Tag Archives: calgary nature photographer

Spiral in fall – Three years of patience

I don’t know why…but I like leaves change more than flower season in spring. Maybe because of my personality? It is like after excitements of the short summer, trees set up climax with the perfect stage effect of yellow leaves. After the drama, long enduring winter is waiting. That’s is the reason I visit Lake O’Hara every year.

I tried this idea of flowing needles for 3 years, and eventually, I got a successful image. I used Lee big stopper neutral density filter and achieved 160 sec of shutter speed.

Spiral in fall

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Presentiaon by Olivier Du Tre about Black & White, and my case

I am helping organizing speakers for a small camera club in Calgary. I invited multiple award wining photographer, Olivier Du Tre as a speaker for the club meeting in May. Oli is landscape/fine art photographer, residing in Cochrane, Alberta. He shoots only black and white, and furthermore, he totally switched to film recently. He mentions “zone” while others are referring Nike Silver Efex. He will cover many aspects of B&W photography in the presentation. Please check his website. Also the info about his presentation is here.

So about my story how I started B&W and why I like B&W. When I became interested in photography about 20 years ago, I was suggested to try color slide film because it was considered to be more advanced compared to negative print film. One day, I took BEAUTIFUL sun rise shot on my trip. I thought it was glorious shot and showed to everybody at work. But one person said the photo was not remarkable. His reasoning was “Color dominates the image too much. Besides color, nothing to see”. And he recommended B&W film. I was pissed off, but anyway, I tried B&W. My first roll…I quite like images. But 2nd and 3rd rolls…I didn’t get good images. Usually, I got quite interesting or so disappointing images. Not so much between. Then eventually, I realized good composition made difference in photography. Color comes next to composition.

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Then I started printing by myself. I read many books about printing in darkroom. I could obtain prints by following text book. But I could not tell if they were good prints or not. I found a kind of the mentor and I showed my prints. I kept visiting him. I gradually learned “tone” or tonality was really important in prints and each master photographer had signature tone in his/her prints. Photography is picture by light. I realized light comes always first, even before composition.

This is an image from Vermilion Lake in Banff in snowy day. I knew I could not expect gorgeous scenery including well-photographed Mt. Randal since the sky was still so grey. But I tried and I found this composition. All elements were line up vertically. When I grabbed my camera, the sun was a little off from the center so I waited about 20 min for the sun moving to the center.

Actually, now I found I could apply more burning and dodging to this image to enhance the story I saw at the scene. No wonder many B&W photographer stay in a darkroom for months.

Anyway, please check out, Oli’s amazing B&W photography in his website. You will see what I was talking about.

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.

How landscape phogaphers get back injury – Photo from Vermilion

This image is from the same trip I posted in my last two blog posts. I hope everybody is not tired of seeing them. this photo was obviously taken  sunset time and the sun was already pretty low on horizon. When I sat down on ground (on snow), the sun was too low, but if I lie on the ground, it was too high. I had to take odd postures get the composition I wanted. You can see how landscape photographers get back injury.

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

Please click the image for larger size.

Related posts:

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

 

What’s wrong with snap shot – Crashed cessna near Takakkaw in 2001

This time, the article won’t be serious. I found this photo when I was archiving slide film. This photo was taken in 2001 when I was living in Kaploops, British Columbia and travelled to Canadian Rockies. I do remember so many things happened during my trip in 2001, but I totally forgot about the crashed Cessna near Takakkaw falls. I searched on Google and I found the airplane was 180 floatplane crashed around August 19th, 2001.

This photo is just a snap shot. But I got back some other memories with this photo like I left eyeglasses at the camping site after I took picure and I had to go back from hiking for 3 km to get them back, or I injured my knee in Lake O’hara, or a pole of the tent broke at Mt. Edith Cavell and I had to give up camping. I barely made parking lot before sunset. We phographers often have discussions like wether photography is art or how original photography should be. But I sometimes think camera is great visual recording tool, and the snap shots please people years later. That’s aslo powerful.

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Autumn landscape in Lake O’Hara – Large format slide film

Another photo from film, but this time is 4×5 color slide. This image was taken at my last autumn trip. When I visisted lake O’Hara, peak of larch trees was a little passed. But I still got some good… actually, some great shots. I will post them in future posts. For this post, I respect the media so I kept the digital processing minimum and only global adjustments were applied. It is nature of slide film. I heard large format sizes of Fuji Velvia had been discountinued in Europe. I hope the supply of the such a legendary film will last longer in Canada.

 Lake McArthur area in Autumn  by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Lake McArthur area in Autumn by Hiroaki Kobayashi

More large format stuff here: