Thursday, May 31, 2012

Toronto Skyline Redux

Toronto Skyline - NEX-7, 18-200 @ 98mm, f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 100
I had the chance to photograph the Toronto skyline again yesterday, this time from a different vantage point.  We had dinner plans so couldn't stick around and hope for a pretty sunset (probably wouldn't have happened because of too much cloud cover).  Though the Roger's Center isn't visible in this skyline in some ways I like it more than the previous day's image.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Toronto Skyline

Toronto Skyline - NEX-7, 18-200 @ 30mm, f/6.3, 5s, ISO 100
I am currently in Toronto attending the Graphics Interface conference.  The conference is located in North York and my friend Michael has never been to Toronto before so after the conference banquet, we drove downtown and took the ferry to Center Island to photograph the Toronto skyline.  I wasn't sure what the skyline would look like after all condo building binge of the last decade but it was still pretty.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Pillars of Sand

Pillars of Sand - 5D2, 24 TS-E II, f/14, 2s, ISO 100
These sand tufa at Navy Beach are curious but fragile subjects.  They were formed by underwater when a fresh water spring fed below an alkali lake.  As Mono Lake's level dropped these tufa emerge.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My First Flash Mob

At the risk of letting everyone in on the fact that I really don't get out often, I'll say that I witnessed my first flash mob today.  It was purely coincidental as we noticed a large group of people gathering outside the GAP at Square One in Mississauga.  Since the time for the flash mob was only 5 minutes away, we decided to check it out.

I'll also note that I wasn't the only photographer there.  This guy below was not only hoisted onto his buddy's shoulders but was double fisting it with two cell phones; now thats parallelism for you.  You know the age of mobile photography is truly upon us when someone decides that two cell phones are what you need to capture an event.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Photographer at Work

Photographer at Work - 5D2, 24 TS-E, f/22, 2s, ISO 100
A photographer stands on the rocky Asilomar shore trying to photograph a sunset on a completely clear evening.  I struggled a lot to figure out what to do during this shoot.  There were no clouds in the sky and so nothing dramatic.  I also couldn't find inspiration in doing detail work with the rocks so I ended up incorporating another photographer into an image.

Early tomorrow morning I'm headed off to Toronto for about a week.  Though I'll be busy with a conference and a couple of university visits, I should still have a chance to do some shooting.  Rather than bring a big kit, I'm opting to use mostly a NEX-7 and 18-200.  Lets see how that works out.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Loon Portrait

Loon Portrait - D3s, 200-400 @ 330mm, f/6.3, 1/800s, ISO 1600
I made this image at Lac le Jeune back in 2010.  Though I'm now finding myself not as attracted to making animal portraits, the subtle green tones on the head of this Loon are something I find captivating.  I had to use a high ISO for this image because I was shooting hand held from a small boat.  Fortunately I was using the D3s which still retains wonderful tonality at ISO 1600.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Short-Eared Owl

Short-Eared Owl - 1D4, 500 + 1.4x (700mm), f/5.6, 1/1000s, ISO 400
One of the things to spot on the island of Genovesa in the Galapagos archipelago is the Short-eared Owl.  During our morning walk through the island, we did end up spotting an owl but it was very far away.  I quickly set up the longest lens I had, put a 1.4x TC on there and even with the 1.3x crop of the 1D4 the owl made up only a very small part of the frame.  I ended up with this image after heavy cropping.  A few seconds after I made this image, the owl took off and we didn't see one again the rest of the trip.  Its not a technically great image, but since its the only one I got on that particular trip, I guess I have to be happy with it.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Crescent Shadows

Crescent Shadows - M9, 35 Summilux, f/11, 1/30s, ISO 160
These crescent shaped shadows are a result of a crescent shaped sun.  There was an annular eclipse today and though we were fortunate enough in the bay area to witness it, we were just a bit too far south.  Locations north of here would have seen the moon come into the center and thus causing donut shaped shadows.
Crescent Sun - 5D3, 400 f/2.8 IS II + 2x TC, f/64, 1/8000s, ISO 100
If I wasn't jet-lagged and didn't have to fly out early tomorrow morning to pick up Maya, I'd have probably headed north east to find a good location to photograph the eclipse.  Ideally, I would have had the entire weekend to head out to a place like Bryce or one of the other Utah national parks.

Incoming Storm

Incoming Storm - 5D2, 24 TS-E II, f/11, 1s, ISO 100
Ok, no more pictures from Europe, well at least for a few days.  I got back last night and even after staying up for over 24 hours, the jet lag only let me sleep for 6.  Now I have a ton of stuff to do before I fly out early tomorrow morning to pick up Maya in Calgary.

This is an image I've been meaning to share for some time.  A large bank of clouds sits just off the California coast.  Just as the sun begins to slip behind the bank the heavily scattered light takes various shades of red, orange and purple.  I had to use heavy filtration to get the wild dynamic range in this scene under control.  I believe I used a Singh-Ray 3-stop reverse grad as well as a 4 stop soft grad and a polarizer might have been used too.

Monday, May 07, 2012


Layers - 1Ds3, 70-200 IS II @ 155mm, f/4.5, ISO 100, fusion of 3 exposures

I made this image one partly cloudly morning at Oxbow Bend in the Grand Tetons.  We were hoping for a beautiful sunrise to light up the skies behind Mount Moran but sadly it was too cloudy.  However directly behind us in the parking lot, I saw this scene and was intrigued by all the layers.  I was too lazy to set up my tripod so I just quickly made a few images handheld.

We start with grasses in the bottom, then the trees with two shades of green, then clouds, a partially hidden mountain range and finally more layers of cloud.  Its not an image that is striking in any one particular way (which is why it has been left ignored for the last year) but its one that once I started working on, I started to appreciate more and more.

Sunday, May 06, 2012


Shell - Sony NEX-5, 18-55 @ 55mm, f/10, 1/80s, ISO 400
This shell was tucked away on a rock at Pescadero State Beach  in California.  I knew when I saw the scene that I wanted to make a black & white image out of it.  In retrospect, I wish I had removed the seaweed/leaf but as it is this scene was completely untouched by me when I made the image.

Friday, May 04, 2012


Calla - Leica S2, 120 APO Macro, f/4, 1/350s, ISO 160
I love the form and structure of the Calla Lily.  Its a subject that I don't get tired of photographing.  A major challenge in this image was finding a background that was pleasing (thats a common challenge when you are photographing stuff in-situ). 

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Ocean Surge

Ocean Surge - M9, 28 Elmarit, ~f/2.8, ISO 160, fusion of 3 exposures
I made this image on a quick day trip to the Big Sur area last fall with my sister-in-law Amy.  I was showing Amy one of my favorite spots, the Soberanes Point Sea Arch.  The waves were quite powerful that evening and the sea stacks behind us were getting pounded pretty hard with waves. 

This image in an area close to the Soberanes Point Sea Arch and is a great place to photograph the rugged California coast.  In particular you can do lots of slow shutter speed work to capture the flow of water over the rocks.