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Click for moreSep 30, 2009 - Art for Auction

Recently I shot art work for Autism Ontario. They are hosting an Art Auction and needed some photos of a few pieces to use for marketing purposes.

Photographing art can be tricky, especially when you're dealing with various kinds of media. The pieces photographed included acrylic on canvas, ink on paper, and many of the works are surrounded by gorgeous frames.

To capture both the details of the art while preserving the detail of the frames, a rather simple approach was used. Daylight-temperature lamps were positioned in a way that they would light the art while modeling the fine details of the frames. For the more textured canvas pieces, the main light was moved more to the side to highlight the canvas.

Each art piece was shot using 3-5 exposures with a tripod-mounted camera. These exposures were later merged together using the HDR technique to preserve the widest possible range of tones.

If you're interested in attending the Autism Ontario Auction, it takes place on October 7th 2009. For more information please visit the auction web page, or Autism Ontario's web site.

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Click for moreSep 6, 2009 - Hawks and Angels at YYZ

This weekend The Canadian International Air Show celebrated its 60th anniversary and the 100th year of powered flight in Canada.

Watching departures at Toronto's Pearson International (YYZ) was a great place to get close to some fast machines!

Special features of the 2009 show were the Blue Angels in their FA/18 Hornets, The Fat Albert C130, and a CF-18 Hornet, Hawk and Tudor all donning Centennial celebration markings.

It was cool to listen to radio transmissions as the returning pilots requested fly-by persission from the tower and took turns doing low passes over YYZ before landing.

Many other planes flew at the show including the miraculous Snowbirds, P51 Mustangs, a Spitfire and more.

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Click for moreMay 9, 2009 - Glad to be out of jail...

Today the 22 Division of Toronto Police held a community open house where the public could meet the local police, police liaison committee, Toronto EMS and Toronto Fire Services. Admission was free but I did bring a bag of non-perishables to donate to the food bank.

It was nice to be able to speak with the police while at ease, rather than all nervous like on those very rare occasions when I get pulled over for a driving infraction. It was also interesting to reacquaint myself with the back of a police car, ah yes, fond memories, but no I don't have a criminal record.

The open house at 22 Division was geared for young and old. There was music and a barbeque, and information booths where you could learn about different facets of the Police and Emergency Services.

I visited the mobile R.I.D.E. testing facility, where we discussed the new, more rigid rules related to drinking and driving. It's reassuring to know that with the new rules, the police will be able to better track people found driving under the influence. Even if someone is within the legal limit, if they blow over 0.5, they will now be recorded in the system, a process that previously didn't take place.

Also present at the open house were two of the canine officers, one the drug and explosive sniffing expert, and a german sheppard skilled at finding people and helping with apprehension.

Seeing "Blinkie", the charismatic police vehicle brought back memories, I don't think I've seen him since I was in gradeschool.

The police also treated visitors to a tour of 22 Division. We were taken through the booking area, shown the holding cells, and then taken downstairs to the shooting range.

Memories of my non-existent fantasy career as a C.S.I. came flashing back when I saw the shooting range and body shaped targets. A few spent shells were collected, to use in my ongoing macro photography investigations, and yes, I will probably study the striations to see if they match up.

All humour aside, it was an enjoyable experience to socialize with the police. They're a very honourable, professional and respectable group of folks tasked with an increasingly tough job of keeping our community safe. It was nice for them to open their doors and show what goes on behind the scenes.

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