Honest Image Critiques

We live in a world that’s politically incorrect to be negative. In this world where we can do no wrong, you’ll often see complaints among photographers about how Facebook and Flickr, etc are a celebration of everyones work. It has the maximum encouragement because every single photo is the best and those that break that trend are looked down on. Which is totally fair because it’s all personal preferences. There is a reason there is no dislike button. It’s how these sites were designed to work. Negative commenting just looks bad.

I’m not suggesting this type of commenting is wrong and the support is needed but if it were all true, we’d all be fantastic and if we were all fantastic, how does one feel the need to improve? Finding critiques is hard and receiving qualified critiques is even harder. The two local competitions that I know of are held by the PPOC and PEI Photo Club. While at different levels, the live judging is a great experience to watch. You can learn so much even on the prints that are not your own. And whether I agree with the comments or not, I want to hear the negatives just as much, if not more than the positive ones. After all, I already liked the photo enough to share it.

For the past two years, I have volunteered my time to help organize the photo print show for the PEI Photo Club and part of the exhibit involves hiring judges to provide constructive reviews for each and every print. Judges range from photographers, painters, instructors, designers and gallery owners. I don’t remember all of the positive comments but I do remember all of the negative ones still 3 years later. They have forever greatly impacted my opinions on the specific elements the comments were referring to.

This years show will be opened to the public in downtown Charlottetown from July 9th – 30th at The Guild Gallery. Full details can be found at

Continue Reading… Finalist – Best Photography of a Weblog

Announced tonight, Focused on Light is officially a runner-up finalist in the 12th Annual Weblog Awards (The 2012 Bloggies). Congratulations to The Pioneer Women for your 3rd win and thanks to all those that voted as well as the mysterious person that nominated this site. The increased traffic from the nomination was noticeable.

If you’re interested in landscape photography, occasional event photography and some random design talk, I’d love to have you stick around and visit again. The best way to stay in touch will be to receive email updates by subscribing to Google’s Feedburner. You’ll receive an email only with each new blog post. Approximately 1 or 2 emails per week with images primarily from Prince Edward Island.

You can also subscribe using the good old trusty RSS Feed or join me on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Flickr, 500px,, Pinterest and the list goes on.

Leave a comment below with a link back to your site.

Cavendish, Prince Edward Island

Today’s Image – Cape Turner, Cavendish, PEI

An old and classic shot of Cape Turner in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island from 2010 but it remains to be one of my all time favorites. I’ve made it a bit of a signature shot of mine.

The 2012 Bloggies

Welcome to the Twelfth Annual Weblog Awards.

You may be asking yourself what the heck is a Bloggie? I kind of did too. It’s no Webby but I remember 12 years ago when the Bloggie awards were first introduced. A fun little competition that actually received a fair bit of attention. Fast forward to 2012 and I had forgotten all about them until Sandee left me a comment this morning letting me know how she found my site through the 2012 nominations. Surprise. Not only did someone take the effort to nominate this weblog but Focused on Light has actually some how ended up as a finalist for “Best Photography of a Weblog”.

And of course, now that I’m aware of the nomination, the competitor in me would like to win so I’m going to run with it. If you agree with the nomination, please consider voting at Voting ends Feb 18th and you could help me win 2,012 pennies.

It’s oddly timed due to a recent archives reset. So much has changed since I started this weblog back in 2001 and originally under the domain Somebody must be visiting and maybe even reading it.

PEI National Park

Today’s Image – Traces of Snow and Ice

A small stream that runs under the Gulf Shore Parkway from Rollings Pond out to the beach. While deep in parts, if you are careful, you can navigate your way out to the center by rock hopping without getting your feet wet. You will find this location (N 46 27.790 W 63 17.936) just past the entrance to PEI National Park on the North Rustico side.

Annual Photoblog Awards

First inspired by Noah Grey, Sam Javanrouh and David Nightingale, I retired my weblog and jumped on the photoblog bandwagon back in late 2005 and challenged myself to post a new photo every single day. The concept of a photoblog was simple. It was about the image and any text was secondary and often hidden behind a link. Click on the photo, see the next one.

I was relatively successful with regular posts and by 2009 had generated a small audience. To start 2012, Focused on Light was listed for the 3rd year in row as a finalist in the yearly Photoblog Awards – a fun competition voted on by the photoblog community.

2011: Best North American Photoblog
2011: Best Landscape Photoblog
2010: Best North American Photoblog
2009: Best North American Photoblog

This year I am unintentionally challenging myself by flipping this website upside down and back to a more traditional weblog. The process broke any and all subscription feeds which will surely hurt traffic. I will also not be updating daily but attempting to provide much more context and stories to the images I post. We’ll soon see if this change was for better or worse.

If you own a photoblog or weblog of your own, feel free to link to it in the comments so I can learn more about you.

Cymbria, Prince Edward Island

Today’s Image – A New Beginning

One more from the archives before I set out tomorrow to create new work. Some of the best sunrises are when the sky is completely overcast. If you’re lucky, there may be a small opening for the sun to light everything up from below. This early morning in June 2010 offered just that for only a minute or two. It still remains as one of my favorites.