Tag: chris mcphee
I’ve decided to concentrate my efforts for the near future on my new blog, McPheephoto.com. Why? Because I thought it was time that I focused my efforts on what I really want to be as a photographer. This blog has been a useful learning exercise but after some consideration I decided it was time to move in a direction that reflected where I wanted to go. I guess I could have refocused this blog, but then I saw an opportunity to use a really slick looking, simple, effective, WordPress layout – Tarski. Matched with the kind of images I want to display, the presentation is crisp and clean. Head over to McPheephoto.com and have a look.
Just got back from a couple of days in Algonquin Park here in Ontario. I missed the peak of the fall colours by about a week – I wasn’t alone, the early peak seems to have taken many people by surprise. Normally the colours would peak just about now, the week before Thanksgiving, but it was early this year. Still some spectacular sights in the park, and the sunrise on Thursday was incredible. I camped overnight at the Lake of Two Rivers, right by the shoreline so I just had to fall out of my sleeping bag and onto the beach to get some beautiful sunrise shots. Check out the Personal Galleries page for more.
Just completed the Humber College Lighting course – a very good course, well taught and (hopefully) lots learned. I know some people prefer to learn through experience only or through books, but I’ve always been a believer in learning from the people who know, and then going out and practicing. I’ve taken 2 courses at Humber now, and will probably be going back in the fall for their Nature Photography course. This is one of the shots I entered for my final portfolio.
This was a technique I played around with a couple of years ago. This is the kind of pwl where you paint the object, not where you make intricate, or not so intricate, patterns with light and capture the trails. The idea I had was to try to create the kind of still life you see in the old 17th/18th century paintings; my first attempts were OK, but then when I went back to this yesterday, I made a couple of improvements. The light – a mini maglite, strong adjustable beam, and the flashlight is small enough to hold and direct easily.
I’m taking a lighting class at one of the local community colleges. There’s always a lot of discussion on various boards about whether it’s better to just self-teach through experience or attend some classes, whether the classes actually equip you for being a better photographer. I’m firmly of the view that there are people out there with much more experience and knowledge than I, and if they’re willing to pass it on in a professional way, then I’m willing to go & learn. This shot is from an exercise on texture lighting, bringing out the texture of an object through the use of a single sidelight.
One of my Milverton rodeo shots took second place in our Well Exposed 2009 Shot of the Year competition recently. Funnily enough, it was a late entry that month, because I actually preferred some of the other shots from that event. But I think in the end it was the rider’s expression that really made the shot.
Well, interesting to me anyway. This is a photograph I found in the Winter 2005 edition of the National Ex-POW Association’s newsletter. It says that it was taken at Stalag XVIIIA (in Austria) and shows a group of POWs from the 102nd Northumberland Hussars. It’s particularly interesting to me because I believe it shows my grandfather (back row, top left) who was taken prisoner on Crete in 1941.
Someone recently suggested that it might not be 18A where the photo was taken. In fact, if you look at other photos taken in Stalag 8b, the background buildings are very similar, if not identical, and I know for certain that he was in 8b from 1941 to 1943.
After quite a while I came back to the blog & updated the Personal Galleries page. About time too. I’ve added shots from the Grand River PowWow back in July, plus some more from Toronto Zoo taken earlier this year.
Today Nikon has announced an upgrade release to the remarkable D300, adding video capability (720p HD), an increased fps rate to 7fps unassisted by the optional battery pack and dual CF and SD card slots. Apparently the camera will let you record video to one card and stills to another.
There’s much more of an integration between video and still photography now than when the D90 was released at the end of 2008. I know many of us, myself included, saw absolutely no requirement for video in a still camera. Since then, the world has moved on, and this has become the classic example of the technology leading, if not actually creating, the demand curve. I think we can say for certain that we won’t see another prosumer DSLR being released without video in the future.
Anyway, check out the first reviews at DP Review
So yesterday I went to the Grand River Powwow at the Six Nations in Ontario. After reading advice from someone who’d been there the year before, I took my longest lens, the 70-300mm VR. That would have been great had the event taken place outside as scheduled. Unfortunately, this past weekend saw the worst storms I’ve seen outsside of being caught in a monsoon in India, and even though the weather had improved by the time the Powwow was due to start, the ground was saturated. So the event moved to a nearby sports arena. Inside.
So now I’m left with my longest lens but one which has a max aperture of f4.6. If I had bothered to prepare properly I would at least have had my SB600 flash unit, and best of all, my 70-200 f2.8. But I didn’t. Next time, forget the extra weight, bring the right gear. This event is once a year and I’ve been waiting 12 months for it. Now I have to wait another 12! At least I was using the D90, so managed to get reasonable shots at ISO 800, but no fast-moving action.