Monthly Archives: September 2015

“The Factory” – Sand Sculpture at Canadian National Exhibition

“The Factory” - Sand Sculpture Detail - Canadian National Ex

As I’ve said earlier, I like fine details and being able to reflect on them at a later date. That stand true for this photo of a sand sculpture at the Canadian National Exhibition. The sculpture take several days to create and are incredibly detailed. How the artists manage to keep them standing fascinates me.

The details and emotion in this face are simply beautiful and with the wonderful light, I could not help but want to capture it. if you look carefully, you can see the fine lines left by the sculpting tools as well as just ‘how’ the eyes were crafted. Keep in mind the scale of this sculpture, It’s about 8 feet tall! By the way, it was the 2015 Grand Prize Winner

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm @ 70mm
1/13 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 3200

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“Bronze Fish”

“Bronze Fish” - by artist Jean Horne - Canadian National Exh

I love fine details and textures. It’s especially those little details I notice after having walked by something dozens of times and I find myself wondering, “Why did I not notice that earlier?”

One of the joys of photography is being able to capture those moments and reflect on them later. Above is a bronze statue of fish outside the Food Building at the Canadian National Exhibition. I’ve been going to the “EX” since I was a kid, and spent a fair amount of time inside the food building. In that time, I suppose that I have never exited via the west-facing doors? Not sure, but I certainly never noticed this interesting statue by Jean Horne. It has a very Art Deco look and I like how it’s installed over a small reflecting pool. How many other have walked past this statue and never noticed it? It is incredible, in  our busy world, how we can miss so much. I’m just happy to be able to slow it down for a moment, to enjoy that moment, and to be able to take it with me, as a photo.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-2000mm @ 80mm
1/250 sec @ f/8, ISO 250

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“Storm Front over Lake Huron”

“Storm Front over Lake Huron”

A revisit to what started as a beautiful mid August day at Sauble Beach this past August.

We had heard forecasts of rain all day, but the day started out sunny and windy. Since it was too windy for a good game of volleyball, we all headed to town for a bit to shop. Shortly thereafter, the clouds, which had been hanging far out on the lake started to roll in and thicken. From town, I could see the thin gray clouds start to thicken and take on strong structures and definition. So, I headed back to the cottage to retrieve my camera and head across the road to the beach.

This is what greeted me. A solid wall of black cloud with clearly defined shear zones. The wonder of Lake Huron is that it is so big and scenes like this may be taking place at a fairly long distance. As I stood and watched, a secondary dark cloud formed at the frontal boundary and began to roll like a wave against the other cloud at this ‘transition’ line. It was very dramatic and I was happy to be able to capture it while staying dry. This cloud movement went on for a long time over the water before it gradually moved to shore and started to rain. All the while, many people carried on watching the drama unfold in front of them and still swimming in the surf caused by the storm.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm @ 86mm
1/60 sec @ f/10, ISO 280

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“Warm Spring Day in Vieux Montreal”

“Vieux-Port Montreal”

A very pleasant day in Old Montreal.

In my 50 some years growing up in Canada, I missed this marvel of culture. I know it has existed in various iterations and many of my friend s have enjoyed this cultural gem in my absence. I discovered Old Montreal a few years ago, while visiting with cousins and long to return whenever I get the chance, especially on recent business trips.

Montreal has a gorgeous “Old Town” near the port of area Montreal known as  “Vieux Port Montreal”. This area is known for its European look and feel (and some rather fine restaurants).

This particular photo was made in late May. The day was unusually hot for the time of year and Betty and I spent some time touring around and enjoying the atmosphere, before sitting down for a wonderful dinner at a local steak house. The nice thing about May is the soft light at the end of the day and how it filters down the narrow streets.

This was a fairly complex photo in that it was significantly underexposed to avoid blowing out all the details in the sky and background buildings. I spent a bit of time dodging and adjusting shadows in Adobe RAW to bring out the details in the foreground to capture the interactions of the people in the street, which was an important part of this composition.

In the end, I was pleased with the details I was able to recover for the shadows to recreate the scene as I saw it that warm, late spring day, a few months back.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm @ 70mm
1/200 sec @ f/7.1, ISO 250

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“Summer Skies over Ancaster”

“Summer Skies over Ancaster”

This is a VERY recent photo I made this past weekend during a family event near Ancaster, Ontario.

As usual, I had my camera along to capture those family moments, but I found my kids had that pretty much covered off. Yes, my children like photography too. I had visited this location many times before and had photographed it many times, and so, was having a hard time figuring out what I might photograph that had not already been done. Photographer’s block?

After dinner, I walked out into the nearby corn field looking for opportunities. Last Sunday was a hot, somewhat humid day, typical of southern Ontario this time of year. The forecast called for a chance of showers, but as the day progressed,  the showers never materialized. But, some beautiful clouds formed. As I walked the field I was struck by the appearance of this particular cloud in the distance. It had the making of a potential rain storm. It was big, billowy, and white, with the appearance of cotton balls. What set this cloud apart was the contrast of dark portions in the foreground against and white clouds within the same structure, against a deep blue blue sky. All this floating over fields of corn and a few trees.

I made the photo and when I got to my iMac to process the image I found it required very little work. I boosted the contrast a touch to get the ‘look’ of the cloud as I remembered it. Then, I just desaturated the whole thing and sharpened it a touch. The result is the attached image. For me, it really portrays the scene as I saw it, with a bit of extra drama for the black and white treatment. Overall, I am very pleased with this photo and hope you enjoy it too.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm @ 70mm
1/400 sec @ f/10, ISO 250

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