Tag Archives: creative photography

Beyond fair weather photography

This week’s Photo of the Week is of a distant island on a frozen lake, in the middle of a raging blizzard. I think the conditions made for a great photo. Composition is simple, there’s no distracting colour, and the ripples of the snow on the windswept lake offer some texture. The image IS in colour, not black and white. It’s just that there wasn’t any colour – not in the white out conditions I was in.

It’s not the first time I’ve been out in a raging blizzard making images. I don’t always get the opportunity to head out in those conditions. But when I do, I enjoy it. It allows for a whole suite of completely different creative opportunities than on most of my photo outings.

A cattail marsh in the midst of a raging blizzard. The only colour was from the dead cattails in the foreground. The conditions allow for simple compositions.

A cattail marsh in the midst of a raging blizzard. The only colour was from the dead cattails in the foreground. The conditions allow for simple compositions.

The image above is memorable as I stopped at the side of a quiet rural road, about 5 km from my house. It was just a really quick stop to grab an image that caught my eye and so I left the car running, the windshield wipers on the car were on full because the snowflakes were coming down big and heavy, the heat was on full blast and I had Christmas songs blasting on the CD player. My big 600 mm lens was in the back seat…. I pulled over to the side of the road so I could safely make my image. When I do this, I usually leave the car window open or the door ajar because I don’t trust self-locking vehicles. But the snow was coming down so heavy, I couldn’t leave the window open. And hey, I was only stopping for a minute to make a photo….

I got back to the car and the doors were locked. All of them! Even though the self-locking mechanism isn’t supposed to engage while the car is running, but is not in gear, well, my car didn’t read the manual. It was locked up tighter than a drum! So here I am, a few hours before dark, on a pretty isolated road, in the middle of nowhere, in a raging blizzard. Oh, and my cell phone was sitting on the front seat, along with my jacket and mitts. Luckily I was wearing a heavy sweater, skidoo boots and the temperatures were only just below freezing. But still…..

I had a choice – break one of the windows so I could get back in my car, or start walking toward home and hope like heck someone came by so I could flag them down. I wasn’t actually worried so much about the car, even though it was running, lights were on, etc. I was more worried about my 600 mm lens, sitting in the back seat and visible. Usually I have the seat belt on her and she’s covered. But today I was in a hurry. Taking shortcuts is always a bad idea…

So, I chose to walk. Fortunately, it was only about 10 minutes when  car came by. They had a cell phone. So I called my husband and had him bring the spare keys. So, a note to those with a self-locking vehicle. Don’t trust it! I now drive a car with manual only locks. I like that much better.

The view on my walk to get help.

The view on my walk to get help.

So, the moral of my story is definitely go out in this crazy weather and make images. Just do it safely. Driving conditions can be hairy and well, there are crazy things like auto-locks. But those aside, have fun with the creative conditions at hand.

The colours in this birch thicket caught my eye. I liked how the blowing snow muted those colours but also created a diagonal texture to the image.

The colours in this birch thicket caught my eye. I liked how the blowing snow muted those colours but also created a diagonal texture to the image.

An old barn off the road. The fence and dead grasses in the foreground contrast with the hazy view of the barn. The blowing snow gave the image some texture.

An old barn off the road. The fence and dead grasses in the foreground contrast with the hazy view of the barn. The blowing snow gave the image some texture.

Next blizzard or foggy day, I hope you get out with your camera. Most ‘normal’ people choose to stay inside when the weather is foul. But us photographers see the creative potential and so, instead of curling by the fire, we grab our gear and hit the road.

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Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Landscape, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography, Winter

Photo of the Week – For The Love Of Flowers

This week’s photo of the week from 44th Parallel Photography is about flower photography. This week I published my first e-book, a book about fine art flower photography. The process of putting together that book meant that I had to look through a lot of images. But doing so reminded me of my photographic journey. I’ve come a long way in six years. It also reminded me of my sources of inspiration. Check out my Photo of the Week to learn who my influences are for my flower photography.

Click on the thumbnail below to see the Photo of the Week.

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Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Flowers, learning, Macro photography, Nature, nature photography, photography, plants

NEW e-book for sale – Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips

I’m happy to announce that my new e-book on fine art flower photography is now for sale. You can purchase it from Photo44 Press on my website, 44th Parallel Photography.

 Flowers is a 109 page full colour e-book available as a downloadable pdf file for only $8.95 CDN.

What’s the book about?

This book is all about teaching you how to make your own beautiful fine art photos of flowers.  It will open up a whole new world of image-making to many photographers, new and advanced. You’ll learn about key aspects of making great flower images (e.g. depth of field, focus, lighting etc). But this book is about far more than just  technical aspects of producing great flower photos. It’s all about illustrating creative approaches and providing inspiration, about getting you outside your comfort zone to broaden your photography. It’s about learning new ways of seeing, developing a photographic vision, and enhancing and honing your creative skills to make stunning fine art flower images.

I love to teach and I truly believe that people learn best by doing and by seeing concrete examples. So not only have I provided detailed descriptions of techniques for you to practice and master, but I’ve also provided loads of examples of how I have used these techniques and creative approaches myself, to achieve specific results. Each image in the book has a description of how the image was made, so that you can see exactly how certain techniques and approaches yield specific results. For some images, I explain my thinking behind the image-making process and what led me to achieve the final result. Understanding why a certain approach is used is just as important as understanding  how it is used. With this book, you’ll learn both.

What’s in the book?

I cover the following topics:

  • Flower portraiture

  • Depth of field

  • Lighting

  • Selective focus

  • Composition

  • Indoors vs. outdoors

  • Macrophotography

  • Image processing

  • Equipment

  • And…. a large section on creative photography techniques, including multiple exposure, panning, zooming, image overlay, Lensbaby and a whole lot more!

What does the book look like?

Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips is a 109 page full colour pdf e-book that you purchase as a downloadable file. You can view it on any device – desktop or laptop computer, iPad, Android tablet, or even your smartphone.

The book is brimming with vibrant, colour images illustrating each technique and creative approach.

Here are some sample pages….

For more page samples, click HERE.

To purchase Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips, click HERE.

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Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, equipment, Flowers, learning, Macro photography, Nature, nature photography, Photo-impressionism, photography, plants, technique, Vision, Wildflowers

Photo of the Week – Lensbaby Maple Leaves

This week’s Photo of the Week is focused on fall colours again (who can resist?!), but with a twist. I used a Lensbaby to make this image. I love the way it distorts portions of the image and can spice up a ‘pattern’ shot, but creating a vignette of distortion and splotches of colour. I love what the Lensbaby does to trees and so this time of year is my favourite to swap the zoom lens for the Lensbaby and get out into the forest. For this image, I used a medium-aperture insert (sorry, no real f-stop is associated with the inserts you use to manipulate depth of field or in this case, more accurately, the portion of the image in focus) to ensure that enough of the image was in focus and that only the margins of the image would be distorted.

If you own a Lensbaby, I hope you get out before the fall colours disappear. They really are a lot of fun to play with.

Click on the thumbnail below to see 44th Parallel Photography’s Photo of the Week.

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Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, equipment, Fall, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography

Lanark County Colours

Today I spent part of the day driving around Lanark County, where I live, and into North Frontenac County, here in Ontario. This year’s show of fall colours has been nothing short of spectacular. Because of our drought this summer, it was predicted that the fall colours would be far more muted than usual. In fact, this fall has been just the opposite, with some of the most vibrant colours in years!

Nothing soothes the soul more than driving along a quiet country road, soaking in the vibrant colours of fall. Here are some photos from today’s outing.

Wishing all of you here in Canada, a Happy Thanksgiving. Take a moment to reflect on the things you are grateful for, especially the people you love most. And cherish every moment with them.

Poplar Leaf

Balance

Subtlety

Maple and Birch

Maple and Birch II

Birch Bark

Maple Vibrance

Muted

Contrast

Cattails

Birch and Gold

Golden Forest

Reaching

Orange Poplar

Craggy Poplar

Forest Mystique I

Forest Mystique II

Don’t know about you, but I”m rooting for the turkey! Travel safely this holiday weekend.

Vibrance


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Filed under Abstracts, Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Fall, Landscape, Nature, nature photography, Photo-impressionism, photography, plants

A New E-book, Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips

This month, my new e-book, Flowers: fine art photography techniques and tips will be on sale through the 44th Parallel Photography website. Over 100 pages of photos, descriptions of techniques, examples, and inspiration to help you make beautiful flower images.

I’ll be posting an announcement in the next few weeks on how to purchase the e-book online.

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Filed under Creative Photography, Digital Photography, equipment, Flowers, learning, Macro photography, Nature, nature photography, Photo-impressionism, photography, plants, technique, technology, Vision, Wildflowers

Photo of the Week – Dandelion in Monochrome

It’s been a busy few weeks and so I missed last week’s Photo of the Week. But it’s back, this time in black and white. I don’t actually shoot many monochrome images, but this was a good reminder of how converting an image to monochrome (or shooting it in monochrome) can completely alter the image. In this case, the lack of colour focused more attention on the lines and shapes in the image – the things that intrigued me and motivated me to make images of the dandelion seed head in the first place.

Click on the thumbnail below to see 44th Parallel Photography’s Photo of the Week.

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Filed under Creative Photography, Digital Photography, Macro photography, Nature, nature photography, Photo of the Week, photography, plants