I recently listened to an absolutely superb podcast by Brenda Petrella, creator of the Outdoor Photography School. This episode was in response to several viewer questions about how much creative license is appropriate in landscape photography.
This has been a long standing debate, as you will see in Brenda’s piece – very long standing. Artists have been the subject of critical opinion for centuries. The difference since the invention of photography is that photography, by definition, is a documentary record of the light and colour in a scene. Its starting point, by definition, should be realistic. Or is it?
Continue reading “Realistic or Artistic – Which is Right (For You)?”
I recently took a trip – the first one in a long time. It wasn’t to an exotic far-away location, but rather about 3 hours north of my home. The area is very popular with city residents and tourists alike, because of its small towns, wide open tracts of land covered with trees, rock formations that are part of the Canadian Shield and fresh air.
I don’t travel much with friends, at least driving in the same vehicle and staying in the same hotel suite. I instead prefer to meet my companions at our desired destination and prefer to have a quiet place to myself at the end of the day. At least, that’s what I’ve concluded now after several trips done in more traditional fashion.
The bigger challenge, and the purpose of this post, is how to manage my photographic interests while travelling with others. It is hugely difficult when travelling with those who are not photographers – family especially. I won’t go into those details, for fear of alienating any family member who might choose to read this (ha!).
Continue reading “Travelling with Friends”
I really enjoy image critiques – no seriously, I do. I always appreciate an independent point of view, even if it is wrong. Ok, ok, but seriously again, I’m not talking about the criticism of a judge in a competition. I’m talking about the guidance from someone with experience in the same genre, who has discovered their own voice, and has the ability to see basic flaws in the work of someone who has not yet made that discovery.
I had that experience recently, attending yet another photography conference, where participants were asked to submit images for comment. The person who offered the critiques is someone I know and admire and who, in my view, has the infinite right to offer “coaching” to those less fortunate.
Although we all submitted images, only a few were selected for review and sadly, mine was not one of them. I had to live vicariously through others. But even that can be a good thing. Here’s why.
Continue reading “Too Much of a Good Thing”
It’s been a trying year to say the least. Lockdowns, restrictions, cancellations, disappointments, even changes to things as simple as ordering food. I went to a local take-out place recently, only to be told that no more than 2 could be inside the take-out order area and that once my order was placed, I had to wait in a pre-marked parking area, in my car. Businesses and people are adapting. I have to admire how well we are adapting. But it still sucks. And on top of it all, my blog host, WordPress.com, decided to completely replace the blog editor I was familar with. Hence no posts for the last two cycles. An old dog can learn new tricks, but it sure takes a lot longer. I decided recently that I needed a break from it all, and with restrictions in place, took a trip north to two parks. Continue reading “On the Road Again”
Over the past year, I decided to include filters in my camera kit. I took them on several trips and even on local outings, determined to take the time to use them properly. I started out with the standard collection of screw-on filters – a polarizer, a variable neutral density filter and a graduated neutral density filter. I quickly discovered the pros and cons of these types of filters and expanded my kit to include a square-format drop-in filter system. This consisted of a lens adapter, filter holder and a variety of 100mm square filters.
It’s been an interesting experience that I thought was worth sharing. Here’s what I’ve learned.
Continue reading “Pure Filtered Photos”
I’ve just returned from a two week trip to Newfoundland. If you have not been to the east coast of Canada, make a plan to go. It is an amazing experience – socially, culturally, but also photographically.
It’s my longest trip ever (yes, I lead a sheltered life) and the first time I’ve seen the Atlantic ocean (see what I mean about sheltered?). I saw and heard a lot, but also learned a lot. I’ll deal with the latter in this post. Continue reading “Lessons Learned from Two Weeks Away”
One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn as a photographer is not to limit myself to the immediate reaction I have when looking at a scene or subject. There is potential in every situation, even those that to the human eye and the camera initially look like disasters.
A friend of mine invited me to join her to try to shoot car light trails from a highway overpass at dusk, achieving both the capture of the sunset and the movement of the cars through light trails. Here’s what happened. Continue reading “Believe”
I’ve been out of touch for a month. Sorry about that. I seem to be busier now than when I had a full-time career. Recently, I had the pleasure of heading out with my photography club to its annual “retreat”. A chance to immerse myself in all things photographic for a full weekend. We chose a destination that we could drive to in an afternoon, but also one that would require disconnecting from all the demands back home. It was wonderful. Continue reading “In Full Retreat”
To be a good photographer is to be a lifelong student of the craft. There is no such thing as a photographer that knows it all. Even if you are the most technically proficient expert around, the art of photography is something that needs attention for as long as you shoot.
I’ve noticed an evolution of my abilities and interests over the 4 years since I took to this seriously. I’m not bragging. Far from it. Some things have become second nature while others send me down a rabbit hole of discovery, wrong turns and sometimes an “ah-ha” moment. But the most mind-intensive introspection, for me, occurs when I’m examining the work of other photographers. I’ve come to realize that this is a good thing, even if it leaves me with more questions than answers. Continue reading “Photographers I Admire”
Yesterday, I completed my program in Digital Photography at Durham College, Oshawa, Canada. Although not official until June, I’m ready to strike out on my own and find my niche in this competitive world.
Our last few weeks of school were about defining our photographic style, preparing a compilation of our work, deciding how to present it in print and electronically, and staging a show for industry and family. I found this to be the most revealing and meaningful segment of my education. I emerge from this experience with a better understanding of my interests and style, and with a full portfolio of work to share. Continue reading “My Portfolio”