"Do you have ID on you sir?"
"No. Then could you tell us the care home you wandered away from?"
"Why don't you just sit in the back of the cruiser here. Take a moment to remember who you are."
Okay That's it. No more sneaking around with the camera. I can tell they're out to get me. Should have believed the man downstairs.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Photo a Day 52

During the day, this barely shows up. White neon does not catch the eyes. So I surreptitiously sneaked by and got this shot at twilight while no one was looking. After some hassles at Semiahmoo Mall and a tanning shop - what their problem was I don't know - a low profile was needed, just in case they assumed I was 'casing the joint'. How a photo of their signage could be considered an invasion of privacy or trademark theft seems incomprehensible but with all the patent wars going on in the big leagues - who knows? Now I'm home and feel secure. However, to be on the safe side, any knocks on the door will be ignored.  Wait, wait -  What's That Sound?

Friday, 20 February 2015

Photo a Day 51

Went out about ten to six to try and shoot some photos at dusk to get stronger colours and because some of these signs are not turned on during daylight hours. For a few moments, I thought I had left it too late as the sun melted away much faster than anticipated. However the pictures turned out okay, not even needing a bit of extra work. Usually I darken the background to bring out the neon, reduce reflections and remove people, but having customers at the table seemed appropriate in this case.
Quite a large neon sign since most have turned to back lights or leds to save money on operating costs. Not sure how much difference in manufacturing each type, it may be the deciding factor or maintenance. Single bulbs burning out are easily replaceable but neon bulbs I think are much more expensive. By quick calculation I'll have enough signs to complete the month, so I'd better come up with the next theme.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Photo a Day 50

For a while driving through Parts of Vancouver and Burnaby today, I thought I might strike out in town. Stopped on Hastings to get a supply of olive oil at Cioffi's; so I took a couple of shots of the 'Girl on a Swing'  and the historic marker plaque. Because of the light colours, it doesn't show well during the day but spending all day hunting for neon wasn't on the menu. As I walked back to the car, I spotted this one in a window on the other side of Hastings. Someone put artistry into constructing this sign. Really nifty with the flames and not just static letters. Reminds me of the knife at the tattoo shop a couple of weeks back. Now, what to do with the swing one. Hmm!

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Photo a Day 49

Even a quick drive through part of Langley produced nothing other than the usual 'OPEN' signs on every third store. Instead of dodging the morning traffic, I decided to return back down 200th Street to go home leaving the acquiring of a photo until the afternoon. However as I passed the  shopping mall near 40th Avenue, a hunch made be pull in to check a little closer. Not much but I did find this neon in the front window of an insurance agency. Was kind of askew and part of the S was cut off by the door frame, still it fits the challenge. A touch up on the computer and voila, ready to go. At the outside, it lengthened my trip home by about two minutes, hardly enough to consider. Best of all, on the return there was no truck traffic on 16th to slow traffic to a snail's pace plus no diesel fumes.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Photo a Day 48

Wandering around in the outlands of South Surrey, I came upon this sign attached to one of the many faceless retail stores populating the grim Langleyesque environment. Had no idea until I checked online that it was another purveyor of ladies wear stocked with shiploads of Chinese manufactured, second-rate merchandise. Wait, this may not be the end of the rant. Visited a kitchen shoppe stocking a great variety of high priced offerings which took up an extreme amount of the square footage in a smaller sized store. Ownership looking for the maximum return on space, so the aisles can only allow passage for customers too thin to eat. No wonder every display has a dire warning ' Pretty to look at, delightful to hold, if you damage it, consider it sold'. Place probably makes more from breakage than real sales. Decided to drop in at Indigo Books which is a problem since they forgot to install a main entrance. Once you walk down almost to the alley way, you spot a small side door where one can slide sideways into the store. The greatest pleasure of the shopping trip was finding the car and escaping back into reality.
Oh! But look at the pretty star covering the A hole in the pink neon sign!

Monday, 16 February 2015

Photo a Day 47

Perhaps I need to drop into this shop and have my eyes checked. Not only have I driven by numerous times - keeping your eyes on the road ahead seems a proper excuse not to gaze sideways - but I've run by on 3 or 4 occasions without it registering on my retinas.  Despite always being on the lookout for neon during February, I must have been contemplating my navel as I passed. The area around King George and 24th was barren of any neon signs, so I was pleased to find one on the return for today's post. Now about tomorrow.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Photo a Day 46

Another sunny day so a couple of the neon signs were fading away from the bright light. Then I spotted this one hidden in the entry way of Coast Capital. Deep in the shade and no reflections to deal with made it almost easy enough to use 'as is'. Rather than head straight home, I took the opportunity to get a couple of street scenes (thinking of new themes) and a mural at the Blue Frog. Nearly every time I pass by cars are blocking part of the wall and I've yet to remember to head over earlier in the morning. As luck would have it, as I approached the lone vehicle started up and left giving me an unfettered view. Normally, somebody pulls into park the second I turn my camera on. Once I process the photo I can use it on the blog. Yippee!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Photo a Day 45

Busy morning but the challenge goes on. Seen this sign quite often as it's on North Bluff and is part of a seniors residence or care facility. Guess the pharmacy has a captive clientele. Didn't think I would get a decent photo as I always see it from the south side of the road. Once I moved in closer and framed in the shot, it turned out much better. Appears to have a burnt out leg on the Y and a bit on the A plus one of the open signs does not light up. Perhaps the store will be incorporated in the newer building about to be built next store and the neon will be consigned to the junk heap. So sad! I think it is unusual for a pharmacy to deliver, unless it is just to extended care facilities or they have a wee grass operation on the side. They might as well compete with all the small Mom and Pop marijuana club storefronts springing up. Yippee for capitalism.

Friday, 13 February 2015

Photo a Day 44

It's late and your post has to go out today.

But there were extenuating circumstances.

The contract stipulates ' No Excuses Will Be Considered Valid"

I didn't get out to look for a neon sign until late.

Well, serves you right for waiting so long to get the photo.

Mutter, mutter.

A whining attitude could result in today's post not being accepted.

I think the rules are too strict and unfair.

Doesn't matter. By the way. Just what is the photo supposed to be? Seems to be a toaster gone awry.

Anyone can see it's a freshly brewed cup of coffee.

Whatever. Just get the post uploaded and online within the designated period. Try to remember it is a Photo a Day challenge.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Photo a Day 43

Not too far to travel today. Quick trip in the drizzle right around the corner and the shot was taken. Hanging in the window of a private tutoring company probably catering to the Asian market as all I understand on the sign is the 'math' while the rest may be Korean and possibly another far east language. I've never seen anyone go in or out, so they may only do in home tutoring unless they have a larger venue elsewhere. Or maybe all the lessons are delivered online with occasional chats to address problem areas. All the signage is fairly small and barely noticeable driving by the storefront which means advertising likely happens mainly by word of mouth and customer referrals. Oh well. Back to the books.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Photo a Day 42

Best place to have taken this shot was probably the middle of Johnston Road, but I got squeamish about dodging traffic and stayed on the west side. Still I had to crouch down to to get all the neon due to a white ad banner blocking a bit of the top. Since the scissor part blinks on and off, I figured a few shots might be necessary to catch it on. Luck or my trigger finger worked the first time. Once loaded into paint.net, I decided to keep the ad banner and recolored it to black. Then I removed the reflections and the people in the shop, with the bonus of the scissors and comb remaining in view. 

Within a 500 meter radius I counted at least six barber shops whereas in most areas of Vancouver you have to search to find even one. Must be a really old school male population residing in the White Rock district. Wonder how many other neighbourhoods exist where barber shops outnumber hairdressers?

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Photo a Day 41

Judging by the actions of security forces hunkered in at Semiahmoo Mall, the only places photographers might be going would be the local penitentiary. Had already snapped one shot, which may not have been apparent to the fast approaching rent-a-cop, and was touched lightly on the arm inquiring as to what exactly I was doing. "Why I thought I'd just taken a photo of this sign for my neon blog" was not apparently the correct answer. Was brusquely informed the mall was private property and cameras were not allowed. When I inquired about exterior pictures I was informed that also was verboten, even from off property. Packed up my camera and departed.

Sent the mall owners - First Capital Realty -  a customer comment which will probably be ignored. Really, they should drag them selves into the 21st century. For one reason or another there are likely hundreds of photos snapped daily in the mall with cellphones as reminders or for price comparisons. Will the mall begin bag searches? If anything this old rundown mall needs to spruce up and try to attract customers, not drive them away. No wonder Zellers packed up and left with still no replacement retail outlets. Perhaps Canada will have its first abandoned urban mall in White Rock!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Photo a Day 40

Other than a walk along the beach, I didn't expect to find a neon sign to include in the photo a day blog, but there it was. Rather a nice touch turning the pointy end of the sword into a pen-nib. Only left to wonder whether the red drop represents blood or only the ink. No matter how many times you wander along the promenade or Marine Drive, there always seems to be a new store or building or thing to draw your attention. The more you hunt for photography material, the more it makes you take closer looks at everyday items or notice hidden treasures. So I'm not sure how many times the tattoo parlor just did not register in my view, until the daily search for neon drew me to the storefront.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Photo a Day 39

When I took this photo and reviewed it in camera, I didn't think the neon would show up well enough. So I kept meandering down the block to check out a couple more signs I knew were there. The first one basically disappeared as the sun peeked out through the clouds and was only marginally better even with the sun behind clouds. Down around the corner two more were washed out and of little use. Guess I'm getting use to the dull grey skies when the neon still has a chance to shine.
Once home with the pics uploaded to the computer, the original one of the beer and wine store turned out fine with a few minor touch ups. Does make me want to try catching some of the signs before sunup or just as twilight creeps for a chance at stronger hues. I won't look suspicious hanging around a liquor store in the middle of the night when it's closed - will I?

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Photo a Day 38

Started out on the other side of the road taking a shot of a 'beer and wine' sign in the window of a private booze shop. When I reviewed it in the camera, the cardboard boxes piled up behind the glass made me think I'd be left with a large whitish blotch in the finished photo. (Was proved correct when I got home.) So, it was back to the corner and cross over to try this one. Turned out rather well as I've learned how to disappear the background and the reflections without disturbing the neon tubes or color. While I really like the sign, sushi does not appeal to me at all. Perhaps if it was dipped in a fiery Thai dipping sauce to kill the texture and taste, I could become a fan. Maybe just skip the sushi and order spring rolls.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Photo a Day 37

With all the uproar over tanning and skin cancer, you'd think a sign promoting indoor tanning beds would have long been consigned to the garbage heap. But no, they must still be a viable business despite the constant barrage of negative publicity and bylaws restricting their use to only certain age groups. Although I've never considered using a tanning salon, working out in the sun or getting a tan on vacation has never been a source of worry. At least, I don't have to worry about insufficient Vitamin D levels from living in the basement.

When I took the photo, either the owner or an employee became visibly upset and hustled over to the main door to silently express their concern over my taking a picture. Maybe they thought I was about to report them to the CCS or pen a scathing article in the local paper. Perhaps they'll eventually have to run their operations like a blind pig by only responding to secret knocks on the back door with a little slider to view the customer before allowing entry. :)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Photo a Day 36

Too good! Since we had to go into town today (Vancouver), it gave me the opportunity to get an outside photo, so as to speak. Means I'll spend one less day scrounging in the local area. This restaurant has been on the corner of Broadway and Cambie for quite a few years, but I never have partaken of the food. Not sure why not. Maybe because you have to run back and forth to have your meal cooked at a central grill which makes me think I have to do all the work and still pay out money - a concept I can't grasp. Pretty certain they also have a place up in Whistler so perhaps a dinner there sometime during a summer visit. This one took a some cleaning up to rid it of an outside light attached to the wall and a odd circular symbol in one corner. Nice to have the art work along with the neon and not to have to deal with storefront glass reflections.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Photo a Day 35

Turned out a lot better then I expected. Post photo manipulation rules! Had to crop a lot of this one, on top the overhanging eaves were very dark and below the owner - Wolf perhaps - was entirely too visible and recognizable, so both had to make the cut. Played with the levels until the neon shone right out against a greenish background which appears to recede quite a lot. Makes me think I could spend more time on each photo.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Photo a Day 34

What with trees and concrete planters, it was difficult to get a clear shot without my reflection taking front and center. Rather than try to clone stamp myself completely out with some of the darker background, I played with the blue level until I almost disappeared. Besides which the camera and a couple of hands pretty much obscure my face. Also, it really made the neon colors pop out with less distractions. Although the sign indicates a unisex environment, I've yet to pass by when a gentleman has been relaxing in one of the chairs.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Photo a Day 33

Driving by I would never have seen this one. It's almost hidden under the overhang of a commercial building on 24th Avenue and I spotted it waiting for the light to change. Since pharmacists used to prepare concoctions many years ago, it would seem to be a sign long past its time.

Once home and busily researching online, I discovered that there is a still a need for altering some drugs to suit individual patients. One that interests me involves turning solid pills into a liquid formula to insure immediate ingestion of a prescription. They can also reduce dosages; but halving and quartering pills can be a do-it- yourself project at home. Not sure how an increase or decrease in an active ingredient could be possible when dealing with proprietary drugs as they are normally made to prevent any extraction of ingredients. Years ago working for Frosst - makers of 222s and others - I knew they were always reformulating to prevent the codeine from being unbound from the inert fillers and sold as a street drug. So I would surmise a fairly sophisticated laboratory would be required to alter any medicines.

Maybe retaining the sign with the 'compounding' intact gives the illusion of master alchemists hard at work and justifies those high dispensing fees.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Photo a Day 32

Since I spent every day in January out hunting for a photo to use in this blog, I decided a monthly theme might make it a touch easier. After wandering around on Saturday, I noticed a few neon signs within walking distance. Not enough for a full month but if I wander a bit further afield in South Surrey, I'm positive I can eke out 28 for the month.

Although not as ubiquitous as they once were, it surprised me how many smaller neon signs are still in use. Most of the 'open' signs are either made with led lights or use an inner bulb in a box. Likely more expensive to go the neon bulb way, however they are much more distinctive and really catch the attention. Not having a polarizing filter means I 'm stuck with the reflection off the glass windows. Probably not too bad or distracting if I can keep my own shadow out of the way - just have to remember to crouch and shoot at an upward angle. Well one down and twenty seven to go!

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Photo a Day 31

Walked past this mosaic countless times and probably stomped right over it without being aware of its existence. When there are so many people going to and fro from the mall, it pays to keep one's head up on a swivel especially to avoid conflicts with motorized wheelchairs and walker assisted pedestrians.
Once you have realized that it is part of the walkway, you can step back near the building and have time to study it in more detail. Represents what White Rock used to be some where back in the early to mid twentieth century. A journey out from the big City of Vancouver to the summer cottage where you could enjoy time at the beach. At that time the railway station was a stop on the Burlington Northern railway and not just a reminder of the old days.
Not easy to grab a photo since I had to back away a little to encompass the whole mosaic and there is no way to get higher to lessen the acute angle of view. Perhaps a fish eye lens would have helped?

Friday, 30 January 2015

Photo a Day 30

Spotted two Chinese restaurants with multiple paper lanterns, hanging over the outside seating; but I chose to capture this one due to its more intricate decoration. They are lot more noticeable during the day when the winter sun can peek in under the awnings while at night a light bulb has to suffice. Little did I know paper lanterns come in various shapes and guises with most divided into five separate types.

Baby's Bottom: a miniature lantern now often used for Christmas tree decorations.
Rolling Paper: tall cylindrical types usually seen in bars and restaurants.
Tomato Light: the classic round mid sized lantern also referred to as Big Red.
Crystal Magic: multi-shaped lights built with rectangular and triangular panes.
Buddha's Gastronomy: larger lanterns which are used as temple decorations and at festivals.

Most of the lanterns we see are regular, run-of-the-mill Chinese red types used to decorate stores, temples and street festivals. I would have guessed the colour to be Imperial Red but it apparently relates to fire and symbolizes good fortune and joy.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Photo a Day 29

My guess would be shadows. And I'd be correct. On a smooth surface the shadows of the small tress might have been sharper; however, against a rough concrete wall the edges diffused into the peaks and valleys softening the effect. Lines from the seams of the plywood forms are still clear even in the photo as are the quarter size indentations left from the form ties. All I had to remember was to keep my own shadow from intruding into the scene. Often times when composing the shot, the fact that the black blob towards the bottom is yourself just does not register.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Photo a Day 28

Today the photo was almost right outside the front door. Actually noticed that the flowers had bloomed which seems to have happened quite suddenly because I'm almost positive they were closed yesterday. Spotted them on the way out for a morning run and planned to get the camera out as soon as I returned. Then I decided to wait and see if the sun would pop out long enough to shine a little light on the subject. So not long after lunch I was able to snap away at leisure. As memory serves, I was sure the shrubs were a variety of Witch Hazel and a quick search online confirmed my suspicion. Still odd to see a shrub in full bloom before the leaves have arrived.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Photo a Day 27

Seems to be getting more difficult to find photograph worthy material for the daily challenge, especially when the weather stays dull and grey. Sunshine helps to liven everything up with brightness and shadows. So today I slowly marched along eyeing possibilities but just as quickly rejecting them. Finally ended up at the park on 18th Avenue thinking a picture of a dull bush would have to suffice for the day. Helpful that I paused to view all the landscaped islands at the corner or I might have stepped on these fungi and ended up wandering much further afield. Tried to identify each of these by referring to our old, never used mushroom book with no luck, Of course, they may not be mushrooms. However, they are very colourful and very noticeable, so I guess they are trying to attract birds or entice innocent bystanders into using them for a last supper!

Monday, 26 January 2015

Photo a Day 26

Never can be sure of how your thinking will change throughout the day. Pretty calm and serene starting out on a walk through Campbell Valley Regional Park but you can never be sure what lies beneath.  But that's a story for another day.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Photo a Day 25

Original plan was to return a book to the library and try to pick up a few magazines for easy reading before searching for a photo of the day somewhere in the vicinity. While I nearly always glance at the wall going up to the mezzanine because it is a showcase for new artists, I rarely look anywhere else. Today by chance I noticed how many things cover the walls including some paintings. For a  nostalgic return to the past, the artist has highlighted the old railway station, the summer cottage feeling of yore, the 'white rock' and in the distance the pier. Only my guess but 1913 may be the year the BNR built the station and 1988 might be the year the present library building was opened to the public.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Photo a Day 24

Didn't spot this rather odd engineering detail on a Roper Avenue condominium until a couple of days age. It was one of the buildings we looked at last April and probably twice in September when we were full on searching for a real estate deal.

Quite a few items tended to scare me off being serious about purchasing any of the four units we walked through. First was the poor shape of the elevator which seemed to bounce off the walls going up or down and was a couple of inches out at every floor landing. Second, in order to make the floor plans work, either the architect or builder decided to reduce the aisle room between the counters by about four inches which forced you to side step around the slightly oversize fridges. Third were the closed in decks which had been done piecemeal and  highlighted the  exceedingly poor workmanship. At this point I discovered many of the widows were single pane and only some had been upgraded to sealed units. Apparently more buildings are allowing owners to take charge of what used to be common property.

One of the deficiencies I missed entirely was the construction on the southwest corner. Appears the west side of this three story building is supported on a few eight inch concrete pillars instead of perimeter walls. Only other area I've ever seen this type of construction was in severe muskeg zones where the concrete posts acted as piles since the ground always shifted and heaved. Inspectors must have really been asleep on the job or the structural engineer never went on site preferring to send in the stamped plans by mail.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Photo a Day 23

Another good day to avoid the outside weather as the rain keeps teeming and no end in sight. Since the question came up about the hotel in Paris we stayed in a few years ago, I decided to grab a screenshot from Google maps and process it artistically. So the Hotel Relais du Pre as though done as an oil painting. Tomorrow I can't use a bit of moisture as an excuse.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Photo a Day 22

Well! If you can't find anything else interesting, you can always throw in another mallard duck photo. Not that many around. Guess the ones who winter over were too lazy to make the long flight south. They seemed to be feeding pretty well in this muddy little pond so life can't be all that bad.

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Photo a Day 21

I was looking at these a while ago (took a couple of photos back then) and never really read what was on them other than the 'Celebrating 100 Years'. That refers to the building of the White Rock pier, but this time I realized the two flags were slightly different with part of the pier on each one. How that ties in with the 'Five Corners' I have no idea. Besides which the five corners don't exist, at least not now, although a one time maybe Buena Vista ran straight through before the condominiums were built. Guess you have to be old enough to understand the reference.

With all the wind storms over the fall and winter quite a few of the flags have been blown away, unless there has been a little collecting going on in the wee hours of the morning. A couple of these nicely framed would add a brilliant touch of colour to a drab wall.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Photo a Day 20

With a lot of time on my hands waiting for a dealership to do an oil change, I thought I would find a photo op without any problems. Walked around for forty five minutes, looking here, looking there, all to no avail. Could be I was just disinterested - like not in the moment - or more plausibly, blind to the opportunities staring me in the face.

Finally I gave up and headed back to the dealership to see if the vehicle was ready. Well, of course not. Already fifteen minutes overdue, the car sat in the bay with the hood up and the wheels off (tire rotation time). So I started wandering down the back lane to waste more of the morning, when what to my surprise, I spotted this large mural - about 60' x 18' -  on the side of a body shop. Even if cars were not parked in front, I could not back up far enough to take in the whole painting so this is a rather small portion.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Photo a Day 19

Not sure about the secret of this building. Obviously belongs to White Rock but there are no signs to tell us what may be inside. No windows either, just a well locked door. My guess would be pumping equipment to bail out Marine Drive when the storms come a calling. T'other side has a colorful aboriginal style mural while this side has a definite Van Gogh influence. Notice how the warm yellows and oranges surround the ATM machine enticing you to get some hot cash in your pocket - for a fee of course.

Wonder if the city receives a cut?

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Photo a Day 18

Scraping the bottom of the barrel today. Looked at this opportunity a week ago, but decided it was a bit of a stretch as a perspective study. Loses a lot by having one side of columns and the other glass store fronts. Blame it on the threat of rain and not wanting to travel too far afield.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Photo a Day 17

Every time I pass by one of the newer condos, I'm attracted by a section of the outside decorative finishing.  A combination of paver stones and concrete cover the ground backed by what appears to be concrete seating, more or less like an amphitheater. While it might at first glance seem to be welcoming, the signage definitely suggests otherwise. No loitering, no skateboarding etc. with the stern admonition that this is private property. Despite the warning, I jumped up on the wall and took a shot of the circular pattern.

My ulterior motive was to post process the photo into some type of geometric pattern to gain more experience in using paint.net. Since the shot was taken at an angle, the circle was rendered as an ellipse so I thought I could manipulate it into an electron pattern. First I removed everything but the circle of pavers. Then I copied the result and pasted it into another three layers before rotating them individually into an octagonal arrangement. Each of the layers transparency was reduced before adding a background layer of transparent colour. Flatten and save.

Now what can I do next?

Friday, 16 January 2015

Photo a Day 16

Time to go out and look around. Where to go? How about Serpentine Fen? Okay, might be a drab time of year but usually you can get a few good close up photos of ducks or raptors or even a mangy coyote. Parked and headed past one of the tower lookouts heading over to the main pond. There were some waterfowl all clustered in the middle while the closer ones made a beeline for the furthest reaches. Not used to the ducks being quite so skittish, even with the crowds at West Beach they are tolerant of people being 8 to 10 feet away.

Once we start walking along the dyke beside the river the answer becomes clear - dogs. Seems the wildlife reserve has been transformed into an off leash park despite all the warning signs to keep your mutt on a leash. Counted at least 12 dogs running loose completely uncontrolled. And then we spotted 2 rather largish pit bulls being restrained by their owners but clearly indicating the viewing tower was off limits for the time being. Soon the area will soon be deserted of wildlife and be replaced by many, more plastic bags full of doggy droppings strewn all over the paths.

Well, as Roy would say 'Happy Trails to You' and don't step where Bullet went!

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Photo a Day 15

Due to imminent rain (at least, it looked that way) I decided not to wander too far afield. These screens decorate a local mall in order to beautify an otherwise plain drab boring wall. Even without a lot of plant growth, they do the job; although being completely covered in a vine like clematis, the effect would have been spectacular in flowering season.

Judging from the stunted growth of all the plantings, I would guess they are trying to survive in six inches of soil strewn over a densely packed backfill of pit run. It would be interesting to compare a present day photo with the artist's rendering for the plans presented to city hall for building approval.

Converting the photo to black & white helped by removing the rather insipid colour of the stucco finish!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Photo a Day 14

Kind of a selfie as I'm in there more or less covered by a shadow. Not the best time of day to try this shot as the sun, which I tried to keep hidden behind the mirror, occasionally blinded me as I shifted positions. Now I'm able to see what lurked behind me, although I have to remember to reverse everything in the field of view.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Photo a Day 13

Not allowed to venture outside to get my daily photo fix, so I have to make do with scenes close by and try to see them from a new direction. Tidied this one up a bit in post production, as they say, to remove unwanted and distracting elements.
Meanwhile, my slightly strained Achilles gets a chance to rest and heal. Too bad I tend to ignore my own advice (frequently) by stretching after a run on Saturday and going a millimetre too far. Lucky for me, I have an excellent nurse and caregiver who ices down the heel, gets me coffee and reminds me to take some Advil and stay off the feet. Thanks Jan!

Monday, 12 January 2015

Photo a Day 12

A crew spent a day erecting the construction fence, covering the roof and wrapping the entire house in tarps about three months ago. Personally, I felt a backhoe and a dump truck should have put an end to the eyesore without fanfare. However, nothing has happened since then except the tarps have blown off during two or three windstorms and the plastic now protects nothing.  Money wisely spent.

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Photo a Day 11

Gosh! Another leaky condo under wraps for a multi-million dollar rehab. Wonder how many that makes since the late eighties? Someone must be keeping track or maybe with so many, nobody cares anymore except those peering out through the lacy tarps.

"Honey, what's it like out today?"

"Well it must be nice dear. There's a pretty blue glow hitting the windows."

Since the remedial work takes a year or more, it must get stressful living in an all day cocoon. Not only that but for eight hours a day workers are stomping back and forth tearing off the side of your unit, removing windows, doors, flooring and slowly replacing everything a wee bit at a time. And once the tarp finally falls away allowing a view of the outside world, you're left to contemplate paying off your $70 thousand share of the bill.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Photo a Day 10

Walk by this stylized cross practically every day. It's an adornment beside the main entrance to a Presbyterian church which is also home to a daycare centre, meeting hall and a de facto community meeting place. Except for the name the only other mark to identify the building as a church is a small two foot regular cross cut into the concrete above the entrance. Most Christian crosses have three arms of equal length and a fourth longer one while this one reminds me more of a Greek crosses which usually have four equal arms. The church seems designed to fit into the surrounding area rather than stand out and continually call attention to itself.

Friday, 9 January 2015

Photo a Day 9

The rosy pink coat caught my attention, however the sun retreated  behind the clouds leaving a grayish washed out scene. Rather than ignore the family dynamic, I took a shot thinking that a bit of touch up processing might still leave me with a viable image. Just applying a vignette filter seemed to be enough to refocus attention on the the pink coat and the little girl's obvious interest in the seagulls she was feeding.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Photo a Day 8

This is one of the water supply tanks for White Rock, another one to the north must be 60 foot tall and I'd have to stand in the traffic on North Bluff Road dodging speeding cars to fit it in the viewfinder. They're easy to spot on the way by and a couple of months ago, I had to search around them for clues to a multi-cache. Some of the information was on dedicated benches and the rest were gathered from the paintings on the tank. Needless to say, the geocache was hidden in a park not far away.
Most of the information on the tank relates to the invention of Thomas Crapper and the upgrades to its operation over the years. However, it is a little disconcerting to have the domestic water supply decorated with pictures of toilets and accessories as though that is the primary use of the water system.
Three other nuggets of information I learned googling on the net. One, the water supply for White Rock, most of South Surrey and the Semiahmoo First Nation comes from six wells in the area and not from the north shore mountains. Two, the water is delivered to homes without any treatment except for this well at Merklin which has limited chlorination. Three, the City does not own the water system as it was sold to a private corporation - EPCOR - in 2005