Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Working some abstracts today.

Out this afternoon and early evening with Cool and Luke as Tuesday is a busy night for activities. While sitting in Cool's Jazz Dance class (see third photo below) I noticed a nice and unique light on the folds on the leg of my pants. Knowing this could make an excellent abstract image I pointed the camera on to my knee and shot a frame. I did very little post processing other then cropping, contrast and centre focus in Snapseed and frame in RealCamera+.

These two images were taken in the gym where Cool has his choir practice. While walking around as a parent helper I noticed the hardware in the floor for attaching gymnastic equipment and the ropes on the wall. When I got the chance I shot a couple quick frames. Later I brought both in to Snapseed. The above image was my Instagram 366 image for today and was cropped, darkened and the Drama 2 filter added as well as the border. The image of the ropes was rotated, cropped and grunge added before using PhotoToaster for the framing.

The last two images are of my boy's. Not really abstracts but fun captures I wanted to share. The first is Cool dancing with his ever present smile. He is still learning having only started dancing a year ago but he enjoys it very much. The last was the two of them at the end of a long day. Luke fell asleep quickly on Cool's shoulder and it was so cute I just had to snap a frame. Both were cropped and the frame added with Snapseed. The last one had a little centre focus added to blur the edges.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Braving the stares.

Although I seem to have shot most of my photo's for this project in or around my house, I have also shot a number of them in malls or stores. One of the things you have to get use to is people staring at you when you pull out the iPhone to take a photo of something very ordinary. Today was one of those days as I was at the cashier in Futureshop purchasing some batteries. I happened to notice this display of Mario figures beside the till and knowing my boys are big fans of Super Mario they would enjoy the photo I was about to take. All though she was very friendly, I am sure she was wondering what I was doing when I told her I wanted to take a quick snap of the figures. Undaunted I lined up my shot then asked if I could move some distracting flyers that were beside them and proceeded to snap a frame. I then smiled at her said thanks and went on my way. Once I got to the food court I sat down for lunch and then brought the photo in to Snapseed for some cropping and centre focus before using RealCamera+ for the frame and posting it to Instagram. When I showed the boys that loved the shot.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Instagram 366 Project Day 29.

Even though I like shooting with the iPhone because it allows me to have fun doing post processing in apps like Snapseed, I still know when nothing is needed. Today's photo was one of those. I was at the back of St. Luke's Church putting some mike stands away when I looked up and saw this gorgeous scene above me. I love the triangles, the shadows and the blues from the light and the early morning sky. This is one where I knew I did not need any enhancement but to leave it as the lord showed me.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day of shooting at SAIT.

Today was a shooting day for my Wedding Photography class at SAIT. I took my students over to the Parkade where our lovely group of subjects would do the first round of posing. It was a little chilly but they braved to cold and the student's where able to get a lot of different shots.

Today I broke out the Canon 7D with the 24-70 f2.8 lens for most of the shots I took. However I still pulled to the iPhone for a few and took a second image to do some post in Snapseed so I could use the photo for my Instagram 366 image. I'm quite happy with both but here are both shots for you to judge for yourself. The above was shot at 6400 ISO, f9 at 1/80 sec.

We then moved over to Heritage Hall which was much warmer and comforatble to shoot in. Here are a few of the images I recorded. The students really enjoyed the chance to work with our models and were able to create a variety of differnet looks as there are a lot of spots inside the building.

At the end of the shoot we went back to the classroom and one of my students who were helping the girls get changed cam running back to the room and asked me to get one more shot. I clicked a few on her camera then pulled out the iPhone and shot one for myself. The bottom image is processed using Pictureshow.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Flashbulbs and sunrise's.

Photography is all about light and these two images are at the extreme ends. The top image was shot this morning as an early morning glow hit McMahon stadium as I was heading over to meet with Rolando Gomez. I loved the way the light skimmed across the front of the stadium and how the Stampeder logo jumped off the building in the light. Only post processing to this image was cropping and frame added in Snapseed and then uploaded to Instagram.

The image below was shot last night of some flashbulbs that I have sitting in my display case. Here are a few of the early tools used to provide light for photo's. I took these off the shelf and shot them with the iPhone then used Snapseed to add a bit of grunge that gave a texture that matched the inside of the bulbs and colored it to match the glass. It is amazing how far technology has come in the last 40 - 50 years, but no matter what you use it's all about light.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Working with the iCloud.

I am starting preparation's for a presentation I will do at the U of C on February 9th called "The Best Camera is the One you Have with you. Using your Camera phone to it's fullest." This will take place at 7:00 pm in room ICT122 and the cost is $20. You can register online at http://www.cifp-online.com/CIFPEvents.htm or pay at the door.

One of the things I wanted to make sure I had a handle on was using the iCloud as a way to take the images I shoot with the iPhone and transfer them quickly to the iPad for easier demonstration of the process. So I took the lid of the candy jar and took it to one of our rooms were I placed it under the lamp with the red wall behind it and shot my test shot. iCloud then proceeded to transfer the file so that I was able to bring it into Snapseed on the iPad where I cropped and added some grunge. I then used PhotoForge2 for the frame and saved the image to upload to Instagram for the image of the day.

So I think this will work great during my presentation and I hope some of you will join me on Thursday, February 9th.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Surprise, a straight image.

Today's image is different from a lot of what I have been posting lately. It is straight, as is, with the only post processing being the frame added using Istagram. I found the shot as I was walking through Northland Village Mall and saw these reflections on the recycling and garbage bins. They also have a unique look so I turned the camera looking to create a strong composition using the triangles and circles. I find this photograph simple but pleasing.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pushing the iPhone to the extreme.

As I was waiting for Luke at the Varsity Community Centre I noticed that there was a Shiny Hockey game going on at the rink. I wandered out to watch and then brought out the iPhone to try some images. The scene was a challenge and pushed the iPhone to it's limits. This is a small section of the scene and was cropped using Snapseed. Some more post was done to bring up the foreground and then Drama 2 was added as well as frames in both RealCamera+ and Instgram.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A busy but enjoyable Sunday.

Had a rather full day as we all went out to Kamp Kiwanis to pick Cool up after his winter choir retreat. Lysa and Luke were so excited to get him back and when they saw him in the window (see 3rd image) were waving like anything. I am always a little more calm and know that this is good for Cool having been to Camp myself, so I was a little more laid back. While we were waiting for them to wrap up I took a quick wander and shot a few images with the iPhone. The above one of the bell was my Instagram366 image for today, but I liked the image below as well. Both were processed using Snapseed but given different treatments. I wanted to give a more cool tone to the top image due to the angle I choose and used the grunge tool to achieve this. Frame here was done in RealCamera+.
Then having dropped to a lower view to get the sky and clouds in I wanted to spice the 2nd image up a bit using the Drama 1 filter. Searching the different apps I have for the frame that matched the feel I wanted took a little more time but I found this one in PhotoToasterJr.

The last image was taken inside the lodge as we met Cool and I liked the way all the snowshoes were mounted to decorate the wall. After shooting this photo I processed in Snapseed to do some white balance correction and then changed the depth with the tilt and shift function. I found this frame in Pictureshow and choose it as I felt the tomes of the photo and the Matt complimented each other.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A quick trip to Bragg Creek

Cool is spending the weekend out at his Cantare Choir Winter Retreat out at Kamp Kawanis. This is just a short drive from Bragg Creek so after helping to shuttle luggage to the camp I headed down the highway to the town. We are still in a bitter cold snap so the temperatures were around -23C but I wanted to go and photograph the old gas pump once again. I have been shooting shot's of this pump for over 30 years now so it was a bit of a disappointment to see that the Shell logo that adorned the top of it is now missing. Still it looked nice with a small cap of snow and the light was just right so I shot a few images with the iPhone. Once I was back in the car I processed the file in Snapseed and added the frame with RealCamera+.

While driving to the location though I encountered a small herd of deer who were wandering down the road. I was able to stop and since the road was deserted able to shot a few images from my car window as they walked by. I love the majestic look on this young buck and that his antlers are just starting to grow. I can just imagine the large rack he will have by the summer time. This to was shot on the iPhone, cropped and processed with Snapseed.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A few recent images.

One of the nice things about doing the daily photo using Instagram is that I can post it immoderately after I finish the post processing work that I do on the image. I am shooting this project entirely with the iPhone and using different apps to crop and finish the shot before uploading it. The top image is from January 19 and is a perfume bottle that my wife has. Processed with Snapseed, frame in RealCamera+.

January 18. Shot in the Doctor's office while waiting for him to come into the room. Processed with Snapseed, frame in RealCamera+.

January 17. A butterfly from a set of three that I have that are mounted in a display box. Processed with Snapseed, frame in RealCamera+.

January 16. Stuffed frogs that were staring down at me from the shelve in the boy's room. Processed with Snapseed, frame in RealCamera+.

January 15, I went to Edmonton to teach a small workshop on using alternative light sources. This was created using fluorescent light strips to light the model. Processed with Snapseed to change the focus just on to the legs, frame in RealCamera+.

January 14. Shot at SAIT in the instructors office for ICT. The coffee urn was empty (fortunately I don't drink coffee) but made for an interesting subject. Processed with Snapseed, frame in RealCamera+.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Waiting for the Eye Doctor

Nothing can be more important to a photographer then their eye's. So we must make sure we see an eye doctor regularly. A number of years ago my optometrist noticed something strange and sent me to see Dr. Crichton to make sure everything is fine. I have been going for about five years now and though thinks are stable he is keeping an eye on my optical nerve. Today I had an appointment for some specialized tests so while sitting alone in the waiting room I happened to notice this lonely Coat Tree. Using the iPhone I composed the image I wanted then brought the file in to Snapseed where I cropped it and added some grunge. Then using RealCamera+ I added the subtle frame that I thought would work with the photo.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hitting the slopes.

Today Cool's school headed out to Canada Olympic Park for ski lessons. This was interesting for me as 40 years ago I learned to ski here as well when it was known as Paskapoo. The old tow rope is still there but now they have these fancy conveyor belt things that the skiers stand on that takes them up.

So I arrived out at the hill near the end of their lessons with the Canon 7D looking to take some photographs of my boy. I shoot a number with the 7D but since I wanted to do my Instagram 366 image at the hill I brought out the iPhone. Now the original file was dark as the camera wanted to compensate for the snow, but Snapseed worked well to bring back the brightness. I then added the drama back with the Drama 2 filter and finished it up in PhotoToaster.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today's Instagram 366

It has been a long and busy day. Shot this in the afternoon as Luke and I were playing in the basement. Shot on the iPhone and processed with Snapseed with the frame added in PhotoToaster.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Rediscovering the Magic.

When I started taking photo's some 40 years ago I did it because it was fun. Over the years I have had ups and owns and times of great inspiration and huge frustrations. Running a business can be one of the hardest things to do and can make us lose the love of what we once enjoyed. Over the last year as I started and completed my 365 Day Project and now doing the Instagram 366 I am having a lot of fun once again. It is a great way to rediscover your passion.

When I started there was a magic in the darkroom, a sense of awe as the image came up under the red light in the developer. It was a seminal moment for many photographers in the film era. Along came digital and the darkroom faded in to the background, done by a few while most people shifted to the new technology. Photoshop did allow for some experimenting and plug-ins allowed for creativity, but it is slow and time consuming.

Enter the iPhone and other camera phones and a bevy of apps that allowed for quick images, processing and sharing of images. It is fun again to experiment with the different tools available to us and allow others to see and comment immediately. Today's images are part of me playing.

The image below was created in the backyard after a snowfall and captured with the iPhone, processed with Snapseed, framed with PhotoForge2 and posted using Instagram. The above image was fun and a result of experimentation. I have a number of apps and wanted to try this one called Photo Booth which is one of many of these apps that are suppose to mimic the old style mall Photobooth's. It was late and I pointed my iPad at myself for an Auto Portrait. I started to play with the functions and was looking at the "Squeeze" lens and how funny it made me look. After taking the image I brought the file in to Snapseed on the iPad and then used the Drama 2 filter and added the frame. So if you like you can call me "Mega Mind" from now on.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Back to School

Shot at my boy's school on the first day back to classes. Saw the signs hanging in the locker by the front door and pulled out the iPhone to capture a frame. Once I was home I brought the file into Snapseed and applied the Drama 2 filter, darkened the image slightly, used to selective focus to soften the background and added the frame to get the final result seen here.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Instagram 366 Challenge

I thought I would be over the Photo a day Challenge but I started the Instagram 366 with a few of my friends over there. In addition I have been posting the image to the Start To Photograph meet up group here in Calgary as well. So I guess you can say I am a Photography Addict. So this year all my daily images will be shot with the iPhone and posted first to Instagram, then the meet up group and my blog. This is where I will share some of the details on the image plus random thoughts for the day.

About today's 366. This is a candy bowl we have that sits on the fridge so I see it every time I open the door of the fridge. As I was looking at it today I was noticing the swirls and decided it could make for a unique image. So I took it down and placed it on the kitchen island under one of the sot lights. As I explored the shape looking at the screen of the iPhone I found the background distracting. So I went down to the studio and brought up a small blue background and stands. I placed this in the kitchen and repositioned the bowl on it. Then I shot three images, the first had the candy in the bowl, the second was empty and the third I put a small blue towel in the bowl. One I looked at the images I settled on the first one that I shot and then brought it in to Snapseed. Here I cropped it, then tested some of the filters that I like. However I was not happy with the results they were giving me as I was losing the coloring from the tungsten light source and the blue background. So this shot is fairly straight with only a little darkening and a slight tweaking of the saturation. The frame was then added with PhotoToaster.

Today's random thought. Even in the confines of your home you can find the subjects for you to photograph. After all they are your own treasures and obviously had something that attracted you in the first place.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

One week into 2012.

We are now one week in to 2012 and I have still been taking at least one photograph a day. Today was a particular good one as I came across a couple of shots. I took the last image first as I was going up to the office at SAIT to do some photocopying for today's class. I decided to photograph the buttons on the elevator as I knew I could do something interesting.

After leaving SAIT I had to stop at Safeway to do some grocery shopping and as I was walking down the aisle I saw a display of flowers. Again pulling out the iPhone I photographed to different flowers and then continued on.

Once I returned home I processed them all with Snapseed first cropping them. On each I used a different filter that gave them the look I wanted. Afterwards I used three different apps to create the frames. In order from top to bottom they were - RealCamera+, PhotoToaster and PhotoForge2

Here is an update on Project 12. When I thought about the idea originally I thought it would be nice to have a project a month and thus have 12 completed items at the end of the year. As I have been working on my assignment ideas, I now realize that to do each project correctly they may take more then a month to complete. SO I am adjusting the parameters a bit with the idea to have 12 projects completed by the end of the year. However many will overlap both in time period and in relation to each other. It will be a challenge but if all goes well I do believe I can finish all 12 by December 31, 2012.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I was out running a few errands today when I was passing through the garden centre at Walmart. It is always nice to see flowers especially when we are in the throws of winter (well yes it has been mild in Calgary but who knows how long that will last). This is one of the nice things about the iPhone, you can discretely snap a shot or two with out looking like to much of a strange person. So I shot a couple frames of the Orchids they had and continued on with my errands.

When I returned home I opened the image in Snapseed where I cropped it first into a square format. I have to make a conscious effort when I am shooting my image that I am going to do this step as the final result will be brought in to Instagram and posted as part of the #instagram366 project. As far as other post processing I just did a change in depth of field with the centre focus filter and then darkened a few bright spots that I thought were distracting with the Selective Adjust. I added the frame in PhotoToaster and then brought the final project in to Instagram where I left it as normal to post it earlier today.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Supporting our team.

I have been watching the Canadian Junior team at the World Championships and though they lost the other day have been a strong supporter of them. This morning as I was making breakfast I noticed the sun coming through and illuminating Luke's water bottle. Taking the iPhone I moved in close and then noticed that the sun was causing an awesome flare. I moved around it a few different times to try and maximize it, but as I find as is the case in most instances the first shot was the best. I brought the file into Snapseed where I cropped the image and then used the Dark 2 filter in Drama and then added a frame. I then brought it in to Instagram and used Rise to help finish the look I wanted.

The boys may have only won the Bronze, but they did play hard through out the tournament and did the country proud.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Start of a new teaching year.

The above Image was captured at SAIT. There use to be a bank of phones here when I was a student in the 80's. At least ten of them, but now this is the lone survivor. As my son Cool calls things like this, ancient technology. Thought I better capture an image of an endangered species. Shot with the iPhone then processed with Snapseed with the Drama 2 filter and then posted as part of the #instagram366 challenge.

Tonight was the start of a fresh batch of classes at SAIT. First up, Basic Studio Lighting. Good group of students and I think we will have a fun session. It is nice to be back teaching as having the last three weeks off was starting to get to me. I find that having a chance to talk to and meet people in the classes is something I really need. Over the years I have had many wonderful students and I have always enjoyed sharing with them. So here's looking forward to the next six weeks and the Wedding Photography class that will start on Saturday.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Using Instagram

After having finished my 365 day project I really could not keep away. So I have decided to keep it going by doing the Instagram366 challenge. The big difference here is that I will only use the iPhone and the Instagram app to post my images. I will the images on my blog but also to my Tumblr, Instagram and to http://www.starttophotograph.com/ group. Hope you will enjoy this as well.

I want to thank those who responded to yesterday's post and I have a few leads to see what I want to do with the logo. I am also going to be working on my other blog more regularly which is the Calgary Institute of Photography, http://cifpinsights.blogspot.com/ and will be bringing in some educational programs this year. Please check it out as well.

Now it is time to concentrate on my first assignment for "Project 12" and that is the posing guide book. I plan to start shooting in a week and finish up near the end of the month. Should be a lot of fun.

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Current Logo

The above is what I am currently working with as a potential logo for my websites. The Patrick Steven Kornak would remain the main same while "Images" would change depending on the site. So Weddings and Portraits would have the same look just customized for each site. My main site that I have had since 1995 would just have Photographer under it.

I like it to a point, but not 100% sold and so I thought I would ask for your feed back. Please comment, e-mail me or FB post to let me know your thoughts. I'm still toying with a couple of other ideas but haven't fleshed them out enough to post.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, New Projects

Well as the first day of 2012 winds down it is time to look at the year ahead. I intend to make this a strong one as I look to continue both my personal, creative, teaching and business growth. To do this I will work on the following areas.

Personal. In this area I aim to get in to better shape and to improve my diet. No more cookies at mid-night before going to sleep. More fruits, veggies and other healthy foods. To exercise everyday for at least 1 hour. One of the results from this will be for me to run once again in the Calgary Marathon on May 27th. Though this is 5 months away I know I can do as I completed the 42.2 km in 6:o1:00 back in 2009 after training for only one month. This year I want to be done in 4:30:00 range as Cool has a Choir Concert that afternoon. Although I won't focus on this aspect in this particular blog, I will report on significant achievements.

Creative. As I just completed the 365 day project yesterday I want to try some new things as well. This will be "Project 12". A new assignment every month for the year 2012. At the end of the assignment there should be a finished result in the form of a book, e-pub, presentation or marketing tool. The first project is to produce a book on the basics of posing, something that I know my students at SAIT are always looking for. This does not mean I won't be shooting other things and posting images regularly, just in a different form. I will be doing an Istagram a day and you will see that posted separately as #instagram366 . I invite you to follow me on Instagram at PatrickSK if you are using it as well. You will find today's image attached below. You also will find another image that I shot as I will continue to challenge myself to view the world differently and post results, just not confined to a specific project.
Teaching. I take this as one of the most important aspects of my life. Since starting to teach in the Continuing Education department at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology I have found it to be very rewarding. I have had many students over the last 11 years and hope to be there at least another 10. To do this I know I have to continue to grow as a photographer, creative person and a communicator. Even as I develop the new class I will start in May, "The History, Art and Culture of Photography", I want to improve and grow my skills. To do this I am looking to finish my BFA in the fall as well as attend events to watch and talk to other people who help educate photographers. It is the least I can do to help both my students and the industry.

Business. In this I want to work to ramp up my photography business and the Calgary Institute for Photography. For myself I am going to be working hard on rebranding, redesigning the web-sites and to look for new commissions be they weddings, portraits or the sale of my own prints and books. For the CIFP it needs a new look and to get back to what it was intended when I started it 5 years ago. This was that of an education and research group that will focus on Calgary and Region. To this I will be more active on the blog in order to work at promoting the CIFP.

These are some of my goals. Thanks if you have read to this point. I am open to offers of suggestions and help if you are so inclined. I am looking at 2012 to be a year of great growth in many different ways.