My Trip to Haliburton, Ontario

TripAdvisor really sums up the Haliburton experience perfectly:

Haliburton, Ontario, is a popular tourist destination full of beautiful lakes and cottages. Haliburton County is also known as the Haliburton Highlands, due either to its geographical similarity to the Scottish Highlands, or to the Scottish ancestry of the area’s founders. The lakes and rivers in the area dominate, but there is also a thriving arts and cultural scene which also helps to make Haliburton a great destination for a family holiday. About three hours drive out from Ottawa, or two hours away from Toronto, Haliburton offers a great opportunity for a laid back holiday – hiking around the lakes, fishing, generally relaxing.

This incredible community located just outside Toronto, Ontario offers everything from fine dining to elegant family cottages and even couples only resorts. You can spend your days sitting beside Eagle Lake or hiking one of the many trails that surround the area. If you’re ever in Northern Ontario I highly encourage you to visit Haliburton.

Taking a 1 Week Vacation

The last couple of weeks have been pretty slow, with no new jobs at all. Not surprising considering that last year was exactly the same. So I thought, why not make use of the free time and travel somewhere I haven’t been before? Said and done, it only took me 30 minutes to decide where to go AND to buy the tickets! Did I mention that I’m a restless type of girl?

So where did I go? Well, I’m writing this blog post from my hotel room in Oslo, Norway! Actually I’ve been traveling throughout Scandinavia the last week. Even though it feels like I’ve been traveling non-stop for the last years, I’ve somehow managed to miss out on northern Europe.

First I flew to Stockholm, Sweden, where I just relaxed a bit and did some shopping. It’s a beautiful city with the Old Town, the royal castle and the sea right next to everything. I managed to take some great photos, and hopefully I will be able to sell them. Working on my vacation, that’s me in a nutshell…

Next, I decided it was time to see what Denmark had to offer. After landing on Kastrup – Copenhagen’s big airport – I headed straight to the hotel to take a quick shower and then hit the streets. My plan was to walk around and see Copenhagen, take beautiful photos and just have a good time. Well, that was the plan. Five minutes after I left the hotel, heaven opened its gates and the rain poured down without any hope of stopping. I rushed back to the hotel to regroup and come up with a new plan.

To make a long story short, I found a very nice restaurant (thanks to the very friendly hotel staff) where I enjoyed an early but great dinner. Then I spent the rest of the evening in the hotel bar sipping on drinks and catching up with some old friends on my laptop. I think I have to do it more often because a lot had happened since last time we chatted. One of my friends was now pregnant and another one had become engaged. Wow! How did that happen so fast? My engaged friend who is now on track to get married next year was already talking about wedding dresses and how to lose 30 pounds (cliché anyone?). She mentioned something about a way to lose weight withot having to exercise, which naturally appealed to me right away. :) But when she told me it involved needles and injections, I just said stop, let’s change the subject (I have a phobia for needles). Anyhow, I included the two links she sent me if you want to learn more about it.

The next day I took the morning flight to Oslo, where I’m now writing this. I just arrived, but I’ve already discovered one thing. Norway is super expensive! Anyhow, I’m spending two days here before my next job starts in Frankfurt, Germany. Weather is nice, so I’m going to make the most of the time. No more blogging for now.

Until next time!

The Beauty of Macro Photography

Simple everyday things like butterflies and insects make interesting topics when viewed from a really close range. Optimizes lenses that are mounted on cameras allows photographers to take pictures of different subjects in great detail. Most camera models have a macro mode that allows for shooting small subjects in a narrow range.

Usually the standard lens of a camera is designed to take pictures of about 1 mm. There are models that come with extension tubes but this reduces the amount of light entering the device and will not produce good long distance shots as a macro lens would. The great thing with digital technology is that you can experiment with shooting pictures as much as you want because you don’t have to develop or maintain the photos that you don’t like. You can store the good copies in an electronic file or organize them for use in the future. This process also allows you to compare the quality of the pictures you took and mark your improvements.

This approach represents a different level of photography. It offers an opportunity to look at the details of small objects and gives seasoned individuals a chance to widen their scope of practice. Macro photography is a fascinating discipline because it allows the photographer to discover a world that is difficult to see with the naked eye. It involves the use of technical settings to capture a unique view. It’s amazing that some of the most enthralling macro images come from subject that are right in front of you like the details of a butterfly’s wings or the details of the wood on the chair. In common terms, the results are known as close up images or magnified pictures of different aspects.

The gadgets that are needed for this kind of photography however can be a bit pricey so if you are just learning the ropes, you can put off investing in high-tech gear and start with a basic camera model. A point and shoot model with a macro mode, often denoted by a yellow flower which appears when the mode is selected, can be a good practice gadget. In time, you can look into the purchase of a camera, usually a single lens reflex (SLR) camera or its digital version which are often sold with an accessory macro lens. The lens will actually cost you more than the body of the camera but you also have the option of checking out online auction sites to get good quality second hand pieces. Another accessory that you need to consider is a tripod to help you keep the camera steady while you take the shot.

Taking Nature Shots

Nature is one of photography’s greatest themes. You can capture it everywhere and the variety of subjects that is limitless. In the city, public parks, zoos, gardens and verandas all offer a wonderful opportunity to photograph nature from a unique perspective. But if you want to capture scenes that are similar to the ones that you see in galleries, you probably need to take a trek in a wooded area or spend some time living closer to nature. Armed with your camera plus loads of patience, you’ll be snapping up your own collection of nature at its finest in no time at all.

Wildlife photographers are considered some of the highly skilled individuals in this art form. The process of capturing elusive animals and other life forms on print requires determination and technical expertise. But anyone with the simple desire to take pictures can try out this hobby and be excellent at it. All it takes is a camera and the time to spare to do practice shots. Beginners can use the automatic mode and when they have developed the confidence to in handling the equipment, they can move to using the different modes and settings.

Image Courtesy of Affordable Wedding Flowers

Composing a shot will get easier with time and a lot of practice. Schedule trips to the beach or forested areas and try to take as many pictures as you can at different times of the day. The change in lighting makes for good practice. There are a lot of variables in play when you take pictures of nature scenes and even if your pictures don’t end up as perfect shots, you’ll still feel great doing it. In time, you will learn that taking pictures of nature can easily become one of the most rewarding experiences that you’ll have. The subject can be complicated at times, but if you have mastered the adjustments on your equipment, you will be able to handle the shifting situations as well.

The only investment that you have to make to start this hobby is to purchase your camera. There are a variety of models that you can choose from these days so you can take your pick. If this is a new thing for you, choose one that can be easily operated, so you will not be stumped with complicated directions and settings. You can easily move on to higher models when you gain enough experience in photography. Read up on consumer reviews so you can get a good deal on your purchase. And since you have digital technology on your side, you can easily view the pictures you took on the camera itself or by using a computer. Photography is fueled by great subjects and if you chose nature as one of your themes, the wide range of natural elements that’s available will keep you inspired for a long time.

Images Courtesy

The Monarch Florist
The Girl Floral Weddings
Erinvale Ballet School