It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, No…. It’s Photographer Guy!

      “Got…to…get….up………….got …to.” I have repeated those words in my head numerous times during the darkest part of the morning, trying to convince myself to leave the comfort of a warm bed, for the chance to capture images of the night sky. Every time I have this internal back and forth debate with myself, I can’t help but think of the old Spiderman cartoons on TV when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure there was an episode when Spidey was struggling to return to his feet after he was knocked out, and uttering the above words, he willed himself up to defeat the villain. The Lizard, Dr. Octopus and Mysterio had no chance when the Webcrawler was motivated.
      Staying out late, getting up early. Sunset, sunrise. Why does the best light happen at the most inopportune time? Why does the Milkyway galaxy only show up at night, (which I happen to believe  is the best time for sleeping btw)? Aurora borealis, Perseid meteor showers? Yep, all at night, in the dark, when it’s colder……..and scarier. Super human powers would definitely come in handy when I battle that villain in my head, Lazy Photographer Man, who makes pretty convincing arguments that are anti- get up and pro- stay in bed.

      Actually, when you think about it, being a motivated night sky photographer mimics superhero exploits in a number of ways. Much like Superman, a landscape photographer has to be ready at all times. Supe always had his tights and cape on, even under his suit as his alter ego, Clark Kent. Running to the nearest telephone booth when trouble called, he would start to rip his shirt off, displaying a bold ‘S’. So quick to respond, he risked revealing his true identity before he even found a telephone booth. That guy cared. I wished I cared that much about the northern lights.
       Batman did most of his work at night. Sitting in his bat cave, he would scan Gotham City with the most up to date technology to locate crime in action. He was no Joker. Night time was the best time for fighting crime simply because that’s when most crime happened. Smart guy. The Dark Knights of photography are not much different. Computers, tablets and digital devices of all kinds are tuned in to aurora watch websites that give alerts. Scanning weather forecasts and patterns to plan the best place and time to find the action. Downloading the best night sky apps to see where the stars are positioned at any given time. Add in the photography equipment itself and we are talking Bruce Wayne money here.

      I don’t know how many times while I’m relaxing with a cup of tea, watching Youtube videos on how to get the best out of your landscape photography, when my wife yells downstairs: “There’s some pretty crazy light out there!” “Those clouds are pretty impressive!” “Looks like a storm is coming!” Doesn’t she realize I’m trying to improve my photography! She’s like Batman sitting on the edge of a tall city building, looking for the bat signal reflecting off a cloud.
     I need to work on my superhero attitude. The northern lights may be green, but it’s not Kryptonite. Superheros can’t afford to be lazy. Usually, crime happens while the world sleeps. So do stars, galaxies, meteors, planets and auroras. If I want to create images from the astro-photography world then I better be Astroboy and get my astro out of bed!
      “Got…to …get…up………got…to!”  Remember those words. Remember Spidey. And remember his day job.

     

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Our 1st Lamp Shade made in 2000

While wintering in Apache Junction, Arizona during the winter of 2000 – 2001, Bob took a course from Stained Glass Horizons located on E Apache Trail. We were beginning to learn the art of stained glass and wanted to learn about making lampshades. We had a great instructor, who was most knowledgeable and helpful.

When we first started learning the art of stained glass, we purchase the book Stained Glass Projects & Patterns which detailed several lampshades including this one. This book by George Shannon & Pat Torlen is a must have for any beginning stained glass artist but it also continues to serve us many times in our studio as a great reference manual.

The lampshade is to this day in perfect condition and used daily.

FirstLampSmallTableLamp2000

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Alberta Rose Came Window # 2 Restoration

This is the 2nd Alberta Rose Came Window restoration. In the first one we combined pieces from the second one to have one that was all original glass. We believe these windows are 100+ years old.

The wow factor in regards to both of these restorations is that when we delivered the 2nd window we were informed that both were going to be installed in a new home on Negril Beach in Jamaica, sometime in the not to distant future,

In the second one we had to put in all new glass for the stems, the amber across the bottom and new leaves for the left and right roses while the centre rose leaves remained original glass. Also the roses and background granite clear glass is also all original. It took us quite sometime to find the best replacement glass, but well worth the effort.

StainedGlassRoseCameWindow#22016

The following 3 photos show the left rose with new leaves, the next one is the centre rose all original glass and the last photo is the right rose with new leaves. The pink petals of the roses were a very pretty glass which was quite thick.

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Abstract Panel Wedding Present 2016

In June of this year we made this for clients in Central Alberta who were giving this panel as a wedding present. The panel measures approximately 17 inches high x 31 inches wide.

Our clients found the design on the internet and lucky for them we were able to obtain the Spectrum Glass that they wanted.

We used Spectrum’s Clear White Baroque, Pearl Opals Congo & Hawkwings, Clear Crystal Ice, Brown/Gold and 1 x 1 inch bevels.

The first picture shows the completed panel before the zinc frame was attached.

StainedGlassAbstractWeddingPresent2016

The following photo was sent to us from the Bride & Groom showing their Abstract Wedding Gift Panel hanging in their new home. They were very impressed and thankful for the panel gift that will last a life time.

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Abstract Cat 2016

A local client wanted one of our Abstract Cats. This one was made using Spectrum’s Black White Clear Baroque Glass. We also used Spectrum’s Pale Green/Aqua Blue Waterglass for the collar. Unfortunately with the closing of the Spectrum Glass Company later this year, many neat varieties of stained glass will eventually no longer be available.

The first picture shows the cat, foiled and ready for soldering

StainedGlassAbstractCat2016

Here is the finished Abstract Cat.

StainedGlassAbstractCat2016

Designer unknown

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Tiffany Style Lampshade Restoration 2016

Clients in Central Alberta had this large Tiffany Style Lampshade, however it had been damaged and they wished to have it restored for over their kitchen table. Fortunately for the lampshade  the top ring of glass was bent flat down on the top of the shade but no broken glass.

StainedGlassTiffanyStyle2016

The next picture shows the inside of the lampshade before being reinforced with wire. This was a very large Tiffany Style lampshade and was quite heavy. If these lamps are not properly reinforced they eventually will come apart and fall due to the heat generated from the light bulbs. Then the crossed centrepiece would pull away and send the lamp crashing to the table.

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Polar Bears 2010

A local client who’s dad loved polar bears wanted to give him a small polar bear panel. The design originated from Paned Expressions Studios Inc on their pattern disk titled “Nature’s Bounty” – “Polar Motherhood”. We used the bears design while putting them in a panel that measured 10 inches high by 12 inches wide. The original panel design measured 2 ft wide by 3 ft high.

StainedGlassPolarBears2010

Original Design by Paned Expressions Studios

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New Bracelet Class

Here’s my latest offering — a cross-woven design that can be either elegant or happy-go-lucky, depending on your choice of bead colours. It closes with a snap clasp so it’s easy to put on and take off with one hand. I’ll be teaching this class at … Continue reading

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