Archive for British Columbia

Fall in the Canadian Rockies Photo Tour Results – John Smeeton

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

Below are John Smeeton’s six favorite photos from the 2011 Canadian Rockies Fall Tour. Great having you on the trip John!

©John Smeeton

Abraham Sunrise

The adage “f/8 and be there” was surely intended for this shot. One of the many great things about a photo tour is that a skilled guide, like Darwin or Alan, can interpret the local weather conditions and take the group to where they can get the most out of it. Half-awake I hiked by headlamp with the rest of the group to the shore of Abraham Lake, set-up low looking eastward and came alive as the underlit clouds progressively exploded with colour over the next 20 minutes. It was a pleasure to stand there, cable release in hand, and admire nature’s artistry. Canon 5DMII, TS-E 24 f/3.5L II, 100 ISO, 0.8s, f/11.

©John Smeeton

 Aspen Impression

A long exposure captured the leaves’ and branches’ motion in the light breeze at this aspen grove near Preachers Point on Abraham Lake. I remember thinking at the time that a landscape painter would surely find this vista every bit as irresistible as did this landscape photographer. Thanks to some post-processing, I met the painter halfway. Canon 5DMII, 24-105 f/4L, 100 ISO, 65mm, 0.4s, f/11, Singh-Ray 5-stop ND.

©John Smeeton

 Aurum Vista

We walked down the hill from Aurum Lodge to capture the sunrise over Abraham Lake. I twiddled about and made some OK shots but I just wasn’t feeling the love. I decided to head back to the Lodge for a hot cup of coffee. I shouldered my tripod, took a dozen steps up the hill, glanced up and over to my left and voila! The majesty of the trees standing witness to the fog-shrouded mountains was not only a scene I just had to capture, it also energized me for another great day of photography in the Rockies. Canon 5DMII, 70-200 f/4L, 100 ISO, 200mm, 0.3s, f/11.

©John Smeeton

Canyon Study

This was taken under an overcast sky in the late-afternoon at the Kicking Horse River in Yoho National Park. It’s a three-shot HDR that looked pretty good in colour but the black and white conversion really emphasized the incredible texture in the rock formations. Canon 5DMII, 24-105 f/4L, 100 ISO, 40mm, +/- 2 EV bracket mid 1.3s, f/8, Singh-Ray 5-stop ND.

©John Smeeton

Mistaya State of Mind

I’ve lived in Calgary for 17 years, less than three hours drive from the Mistaya Canyon. I’m at a loss to explain how, until now, I was unaware of this photographer’s treasure trove that lay just a short walk beyond the tree cover along the Icefields Parkway. This was taken on the Mistaya River just upstream from the Canyon. Getting a bracketed three-shot capture while keeping the lens surface dry of the wind-blown rain was a challenge. Canon 5DMII, 24-105 f/4L, 100 ISO, 28mm, +/- 2 EV bracket mid 1/15s, f/11.

©John Smeeton

Waterfowl Confection

Even in the pre-dawn shadow the silent vista that greets you as you emerge from the trees to the edge of Upper Waterfowl Lake is awe-inspiring enough to almost make you forget to capture the images you came there for. Then, like a kid in a candy store, the challenge is to choose something to savour from amongst the limitless (but, at sunrise, time-limited) visual confections offered-up by nature. I like this shot, taken on a frosty morning, because it combines the serenity of the reflection and low-lying fog with the nobility of the sunlit mountain. Canon 5DMII, 24-105 f/4L, 100 ISO, 40mm, +/- 2 EV bracket mid 1/8s, f/11.

Canadian Rockies Fall Photo Tour Results – Don Allen

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2011 by Darwin

Below are Don Allen’s favorite images from the Canadian Rockies Fall Photo Tour.

©Don Allen

Photo 1: Canon 5dm2, 24-105mm f/4 lens at 24mm, 1 sec at f11

This first image was from sunrise from at White Goat Lakes. Like most of the group I began the sunrise by shooting from the main pond, but when the wind kicked up I retreated to this small pond that was better protected. I stood in the edge of the pond while making this shot, trying to carefully align the mountain reflection with the grasses in the pond.

©Don Allen

Photo 2: Canon 5dm2, 24-105mm f/4 lens at 73mm, 1/160 sec at f11 at f8

At mid-morning the light on Abraham Lake is phenomenal. For this shot I merely composed to have the beautiful trees in the foreground with the peak cropped tightly so that it looms large over the scene.

©Don Allen

Photo 3: Canon 5dm2, 16-35mm f/2.8 II lens at 20mm, 1/5 sec at f8

While I did not find the sunsets around Abraham Lake to be as spectacular as the sunrises, I always took the opportunity to shoot the sunset when able to do so. On this evening, there were just two of us shooting with Darwin from this spot. I liked the colors and the natural features of the landscape flow together to create strong visual interest.

©Don Allen

Photo 4: Canon 5dm2, 24-105mm f/4 lens at 24mm, 1 sec at f11

Sunrises can be spectacular in the Canadian Rockies and this morning was no exception. I alternated between shooting into the direction of the sun and the mountains in the opposite direction that were just being lit by the morning sun. This photo showcases the colors present while shooting towards the sun.

 

©Don Allen

Photo 5: Canon 5dm2, 24-105mm f/4 lens at 55mm, 2sec at f11

For most of the workshop, I was usually one of the last to finish shooting each scene. This image was a last second shot at the end of a sunrise shoot. I chose to use the Aspens to frame the lake and the mountains. The colorful fall grasses allow for some easy compositions around Abraham Lake in the fall.

 

©Don Allen

Photo 6: Canon 5dm2, 90mm Tilt/Shift f/2.8 lens, 1/8 sec at f8

While most of the group shot at Meeting of the Waters in Yoho National Park, I admired the ground cover near the parking area. Since fall colors are rare in my part of Texas, I was thrilled to see the myriad of colors in the leaves. Though I did not have a macro lens, I was able to utilize my 90mm tilt shift lens to provide a reasonable close-up with a focus plane parallel to the leaves.

 

Fabulous Film Fridays – September 16

Posted in Fabulous Film Fridays with tags , , , , , on September 16, 2011 by Darwin

I just shot 8 rolls of 120 slide film (and Samantha shot 12 sheets of 4×5 film) but because no one in Calgary develops E6 anymore we had to ship off the film to Vancouver. We hope the film is back in time for next week’s Film Friday. In the meantime here are two from the archive from 1999 when I shot color negative film exclusively.

©Darwin Wiggett - Rainbow near Radium

©Darwin Wiggett - Vancouver Island

 

The Weekly Photo – August 22, 2011

Posted in Image Processing and Software, Instruction, TCBlog, Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2011 by Darwin

I have said it before on this blog but I will say it again, I am really liking Oloneo photoengine for doing realistic HDR images. Royce Howland introduced to me to this software and showed me its potential. I am glad he did, it really does a great job!

Watch for an article by Royce in an upcoming edition of Outdoor Photography Canada on how to make realistic-looking HDR images. Below is a finished image from photoengine. To me it looks the way I remember the scene. Of course the camera can’t record such a high contrast range so I made 5 exposures at 2 EV intervals to record the entire dynamic range in the scene. Below you can see my RAW captures at 1.60 s, 1/15 s, 1/4 s, 1.o s and 4.o s all at f11.

©Darwin Wiggett - click to see a bigger version

©Darwin Wiggett - the RAW images

 

First two winners of the How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies Contest

Posted in eBooks, Good News, Instruction, Techniques, Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by Darwin

Note: To see all future reviews please note this blog is no longer active, please visit me over at oopoomoo.com

Check out the first two winning entries for the How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies Photo Contest

Week one is Jeff Lewis and his Bow Lake Reflection Panorama.

Week two is Michael Jame’s Vermilion Lake Infrared.

To enter the contest just click on the banner ad to the right of this post and you’ll be set to win a two-day stay at the acclaimed Aurum Lodge in the Canadian Rockies.

If you are keen about learning how to make our own eBooks and marketing them on the web check out this interview with Stephen Desroches and me over at SMIBS TV.

For a recent review of the Rockies eBook see Younes Bounhar’s blog post.

2011 Tours and Workshops – Something for Everyone

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Good News, Instruction, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2011 by Darwin

Below is a listing of tours and workshops available for 2011 and into 2012. Their are only a few spots left in these events so if you want to boost your learning in photography then come join us for a great time:

Fire and Ice Photo Tour – November 10 – 13, 2011

This event is sold out but to be added to the wait list contact the Aurum Lodge or sign up for the 2012 photo tour. This is one of my favorite tours because of the short days with great light and the intersection of new ice with the fiery skies of late fall.

Just Announced! Do to popular demand we have added a second Fire and Ice as of Oct 10. Tour starts Wed. Nov. 16th 5pm to Sunday Nov. 20th 1:30 pm (four nights at Aurum Lodge!), with the option to join a day later (Nov. 17th) for those who cannot make the four nights, but wish to come for three nights only. Cost is C$ 1,359 for the four night tour or C$ 1,019 for the three night tour all in. Contact Alan at Aurum Lodge info@aurumlodge.com to book. Only two spots left

©Darwin Wiggett

Ice Bubbles on Abraham Lake – Winter Magic Tours 2012 – Feb. 23-26, and Feb. 29 – March 4, 2012

It seems that the Ice Bubbles out on Abraham Lake have now gotten a bit famous especially after my 2008 Travel Photographer of the Year Win which featured my Abraham Lake shots. I have taken many photographers out on the ice at Abraham Lake and now their great photos are circulating around and getting lots of views. I have been leading these tours since 2005 (see the results from back then when almost everyone was still shooting film!).

It might seem an easy proposition to just drive up to the lake in winter and get great shots on your own; and yes that is possible. But the ice bubble locations change from year to year, and most people are unaware of the extreme dangers of Abraham Lake and of the other great locations near the lake. That is where your guides (Alan who lives on the shores of Abraham Lake) and I can make sure we get you to the best spots in the best light no matter the weather. And plus you get the fantastic accommodations of the Aurum Lodge which is a nice retreat after a few hours out on the ice at -25 degrees C!

In 2012, there are two tours available; Feb 23-26, and Feb. 29 – March 4 (this latter tour is already sold out). So if you are keen to photograph Abraham Lake and other great spots this coming winter, then sign up for the Feb23-26 tour before it sells out!

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett - could you find this place on your own?

The Weekly Photo – July 18, 2010

Posted in Good News, Image Processing and Software, TCBlog, Techniques, Weekly Photo, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 18, 2011 by Darwin

This week I am posting three photos from Island Lake and Island Lake Lodge in Fernie, British Columbia. Samantha and I are in the process of developing an exciting new photo workshop with Island Lake Lodge that we will announce in the next few months. Suffice to say if you want something completely unique and you like photography, wine, food, outdoor recreation and nature, then do we have a program for you! We can’t wait! In the meantime if you are in the Fernie area do check out Island Lake Lodge as a potential place to stay; you won’t be disappointed!

Also very exciting to me is a new software program introduced to me by Royce Howland called Oloneo PhotoEngine. Royce is the master of HDR and in my opinion is one of the best instructors out there on the making of realistic looking images using HDR. Royce told me he has been using PhotoEngine a lot and loves how simple and intuitive the program is for making HDR images. If Royce recommends something I try it!.

Sure enough I have become hooked on Oloneo’s PhotoEngine. It is super easy to use, has amazing capabilities and is fast. I made sixteen 3-frame HDR images in less than 1/2 hour. Of all the different HDR programs I have tried this one gives results that look the most realistic. Sure you can still make grunge cartoonish HDR’s if you want but the control sliders on this program make it easy to get precisely the image that appeals to you. This is software I recommend to anyone interested in extending the dynamic range of their digital images. I am going to get Samantha to try this program out because if anyone can find a bug or a weakness in a piece of software or a equipment it is Sam! Watch for a more detailed review in the future but my preliminary conclusion is WOW!  (Note: I am not paid not sponsored by Oloneo, I just am thrilled with the software; can you tell?).

Below is a the the middle exposure of a three frame bracket to build an HDR image (0EV, +2EV and -2EV). Yous can see that the image definitely needs more detail in the shadows and highlights that the other two bracketed photos will provide.

RAW image of 0 EV exposure

Here is the final HDR built in Oloneo’s PhotoEngine (click on the photo to see a larger version).

©Darwin Wiggett - 3 image HDR using Oloneo PhotoEngine

Here is another image of Island Lake and the Lizard Range using a 3-exposure HDR using PhotoEngine (click on the image for a larger version).

©Darwin Wiggett - 3-frame HDR using Oloneo's PhotoEngine

And Island Lake Lodge using PhotoEngine as the HDR processing software.

©Darwin Wiggett - Island Lake Lodge

Weekly Photo – January 24, 2011

Posted in Image Processing and Software, TCBlog, Techniques, Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by Darwin

 

©Darwin Wiggett

As a break from winter images I thought I would show this image taken from the West Opabin Trail in Yoho National Park in British Columbia. I liked the way the sun was filtering along the path and used my Canon 17mm TS-E lens to capture the moment. The shift feature allowed me to keep the tree trunks straight up and down. The image is a combination of Photomatix HDR with some hand-blending in Photoshop. I kept the lens flare in the photo on purpose because I liked the effect. The second image below was done exactly the same way and was taken just a bit further up the path. I could not decide which image I like best and so included them both.

©Darwin Wiggett

Winter in the Canadian Rockies eBook

Posted in Art of Photography, Articles about Photography, Books about Photography, eBooks, Good News, Inspirations, Instruction, Photography Gear, TCBlog, Techniques, VWBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 18, 2011 by Darwin

I am pleased to announce that Winter in the Canadian Rockies is the newest eBook in David duChemin’s Craft & Vision library and the latest in the Print & Process series.  In this monograph I set about to capture the spirit of Canada’s most striking mountain range in the heart of winter. Photographers of all levels, and geographic persuasion, will hopefully find inspiration and insight in this body of work, and the accompanying discussions.

In the eBook, I discuss in detail the joys and difficulties of working in the cold to capture the abstract and artistic beauty of this magical place. I also discuss my tips and techniques for both winter and abstract photography. I love winter photography and hope to inspire you out of hibernation to see the best the season offers.

Winter in the Canadian Rockies – Print & Process is available now as a downloadable PDF for just $5USD.

Special Offer on Craft and Vision PDFs

For the first five days only, if you use the promotional code ROCKIES4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of Winter in the Canadian Rockies for only $4 OR use the code ROCKIES20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST January 22nd, 2011.

Hidden Gems of 2010

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Inspirations, Stock Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2010 by Darwin

For me, 2010 was an interesting year. Stock sales continued to decline and the recession hit many photographers hard. Fortunately for me, this past year was the best year I have ever had financially because I diversified my income. I make my income from three main sources; stock photo sales (direct and through agencies), teaching (workshops, seminars and tours), and assignment (writing and photography commission work). Each contributes about 30-35% to the overall income.

The major investment I made this year to the business side of photography cost me a lot in personal creative growth. I simply had very little time to make photos. I only got out to shoot about 25% of the time and with so little time to devote to the art of photography, the creativity hit a bit of a road block.

So for 2011, I plan to achieve a better balance of business and creativity. When I look back at the 1300 ‘keepers’ I created in 2010 I was not overly impressed with what I saw. But I did make a few images I liked which I shared in my Weekly Photos and in my Daily Snaps.

Below are 10 images which are a little more subtle but that continue to please me even after looking at them for a long time.

 

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon G11

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon 1ds Mark III, Sigma 120-400

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon 1ds Mark III Sigma 120-400mm

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon 1ds Mark III, Sigma 120-400mm

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon 1ds Mark III, Sigma 120-400mm

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon G11

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon Rebel T2i, Sigma 17-50mm

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon Rebel T2i, Sigma 17-50mm

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon Rebel T2i, Sigma 120-400mm

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon G11