Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Best Camera... the one you have with you.

That being an iPhone.

This was a striking alleyway entrance to a bar that immediately caught my eye.  The shapes and texture were all really cool.  Carrying around an $X,XXX DSLR camera and lens all the time?  Not practical.  But a cel phone with a decent (all things considered) camera certainly takes a better picture than nothing at all. 

Captured and processed in camera using a couple of apps.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Quick trip out to Vancouver this week.  Quick but busy.  During short time there had little time to shoot.  It was a letdown fairly early as I realized during my early flight that I should have opted for a window seat.  The sunrise kissing the peaks of the Rocky Mountains below was beautiful.  Alas, all I could do was lean over my sleeping neighbour as much as I dared to illustrate the point...

Was muttering "sonuva" for a good period of time after that.  Return did have me in a window seat, but day's end and the light nowhere near as interesting.  Still had to take advantage of the position, though...

Other random shots in town, starting with a beautifully lit courtyard at the hotel.  Love touching down at Christmas time.  Very comforting to have the lights and decorations around.

Unfortunately, Vancouver = Rain this time of year (at least while we were there, was apparently sunny the days prior and forecasted following).  Wet was of course a familiar theme...

That was a tricky one as I cuddled The Best Cappuccino in Vancouver in one hand.  Puddle would have mixed with tears of pain had I dropped that.

On a brighter note, this big blank wall at the airport.  All graphic and such is sure to catch my eye.

Such a great city, despite the rain.  

The Bag

So this is how it happens. A piece of luggage falls off a tram at the airport in Vancouver. One of the workers kindly moves it off the road to the side.

And then several others, including another luggage tram as I write this - simply walk past it with looks of mild curiosity. Sorry, fellow passenger, no bag for you tonight.

Photo from iPhone - hence the poor quality.

PS. Somebody did eventually pick it up.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Urban Christmas

Not all warm and fuzzy, but looks cool. Hope Santa doesn't smash through the glass.

Drive By

In beautiful Vancouver. Always great to look out and see the mountains and the sky. Even if while stuck in traffic. Taken with my trusty iPhone.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


File under "It's About Freaking Time" (coincidentally also about me getting back to making photos and posting them).  Winnipeg is now host to the newest international airport in Canada: the James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.  The old airport is now dark and hopefully soon a pile of rubble.  I've only known the old shack, and with the travel I've done over the years I became increasingly desperate for a facelift.  

The new building went live the beginning of this month but I only had my first flight out 3-weeks into it.  New, shiny, light, airy.  Of course some shots were in order, yet strangely they became dark and relatively foreboding.  Really about the geometry.  Shiny pictures are on their website.

Looking down the length of the departures terminal.  Blessedly empty this mid-morning.  Light streams in from all around.

And for those coming home, a nice open area bathed in natural light courtesy of the skylights above.

Windows abound, from the check-in terminals... the gateways themselves.  It's really cool having an open view while heading to your flight.

Kudos to the good folks who put this whole thing together.  It will take getting used to but long overdue.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

Back at the Rink

Nothing says Remembrance Day like...

...a ringette tournament. Cold arena is my home for the day. Photo courtesy of my iPhone.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


Had a productive trip to The Dump today.  On a whim brought my camera hoping to see something of interest.  There are a series of haybails along a ridgeline adjacent to the road.  This was framed with a low horizon to emphasize the sky, and the haybail balanced against the sun poking through the late-fall clouds.  By necessity this was shot as an HDR image because of the extreme contrast.  Conversion to black and white served to emphasize the graphic nature of the single bail on the low horizon, and the texture of the clouds.

As I shot this I was also kicking myself that I didn't have my 10-stop ND filter with me.  Would make a striking image with those clouds transformed into streaks of motion across the sky. Maybe next time.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Winters coming.  No doubt about that.  Sun's coming up later, going down earlier.  Temperature falling.  And the frost is out.  Glanced through the window this morning to see our glass deck panels opaque and glittering with the sun backlighting the whole deal.  The shadow from the adjacent deck rail created an interesting graphic element.  So out I go, in socks, to grab a quick frame.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Spider + iPhone + Hipstamatik = Creepy.

Seeing this guy outside my hotel window I felt compelled to make a quick grab. Happy Halloween.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pile 'o Leaves

Quick grab from iPhone of a scene that caught my eye. Just like the framing of it, with the precise lines of the brick and metal offsetting the clutter of the gathered leaves. Processed using Nik Software's Snapseed app on my iPad.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blue is Nice

I'm on a printing kick right now and have been focusing on our trip to France last year.  As I write this a crisp print of this image is rolling off on a 17x22" sheet of luxurious photo paper.  I captured this during our trip into amazing Nice last June.  It wasn't long after leaving the airport that I assigned blue as the color of this beautiful city.  And stopping at a light alongside the boardwalk I looked out onto this scene and quickly framed and snapped from the taxi.  For whatever reason I think of Pete Turner when I look at this.  Not because of the specific color, but rather the vibrance of it along with the fairly minimal composition.  Immediately became one of my favorites.

And as I finish writing this my print is complete.  Gotta love the digital darkroom.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Had a short trip this week and found myself in unexpectedly-cool Kingston, Ontario.  Unfortunately not much time to enjoy the area but would like to go back some day.  Did happen to grab a few frames along the way, with my day starting by looking out my decidedly grungy hotel window facing the 401.  That highway never sleeps.  With morning light baking down thought there was something interesting in focusing on the window grime and liked the result.

Was an enjoyable drive from Mississauga to Kingston, and after arriving we headed off for lunch and found ourselves at the Tir nan Og pub.  Great lunch, and the interior had an immense amount of character, texture, and amazing window light to boot.  My colleagues are now used to the sound of a shutter slap so I don't worry too much about hauling out the camera in the middle of lunch.

Later in the day we had to head out on Refreshment Duty.  While heading back to the car for whatever reason this roofline caught my eye.  Aim, crop, shoot, check, and on our way.

Next morning as I'm preparing to leave the street below caught my eye.  I liked the look of it, the lone vehicle in front of the restaurant, the reflection of the neon sign on the truck's hood, and the spear of dawn illuminating the building. 

Arrived early back at Pearson with hopes to grab a different flight.  No luck but gave me some more lounge time to catch up.  A Faceless Traveller was on the phone by the window and thought it made an interesting frame.  Snap, snap.  Done.

And, finally, Pearson's Terminal 1 ceiling while waiting at my gate to board.  I liked the shapes and the light.  Flight was on time, actually landed a bit early, and the weekend was again upon me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Exchange

Went out for lunch in The Exchange District. Nice patio, nice weather, and a good view of a brick building. Initially I though it curious that it was adorned with signage composed of boxing mantra.

That is until I saw a group of folks walking by putting on the gloves and heading off for what I'm guessing was going to be a pretty harsh workout. Expecting them to head back I waited and, sure enough, after a while they returned. Each of which with decidedly less spring in their step than on the way out.

While I was biding my time I also shot the adjacent building for the contrasting color, hard shadow, and rich texture.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Missed Opportunity

While biking through a local gravel pit slash marsh a few weeks ago I came across this rocky outcropping. At the time the water was still high and fully surrounded the rocks. It immediately struck me as a good opportunity to capture that S-curve leading out to the reeds. With a long exposure the water would become a silky, milky blanket.

Damn perfect summer weather did away with that idea!

Headed out this evening to scratch this one off my list and arrived to see... mud. Muck. Yech. My stones were still there, of course, but now losing their strength in the composition. Made due with what I had and shot a few frames to line things up.

The final black and white is still mildly interesting. Had to employ some heavy burning to the area surrounding the rocks so they jump out. But frustrating to picture how much better it would have been would I have gotten on my horse earlier. Lesson: don't plan to come back for a shot. Get it while you can.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Around the Block

Took a stroll this evening around the block with the D700 over my shoulder just in case. A few grabs below...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Playing around with HDR while following a tutorial. Needed some fodder (ie. a series of bracketed images with a full range of brightness captured) and found myself browsing images from Kelowna, BC from a couple years back. Great trip, great town, great scenery, great wine. Few nice shots to show for it that haven't seen the light of day. Add 'em to the pile.

Here's my "lesson material" of sunset over Lake Okanagan.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Here Comes the Sun

It's amazing what you find when you least expect it. Turns out there is a substantial sunflower field not 5 minutes from my house. Bit of a playground, but still waiting for the right weather.


It dawned on me recently that I've done squat on my blog since vacation. Which stands to reason as I've been woefully unproductive with my camera. A rut, slump, funk, who knows. Whatever the reason I haven't been as active as I should be. Time to pull myself out.

And so I find myself heading into a favorite wine store that is wonderfully designed in a style Italian. Stopped myself, grabbed the D700 (which I purposefully took just in case) and got to the business of exposing.

I know it's just a wall. And a door that's blended into it. And a hinge. But the color was rich, as was the texture. Whatever floats your boat.

A glance above and I see the windows. Another keeper, with the added benefit of contrasting cool/warm colors and stronger graphic elements.

So what if it's just a wall.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Here we are on our last full day at Clear Lake. And it appears the serious shooting is at an end. I caught what is likely my last dusk trip last night with the expectation of lousy weather tonight. And what is definitely my last dawn shoot this morning as I can't imagine getting up early tomorrow with a long'ish drive home to consider.

So barring other surprises these shall be my bookends on this year's summer vacay.