Tuesday, January 8, 2013

E. MacDuff Photography

Thanks for your interest in E. MacDuff Photography. If you've been redirected here from www.emacduffphotography.com this is the temporary home for the site until a new website is launched. 

I was born and raised in Muskoka but I'm currently living in Ottawa. With many years of freelance writing and photography under my belt and after working with this wonderful wedding photographer, I am happy to announce that I am branching out and offering custom photography packages. 
I welcome any and all wedding, portrait or commission inquiries. 
I am based in Muskoka and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and since I'm eager to increase my portfolio, I offer very competitive pricing and I'm willing to travel. 

I would love to be able to tell the story of your wedding day or any other special event.

Coming soon.
(Some recent work)


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Going m.i.a. for a while

It's kind of a shocker to me that I'm writing this, but I think I've decided to step away from this blog for a while. Indefinitely actually. This blog platform is not what I'm looking for any more and it's become rather stagnant for me as I make a transition into service/consumer (weddings, engagements, maternity, family portraits, etc.) photography. At least that's my hope.

In fact, I have two engagement photo sessions coming up very soon. One is booked for this weekend. So I'm getting excited about that.

I'm also having continuous problems trying to keep this space free for me to use but with all my photos I keep running out of free web space. Additionally, I am on the verge of putting together a professional online photography portfolio so I am exploring options for having blog space attached to that. It's a work in progress and I have no idea when it will be up and running but my goal is some time in January in the New Year.

In the mean time, I will still be posting photos regularly to my Flickr account. I will also do my best to keep up with tweeting as often as I think about it.

{Blue Jay photos taken in Muskoka this past weekend by Greg and edited by me}

So if you'd like to keep in touch, please do! You can find me here on Flickr and here on Twitter.

With any luck, I'll be back some time in January with an exciting new way to blog and post photos for everyone to see.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

DIY Floating Vase

I've had this floating vase tutorial/idea from one of my favourite blogs (Cupcakes and Cashmere) bookmarked for ages now and I finally got around to putting one together to brighten up our drab rental apartment walls.

It was a bit challenging getting the wire tight enough to securely fasten the glass jar to the wood plank without glue but thanks to a certain engineer I have kicking around, I (he) was able to make it work.

I took the photo at night but it looks much better in daylight on the wall against the grey painted wood plank. The paint was leftover from a test pot I got from Home Depot and the wood plank was from an old bathroom storage unit my sister left behind before moving out west last spring. The glass jar was formerly home to honey and was bound for our recycling bin. The wire, Greg had on hand in his handy-dandy tool box/bag.

I guess technically, to keep things honest around here, I did break not one but two drill bits while adding the holes to the wood plank. Don't ask.

So the little project was virtually free because I had everything on hand (minus the flowers and the two drill bit casualties). 

I'll post a better photo sometime soon when I get some fresher flowers and daylight. But give it a try if you'd like. It only took about an hour (if you don't count the drilling issues I had) including the time spent waiting for the paint to dry.

Until next time...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Homemade whole wheat bagels

Last week I was craving bagels. I didn't have any and decided to try making some using this recipe from scratch. I think they turned out pretty well.


I made a couple of slight variations namely, using whole wheat flour instead of white. There is so much sugar (believe it or not) in store-bought bagels so this way I know what's going in them and I can feel good about eating carbs. 

While still warm from the oven these were delicious with cream cheese. Give them a try if you have a little time. You won't regret it.

Until next time...

Monday, November 19, 2012

Venice under water

My jaw literally dropped when I saw these photos:

{photos via A Cup of Jo but originally from here.}

Considering we were just in Venice a little over 5 weeks ago, it's pretty wild to think that it's so far under water at the moment. Apparently it happens every year. There isn't enough money in the world that you could pay me to swim in that water.


Until next time...

Friday, November 16, 2012

Can you handle this?

Sorry for the corny post title. I couldn't think of anything else. A couple of years ago I painted an old antique dresser and have gradually been making little tweaks to it ever since. Well now, I'm pretty sure I can't tweak it any more. I have been anxious to do a little oil-rubbed bronzing (ORB) magic to the drawer pulls to update the "brassy-ness" of them. Brass is just not my thing and doesn't really go with anything I own.

The drawer pulls are so ornate but they just looked blah in brass-on-white in person. Here's how they started:

Sorry for the crumby photo. I took it in bad light and was too anxious to get it posted that I consciously neglected to lighten it up in Lightroom.

It took a couple of days for the drawer pulls to dry so after unscrewing them, my genius engineer-of-a-husband decided to install some temporary pulls (seen above made out of twine) so that it wouldn't be a huge challenge to get the drawers open without the handles.

He also had a great idea to secure the drawer pulls on a plank of wood so that I could flip them upside down in order to paint the under-side of the handles. Sadly, I didn't get a photo before I detached them. Sorry.

I used Rust-oleum's Metallic ORB spray paint for a diy job that I haven't yet posted but will in the future. So in essence, the paint didn't cost me anything because I already had it on hand. Bonus.

Here are the drawer pulls installed back on the dresser in their ORB goodness:

A while back, I also decided to line the drawers with some leftover wallpaper from an old project my aunt and uncle did at their house that was leftover. I asked for the few leftovers and lined the drawers to cover the old finger prints that are inside the drawers.

I'm not certain whose finger prints they are but I know my grandfather used to touch up/re-stain old antique pieces he picked up and since I've had this dresser since I was a kid, I like to imagine that they're his. I'm not sure they are though. So instead of permanently gluing the paper down to cover them I just have it floating on top like so:

So there you have it. The only "before" photos I could find that I still had of the dresser before going white were these ones of Milo in his first few days with us - over 5 years ago. So excuse the poor quality, junky and cluttered University student digs and gratuitous kitty shots.

My one and only regret about painting this beautiful piece is that I didn't keep those keyholes in their original state. One day, I may strip the paint from them but that will be a lengthy and tedious process. In the meantime, here she is once again all doled up with ORB handles:

While we're keeping things real, I cut off the top of the photo so you can't see the pile of laundry waiting to be put away.

Over the weekend, if you're looking for some reading, here are a few links:

A recent article I wrote about the demolition progress of my former high school.

Amy Butler's beautiful Ohio home.

For those who have seen the new James Bond Skyfall movie, here is an interesting article about the abandoned island where Javier Bardem's character has his home base.

My dream home and garden in Lanark County right outside Ottawa.

An article by Time magazine about the High Price of Cheap Food.

Happy weekend.

Until next time...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

When I have a farm

{Oberhasli kids at Consider Bardwell Farm in Vermont. Photo via.}

I've become quite convinced that my future involves me being a small-scale "gardener" (notice I didn't say farmer). I would love to have a piece of land big enough to have a few animals and a garden big enough to grow everything we'd need to feed us year-round.
When I was a kid, my father said on occasion that he had always wanted a "hobby farm" with some pigs. In a way, maybe his unfulfilled aspiration of hobby farming has rubbed off a little on me.

{Cows at the Domaine des Etangs in the Dordogne region in France. Photo via.}

After the farm article I wrote this summer that was printed in the November issue of the Muskoka Magazine, I can't seem to get farms and the simple lifestyle that comes along with it off my mind. 

{Chickens at Brooklands Farm in Milford Bay and pigs from Briar Rock Farm in Port Carling. Both photos I took.}

For now, I will have to be content daydreaming about my farm and pining at these beautiful farm photos from photographer Nicole Franzen.
Until next time...

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wedding details

A couple of weeks ago we attended a wedding for a former co-worker and university classmate of Greg's. I don't love how some of the photos turned out as the venue was really dark and I was without my flash but I managed to get a few that were alright.

I don't think I'll ever get tired of photographing wedding details. You can learn a lot about a couple, especially ones you don't know too well, just by the smallest details.

Congratulations to Shawn and Nicole.

Until next time...

Monday, November 12, 2012

An impromptu visit

{Taelor the dog and my uncle's old tractor}

Almost two weeks ago, my aunt had her hip replaced. My cousin, her daughter, who lives on Bainbridge Island (near Seattle) flew all the way home last week to surprise her mom and dad. Fortunately, I got in a quick visit with Kim before she had to return home yesterday.

While I was out at Heron Point, I snapped some photos on Saturday morning while I walked the dog. It was a beautiful morning. Even though it's not Muskoka, I do feel like this is one of my favourite places that has every element of rural living I love - water, fields, gardens, old barns, cows in the summer, tractors and acres upon acres of forest.

Hope you had a good weekend.

Happy Monday.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Lest we forget

 {Photo taken by me last year on Remembrance Day at the War Memorial in Ottawa}

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

 By: John McCrae 

Composed at the battlefront on May 3, 1915 during the second battle of Ypres, Belgium

No matter what you're doing today, take some time to think of those who fought for your safety, freedom and security. It's the very least we can do as Canadians.

If you're interested in doing something more, The Canadian Hero Fund is an organization dedicated to supporting Canadian military personnel and their families. It's run by two friends of mine from home (as well as others). You can make a donation here or even help by purchasing the "Highway of Heroes" song by The Trews. The song is to commemorate all the deceased soldiers whose bodies upon returning from overseas have traveled along the 401 corridor to be taken to their final resting place.

Also, check out the "We are the dead" Twitter project

Until next time..