Tag Archives: Landscape

Crocus – A messenger of the spring

Calgarians experienced extremely mild winter of 2015 to 2016. But still it is good to find a sign of spring arrived. I visited Drumheller and I found many crocuses blossoming in the badlands soil. Crocus would be a messenger telling us it is the end of long winter.

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Snow in the spring

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.

White crested waves and Long exposure

This images was taken in Abraham Lake, Alberta in this summer. I guess I arrived the area evening. The sun was already gone. Kootenay plains area is usually very windy. This day was also windy and the Abraham lake was white with form. Actually, this was the condition I had been waiting for. When attempting long exposure to white crested waves, the surface of lake or sea turns white, rather than black …kind of surreal. I used LEE Bigstopper and achieved 362 sec (6 min) of exposure time.

Abraham Lake - Long After Sunset

By the way, I recently discovered Capture one, excellent Raw converter and photo management software. I have being using Adobe Lightroom for long time. When opening Raw file to Photoshop from Lightroom I noticed many color spots of long-exposure noise was quite visible. On the other hand, the file from Capture one is cleaner. I could see some tiny white spots but they are not so significant. One day, I would to write a more thorough report.From Lightroom

From Capture one

Not loving affair with Nikon D800

I have been using range finder cameras as my main camera for over 20 years. I would say I am in a relationship with Leica. They are often assertive and frustrating, but when I treat the camera well and carefully feed good light the camera gives me stunning beautiful images. You know I mean…this is truly a relationship.

On the other hand, Nikon D800 is job partner.  It is reliable and covenient, but I don’t expect the “surprise” which I found in images from Leica. So I often take Leica. I use D800 for mostly for event photography or when I am lazy.

Having said that, I have decided to taking D800 to Lake O’Hara trip in this fall. The reason is the shutter of my Leica M9 has become unreliable after 160,000 actuations.  This is known issue of Leica M9. Lake O’Hara is considered to be backcountry so if something happens to a camera, I cannot get a spare camera easily.

So I took my D800 for a hiking to lake Agnes as a trial. Also I got a Cotton carrier camera system so I tested the Cotton carrier system well. Here is my new look.

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Cotton Carrier is quite confortable.  It is nice on my neck. I put 3 more lenses in a shoulder bag, but it was not heavy unexpectedly.  Now I gave a “go sign” to myself to take Nikon system to Lake O’Hara.  Another good thing about the Cotton system is a Arcaswiss tripod plate is coming with the kit. So I can put the camera on my panorama head as well. This is handy for landscape photographers.

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Playing with reflections of lights – Nikon PC 24mm

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.

Falling lights

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.

 

Fall photographic workshop by Jeff Bingham and Hiro in Kootenay Plains

In this year, many wonderful things have already happened to me. Pretty successful solo gallery show, winning 1st place of national photo competition, and 2nd place for image of Japan photo contest. Now, I would like to announce something big happening in this fall.

Jeff Bingham and myself will be hosting a Landscape Photography workshop in the Kootenay Plains on September 26-28. The workshop is titled “Golden Hour Golden Season” since Kootenay plains is covered by beautiful yellow leaves of aspen trees at the end of September. Also Abraham Lake is never be bluer. 

I like visiting Kootenay plains since scenery on Highway 11 from Saskatchewan River Crossing to the end of Abraham Lake is full of variety, from marsh along at eh beginning of  Saskatchewan river, forest renewal after old wildfire, (some areas have been totally destroyed by recent wild fire, we should not access these areas), dynamic cliff showing intriguing lines and curves of stratum. Then typical view of rocky mountains along the Abraham lake. I always find something new to photograph. I never be tired of Kootenay plains.   

In this workshop, Jeff and I will help develop your artistic vision. This is our main focus but also we will demonstrate HDR, long exposure photography, panorama and tilt and shift techniques. Also you can try out some high-end Nikon and Canon lenses including 300mm f2.8 and Tilt and shift lenses. Thank you for the Camera Store. Sheets are limited to only 8 people. If you are interested, please check out our webpage for more details and register. Hope see you in the gem of Canadian Rockies.

Golden Hour Golden Season workshop in Kootenay Plains

 

Sunrise on the Abraham Lake

One of my winning images  – PPOC national photo competition 2014

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.