July 14-18 Event

I’ve worked with Dave Brosha in the past during the production of his first ebook, we’ve traveled and photographed a bit in Banff together, and last summer during his cross country workshop tour, Dave invited me to attend his PEI stop to see what it was all about. Dave was a distant friend living in Canada’s north.

That all change only a few short weeks after that PEI workshop event when I received an email from Dave claiming he was selling his home in Yellowknife and moving his family to PEI. A task that he accomplished in less than 4 months. In a blink of an eye, Dave was now a neighbour.

But what happens when a photographer moves to PEI, buys a property with a large barn (now studio) and loves hosting workshops? Obviously to invite others over for a week long event to explore, teach and share stories. And that’s exactly what Dave is doing at his new home under the title Land and See. A new annual event for anyone interested in portraiture or landscape photography.

This event promises to be excellent and I’m excited for the speakers that have been invited to attend. I’ll will be one of those attending and leading the group to some great island locations. If you were ever looking for a push to visit PEI or were maybe interested in taking a class on landscape photography, this may be a good time to do so. Stop by landandseephoto.com for complete details and registration information.

Flat Rock, Cavendish - © Stephen DesRoches

Playing in the waves during Dave’s 2014 PEI Workshop.

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First Day of 2015

Another year comes to an end and it’s hard not to wonder where the time went. It feels like each passing year picks up speed and disappears faster than the previous. All at the same pace my desire to do more increases.

2014 was a year without travel. A first for me in over 10 years. It was a year close to home with a focus on our island’s coastal landscape and celebrations. 2014 was also the year we became first time parents. It has been an amazing roller coaster of a year to learn and adjust.

In common tradition, the following are 20 of my favourite images from the past 12 months.

Bubbling Springs Trail - © Stephen DesRoches

Bubbling Springs Trail, Stanhope, PEI

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Last Day of 2014

Twenty fourteen was a big year on Prince Edward Island. A year of celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference — an event that eventually led to Canadian Confederation. This is far from a complete summary of a busy year of events, activities and festivals but here are a few of my images representing how I saw PEI’s 2014 celebrations.

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Snow Season

Temperatures are dropping and the first true signs of winter and snow fall are showing in the forecast. The cold and frost covered windshield is not the best motivator to get out of a warm bed while it’s still dark outside and for many, the camera goes into hibernation until spring.

Some of the best photography advice I ever received was how to dress in layers for winter temperatures. MEC.ca describes it: “Layers allow you to build a tiny microclimate that surrounds your body and can be adapted to moisture, wind, temperature, and exertion.”

Wearing loose fitting outer layers will trap heat inside and provide better insulation. More importantly, wearing boots and mitts that are a size too big helps maintain heat by creating a warm air cushion around your feet/hands. Nothing ruins an adventure and focus faster than wet or cold feet.

I have over simplified this a bit but if you avoid cotton materials that absorbs moisture and wear an inner synthetic layer, a middle insulation layer and an outer wind/snow/rain layer, cold weather photography can become as pleasant as summer photography.

Many of my favourite images were created during mid winter freezing temperatures.

Charlottetown Winter Sunrise

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Revisiting Old Images

Unless I forget to remove the lens cap, I rarely delete and simply archive. I would like to believe that I’m a better photographer than I was 2 years ago. I see things differently and how I approach creating new images is forever changing.

With all that file clutter just taking up space, it’s an interesting exercise to look back and compare what I had originally thought was good and/or bad. It’s also interesting to see how opinions have changed.

It feels like forever and a day since I was in Iceland but when I saw an image of Dettifoss this week, I went back to my archived library to see what I had originally passed over as rejects. I remembered being there but I had also remembered coming back without anything interesting to print.

This is what I found. A relatively flat mid-day image of Europe’s most powerful waterfall. It surely doesn’t have the same impact as it did standing there inches from the rushing water.

Dettifoss, Iceland

50% of my visualization is through trial and error. Should it be cropped? Does it need more or less contrast? Would I prefer this or would I prefer that?

Once I identified what I did not like about this image, I removed the colour, darkened the sky and ended up with two different images. One was be the original 8×12 but the other a perfect square. Both with very different perspectives of the location.

So I asked the question on Facebook which image was preferred and I feel like I got an equal mix right down the middle. You can see everyone’s comments here, here, and here. Art doesn’t get more subjective than this and how one connects with an image varies wildly.

Some prefer the feeling of standing there looking over the edge into the Jökulsá á Fjöllum river while others much prefer 1:1 and removing the triangle shaped distractions.

There is no answer and I still do not know which one I prefer.

Dettifoss, Iceland

Dettifoss, Iceland

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