Index of Journal Entries
Starting off 2007…
Something new for me for 2007.
Dec 30 2006 Hockey Tournament
A few shots I took of the all day 4 team tournament in London Ontario.My oldest son Robert and son-in-law Jordan were part of the winning team.
Tung & Sharon Love Story
Great couple Anne and I photographed November 2006 at the Hart House - part of University of Toronto (Toronto Ontario). Several years ago the couple attended the University of Toronto for their schooling.It is the place where they met and were engaged, so they made arrangements to use one of the buildings where they hung out together- for their Love Story Session. We are also photographing their wedding in May 2007.
One nice thing about having a dad in the photography and design business, is that you benefit from the perks.
Small Venue : Makeshift
My youngest son Ryan’s band Makeshift, played recently in a small venue (very low lighting) and I was fortunate enough to catch some of the action. These obviously are all of Ryan. I did take some of the other guys in the band also - but nepotism prevailed in posting here. Shots taken with Nikon D200 and 85mm f1.8 @ 1600 ISO.
Anne and I Playing with D200 and D70
Shortly after getting my new Nikon D200, Anne and I headed to the beach to take some shots as we walked the boardwalk. I was proud of my professional looking D200 and she was excited that she could finally use one of my "serious cameras". As we sat and rested, we took a shot of each other for posterity. We were practicing being tripods at the slow 1/15th second shutter. My D200 underexposed by 2/3 stop - D70 was right on. A result of knowing my D70’s inside and out - - - now I know my D200 inside and out also.
Just a couple of Love Birds . . .
. . . doesn’t have to be people all the time (RIGHT?)* Nikon D70 - Nikkor 85mm 1.8
Dundurn Castle : Hamilton Ontario
Dundurn Castle, the magnificent home of Sir Allan Napier MacNab- one of Canada’s first premiers. Mid-19th-century grand country home with more than 40 rooms on three floors for the MacNab family and the servants working on the lower level. It is situated in Hamilton Ontario Canada.
In the style of Richard Avedon
My last session with this family was in 1995 when the children were very small. How time flies - the older children are now in university.
Trendy 424 Club : wedding
My most trendy and difficult to shoot wedding to date. Shot at the 424 club in Toronto.
different of the same
It has always amazed me how a subject can be in the exact same setting and position, and yet provide an endless variety of looks and expressions simply with subtle turns of the head or changes in facial expressions. While there may be one shot out of a series that can stand on its own, so often groupings of the same shot with different expressions reinforce the story and can provide a more powerful or emotional overall image than would be the case using only one larger print.
A Wedding Favourite
I don’t know why this image appeals to me so much - but it is one of my favourites. I see many set up portrait style shots of shoes on photographers websites that look impressive, but I feel that this one includes a context to the picture of the brides shoes.
Recently it was time to finally take portraits of my oldest son Robert,his wife Michelle and my 2 thrilling grandchildren Mason and Reegan. As is so typical with a professional in the family, other than snapshots I have not taken formal pictures of their family to this point. Last time I worked professionally with Robert & Michelle was shooting their wedding photography.
A Gift for Mom & Dad : from “My 3 Sons”
Jason contacted me from British Columbia and advised me that he and his brothers wished to set up an appointment for a portrait sitting at their parents home in Toronto - as a gift to them. This was quite a unique family setting for me - mom and dad - and 3 grown sons. They were a wonderful family to work with - open to different shooting concepts -and gracious in dealing with Anne and I.
Mix it up
Dec 27′th 2006 family portrait session. I was hired for a formal shoot of all this family together over the holidays. Our setting was a relatively small living room - the young children cooperated wonderfully for all of the large family and grandparents with grandchildren shots. As so often happens, as the session drags on,the children become restless and I try my best to distract them and get their attention for the few shots I need to finish up. Sometimes it just doesn’t work perfectly though.
Toronto City Hall
Toronto City Hall
I loved the way the light came through on this series of shots I took on Fujichrome slide film taken along the St.Clair river late one evening - the purple and blue tones are so different than the normal red/yellow that sunsets provide.
Quite the little actors : A day at the Toronto ZooOlympus OM4T and Zuiko 300mm 4.5 shot wide open on Fujichrome 400ISO
Making good use of a point and shoot camera
I was at musician Rick Gowan’s home and pulled out my P&S OlympusD390 and scrapped all the camera presets I could to take these interesting shots. One thing I notice many don’t do (and they should do) is shut off the flash while shooting indoors - one of the tell tale signs of using a point and shoot is the distinctive flash look, so doing so will generally improve the image and make it harder to tell what equipment was used and sometimes make for some interesting content (bottom closeup).
Turning the Ordinary into the Extraordinary
Here are before and after images that demonstrate the value of post processing (whether digital or traditional print manipulation) to increase the value of an image and give it impact - and also the to learn how to previsualize the end result when taking the shot. This image was taken with the purpose of becoming a stock image - the basic elements had to be there to start with - then control of the processing environment allowed me to extract the detail in order to produce a print that I had imagined when taking the shots.
My 3d rendering buddy takes me to Toronto periodically to take some shots with him of street contents and building facades that he can render in LightWave for realistic looking backdrops for gaming and other CG applications. After we had completed getting shots of the things he wanted, we headed home late in the evening. As we were driving along Queens Quay I noticed the sunlight hitting this apartment building creating a very interesting pattern. I grabbed my D70 with attached 18 to35 lens and took the shot. I pumped up the color and saturation and printed it to 20"x24" - it makes a gorgeous matted and framed wall print. This is one of my for-sale stock images. It is the type of image that viewers can stand looking at it for quite some time trying to figure out the content.
Always on the lookout
A trait that defines an uninspired amateurish snapshot of things like landmarks, is shooting conveniently just whatever is in front of you - not moving around to change the light, change the perspective or even going to the trouble of coming back at a more appropriate time or checking the point of view from other locations that may be out of the way and take some effort to scout out. For instance with the CN Tower, how many times has one stood in front of it and said "hey there’s the CN tower", pulled out our camera and photographed it. It is true we have a record of it and may even think it is a salable image - but so is a Passport Picture and essentially that’s what we have with what we have just taken.
Combining for content
Structurally and compositionally, this shot I had of "The Bat" at Canada’s Wonderland appealed to me but was rather uninteresting on it’s own. I pulled out a bunch of Fireworks shots that I had taken and played around with getting the right light spray for the image. This worked well and produced a very nice print.
Wooden Wheel and Ivy
Spiders & Snakes (actually gators, turtles and snakes)
I have been consumed in getting a new Website application that I decided to develop for photographers - completed and in to their hands. So not much new here in my Journal recently. Thought I’d put a few new shots on from a recent Western Fair. This alligator and snake exhibit happened right after the Croc Hunter was tragically killed.
An upstart antique wood floor company from Brantford http://antiquityflooring.com/ , required shots for promo materials and website and so we shot rooms in 3 different houses that were selected for their character.
Aerospace Museum Toronto
My buddy and I spent a day getting shots at the Aerospace museum. The staff was very helpful and gracious in giving us free reign with all of our gear.
Edgy Love Story Session
Anne and I were up at 5:30 on this morning to head out on the hour and a half drive to our Love Story Session in Waterloo Ontario. We ended up using 4 different locations across the city - shooting 1000 shots in the hour and a half until we were done - edited down to the final 80shots that the couple will have to chose from.
A stroll through the countryside
phpCrazySite Version 1.02 released
Because of my hectic photographic assignment schedule this year, I have not been able to complete the anticipated major version that will be out as soon as I am able to dedicate the time. I have however recently completed a minor version upgrade that includes some significant fixes. Visually there is little difference between version1.01 and version 1.02, but code wise there are improvements mostly with cross browser display issues. Here is a CHANGELOG for version 1.02:
I didn’t want to have to do it - SENSOR CLEANING
Fortunately dust hasn’t been a major problem with my DSLR’s - and so I’ve just put off worrying about it. With all of the hype, complexity, nay sayers on the web, and even many suggestions that satisfaction has not always been a result when sending back to the manufacturer for cleaning - - - I have rediculously even considered that it is easier to just buy a new camera when my sensor becomes unbearably dirty to where I have to spend time on every frame cleaning up the spots.
A recent family portrait session provided the opportunity to work with a wonderful group of people including these 2 young beauties. I placed them on the stairs heading down to the a lower level and had them look up to me.Nikon D200 : 18-200mm Nikkor VR @ 75mmf5.6 @ 1/30 second : 640ISONikon SB-800 flash fired into the wall behind me
Bridal Party Was A Hit : Niagara-On-The-Lake Wedding
This wedding took place in the absolutely packed town and streets of Niagara-On-The-Lake. There was barely a place to park in the whole town and hardly a space to walk in on the cramped streets - but we gave it a valiant try, and were rewarded for doing so.
Chances For Children Event
I was hired by Peel Children's Aid Society to be the official event photographer for the Chances For Children Award ceremony and Silent Auction held this past week. The Honourable William G. Davis was in attendance to present the "William G. Davis Chances for Children’s Awards" to honour outstanding commitment to improving the quality of life for children in Peel Region. The 4 recipients of the awards were Michael "Pinball" Clemons , James Murray , RBC Financial Group , and the Brampton Music Theatre.
Dancing Up A Storm - Baldachin Inn Wedding
Recent wedding of Justin and Kelly at the Baldachin Inn in beautiful Merrickville near Ottawa Ontario. For the last year they have been working on their special presentation dance to introduce themselves at their wedding reception. It was a shock and surprise to everyone as can be surmised by the great expressions of the family and guests that I was able to capture.
A Bride’s Mom . . .
. . . in the vintage style of Steichen
A Bride’s Dress
* my signature GRUNGE image processingNikon D200 : Nikkor 18-200mmVR @ 18mm (27mm in 35mm film)
Urban Street Portraits
Street Portraits early this morning in Paris Ontario. Some rain and cold . . . . . . but the kids held up OK. Especially when we got then to the playground (their suggestion of course)
Westover Inn : Outdoor Wedding
A wonderful casual feel to this wedding that took place in Stratford & St Mary’s Ontario. The beautiful www.westoverinn.com provided a stunning backdrop to the ceremony and reception.
Just family and a few friends
Julie and Alex held a small wedding in Oakville Ontario. They wanted images showing great relaxed expressions of love and friendship - that included their 2 children, immediate family and a few very dear friends. The reception was held at the Twisted Fork Restaurant www.twistedfork.ca across from the marina in Historic Oakville.
Balls Falls Wedding - Right Out Of A Movie Set
Portraits at Station Creek Golf Club : A Sisters Bond
Portrait Session taken at Station Creek Golf Club In Gormley Ontario.
What a Little Darlin’
QUEBEC CITY - PROTEST
Anne and I were in Quebec City and came across this protest in the heart of the old downtown.
Bride’s Sister Looking out the door
A favourite from this years weddings
While heading across the street to photograph the wedding candids of everyone socializing for a few moments between the ceremony and reception - I spotted this young bridesmaid sipping on a drink. As a result of shooting with my long zoom, narrow DOF lens along with the obstructions of plants and railings - - - I was able to capture a spontaneous and slightly candid moment, with beautiful lighting and beautiful model.
Nostalgic Band, Setting, and Mood
A really cool setting in a mansion with tons of character - a great band from Toronto that took everyone back to the big band era of times gone by - and lots of colourful lighting and mood to mesmerize everyone.
What a night of entertainment!
Canadian Idol contestant and Juno award winner Sister of the Bride and the girls father, sing for the wedding couple at the reception.
Niagara-On-The-Lake LOVE STORY SESSION
Fall Colours in Stratford
A Love Story Session in the fall as colourful leaves lined the path in this forest.
My Oly - I am In Love
Got a chance to test shoot the new Olympus E-3 this evening. I mainly wanted to feel the camera in hand and play with the controls to see how intuative they are. Also, 2 concerns for my style of shooting are Image Stabilization and decent 1600 and 3200ISO PRINT quality (I sell prints so I don't care what they look like on a monitor).
Winter Wedding - Downtown Stratford
The bride who is very artistic and unique in her way of looking at things, was quite concerned that I would not provide her with boring shots or traditional wedding coverage. She pointed out several shots from my website that appealed to her - several were taken at trendy restaurants, some in the evening utilizing whatever available light was available - - - and so my agenda for the afternoon was to make sure she would not be disappointed.
First Wedding of 2008 : Snow, Cold, Rain
Jan 5'th 2008 marked a new wedding season. While temperatures were rising from the bitter cold we were experiencing the few days leading up to the wedding - we were provided with a strange mix of bitter cold, melting conditions, and sporadic rain. Formals after the the ceremony would be taken outdoors unless there was a downpour. Some had a hard time taking off and on their coats in between shots - also letting go of cuddling and clenching fists when they needed to look relaxed.
Off to Costa Rica
Hey - if you want to keep up with what I am doing over the next couple of months, you are welcome to visit our TravelVirgins website.
Brother & Sister portrait for parents
A few shots from our first days:
Costa Rica - People Photography
Being I am unable to converse in Spanish yet and am very shy about approaching people and intruding on them, I finally got the nerve up and simply held my camera up and smiled and nodded my head to the natives I came across today - as if to ask if I could take a picture. They nodded back letting me know it was OK, posed (which I will work around in the future) and then chuckled when I showed them the picture on my camera screen. For the mot part everyone was cooperative in letting me take my pictures without having to sneak them or use a long lens so they wouldn’t see what I was doing. I found that my Olympus E-510 with 12-60mm f2.8 is a perfect companion to this type of street shooting - providing wider angle, faster operating, dead accurate focus where I wanted it, and a fast zoom for increased light capture.
Costa Rica - Food
NOT 106 Flavors - but 108 Flavors of Chicken Wings
We are back and Hard at Work
Anne and I arrived safely in Canada on April 1'st after an incredible stay and experience in Costa Rica. It was with sad hearts that we left - - - and as Rick (from Norma's where we stayed) said when he came to pick us up early in the morning to take us to the airport, "Costa Rica cried for us" the evening before we left when we experienced a beautiful rain after a long period without it. It was so touching to Anne and I.
Finally got my Olympus E3
After exhaustive shooting with my E-510 over the past several months in anticipation of my E3 purchase - - - I finally sprung for the E3 body after much deliberation over which choice I would make for my heavier duty camera body - the choices being the Nikon D300 or Olympus E3, as I have lenses and bodies for both systems. Each camera model had features that were stronger than the other one, and features that were weaker than the other one. While I can make good use of the lowest noise at high ISO's (within the price range that I wish to spend on a body) and fastest most accurate tracking auto focus - I also push my gear to the limit in other ways by using it in adverse conditions and while I do not abuse my equipment, I do not pamper it but use it well and am not afraid of it getting banged around at times - and so a durable body, some weather resistance and sealing of both body and lenses are features that I can benefit from (I have not had good success in this area with my Nikons - have made innoperative my D70's, an 85mm lens and a D200 in the course of a year and less of purchase as a result of sand, water, mud and tripping on a set of stairs with my shins, hands, D200 and SB800 smacking the floor with a serious thud. I also appreciate the Live View feature with my E-510 and while with the D300 I can benefit in the same way, the articulating LCD screen of the E3 makes it a more valuable tool with this feature and one I will use on a regular basis on my paid assigments.
Testing New Olympus 140-600mm (70-300) lens
I had a lifestyle family shoot coming up and wanted to get much more familiar with my new Olympus long reach lens so I make use of it for extending the reach of my standard 12-60mm lens.
Lifestyle (Real Life) Portrait Series
All of my work comes from my website and I travel extensively to handle my commissions. This location required about a 2 hour drive each way. We arranged to meet at around 5:00PM to benefit from slightly lower angle lighting and the session was complete around 7:15PM when the backlight was ideal.
Simon and Lyndsey had a perfect day for their wedding - and what a beautiful wedding they provided for me to capture with my cameras. Coverage started with the bride getting ready and followed through into the start of the reception. Of particular note to me, were Lyndsey's stunning wedding dress and absolutely gorgeous and artistically designed wedding cake.
Contemporary Portrait Session . . .
. . . at Rondeau Park on the beaches of Lake Erie. The family contacted me recently and were eager to replace their aging family portrait print with a new more contemporary and casual print. The initial concept was walking and laying around the sand, but we also did a short series on a local pier and a short walk into the bush - - - for variety sake. The family was soooo easy to work with and fun - - - I think that it is very easy to see how relaxed and comfortable they were, in the resulting images. Here are 3 of the 70 final Previews that they received for making their choices for their finished prints:
Olympus FL-50R coming from Nikon SB-800
After a few years of totally dependable professional use of my Nikon SB-800 flashes, a big concern was how the FL-50R would stand up to the tasks I require of my flashes on a day to day basis - and also how the functionality would rate compared to the Nikon that I had grown used to. One of the sealing deals for me moving to Olympus from Nikon was the fact that along with the E3 camera body, a new RC wireless flash system was introduced - that claimed the same features as the Nikon CLS system which I have come to rely on and use for much of my portrait and commercial work. . .
A Love Story Session . . .
. . . from this past week. The initial shoot took place around a 15 acre property filled with trees, long grasses and ponds. Then to finish off, we headed to the beach at Goderich on Lake Huron - for a few shots along and in the water.
A Little Humour : Who is the Photographer Anyway?
I'm not complaining - just having a little fun with this journal entry !
PPO Presents Robert Watcher
Commercial Interior Photography
While my signature and favourite photographic content is "people", or includes them - - - I do get regular commissions to photograph interiors, exteriors, and other architecture.
Night Time Streets
Richmond Street in London Ontario - photographed late at night using slow shutter speed. Hand held pressing camera against light post. Taken with Nikon D70 and Sigma 18-50 f2.8 : exposure is 1/2 second @ f16:
Sudbury - Fine Art Print
Using ultra wide extremes (angles and processing) on dock along waters edge in Sudbury Ontario:
2008 : Fall Family Portraits
NOW BOOKING FALL FAMILY PORTRAITS
All the talk : fast Olympus 50-200 SWC
There is no doubt that the new Olympus SWD lenses are very fast and accurate at focusing. Of course any mention of these lenses always goes hand in hand with the professional E-3 body.
Early Morning Field
Olympus E-3 : 50-200mm f2.8
A Party for Guiseppina
What About The Other 45% - Flash Websites
One of my phpCrazySite clients contacted me yesterday to ask my opinion of Flash websites as she was considering the benefits of having large images and the slick graphics that a Flash website can provide - - - and I was also curious as to whether my opinion should change from the one I have maintained for many years now. Technology marches on and it appears that a majority of photographers peers are utilizing Flash websites, putting pressure on everyone to conform to that look.
Extreme Window Shopping : E-3 3200ISO in the dark
Went out armed with my Olympus E-3 with tack sharp 12-60 f2.8/4 mounted. A couple of years ago I did a couple of Window Shopping series (London Ontario Richmond Row) shooting with my Nikon gear and Sigma f2.8 lenses. All shots were handheld and taken at extreme settings of 1600-3200ISO. The end result is that several of those images are in peoples homes - some prints canvas mounted to 24"x36" sizes.
I aint no nature photographer
. . . that's for sure. I just realized that I don't have the patience for it (plus I have no idea how they get the animals, bugs or pests to stay so still so they can set up and shoot - it may go back to the fact that I have no patience for it)
Getting that time of year again - HOCKEY
My boys are starting to talk hockey again and it reminded me of a very fun shoot a couple of years ago where I covered their hockey draft for a tournament that took place at a local Jack Astors restaurant involving the captains of the teams and a moderator. I thought I would post some of the images from it here in my journal being there were some enjoyable shots from the series:There were times it was so intenseCaptain Morgan secretly hiding behind his dinner menu so no one would know his strategyCaptain Hunter making his draft choiceOnce the draft was over the trading startedThanks to Jack Astors for tolerating the guys (loud and intense)and letting them stay until 12:15AM even though they had closed at 11:00.On the way out the 4 captains showed their comradery
challenging myself - used what was handy
One thing that I never participate in is challenges or contests.However on a photography forum today there was a challenge for showing a dramatic macro image of a toothbrush. At first I had no interest and was about to leave - when I began wondering what I could quickly throw together with things around me in a night time setting while sitting in my bedroom at my workstation. This is what I ended up with in a couple of minutes:
Muslim Engagement Party in London
This photography request was something unique to me and so I jumped at the chance to document it. While in many ways the event and coverage was like a wedding - it is a cultural event that place several months before the wedding and in this case, included signing of papers, a ring exchange and "dressing of gold". The 2 families and their friends were wonderfully friendly and hospitable and couldn't have asked for a nicer evening for the outdoor engagement party. Here are a few of my favourites.Olympus E-510 : 12-60 f2.8 @ 12mm : f5.6 @ 1/60'th : 800 ISOOlympus E-3 : 50-200 2.8 @ 88mm : f4.5 @ 1/60'th : 2000 ISOOlympus E-510 : 12-60 f2.8 @ 35mm : f5.6 @ 1/60'th : 400 ISOKitchen preparations
Love Story Session along the Avon River in Stratford
Have just returned from another Love Story Session this morning. I had to be up by 6:00AM to get ready and travel, while this beautiful couple had to be up much earlier for their long trek to meet up at 8:00AM in Stratford Ontario - a location they decided would make a backdrop that reflects their personalities. On leaving this morning, Anne and I were told that they had made arrangements to go golfing right after the shoot - so the day would be productive for them.
Intimate Wedding at Idlewyld Inn in London, ON
A small intimate affair that took place at the quaint Idlewyld Inn in London Ontario. Coverage of the bride in her room, ceremony, and formal family portraits after - required about 1 1/2 hours of photographic coverage.
WaterProof Black & White - E3
It was a really miserable day today - cold, wet, and dull - - - so I headed out for a drive to the beach on Lake Huron with my gear bag (I have lots of work to do, just didn't feel like doing it). I really wanted to challenge the claim of my E-3 and 12-60 along with 50-200 lenses weather proof sealing and ability. I also decided to try out the E-3's built in Black and White mode and used the Red Filter setting for at least some enhancement of sky.
Totally blown away by Olympus E3 colour and image quality
I have taken 10's of thousands of wedding and portrait images with my Olympus E-3 with the setting at Portrait or Normal with reduced contrast for more muted tones that can be punched up in post processing . . .
HDR test with E-510
I've never really done much HDR work myself (I have been around my 3Danimator friend when he does it) - - - but thought I'd give a quick try with my Photoshop CS2 and Olympus E-510 camera (after a post of a photography forum asking about the capabilities of the E-510 when used for creating HDR images), using an extreme setting requiring extreme exposure- - - a corner of my living room. I know that it isn't an ideal setup for showing the greatness of HDR - but it is what I had available quickly this morning. Regardless, it is still easy to see how HDR allows all tonal ranges to remain in tact - albeit a dull and boringimage as a result of that.
Miller Time : Family Portrait in Richmond Hill
Around 5 years ago I photographed this couple's wedding in the bitter cold of winter ( probably -40 degrees). They contacted me a couple of weeks ago asking if I would provide portraits of them and their beautiful 4 month old baby boy - along with some extended family shots. They live on the edge of a conservation area and so our trek back into the treed and grassy swamp area provided wonderful settings to work with.
Muskoka Wedding at Delta Rocky Crest Resort
What a perfect time of year for weddings in this part of the country - Muskoka Ontario. Kevin and Kathy were so easy going and their family and friends allowed me to work in my non-obtrusive way, capturing all of the personalities and events of the day with the resulting images appearing as if they weren't even aware of my presence. The formal images across the road from the Inn at the Golf Course, required a little more direction on my part - but still have a relaxed casual look to them. A very fun day for me.
Fall Colour in Southwestern Ontario
Late this afternoon I decided to take the 10 minute treck to scout out the location where I will be shooting formal wedding pictures in 2 week time. This Benmiller area is know for it's beautiful fall colours. I was armed with my E-3 and 70-300mm Olympus lens - Vivid setting - Auto ISO.
UWO - Portraits of a Couple in Love
A wonderful fun loving couple I photographed on the University of Western Ontario grounds where they had gone to school .Gregg contacted me last December (2007) to purchase Gift Certificate for a Portrait Session for Christine. When I was contacted a few weeks ago by Chris to follow through on booking her session, I was informed that the two are now engaged and that they would prefer to have the portraits include them both. That was not a problem. We arranged to meet at UWO where they had a couple of backdrops chosen.Chris had chosen an area where there were doors and windows - she said there was something about them she liked. I used this location and posed them using a trendier style.
Last days of Fall : Benmiller
Fortunately for this couple, there were still enough elements of Ontario's colourful fall season left, for some exciting images on their wedding day. Their choice of location at Benmiller Inn helped also - with it's protected landscape filled with trees, winding roads and streams. Here is a selection from the photographic session of the bride and groom and their bridal party.
In The Middle Of A Snow Storm
My wild winter wedding this weekend. It proved to be a challenge making the close to hour and a half trip to London for this wedding - the roads were snow covered and slippery -- - even a worse story coming home with the strong winds that developed through the day.
Stormed in - so abused my E-3
It was brutal cold and blowing snow on Friday. Our town was all locked in with roads leading to and exiting from - - - CLOSED BY ORDER.
E-3 Live View and Textures
I got to get out and put to use E-3 features that I haven't used before (other than playing around with them when I first bought the camera a year ago. My 3D animator friend was going to shoot a bunch of 360 panosin an old abandoned factory, and he asked if I wanted to trail along - and so I did.
NEW JOURNAL - NEW DESIGN & COLOURS
Although I update my main Photography Website on a regular basis and have changed the look and layout many times ( Website Archive ), primarily I have used the colours "Black" and "Orange" and web safe "Grays" to design my sites - the blacks and grays work well for enhancing my photos.
A Love Story with Jeff and Brenda
This location for Jeff and Brends'a Love story Session, is a family treasure that goes back generations with Jeff's family. Many generations and members of his family livein close proximity to each other in this little village.
Absolutely brilliantly creative wedding video
There is not much that bores me more than wedding video. For the mostpart it is a long running video record of "ALL" that takes place infront of the camera. The only people that get excited by it are theperson who took the video and the couple - - - other than some friendsand family who feel obligated or pressured to spend a significantamount of their time sitting through it, there is no one else who wouldbe interested in doing so.
New Bundle of Joy
She's a few weeks old now, but I just had to post a few shots of our beautiful grandaughter Myla.
Bird on a Wire
While doing some testing with my camera, this littlefellow sat about 20 feet away from me on our clothes line. After Irattled off a few shots with my E-3 and 50-200SWD, the mate flew ontothe wire for a split second before taking off for a distant tree.Background trees and buildings blurred out nicely with the 200m settingshot wide open.
Olde Town Montreal
Lots of photo opportunities in old Montreal.
You can't help but love the mood and character of Historic Quebec City. Anne and I stayed at this charming Inn with our 3'rd story window overlooking the busy narrow street below. After a night walk through the streets, we returned and I asked Anne to sit on the entrance stairs of the Inn. This shot brings back memories of the romance.Taken with Olympus E-500 : 14-54mm f2.8@17mm : f2.8@1/40'th : 400 ISO
Faces of Costa Rica
Would you have any idea that these people don't speak English and I don't speak Spanish? All just locals that I came across in my travels.
Bride and Mother - Fine Art
Exhibit at Starbucks
During the months of April and May, I was privileged to have been able to display a series of my Costa Rica images at Starbucks in the North London Chapters. It used to be that many Chapters/Starbucks stores had a section for display of art, but there are few anymore - with the London North one being the only one in the cities around my location. I asked about exhibiting at this location back in the fall of 2006 and when they told me that the first available date was May 2009. I just about didn't commit thinking that it was just too far away.
Bonmatch Wedding Book
I produced my first Wedding Book using Bonmatch products this past week (previously I used Art Leather IMount and TAP books). I am very pleased with the build quality and aesthetic quality of these books. Assembly went along easily. I was very pleased to find a narrow border around the edges - especially desirable when running images across the 2 page spread. The pages contain corner protectors and are ever so slightly recessed so that the edges of the prints barely show. The magnetic front was a nice feature. The book comes in a black box and a black carrying bag is also inlcuded. I found the staff at Bonmatch to be very pleasant when contacting them - and when an issue arrises, they are on the phone quickly to sort it out.
Special - 3 Month Free Web Hosting
I have been providing a quality full featured web hosting service to many photographers and businesspeople, for some time now. All of my Pro hosting accounts,come with unlimited domain name email accounts, mySQL databases,built-in one click install blogging, e-commerce, gallery software(through Cpanel Fantastico) - all of the bandwidth and file storage necessary for just about any website requirement.
The Power of a Print
This experience happened several months ago, but I want to document it in my Journal so that I can make reference to it in the future.
My Thought For Today #1 & #2
When I set up my twitter account to keep people who are interested in what I am doing, informed of updates that I post on my Journal and Imaging Media Resource and current work that I am doing in both photography and web coding and design - - - I came to the conclusion that I would use twitter to broadcast the release of short video vignettes that I have been wanting to do for some time.
Anthony & Suong : Wedding Photos
A wonderful day with this couple in Amherstburg Ontario (about a 3 1/2 hour drive each way for me). A few images from the wedding.
A Chat at the Office - Looking Beyond the Eyes
A nice thought that my photographer friend Ed Shapiro made after viewing my first "Thought For Today" videos:
Jeff & Brenda - Nithridge Estate Wedding in Ayr, ON
I was worried that my wedding this past Saturday, was going to be a wash. Very unfortunate if it was, as Jeff and Brenda's venue was designed for impressive outdoor events and photography. The stunning location was Nithridge Estate in Ayr Ontario. They had booked the Amphitheater along the rivers edge as well as the horses and carriage. While the massive reception tent would easily have handled the ceremony with all guests, we were all hoping that the skies would clear up for us - - - - and they did, immediately before the ceremony was to begin.
JS/CSS Rollover coding
Cool Online Favicon Creator
I just came across this Webpage for creating Favicons online. Favicons are the small images in the web browser address bar or tab, that identify your website. If you look there now, you should see my Favicon with a small picture of me and some scrolling etst saying "Photographer Robert Watcher".
An Olympus 50mm f2 for my camera bag
Up until recently, I really haven't had the need for anything otherthan my primary 12-60 f2.8 (24-120 equiv) and 50-200 f2.8 (100-400equiv) lens for my professional work. Theseaccomplish 90+ percent of what I require from my gear.
13 People In Attendance
This is my favourite wedding style - few in attendance, short time frame, incredible people.
Wedding Shoot - Behind the Scenes
Behind the Scenes Setup of Formals and Groups Settings (for photographers)
Pic of the Day
FOR SALE - 2 Car Doors and a TrunkOlympus E-510 : 50mm f2 macro
I was at my daughters this morning to see my new little grandbaby, and before leaving noticed her beautiful roses in the back. It is ironic that our daughters name is Roslyn - which could easily be associated with roses.
TREZJERSEYFunny story about the naming of Jersey. Our daughter and husband called their little kitten Jersey because of the black and white mottled colour. Only later did they realize that it is the brown and white cows that are called Jersey. Too late - the kitty was used to her name and who'd want to be called Holstein anyway.
MYLA 7 weeks old
An updated picture of our 7 week old grand daughter Myla, to have at our home - was in order and a series taken this morning while visiting our daughters home. Myla was in a very calm and happy mood. Here she is in my lap, talking to me and laughing at my playfulness. It's amazing how quickly newborns become aware and start to mature. Photo by Anne Watcher:
Olympus E-3 : 50-200 f2.8 @ 117mm : f3.3 @ 1/6400'th : 200 ISO
Shooting the Moon
Many photographers are curious about how long a lens is required and what exposure considerations there need to be, when taking photographs of the Moon at night . . .
Success in Photographing Fireworks
Along the same lines as the previous "Shooting the Moon" post, photographing Fireworks displays requires an adjustment in the way that we think about exposing objects at night or in dark scenarios. Fireworks explosions are very bright and capturing them is much more like shooting in the daytime than at night.
Tamrac Camera Straps
There are hundreds of camera straps to choose choose from, but my preference over many years has been the Tamrac strap. It is built well, with strong clips that allow for easy release of the strap for those times when I don't want to use a strap. There are a variety of configurations from flexible and wide neoprene formed straps for ease of carrying around the neck - to more rigid web and leather straps for better holding on my shoulders. Newer straps contain small elastic memory card holders.
Fall 2009 Portraits - Book Your Date Now
September, October and November are the months when most folks take advantage of the beautiful weather and fall scenery - to gather their families together for a nice record of everyone. Why not add a little spice to your traditional family portrait this year by allowing me to capture the essence of your families personality in the images.
A Chat At The Office - The Rockin Pro Kid
My Grandson Mason fills in for this episode. He had to use the same format and constraints (unplanned and unedited) that I do. Am I in jeopardy of losing my usefulness?
Time Out Tonight For an Espresso
Time Out Tonight For an Espresso at Coffee Cultures.The last few drops of bitter, strong espressoWhile sitting at the table, I set Anne's sunglasses on top of her cup of coffee and took this shot with me and the 50mm lens I was shooting with
Flowers and More Flowers and a DOG
Tonight I had my E-3 with 70-300 mounted, as I did my 2 mile walk alongthe Goderich Boardwalk on Lake Huron. I took a few quick moments tocapture a little of the flower beauty:
Pic of the Day - All Geared Up
"All Geared Up"Olympus E-3 : 70-300 @ 70mm : f4 @ 1/8000 : 400 ISO
All Photos taken with Olympus E-3 and 70-300mm zoom lens
Inspired by Moose Peterson
After being inspired by Moose Peterson's TWEET this afternoon - showing a bunch of dramatic cloud shots that he had just posted : http://www.moosenewsblog.com/2009/07...-the-forecast/ - - - I just had to get out tonight and capture something dramatic.
Video - opening Radio Slave package from China
My $45 "IShoot Wireless Flash Trigger" arrived from China today. Everyone watching gets to have the experience of my opening the new package, seeing what is inside, and seeing if it works.
I have tried taking dramatic sky shots before, but it turns out that the key to great images of even ordinary looking clouds (that was all I had to work with last night - but better than the few nights before when there were no clouds) - is underexposing - - - even as much as a stop to 2 stops of minus exposure compensation. These were taken with my E-510 and 50mm f2lens. 100ISO and White Balance set to Overcast for warmer sky. All full frame Jpegs with only processing being moving LEVELS into start of curve.
Bobcaygeon For the Weekend
Up until a couple of months ago, all that I knew about Bobcaygeon was that it was a hit song for the Tragically Hip - I had no idea that itwas an actual town in Ontario - - - and absolutely no idea that it was such a beautiful area.
Me at my Monday Afternoon Wedding
A few shots of me included in reflections and a couple shots Anne gotof me - while working photographing the wedding of Sherry and Ryan thispast Monday. The wedding took place at the beautiful Millcroft Inn & Spa in Alton Ontario:
Family Portraits for 25th anniversary
The Phillips family were not only a great looking family, but had wonderful personalities that matched and surpassed their beautiful physical appearance. The setting was right around their home in Northern Ontario. The portraits were to be more "casual", "fun", and contain "natural expressions" - the qualities that the daughters who hired me and paid for the session, saw in the images on my website.
I am a Tab Fanatic
I'm a Tab Fanatic - - - how many tabs have you got open?
New Heritage Project Ahead
Well I don't get too many weddings close to home, and so being that I have one tomorrow evening at a small retreat about 15 minutes away, I thought that I'd head down a bit after 8:00 this evening to check thel ayout and lighting so I can be reasonable prepared.
Survivor Style Wedding
Well I certainly had a challenge with this Sunset wedding ceremony. It pushed my equipment and abilities to the limit - attempting to provide coverage in outdoor dark conditions where no reflective surfaces could be used to add to the existing lighting.
A Wet Rodeo - thank goodness for Olympus
Anne and I had made plans with friends Andy and Bonnie a couple of weeks ago, to go the Exeter Rodeo Tour show this year - - - something that I did on a regular basis when I was a young lad, but not since I've been married (over 33 years).
The Finest in Web Hosting for Small Business and Personal Websites
I am currently in the process of moving all of my web hosting accounts to a brand new server location with a high powered dual quad core processor setup and a new management team with an absolutely stellar reputation, looking after my new server.
Gif or Jif - how is it supposed to be pronounced?
Probably 10 years ago when I started working with GIF animations usingthe "GIF Construction Set", I learned that the proper pronunciation ofthe graphics format name, is "jif" and not the more popular way ofusing the hard "G" sound (like gift). Much of this I am sure related toour understanding that GIF stands for "Graphics Interchange Format".The "g" for gif, is for "graphics" right?
Before and After
I had a few emails from photographers who has seen the Stop Frame Animation wedding videos that I have posted on You Tube and Vimeo, that were made from all 1,700 to 2000 or so frames from a typical wedding day.
Fair Play - hand held shooting of bright lights
I have taken fair night time shots different times, using my camera on a tripod and long seconds long exposures of the brightly lit moving rides - for a totally creamy smooth blurring effect.
Favorites from wedding at Millcroft Inn
Ryan & Sherry live in Qatar in the Middle East, found my work on my website and booked me to document their wedding which took place north of Toronto at the Millcroft Inn. The Wedding Planner was Cynthia Martin .
24x24 inch Framed Art Print
Since taking this shot of burned paint on old metal factory beams, it has been one of my recent favorites - and I have hoped that it would one day display on someone's wall. Well it now is a 24"x24" matted and framed print that is being enjoyed.This is the shot as they picked it (along with another 20x30 print)from my Flickr account. In order to fit the square frame, I had to make the tough decision to crop the top part of the image off. to get the image, I utilized the close focusing abilities of my 12-60 SWD Olympus lens, which was attached to my E-3.Moving in as close as I could to the surface, I managed to capture this approximately 2-3 inch wide edge of a huge I-beam girder. It had been through a fire and these tiny flecks of paint (which look large in the print) were seared and curled - creating metallic looking shadows and highlights as well as exposing small areas of pitted metal underneath.http://www.flickr.com/photos/robertw...7620831344823/
Houdinis Chinese Water Torture Cell
I was able to get up close and personal with this attempt from one of the few women who try this escape - and the only one (so they say) who does it fully exposed without a drape covering the tank. Thank goodness all went well. Here are a few of the 65 shots that I took during the 2 1/4 minute finale (seemed much longer) while watching her struggle with the shackles from a close distance. All shots taken with Olympus E-3and 50-200 f2.8 SWD lens.
Myla has discovered her feet
Olympus E-3 : 12-60 SWD @ 42mm : f4 @ 1/500'th : 125 ISO
30x40 inch Canvas print arrives
Just got my 30"x40" canvas wall portrait that one of myclients ordered recently. I wanted to get a shot of it before it is delivered, so quickly placed it on a hook on my wall and took a snapshot.How I love my clients. They continue to prove by their print choices, that they have hired me for my unique slant on the photographs I take, how I interact with the clients to get my shots, and the creative liberty I take in processing them and providing a large and unique selection. I really feel that images like this family have chosen have a longevity that far surpasses a more traditional wedding or portrait wall print -which becomes outdated fairly quickly and is taken down.
Even if it is NOON - and the CLOUDS move out
Anne and I were heading up to the Bruce Peninsula on Saturday to spend a weekend with our friends. It is beautiful countryside and many opportunities struck my eye as I drove along the 2 hour trek to our destination.
kyle & madisen - a Love Story Session
A 2+ hour drive was required each way to travel to my Love Story Session in Port Burwell Ontario today. The day was cold, but perfect in every other way. I used direct sun light on many of the shots, as well as having the couple turn away from the sun so that it back lit them - while Anne softened the shadows with a silver reflector. We shot later in the day to benefit from the lower angle of the sun. I have cleaned up a handful of the images, with the final edited selection of around 40 images being completed in a few weeks for the couple.
Fall in the Bruce Peninsula
A few shots that I took around Inglis Falls in Owen Sound. Fall colours are just starting to come into their own.
Fall at Niagara Falls
Niagara shots from weekend away with family. All taken with Olympus E-3 and 12-60mm SWD lens.
Still in Love
Anne and I have been married for coming up on 34 years. After being away in the big city or sometimes just because I feel like it, I still love to bring home a small bouquet of flowers to bring out Anne's beautiful smile and expressions of appreciation . . .
A Love Story Video
A Love Story Video containing the complete selection of 40 images from the session of kyle & madisen.
The Vendor Client relationship - in real world situations
A Portrait of Neil and Blanche
It was very unfortunate that my wife's father passed away 2 years ago. Neil was a quite and thoughtful person that everyone loved and respected. Typical of the shoemaker's children, I never did take a nice portrait of Neil and his wife Blanche. Even when Anne and I hired a photographer to photograph the whole family many years ago, we neglected having the photographer take a portrait of them being that I'd be able to do so.
Busy with new Website Application
Sorry that I have been inactive as far as new photography posts. My work from 2009 is all caught up and I am now right in the thick of development of my new VERSA website application that will replace my current PCS Crazy Site. It is a huge and time consuming task. Final coding began the first week in January of 2010 - and expected completion of the application is the latter part of February 2010.
I just about trampled all of the tiny tiny spring crocus flowers walking across my lawn last night. I thought that I should head out and grab a shot or two before they disappear.
Night Time Walk at Goderich
I took my E-3 and 12-60 with me for my Lake side walk this evening after the sun had gone over the horizon.
Spring Crocus - The NEXT WEEK
I still think that the beauty and structure of the Spring Crocus buds that I posted last week, exceeds that of the flowers that have come out this week. But they are still pretty also - and being that I was fully practiced in my technique from last time - - - I headed out to capture these little heads open creatures this afternoon in mid day before they disappear. . .
Wedding Pictures : Kyle & Madisen
A few images from Kyle and Madisen's April Wedding.
Wind Surfing (KITE) - Sauble Beach
It was a brutal cold day on the baren beaches of the Bruce Penninsula - strong biting winds making it all but impossible for the most brave or crazy to be standing exposed for any length of time. I was simply driving around the deserted villiage of Sauble Beach to see the contrast to the busling and vibrant activity filled streets that everyone witnesses in the prime of summer months.
Spring Crocus Prints
After a couple of requests for prints from seeing my Spring Crocus posts . . .
W.D.Hopper Water Wells Website Complete
W.D Hopper & Sons Ltd. hired me for a complete rebuild of their business website recently. They wanted to have a site with a fresh look and one that provided far more extensive information than the previous website that I built for them in 2002. Also we included many images of the various services that they provide - and the website has a video feature where Down The Hole videos can be seen - showing travel from top to bottom of a 300 foot plus drilled well - rock formation and pipe joints and bedrock seating. We also included an extensive history of the well established company along with some very old pictures. The site is now completed and functional. I hope that the website build proves valuable to the company as I'm sure that it will.
I have been aniticpating a purchase of the new micro 4/3 cameras that were introduced first only a year ago or so. This technology removes the traditional mirror that has been required in SLR and DSLR camera bodies - and instead uses the Live View feature of the cameras large LCD for composing, focusing, and customizing settings.
Goderich Harbour : Olympus E-PL1 720p HD Video
City Night Lights
I photographed some night time street lights around Richmond Row in London Ontario. I was testing my new Olympus E-PL1 using AF tracking in low light. It did struggle with the 14-42mm kit lens - however I was very impressed with the out of focus circles that could be acheived with this inexpensive and rather limited lens. For one scene I attempted Manual Focus going from the out of focus cab lights, to and in focus scene. However, it took 8 or 10 complete rotations of the focus ring to accomplish that - - - making this lens viirtually useless for that type of focus sweep. The E-PL1 handled low light at 1250 ISO quite nicely for my needs.
Have I got a Story to Tell - Famous Roy
Well did I ever have a great evening tonight as I decided to take the hour long drive into London (ontario) to shoot some city lights with my new E-PL1.
PEN your story challenge
Old Dog (teach) New Dog (tricks)
Creatures in our Lilacs
Time for Anne and I to get at our flowerbeds on our porch yesterday. With all of the attractions that we added - along with a stunningly full lilac tree within feet of the porch - - - it was exciting to see lots of activity this afternoon, first from hummingbirds and then a selection of butterflies/moths
Funky Fun - E-PL1
I went along with my CG friend to Toronto today, to help him shoot some HD video (canon 1080p) and some HDR back plates for some advertising pieces that he is putting together.
Music Video made with E-PL1 -The End of Things
I have completed the Music Video that I have been working on, for my son Ryan's new song - "The End of Things". An Edgy video style was used to match his quirky and darker song writing style (the version that he is using is even more contrasty, desaturated, and daunting). We really wanted a feeling of the video being shot with film instead of a video camera. The finished piece that started with my concept and story board a few eeeks ago, is exactly what Ryan had envisioned:
Flowers, Art and Bees
Walking along the Goderich coastline, I shot a few interesting subjects with my Olympus E-510 and 75-300 lens. Exposure was f8 @ 1/60'th to 1/125'th (bees were f5.6 @ 1/160'th) using 800 ISO and Image Stabilization to help with the handholding.
A New Life Begins Today
We were so excited to be able to enjoy the exciting entrance into the world - of our 4'th grandchild "Oakley Gabriella".
Love Story Session for Wine Lovers
This young couple are of Italian decent, and are wine lovers. Thus their choice of location for the shoot, was in Wine Country Ontario - - - Niagara-On-The-Lake. We drove the short distance to River Bend Inn and Vineyard to use that location as a backdrop for the "wine lovers".Here is Erik and Amy's completed Love Story Video that includes the final selection of 50 images, as well as a few short video clips.
Shots of me Working
My wife Anne grabbed a few shots of me while I was working on the recent Love Story Session in Niagra-on-the-Lake. She used my Olympus E-PL1 that I was using to capture a few short video clips to include in the couple's Love Story slideshow:
Wedding Ceremony in the Rain : Saugeen First Nation Amphitheatre
I had a great time at this small wedding in the rain. Everyone was prepared with their umbrella (inlcuding me). The ceremony took place at the Saugeen First Nation Amphitheatre near Southhampton Ontario.
Faces of Nicaragua
Doors and Walls of Nicaragua
Self portrait in my favorite corner
Self Portrait in the favorite corner of my house - Anne's leopard chair and chest for sewing stuff - pics of 5 grandchildren taken within hours of being born - shots of my kids and Anne and I in behind. The door we come and leave by, just to the right!
New Home For Travel Virgins
UPDATE - new link to our Travel Virgins website. The site has recently been integrated into my main robertwatcher.com site. The new link is http://robertwatcher.com/travel/
60th Anniversary Portraits : The Stratford Country Club
Family portraits during 60'th wedding anniversary party at the Stratford Country Club in Stratford Ontario. I had the privliledge of providing the photography at this couple's 50'th anniversary, in 2001 as well.
New Journal Design for 2012
I have had a difficult time trying to figure out whether to maintain my journal. Last year I took it down and after receiving a few emails from people who followed my journal on a regular basis and asked where it was - I made the choice not long ago, to establish it again using a Tumblr blog setup. While the look suited me fine, I really am pleased with the journal software that I wrote for the Travel Virgins website that my wife and I use for documenting our times in Central America. The thing is that it is built exactly the way I want it . . .
Google Fonts add Spice
One thing that has been difficult for HTML websites, is the ability to benefit from fancier fonts that may or may not be available on the viewers computer. That is why generally web safe fonts such as Arial, Serif, Sans-Serif, etc - are the relied upon fonts used in the design of websites. Or you may find quite a shock after designing a wonderful logo font with say a script font name that you have available on your Mac - - - only to find that when viewed on a PC it has defaulted to a standard font that does not fit right or look good.
Niagara in the Rain
Anne and I were recently in Niagara Falls for a few days - and on this evening with the rain and extreme fog, I decided to walk down to the falls and grab a few shots taken with my Olympus E-PL1 and 14-42 kit lens.
Wedding Photographers have to deliver - no excuses
Whether a professional or not - whether paid or not - if the job is ours to cover a wedding, we have to come back with the shots. Many times it means employing less than ideal techniques such as standing on chairs for vantage points or shooting sniper style with a long lens, resorting to wide shots showing the party, using elbows extended to give yourself room to maneuver, getting right in on the action and moving around with the flow, and in the case below standing right beside the videographer and giving him only one way to move. The thing is - if others make it impossible to get our shots or even if the bride and groom have not allowed time or want to change the timing because they are wanting to keep the party moving - - - we have to get our shots one way or the other.
My poor young bride - sad day
It was so sad for me to get the news yesterday, that a young groom that I photographed 5 years ago, passed away suddenly. WIthin a year of their wedding day, they got the bad news that he had cancer and they, their family and friends did everything in their power to get the best treatment possible. I was contacted by the bride a few years ago about getting some more prints of the wedding day - and so was somewhat aware of what was going on. I had in fact heard not long ago, that there was very good news that things were looking good. However after hearing the news yesterday - I received a phone call today asking if I had any photos from the wedding day of him alone while he was still in good health. Fortunately I have quite a few.
Exciting Times : Olympus OM-D E-M5
As a long time Olympus camera user - I was intrigued when the first rumors came out that there may be a sort of digital renaissance with the possible release of a micro 4/3 system that resembled the OM film series cameras from the 70's and 80's. Although I owned most of the models, my favorites were my OM-2sProgram as well as black OM-4 bodies. They were compact and they were perty.
A Bit of Nostalgia : newspaper clipping
Today I came across a photocopy from a 1991 newpaper article that was written about me when I opened my new Main Street Studio. I didn't realize there was any copy of it as I misplaced the original years ago. I was 34 years old at this time and had been a professional photographer, working out of home and making a living for my family for 12 years already.
Artistic Lily Pads
Not far from our home is a beautiful area for driving the country roads through the scenic Little Lakes area near Benmiller Ontario. I stopped to capture some images containing items and reflections that showed in the large bodies of water.
Should professional prints be signed by the photographer?
There are a variety of opinions as to whether it is proper to sign photographic portrait and wedding prints that one has created. A common concept is that we as photographers are "Artists" and so we should sign our work as artists do.
Getting The Shot - Anticipation Pays Off
A favorite shot from this day of street shooting . . .
In Flight - wing engine
I was looking for interesting flight shots - camera pressed against the hazy and dirty window to my left. Fortunately a layer of soft cotton balls (cloud cover) lined the floor beneath, providing a simple backdrop for an uncluttered composition. I was shooting with my Olympus E-3 and 12-60mm lens at 46mm : f10 @ 1/800th : 500 ISO.
It is easy to adopt "the grass is always greener on the other side" mentality, and so while I love the scenic views that I am able to capture when traveling to Central America - I am conscious to not ignore the beauty around where I live. Of course it helps when that happens to be just minutes away from beautiful lakeside towns that expose one to a "million-dollar sunset". And so I take my camera with me on my routine boardwalk and trail trecks along the water edge. A perfect time is arriving an hour before sunset and waiting through until the "golden hour".
Special Moments : for the record
I revisited this shot that I took a few months ago on a family outing for my oldest son and his family. Late in the dark of the evening, his wife and children were hitting the rides heavy at the busy local fair. While off on my own shooting the action and lights of all going on, I happened to look over and find this touching moment - a grown man (our son Robert) with his arm around his mother, taking in the good times that his wife and children were having. This is a beautiful record shot for Anne and I - but will also be a treasured memory as we view it in the future. The power of a photograph.
HOLGA for micro 4/3
Well I was excited about the arrival of the Holga micro 4/3 lens that I ordered from ebay. Talk about cheap (price wise) at $18.88 - - - although on further examining of the lens you begin to wonder if that price is a rip off. It is about as crappy a lens as you could expect - all plastic - there is lots of slop in the mount - and the focusing ring is rather stiff. But man is it fun to use, and it actually looks pretty handsome on my Olympus E-PL1.
Shooting an Early Morning Love Story Session in a Busy Cafe
I got a chuckle out of this clip that my wife shot during one of my Love Story Sessions (she was using an Olympus E-PL1). No wonder I get dehydrated when shooting jobs (particularly weddings) and feel like I'm going to have a heart attack sometimes - and then take days to recover.
Absolutely Brilliant Music Video : Deceived
I know - I'm bragging here - - - but sometimes I can't get over the creativity and unique perspective that must go on in my youngest son Ryan's head.
Port Stanley Ontario, Love Story Session
Being that I did not have my Journal functioning for much of last year (2011) - I missed posting some of my work from that year - - - and so will be adding a few jobs and stories as I go along.
Fly By Photographer
Funniest thing happened as I am closing off the portrait session with the couple. I had them standing against the gates of the building we were using and I was backed up near the road to get my angle - when a guy flies by on his bike, taking a path between us.
Ready To Roll
Well - all the changes have been made to my Journal source code - and everything now appears to be updated and working normally. So sorry for any inconvenience over the last few days, if you have been viewing the site and it goes dead monetarily.
My fancy wall pano made by printing out the stitched image onto separate pieces of paper and taping them to the wall with gaps between each print. This was a test to see if I wanted to make a single long pano print, or go this way. After testing and looking at this configuration for a while now - my intention is to flush mount each print and hang them properly (sans tape) - but in the same fashion. Although it is amazing how this sloppy look of prints just taped, is starting to work for me as well. Kind of artsy. BTW - the shot is a 360 degree view of the Central Square in San Jose Costa Rica. Directly ahead (center of the pano) is the National Theater which is a replica of the Paris Opera House.
Shoulder Bag for being Out and About whileTraveling
These are shots of my compact and efficient way of shooting when I travel (taken in Nicaragua 2011).
This is not a composite image. I was walking around a museum and this is the view I was presented with when looking through the door - - - of course only after I sensed things being symetrical and backed up against the wall in the main room so that the initial grouping of pots was in my view. I did add an artistic effect in post processing that provided a subtle abstract look.
Barbershop - Dollar Haircut
King & Spadina : Toronto Ontario
A retro feel while standing on the busy intersection at King & Spadina streets in Toronto.
On The Streets
Shooting street scenes in Central America, by day and night.
A set of photographs with my "grunge" treatments.
A seagal skeleton on the beach, provides an artistic base.
ZIGGY ZAGGY Night Lights
Hand held exposure leaving Toronto on 401 highway and entering Exeter on #4 highway - at night.
Fall Golf Course Wedding at Otter Creek Golf Club
It seems that many many couples in our area are having Golf Course weddings the last couple of years - - - and what I am seeing on photographers websites are now cliche' images of the bride and groom golfing and dozens of other copied poses with each wedding.
This was the first time that Anne and I have stayed in a Hostel - although we were able to snag one of the few private rooms with its own bathroom. Concrete floors, simple hard bed and unbearable heat - - - but cheap and there was a cool bar on the roof with cheap drinks. This very dark room was a common area where meals could be cooked, clothes washed, surf boards stored, or just hang out. The cold green/yellow tones caught my attention.
Quebec City in Colour
A rainy day in Quebec City.
Other Side of the Street
Movie Director calling out orders with her bullhorn
Thought it was Only in the Movies
I had no idea that being able to break into locks with a small set of metal wires and bars, was anything other than what you see in the movies. However this man proved that there was virtually no lock invincible - with a little time, patience and getting the tongue wag right.
Skateboader Shoot in Granada
Fortunately I always have a camera in my pocket - - - on this occcasion it being my Olympus E-PL1 with kit lens. While walking downtown, I came across this photo and video shoot of a skateboader running up a ramp, up and over a metal rail, flipping the board under his feet and landing some 8 to 10 feet below on brutal rough pavement. Try after try he failed to hit the landing - until he finally got it - - - hands bloody, emotionally drained and ready to quit from the impact of his body hitting the pavement time after time.
Can we protect our web images?
On a photo forum one particular morning, a distraught photographer asked how it was possible that images from her blog were being used on another website. She had noticed the activity through her web stats. I get this kind of question regularly from people that I have designed websites for - or who are using my phpCrazySite with the "right click disabled" code enabled. They simply cannot understand how it is possible, when even they are unable to access the images when they try.
NO WAY BACK TO THE TOP OF PAGE
A couple of years ago, I made the decision to include a "Back to the Top" button on first my dslrPhotoForum and then the Travel Virgins Journal that my wife and I maintain. Using the jQuery library as a base, the code was simple to write and include and we have become addicted to that simple functionality, of clicking on the button on the bottom right side of every webpage and being taken back to the top without having to use the scrollbar. Since then, almost every website I have built for myself or my clients - includes the code in one iteration or another.
Fresko : Fenelon Falls Information Building
Fresko treatment on my photo of the Fenelon Falls Visitor Information Center building.
The Butcher - Portrait of a Working Man
Play that Harp
Love this shot of a fellow playing his harmonica on a street corner.
On Top of the World - treachurous road from Monteverde
I am working through some video footage that I assembled over the past few years while in Central America. The video clips are from a compact and inexpensive digital tape camcorder - which I have enlarged and cropped to a 16:9 format in Sony Vegas.
Bamboo, Sugar Cane and Gourds
A small door high up on a wall, with painted circles to detract from the obvious.
Portrait of Masaya Guitar Makers
This family of guitar makers, run out of a small dark shack in Masaya Nicaragua. After taking a few shots of them working at their craft - I asked if I could take a portrait of them all while standing in the doorway. I made several prints of this portrait to deliver to them as thanks.
Sunset from Above the Clouds
Deceiving isn't it - not a sunset from the percpective of being on the ground - but from flying 30,000 feet above the earth. A dense bed of clouds formed the plains and mountains as the sun lowered and streaked across the ridges. You get a sense from the striations in the highlighted area under where the sun is setting on the horizon.
Paradise at San Juan del Sur
Removing Ads from Embedded Youtube Videos
I really think that there is a benefit to having videos that I embed into my websites, stored on Youtube and served from there, instead of feeding them from my servers. Youtube is free (yes there is the expected advertising). Youtube allows anyone access to my videos - people who would never be able to find them unless they knew my website and where to look. Youtube has become a major player in the search engine game - so links to and from it can benefit SEO ranking. Youtube is fully integrated into Social Media - which nowadays seems important for business marketing. Youtube is accessable on virtually all platforms including mobile devices. If a video is interesting enough, Youtube can drive traffic to my website.
Getting a Handle on YouTube Channel
I'm finally getting a basic understanding of the new YouTube Channel layouts. I struggled for some time trying to understand - and really couldn't figure out the new layouts. I was hesitant to make the change from old and comfortable to new and unsettling - - - and when I did, things were just left at default settings. I couldn't see the need for the playlists in fact and so hadn't even attempted to create any - - - until the other day when I visited a web coding channel that I am subscribed to, and noticed the jQuery Channel and clicked on it.
Blue on Blue on Blue
Interesting layering of blues on this pier.
10 Best Bride and Groom Vista Images
I thought that I would put together a small selection of my Bride and Groom images, that dramatically feature the surroundings they are photographed in. From the many years that I have been shooting, the selection could be endless - however this series of 10 are definitely ones that pleased me as well as the couple.
The Wedding Dress
Elopement Wedding Photography in Tobermory
I received a phone call from this Toronto couple, asking if I would travel to provide photography for their elopement ceremony that would take place on the rocks by the lighthouse in Tobermory Ontario. I met them in a hotel lobby, just before the ceremony was to begin. The officiant brought along her husband and mother, to be witnesses and sign for the couple. As it turned out, there were several unknowing guests in attendance - swimmers, skuba divers and people just sitting around enjoying the wonderful day - - - but all became involved with full attention given to the goings on.The first kiss, prompted an eruption of applause from the onlookersAs well, a boat was coming into harbour at the same time, and sounded it loud horn - with the passengers taking pictures and waving franticallyI followed the couple as they headed downtown and engaged people on the street - the new bride passing out the roses from her bouquet. Just before leaving I captured some images of them letting their hair down on the docks of the marina
Ceiling Fan Photography
So many normal, mundane and sometimes boring things that are around us each day - can become subjects for appealing photographic images. Laying on my bed with my Olympus E-3 in hand - I turned on the Live View feature (direct viewing using the screen on the back of my camera) and aimed the camera straight up at the spinning white ceiling fan. I set the camera to shutter priority exposure metering and varied the shutter speeds from 1/8'th to 1/40'th second - for totally different effects.
Sneaking a Peek : Bride and her Sister
A very small affair at a restaurant in London Ontario. Shortly before the ceremony began, I met up with the bride and her sister in a small room at the venue. Her parents arrived shortly after. I took many of the shots as if I was peeking in on them as they were nervously and anxiously awaiting the arrival of the guests, so that the wedding could proceed.
Formal Portrait in Hotel Lobby
Formal portrait of couple, taken in the front lobby at the Hilton in London Ontario
Got Enough Hard Drives?
It sure doesn't take long to fill up hard drives and I have a huge stack of them. For that reason I prefer to use a hard drive caddy - have 2 of them - and have been using them for about 4 years now. This allows me to swap in and out drives (which I have labeled using a black DVD marker) for keeping content separate - such as Professional Files, Travel files, Video, Personal work, Web Design etc. Most right now are 1 and 2 TB drives. Besides the compactness and as well as the advantage of not having to plug in different portable hard drives every time I want to access other content - - - I personally believe that the drives must be running much cooler, as they are totally exposed out in the open. Overheating is a huge reason for drive failure and when the drives are packed in those tight cases, I'd think we are asking for problems. Also I have had 2 less costly portable drives fail - not because of the hard drive, but because of the inferior build quality of the wiring components - - - something that you can't see from the outside or even until it happens.
New Family Bonding
At the end of the evening, the exhausted new family (bride and groom and groom's two daughters) stretched out on the couches near the front lobby of the wedding reception venue. I moved them together in a fun way, and I think that it shows the love and closeness they felt at this time.
Mastering Street Photography : Part 1
Over the past 4 years my wife and I have been documenting out adventures in Costa Rica and just recently Nicaragua - where we get involved with photographing and telling stories of the people we come across, traveling on their local buses, eating their foods, and at times putting ourselves in uncomfortable and unfamiliar situations. Our Online Journal has been active . . . .
Mastering Street Photography : Part 2
While on our travels, I had a couple of DISTINCT DISADVANTAGES
Mastering Street Photography : Part 3
MY FAVOURITE TIMES THOUGH WERE WHEN I ASKED FOR PERMISSION TO TAKE THEIR PICTURE
Mastering Street Photography : Part 4
Mastering Street Photography : Part 5
I get rejected, am scared at times and there is danger
One thing that is unique about Central American countries in general - is that you can almost be guaranteed to find the same people at exactly the same location, even if it has been weeks or months or years in between. That has been great for allowing me to take prints back to the people I photograph and build up a further rapport with them. One of the few people that I haven't been able to find again - even with several attempts to locate him - is this fellow who came up to me on one of the paths that wind through the main market of Masaya, wanting his picture taken. I asked all of the vendors in the same area if they knew him, but did not get a positive reply. I do like the character of the image and enhanced further with black and white toning, structure enhancement and film grain.
The Old Man Can Still Get Down
My wife Anne emailed me this pic that she had just transferred from her memory card to her laptop (she's sitting 2 rooms from me, but simpler to email lol). I just love getting down and playing with my little granddaughters - - - being in my mid 50's, I sometimes have a hard time getting back up and pay for days for doing it, certainly a much harder time than when I did the same thing with my 11 and 9 year old grandchildren - - - but hey at least I can still get down.
Cleaning up White Specs from Sensor
This afternoon, I was getting up to date with Kirk Tuck's Visual Science Lab blog - and a comment that he made about White Specs showing in the dark areas of his theater images that he had just shot with his new Sony a77 - - - brought back memories of the similar issue that I had with my Olympus cameras a few years ago. Here is Kirk's post - http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.ca/2012/03/good-bad-and-ugly-of-sony-a77-camera.html
In case it isn't evident - - - I love grunged up, over saturated, and over processed images. Always have - always will.
Taking Pictures at Folk Festivals
A great opportunity for me to get my camera out to photograph musicians is the Huron County Folk Festival that takes place in London Ontario each year. This series of images that I photographed, took place last fall 2011 and so I am a little behind getting them up on my journal - but better late than never I suppose.
Soft Bridal Bouquet - with BLING
A very delicate and pastel look to this bride's bouquet from a recent wedding. I had taken a shot of the flower arrangement first while they were still in the box freshly delivered by the florest - - - but wasn't even aware that there were two large stones embedded into the main flowers.Later in the day I took the closeup of the bride holding the soft and delicate bouquet that almost blended in with her dress.
Look A Likes : Like Father Like Son
This is a favorite father and son shot of mine - taken on the family farm where the rugged dad stood the little tot up on the front porch rail, for a perfectly lit shot of the 2 of them. "Proud" is all I can see in the dads face.
Portrait of a Character
This fellow was constantly clowning around and making us laugh. He could easily have been (and maybe is) a real character actor with his great facial personality and sense of humour. These were the kind of expressions I was constantly getting from him while I was trying to get his attention to have him look at me for a portrait - as well as what he was giving from the sidelines.Finally the one shot I was able to successfully capture, that was the serious portrait that the family required.
Great Stand for Printers
I came across a great use, for the sturdy metal stands that are sold at home hardware stores (I got these at HomeDepot), for holding a microwave in the kitchen. It happens that they fit my Epson printers perfectly and keep everything well organized with supplies stored below, as well. In my workspace, I have 2 stands setup beside each other, for my 13" wide carriage 1400 and 2400 printers ( the picture shows just the 1400 printer) - as well at another location in our home we have another such stand setup with the wireless network Artisan 800 scanner/printer (moved in to my room to show in these pictures) for use with any of our computers and wireless laptops that we use on a daily basis inside and outside the home.
Wireless Flash Technique Outdoors : One Portable Light
For this commercial photo shoot for a Golf Course, the decision was made to shoot late into the evening just after the sun had set - and then again first thing in the morning before the sun rose. As we were nearing the end of the shoot at night, I wanted to get one shot of the owner with some dramatic ambient lighting using the setting of one of his favorite greens and fairways - but soon realized that to bring the exposure up so that he would be well enough lit - - - meant that I would lose the effect of the sweet light on the overall scene. The sky in the background would be very bright. I could not rely on natural light and would have to use my portable flash.
Street Photographer and Nanny
I just came across this incredible story of an unknown street photographer named Vivian Maier, who has left a legacy that has allowed one man who came across her work by accident - to compile not only a collection of her wonderful street images that were taken around Chicago - - - but also a portrayal of who she was as a person, not based on knowing her but the self portraits, bits of clothing and cameras she used, as well as an audio recording of her speaking.
This interesting symetrical design along one of the living room walls at a friends house, caught my eye. I toned and added film grain when processing the image. Shot with Olympus E-3 /12-60 : f3.6@1/50'th : 2500 ISO
Photography is about having fun isn't it. And there are some great web based photo processing websites coming along, that in many cases can take the place of expensive software applications like Photoshop - that have up until the last few years been required to adjust colors, density, cropping and resizing.
Kids Size Ten and a Half
Found picture - childrens sandals placed on a wood bench, while walking the boardwalk.
Processing is a Large Part of the Creative Result
I know that there is a prevalent line of reasoning that suggests that for a photographic image to be considered as worthy, it must contain the image exactly as has been captured in the camera and must be unmanipulated. That is a purist way of thinking, that is fine for those who wish to practice it - but does not define photography as a whole and is not something that should be imposed on other photographers.
Up Up and Away
I took this shot of an American Airlines takeoff, while we were taxiing from the terminal to the runway. A muted toning adds to the atmosphere I think.
A seagull flying over glassy water of Lake Huron, with the warm colours of a setting sun.
10 Favourite Closeups of Couples in Love
I enjoy getting close and intimate when shooting my Love Story Sessions. It always amazes me that even though I seldom know the couple I am shooting - and in many cases have never met them before - - - the barriers of what they feel is expected from them as well as the impact of a camera stuck in their face, seems to disappear quickly.
Compact Wedding Books for B&G and Mom
Custom bound leather wedding books from BonMatch. For the Bride and Groom, a compact 20 page 8x10 book (portrait layout) in Black leather with black guilding. For the groom's mother, a compact 20 page 10x8 book (landscape layout to allow for full 10x8 family group) in white leather with pearl guilding.
Pinterest - Just Another Social Media Site To Use
It's hard to keep up with all of this social media and sharing stuff. No sooner do you presume that a site like Facebook has everything sewn up - - - and along comes Pinterest.
A Little Insight!
Believe it or not - I was once considered beautiful ! (ROTFL) This is me when I won:
Pinterest Copyright Violation
I decided to do a follow up to this post I made yesterday - http://robertwatcher.com/journal/index.php?jp=270&title=pinterest-just-another-social-media-site-to-use.
Gold Diggers - PHOTO
A small selection of photographs of foliage found in Central American jungles, rain forests and mountains.
The Prestige Collection : Web Design and Build
I have just completed a new website for a small company called The Prestige Collection. Their product line includes hand-crafted designer jewelry where additions can be made to existing pieces - making it kind of a modular approach I guess you could say.
8 Neon Beer Signs at Night
Shooting into dark store windows to capture the beauty of glowing Neon Signs - this is a set designed for beer brands.
Old Factory Wall
A section of wall at the Historic Distillery District in Toronto Ontario.
Pretty in Pink
Spring has sprung and provides a wonderful array of early blooms like these Bleeding Hearts in the flower beds wrapped around our home. In case you weren't aware - these elegant and beautiful flowers are also known as Lady's Locket as well as Lady in a Boat.
My Video Settings for Upload to Youtube
Video Settings that I am currently using for 720P HD video for upload to Youtube.
Fathers of the Day
Love the images of these 2 important men of the couple's special day - - -
Robs Awesome Web Resize Actions
There is always some confusion when it comes to how best to resize images for web display. I have made several custom Actions for my own use - that handle all of the steps that I prefer - - - without much effort or thinking on my part. The only time effort and thinking were involved was when I first created them or when I adapt one for a new use. But that is one time instead of the thousands of times that I have to save images for web use.
Goderich Tornado Aug 21, 2011
Goderich Tornado Aug 21, 2011 : Witnessed 1 Week Later
Do it right - Splash Page
Many who follow my web writings through different photography forums through the years, know that I am essentially against the use of Splash Pages - and see them as a hindrance to viewers of websites . . .
Supermoon 2012 - taking pictures of it
There has been lots of buzz about tonights Supermoon ( http://www.nasa.gov/topics/solarsystem/features/supermoon_2012.html ). The moon is going to be closer to the earth and thus appear larger and brighter. From a photographic standpoint, there have been many posts on the photography forums - and many have been suggesting and probably have, gone out and rented a long fast lens so they can can get a great shot of the event.
I Shot the Supermoon
Well I just got back from the Bryan Adams concert (really good by the way) - and saw the big full moon in a clear sky at around 12:30AM midnight May 6'th. I knew that while I was at the concert, I missed the nice opportunity of the moon being low to the horizon where I could include some interesting content and show its size - and so wasn't going to bother taking a shot - - - after all it is just another full moon shot when aiming up in the sky.
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Buffalo in Driftwood
Shooting driftwood along the beaches of Lake Huron, I came across an interesting pattern in the wood that looked like the eye of animal of some sort. So I shot it cropped in camera exactly as it looks here.
I Was A Traditional Photographer Once
Trying out my DVD Xpress video cature device on some old Beta video footage that I found of myself shooting the portrait section for a wedding in January 1987. I had been in business by this time for 7 years and was a ripe age of 30 years old. My - how time flies.
Stones and Feather
Walking along the beach, a lone feather.
Resize Images For Web
Many photographers have a difficult time figuring out how to resize their images for display on the web. This video provides 2 different methods that provide the right amount of sharpness and settings so that there is no pixelation.
12 Birds from Costa Rica
Here is a small selection of 12 from the hundreds and hundreds of bird varieties that we have witnessed in the wilds, jungles, volcanos and rain forests of Costa Rica. A country that is a "birders" paradise.
Google Honors Bob Moog
What a cool find when I went to the Google Home Page this morning. In front of my eyes was a "working" Moog synthesizer. Apparently Google decided to provide a tribute to Bob Moog (now 78) for his passion for high-tech toolmaking.
Online Web Tools Website
I am currently in the process of building an Online Web Tools website that may be helpful for those who like to take control of their website when it comes to coding it. Some of these tools come in particuarly handy for use in website structures like my PSS : phpSimpleSite that I have restructured and will have available before long.
Fine Art Greeting Cards
While I have always thought it would be cool to make up some greeting cards of my personal and art photographs - until recently it has not been a viable option. It required expensive setups with an offset printing company, and generally a large minimum quantity of just one image. Multiply that by half a dozen or a dozen favourite images, and - - - well you gotta be in that business.
Pixlr Editor - Pixlr Express - Pixlr-o-matic
There are getting to be more and more Online Image Editors available, that for most people will provide al they need fo image processing,cropping and resizing. What is quite impressive, is the way that images (even large ones) load quickly into these applications and there is no lag in seeing the results of changes made. A year and a half ago, I posted an available list of editors - including ones similar to Photoshop functionality - on my dslrPhotoForum. Each one has their strengths and weaknesses, but can functionally do all of the basic tasks needed for cleaning up and sprucing up images.
Venus Transits the Sun Today
Here's where and when you can see Venus transit the sun; last viewing opportunity until 2117
My Picture of Venus and the Sun
Well I got my shot last night, and both Anne and I were able to easily see the black dot with our bare eyes (with the aid of a welding lens that I was able to purchase at TSC).
Photoshop Layer Mask Magic - Before and After
I was working on one of my wedding images this afternoon - cleaning it up for display in my selection of Favorite Wedding Shots.
Shapes, Colour and Patterns
A couple of original pieces of art, in the form of mezzanine chairs. I found these backs of 2 chairs, geometrically interesting.
Old Plaster Columns
Architectural photography of old plaster columns.
How to Backup a Wordpress Blog
One of the most neglected part of running a website, is Backing Up the site in case of server failure or accidental deletion of contents or database files.
Guard on the lower level with kids on the roof - neither aware of the other.
Google Must Use RSS Feed For Indexing
It has had me baffled for a while, why more recently my journal posts didn't have the indexing impact that they had when I first rebuilt my website a few months ago. I created all links that redirect from the Thumbnail to the Full Post page - so that they included the Title of the post as part of the URL. So theoretically - that is the url Google should use, because it is all there is to scrape.
Just Gotta Include People
My wife and I are currently finalizing details for our extended five month stay in Northern Nicaragua this coming November. Our home in Leon is booked and flights will be finalized this week . . .
Out breaking in my new E-PL3 tonight. Standing outside in my front yard, the waxing crescent moon sat perfectly between the roof peaks of our town hall. I intended to depict movement by showing the three moons as it changed position in the sky. I included the light near the bottom, to give content to the darkness.
Early Morning Country
I headed out at 5:30 AM this morning to relax while driving around the countryside, and take a few shots of the sun rise with my new Olympus E-PL3. Well two things didn't work out. When I got to the hilly location that is a favourite of mine - turns out I had my older Olympus E-PL1 with me. Secondly the Sun stayed hidden away for the most part. So I made due with the gear and conditions I had and produced these 3 images.
Kids on the Block
This is so typical of what one sees everywhere today - people glued to their portable devices. Here kids having fun "connecting" on the steps at the back of their home.
My Biggest Fantasy Came True
This is an older story but one that I love to remember and am going to revisit in a post on the journal for all of those who haven't seen/heard it before.
Macro Scene Mode : Olympus E-PL3
With the 14-42 kit lens on my E-PL3, and the camera set to dummy modes (perfect for someone like me) - - - Macro Scene Mode on the main dial in this case - - - I moved in close to this wall climbing flower, moving it off to the one side in order to include the foliage and wall of the house for context.
A large wall mural outside a restaurant in Granada. I waited for the man to get in a perfect position where the text on the sign showed, but he was still off center for compositional value.
Local Car Show
It was a good night heading down to the beach last night - turns out there was a local car show there.
A few flower shots that I took tonight with the E-PL3 and 14-42 kit lens. These were shot in a 16:9 format (accidentally - I find the ring around the arrow dial moves too easily)
3 of my little sweeties all sitting in a row.
Addicting Crabs to Doritos
The crabs of Cahuita, Costa Rica, go nuts over spicy cheese Doritos. Anne says part way through the video "Cahuita Crabs will never be the same again".
Groovy Sixties Vibe
Decided to play with this flower image that I shot last night, and give it a groovy 60's vibe.
New Travel Book : Cahuita, Costa Rica
Over the weekend, we (Anne and I) have finished our first book based on Anne's daily journal posts on the Travel Virgins website. It is specifically the Caribbean town of Cahuita Costa Rica. Anne's writing slant has more to do with travel than photography - and so this book is kind of a travel book.
It's that time of year when farmers are busy harvesting their grain. It was pretty driving late this evening as the sun was getting low to the horizon and the dust rose around the combines.
There are Silhouettes and then There are Silhouettes
Over the years I have taken many many silhouette images at beaches. I know they are cliche - but I still find them interesting. Quite often they were of my children standing along the water's edge providing standalone geometric shapes - or may have been as I was walking along I noticed someone standing or sitting in stark contrast to the background.
2012 Blyth Buskerfest
Our friends Lianne and Tamara let us in on the upcoming first ever Blyth Buskerfest that took place this past Saturday July 14'th, 2012. And so I went loaded with cameras, to see the street acts and photograph what I could see of interest. It was a small town event that was being supported this particular weekend, by around a thousand RV'ers who were camped out at the Blyth Fairgrounds. The streets of the main downtown area were blocked off to accomodate the acts and their viewers. It seems to me that about five or six locations for performing, were set up along the couple of blocks.
Player Pianos at Pianovations
While I was taking some shots at the Blyth Buskerfest on the weekend - Anne and I popped into the Pianovations Musical Center to cool off. There was quite a bit of interest around a couple of the player pianos that sit by the front entrance. Lianne came up and turned the one unit on - explaining the workings of it - - - then headed over to the second piano where she demonstrated how it functioned. I grabbed some video footage while this was going on.
I know - it is spelled "writing" - but that's my title.
Cahuita,Costa Rica Book Now Available
I've seen our new Cahuita,Costa Rica book in print, and I am quite pleased with the way it looks. I am confident now that I can offer the book for sale to the public and so am announcing that.
Shooting the Streets : Black and White
I decided that I would create a set of street shots, where I would not do my normal dodging and burning and other processing treatments . . .
Till the Cows Come Home
The cows were in the beautiful open fields - nosey from my presence at first, and then as soon as I pulled out the camera and set it up on a tripod (to compensate for the low light levels) to get my shot - - - they had turned and headed off. Actually I prefer this image with the lovely green grazing grass in the foreground, and wonderful rolling hills and mix of colors in the background - to the couple of closer up shots of the cows that I took before they headed away. I have found a new favourite location for early morning rural images.
Clinton - the town I currently live in - is known as Canada's home of radar and has a huge radar antenna in the downtown due to its association with RCAF Station Clinton during World War II. For historical value, it is interesting - but many including myself - find it kind of an eye sore. So I have neglected taking any images. Well, I aimed my camera at different angles and details and find these 2 images are not so obvious as to what the structure is - - - the second reminding me of a huge sail in the sky.
Wedding/Travel Photography - One and the Same
Many of my website visitors, have had exposure to me through my Travel Virgins website and posts of my extended stays in Costa Rica and Nicaragua for the last four years or so. While I take many images and create many stories while there, my main interest in photography is the professional end that provides me with my family income. That consists of commissioned wedding, portrait and some commerial and magazine work - primarily including people.
A Strong Camera Wrist Strap
To tell the truth - up until a week or so ago, I thought camera wrist straps were useless. I couldn't understand why I would want to use one, and I didn't like the delicate looks of any of the ones that I had seen.
A block of slim buildings in our small town that I shot with my E-PL1 and kit lens (200 ISO) - custom grit, contrast and Tri-X emulation.
Character and Structure in Portraits
Over the last few years I have been working on techniques that enhance character and structure of the certain images. A photographer names Andrzeg Dragan has his own method in acheiving such an effect - that he has become well known for. Of course no one knows how he does his processing - and while I wasn't after his exact look - - - I did look at his portraits for some inspiration for this portrait.
Dreary Country Landscape
Anne and I headed out tonight for a drive around the countryside - - - trying to find a good location to set for the meteor showers, in case the skies clear. I found my spots - - - but it looks like the clouds are here to stay. Driving up a hill one of the back roads, I came to a grinding halt as I noticed out the side of my eye, some nicely positioned barns with intense cloud cover behind them.
Moon over Goderich and Sam Wains Place
Anne and I were out tonight along Lake Huron. I was taking test shots of Anne with my Olympus Pen to see how best I could make use of it in an upcoming family portrait session.
National Geographic Photographer, Annie Griffiths Belt
I really appreciated this video of National Geographic photographer, Annie Griffiths Belt - and wanted to keep it handy so I can reference it any time I choose.
Getting Together With the Guys - Music Videos
Last weekend Anne and I got a chance to meet up with our long time friends for a nice visit before we head off on our 5 month trip to Nicaragua next month. While the girls socialized upstairs, us guys went down and did what we have done together for 40 years - - - sing and make music.
Still Frame or Video ? Just for Fun
When looking through some old content on one of the photography forums, I came across this video that I forgot that I had put together. It is a sequence from one settup from a Love Story Session I photographed in 2009. selected the 350 image files that comprised the shots of the couple on the pier and assembled them in a video editor. I have always kind of covered my weddings and sequence shoots, as if I were the referee in a boxing ring - following the action and moving around the subjects and in and out. It is kind of evident while watching this short 1:00 clip of the Pier Sequence.I find it amusing that even though these are all "stills" images that were taken with the intention of using maybe a dozen or less of them in the couple's final selection - there is really a sense of fluidity that results from my rapidly firing off shots to get ones where the couple were at the peak of action - - - the most video like, being when I was using my 3 FPS motordrive as I had them running towards me.http://robertwatcher.com/journal/index.php?jp=152&title=kyle-&-madisen-a-love-story-session
Beaking the Ice - Nicaragua Travel Adventures
After resting from photography for a few days after arriving in Nicaragua on Wednesday, it was time to get to work starting Monday this week. Being that I am staying for a while (5 months) - I prefer not to irritate people by sticking my camera in their face all of the time . . .
Time to Hit the Streets of Leon
Our goal today was to visit the museum of famous poet Ruben Dario so that Anne can have that content for her Journal post. On the way home I decided that it was time to do some serious street shooting with my Olympus E-PL3. To be frank - I am amazed at the accuracy of focus with that camera, using both the 14-42 and 40-150 lens. Here are 12 of the hundreds of images that I collected today.