Sunday, June 16, 2013

It's all about family.

One of the number one things I remember learning when I was growing up and listening to successful people in various fields was that their number 1 regret was not spending time with their children when they were young.  This made a great impression on me in my youth and though it was not popular with most boy's, I always dreamed of having a family.  This was a strong instinct for me for a long time, though I will admit there was a stint when I thought it would not happen and it was less important.  Eventually this passed and I was fortunate to meet the woman who would become my wife and the mother of my two boy's.

Prior to Cool and Luke being born and before I was married I had immersed myself in photography and basically lived and breathed it 24/7.  This changed when these two fine young people entered my life and today I am proud to say I am a father who is fortunate to have a career (photography) that has allowed me to have an active role in their lives. So the last few days have been very busy with a variety of events as the school year winds down.  It has made it a challenge for my photo of the day as all of the day has been dedicated to them.  Still I managed and the photo's from the last few day's feature my boys.

So on this father's day I pay tribute to the two special fellas that have so enriched my life and make me one proud Papa.

June 13  Cool preformed in his school production of 101 Dalmatians.  It was not a featured role but he played his part with zeal and enthusiasm as one of the dalmatian puppies.  He had a couple of lines but sang a number of songs.  I shot these with my Canon 7D and the 70-200 lens using the available stage lighting.
June 14 was a busy day cleaning the house and yard in preparation for the family coming over to celebrate the boy's birthday on Sunday.  As the day wound down I was in need of a photo and so I chose a Knickknack of the shelf, a crystal candle holder.  Using a white sheet of paper for the background and the iPhone I recorded this image which I think works very well.
June 15  Cool had another performance, this time at a recital for his piano at Steinway of Calgary.  There were about 40 other youngsters and though he was nervous he played beautifully.  A couple of the other parents commented afterwards that he looked so confident in front of everyone.
June 16  Father's Day.  Both Cool and Luke have birthday's later this week as there is just three days difference between their dates.  Thus we always have the family get together and celebrate both on the same day.  Those of you are parents know the preparation that goes into such a gathering.  I shot a few photo's but decided to share this as the photo for today.
I want to close with a couple photo's of Luke as I have featured Cool a fair amount.  These photo's are from earlier in the week.  On Tuesday his grade 1 class had a field trip to Boston Pizza as a reward for being so well behaved for the entire school year.  They each had the chance to make their own pizza and here is look preparing his cheese pizza.
Luke loves the water and can soak in the bath for close to an hour.  Very often he will call and ask me to take his photo.  I shot this one with the iPhone as he looked so cute and calm in the water.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Two very different shots from today.

It was a bit of an unusual day today as my two photo's show.  It started with me walking to Northland Mall to pick up my car after some repairs.  Since it is a 3 km walk I decided not to take my 7D with me.  I made good time then headed to NE Calgary for a quick errand.  As I was coming towards the International Airport I saw a plane swoop in low and then execute a quick bank to the west and head back out. Not sure what happened and not seeing the plane I continued on to my errand.

As I was heading home I saw the same plane perform the same maneuver and since I was close to the viewing area I decided to stop and watch for a bit.  While there I struck up a conversation with Ian Kershaw ( ), an aviation enthusiast and photographer and he explained that it was a Nav-Canada plane conducting routine calibrations of systems.  It seems that the plane will come in from various distances, speeds and heights so they can check equipment with the tower.  We talked while the plane made another 1/2 dozen passes.

Since I only had my iPhone I still tried to capture a few shots.  It was not perfect but I likes the way this one turned out with the flare of the sun in the corner.
Then this evening in my basic lighting class we had the rare opportunity to work with a male subject.  Adam was a most interesting fellow and had some wonderful tattoo's.  We were doing Low Key lighting tonight and for these photo's we used a grid spot on the Alien Bees to give a more dramatic effect.  I only took a couple of frames as I knew the pose I was after and just waited until I got an expression I liked.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Spring is for nature.

I continue to try and walk as a chance both to stay in shape and to find things to photograph.  Today was a particular good day as I found numerous interesting subjects, most of which involved plants or flowers.  The first two photo's are of something I felt was very unique, how nature had reclaimed things that man had made.  I remember reading something a number years back a theory of how plants and animals would adapt and thrive if man had ever been eliminated from the environment.  This metal pipe remnant and the plant pushing up through the asphalt shows the persistence of the species.
Then I found this tree growing inside a metal telephone box that had been abandoned.  Now I don't know what would happen to these plants if left to grow without being disturbed, but I will try to watch over the next few years.
I also found a variety of flowers today.  Now I will be the first to admit that I am no horticulturist but with so many different types to photograph I really do have to find a way to learn the names of what I am taking images of.

June 10  After a long day at home I was looking for something to photograph so I did not break my consecutive streak.  I noticed this stack of Kodak products sitting on my shelf and thought they were interesting.  I came in close with the iPhone and then did a little post processing using snapseed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The story is in the details.

Although it is nice to always see the big picture in the world around us sometime we have to marvel at the fine details around us.  I think this is why I have been recording the little things around me for the last number of months.  It has been more interesting to look for the little things in my environment and thus focus my attention there.  Here are the images from the past four days.

June 6  My son made this Totem Pole as part of his social studies class on the indigenous people of Canada,  In total it is close to 5 feet tall and I was happy to see that he had paid attention to the finer points and using a number of elements of native culture in his design.
June 7  While at the boy's school I photographed these hand bells that were to be part of a performance for the volunteer appreciation brunch.
I then turned my attention to the flowers on the table and knew exactly how i wanted to crop this image as well as turning it to sepia tone before i snapped the image with the iPhone.
June 8  I was doing some yard work and cleaning up around the backyard when I discovered these two wasp's nest remaining from last year.  The first was large (about 8 times as big as the second) and I found it looked like a small planet.  Both photo's taken with the Canon 7D and 24-70 mm lens.
This one I used the extension tubes on the lens to get a close up look.
June 9  We are starting to get a few more new blooms in the garden in the front yard.  All three photo's were taken with the 7D and 24-70 mm lens.
For this flower I took this angle first with the sun coming in from the front as I liked how it brang out the colours.
I then noticed that there was a nice back light coming through the flower.  I had to carefully lean against the branches of the rose bush to capture this image.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Random or planned, it is all just the same.

Every day we have a choice in the photographs we take.  Sometimes those decisions lead to the creation of random images taken as we see them.  Other times we know we are going to be doing a certain shoot and we can plan what we want to do.  These last few days I had a chance to do both.  Either way I had a chance to be creative and create images I wanted.

June 4  Anything but a regular day.  Once again I was at the dentist and since I had nothing better to do while sitting in the chair I felt a self-portrait was in order.  I composed the shot by looking at the little apple logo on the back of the iPhone and then cropped in Snapseed to get the composition I wanted.
Later in the day while waiting to to pick the boy's up I looked up to the sky and the clouds forming above the tree and just liked the peaceful feeling.  I think I captured that in this photo.
June 5  I knew we would be doing high key in today's lighting class and that Breanna would be our subject.  I brought some silky fabric and knew that I could count on Breanna to give me the look I wanted.
So planned or random I think I had a good two days of photo's.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Enjoying the extension tubes.

Last Christmas I purchased a set of extension tubes as a gift to myself from my boy's.  At the time I did not think that I would use them much but they have proven to be one of the favorite tools in my camera bag.  I find that they are an alternative to a macro lens but have the added advantage to use them on different focal length lenses although I do tend to use them mostly on my 24-70 f2.8 Canon lens.  There are 3 tubes of 12, 20 and 36 mm in length (I tend to use the 20 most often).

I have used them very regularly and did so again for today's photo's.  I called these flowerscapes as I came in tight on the Hibiscus flowers in our living room.  The sun was coming through them and allowed me to see the veins of the flower.  I looked for patterns in the way the petals flowed together to create an interesting composition.  After shooting the images I downloaded them to the computer and then brought them into the iPhone so I could work on them using the Snapseed app.  I de-saturated the files slightly, adjusted the contrast a touch and added the frame. I am very pleased with the results.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A few minutes a day.

Sometimes one just has to take a few minutes everyday to stop and explore.  Being a busy father I have to make the time when I can.   I have posted my photo's from the first two days of June and will share what I did for each day.

June 2  After a lazy day that was filled with rain I found a few minutes when the rain stopped to look around the yard.  I used the 20mm extension tube on my 24-70 lens on the Canon 7D.  I looked for interesting rain drops on the various plants in the garden.  The first is of a tulip petal that had fallen on the ground.  The rain had made the petal somewhat transparent and it created a unique pattern on the leaf.
I then found these small pink buds and liked the reflections of the drops.
Looking up from under a pine tree I saw this silhouette of the drops against the sky.
The rain gave some nice colouring to these leaves on the rose bush.
June 1  Taking a walk by the Bow river for an hour I was able to catch a few images of an area I had not visited before.  This first panoramic photo was created using the PocketBooth app on the iPhone but using it sideways.
I saw this gentleman on this interesting bike and managed a quick shot with the iPhone.
The bridge that crossed the river made for an interesting subject.  Shot with the iPhone and processed using snapseed.
I tried a few photo's using the 10 - 22 wide angle lens on the Canon 7D for a different perspective.  I found this patch of little white flowers with a dandelion amongst them.
The moss and leaves made for a nice composition.
Finally I returned to McDougall United church to pick Cool up from choir rehearsal and saw these flowers out front.