Sunday, December 31, 2017

Developing A New Website

Over the years I have tried just about every possible way of creating a website, short of actually being proficient with html code.

I used Rapidweaver and it was fairly easy to use, though really only gained strength through all the plug ins, each of which had to be learned, and readers complained that text would do odd things like not quite fit, or overlap and generally not quite look like I intended.

I tried and still have an account with smug mug but it couldn't do all that I needed, at least not without a whole lot more learning than I wanted to get involved with.

I checked out Squarespace and didn't find it as friendly as I'd been led to believe.

I broke down and paid for a commercial site. The price was reasonable, the work good, but I had to resort to phoning the developer to ask once again, how do I upload images. And as for changing things significantly on the site, forget it without help. I wanted to be independent. It was based on Joomla which when I started investigating, didn't find as friendly as Wordpress.

I finally decided to watch some how to videos on using wordpress - turns out it wasn't significantly more difficult than Rapidweaver or Squarespace, while also being more flexible.

After several watchings of the tutorials, I created a website for my local model railway group (intended just for ourselves), and started to tackle the more daunting task of a real website for my photography.

It needed to present images cleanly - not all systems can do that.
I wanted to be able to shuffle through images via the keyboard arrows - ditto.
I needed it to be able to handle some zip files needed for my books.
And I wanted it to promote my next book effort.

i searched for the best gallery plugin for wordpress and came across Envira Galleries, which not only would display my work as I wanted, but was compatible with Lightroom's Publishing so that I could select images in Lightroom and place them in galleries, to be published directly from Lightroom. After a few trials (largely my own fault) I was able to do this very easily and effectively. This had to be the right way to go.

So, I have created a site. As yet I have not removed the old site but you can check out the new via the link below, or by typing in george

New Website

This new site has hundreds of images going back more than 10 years but more importantly includes images shot in the last few months.

The video I started with was an older version by Tyler Moore, and by clicking on his name you can link to a recent version of his very effective introduction.

Keep in mind all this stuff about website development changes Joomla has improved, but so does Wordpress, and the plug-ins, and for that matter the tutorials.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Quebec City

Just back from a medical conference in Quebec City. Wonderful place. Spent two hours walking in the rain and mist and dark after arriving, shooting hand held with the Olympus EM-1 Mark II.

Most of the images were made at 1/4 second and the results are very pleasing. I did stop in at a cafe and begged  napkin to dry my lens but quite like the water droplets showing in the second image, of the Chateau Frontenac Hotel.

Last time I saw this hotel I was sailing by, on the Empress of Britain as I immigrated with my family to Canada from Scotland at age 8, 1958.

I was using the Olympus 12-100, a lens that combines it's own image stabilization with that of the camera body to make efforts like this possible.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Editing Tribune Bay

Seems to me that the image I uploaded yesterday looked weaker on the blog than it did in Photoshop. This happens sometimes, perhaps part of the toning. Here's what happens when I edit the uploaded image. It particularly seems weak on the right side so that is where I did most of the work. I had thought to lighten the light areas but in darkening the dark, it has the same effect without weakening the detail in the light parts.

Thoughts? Too heavy handed?

Before, then after.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Have You Tried It In Black And White?

Cliff asked 'had I considered the image in black and white?" I did try it, but didn't even save the image, preferring the colour version. I've redone the monochrome image, adding a bit of contrast, but still prefer the colour photograph.

I think there is more to be done with the black and white image, but I doubt that at any point it will become better than the colour, and if so, why bother. Definitely not always the case.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Print from The Gordon Lewis through

Gordon's image was previously featured on The Online Photographer, and when It came time to do my book Why Photographs Work, it was one of the first images I chose to discuss. It really is a lovely photograph and I can't recommend it enough, and a print for $149 is a bargain. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO ORDER - BY 10 PM

Link torThe Online Photographer

And the wonderful photograph:

Monday, October 02, 2017

Three Valley Gap

Selection of images from Three Valley Gap, south of Revelstoke B.C.


This was a large boulder inclusion in a sandstone formation on Hornby Island, about six feet across and overhead. Two high res images with the Olympus EM-1 Mark II

Othello Tunnels

Part of the Kettle Valley Railway, near Hope, B.C. and now a short hike with views of the Coquihalla Canyon and River.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lancaster Continued

The second image is a re-edit - I'd been living with a print for the last week and it was too dark. The upper image is a gun turret from a Lancaster bomber, shot from the inside.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Lancaster Bomber Again

The first image is what happens when you shoot a rotating propeller with the camera in high res mode - but hey, I liked the effect. The other three images are turrets from the plane.

I'm particularly fond of the second and fourth images, and that last one is quite abstract, about light and form - definitely not illustrative.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

smithy 3

This actually took quite a lot of work. The light was from behind my left shoulder, and was blocked from the right side of the motor entirely. The foreground was much brighter than the background.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Smithy 2

The first image is an automatic focus bracketing with the Olmpus.

The lower image is high res, manual focus blend of the left and right halves of the image, then stitched together.


Backsmith shop at Pioneer Acres, near Irricana and about 45 minutes N.E. of Calgary. Olympus EM1 Mark II, Pansonic 8-18 mm. lens, High Res Mode.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hook Revisited

Five high res images blended, but background ended up looking odd, more like blended water, so I added back one of the original images for the out of focus areas.

Twin Towers

The local military museum has a memorial to the lives lost on 9/11, consisting of a single I beam, with twisted ends, part of the collapsed building. I had mixed feelings about photographing it, but in the end decided that anything that helps us remember can't be a bad thing, and I'm not in any way trying to profit from my efforts, or distort the story.

I think I might reshoot the second image wide open so that the background is blurred, more in keeping with the first image. Also, though I was careful in placing my camera to not overlap the almost touching pieces at the top of the image, they feel crowded and a greater space between would work better.

I like the shadow in the second image, almost as if we were seeing the ghost of the towers.


From an armoured car. A two image focus blend, background blurred by wide aperture.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Veggies 2 - Green Pepper

Veggies 1a

Reshot, not in high res any more since this is a focus blend, f3.5, 12 images - and then I overlayed the first and nearest focus image and using a black mask and white paint, blurred much of the pot lid and even the edge of the smaller bowl.

Mild additional blurring was used with field blur to the upper edge of the lid. The light tonality in the broccoli stems was brought out with a straight graph curves layer, white point moved to the left. Broccoli greenery was lightened by shifting green to lighter in the black and white conversion layer in Photoshop.

Veggies 1

Olympus EM-1 Mark II, 40-150 mm. f 2.8 lens, Broccoli inside two bowls with stainless lid between, natural lighting from north window.  Might retry with focus blending or even go the opposite direction and shoot wide open (this was at f5.6)

Friday, August 25, 2017

Window Of Clamps

I've often thought the clamps in the window looked interesting, veiled by the sheet of poly never removed after I insulated that wall of the garage. Tonight the glow seemed especially attractive. I moved one clamp to fill a gap, but otherwise shot what I saw, not even moving away from the line beween house door and window where I saw the scene.

I did remove some dust spots from the image, literally dust on the poly, not like the old days of dust on the negative. I darkened the right lower corner, lightened the left side to balance the light but otherwise it's a pretty straight shot.

As my postion was at something of an angle to the window, I stopped down to f8. It's a high res shot on the EM-1 Mark II, shot with the 12-100 mm. lens

I know it's thought to be lazy to use a zoom to replace moving back and forth, but it sure does allow for careful framing of an image. The original shot did include a sliver of window frame, just to be sure I didn't miss any of the actual view.

I found my Manfrotto 410 modified head to be very handy in helping get that framing perfect. I recently modified it with the Hejnar Arca adapter plate, a RRS Arca Clamp, and of course added the RRS bottom plate to the camera. Though I did purchase the L bracket, I did remove the side part so it wouldn't interfere with use of the full range of movement of the LCD screen.

As the Manfrotto head flips over for vertical compositions, and given the relative weights of tripod, head and Olympus, I don't think I'm compromising steadiness to a significant degree by not balancing the vertical camera exactly over the axis of the tripod.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Shooting In Bright Sun

Who says you can't shoot at noon?

Monday, August 21, 2017

Lancaster Outside


I wasn't happy with the focus blending for the hook so redid it manually in Photoshop though I still think it needs work. Hasn't quite got the glow of the previous version, even though the shift to out of focus is more natural.

The clasp and locker looked great in colour and I didn't expect much in converting to black and white but I like the high key effect after lightening the yellows.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


This is actually a towing hook the back of a military tank, but it looks like a mannekin hand, or maybe something from Pompei.

It was shot with the 40-150, wide open at f2.8, using focus blending in Helicon Focus after the fact, from six high res images (no auto focus bracketing). Sharpness was from the tip of the thumb to mid palm. I added some blur with field blur in Photoshop applied to the right upper corner on a copy of the original image, then masked out and brought back in gradually just in the upper left corner.

Lancaster Continued

Also At The Museum

The upper image is the bubble viewport of a bomber, used for the last 20 years to help rhubarb grow in early spring. The lower image is a jet engine.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Bomber Museum Nanton - Lancaster Running

Four Merlin engines running. No difficulties starting them either - very impressive. I had to be quick to catch that smoke, it was only there for a few seconds.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Screw In Black and White

Both are high res, two image stitches with the Olympus em-1 Mark II, the latter being 6600 X 15400, 22X51 inches at 300  DPI. Lens is the 40-150 f2.8, though other pictures of the screw were shot with the 12-100, and some even with the 8-18. All three lenses have sufficient resolution to make good use of high res mode.