November 05, 2011

Fall Retreat Day Two (Cape D'Or, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 6 frame exposure blend, 2 frame stitch
The morning light over Nova Scotia was quite interesting - as the sun moved up, it began streaming through the clouds, and providing some really great highlights in an otherwise bland sky.
Digital infrared original
Along the beach at nearby Advocate Harbour, a line of piles had been driven into the shore to prevent erosion. They were great to explore photographically.
Digital original
The last light of the day was even more colourful than the night before; the sky was a rich shade of orange, with only a few scattered clouds to provide relief.

November 04, 2011

Fall Retreat Day One (Cape D'Or, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
The sunset across the Bay of Fundy was just perfect; a long low band of red lit up the horizon, below a delicate clouded sky.
Digital original
The standing waves that formed at the end of the point at Cape D'or were fascinating to watch, and even more interesting to photograph. With the right shutter speed, the began to look like panned photographs, even though the camera was absolutely still.
Digital original, 12 frame exposure blend, 4 frame stitch
My favourite image of the sunset, this includes all the elements that worked so well - the dramatic colour of the sunset along the horizon, the strong lines in the sky, and the standing waves of the tidal rip off the point.

October 27, 2011

A Portrait of Ingrid (Ingramport, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
Created during a visit of our mutual friend (and fellow photographer, and model) Miles, this is probably my favourite portrait of Ingrid ever; she'd just found a crab apple in the middle of a sea of fallen leaves, and held it up for me to consider. The large f/1.2 aperture permitted me to focus on just the fruit, leaving Ingrid a mysterious figure behind.

September 17, 2011

Some Micro Photography (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 3 frame exposure blend
Created when a leaf was fused between two pieces of glass, this detail turns a minuscule part of this “failed experiment” into something of monumental beauty.
Digital original, 2 frame exposure blend
A different exploration of the same subject; the great thing about macro is that is you can find a subject that is of interest, it is really easy to get lost on all the possibilities when you get in close.

September 02, 2011

A Mutant Flower (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 20 frame focus blend, 2 frame stitch
As soon as I saw this Gerber Daisy, I knew it had to be photographed. The two-on-one flower was so unusual, I carefully lit it against a dead back background (having removed the stem) and then used ten frames of focus blend per composition (one left, one right) to ensure as much detail as possible was recorded for the final assembled photograph.

August 21, 2011

Photo Fair Aug. 21, 2011 (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original, 6 image exposure blend, 3 image stitch
I will be speaking at the Atlantic Photo Supply Photo Fair, presenting on Digital Infrared Photography, and showing a variety of my infrared photographs, from images of the Nude and Landscape, to recent architectural work from England.

Date: August 21, 2011
Time: 12pm to 9pm
Location: Studio 2540 Agricola , 2540 Agricola Street Halifax , N.S.
Doors open at 12pm
Cost Free

August 14, 2011

A Lake Session with Miranda (Sherbrooke Lake, Nova Scotia)

Digital infrared original
Miranda and I have not worked together for some time, this session was planned to rectify that situation, and also to return to working with her in water, something we haven't done for even longer. The lake we worked in was unfamiliar to me, so we headed for an isolated island, and worked along the shore.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
The greatest influence on the session was the evening light, which lit up the sky above the lake, and cast, low, soft highlights onto Miranda's skin.  Almost all the images were made of her emerging from the water ( as opposed to focusing on water moving over skin, which is often my focus when I work in rivers.
Digital infrared original
My favorite image of the session was one of the last made - Miranda had moved out of working in the water, and we were exploring the rocks along the shore line. A small number of water grasses were surrounding her, and I asked if Miranda could change to a pose a little lower to the water, to permit more of the evening light to shine upon the foliage. The end result is a perfect example of why I love working with infrared light.

August 12, 2011

A Full Moonrise (Sherbrook Lake, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
A full moon rising over Sherbrook Lake in mid summer is just magical to see.
Digital Original
As the moon rose, and the day's light began to fade, some optimistic ducks came along to beg for good, and pose for photos.
Digital Original

August 06, 2011

A Lighthouse at Night (Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
Peggy's Cove has a number of advantages, photographically. It is close enough to Halifax that is can be considered "near by", and yet is far enough away from the city that much of the night sky around it is black, which is a must for night photography. The above photograph was made during twilight, when the light in the sky was still bright enough to balance against the street light illuminating the side of the lighthouse.
Digital original
Much later in the evening, looking back towards Halifax, the city's glow can be seen spreading along the rock-line; the sky above though is more than dark enough to see the rotational arc of the planet.

July 18, 2011

A Night Field Trip (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
This night field trip began in a magical way - with a near full moon rising above the Eastern Passage refinery. It was challenging to balance the exposure (the moon is lit by the sun, and thus MUCH brighter than the earth at night), but the biggest problem was the movement of the moon during the long exposure - I boosted the ISO to 800 in order the minimize the motion to some degree.
Digital original
It is this kind of image that makes night photography so enjoyable to me; this corner is in a deep recess under a large building, and by day, is wrapped in shadows. At night however, the surrounding illumination for tourists floods the corner with light, and create a great space to photograph.
Digital original
The evening finished up just as high fog was blowing in over the city - here an image of the top of the World Trade & Convention Centre shares the sky with the fog, and a single moving star.

July 16, 2011

Cranes and Sky (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original
I find the simplicity of this image, made during a course field trip, really pleasing. I have used really long lenses in the past, but it is only recently that I have felt I really have begun to "see" with them.

July 04, 2011

Back from the UK (London, England to Halifax, Nova Scotia)

Digital original, 17 image exposure blend, 3 image stitch
I returned to Halifax today, after spending 17 days teaching and photographing in Northern England (and I even nipped into Scotland for an afternoon!). Now I just have to wade through all the images I made - 7,365 images (175gb of files) of architecture, landscape and abstracts…tonight I shall load them into Lightroom, and begin the first round of image culling. Once that is finished, I will move onto more critical image editing…and within a month or so, I shall have the best of this new work to share!

July 02, 2011

Conisbrough & Warwick Castle

Digital infrared original
This day was begin in southern Yorkshire, at Conisbrough Castle.It was great fun to explore, and very photogenic, as the hill it was upon shielding the surrounding town from view, and presented a fabulous setting to photograph the castle in.
Digital infrared original
I have always had a weakness for spiral stairs, and this wooden one in Warwick was no exception; I spent perhaps ten minutes photographing it; a challenge without a tripod. In the end, the above image, made with the camera balanced against the banister, was my favorite because of the sweeping curves.
Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
Photographing at Warwick Castle was challenging, as it was a serious tourist attraction, and tripods were not an option. After spending a couple of hours wandering about and photographing within the castle, I walked around the outside with a tripod, which made it much more pleasing a photographic experience.

July 01, 2011

Canada Day in the Yorkshire Dales

Digital original
The main destination for today was White Scar Cave, which proved to be much more about being in the space than photographing - the tour moved too fast for careful camera work, and the lighting was either too dim, or too harsh in most locations. The above image is one of the few I managed to make successfully - a wall of flowstone.
Digital original
Once out of the cave, I spent a while photographing the rock formations that surrounded the valley; I would have loved to have had the time to clamber around and work with better light in the space, but the clock was ticking, and the drive south was calling.
Digital original, 5 frame stich
The last image I made before packing up the car and heading into the Dales proper was of the Ribblehead Viaduct, which was the perfect foreground for the rolling Yorkshire hills behind.

The Lake District

Digital original
This morning was spent in Keswick, stocking up on road supplied, and doing a little photography while walking around. I made a dozen or so compositions of this spiral stairway, enjoying being able to see the skeletal structure integral to one of my favorite architectural features to photograph.
Digital original
The high rolling hills that surround the lake district are wonderful to photograph, especially later in the day when shadows start to lengthen, and provide some depth to the landscape.
Digital original, 2 frame stitch
The only specific destination in the Lake District during this trip was Castlerigg Stone Circle. With panoramic views and the mountains of Helvellyn and High Seat as a backdrop, Castlerigg is one of the most dramatic of the stone circles I have visited. It is also one of the oldest, raised in about 3000 BC during the Neolithic period.

June 30, 2011

An Evening in the Lake District

Digital original
After driving south from Scotland, I arrived in the Lake District late in the afternoon; after checking in to the accommodations, I drove into Kelso, and spent the evening wandering about and talking photos...not a bad way to spend a warm summer evening.
Digital original
The the main town section, there was a large cobbled area, perhaps a market or town square. The pattern of the cobblestones was really lovely, and the light reflecting off them picked up all their surface textures beautifully.
Digital Original
After dinner, on the drive back to the accommodations, the low light raked across the hills, providing beautiful modeling on their surfaces.

A Journey across the Scottish Borders

Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
One of the best stops on this drive across the Scottish Borders was at the Chester's Roman fort - it was great fun walking around the remains of this ancient fort, and even more enjoyable to make images like the above!
Digital infrared original, 6 frame exposure blend, 3 frame stitch
The real focus of the day, however, was to return to Caeverlock Castle, in Dumfries. I'd actually visited the castle before, in 2008, but was not really pleased with my photographs. This time, with much better weather (more clouds), it was worth the time and effort to get a more dramatic composition of the outside of this triangular castle.
Digital original
The drive south towards the Lake District put me driving through some of the most lovely rolling hills in all of the United Kingdom.

June 29, 2011

A Journey to Hadiran's Wall

Digital original
The drive inland from the North Sea Coast saw the landscape become more and more rugged - the rolling farmland began to be punctuated with high moors and steep rises from the plain.
Digital original, 2 frame exposure blend
The drive west was timed to have a walk along the remains of Hadrian's Wall at Sunset (after a short break for dinner, and dropping stuff off in the hotel at Twice Brewed). Just as I reached Milecastle 39, the sky began to have some colour from the setting sun, which was great to work with.
Digital original, 2 frame exposure blend
The hope for the late night walk along the wall was to make some star-trail photographs at Sycamore Gap, where the wall curves down and a lovely tree can be set against the sky. As oft is with best-laid plans, this one went the night grew darker and darker, the sky became more and more overcast. In the end, the twenty minute exposures needed to see the landscape only yielded a blurred sky...not a star in sight. I have no doubt I will return some day, to try an image like this again.

Northumberland Castles

Digital original, 7 frame exposure blend
Warkworth Castle is a ruined medieval building in the town of the same name in the English county of Northumberland. The town and castle occupy a loop of the River Coquet, less than a mile from England's north-east coast. I started this day in Warkworth Castle, thoroughly enjoying photographing the mostly intact castle (most English castles were slighted after the English Civil war, meaning their battlements and defensive potential was destroyed) - this view up the main stair case was a real pleasure to compose, bringing all the elements together into the final image.
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The outer view of the curtain wall, with the keep in the background. I found it interesting how large the arrow slits were in the walls; I'd never seen that before.
Digital infrared original, 6 image stitch
Dunstanburgh Castle is a 14th-century fortification on the coast of Northumberland in northern England, located between the villages of Craster and Embleton. The castle was built by Earl Thomas of Lancasterbetween 1313 and 1322, taking advantage of the site's natural defences and the existing earthworks of a former Iron Age fort.
Digital infrared original
After such a long walk out to the castle, it was somewhat disappointing how little was left inside, beyond the main gate...and then the sky began to cloud up, and the drama (at least from an infrared perspective) began!

June 28, 2011

Lindisfarne Castle

Digital original
The setting for Lindisfarne Castle couldn't be more perfect, perched on an outcrop spur of rock (though I can only imagine the challenge of digging the well). As I walked out towards it, I was constantly checking the balance of the composition between the wall to the side of the track, and the castle rising in the distance...and eventually, it was perfect!
Digital infrared original, 2 frame stitch
As we walked out towards the castle along the beach, the sky out to sea grew a deeper and deeper blue-gray; in colour, the sky was more leaden than dramatic, but the undertone of blue rendered really dark in infrared, helping me make the above image looking through some old wharf piles towards the castle in the distance.
Digital original
My last photographs, made before driving back to the mainland across the causeway at low tide, were of a sun-drenched field of poppies...though for this composition, I managed to find a background that was almost devoid of other flowers.

Lindisfarne Priory

Digital infrared original
Lindisfarne was the site of the first viking raid on Enland in 793 AD; the northmen attached the religious community on the island, and went on to capture most of North-eastern england. The priory who's ruins I photographed was re-established in Norman times in 1093 as a Benedictine house and continued until its suppression in 1536 under Henry VIII. The standing remains date from this later priory which is not on the original site, the parish church occupies that.
Digital original
Much like Whitby Abbey, 2.5 hours drive to the south, the stone at Lindisfarne was weathered into the most incredible patterns and textures - absolutely perfect to photograph.