My good friend Ken Bennison asked me to come with him on a trip up the West Branch this past weekend. But before I get to that, I should explain the title on this blog post. It came up as we were waiting for the light to be in the perfect spot, and for the wind to die down a bit.
Extremist is (what I learned on this trip) more or less what his own family affectionately calls him, and it refers to the way he approaches his photography. There is a very good reason why Ken is an incredible artist/landscape photographer. He does what a lot of other people wont do. He gets up at an ungodly hour, drive,hike or canoe for hours, (obviously not at the same time, but most of the time he will have to do all three to get to his location of choice.) And when he gets there he will explore the area, figure out what he want to shot, and wait for the perfect conditions to happen. Ken is not afraid to wait for hours for his shot. He knows exactly what he wants in a picture, and if the conditions aren’t there, he wont even take the camera out of the bag, because he wont be able to use the shot anyway, so if he doesn’t get the shot, he will simply return to the same spot again and again until he gets the shot he has in his mind. And the results speaks for themselves. Check out his website. I should mention that Ken’s is shooting with a Canon 7D, one lens (28-135mm) and his trusty SLIK tripod. Yes, Ken only use one lens.
Anyway, so this past weekend we were up at the West branch north of Webbwood, Ontario. A place I haven’t been to in 2 years, so it was nice to go there again, and revisit some of the places I have shot before. Examples of previous posts can be found here, here and here. We are about 80 km (~50 Miles) in the bush, driving on a gravel logging road. The weather was perfect. No wind, sunshine and frost in the air. After having shot at a couple of locations, we wound up at the little lake where I had taken the Moonshine shot a couple of years ago. All of a sudden the sunshine starts to come through the trees, and lights up some grasses in the lake. Being the extremist that Ken is, gets up and wades out into the shallow waters. Ankle deep in loon and beaver crap he sets up his tripod and starts to compose a shot. I thought this would be a good time to get a shot of him in action, so I took a few of him shooting this sunlit grass, with some mist in the background.
The shot below is my shot from this location. Not being an extremist, I of course did not go into the water.
This shot is from the 2011 World Wide Photo walk in Traverse City, MI. The walk was divided up in three parts. About an hour on the harbor front, and then you could choose to do either a downtown Traverse shoot or a drive up on the Old Mission peninsula for some spectacular views over the vineyards. I chose the latter and in hindsight, I should have done the city part of the walk instead. Now I know for next time. I got my bests shots from the harbor, and I choose to submit this one – and I’m glad I did.
Wow, its been awhile since my last post. Time flies…
My inspiration on the coming posts comes after reading a couple of blogs I frequent regularly. It was basically something like go photograph whats in your back yard. I got nothing in my backyard to shoot, so I have decided to explore my neighborhood and my town instead. My town, Sudbury, located in Northern Ontario, is not very exotic, but there’s a lot going on. We got lots of rocks, lakes and forests up here. It’s a mining town, mostly nickel, copper and other precious metals. And of course there are plenty of heavy industry that support the mines in the area.
My neighborhood is a very typical working class community close to downtown. Small houses, most of them are old – like my house is – just a few of them are new-err. It’s all well established, not much room for new development in this area. We certainly don’t have million dollar mansions in this end of town. Reason being is probably the proximity to one of the mining companies smelter, which is just a short drive from here. In fact, I can see the super-stack from my street. I will post some images of that bad boy later.
But I choose to live and work here, so I’ll make the best of it. I have during my walks in the area discovered quite a few gems that I will return to again.
Today’s shot is from downtown. Its late evening, the stores are closed and the streets are empty. This old guy is sitting on the corner of a downtown intersection reading his book. He never looks up as I walked past him. A heat wave has been going on for a couple of weeks now, and the only time to be outside for a longer period of time is around sunset. And I’m sure this guy was just wanted to get some fresh air and escape the heat in his apartment – well, that’s the story I’m sticking to…:)
The shot is processed in LR, Nik Silver Efex Pro and OnOne’s Focal Point.
As I went through my shots, I had a couple where the sign in the back ground was sharp and it had some interesting thoughts written down on it, so I thought I would share its wisdom…