Is Photography Art?

This is a question that I’ve been forming a more detailed answer to than simply “yes!”. I plan on covering the details in my talk at the Barrie Photo Club next week, but here is a sneak peek.

I took the above image of the Northlander passenger train near Uno Park, Ontario… a few kilometers Northwest of New Liskeard. Setting up to take the image was tricky, involving scouting out the location, researching when the train would go by, etc… and I was happy with the result. However, as a piece of artwork, I wanted the image to be perfect. Like so:

Some people may say I crossed the line in this edit. As a piece of artwork, however, I personally don’t believe there is a line to cross. I specifically sought out the image of the sky, and the image of the bale of hay, with the intent of creating what you see. I’m a huge proponent of getting things right in camera, but that’s not to say your imagination stops with the click of the shutter. 🙂

Upcoming talk: Vision Beyond Seeing

This month, on September 29th, I will be making a presentation to the Barrie Photo Club titled “Vision Beyond Seeing.”

The talk will be a somewhat philosophical and scientific approach to photography and the way we view the world. Including:

– Difference between Eye and Sensor (more than you think!)

– Reading a Photograph

– Seeing things you ignore

and more…. but I’ll leave it at that for now. 🙂

If you have any interest in photography, it’ll be worth attending. Here’s the details:

Where? Barrie Southshore Centre

When? Sept 29 2011, 7:00PM

How long? 1 hour (roughly)

Cost? Free for club members, $5 for guests

I don’t usually make a post without a new image, so here is one that I took on a recent trip to the New Liskeard area. The location is called Devil’s Rock, and requires about a 45min hike to arrive at. Glad I was there in the early morning:


Up close with Birds

A huge brings wildlife photography to new levels – As long as I had a clear line of sight to my subject, I was able to make a great image using Canon’s 800mm F/5.6L IS lens. Some of the birds were at quite a distance, such as this Belted Kingfisher:

This Kingfisher was in a far-off corner of the wetland, carefully watching the waters below it. I snapped the photo when it looked up for a moment. I decided on my evening trip, to wait until sunset when the Cedar Waxwings appeared:

Such beautiful birds to capture full-frame in my viewfinder. The above photo was taken with 800mm + 1.4x extender, manual focus, hand-held. Technically a difficult shot to get, and I was astounded by the quality. Check out the other images below!

Upcoming Course: Macro Photography @ Georgian College!

Just wanted to let everyone know about some upcoming courses I’m teaching – the soonest being Macro Photography, starting Monday September 19th.

The course is a lot of fun, and you don’t need any special equipment to take a lot away from it. I cover the equipment you need (far less than you might expect), the challenges, subjects, lighting, everything. From Green Sweat Bees (Agapostemon angelicus) like the one above and other insects, to snowflakes, water droplets, flowers, abstracts, etc.

Its a night course at Georgian College Barrie campus, 7-10PM on Mondays (sept 19, 26, Oct 3) with a six-hour daytime outing on Saturday October 1st. No prerequisites, anyone can sign up. CRN 15189, $132.00.

Link to Macro Photography course description + Signup

Only basic camera knowledge is necessary, and we’ll take it from there. The more you know however, the more you’ll understand immediately. Currently I have 5 students, and it won’t run with this few – I need about 7 or so before the course will run. Tell your friends! “Like” this post too if you can, it always helps. 🙂

(Also upcoming: Nature & Landscape Photography, October 24-November 12)

Animals with a Big Lens

As promised in my previous post, here is a selection of wildlife shots taken with the monster 800mm lens that Canon lent me for a few days. Probably my favourite is this group of turtles, photographed from the other side of the marsh:

At first, I noticed two turtles and got excited, set up the camera and by the time I was ready to get the perfect shot… there were three! So, I waited the better part of an hour, photographing them all the while. Eventually six showed up! And just my luck, some of the nearby construction equipment started making terrible noise that got the attention of the turtles and most of them put their heads up to see if there was any danger. Click!

Here’s another good one of a young muskrat. I watched it swim about for a while, pulling up bits of underwater roots and taking them back to a hole in the embankment. I’m guessing that was its new home. A bit of patience and I was able to snap this shot:

There’s a few more in the gallery below – check them out! Also, I have a set of bird photos taken with this lens, and there are definitely some good ones. Check back for them!