There is a really great deal on a beautiful home in Oxbow! 109 Frazer Ave has an amazing view of the river valley and is located in a very calm and quiet part of town, only a short walk from the downtown core. For further information, please contact Lilli Rau at 306-483-2019. 😎 Hover your mouse over the photo for a description of the room.
Ok Photo Geeks, here’s one for ya! My long overdue video review of the Photoflex Octodome NXT XS soft box. This thing is the bomb! It’s a really well made, super sweet portrait soft box that gives awesome octagon/round catchlights in the eyes. Gotta love that! Check out the vid and the samples below where it was used on photo shoots.
PS: I also added a new page at the top of the blog for gear reviews. The page has links to all the gear reviews and recommendations I’ve done on the blog, including books, lenses, lighting gear, organizing gear and D.I.Y. gear projects. 😎
Samples of the Octodome in action!
It’s truly a blessing to have a photography club where like minded folks can get together and talk about what we love. There is always mutual learning and sharing that takes place, as well as great camaraderie. Last night’s club night was a wee bit sparse on attendance, but it was still a good time as it always is. The topic was changed from editing photos to watching a video called “Chased by the Light”. It was a video journey through Jim Brandenburg’s self-assigned photo quest. He took 1 photo per day for 90 days. Meaning, he made 1 frame (of film) from the autumnal equinox to the winter solstice every day. 90 photos. And every photo is a winner. The exposure and composition and content of each picture is truly amazing. To be able to do this is in itself an incredible feat!! I’d be too worried about blowing the exposure but he nailed each and every one. Check out the trailer to learn more about it.
He has this uncanny ability to distill an image down to it’s essence, to really capture the heart of what makes a landscape a landscape, what makes an animal and animal. Really good portrait photographers can do the same with people. It’s not often the well lit smiling toothy grin image that takes the cake, nor is it the off the cuff candid portrait either. It’s the uncanny knack of capturing the essence of the person, the scene or the moment. This cannot be done with all the latest and greatest technology, new cameras, new lenses, lights, yada yada. It’s something greater than that. More on whatever that is in a future post. But suffice it to say, Brandenburg’s journey was incredible and the video was AMAZING! Breathtaking photos and inspiring creative renewal no doubt for him but also all who look through his images from the 90 days. 😎
The Photo Club’s photo assignment for February was “Foreground Interest” – trying to capture interesting stuff happening in the front most portion of the camera. It’s neat to think of a photo as having 3 distinct planes or areas of composition. Foreground, middle ground and background. Really great landscape images always should have something happening in the foreground as it helps lead the eye through the photo. Same thing for any photo really. Having interesting stuff happening in each of the planes is a key tip for above average photos. Here are my submissions for the evening. All the images were shot with the month’s assignment in mind but the last one of the prairie scene was a rush job, shot an hour and half before the club meeting. Had to have something and this was it! heheheheh…. 😉
This image was shot in the Carnduff hockey rink. I noticed the people talking and decided it would make for cool foreground components. It gets at the heart of small town rink life! I noticed the photo, quickly changed lenses and dialled in my exposure and made the frame.
This photo was taken on a little photo walk I did trying to capture winter in contrasty black and white. I loved the old historic nature of the farm yard and liked how the frost had covered the remnants of this old weathered wood.
Finally, this was the fast photo. I needed to get an third photo and essentially ran out of time. This is just out behind my house and I brought along a flash. I triggered it off camera and lit the backlit prairie grass to mimic the light the sun was shining from behind it. It, along with the dried out clover stalk added some foreground interest, but it’s basically an example of making the photo vs. taking the photo. 😀
OK, this one is for the photo geeks out there who are 1) cheap and 2) handy. Like everything in Photography, gear is expensive. Even things that shouldn’t be all too often break the bank. You should spend money on lenses and cameras and save cash on other stuff. Case in point: a triflash bracket. To buy one retail will set you back between $73 to $169. That’s crazy!! You could do that. OR you could spend less than $30 and make one yourself that is on par with the $119 dollar Joe McNally version. It’s a no brainer to me. 😀 Check out the vid.
Here are some sample shots I took using the bracket. They’re in the YouTube vid but I provide them here also to check out the awesome power and options available to you when you gang up your hotshoe flashes. You can overpower the sun or do a nice ambient/flash mix all without taxing the living heck out of one flash unit. Sweet! 😎
No time for losers, cuz they are the champions! 😎 The senior girls did Oxbow proud and became gold medal winners and provincial champs in 2011. The details of the big win can be viewed here. They got some pretty sweet championship jackets too. They needed a group photo so I was happy to oblige. I shot a couple of different angles and scenarios from the typical old row to our “glam meets sass” creation. It was a pile o’ fun and we had it wrapped up in under a half hour.
My ridiculously good looking children on Valentine’s Day. bwahahahahhhaha………. 😀
God’s Light Painting tonight. 😎
We were treated to a trip down on the farm today. Hubert always puts on a great show for the kids and they had a riot looking at all the animals. He even snuck a rooster and 2 pigeons into the house!!! 😎 It was a blast! And the swing in the hay loft is super cool too. Even the grown ups had a good time! 🙂
Life Lesson: Don’t turn your back on toddlers when food colouring is within reach. 😳
Capitalizing on the dismal fog, I ran out and came across this blast from the past. What a location! Old smashed farm house, decrepit stone barn ruins, racoon tracks hither and thither… it was a regular haunt of jackals! I was testing the VR function of the 16-35mm lens as I went with no tripod but was still able to do these HDR mashups with very little ghosting. Cool! 😎 I was really diggin’ the high contrast black and white feel when I was editing these ones. Adds to the overall bleakness… 😉
Winter has moods all its own. It can be happy and vibrant with colours or it can be dismal and bleak with fog! Living in the prairies gives you a taste of everything – and if you don’t like it, just wait 20 minutes and it will change! 😉 I was able to get out for a little walk two days ago and today and nab some landscapes. It’s such a wild difference in the mood of the photos. We had some nice sun on the 1st which made for beautiful skies that were cheerful and bright. But today was pea-soup fog that didn’t let up all day. The photos are so bleak and void of life that it’s depressing! Capturing both moods makes for a “cool” contrast in prairie winter scenes. 😎
Here’s a fun wintertime thing! Get a spray bottle, mix up some food colouring and water then let your kids go hawg-wild painting the snow with colour! Just don’t use yellow. That’s free advice. 😎 It was all fun and games till the kids went graffiti-jimbo on us and painted the siding on Fonstad’s house. Not good. Notice Reg scrubbin’ like a mad fool to clean it off before it set! heheheehe… It did wash off. For the most part… Anyways, fun wintertime activity!