Saturday, June 30, 2012

Recent Projects

I was commisioned to photograph this VW dealership and I provided the client with the images they asked for.  But I took this one for me mostly.  This vintage beetle is fully restored and is very, very nice.  The silver Bentley on the hoist beyond ain't bad either.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Recent Projects

Here is the interior of the church in yesterday's post.  A baptism had just concluded and the priest is entering for regular services.  He's the black blur middle left.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Recent Projects

This little church in southeast Edmonton was a problem to photograph in that one cannot really get back far enough.  With a little persistance I managed a few photos from agreeable angles.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Walk in the Woods.

In addition to all the other things it does, the iPhone really is a useful camera.  Here's a little demo of it's macro capablity.
I've probably quoted the old photographers mantra 'f8 and be there' on this blog once or twice; meaning that the key to a good photo is to set the camera at f8 and to actually be on hand to taked the photo.  The iPhone doesn't fuss with things like f-stop setting but it's portability means that it is ever-present should a photo op present itself.
Square crop and levels adjustment made in Photoshop CS5.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

Here's the last of the photos of this ill-placed shopping cart.  I like the look of the rigid geometric forms in this shot.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

Here's a detail photo of the shopping cart featured yesterday.  I like the way Oloneo Photo Engine sharpens up these black and white images and makes them look dripping wet.  It helps of course if the scene was dripping wet in the first place as evidences by the water droplets on the grass...

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

While yesterday's post featured a normal woodland sigthing, today's post is at the opposite end of the spectrum.  This shopping card had been pushed quite along way off the beatend path.  The cart itself is scarlet red - much like the red on yesterday's woodpecker post.  Who does this stuff?  It would take a lot of work to push this thing through the ruts of the off-leadh park.

iPhone Hipstamatic image sharpened up a bit with Oloneo Photo Engine.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

A Walk in the Woods

This very cooperative little chap allowed me to get very close.  This is an iPhone image capture made using the zoom feature.  The image seriously degrades the more you zoom so I don't think any nature magazines will be calling to ask about using this photo on the cover.

I sent the photo to my friend Dawne who replied with:

'A male Pileated Woodpecker! The males have a red malar stripe of feathers just behind the beak. In the female these feathers are black.'

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dog Portraits

Here is Riley taking a break on the Lois Hole Garden wall.

Thanks to Bill for the chance to photograph these fine looking Golden Retrievers.

All photos in this series taken with the Canon 5DII; 24-105 Lens.  Canon 580EX flash off camera fired remotely via Pocket Wizard transmitters.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dog Portraits

Here is Cedar perched atop the stone wall at the Lois Hole Garden at the Alberta Legislature.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Dog Portraits

In addition to their own two dogs Sandy and Bill are looking after Sandy's moms dog Maddy.  Maddy is a senior who knows what to do when there's a camera around.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dog Portraits

As a gift for his wife, my friend Bill asked me to take some photos of their golden retrievers Riley (on the left) and Cedar.  Here they are on the lawns of the Alberta Legislature.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Here's the last of the Banff photos - Vermillion Lakes at dusk as recorded by the iPhone.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Here's another rendition of Rundle Mountain taken using the iPhone camera.  Levels adjustment and crop to panorama format via Photoshop CS5.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


So then, is it possible to take a decent landscape photo at dusk usingt the iPhone camera?  I think you can; here is Rundle Mountain from Vermillion Lakes.

Friday, June 15, 2012


The iPhone Hipstamatic App was along for the Banff trip; here is it's rendition of some tree roots at Two Jack lake.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


The spray river near the Banff Springs Hotel is always a good place to stop for photos; winter and summer.  Here, the water bashes it's way passed this rock.  Handheld image - no tri-pod.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


This stand of tress at the old Banff Cadet Camp posed a challenge during the black and white conversion in that the leaves on the trees were blending in to the background.  Finally I settled on an infrared conversion which seems to have done provided enough contrast between the light green leaves and the mountain beyond.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


One more photo of the Sawback control burn area.  Canon 5DII with Canon 70-200 F2.8 lens set at 80mm.  ISO 320, f/11 at 1/40 sec.

Monday, June 11, 2012


A few days ago I posted a photo taken at the Sawback controlled burn area.  The idea with the control burn was to allow aspen trees to repopulate this side of the mountain.  As you can see, it worked.

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Here's the last of the Lowerbankhead series - at least until the next Banff trip.

Saturday, June 9, 2012


Whenever I am at Lowerbankhead I am astounded both by the amount of stuff that is lying about and by the fact that souvenir hunters have's walked off with stuff.

Friday, June 8, 2012


More from Lowerbankhead; these are the foundations of the old power generating station.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Here's a follow-on to the post from a few days ago featuring Lowerbankhead near the Banff townsite.  This place is a bit of a departure from the usual Parks Canada safety plan.  Lots of hidden danger lurks here.  I am very glad they have chosen to just let the place age as-is.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Pretty straight ahead black and white shot here.  It was the clouds that held the appeal for me.  Black and White conversion made with Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


In 1993 Parks Canada conducted a control burn in the Sawback region of Banff National Park.  Sawback is about 8-10 kilometers west of Banff along the Bow Valley Parkway.  The intent of the burn was to enhance the growth of Aspen.  You can read more about this at

Apart from the colour balancing aspect, black and white conversions are just as complicated to manage as a colour image - in fact more so in some cases.  Usually with colour images the objective is to make the scene look as we remember it.  With black and white it is always an interpretation because we don't see in black and white.  In the film era photographers selected their camera, film, filters, exposure, focus, depth of field, developing technique, negative retouching, paper selection and printing technique to achieve their ultimate image.  Each step was critical and required careful planning along the way.  The best photographers had a clear vision of the ultimate objective at the moment they tripped the shutter.

The digital era is different only in that we have more flexibility along the way.  We can employ filter effects after the fact and with the use of RAW image capture we can always revert back the original file.  It is imperative to get the image right in-camera through the judicious use of filters, correct composition and exposure, depth of field control etc but after that the options in black and white editing are endless.

Recently I have found that I am getting better at selecting scenes that I know will result in black and white images - this is one of them.

This photo was edited first in Adobe Lightroom 3.0 then exported to Nik Silver Efex Pro for black white conversion. Nik Silver Efex pro comes with a variety of preset black and white tools as well as filter effects.  It also allows for editing of parts of the image area and simulated different film types.  Each mouse click changes the overall effect.  The final image was tweaked in Adobe Photoshop.

Monday, June 4, 2012


Not much to say about this photo; taken along the Bow Valley Trail near the Muleshoe picnic area.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


This rusty piece of metal looks like a reflection in a pool of water, I think

Saturday, June 2, 2012


The Aspen trees in this grove are in all probability part of the same family.  Aspen trees seldom grow from seed; rather the grow from rhizomes like grass.  So even though one tree may have a life expectancy similar to a human being, the trees may be part of a family of trees that are thousands of years old.  Elk rub their antlers on the lower portion of the tree damaging the bark and turning it black.

Friday, June 1, 2012


One of my favourite Banff photo destinations is Lowerbank Head; site of the old Railway coal mine.  Loads of old ruins to photograph and weird stuff scattered around.