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2020, oh what a year!

The year started off OK, as most do. It was cold and snowy in Montreal but there was an ominous mood as a new virus spread throughout the world and lock-downs created a "new normal" that nobody could ever get used to. The Corona Virus was in the news each and every day of this year, and by the end, we'd all have had enough of both, the grisly daily statistics of the worst disease to envelop the world since the black plague in the 1300s coupled with the second most dangerous thing: D. Trump. I'm delighted that it looks like 2021 will see the end of both. As for my photography career, it's been a rather busy year despite being drastically scaled down from my usually packed summer travel schedule. My hubby and I managed to get away in January before the world locked down. I was blown away by the beauty of Colorado and New Mexico and now understand the love and inspiration behind one of my favourite American painters Georgia O'Keefe's work. I'd move there in a heartbeat if I could.

During the lock-down, I continued my water drop and milk-drop collisions in my studio. I surprised myself with the outcome, and based on many popular-requests I announced a contest for text to accompany my digital illustrations. Tom Langlands won with his witty poems and agreed to be a co-author of the Macro Aliens book. You can see that the virus was on my mind too!

By spring and summer, we knew travel beyond our borders would be impossible so we focused on visiting the Gaspé region on the east coast of Canada. We were so enamoured that we spent an entire month there shooting puffins and gannets, whales and spectacular seascapes at sunset and moonrise.

I've always heard that the Bruce Peninsula on the shores of Lake Huron is one of Canada's most spectacular places to visit. Ron and I drove there in our Snail (RV) and to be quite honest we were sadly disappointed. Tobermory National Park his a small campground deep in tall cedar trees on the shores of a small, flat lake. The trails are nice enough but they lack the majestic views we were led to believe are to be had. We drove around the peninsula looking for a great place to capture a sunrise or sunset but every road leading to the water was blocked by a gated private property. It was very discouraging and I personally would not consider it a must-see.

Mt. Tremblant is an easy drive from Montreal so we spent quite a lot of time hiking, kayaking and foraging for wild mushrooms. It was a most enjoyable time, all things considered.

Believe it or not, there were some positive outcomes of the coronavirus! When the Lakeshore Camera Club resumed its meetings online, members gained access to the Montreal Camera Club's meetings and guest speakers. We are very fortunate to see presentations by some of Canada's most acclaimed photographers such as Freeman Patterson and Chris Dodds. Also, I was invited as a guest speaker to 3 clubs outside Quebec: the RA Club of Ottawa, the Focus Camera Club in New Brunswick, and the PEI Photo Club. Something that would have been nearly impossible before the virus pushed us to go online. As an active member of the Canadian Association for Photographic Arts (CAPA) I enter all of their competitions and for the first time ever for both of us, there was a new challenge: a SmartPhone competition. I never shoot with my cell phone except for quick documentary shots, but this was the push I needed to create something new with images taken exclusively with a cell phone. I entered 4 composites and scored a 1st place win for "The Seeker". Change is good!

As we look toward 2021 with vaccines already being administered to the most vulnerable, there is light at the end of the tunnel and I am optimistic that it will be a much better year! Happy New Year, one and all!

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