…that I’m a little preoccupied lately? I suppose that might be evident from the blog. I haven’t posted in three weeks! While I’ve had the camera out a bit, it has almost entirely been either for work purposes (teaching photo workshops at my daughter’s school), practical purposes (photographing many of my worldly possessions so I can post them online and sell them), or documentary purposes (photographing graduation and going away parties). I have not shot for fun at all in these past three weeks.
Instead of photography, I’ve been downsizing our household, sorting out plane tickets, and organising movers because we’re moving again. If you’ve followed this blog for a long time, you’d know that we’re a bit nomadic. We’ve lived in several cities in Canada including Ottawa, Fredericton, Toronto, Vancouver, and Edmonton. We’ve also lived in New Zealand and in Australia. We’ve never tried the same city twice until now. In three days, we’re putting our lives in a shipping container and sending it back down under.
Before we go, we’re going to do a bit of a cross-country tour going as far west as Vancouver and Salt Spring Island and as far east as Ottawa with lots of stops in between. When we’re well and truly exhausted, we’ll board our flight to Melbourne on August 17.
With us flipping our lives upside down this summer, you’re not going to hear from me very often, but hopefully, I’ll have lots of stories and lots of pictures to share once we get settled in late August.
Enjoyed a Sunday shoot with this little supermodel…
Today was day two of a set of three workshops that I’m running at my kids’ school. The grade 6 art class has a photography unit that they generally outsource. This year, it’s my pleasure to teach the photo unit to three classes of 11 to 12 year olds. I’ve really been enjoying the workshops. I had a great time developing the teaching material and it was challenging trying to select the course content for such a broad subject given that it needs to be squeezed into just a half day.
The way we finally structured the class is to go through a very quick history of photography and run through the basic technical capabilities of the classroom cameras (Nikon Coolpix L26) discussing focus, exposure and scene modes. They then get 20 minutes outside to shoot. Then we bring them back in, teach them about light and composition and then send them out again with the hope that the second round of pictures are better than the first. They pick their best images, we have a quick Q&A and we’re done. Goes by in no time for me and they seem to be having fun.
When I agreed to do the workshops, my oldest daughter warned me that I needed to do a good job. She said the kids all talk about their teachers and she wanted to be sure that I would make a good impression. Hopefully I haven’t embarrassed her yet…
Okay, so this isn’t art, but it’s a bit of fun. We, like much of North America, are having a pretty warm Spring here in Edmonton, but Spring has had a lot of false starts here. It gets warm and the snow melts, then it snows again. Thankfully, with the warm weather, the snow hasn’t been sticking around. Yesterday the weather folks put out a winter storm warning saying we were going to get 25cm of snow. While enjoying a sunny day at 11C, it seemed hard to believe that a snow storm was on the way, but just in case they were right, I set up my tripod to take a before and after shot.
The right side of this image is from yesterday afternoon around 5pm. There was no snow in sight. At about 4am this morning the storm hit Edmonton. The left side of the image is from 8am after we’d been hit by more than 15cm of heavy snow.
The forecast is calling for above-zero temperatures for the next week so hopefully this return to winter will be brief.
I think I might be on a reflections theme…
We’re finally enjoying winter here in Edmonton. The cold blast has passed and we’re hovering just below 0C. The camera is sitting quietly on the desk and we’re out having fun in the snow. Yesterday, it was sledding at a local hill. Today, it was downhill skiing. I hope you’re having fun too!
A little fun with reflections.
Seriously, who would force their kids to come out modelling for photos when it’s -30C outside? Not me. I just asked and she agreed. Honest! Still, judging from the pose, there was still a little bit of ‘hurry-it-up-Dad!’ going on.
The above is my first time with a technique or method that has earned the name the “Brenizer Method” (Brandon Brasseaux shared this technique in a recent post). It’s named for the photographer who popularized the method. Mr Brenizer seems to prefer calling it bokehrama because it is simply a panorama shot with a shallow depth of field. The exaggerated shallow depth of field really makes your subject pop.
I shot 49 images, but this is a stitching of fewer than half the images. My decision to select just fewer images was primarily subject size in the frame, but also the processing to include a greater number of images was testing my patience. I used a 100mm lens set to f2.0 for the images. Manual focus allowed me to retain a consistent focus throughout the images.
To give you an idea of my proximity to my model, the initial frame is just her head and shoulders. I was pretty close.
Give it a try if you like, but make sure you leave plenty of time for your computer to crunch away. This is processing intensive.