April 29, 2007

A Spring Field Trip

Digital original
The signs of impending spring abound, and present ample opportunities to experiment with macro photography. I still vacillate on shallow vs. deep depth of field, but in most cases, I lean towards less in focus, as in this example.
Digital original
I was stopped short by these doors as I was mentoring on the field trip; the texture, mixed with the faded paint really appealed to me.
Digital original
The last part of the day was spent on a beach, coaching students through the fine art of panning - I really felt the long, narrow crop suited the lines of waves rushing towards the shore.

April 28, 2007

A Macro Flower Session

Digital original
My mother gave me this single Christmas Cactus flower, thinking it would serve as a good macro subject - she was absolutely right. I quickly settled on a white backdrop for it, with the intent of keeping the results as luminous as possible.
Digital original
Using extension tubes, I managed to create a composition that focused on the petals of the flower, and left out all but the smallest hint of coloud.
Digital original
The above image reminds me of pink Christmas candies - chicken bones...exactly the same colour!

April 21, 2007

Fort Geroge

Digital original
My earliest focus when I began seriously exploring photography creatively was the Halifax Defence complex; at the heart of this is Fort George (the Citadel) - ironically, it was the least photographed part of the complex in those early days, mainly because it is also a major tourist site.
Digital original
Made while leading a class field trip to the fort, I was less interested in telling the story of the space as a whole, as was the focus in my early work with the structure, and more interested in the little details, like the studs on the large wooden doors. Fortunately the surface under the glossy black paint was rough, or else the reflection would be much more distracting.
Digital original, 2 frame stitch
The above image, of the wall surrounding the magazine on the south side of the fort, is probably my favorite single element of the fort, and a space I continually return to photographically.

April 15, 2007

Tanya's First Session

In what will forever seem like the epitome of irony, a couple of months after I moved away from Moncton, I was contacted by Tanya, who was interested in working with me, in the city in which she lived...Moncton. Fortunately for both of us, I was still doing some teaching in the city, and the next time I was in town, the two of us met, talked through the process, and agreed to work together.
Digital infrared original

While I would always prefer to work in landscape, celebrating the great outdoors, there is little as beautiful as window light for a classic portrait. Tanya is one of the most enthusiastic models I have had the chance to work with; she has a fabulous comfort in front of the camera, and more than enough patience to permit me to get just what I am looking for in an image!
Digital original, 7 frame stitch
Tanya and I began the session with her on a couch, but instead of covering it with white sheets, as has been my norm, I decided to work with it as is; the contrast between Tanya's warm skin, and the slightly cool fabric around her was really pleasing.

For a first session, our first together, I let Tanya direct the flow and pace; as it turned out however, she was already quite familiar with my work from viewing it online, and was more than keen to have me suggest poses and settings to work with.

The biggest surprise of the session was how much stitching I did; normally during a first session I am a little hesitant to focus so much on technique, but Tanya really took to modeling, and was an absolute pleasure to work with, so I made the most of the session, and pushed many of the compositions to the max (the largest stitch was 25 frames).
Digital original

I sometimes thing the best images are made with most simple of approaches - window light, a clean wall, and a comfortable, confident subject. Nothing more is required! Over the three hours we worked together, I made a large number of portraits, but this, made in the last minutes of the session, is by far my favorite.

April 14, 2007

Crystal Palace, Moncton

Digital original
I really like photographing motion, and worked for a couple of minutes before deciding on just the right amount of motion blur for the above image - too short and the kids spinning in the air just looked frozen; too long an exposure, and the center began to move, which was very distracting.
Digital original
The second image was made with a Russian 85mm tilt-shift lens, using a maximum tilt to skew the plane of focus. It took quite a few photographs before I finally had the timing right, and had one of the paintings on the ride crisp.