Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Holga Black and White

Modern digital cameras can produce amazing clarity of image and with things like tilt/shift lenses depth of field can be infinite.  But if you don't want that and are instead pursuing an image with shallow depth of field, light fall off in the corners, fuzziness in parts of the frame and a generally forboding sort of image, go for the Holga.

Holga TLR, F8, shutter speed unknown.  Ilford 100 Delta Pro 120 film.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Holga Black and White

I bought a Holga twin lens reflex camera a few weeks back and I will present a few images taken with it in the next few days.  Here's the first.

The Holga is an odd thing, those who know about them are quite passionate about them and the rest of the world scratches their collective head when you try to explaing the charm.  Here's the scope....the Holga is a plastic, very low tech camera.  It has a plastic lens and is prone to light leakage.  They are inexpensive, around $60.00 and very light.  The settings are simple and the camera uses 120 film.  You heard me; film.

Composing your shot is challenging - the image is backwards in the view finder and is round and cropped so what;s happening along the edge of the frame is guess work  The results are bit suprising, partly because after 2 weeks of film processing you kind of forget what you photographed and the compostition is never quite what you expect.  All and all a first class camera for making interesting and whimsical photos in a manner far removed from the digital world.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

From the Vault

No before and after this time - just the final version.  Edlington Beach, Prince Eward Island September 1998.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

From the Vault

Here's another scanned photo negative sampling.  As per yesterday's post, the top image is what the scanner produced, below is the retouched version.

Friday, January 27, 2012

From the Vault

I have been wanting to get a top quality scanner for some time and I finally took the plunge. I opted for the Epson 'Perfection' V700.  I have load of  negatives around and the scanner does an efficient and excellent job of handling the scan process. The image at the top right was made on Kodak ASA 100 color negative film and scanned with no cleaning or prep. Below is the same image touched up in photoshop CS5;  I straightened up the vertical lines, adjusted the levels and curves, tweaked the colour just a bit and got rid of the the dust and other junk.  This photo was taken in rural Prince Edward island around 1998.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Abraham Lake

Here's the last in the return to Abraham Lake series of photos. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Abraham Lake

Here's another of these crazy ice detail photos taken with the Canon G11 in macro mode.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Abraham Lake

Here's another photo from our winter getaway to Abraham Lake.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Abraham Lake

I like the way that the snow covered pieces of ice along the left side of this photo look like stepping stones.  It's symbolic in a way, the sun is low and directly behind this view; as I walked along I had to make sure that I didn't get too far ahead of myself because if I decided to take a few steps backward for a preferred vantage point the photo would have had my footprints as a key feature.  I wanted to retain the pristine look of the scene and footprints would have spoiled it.

You see the trouble I go to so that your experience in viewing this blog is nothing less than ideal?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Abraham Lake

This weird ice detail composition was made with the veneralbe Canon G11 in macro mode.  The G11 has a handy flip out LCD screen that rotates enabling me to stick the camera under this ice shelf and still see the image.  The long axis of this field of view is about 2".

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Abraham Lake

Composing a photo so there is an S curve in the foreground is a common photographic technique to lead the viewer into the scene.  Usually this is done utilizing a road or footpath in the foreground to provide the classic S shape.  In this case I used the lines that result from the water and ice receding.  It's kind of an obvious sort of photo that doesn't show a lot of imagination, but at the same time it's the kind of photo opportunity that's hard to walk past.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Abraham Lake

There is no lacking of foreground interest in photos taken along the shores of Abraham Lake.  The lake is a man made outcome of the Big Horn Dam on the North Saskatchewan River.  The water freezes high in autumn and as the dam allows water to flow out in the winter the ice collapses along the shore.  This morning I had the place to myself....apart from a Coyote that appeared seconds after this photo was made.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Abraham Lake

These carefully arranged rocks are probably left over from one of last summer's picnics.

Canon 5DII with Canon 24mm TSE Lens.  Tilt function used for maximum depth of field from top to bottom of the image.  Singh Ray Warming Polarizing filter and Singh Ray 2 stop Soft Edge Neutral Density Filter over the sky.  ISO 100, f11 @ 1/50 sec.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Abraham Lake

Ice Detail from my morning at Abraham Lake.  Canon G11 capture using macro mode; edited in Oloneo Photo Engine for a little added drama.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Abraham Lake

I have visited Abraham Lake several times over the years. usually on organized photo tour/workshops.  We made a recent trip just for a little post Christmas break and there was time for a bit of photography.

Here's the first of a series of images that will appear over the next while.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recent Projects

The skylight in this residence is an integral part of the design - it's also hard to capture in a photograph because of it's placement over the stairwell; getting the camera postioned appropriately is awkward.  Even with a wide angle lens it seems as though you just can't get back far enough.

I used my 17mm tilt shift-lens to get this photo.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Recent Projects

One of the biggest challenges in photographing interiors is getting the exposure right; there has to be detail across the full extent of the image.  In this case there is very bright light from outdoors and very dark areas in the black carpet.  If you expose for the daylight  the image will be too dark.  If you expose for the carpet the outdoors will appear white - or 'blown out' in photo-speak.  You could take a series of exposures and process them as a High Dynamic Range or HDR image but I find that usually looks a little odd.
This photo is a blend or 4 images taken with my 17mm TSE lens. This is a shift lens that affords perspective control. I took two images of the top portion of the frame and two for the bottom. I blended the exposures manually in Photoshop and then merged them, also in Photoshop. The foreground was lit with a Canon 580EXII flash off camera with an umbrella modifier.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Family Photos

For a recent family photo shoot there were a few challenges. For instance the various members of the family were only going to be together over the Christmas period for a limited time; and we needed to find a location that was (a) wheelchair accessible, (b) willing to have us and (c) large enough for a group of 8 people - plus me and my gear.

We settled on Rutherford House at the University of Alberta as it met all our needs and they were extremely accommodating.

Canon 5DII with Canon 24-105 lens at 50mm. Two Elinchrom 500W strobes with umbrella modifiers and one Canon 580EXII flash separation light (behind the subjects); all strobes triggered with Pocket Wizard transmitter and transceivers. F8 at 1/60 sec.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Team Canada

As this post is being written Team Canada is down 5-1 to Russia after 2 periods in the IIHF world junior cha\mpionship.  Once again the maple leaf has fallen short it seems.  No matter; we'll get 'em next time.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Spring in Winter?

There was bit of wet snow that fell recently and the next day the sun came out and started the melt process.  The tip of this branch is caked in ice that is starting to melt.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

Taken just before the first real snow fall in these parts, this photo has a nice geometry to it.  Canon G11 capture; black and white conversion and contrast enhancement made with Nik Silver Efex Pro software.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Spring in Winter?

It's been a very warm first half of winter in these parts; so much so that there is still a fair bit of open water on the river.  It almost looks like a desert scene - but that is in fact ice.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Will it Hang?

I'm pretty pleased with this shot.  it was broad daylight when I took the original photo but the end result had a very haunting appearance, which is the way these old trees look to me most of the time.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Will it Hang?

These blades of grass poking through the snow were photographed with the Canon G11 and the Orton Effect applied in Photoshop.  The Orton Effect blends two versions of the same photo giving the photo the look of being both in and out of focus at the same time.  Try that with a film camera!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Will it Hang?

This the same view as yesterdays photo, more or less.  This time a colour iPhone Hipstamatic photo but again utilizing the 'Orton' Effect in photoshop.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Will it Hang

This iPhone Hipstamatic photo was taken around dusk - that's the moon in the upper centre over the trees.  The image was then given an ethereal look using the 'Orton' Effect in Photoshop CS5.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Will it Hang

The next few posts will be of photos that are truly made not taken.  This photo was taken with the Canon G11 and coverted to black and white in photoshop CS5.  We don't see the world in black and white, and there are a multitude of variables within the black and white world.  Contrast adjustments, simulated filters that alter the grayscale of the various tones within the colour image all can be manipulated and adjusted.  Just two 'colours', black and white, but the range of possibilities is endless.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Will it Hang?

Fourth in the 'Will it hang?' series.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Will it Hang?

Here's the third in the 'Will it Hang' series.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Will it Hang?

Next up in the 'Will it hang?' Series.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Will it Hang?

I took a photography appreciation class a few years ago during which we were presented with a series of images that we were asked to judge.  The question we had to answer was 'Will it hang?' meaning is this a gallery quality image or a throw-a-way?  So today and in the next couple of days I will present a few images for you to judge, ask yourself 'will it hang?'