Fall in Northern Ontario lasts approximately 3-4 weeks by my understanding – if we are lucky. This year it started a wee bit early too, probably due to lack of moisture, so the trees started to turn even before the summer was over. Yes, fall time is nice, but as soon as the colors are gone from the trees, it only becomes a reminder whats coming. -Yes, the white stuff….uggggg. The ‘S’ word is a bad word in this house.
Anyway, fall time – time to get out and get some colors at my regular locations. So here we go. First shot is from the Hwy17 bypass. I drive on this highway quite frequently, and I have been witness to the amazing color change during a period of a couple of weeks, so it was a must have shot. Shot on a chilly and cloudy morning around 8 am.
I think an apology is in order. A while back I upgraded varies plugin’s on my blog, and for some reason the commentLuv plugin did not get re-enabled after the upgrade. I just realized yesterday that something was missing from the comments – the link back to the commenter’s own blog.
If you have commented on my images, please know that I appreciate them all, critical or not, and at the very least I should offer a link back to your blog. It didn’t happen, for that I’m really sorry.
Today’s shot is from an old limestone mine in Denmark. The mining ended in 1953, but the kilns were still producing burnt lime from other quarries all the way up to 1978. The mine is now part of a museum. Lots of tourists take the tour underground, guided or not. The constant temperature in the mine is perfect for storage and maturing of cheese, up to 200 tons of it. Just try for a second to imagine the smell… yeah, I know.
Besides being a bat habitat, the mine is also home to an underground concert hall – the acoustics are amazing.
Well, I don’t know about you guys, but I think that was a very short weekend….
I’ll kick this week of with a shot from the paper mill in Espanola, Ontario. It’s from a set of shots taken in October last year. I just happened to be going by early in the morning, and seeing the mist or fog by the hydro damn and bridge, that’ s just an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted so I had to pull over and grab some shots. Here and here are some earlier post from Espanola.
TGIF! What a long week. I thought I would end this week with another shot from a World Wide Photo walk. This time it’s from 2009 in Odense, Denmark. The walk was in and around the area of Hans Christian Andersen’s birth home, now museum. This shot looks really good in large print. Looking at the screen now, I’m not so sure… I was going for the patterns on the cobble stone and the bricks in the round wall.
When I moved to Canada from Denmark about 9 years ago, I left most of my stuff in my parent’s basement. That included my studio strobes which wouldn’t have worked over here anyway, being the standard voltage here is 120 Volt compared to 220 Volts in Europe. So when I’m back home visiting, I like to take the gear out and take it for a drive. Over time the umbrellas has turned yellow and should really be discarded, but the color cast is easily fixed in LR. My studio strobes are very simple and very old – 2 power settings is what I get to play with, but it’s still a lot of fun. My setup is very simple, a strobe on each side of the dining table and I’m using my suitcase as a black back ground.
Like any woman, ( I assume) my mom loves flowers and plants, and it shows her apartment. No fake plants here. She had gotten or bought this orchid awhile back, and it was flowering while I was there, so it became the test subject for the afternoon.
The orchid is a Phalaenopsis orchid. There is many variants in that family, so lets just call it a pink Phalaenopsis before I get into more trouble. At the time I shot this, I did not have my 105mm Macro. I would love to do some really tight shots on this flower. But that’s a project for next time I’m going home.
I have included the a setup shot, and a couple more captures from the afternoon. Click on the thumbnails for a large size view.
I found this shot while going through some shots from 2009. I thought it would be alright for a post here.
The shot is from Harris Creek, which is running under Hwy 17 East of Blind River, Ontario. It’s a nice little spot where it’s easy to get to the tiny falls.
First I would like to say thanks you so much for your nice comments, encouragement and support. It is truly appreciated.
Last round of my “post & run” week.
It’s from my favorite spot to go shoot in my area, and yup, it’s another fall shot from the beautiful High Falls in Onaping and there will
probably be more posts to come from this place.
Second round of my “post & run” week.
The shot above is from an outing up the West Branch behind Webwood, Ontario last year I believe, with my good buddy, Ken Bennison who is an exceptional and award-winning landscape shooter.
By the way, the flower from my last post was just a common lily. Pretty amazing huh? (well, not the photo, the flower of course )
As mentioned in an earlier post, the weather has been outstanding up here lately. So there is no excuse, just get out there and shoot. I have explored the High Falls in Onaping, Ontario af few times now, and it changes every time I’m up there. The shots in this post are from the end of September, at the peak of the color show. I decided to put more than one shot up today, because I have a lot of shots from this place, and my blogging has been a bit on the slow side lately. It is nice to have some new ammo, so here we go.
Oh btw, if you are on a big monitor, feel free to click the images for a larger view.
The top shot is from the basin at the top of the falls. The incredible colors of the late afternoon sun on the trees and the sky paints the water. Amazing place to shot when it looks like this.
This shot is roughly half way down the falls. At this time of year the water flow in the falls are really low, so there are plenty of opportunity to get very close to the rocks and the falls. It’s a very different story in the spring…
The last big drop before the water slows down and continue its run down the Onaping River.
Another very distinctive piece of art that calls the ARoS art museum home is the art work “Boy”, and oh-boy it’s pretty amazing. The sculpture is made of glass fiber, is a whopping 15 feet tall. It is incredible life-like and the artist has put an incredible amount of attention to the small details such as the small veins in the skin, the redness on the knees and feet – it’s just spectacular to look at.
The artist’s name is Ron Mueck and has made several extremely life-like oversized sculptures of men, woman and children. Try and google him, and you’ll see.
The image above is my pick of the series i shot at the museum. Given the huge window behind the sculpture, the lighting was a bit tricky on the shadow side. I attempted a HDR, but it turned out quite soft due to the noise I had to get rid of, (camera operator error of course, ISO was way too high). It’s in the thumbnails below among other details of the “kid”. The sculpture sits on the museum’s lower floor, and walking down the stairs gives you a great first visual of the size of this piece of art when looking over the stair rail. I’m sure several jaws has dropped at this point, including mine. 15 feet tall - imagine the size of pants and shoes….
Please feel free to click on the thumbnails for a full screen view.
In case you missed my first post from the ARoS museum in Aarhus, here’s a link.
During my recent trip to Denmark, I had the chance to visit the art museum called ARoS in Aarhus. It’s huge, apparently one of the largest art museum’s in Northern Europe. The museum displays all kinds of art on its 10 storeys and I’m sure it would take several hours to explore the museum in details, so our main target with our visit was the art work called “Your Rainbow Panorama” by Olafur Eliasson, a Danish-Icelandic artist who is known for his large-scale color, lights and water art works. This particular artwork sits on the roof of the museum, and is a 360° view of Aarhus, but viewed through tinted window panels in all the colors of the rainbow. It is truly a spectacular experience. Once inside the ring, the color changes as you walk around the art work, and your perception of colors changes dramatically. It was very weird feeling to see object that you for sure knew what color it was but was shown in a totally different hue. An absolutely spectacular experience – (did I say that already?). Should you be in the neighborhood, take an afternoon and explore this great museum. It is an art piece in it self.
Since the artwork is called a panorama, I attempted to shoot a pano. The pano above is combined from 5 shots through the clear glass of the entrance to the ring, so you might see some reflections in the pano. Below is a view of the art museum from the out side, and a few shots from inside the ring. The images from inside the ring are straight from the camera without any adjustments at all. You can click on the thumbnails for a larger view.
The next couple of posts will be from this, to me, extraordinary museum, which among other things is the home for the largest boy you can imagine. Stay tuned.
I have looked at this image a lot. I don’t know why, but every time I go through my shots, I tend to stop for a second at this one. There is something very simple and pleasing thing about this shot IMO, and that is as close as I can get to explain what is does for me. It is one of those shots that will end up on one of my walls as a gallery wrap at some point.
It was shot during a World Wide Photo walk in Odense, Denmark in 2009.
Speaking of forest fires, (see last post), I was on a service call at the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) at our local airport here in Sudbury. After the service call was out of the way, I had the opportunity to take some shots at the water bomber, a Bombardier 415, which was being prepped for take off the next day. The sun was, as you can see, in a really bad spot and I only had about 3 min to shoot and couldn’t really go on the other side of the plane, so I grabbed some brackets from this side to make sure I just didn’t get a silhouette of the plane. I knew there were gonna be some sun flares, but this was my chance so I ran with it.
About the 415. It’s a Canadian built water bomber and is one of MNR’s work horses in the fight again forest fires. Used mainly in Canada and the US. A fair share of the 76 ever built is also flying in different countries in Europe, such as Italy, France and Croatia. This plane is a further development of the older Bombardier 215 which the Ontario MNR is still using. The 415 is capable of scooping up 1620 US gallons or about 6140 liters of water in 12 seconds by skimming the surface of a lake. For that reason, this model is also called the SuperScooper. It has a range of about 1500 miles or 2400 km so on a tank of fuel this plane can deliver around 100-130 loads of water, depending on proximity of water such as lakes or rivers of course. There is no question that this plane is invaluable in the fight against forest fires.
About 2 weeks ago I was walking around downtown looking for something to photograph, and as the sun was setting, it became so red like I haven’t seen in a long time. I believe last time was on a MC trip in Portugal, and it was more or less under the same circumstances – smoke pollution from forest fires. This time of year is fire season up here, and as the vegetation and soil dries out in the heat, it just takes a lightning strike to start a fire. There was about a 100 or so fires going a couple of weeks ago, and it turns out that the smoke from some of these forest fires in Northern Ontario was moving south and causing these amazing colors.
I underexposed the image quite a bit to get the deep red colors, it is also cropped very tight in post to eliminate power lines, communication towers and other junk that obstructs a clear view.
To me, one of the coolest things in photographs are when there is a sense of movement, there is an energy or a power in the shot. Examples of that could be lightning, storm clouds, streaking cars or trains. Water does the trick for me. I love shooting running water and by playing around with long exposures you get some pretty neat effects. To me, a tag sharp image of water falling or running is less interesting than if there is a blur to the water. Water in rivers and creeks moves, sometimes fast, sometimes slowly usually depending on the time of year and to me that movement needs to be in a shot of, lets say, a waterfall. In order to get the sense of flowing water or that cool silky look, the shutter speed needs to be slowed down – way down.
Here are a few tips on how to achieve that look.
- Use a good solid tripod.
- Use a cable release or use the timer on the camera.
- Keep ISO low.
- Use aperture mode and choose a small aperture like f/16 or f/22
- Shoot at dawn or dusk, or on an over cast day.
- To cut even more light use a polarizer, which not only remove reflections and boost colors, but also eats at least one stop of light – slowing down the shutter speed even more..
- Or you can use a ND filter also called natural density filter. The will usually reduce the light between 1 and 10 stops depending on which one you buy.
- Your goal is to end up with a shutter speed at around 1/10 sec or slower. It depends on how fast the water moves of course, but generally at that shutter speed the magic starts to happen and you get that silky smooth feel of water running.
Try it out next time you are out shooting running water, it’s very rewarding. Btw, the shot above is from Moose Creek, Levack, Ontario.
Today’s image is not really spectacular in itself, just a view from a hill in Denmark, and frankly, it looks like I could have shot this with almost any wide-angle lens. However, this image is a 17 frame panorama stitched together in Photoshop. A bottom row of 8 and a top row of 9 images (don’t ask why the odd number…). I shot two rows to get some more sky in the shot. Every time I make a panorama, it always amazes me, just how well PS photomerge works. Very rarely do I have to do anything at all after Photoshop is done merging the images.
Anyway, after the rendering, the image was cropped, a bit of color contrast enhancement was added and then I desaturated a few selected colors. Mostly the blue and green which was got a bit too hot after the contrast adjustment. Back into LR where I fixed a few highlights.
Btw, to shoot a panorama:
- Hold the camera in portrait mode, your image will be higher after the final crop, you may have to shot more frames to get the scene you want.
- Make sure your exposure is locked so it’s the same throughout the scene.
- Make sure your white balance is locked in as well.
- Focus on the main subject in the scene, switch to manual focusing or use your AF-L button to lock focus, reposition for the first frame and shot.
- If you use a tripod, make sure it’s perfectly level, as well as your camera otherwise you will have to crop out a lot of good pixels in post.
- If you shoot hand hold, get a solid stance with your feet pointing in the direction of the first shot. Take a few shots and re-position your body and feet and shoot again. Don’t over twist your body, because that will actually mimic an un-level tripod. Basically as you move through the scene, your camera will get lower and lower the more you twist your body, and you lose good pixels when you crop.
- Make sure you overlap each frame by min. 20%.
…and let me tell you a story. Just kidding.
Last week, Scott Wood had a blog post about keeping old shots that did not make the cut the first time around. It’s an interesting discussion because if you shot a lot, like I would expect a guy like Scott Wood do, you will in the end up with countless of gigabytes of images that will never be edited or printed. And what will you do? Delete or buy more storage? I am afraid I’m one of those guys who just store images. I do of course delete total miss shots, like camera shakes, out of focus etc. But the rest I tend to keep. After reading Scott’s post, it made me think about my collection of images and I decided then that today’s post would be an image that originally wasn’t flagged, rated or had been edited in any way. Just one of those I keep. Turned out to be a fun exercise.
About the image.
Any one familiar with Hans Christian Andersen? Well, he was a Danish poet, writer, a story-teller and famous world-wide for his fairy tales. Had he lived today, he would be 206 years old. His work is published in more that 150 languages. Quite a feat if you ask me.
The images above and below are shot in Odense, Denmark. The place of his birth. You can tell the city is proud of him. There are many references to this guy all over this city. His characteristic silhouette is even featured as the stop/walking guy on the cross walk signs.
As I went through the files from that day, I discovered I had bracket the bench shot so I chose to run with it.
This bench is out side one of the buildings dedicated to H. C. Andersen, and I think it is a part of the statue you see below. It’s like he invites you to sit either next to him or on the bench (above) that would be to his left and slightly in front of him, and listen to one of his many stories.
His fairy tales usually had a moral ending to it – this experience makes me think that I wont start thinning out my collection of images anytime soon. I’ll buy a bigger hard drive first.
You don’t buy that do you? I probably have about 20 versions of this image, and I have wanted to post one of them for a long time – well at least since I started this blog. Most of my versions are B/W with different levels of blurred back ground. Then the other day I was playing with this image again, I moved the temperature slider in LR3 by mistake instead of the Exposure slider, and I really liked what the blue cast did to the image, sort of like a moon beam hitting the rocks in the lake, so explored that a bit more from there, and this is what I came up with. I like this image a lot, and it’s probably one of those shots I going to make a 18×12 print of and hang in one of my bed rooms. I’m just not totally sure if I’m finished with it.
Your input and advice is always appreciated.
Mike Olbinski announced yesterday that he is organizing a Photo walk in downtown Phoenix, AZ on June 10th. Man I wish I could go. Judging from the pictures on the blogs I frequent, Arizona certainly has a few gems, just waiting to be photographed.
A couple of days ago, Brad announced on Scott Kelby’s blog that the 3rd annual World Wide Photo walk will take place on October 1st & 2nd 2011 So with all the talk about photo walks, I thought I make a post about it. I have participated in both SK WWPW, and as it happened both took place while I was on vacation back in Denmark, so I joined the city that was closest to my hometown. You might already have seen a shot from the first Photo walk on my blog, it’s the post here, from Odense, Denmark. I did not submit that one though, I just like the shot, and I had a great time walking around with the other shooters. Last year was in Aarhus, Denmark, and I had the honor to make it to the final 1112. True story, – I still can’t believe it. Anyway, it’s the shot you see above. Just a guy sitting by the harbor front doing a little fishing.
Todays image was shot last year in late July while on vacation. It is one of two old identical front doors to the Aarhus Theater, located in Aarhus, Denmark. I wish I have had the time to stay after dark when the building just comes to life as the light inside shines through the painted glass panes. Looks pretty amazing I tell ya.
The title of the image is part of a rough translation from a slogan used by the Royal Theater in Copenhagen. Actually the real slogan would be “Not Just For Fun” but I had fun processing this one, so I cropped out the “Not”. Usually the slogan will be accompanied by two masks one sporting a smiley face and one a sad face. Sort of like a global theater logo.
A new post is way overdue. That’s what happens when work takes up all your free time.
This shot was taken in Espanola, Ontario. Same day as my last post, but earlier in the morning. Its a silhouette of the towns paper mill which dates back to 1899. With all that history, there must be some gems hidden from view that just begs to be bracketed. I wish I could go explore the plant, but that’s not gonna happen anytime soon.
Today’s image is from late October 2010. It is shot in Espanola, Ontario. Espanola is a small town of Hwy 17 and it’s known for its paper plant – and by outsiders, unfortunately also the at times unbearable smell that is associated with paper manufacturing.
Usually when I’m in Espanola, I stay on the main road, but this time I decided to go down a side road that would lead to a pick-nick area by the lake.
So late October, early morning around 9:30, no wind what so ever. The fog is so thick that its hard to even see the side of the road I’m driving on. I get to the pick-nick area, and all of a sudden the sun peeps through clouds. The water is a mirror and with the fog slowly lifting it reveals this dock/boat house and the reflections from the trees and skies in the water. It was a great surprise because I did not know what I could expect at this location and I guess I got there just in time. 10 minutes later and I wouldn’t have gotten anything like this. So I quickly setup my tripod and camera and got some shots. Minutes later the wind was picking up and with the sun out, the fog was gone. I’m really happy I got this shot you see above. I have made many color versions of it, but this B/W version is my favorite.
First off, thanks to every body who took time to check out my new blog and for leaving some nice comments. It’s been a great experience so far and I have in return come across some pretty cool sites that I probably wouldn’t discovered on my own. It has definitively made me want to post more of my images, so thanks again for the “push”.
When I’m out shooting, I like to look for patterns or symbols. I also like to shoot water, and water and patterns makes some really cool combos and/or reflections.
I went shooting last fall with my good friend Ken Bennison, around Massey, Ontario. We took Ken’s truck, and I was so smart (read: really really stupid) to leave my tripod in my car. (Whats more important on a shoot – Lunch or the tripod?- Well, I obviously choose to bring my lunch…) When I realized what I had done, it was too late. We were too far up the road. So hand holding a camera became a great exercise that day. Hand holding is not a huge problem until dusk comes around, that’s when it gets pretty tricky.
At the time of this shot, we were about 90 min up a gravel road, and I noticed this rock had a familiar symbol or pattern to it. It reminded me of a teacher I had a long time ago that drew eyes like that. The V shape on the side and the curve to complete the eye. Here the reflection in the water mirrors the crack and the semi-circle in the rock and completes the “eye” – twice. It looks almost like an ancient Egyptian symbol you would find on the pyramids.
It was a great outing that day, even though I was without a tripod. I have a couple more shots from that day that I will post later.
Be sure to check out Ken’s images. He has some pretty amazing stuff on his blog
Yep, the obligatory flower shot. This image goes back to the first Worldwide Photowalk organized by Scott Kelby. I was in Denmark at the time, and participated in the city of Odense, also known as the birth place of Hans Christian Andersen. This flower grows in the garden associated with the museum dedicated to him. Its called the Fairytale Garden – translated of course. If you are in that area, check it out.
So at this time the Nikon D300 was brand new to me. I only had one lens, the Nikon 18-200mm, which is incredible versatile, but not the sharpest lens however. Still, I got a few shots from that day that I liked and this one is one of them – even though it’s a flower.