Good morning…

7:22 am. It is an absolutely gorgeous day so far. Our balcony faces East, I’m bathed in sunshine. It’s going up to 21 degrees. Sigh. Life is wonderful.

Janet Edmonds

Two weeks ago today my dear friend Janet died in palliative care in St. John’s, NL. 51 years old, bone cancer. Surrounded by close friends and family. She died as she lived, gracefully. She was an Actor by trade, a phenomenal one at that. We worked closely together a number of seasons at a summer theatre festival in Newfoundland many moons ago. The picture below was taken last summer when she visited Toronto. We had 3 glorious hours together which I shall cherish for a lifetime.

It’s too soon to clearly express…I’m still processing it. Heartbroken is a word I’d use. And grateful. Through action she taught us that no matter what life throws your way it can be met head on, eyes and heart wide open, with great humour, love and dignity. She didn’t allow cancer to define her. Instead she showed it her boot and said, Well if you’re here you’re coming with me. Try to keep up will ya? Lol. She had the BEST laugh. Chesty, charming and catching. She was unique which means there was only one ❤

It turns out another friend, who lives in Halifax, my hometown, has the same cancer. It was only a few days after Janet’s passing that I learned we’re talking months now. Well fuck. I couldn’t get home to see Janet. I was in school see and she was no longer able to handle visitors. But I’d had it. I was heartbroken and homesick (hadn’t been home in 5 years). I sure as HELL was going home to see Lynn. So, I put it out on Facebook asking for airmiles or aeroplan points to get me and my daughter Lily home, it’s important. I’m not working yet see…poor student, couldn’t afford to do it on our own. Lo and behold an angel came through for us. I found out Thursday morning and by that afternoon our eager arses were sitting on the tarmac in Halifax.  

Still processing our trip home too. It was an unforgettable whirlwind of love, salt air and meaning. Lily, who’s 8 now, got to spend quality time with her Auntie Danielle, my friend for 30 years, and her Nanny Jean & Auntie Joan on my husband’s side. 

Lily & Danielle

We were treated like gold, as is the East coast way.

Anni & I…I am a lucky woman ❤

It was also my 45th birthday on the Saturday…

Myself, Genevieve & Danielle…friends for 30 years…birthday brunch ❤

Old friends 😃

Myself & Rebecca, choir camp buddies since our teens…seeing ONCE the musical at Neptune Theatre, a gift for my birthday ❤.

Friends of mine who were in the cast of ONCE…Kirsten, Amanda, Cam, Me, Jon-Alex and Margot ❤

Myself and Margot Sampson…a fellow performer ❤

Doug & Danielle ❤…our loving hosts for the weekend

Myself & Jeremy Webb…Actor and Artistic Director of Eastern Front Theatre ❤

Kendra & I…friends for 40 years – HOLY poop!! ❤

Myself & Lesli Chandler…we performed together in the musical Cabaret at Neptune Theatre in the late-90’s ❤

Luckily Lynn had enough energy to see me Sunday afternoon. We had a whole 2 hours together!! I got to massage her feet and legs…it was…beautiful. Magical. Spiritual. Our time, it was love. She said she felt Janet was with us ❤. I feel indescribably lucky. Felt so good to give something of myself to one who has given so much of themselves to others. I love you Lynn. More adventures to be had 😄

Sigh☀️

At the airport Sunday evening waiting to depart…sad faces.

Here it is, Saturday again.

It’s been two weeks since Janet passed away. Still hard to believe. But I strive to live, love and be better. Every day.

Our time here is brief my friends. Make it count ❤

It’s 8:50 am…and I am bathed in sunshine.

Wed. May 31, 2017…after a 12 hour day at school. This is the face of a soon-to-be graduate. 2 more months of classes!!

Peace, love & light,

Julia

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Checking in…

I have been the worst blog buddy! I’m so sorry. Classes and work and life have taken my full attention. How are you? What’s new in your life?

A week ago my daughter Lily and I went to Toronto’s Sugar Beach, a really cool man-made  invention. Wind was a bit chilly but the sun was a shining brightly, first beach day of the summer! Lily and her little buddy Olivia hadda grand time, as did my friend Johanna and I. All it needed was a beer and bbq to top it off 😀

My pre-admission Anatomy course finishes a week from Saturday. Gad the time has flown! I’m doing really well, proud of myself…and I’m all a flutter for the full time Massage Therapy course to kick in come the end of August. Imagine…two years from now I’ll be writing my Ontario RMT exam – crazy!

Feeling really odd today…like I’m waiting for something, like I’m on the edge of something amazing happening. Ever have those days? Like…I’m about to come into A LOT of money or something. Hmmmm. Just…strange.

My mental health/mood took a dip there for a couple of weeks, much to my disappointment. Thankfully it’s picked up again. My shrink and I have finally taken me off the anti-depressant that caused me to gain 40lbs – thank god – and have started me on a weight neutral one. Hooray!! AND, it has no sexual side effects. HALLELUJAH.

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View of Lake Ontario from Sugar Beach

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Olivia

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Olivia's beautiful Mum, Johanna

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Lily

Another week and Lily will finish Senior Kindergarten and be free for the summer. How is it I have a child going into grade one? I swear just yesterday I was breastfeeding her.

I hope your week is off to a wonderful start.

Til next time…

Peace, love & light,
Julia

My girl

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Earlier today at the bus station, Mom and daughter goin’ shoppin’…she turned six two weeks ago…the wee one no longer so wee. Gad how I love her.

fountain

fountain fountain2 fountain3 fountain4 fountain5 fountain6 fountain7 fountain8

mmmmmm water…..playing with frozen and blurred movement at the Eaton Centre, downtown Toronto, yesterday (remember to achieve frozen motion use a high shutter speed, for blurred use a low #)

Nikon D90 35mm,,,March 25th, 2015

Homewerk

cup2

cup…SS 1/800 f1.8 ISO 2500…deep depth of field, frozen motion

frozen2

frozen…1/1000 f1.8 ISO?…frozen motion, shallow DoF

blur2

blur…1/100 f6.3 ISO?…deep DoF, blurred motion…a lower shutter speed would have worked better in this situation making water to appear more silky…

chair

chair…1/160 f2.8 ISO?…deep DoF

carving2

carving…1/125 f1.8 ISO 800…i cropped this for close-up, intended for shallow DoF but it’s hard to tell because it’s now in close-up

candy

candy (looks like candy to me :))…1/250 f2.5 ISO 2500…shallow DoF, off center focus

mask2

mask…1/125 f1.8 ISO 800…deeper DoF but I wouldn’t call it deep still quite a bit of bokeh

pole

column…1/200 f5.6 ISO 200…captured through a window…deeper DoF…objective to have detail of column (not in silhouette) without the BG getting totally blown out

lamp

lamp…1/160 f5.6 ISO 2500…deep DoF, off center focus…unedited

window2

window…1/100 f5.6 ISO?…deep DoF

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shaft…1/320 f1.8 ISO?…shallow DoF

klara3

Klara…1/640 f1.8 ISO 2500…off centre focus, frozen motion

owl

owl…1/200 f1.8 ISO 1600…off centre focus, shallow DoF

All shots taken with a Nikon D90 85mm lens.

Tuesday I had my second Basics of Photography session with my mentor Nicole. She really is a fantastic teacher. Keeps it very simple, easy to understand. And she’s so nurturing…I feel very blessed to have her in my corner. I want to reach for more more more learning and know I can do anything with her on my side.

She focused mostly on aperture…how to achieve frozen and blurred motion, shallow and deep depth of field. A deep Depth of Field (DoF) is when most if not all of the photo is in focus, very little or no bokeh (blur) providing the viewer with more detail. This is achieved with a higher number of aperture (f-stop). Thus the opposite is true for a shallow DoF, lower f-stop. See the guide below…as you can see I definitely should have used a lower shutter speed to blur the tap water.

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We also talked about using the light meter in my camera seen through the viewfinder. What I love about Nicole is that she really stresses not getting hung up on the numbers. These are guides for sure which I need to know in order to get the shots I want. But the exact numbers are not important, make sense? The meter is also a guide which we have the choice to follow or dismiss depending upon what look we want. It is an extremely helpful guide in my world 🙂

In terms of lenses I learned that the smaller the number of the lens the wider the shot, larger frame…higher number smaller the frame.

Next step for us is learning Photoshop. Itching to get my new laptop and get at it!! And continue shooting of course. Nicole has created a closed group on Facebook for all her students to contribute their work in order to get feedback from Nicole and the group itself. Really useful I find…loves me some constructive feedback!

My homework is to create photos using A. Shallow depth of field (DoF) B. Deep DoF C. off center focus (rule of thirds) D. Blurred motion E. Frozen motion. I focused more on the deep DoF as I tend to use mostly shallow.

Anyhoo…hopefully this information is useful for those of you still learning or needing a gentle reminder. I’m really enjoying shooting in Manual, I shall never go back. I will be out shooting more next week. Lily’s March Break this week plus her getting sick has kept me out of service, thus the lack of postings.

Sending you all peace, love & light for a stunning weekend!

Thank you so much for dropping by…always deeply appreciated.

Big love,

Jules