Tag Archives: black and white

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.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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?

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

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

A weekend of the Calgary flood – Stephan Avenue

On June 20th, the most disastrous flood in 100 years hit in South Alberta. I woke up late in the morning of the day, I found some posts on Twitter talking about Canmore and Banff. Twitter posts were brief messages so I did not understand what was actually happening in Canmore. More people started posting on Facebook and I noticed the water level of the Bow River was drastically increased over night and houses along the river in Canmore were under danger of flood. Then the images on youtube were even more shocking. The Bow River was running violently. Actually, the high volume of broke the bridge on the highway 1 and access from Calgary to Canmore, Banff was shutdown.

I had a work to do at the other side of the city. I was driving on Memorial drive around 02:30 pm. The water level of the Bow River was very high but bridge pier were not covered by water. Actually people are still walking and jogging in the park along side of the Bow River. I remember people were talking about condition in Canmore and Banff, but not Calgary when I started my shift at 3 pm. But it did not take long for us to realize it was not unrelated disaster for us. The TV news was reporting showing horrible images of Bragg Creek, High River, and Bowness area was evacuated.

When I was going home from work at 11:30 pm, I saw many police cars everywhere. The Memorial Drive, which had been still safe 9 hrs ago, was now closed. Although it was nearly midnight, many people came out to watch violent river and take pictures.

Next day, when I woke up, Calgary was very different. All local TV news was reporting only the flood. Many areas were flooded and evacuated. Stampede Park was also flooded even though there were no more than 9 days by opening day of Calgary Stamped. I could not move from TV, not because I was excited by watching the news. I was just so shocked and lost energy. It was so devastating.

But I am a photographer. I could not stop the urge to document the disaster. But the images of the actual flood had been already published everywhere…hundreds of them. Moreover, I am not a press photographer. I was not interested in photographing violent water.

So I visited downtown on Saturday afternoon. All businesses in downtown core were closed but people could still access the area. The down town was really quiet, almost no traffic. It was like ghost town. Only I do remember is military truck passing my car. It was like one scene in a movie, “I am legend” but this was real.

 
Stephan Avenue on Saturday after flood - 4 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com

Stephan Avenue on Saturday after flood – 4

Usually, many people are hanging around on Stephan Avenue, the main street of the downtown on Saturday afternoon. But I saw only some cyclists and securities patrolling closed building. Also I think I saw some business owners came to their stores to check something before closing for days. Usually, I cannot photograph shadow like this picture in a busy normal day.     


Stephan Avenue on Saturday after flood - 2 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com


Stephan Avenue on Saturday after flood – 2

 Stephan Avenue on Saturday after flood -1  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com


Stephan Avenue on Saturday after flood -1 

All restaurant were closed, even Macdonald.  In normal weekend, people are enjoying beer and dining everywhere on the Stephan Avenue.


Stephan Avenue on Saturday after flood - 3 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi on 500px.com


Stephan Avenue on Saturday after flood – 3

More photos and stories are coming in the future posts.

 

 

Snowy afternoon in MAY – Bow Lake

I visited Banff, Alberta at the end of May. Unfortunately, I had a very cloudy morning, which is considered to be not ideal for landscape photography. But I believed I still can capture something. Then while I was driving to Lake Louise, snow started hitting the window shield of my car. When I reached to Icefield park way, I found a sign saying “The load is winter condition”. Again it was the end of MAY. Anyway, I decided driving up to Bow Lake, about 30 min drive from Lake, Louise. Snow was getting harder and actually trees covered by snow were pretty beautiful.

When I get to Bow Lake, the lake was re-frozen. obviously, I could not expect big shots. I was walking around the lake shore and looking for something to come to eyes. This photo is the one I found interesting.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Please click the image for the larger size.

I used TrueGrain for B&W convertion and added structure and toning by Nik Silverefex. I would like to talk about my waorflow for B&W process in the future.

I really think my landscape photos are getting more subtle. How does this photo appeal to you?

Pinhole – The 2nd water fall on Johnston Canyon

When long winter eventually ended, season for landscape photography begins. As a kind of  my ritual, I usually go to Johnston canyon as a starter of my season. It is short and easy hikeon paved trail from small hiking to  caniyign. So it can’t be even training but somehow,  I start the season from the trail.   The second water fall on the Johnston Canyon is iconic location and so msny similar photos are around. I really do nit like photographing iconic spots. But this time time, I had had plan which was using only pinhole camera on hiking. Also I had a particular image of the second water falls in my head, taken by the pinhole camera. This is the one.

The 2nd water fall - Pin hole by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
The 2nd water fall – Pin hole by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Visiting old, Learn new

In my last post, I share my current approach I have been trying lately. However, I am still using the composition technique I am familiar with. You can find the similar compositions in my landscape photos in my website. This photo was taken at the same day as the photo in my last post.

Giant steps by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Giant steps by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Related post  :Keep it simple

 

 

Keep it simple

As I mentioned in my previous post, my style has been changing. This photo is one of the examples. I think my landscape photos are getting more subtle, soft and naive. Do you guess where this photo was taken? I went to Vermilion lake in Banff, Alberta as part of oopoomoo’s workshop weeks ago. Vermilion lake and Mt. Rundle is iconic location for photographers. But my lens was facing opposite side.

Slowness by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Slowness by Hiroaki Kobayashi

 

Snap with film – Grainy portraits

When going shooting, I still bring a film camera, even to serious sessions. These  images on film are for myself,…just for satisfying my artistic ego. When I have chances to “snap”, I tend to pull my film camera from a camera bag. So these photos may not be published forever; just sit in my photo album. A camera I take with me varies depends on my feeling. It can be Nikon F3 and expecting “thin line” sharp image, or old Minolta and expecting beautiful bokhe. Sometimes I expect very sharp images from medium format camera, Mamiya  645pro; some other days, I try pinhole with rangefinder camera to get ethereal feels. This time, I wanted to try very grainy images from  Ilford HP5 B&W film (Iso 400) pushed to 3200.

Although last time I tried the grainy photo from the same method was about 10 years ago. I am pretty satisfied the result this time. I used the telephoto lens made in early 1960’s. I like this lens for portraits because its contrast is not harshly high compared to modern lenses. I can get mild and gentle portraits but well balanced images. This character of the lens looks more distinguishable with film than digital. I often feel film is honest…..! So I have to be a little more serious while I snap.

My shadow by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
My shadow by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Black and white portraits frm Arts hotel - 1 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Black and white portraits frm Arts hotel – 1 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Black and white portraits frm Arts hotel - 2 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Black and white portraits frm Arts hotel – 2 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Revisiting Pyramid Lake in Jasper

This place is a super popular location for photographers and I meet some photographer whenever I visited this location. In early October, I don’t have to wake up 6 am to catch sunrise, but, for this location, I have be there by 6:30 to set up a tripod to get a good spot, otherwise it’s been taken.

The reason I kept trying this scene is I have not gotten the image I expect. Last year, it was raining, and this year, it was cloudy. I want to capture beautiful morning glow reflecting on the foggy lake. Well, I have to wait until next year. Having said that, I can still do something in cloudy morning. I knew the sun would come out and the light would hit the mountain so I stayed longer even after another photographer left. I set my infrared camera and filters. I waited for the moment. This is the shot I got.

Pyramid Lake - Infrared

Please click the image for the larger size. I tried a little different composition I usually do; everything line up on center from bottom to top.

Talking about tripod, I bought a new tripod, Gitzo 3541XLS, which is super tall. I can literally make a tent with this tripod. The newer version, 3542 was just released so I got this tripod for bargain price at the Camera Store in Calgary, Alberta. This is great investment since it allows me to raise view point much higher. That makes huge difference in composition. Please check my old blog about disadvantage of lower tripods as well.

Related post: Gallery show at Mount Royal University – Size matters, but be gentle (man)

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