The older we get, the faster time starts to move and here we are already looking at a 2012 calendar. Best wishes in what ever adventures the new year will bring you. I know the list of tasks I want to accomplish this year is already fairly long.
Today started as a very grey and rainy day with no signs of any chance of sunlight through the thick overcast. With a few hours to kill before a meeting, I started driving out of town with the intentions of looking for locations when the weather was not so dull. What I was not expecting was the sky to completely open up after about 30 minutes of driving west of Summerside and by sunset – having 60 minutes of clear skies.
Today’s Image – Cape Egmont Lighthouse
This evening to kick start 2012 was particularly challenge with cold temperatures and wind gusts almost reaching 50km/h. Wind is for sure more difficult to shoot in then freezing temperatures. Add the salt water spray from the sea to a 25 second exposure in the wind and you get this oddly foggy image from a dirty lens. I still think it’s a keeper. The Lighthouse in Cape Egmont is located at N 46 24.107 W 64 08.002 and relatively easy to access via a single lane gravel road.
90% of all the images I publish have very basic post processing. My workflow is often simply running through the Lightroom development panel from bottom to top adjusting color, contrast and taking full advantage of the histogram before exporting for web. However, on occasion, the image is still missing something but shows potential. And that’s when I send the file to Photoshop to start experimenting.
The December issue of PhotographyBB Magazine is out and I was kindly asked by Dave Seeram to contribute a guest post-processing article describing this very situation. The image I decided to use was of an abandoned pier on the North Shore of Prince Edward Island.
If you would like to attempt the steps on your own as practice, I’m making the original raw DNG file for your own personal use available for download. (Lightroom’s “Zeroed” preset applied)
And I feel it’s necessary to note that while some editing should be expected, several changes were made to the copy using the first-person context which left me scratching my head. I’ve never been fond of the word “punch” to describe an image but the editor decided I should say it twice…. ah well.
Today’s Image – Abandoned Pier
Located near the St. Peters Lighthouse at N 46 26.555 W 62 44.495, several rows of posts remain at the entrance to St Peters Harbour.
For what feels like forever, I have listed a book on www.stephendesroches.com as coming soon and to check back in late 2011. While I did receive my artist’s proof previews, I decided to keep them for Christmas Gifts and not tell anyone. Well, by now the books have been opened which means I can now talk about it.
The following 9 photos are a preview of a trial run limited edition 12×12 160 page hard cover book. (details to order will come in a few weeks)
Today’s Image – My Prince Edward Island Book
I’m pleased with the results and will move forward with a final release after a couple edits. The images in this book are exclusively created on Prince Edward Island over the past 3 or 4 years. While I do include the locations of each image, I decided to lay this book out as a portfolio that only focuses on the images. You’ll not find any stories or additional information of each photograph.
An excerpt from the introduction:
Keeping photography fun is an exciting task. Endless resources of information and much to learn without any pressure or expectations. The idea of recording the world onto single frames is an exercise that forces a closer look at light, colors and shapes. Either it be at home on quiet Prince Edward Island or the occasional travel to much larger cities, a camera in hand has become as common as carrying identification. The desire to become better is stronger then ever but at the end of each day; it’s still all for fun.
It has been mostly a non-white December but here on the eve of Christmas, we may have just received enough snow for it to stay. Where ever you may be reading this – seasons greetings on this holiday weekend.
Today’s Image – Enjoying the Snow
A quick photo of our girl during a break from playing in the new snow.
In early March 2011, Humanitarian Photographer Jeffrey Chapman sent out a simple tweet asking for help for a very small non profit group in Thailand called AmFree. A project by Jaime Yeretzian. While I could try and describe her story – my original email from Jeffrey does a much better job:
The organization is called AmFree Karen. It’s run by an American girl, Jaime, who lives in an orphanage in the middle of nowhere on the border of Thailand in order to be close to the women who work on the project. (The women are in a village near the orphanage but not part of the orphanage.) Basically she has taught them to knit. They’re making wool ski hats. They’re very nice hats, and the women involved in the project have a blast when they meet for their knitting circles. I had a great time with them.
Jaime has a website (http://www.amfreekaren.com/), but it could be a lot better. She’s done an amazing job at teaching these women to knit and is currently selling the hats at a single ski shop in Utah. If she could expand the market, then she could train a lot more women, including those in the nearby Mae La refugee camp. Women in that camp have virtually nothing to do as they wait for resettlement, which can take more than a decade. This issue is particularly close to me as I do a lot of work locally with Karen refugees who are being resettled in the US. So I’m kind of attracted to this project because it helps a group that I’m already personally invested in helping but also because it’s well-organized, well-run and is providing a real and viable opportunity to women in need.
Let me know if it sounds interesting to you.
I enjoy Jeffrey’s work and responded by offering to answer questions to help get things started. While Jeffrey is so kindly giving me more credit then I feel I deserve, it’s important that this site was the work and creation of Jaime. The website has been running for about two months now using e-junkie as the payment/product manager on top of the very easy to use Weebly wysiwyg platform. The two in combination allows for fairly easy maintenance with no fees or html experience.
I wish Jaime much success.
What a busy month. After returning on Nov 15th, it has been three weeks of little to no photography. My days, evenings, sometimes nights have been mostly occupied with design and post processing behind a desk. Add the quickly approaching holiday season and if feels like time has completely disappeared.
In fact, the only time the camera has left the house was for a college football championship that I was asked to cover – which I gladly did. Next to landscapes and nature – sports photography is just as exciting and challenging. Both styles has that feel of a hunt for a perfect frame with no second chances. Here are 55 images from the game on Facebook. Congrats to our local team.
Today’s Image – Bryce Canyon National Park
Bryce Canyon is a land of hoodoos – several tall, thin spire rock formations. While preparing for this trip, I was warned several times that not only was I heading towards top tourist destinations but also top destinations for photographers. While prepared for the typical everyone has a camera in today’s world situation, I was still shocked at the numbers. I am use to being alone until 7am or later and even this close to winter, it felt like every hiker in Zion National Park was carrying a tripod. In Bryce, the trails were lined with tripods all pointing in the same direction. When I arrived about an hour before sunrise, it felt like I was late to some party. I had also stumbled into several workshops on 3 different days.
I have now shared 26 images from my American Southwest trip but still only scratching the survace of what might be good enough to share. There will be many more to come. See them all on Facebook.
It has been fairly quiet around here. I rebrand and launch a new focused on light weblog and then disappeared on an extended 25 day trip through the Southwest United States. I had every intention of staying online and keeping up but that failed miserably. However, I’m now home and ready to play catch up.
Last summer I traveled the Canadian Rockies so this trip was designed specifically to build a portfolio of the USA landscape. It may take a lifetime to generate a portfolio of fantastic images but my hope was to come home with at least 20 good photographs.
Mentioned already on the social media circle, this 25 day trip consisted of 4 States, 3 Timezones, 6 Airports, 8 Flights, 3 Rental Cars, 4400km driven, 5 National Parks, 2 Reservations, 11 Hotels, Temperatures from -15 to +26C and now 135GB of files to sort. On an unrelated note, I’m pleased to say that free internet was available everywhere.
As a first time visit, I hit all the well known and often photographed hot spots. I plan on taking my time at sorting through the good, bad and ugly and will occasionally post photos over the next little while.
Today’s Image – Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
Monument Vally (Wiki Article) is mostly known for three sandstone buttes standing as tall as 1000 feet from the valley floor. The elders of the Navajo continue to live on these lands without many of the items like running water that we take for granted. This view shot from the “photographers platform” is a very common shot so weather, light and season is all we really have to be different. As the sun was setting and the shadows quickly moved across the scene, I tried several settings (72 to be exact) over the span of 2 hours and eventually settled with this one after the sun had set evenly covering the valley in shadow. Using a polarizer, 6 stop neutral density and a 5 stop split grad, I created this 62 second exposure to build as much movement and blur in the sky but still maintain some cloud identity.
For the past 4 years, Scott Kelby has organized a World Wide Photo Walk – a simple social event where several people get together for a small period of time and make images along a predetermined route. What’s different here, is that Scott has managed to organize a walk to take place in over 1100 cities with 30,000 participants all on the same day. The first year, I was lucky enough to be in Vancouver during the date and joined leader David duChemin but since then, I have organized and led the PEI leg of the walk. (2011, 2010, 2009 / group photos)
Today’s Image – Cavendish Beach
With so many locations, it’s impossible for everyone to have perfect weather and unfortunately it was our turn to get the rain. The forecast was actually a heavy rain and high winds storm warning and 60mm of rain falling the day before. Despite this challenge, many walkers still attended this grey morning. I like my colors but due to a foggy and dull morning with little to no color in the sky – black and white it is. (N 46 29.962 W 63 23.376)
The fall season on Prince Edward Island is well under way and the leaves are quickly dieing, changing color and falling to the ground. Although this time of year leading up to winter is great for colors, the window of opportunity is limited to only a couple weeks. As I prepare for an extended photo trip off Island, I have been hoping to get at least a few images of autumn while I have the chance.
Today’s Image – Bells Pond
A popular spot within the Islands Photo Clubs, Bells Pond (N 46 23.429 W 63 20.373) feels like an all too often visited location in New Glasgow but after 2 hours of hunting for fall colors, I finally gave up and headed to this familiar spot around 9am. It was a very windy morning with all kinds of motion. After several attempts (98 to be exact) on angles and the right amount of motion, the one I actually selected to share here happens to be the first. While I did try f16 and higher, this image was at f8 at 30s using a polarizer and a 10-stop ND.