Monday, January 31, 2011

Ice + sunshine = a great winter photo shoot!

I hiked out to the Georgian Bay shoreline of Bruce Peninsula National Park yesterday with photo buddies Ian "Flash" Brooks, Roy Ramsay (publisher of Outdoor Photography Canada magazine) and David Topping (website to come). It was a beautifully sunny and cold day - perfect conditions for a winter photo shoot!

Ian was wearing a bright red jacket and felt like being a supermodel, so I took advantage of his willingness to pose. Having a person in the photos adds depth and perspective to the landscape.

All of these photos were shot with:
Canon EOS 5D mark II, EF 17-40mm lens; some using a Singh-Ray LB polarizer and/or 580EX flash

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Icy shoreline of Georgian Bay

Above photo: Self-portrait this morning; bundled up in many layers to stay warm!

-23C (before the windhcill). That's the balmy temp my friend and I set out in this morning for our trek to shoot the Georgian Bay shoreline in Bruce Peninsula National Park. We picked the coldest day of the winter so far, and could easily have rescheduled for any other day, but we were both too proud to be beaten by the weather (or to admit it).

The frigid wind blew fiercely off the water and created a mist that was at times so thick it was impossible to shoot. But every now and then the sun would peak out and burn off the mist for enough time to snap a few photos.

I'm wiped out tonight from the chill and hiking through snow drifts but couldn't resist processing a few shots from today. I'll be going back again later this week... and crossing my fingers for warmer weather!

Below photos:
Indian Head Cove, Bruce Peninsula National Park
Canon EOS 5D mark II, EF 17-40mm lens; Singh-Ray LB polarizer & ND grads.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Ethan vs winter

Georgian Bay shoreline at sunrise, Bruce Peninsula
Canon EOS 1N, EF 17-40 lens; Singh-Ray Gold-n-Blue polarizer & 2 stop soft edge ND grad

I'm sitting in my cozy apartment planning an upcoming photo shoot out to the Georgian Bay shoreline, which is amazingly decorated with ice right now. Many of my friends have been out there snapping great shots with their point & shoot cameras, but I haven't had a chance to get out there myself yet. It's probably the best ice of the past decade and I'm dying to shoot it!

My friend and I have just made plans to do the 1 hr hike out there early this Sunday morning with an array of props (skis, snowshoes, etc) for photo setups. As I sit here tonight checking the weather forecast, it's calling for a painfully cold -31C windchill.

I struggle to find the motivation to venture out photographing in such frigid temps, especially when there's no guarantee of good light. But sometimes the result is well worth it! I'll never forget the morning a few winters ago when I shot the above photo. The windchill was -35C and I was dressed in so many layers that I could barely move. Thinking back, I can still feel the biting wind in my face! Although it was one of the coldest days that winter, it was also one of the most magical winter scenes I've ever seen. As I brace for the cold temps this week, I'll be thinking warm thoughts about the potential photos!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Announcing.... a new logo!

I'm pleased to present my new logo, designed by Carve creative studio in London, Ontario. I've been in serious need of a professional logo to sharpen up my marketing materials in a consistent fashion. Carve designer Jason Recker did a great job of translating my ideas into a series of prototypes, leading to this final version. Thanks Jason!

Let me know what you think of it....

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Winter scene in Harrison Park, Owen Sound

Harrison Park, Owen Sound - Snowy Day
EOS 5D mark II, EF 24-70mm; Singh-Ray LB polarizer; ISO 50; 1 second @ f/22; converted to black-and-white in photoshop.

It's been snowing often during the past week and while I don't care for all of the shoveling, I do love the photo opportunities!

There's a beatiful city park near my place called Harrison Park. After a fresh snowfall the other day, I took a stroll through the park and found this snow-covered tree along the creek. I shot several images filling the frame just with the tree, then composed this one with the rock counterbalancing the tree... it turned out to be my favorite from the day.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Cold weather camera gear tips

Photo 1 (above): Forest shadows in winter, Bruce Peninsula.

Photo 2 (above): A very old photo of me (10 years ago, or so?) photographing ground birds near a feeder in winter.

A few people have emailed me this week asking how to deal with the effects of cold weather on camera gear. Here are the two most important things I've learned from plenty of days photographing in chilly temps:

1. Keep spare batteries (for your camera or flash) in you inner jacket/fleece pocket so they're close to your body heat. Swap your batteries periodically to ensure you have enough juice to keep photographing!

2. To prevent condensation (fogging up) of your gear when you come in from the cold, keep the gear in your camera pack and put the whole thing in a plastic bag. Leave it for a few hours so the gear acclimatizes slowly and there's no sudden contact with warm air to cause condensation. There's no problem when you go from warm to cold, it's only when you come back in!

I'm fairly particular about keeping my camera gear at a relatively stable temperature when I'm on outdoor photo shoots. It's not good to have it continually fluctuating in temperature - which can cause condensation - so I usually keep my gear (batteries excluded) in the trunk of the car.

In a future tip, I'll tell you all about tips for dressing for cold weather - including specific things geared towards photography.... this is something that we Canadian photographers know well!