11,973 Photos – Too Many or Not Enough ?

11,973 Photos: Too many, or not enough ?

Before you answer – think about what do Pablo Picasso, Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, Salvador Dali and Rembrandt have in common ?.

None of these painters were ‘one hit wonders’; their career and popularity was not based on a single painting. They went to school, learned from the masters, imitated the masters, and developed their own techniques, and most importantly, they practiced their technique…they painted, and painted and painted.

The same for can be said for photographers. Annie Leibovitz, Joe McNally, Ansel Adams,  Yousuf Karsh, Henri Cartier-Bresson were not ‘one hit wonders’; each of these photographers took large numbers of photos during their lifetime.

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book ‘Outliers’ he claims that the key to success in any field is, is for the most part due to practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours.  The same concept applies to photographers;

“Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.”

― Henri Cartier-Bresson

With modern cameras, you can hold down the shutter release and easily take 10,000 photos. By the math, with a camera that can take 7 frames per second it would take 1428 seconds (or only 24 minutes). Doing this doesn’t achieve anything other than get a blister on your thumb !.

Those 10,000 photos need to be creative, they need intellectual thought, emotion and consideration of point of view, angle, shutter speed, aperture, composition, subject, and lighting. These are but a few things to consider.

Those 11,973 photos – is is enough, or not enough ?. It is not all about the numbers; practice and experience is better.

The take-away message is:

Don’t count the number of photos.

It is better to enjoy what you are doing, learn from what you are doing and and the end of the day, keep only the best.

Be like the monkey in this photo with a bag of garbage: eat (keep) the good stuff, and toss the rest.

Lake Superior

The shoreline of Lake Superior is my playground. In this area, the beach is mine – mine to discover and mine to let my mind be creative. There are people camped at the far end, and they too also seem to be in their own mind space. There are no radios, no barking dogs, or loud voices. Even better, we are in a cell phone and internet dead-zone (at least for Bell customers) so we are essentially disconnected from the rest of the world. No need to check Facebook, Gmail or Twitter for the latest update. How awesome is that !.

In this small area of rock and pebbles on the northern shore of Lake Superior I have taken 100’s, maybe even a 1000 photos. Some better, some worse – all photos are unique. With digital cameras, who’s counting !

My eyes feel alive with the scenery; taking in all the shapes, tones and hues. Also my ears feel alive, picking up the faint chirp-chirp of a small shorebird around the corner, and the sound of small feet on the pebbles on the shore.

My hands, automatically adjusting the dials on the camera, and feeling the smooth wave polished rocks.

Click on a photo to view is larger.

 

Terry Fox – A Canadian Hero

For those that can remember seeing Terry Fox and “Marathon of Hope” come running through town – it was an unbelievable and awe-inspiring sight. Unfortunately, it wasn’t always like that. In many towns in eastern Canada Terry passed through virtually unnoticed. He pushed on, and continued, and eventually became a house hold name. Unfortunately Terry was not able complete his goal of running across Canada, he did however raise the awareness of a cancer and raise millions of dollars for cancer research so that others with cancer have a better future.

 

While in remission from cancer, Terry Fox set out to run across Canada in 1980 to raise money for cancer research. Despite having lost his right leg to the disease, this determined athlete ran 5,373 kilometers – nearly a marathon a day for 143 straight days – before being forced to stop east of this spot in the community of Shuniah when his cancer returned. His “Marathon of Hope” captivated Canadians with its bold humanitananism, transformed out vocabulary about personal courage, and revolutionized fund-raising. To date, hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised by Fox and in his name to the benefit of cancer suffers around the world. The heroic nature and tragic interruption of his run have made Terry Fox an enduring Canadian icon.
Government of Canada

 

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Terry Fox – still on his Marathon of Hope, running into the sunset on a hilltop over looking the ‘Sleeping Giant’ in Thunder Bay Ontario.

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Sunset in Dinosaur Provincial Park

These photos were all taken in Dinosaur Provincial Park, Alberta between September 6 – 12, 2014. Hard to believe that dinosaurs once roamed this area 65 million years ago.

All photos taken with a Nikon D700, Nikon 17-35mm lens with LEE 0.9 hard graduated neutral density filter and/or LEE 0.6 soft graduated neutral density filter.

** Click on the photos to view them larger **

 

Oh Alberta – I miss your old-style Grain Elevators

The old wood build grain elevators in Alberta are slowly rotting and fading away. Compared to the more modern corrugated galvanised steel grain elevators, the wooden elevators have so much more photographic appeal.

These grain elevators were photographed in Alberta in September 2014. Who knows when they will be torn down.

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Not far from East Coolee in the badlands of Alberta. This grain elevator is long abandoned, and the railway tracks to provide grain have been long since torn up.

 

 

 

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In Bentley Alberta, this tin-clad grain elevator is still in use, though the its days are numbered. There is a large galvanized steel elevator a few 100 meters away.

 

 

Whitehorse, Yukon (August 2013)

Photos from Whitehorse and surroundings, from August 2013.

Alaska Highway – Muncho Lake, British Columbia

Muncho Lake, part of the Muncho Lake Provincial Park is located at kilometre 681 (mile 423) of the Alaska Highway in northern British Columbia, Canada.

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Even on a cloudy day day, the views are still incredible.

The distinctly jade green colored lake, tinted green by minerals is about 12 km (7.5 mi) long and between 1 and 6 km wide, and is home to lake trout, arctic grayling, bull trout and whitefish. Muncho Lake is surrounded by Terminal Mountain Range to the west and the Sentinel Mountain Range to the east. The tallest mountains reach heights of more than 2,000 m (6,600 ft), and lake level is at an elevation of 820 m (2,690 ft). Many of the mountains were formed by folded layers of limestone and have broad alluvial fans created by powerful floods.

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Watching the sun go down from the dock at Muncho Lake. That water is Cold !

 

We camped at Strawberry Flats campground, August 4th 2013, and during the night, the northern lights put on a show !.

 

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Northern Lights over the dock at Muncho Lake; jade colored sky over a jade colored Muncho Lake. Nikon D700 with Nikon 17-35mm lens; 30 second exposure, f/2.8, ISO 1250.
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Northern Lights a glassy Muncho Lake. Nikon D700 with Nikon 17-35mm lens; 25 second exposure, f/2.8, ISO 800.

 

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Red and blue lights from the interior of the RV contrast with the green of the northern lights over Muncho Lake, August 4th, 2013. Nikon D700 with Nikon 17-35mm lens; 30 second exposure, f/2.8, ISO 1250.
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Northern Lights lighting up the the sky over a RV camper at Strawberry Flats campground, Muncho Lake, August 4th, 2013. Nikon D700 with Nikon 17-35mm lens; 20 second exposure, f/2.8, ISO 1600.
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Northern lights dance across the sky above a motor boat on the shore of Muncho Lake, August 4th, 2013. Nikon D700 with Nikon 17-35mm lens; 25 second exposure, f/2.8, ISO 1000.
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Northern lights over Strawberry Flats campground, Muncho Lake, August 4th 2013. Nikon D700 with Nikon 17-35mm lens; 25 second exposure, f/2.8, ISO 1600.

 

 

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Watching for Stone sheep !
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Who is watching who ?.
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Stone sheep crossing the Alaska highway.

Alaska Highway – Teslin, Yukon

Teslin is a small village located in the Yukon Territory at historical Mile 804 (Km. 1244) on the Alaska Highway, approximately halfway between Watson Lake and Whitehorse. During the Gold Rush of 1898 Teslin was a busy place as a stopover on the Canadian route to the Klondike, and the Hudson Bay Co. established a trading post for the villagers and those traveling the Klondike trail. In 2013, Teslin had a population of approximately 450 people, and facilities include an airport, museum, RCMP Detachment, school, community centre, health unit, post office, motels, restaurants, and a general store.

We passed through on August 5th, 2013.

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Scenic viewpoint on a hill overlooking the Teslin and the Nisutlin Bay Bridge

 

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Cartoon signs emphasizing the importance of Salmon to the region and its people
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The Nisutlin Bay Bridge in Teslin, an impressive seven-arch metal span, is the longest bridge on the Alaska Highway.

 

 

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A netted bird, soon to be banded as part of a Canadian Wildlife Service bird banding project

 

 

Sunset on Teslin Lake. Yes – it was buggy that night, and they were all over my camera lens too. Nikon D700, Nikon 14-24mm lens, 1/25th sec f/16, ISO 400. Click image to view it larger.
Sunset on Teslin Lake. A relatively bug-free photo, by blowing on the camera lens during the exposure. Nikon D700, Nikon 14-24mm lens, 1/25th sec f/16, ISO 400. Click image to view it larger.
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Sunset on Teslin Lake. A relatively bug-free photo, by blowing on the camera lens during the exposure. Nikon D700, Nikon 14-24mm lens, 1/100th sec f/16, ISO 400. Click the image to view it larger.

 

Sunset on Teslin Lake. A relatively bug-free photo, by blowing on the camera lens during the exposure. Nikon D700, Nikon 14-24mm lens, 1/100th sec f/16, ISO 400. Click the image to view it larger.

 

Alaska Highway – Klaune National Park and Reserve, Yukon

Kluane National Park and Reserve (est 1972) in the southwest corner of the Yukon Territory is 150 km west of Whitehorse. The nearest community, and the location of the Visitors Centre is Haines Junction, 32km south.

The Park covers an area of nearly 22,000 square kilometers of high mountains, icefields, glasciers, crystal clear lakes and spectacular wildlife (ground squirrels, caribou, moose, grizzly and black bears, Dall sheep and mountain goats), and includes Mount Logan (5959 m/19,545 ft) Canada’s highest peak.

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The long road to Klaune. Nikon D700 and Nikon 17-35mm lens.

Our visit to the Kluane National Park Visitor Centre in Haines Junction (August 6th, 2013) coincided with a VIP visit by the Governor General of Canada David Johnston and Yukon Commissioner Douglas George Phillips (talking to my kids).

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We camped at the Kathleen Lake Campground, and the next morning headed off to hike the King’s Throne Trail.

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Checking out the very Fresh bear POO !!

The King’s Throne hiking trail is a 15km hike with an elevation gain of 1250m (4101 ft).

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The King’s Throne is the plateau about half way up the mountain. The views from the Throne are of the surrounding valleys and Kathleen Lake are absolutely breathtaking.
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View of Kathleen Lake and mountains to the north.
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The King’s Throne, really a boulder strewn bowl created by glaciers.

 

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Heading down from the King’s Throne. The trail is steep with many loose rocks and boulders.

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The King’s Throne photographed from the day-use area on Kathleen Lake
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Shoreline view of Kathleen Lake, with the King’s Throne in the distance.