Finding Beauty in the Commonplace


Dragonfly resting on flowers

One of my all time favourite images has a new home today. A print of a dragonfly at rest on some flowers sold today from the Village Gallery in Sidney, BC.

At 36 by 36 inches, the impact is quite intense so I am very happy that someone liked it as much as I do.

Some similarly impactful images in the collection are shown below.

Orange tulips and cedar wall

Looking Forward to Spring

Branch of Cherry Blossoms

It feels a bit odd this year on the Lower Island. We actually had some real winter this year and there are still remnants of the snow lying in the habitually shady areas. The daffodils in the fields nearby are only starting to be harvested. They are usually already in storage toward use during the March fundraising campaigns.

Here we are with the time change fog in our brains and a cold, grey day that’s not making anybody feel better.

In light of this situation, I thought I would brighten the day with some blossoms which in other years might already be arriving.


A cluster of blossoms

Learning About Photos

Water drops on fern fronds

I had all but written off this image until I used it as a new background image on Facebook and received some feedback from a friend. The next day, my Digital Photography School newsletter contained a processing piece on sharpening for the web with Photoshop. The combination of my friend’s feedback and the DPS article led to this post.

I decided to try out the processing suggestions using this image. It took up a sizeable portion of my early morning to experiment with the suggestions. In the end I decided on the image that I have posted here.

Comments and constructive suggestions are always welcome.

Shout-out to the Happiness Engineers

During this past week, I have experienced some issues with this site and its connections to the rest of the digital world. This post is a thank-you to the support folk at Automattic (, Jetpack, etc.) who did such an excellent job of helping me sort things out.

I was getting to be a bit of a wreck with the broken connections and misconfigurations that had crept in with changes over the past year and with the migration from on hosting service to another.

The “Happiness Engineers” did a bunch of work on my behalf, but also provided references and links to help me upgrade my knowledge and understanding. This is such a sharp contrast with attempting to get help from a certain other social platform that I use.


Impression of a Lighthouse

Lighthouse with sun and clouds

This is a test post to help us make sure that the social network connections are working. It may as well be a bit decorative

Fisgard Lighthouse is a very photogenic spot. It’s located between Fort Rodd Hill, a historic site in Colwood, BC and the Esquimalt harbour. It’s frequently in the foreground of  views with ships and boats in the background.



Snow Days Update

Japanese garden

It’s not that frequent for us to have snow closures in Southern Vancouver Island. This past week there was the longest snow closure of schools ever … three days. After the snow stopped falling and parking lots and paths were cleared I went for a bit of a walk to record the largest snowfall since 1996. Meanwhile my little gallery show hasn’t had much traffic. Too many folk shovelling and too few shopping for art. The featured image and the scene below are from Butchart Gardens.

Reflective globe in snowy garden

This bridge below lives in Beacon Hill Park. By the time of this photo, the snow was starting to get a bit scrappy but was still enough to give the idea of a winter scene.

Stone bridge

Part of the purpose of this little post is to test out the newly completed installation of at SiteGround. The move has given a much quicker and more responsive version of the site, but was not without a few frustrating moments along the way.

My Morning Doughnut

Apparently this cloud formation is a really rare sight. A whole lot of photos of this hole in the clouds made it to the evening news. The context is that in the lower Vancouver Island (and probably other nearby areas) there was a spectacular sunrise this morning and I managed to catch a shot of it from my son’s place in Saanichton.

The two trees silhouetted in the photo are leftovers from the farm. On the left is a may tree and on the right is pear tree which still bears a crop each year.

Upcoming Feature at Village Gallery

BC Ferry at sunrise

I have a small exhibit starting on February 1 at Village Gallery in Sidney. There will be 6 canvases featured for about 6 weeks. I will also have the usual stock of Art Cards available. These vary seasonally.

One of the images that will be showing contains a tree that is no longer there. “Morning Oak” shows the oak tree that stood in the field near East Saanich and Mount Newton. During the big December storm, that tree became a huge pile of rubble. Unfortunate because this tree and its field was a truly iconic piece of Saanich Peninsula beauty. This image shows the tree in the early morning when it was still whole and reasonably healthy.

Oak tree in a field