Blog Archives

Fun in the Sky – PEI Aerial Photography

I spend alot of time looking at maps. Either it be paper or software, I like having that overview visual of any location I’m photographing. In fact – When the software I use to keep my images organized announced all the newest and latest features – I was most excited for the ability to tag images to a digital map. Having this overview is great but seeing it for yourself is a completely different experience and what can be better then flying over Prince Edward Island in a small 4 seater Cessna?

Holding out for good weather can be frustrating but I recently took to the skies for my first flight of 2012. Here are just a few of the images created in early July 2012.

I really need to do this more often.

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Atlantic Canada International Air Show

Last year, PEI enjoyed the return of an Air Show to Slemon Park, Summerside and although mother nature forced a cancellation on Sundays activities, Saturday surely did not disappoint with several high adrenaline performances of death defying stunts. With the United States Navy Blue Angels headlining the show this year, every aviation fan will want to be in Summerside August 26th. The Air Show Atlantic Insider members already have their tickets and general tickets go on sale this Monday, July 9th at airshowatlantic.ca.

Atlantic Canada Air Show

The duo of Gary Ward Airshows and Bearfeat Aerobatics. The green MX2 puts on a show jam packed with gyrations that range from zero speed hovers to dives in excess of 250 mph. The red, white and blue Skybot 300 is the only air show airplane flying that was built in the living room of a condominium.

Here are a few more images from last years show previously shared on Facebook.

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Iceland

After an intese 17 days of travel around the coastline of Iceland, I’m home again and settling back into the second half of spring here on Prince Edward Island. Now begins the battle to organize, sort, process, back up and start sharing the results. If you wish not to wait until I prepare future blog posts, I have been sharing images faster on Facebook and Google Plus.

Iceland Sunset

Today’s Image – An Everlasting Iceland Sunset

There is a significant difference between the north and south coast of Iceland, but the slow moving sun would start to set around 7pm and last until 1am — only to rise again shortly after. There was little need to feel rushed with the exception of the rapidly changing weather. With almost 24 hours of daylight and the sun only dipping below the horizon line for about 90 minutes, I was getting half of my sleep in the back of the van between locations. It was an interesting adjustment to come home to a night sky and see darkness for the first time in over 2 weeks.

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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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