Tag Archives: Calgary

Calgary Stampede – Chuckwagon race 2013

Calgarians were suspicious of opening of the Calgary Stampede after the flood hit in south Alberta. It turned out to be not so different from every year. It looked not as busy as last year, but still many people visited the Stampede park and enjoyed events, live music, attraction, food and of course rodeo and chuckwagon races. I tried to capture some exciting moments of the chuckwagon races this year as well.

Last year, I used a conventional manual focus “rangefinder” camera. Contrarily, this year, I used a modern DSLR, Nikon D800 and 70-200 mm zoom lens which has vibration reduction.  obviously, I benefited from the state of the art auto-focus system. Please take a look the images of chuckwagon race from last year here and compare with this year.

Actually, I needed a little practice to chase the wagons and to keep focus on. They runs that fast. But I shot about four times as many frames as last year, and I got some sharp images with D800.

Calgary Stampede Chuck Wagon race 2013 - 1 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Calgary Stampede Chuck Wagon race 2013 – 1 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Please click the image for checking details of the camera settings. Shutter speed is 1/250.

I also tried panning. Shutter speed is 1/50.

Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon race 2013 - 4 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon race 2013 – 4 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Well I could shot much more images than last year with modern DSLR, but I do not know if I got better images. I still prefer artistic “blur” images, like this.

Calgary Stampede Chuck wagon race 2013 - 2 by Hiroaki  Kobayashi (Hiro-K)) on 500px.com
Calgary Stampede Chuck wagon race 2013 – 2 by Hiroaki Kobayashi

Leya with her camera

As I mentioned in my last post, this purpose of this photo session was taking Leya’s portraits for her to use the photos for her photographic bissiness. She is stunning photographer, so why not asking her to pause with her camera.

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

In my last blog post, I shared an photo which I tried something creative in the camera at the location. This time, I tried digitally in my computer. The wall was a kind of bold and white part 0ccupied the frame to muach so I added some texture and color to the wall. Also the image was a little too sharp so I added soft-focus effect by the same technique applied to the wall.

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Related post: Leya in her attic

Leya in her attic

Leya Russell is painting artist as well as a photographer. The main purpose of this photo session is some fellow photographers take pictures of her portraits and she can use the photos for her website or Facebook.

When I visited her place, I quickly noticed “this is artist’s home”. Her attic is full of her paintings and drawings. I wanted to do something with her interesting works. So this is the one.

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

Even though it is portrait session for Leya but I felt trying something interesting since I am an artist as well. After some conversation with her, I found she still used film so I got an idea using my 4×5 large format camera for portraiture. Can you figure out how this photo was taken?

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Leya on the Peace Bridge taken with old telephoto lens

Last time, I posted portraits of Leya Russell on the Peace Bridge in Calgary taken with a wide-angle lens. This time, I share the photo taken with long focal lens (telephoto). This lens was disigned in 1960’s. I like this lens since the images are something I can’t get from modern zoom lenses but they are still so sharp.

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Related post: Kinetic Portrait?? – Leya Russell on Peace Bridge
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Kinetic Portrait?? – Leya Russell on Peace Bridge

A new pedestrian bridge was  opened on March 24th last year. The bridge was designed by Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava. The bridge is definitely intriguing design.

I had a chance to photograph Leya Russell, also a photographer from Calgary, in the bridge. For the portrait in the relatively large and patterns by frames. …wide-angle lens was good to start. Please tell me what kind of adverbs, you can think of? Energetic? Dynamic? or Kinetic?

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A new image form the gallery show

When I publish a new photo, I occasionally feel not sure what kind of responses to the photo I will get from viewers. Currently, my gallery show is going at the Higher Ground cafe in Kensington in Calgary, Alberta. This is the first time to showcase this image takne in Lake O’Hara in Yoho National park, BC in 2012. I was not quite confident since it is a little different from what I have mostly done before. Its mood is so different from my other photos. I guess that is why I was a little anxious to exhibit this photo. However, this image was one of two photos my friends picked as their favorite photos. When reviewing my album, I noticed my style is constantly changing; images from 2012 are somewhat different from 2011 even I traveled to the same places.

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Another reason people like this photo would be thye may see quality of the presentation o of the photo. I asked Resolve Photo to print and Framed on Fifth to frame as usual. They do great job.

By the way. the gallery show is going until the end of April. The map to the Higher Ground Cafe is here.

Gallery show by Norman Geppert

Long time ago, I wrote about the photo stuck in my head. I saw a gallery show which made me think about ARTIST’S NATURE again. The title of the show is “Margret Went Home: Pictures of Iceland” by Norman Geppert at Framed on Fifth in Calgary. Why did I think about such a thing? Please read Artist’s Statement:

Margret, my mother, wanted to go home to Iceland. It was October 2011. We stayed on the farm with Margret’s sister and other relatives. We visited, ate tasty Icelandic food, drank the odd beer, and went hiking and exploring. From climbing mountains to helping to slaughter sheep, we drove the country clockwise. It was a trip. Documenting our travels and experiences with photographs was important to me for capturing the beauty of Iceland and for my mother. Margret has Alzheimer’s.

In music, musician often sing about their honest emotion from their experiences in their real life even though they can be so traumatic experiences. In photography, this type of attempt is considered to be documentary, rather than art. Regardless, I believe nothing is different in motivation and process to express their emotion in any art forms. I truly respect Norman and his photos touched me.

By the way, all his photos taken conventional film and printed in his wet darkroom. The show is until March 2nd and is part Exposure 2013 photography festival in Calgary and Canmore.

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Won an award – PPOC-Alberta competition

Last weekend, Exposure Symposium 2013 was held in Calgary Alberta by Professional Photographers of Canada – Alberta. I submitted 4 of my images for competition.  I was in a gallery at the judging session and had opportunity to hear all comments made by five judges. They are all master photographers and certified for judging. I believe professional means they have ability to perform thing regular people cannot so. All judges are like physicians diagnosing X-ray. They found things photographers had missed in creative process accurately. The difference from physicians is they were judging images from artistic points of view.

So my results…two images were rejected, one image was accepted and one image got merit. According to some photographers, these results were not so bad for me who joined PPOC one half years ago and tried a competition first time. AND more exciting news is I won the best in class award in Pictorial category. I know this is just small step. I have to work even harder.

Well the winning photo will be exhibited in upcoming show at Higher ground cafe from March 5th. More details about the show will be informed. Stay tuned.

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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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Couple portrait – a little spice to the photo

One more photo from the couple-portrait session which I talked in my previous blog post. This photo was taken in a little foot-tunnel in a park, and I like this location since I can try many funky photographic ideas. This time I lit the wall of the corrugated tunnel with pink gel. I believe I did not direct them to pose; the couple posed spontaneously. A client said my style was more like a movie director. Yes, I would like my clients to experience to be actors.  I love clients bring up ideas and create images together.

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I think this image is completed as it is and I gave this version to them originally. She looks so strong, almost goddess-like, and he is watching over their new baby gently . But when I came back this image after months, I felt I need to spice up the entire image to enhance the impression I got in it. So this is the new version.

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Please click the image for larger size. I am very sure my imagination is expanding  both at locations with my camera and at home on my computer, compared to even just one year ago. What I feel so lucky as an artist? It is when people enjoy a photo session and my art brings something to their lives (so satisfied work is not good enough to me).  In fact, I just like people.

By the way, now I am offering campagne. 15% discount for who booked portrait session and wedding by the end of January.  My contact infor is here

Related post: Couple portraits – Now I am posting because…