Blackbird flock in bare trees
I recently received a request from a woman to use this photograph in a blog post she’s writing, which gave me the great excuse to re-visit this image and to share it here (it hasn’t made it into the new website yet, but watch for it in the Birds section of my catalogue, hopefully in the next few months).
I took this photo near the Beaverhill Bird Observatory near Tofield, AB in the spring of 2007. At the time, I was experimenting with defocusing images, or portions thereof, for creative effect. In this case, the original image was mostly sharp, and I “painted in” the blurred effect in post-processing. I was inspired to try this technique by another photographer who would create the same effect in the darkroom by spilling chemicals over the drying print and using a brush or sponge to blur the image.
It’s always fun to try new techniques, and although I haven’t taken many defocused photographs lately, you can view a selection of these images in my “Boreal Impressions” portfolio. I’d also recommend having a look at William Neill’s “Impressions of Light” portfolio for more great blurry images that were an inspiration to me (although he achieves the effect mostly through long shutter speeds and camera movement, rather than manually defocusing the lens).
Cold early winter evening at Islet Lake
Last week I took my camera (and my daughter) out to the Cooking Lake-Blackfoot Natural Area, about 30 min east of Edmonton, for an afternoon walk while the weather was still relatively mild. There has been just a dusting of snow so far this year, so the ice on the lake was bare and exposed to the quickly cooling air. As the sun moved lower in the sky and the temperature dropped the ice began to make terrific heaving, groaning and booming sounds. The frequency increased until there was nearly constant, resounding, echoing sound coming from the ice. Everything else was perfectly still, and the singing of the ice was the perfect background music while I took this quick photograph–just as the last sunlight made the bare aspen on the far shore glow a warm orange-red, in contrast to the cool blue of the shadowed lake ice in the foreground.
Altocumulus sunrise and willow
Here’s another photo that I’ve prepared for the Goldbar craft sale (see previous post for details). I made this exposure in the summer of 2008 while working banding birds at the Beaverhill Bird Observatory near Tofield, AB. I saw many beautiful sunrises that summer, although I didn’t always get the chance to capture them in a photograph.