Tag Archives: Natue Photography

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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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

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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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.

My photographic exhibition at Framed on fifth in February.

It has been 2 years since Framed on Fifth, lovely framing and art gallery booked me for a gallery show. Now it is happening.  Although 2 years seems long enough to prepare images, it passed very quickly. I must be a rain man and I got bad weather whenever I go to big trips. I end up to get many subtle, gentle almost melancholic images. Then I went through all landscape images I have taken since 2009. I realized I am getting more subtle images because my style may have been changing. 

So I titled this gallery show,  “Wabi-sabi wanderlust”. Wabi-sabi is Japanese term, in part portrays a true sense of serene melancholy and a spiritual longing.

My show will be at Framed on Fifth (1207 – 5th Avenue N.W., Calgary) from Feb 1st to Mar 1st. The opening reception will be Feb 8th from 5pm. Also I will have artist talk, ” Meet the artist” on Feb 15th from 2 pm to 4 pm. I will have a photo critiquing session as a part of the artist talk.  Please bring a couple of your photos.

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By the way, this show is part of Exposure Photo Festival 2014. Many gallery shows are listed this year as well. You should check the out.

Lastly,  I will share a time-lapsed video, I made for fun. Just check it out.