Tuesday Photo Challenge – Connect

I had a couple of ideas for the Tuesday Photo Challenge – Connect.

I went with the following idea because there’s two types of connection involved.

The first is a channel connecting a marsh to a section of the Last Mountain Lake National Wildlife Area in Saskatchewan, Canada.

The second is the connection between the birds and the photographer. It was a hot summer afternoon and my options were to lie in the hot sun on the edge of the channel or sit in the water with the birds. After I had been sitting in the water for a while the birds got used to me being there and pretty much ignored me. That’s the sort of connection you want, the birds behaving naturally as if you weren’t there.


Tuesday Photo Challenge - Connect

The reason for me sitting in the water, a flock of American White Pelicans fishing in a channel where a marsh drains into a section of the lake.


Tuesday Photo Challenge - Connect

I noticed that I was also sharing the channel with a Red-necked Grebe.


Tuesday Photo Challenge - Connect

After a while the Pelicans would swim out of the current in the channel and paddle past me back to the start.


Tuesday Photo Challenge - Connect

The Grebe also got used to my presence in the water and would surface anywhere around me after a dive.


Two Roads in Monochrome

ThIs is my contribution to Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Roads.

I decided to go with a post of contrasts, an impassable road in summer and a passable with care road in a winter snow storm.


Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge: Road

Impassable in the summer, a prairie road in Saskatchewan.


Cee's Black and White Photo Challenge: Roads

Passable with care during a snow storm, a road through the bush in Ontario.


Fan of… Old Fashioned Camera Bags

This is a contribution to Jez Braithwaite’s Fan Of… #53 challenge and a long, rambling post about camera bags.

I used the same brand and model range of camera shoulder bags for years. I got my first Tenba Pro Pak, a P595 in 1981. They were so new to the U.K. I picked it up from the importer/distributor as they didn’t have any retailers in place. I went on to get two more sizes of the bags over the next decade. I tried different brands of shoulder bags over the years but ended up going back to the Pro Pak bags every time.

My P595 in the snow at Hatherton, Cheshire, England in 1982.

A Fan Of..... Old Fashioned Camera Bags


Tenba discontinued the range around 2003 but it was no big deal, my bags were still going strong. They had a few stains that wouldn’t wash out but all the zips and closures still worked as if new.

However, as a result of going digital I was carrying less equipment and on occasions my smallest Tenba bag was now too big. Plus the Pro Pak bags with all their external pockets were never exactly discrete and there was times a more understated bag would have been nice. So after researching what was available I picked up a Domke F-6, a small and plain looking bag in sand canvas.

To show that some things stay the same here’s the Domke F-6 in the snow a few years ago. Around 35 years after the photo of the Tenba in the snow was taken.

A Fan Of..... Old Fashioned Camera Bags


I liked the simple design of the F-6 so much that two or three years ago I got the larger Domke F-2 in RuggedWear to haul my DSLR and large auto focus zoom lenses around. RuggedWear is the Domke name for waxed cotton fabric used in some waterproof jackets.

The design of the F-2 goes back to the 1970s and it’s basically a bag with a flap, a pocket at each end and two small, open pockets on the front.

Just for a change, the F-2 sitting on a rock rather than in snow.

Domke F-2 in brown RuggedWear.


That’s not the end of this long, rambling story however. Last spring I fell of a ladder and ended up with restricted movement in the right shoulder and a weaker right arm. As a result I had to make some changes to my kit. I went to a smaller, lighter mirrorless camera and for a lot of my personal work I put together a lightweight kit of three manual focus primes that fit into a tiny Domke F-5XB.

The Domke F-5XB hanging from a tripod on the Colpoy’s Bay shoreline at sunrise.

My small and light mirrorless camera kit.


I should add that I’m not recommending Domke to anyone. They’ve gone out of fashion with a lot of photographers due to their lack of padding and security. I use very flexible third party padded inserts in the F-2 and F-6 rather than the poorly designed Domke padded inserts. I have always preferred a quick to open and access bag so don’t care about the lack lack of security. Indeed, the extra security of the zip on the Domke F-5XB is proving to be a minor annoyance.


On the Hunt for Joy: Sit in the Sunshine

This is my contribution to Cee’s On the Hunt for Joy Challenge: Sit in the Sunshine.

One photo came to mind almost instantly when I read the prompt for week 4 of the challenge. After that it was simply a case of finding a couple more photos to go with it.

A Dunnock sitting in the sun in Hatherton, Cheshire, England. Its feathers are fluffed up because it’s sunbathing which is why it came to mind so quickly.

Sunbathing Dunnock.


A Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel sits in the sun having just emerged from its burrow in the spring. Punnichy, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Feeding Ground Squirrel.


An American Red Squirrel sitting in the sun on the South Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, Canada.

Six Word Saturday: Where Did I Leave My Nuts?

January Squares: Drone in Flight

Probably not what most people were expecting from the title. This is a Drone Fly (Eristalis tenax) hovering in a Cheshire garden. Just to confuse things even more it is a member of the Hoverfly family.

This is my day 15 contribution to Becky’s January Squares: Light photo challenge and day three of my five day sequence of Flight photos.

January Squares: Drone in Flight