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It’s been a few months since I’ve shared anything here.  Life gets busy,  not bad just busy, but sometimes with that hectic pace it becomes harder to find those moments to get out and do what brings us peace.  Travel, photographing and editing a wedding and T.C.B (taking care of business) not to mention near record rainfall this year have kept me and my macro lens from having our usual fun walking the streets of our neighbourhood in Old Ottawa South.  We’ve had some breaks in the weather and I managed to get in some shooting.  My creative drought ended and I made some of my favourite macro images to date.  For as much I do enjoy photographing flowers indoors, it doesn’t compare to being able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.  I compare this type of macro to street photography in the sense that I have to be very observant and often quick, in case someone is wondering what I am doing in front of their homes.  Macro photography is meditative.  I’m sure I have said this in an earlier post.  I love that I have to be mindful of my breathing, my balance and the elements within the frame.

The Serenity Blog Circle is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.  Please click over to see what my talented friend Eileen Critchley is sharing this month.   I love how she views the world around her.  Thank you for looking.

  • Serenity Project – August 2017 – Mabel Chow Photographs - […] Please continue the serenity circle to the beautiful images of  Susan Bahen, Ottawa, Ontario Fine Art Photographer. […]ReplyCancel

  • Wendy - Loved looking at these images Susan. Your macro photography is stunning!ReplyCancel

  • Margy - Absolutely beautiful, Sue!ReplyCancel

  • Jessica Nelson - Such a beautiful collection Sue. I love the cone flowers, they are my fave. Gorgeous colors.ReplyCancel

  • eileen - Beautiful images, Sue! I am so glad you had a chance to take your macro lens out. I love your macro work!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - Sue, these are beautiful! Your focus is so perfect in these 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Iris - Oh my word, those are all stunning, Sue.

    You are right, shooting indoors where you can single out one subject, in the ‘wild’, you really have to watch the surroundings of your subject.ReplyCancel

  • Jennyw - OMG these are stunning!! Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Nadeen - Have mercy!!! These are incredible! Now I’m motivated to dust off my macro!ReplyCancel

  • Mabel - Oh my, I always love the tones in your images!ReplyCancel

We had a beautiful couple of days at the lake over the Easter long weekend.  Sunny and warm after so. much. rain.  (In case you didn’t know this about Canadians we LOVE to talk about the weather).  Anyway, as you may know, I love to wander around with my camera and see what I’ll find.  It’s a great way to log steps on my FitBit without working out and to slow down and be observant.  For as beautiful as the morning was it’s still only April in Western Quebec, so other than the fact that the snow for all intents and purposes is gone and the ice on the lake is dangerously thin, we are not in the throes of spring with it’s full-on display of colourful blossoms.  Everything is very brown and after a long winter of monochromatic tones my camera really wants to capture some colour in the great outdoors.  Well brown is a colour and so is green, so mission accomplished!  Truth be told, I couldn’t have been happier.  The forest floor is starting to show a little life.  The moss is luscious and thick and the evergreens look happy to not be burdened with ice and snow.

These were all freelensed, a technique where you detach the lens from the camera body and hold it in front of the sensor.  I have an old lens that I modified, but I need to modify it a bit more to really get the effect that I am after.  As you can see by the progression of these photographs, I was getting more precise focus as I practiced.  The soft focus in the first two doesn’t bother me at all as I was really focused on the light and the colour.  The mood of these images really did match how I was feeling as I was out exploring.  There is a sense of optimism; we need to be patient and wait for the breaks in the rain, we need to slow down and look for the beauty that is there and enjoy it for what it is.

The Serenity Blog Circle is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.  Please click over to see what my talented friend Nadeen Flynn of Nadeen Flynn Photography is sharing this month.   I love how she views the world around her.  Thank you for looking.
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Well it’s bound to happen.  We had a lovely, relatively easy winter by Ottawa standards, with lots of mild days (peppered with some extreme cold and a few snow storms), but for someone who has gone from a winter person to a fair weather fan, I really had little to complain about the last few months.  Enter March.  What is going on?  It’s been colder the last few days than it’s felt all winter.  And why not throw in a last season storm to add insult to injury.

This is a post about serenity so I will change my tone.  I spent a day in Montreal early this month visiting a dear photography friend.  The temperature dropped to sub-freezing from the previous day’s mild rain so Anda suggested that we go the the Botanical Garden where they had a butterfly exhibit.  Talk about the perfect antidote to the cold.  Despite the excitement of all the little children, this was truly a serene and beautiful exhibit.  I couldn’t tell you how many different varieties there were or how many butterflies there were in total, but it was the most magical experience.  It felt like being in a Disney movie with blue butterflies chasing each other through the crowds of patrons, stopping to rest on a child’s head or trying to camouflage themselves on the flowers on foliage (well those playful blue ones were the most inconspicuous).

The Serenity Blog Circle is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.  Please click over to see what my talented friend Nadeen Flynn of Nadeen Flynn Photography is sharing this month.  I love her take on serenity.

 

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I used to be a winter person,  but something happens when you get older and you realize that winter is hard.  It’s long, dark and cold.   You get cranky that the city hasn’t cleared the sidewalks and you pine for the days when you can leave the house in your flip-flops.  This winter has been different, though.  It’s still cold and dark, but I have been enjoying myself like I haven’t in a long time.   My pup needs to get out for his walks and we’ve been hanging out at the dog park.  Playing fetch and running through the snow (George, not me).  We stay out forever!  It’s like being a kid.  It’s just so beautiful!

This past weekend, up at the lake,  my hubby and I were out in the woods with the dog on a mission to dig out his stuck ATV.  After he and the dog took off into the distance, I went home for my camera (and spare batteries…it was COLD!) then headed back to the peace and quiet of the forest.  The snow clinging to the remaining leaves on the trees.  The warmth of the leaves juxtaposed against the cool white snow.  It really was something.

The Serenity Blog Circle is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.  Please click over to see what Carri Peterson of Sunlit Moments Photography is finding serene this month.

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  • The {Serenity} Project – In the Kitchen » Kathleen Roberts Photography - […] This month is no exception in finding serenity all around us in this world.  My talented friend Sue Bahen is next in line.  Follow the circle around to see what she has to share this […]ReplyCancel

  • Iris - It does look cool with the snow and the leaves. I am glad that you are enjoying this winter a little. I feel the same way about summers in Arizona.ReplyCancel

    • admin - I have to admit, I think your summers are more unbearable than our winters. We can always bundle up. You can only take off so many clothes before you get into trouble.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Carr - These are beautiful! I love how much you have been enjoying this winter. It’s so great to see you making time for yourself to just “be.” <3ReplyCancel

  • admin - Thank you, Jenny! I really have been. John asked if I was going to take George with me and I said, “No way!!” I was thinking of you though. You would have loved it.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - Lovely, lovely, lovely! Walking in the quietness of snow is special to me too. I LOVE how you can see mini-snowflakes on the leaves <3ReplyCancel

Well, here we find ourselves in December, a month with 31 days that feels more like 15.   As a terminal procrastinator, I struggle with all of the preparations and hecticness that is the Christmas Season.  Kind of a contradictory statement in a blog post about serenity.  These images were all the result of literally slowing down. Physically stopping the car to enjoy the beauty around me.  The first photograph was made while I was out delivering gift baskets for my husband, John, to his clients.  Many of them live in rural Ottawa and my route that day kept me on the road for four and a half hours, time I was resenting spending behind the wheel knowing what needed to be done at home (a puppy to walk, groceries to buy, gifts to wrap, decorations to put out…).  As I was leaving one of my stops,  I knew I had to pull over and capture the lines of the long country road.  I live on a busy street in the city and this is about as opposite a place to live than my home.  The clouds had lifted a bit and the blue sky was peaking through.  The long straight lines of the road, receding into the distance in a hypnotic, calming manner.

The other three images were taken going to (image two) and leaving the cottage this past weekend (images three and four).  To be perfectly honest, it really is difficult to not feel serene at the lake, but we (and by we, I mean the guy behind the wheel) are usually in a hurry either coming or going that I am whizzing past the gorgeous scenery that I am mentally photographing in my mind or trying to capture through a dirty truck window.  On both days, Friday and Sunday, the sky was glowing behind a haze.  I had the door practically open before we had come to a complete stop and I was able to take in the last light of the day against the fresh snow.  The last two were taken about 100 meters from each other (I think, I’m terrible at estimating distances).  What a different location makes.  The snow blew off the hood of the truck and onto the windshield and with the light shining through the trees and onto the snow, it painted the most beautiful winter abstract that begged to captured.

The last image is a final reminder to me of the peaceful calm that I feel at the lake.  As I head into the week leading to Christmas,  with all of the rushing around and last minute preparations, I know full well that I will stress myself out, I have that final picture as a reminder of the bigger picture, that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff.  The things that matter cannot be bought and wrapped up to open on Christmas morning.  Despite the pressure that we put on ourselves this time of year, and quite frankly throughout the year, we have to take the time to slow down, whether it’s for a couple of minutes or a couple of hours.

The Serenity Blog Circle is a collaborative photography project in which we want to share images that convey peace and calm.  Please follow the link to my very talented friend, Kathy Roberts.  Thanks so much for looking and all of the best to you and your families for a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.  xo

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  • Wendy - Om goodness Susan…. these images are absolutely stunning! The atmosphere around them is amazing!!!ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - I can so relate to the mentally taking pictures when someone is whizzing by the gorgeous scenery. This is why I like to drive! That abstract image is amazing!! Uncanny what a little blowing snow can do! Merry Christmas to you…ReplyCancel

    • admin - Just a little (lot) of snow on the windshield. Love that this isn’t a double exposure or an overlay in Photoshop. Merry Christmas to you too, Kathy. <3ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer Carr - Beautiful! I love the depth in the images. It makes me want to bundle up and take a walk down your snow covered path. My favorite is the snowy windshield, though. It’s abstraction (word?!) is incredible!ReplyCancel

    • admin - We’d love to have you join us up here to walk through the woods! And yes, I do believe that abstraction is a word.ReplyCancel

  • Nadeen - I cannot choose a favorite. Love them all!ReplyCancel

  • Jillian Baudry - Stunning images and beautiful sentiments Susan, thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

  • Nancy Armstrong - Sue these are absolutely stunning.ReplyCancel

    • admin - Thank you so much, Nancy!! Merry Christmas to you and Jeff! xoReplyCancel

  • Nina Mingioni - I love your winter imagery, Sue! I love the snow (unless I have to drive in it) and the magic it adds to the surroundings. I am in love with the second image – gorgeous light and composition!ReplyCancel

    • admin - Thanks so much, Nina!! I hate driving in the snow too, but even worse is the ice. Winter truly is beautiful and I remind myself how lucky I am to live in a place with four incredible seasons.ReplyCancel