Tag Archives: infrared

Award winning – Photographic Artist of the year 2014!!!

Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) holds image competition, called Image Salon every year. This year, the winners were announced in Winnipeg in May. Trophies are awarded to 4 categories including Portrait, commercial, wedding photographer and photographic artist. Winners have to achieve high quality images from all technical and artistic view point of photography for all 4 submissions.

And…..I am a winner of Photographic artist of the year. This is exiting. I received a magazine, yesterday, from PPOC、carrying  an article featuring the 4 winners. Please take a look the article. I mentioned about my attitude toward landscape and portrait photography, and how I found my styles of horse images.


I should’ve written about the award earlier, but the reason is I did not have good a selphie. I knew this magazine is coming so I waited a photo of myself taken by a professional. I like photograph people, but no way myself! However, I would like to photograph trophies made of acrylic. This is challenging. I will post how it goes. Following is the winning images.

Please click images for large sizes

Sunrise on the Abraham Lake

Sunrise on Abraham lake


Touching You, Touching Me

Touching you, Touching me


Floating Root


Lights on Green

Lights on Green


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)

Stampede Wstern Gallery Show(3) – Photo finish “Direct Metal Print”

When having conversations with photographers, we tend to talk about equipments or photo editing software. But when I have chances to talk to professional or experienced photographers, I am often impressed by their care for photo finishing. Prints by major chain stores are fine for casual occasions. However, imagine if someone bought my photo and hang on a wall at their home, I would like to provide properly completed works. More importantly,  I believe photo finishing is still a part of artistic process. It is like chefs make delicious food but also serve on carefully selected plates and bowls.

For previous gallery shows, I printed on conventional Barayta or fiber based paper by my Epson photo R2400 printer. I really like their rich black and NATURALLY saturated color. But I wanted to try something else this time
for Stampede – Western photo gallery . After some researches, I found Quintaro
in Calgary, Alberta does “Direct Metal Print”. It is not metallic paper; an image is printed directly on an Aluminum metallic board. Quintaro has 3 types of finishes: white coated, white coated glossy and non-coated (brushed). I tried non-coated and brushed finish for my Infrared images.

Floating Root

Please note, I copied print images by taking picture of them by my digital camera so the quality is compromised. But you can see its uniqueness. Because of its shiny surface, intensity of high light changes depends on directions of illuminating light . This also changes impressions of image. You may understand if I would say…that it is like sun is moving behind the clouds. It is cool.

Enlarged image. Now hairlines of brushed surface are visible.

Possible downside of this photo finish you are thinking of now may be that the results of prints can not be predicated on Photoshop. However, it is not a problem since Quintaro provides free proof prints for a couple of times. Actually, I did not need 2nd proof prints for most of my entries.  Thank you very much, staff of Quintaro Imaging, for your wonderful services and professional suggestions.

Major advantage of the metal print is that I can print my images as large as possible since mats and a frame are not necessary. For the same reason, cost of the metal print is comparable with a framed photo. Now, I am just hoping viewers will like the displays.

One more info I have to mention, Samantha Chrysanthou and Darwin Wiggett‘s photos are exhibited at Baker Creak Chalets – Restaurant in Banff national park, Alberta. To be honest, I heard about direct metal prints first time in their lecture. (I admit I am a follower of them. I always find something new to learn in their blogs). Some of their display are metal prints as well, but their prints are white coated ones. So the photos have very different look from the non-coated brushed surface. Check them out if you have chance to visist Canadian Rockies.

Lastly,…I think it is okay to proud of myself… this image is the winning image in Stampede – Western Photo Competition in the nature category.  Next week of the same day, Calgary Stampede 2011 will have been opened. I am throbbing with excitement.

RELATED POST: Infrared Photography

Infrared for Urban photography

This time I tried infrared photos for urban photography, and the result is pretty good, I guess. The day I took was nice sunny day and a lot of lights, so this photo was taken for a handheld. The top photo is taken by the same camera, converted by Lightroom with “B&W orange filter”. The bottom one is infrared.  I adjusted contrast.

B&W orange filter - Vancouver

New years day of Vancouver - Infrered


Infrared one has very dramatic sky.  On the other hand, buildings of the regular B&W show more details.

I am not surprised if someone said he or she does not like infrared photography. It is fun to play with. IR photography characteristically achieves high contrast and dramatic images. But it is not magic tool. There are suitable subjects and light conditions for IR photography. Sunny day lights and interesting cloud patterns do not go wrong most of the times.

Related Post:Infrared Photography

Upgrading computer

Recently, my computer has been acting slow since I installed photoshop CS5.   Also spaces of hard drive is getting slim. So I have decided upgrading my computer.  I am planing to install 64bit windows system and debian 64 bit (dual boot), and more memory will be installed. This is really the 2-full-day project at least. I need to organize all image files scattered all over the hard drives. Yes, it is pain, but it can not be avoided for photographers in the digital age

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This image is the one I got 1st position on the contest by a local art gallery. I will talk about infrared photography next time after the upgrade is completed.

Nature Photography – Luck and patient(2)

Here is the continuation of the last posting, and will talk about the image I received 2nd position in the monochrome competition.

I had a weekend trip to Kananaskis country in Alberta in early June this year. In the afternoon, it became cloudy and eventually I got shower. When I was driving in the rain, I found a lake over woods on my left side. I retuned my car to the parking lot and decided to wait until it stopped the rain. Finally, the shower was over but the sky was covered by thick clouds. Anyway, I started walk around the lake shore, then I found the stump. Somehow, it attracted me so much. I felt “I may be able to do something with my flash even though I can’t good light”, so I went back to my car; picked up whole my equipment including my 4×5 camera.

I was trying some different lenses, composition and technique, but I had to wait until the sun came out from the gap in the clouds. What was even worse, it was pretty windy so I could not get good reflection on the surface of the water.

This is okay shot, but see…messy clouds and waves on the water.

I had taken about 40 images of the stomp and the lake. It took about 1hr. The sun came out again; the water was calm; clouds were more formed. And good surprise! A piece of ice was flowed next to the stump. Then I got this infrared image.

Mud Lake

To capture one image, I think, I had stayed at the same location for over 2 hrs since I parked my car. Is this unusual? I would say “No”. It may be depends on shooting style of a photographer, but I heard many episodes of nature photographers to wait for hours or even days until the right moment comes. Got to be patient! How many times I see the moment after I put away my tripod…. Seriously!

Nature photography – Luck and patient (1)

Surprisingly, I achieved one-two finish in the foothills camera club monochrome competition. Although it is the competition by a local camera club, it makes me feel good.     

The B&W image is the last shot on my lake O’hara trip at the end of September. After 3 days of rainy days, eventually, I got a blue sky… it was a beautiful blue sky….boring blue sky…I need some cloud patterns! I guess photographers are kinds of species who are never blessed. Anyway, while I was hiking up to the Opabin circuit, I found this location. But the sun was already up high. I took some pictures but they are not even close to “okay”.

You know I mean…the blue sky is boring. This is a  HDR image  and I used LEE Big Stopper filter to calm the wavy water. But I failed to bring punch in the image.

I took whole day in the Opabin circuit until the sun disappeared. It was around 05:20 pm. The last bus to a parking lot is 06:30 pm. I rushed to the camping site because I left my tent and I had to pack it up. When came back to the location where I found in the morning, It was breath-taking…nice side light, mirror-clear surface of the water, now some cloud in the sky. I spoke to myself “which photographer misses this shot”. I quickly set up my tripod and camera, and took 5 color images, then took other 2 shots with infrared set up.

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I think I was lucky…only 7 shots for about 10 min from setting up to leaving the location, and I got this gorgeous image. What I learned from this experience? …COME BACK LATER…light is more ideal in evenings, and usually you can expect some clouds near the horizon. I will talk about the patient part next time.