Archive for September 2011

Day 231 – Falls in Cyanotype   8 comments

Rainbow Falls, Whistler, BC

As suggested over the last couple of days by commenters Brandon (of When This Becomes There) and Adrian (of Adrian Harvey Photography) here is one of my recent waterfalls with a cyanotype treatment. I added the toning using Silver Efex Pro which offers some quick and easy preset tones that you can then fine-tune yourself.


Day 230 – I Prefer Water Falls to Children Falls   11 comments

Rainbow Falls, Whistler BC

So I’m on my own again this week. My wife is out-of-town (business trip). This isn’t a new occurrence. Over the years, she’s spent more than a little bit of time travelling. Usually it’s only a week at a time. The longest was about six weeks. More often than it seems reasonable, one of the kids comes down sick with something while she’s away. In fact, they often catch something the day she leaves.

This week did not disappoint. No one got sick, but our youngest did a face plant at the playground at school. She hit her forehead pretty hard on the one of the wooden platforms. Thankfully there was no blood. Unfortunately I was not by my phone when they called me to come fetch her, so she had to wait 45 minutes before I turned up to rescue her. Bad Dad.

As a parent of active kids, I know, as I’m sure many parents do, the basic checklist for checking your kid for a concussion. Sadly, this list has been useful to me in the past. This time she came through the list clean. No concussion, just a big, colourful goose-egg.

The photo today is Rainbow Falls again in Whistler, BC. It offers an endless range of photo opportunities.

Day 229 – Rainbow Falls, Whistler, BC   10 comments

Rainbow Falls, Whistler BC

This very photogenic set of waterfalls, called Rainbow Falls, is located in Whistler, BC. To find them, you need to be prepared to do a bit of hiking, but they’re well worth the effort. We spent a couple of hours at the falls and didn’t encounter anyone else. Happily, not even a bear. This is bear country, so the risk was there. In fact, we’d encountered two bears already this day, one less than 10ft from us before we even noticed it. Thankfully the bears weren’t interested in us.

In capturing this image above, I learned to use a feature on my camera I’d never tried before. It was an overcast afternoon and we were pretty deep in the bush and in the small valley made by the river that I was able to shoot with some long exposures from 3s to 25s. I like long exposures, but I don’t actually do them that often. What I encountered in this specific situation was that I was getting some image-ruining camera shake.

I made some attempts to stabilize the tripod, but got nowhere. Finally I realized that the problem was likely coming from the camera itself. So, for the first time ever, I tried shooting with the mirror lockup function turned on. It worked a treat. The mirror lockup function completely eliminated the camera shake.

Day 228 – What Have You Learned Lately?   9 comments

Rainbow Falls, Whistler BC

Photography (like so many things) is a constant learning process. At least it should be, but we’re all guilty of falling into habits and not trying new things. Well, maybe you’re not, but I certainly am.

Recently I had the opportunity to visit friends in Vancouver. One friend in particular is someone with whom I used to do a lot of photography. We did joint photo assignments where we would select a theme and then have one month to shoot our best work. At the end of the month, we’d get together to critique each other’s images. It was a great way to learn. He always left me wanting to do better next time. Happily, he and I had a chance to do some shooting together for the first time in nearly 10 years.

We haven’t yet had a chance to compare images from our hikes, but I learned something from him without even seeing his images. When I’m out and about I tend to shoot big pictures – landscapes, vistas. Given that we were hiking in the west coast Rockies, vistas would be the name of the game for me. And then I watched him shooting and so much of what he did was up close, capturing details, seeing textures or light that intrigued him right in front of his nose.

Many of my pictures from the hikes are still mountain vistas, but I learned to look at the little details too and find images in those smaller details.

What have you learned lately?

Day 227 – Break of Dawn   5 comments

I captured the above image as the sun finally rose over the mountains to shine down on little O’Shaughnessy Falls in Kananaskis Country, Alberta. Because the falls were still in shadow, I was able to capture a long(ish) exposure to catch the motion in the falls and yet still include the sun in the image.

I’m pleased to say that Summer went out with a bang today. I know. Technically, Summer was over a few days ago, but Edmonton recorded its highest temperature of the year today with a very pleasant 32.5C (90.5F). We celebrated with a nice, long family bike-ride. The reason I’m calling Summer over is that from today, it looks like the temp is dropping. High of 20C tomorrow (which is still fine), then quickly down to the mid-teens for the rest of the week. Given how close we are to October, and considering we had our first snowfall on Oct 25 last year, I’m thinking we’ve seen the last of the warm weather until May.

Still, I’m going to resist turning on the heat or pulling out the electric blanket for as long as I can. Right now, I’m hoping to hold out for another three weeks!

Day 226 – Life’s Not Just Rainbows and Unicorns   6 comments

You may have seen this photo a couple of days ago, but it has gone through a few more revisions in the meantime. I have to thank Adrian for the inspiration. He left a comment on Day 223 saying the previous version looked a bit Avatar. The notion stuck so I ran with it. The stripes come from the zebra on Day 211. The eyes are actually wood grain with a colour shift. The fangs were cut from a photo I pulled off the web. The concrete texture behind her is from the foundation of our house. There’s also a bit of texture in her face from the high-level bridge here in Edmonton.

My six-year old loved it so we added the tagline and turned it into a 24″x36″ poster for her bedroom wall.

Sadly, the ten-year old likes it so much, I now have to do one of her. Doesn’t she understand how long this image took me to make? Really though, it’s my own fault. Looks like I really set myself up for that one.


Day 225 – I Just Feel Like Killing People!   3 comments

Don’t worry, I don’t actually feel like killing people. My six-year old on the other hand….

The title of today’s post was what I heard uttered by my six-year old in utter joy as she played Lego Batman on the XBox this afternoon. At least the people she was killing were the bad guys. Right?

If you haven’t played the Lego series, you might not know that ‘killing’ means breaking the other characters into their component Lego pieces. There’s no blood at all. I’ve been playing the Lego series of games with my older daughter for the past 4 years and (to my knowledge) she hasn’t turned into a psychopath yet.

For now, despite the glee with which they massacre fields of bad, bad, Lego men (and women) they seem relatively well-adjusted and not inclined at all to take their killing sprees into the real world. They still enjoy regular, real-world activities like hiking across streams with their friends.

If I wake up tonight with one of them standing over my bed, I’ll assume they’re just looking for a glass of water.