Archive for November 2011

Day 268 – Wild Horses Couldn’t….   12 comments

Found this friendly horse walking near the road in Cape Range National Park in Western Australia a few years back. This horse and others had been released into the park by owners who presumably couldn’t or didn’t want to care for them anymore. I don’t know much about horses, but judging by the ribs on this one, it doesn’t look terribly well fed.

We had spent Christmas in Perth and after some travels to the south, headed further north to stay in Exmouth. There’s not much in Exmouth, aside from the emus that walk slowly around the town and seem particularly fond of standing in the middle of the main road looking at cars trying to get through. The town serves as a great spot from which to see the national park and to explore the string of beaches that run down the western edge of the park.

Due to its remoteness (Exmouth is 1270km north of Perth), the beaches are very quiet. In fact, we often found ourselves having the beach entirely to ourselves. An interesting feature of the park is that the Ningaloo Reef runs along the coastline. It’s so close that you can just grab your snorkel, mask and fins and swim right out to the reef from the beach without ever venturing into deep waters or strong currents.

We chose to fly to Exmouth from Perth, which turned out to be a bit pricey given the remote locale. Not sure there would be a next time, but if there is, we might instead choose make the 15 hour drive.



Day 267 – Un-climatized   18 comments

This picture shows the kind of weather that I prefer. Warm. In fact, very warm. Mid to high 30s celsius (95-100F). I don’t even mind so much when it touches into the low 40s (104F+). Never really thought I was a  hot weather guy, but over the past 15 months in Central Alberta I’ve learned that I’m apparently not a cold weather guy. That’s a shame considering winter manages to run nearly six months around here. Albertans must be hearty folk!

I’m still working on my winter tolerance. I’m sure it’s going to kick in any day now! I should be better at this whole mind-numbingly-cold-weather thing. I grew up in Northern Ontario where -20c was a pretty regular occurrence in the winter months. I should be bred for winter. Perhaps I was, but I spoiled it by gradually migrating to warmer and warmer climates. I’m now much more a man of the tropics or at the very least, the near-tropics.

Since the tropics are far, far away, I’m trying to look on the bright side. It shouldn’t be long before we have enough snow that we can head out to the slopes for some downhill skiing!



Day 266 – Catching the Action   5 comments

Here’s another wedding reception image. For some of the dance part of the evening, I wanted to use a technique that captures the motion and energy of an active scene. Note that the only post processing on this image was a bit of curves adjustment and a crop. I’m sure this technique is familiar to many, but just in case it’s a bit of a mystery, here’s what I did.

I used a simple approach where I had the flash set to second curtain synchronization, the camera on manual and used a slow shutter speed (settings were ISO 50, f2.2, 100mm, 0.3s).  With second curtain sync, the flash triggers at the end of the exposure rather than the default of triggering at the beginning of an exposure. When this is combined with a slow shutter speed, a moving subject will have a motion blur following them to a point of stillness.

In this image, the subject was not moving in a straight line, so the motion blur is in multiple directions. Also there were coloured strobes adding to the scene and freezing moments (like where her head is up and turned to the left). The technique creates a lot of misses, especially on a dance floor where there are lots of people moving in and out of the frame and flailing limbs appearing unexpectedly in your shot. I tried exposure times varying from 0.3s to 1.6s. The longer exposures tended to capture a bit too much chaos in a very active scene.

I think I came away with a few pretty fun shots that hopefully captured the energy of the evening.

Day 265 – Perspective   5 comments

I took this picture at a wedding reception recently. I had lots of images of the guests and wanted to get a different perspective; in this case, the perspective of someone on the outside looking in. It features neither the bride nor the groom (at least not so far as I can tell), but I hope it captures the notion of the party rather than any specific individual.

It’s been a little while since I shared one of my recent finds. I’m currently enjoying the photos of Alex Frank, especially from his recent trip to Japan. His most recent photo takes a slightly elevated perspective on the busy streets of Shibuya (in Tokyo) and captures the busy crowds in motion. Check him out!

Day 264 – Jazz Hands!   9 comments

Look! It’s another silly glasses portrait!

The great thing about child photography is they need so few props to get them motivated.

Day 263 – Gettin’ Her Gangsta On!   15 comments

Another silly kid portrait. This is a four-year old (the picture is a couple of years old) trying to look tough. What do you think? Is she pulling it off?

Day 262 – Balancing the Scales   10 comments

Today’s photo is the older daughter again as I continue to balance the scales on the kids being featured in the blog. I’m sure I’m going to end up over correcting, but I’ll worry about that later.

This photo was taken just a few days after yesterdays photo. The ridiculous cardboard glasses were part of a photo contest that I was participating in at the time. The contest had a few props that had to feature in the photos. Given the over-size nature of the glasses, I went with a humorous approach. I didn’t actually submit this image, though it was one of my favourites.

I shot this with my 20mm lens, not your typical choice for a portrait, but I like the distortion in this case for a fun twist on a child portrait.