First day of winter vacation

First day of winter vacation. It sucks a bit when the weather is almost as cold as I am old. If only I was 12 !.
A round of Dutch shuffleboard and a round of beer to bring in the New Year.

 

One week of vacation. Day 1 – it is -52C with windchill. My nose and cheek is still recovering from frostnip (low grade frostbite), and the whole week the temperature is predicted to by ‘extreme cold’. Drat – no working on trucks,skiing or fatbiking. I can’t take the cold like i used to.  Must be age ?.  School kids still only wear running shows, no toques (don’t want to mess their hair), and no winter pants !.

Today – some boredom. What to do all week ?.  Spent more hours surfing the internet, some useful research and plenty of mindless scrolling.  At least tonight dug out the camera and some studio lights, use me as the model :>

Used a now very ancient Nikon D700, Nikon 85mm lens and polarizer, two Paul C. Buff Einstein studio lights; behind the camera; circular reflector and 30% grid, and rear light has a 1×6 modifier with a grid. Hardest part was getting the focus – self timer, pose, click – check and adjust focus and repeat….

 

 

 

 

Back…With a some Light Painting

YES – It has been ages since I’ve made a blog post. Not since March 29, 2016 !.

Keeping the details for the long delay for another time, it is thanks to a creative light painting project by Adrien Barrieau (Through the Glass Photography) to get the ball rolling. These images were created using light tubes, in the style of Eric Pare. The models are Inemesit Essien Graham and my daughter Amelie.  Adrien is created the visual effects, while Helen Barrieau and I did the photography. 

   

Inemesit Essien Graham – under the northern lights.

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.