Monthly Archives: July 2011

Appeared podcast – Yeah! that’s big deal

I was kindly invited to podcast appearance by Al Del Degan and Andrew Bolton. I remember a note in a medical book, which says that a red face or nervousness was one of Japanese people national character. I am not exceptional, truly. What made me even more nervous was Al’s microphones, …3 microphones. I had imagined it would be recorded by iPhone or some sort of digital recorder. But his microphones were not even like ones used in Karaoke bars. They are condenser microphone used in music studios. Anyway, because of their welcome atmosphere, I had really fun time. But….I am still hoping everybody can understand what I am saying.

I met Al yesterday first time and I saw his wonderful portraits and nude photography in his room. I have known Andrew for quite some time. He is my type of photographer. He likes talking about Polaroid film or Yashica flex, rather than mega pixel or Canon 5D mk II. Please check out their interesting portraits in their websites. and ZOMBEI DARKROOM.

So I talked about why I started using range finder cameras and why I am keeping using them even for nature photography. The mystery has been solved. Then my strong opinion about HDR. The reason is found in my previous blog post about a tone in photography. However, this is also true that I like some photographers’ HDR works and I myself use HDR. Then I was FORCED to talk
about the photographer I admire. Being honest, I have to pick the photographer
since I wouldn’t have been interested nature photography if I had not attended
their SANP seminar 2 years ago. So who is the chosen one (or took me dark side)? Lastly, I talked about infrared photography which has became an important part of my photographic expressions. So regardless of my appearance, please take a look their podpost website, I am Aduro. Every show, Al and Andrew put so many interesting news and useful tips for photographers. Just find “Listen
Now” and hit Start mark in the webpage.

Since we talked about range finder cameras, I think I should place some street photos taken at the stampede 2011. So everybody, forget about “Numbers” like mega pixels or dynamic range. Attache ONE prime lens to your camera (ideally a film camera) and go happy shooting. Beautiful outside!

Cowboy boot - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
Cowboy boot – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Through garbage box - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
Through garbage box – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

My Pose - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
My Pose – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Pairs - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
Pairs – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Polishing a shue - Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
Polishing a shue – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

A big circle in dusk - Stampede 2011  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
A big circle in dusk – Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
Stampede 2011 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Need your help (2) – Pinhole Photography

One of my photographic projects this year is pinhole photography. Last year, I saw some ethereal pinhole photos from 2 artists in a local galley in Calgary, Alberta. I was so impressed by the photos and I felt “I’ve got to try”. At first I was thinking of D.I.Y to with body cap, but I found Skink pinhole set. I end up ordering one online. At first, I thought pinhole is magic tool to turen every subjects look artistic photos, but actually it is quite fussy about its food. I learned I have to feed what it likes, otherwise the returns are just blur soft images. Especially, pinhole seems to like a lot of light. Take a look the image bellow.

I shot this image with the skink after I shot the same scene with a regular wide angle lens. To me, this is not particularly remarkable image.

I went Bow lake in Banff national park, Alberta 2 weeks ago. I was not feeling taking picture of the lake. I was just walking around. Then I found the flower bed. One advantage of pinhole over regular lens is there is no close range limitation. I can get as close to a subject as I want. So the flower bed is quite good subject. The skink pinhole set is coming with 3 different types of holes, a regular pinhole (f/122), zone sheave (f/71) and zone plate (f/46). Their focal length are equivalent to 24mm. The pinhole takes actually sharp and somewhat contrasty images, on the other hand the images taken by zone plate are really really soft. The zone sheave is somewhere between the pinhole and the ZP.

I tried all of them for the same setting. Please pick your favorite and leave your opinion. I am getting towards one but still I cannot decide. I need your help again.

href=”″>Bow lake - Dandelion bed 1, Pinhole by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
Bow lake – Dandelion bed 1, Pinhole by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Bow lake - Dandelion bed 2, Zone Plate  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
Bow lake – Dandelion bed 2, Zone Plate by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Bow lake - Dandelion bed 3, Zone Sheave  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on
Bow lake – Dandelion bed 3, Zone Sheave by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Lastly, I would like to introduce the photographer, Paul Stack. I met him at Lake Louise and both of us were having range finder cameras on neck. This kind of the encounter never happens for Canon users, I guess. Anyway, please check out his fabulous pinhole photos here, and also currently, his photos are being exhibited at Mount Royal University.

Stampede Wstern Gallery Show(3) – Photo finish “Direct Metal Print”

When having conversations with photographers, we tend to talk about equipments or photo editing software. But when I have chances to talk to professional or experienced photographers, I am often impressed by their care for photo finishing. Prints by major chain stores are fine for casual occasions. However, imagine if someone bought my photo and hang on a wall at their home, I would like to provide properly completed works. More importantly,  I believe photo finishing is still a part of artistic process. It is like chefs make delicious food but also serve on carefully selected plates and bowls.

For previous gallery shows, I printed on conventional Barayta or fiber based paper by my Epson photo R2400 printer. I really like their rich black and NATURALLY saturated color. But I wanted to try something else this time
for Stampede – Western photo gallery . After some researches, I found Quintaro
in Calgary, Alberta does “Direct Metal Print”. It is not metallic paper; an image is printed directly on an Aluminum metallic board. Quintaro has 3 types of finishes: white coated, white coated glossy and non-coated (brushed). I tried non-coated and brushed finish for my Infrared images.

Floating Root

Please note, I copied print images by taking picture of them by my digital camera so the quality is compromised. But you can see its uniqueness. Because of its shiny surface, intensity of high light changes depends on directions of illuminating light . This also changes impressions of image. You may understand if I would say…that it is like sun is moving behind the clouds. It is cool.

Enlarged image. Now hairlines of brushed surface are visible.

Possible downside of this photo finish you are thinking of now may be that the results of prints can not be predicated on Photoshop. However, it is not a problem since Quintaro provides free proof prints for a couple of times. Actually, I did not need 2nd proof prints for most of my entries.  Thank you very much, staff of Quintaro Imaging, for your wonderful services and professional suggestions.

Major advantage of the metal print is that I can print my images as large as possible since mats and a frame are not necessary. For the same reason, cost of the metal print is comparable with a framed photo. Now, I am just hoping viewers will like the displays.

One more info I have to mention, Samantha Chrysanthou and Darwin Wiggett‘s photos are exhibited at Baker Creak Chalets – Restaurant in Banff national park, Alberta. To be honest, I heard about direct metal prints first time in their lecture. (I admit I am a follower of them. I always find something new to learn in their blogs). Some of their display are metal prints as well, but their prints are white coated ones. So the photos have very different look from the non-coated brushed surface. Check them out if you have chance to visist Canadian Rockies.

Lastly,…I think it is okay to proud of myself… this image is the winning image in Stampede – Western Photo Competition in the nature category.  Next week of the same day, Calgary Stampede 2011 will have been opened. I am throbbing with excitement.

RELATED POST: Infrared Photography