Saturday, December 31, 2011

Adventures in Sillyness - Year in Review 2011

Adventures in Sillyness - Year in Review 2011

It being the end of the year, I've delved into the video archives from my youtube stream and selected my favourites of 2011 and shall present them in 4 categories.

Now we're getting to the good stuff ;) For I do enjoy being silly. At some point while wading through the crap of life I realized that we can laugh, we can smile, we can look around and see things in different ways. So I tend to do that. And oftentimes other people will laugh and smile too. So with no further ado, I present my favourite Adventures in Sillyness from 2011.

A Cautionary Tale involving a Mooseskin Jacket and a Woodwind

Storage Units are Creepy

If I ever own a truck and a recliner...

Discovering Mysterious Structures of Unknown Purpose

The Sechelt Wharf... cautiously

A Poor Man's Whale Watching Trip in Horseshoe Bay, British Columbia, Canada

This concludes my 2011 Adventures in Sillyness.
But don't worry as I saved my favourites for the next, and final, Year in Review 2011 video recap when I'll look at a number of Adventures with Friends from last year ;)

May you find the adventures that are waiting all around :)

Adventures in Nifty Places - Year in Review 2011

Adventures in Nifty Places - Year in Review 2011

It being the end of the year, I've delved into the video archives from my youtube stream and selected my favourites of 2011 and shall present them in 4 categories.

The two videos that comprise the Adventures in Nifty Places category were actually both filmed near Hope, British Columbia. Which is a pretty nifty place indeed! These videos contain something of my curiousity and wonder at the places I find myself, as well as the little things I notice and discover. I know a number of people who really like them, and I enjoy making and sharing them, but for my favourites I lean towards things a titch more silly/involving friends ;) Which is why this is the shortest category in this year's Maplemusketeer Youtube review.

Next year I'll record myself in more nifty places ;)

Canoeing on Texas (Klahatter) Lake in my favourite weather. Adventurous mystery weather!

Kawkawa (Sucker's) Creek nature moment - Hope BC

Adventures in "How To" Photography - 2011 Year in Review

Adventures in "How To" Photography

It being the end of the year, I've delved into the video archives from my youtube stream and selected my favourites of 2011 and shall present them in 4 categories.

Adventures in "How To" Photography can basically be summed in the following pieces of practical advice which are then backed up through video example. If you follow these 3 pieces of advice you will become a better photographer. ;)

#1. Go
#2. Look around
#3. Have fun

Maplemusketeer How To - The Leg Hook

How to - Reflection Photography

How to - Take photos of awesome sunsets

This has been quite the adventurous and challenging year for me photographically. At the start of the year I took the hesitant nervous steps of sharing my photos to a broader audience beyond family and friends via DeviantArt and starting my own Facebook page. I borrowed gear and went on photoadventures to multiple locations with the intent of seeing, discovering, and trying to capture images that inspire me. I joined several photographer groups for encouragement and advice. And I joined Google Plus and saw things occur greater than I ever could have foretold or imagined. I've met so many wonderful and passionate people through the shared passion of photography and Google Plus that I'm still frequently stunned and amazed. I've gone from being a passionate wanderer with a camera, to a passionate Outdoor Adventure Editor (for with a camera.

Photographically 2011 has been quite a year of awakening and discovery. I can't even begin to hazard a guess at what 2012 will have in store for me. I shall greet it with my camera and my perspective, and delight in sharing it with you all, as you share with me your discoveries and journeys as well!

To all of you with a camera I say Go, Look Around, Have Fun.

Jordan Oram
The Maplemusketeer

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sechelt Wharf Photography Experimentation on an overcast sky day

Life is a giant playground of experimentation, and photography offers a lot of whimsyroom. You don't have to share any of your creations. You're allowed to take the various levels of contrast and colour, midtone and tint, and spread them as far or near as you'd like. Desaturate! Oversaturate! Play around and have fun.

Today I went on a little photowander around Sechelt. I went to the store and picked up a new memory card and some new rechargeable batteries for my wee Canon point and shoot (the only camera I own and what I take the majority of my photos with) with the little bit of Christmas money I was given (Thanks Grandpa! :D ) Then I wandered, as is usual for me, towards the sea.

I took a number of photos but we're going to look at what I did with this one. Firstly I'd rather shoot the image a bit darker so that I have more to work with in editing. If I exposed the sky as too white then I'd not have any data to work with there... just a bunch of white. Heck.. I'll occasionally do that on purpose for funking around in other ways, but it's not what I was looking for with this shot ;)

Then I got creative and moved a bunch of levels, and drank more tea, and put on my wool slippers.

I got the balance to where I like it. Now it's time to investigate some more cropping options. Try changing things around and see what you like, see what you don't like, learn about your preferences and what appeals to you. This is the adult photographer equivalent of finger painting. ;)

I'm ok with the fact that I use a wee point and shoot, and that the quality gets a bit suspect. Would I love to have a better camera and lens options? Heck yes I would! But I don't have those. SO this is what I can, and do, do.

Oh and lets check out those seagulls a bit more.. ;)

Cue the Wayne's World "Extreme Close-up"

So there you go. Sure it may not be the sharpest image (Ok it definitely isn't!) but it is an exploring with composition and creativity, learning to look through the image more, and will help develop your eye for trying different things in the field.

When all is said and done, my personal favourite of the set is the first edited one without any cropping. But the others are interesting experiments too!

I hope you enjoyed playing around with me and coming along for a little walk and wonder, now may you funk around with your photos and create some wonderous whimsy of your own!

Until next time,
Keep wandering and wondering,
The Maplemusketeer

Friday, December 16, 2011

As the garden grows - A perspective on pain

As the garden grows - A perspective on pain

Not wanting to encounter pain, we have developed a vast array of medications, addictions, and survival strategies. We view discomfort and struggle as bad things, to be avoided, and lives are arranged and judged by how well this is accomplished.

For pain and suffering are not comfortable or easy. And I don't intend to suggest we should celebrate or run off in search of pain. I have at times been broken physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Hurt doesn't even begin to describe the experience. Words are insufficient. But I don't need words because I know that you have felt hurt too. Life brings it. Pain is a common language of humanity. Be it a relationship ending, the shedding of assumptions and religion on our journey of understanding, or cracking your shin on a table in the night. We all know pain. It is a foundation of our experience. And I'd like to suggest that there is a better way to view pain then as an adversary to be avoided at all costs.

What if we view pain as a guide, a teacher? The path of knowledge?
What if it is the fertile soil of the garden of humanity in which we grow?

Soil and earth are not the garden full. They are the ground of potential.
So to, our world of pain and suffering in which we plant our lives, our choices, our relationships, our actions.
Fact: Shit makes us grow. And sometimes it really gets heaped on.

Everybody we look at is also a plot of earth growing based on the experiences and lessons they've encountered so far. Just like us they know pain. How can they not? We share this journey. And we can choose to help each others garden grow. A sweet community garden! With all sorts of different and wonderful plants; with hybrids and variants unimagined! How awesome is that?! Some gardens are pruned, some ordered, some chaotic, some with exotics, some with native species. All mixed and unique. Though some lay fallow and overgrown, all are beautiful with potential.

And as we tend our gardens with nurture and support we start to produce abundantly.
Some produce flowers gorgeous, or scents strong.
Some fruit or veggies.
Some create sturdy trees to dwell under, to ponder by, or to build tree forts in.
Some become grasses to weave, to watch dance in the breeze, lawns to lay on in the summer sun.
Such a diversity and wonder!

And all gardens have seasons. Times of planting and growing; harvest and rest.
We all share so much in common yet express it so differently. What a challenge. What an opportunity. What a strength.

We are gardens growing in the soil of possibility and potential.
What are each of us planting and growing?
What are we harvesting?
What season are we in at the moment?
Together we grow as we learn and live.

As our gardens grow may we find solace in the shade, fruit on our vines, and sprouts in our shit.