Sunday, August 28, 2016

Grandfather Tree

Located at Cochrane Ranche, a short distance west of Calgary, this 300 year old tree is most impressive. I wanted to make an image that might be a little different and so chose to shoot it wide open, with a very narrow band of sharpness on the base of the trunk. I wanted a low contrast image and so used curves to further emphasize the trunk compared to the background., with some subtle field blur at the edges of the image at the far left and lower right. It was then toned with my brownblack toning action, then adjusted further by double clicking on the layer and then changing the blending by shifting the output right hand split slider (option move). This latter reduced the rather heavy sepia look and especially the pinkish looking light tones.

The image is 9000X15500 pixels, three images stitched from the Pentax 645Z. I just can't stop myself from  stitching after years of not having enough pixels. Guess I'll have to make a 60 inch wide print some time.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Yet Again

And Another Car

Back Out Shooting

Yes, it's been months since an entry. One thing and another, and the addition to our household with Sophie, our now six month old Standard Poodle.

For example, today we went in the morning to the off leash park, then there was leash training , then this afternoon, more leash training on the way to the local park to practice Fetch with a tennis ball, and then back to the Off leash park, and now she's rested up and ready for action again and she's not tired but I am.

Anyway, Ken and I popped over to Gasoline Alley at Heritage Park to photograph the old vehicles and a good time was had. For convenience I took the Sony 6000, and did enjoy the convenience of the zoom, but sure missed the simple manual focus of the Pentax 645Z - sometimes the image would magnify but not for long, and trying to move where it magnified was more than challenging.

But it was sure nice to be shooting again.

Two weeks ago we went back to Jura Canyon and not all those images are even processed at this point - stitching and blending in progress.

And the image below is from Maligne Canyon a year or so ago, discovered on the SD card and I thought worth working on.

 And from Gasoline Alley:

And this gas pump glass:

Sunday, January 31, 2016


1956 Jaguar XK150, an ongoing project to which I'll be returning. I might try cropping the bottom image on the left, dramatically reducing that white horizontal blob, losing the curve in the bottom left but resulting in a cleaner and stronger composition of the verical white against the steering wheel and background of the seating.


Back and sidewalls of a blacksmith's hearth, standing outside. I'd photographed the right side previously and liked the image but wanted to include both sides. I used focus blending on two separate halves, then stitching the blended images after.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

To Crop, Or Not To Crop, That Is The Question


The original image, immediately above, always bothered me. Too much of the floor, and too bright too, and extraneous details in the upper left, and I wasn't wild about including the whole reflection in the bumper - to literal.

I really wanted that upper left tip of the fender though - but I could not find a way to keep it while emphasizing form, and in the end decided that it was better to get rid of a relatively subdued shape, even though nice, to empasize the two wheels.

Cropping becomes part of one's style - how tight do you go, how much to sacrifice to emphasize a few important elements, tell a story by including enough surround to inform, or eliminate all reference to scale, situation and circumstance.

In general, I crop very tightly, though it's only been in the last few years that I've gone beyond tight in to the realm of ruthless.

What do you think?

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Turner Valley Gas Plant Cont.

The second and third images are focus blended.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Combine Chute

Ken and I visited Pioneer Acres, after stopping at an abandoned farm. The sky was cloudless and finding images that showed any subtlety was challenging. Why I bent over and peered into the opening of a chute of an old combine I can't explain, but in the shade was this lovely rust and patina composition.

I tried photographing it from a few feet away with the 120 on the Pentax 645Z but apart from having to shade the lens, the shape didn't work. I switched to the 35 mm. which fortunately has a close focus distance and put the camera almost into the chute opening. I stopped down to f22 and accepted that the edges would be out of focus.

In one way, the image is a big cheat. That funny red shape at the top of the image is in fact a flap valve, with grass and sunlight and red. I just wasn't happy with it. I tried blurring it but it just looked blurred - very fake.

Out of curiosity I wondered what Photoshop would make of it if I hugely enlarged the healing brush to the same diameter as the flap and a tad more, and the result was this very attractive shape and colour which I think works very well with the rest of the image which is pretty straight.

Should I have taken it this far - well, I'm really pleased with the result and let's face it, peering up chutes sounds like something for a proctologist, not a photographer - so if it's been altered a tad, well, who's to challenge me.