Sunday, December 16, 2012

Corrigan School of Irish Dancing, London, ON

The Corrigan School of Irish Dancing presented their Christmas show Sunday at the Wolf Performance Hall in the Central Library in downtown London.

The dance troupe, mostly young girls, put on a great show. With taps loudly keeping time, they danced about the stage both to the music of the muscians and while tapping out music themselves.

Legs kicking high, hair and skirts flying, they kicked their heels and spun about the stage.

It was wonderful but no one was too astonished at the talent. During the year, many of the girls on stage travel great distances to compete in Irish dance contests right across North America and even occasionally in Europe.

When I used to work for the local paper, covering something like this was easy. I had a professional camera and fast lenses that let in enough light to shoot at the high shutter speeds action photography demands.

I'm retired. I shoot with two point and shoots: A Canon S90 and a Fuji FinePix HS10. Dance offers great picture moments but capturing these is tough.

The best bet, although it doesn't capture the all important action, is to wait until the end of the reel or the jig and grab a quick shot of the girls posing. This offers good form and almost guarantees a sharp picture.

I can't settle just for images of the girls taking a pose before leaving the stage. I have to at least try for action. Here it is very important to keep the camera steady. The subject movement will destroy almost all your images. Do not add camera movement to the mix. I found a steel post to steady my camera.

And sometimes, sharpness is not the deciding factor on whether a picture is a keeper. When my 3-year-old granddaughter performed a beginner reel with Nora Corrigan, sharp or not the picture was a keeper.

Still even a strong emotional attachment to an image doesn't grant it the right to be played large. It just doesn't have the quality. I upped the contrast of the image to hide a little of its defects.

I wish everyone reading this post, and everyone filing pictures to the City Daily Photo group, a very Merry Christmas and hope you all have better luck than I when shooting the difficult moving subject stuff for your blog.


Monday, December 10, 2012

Most homes do not last forever

It looks like it was a fine home not all that many years ago. Sitting on one of London's widest roads — a road that was probably just two, narrow lanes when it was built — today, the classic, little home sits empty of family, awaiting demolition.

I understand that most homes will not last forever. Still, it seems a shame when a home able to deliver many more years of shelter is forced to renege on the promise.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Yes, there are still Christmas pageants!

If you watch Fox News from the States, I can't imagine why you would, you have probably caught one of their mentions of the war on Christmas. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show has had fun poking fun at their seasonal paranoia.

I cannot speak for the U.S., but here in London, Ontario, Christmas is alive and well. (Although, I cannot say the same for my pocket book.)

Last night I attended a Christmas pageant at one of the local schools. The little ones sang Christmas carols, clapped to the music and at the end enjoyed a visit from Santa Claus.