Tag Archives: Animals

Happy New Year – the year of the SHEEP

L1013809 Cropped2014 was the year of the horse and I got some good luck from my horse images. I received several awards, including a photographic artist of the year. Now new year has come! The year 2015 is the year of the SHEEP. So I made a card with Japanese style. It says “Happy New Year” and “wishing joy in the new spring”.

 

 

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My solo gallery show in the Stampede season

I will throw another solo exhibition. The show will start tomorrow. Robinson’s camera in Englewood, Calgary will launch a gallery space. I was offered to exhibit my horse photos along with some landscape photos because, of course, it is the STAMPEDE SEASON . I am honored to be the first photographer to have show at Robinsons’s camera!

 

Invitation card Fcebook

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

Calgary Stampede – Thank you, volunteers

My friend who was volunteering for Calgary Stamped went home today with her lovely horses. I guess her part of the summer 2012 has been done. When I visited the barns which spreads to huge area of the stampede park, I saw hundreds of campers. Most of the volunteers stay in their own campers and take care of their horses from early morning to the end of the fireworks which is around 11:30 pm.

Volunteers are not only for livestock, I noticed thousands of volunteers are helping Calgary Stampede. Without their help, Stampede could not be opened. My photos are being exhibited at the Stampede Western Photo gallery, and the gallery is run by 10s  of volunteers. They are the ones giving me the opportunity to show my images in the world event in 2011 and 2012. They are working not only the period of Stamped opened, but also they start planning for the next gallery show months ahead

I took picture of my friend’s love, Jazz. I would like to give this photo to her for showing my small appreciation. Thank you so much, all volunteers. Only one day left.

Jazz at Stampede by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K) on 500px.com
Jazz at Stampede by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Calgary Stampede – behind the scenes

A friend of mine volunteers Calgary stampede every year and she invited me to a backstage of Calgary Stampede. I visisted the site around 5 pm evening so I had an opportunity to photograph cowboys and cowgirls preparing their horses for the chuck wagon race. I saw a young girl was helping, I guess, her mom. Also I saw a senior was showing how to bandage a horse legs to young one. I noticed the skills and knowledge were handed down from a generation to next generation.

Then I had a little beer with some volunteers, attending from all over the Alberta with their horses. That was great experience! Oh, fireworks from the other side of the Stampede park was amazing. I hope I can come back next year.

Impact of Photography, and Tone – Lisa Mercer

Last week, I FOUND this image in a bunch of prints. It was a club print competition. When I came to this image I felt something weird. It was definitely an interesting image but not straight forward. Then I started analyzing the photo and I was thinking what kind of effects had been used on the horse. Eventually, I found out the image was upside-down. I was totally tricked. Then I started wondering “Is this Lisa’s image?”. Yes, it was. Now I would like to talk about two points from this experience.

Jazz, especially after be-bop age, seems to force some sort of training on listeners to get a point to appreciate the form of the music. “A love supreme” by John Coltrane may be so esoteric for some people if they have not already had some jazz albums in their CD collection. Now, think about Mozart’s Requiem (I think most of you know about this legendary piece through the movie “Amadeus”). It is a Requiem which is supposed to be dark, sad, and heavy. However, when I listen to the piece, I sometime feel heavenly and feathery, and it is beautiful.

Back to photography, when photographers Judge or critique some others’ photos, “beautiful”, “gorgeous”, and “Wow” images tend to get rated higher. So called “wow factor” is the one we are looking for. But wait a minute, why cannot it be “Hmmm” factor or “Ah-ha!” factor? Or even “Ewww” factor? It is not doubt
that everybody likes colorful sunrise landscape shots of the Rocky mountains by
PROFESSIONAL photographers. They are gorgeous. But think about a quality of some images appearing in my head and forcing me to think about the image before going to sleep. Don’t you think they are very successful images in terms of communication to viewers?  This photo by Lisa is one of them, really.

2nd point. This is good opportunity to talk about what I have been thinking about lately. I mentioned, in the first paragraph of this posting, that I could tell it was Lisa’s image; actually, I could tell both of her two images. So how can I do that because I can see her own tone in image (In this article, tone will be dealt differently from style). I like to call it “Signature Tone”. Possibly, it is similar to “touch” which painters refer to, or distinctive sounds which musician make from their musical instruments. When looking at master photographers’ works, which of course recorded on film, I am often impressed by their signature tones (To me, extreme examples are Daido Moriyama and Joseph Sudek). Now, in the digital age, what we can do on images on a computer are limitless. Nowadays, you can easily find so many HDR photos, and the technology, quite easily, allow us to achieve these outstanding HDR images. Most of times, what we have to do is find a preset of the tone mappings you like, and click the button. But can you say it is your signature tone? I am not saying HDR is an evil; actually I could not complete some of my images without the HDR method. I believe we, as artists, should try and experiment new techniques, and it is fine to publish the results on any occasions. But to make it your signature tone and style, we need further steps and time to digest the try and errors. To be honest, I cannot answer how to develop own tones of images. Often said that to develop own flow of processing leads to own tone and style, but I feel it is not that simple.

Anyway, I am glad to show you Lisa’s very artistic photo here and I AM honored she joined the members for the “Ethereal” Photographic gallery group show in fall. Here is her comment about her photo as well.

This photo was taken in May 2010 at the farm next door to my acreage.  There is a small wetland on the front pasture there, and I usually enjoy shooting various waterfowl, but the horses were walking around in it this day. This horse’s name is River, and I met him the day he was born, also next door – we are friends with the neighbours.  The horse will be 3 this coming July.

Lisa

My little one – Pika

Recently, I  have been quite busy for the gallery show and post processing for bunch of photos. But here is my cute animal portrait. This friendly pika was taken in my 2nd Lake O’Hara trip with a bunch of camera club members. I hope you like it.

Hey, I am here!

Oh, one thing I can mention. Do not trust auto focus for these situation. Rather than chasing a target with auto focus, waiting an animal to come into a frame tends to result in more successful shots, in my experience.