I went hiking 1 month ago in Kananaskis country, Alberta. It was snowing…quite strongly. The hiking was basically regaing strength after a long winter…sitting on a computer. But I was still snapping and when it is snowing, that excites “normal” photographers.
At the end of August, I visited “Forget me not pond” in Kananaskis Country in Alberta with some PPOC members. The pond is basically for family activities and nothing like “landscape photography spot” photographers imagine. Also It was around 2 pm; the sun was way high up. Possibly, at this time of the day, I would take a nap in my car. But I am photographic artist of year of PPOC national competition. I should be able to come out some images.
First thing my eyes caught was shining reflection of sun light on wavy surface of the pond. I was playing “out of focus”. I shot the reflection as out-of-focus, and creating rings of light in frames. Then I remember one of the purpose of this visit was testing my new gear, Nikon PC 24mm lens. At this point, I did not care about typical landscape photography. I wanted to do something with the shining and moving reflection of the light.
So when using a tilt and shift lens like my new gear NIkon PC 24m, one of the purpose is obtaining hyperfocal focusing, technique to focus from foreground to infinity. But in this case, I wanted mountains and clouds to be on-focus, and foreground to be out-of-focus to get large bokeh of light ring. I could achieve it by tilting the lens to opposite direction from when we tilt for getting hyper focal focusing.
Regardless this is a good or just okay image, I could get the photo I imagined. So this shot is considered to be successful. The image I saw the was lights fallen from the heaven like falling leaves. So this image was titled “Falling lights”
You can try out Nikon PC 24mm lens and more lenses including Canon lenses in my fall workshop in Kootenay plains in Canadian Rockies. Please register from my website before sold out.
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 Abraham lake
Touching you, Touching me
Lights on Green
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
Imaging 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.
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
Spring has come and I revisited my favorite location in Kananaskis, Alberta on the Easter weekend. The lake was still covered with snow, and it was too early to take picture of the icy lake. One morning after shooting sunrise, I found a little pool, which was covered by ice and snow. But nice blue colored water already appeared on the center of the pool. I tried some different compositions. And eventually I found very interesting composition.
21mm lens. HDR processed with Photomatix. But still natural feel, I think.
But I knew the mountains turned orange around sun rise time. So question is…if the mountain in this image is orange sunrise one…it must be really cool shot. I grabbed my 4×5 field view camera and rehearse setting up for the shooting next morning. By the way, for who are not familiar with view camera, setting up a view camera takes usually over 20min since it allows many different adjustments by bellows technique. (Imagine the vertical and horizontal perspective control in Photoshop, plus depth of field, you can control these things with a view camera. Don’t you think it is cool?) It worth checking set up before big shooting. I left tripod mark like male dogs do; now go back to my car, have breakfast, call to youth hostel to extend stay, and take a morning nap.
Next day, I was so excited while driving in dawn; I was, however, so shocked when I arrived at the pool. It was supposed to go down to -5C at night-time so I thought it was fine in the morning. But ice was melted over night and the pool became much bigger. No way I could achieve the composition I wanted. Anyway, I set up my tripod and 4×5 in the pool as far as I could manipulate the camera. I was struggling with the situation; the sky was getting brighter. Then suddenly, I noticed my foot was in sherbet water. Actually, Ice could not hold my weight and cracked. I could save my camera from being dropped in the pool, but I had to run to my car and got to look for a sock and spare shoes. While I was changing, I saw the mountain reflecting beautiful orange sun light. No time to tie shoelaces; just ran back to my camera quickly. I got to set up the camera again. Somehow, I could manage one image from my 4X5 view camera but missed the fun bellows technique part. Damn!
Well, I could not get the perfect image I expected. Is it really that bad? It may be true that Goddess did not smile at my shooting but I could feel that spring was truly coming. I had just witnessed small changes the mother of nature creates every day. That is why I go back to mountains. It is a real pleasure of the nature photography, isn’t it? Also, I got a good excuse to go back to this place next year, my favorite and secret place.
If you want to know about field view camera, here is another blog post by Samantha Chrysanthou. This is fun to read.
This picture is a coyote I photographed in Kananaskis Country near Canmore, Alberta. I wish it were wolf, but it is definitely coyote. I was driving towards Canmore and I found this guy on the load. I took some shots of the coyote. And I started my car again. After driving 5 min or so, I found this coyote chasing my car. I stopped my car and took more photos. This coyote was totally relaxed and quite an entertainer.
On the other hand, I hope this coyote has not been fed by humans. Photographers, in general, are bad species in nature because some of us feed wildlife to get UNIQUE shots. But it is BIG NO, NO.
Infrared photography has become one of the significant artistic expressions for me. Modern digital cameras are equipped with UV/IR cut filter inside of the camera body. Contrarily, older generation of digital cameras or my camera do not have the UV/IR cut filter. The IR is actually an enemy since it causes wired color cast. So I have to attach IR cut filter in front of the lenses. However, by switching the UV/IR cut filter to an IR FILTER, my camera turns to an infrared camera. Some other ways to achieve infrared photography are:
- Modifying DSLR to remove the UV/IR cut filter from the camera.
- Some of Pentax DSLR achieve the IR images electronically.
- Using IR films, Freestyle Photographic Supplies carry the IR films.
This is the shot I took in Kananaskis, Alberta. You see very black sky and white clouds. Most characteristically, the forests on the lake shore turns white. It would be dark with regular B&W.
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.
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!