Monthly Archives: May 2011

Stampede Wstern Gallery show – need a little help from my friends

Since I have to stay in town for this long weekend in Canada, I am (re)- post processing images for the exhibition at the Western Photo Gallery at the Stampede. These images were taken in Lake O’Hara area last year at the same time, and each image is stitched with 5 images by Photoshop CS5.  The first one shows reflection of mountain in the pond. The 2nd one does not show such a static reflection due to wind and wavy surface of the water. But reflection of trees has a more painterly charactor and impressionism kind of feeling. Interestingly, I did not notice this, until comparing the two images side by side, that the top image is more contrasty and more saturated. The top image, itself has a kind of strong character so it may lead me to add more contrast and saturation unconsciously. On the other hand, the bottom image a little more subtle so it may have made me process the image toward more soft side. What does this tell ya? Although we use many techniques to control conditions of light at a scene, the images opened on a computer monitor first time is kind dull. So we take a lot of time to make photos more attractive. To me, it is not different from wet dark room. My point is this process is strongly affected by mood of image as well as one of a photographer at the location and on a computer. It can be consciously or unconsciously. Don’t you think this is really artistic process?

Actually, I am supposed to submit the 2nd image since it is the one accepted by the gallery. I do not know which image I like, more precisely to say I do not know which one appeal to viewers. If you were me, which would you pick? Any comments are appreciated.

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Impact of Photography, and Tone – Lisa Mercer

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A Socky Sock – Worth it!

Spring has come and I revisited my favorite location in Kananaskis, Alberta on the Easter weekend. The lake was still covered with snow, and it was too early to take picture of the icy lake. One morning after shooting sunrise, I found a little pool, which was covered by ice and snow. But nice blue colored water already appeared on the center of the pool. I tried some different compositions. And eventually I found very interesting composition.

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21mm lens. HDR processed with Photomatix. But still natural feel, I think.

But I knew the mountains turned orange around sun rise time. So question is…if the mountain in this image is orange sunrise one…it must be really cool shot. I grabbed my 4×5 field view camera and rehearse setting up for the shooting next morning. By the way, for who are not familiar with view camera, setting up a view camera takes usually over 20min since it allows many different adjustments by bellows technique. (Imagine the vertical and horizontal perspective control in Photoshop, plus depth of field, you can control these things with a view camera. Don’t you think it is cool?) It worth checking set up before big shooting. I left tripod mark like male dogs do; now go back to my car, have breakfast, call to youth hostel to extend stay, and take a morning nap.

Next day, I was so excited while driving in dawn; I was, however, so shocked when I arrived at the pool. It was supposed to go down to -5C at night-time so I thought it was fine in the morning. But ice was melted over night and the pool became much bigger. No way I could achieve the composition I wanted. Anyway, I set up my tripod and 4×5 in the pool as far as I could manipulate the camera. I was struggling with the situation; the sky was getting brighter. Then suddenly, I noticed my foot was in sherbet water. Actually, Ice could not hold my weight and cracked. I could save my camera from being dropped in the pool, but I had to run to my car and got to look for a sock and spare shoes. While I was changing, I saw the mountain reflecting beautiful orange sun light. No time to tie shoelaces; just ran back to my camera quickly. I got to set up the camera again. Somehow, I could manage one image from my 4X5 view camera but missed the fun bellows technique part. Damn!

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Woodman 4×5, Fuji 90mm, Velvia 100F scanned with Epson 750v scanner.  BTW I miss Kodak E100VS.

Well, I could not get the perfect image I expected. Is it really that bad? It may be true that Goddess did not smile at my shooting but I could feel that spring was truly coming. I had just witnessed small changes the mother of nature creates every day. That is why I go back to mountains. It is a real pleasure of the nature photography, isn’t it? Also, I got a good excuse to go back to this place next year, my favorite and secret place.

If you want to know about field view camera, here is another blog post by Samantha Chrysanthou. This is fun to read.

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