QR Code Business Card

Dried grass with green fringe

Dried grass seed heads glow in the warming evening light of early spring.

Tall dried grass

I’m try­ing to print a wide range of pho­tos as I start up on my Daily Print project to give myself a feel for what kinds of prints I’m fairly good at mak­ing already, and which areas I could use more practice.

I’m also try­ing to use a range of tools and tech­niques that I haven’t used before, to try to add them to my reg­u­lar work­flow to be used as required. This image showed just a hint of “green fring­ing” chro­matic abber­a­tion, so I tried out Light­room 4.1’s new “Defringe” con­trols. I don’t know if the slight fring­ing would have been notice­able in a print orig­i­nally, but it sure wasn’t after a lit­tle bit of extra tweak­ing. Cool.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Dried grass calligraphy

A single grass stem with a curled dried leaf casts a calligraphic shadow across a rolling bank of fresh snow

Dried grass cal­lig­ra­phy on fresh snow

Yes­ter­day was a beau­ti­ful, sunny win­ter day in Edmon­ton (although a bit too warm — things shouldn’t be melt­ing yet!) and I took the chance to take the snow­shoes (and kid, and dog, and cam­era) out to the Cook­ing Lake-Blackfoot Provin­cial Recre­ation Area. I like going into the park from the south end, park­ing at the Islet Lake stag­ing area.

With all the snow we’ve got­ten, the lakeshore topog­ra­phy has been smoothed out to gen­tle undu­la­tions of per­fect, smooth snow. That, com­bined with the low sun this time of year, pro­vides lots of chances for pho­tographs with sim­ple, ele­gant lines and min­i­mal visual clutter.

Cooking lake post-top snow cones

Cook­ing lake post-top snow cones

(And then there’s this one — pretty much on the other end of the spec­trum — using the same basic ele­ments for slap­stick rather than ele­gance… but can you guess which one my daugh­ter preferred?)

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Waterfowl on a misty Minsitik lake

A pair of Canada Geese and a small flock of ducks rest on a calm lake on a foggy morning at Ministik Lake Game Bird Sanctuary

Water­fowl on misty morn­ing lake

Here’s another pho­to­graph that I made the same morn­ing as the one in my pre­vi­ous post. Although I took it less than ten min­utes later than the pre­vi­ous photo, from nearly the same spot on the lake shore, and rotated only about 90 degrees, this pho­to­graph has a com­pletely dif­fer­ent feel to it — and that’s one of the things that I love most about pho­tograph­ing the landscape.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Dried fireweed detail

Even lighting, a close crop, and shallow depth-of-field accentuate the curves of a dried fireweed seedhead

Curves in dried fireweed

I know it’s odd to call this post “Dried fire­weed detail” when 95% of the pho­to­graph is out of focus. For me how­ever, this image cap­tures the essence of the detail — and the depth — of the dried seed pods. The title’s also a bit if a play on words — using “detail” in the sense of a close-up of a por­tion of a larger work, like when a small sec­tion of a paint­ing is enlarged in a book to show a painter’s tech­nique, for exam­ple. I really enjoy get­ting in close to a pho­to­graphic sub­ject to look for an angle that can cap­ture the greater “whole” of the sub­ject while show­ing only a small portion.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Warm light on winter day

Angled sunlight creates warm colours on a mild winter day at Whitemud Ravine in Edmonton, Alberta

Warm win­ter colours

I took this pho­to­graph dur­ing a beau­ti­ful lunch-time walk through the White­mud Ravine. Although it was mid-day, because of the sea­son the light was angled low and fil­tered through a very light haze, giv­ing it a warm tone. It’s unusual to see warm-toned colours much dur­ing the win­ter, but if you catch it just right they can add an inter­est­ing mood to an image.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Flat light and high-key greys

Fresh snow covers the forest on a cloudy winter day

Min­is­tik shore­line in white

To con­tinue the line of thought from my last entry, another type of com­po­si­tion that I find can work on grey, over­cast win­ter days when the light is per­fectly flat and even is a “high-key” image like this one. If there’s fresh snow, the whole land­scape can turn the same colour – light grey. I find the trick is to ensure that my expo­sure is bumped up a lit­tle bit to turn the greys to white, and to find a lit­tle bit of con­trast (spruce are great for this) for visual inter­est. These very sub­tle, almost monot­one, images really cap­ture the feel­ing of these most-subtle of win­ter days.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

Frost, depth of field, and details

Frost on eight grass leaves

Frost on eight dried grass leaves

After a heavy frost, even the most sim­ple details can take on an extra­or­di­nary appear­ance. I made this pho­to­graph with a wide open aper­ture, and as close as pos­si­ble to give a really nar­row depth of field. This removes/blurs most of the finest details of the frost and dried grass blades, and con­cen­trates the focus (no pun intended) of the image on the form, the sweep, of the grass. But, to me, the lit­tle bit of frost detail vis­i­ble just along the nar­row plane of focus, gives that extra lit­tle “spark” to the image.

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $