About Me

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Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I took very early retirement from teaching in '06 and did some traveling in Europe and the UK before settling down to do some private tutoring. As a voracious reader, I have many books waiting in line for me to read. Tell me I shouldn't read something, and I will. I'm a happy, optimistic person and I love to travel and through that believe that life can be a continuous learning experience. I'm looking forward to traveling more some day. I enjoy walking, cycling, water aerobics & and sports like tennis, volleyball, and fastpitch/baseball. I'm just getting into photography as a hobby and I'm enjoying learning all the bits and bobs of my digital camera. My family is everything to me and I'm delighted to be the mother of two girls and the Gramma of a boy and a girl. I may be a Gramma, but I'm at heart just a girl who wants to have fun.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Welcome to P Week at ABC Wednesday, created by the passionate and professional Mrs. Nesbitt. She and her pretty little package of personalities will pad over to pop a comment on your post. We always pant with anticipation to see what you posit each week and can hardly wait to poke our noses into your photographs of possessions, be they ping pong tables, pearls, phones, pots & pans, or the prodigious pendulum on your grandfather clock.

I've had palpitations this week wondering about my P post relating to "photography."  Should I write about its history?  Should I explain what pinhole cameras are?  Should I describe perspective distortion or post about portrait and/or panoramic photography?  Frankly, it's all just a bit too much for me today so I decided to simply do another slideshow with my own photos relating to the letter "P."  Forgive me, please, but it's almost the end of the school year, and I must admit to being overwhelmed with senior literature courses!  Right now I need to prepare these students for their finals that are coming up a short 6 weeks from now - right after their "prom" that precedes the angonizing two weeks of exams. Enjoy the show and have a perfectly peachy and productive week.
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Saturday, April 21, 2012


They say timing is everything, but some photographs become brilliant or hilarious because both the timing and the angle work out just right. Sometimes this means catching people or objects lined up perfectly at the ideal moment. Other times these are staged for maximum effect.  Check out this photo to the right that I found online - looks like a two-headed zebra, but in actual fact it's two zebras one behind the other. Gives you a start at first, doesn't it? This is an optical illusion.

Eyes function as cameras that send a picture to your brain through the optical nerve. Your brain "prints" the picture and allows you to envision the object your eyes observed. Optical illusions are achieved by messing up the signal between the eyes and the brain. An optical illusion is the difference between what you expect to see and what is actually there.

You can mimic optical illusions with your camera by taking photographs where the timing and angle works out just right OR you can create optical illusions by working with your photographs and layering them together to distort reality. With the help of natural elements, unique composition, color, light and even photo editing software, you can create works of art that confuse the mind and trick the eye.

I'm still working on how to do this with Photoshop Elements, but here are some photos I found online that illustrate optical illusions. (from here)

Did you notice with the last photo that you can "see" the man's face both full face forward or in profile?  If not, go back and look...it's kind of odd.

Hope you enjoyed this little introduction to optical illusions.  And I promise that as soon as I learn how to do it, I'll post some of my own.

Before I go, I must remember to give Oppulent thanks again to Mrs. Nesbitt for creating and persevering with the Official ABC Wednesday site.  She and her team of assistants are Open-minded (although some of us (me) may be a bit Odd) and will Organize their lives to Oversee your posts and Offer Original and Objective Observations.  To join in, click here.

Friday, April 13, 2012

N is for NAME

We’re going to take a break from the photography theme again this week because I can’t think of anything related beginning with the letter N. So, I thought I’d tell you a bit about my NAME – Leslie, spelled the masculine way. First of all, it’s a Scottish name and can be either a first name or a surname. There is a Scottish clan named Leslie and if you’re at all interested in reading up on it, simply click here.

There is a coat of arms and a crest for the Leslie family and the name dates back to a Scottish tribe called the Picts. The first family lived in the barony of Leslie in the county of Aberdeen, and the name is derived from pre-existing names for towns, villages, parishes, or farmsteads. My maternal grandfather was born in Ayre, just south of Glasgow and he was the son of a Scottish Lord. Unfortunately, he was born "on the wrong side of the blanket," if you catch my drift. But it's fun to tell people I'm the great granddaughter of a Scottish Lord.

These are the coat of arms and the crest (with motto) of the Leslie clan.

When I was growing up, I hated my name – I guess because it was...well, different. All the other girls were Linda, Carol, Cheryl, Sandy, or Susan. Now, however, I like it because it IS different. I pronounce is LESS-lee, not LEZ-lee, although I don’t mind the latter. Only one friend has ever shortened my name to Les and must say I don’t like it. Another good friend calls me Lester sometimes because when we go out together, we joke about who's going to be the “guy” that day or night. If it's her turn, she's Wendell.

You may have heard of some famous Leslies, both male and female: Leslie Caron (French actress), Leslie Nielson (Canadian actor), Leslie Moonves (president and ceo of CBS), and Leslie Hope (aka Bob Hope). In the 1956 movie Giant starring Elizabeth Taylor, her character's name was Leslie Lynnton, and in the 1965 movie The Great Race, the character played by Tony Curtis was called The Great Leslie.

I am pleased with the sound and meanings of my name. It means “holly garden” or "garden by the pool"so I think when I get a puppy, I might call her Holly...or Pippa. But then, I digress...

Nuts! Before we go, we better remember the most famous N Name of all - Nesbitt (aka Denise) the founder of ABC Wednesday. She and her notoriously noteworthy gang of assistants will visit and nurture your nice and neat but maybe nutty posts. As I nibble on a bowl of nachos, I'll take note of the nourishment I take from your noticeable notions. I look forward to seeing you all again next week when we delve into the letter O. In the meantime, here's a little slideshow of me through the years.

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Saturday, April 07, 2012

M is for MACROS

Since learning so much more about photography, I have found that my favourite form is that of "macros." In short, macros are extremely close-up and detailed shots of usually small subjects, like flowers and insects to the point where the photo is larger than the real-life size of the subject. In other words, you are able to see tiny details of the subject. With plants, you can see the veins of leaves or the inside of a flower and with insects, you can see their antennae, the fuzz of their bodies, or the variations of colours in a butterfly's wings. To read more about photographing insects, check out this site. It's full of information about how to take macros of insects - the whys, the equipment, patience, timing, etc. To read more about how to take macros of flowers, check out this site.

For those who use DSLR cameras, there are special lenses that you attach to your camera. With my type of digital camera, there are special settings that I use for macro shots. For very close-up I use the macro setting and for extra close-up shots, I have a "super macro" setting. In my little slideshow below, I think you'll be able to tell which shots are regular macro and which are super macro. Check out your camera's abilities and if you haven't experimented with macros yet, give it a try. It's one of my favourite types of photography and I will continue to practise until I've mastered the form.

Before viewing the slideshow of my macro shots, remember to give massive thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, our hostess at ABC Wednesday. She and her mighty mountain of assistants mobilize each week to maintain this fun site. We massage your egos, move mountains to manufacture magical comments, and mesmerize you with our ministrations.

And now...on with the show! Don't forget to turn on your speakers to hear the music. To pause the slideshow, simply click the double vertical line at the bottom left of the screen.

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