Everything that is created on the Earth–fine, unique and surprising–is created by nature. Or God. It seems to us that when the potter molds an amphora from clay, he sees before himself such image. We have tried to “mold” an amphora by means of a photo. And it seems to us that it has turned out. ~ Olga and Boris
Archive for fine art photography
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)! ;-)
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) ;-)
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.
The B+W version (conversion done in Nik Silver Efex Pro) – which version do you prefer?
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.
Cline River Canyon
Lumix GH2, Zuiko 11-22mm lens at 22mm (44mm equiv.), ISO 160, f8 at 1/60s, + 1.33 EV
Lumix GH1, Lumix 100-300mm lens at 200mm (400mm equiv.), ISO 100, f16, 1/10s, +0.7 EV
Morning Sun on Vision Quest
Lumix GH1, Lumx 100-300mm lens at 170mm (340mm equiv.), ISO 100, f9, 1/40s, +0.7 EV
Lumix GH2, Zuiko 11-22mm lens at 21mm (42mm equiv.), ISO 160, f16, 0.6s, +1 EV, solid ND filter
Lumix GH2, Zuiko 12-60mm lens at 21mm (42mm equiv.), ISO 160, f16, 1/5s, + 0.66 EV
The Drain at Whirlpool Point
Lumix GH2, Zuiko 11-22mm lens at 11mm (22mm equiv.), ISO 160, f14, 0.8s, +0.66 EV
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 (email@example.com) to for more information.
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.
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.