Blog Archives

Reflect on Time

Iceland has a rich landscape made of fields, mountains, volcanos, lava fields, deserts, ash beaches, glaciers, snow, ice and waterfalls in every direction. The Iceland landscape has a little bit of everything and while I’m not ready to return home from a photographic point of view, I am eager to get back out on the coast of Prince Edward Island to experience the last half of the spring season.

But I will surely miss the 4 hour sunsets and 24 hours of light.

Sunset Reflections

Today’s Image – Reflections

The simplistic landscape of a clear water beach in Annandale, Prince Edward Island (N 46 16.136 W 62 26.806) and working the reflecting sky in the light water ripples.

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Golden Sand

The blue/yellow polarizing filter is something I rarely use but when I arrived at the beach and realized I had forgotten my standard neutral polarizer — that was as good of an excuse as any to add some color.

Today’s Image – Golden Sand

Sand ripples and reflections in Brackley Beach, PEI National Park.

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Big Week of Birding

I am still not a very good birder. I can hear them. Sometimes I can see them. But more often than not, I can’t identify them. If I’m lucky, they’ll land at a close enough distance for an ok photograph.

It’s now June and we’re in the middle of birding week.
The full schedule of events is posted on the Parks Canada website.

“Prince Edward Island National Park is hosting its first-ever Big Week of Birding June 1-10 in honour of its 75th anniversary and inviting beginner and advanced birders to take part” – The Guardian

Today’s Image – The Iconic Bald Eagle

The Gaspereau are running and it’s the season when the eagles gather around the shore lines to feed on fish. While the images I made were not technically perfect, they are still pretty good reference shots. For a giant intimidating bird, they are extremely fearful and incredibly difficult to get close to on Prince Edward Island.

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A Photographers Travel Checklist

It’s that time again when I must recheck and recheck again to make sure I have all the necessities before packing the camera on a plane and traveling off to a location not-so-close to home. I will soon be in Iceland with a few photographer friends and while packing light is always the priority — having enough to get by for a couple weeks is a concern as well.

My pack list from my American Southwest adventure this past fall proved to be successful but I must admit with all the restrictions and frustrations of travel — I do miss the days when all I had was a small pocket camera.

Virgin River, Zion National Park, Utah

Today’s Image – Virgin River in Zion National Park

In the spirit of travel and because I’m not yet in Iceland, today’s image is flash back from my November trip to the Southwest National Parks. The first stop was Zion National Park and here I am along side the Pa’rus trail (N 37 12.894 W 112 58.524) in the Virgin River looking south.

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The Handcuffs and Temptation of Stock Agencies

Someone finds your work on Flickr. They contact Getty Images to buy it. Getty Images contacts you for permission to sell it to their buyer. Do you do it?

Yesterday, I received two more requests from a potential Getty customer wanting to license my work for commercial use. I’m not told the price in advance. They simply want a yes or no answer.

But it’s not a guaranteed sale either. Whether it sells for $20, for $400, or maybe not at all, you loose the right to ever license that image or any other similar images again without going through Getty. At this point, Getty now owns the exclusive distribution rights with a no competition contract. A tough pill to swallow but maybe I value my own work too much.

To date, I have had 27 requests but have only accepted one as a “what if” test. I offered Getty that single image and while it did indeed sell, the royalty margins are the typical low. The Flickr collection is all royalty free and in this particular case, Getty licensed my image for their standard price of $382.50. They keep 80% of it leaving me with $76.50 before the IRS steps in (Canadians can file to get it back) and claims another 30% of that earnings dropping my payout to $53.55. I suppose $53 is better than nothing?

Turning down sales and commercial publication is very hard but the value Getty offers for 80% on a royalty free sale could be argued. But what do I know? I have local photographer friends that were able to quit their day job due to sales through iStockphoto alone — and those royalties are as low as $2 per sale.

On the flip side, the Parks and People Association are releasing a book next month to celebrate the 75th anniversary of PEI National Park and it has several of my images inside. If I would have accepted all 27 of those requests, I would not have been able to offer the images I did for this publication.

The “what if” temptation is strong and something I have now resisted for a very long time. While the argument can be made for both sides — it is hard not to wonder what would have happened if I uploaded all of my work, gave away my distributions rights and accepted the 80/20 business model.

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The Dance With Wildlife

It can be challenging at the best of times to come close enough with wildlife. There is always that dance to position yourself in the hopes you do not disturb or scare the bird into flying away. You repeat the cycle of slowing moving closer as they slowly move further away. With each step closer, you fire off a few frames just in case it’s your last.

This small Red-winged Blackbird was special and tolerated my presence more than usual. However, what I was not expecting, was right before I got to that “I can almost fill the frame” distance, my cell phone started to ring.

Coincidence or not and now patent pending — this little guy answered the call.

Red-winged Blackbird

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Prince Edward Island Prints

I have been enjoying printing so much with the new printer, I mentioned last week that I would mail out a free print to a random commenter on Facebook. I had a hard time selecting only 1 — so I selected 4 names from the 161 entries I received (If I could, I’d send something to everyone). After copying all the names into a spreadsheet, I asked my soon-to-be-wife across the room for 2 random numbers and then I used random.org to select two more names. The 4 recipients by random draw were Paula Hughes, Wendy Mumma, Noel Clancey and Amber Phillips. Thank you to all those that were interested.

Lets do this again in late June but here on the blog to avoid the no contests on Facebook TOS. Subscribe to this blog by email or by rss if you would like to stay informed of future print give aways.

If you would still like a print now, for the next week until May 27th 2012, I will ship any 8.5×11 print you want for a reduced introduction price of $20 (shipping and taxes included).

Visit www.stephendesroches.com/prints for complete details.

Prince Edward Island Prints

Today’s Image – Prince Edward Island Fine Art Photography Prints

All prints are created on a heavy 300+ g/m² fine art acid-free paper using the latest in Epsons Ultrachrome K3 inks. Printed on 8.5×11 sheets with large white borders, the dimensions of the image are custom to the artist and will require custom matting. To make this truly fine art, I do not want to be hand cuffed by pre-determined paper or frame sizes. 8×10 is just not acceptable for everything.

Examples on how to mat are listed here: www.stephendesroches.com/prints

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Changing of the Seasons

Spring is well under way and with the snow and ice long gone — temperatures often still require dressing fairly warm with hats and gloves. The water is moving, shades of green are filling in and before long, summer will be here and I’ll be complaining how hot is it. ;-)

Island Spring Stream

Today’s Image – Island Spring Stream

Nature at times can be quite a mess of details and colours. Here’s trying to organize and make sense of it all in a single image. There is a fair bit to absorb in this one.

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2012 Canada East Wrestling

This past weekend, wrestlers from as far away as Ontario gathered in Charlottetown for the 2012 Canada East Wrestling Festival. Over the course of two days, several hundred matches took place and I joined Spin Photo Sports Photography and The Picture Guy as an additional shooter on the mat.

After 8 hours of not stop coverage shooting from mat level, I feel like I might have been in a match myself. This and the next 25 images are some of my favourites from what I shot on Saturday.

Canada East Wrestling Tournament - 2012 Charlottetown, PEI

The color files and prints are available from the Spin Photo website.

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