Archive for Canadian Rockies

Fabulous Film Fridays – November 25, 2011

Posted in Fabulous Film Fridays with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2011 by Darwin

Alberta recently passed a distracted driving law where you not supposed to text, put on make-up, or sketch while driving. I looked carefully at the regulations and there was nothing there about using a Holga while driving (but electronic cameras are banned – yeah for film!). So last time I went into Banff National Park I pulled out the Holga at nearly 100 KMPH (check the speedometre in the photo) and snapped this shot of Cascade Mountain from the Trans Canada Highway (as you can see the road was empty so who was I distracting anyway?). Safety first though; I was wearing my hard hat and steel-toed boots while doing this dangerous exercise (and I did put my coffee down before snapping the shot)! ;-)

©Darwin Wiggett - Holga GN120, Fuji NPH400 film

Fire and Ice Photo Tour Results – Dan Marston

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 24, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Dan Marston’s six favorite photos from the Fire and Ice Photo Tour.

©Dan Marston

Athabasca Falls Jasper National Park

©Dan Marston

Jasper Nov 2011

©Dan Marston

©Dan Marston

Panther Falls

Banff National Park

©Dan Marston

©Dan Marston

Fire and Ice Tour Results – Mike Blanchette

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Mike Blanchette’s six favorite images from the Fire and Ice Tour.

Photo by Mike Blanchette

 Athabasca River Bend: Jasper National Park, Alberta

Photo by Mike Blanchette

 Fallen Tree in Talbot Lake: Jasper National Park, Alberta

Photo by Mike Blanchette

 Bend in the North Saskatchewan River

Banff National Park

Photo by Mike Blanchette

Sun Hitting the Peaks: Abraham Lake, Alberta

Photo by Mike Blanchette

 Aspen Trees in Snow: Kootenay Plains, Alberta

Photo by Mike Blanchette

Cracks in the Ice: Abraham Lake, Alberta

The Weekly Photo – Nov 21, 2011

Posted in TCBlog, Weekly Photo, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 21, 2011 by Darwin

I just got back from the final Fire and Ice Photo Tour this year. We were ‘blessed’ with cold temps (-25 degrees over night) and therefore some nice ice and even a little bit of fire (sunrises and sunsets). The gang of shooters were a blast and everyone was open to the amazing possibilities nature tossed our way.

Part of each tour is a safety meeting about ice conditions. You can see here what happens when someone does not listen to the safety spiel! The good news is with my super long exposure of the scene (5 minutes using a Lee Big Stopper ND filter), the waves and bubbles of the struggling participant did not even register in the image. So let this be a lesson, always listen to your instructor….

This one is dedicated to Joe (thanks for leaving the camera gear on shore) ;-)

©Darwin Wiggett

The colour version – Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, Canon 24 TSE, 5 minutes at f11, Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer, Singh-Ray 3-stop soft-edge grad, Lee 10-stop Big Stopper ND filter.

©Darwin Wiggett

The B+W version (conversion done in Nik Silver Efex Pro) – which version do you prefer?

Fire and Ice Results – Greg Bukoski

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 19, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Greg Bukoski’s six favorite images from the Fire and Ice Tour.

Photo by Greg Bukoski

Photo by Greg Bukoski

Photo by Greg Bukoski

Photo by Greg Bukoski

Photo by Greg Bukoski

Photo by Greg Bukoski

Fire and Ice Results – Alan Ernst

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Alan’s six favorites from the Fire and Ice photo tour. We had ‘interesting’ weather that forced participants to dig deep to come up with creative images. As you can see from Alan’s images below, there is always something to shoot no matter what kind of light and weather nature throws at you.

©Alan Ernst

Cline River Canyon
Lumix GH2, Zuiko 11-22mm lens at 22mm (44mm equiv.), ISO 160, f8 at 1/60s, + 1.33 EV

©Alan Ernst

Fairyland Gate

Lumix GH1, Lumix 100-300mm lens at 200mm (400mm equiv.), ISO 100, f16, 1/10s, +0.7 EV

©Alan Ernst

Morning Sun on Vision Quest
Lumix GH1, Lumx 100-300mm lens at 170mm (340mm equiv.), ISO 100, f9, 1/40s, +0.7 EV

©Alan Ernst

Panther Claws
Lumix GH2, Zuiko 11-22mm lens at 21mm (42mm equiv.), ISO 160, f16, 0.6s, +1 EV, solid ND filter

©Alan Ernst

Sunwapta Falls
Lumix GH2, Zuiko 12-60mm lens at 21mm (42mm equiv.), ISO 160, f16, 1/5s, + 0.66 EV

©Alan Ernst

The Drain at Whirlpool Point

Lumix GH2, Zuiko 11-22mm lens at 11mm (22mm equiv.), ISO 160, f14, 0.8s, +0.66 EV

The Weekly Photo – November 14, 2011

Posted in Art of Photography, Image Processing and Software, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2011 by Darwin
Where's the Fire?

©Darwin Wiggett

Here’s the Ice, Where’s the Fire?

This photo was taken on the last morning of the Fire and Ice Photo Tour in the Canadian Rockies which ended yesterday. Unlike most November tours, this tour we were given cloudy and snowy conditions. But even with the lack of ‘fire’ (sunrises and sunsets), the group of intrepid photographers made some great images.

One of the tricks I use in ‘bad light’ (e.g. overcast, grey days) is to set my digital camera to ‘monochrome’ so that the LCD of my camera shows B+W photos. I find it helps to strip away the colour to see compositions in B+W. Often there will be great images out there that speak to be taken even in the ‘crappy’ light. The image is a case in point. In colour it had no life but when I saw how it looked on the LCD in monochrome, I decided the photo was worth taking. If you shoot in RAW format the camera will display a B+W image on your LCD but record a full colour image in-camera which you can use to make B+W conversion later in post processing. I use Silver Efex Pro 2 as my default B+W conversion program (for a 15% discount on the software just enter darwin as the discount code on checkout). Stay tuned for great shots from participants in the following weeks most of whom used the monochrome setting on their cameras to mine wonderful B+W images in the moody light

For anyone wanting to see the new ice in the Rockies and hopefully to get a bit of fire to boot, there is one spot left starting this Wednesday (November 16) until Sunday (November 20). Contact Alan at the Aurum Lodge (info@aurumlodge.com) to for more information.

Fabulous Film Fridays – Back to Back Again

Posted in Art of Photography, Fabulous Film Fridays, Image Processing and Software, Instruction, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2011 by Darwin

Last week Sam posted a comparison of the same subject shot with film and digital. Her point was to show that the two media deliver very different results and that neither was ‘true’ to her experience of being there. Of course, we all know that cameras do not record things exactly like we see them. Some capture devices seem ‘truer’ than others but none record the ‘truth’ (5 human observers to the same event will all ‘record’ or remember the event differently – so what is truth anyway?).

Given that there is no universal truth then it simply becomes a question of what tool (camera, film type, digital sensor type, processing workflow etc)  returns results closer to the way you view or want to present the world in your art. Of course you can enhance or alter the capture in processing (either in the digital or chemical darkroom) to get the results even closer to your personal view. I believe it’s always better to use the media that delivers results closest to where you want to end up, rather than shaving a square block down to fit into a round hole (but maybe that is just me, some of you might like the shaving process ;-)).

The two images below were photographed at the Nordegg mine and were taken at the same time as Sam’s shots in her post. The results of the comparison look similar to the Sam’s in terms of colour and contrast. Which you prefer is personal, you might like one better than the other, or you might not like either rendition. Your job as a photographer is to translate what you see and feel about a scene to your viewer. Using the media that gets you the results you want is really all that matters.

©Darwin Wiggett

Above – Shot with a Tachihara 4×5 view camera using Fujichrome Velvia 50 slide film (I used a flashlight to paint light onto the wheels – the orange cast).

Below – Shot with a Canon EOS-1ds digital camera and light-painted as described above.

©Darwin Wiggett

The Weekly Photo – November 7, 2011

Posted in Art of Photography, Image Processing and Software, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 7, 2011 by Darwin

Making photos usually does not stop at pressing the shutter. Image making is a three part process and this process was really popularized by Ansel Adams in his series of books; The Camera, The Negative and The Print. In today’s digital world photography world, we capture images in our camera, we process the resulting image (often a RAW ‘negative’) in the computer and then we output our images to print (or the web) so the process has not changed just the technology of how we do the process.

I would add a fourth component to Ansel Adams equation and that is The Person. The camera does not make the image; it is the photographer. What interests you, what attracts your eye, what you choose to include or exclude, how you compose and ‘see’ are individual and personal. So let’s not forget that the end product is the result of the personal vision of the photographer (and this vision can and should carry through from seeing to capture, development and print).

As a photographer who learned and grew up photographically using slide film, I was mostly denied the luxury of carrying my photographic vision beyond the press of the shutter. The end product was the slide (a piece of positive film). The image was ‘processed’ by a lab and there was little ‘creative’ input at the processing stage (save for altering the the exposure by pushing or pulling the development). Really, the film was developed in a set formula to insure that the exposure captured in-camera was the exposure that came out on the slide. And as far as printing was concerned slide film could be printed but with difficulty and serious photographic printers stuck with negative film. Mostly slides were used to hand to publishers who printed the image in books and magazines and calendars (the printing was out of the photographer’s control). The simple point here is that a slide shooter had to use all his or her craft and art in the capture stage. The image had to be finished in-camera. End of story.

I was reminded of the ‘getting it right’ in-camera during a recent Creative Expression Masterclass workshop with Royce Howland and Samantha Crysanthou. For some of the exercises in seeing we needed participants to capture images in-camera using JPEG and the images were not to be processed after the fact. Having to capture what to what you see and getting it the best possible in-camera is great exercise in discipline. Even this former slide shooter realized just how much I have come to rely on ‘enhancing’ my personal vision through the development of the digital negative. The image below is an in-camera JPEG capture and this image reminded me how rewarding it was and is to get a completely finished image in-camera. No post-processing was done on this image save for resizing and sharpening for the web.

©Darwin Wiggett

Canon EOS-1ds Mark III, Canon TS-E 24mm lens, 1/4s at f11, Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer, Singh-Ray 3 stop soft-edge grad filter.

Canadian Rockies Fall Photo Tour Results – Catherine Byram (AKA The Border Collie).

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , on November 5, 2011 by Darwin

When Catherine, Darwin’s assistant, wasn’t running around trying to herd all the participants to a designated spot,  or wasn’t busy collecting lunch garbage, headed for the recycle bin at Aurum Lodge, she did manage to take a few photos. Below are the six favorite pictures from Catherine Byram on the Fall 2011 Photo Tour.

Photo by Catherine Byram

 Abraham Lake

Near Nordegg Alberta

Photo by Catherine Byram

 Misty Morning at Waterfowl Lake

Photo by Catherine Byram

Forest fire area near Abraham Lake

©Catherine Byram

Garden Path at Nordegg Mine Site

Photo by Catherine Byram

  Exposed tree roots on a well used path at Waterfowl Lake.

Photo by Catherine Byram

Sunset at Reflecting Ponds

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