Author Archive

Getting Closer (Two Photographs)

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Getting closer is not always about long and expensive lenses. It can also be the result of up-sizing, grouping and formatting in post production. The latest in photography software is all about upsizing photographs and it may affect the way we think about the size of our camera’s sensors.


What’s It Worth? (Two Photographs)

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I have always wondered why some of the world’s most expensive modern photographs were worth the price. The photographs in this post mimic one such photograph. In an art gallery on seeing a photograph valued in the low six figures, I asked the gallery owner why it was so expensive. I was told it’s not the photo alone that sets the price but the fact that it was printed on special paper with special inks. And while some papers and some inks make a difference I could not see it making that much of difference. Some things are just bluff.


The Imperfections of Fall (Two Photographs)

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Photographers love fall colours and we like to shoot them at their best. Yet fall is also about the fading of colours. And that too can make for interesting images even as the colour drains from the foliage.


Standing its Ground (Two Photographs)

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Canada Geese can be quite confrontational and run after you down a path, hiss or generally make threatening movements. They can also take a stand as if to say stay away (even if they are hip deep in water and you are standing on dry land). 

 


Little Guy (Three Photographs)

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I was tempted to enlarge this photo because of the detail in the bee. However, I thought the surroundings complimented and framed the bee in an interesting way. You can often format a photo in different ways making for very different photographs, I prefer consistent series when I can manage them.


Above it All (Two Photographs)

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You know those photographs of politicians where they tilt their chin up, and try to appear like the captain of a ship (e.g.Mussolini). Well it doesn’t look any better on a bird. I see too many shots from this angle, including one from a politician yet to be elected.


Solo Monarch (Two Photographs)

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Monarchs are marvellous butterflies and having posted a pair mating earlier this week, I thought I would try a solo monarch in black and white. I have published the colour version for comparison.


Hairy Woodpecker (Two Photographs)

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Technology today is amazing, we have long lenses that are very sharp and software that permits upscaling shots with little if any noticeable problems. In this case we get some great detail of a wonderful little bird.


Formats (Two Photographs)

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Besides deciding to shoot in portrait or landscape format, we have to decide what format to cut the photo down to e.g. 8×10, or 4×5. There may be a number of factors at play over and above the subject matter. But the one trap is filling the frame in camera in such a way that you cannot format the photograph in post production, the subject fills the screen. I make this mistake every so often and the portrait shot here is one case of that.


Colour (Two Photographs)

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The more photography you do, the more you learn how arbitrary colour reproduction is. The camera, and editing and printing software all add colour profiles; sometimes it’s hard to tell what is real and what is not. A proper white balance helps, but it’s just a start and often the brightness, and saturation of other elements of our photos need to be “corrected” to get realistic colour. My advice would be that the photographer should be the judge of what is right, it is their product after all.


A Grumpy Hummingbird (Three Photographs)

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I am not sure if all hummingbirds glare like this grump, but this one certainly did. I took this in a small garden and I suspect the bird wanted the place all to itself. A friend pointed the bird out to me. It was coming and going at irregular intervals to different spots which made it a bit challenging to find.

 


Mating Monarchs (Two Photographs)

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I may have posted these before; but they were one of the highlights from last summer. I doubt I will be seeing anything quite so good this year. In fact I am seeing little opportunity for photography without risk these days. I took a quick look at a favourite nature reserve and it was packed with people.


A Wigeon in Fall (Three Photographs)

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I cannot resist these ducks. They are fairly rare here, and arrive in fall when the colour is great. Wigeons are hard to disturb and can come quite close to shore unlike most of the mergansers and other rare ducks in our area.


Flower Photography (Part Two)

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You may have seen these shots earlier this week in colour. I know of few photographers that do floral work in black and white. It certainly is one of the more interesting approaches to flower photography.


Female Goldfinch (Three Photographs)

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Having shown a male goldfinch earlier this week, it’s time for the ladies. In this case I thought the light was very flattering. It reminded me of the days when we would shoot portraits through glass smeared with vaseline or through a thin piece of cloth, to add texture and bend the light a bit.

 


Just There (Two Photographs)

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Studio and professional photography often involve finding a location for a subject to be shot in. Just that step can take a lot of time and effort. But there is almost always something “just there” on my walks, that rises to the level of classic photographic art. I am not alone, I seldom go a day in good weather without seeing another photographer on the hunt.


Flower Photography (Two Photographs)

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I take as many photographs of flowers as I do of birds, if not more. I also like to read about photography. It struck me that the work on flower photography that I have seen is very limited in its ambition. Flowers are the perfect object to experiment on with a camera. Try everything you can think of, it’s definitely worth it.


Male Goldfinch (Three Photographs)

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You cannot help but smile watching goldfinches search for food in the bushes. There is an intensity to their movement. I found this bird late in the summer before its migration south for the winter.


Hanging In (Two Photographs)

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The way these dragonflies have landed illustrates how delicate and light they are. I have seen naturalists capture them and hold them in their hand before letting them go again, a very delicate manoeuvre. In photographic terms the position of the insects says something about them and that’s a story.


It’s All About the Light (Two Photographs)

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An important component of photography is the capturing of light. It’s also about framing, subject, texture, colour etc. I think it’s important to avoid catch phrases like, it’s all about the light and focus on bringing together the technology, the subject and your own sense of the art. Here light plays a bigger role and makes for a better picture.


White Admiral Butterfly (Three Photographs)

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This was one very nice butterfly, and I took over sixty shots (more to come). It was late in the season and as you can tell from the last photo its wings had been damaged, a sure sign of age in a butterfly.


A Turtle Approaches (Two Photographs)

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I was taking a photograph of the duck against the flotsam, thinking it was interesting. The duck was distracted by my presence and the turtle was getting closer. I figured I should leave not wanting to be part of any subsequent problems. When I processed the photograph in black and white I gave it a sort of old time contrasty look.


Flora in the Concrete Jungle (Two Photographs)

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On a walk that led me into a kind of industrial park, I found this bit of nature. I thought it would look good as a black and white photograph, but it turns out the colour, after a little work, was not so bad either.


Bird with an Attitude (Two Photographs)

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I am guilty of anthropomorphism, applying human emotions to animals. It makes things a touch more fun. If photography wasn’t fun you would not find me behind a camera. I am hoping some opportunities for photography open up this summer, but I am not holding my breath.