Black and white photo – “Island”

This photo was taken in August, 2013 in Banff national park. I knew it would be foggy in the morning, so I prepared my camera gear for the next morning to shoot waterfowl lake. When I woke up, my tent was surrounded by mist. I rushed to the waterfowl lake. Well, usually, when I plan a shoot for a particular scene and am aiming a specific image, I don’t get images “I” feel wow. I sometimes say landscape photography is like Symphony but I have been thinking lately I still improvise a lot of time like playing jazz.
After I left the Waterfowl Lake, I drove up to Saskatchewan crossing. Then this scenery came to my eye. I stopped my car and snapped some shots. I didn’t apply any special techniques but I had particular final image in my head. The woods in the swap looked like floating island. Possibly, the idea was come from Japanese animation, unconsciously. I see it in black and white.

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Although the shooting was easy and quick, post-processing was a difficult delivery. I needed to start from scratch for 3 times to meet my inner view “Floating Island”. I am planing to share the post-processing I have applied to this in the next post.

This photo will be exhibited in my next gallery show titled “Wabi-sabi Wanderlust” in February at “Framed on Fifth” in Calgary.

A happy new year!

Sunrise in the Abraham Lake,

I have been going through landscape photos I have taken since 2009. I have to select some images for my upcoming exhibition in February, 2014 and hopefully, I am planning to publish a book at the same time. Then I realized the images I think interesting were taken in bad weather….can be cloudy, raining, snowing or very cold.

When I took this photo, it was warmer day, -6C! But it was windy and cold enough to have made my camera stop working. (I had to keep camera batteries warm and switch them frequently). But when the moment comes like this scene, adrenaline is pumping in, and I just keep clicking a shutter.


Sunrise in the Abraham Lake by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com

Sunrise in the Abraham Lake
by
Hiroaki Kobayashi

I like this photo but I don’t think I will put this one for the exhibition in February. This image is a little too dramatic to meet the title of the gallery show, which is “Wabi-sabi Wanderlust”. The photos at the show will be more melancholic and kind of spiritual. They could be said “Oriental mood”.  More details will be announced. Stay tuned.

Wedding photo in the beautiful ranch

It is now winter and already snowy and cold, but I have not shared images from the wedding I photographed in this summer. I was so lucky to photograph such a perfect couple and nice people in beautiful ranch. It was sunny but also I had nice cloud patterns that are best photographing condition for me. I wish their happy long life. Please click the images for the larger sizes. Also please book wedding or portrait session for 2014. You will get some deals.

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Gentle Beast – Beautiful Horses

Some of the readers here may have already known my project this year which is photographing my friend’s horses. They are so gentle and friendly so specific techniques are not required to photograph horses. But I realized that I have to pay attention some aspects capture their beauty and intimacy. Even a horse turns his head only a couple of inches further; his handsome face will be lost. I had to visit the ranch several times and learn a lot. Just recently, I feel I have become able to capture some good images from a visit.

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I want to capture some dynamic action shots, but also I really like to see their friendship and affection.

This photo will be exhibited at my next solo gallery show in February. Stay Tuned.

Related Article: Animal Portrait – horses – Such a gentle animal

Galley show – PPOC Alberta – Central Branch Featured Fine Art in the Fall

Eight photographers from PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada) will showcase variety styles of photographic art at Atlantis Fine Framing Studio on 25th and 26th of October. The photographers are;

Peter Gold
Royce Howland
Edith VanderKloot
Neil Speers
Shelley Vandervelde
Linda Senychych
Iris Jackson
and me.

The opening reception will be on Oct 25th from 6pm to 9pm. Please come to see us and enjoy some wine and cheese.

PPOC-FFAShow-back-125ppi

Fall trip to Kootenay Plains

Discovering a new location is always exciting for photographers. I visited Kootenay Plains first time in fall last year. Along Highway 11, I saw variety of sceneries. I am sure I can spend days to explore over there. In fall, aspen trees in prairies type of open land is beautiful and kind of unique to me. A difference from Jasper is I saw leaves of aspen trees turned to not only yellow but also orange in Kootenay plains. This year, i visited Kootenay Plains again. This year was wired. I saw both yellow and still green. Also some aspen trees had already lost their leaves.

Some people say not to visit the same place again and explore new places. But I like revisiting familiar locations. Things changes year by year; also something never changes. The picture on left is taken in 2012 and one on right is in 2013.

L1044100_DSC1522

By the way, Kootenay Plains is known to be quite windy. When I see motions and nice cloud pattern, it is time to try Lee Big Stopper ND filter. This image was from the trip in 2012, last year.


Windy day in Kootenay Plains by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com


Windy day in Kootenay Plains
by
Hiroaki Kobayashi

Please click the image for larger size.

Portrait in Winter (4) – from the 2nd session.

I have being posting images of Jillian from the session in December. This time, I would like to share images from January session . The reason I wanted to repeat a photo-session with Jillian is that I could not complete all of my ideas in the previous session and also she is so beautiful, obviously.
I guess the mood of the session may have been different from the December session. Due to my mind set, the images are more casual and kind of candid feel to them. it may have been more relaxed; even Jillian brought up some photographic ideas. I LOVE to hear ideas from a clients. That excites me and I can keep shooting forever.

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Next image, while I was processing, this image reminds me the famous poster of the musical, Les Miserable. I did not expect this happened.

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On the other hand, I had an image of the next photo at the shooting and I specifically requested her to make a pose for this image. I also know I was going to make it B&W. I experimented some digital framing, and I chose the design of the film perforations to add classic feel. Do you like the framing?

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Please click the images for larger sizes, and please check other Jillian’s images in previous posts.

Portraits in Winter (3) – please participate in an experiment.

I talked about how I progress creative vision through development of one photo last time. Contrarily to the previous post, I occasionally have fully concrete idea before clicking shutter. This image is one of this type of cases.  I found a nice shadow of a tree on the wall of barn while I was hunting locations for the session. I imagined graphic contrast between the dark spooky shadow and beautiful Jillian. Also her shoulder line is straight and squire but this si I wanted rather than typical feminine pose since I imagined strength from her in oppressive mood. But there was problem which was messy ground  with a patch of snow and nasty weeds.  So I got an idea to add some digital effects on the bottom of the frame.

Before asking you a favor, here is my thought. What is a fear artists or even creators worry about? It must be a question, “Will my work be accepted?”. That is proven by many episodes left by novelists, artists, and musicians, like scandalous failure of the Premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring in 1913. Or the shortest letter by Victor Hugo.  Although spending hours or even days facing a computer monitor to process one image, there is no guarantee people will like what I have done on the photo. First of all, if client does not like the image, all efforts I made are pointless. Then nothing must be happier, as an artist, than when the image is able to communicate with many people successfully.

Now I need your favor. Please participate in an experiment. I think most of readers here are photographers, but please forget critiquing and imagine your non-photographer in following situations.

  1. YOU ARE THE MODEL and my client. I phoned you and let you know your photos are ready. I presented the images below as first time.  Which photo pleases you most? Why?
  2. YOU ARE VISITING THE MODEL’S HOME and found these photos hang on the wall in her dining room. Which Image would make you feel WOW? Why?


Under the tree -v1 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com


Under the tree -v2 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com


Under the tree -v3 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com


Under the tree -v4 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com

Did you pick the same photo for these different situations? Or you think your impression may be different from other viewers?

Portraits in Winter (2)

In photography, we have to take some stages for completion of an image before publishing or giving it to a client. I mean shooting is an only part of photography, and post-processing is significant part of creation of images. At least for me.

When I am shooting, I occasionally have pre-vision of how the final image looks like. I also have plans for post –processing in this case. On the other hand, I sometimes just focus on lighting and a model at shooting. And my imagination progress as taking the stages. At first, I get rough idea of the final images when I see an image just after downloading the photo from a camera to a computer. Then while I am taking hours for post-processing, my imagination slowly progresses and the image is getting close to completion…I mean a layer to another layer, a filter to another filter. I usually take many errors as well before saving the final product.

Following images are the ones I took the type of the process. I focused on lighting and poses at the shooting. Then I tried to apply processing to meet the certain mood which Jillian brought to these images. I think that is why each photo below has deferent look and taste.

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Related post: Portraits in Winter (1)

Portraits in Winter (1)

I was supposed to post the images from the flood but I would like to process film first. I have to make time for it. So this time, I post images from the photo session I had in winter.

I had an opportunity to photograph beautiful Jillian in December, then I asked her another session in January since I really wanted try all photographic ideas I planned with this beautiful model. We traveled several locations from downtown to Englewood area Calgary. There was old barn with white wall in Englewood. Here are 3 photos from the white barn.

Just sunset time…it was quite warm afternoon as December. It was perfect light. I did not WANT to use any flashes.

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Actually, it was not snowing. I added some effect. It looks chilly, doesn’t it? I call this image “snow white”

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After the sun disappeared, temperature suddenly dropped and it became pretty cold. So I imagined a scene that a girl was waiting somebody in cold outside. Jillian responded well to my request. Don’t you feel the loneliness?

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