Archive for October 2011

Day 254 – To Comment Or Not To Comment   10 comments

I received a question a couple of days ago asking which photos tend to generate the most comments. I could look at the stats and check exactly which posts have generated the most comments, but I don’t think I’d find a common thread. From my blog reading experience over the past nine months, I know that my blog garners more comments than some and a whole lot less than others. One blog I follow consistently has more than 100 comments (excluding author replies) on almost every single post! For me, 10 reader comments is a very busy day.

I comment when a picture or the story that goes with it says something to me. I’m also more likely to jump in with a comment when I find an image that stands out from the crowd. When I do comment on a photo, I keep my comments positive, focussing on what I like about an image. I steer clear of constructive feedback unless I know the blogger doesn’t mind.

I tend to avoid leaving comments on blogs that are outside my comfort zone (e.g., fashion or food photographers) or on blogs that I basically consider to be out of my league.

One thing I believe to be true is that most bloggers want to engage at least to some degree with their readers (and fellow bloggers) so I think most really appreciate when someone takes the time to share their thoughts on an image or a post. Personally, I love it when readers decompose one of my images and tell me what works and doesn’t work and suggest what they would have done differently. If you see something that you don’t like, let me know, but don’t just tell me you don’t like it, make sure you tell me what you’d change.

I wish I knew what factors led readers to comment or to just have a look and keep moving on past. What makes you stop and comment? If you’ve read this far, leave a quick note and tell me what you makes you stop and leave a comment.


Day 253 – Digital Darkroom Techniques   15 comments


This is a pretty old image. I can’t actually say when I captured it, but I can tell you that I was shooting with film and it was during an early morning rain on Salt Spring Island. Yes, Salt Spring Island again. You’d think I lived there given how often I feature images from the island.

You may have noted that I’ve been posting images from the archives lately. I’m enjoying going through my catalogue to see how I can breath new life into old (and not so old) images with everything I’ve learned over the past six to eight months.

If any of these techniques are of any interest to you whatsoever, you should pop on over to a new blog called Digital Darkroom Techniques. This is a collaborative blog for a community of post-processors that want to share their secrets and build up their toolkit. This is a brand new blog so there’s only one post up at the moment, but we’re hoping it’ll grow and become a great meeting place for WordPress photo bloggers that want to learn more about post-processing of their digital images. Other than myself, the current list of bloggers signed up to contribute include Brandon Brasseaux of When This Becomes There, David Williams of Photographs by David, and Emily Gooch of Emily’s Photography Blog.

We’re keen for folks to join up and share. If you’re frequently found hunkered down in your digital darkroom and you want to share the secret steps in your process then express your interest in a comment on the Digital Darkroom Techniques About page. A couple of admin steps will need to happen, then you’ll be all set to contribute an article of your own. Look forward to seeing you there.

Day 252 – Sunset over the Strait of Georgia   18 comments


Where yesterday’s image was captured on the way into Vancouver, this was the view as I departed Vancouver the next day as the sun set. While the colours have been tuned up a bit through the application of the texture, the actual colours of the sunset weren’t so far off this. I captured this image from the ferry looking away from Vancouver.

A few days ago, I passed on a recommendation for a photo blog I’d found (FATman). I subscribe to a silly number of photography blogs, more than I reasonably have time to keep up with, and yet I continue to keep my eyes peeled for more. When I find a gem, I’ll pass it on. Today’s gem is Andrew McLachlan. He’s a wildlife and landscape photographer in Barrie, Ontario (a fellow Canadian!). I was hooked when I saw this recent collection of autumn landscapes. Follow the link – it’ll be well worth your time.



Day 251 – Sunrise at Mt. Baker   10 comments

Mt Baker

I captured this image of Mt. Baker last summer as I was travelling to Vancouver on an early morning ferry from Salt Spring Island. This vantage point is still pretty far from shore and shot with a 400mm, hence Mt. Baker looks like its sitting right at the coast when it’s actually over 150km in the distance. I like how the sun had lit up the mountain top, but had not yet made it through the clouds.

Day 250 – Moving at the Speed of Fun   7 comments

I tried to post something yesterday, but nothing was working for me. I tried a few photos, but everything I tried fell flat. After four or five images failed to resolve in my mind I decided I needed to back away from the computer. I think I was too immersed in Friday’s photo. Thanks everyone for all the kind words. It’s so great when you take the time to tell me what you think about one of my images.

I wanted to keep with the idea of motion today, but with a completely different subject and flavour. This is clearly a panning shot where few details are still. This reminds me so much of the beach and everything I love about visiting (or living by) the ocean – the joy, the light, the energy.

Day 249 – Fly By   25 comments

Parrot in Flight

This is a red-tailed black cockatoo shooting past me as I grabbed a few frames at 1/40s. And no, we don’t have any cockatoos here in Edmonton. This shot is a few years old when I was living in Australia. The slow(ish) shutter speed allowed me to capture the motion and the panning allowed me to capture some detail in the bird.

This is a photo that originally had quite vibrant colours, but I found it all a bit distracting. There was so much colour it actually detracted from the image (for me). By removing the colours, I stripped this down to nothing but the bird and its shadow.

The problem with this photo is I think I captured it a moment too late. If I had shot the bird when it was in front of me or coming up to me rather than having just passed me, I would have seen its face and an eye. The image still works for me, but I’d be very interested in seeing the same thing rewound back in time about five seconds.

On another note, I’m always keeping an eye out for new photo blogs that make me stop and look. Found a new blog today – new to me, not new to blogging. If you love artistic images with mood and feeling, you have to check out FATman Photos. There are some very interesting images with a unique eye. Take a look!



In case you’re interested (as Jeff mentions below in the comments), this is the original image with no edits save for some dust removal.


Day 248 – Flight From the Chief   9 comments

Embarrassing. Accidentally pushed the publish before I was ready to publish – sorry ’bout that folks. My first misfire since I started this blog. Blank tweet removed from Twitter. Blank post removed from FB. This post quickly updated with a rather rushed post. Where exactly is the QA process here?!?

As you can see, I’m still going through images from my trip out west. If this bird looks familiar, that’s because I took this picture just a few seconds before this one.

Just a quick one for me today – I’m single-dad’ing for the next ten days, it’s nearly 10pm and someone needs to finish doing the dishes. Oh the excitement!

BTW – do you like this toning better? Or do you prefer the blue?