Black and White

Rainy Birches

Rainy Birches - Ellie Kennard 2012
Rainy Birches – Ellie Kennard 2012

This gentle black and white photograph with its splashes of dark zigzags is another find from my 366 photo a day project in 2012.

original post: November 14, 2012 – 319/366 – Rainy Birches

Today was a day of rain and I spent some of it sitting in an industrial park while my car was being repaired. I stood outside with the highway traffic thundering over my head and thought I would photograph these birches with their few yellow leaves, planted in the embankment below the road. They seemed to be a pen and ink wash drawing


Carved in Stone

Carved in Stone - Ellie Kennard 2012
Carved in stone – Ellie Kennard 2012

Another mini diary-like post rescued from social media reminding me of days gone by and the beautiful work of craftsmen.

Original post: July 12, 2012 – 193/366 – Carved in Stone

Days when we have a full work day followed by a midweek concert at the Evergreen Theatre at night (photographic session as well as wonderful music) are never easy when it comes to posting images, or even shooting them. It is an early start to the day and then a very long drive home, late at night, with constant risk of hitting wildlife or cats on the lonely country roads.. Last night we had such a concert and saw a wonderful singer, Alejandra Ribera, so the long day was well worth the exhaustion at the end of it.

While cooking supper before dashing out the door to drive to the theatre, I caught sight of these pears and apple on the dining room table. They have been carved by a Nova Scotia craftsman* and have graced our dining room for years. The light streaming in through the window produced a pleasing effect and accentuated the lovely carved texture on these fruits. So they are my entry for yesterday. Fruits that never rot.

*Nova Scotia stone carver Peter Parachnowitsch  from “Set in Stone’


Halfway Down the Stairs

Halfway down the stairs - Ellie Kennard 2012
Halfway down the stairs – Ellie Kennard 2012

7 years on from this post we now are without Molly and Rupert is almost 18. This poem seems to have been written for cats. Have a wonderful day everyone, keep warm if the weather is stormy as it is here.

Original Post: January 16, 2012 – “Halfway down the stairs is a stair where i sit.”

“Halfway down the stairs
is a stair
where i sit.
there isn’t any
other stair
quite like
i’m not at the bottom,
i’m not at the top;
so this is the stair
I always

Halfway up the stairs
Isn’t up
And it isn’t down.
It isn’t in the nursery,
It isn’t in town.
And all sorts of funny thoughts
Run round my head.
It isn’t really
It’s somewhere else
Instead!” – a.a. milne

We have two Cornish Rex cats – Rupert and Molly who have curly fur. Like all cats, they migrate around the house depending on where the sun is shining. In the morning it shines through onto the stairs. I was struck this morning by the wavy shadows of the stair balusters next to the curly cats, so caught this. Rupert is a golden colour, Molly is black. The image was better in black and white.


Highland Mother and Baby

Highland Cattle - Ellie Kennard 2012
Highland Cattle – Ellie Kennard 2012

This is a photo I took 6 years ago and just found again with the original post text. The close protectiveness of the mother to the baby is particularly moving. They are no different from human mothers in caring for their offspring.

Now, I feel differently towards these lovely creatures, from what is written in the post below. I no longer wish to be responsible for any harm or suffering to come to them in any way, as in raising them for food. But that is now and this post below was how I felt then. And it was just as valid, though I have now changed.

Original Post: : October 21, 2012 – 294/366 – *Highland Cattle in the Evening Light

This weekend was one of discovery of our local area. We spent the days out and about taking photographs and basically drinking in the sights. For the first time since we moved here, over 15 years ago, I had the same exhilerated feeling that I got when we first moved to that wonderful place in France: “We LIVE here!” We discovered beaches, coves and roads that we had never seen, all within 15 minutes drive of our house. The colours, of course, were out of this world. It is the best year for leaves that I can remember.

But today’s image is one that has more depth and meaning to me (not to knock the colour, which I just love and I know would be more popular). As we were driving back towards home, we passed a small farm, with a farmer working among his animals. He had pigs outdoors, geese and ducks were honking and quacking in his fields and farmyard. The highland cattle you see here were in a field with a young Jersey heifer. I could have walked up his drive and started doing the farm chores that I used to do in our place in France. It was so much like home in the atmosphere of the place it was unsettling. This is a very unusual sight in Nova Scotia which made it all the more memorable and appealing.

So today I have these cattle in black and white photographed against the evening sunlight which lit their outlines so nicely. Noble beasts, harking back to ancient and not so ancient farmyards from lands across the seas.


Blurred Lines on the Port Side

Halifax Port - Ellie Kennard 2015
Halifax Port – Ellie Kennard 2015

Week 25/26: Blur

I was sitting in the cafeteria in the Cunard Centre in Halifax looking out of the window at the dock structures when I saw how beautifully the condensation streaking the glass between the grid of the frames worked with the outside elements and at the same time blurred the lines. Right in front of this scene people were constantly milling around as they ordered their food and collected cutlery. Then, suddenly there was a break and I took this.



“Time’s a Ticker, It Never Lets Down… Time, Do What You Must”

Time's a Ticker- Ellie Kennard 2015
Time’s a Ticker- Ellie Kennard 2015

Week 13/26 : Shallow Depth of Field

Nothing tells time like a good old fashioned wind up clock like this Victorian carriage clock. This one is a seven day clock, which means it is part of a Sunday ritual. If it doesn’t get wound up with its little brass key on Sunday night then the rest of the week might fall to pieces. And if the clock stopped, that lovely quiet regular ticking would not measure out the seconds, and minutes and the days and the hours.

The thing with these clocks with hands is that you always see where time is going. You can always see where it’s been. The hand is moving past the 35 minutes towards the quarter to the hour.You can watch it you can listen to it and you know where it will go next. LCD numerals only show you where you are in that moment in time. That’s all some people know. Think about it.

The sad thing is that apparently young people don’t know how to tell the time with a clock like this. They have no choice but to live in the moment.

The title quote is from “Time’s a Ticker” by Canadian singer songwriter Amelia Curran on her album “War Brides”


Emotion: Love me, Love my Dog +1 Year

Love Me, Love My Dog 2 - Ellie Kennard 2015
Love Me, Love My Dog 2 – Ellie Kennard 2015

Week 4/26: Emotion

The theme of the bi-weekly B&W Project this time is Emotion. This was a revisit of a photograph I took a year ago when we first got Joni, as a pup.  You will find the original posting and photograph I took here


New Beginnings Grow From the Past

New Beginnings - Ellie Kennard 2015
New Beginnings – Ellie Kennard 2015

01/26 – New Beginnings

New Beginnings of what? What does it mean? I’m glad you asked, or I hope you wanted to ask. :-).

This is the first of themed fortnightly posting in black and white and I have joined some of my friends in this 26 image challenge for 2015. So what is my own personal challenge? My aim in this challenge is to develop my black and white photography to tell some of my stories better than colour pictures could.

The image you see below illustrates my point. Here is a skilled craftsman who has a workshop full of modern tools and machines. Here, though, he is using a labour intensive method and an antique tool, to achieve the effect he is after. It is exactly the right tool for the job. It’s not necessarily the easiest way, but it is the best way for him and for what he is making.

Black and white photography is where it all started – historically and also personally for many of us. We now have tools that allow us to process our digital photographs in colour or in black and white, as we choose. So usually we choose colour as… everyone loves colour. And the picture comes out of the camera in colour. But that’s not always best. Sometimes colour is a distraction. Sometimes, to tell a photographic story with the emphasis where you want it, black and white is the answer. My aim is to discover the right time and the best way to use this medium to tell my stories.

In case you are wondering, the craftsman here is in fact my husband Steven tells me that this plane was probably owned by his grandfather who would have given it to him. He doesn’t know who the previous name belonged to, but it was apparently the custom in England, on the death of a craftsman, such as a furniture maker or cabinetmaker for his tools to be sold to help his widow. His own grandfather (also a skilled woodworker) might have come by the plane this way.