Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Calgary Photographers

In 2009 photography became a serious habit again. Some of that is due to the amazing technology now available. Digital cameras have opened up the creative flood gates, especially my little Pentax K-5.

Still, I keep hearing that a photograph is only as good as it's photographer. I'd have to add that a photographer is as good as their influences. I have been lucky to have found some pretty amazing local photographers through group pages on Flickr, the Calgary Public Library Photography Club, and the Start to Photograph (STP) Meetup group. Some I only know online, these people have Flickr sites I troll on a regular basis, but quite a few I have actually met in person and would consider friends. They are great fun on photo outings and ever eager to share what they've learned.

These are links to web sites of a few of my local influences.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Internet blackout

Yesterday several web sites decided to go "blackout" because of a piracy ruling being passed by the American government. Wikipedia was mentioned on CBC news, but I discovered when I posted yesterday's photos that Flickr had also joined in the boycott. One of my photos was blacked out and others had requests that I follow suite.

I don't know the details about the bill. I'm not a big fan of politics. I thought rather than get in a lather about something I know nothing about, I would sit it out and see what happened.

Apparently, the law makers backed down.


Project 366. 2012... Week 3

The winter cold snap hit this week. Tuesday night, temperatures went as low as -50 C with a wind chill. So, I took my photography indoors. Then around the weekend, the temperatures went up a bit. Just in time for Chinese New Year celebrations.

Day 15 ... January 15:

Spent the day doing indoor shots of tea and Hershey Kisses. The props kept disappearing on this one. I received an email asking what kind of set up and lighting I used to take this shot. The white background was my IKEA dining table. The lighting is mid-morning, overcast sunlight. The slight shading is produced from one of the custom digital in-camera filters.

Decided that trying to get macro shots with non-macro lenses wasn't cutting it so ordered a 100mm macro telephoto online from The Camera Store.

Day 16 ... January 16:

On the morning walk to work, in spite of the cold, I had to get a photo of the fog drifting across the Bow River. Too cold to wear my glasses (they frost up at -30 C), this was shot blind and relying totally on my Canon PowerShot's auto focus.

Day 17 ... January 17:

This is my inside balcony door latch. Currently, it's -29 Celsius, which is a smidgen better than the expected high of -30. Don't know if that includes the wind chill.

These are two photos meshed together with Photoshop CS5. (Something I learned last summer at SAIT.) This was shot with my new 100mm macro telephoto lens that I just received in the mail from The Camera Store this morning. Wish I could stay warm and play with it all day, but it's Tuesday and I have to go to work tonight.

Day 18 ... January 18:

Another shot on my morning walk to work. The air was full of steam coming out of the local YWCA and the rush hour traffic car exhaust. This was a one shot deal, because within the next couple of steps the pedestrian was totally engulfed by the emissions. Softened the high ISO noise with Photoshop's dust & scratches filter to make this look like a painting.

Day 19 ... January 19:

Much as I try to be mindful about uploading too many photos of my cat... cute rules!!

Day 20 ... January 20:

Happy New Year! Tonight was the beginning of the Chinese New Year. Celebrations of food, music and dancing will take place at the Chinese Cultural Centre all weekend. This is one of three large ice sculptures lit up just outside the Centre. Took a look on my way home from work. The other two were of a dragon and a pink bucking bull. I'm not really happy with this photo, but I had nothing better.

Day 21 ... January 21:

My kitchen stove, early in the morning. The only light source was the stove's overhead fan light. Artsied it up with the in-camera pastel filter.

Project 366, 2012 ... Week 2

So far, so good for Project 366 2012. Am a bit behind in doing the collage, as I thought I would be.

The stars of this project are my cameras. I have several, but my main cameras have become my Pentax K-5 DSLR and my Canon PowerShot G10 point and shoot.

The Pentax is my creative camera, with lots of fun in-camera filters. This week I've made it even more love-able. I bought a new macro lens.

The Canon is my go everywhere camera. It fits in my bag or pocket. The Canon is always with me and it's starting to show. Under certain light conditions lens scratches are visible in the photo. It has me starting to look for a possible point and shoot replacement. I'd consider a Nikon if they had one with manual settings.

Here's what happened in week 2. Click on the "Day" heading to see a larger size of the photo.

Day 8 ... January 8:

On a Sunday afternoon STP outing to Prince's Island Park, I caught a red haired lady skating away on the lagoon pond. Reflected in the ice were her and the trees around her, making for a fairly fairy/fantasy-like setting.

Day 9 ... January 9:

Monday afternoon afterwork and the sun is setting quickly. Felt a bit tied for a good photo. So, I captured Centre Street Bridge, changed it to black and white, then played with the poster filter in Photoshop CS5.

Day 10 ... January 10:

It's too cold and windy to shoot outside... so I played indoors. Pulled my little green alien toy and and some DVDs out to create an alien arrival. Created a small studio on one of my shelving units. Mounting art board was used as a black back drop and small flashlights hung from the shelf for lighting.

Day 11 ... January 11:

Lacking inspiration, on the way home from work I shoot the severely salt stained metal railings on Centre Street Bridge. Did a little editing in Photoshop to try to make it look interesting.

Day 12 ... January 12:

Discovered a comic book store in my neighborhood and added new photographic subjects to my collection. Bought a couple Spy vs Spy figurines and a Spiderman eraser. Spent several hours creating scenarios and decided on the photo of a Spy sneaking up on a dreamy smurf.

Day 13 ... January 13:

Caught Kit mesmerized by something in the yard. Kit's always a great subject. Am trying to be mindful about taking too many photos of her, but cuteness rules!!

Day 14 ... January 14:

Thought I'd try some still life. Played with the Pentax K-5 using in-camera HDR, pastel and retro filters: 1/30, f1.4, ISO 400, 50mm lens. Originally the white balance was set to auto. When I redid the shot with tungsten setting I found I liked this first golden cast better.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Project 366. 2012... Week 1

This year I've decided to do something called Project 365, but because this year is a Leap Year I'll have to call it Project 366. The idea of the project is to upload one photo a day for each day of the year. Today is day 8.

I discovered a collage element on my PhotoShop Elements software, so I thought it would be kind of cool to summarize a week's worth of photos. We'll see how long that lasts. Probably not as long as the Project 366.

Click on the "Day" heading to see the photo, large.

Any who... this week:

Day 1 ... January 1:
The Junior Hockey league had an international competition... games held in Calgary and Edmonton. Canada came in third, with Sweden winning over the Russians. January 1st was designated Hockey Day in Calgary.

Day 2 ... January 2:
I hung out with the ducks in Prince's Island Park.

Day 3 ... January 3:
I grabbed a shot of St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Church glowing at sunset on the way to work.

Day 4 ... January 4:
The best shot of the day was Kit sitting in the kitchen window, enjoying the Chinook wind.

Day 5 ... January 5:
Someone decorated one of the benches by the library's +15 entrance with an afghan. The play, called "The Eviction of Stuart Block" is part of the High Performance Rodeo, a festival of the arts happening throughout January.

Day 6 ... January 6:
The yarn art installation at the downtown Central Library was still there, probably because it was attached by plastic ties to the bench. I don't know the story behind it.

Day 7 ... January 7:

Is a shot of a hoop dancer and an older lady dancing and staring in awe. Loved the expression on her face.

Both were at the Snowblower Party held in Olympic Plaza as part of the High Performance Rodeo International Festival of the Arts. Thanks Kalpesh for helping me with setting up my camera for the hoop dancer shots.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

flame & crane

flame & crane by Wanderfull1
flame & crane, a photo by Wanderfull1 on Flickr.

Olympic Plaza flame burning in anticipation of New Year's Eve celebrations. This was shot after work, on my way home, with wavering intentions of returning to Olympic Plaza later that evening. The intentions crashed when I fell asleep on the couch with the Kit.