May 31, 2009

Jessica & Ryan at the Coast (Polly's Cove, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original
Today I finally thought the weather was warm enough for an outdoor session, so I headed with Jessica and Ryan to the coast…where it was cool, then foggy, then cold. You can never win. Fortunately, the couple felt it was warm enough to do some photos, so we began with a set of images of Jessica and Ryan together on the side of a granite rock face.
Digital infrared original
This was one of the last poses of the session - I’d hoped for Jessica to stand on the rock, surrounded by the soft water and seaweed, but all she could do was huddle against the cold…still, it made for a beautiful, delicate portrait.
Digital original, 4 image stitch
Knowing that walking out to the rock, I saved the above composition to last. When I described it to her, Jessica agreed a body on the small rock, in front of the big rock would look awesome, so for the last images of the session, she waded out to the rock, and worked through a handful of poses upon it, my favorite of which is above.

May 24, 2009

A Rainy Morning

Digital original
During a field trip with students along the Dartmouth waterfront, I came across the perfect example of "keep it simple" - a single tulip petal fallen onto the bark mulch.
Digital original
I came close to cancelling this field trip due to the weather - earlier in the day it poured with rain, but by the time the field trip was to begin, it had cleared, and no more rain was forecast...but the rain had done its damage, and numerous tulips were battered down by the downpours.
Digital original
The last image of the field trip was one simple, unopened tulip, set against the out of focus mulch behind. I've often wondered about photographer's preference for photographing in good weather, and I think it is more about the comfort of the creator than any issue with "challenging weather being un-photogenic"!

May 16, 2009

An Wedding! (Ottawa, Ontario)

Digital original
The real reason for this visit to Ottawa was to see Miles and Natasha wed; it was a great event, and an honour to be part of it. Unfortunately the weather was less than ideal (rainy), but shortly after the ceremony was over, the rain let up for some candid photos. I have always said the only people I'd do wedding photos for would be models...and in this case, it was 2 for 2!
Digital original
My real hope, from when I first learned that Miles and Natasha were getting married, was that we'd be able to do some photos with the houses of parliament in the background. Though it was a little cool, we did indeed, combining a couple of flashes with a long exposure to make a series of photographs celebrating the special day.
Digital original

The best image at Parliament was the last one I made - it was also the most complex. In addition to two off-camera flashed (one on the right providing the hard light on Miles' back, and one on the left, firing into a reflector and providing the main light on both of them, a kind tourist with a DSLR with a pop-up flash was couching behind both of the models, providing a little rim light to their hair...one of the advantages of using a 2 second exposure is that it is easy to sync manually fired flashes.

It is also obvious I did some cloning on the peace tower...as all the lights are on!

May 15, 2009

Walking Around Parliment

Digital infrared original
I've only been to Ottawa twice before, and both times it was during winter, so this visit was a real pleasure - a chance to walk around the town without freezing to death! The main focus of this afternoon was photographing around the houses of Parliament.
Digital infrared original
One of the best parts of Parliament is the library, around the back of the main building. The sky behind was near perfect for infrared, and a real pleasure to photograph the building against.
Digital original
Though it is still two weeks to Canada, the flower beds around parliament are all planted with red tulips, which are perfect for a very Canadian looking composition.

May 12, 2009

A Rusty Buoy Chebucto Head (and ingrid)

Digital original
While visiting Chebucto Head with Ingrid and Victoria (who was visiting from England), we just happened to come across a massive battered and rusty buoy, cast up high on the granite rocks, and basking in the sun.
Digital original
After some attempts to photograph it alone, both Ingrid and Victoria suggested it would work better with a body interacting with it. I was inclined to agree. As wonderful as this rusted buoy was, it was quite challenging to work with - the light was harsh, and the air cool (it was early spring), so we had to work fast. In the end, I had Ingrid work with the chain, as a prop to support her pose.
Digital Original
After making half a dozen compositions of both models, I became convinced the results were not worth the effort (it was a chilly spring day), so as the two got their clothes back on, I moved to the shadow side of the buoy, and made some compositions focused on the rush and battered paint.

May 10, 2009

Ocean Surf

Digital original
Made during a field trip to Prospect, near Halifax, this is one of my favorite uses of slow shutter speed to show water motion - the timing with the waves was a little tricky, so the above image was only one of a dozen or so attempts - most of which did not work anywhere near as well as this.

May 01, 2009

Crystal Cresent Beach

Digital original
A beach walk with a friend provided me it with the chance to make some more contemplative photographs - images made just by seeing, as opposed to hunting for a photograph.
Digital infrared original
Infrared portrays seaweed so differently from how the eye view it that can be transformative when everything comes together, as it did in this composition. It is also an image that makes the most of a tilt-shift lens.
Digital orignal
The best images of the walk, however, were waves pulling back from a seaweed covered rock; I made perhaps two dozen versions of this, learning how the water rendered during the multi-second exposure, and refining the timing. In the end, a couple were really pleasing, but this one had everything I was looking for - including a reason to be in colour.