Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brian Jungen at the Art Gallery of Alberta

Here's the second in the Brian Jungen at the AGA series; this time a detail shot of his sculpture entitled 'Shapeshifter'; constructed out of white plastic garden chairs

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Brian Jungen at the Art Gallery of Alberta

Brian Jungen is a Canadian artist specializing in 'found art'. Brian takes common every day objects and re-works them into the most incredible sculptures. There is an exhibition of his work currently at the Art Gallery of Alberta. Patrons are invited to take photos of the exhibit - not a common thing in an art gallery.
I have this very cool app on my iPhone; it replicates the effect of photos taken with a cheap plastic camera commonly seen in the 60's. The photos have this found-in-the-back-of-the-desk-drawer-after-all-these-years quality. I took several shots of the 3 Brian Jungen sculptures on display at the AGA using this camera app - this is the first; a detail photo of 'Carapace'; constructed out of houshold garbage containers.

You can read more about Brian Jungen at:
and about his AGA exhibit at:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Terwillegar Park

Here's a little snow shadow study taken in Terwillegar Park.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Terwillegar Park

I'm not sure what name is assigned to these prolific wild plants but they look rather grand photographed against the spring sky.  The flip out screen on the Canon G11 enables one to take photos like this without lying down in the snow.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Terwillegar Park

I took this photo in Terwillegar Park whilst out walking the dogs.  There are loads of trees in the park but few that stand out by themselves.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Recent Portraits

This is my lovely wife, Terri.  I took this portrait of her while she was all glammed up for the ball.  She didn't like this photo particularly but I think it rocks.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Something from Nothin'

Here's the third in my Something from Nothin' series.  I was in a Gallery a while back and I saw an abstract painting which included the artists initials as part of the piece.  When I saw a reflector attached to a tree in I was drawn to it, more out of interest to know the purpose of a thing nailed to a tree.  When I looked closely I saw the initials LW on the reflector so I thought it prudent to take this photo.

The editing process was quite minor in this case - the orange/red paint was mostly peeling off which is why it looks as it does.  otherwise only a slight vibrancy and clarity adjustment has been made in Adobe Lightroom.  Final cropping in Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Something from Nothin'

The sign at the car crushers discussed in yesterday's post had several parts; here's another view edited in similar fashion as discussed yesterday.  In this case the paint used to cover up old signage was a different colour from what had been used elsewhere so the results of the editing process are simalar but different.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something from Nothin'

In yesterday's post I discussed the aesthetic attributes of a car crushing joint that I drive by from time to time.  Today's photo is derived from the sign that stands proudly over the place.

The sign is metal and has been painted over several times; each time with a slightly different colour of paint.  In reality it's an unremarkable thing; not even something you'd take note of as you drive by.  However in the digital age software will find colour where it exists in a photo and this is a good example.

The original photo was shot with the Canon G11.  I loaded the photo into Adobe Lightroom 3.0 and pushed the vibrancy and saturation up to around + 90 and  then cropped the photo.  Then in Photoshop CS4 I used auto levels and auto curves to give me this image.

I think the end result looks like a modern abstract painting; I'm quite please with the result. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Urban Grunge

There's this car crushing place that circumstances have me driving by every few weeks; it's a horrid place.  The inventory overflows and it really is the most appalling sight.  This is a detail shot of the fence that struggles to contain the smashed up wrecks that are of value to someone I guess.

Canon G11; Cyanotype conversion via Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Face of the Past

I've driven past this tired old building countless times.  I'm not sure what Hillcrest is our was but they aren't doing it least not from this place.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

Winter is going to hang around the Canadian Prairie for a while it seems.  I took this photo on March 12 while out with the dogs.  This fellow and his dogs were north bound on the North Saskatchewan River.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Strobe Photography

For this photo I rotated the camera as the flash fired in multi-mode.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Strobe Photography

This is a shot I took with the camera hand held and the flash set to multi.  I walked toward the object as the flash fired.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Strobe Photography

As we prepared to make this photo we knew there was a problem with the dark clothing Ian wore and the black backdrop against which the photo was taken.  So we added a strip of tape down the side of this leg and foot so there would be enough contrast to properly map the path his leg had taken.  As for the other photos, this one is suggestive of the structure and plan of a building.
Thanks to colleague and friend Ian for the idea and the chance to participate in this project and for the chance to use the technology pioneered by Harold Edgerton.

All photos in this series taken with the Canon 5DII and Canon 24-105 f4 lens.  Typically F8 at 2-3 second exposures; camera set to 'Bulb'.  Camera mounted on Really Right Stuff ball head and Gitzo Explorer tripod.  Canon 580EXII Flash mounted on-camera and set to Multi Mode.  The room was almost totally dark for these ; Ian photographed against an all-black muslin backdrop.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Strobe Photography

In this photo, Ian has tried to emulate the action of swinging a bat; there was no bat handy so he used a metal architects scale. As for yesterday's post, the path the arms take in the swinging motion suggest a potential rhythm of structure and perhaps the form for a building.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Strobe Photography

The objective with this series of Edgerton-like photos was to photography the subject - in this case my colleague Ian - in mock athletic endeavour.  The 'mapping' of the throwing arm will be used to suggest form for a the structure of a building.  The multiple arms captured by the strobe may be used to set the rhythm of the structure while the path the hand takes may give part of the building it's shape in plan.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Shameless Self Promotion

This past Saturday I had a photo published in the Edmonton Journal.  You can see the photo and the write-up at:

Strobe Photography

Harold ("Doc") Edgerton (1903-1987) was a pioneer in the area of high speed and stroboscopic photography.  He was an engineer, researcher and professor whose curiosity and enthusiasm for his work was insatiable.  He would show off his discoveries at every opportunity; in small diners, MIT classrooms and on televisions programs such as 'Letterman'.  His lifes work is marked by the lively give-and-take of collaborating with others and communicating the results. His personal creed was “Work hard… tell everyone everything you know… have fun.”  I love that.

This past week I had a chance to take some photos that were based on Edgerton's techniques.  Modern Camera equipment allows us to easily do what was in Edgerton's day quite a feat.  In the posts over the next couple of days I will explain the mission in detail.

For today there are two photos on the blog; the top one is Harold Edgerton's, the bottom one is mine.  His is the more serious image, mine is a little more playful.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Snow Shadows

Including smart phones I have 6 operational cameras so I really have no excuse to be caught without some sort of image making device.  This late afternoon photo was taken with the iPhone 4G.  The images are quite sharp when viewed on the phone itself but when opened in photo shop there can be a little weirdness going on.  Given that the lens is the size of a, well, a really small thing the quality is pretty good.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Parker at Full Speed

This is our dog Parker.  From the day we got her she has understood that when we say 'come' there are good things awaiting and she barrels toward us with the throttle wide open every time.  In the distance is Angus, our delighful 14 year old Welsh Springer Spaniel.  The other old dog, the equally delightful Jasper, is probably down that path somewhere chewing on an old stick.

The best part of this photo is the very shallow depth of field.  Parker's face and the grass at her feet are in perfect focus while the immediate foreground and the terrain behind her is blurry.  The eye tends to fix on the sharpest part of a photo; even though her face fills only about 10% of the frame this photo is all about Parker and her expression.

Canon 5dII with Canon 70-200 F2.8 IS Lens.  ISO 200; lens set at 200mm; F3.2; shutter speed 1/640 sec.  RAW file processed in Adobe Lightroom 3.0 with final edit in Adobe Photoshop 4.0.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Spotted Leaves

I suppose it's some sort of fungus that affected these leaves, but whatever it is it certainly 'makes' this photo.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

From the Vault

Here's a weird little photo.  This was taken in the autumn of 2010 on a wet afternoon.  I had taken the dogs out for their daily romp in the park and when we got back to the car this whack of dry grass had found it's way onto the windshield.  I'm not sure why but I really like this shot.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hockey Portraits

After the team photos I took individual pictures of each player.  This is my main man Austin looking like a real hockey star - including a missing tooth.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Hockey Portraits

For this shot I wanted the boys to give me their 'we're the toughest team in the league' look.  I suggested that that this might be the look you'd give the guy who tried to steel your bike.  Interesting to see what you get!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Hockey Portraits

I recently had the chance to photograph a young hockey team.  This is the overall team shot.

The lads were posed on a black backdrop.  I used my Elinchrom Bx500 lights with 24" softboxes triggered by Pocket Wizard transmitters.  Canon 5DII with 24-105 lens at 35mm; f16 @ 1/250 sec.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

From the Vault

Here's another abstract detail photo from Abraham Lake.  Canon G11 in macro mode.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

From the Vault

Recently I was complaining to a fellow photographer about my old tri-pod head.  In this photo, if you look really closely, you can see the source of my complaint; when the camera is rotated on the vertical axis it is no longer centred on the tri-pod making it unstable.  When on a slippery, sloped surface (=ice) and with a bit of a wind it is not a happy circumstance.  I had to make sure the tri-pod legs were jammed into the cracks of the ice to make this photo possible.   I also had to say a little prayer that my gear would not become part of the distant landscape.  I have this problem solved now (most problems it seems can be remedied by spending money).  No fair advertising in this forum though so if you want to know my solution shoot me an e-mail and I will tell all.

Friday, March 4, 2011

From the Vault

If you look closely you can see the heart trapped in the clear ice of Abraham Lake.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

From the Vault

In summer, Panther Falls on the Icefields Parkway as a raging torrent of water descending several hundred feet.  In the winter is is a surreal frozen world.  Upside down this photo looks a bit like the pipes of an organ. Go ahead - tip the monitor upside down if you don't believe me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

From the Vault

Here's a little icy abstract from along the frozen shore of Abraham Lake.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

From the Vault

Several years ago the artist named Peter von Tiesnehausen carved a series of wood figures and transported them across the country photographing them in various settings.  These old tree stumps reminded me of his photos that were compiled into a book entitled 'The Watchers'.