About Jay-Dee's Photography Blog

I became interested in photography at an early age when I had the opportunity to learn how to develop photos with my father in his darkroom. I remember the awe that I felt when, by the light of the red safe light, I saw my first black and white image appearing on the photo paper in the developer solution – as if by magic. I was hooked! Since then I have gone through many cameras, black and white film, colour film and slides, Cibachrome, dark rooms and on January 2000, my first digital camera. For the longest time I was frustrated with my efforts, which for the most part I believed were mediocre. In 2006, I debated about putting photography aside. Instead, I started to push myself. I became more critical of my work, learned new skills, techniques, took more photos, and most important, I left my ego at the door. This new approach has opened up many new doors and opportunities for me. I have no ambition to become a professional photographer – I just enjoy taking photos. I volunteer as a photographer to help support charitable and non-profit organizations that do not have the finances to hire a professional photographer. I do not charge for this service and only ask that my byline appears on any photos that are published. In the past few years, I have done photography work for organizations such as Ten Thousand Villages, Great Canadian Theatre Company, LIX and Ten Oaks, and more recently for Unison 2014. I take great pleasure in sharing my photos with my friends, and on several occasions, close friends have asked me to take photos of a special event in their life, something I enjoy doing. I often use my photos in greeting cards that I make and I am proud to say that many of my friends are now collecting them. I have published a few photography books, either for friends or just as a way to document a personal memory. There isn’t one thing that draws me to photography. I like to help others; I like to create memories for friends and myself; I enjoy learning; I enjoy new challenges. I can achieve all of these through my photographic efforts. And, I am totally fascinated with how I can trap light, shadows and colour in a permanent image and then view that moment in time, again and again. With digital photography, there are many opportunities to render a photo into something that reflects what I feel about a subject. I currently live in Ottawa, Ontario, where I spend my time doing just about anything I want to do. I do not work for a living, and I don’t plan to either.

Winter’s End & Spring’s Beginnings


Some photos from recent hikes in the Eastern Ontario area …

Montreal Biodôme (Sunday, March 12, 2017)


A few snaps from a trip by Elizabeth and I to the Montreal Biodôme.

Mud Lake – National Capital Region


Mud Lake is one of the most ecologically important natural habitats in the urban part of Canada’s Capital Region. It is identified as a Provincially Significant Wetland and an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest by the government of Ontario and is classified a Protected Area management Category IV (habitat and species management area).

This 60-hectare natural environment is a complex of wetlands along the Ottawa River, the majority of which is made up of deciduous swamp forest. The driest part, to the west, contains a mature forest stand which is made up predominantly of white, red and burr oak, as well as white pine.

Mud Lake is a habitat for a wide diversity of animal species. Located within the Lac Deschênes area and in a major migratory corridor, it specifically serves as an important environment for bird conservation and is recognized as one of the most popular urban sites for birdwatching in Canada. 269 species of birds have been recorded, as well as numerous species of amphibians, reptiles and fish that are not commonly found either regionally or nationally. It also hosts diverse plant life, with 44 rare and 15 uncommon plant species as well as several fauna species-at-risk.

Several species of invasive non-native plants threaten the biodiversity of the Mud Lake habitat. Eleven of these species have been recorded, covering about 29 percent of the total area of this natural habitat.

Half-Life Still Life (January 2017)


Half-life is a term used to describe the time required for a quantity to reduce half of its value, and the term is commonly used in nuclear physics to define radioactive decay.

Several years ago, my friend Elizabeth, knowing that I am fascinated with glass objects, introduced me to an interesting vase. The type of glass used to make this object is called uranium glass, because a small amount of uranium, typically in the form of an oxide, is added to the glass mix before melting. The uranium gives the glass a pale yellowish-green colouration. In the 1920s this colour led to the nickname Vaseline glass because it resembled the colour of petroleum jelly from that time.

Uranium glass is a subset of a type of glass called Depression Era Glass. Depression Era Glass, or simply Depression Glass, was popular and inexpensive during the depression period and was made into common houseware articles such as vases, cups, saucers, plates, and candy bowls. Using a sensitive Geiger counter, uranium glass would register slightly higher than normal background radiation. Most pieces of this type of glass are harmless and only slightly radioactive. When asked if ingesting uranium glass would cause radioactive poisoning, one scientist replied that the shards of glass would kill you before your body even noticed the radiation.

All very interesting – but what fascinated me was the way that the uranium in the glass fluoresces under ultraviolet light. With that bit of knowledge, Elizabeth and I, with portable UV lights in hand, haunted the antique shops in the Ottawa area looking for reasonably priced uranium glass objects. In addition to Elizabeth’s vase, we discovered a small plate, a cup and saucer, an ice cream dish and a candy bowl. I found several inexpensive UV fluorescent lights and after some experimentation, I started taking photos using the light from the fluorescing glass. Using some paints and dyes, which phosphoresces under UV light, I added some painted objects to the glass scenes.

These photos are the result of that experimentation.

I took these two photos as a comparison of a hand-painted dried rose under normal light and UV light.

Toronto, Ontario – October 2016 & September 2014


Toronto – October 2016

Toronto – September 2014

The Birds, Bees & Wakefield Covered Bridge


I recently visited a good friend at her home north of Gatineau, Québec, with the sole purpose of parking myself and my camera on her porch to see if I could capture a photo of a hummingbird feeding. This was my second attempt at trying to photograph a hummingbird, and with a few tricks I learned, the results improved. However, I still have a long way to go … need to learn some more tricks of the trade.

Hummingbird Feeding

Hummingbird Feeding

On the way back home, I decided to take a look at the covered bridge and Gatineau River just outside the town of Wakefield, Québec.

And while there, I came across this cute wee critter …

Honey Hunting

Honey Hunting