The Weekly Photo – November 14, 2011

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 ( to for more information.


8 Responses to “The Weekly Photo – November 14, 2011”

  1. But be careful. I know someone that took this advise and then forgot about it and mistakenly shot an entire event in jpg….

    • Alan Ernst Says:

      Almost every camera which allows RAW capture, will give you a (number of) RAW + jpeg settings. I have my cameras set at RAW + jpeg fine per default, which gives me the best of both worlds. If the jpeg is good, I can use it as is, whereas if I need to recover detail or process an image, I can use the RAW file.
      No need to ever change settings or lose anything…

      • For sure. I’m just saying that this individual (for what ever reason) forgot he was in monochrome, switched to jpg only for the event (because raw can be troublesome for large quantities, buffers and quick turn around) and shot the entire day in black and white.

    • That would be someone we know 😉

  2. Nice shot Darwin! Looking nice and icy out there… looking forward to getting out to the hills soon!

  3. Cool tip. I will have to try that 🙂

  4. Love the moody clouds and clarity of the ice. Looking forward to taking a ‘crack’ at it with the 2nd group later this week. A bunch of B&W oriented scenes would suit me fine!

  5. That is unbelievably stunning. I grew up in Montana and that reminds me of home. Just an incredible image. I am in awe.

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