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Click for moreOct 6, 2012 - Fall Road Tour - Hockley Valley

For the second outing of the Thanksgiving long weekend weekend, Hockley Valley and Caledon were visited, including a very interesting location called the Cheltenham Badlands, where there must've been 50 people with cameras taking in the scene.

Overall, these areas were perhaps most enjoyable as a drive but were also rewarding for photography too.

Some of the photos taken were done using multiple exposures and the HDR technique. I'm still not sure about the HDR technique, and am actually finding that I prefer it for rendering artistic versions of photos more than accurate representations.

Regardless, it was nice to venture out into the Niagara Escarpment and see how the foliage was looking.

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Click for moreFeb 8, 2011 - Orchids - A year in the making

I don't brag about it a lot, but I sort of run a rehab clinic and homeless shelter for houseplants. After finishing blooming, many folks throw plants out in favour of something new, which is where I, the plant whisperer, come in.

In the case of this orchid, it was all bloomed out, trimmed, and my dog stepped on it and broke a leaf. Thankfully, the sorry story has a happy ending. This week, it finally rewarded me with 3 wonderful blooms, which of course I had to take pictures of, partially because Orchids are amazing looking plants, and partially because I'm so impressed I coaxed it to bloom.

If you're wondering how the plant was salvaged, it was achieved with a little help from Orchid fertilizer, avoiding heavy watering, and the occasional fertilizing with a mix of Starbucks Café Verona coffee grounds, puréed brown egg shells, rotten strawberries, and romaine lettuce leaves. I like to blend organics up and water my plants with it. The plants don't mind at all.

Photos were taken with 85mm and available light, and two shots with a 200mm lens mounted on extension tubes. The opening shot is an HDR triple exposure.

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Click for moreOct 1, 2009 - Life Imitating Art

A month ago I stumbled across a new magazine, "Color : For Collectors of Fine Art Photography", from the makers of B&W Magazine. The issue of Color I found was the Portfolio Contest Winners issue, and I was amazed and inspired by the range of photography shown. I was also amazed that there was hardly any text in the thick magazine, it was all imagery.

Taking tens of thousands of photos a year, one can find themself both developing a style, as well as perhaps sticking to the same kinds of things. Reflecting on my favourite photography subjects I realized I can sometimes be too literal with my shots. "This is a hawk, that is a bug on a flower". Viewing photos of a more artistic vein has inspired me to change things up.

This past weekend roaming around north of the city, I was attracted to the yellowing crops and how they were complimented by blue skies. I found the lines and vibrance very attractive. A few days later, I realized how similar one of my shots was to a favourite Van Gogh painting "View of Arles". I didn't have blue irises in my photo, but appreciated how well life was imitating art in this simple farm field.

I expect to do more abstract kinds of shooting in the future. This is yet another interesting avenue photography is taking me down. With nature (ie. bird) photography, it's important to render subjects as they were found and to avoid distorting the truth. With less literal, more abstract subjects, one has more latitude with processing and manipulation.

I won't abandon the things I like to shoot, but am eager to experiment with new views of the world around us.

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