Tag Archives: composition

“Sunday Morning Window Art”

“Sunday Morning Window Art”

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” 
― Pablo Picasso

I simply can’t turn it off. I see photos everywhere and every day, and I would have it no other way.

As an example, I saw ‘this’ as I stepped out of my car at church this morning. A light snow had melted and leaves from a nearby silver maple, bright yellow, fell and stuck to the wet truck window next to me.

I love the layers here. Leaves, rain drops, reflected trees and sky, all the elements of the day in one shot. The shot pretty much composed itself. it was just waiting for me to notice it.

iPhone 7 back camera @ 4.0mm
1/120 sec; f/1.8; ISO 20


“Waiting It Out”

“Waiting it Out”

“For a while” is a phrase whose length can’t be measured. At least by the person who’s waiting.” 
― Haruki Murakami 

When composing this image, my eyes were first drawn to the warm and cool layers of light on the water as well as the texture of the water itself, the first caused by patchy clouds and the second, by high winds blowing off Lake Huron.

The seagull, seems quite at peace i the image, yet was being buffeted by the same winds which caused the water’s surface to ripple. The same ripples which give it the appearance of textured glass, rather than water.

It’s a strange image when I look back to the circumstances. The scene looks quite peaceful, but that was not the case at all. I think what creates this sense of calm was the unusual light that day. Despite the stormy, windy conditions, the sky was filled with quick moving clouds and a great deal of sunshine. This mixed light created some interesting effects, like the golden reflection of the gull’s belly in the water and the mix of blue to golden tones in the water.

Were it not for the tight ripples in the water as well as waving been there to make the image, I would think this to be a bright and calm morning photo of a seagull standing in water. Nothing special, until you look closer and start questioning it.

The seagull, as well as many others of its kind, stood in the shallow waters along the shores, bearing the winds and waves, looking for a morsel of food to blow in, biding their time, and waiting out the storm, which would soon pass.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 250mm
1/200sec, f/7.1 ISO 100

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“Female Red-Winged Blackbird”

“Female Red-Winged Blackbird” - Stouffville Reservoir

“You are the only guardian of your own truth, so know your truth and protect it at all costs.”
― Gugu Mona

This is an older photo which I find myself going back to from time to time. The photo was among the first I made with my then newly acquired 70-200 mm, f/2.8 lens. That lens has been my go-to lens ever since, despite it being quite heavy. It is just so very versatile in so many situations, from moderate zoom to close up studio work and event photography.

The image above is, to me, very calming. I enjoy the colour contrast of the golden cat-tails against the blue water as well as the fanned tail feathers of the blackbird, as it balances on the delicate stem. I can almost feel the gentle spring breeze floating over the water’s surface.

As with many of my images, I can still recall where this was made and the process of composing the photo. The bird was very cooperative and seemed to pose for me, which is rarely the case with birds in the wild.

Nikon D300
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/3200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400

“Barred Owl”


“The owl,” he was saying, “is one of the most curious creatures. A bird that stays awake when the rest of the world sleeps. They can see in the dark. I find that so interesting, to be mired in reality when the rest of the world is dreaming. What does he see and what does he know that the rest of the world is missing?”
― M.J. Rose

Today’s post is inspired by a fellow photoblogger, Victor Rakmil  and his latest post, featuring a Barred Owl and his own experience photographing these lovely creatures.

Above is a photo I made a few years ago, but one of my most prized ones. Those of you who lean towards wildlife photography will understand why this is so. You see, most of those spectacular images you see in National Geographic and other similar magazines are the result of hours of preparation, and many, many failed attempts to even find the animal, and then, get the shot right. Because, there is seldom a second chance.

Owls, are especially elusive, being night dwellers, they tend to perch high up in trees, under dense cover. So, even when you are looking for them, they are tough to spot. On rare occasions, they remain in the same area for some time and a fortunate birder or photographer happens to find it.

That’s what happened here. A photographer friend of mine began posting images of this Barred Owl on his Facebook page. The images were quite spectacular and made from a fairly close distance. So, I asked him where the photos were made. Reluctantly, he told me, asking that I not share this information with others, which I agreed to.

The next day, I set out to the ‘secret place’ to see if I could spot the owl. Well, about twenty other photographers had already heard about the place and were gathered around the owl, which was perched and sleeping, in an apple tree.  We were all happy to see the owl this close up, but disappointed that it was not opening its eyes, despite the commotion around it. I was also pleased that nobody was stupid enough to throw something to wake it up (one guy suggested it and was quickly told “No!”)

I made several photos, just happy to have seen an owl in the wild, that close up. They are spectacular creatures.

A few days later, I returned, during a weekday, and found only a few photographers and birders present and the owl awake. It had just flown to the ground after a mouse and proceeded to eat it, as the cameras snapped. Then, it flew back up into a tree and rested, satisfied with its morning meal.

That’s where this composition came to life. The owl chose, for a change, to sit in the open, perfectly lit, and wonderfully framed by the branches, soft green cedars in the background. I think I made about fifty images, not wanting to miss this opportunity. The image above is my favourite and I still look at this branch, sans owl, whenever I return to the ‘secret place’, but I’ve never experienced this moment again.

Now that I have a bit better equipment and am more comfortable with it, I’m hoping to catch one in flight this year. Fingers crossed.

Nikon D300
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 300mm
1/60 sec, f/5.6, ISO 220

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“Simple Beauty”

“Simple Beauty”

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy”
― Isaac Newton

A very simple subject today, a single carnation blossom. I’ve actually avoided photographing it as I felt I could not bring out the texture of the ruffled blossom. But, in the right light and with a bit of patience, I was able to produce an image that I was pleased with.

This is what I would classify as a mid-range macro shot. Really a 1:1, since it filled the viewfinder frame as I saw it. Getting any closer would have, in my opinion, taken away from the image. I’m still learning the finer touches of macro photography, but good composition is a key element for my in all my images, large or small. Hopefully, this one is pleasing to you as well?

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
0.5 sec, f/25.0, ISO 200

Hi Resolution image on 500px

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“Golden Moments”

“Golden Moments”

“Do you know how there are moments when the world moves so slowly you can feel your bones shifting, your mind tumbling? When you think that no matter what happens to you for the rest of your life, you will remember every last detail of that one minute forever?”
― Jodi Picoult

As I mentioned on a previous post, I had the opportunity this past weekend to get back on the trails, spend some time with my son, and make more photos.

In several aspects, we experienced ‘Golden Moments”. The soft autumn sunlight made both the canopy and forest floor glow with golden light, trees cast long, yet barely noticeable shadows on the ground, and we had a great time discussing photography, light, and composition.

My son is in his third year of university for film making and has a great sense for all of the above and is quite a talented photographer as well, yet he sees thing slightly differently from me, which has been a great learning experience for both of us, as we walk and discuss what and how we are seeing the scenes around of us.

Often he will see something that did not catch my eye and vice versa. The joy in this is that we are both able to communicate well what that ‘something’ is. Then the other will see it as well. I found this has expanded my art as a photographer significantly.

After all, if I can’t understand how others may see my work, then I believe I’m not fully communicating my vision.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 78 mm
1/80 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)

“My Home Among the Cosmos”

“My Home Among the Cosmos”

“I live in my own little world. But its ok, they know me here.”
― Lauren Myracle

Another garden venture into the world of macro photography, which I am enjoying since it often brings about unexpected results. Like this little bug, which has made it’s home, deep inside the flower. I didn’t see him, even when composing the shot.

I still have lots to learn, as I have just started out with an inexpensive set of manual extension tubes and would value the advice of others with experience in macro. If I’m going to pursue this is it worthwhile investment in autofocus tubes or is the preference to remain manual and control the image?

Nikon D800
Nikkor AF 28-70mm f/3.5~F/4.5D
@ 50mm
1/400 sec, f/3.5, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
or my website (some images available for purchase)