Saturday, April 30, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

This photo is so-so in colour but much better in black and white.  I adjusted the settings until the water took on an ink-like appearance - giving the illusion that the tufts of grass appear to float on a sea of black.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

I thought I'd post this panorama photo as a contrast to yesterday's square image.  Who says the prairie landscape is boring?!?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

I think I like the square photo format almost as much as the panorama format.  This shot is exactly what I had in mind when I left home for the days shoot; big Alberta sky with lots of simple foreground interest.  The forecast was promising; temperatures just above freezing and partly sunny - perfect for photography.

I am pretty happy with this shot, it's a fairly simple composition with lots going on in the details.  In particular I like the way the big clouds balances the pattern in the ice.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

Here's another shot taken with the iPhone during a break from the serious photography.  I kind of like the edging that this particular setting in the Hipstamatic app adds to these photos; it gives the photos a framed look - the photos are that much better for it I think.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

Spring is calving time for most ranchers in Alberta.  I'm a city guy who doesn't know a whole lot about cattle.  This little tike and his or her momma took an interest in me as I took this photo

Monday, April 25, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

The Alberta landscape is one giant panorama of course; which may explain why pano photos look so good.  I was taken with the way the standing water in this field looks when the stubble below lends it's hue.  The water is a little brackish itself owing to the decaying organic material that is borne within.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

Here are three photos of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist in Egremont Alberta.  Founded in 1939, this very special little church is a designated historic site.

The first photo is with the iPhone (it's hard to hold it level when you're holding it high over head) and the other two were taken with the 'big thumper'; the Canon 5DII using the 24mm tilt shift lens.  Each photo has it's own merits I think.  The black and white version has been edited using Nik Silver Efex Pro to give it an antique photo look.

April 24 is not the Orthodox Easter, but happy Easter anyway.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

Here's another iPhone Hipstamatic shot of the stubble and snow in a field near Thorhild Alberta.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

This photo looks like a shot of a lake but in fact it's a very low spot in a field that in a few weeks will be seeded with wheat...or something along those lines.  The ice pattern in the foreground looks like a giant foot print I think.

Canon 5DII with Canon 24mm TSE lens; f16, 1/30 sec.  ISO 100.  Singh Ray LB Colour Combo Polarizer and Singh Ray 2 stop hard edge graduated filter over the portion of the photo.  All supported on Gitzo Explorer tripod fitted with Really Right Stuff BH-55 ball head and matching L bracket.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

Astute followers of this blog will know that the iPhone follows me everywhere these days.  The 'big camera' is great but so is the iPhone 'Hipstamatic' app.  Here's a sample of the photos talken with this great little 'toy camera' simulator during my day out near Thorhild, Alberta.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Springtime in Alberta

My sidekick Parker (the golden retriever) and I recently took a day long photo trip to the country side north of Edmonton. It was a target rich environment; lots of accessible fields, big fluffy clouds and the landscape adorned with new fallen snow and lots of standing water. It was a great day out and I have loads of images to share.

On the drive out I was listening to 'Wide Cut Country' on CKUA radio (  The host, Allison Brock, played Ian Tyson's 'Springtime in Alberta' ('warm sunny days endless skies of blue/then without a warnin'/another winter storm comes raging through...Springtime in Alberta/chills me to the bone') so that'll be the theme to these photos.

First up is this shot. The colours were so subtle in the colour image that I opted for black and white for the final version.

Canon 5DII with Canon 70-200mm f2.8 lens set to 78mmm, f16 at 1/40 sec. Singh Ray LB Warming Polarizer; handheld. RAW file edit in Adobe Lightroom 3; Black and white conversion with Nik Silver Efex Pro. Final touch ups with Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hipstamatic Tulips

Just to finish with the wilted tulips theme from the last few's a photo taken with the iPhone Hipstamatic app.  The app takes square images but the virtual lenses that you can switch around renders the photos differently.  The 'Kaimal' lens adds a red hue and gives you a sort of ragged edge look.  Seems appropriate enough what with the ragged old tulip being the subject matter!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Tulips Two Ways

 Here's the last 'Tulips Two Ways' Pairing'.  My favourite pair of photos from the four posting I think.  And I think I like the black and white version best.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tulips Two Ways

 Here's the third Tulips Two Ways pairing.  The lens of the camera is only and inch or so from the petals and the clarity is quite remarkable.  The black and white version is edited in Nik Silver Efex software; both photos had only a slight contrast adjustment in Photoshop CS4.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Tulips Two Ways

Here's the next Tulips pairing.  The black and white version in this case has a slight sepia tint.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tulips Two Ways

We had some tulips in the house that were a little past their prime. I took a few photos of them with the G11 in macro mode. I'll present them two at a time over the next couple of days, in colour and black and white. I'd like some opinions on which is preferred so don't hesitate to chime in!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spring Thaw

I took this photo with the iPhone Hipstamatic app.  I've been experimenting with the various 'lenses' and 'film types''.  This is taken using the 'Kaimal' lens which produces a redish hue to the photo and adds a bit of simulated 'light leakage' to this hyper-cool vintage camera app.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Silver Jewelry

Here's the last in the silver jewelry series.  This piece is one of my favourites.

Hat's off to Ellen for producing such stellar work and for the chance to hone my skills in the realm of product photography.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Silver Jewelry

The pieces photographed on black presented one little problem that I hadn't counted on.  The fabric is muslin and the camera captures every thread and bit of fluff that sticks to it. The fluff is easy to deal with, the fabric itself had to be dealt with in Photoshop.  Worth the effort though.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Silver Jewelry

This bracelet is a masterpiece.  That craftsmanship is superb and I worked hard to retain every detail in the surface.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Silver Jewelry

This piece begged to be photographed on a black background.  The colours in the stone are so subtle; they look great on black I think.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Silver Jewelry

Third up in the silver jewelry series.  This bracelet is a lovely thing; it is so simple and elegant.  A troublesome thing to photograph though because there is hardly anything to it.  The hand hammered surface is what makes this piece special - and also what makes it tricky to photograph.  I think I took 30 photos of this bracelet, some on a black background and some on white.  This is my favourite owing to the fact that it is tack-sharp and every change in topography is crystal clear.  This photo is dynamite at 100% magnification.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Silver Jewelry

Here is the second of the silver jewelry postings.  As soon as there is a colour element to the piece - in this case the stones - the degree of difficulty goes way down compared to photographing purely silver pieces.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Silver Jewelry

Our friend Ellen is a silversmith. We are huge fans of her work; my wife has many pieces. I offered to photograph some of the inventory so Ellen would have some images ready to go for promotional purposes.

Ellen and her husband Al had tried to do this themselves and were not happy with the results. Silver is a tough thing to photograph. The reflections are hard to control and I had to fiddle about to find a technique that would work. These earrings were the most challenging of all the pieces owing to the fact that they are slightly curved. It was hard to capture the right level of sheen with no seriously under or over exposed areas. Another challenge is to capture an image that does not feature reflections of the light source or the photographer.

For this photo I used 2 Elinchrom BX500 strobes at lowest power with softboxes bouncing off a white ceiling. Canon 5DII with Canon 24-105 lens 105mm. F11 at 1/60 sec. ISO 400; hand held.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

iPhone 4G Hipstamatic

In this shot you can really see the mottled effect of the sky.  The photo also has a green cast which could be easily corrected in Photoshop but when I did that the photo seemed to lose something.  I adjusted the contrast just a little but other wise this is how the photo came out of the camera.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

iPhone 4G Hipstamatic

It was bright sunny afternoon when I took this photo but the Hipstamatic app rendered the scene in a rather eerie haunted forest sort of way.  The black and white conversion in Photoshop adds to the effect.

Monday, April 4, 2011

iPhone 4G Hipstamatic

I really like the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone.  The iPhone camera itself is pretty remarkable with the quality of the images and has justifiably made the iPhone the world's most popular camera.  I'm going to post a few more iPhone images over the next couple of days, all taken with the Hipstamatic app.  All the images taken with this app are square format and come out of the camera phone at 72dpi and 27" x 27".  You get a nice vignette on all the photos and lots of lens flare.  Areas of uniform colour, like the sky for instance, come out a little mottled - just like the prints you would have got from a cheap plastic camera c1965.  Very Cool!

This shot was taken in our river valley and features this old broken and gnarled tree.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Brian Jungen at the Art Gallery of Alberta

Next up in the Brian Jungen at the AGA series.  This time a detail shot of his sculpture 'Cetalogy'.

Taken with the iPhone 'Hipstomatic' app.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Brian Jungen at the Art Gallery of Alberta

Looking at exquisite pieces of art is tiring business.  Nothing like a top class espresso to provide vigorous renewal.

iPhone 4G using 'Hipstomatic' app; cropped and colour adjustment with Adobe Photoshop CS4.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Brian Jungen at the Art Gallery of Alberta

Here's another detail photo of the Brian Jungen scuplture 'Carapace' currently on exhibit at the AGA.