Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Year in Review and Plans for 2015

At the start of each year I set out a few goals for my photographic enterprise.  Expanding my client base is always at the top of the list.  By this measure 2014 was a great success; I was able to do assignments for 3 architectural firms  as well as few contractors and consulting engineering firms all of whom were new clients.  Other clients that I had not heard from in a while came back to me with assignments.  All this added to my list of 'regulars' kept me very busy in 2014.

While architectural and interior photography remains the back bone of my business there were some other assignments as well, loads of business portraits, fine art photography (that is, photography of fine art pieces) and some heritage photography rounded out the year.

Most of the photos I take while traveling are just for fun - only on a few occasions does anyone want to acquire them for commercial purposes.  In 2014 my wife and I traveled to Arizona, Scotland and Italy, many of the photos taken on these journeys have appeared here on my blog.  Sometimes I post them on the fly from remote areas, other photos are held back until I get home and have time for some serious editing.

I don't really do any serious marketing; I send an industry mail out to the architectural/engineering/constructing community every year but that's it really.  In 2013 I was asked to put some photos on display for sale at local arts outlet and that has done better than I expected - it even lead to an appearance on breakfast television, which in turn led to surge in sales.

Perhaps the most unusual request I had this past year was to create a photographic record of an older building that will be re-purposed.  The provincial government has influence on the process and requires that the building be photographed in black and white.  On film.  I didn't have a film camera that would do the job.  I do now.  I would say the only down side to film is the lack of instant gratification - it took 3 weeks to get the film back from the lab.  A few photos from that assignment will appear on this blog in the next while.

For 2015 I'm going to shift to once-a-week postings.  This is due to the amount of time required to post daily - when things get hectic the extra time required for daily posts gets a bit much.  There might be the occasional extra post but otherwise please check every Friday for the weekly post.  I will try and make the weekly post a little more informative by providing detail on the photos presented and why I chose it.  We'll see how it goes!

There are over 1700 posts on my blog going back to April of 2010....I didn't miss too many days.  So as I make the switch to weekly posts I thought I would re-post this photo which is one of the oldest in my blog posts photo archives.  I took this photo on May 28 2010 with my venerable Canon G11 in macro mode; f/2.8 at 1/80 sec.

Happy New Year!  Next blog post Friday January 02.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Recent Projects

This scene presented a number of challenges.  There are multiple light sources - fluorescent fixtures, daylight and some halogen task lighting.  This corner of the office is a little dark so some supplemental lighting would be needed too but I needed to be careful with that due to the potential for reflections off all the glass.  Even dealing with my own reflection in the glass was a consideration.  Lastly, there wasn't a lot of room in which to work.

I used my 17mm tilt/shift lens to deal with the space limitations - this lens allows one to take the bottom and top half of the scene and fuse them together using Photoshop. To fill in the dark corner I used a Canon 580EX flash that I simple held overhead and triggered manually - the exposure was 4 or 5 second long so I didn't need to worry about synchronizing the flash with the shutter.  I made several exposures at different light temperatures, duplicating the process so that I had a range of images of the bottom and top half of the scene.

The RAW files were edited in Adobe Lightroom.  I then opened the files in Adobe Photoshop and began the process of blending and balancing the various light temperatures.  When I had a top and bottom image that looked realistic I then merged the two halves together in Photoshop.  The last step was to clone out my reflection - and that of the camera - and make some final exposure and contrast adjustments.

It is an important aspect of the interior design so it was worth putting in the effort though.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Recent Projects

Having a few people in the photos is good but it does present a few issues.  For instance, if they are recognizable one should really have a model release (in this case they are employees so there's not an issue in that regard); if they are wearing clothing that may go out of style then the photos can look dated in time, etc.  Still, when ever the chance is there I like to get at least some photos with people.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Recent Projects

This photo of the new offices for a marketing and advertising firm in Edmonton was commissioned by the interior designers.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Industrial Abstracts

One more from my new industrial abstracts series.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Ice Fields Skywalk

I made this photo of the Icefields Skywalk using the iPhone pano camera tool.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day 2014 and an Announcement

This Ansel Adams-esque photo was taken in Jasper National Park in October of 2014.  I named this photo 'Cloud Chamber' and it was featured on our Christmas card this year.

Starting in January, after several years and many hundreds of photos posted, I will be switching to a single post per week;  I've found the daily post to be quite a challenge time wise over the last while and while it's been fun one has to make decisions based on practical issues.  The day of the week and the overall theme is not yet fully resolved, stay tuned!

Merry Christmas to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

New Industrial Abstracts

This photo was made using the iPhone Hipstamatic app.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

New Industrial Abstracts

Third photo in this short new industrial abstracts series.

Monday, December 22, 2014

New Industrial Abstracts

Next up in my new industrial abstract series.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

New Industrial Abstracts

This photo is a new addition to my industrial abstract collection.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Looking Back on Autumn

Here's another image captured whilst panning and using a low ISO, small aperture and slow shutter speed.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Looking Back on Autumn

If you keep the ISO low and the aperture small the shutter speed will slow.  By moving the camera whilst depressing the shutter release you'll wind up with a photo that looks like this.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Looking Back on Autumn

Technically it's still autumn, at least for a few more days.  This photo was taken in October of this year.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Lighter Side of Family Photos

This is the same family that appeared in yesterdays post.  We had searched around for a spot that could serve as moderately industrial setting and I wanted there to be some leaves on the ground.  So I recruited 'someones' girlfriend to assist - that's her moving the leaves into position in her own special way.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Family Photos

It's not your normal family photo - chances are the grandparents won't approve but I've got others for them.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Recent Projects - Millwoods Pavilion

This simple but refined building seemed to be begging to be presented in black and white.

Photograph commissioned by the architects.  Black and white image created with Adobe Lightroom.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Recent Projects - Millwoods Pavilion

This is the food services/cafeteria space in the the Millwoods Pavilion.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Recent Projects - Millwoods Pavilion

A few years ago the City of Edmonton invited architects to submit proposals for a series of park pavilions.  The programmatic requirements for each park was unique to the park in which the pavilion would be built.  This pavilion is in Millwoods and it is surrounded by sports fields so the primary function of this pavilion is to support sports activities through provision of washrooms, locker rooms and  food services.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Recent Projects - Doubletree West Edmonton

This large hotel complex was recently renovated - but not entirely.  The brick clad tower in the distance is part of the complex but only the guest rooms were updated - the exterior cladding was left as-is.  This photo was commissioned by the architects who wanted to showcase the portions of hte building that they were responsible for.  This is one of the overall photos that I selected to meet that requirement.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Recent Projects - Doubletree West Edmonton

The Mayfield Inn in West Edmonton was recently modernized and re-branded as a Doubletree by Hilton.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Recent Projects

This is the lobby area of the new Campbell Scientific building in Edmonton.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Recent Projects

Campbell Scientific are a company specializing in scientific instrumentation and measuring.  This is their new building in Edmonton.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Recent Projects - Family Photos

Autumn is the time for family photos it seems.  This family opted for the shoot to take place in the ravine near their house.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Recent Projects

This small chapel was added to St. Mary's Hospital in Camrose.  lots of challenges to deal with photographically - very bright light from outside and subdued lighting within can be tricky to deal with.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Recent Projects - Clareview Rec Centre

There's a lot of prep involved in taking interior photographs.  And a lot of work afterward too.  This photo is a great example.

When I arrived to take these photos the building was officially in the hands of the owner - the City of Edmonton.  Before the open to the public all the building systems must be commissioned and staff trained, a project that takes weeks.  The saline levels in the water have to be tested and re-tested and until the health inspector agrees that all is well the pools are officially 'dangerous', so when the staff come into train there has to be caution tape around all the pools.  And all entrances to the pool area must be marked with caution tape.  Hardly ideal conditions to take photos.  So I moved what I could and took the rest out in photoshop.  Time commitment = about 2 hours for 1 photo alone.  But the photo itself only took 1/4 of a second.

Canon 1Dx with Canon 17mm TSE lens.  ISO 200, 1/4 sec @ f/14.  Raw File edited with Adobe Lightroom, Final adjustments made with Adobe Photoshop CS6.  Camera supported on Gitzo Explorer tripod and a Really Right Stuff Ball head and camera specific mounting bracket.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Recent Projects - Clareview Rec Centre

There's an exterior component to the new Clareview Rec Centre; several sports fields visible through the window here make up the outdoor component.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Recent Projects - Clareview Rec Centre

The architects selected a purple floor for the gymnasium at hte Careview Rec Centre which is fine enough - but it creates some problems photographically.  The ceiling is white but it takes on a purple cast from the floor.  Consequently the overall image has this strange sort of purple glow about it.  I fiddled with it a bit to get the white balance and colour balance where I wanted it and finally decided that this was a true representation of this giant purple room.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Recent Projects - Clareview Rec Centre

The Clareview Recreation Centre in Northeast Edmonton has not yet opened; I was commissioned to photograph it by the builder.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Recent Projects

Here's another photo of the performing arts centre in Camrose.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Recent Projects

This is the lobby area of the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre in Camrose.  The centre is on the grounds of Augustana Campus of the University of Alberta.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Recent Projects

Here is an interior photo of the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed performing arts centre in Camrose.

When the contractor (who commissioned these photos) turns a building tlike this over to the owner there is usually a period of several weeks required to make the building ready for it's intended use.  Here, there were miles of cable to put in place, lights to be rigged and a host of other behind the scenes tasks to perform.  All those boxes on stage under the proscenium arch contain stage draperies.  They were in a most inconvenient spot for my purposes.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Recent Projects

The new Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre in Camrose was recently opened.  Peter Lougheed was premier of Alberta from 1971-1985.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Recent Projects

This catholic school opened to students this past autumn.  Can you see the cross in this sculptural element?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Recent Projects

This school serves a junior population in Airdrie, Alberta.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Recent Projects

This seniors centre was recently opened in Stettler, Alberta

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Recent Projects

This School in Red Deer was completed last spring and received it's first student in September.  I took several photos from the more obvious vantage points but I liked this view from across the water best.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Recent Projects

The architect who designed this building told me the photos made the building look juicy and full of flavour.  I decided to take it as a compliment.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Recent Projects

The show room at Drive Products is consistent with the building exterior and with the type of activities that occur here.  They customize trucks for industrial use so the building interior reflects that; if this were a medical office these finishes and details would be a little peculiar.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Recent Projects

Ain't no secret about to whom this building belongs.  Drive Products specializes in customizing trucks for industrial purposes.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Recent Projects

This bar is part of one of Edmonton's most fashionable restaurants.  Photographed just before service began; the chef and staff where finalizing the evenings offerings as I took photos.  Made me very hungry.  And thirsty for Barolo.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Recent Project

This commercial office space is home to a government financial group.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Recent Projects

This medical professional building recently opened in west Edmonton.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Recent Projects

I have a corporate client that uses these kinds of photos in their marketing endeavours.  This is Scott; who I know through other channels besides photographically.  There are a couple of ways to achieve this kind of photo; you can photograph the subject against an all white background or you can use a chroma key background (these are usually green) and cut the subject out after.  Because I took this on site and not in a studio and I did not want to lug along a bunch of extra backdrop stuff I simply positioned Scott in front of a fairly plain wall.  I used to Elinchrom strobes triggered remotely to light him.  Then, I digitally 'cut' Scott out using Topaz Remask software.  Then I placed the cut selection onto a white background.

Canon 1Dx with Canon 85mm L series lens.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Recent Projects

This portrait of the bride is one of my favourite images from the summer wedding I photographed.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Recent Projects

I don't consider myself to be a wedding photographer nor do I aspire to be one.  From time to time I get asked to shoot a wedding though, here's a photo from such an occasion back in August.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Recent Projects

I'm particularly pleased with this photo of a church in east Edmonton.  The building has stood there for a good long time so the landscaping has grown in nicely.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Recent Projects

Despite having been away a far bit over the summer there were a load of architectural and commercial interior photos taken - like this one for instance.  This building belongs to a company that supplies infrastructure components to the oil and gas industry.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Addio a Milano

We'll make this the last in this series of photos from Milan and surroundings.  Thanks for the usual indulgence to you all for engaging with the photos and to Maria, Patrizia and Mauro for their company in Milan.  And of course grazie mille to my piccolo angelo Terri for her encouragement and support.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Vintage Postcard from Milan

This photo looks like an old postcard or photo found in the back of a long forgotten drawer.