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Grad 2016

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Wowza! Been super busy with grads this year! It’s been great and we managed to get some keepers. Also, we’ve moved to USB drives for digital file delivery. Thanks to JF Custom Engraving for the laser work!

Congratulations to all the grads from Arcola, Carlyle, Oxbow and Carnduff! God’s blessings on the future!

 

BW+R

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I was going through some junk today and at the bottom of the pile was this long forgotten red Nikon filter from back in Dad’s film days. 52mm thread. My old 50mm 1.8 AF-D lens fits it as well as my sweet 28mm 2.8 manual lens. There also happened to be this ginormous storm rolling in. Black and White + Red filter. Very cool Ansel Adams setup. I drove around town doing some ad hoc landscape/cloudscape/street stuff. Shot in JPEG today too, rather than RAW. Not sure why. Felt like a JPEG kinda day. [cool]

Das Wesentliche

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Leica just officially released the M-D Typ 262 camera. You’ll quickly notice that the back of the camera takes us back to the first digital cameras . . . that didn’t have LCD screens.

?????

That’s right, sports fans, no viewing your photos on the back of the camera. No chimping. No showing others your great shots on camera. Nope. You gotta wait until you get home and get your film back from the lab hook up to a computer. Immediately the camera was met with criticism on the inter webs:

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It is true that Leica does now have the reputation of being a boutique camera for the rich and or famous. It’s always focused on the essentials (Das Wesentliche) in having very no frills operation, no AutoFocus until recent models, no video, etc. It has remained stalwartly old fashioned in the modern hi-tech era of photography. But taking away the LCD? It’s a bit odd.

However, I wonder if such an advancement development would change the photographic experience? People go on and on and on about how photography isn’t about gear, it’s about developing your eye and looking for moments and colour and  gesture and seeing etc. It’s not about the gear you use.  It’s a nice sentiment, especially for making beginners feel great about photography and not self conscious about pro-level gear they can’t afford.  But it’s also total BS.

Gear does make a difference to photography. It affords capability and quality that is not otherwise achievable. This is why pros use zillion dollar pro gear. It gives them an edge on the competition as well as ability to nab photos they otherwise couldn’t get. Like shooting at ISO 5 billion in the dark and still getting a usable photo. But not only these practical things, the gear actually changes the photos. It alters the way a photographer shoots. People who use Medium Format make different photos from the person using the iPhone camera. Likewise when people switch to mirrorless. They find that not lugging around the big heavy DSLR gear all day changes their photography. Using a fixed prime instead of a kit zoom changes the photography.

So what about removing the LCD screen?  Will that change one’s photography? Yep. I’ll bet it would. One, you’d be more careful. No spray and pray shooting. You’d have to be extra conscious and aware during the photo taking process to make sure you had the exposure and composition right – because you won’t know until your looking at it on a screen back home, long after the fact. This alone would make everyones’ photography better. The film guys were careful. They were thoughtful. There was a level of “critical” that is almost gone in the digital age. There was some finality to the roll of film in a way that there isn’t with high capacity memory cards affording metric tonnes of available shots.

Ditching the LCD, will it bring back the ‘film thrill’? I don’t know. It would scare me to be honest. I rely heavily on the LCD in my photography. I’m always chimping, always checking the light and the highlights. It’s a part of my photography now. I’m sure I’d find not having the crutch there unnerving. But it also might be a freeing thing too. What do you think? Boutique camera with a stupid gimmick or photographic genius in the making?

PS: I wrote my article here before watching the video.😎

Composition in Travel Photography

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I’m always on the look out for photography gems and insights. This is one such gem! Very cool video. Worth the watch.

Christ is Risen!

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iPhone Easter Sunrise

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! 

Wishing you and your family a blessed Easter! Enjoy the Paschal season!

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” Luke 24:1-3 

#Lent2016

 

Lent Beard

Once again, Lent has come to a close. As is my tradition, I give up shaving for Lent. It’s been more of a long standing joke than anything, much to the chagrin of pretty much everyone. But since 2009 I have been growing a beard, then taking it off in stages on Holy Saturday. I try to get as many different beard looks as a I can from the one beard. I’m following this awesome beard quest project that I found ages ago. It’s so great. I’ve pretty much got them all now–at least the ones you can do in a month and a half of bearding.

Lent 2016 hath brought forth the following beards:

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2016 Lent Beard in all its glory

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The Hollywoodian

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The Anchor

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The Goatee

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The Grass Skirt Rastafarian Hipster Goatee

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The Chinpuff Acoustic Rocker

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Clean Cut White Boy Status: Confirmed!

It is also important to note that Phoebe was the photographer and art director on the set today. We decided to go for an open, airy, lifestyle type look with one flash to augment the natural light. She coordinated wardrobe to match the beard looks. She framed all the shots and did a great job. Thanks also to the Nikon Df and the 85mm 1.8G.

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So, in conclusion to the bearded Lenten Journey, surely Christ the Lord has borne our griefs. We esteem Him stricken, smitten and afflicted.

He died for me, I’ll beard for Him!

 

InstaWin!

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So I’ve been using Instagram for quite a while now, especially for following pipe makers and artisans. I’m not really an avid smoker at all. But I really enjoy the occasional pipe bowl. Growing up, there was an old German named Arnold Schick who had a cabin across from ours at the lake. He smoked a pipe regularly and I will never forget how amazing that smell was. Captain Black he smoked. That aroma would waft hither and thither all over the valley where our cabin is. I loved that smell! It instantly brings back those great memories from the lake. Then Lord of the Rings came out. That didn’t help either! Pipes and pipe making are in a totally different ball park to me than cigarettes – which I detest and have no time for. Pipes have an aura of relaxation, taking things slow, enjoying the moments with friends, thinking and contemplation. Tolkien. Lewis. Bacon. Wise gentlemen who did great things and had pipes as their companions. I truly admire the amazing talent required to make pipes, following the naturally found shapes in the grain of the briar. Artisans! They are the last bastion of “not-made-in-China crap for the lowest dollar” goods available.

The pipe community on Instagram is remarkable. Companies and individuals are constantly giving away amazing prizes. Top quality stuff. I really do mean that! I entered one such give away that featured 4 companies. They all contributed awesome stuff and I was fortunate enough to get drawn!   The draw was killer. An incredible hand made leather pipe roll from Kraken Pipe Leather, a tamper, stickers, pipe cleaners and El Niño tobacco from Low Born Supply,  Sweet Tobacco face moisturizer/beard oil and Mechanic’s soap from Forge and Foundry, and a Patriot poker shape pipe from Moonshine Pipes! What an incredible prize pack! I was so stoked when I won and super thrilled today when it arrived! I wanted to say thank you to these amazing artisans by taking some photos of their wares and giving them a plug here on the ol’ blog. Thanks so much guys, you make amazing products. Keep up the fantastic work!😎

Give them a follow on Instagram! @krakenpipeleather, @lowbornsupply, @forgeandfoundry @moonshinepipes Oh, and, go buy their products. They make really great quality stuff!!!

For the camera nerd info, I shot all these photos using a 4 light setup. 3 speed lights and one monobloc. It’s a very strobist inspired look of hard rim light with soft fill. It’s not the typical “big soft big window” light of most product photography. But these products are edgy so I wanted to give the shots some edge and not just have big photocopier light. It was all shot with Nikon D800 using a 50mm and a 105mm macro lens. All triggered with pocket wizard plus x and optical slave mode. Cheers!😎

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Behind the scenes lighting setup

Time is of the essence

20160208-Sunrise-001.jpgThe Saskatchewan sunrises and sunsets are incredible. This goes without saying. But time is of the essence. These moments of great light are fleeting and often within a few minutes they are gone forever! Never to be seen again. I guess the lesson is to make the most of the time we have been given; to enjoy and actually live in the moment we are in. This is the miraculous aspect of Photography. It has the ability to freeze time and memories. It gives us the opportunity to return to those fleeting moments and remember them.

The History of Photography in 5 Minutes

Very cool video worth a watch! Amazing to see how photography has exploded so rapidly, largely thanks to the iPhone.

Zack Arias Twin!

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Our Scout leader Scouter Tyler at camp was an absolute doppelgänger for famous photographer Zack Arias! Don’t you think?!

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I reached out to Zack on Twitter and this was his reply. lol.

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