Archive for Calgary

Upcoming Camera Store Seminars

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

Samantha and I are doing three seminars for The Camera Store in Calgary, Alberta. Below are the dates and the topics we are covering – click on the titles for more information:

The Complete Photo – Sat April 16, 1-3 PM

In this 2-hour seminar, Darwin and Samantha will show you how they approach a scene, distill the scene to the essence of the subject matter, and finally edit and process the resulting images. Darwin and Samantha will explain how to develop your personal style and creativity and will explain how to determine what images are worth keeping. Learn how personal vision affects how they choose their subject and how they portray and present that subject to their viewers.

Basic & Advanced Filters for Creative Digital Nature Photography – May 28, 2011, 1:30-3:30 PM

Think there’s no place for filters with digital nature photography? Think again! Discover which four filters are an essential component of every nature shooter’s photographic arsenal.

Capitalize on the benefits of filters and learn how to create evocative imagery while saving time in post-production. You will also find out which filters deliver effects that can’t be replicated in software no matter how talented you are behind the computer. Learn advanced techniques using multiple filters and add polish to your in-camera captures. And finally, learn how to build a filter system that will grow with you, no matter what gear you use.

There will be filters and filter systems on hand for you test out for yourself. Come and see why filters are critical tools even in the age of HDR and complex software processing.

The Tilt-Shift Lens Advantage for Outdoor and Nature Photographers – June 11, 1-4 PM

Discover why Tilt-Shift Lenses are the hottest lenses in nature and landscape photography. With Tilt-Shift lenses, dSLR photographers gain all the advantages of lens movements so important in large format landscape photography. Learn the benefits of tilting for precise control over depth-of-field and shifting for awesome perspective correction. See how Tilt-Shift lenses can open up the world of panoramic and stitched image photography without need for specialized accessories. Darwin and Samantha explore how Tilt-Shift lenses can be used creatively in the quest for the perfect nature photograph. Spend one hour in the classroom learning the theory and practical applications and two hours in the streets of Calgary exploring the use of Tilt-Shift lenses in real word scenarios. A limited number of Canon and Nikon Tilt-Shift lenses will be on hand to try out. Sign up early; space is limited.

 

©Darwin Wiggett

Fabulous Film Fridays – March 4

Posted in Art of Photography, Controversy, eBooks, Fabulous Film Fridays, Good News, Image Processing and Software, Instruction, Techniques with tags , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2011 by Darwin

Thanks to everyone who made comments and voted on the Battle of Beep and Bop (Samantha and my little Holga shoot-out). Anyone who followed the battle knows that I made a wee mistake with my Holga, Bop, which resulted in washed-out overexposed images. I thought for sure that Samantha would win the contest and I would be stuck on vacuum duties for a month. But alas and thankfully, once the votes were counted, the surprising result was a tie! It seems some people liked my ‘high key’ images, calling them ethereal and airy (and other arty terms I didn’t understand). I don’t care what they were called as long as I am not doing the Hoover Hose Dance for a month!  There will be a rematch of the Beep and Bop and you’ll be invited to come along so stay tuned.

We wanted to give a small reward to those who took the time to comment on The Battle of Beep and Bop and the best comment earned a free eBook from us from the Visual Wilderness website. We like Brad Mangas’ comment:

I really want to vote for Sam because she wears cool hats, but in the short videos you two make I seem to hear Darwin talk more so for some reason I relate to him more thus his picture delivers a more personal feel to me. So I must go with my heart and vote for Brando. I would like to trade my free ebook for an all expense paid workshop please, thank you.

We also liked Kelly Morgan’s comment which is as arty as my overexposed photos.

I vote for Beep. I like the soft focus and color in the alley shot. In general, I like the effort that Bop gives. Bop seems to infuse Holga essence into these everyday scenes, while Beep seemingly records pencil sketches on cocktail napkins. It’s almost as if Bop, in its passive-aggressive manner, mocks Beep for even trying. And that is blatantly blurring the lines of friendly competition, and that is why I would like to see a photo from Bop of Darwin vacuuming with Beep around his neck.

We couldn’t decide who was more erudite, so we award both Brad and Kelly one of eBooks!

Some people might wonder why I didn’t just adjust the brightness of the overexposed film images in Photoshop to give a better result. For sure, some post manipulation of the scanned negative can give a better looking result. Below is one of my grossly overexposed negatives. Looks pretty ‘ethereal’ wouldn’t you say?

©Darwin Wiggett

With my Imacon film scanner and Photoshop I managed to squeeze all the information I possibly could from the negative and I got this result:

©Darwin Wiggett

The looks pretty good but there is a big price to pay for making a crappy negative and then trying to suck information out of it in a scan and that’s noise — check out the details of an enlarged section of the ‘fixed’ photo from above:

©Darwin Wiggett

With a properly exposed negative I might get film grain but no noise from the scanner – so unless I try to pass this off as a Georges Seurat pointillism masterpiece, it’s pretty crappy quality for a photo.

Just for fun, I took the same shot with the Canon G11. Thanks to the instant feedback of digital and the histogram display, I did not mess up the exposure!

©Darwin Wiggett

The Battle of Beep and Bop

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Controversy, Fabulous Film Fridays, Humor with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 18, 2011 by Darwin

Samantha and I decided to have a little competition for this week’s Fabulous Film Friday. We grabbed our Holga cameras and a couple of rolls of 120 film and headed for Inglewood in Calgary. The rules were simple. Walk the streets for two hours and make images. We would then get the film developed and scan the negatives to display them here. There was no post-processing except for removing dust spots and a minor curve or colour correction to get the scan to be a good representation of the film image.

I thought I had this contest won before we even started. Hell, I have 25 years of experience with film – I doubt that Sam has shot 25 rolls of film in her life! And who showed Sam how to use a Holga? And who kept reminding her to take the lens cap off, to set the aperture to sunny or shade, and to always remember to focus the lens? This contest wouldn’t even be fair!  Loser vacuums for a month!!

Samantha: I have to admit, I was pretty intimidated when you were so…helpful.

Darwin: Except that I was so busy being charitable, that I forgot to check Bop for one critical setting.

Samantha: Right!  Tell our friends what that setting was, Darwin (grin grin).

Darwin: Well there is a shutter setting for normal (about 1/60th of a second) and then one for Bulb (where the shutter stays open as long as you hold down the shutter button).

Samantha: And what setting was Bop at for this bright sunny afternoon in downtown Calgary?

Darwin: Ummm… well… Bulb. I forgot to change the setting from last time I took pictures with Bop.

Samantha: Let’s go back to that part you were just saying about ‘professional photographer of 25 years’….

Darwin: Oh, you mean the part about the professional shooter of 25 years with a handful of washed out negs.  Actually I am surprised I even captured anything on those washed out negs, but I did manage to get a couple of shots with something there.

Samantha: Guess I didn’t need all that help after all, but thanks anyway.  So, do we call the contest yet or post a couple more results next week?

Darwin: I doubt a couple more results will save me, but sure, let’s do that.  I don’t want to vacuum for a month!

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional

Posted in Articles about Photography, Books about Photography, Good News, Image Processing and Software, Inspirations, Marketing, Photography Gear, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 10, 2010 by Darwin

One of the classic genres of photography is the figure study. It seems you simply can not go through your career in photography without dabbling in the art of photographing the nude. My first attempt at nude work was stressful and daunting! I did not know how to find models (I used a friend the first time). I knew very little about appropriate techniques both in-camera and in the chemical darkroom. But worst of all I had to overcome the tunnel vision that your subject is a nude person – yikes!

The first couple of tries produced results that were less than satisfactory. I was not confident of my photographic capabilities, I had no idea how to direct the model, I had no concept of what I was shooting and why. I had no props, no great location, and none of the civilized niceties needed to make a shoot go well (you know blankets, bathroom, water etc). I simply had a camera and a naked person in front of me – now what?

There is so much to consider to do a nude shoot well and to come across professionally. You just don’t jump into it like I did. Over the years, I refined my working method and have done numerous nude shoots both in the studio and outdoors. I think I have learned a lot and am much better at it than I was initially. Part of the learning process was trail and error and part was by studying books on the subject. I have seen some decent books on nude photography over the years but only recently did I discover the BEST book on the subject I have ever seen. Ashley Karyl’s e-book “How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional” is a winner. It is a 328 page compendium of everything you need to know to photograph the human form.

I can not believe the detail and thought that went into Ashley’s book. Ashley covers everything you need to know from finding models, working with models, lighting (indoors and outdoors), props, locations, hair, make-up, camera and lenses, marketing, releases, digital workflow, retouching, printing and on and on and on. Not only is this a great book on how to photograph the nude, it is a fine book on the art of photography in general. Highly recommended!

To order Ashley’s book click here.

How to Photograph Nudes Like a Professional

By the way, Samantha and I are putting into practice many of the lessons that we learned from Ashley’s e-Book by doing location nude shoots of male and female models here in Alberta. We will present our results at the Digital Photo Expo on October 2 in Calgary. Hope to see you there! In the meantime, happy shooting and watch out for mosquitos!

©Darwin Wiggett

The Daily Snap – July 13

Posted in The Daily Snap with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by Darwin

©Darwin Wiggett - Canon G11

Typically storms come through the area and bypass Cochrane (where we live) and head straight to Airdrie and Northwest Calgary and pound the hell out of those regions. Last night we saw some typical big thunder heads developing in the usual spots and so we headed to capture the action. This was our first stop and a captured the big towering cloud in the background with the Canon G11. I used a Gitzo 2542L tripod and did three shots bracketed at 0, -2 and +2 to capture information across the contrasty scene. In post, I used Photomatix’s Exposure Fusion to blend back the three exposures into a scene the way my eye saw it. Later as the sun was lighting up the cloud at sunset I pulled out the big gun of a camera (the Canon Rebel T2i) and took some more shots. 😉