7 posts

The Beauty of Motion – A Commercial Assignment

A client did design and consulting work on a new outdoor recreation complex in Toronto. The complex is in a gentrifying neighbourhood that, for many years, had a reputation as unsafe. The client wanted pictures of the new facility. They wanted people using the facility. They also wanted both day and night shots. Continue reading

Street Photography III

The camera is a shield. Even though you see everything through the viewfinder, you’re putting something between you and what’s happening.

John Hoagland

Being able to capture candid photos of people is key to successful street photography. As was discussed in the prologue and will be covered more in another essay, not all street images have to be candid but candids are a staple of the art form.

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Street Photography II

The decisive moment is several things. It is the name of a book containing the photos of Henri Cartier-Bresson. It is the phrase Bresson came up with to describe his approach to his photography. It is the mantra that many have used to talk about street photography in the years since Bresson. Continue reading

The Power of Lightroom, Redux

This is a follow up to my original Power of Lightroom article from just about a year ago.  Lightroom has been improved with each new version and while the black and white capability and the Adjustment Brush capability have been in place before v3, I thought I’d take the opportunity to toss in a new article on Lightroom for black and white.  Probably 80% of what I do with editing photos, I do now with Lightroom.  There are still some things I use Photoshop for and I’d never give up Photoshop but Lightroom is a wonderful piece of software. Continue reading

The Power of Lightroom

I’ve enjoyed using Lightroom since v1.  With the improvements and new editing tools introduced in v2, it’s vastly improved.   And now with v3 on the horizon, the story should only get better.  Lightroom is now my main editing application and I typically only use PS for things that can’t be done in LR (e.g., perspective correction, more complex layer work).

As good a tool as it is for organising your photography database, I think there are a good number of people using LR who still don’t know how powerful an editing tool it is. Everything I did with the photos below can be done in PS and probably PSE and other editing applications. In most cases I find the result is better with the tools in LR and the workflow is faster and more natural. In addition, to do the same things in PS would require, in most cases, using layers to maintain the integrity of the original image which increases file sizes and chews up hard drive space.  First I’m going to show 4 images in a before and after comparison.  You may not like the photos, you may not like how I approached the editing.  That’s all fine.  I think they do show the power of the tools in LR for editing; however.  In all but one case, the only tools used were the Adjustment Brushes, Spot Removal and the Clarity slider.  In one, a slight Tone Curve adjustment was made and in the last a crop was applied.  I wanted to do a couple things with these.  I wanted to highlight the bits of colour in the surrounding evergreen trees.  Second, I wanted to bring out the texture of the Precambrian rock of the Canadian Shield.  Beyond that, I wanted to enhance contrast by darkening certain parts of the water and existing shadow areas without completely losing texture or detail.  In the last, I also wanted to brighten the waterfall itself which was hidden in fairly deep shadow and crop to create a near perfect mirrored symmetry with the reflection. Continue reading

Sometimes it pays to take a second look….

…. or a third…. or a fourth… or….

Sometimes we go out to a location that we’ve read about, researched, investigated and are full of hope for a positive experience and bringing back some terrific photographs. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. At least not on the first look.

A couple years ago, in mid-September, I was on a trek up in the Bruce Peninsula working on my lighthouse project. From Tobermory, I took the ferry over to Manitoulin Island and my initial plan was to take the ferry back to Tobermory to make the trip home. While on Manitoulin, I decided I’d drive off the north end of Manitoulin and come around the top of Lake Huron so I could hit Killarney and the lighthouse there. With this change in plan, I spent the next couple nights researching other places I could stop and found Chutes Provincial Park.  It was in the opposite direction I wanted to go but it looked like a great spot for flowing water and waterfall shooting so I decided to make the detour.  The park is located just outside of Massey, ON.  The day started out well.  Fantastic sunrise that allowed me to get some interesting shots of the swing bridge (one of the few remaining in operation and one of the oldest) at Little Current on Manitoulin and some good shots of the lighthouse on Strawberry Island and I was fortunate have one of the Strawberry Island light shots grace the cover of Dreamscapes Travel & Lifestyle Magazine. Continue reading