Photo of the Week 2020-03-23

Self isolation, social distancing, staying inside, working from home, sheltering in place ... 

Whatever term you choose, it's provided a great opportunity (excuse) for me to isolate at the computer and dive into my archive. Along with recently joining a 'Forgotten Ontario' group on Facebook, this has me revisiting images from past Urbex / Rurex outings. My first "rediscovery" was a series of images I made back in 2009 at the former (now demolished) Massey Ferguson facility in Brantford, ON. Click here to see  the full gallery of images.

Nearing the end of reviewing the almost 200 images, I came across one that had previously not been given more than a cursory look. Whether it's the light cast on the brick wall, the textures, the wonderful colours, the open door or the quirky angles that are just a touch off balancing, I became completely entranced with this one ...

... so entranced actually that I decided it needed to be printed and framed for the wall.



Photo of the Week 2020-03-16

It's the middle of March and I find myself in a time lacking photographic inspiration from the outside world. Gone are the wondrous scenes blanketed in freshly laid layers of snow, the invigorating outings in cold, crisp air. I am resigned to sit patiently and wait for the arrival of spring with it's fresh green new growth, the bright colours of wildflowers and returning birdsong. 

I will still venture out, camera in hand, but these next few weeks are likely to be filled with reflection and anticipation rather than collection of fresh, new images. Knowing this would be the case, I've been flagging photos as possible blog post candidates and will begin this week with one (or two) that I "saved" from an outing just a few weeks ago.

On an outing to capture the frosted fresco provided by Mother Nature along the Wilson Flats, I concluded by driving along the road that follows the Grand River valley west of Elora. On the search for a vantage point to photograph the frosted river valley a roadside frost rimmed tree caught my eye and ...

Sunshine Valley Rimmed in Frost
... it made the perfect foreground for a shot out over the landscape into the morning sun. For the main image, I chose to close down the aperture to f/22 to get the sunburst effect. Other images were made without the sunburst but I prefer this one.

As I frequently do, I made compositions of the scene in both 'landscape' and 'portrait' orientation, both of which worked in this case.

Sunshine Valley Rimmed in Frost II



Photo of the Week 2020-03-09

Shooting as much as I do, it's easy for images to slide further and further back into lesser seen sections of the catalogue. I've taken to flagging images in various ways in an effort to minimize this. Some are flagged for future processing, others are processed and flagged as candidates for posting, still others, the best, are flagged to be printed.Still, some fall through the cracks and it's a pleasant surprise when they are "rediscovered".

Recently while performing some file maintenance on the image catalogue recently, I spotted shot that I had planned to work on but, as happens, had found a crack. Perhaps because it is and infrared capture that typically needs some processing to evaluate properly, I had not flagged it, perhaps because I was focused on another series of images. I can't recall.

"Rediscovered", I immediately flagged it and later processed it with standard Red-Blue channel swap, cropped in the Golden Ratio and processed it with a little contrast tweak.

Spring Creek - IR

This week's photo was captured one morning while exploring the backroads of the Bruce Peninsula. After making some conventional exposures of the scene, I used the infrared modified EOS M to capture this scene with 590 nm filter. 



Photo of the Week 2020-03-02

A variety of looks and moods just by seeking out all that a location has to offer during a single outing ...

When the day started crisp and cold with traces of frost on everything out the front window, I knew I had to grab some gear and head out. There were a number of locations that came to mind so I just started driving and eventually chose to visit some favoured spots along the Grand River, west of Inverhaugh.

Hoping to find frost covered scenery, I wasn't disappointed as I turned onto the road heading down to Wilson Flats. The sun was still low in the morning sky, highlighting the frost rimmed branches of trees and anything else in the low lying flood plain.

The question was "where to start". There were so many options for what to shoot and I certainly didn't want to loose the magical atmosphere after the sun had climbed higher in the sky. So I took a deep breath, looked around and just start shooting ...

framed in frost
frosting on the cake
frost flower - in blue
steam frost


Grand Winter Pano

All images were shot in a 45 minute window, only "steam frost" was shot a short drive from the others, all made at Wilson Flats within a few hundred meters of each other just looking in different directions. 



Photo of the Week 2020-02-24

"It looks like a painting" - Compliment or not ?

Windswept Winter I

The comment "It looks like a painting" is one I see made on photographs from time to time. In fact one of my recent photos, the one featured above in this post, received it a number of times. As the photographer, I'm not sure whether to be flattered or a little offended.

Presumably the viewers making the comment intend it to be a compliment, but let's briefly question their choice to use a painting as the comparator. Is it that they are recognizing the artistic talent required to create a painting and are making the comparison with that in mind? Are they judging that the photograph is over processed and crossed the line losing connection to the original capture. Do they see painting as a "higher" form of art than photography and mean to suggest that the photograph is approaching that level? Do they really like it and not know what else to say? All are possibilities.

Then there is the debate around whether photography is truly an art form, one which I think you can guess which side I'm on. It's a debate that goes back to the very invention of photography. While there has been greater and greater acceptance of photography as an art form over the years, there are still those who say nay. And here in lies the 'niggle' with me. The comment "it looks like a painting" almost comes across as saying "it's nearly there" or "not quite" or "good try but it will never be an actual painting".

You might want to check out this link to an interesting bit on Photos That Look Like Paintings.

Here is a collage of several images I made on the outing that produced the one above. Quite a productive outing I might add. It's a bit unusual for me to get several 'keepers' from a single outing or more precisely a single spot during an outing. They've all been posted to my social media streams over the past few days and yes, more than one received the comment "it looks like a paining".

As to me being "a little offended" at the comment, I'm not really ... well, maybe just a little.

Edit: Here is another link that may readers may find interesting "The Bastard Art".