Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catching Up - Part 1 (of many)

I have much catching up to do with my photo editing (and posting). Here's the first of many installments as I try to get back on track.

This is a grey squirrel shot in Calgary's Fish Creek Park, taken with a Sigma 100-300 f/4 (and Nikon D300). I do like this lens a lot, though I'm struggling to get the most out of it. It's been a good teacher for me; I've learned better monopod techniques, I've learned to not just blindly trust my autofocus, and I've learned to breathe more calmly and trip the shutter more gently. A sharp lens and a narrow depth of field requires that I pay attention to every little detail.

I was house (and cat) sitting for a friend recently, and while cat pictures are by now a cliché, I wanted to have a go at it myself. Strobist - Nikon SB-600 triggered by CLS, camera right, with a small soft-box on the front. Evening sun is giving the rest of the soft light.

My friend, Janet, at Waterton Lakes National Park (in Alberta, Canada - it's connected to Glacier National Park in the USA). Janet's gorgeous smile and big, beautiful eyes make my work easy. Strobist - Nikon SB-600 triggered by CLS, high and camera left (just barely out of frame).

A small waterfall near the Lake Agnes Tea House, at Lake Louise, Alberta. The tea house is worth a trip, but I recommend you call ahead for the hours, and get there early. The tea house fills up quickly, but it's a lovely treat.

Fall colours along the Bow Valley Parkway, connecting Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta. I believe this was the old highway, but it rarely gets much traffic anymore. This is one of the most scenic portions of road in Banff National Park I've seen yet.

This is a smaller portion of the same scene above.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Halifax & Newfoundland - Part 6

Inside an old cabin on Western Brook beach (I'm back in Gros Morne National Park, here). Every time I come back, this small building has deteriorated more and more - this time the entire front (ocean-facing) wall was gone. I'm not sure if this is sad or pretty, but as I'm here being a photographer, I'll stick with pretty.

Mom and Dad on Western Brook beach. Newfoundland has a few beautiful sandy beaches, and even on the sunniest of days, they're all but deserted. I think that if there were long, beautiful sandy beaches (as this one is) just a 45 minute drive from any other fairly major centre in the world, they'd be packed all the time. I don't understand why this one isn't, but the peace and quiet is just how I like it.

This is part of the view out the front window of the house I grew up in. It's been cloudy and raining almost the entire time I've been home (not complaining - I love cloudy days!), but every now and then the sun has appeared and made everything glow. I could hardly ask for anything more.

Another view out the front window. A large transmission line runs through the farm, and on the right is an old sheep barn (and before that, it was a poultry barn). More beautiful colours.

A blurry view over Corner Brook (the neighbouring "city"). The brightest lights in the lower left part of the frame are from a pulp and paper mill. Apologies for the shakiness - this was an eight second exposure on a windy night with no tripod (I know, it's no excuse).

Mom atop a cliff near the Bay of Islands (less than an hour from Corner Brook). There were beautiful waves and lots of wind today. This is the same place I took this photo.

A wave crashing in at Bottle Cove. You can see a bit of a cave behind the wave. The tide was too high to walk in there today (and the waves to big to want to!), but you can often easily walk to the cave and explore it. I took this shot of Mom a few years ago.

(Probably) the last shot of this trip, just one bay over from Bottle Cove. I don't remember the name of this bay, but I remember the place well from being a kid. There is something surprising cosy and busy about being there that it has always remained vivid in my memory.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Halifax & Newfoundland - Part 5

A view over Trout River, Newfoundland, within Gros Morne National Park. The entrance into Gros Morne is just 45 minutes from where I grew up, and is easily the most beautiful place I've ever been. The landscape changes from one twist in the road to the next, and this is the only place I've been that is made even more beautiful by foul weather. Heavy contrast and desaturation applied to this image.

Mom and Dad in front of a waterfall on the Tablelands. The Tablelands consist of rock from the earth's mantle (several kilometres below the earth's surface) and are (I believe) one of only a half dozen or so places on earth where the mantle is actually exposed. The red is from iron in the rock (I've also heard references to there being sulphur in the rock), and is right next to areas of lush foliage. Mom and Dad lit by flash bounced into an umbrella, camera right.

Exploring the farm that I "grew up" on (I didn't have what most would call a true farm life, but our house and yard backed onto my uncle's [once my grandfather's] farm, and I did work there most summers as a child). I've shot similar grass with a cold-blue snowy background in Radium, BC before, and I liked the similar mood to the photo, despite the 45 degree temperature difference.

The farm is not really in use any more. My uncle rents the land to a nearby farming operation, and the buildings are all abandoned and neglected. It's sad to see the farm no longer active, but I do enjoy photographing derelict buildings.

The hay loft inside the tallest barn on the property. I remember loading hay bales into this barn, filling the barn front to back, and several layers above my head. I also remember sitting in this barn and listening to heavy rain roar above me as it beat down on the high tin roof. My photography isn't doing the barn justice, and I hope I get more opportunities to capture just how amazing this barn feels to me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halifax & Newfoundland - Part 4

Two swans in Glynmill pond, Corner Brook, Newfoundland. Corner Brook is just a 15 minute drive from where I grew up (Pasadena) and the city is covered in the colours of fall.

The swans weren't shy, but perhaps they were hoping I'd have some lunch to share with them. (I didn't.)

It wouldn't be home without rain! It's been raining on and off ever since I got home, but it's making for beautiful soft light and saturated colours.

At the end of my walk around Glynmill pond, gulls were perched in the reflection of the reds, oranges, yellows and greens. I do love the fall.

The hills are just covered with the fall colours. They make even the cloudiest days bright, and I'm so glad I chose this time of year to come home.

It's Dad's birthday, and we drove down to Burgeo, a small town on the south coast of Newfoundland, together. Beautiful sandy beaches, sunny skies, and not another person in sight! Lit with a flash on a light stand, camera right.

More of Burgeo beach. I'm sure the water was cold today, but I've swum in this water in late August and it can be quite warm, and is always crystal clear. Treatment of this image involves a heavy red-channel monochrome conversion, then that layer reduced to 75% opacity (letting some colour back through) then a strong curves layer increasing contrast but just holding on to the lights/darks. It was actually a beautiful, breezy day. I just like this image this way.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thursday, October 1, 2009