Saturday, August 31, 2013

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is so much more than a castle the way we think of it; it's more of a fortress that protected a city within.  This is a typical street view.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Prague - Pilsner Urquell

Pilsner Urquell is everywhere in Prague.  It comes from the town of Pils nearby and is available anytime.  Very happy accompaniment to lunch after a hard morning of touring about the city.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Prague - Jewish Cemetary

I wasn't sure if the Jewish Cemetary in Prague would hold any appeal but it turned out to be a very compelling place.  It's not just the cemetary, there are many buildings alongside to tour through that contained many interesing artifacts.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Prague - Dancing House

This building in Prague was designed by Czech architect Vlado Milunic in joint venture with Canadian/American architect Frank Gehry.  Nicknamed the Dancing House or 'Fred and Ginger', the building was paid for by the Dutch insurance giant Nationale-Nederlander (ING).  I have my own opinions on such a building and I'll leave you to yours.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Prague - Trdelnik

Trdelnik is a pastry dish that has its roots in what was Transylvania, although it also factors into the history of Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.  The pastry is wrapped around a metal stick that is turned over a wood fire.  When cooked it is brushed with and walnuts, removed from the metal stick and served warm, often from vendors in the streets.  It smells really good, not sure what it tastes like; I resisted buying any because the wasps were more keen to have it than I was.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Stolpersteins in Prague

Stolperstein is German for 'stumbling block'; the plural is Stolpersteine.  In the Jewish quarter of Prague there are many of these brass inserts in the cobbles bearing the name of a Jewish person or persons who died or who were persecuted at the hand of the Nazis at prisons, euthanasia facilities, sterilization clinics or concentration camps.  Others memorialized emigrated (assuming they were prepared to hand over all possessions and money to the Nazis before departing) or committed suicide.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Prague on Sunday

It was a wet Sunday in Prague; still, many people were making the best of it and the streets were coloured by thousands of soaking wet umbrella's.  I'm more of a hooded jacket guy as I need 2 hands to operated my camera.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Prague, Evening Reflections.

At first glance you might think this is a typical water reflection photo but it's not...the reflection is actually in the window of our apartment in Prague.  The window is on a sloped surface and is hinged in the middle.  When open it's flat and I

 found if i wiggled it a bit I could capture the reflection in  the glass in a fairly symmetrical way. Canon G15; 15 second exposure at f8...the camera resting on the window.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Shard - London

The Shard is the tallest building in Europe at 1004 feet, equivalent to 87 floors.  The building is owned by Sellar Property and the state of Qatar.  It was designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano and was commissioned in February of this year.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Tower of London

Construction of Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress, more commonly known as the Tower of London, began in 1078.  The iconic White Tower is in the centre of the fortress and has withstood many attacks through the centurys, none of them successful.  You'll note that the main entrance is elevated by a little more than one storey; if the invaders some how got past the hail of arrows, burning balls of oil soaked reeds, boiling oil and what have you en route to the White Tower steps, made of wood, would be set on fire thereby making access to the only entrance almost impossible.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

RAF Bomber Command Memorial

The Bomber Command Memorial was unveiled on 2012 June 28 in the presence of Her Majesty The Queen.  It stands at Hyde Park Corner near Buckingham Palace.  The roof is made from the aluminium of a Halifax bomber that crashed in Belgium in 1944.  It's a rather stunning site, the small poppy lodged into the gear of the figure depicting the navigator (looking to the sky - where else?) kind of grabs you a little.


We're off on a little adventure at the moment - first stop - London.  I'll be posting from the road so to speak, this photo is just to get you started; taken from the London Eye on 2007 June 27.

The posts will be daily as always, just at odd times given the time change.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Recent Projects - Family Portraits

This good looking gang purchased a gift certificate for some family photos that I had donated to a silent auction fundraiser.  We took a series of photos that any grandparent would like but we wanted to get some that were a little less traditional too, like this one for instance.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Recent Projects - Canada Post

This Canada Post Building has been in service for a couple of years.  The engineering consultants who participated in its construction commissioned this and a few other photographs for their marketing department.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Recent Projects

This is the interior of a downtown endodontics practice.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Recent Projects - Intera Housing

This fairly straight forward residential building actually presented one or two photographic challenges.  It is blocked from the street by several very large old trees.  The front of the building is in the shade all summer because of this.  The architects wanted photos of all elevations and there really is no one perfect vantage point; if you're not standing right up against the building you can't really see it.  Thanks heavens for my 17mm Tilt Shift lens which has earned its way more times than I care to remember.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Recent Projects - Boyle Renaissance

One of the reasons I bought the Canon 1Dx was because of it's ability to hold detail across the full spectrum of dark and light areas.  This is a blend of two photos made with a tilt shift lens.  Before I merged them in Photoshop all I had to do was pull back the highlights a little to darken the outdoor bright areas and voila; a perfect exposure.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Recent Projects - Boyle Renaissance

I like the straight on simplicity of this photo.  Architectural drawings always include building elevations that are 2 dimension projection of the building facade on a one dimensional sheet of paper.  The world seldom interacts with a building in the way, but it does look cool when the finished building is presented in much the same way as the architects drawings depicted it.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Recent Projects -Boyle Renaissance

This is the new Boyle Renaissance project in downtown Edmonton.  The building features a residential component, community centre and daycare.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Walk in the Park

Next up in the iPhone Hipstamatic series is this meadow flower.  This is straight out of the iPhone.  If you could see it at full magnification you'd be able to see that every little details on the flower stalks is visible.  the colours get over saturated a bit but so what.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Walk in the Park

With the Hipstamatic you purchase various lens and film simulators and use them in combination to achieve different effects.  I took this photo whilst out walking the dogs; I really like what the app did with this dramatic looking sky.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Walk in the Park

This clump of field grass would cost $50 at a garden centre because of it's near perfect form and size - it's about 20" in diameter.  And there it was along the trail in the dog park.  I had to wait for my spaniel, Banjo, to get out of the frame.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Walk in the Park

I know what you're wondering....'how come there haven't been in any photos posted recently that were taken with the iPhone Hipstamatic?'  Well you're in luck 'cause there are a few coming your way in the next few days.  One photographer I know recently panned this type of technology because it is mimicry, which it is; simulating a cheap film camera.  But to me it's about the photograph; and I rather like this one.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Recent Projects - ATCO Gas

Recently a client for whom I've done a few assignments asked to photograph this simple building.  They had a few shots but the primary elevation was in the shadows.  If I could change one thing about this photo it would be the wind direction - the flags would be better if the company logo was not backwards.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

SARDAA update

This is SARDAA certified human remains (HR) detection dog Jaida.  HR dogs are trained to sit and bark when human remains are found; they are not supposed to touch them for obvious reasons.  For this photo a few bones were planted - you can see a femur by Jaida's foot - and I set up my shot.  Jaida was brought into the general area and found the bones with no trouble at all.

Canon 1Dx with 24-105 lens.  Two remotely fired Canon 580EX flashes triggered with Pocket Wizard transmitters.  I selected a shutter speed (1/80 sec)  that was fast enough to freeze the action but slow enough to allow for some movement; in the full size version you can see just a bit of movement around her mouth as Jaida gives an enthusiastic bark, right on cue.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


Here are the current active SARDAA dogs.  Back row left to right; Gotta, Jake, Jaida, Jacob and Parquetta.  In the front we have  Flick, Aussie and Tyndre.

The dogs are back lit; the sun is shining through the trees behind them.  I used two hand held flashes triggered by pocket wizard transmitters to fill in the shadows.  All of the dog handlers are standing behind the camera; you can tell where each handler is standing because their dogs are staring straight at them.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


For the last few years I've been providing photographic services to the Search and Rescue Dog Association of Alberta ( The photo sessions usually include portraits of the dog and handler teams, some action photos and an annual update of the active team - this is the 2013 active team update.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Recent Projects - U of A Housing

Newton Residence started out as an apartment building.  It's not the most beautiful building but at the right time of day and with the distortion provided by the Canon 17mm TSE lens it takes on a dramatic appearance.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Recent Projects - U of A Housing

International House just east of the main U of A campus is home to many foreign students attending classes at the U of A.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Recent Projects - U of A Housing

This is the older of the east campus village student residence buildings.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Recent Projects - U of A Housing

My photo assignment for the U of A included a request for a dusk photo of each building.  That's a challenge in the height of summer because sunset comes so late in the evening.  Not everyone is settled in at home this night however, I was glad that this lady and her dog came along to animate the photo a little.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Recent Projects - U of A Housing

The U of A French Language Faculte Saint Jean is off of the main U of A campus.  The Residence Saint Jean is connected to the main buildings.  The Faculte Saint Jean is in a superb park like setting in the heart of a residential neighbourhood where many francophone citizens reside.