Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tim Hortons Skate Invite

Enjoy Family Skating Times Courtesy Of Tim Hortons!  Thank You Timmies!!!

Tim Hortons

Monday, December 05, 2011

Lightroom 3 Video Add-on

As Posted Direct from – Check Them Out!

By Julian Horsey on Friday 2nd December 2011 1:02 pm in C

Knobroom MIDI Controller Add-on Created For Adobe Lightroom 3 (video)

A free add-on for Adobe Lightroom called Knobroom is available that will allow you to control the creative adjustments of photos using physical sliders and knobs from a Midi controller with Adobe’s Lightroom  3 software.

The software add-on has been around for sometime but is a great way to add a new style of creativity to your photography and image creation. Watch the video after the jump to see it in action.


Unlike other software Knobroom is available for Mac OS X systems and has been created to provide a direct manipulation add-on for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3.

If you fancy adding a little more creativity to your imaging and photography you can now download Knobroom for free.


World Book

I remember as a kid my Father investing in his children by getting the set of World Book Encyclopaedia's.  They sat on the top shelf in the as we came in the door of the farm house. As kids it was a fun climb up onto the cupboard, in order to stand up and pick out the correct book marked with the letter of the alphabet on the spine. Our set was an off white with royal blue and gold decal on them….In time I’m sure sets like these will appear only in a museum – chances are they already do.

Today we have Wikipedia – information at our fingertips on everything and anything.  No longer do we have the door to door salesmen coming about selling large sets of books at a good financial investment.  There is some information I did not know until just this morning about Wikipedia though, and I thought I would share it with you – and perhaps, you could share with them as well.

wikiDid You Know…

  • Wikipedia is non-profit, but it's the #5 website in the world -- serving 470 million people every month with billions of page views.
  • We work hard to keep our operation lean. Google might have close to a million servers. Yahoo has something like 13,000 staff. We have 679 servers and 95 staff.
  • We will never run ads. Commerce is fine. Advertising is not evil. But it doesn't belong in Wikipedia.
  • If everyone reading this made a small donation, we would only have to fundraise for a few hours. Not everyone can or will donate, but each year just enough people decide to give.
  • We only raise what we need. When we've raised our budget, we stop fundraising for the year.

Please Consider Donating to Wikipedia – I know I’ve used the site numerous times, and I’m sure will be again -

This year, please consider making a donation of $5, $20, $50 or whatever you can to protect and sustain Wikipedia.

Click Here To Donate

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Michael The Maven’s 2011 Photography Contest

Michael The Maven's 2011 Photography Contest

Deadline Tomorrow Night !

Michael Andrew’s Third Annual Photography Contest

Show Off Your Talents!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Father’s Stories, My Father’s Silence

Polished Shoes Sepia

I have heard Chris O’Reilly speak of her father during Remembrance Day Services over the past few years.  Small moments spoken in remembrance of a young determined man.  Please see below for the memories as shared by Chris. 

My Father’s Stories, My Father’s Silence

I am too young to remember the sacrifices of Vimy Ridge or Ortona.

But memories I have;

Memories from my Irish parents of wartime;

Stories from my Mum of rations and air raid sirens that pierced the night,

Of doing without many things- even further education – because of the war.

Stories told of my Uncle Cliff who fought in Italy;

But it’s the stories that weren’t told,

at least not completely, that stay with me.

My father’s silences stay with me.

Dad was from a family of ten.  Growing up first in Belfast, Northern Ireland, then to Wolverhampton, a rough industrial town in England.

Tough times. Times to make do or do without.

Dad was always a bit of a loner.

When he was 14, and the war was on,

and the call to young men to serve King and country was everywhere,

Dad went to join up.

But he was just fourteen, so someone called for his dad and he was brought home.

But he didn’t give up. He tried again.

Lied about his age, and being tall and wiry, this time he was accepted.

After that, the stories fall silent.

There were a few sepia-toned photographs of Dad – in uniform, with his brothers-in-arms, holding a puppy (being a dog lover, that was one of my favourites.)

But he never told us much about the stories behind the photographs.

My dad fought in places that aren’t remembered much – at least not on this side of the ocean.

He fought through the mud and blood and sweat and loss in North Africa, Palestine and Burma.

But his body told the story in some ways.

He’d contracted malaria in Burma; and was very, very sick.

He recovered well enough to fight on,

but every time he got a bad cold or the flu, the malaria symptoms roared back to life.

After the war, he served for a few years with the Horse Guards – the Household Cavalry, the “Blues” – those men you see in the royal processions, riding on black horses, with white pants, tall black boots, blue jackets with gold armoured vest, a brass helmet and red plumes, reins in one hand, sword in the other. I have a photograph of him in his dress uniform – so young, so much ahead of him…a message on the back to the woman who would be my mother, that someday, this photo would belong to their children.

He was right.

Life wasn’t easy for my Dad. The war took an inner toll on him…with the silences, the stories never told.

There is a chore that speaks to me of my father and his army years.

A task that keeps him alive.

You see, he taught us, my brother and I, to polish our shoes.

It was something he took pride in – polished shoes. Clean, shining shoes.

He taught us how to hold your shoes,

how to apply the polish, how to brush it in and then off,

how to use sheepskin to buff the leather until it gleamed.

I still polish my shoes.

The feel of the brushes,

the smell of the polish,

the sound of the bristles against the leather,

the shine of the shoe in my hand…

it all speaks to me of my father.

Tells the story in many ways he couldn’t.

Or perhaps wouldn’t, to spare his children the horrors of what it was really like to be a soldier.

Every Remembrance Day there’s so much I think of.

Especially in those silent moments

when I remember the silences, my father’s silences, which told their own story.

And still do.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Hero In The Family

Brenda Ferguson


Talking with one of my neighbours, Brenda Ferguson this evening, I found out that her father was one of our countries Hero’s of WW II.  Apparently it wasn’t until after his death that the story even came to light, as seen here in this 1945 newspaper article in the Kitchener Waterloo Record. 

Here is an excerpt from the article:

“Oscar was decorated for an act of supreme valour in 1942, when crossing the Atlantic. The troopship on which he was travelling, suffered a hole stove in its side, and was in danger of sinking. Oscar and two others volunteered to crawl over shattered bulkheads and attempt to stem the flow of water into the ship.

They managed to reach the hole and successfully plugged it, not knowing at what moment the ship might sink. So well done was their work that the ship was able to continue her journey. Aboard at the time were some 5000 servicemen whose lives were undoubtedly saved by the brave action of these three men.”

Monday, November 07, 2011

Dear Old Girl

The Strathroy-Caradoc Museum has put together a great blog called Dear Old Girl.  It is a collection of letters written by Pte Dick Armer to his wife Mabel during the first world war.  A daily account of the events and emotions during the Great War.  Thank you Peggy Smith for making me aware of this site.  Please feel free to check out this amazing first hand account of a Private as he lovingly writes home to his Dear Old Girl

Dear Old Girl

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Photoshoots & Clothing

I am often asked for suggestions on what to wear for photoshoots and recently I came across this jpg – a great asset for blending colours for group shots!

Clothing Colours

Friday, November 04, 2011

Brotherly Love

Celebrating the love of a new baby sister!  Little Liam is thrilled to introduce with his families new addition.  Congratulations Amos, Anissa, and big brother Liam!!SRobinson 1SRobinson 2SRobinson 3

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Now Playing

Now Playing at the Forest Kineto Kiwanis Theatre

Dolphin Tale

Now Playing

Nov. 4,5,6,8

Tickets $5  Doors Open At 7:30PM  Show Time 8:00PM

Friday, October 28, 2011

Family Fall Fun

Fall is one of the greatest times to have a family portrait done!  Not only are there beautiful colours, but we also enjoy including a new family picture each year in our Christmas cards too!  This beautiful little family was a fun treat to captured memories with on their family farm recently.  Lots of bright beautiful smiles !

Schoeley 3Schoeley 1Schoeley 2Schoeley 4

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Ipad Card Reader

Ipad’s quickly rose to one of the most sought after electronic devices ever.  And with the prices becoming more and more accessible they are sure to be one of the top items out of the retail stores the Christmas.  There are some great add-ons out there as well – some of the best are available at ZaggCard readers are also available, and can be picked up between 15-13 dollars at Photojojo.



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What You…and I Missed!

So if you were noticing the comments on Facebook last night – you  probably noticed the buzz about the Northern Lights!  Well, I quickly grabbed my camera and took off outside when I noticed…Nothing!  Actually, I did see a beautiful starry sky, but definitely no colour swirling about.  That’s the nice part about the internet though – I am able to see and share the event over and over again!  Not like seeing it first hand…but a nice second!

Northern Lights Oct 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

Our Local Hero’s

Fire Group

The local volunteer fire fighters of Lambton Kent counties are available 24/7, in addition they also take time away from family and work to train for different rescue and fire situations.  Thank you to the over 60 firefighters, plus instructors and support personnel who took the time to take part in Saturdays Lambton Mutual Aid Training Day !

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Real Pony - Stunt Double

A Amy Pony Girl




I can’t tell you the number of times I hear someone say that they’ve seen a commercial that looks so much like our daughter!  And they are so right!!  The colour of hair, the cow lick, those big brown eyes…and the expressions!  So for those of you who haven’t seen my daughters double I thought I would post this today !






Stunt Double

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Now Playing

Now Playing At The Forest Kineto Theatre



Oct. 21,22,23,25

Tickets $5  Doors Open At 7:30PM  Show Time 8:00PM

Monday, October 17, 2011

Great Family Fun At The Lodge

Looking for a fun time for the family?  Great Wolf Lodge is seriously one of our favourite places to go, especially during the cold wintery months!  84 Degrees in the middle of January is the way to go !

Photoshop Collage

Here is a fun tutorial that you can do easily while learning more about layers and layer masks in Photoshop.  Try it out, and leave some feedback for the tutorial maker.  Would love to see your results!




Saturday, October 15, 2011

Strobe Photography

Just a quick look at how to set up a strobe light shoot.

Strobe Photo

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Now Playing

Now Playing At The Forest Kineto Kiwanis Theatre


Oct. 14,15,16,18

Tickets $5  Doors Open At 7:30PM  Show Time 8:00PM

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Michael’s Photography Contest

Michael The Maven has recently announced his third annual photography contest!  Once again the contest is loaded with prizes and it is a great opportunity to send in your entries to show off your talents!  Please see the full details below!


Michael The Maven's - 2011 Photography Contest!!

2011 Photography Contest Information

(Please Read this VERY carefully. Failure to adhere to rules will result in disqualification from contest. I know some of these rules may seem a little harsh, but we expect between 5,000-10,000 entries this year. Last year with just 2,500 we had a lot of problems of organizing everything, so if we have a rule it is for a very particular reason that helps everyone have an enjoyable experience. :)
I normally prefer to give out a single camera as a grand prize, the first year it was a T1i, the Second Year it was a 7D and a T2i. I was considering a Canon 5Dii this year, however, I realize that there may be a replacement coming very soon. I also considered Canon 60D's for each category, however, I also realize there are many photographers out there who may not want another camera, but would prefer a lens or other nice piece of gear. I also realize there are some people who would just like some $$. So, I thought we would try this to see what the response will be:

6 GRAND PRIZE AWARDS - $1000 Each!!

(We are still looking for sponsors in the TBD slots, if you are interested or know someone who is, please contact me at
Prizes per Category:
1st Place - $1000 CASH!! (Or Gift Card in restricted areas)
2nd Place - $300 Coupon to Michael's Online Store -
3rd Place - Michael's Business Photography Crash Course DVD Set (a $250 Value)
4th Place- $150 Coupon For Michael's Online Store
5th Place- Think Tank Digital Holster (Thank you to Think Tank for Sponsoring!) - ($60 Value)
6th Place- TBD - $50 Value
7th Place- Custom Michael The Maven 16GB Thumb Drive
8th Place- Angelina Hills Matted Print (Her Work is outstanding, I have it hanging in my own home.)
9th Place- Ocean Waves Relaxation DVD by Heath Snow
10th Place- TBD $15 Value
Honourable Mentions (2) - No Prize
All Winners will receive a PDF Certificate of their Achievement
Main Categories:-
Portraits -
Abstract / Textures-
RULES (Rules are subject to change, but for now this is how I would like to run it this year) - READ THIS CAREFULLY BEFORE SUBMITTING!
1. There are no entry fees, however this is a family friendly website and we reserve the right to disqualify entries for any reason. This includes but is not limited to any image which may be deemed as inappropriate, offensive, pornographic, poor taste, cruel to animals, advertising, spam etc. We are looking for fantastic imagery that inspires all of us to get out and shoot. If you are under 18, you must obtain your parents permission before entering.
2. Entrants may submit up to 2 photographs in each category on the following condition; One image was taken in the last year (From the Period of October 9th 2010 to October 9th 2011) and a second image being taken during the duration of the contest submission dates, from October 9th - December 1st 2011. The whole idea of the contest is to get everyone out shooting, but I also recognize you may have some great shots taken earlier in the year. Contestants may submit only one image from either of those periods if they choose. This is an honour rule (meaning we expect you to play fair on this), but if we have evidence to the contrary, we will have to disqualify the entry.
3. Once your images(s) are submitted, these are your final entries. Contestants sending in multiple images, or changing submissions are disqualified. You should receive a confirmation email after submitting your images. Note; do not wait until the last day, it crashed our email account last time. ;)
4. Contest is open to all ranges of experience of photography, from beginners to amateurs, semi-pro or even professionals, however, we ask that semi pro and professional photographers do not submit images for the contest in the category in which they specialize. For example, if you are a wedding or portrait photographer, you may submit images in any category but "Portraits". This is also an honour rule.
5. Images which have been submitted and placed into other contests are not eligible.
6. By submitting your images for either division, you give Michael The Maven and its representatives, permission to reproduce & show on websites, social media or other materials for promotional purposes. We also reserve the right to print your image to inspect image quality if necessary. Copyright remains property of photographer of course.
7. We reserve the right to expand the number of winners and make adjustments to the rules and prizes at our discretion.
8. You can use any type of camera, DSLR, Point and Shoot, Cell Phone etc. (Photoshopping is allowed, HDR is allowed, presets/actions are allowed, heavy compositing is NOT (this is where many images and components are assembled together into one image.) It should pretty much more or less look like a single image. Please make sure it is a JPEG, and properly submitted & you are good to go!
9. There will be an initial selection process by Michael, which will narrow contestants down to 20 or 25 per category. The Final round of voting will be done by viewers (1/3), Our Judges (1/3) and Michael (1/3)


A. --> Entries must be submitted digitally as a JPEG image by email to All other formats (RAW, TIFF, PNG, ETC)will be disqualified. Be absolutely sure to include the Category in the Title. We are not accepting prints this year.
B. ---> Very, very important: Please submit only one email with per Category, with the year and Category division in the subject of the email. For example, if you are entering 2 Portrait Images, we would ask that you submit both together, and title the email "2011- Portrait . This allows us to organize submissions and greatly speeds things up.
If you have questions, please ask below in the comments box and I will update with answers.
Even if you are not interested in entering, please help me get the word out because I do all of the marketing for this on my own, sometimes people would love to enter and just don't about it.
These contests take up a tremendous amount of time and money to put on and I would like to make it a yearly event, getting bigger and better each year. This is the 3rd year and so far we have done this. We are super lucky to have the following celebrity photographers on board to help with judging and I am extremely grateful to them for offering to help:
Judge Panel-
Michael Andrew
Shannon Morgan - 2009 Grand Prize Winner
Fely Simion - 2010 Grand Prize Winner
Angelina Hills - World Class Maui Portrait and Wedding Photographer
Arden Ward - World Renown Alabama Portrait and Wedding Photographer
BTW- If you are feeling intimidated, Fely won last years contest. She was 16 years old at the time and won a Canon 7D Kit. If I am not mistaken, it was her first contest as well.
We must have your submissions no later than Dec 1st, 2011 at midnight Hawaii Standard time! Thank you for your support!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Boys, Boys Boys

Momma’s surrounded by boys in this family – and I have a feeling – she’s lovin’ it!  These four handsome little men along with their parents got in some running and exploring in the process of their shoot, a good way to round out the day!

 C Smith 2C Smith 1C Smith 3

Smash ‘em Up!

  The Forest Fair 2011 had it’s annual Smash Up Derby Event held as one of the final events of the fair weekend – and it was a show for all!  Thank you to the Forest Fire Fighters for presenting the show, and the many local supporters who volunteered their services to make the show a success!


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Now Playing

Now Playing At The Forest Kiwanis Kineto Theatre

The Help

Now Playing

Oct. 7,8,9,11

Tickets $5  Doors Open At 7:30PM  Show Time 8:00PM

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Paul & Susannah

Bill & SusannahThis past Saturday I had the privilege of attending one of the most memorable weddings I have yet to attend – a very special wedding, as it was the wedding of my niece Susannah. The first of the Gordon Grandchildren to get married, and begin a new life together with her husband Paul. I also had the privilege of attending as a guest and was thrilled that Paul and Susannah had chosen Reid Lambshead of When He Met Her Photography out of the Toronto area to capture the wonderful memories of their day. These two gentlemen where a pleasure to meet, and did a wonderful job throughout the day. I took a few images of my own of course as the day went on and added in a few to the video at the reception. Below is a little story of the day, a collection of some wonderful memories!!

Friday, September 30, 2011

World’s Fastest Workout

Two Sets Of:

Burns as many calories as a 40-60 minutes run. - Makes your body adapt and improve very quickly. - Increases metabolism for next 36 hrs - Takes only FOUR minutes, no excuses.  0:00 - Squat Thrust 0:20 - Rest 0:30 - Mountain Climbers 0:50 - Rest 1:00 - High knees 1:20 - Rest 1:30 - Jumping Jacks 1:50 - Rest 2:00 - Squat Thrust 2:20 - Rest 2:30 - Mountain Climbers 2:50 - Rest 3:00 - High Knees 3:20 - Rest 3:30 - Jumping Jacks 3:50 - Rest 4:00 - DONE !


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Now Playing

Now Playing At The Forest Kineto Theatre

The Debt

Sep. 30, Oct. 1,2,4

Now Playing

Tickets $5  Doors Open At 7:30PM,  Show Time 8:00PM

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

See You At The Pole 2011

See You At The Pole 2011


“Students Around The World, Doing Something Revolutionary”

September 28, 2011, the day students, parents, and teachers from all over the world join together at their school’s flag pole.  Driven by a simple promise, and coming together to pray, for their school, for their friends, for their teachers, for their community, for their nation.  This was the first opportunity I had to take part at our local school, and I believe the first time it has been held there.  It was great to see the kids out bright and early, for a simple time of coming together as students from all over the world converged at their school’s flag pole to do the exact same thing!  For more information and coverage of todays event, check out the See You At The Pole Website – HERE.




See You At The Pole

Driven by a simple promise: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”

Friday, September 23, 2011

Forest Fair Weekend

It’s that time of year again – The annual Forest Fair event is on!  Saturday Parade begins at 12Noon from the old arena, and one of the rounding out events is Sunday with the Smash Up Derby beginning at 1PM. 

Fun for the entire family!  Come on out and join in!!

Derby 3_thumb[3]Forest Fair 1_thumb[3]

2011   3-DAY FAIR
Friday, September 16th, 2011
- Agriculture in the Classroom
Forest Fairgrounds
Wednesday, September 21st, 2011
- Forest Fair Ambassador Competition
N.L.S.S., Forest at 8:00 p.m.
Friday Evening, September 23rd, 2011
Fair Grounds
- Battle of the Bands
- Mini Tractor Pullers
- Refreshment Tent
Saturday, September 24th, 2011
- Gigantic Parade at 12:00 noon
- Harness Racing in the afternoon
- Livestock Judging - Dairy Cattle
- 4-H Dairy Achievement Day
- Light Horse Show
- Miniature Horse Show
- Baby “Show Off” Contest at 10:00 a.m.
- Libro Pedal Pull (for Youth)
- Refreshment Tent
Saturday Evening, September 24th, 2011
- Teen Night Madness - Pay-One-Price Midway
Sunday, September 25th, 2011
- Beef Judging
- 4-H Beef Achievement Day
- Heavy Horse Show
- Forest Fair Speed Show - 9:00 a.m.
- Demo Derby
- Refreshment Tent
Carter Shows Midway - Friday, Saturday and Sunday
Exhibits in Buildings
Public Viewing:
Friday evening (6:00 - 10:00 p.m.)
Saturday (10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
Sunday (11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.)

For More Details, see the online Forest Fair eBook:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Now Playing

Now Playing At The Forest Kineto Kiwanis Theatre

Crazy Stupid Love

Sep. 23,24,25,27

Doors Open At 7:30PM  Show Time 8:00PM

Monday, September 19, 2011

Thames Valley Riders


This past weekend I had the opportunity to see some amazing riders in action.  Right from Beginner level right up to the Pro’s all in one location.  Take a look at the video slide show below, and check out the online gallery HERE 

Thames Valley Riders:

MotoX HV

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wish A Friend


My friend Clare told me about this fun site yesterday that you can upload a picture to and you choose the end results based upon the choices you see on the site.  After getting home and checking out the link I decided to try it out!  Very Easy – And Fun!  My next image will be with the water droplets!

You can enjoy the fun too – Just Click On The Link Below!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Now Playing

Now Playing At The Forest Kineto Kiwanis Theatre

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Sept. 16,17,18,20

Tickets $5  Doors Open At 7:30PM  Show Time 8:00PM

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Time Lapse Camera

I'm sure you've seen difference video's of time lapse photography, in some cases, the individuals actually sit and push a button every 1,5,15 minutes - but here is a relatively inexpensive came camera with built in time lapse capabilities. You can find it at with a price point of $149!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Love Never Fails

JN Blog 1


This past Saturday I had the opportunity to capture the memories of an incredible wedding day.  The skies cleared, and the sun shone through as Jason and Nonita took their vows to each other before God, family and friends.  It was an amazing day of wonderful memories, and years (maybe 54 or 55 according to the sermon!) of wedded bliss ahead of them.  Congratulations Jason and Nonita!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Friday, September 09, 2011

Family Times


This was my second opportunity to capture memories with this wonderful family.  With the most expressive little sweetie, and  handsome little man, Hunter and Kaley brought their parents along for a family sitting, and am thrilled to share a few of those moments now.