Saturday, December 09, 2006


I chose a yet-different image (I had moved the chequerboard mask) and masked out the background on this to darken it slightly and to bring out the green values in it.
You can compare it to the image that's below it to see the editorial changes.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Venetian Still-Life #2

A variation on a theme.

This weekend I want to find a globe on a stand in one of the antique/junk/collectibles shops in my neighbourhood. To take still-life pictures, you've gotta have props (some might call it junque, but beauty is in the eye of the photographer :-D )

I need to do some serious editing on this: the more I look at it, the more I realize that the gold on the mask and the mottled green of the background fabric are too similar with the lighting in this image. So I want to mask out all the objects, and darken the fabric.

I can do that: I've done more intricate masking jobs for competitions over on Worth1000. It will just take a little time, that's all. Time, and some good jazz music, and a glass of pinot grigio from the Venezia region, just to put me in the mood.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Taste of latest photo session

Here's one.

I borrowed a couple of violins from co-workers, and pulled together some still life images using them, some masks I got in Venice, some sheet music I printed off the web, and other bits and pieces of things I've got around home.

I still need to finish going through my Peggy's Cove pictures and choosing the best of those, and making a CD for retailers, but sometimes you've just gotta take pictures...

Hey, hey: new camera.

New camera. 10+ Megapixel Rebel. Same lenses, but over 10 megapixels instead of just over six.

Took over 50 photos this weekend, mostly of musical instruments and Venetian masks and glass. Still have to sort through them and figure out which I like and which I don't. These images will be part of my new library/livingroom series of stil lifes (as opposed to the food images, which were kitchen/diningroom).

Meantimes, here's my new headshot. I photographed into a mirror, and then flipped the image. It's not as easy as I thought it would be:
First, check for your image to be reflected in the camera lens. Then, look at the aperture. I think. Difficult figuring that one out. Seems that it might be the midpoint that must be focussed on: i.e., the mirror. Must play around with this some more.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Woven photography

So first, let's look at the original photograph of the David Austin "Abraham Darby" rose:

As you can see, the open blossom is quite pinkish, and the two closed blossoms are yellower: more of a peach colour.

Black's Photography offers the ability to upload a picture to their website (.jpg and maybe some other formats: it barfed on .tiff, which is my favorite format, due to being lossless). They offer a number of ways to use the picture: as a photo, on a mug, or a mouse pad, or a tee-shirt... or woven on a Jacquard loom. That sounded interesting to me, and I also like the idea that computer punch cards were based on the punch cards used by jacquard looms, and now the jacquard looms are creating digital images... round and round we go...

So I copied the picture up. And checked it out on the blanket/tapestry, and thought it looked pretty good! 3 weeks until delivery. I kept my fingers crossed, hoping it would arrive before the technical update session, when I was talking about digital photography for gardeners.

Alas, no such luck. The tech. update happened on Saturday; I got a call on Tuesday or Wednesday (I forget which: it was the last week of a software update), and wasn't able to pick it up until Friday.

I think it turned out quite well, although the open rose isn't quite as pink, and the buds aren't quite as peachy. The color range is limited, after all: these are woven yarns.

It looks better from afar than from 12" away: gets almost a high-pass-filter kind of look when examined up close.

I think the next time I do this (and I most likely will) I'll choose something with more flowers, in bright contrasting colors, and smaller. A rose is truly overwhelming when it's about 36 inches across. It would be better to reproduce an image at close to a 1:1 scale, instead of doing a huge macro like this.

I also positioned the large rose really close to the top edge of the blanket: it would be a good idea to leave some background to frame the image, I'd say about a 6" margin all the way around.

Live and learn!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

More steps

Yesterday I delivered an hour-long lecture on digital photography for gardeners to the Master Gardeners in Ontario's zone 6. I'm glad to have it over, as I put quite a bit of pressure on myself to deliver a lot of information in a short time in an interesting manner (I had 70 powerpoint slides; 40 of them were images illustrating points).
It was well received, and I've been asked to create a follow-on presentation for our local Master Gardeners group that deals exclusively with the post-production process (after you press the button and take the picture).

One side-effect of the seminar for the Technical Update session is that I've added a PDF to my website, which is a free download: a composition guide and checklist for garden photography.

To use the composition guide, print the page (landscape mode) onto a transparency.
Look through the grid at your composition: try to position straight lines at or near one of the lines on the guide. Or, if you've got specific points of interest, try to position them at the circles where the lines intersect. Make sure you check out both landscape and portrait orientations of the grid. Once you've got a composition that you're happy with, notice where the edges are, and use your camera to capture the composition.

I brought some of my canvases to the seminar, and showed them at a table (had a folder with proofs of the whole set of still life images, with finished canvas size and price marked on each, and postcards with my email address and website).

I was hoping to show a jacquard-weave tapestry blanket of three David Austin roses, but it wasn't ready on time (it will be ready on Monday: figures, eh?).

At the seminar I met a designer who may contact me to display some canvasses at a charity design house she's working on: this could be an opportunity to show some images in the sort of setting they'd be used in. We'll see what happens.

That was a busy day: I need to take a few days off, because I've been working 60-hour weeks at work, plus pulling together the seminar.

I've got a week of vacation coming the first week of December. If not before then, I'll use some of that time to convert one of my spare bedrooms into a photo studio, so I don't have to cart everything down from the third floor to the dining table when I want to do a photo shoot.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Getting things accomplished

Between Sunday and today, I
  • revised my price list, created a PDF of it, and linked it on my web page
  • created new gallery stickers for my canvases that will be showing at The Commissary
  • created a hanging diagram to show how the images should be hung
  • also ordered a sample of 10 mini-business-cards with photos on (thanks, Sandy!)

Now I've got to
  • create and print stickers to go on the backs of my postcards to get some eyeballs looking at the canvases
  • order more ink and a roll of canvas from Epson
  • get that darned CD for retailers finished
  • get some more publicity - try to get something in the cabbagetown-area weekly newspaper

  • finish writing and illustrating the seminar I will be giving to the Toronto Master Gardeners on Oct. 21st
  • print some of my floral images on canvas to take to TBG that day (I've got a table at which to sell my wares).

I've got under a month to do all the above.

Oh -- and write a cheque to the insurance company, now that they've dinged me an additional $345.60 for running a small business at home so they would give me exhibit insurance. I wish they'd get with the modern age and let me pay either directly from my bank account or via credit card.

Friday, September 08, 2006

On: beautiful light

Tonight, before sunset, the light outdoors was exquisite in the east end of Toronto.
There was a clear sky to the west, where the sun was setting, and a bank of clouds arranged *just so* to the east. The light from the sun, setting in the west, bounced off the clouds in the east, and down to ground level.

It illuminated everything the way we try to illuminate objects using gold reflectors.

Sometimes, it just happens.

Now it's raining. Glad I captured a shot of the back garden in this wonderful reflected light.

I was shooting toward the west: normally, that would mean that the plants would be in shadow. But because of the way the clouds reflected the light, there's a warm cast and very few shadows.

You can see that I had a slow shutter speed: the wind was already starting to pick up, and some branches and ferns were starting to move around in the breezes. But it's pretty interesting light, considered that I was shooting into the direction of the sunset.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


OK, the exhibit insurance has been approved. It may still be a couple of weeks until I get the paperwork.

On to the next step: drawing a hanging diagram for the show, and printing labels (the restauranteur will have one of his staff hang it).

Friday, September 01, 2006

Waiting for exhibit insurance


No word yet on whether I've been approved. Apparently it could take two more weeks, just to hear back. I've asked the broker if she can hurry the application along, because I'm waiting for approval so I can hang my photos.

She said she'll see what she can do.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

About "Exhibit insurance"


Tough one.

First I called my home insurance brokers to see if they have Exhibit insurance. Well, blah, blah blah... first I have to get additional insurance on the house for running a small business, then I can get a rider to be moving some of the canvases off-premise and have them insured, but I also have to buy liability insurance (in case somebody gets hit by a falling canvas, i guess)... ca-ching, ca-ching. I told them I'd look into some companies that offer it separate from home insurance.

I started out by calling Visual Arts Ontario, to see if they knew of any insurers who deal specifically with exhibit insurance. Seems they've had a go-around about it, too, and ended up doing a rider on their standard business insurance when they held an exhibition in their office.

So next, I googled "exhibit insurance" and Toronto. Bingo! Found a company.

I think they're really not interested in small potatoes: more into corporate exhibitions. large things. things with lots of dollar value, lots of money behind them.

Well, that's not me... not yet :-D

So... back to the residential insurance. They fax me a form.
I fill it out.
I try to fax it back.
Their fax machine (or ours: not sure which was at fault) isn't working. Can't get the fax out.
Get it out the next business day.
Wait two days.
Yes, they received the fax at the brokers, and have sent it on to the insurance company for approval.

And so the waiting game continues.

I'd like it to be short: I've got an exhibitor just waiting for me to have insurance to put things up in his restaurant!


Friday, August 25, 2006


I've made my first sale.

Three Amigos, for $300.

Thank you, Lori!

Now I need to start keeping track of money --not just all the receipts of money I've spent, but money I've got coming in. I'm going to retain electronic copies of receipts, so I'll know who I sold to, when, and for what price.

It's good to track customers -- if at all possible, I'll make sure I've got an email account for them, so I can send out advertisements of future shows or groupings of images.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


A bit slow on the recount, here. Had to wait until I had permissions to republish.

If you want to get publicity, start sending out information about 6 months before you want to get something published. I sent out a flurry of press releases at the end of January/early February, and I've had an article (with a headshot) published now. Warning: expect that what you say may be translated into something different in print.

What is the interest of the newspaper, magazine, or medium that you are trying to get published in? It's important to figure that out. For this article, I knew that their primary interest is in people and events happening in east-end Toronto. So I filled out the information I gave them with other information about what my interests are in the community, and volunteer work that I do in my neck of the woods.

So here it is, reproduced verbatum, with permission of ETC... News:

In ETC... news:

East Toronto Artists

Beauty in the Gallery and in the Garden

by Linda Ward-Barnes

Pat Anderson, born in Halifax and raised in Montreal, moved to Toronto in 1987 after her graduation from Waterloo University. She and her husband moved to the Leslieville neighbourhood in 1997. It was a time when real estate prices were still in the affordable range. Pat and her husband appreciate the creativity and variety of small businesses in the area.

Researching the history of their home uncovered the fact that it was built on land that was part of George Leslie and Sons Nursery, the largest garden nursery in the British Empire (according to George she states). Given that information it is not surprising to know that gardening holds a special place in her life. As a Master Gardener ( she has completed her apprenticeships and courses and hopes to do more public speaking to local groups. In the past she has presented to the Maple Cottage garden Club. The topic at that time was planting native species for winter interest. (largely attracting birds). Pat is preparing to make another trip to the archives to complete a chart she is preparing about the Leslieville area. (

Pat's artistic interests focus mainly photographs and prints on canvas, which she gallery mounts onto artist's stretches and varnishes. Many of her compositions are based on items she owns. Pat also enjoys garden and flower photography. She often takes pictures at the Rosetta McCain gardens and the Scarboro Guild, as well as parks and ravines. A trip to Provence and Italy last spring resulted in the production of some window and door images. Pat's primary career is managing software documentation projects and documenting 3D design software.

Pat shoots her photos with a digital single lens reflex (SLR) camera and uses Photoshop to correct or modify the photos later. Pat enjoys still life images. Some of her work was exhibited at Barrio (Queen St. eatery) in February. Most of those photos were food items, which she says is part of her kitchen and dining room's decorative artwork. To see some of her work you can check out Pat is currently working on a series known conceptually as "living room and library pictures" photographing items such as sheet music, instruments, books, globe etc.

Pat and her husband have restored the gardens both at the back and in the front of their home. From bricks and asphalt to a sanctuary with flowing water and native berry species (elderberry, Saskatoon berry). Having recently purchased a book that documents the catalogue of the Toronto Nursery during the 1820s she is figuring out what wonderful early Victorian plants she can add to her garden. According to Pat, there were 70 different types of apple trees available back then, probably 10 times what is available now. Pat's wonderful contribution to both the garden and the gallery certainly makes her an artist.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Having a good week

I was off in Santa Rosa, California this week for a leadership course. While I was away, my photography business continued to percolate! My husband was home, so when a phonecall came in to display some of my photos in the Leslieville Cheese & Fine Foods shop that was opening on Saturday, he got right on it, and picked out seven pictures for the place.

I went in on Saturday and put up stickers with identifying info, email addy, and price. We'll see what comes of it.

And on Sunday, ETC (East Toronto Community) News was delivered to my door: with a full-page article and headshot about yours truly and her artwork (and gardening, and dayjob).

So, sometimes it takes a while for things to happen. All of this got set in motion in February, when I was showing my pictures at Barrio. That's where Lori saw them, and that's when I initially contacted ETC news.

Summary? Work six months in advance!


Saturday, April 08, 2006

Time for Canadian women who blog to meet?

See My Name is Kate for more information about a possible meeting.

It sounds like a real opportunity to network with other women bloggers, some of who have created businesses through their blogs.

Make it so, Kate!


Sunday, March 26, 2006

New photo gallery up tonight!

I've added a new gallery of photos.

Doors and Windows: Provence and Italy
These are images that I shot last year while on vacation with Sandy in Provence and Florence..
Due to the fact that I'm shooting digitally and not using a large view camera with an adjustable bellows, I needed to take the images into Photoshop and square them off (remove the keystoning effect of pointing a camera up at things).
Color corrected, re-shaped, enhanced where I felt the need to remove something from the image.
Next step: I'll look for a retailer..

I have a list of places that I'd like to be selling my images; I'm about 3/4 of the way through developing a sales CD for them. Just need a few more hours to get it finished, provide some sample prints, and do a mail-out.

I'm not sending out to hundreds of places: I think I have ten retailers on the list.

I'm aiming to finish it by next weekend.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Post the first

My first post on this blog.
My name is Pat.
I take photographs that dredge up the memories of long forgotten still life images.
My first series is food based. I consider it my kitchen and diningroom series.
My next series will be based around the living room and library.
Stay tuned!