Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Walk Around Boston

Spent some time in Boston last summer; it’s a great city, especially if you’re a photographer. "A Walk Around Boston" is an appropriate title since my feet took me pretty much everywhere and walking is probably the best way to see Boston. The "T" is probably the next best way to get around. It was the “T” that took me to a few places that were a little too far to walk; I’ll do some follow up posts with those photos over the next little bit.

This is just a start of series I’ll be doing on some my images from in and around Boston. Hope you enjoy!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

New Website!

I’ve just launched a new website! I wanted another way to share a few collections of my most favourite images. The blog will keep going and you'll eventually see some of the stories behind the images on the website posted here. You can checkout my new site by clicking on the image below:

I used a company called They focus specifically on websites designed for photographers and offer a numerous professional looking templates that allow you to build a flash based website on your own; you don’t have to be website guru to do it! They offer up to 5 pages and 30mb for free (which is the option that I am trying out) or a full subscription based on your specific needs. You can choose a template and just start dragging and dropping your media in, or you can customize your own look. I used one of their designs and then spent some time customizing. You build it, they host it, and you're on your way. You can also make changes at will and publish it in real-time.

If you're a photographer looking for an easy way to build a slick looking website on you own, then check these guys out. 


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sometimes You Have To Look Up

If you’re trying to get a different perspective with your photos then try looking up sometimes, you just might like what you see!

One of the many things I’ve learned about photography along the way is to take the time shoot your subject from a variety of angles; don’t just put the camera up to your eye and shoot straight ahead (believe me, I’ve seen this many people do this).  Shooting from many different angles will give will you lots of options to choose from (especially if you’re travelling because you may not get back to that location for a very long time, if at all).

Shooting up is one of my favourite angles.  Buildings, architecture and other structures present a unique opportunity to try this, and you’re forced to look up. Instead of trying to capture the entire structure in your shot, try to focus on a specific section and find a strong composition. Here are few of my favourites.

The first 2 were taken at Balls Falls Conservation Area. There’s this old barn that’s weather beaten which gives it a lot or character, and at the peak is an old weather vane. It was the weather vane that drew my attention; I just wish it was turned a little more to give it a better profile.  The blue sky is one part natural and one part circular polarizer that helps to saturate the sky and draw out the deep blue colour.

This next photo a little white church. Here I was drawn to the steeple/bell tower and the cross atop it. The green diamond was a bonus as it adds a nice splash of colour and the clouds added a nice backdrop. Again, a circular polarizer was used to give the sky that nice deep blue colour.

This last photo was taken in downtown Hamilton during Scott Kelby’s first Worldwide Photowalk (the 3rd annual Photowalk is on July 24th if you’re interested). I just took a chance, tilted the lens up and I liked what I saw. I took some time to get the lines all going the same way, but in the end It worked for me.

So the next time you’re out shooting try looking up… oh yeah, don’t forget that looking down can have the same effect, too.



Saturday, July 3, 2010

On a Wing and a Prayer

Well, the wing is obvious and the prayer is me praying that I can actually get a decent shot.

There’s one particular area just a few minutes from where I live that is home to the Turkey Vulture. You can easily find them circling in and around the escarpment’s thermal updrafts. The trick to shooting them is to find a decent spot and wait for them to come to you. My first attempts had me driving up and down the road from spot to spot, essentially going to them; however, once I got there they would be gone. The trick I found was to just pick a spot, bring along some patience and wait. In this case it was worthwhile.

I've been attempting some BIF (birds in flight) photos for a while. One of the challenges has been to find the optimum camera settings. I think I'm getting closer as these are best I've captured so far (previous attempts did not warrant screen time so you won’t see them here).

The simple things about these shot are that these Turkey Vultures are not that fast so it’s relatively easy to lock focus and track them while panning the camera. Second, from my vantage point I was shooting up with the sky as a backdrop, which meant that there were no other distracting elements that could pull the focus away. Third, they were also flying fairly low, which put them within a decent range to use the 70-200mm with a little cropping in post.

Overall, I’m pleased with the results.

For those interested in all of the technical stuff, here’s the set-up:

Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: 70-200 f2.8
Shutter Priority: 1/1000
Aperture: f5.6
Release Mode: Continuous High
AF Mode: Continuous
AF-C Priority: Release + Focus
Focus Point: Centre Point
Dynamic AF Area: 9 points (9 points seems to acquire the target faster if it leaves the centre point than 21 or 51 points – more is not always better)