Shapes in nature- Ice Circles on Jedburgh Pond, Ayr

I stopped by one of my favourite spots for photos yesterday- Jedburgh Pond in Ayr, Ontario.

The ducks were excited to see me and the pond was lovely with it's mix of snow and ice and peacefulness.  

As I was heading out,  I noticed that the ice had melted near one shore and formed circles.

I always feel good inside when I find something like this.   

Post-blizzard in January

Here are two photos from my travels today in the Waterloo region- shot just south of the highway 401 on the Dickie Settlement road.

The weather was just post-blizzard and you can see it in the images.  It has a certain kind of look which is hard to describe in words.

I am not sure why but I have given it the name of "four fields".  I was drawn to the way each field was "indented" like a paragraph.  If you look at the trees in the background you can see they have been through the "blizzard mill".  The light was poor but the white snow on the trees interested me.  And the colours.   It's not an outstanding photo in my opinion but it is interesting.

I call this one "sign and vine" :-)  If you look close you can see the tendrils on the vine.   The odd shape to this caught my eye.  And it has that "post-blizzard" look.


Marshall Point Lighthouse, Port Clyde, Maine - Christmas 2016

Welcome back to my blog!   I haven't done any landscape photos this past week.. it happens.   A mini "dry spell" is all it is. 

This is a photo which I took last year almost to the day.  It has a somber but romantic, thoughtful atmosphere.   When you look at the girl walking, you imagine she is being quietly reflective as she walks.  She is soaking up the environment, the sounds of the water and the wind. Maybe she is thinking about her family, or her future. I imagine she feels good inside, and she realizes that her life is stable and blessed.  Even the color and style of her clothing matches that of the environment.  Although the scene is dull and cold, the lighthouse symbolized hope and light, and the wreath a quiet expression of Christmas.

It's been a pleasure sharing this with you

For more landscape photos please visit

~ susan

Throwback Friday... a photo from my files

Hello my dear viewer!

I want to share with you one of my favourite photos from my files.

This is from a Mennonite area of Waterloo region, just south of highway 86 if my memory is correct.   I was driving back from a real estate shoot and noticed this scene.   It was in September (2017) and the some of the fields had this lovely chocolate brown crop (dried I suppose).  Interspersed was this fluffy white flower.   It really caught my eye!

I edited the photo with even more brown tones to bring out what I saw.

This would be a great piece of wall art for your dining room or hallway.   This could be printed on paper, wood or metal.  A spotlight on the photo would also bring out the white flowers.






Wellesley, Ontario

Hello again! Here is an image which I took earlier this month – and forgot about posting it.

This was taken in an area of Wellesley, Ontario which was just off the highway, adjoining the river.   I’m sure I and many other people have driven past it before without noticing.   I mean basically this is a "swamp" or flood plain - what have you.  Roadside empty land.   For some reason I felt compelled to get out of my car and do photos that day.  I saw something in it.   The line of trees, the water, the stormy sky.   When the sun came out - CLICK - I nailed it.


Just for fun, I created a view of what it would look like in a home, hung over the fireplace:

I also converted the image to black and white....  lots of fun.  Not sure which I prefer?

I have to say the great thing about looking at winter photos is we can stay snug and warm while we view them ))))) 

Have a wonderful day

~ Susan

Great weekend for photography - area south of Baden, Ontario

Last weekend I had a lot of fun shooting landscapes.   I took two trips, one south of Brantford, Ontario and the other south of Baden, Ontario.

I typically do a lot of black and white photography but during these two trips I ended up with mostly colour photos.   I like to surprise myself.

This one (below) is one of my favourites. I actually thought I had finished shooting for the day when this "popped" into my view.   

Here is a farm that I have passed by on many occasions - just outside Ayr, Ontario.  The clouds were nice so I took a photo- again.

Here is another colourful one.  (see below)  The barn is blue, and at that time the sky had turned pink.  Interesting combination of colours.  The sky was rapidly changing second by second as the sun was going down.

By the way, no crazy photoshop tricks going on here, this is the real deal!   I actually shy away from heavy "photo-shopping" - the closer to the truth the better in my opinion.    There are exceptions to this, but I will explain when that kind of photo comes up.   

Next -  can you tell I love barns?  They remind me of my home (one of my childhood homes) in Farmington, Maine.  Barns give me a visual sense of comfort.  I picture myself running around with my sister and a bunch of cats, playing games.  Or sitting on the grass and drawing, taking photos, or daydreaming.   The weathered look is so appealing.   This barn is outside of New Dundee, Ontario.  I only "discovered" it the other day.   I love the fence line.   I think this image is a bit "crowded" but it is what it is.  

Next image - I have quite a few!!!    This one was on the drive back from Brantford, Ontario to Waterloo, Ontario.  Old tobacco houses... soon to be a thing of the past.  I loved how they stood in a row.  Reminded me of those scenes from coastal England where you see beach house after beach house all in a row.   Next time I see this I am going to try something with a zoom lens.  I think a layer of snow might also make it even nicer. 

This photo (below) and the two above were shot using the "dramatic tone" filter on my Olympus camera.   I sometimes shy away from filters but this one really brings out the mood of the late fall season - cloudy, dark, cold, sunny, snow-in-the-air kind of feeling mood.   This farm outside of Baden, Ontario

And here is yet another field photo... great lines and dramatic look.

Last but not least - THIS.   I won't say a lot about it except that I am thrilled to have taken this.  I love the way the light falls between the trees on the left.  The sun was coming right at my camera.  It wasn't easy getting this one.   I think I took twenty shots and this is the one with the least splotches.

Have you noticed that most of my photos all have that rectangular size to them?  It is my favourite shape for photos.  It is also a familiar format as I shoot real estate panoramic views when I am not doing landscapes.  

All images are for sale!   If you see something you need to have, let me know and we can work out the right size, frame and shipping.   


Amazing field in Roseville, Ontario

I had a pretty good day driving around.  Except it seemed like everyone was tailgating me!   It was like the national sport today.    I even saw a lady tailgating a school bus.  How wrong is that?


Here is an image I would like to share.    This is just outside of Roseville, Ontario, which is between Cambridge and Kitchener.   There is something about this field that always catches my breath it is so beautiful.   It’s like the perfect field.   If I am driving north towards Kitchener, then the field rises into view as I drive along the road.   Broad, vast, and it moves upwards in a wave-like motion.  I imagine they use this when the international plowing match is held here.  

Every time I see the field it looks different.  (Today, being late November, it has the silvery-golden look, no, more like a metallic golden look, almost like “white gold”.  It’s a brilliant colour and one I’m not sure the camera picks up.)  You can almost feel the cold air and warm sunshine as your eve moves across the image.  It reminds me of an ocean, with the waves coming in.  Or a ski slope and what fun it would be to ski down across the rises and falls.   Look at the variation in colour.  And how the sunshine and clouds make playful strips of light/ dark across the landscape.   I didn’t plan it this way but I love how the top of the photo is sunlit. The dark green evergreens are a perfect border.  

You will see more of this field in future posts :-)

Until next time.... / Susan

Driving in rural Waterloo Region... Thoughts on blogging, imperfection and changing colours

I have recently begun to think more about sharing my experiences driving through the rural Waterloo region, and all that I see and reflect upon.

In the past I haven't felt motivated to post a blog unless I take an "exceptional" photo.  Ah, how perfectionism and the fear of criticism can get in the way of sharing.... :-/

Lately however I have been thinking I should post anyhow if I have something I want to show or share. 

One of the things I love about rural driving is that I get to see the slow transition of colours from season to season.    We all love the full blown colours of fall but I find the migration from orange and red to November's silvers and browns equally beautiful.  And late fall into winter, and so on.

I think the reduction of colour makes me more aware of which colours do exist.

Here is a photo of a "roadscape" (I just made that up I think) :-)  This is in Cambridge off highway 97.


Notice the colours are subtle here... try to name the colour of the trees!  To me it's brown/ rust/ remnants of orange/ and  (?).  The sun picks up the slightest bit of yellow.   Here is another view, turning left.  Isn't it lovely in its own quiet way?  

Then just for fun I extracted several of the colours and put them together - check this out: 

Isn't it lovely?!

I hope you enjoyed looking this over.  

More photos and thoughts going forward!



The Silvery look of November in Waterloo county.

I've been fortunate to spend some time on back roads in the Waterloo/Perth/Oxford regions lately.   Even though the striking colours of fall have all but faded, I am still mesmerized by the silvery look of late fall.  

The image below in a barn in the old village of Greenfield.. which is just a cluster of small homes, outside the small town of Ayr.  I love this barn and the whimsical flow of the vines over the fence below it.

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

This is another rural - Ayr location, taken early in the morning before an appointment.   I know the composition is good but not spectacular.. there is something more to this image that gives me that "I've been here before" kind of feeling.   I can't quite put my finger on it and yet the image grabs my attention.  Here it is below:

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

This next image is one of my favourites from my outing.    Not moody as the above, but more like wow I'm driving along and I see this!   I love the look of those old tobacco sheds.

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

Here is another favourite, although from an earlier day, still the same kind of silvery look.  This one gives way to the imagination, there is something dream like about it.  See below:

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

The next image, well what can I say, I have a special love for rural fence lines:

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

The next image, shows some very subtle field lines, the day was foggy, this is what I saw:

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness
Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness


And here we are... at day's end.   Time for a bowl of warm soup and a nap !

~ Susan

More Fall colours and a touch of creativity

I recently wrote about doing fall foliage photos.   Here is something else I'd like to share from the same day I was out.

I saw this fence in a rural area.   The crazy, almost playful lines of the derelict fence just called my name :-) 

When I got home I pulled it up on the computer screen.  I liked it but then I added some darkening, color alteration and sharpening.  Here is the before and after:

Waterloo county fall landscape photo by Susan Arness

then this:

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

then this:  (the one I did creative alterations in photoshop)

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

I would be curious to know what others think of the alteration!

Happy Fall 


Fall Foliage drive

The trees are absolutely beautiful now in Southern Ontario.  I am so grateful that I have work which involves travel time between appointments so that I can see so many inspiring landscapes.

Yesterday I had the later part of the afternoon off.   After doing  a few errands I drove out of town to a particular spot where I have been so many times before.  I wanted to see how this spot looked with all the fall colors.   Here it is: 

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

the last time I did a memorable photo in this same spot was in the Spring during maple syrup season.... 

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

here is the exact same angle .. (taken yesterday)

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

so different!!! and so much fun to return to the very same spot


Peeping Tom!

Ok... I like cats.  A lot.  But they can be ... weird.

Sometimes cats look inside windows from the outside.  I have seen it!

Here is one I saw the other day.  Caught in the act.

Who.. me?


A couple years back I filmed a house where the neighbours cat was seen looking in the window from the outside.  It was hilarious.  The owners were like "there's nothing we can do - this cat just wants to watch us!"   And there it was.  Luckily I had a camera on me lol.  I call this cat "the peeping Tom".   Look at its expression.  It's priceless. 


The making of another creative image

Hello, its me again!   I want to show you the background work behind one of my favourite photos.   This one was taken in early November when the colours were still fairly vibrant.   Funny thing is I ended up converting this picture to black and white.  Here is the final image:

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

I was having a very creative-feeling-kind-of-day.   I hadn't had that feeling for several months so it was very exciting.   

I drove past this field and was drawn to a stand of trees.    It wasn't especially interesting but I saw something in it that I couldn't describe at the moment.

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

I continued shooting that day... and got many wonderful images before I had to return home.

Once home I put it up on the screen.   I mused over it.. and for fun put it in black and white.

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

This looked very appealing to me. I stretched the perspective, then added some "painterly" effects.    Here it is one more time:

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

I then printed it on some delicate parchment paper - I would show it here but the photo on parchment is now hung in a gallery!!   I hope you enjoyed seeing the creative process.   - Susan

The Making of a Photo - Winter Tree

Many people think photography is an easy form of art but it does take a lot of planning and knowledge of composition and light.

I have driven past this tree many times on the road to Maryhill, Ontario.

It looks different every time!

I am attaching some different angles, taken from different times of year.

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness


Although it looks pretty with colours, it is also a bit cluttered with detail.

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

Here we see a different angle.... similar to the above but the composition is different.

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

the black and white look ! but also cluttered and not composed correctly.

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

and the winter look... but the trees are too far back in the image

Waterloo county landscape photo by Susan Arness

Lastly we have the final and favourite version.  I Love the mist, the snow, the leading lines that the snow makes... the composition is good as the trees fill the frame.  the mist creates an emotional feel.  the grasses below the tree are less noticeable (which allows the trees to stand out).

this was one of my earliest "art photos" - just something I did between work appointments :-)