Monday, 21 January 2008


It's been quite cold here today (about -20 Celsius right now). When I came home from work, I noticed the window in the den was full of frost patterns. I managed to grab a dozen or so shots before the light faded to much. Not the sharpest of images because I didn't have time to go with tripod and MLU, but some weren’t too bad. Here's one example, converted to black and white using Desaturate in Photoshop:

What do you think? Is it a little heavy on the contrast?

Monday, 14 January 2008

At the Beach

A quick one from the beach yesterday. Yes, from the beach; in January, in the dead of winter, in Nova Scotia. We've had a spell of mild weather lately and it was almost spring-like over the weekend.

Of course, today it's blowing snow and freezing rain. At least this way there's always a new landscape to discover ...

Friday, 11 January 2008

Detail from Waterfall

This is a crop of a larger image that showed a full view of the waterfall. I've found that recently I've been cropping a lot of my images to show only a semi-abstract portion rather than the 'whole' object. I'm not sure why, just that these cropped versions seem to resonate with me. Now if I could only learn to see these images in the field so I wouldn't have to crop ...

Image is from Sanford Flemming Park in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Between a Rock ...

I’ve been reading Freeman Patterson’s “Namaqualand: Garden of the Gods”. The book itself is a beautiful presentation of some of his images from Namaqualand, a region in South Africa’s Cape Province known for it’s unique and almost unbelievable spring floral displays. The area is essentially a desert most of the year, but when the spring rains come, the rock and sand just burst with a brilliant display of wildflowers. Many of the images contrast the wildflowers with the rocky and forbidding environment in which they grow.

While I’ve never been to Namaqualand (and probably never will make it there), I do come from a place well known for its ruggedness (Newfoundland, AKA The Rock). Going through Freeman’s book has inspired me to dig out some old slides from home of flower and rock. I wonder what makes this motif such a compelling photographic subject? Is it the contrast between the solid permanence of the rock and the delicate, temporary flowers? Or is it a matter of relatively simple composition that draws many? I’ll wager that, at least in my case, it’s a matter of both.

By the way, I highly recommend any of Freeman’s books; his instructional books are what started me down the road to photography as a serious pursuit. He is very good when it comes to discussing basic design elements, balance and composition, all points I’ve found are often lacking in other instructional books. And his nature photography usually has a thoughtful and subtle (as opposed to a Velvia, colour-saturated) beauty to it that makes it stand out from the crowd.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Annual PDML Quotations List

I’ve been an on again – off again member of PDML, the Pentax Discuss Mailing List, for probably the last 5 or 6 years. The volume of posts is kind of heavy and tends to overwhelm my email, and I don’t like reading digests, so I’m often unsubscribed. All the same, I keep reading the list through the archives and frequently re-subscribe. The list is an interesting community of die hard Pentax shooters and is a wealth of knowledge, even if it frequently wanders off topic. If you have a question about anything Pentax, this is the best place to look. It also has more than it’s fair share of quirky, insightful, profound, less than profound, and occasionally profane comments. One of the list members, Mark Roberts, collects the best of these every year and publishes an annual PDML Quotations list. While it helps to be familer with the mailing list and people involved to make sense of some, there’s always something good. Well worth a read when you need a photo laugh.