Blog Archives

The Gift of Art

Several months ago, I received an email asking kindly if I would participate in “The U.S./Canada Project”. The concept was simple. Massachusetts artist Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord wanted to send a copy of her new book to each of the 50 States and 10 Provinces. I was selected via Google and asked to be the PEI recipient.

A little while later, and I received Art Lessons – Reflections From An Artist’s Life in the mail. A small 30-page pocket sized self-published book.

Being an artist is not about fame or fortune, where you show or how much you sell. Being an artist is a full-time life, not just a full-time job or a career. - Art Lessons

My assigned tasks were also simple:

  1. You are sent a copy of Art Lessons.
  2. You log onto BookCrossing and note that you have it.
  3. You read it, if you want.
  4. You release it, either controlled—give/send it to someone—or wild—leave it in a public place.

Every time I moved out of the self-imposed lines I was honouring, it took bursts of both determination and desperation. Every transition grew out of months filled with tears. Each time I needed to stop making rules for myself and dig down to the next layer of making art—to take what I knew and step into the unknown. Our work is what leads us in new directions. We need to let it be our guide and have the belief and the confidence to follow it.

And now it’s time for me to release it. Who would be interested and preferably local to PEI?


I do what I do, to see the world differently

“Can you imagine what we could make if we loved our photographs and the adventures of making them, more than we loved our gear?”

I wish I had the ability to write and communicate a message like David does so well in the video below.

The photography community is clouded with gear reviews, competitions and very strong opinions on how things should be done. It can be at times exhausting, frustrating and maybe even repulsive.

Occasionally, videos like this are created that focus on the love of photography. Videos that are very much worth sharing.

After 5 years since I first met David, I had the opportunity to meet him again in-person twice this year. His authenticity makes his message super easy to endorse by reposting here on my own site.

For the photographers here, take 2 minutes and enjoy: “For the Love of the Photograph – I want to do this for the rest of my life.”

Professionally speaking – this video might have confirmed a secret man crush – which my wife probably agrees with.


Hitech Filter Review : Something Changed for the Worse

I do my best to keep this a gear free blog but I have had several frustrations with filters over the past several years. And despite those frustrations, I continue to see positive reviews. If you’re not a photographer yourself, you can skip over this post.

I love to hate filters. A pain to use but sometimes necessary. If I must carry around a set of expensive glass and resin slides, they better be worth the effort.

The basis of this blog post is that I believe the brand Hitech has been inconsistent with their manufacturing. When I bought my first Cokin-P sized Hitech filter, I was quite happy with it. Then I added a second, third, forth, and fifth by late 2010. They all preformed very well, were all neutral, and I became a supporter of the cheaper more affordable brand. But that has all changed and I now feel guilty for recommending them.

Vignette is a real problem on wide lenses and to solve that, I needed bigger filters. Without hesitation, I ordered the same but larger Hitech filters. Shock was an understatement when they arrived with a strong magenta coating. Nobody from the customer service took the time to respond so I’ll make my own conclusions.

The real icying on the cake was when I broke one of my good filters. I reordered the same filter in spring-2012 and it too suffers from the same magenta curse. Same part number. Same camera store.

What did Formatt Hitech change and why? Are they better again because I’m starting to see more and more positive support for them.

After much hesitations, last night I press published on the oopoomoo blog asking a very simple questions. Are Hitech Filters Any Good? You can see the full review there.


Photographing Insects in Flight

For reasons I can’t explain, I set out earlier this summer with the goal of photographing a bee in flight. I suppose it was for the challenge. Although not perfect and has room for improvements, I think these first attempts are pretty good.

Bee in Flight



A New Island Highway is Born

The straightening of the Trans-Canada Highway from Bonshaw to New Haven has been nothing short of controversial, and in a few short weeks, will open to traffic.

As paving continues, here are some aerial views taken on a foggy Wednesday morning, August 21 2013.



Maintaining a Photoblog for 10 Years

I consider Sam Javanrouh one of the original photo bloggers and a friend whom I’ve never met. Back in the old days when a blog was still considered a Web Log, and the general public looked at you funny when you mentioned the word, the Toronto-based creative director launched a small website in 2003 to share his images with friends and family. Appropriately titled the Daily Dose of Imagery (ddoi). But the popularity of this website grew, achieving a life of it’s own, and I believe, helped define of the term photoblog.

Sam also gets credit (although he doesn’t know it) for indirectly helping me select my first camera and lens because the first SLR camera I bought was because that was what he was using. And I also suppose Sam receives some credit for my decision to rebrand my own weblog (at the time, very random) to a much more focused photoblog starting in January 2006.

Fast forward to 2013 and this past July 4th marked the Daily Dose of Imagery’s 10 year anniversary completing a decade of photography! With such an incredible dedication that is unmatched from any other website I know, I wanted to quickly talk with Sam about the past 10 years, his motivation to continue, and if we can expect to see more images in the future.



The Best Beach in Canada believes that answer is Basin Head, located (N 46 22.853 W 62 06.590) on the eastern end of Prince Edward Island, roughly a 1 hour and 15 minute drive from Charlottetown. This title of #1 has had the local media buzzing. Here is what Vacay had to say:

For reasons scientists are still trying to figure out, this beach makes a strange swishing sound whenever the wind swirls or when a visitor walks on it. Tourism officials on Prince Edward Island suggest the reason may be because of the texture and consistency of the quartz sand. Nevertheless, the sound is a unique feature of a beach that has some of the warmest waters north of Florida. In summer, the water temperature will top 21 Celsius degrees (70 Fahrenheit) at Singing Sands and other sandy spots on PEI, which has more than 800 kilometres of beaches to explore.

Why This Beach Rocks: Some of the warmest waters in the northern hemisphere. The supervised beach is in a day-use (summer) park that has a play area, food, washroom, shower facilities, and the Basin Head Fisheries Museum.


Basin Head Beach - Clear Water Sand

Today’s Image – Singing Sands at Basin Head Beach

I have not yet made the drive to Basin Head this summer, but here is an image from the archives of this clear water beach on a foggy day.


Mid July Update

It has been a busy July of early mornings and late evenings which leaves little time for organizing and sharing new photos. The summer is quickly disappearing and the most I’ve done in the past couple weeks, has been to clear off the memory cards to make room for more.

It has been a warmer than usual July with several record breaking days of 30+ degrees, and often with a humidex of close to 40°C. We’re quick to complain but the weather reports jokingly remind us of the -30 degree temperatures in February.

Anchored Boat off Charlottetown, PEI

Today’s Image – Anchored Down

A calm and colourful (but bug filled) evening across the harbour (N 46 12.470 W 63 08.795) from Charlottetown showing a little bit of contrasting elements with the powered rowboat and the more luxurious yacht in the background.


Sources of Inspiration

After reading a few comments by an upset photographer who was infuriated at a painter for recreating his image, my first though was, no big deal, the landscape isn’t going anywhere. Before reading these comments, I had also given permission to a friend of a friend (who I’ve never met) to recreated some of my own images as their own paintings. For personal and non commercial practices, it’s harmless and flattering.

But when does it cross the fair use line because after the first few paintings, it became complicated when a local print lab requested permission to print the files from my website. While this still doesn’t bother me in theory, and feel free to print web files at home, I decided to decline permission to a professional print lab.


Today’s Image – Damen

But what if the tables are turned? Photographers copy photographers all the time. Long before I owned a camera and for lack of better terms, Bert Monroy has been a long time hero of mine and the reason I started using Photoshop and a Wacom tablet. Bert is a digital painter who creates realistic digital paintings with more details than most printers can handle. In my copycat mindset, the last time I was in Chicago, I made an effort to take the blue line out to the Daemon stop to experience one of Berts paintings in person. This painting completed in 2006 made photoshop news around the world for the shear volume of numbers. 120 inches long, 1.7GB when flattened, 11 months and 2,000 hours to create, 15,000 photoshop layers, 500 alpha channels and 250,000 paths. It was incredible.

However, while sitting there at the station, I took my own photo. Whether it was to compare later or simply to say “I was here”, the complete composition of the image I made that day was the direct result of Bert’s interpretation of the scene. I’ll never hide this fact but is that copyright infringement?

An interesting debate.