Originally from Northern England, Alan Norsworthy has been a photographer since the late 1960's.

He moved to Canada in 1973 and has made Guelph Ontario his home for the last 24 years.

" I remember visiting the CN Tower in the early 70's and the guide said that as far as you could see in any direction is the best farmland in Canada. That comment echoes down the years as I watch subdivisions eat up the landscape."

The area around Guelph offers up a plethora of rural images which Alan captures with his artistic vision. His work covers everything from macro photographs of flowers, sweeping landscapes, historic buildings and old abandoned farms in both colour and Black and White.

"This is where I find my inspiration, I have a need to show people the beauty I see as I walk the woods and fields of Southern Ontario"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh! Christmas Tree

Oh Christmas Tree
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Early Christmas morning, before the house awoke, I took the first of my "traditional" Christmas shots. Next comes the family portrait which believe me is quite the spectacle!

I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas !

Who says it better than Irvin Berlin ?

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas,
Just like the ones I used to know,
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow...
~Irving Berlin

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Westfield Village - 'Twas the night before Christmas

Westfield Village - 'Twas the night before Christmas
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Yesterday I wasn't a happy soul.
In fact I was downright miserable.
It was one of those times when all you want to do is hide away.
But that is not good.

I had made arrangements to go to Westfield Village with some friends but begged off.
Thankfully they decided I needed a kick in the pants and made me go anyway. Despite myself, I had a good time, the banter over supper, bumping into friends in the village, sitting sipping apple cider to banish the winter chills slowly changed my mood from blue to rosy.

Which brings me to my quote of the week:

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

Thanks guys ! You know who you are. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Brewing Heavy Weather

Brewing Heavy Weather
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

My friend Doug and I took a journey North on Friday. The Bruce Peninsula holds so much promise at any time of year but in the winter it's almost prehistoric. I love it !

During the planning I thought I would show Doug some of the lighthouses that dot the rugged shoreline. Our first stop was Cape Croker where we hoped to catch the sunrise.

No sunrise but we were greeted with howling winds and horizontal snowfall but hey, dress for the conditions and its invigorating.

As I walked the shore and kept looking back at the lighthouse I began thinking of all the lighthouses and in turn the keepers of those lights who down the centuries have protected the sailors with a steady beacon that shows the way home.

A couple of thoughts:

No one will ever know how many lives have been saved by the many lighthouses that dot the dangerous coastal waters of this world. Yet today, most of these towers stand dark and uninhabited, victims of progress. Sensitive sounding devices have taken over the function of these sentinels in warning ships off the shoals.

It cannot be denied that such modern instruments are an improvement. They “see” danger ahead, even in fog so thick that the most powerful lighthouse beam would not be visible for more than a few hundred feet. Yet even people who have never viewed an actual lighthouse seem to be saddened by the closing of this romantic chapter in the history of the men who go down to the sea in ships.

The main reason for this regret is easy to understand. It is the passing of the human element in this story of man’s struggle against the forces of nature. The lighthouse keeper was a legend – and with good reason. Now buried in the yellowing files of old newspapers are many accounts of heroism on the part of these men who put duty before personal safety, often at the cost of their own lives.

A machine can do its “duty”, of course, but it is only man who possesses the divine spark which carries him to heights “above and beyond” the call of duty. And those who occupied these lonely outposts had to have this quality in full measure. Theirs was not only a dangerous life, but a lonely one, unrewarding in material comforts.

Today it may seem trivial to give even passing thought to something which has outlived its usefulness. But the lighthouse was much more than just a pile of mortar and brick. It was a beacon which radiated the love of man for God – through his love and concern for his fellow man. ~ Author Unknown

and, if you are still reading ..

The LIGHTHOUSE by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea and on its outer point, some miles away

the lighthouse lifts its massive masonry, a pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.

Even at this distance I can see the tides, upheaving, break unheard along its base,

A speechless wrath, that rises and subsides in the white lip of tremor of the face.

And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright, through the deep purple of the twilight air,

Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light with strange, uneartly splendor in the glare!

No one alone; from each projecting cape and perilous reef along the oceans verge,

Starts into life a dim, gigantic shape, holding its lantern o'er the restless surge.

Like the great giant Christopher it stands upon the brink of the tempestuous wave,

Wading far out among the rocks and sands, the night-O'er taken mariner to save.

And the great ships sail outward and return bending and bowin o'er the billowy swells,

And ever joyful, as they see it burn, they wave their silent welcomes and farewells.

They come forth from the darkness, and their sails gleam for a moment only in the blaze,

And eager faces, as the light unveils, gaze at the tower, and vanish while they gaze.

The mariner remembers when a child, on his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink;

And when returning from adventures wild, he saw it rise again o'er ocean's brink.

Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same year after year, through all the silent night

Burns on forevermore that quenchless flame, shines on that inextinguishable light!

It seems the ocean to is bosom clasp the rocks and sea-sand with the kiss of peace

It sees the wild winds lift in their grasp, and hold it up, and shake it like a fleece.

The startled waves leap over it; the storm smites it with all the scourges of rain,

And steadily against its solid form press the great shoulders of the hurricane.

The sea-bird wheeling round it, with the din of wings and winds and solitary cries,

Blinded and maddened by the light within, dashes himself against the glare, and dies.

A new Prometheus, chained upon the rock, still grasping in his hand the fire of love,

it does not hear the cry, nor heed the shock, but hails the mariner with words of love.

"Sail on!" it says, "sail on, ye stately ships! And with your floating bridge the ocean span;

Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse, Be yours to bring man nearer unto man!"

So today's image is dedicated to sailors everywhere and to those who have guided them safely home.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A quiet place

A quiet place
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

This old chair sits in a quiet corner just off the main drag in Elora.
It looks to be well used.

I think the "feel" of this place was best served by recording this image on film, It has a quiet softness about it, much like the location.

"Never be afraid to sit awhile and think." ~Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

Sunday, November 28, 2010

No Doug - Like THIS !

No Doug - Like THIS !
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

A few hardy souls, Doug, Andrew, Grant and I walked the Trans Canada Trail in St. Jacobs yesterday.
At one point we were surrounded by chickadee's and this moment presented itself.
It's good to have friends, it's even better to have friends who you can laugh at / with!

I know the photo is awful but it is one of my best :^)

In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~Albert Schweitzer

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Carolers - Downtown tree lighting extravaganza

Carolers - Downtown tree lighting extravaganza
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I know, I know, it's only November but have you noticed that the merchandisers start earlier and earlier with each passing year?
Barely has Halloween finished before the Christmas offerings are flooding the shelves.

Last Friday evening we in Guelph celebrated the lighting of the tree in our downtown square. Despite the "it's November, dammit! " chorus there is something special about this little gathering. Bumping into old friends every one smiling and happy makes me think "why isn't it like this all year long"?

Yes even this old pagan can feel the wind of change that this time of year brings and I love it !

Even if it is November ...... <|:^)

I hear that in many places something has happened to Christmas; that it is changing from a time of merriment and carefree gaiety to a holiday which is filled with tedium; that many people dread the day and the obligation to give Christmas presents is a nightmare to weary, bored souls; that the children of enlightened parents no longer believe in Santa Claus; that all in all, the effort to be happy and have pleasure makes many honest hearts grow dark with despair instead of beaming with good will and cheerfulness. ~Julia Peterkin, A Plantation Christmas, 1934

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Limehouse - Somewhere over the rainbow

Limehouse - Somewhere over the rainbow
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The forecast was not particularly good for today but we ventured out for a while anyway. The minute we arrived at our destination in Limehouse, Ontario it started to rain!

Luckily it was but a passing shower. As we stepped out of the car we were greeted by this spectacular rainbow. Not only was it complete but double. It was going to be a good day ...

Two quotes for today:

The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears. ~John Vance Cheney

and after a weekend surrounded with good friends, you know who you are ..

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. ~ Irish Blessing

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Hilton Falls - Birch Bark

Hilton Falls - Birch Bark
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

'Tis the season of slanting shadows. Now I will seek out the woods where fingers of light probe deep and sometimes land upon something special, like birch bark.

From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, and makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fifty Point Conservation Area - Dock O' the Bay

Fifty Point Conservation Area - Dock O' the Bay
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I love mornings.
If I sleep past 6:00 am I feel like I have wasted half the day. :^)

On Saturday morning a few brave souls (Doug, Grant and Karen) and I set off long before dawn to capture the sunrise at Fifty Point Conservation Area.

Was it worth it ? Of course !

The sun is but a morning star. ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ignatius Centre - Whitewash

Ignatius Centre - Whitewash
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Wandering the trails at the Ignatius Centre this weekend was something that is not new to me by any stretch of the imagination.
However this day I felt a thankfulness that there are still those who work the land in concert with the way it should be worked. That there are still those who love it as much as I do but are lucky enough to make it their life.

In the old orchard I stopped and plucked an apple and was reminded of the old song "Hey farmer farmer, put away the DDT now. Give me spots on my apples, but leave me the birds and the bees" by Joni Mitchell.

Yes it was covered in spots but it still tasted good :-)

But it did make me think .....

Will urban sprawl spread so far that most people lose all touch with nature?
Will the day come when the only bird a typical American child ever sees is a canary in a pet shop window?
When the only wild animal he knows is a rat - glimpsed on a night drive through some city slum?
When the only tree he touches is the cleverly fabricated plastic evergreen that shades his gifts on Christmas morning?
~Frank N. Ikard, North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, Houston, March 1968

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dundas - Pure Gold

Dundas - Pure Gold
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Fortune still smiles upon us here in Southwestern Ontario.

We are in the midst of our "Indian Summer" and the world is lit by a golden glow, well at least my world is.

My friends and I decided that this year Autumn is definitely a time of yellows and golds as opposed to the reds of previous years.

Even though there is frost in the air come morning, everywhere the leaves and the woods are suffused with warmth and the smell, oh yes! Trampling through the carpet of fallen leaves releases the musty smell that only this time of year can produce.

The rustle of the dried leaves whispers of things to come, promises to be kept as the wheel turns and another year draws to a close.

But not yet, not yet ....

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. ~John Muir

Monday, October 11, 2010

Photo of the Weekend - Falling Water, Fallen Leaves

Falling Water, Fallen Leaves
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

This is my time.
Fall is here bringing warm days and cool nights.
The forest sounds are changing as the leaves dry, change colour and begin to fall. The forest floor is covered in a carpet of red and gold.
Ah Autumn at last, I wait all year for this.

This Thanksgiving weekend Doug, Karen and I visited a couple of waterfalls; Progreston and Grindstone Falls in and near Waterdown Ontario.

Grindstone Creek tumbles along a rocky course below the falls and is flanked by the Bruce Trail. Following that trail gives so many opportunities to make photographs, Scenes like this are plentiful.

Autumn by a river or a creek provides a great place to sit, think, watch and wait and listen for the voice inside that says 'yes there, fire the shutter quickly before the moment is forever gone '

Through my lens I hope to convey more than what I see. I hope to convey what I feel, what Autumn in the woods means to me.

...it does seem to me that Capa has proved beyond all doubt that the camera need not be a cold mechanical device. Like the pen, it is as good as the man who uses it. It can be the extension of mind and heart... John Steinbeck

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Gray Dawn

Gray Dawn
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

A brief glimpse of the sun as it rose on Saturday morning, before the rain came .
This was a happy accident, I had left my camera set for "Monochrome" and this was the first shot of the day.

I liked it then and I like it now.

Sadness flies on the wings of the morning and out of the heart of darkness comes the light. ~Jean Giraudoux

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Photo of the Weekend - Belfountain - Fall Arrives

Belfountain - Fall Arrives
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Are you like me? If you are then this is what we wait for all year. We suffer through the baking heat of Summer thinking of this time.

Autumn is here !

"I am rich today with autumn's gold,
All that my covetous hands can hold;
Frost-painted leaves and goldenrod,
A goldfinch on a milkweed pod,
Huge golden pumpkins in the field
With heaps of corn from a bounteous yield,
Golden apples heavy on the trees
Rivaling those of Hesperides,
Golden rays of balmy sunshine spread
Over all like butter on warm bread;
And the harvest moon will this night unfold
The streams running full of molten gold.
Oh, who could find a dearth of bliss
With autumn glory such as this!"
- Gladys Harp

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tiger Boys Airshow - High Flight

Tiger Boys Airshow - High Flight
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The 3rd weekend in September is the Tiger Boys Airshow and open house in Guelph. This year, the weather co-operated with wonderful clouds and cool breezes.

A few friends and I spent the day there wandering around with no restrictions and photographed these lovingly restored "kites" as they performed for us all. A great day out and through it all I thought of John Gillespie Magee Jr's poem :

" High Flight"

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth

And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of—wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue

I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark nor even eagle flew—
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God. 

John Gillespie Magee Jr (Wiki)

Me ? I would rather stand on Terra Firma and photograph "those magnificent men in their flying machines" :-)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Photo of the weekend - The Doors

No not THE "doors" just a pile of old doors in an abandoned barn.

Then again maybe not, when the light hits at a certain angle something magical happens ....

A moment captured on Kodak Tmax 400
developed in Xtol 8.5 min at 21c

Film gives such a different feel to a image, to me it's more alive. A chemical process instead of a digital one.

I never question what to do, it tells me what to do. The photographs make themselves with my help. ~Ruth Bernhard

Monday, September 6, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Ottawa - Reflections

Ottawa - Reflections
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

We were In Ottawa for a family reunion this weekend.

Not much time to be alone, not much time to wander the mean streets.
While swarms of tourists lined up to take "the shot" of the Parliament Buildings I wanted something different .

What did I do ?
I stole an idea from my friend Doug and looked in the windows, a lot of windows!
Until I saw this.

Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you're just a reflection of him? ~Calvin and Hobbes

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Photo of the weekend, The Wren's - Magic

The Wren's - Magic
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Thanks to Matt we were able to visit with his family at their farm today.
Not only were we graciously received and well fed but were were given a tour of the property.
I have wandered in many magical places but this takes the prize.
Thank you the the Wrens for being such great hosts!

"When we touch this domain, we are filled with the cosmic force of life itself, we sink our roots deep into the black soil and draw power and being up into ourselves. We know the energy of the numen and are saturated with power and being. We feel grounded, centered, in touch with the ancient and eternal rhythms of life. Power and passion well up like an artesian spring and creativity dances in celebration of life."
- David N. Elkins

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Photo of the Weekend - Is this the end, or the beginning?

Pow Wow Trail - Is this the end, or the beginning?
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The wheel turns,
Winter turns to Spring.
Spring becomes Summer.
The sunflowers raise their faces to the sun.

Summer becomes Fall, the sunflowers hang their heads, now heavy with seed, and wait for the Spring when the cycle begins again.- me

As soon as I saw the sunflower patch in the early summer I have waited for this day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Bruce Peninsula

Bruce Peninsula - Abandoned I
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

My wife and I were away on a short vacation up on the Bruce Peninsula last week. As usual I was always on the lookout for 'abandoned' places.
This one is a bit of an enigma. The more I think about this place the more I wonder, is it really abandoned or is someone working on it?

No matter, it's a beautiful place, protected by tree's and the gardens are full of wildflowers (weeds to some)

Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave, and grow old wanting to get back to. ~John Ed Pearce

In this case I hope it's the latter

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Photo of the weekend - McGowan Falls Study

Durham Trip - McGowan Falls Study
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The day started of wonderfully cool a sign of things to come!
Unfortunately as the sun climbed higher so did the temperature.
In spite of that it was a good day, then again isn't a day out with friends always a good day?
McGowan's Falls in Durham Ontario was our first stop. Even though this falls is quite small there is so much to see here I chose to spend my time amongst the 'details' those little side streams and rivulets. I always think of the "immovable object meets unstoppable force" saying when I look at the sometimes tiny rocks resisting the power of the water. It's quite humbling really those little rocks holding their own while our conversation is swept away by the roar of the water .....

I came where the river ran over stones;
my ears knew an early joy
And all the waters of all the streams
sang in my veins that summer day.

- Theodore Roethke, The Waking, 1948

Monday, August 2, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Sunflowers part II

Sunflowers part II
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

One last trip to the sunflower patch. Their heads are heavy with seeds now and soon they will bow to the pressure.

The flower offered of itself
And eloquently spoke
Of Gods
In languages of rainbows
And secret silence...
~Phillip Pulfrey, from Love, Abstraction and other Speculations

I think that this one may have a hidden secret though as she smiles at the passers by ...

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Puslinch Sunflowers

Puslinch Sunflowers - I
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Last weekend was a disaster ...

Earlier this week I spotted the elusive sunflower patch. I say elusive because I have been looking for weeks!
Of course when I saw it I didn't have my camera with me. So this morning a friend and I went back.
The morning was cloudy, dull and quite miserable but the sunflowers were smiling. How could you not smile back?

Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul. ~The Koran

Monday, July 12, 2010

Photo of the weekend - St Boniface Cemetery Maryhill - Old Stones II

St Boniface Cemetery Maryhill - Old Stones II
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Some think that cemeteries are places to put the dead and forget about them, except on an anniversary.

Lets face it, cemeteries are rarely visited by the living.

I, on the other hand love wandering in old cemeteries, reading the stones and thinking of the hopes and dreams buried there.

The history of the area waiting to be read.

Morbid ?
Maybe but not to me.

Do I want to end up in one ?
No thanks, just scatter my ashes to the wind ...

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain,
I am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush,
I am in the graceful rush
Of birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing,
I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there. I do not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

For those sharp eyed individuals yes I changed the post.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Photo of the weekend - A different Light

Trans Canada Trail nr Ariss - IR
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I spent the last few days exploring ....

Searching for a light that I cannot see, making guesses and mistakes along the way.
After 3 days of trying I feel that I am beginning to understand.

There is more than meets the eye, there is this "other" light and with practice, we can capture it and bend it to our will.

Infra Red, beyond our vision but not beyond our grasp.

Infra Red reveals a strange beauty, an alien world.

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary. ~Aaron Rose

This was taken on the Trans Canada Trail this morning, converted to Black and White and a sepia tint applied.

28mm lens
ISO 200
60 sec exposure at f/2,8

edit :
Is this why I spent so much time on this this weekend?
100 years of IR

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Baden House Treasures

Baden House - Treasures
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread. ~Fran├žois Mauriac

But who are you if you destroy a book ?

From my adventures to "the Baden House" on Saturday morning. Everyone has visited this place and I am sure everyone has photographed the old burned bible. However only one visitor and certainly not one of the rurex / urbex crowd would have thought to set it alight.
Even though I am not religious I still think this is sacrilege.

Ian and I met the owner of the property during our visit. Her fear was "Kids" who come to destroy her property, who can blame her?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Ribs

Downtown Walkabout - Ribs
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

One of the umbrella's in "the square", downtown Guelph.
I liked the lines and patterns defined by the ribs.

No words on umbrella's today. It's Fathers Day, for those of you who still have your father with you, give him a call or better yet, a hug. Those of you like me who doesn't, give him a minute of your time and in a quiet place, whisper "Happy Fathers Day Dad"

My dad is resting exactly where he wanted to be and it was my honour to take him there.

Happy Fathers Day Dad

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. ~Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Photo of the weekend - U of G - The wedding spot

U of G - The wedding spot
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Why this ?
I really don't know.
What I do know is I decided that I needed to photograph this odd structure again.
I had the chance to do a lot today but I decided that I would do a little. While most of my friends were off on a grand adventure I went to the U of G with Dave S. We spent a couple of hours wandering around taking the odd shot here and there talking and sometimes not.
All in all a very relaxing morning I'm glad I did it but I still have not figured out the attraction of this structure ....

I never question what to do, it tells me what to do. The photographs make themselves with my help. ~Ruth Bernhard

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Sun's Up

Elora - Sun's Up
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

OK I'm cheating here, this was from last weekend but the film was developed during the week.
Wandering around Elora as the sun came up first I saw the carpet of daisies then the sun burst around and through this old tree.

One of the cardinal rules of photography, 'look behind you' !

Kodak Portra 160 vc and Hasselblad

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men's hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit. ~Robert Louis Stevenson

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Cedar waves

Elora - Cedar waves
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in their way. ~William Blake

What better than a shady path through a forest in weather such as this? I was out early and alone by myself on Saturday wandering around and through the Elora Gorge. This is where I came across the remains of this old cedar. There is beauty and sadness here, it's life etched in it's bones. I stood looking at this old tree for a long time. I knew I had to make an image of what I saw.
I hope you see why.

And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything. ~William Shakespeare

Monday, May 24, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Schneider Flats - Cedar Fencepost I

Schneider Flats - Cedar Fencepost I
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Twice this weekend I visited Schneider Flats. The days could not have been more different, Sunday morning was foggy and cool, today was baking hot.
I'll take foggy and cool any day !

After the dog walkers left all that remained was the silence and the occasional bird call. As I walked back to the car i realized how much my pace had slowed.
It was if my body was saying "stay awhile"

We are lucky to have places such as this.

Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Old Boots

Studio - Old Boots
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

These boots were made for walking ...

I love these boots.

They are developing a nice patina with age and are ready to go in for their 3rd pair of soles. That's a lotta miles :-)

and yes they are soo comfortable.

Now shall I walk
or shall I ride?
"Ride," Pleasure said:
"Walk," Joy replied.

~W.H. Davies

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Ignatius Centre - Shadows

Ignatius Centre - Shadows
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

As Jethro Tull would say "Brewing, heavy weather" was closing in; with heavy, rain laden clouds scudding across the sky we took our chances and drove to the Ignatius Centre, a Jesuit retreat in Guelph.

Ignatius Centre

We were rewarded for our foolishness with periods of sunshine and shadows. I had chosen my Nikon F4, because it is waterproof (!) and AGFA APX 100 B&W film, one of my favourites, to take with me.

This scene lasted barely a few minutes but long enough.
I love the shadows :-)

Nature is man's teacher. She unfolds her treasures to his search, unseals his eye, illumes his mind, and purifies his heart; an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence. ~Alfred Billings Street

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Algonquin - Ragged Falls

Algonquin - Ragged Falls
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

It wasn't taken this weekend but I developed the film this weekend :-)

Ragged Falls in Algonquin will captivate you for hours.
It's not just the falls it's the rapids.
Its not just the rapids
it's the trail from the parking lot to the falls and back.

You get the idea.

A difficult shot, the stark white of the falls to deep black of the craggy shadows, barely tamed.

I like it because of it's failings.

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.
The winds will blow their own freshness into you...
while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

John Muir

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Algonquin Birches

Algonquin - Birches
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

A difficult choice this week, that's why it's posted on Tuesday.
Not that I am so good that I had so many to choose from.
I was trying to find the image that invokes the most powerful feeling.

Isn't this what Algonquin Park is all about?

The silence, a tranquil lake on a warm (ish) spring evening before the screaming hoards (both human and insect) arrive?

Yes, to me this is the essence of Algonquin. This why this is the "Photo of the weekend"

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Troll Bridge

St Jacobs - Troll Bridge
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

OK enough colour, back to black and white. :-)

On our way back from St. Jacobs we wandered along the back roads and I spotted this old wooden bridge.
This shows the Nikon D300's monochrome engine in all its glory.
Pretty well straight out of the camera.
Monochrome setting with a "Red" filter applied.

I love this camera for it's ability to do this.

I tried a crop without the dark tree line across the top. I liked it this way better.

I saw this today and had to share it ...

I remember a hundred lovely lakes, and recall the fragrant breath of pine and fir and cedar and poplar trees.  The trail has strung upon it, as upon a thread of silk, opalescent dawns and saffron sunsets.  It has given me blessed release from care and worry and the troubled thinking of our modern day.  It has been a return to the primitive and the peaceful.  Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and benumbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me - I am happy.  ~Hamlin Garland, McClure's, February 1899

Monday, April 12, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Mount Nemo Birches

Mount Nemo - Birches
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I didn't choose this because it's one of the lonely 'colour' shots.

It's more for the feeling....

This was a glorious spring morning and as Doug said "a great day to be out with friends". There was a great deal of laughter and camaraderie this day. Especially surrounding this shot, that is the memory, those are the feelings.

You are right Doug it was a great day.
Thanks to Andrew and Davey for being there too.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Photo of the (Long) Weekend - Lonesome Pine

Lonesome Pine
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

On Good Friday a few friends Grant, Doug, Pat and I explored a couple of abandoned houses North of Milton. This was taken with my "Commie Camera" a Kiev 4 which is a Russian, Contax rangefinder, clone. Beautiful little camera, loaded with my favourite film AGFA APX 100.

Why choose this image? Considering it was taken on a bright sunny day the mood is totally opposite. I love the silhouetted tree, the rubble, the hint of a building and the light creeping in from the bottom corner.

AGFA APX 100 developed in Xtol 1+1 10min at 20c.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Niska Trail

Shanghai Test - Niska Trail II
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

It's been a struggle and I had just about given up with Shanghai GP3 film but this roll developed very nicely, with "a little help from me friends".

Taking their advice I developed this roll in Rodinal at 1+100 dilution for one hour at 20 deg c.

I must admit a one hour development regime is quite relaxing. I set my timer for one hour and the second timer for 55 min and had a nap :-)

This was taken along the river by Niska Road in Guelph.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Ready

Commie Camera - Ready
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

On Friday I received my new "Commie" Camera, a Kiev 4 Rangefinder which is a Contax clone, complete with a Jupiter-8 50mm f/2.0 lens.
So I was itching to try it out.

I spoiled myself and used a roll of AGFA APX 100 on my road trip with Doug, Grant, Cathy and Pat. We decided to wander the back roads North of Milton ON looking for barns and farm houses. This freshly plowed field caught my attention with its wonderful leading lines.

Stand developed in Rodinal 20min at 20 deg c.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Hassy 500C

Rainy Day - Hassy
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

OK, OK it wasn't the best of the weekend but it is my new toy.
I sold my Nikon D2h and bought this with the proceeds.
I think it was a good deal, especially when the first roll of film came out properly exposed :-)

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Woodlawn Cemetery

Woodlawn Cemetery - l
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I love cemeteries, not that I would ever want to be in one.

This is Woodlawn Cemetery here in Guelph. On a cold, snowy day it has it's own, special, appeal especially to a black and white photographer.

This was taken with my Bronica SQ loaded with Shanghai GP3 B&W film. Developed in Rodinal 1+100 18min at 20c

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Wanderings - Elora

Wanderings - Elora
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

A blah sort of day, typical February.
A typical Black and White day !
My friend Dave and I took a short, casual stroll around Elora. That and a cup of hot tea to drive away the chills.

Someone commented on Flickr about the Zig Zag patterns in this image. Yes I like them too, enough to make it my "photo of the weekend"

Taken with my Kodak Retina IIC rangefinder.
AGFA APX 100 black and white film that expired in July 2003
Developed in Rodinal 1+100

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Soaring

Hamilton - Soaring
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

If I hadn't captured the last of the flock of birds I would not have chosen this as my "photo of the weekend".

Monday, February 8, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Everton Falls - Mill Pond Shadows

Everton Falls - Mill Pond Shadows
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

A difficult choice this weekend. Only because there were few candidates.
The majority of Sunday's photo's were made with Shanghai GP3 shot in my Bronica. The development left an ugly grain so I wasn't to pleased with them.
The Fuji Acros has promise but I need to let them 'mature' for a while before I revisit them. So I picked one of the very few digital shots as my favourite.
Why? The shadows scurrying back across the frozen lake to hide in the woods until the sun went down really caught my eye.
That plus the juxtaposition of the warm palette of tree's and reeds vs the cold blues of the shadows. Makes this image.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Flash Practice

Flash Practice - 2
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

I spent hours on Saturday playing with my new 'light shapers', shoot through umbrella and a 20" square soft box plus a few other bits and pieces.
After borrowing a couple of wireless triggers I set out to see if I could tame the shadows.
This is one of my favourites a book of essays by Francis Bacon and an old pair of glasses that I picked up as a prop. I am quite pleased with the light on the pages but less so with the overall, front to back, lighting.

Practice Practice Practice !

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Mug Shot

Mug Shot
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

C'est moi
Last week we were fine tuning a portrait lighting workshop we will be putting on.
Grant and Dave were the teachers, Doug and I the pupils.

I took some of what I learned and made this shot. It came out exactly as I had envisioned! So it had to be my choice even if it is a mug shot of yours truly.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Barber Mill

Barber Mill - Toothpicks
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Why this one?
Well, recently I was given a 100' roll of Kodak Kodalith Ortho 6556 film, ISO 10.
It was unopened and in the original packaging, date of expiry 12/1985.
My first test roll was, shall we say, a little short of the mark. I learned quickly that the emulsion on this film is very sensitive and pin holes and scratches were everywhere.
This was my second attempt.
With help from the flickr group "I shoot film" I found a new developer recipe and routine.
The results? Well I really like them.

Developed in Xtol at 1+1 dilution
6 min at 20 deg c

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Photo of the weekend - Hark what light through yonder window breaks!

German School - Hark what light through yonder window breaks!
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

A freezing cold weekend but that didn't stop the intrepid explorer's.

On Saturday Doug, Andrew and I visited the abandoned Speyside school. Seeing two police cruisers waiting at the foot of the driveway when we came out was a little off-putting to say the least. As it turned out they were not interested in us :-)

Today I met up with Jay, Chris and Jeff to visit the German Rd School nr Brantford.

The early light poured in through huge, south facing windows. Of course it had to be captured in Black and White :-)

Friday, January 1, 2010

First Light 2010

First Light 2010
Originally uploaded by Alan Norsworthy

Another year over and a new one just begun - Imagine, John Lennon.

The challenge continues, this year the First Light Challenge gauntlet was picked up by Grant, Doug and Cathy, the few who were up and out before dawn. This has become somewhat of a tradition for me and I welcome the company!

This shot was taken in Galt (now part of Cambridge), Ontario and, by the clock on the wall, at just about sunrise, although the sun didn't actually make an appearance.

Happy New Year !!