Monthly Archives: November 2010

Scenic Snow Photos

I need your help again please! My next assignment in my Scenic and Wildlife Photography Class is to take two scenic photos with the following specifications: it had to be taken from a low angle, everything must be in focus and it can’t include anything man-made.

I went out to the river by my parent’s cabin and up  to Nose Hill to take some photos. By the end of both shoots, my pant legs were soaked and I was covered in snow – my prof should be happy with my attempts to “get low.” To be honest, I’m not 100% happy with them as I was taking pictures as to my professor’s specifications – low angle, using foreground to give the viewer a place to stand and a bunch of other things instead of taking pictures of what I think looks good. I guess I have to get the rules of composition more ingrained, so that I incorporate them without thinking!

Anyways, I would appreciate it if you would please look through the following photos and choose your two favourites in the poll at the end. Here are this week’s options:

1. River View Upstream

2. River View Downstream

3. River View with Ice Chunk

4. Rock covered in Snow

5. River View with Tree

6. River with Sunset

7. Grass, Trees and Sun

8. Grass on the Horizon

9. Grass and Sun

In the poll, could you please choose your favourite two photos?


Thank you to all who helped me pick out the photos for my previous assignment last week. I ended up choosing photos 3, 4 and 8. We were critiqued on our composition: our use of the rule of thirds, framing, leading lines, perspective, triangles and foreground (to give the viewer something to “stand on”). I really like how our teacher approaches this – he asks “how can you make this picture better?” instead of what is wrong with the photo.

Thanks again for your help!


Filed under Photography

Tasty Gluten and Dairy Free Banana Bread

I love banana bread and most other baking with bananas.  When I realized the other day that I have never posted a banana bread recipe, I knew that had to be remedied. A few months ago someone asked me for an easy gluten free loaf recipe (and I forgot to give one to them – oops!), so now I have one that is super easy and very delicious! I managed to eat an embarrassingly large percentage of it, so I hope that you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Gluten and Dairy Free Banana Bread

1 1/3 c. brown rice flour
1/3 c. tapioca starch
1/3 c. sorghum flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. xathan gum
1/2 c. dairy free margarine
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 eggs
4 -5 ripe bananas

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.
  3. Mash up bananas. Set aside.
  4. In a medium sized bowl, combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and xathan gum. Set aside.
  5. In a larger bowl, cream together margarine and brown sugar.
  6. Mix in the eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
  7. Add flour to banana mixture and stir until just moistened.
  8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake 55 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out clean. It’s a good idea to check more than one spot as you may hit a banana chunk and think the loaf is underdone, when it actually isn’t.
  9. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and turn out on wire rack to complete cooling.
  10. Enjoy!

I know this recipe calls for a lot of bananas. In my opinion, the more bananas you use, the better it is!

What is your favourite banana baked good?


Filed under Baking

Scenic Landscape Photos

I need your help. Last Wednesday I started my next photography course – Scenic and Wildlife Photography – and I already have an assignment. It’s pretty simple as I must submit 3 scenic landscape photos that I have taken. They are not allowed to  have man-made anything in them – our instructor told us this was a chance to show off all the different places we’ve been! Unfortunately for me, most of my recent holiday pictures have something man made in them, so I did the best I could.

There is a poll at the bottom and I would appreciate your input in choosing which photos to submit! Here are the options:

1. Tidal Stream on Vancouver Island

2. Rocks on the West Coast, Vancouver Island

3. View Up the Bay, Vancouver Island

4. Ocean Sunset, Vancouver Island

5. Lake Vattern, Sweden

6. Bipolar Sky, Sweden

7. River near Fussen, Germany

Anyone know how to remove the numbers?

8. Mt. Assiniboine, British Columbia

9. Wonder Pass, Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park, British Columbia

In the poll, you can choose your top three photos.


Thank you! 🙂


Filed under Photography

Vancouver Island by Night

I used to be really afraid of taking photos at night,  but the more I do it, the more I like it. It can seem very overwhelming – slow shutter speeds, low ISO, no vibration or movement, whether or not you should use a flash, dealing with obscure reflections of light off windows and using a tripod.

Fortunately, taking pictures of landscapes is pretty easy as they don’t tend to move very much. All you need is to be in a dark space (if you’re inside, turn off all the lights in the room) and have a flat, stationary spot for your camera (like a table or a window sill.) Turn your camera to manual, set the ISO to 200, close the aperture to f/8-f/11 and adjust the shutter speed to get an exposure that you desire. If you’re light meter says it is normally exposed, the night appears more like daylight as it is letting in more light. I like to purposefully underexpose it so that it is more accurate representation of what I am actually seeing. Make sure that you don’t move the camera when you take the picture or use a self timer to prevent any motion.

This past weekend, my mum and I had an impromptu road trip out to Vancouver Island. The weather cooperated really well for me to take the following photos (from the kitchen table at our cottage no less!) of night falling. I was amazed at how still the water was!

Here’s what the view looks like during the day:

After staying at our cottage, we went and visited my aunt and uncle in Victoria. This photo was taken from the windowsill in the room I was sleeping in. Isn’t it pretty at night?

How do you feel about night photography?


Filed under Photography


1. I totally didn’t melt the bottom of our kettle pad thing by turning on the stove element it was sitting on. My kitchen also didn’t fill up with nasty black plastic smoke. (I really need to work on the whole smoke free kitchen thing.)

2. My favourite thing about the Pundit Kitchen website is totally not Vladurday. I don’t find them hilarious for no reason at all.

This is definitely not my favourite and I don’t want you to imagine saying it with a Russian accent:

I also didn’t hang it on the wall of my office on my internship. Not at all.

3. The hard drive on my lappy (laptop) totally did not die. It totally didn’t send me through the stress wringer because I thought I had lost everything. It didn’t take two days to get a new hard drive installed and all the files recovered (Praise the Lord!) onto a new external hard drive where I spent half of the time praying that my photos and other things would be recovered.

4. I totally did not wonder if my Halloween costume was less skimpy that my friend’s because it was so short (short for me anyways. For the record I did end up having more on because her costume was backless. :P)

5. I also totally didn’t ride my bike to the farmer’s market and stuff my pannier bag with 10 lbs of carrots.

What have you totally not done recently?


Filed under Life