Monday, April 9, 2012

Michaela Won a Trip to Ottawa

I'm so proud of my baby girl. She won a trip to Ottawa for the Vimy Ridge 95th Anniversary Ceremony. An organization called Encounters With Canada held a competition through the Cadet Corps Atlantic Region. The competing cadets had to write an essay about Vimy Ridge and have had a family member that fought in World War I. Michaela wrote an essay and she had a great-great uncle who fought on Vimy Ridge. My mother had found a letter in her attic that was written by her uncle Harold Goodwin, who fought on Vimy Ridge. Along with Michaela's essay and the letter, she won!

The essay and letter:
I would like to attend the Vimy Ridge Memorial Ceremony in Ottawa because I think it would be a great way to learn and understand more about Vimy Ridge. I wasn't taught much about Vimy Ridge in school so I think I would come back home with lots of information that I can share with my friends and family.

The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a military engagement fought primarily as part of the Battle of Arras, in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France during the first world war. The Canadian Corps consisted of the Canadian first, second, third and fourth Divisions combined for the first time - over 100 000 men were attempting to do what the British and French forces had tried from 1914-1916.

The objective of the Canadian Corp was to take control of the German held high ground along the ridge at the northernmost end of the Arras Offensive. This would ensure that the southern flank could advance without suffering German fire. The Canadian Corps captured most of the ridge during the first day of the attack. The town of Thelus fell during the second day of the attack, as well as the crest of the ridge.

Vimy Ridge itself stands about 110 metres at high point and runs for 8-10 kilometres in length. The allied side of the ridge was a long gradual slope which made its way to the crest where a sharp drop fell into the expansive Douai Plain. The reality of the geography gave the Germans a clear and uninterrupted sight line of all enemy advances while the Allies could only use aircraft to see beyond the crest and into enemy held territory. The Germans had developed a series of three highly fortified defensive lines utilizing machine gun, artillery and barbed wire to produce ground that in their view could not be overtaken. To add to the defenses above ground, the Germans had constructed a vast network of underground tunnels and living quarters safely placed below a danger zone from artillery shells - equipped with electricity, medical facilities.

The ridge fell under German control in October 1914 during the Race to the Sea as the Franco-British and German forces continually attempted to outflank each other through northeastern France. The French Tenth Army attempted to dislodge the Germans from the region during the Second Battle of Aftois in May 1915 by attacking their positions at Vimy Ridge and Notre Dame de Lorette. The French 1st Moroccan Division managed to briefly capture the height of the ridge, but was unable to hold it owing to a lack of reinforcements. The French made another attempt during the Third Battle of Artois in September 1915, but only captured the town of Souchez at the western base of the ridge. The Vimy sector calmed following the offensive with both sides taking a largely live and let live approach. The French suffered approximately 150,000 casualties in their attempts to gain control of Vimy Ridge and surrounding territory.

Therefore, I think that it's important to learn more about the Battle of Vimy Ridge so that Canadians can realize what our Canadian troops had done for their country. About 100,000 men sacrificed their lives to defeat the Germans to help their allies. I think that it was brave for Canada to make that big of a Corps to send over to Vimy Ridge to fight for freedom. The men and women who fought in this battle would never be forgotten. I have a great-great uncle that served in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. He wrote a letter to his parents while he was in France.

The letter:
 Dear Mother and Father, I will try and answer your letter that I received a few days ago. I am getting quite well now and hope when this letter reaches you; it will find you all the same. Well Mother, there is not much news to write. I got the (illegible) alright but the cake was badly smashed. I saved most of the fruit cake but the other was all broken up. I forgot to tell you that I have given up smoking so don't send anymore cigarettes. I have not smoked for over three months. I thought that they were hurting me so I stopped smoking. Well, I don't know if I will get home this fall or not. I don't think they will send me back to France for I can't stand it out there. It needs men with nothing the matter to stand it. I was in the trenches for six days and I know what it was like; I had wet feet all the time, I was there standing in mud and water up to my middle. It happened to be a bad week as well I guess, they have had some hard weather since I left there and there have been quite a few casualties. It is a cruel war all right; you can't imagine what it is like when we went over the top to take Vimy Ridge. It was an awful sight walking over dead bodies and shells dropping all around us but I was lucky they did not hit me. There was some that came close enough but they happened to be dead shells. Well Mother, I guess I have written all I can think of for this time so I will have to close with love from your son, Harold. Write soon and don't worry so much about me for I'll be alright.
 This letter was written on August 12, 1917

 Master Seaman Michaela Newell

A snapshot of Michaela at the airport. Of course she loves having her photo taken :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cookie Cutter vs. Custom Photography

This is a bit of a rant. If you don't want the whining and snarling, don't read any further.

For those of you who think that custom photography is expensive and not worth the cost should probably go watch a photo session with a custom photographer then watch a session done at a school or any other place that, to me, are cookie cutter sessions. There is a world of difference.

I just came back from watching Larissa's grad photo session. What an experience that was. It was a $30 session fee for 9 different poses. That is fine if the photographer took his time doing the shoot. He did not take the time to fix her sash (it was crooked). I stepped in to do that after his young photography student kept doing it and he got after her. It would be fine if the 9 different poses were actually 9 different poses. The photographer had her look to the side, smile, no smile. Look at the photographer straight on, smile, no smile. That's 4 poses. Put bouquet of flowers in her hands, smile, no smile. If you are counting, that's 6. Oh yeah, and never mind the hand chop. Keep bouquet of flowers in hands and add rolled up paper tied with ribbon, smile, no smile. That's 8 poses. Take bouquet of flowers away and leave the rolled up paper. Snap one. Print off wallet sized proofs, put into folder with print price list. Done. That's it. Thirty bucks for 10 freaking minutes. To me that is expensive.

Now I realize that there are so many students that they have to fit in a certain amount of time. And I'm not saying that people should not use the services of a photography chain. But I am tired of hearing people say how expensive custom photography is. I've even heard complaints on session fees and how expensive they are. $30 for 10 minutes I mean come on. I would rather pay a session fee with a photographer who I know is going to take their time, pay attention to detail, offer up more of a variety of poses and offer proofs that you can actually see. I'm hanging these photos on my walls. They will be hanging for years to come. I want something that I can be proud of.

Most people don't understand photography. I get that. But most people know professionalism when they see it. I didn't witness it at this session.

I am not a gear snob. I know that someone who knows photography can produce amazing images with the cheapest of cameras. Do not promote that you shoot with professional gear and show up with a camera body held together with duct tape. Just sayin.

Ok, end of rant. Glad to get that off my chest.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Miss J & Her Baby Bump

I had the opportunity to shoot Miss J and her baby bump. This ended up being two sessions. The first session was a bit chilly and we were losing light fast. I also wanted to do beach photos as well. So, we got together a few days later when it was warmer and the light was simply amazing.

Here are some favorites from the first session:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

From the beach session:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Oh to be young and gorgeous *sigh*

Thank you Miss J for the opportunity to photograph you during an exciting time of your life. Also, thank you for indulging me and my crazy ideas with the umbrella :)

I can't wait to meet the little one in a few weeks :)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Baby Bump

August 27, 2010

We had planned to do this two times before but Mother Nature wasn't playing nice. Third time is a charm. The weather was beautiful, the sunset amazing and I had two gorgeous people for this shoot. What more could I ask for.

We met at one of the local beaches for this session. Mr. J really didn't want to be there to have his photo taken. I talked him into a couple of photos. It didn't take him long to figure out that I lied to him :)
He ended up in being in most of the shots. Thank you for indulging me Mr. J.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

My favorite from the session.

Photobucket

The lighting was just amazing.

Photobucket

I spy with my little eye, a baby bump.

Photobucket

I just had to do silhouettes. I'm thinking that I probably done too many. Here's a couple.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Thank you M & J for allowing me to photograph you two during this special time. I hope that these images will bring back memories in years to come.
I am looking forward to meeting the little one in a few weeks.

Labels: , ,

Jim & Sherri

August 15, 2010

Jim and Sherri live in Ontario. Jim was born and raised here in Nova Scotia but moved to Ontario as a young man seeking work. Jim met Sherri and they fell in love. I'm not going to tell you how many years ago that was :)
They use to come to Nova Scotia quite frequently but it has been 8 years since their last visit. Imagine my surprise when a motorcycle pulled into my driveway and there were two people that I hadn't seen in a long time. I was even more surprised when they asked me to do their summer vacation photos. I just had to oblige.

Here's a sneak peek Jim and Sherri :)

Photobucket

Photobucket

Jim and Sherri have a passion for each other. They also have a passion for motorcycles. I remember one year when they rode from Ontario on their bikes. This year they came in their truck and brought one motorcycle with them to tour around Nova Scotia. I had to incorporate the bike into their photos.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Poor Sherri had an inner ear infection and was suffering from vertigo. She was a trooper during this shoot even though she probably would rather have been resting. I hope you are feeling better, Sherri.

Thank you for letting me "shoot" you guys. Hope to see you two again soon. Don't make it another 8 years before you guys come back for a visit :)

Labels:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Boy & His Guitar

July 16, 2010

Well, no longer a boy. He's now a man. How did that happen? How did my first born, my only son grow up so fast? He keeps reminding me that he's now half my age. BRAT!! lol

I went to a mentoring workshop with Jeanette LeBlanc in Halifax (that will be a separate post). She told me to bring an unedited session with me. Since the girls were away, Jory was my victim. He indulged me for about 10 minutes. Thank you Jory your mother greatly appreciates it :)

I wanted to get different angles of him playing

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

I wanted to get a nice one of him smiling. He could not give me a natural smile to save his soul. Well, that is until he, never mind. I won't tell you what he did. Lets just say there was a foul stench in the air.

Photobucket

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Silly Nonsense & Snapshots

I'm editing to add, that I started this post on July 13th. The clock rolled over :)

That's what this post is about.
I turned 40 today. I don't normally announce my birthday but today I am :)
I don't think that 40 is a milestone, it's just another number, but it's also the start of a decade. A decade where I will see my children become young adults. One will finish his education and the girls will continue on with theirs. Maybe our family will grow with marriages and grandchildren.

I'm not sure if it's because I'm 40, but I am more sure of myself, I'm sure of the things that I want and don't want in my life. And I'm also sure that I am no more mature now than what I was 30 years ago :)

Anyways, enough of the silly nonsense and on to the snapshots.

My two girls were leaving me on Sunday. One to cadet camp and the other to St. Anne's University. My mother thought that since my family is my life, that we should do the cake thing on Saturday when most are around. Michael, was out sword fishing and missed out on the cake. I saved him some, he's happy.

Mom always make the cake and dad always decorates it. Hmmm I think he has a bit of dyslexia.

Photobucket

Hi Mom :)

Photobucket

Hi Dad :)

Photobucket

I went out today before going to work to play with my macro lens.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Totally blew the red channel on this one

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

After a few shots, he discovered that I was taking photos.

Photobucket

Michael cooked supper for me tonight and wanted to take me out for an ice cream. We had just gotten into the truck when I noticed this visitor.

Photobucket
He's not in a good spot. Sylvester, our cat, uses this Japanese maple tree has his resting spot. Good thing the cat was inside.

Rabbit heard my shutter click and focusing beep. Rabbit decided not to stick around.

Photobucket

I was stalking him

Photobucket

"Ok, lady I'm hungry. Aren't you going to leave me alone?"

Photobucket

I'm tired. It's been a busy day. Yes, a busy day, it's not because I'm 40 :)