Me and my shadow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Finding time and subjects to shoot is as easy or as difficult as the limitations of your imagination. Some days, the business side takes precedence and I don't have any time to get out and shoot the things I want to... so I have to make due with improvising and have a little fun in the process. This is what I did one day while waiting for my daughter after school. The purpose of fun is to live it.

Working with Portraits

Sunday, April 25, 2010

  As the practice continues on fine tuning my style and working with new techniques I've been dabbling a bit more in some portrait work. I like to find new ways of presenting a familiar subject and although it's so different than landscapes, it's actually pretty fun when you get results you're happy with on the first shot.
  I have an upcoming session that will involve a more down to earth nitty gritty side of portrait photography that should be a really fun experience. In the meantime, Ive got a few sessions planned (for real!) that are coming up that will allow me to get the creative juices going.
  I also wanted to say a big thank you for all the great phone calls, emails and comments I've gotten recently about how much you've enjoyed this blog. I'm always a bit shocked to think that anyone is reading it, especially those I haven't seen in years or those I've never met but when you tell me you are reading it everyday, I'm thrilled! Thanks so much!

Changing plans.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Photographing anything while walking on crutches changes the whole experience. It's possible, but the process took so long I pretty much abandoned any plans I had because I found it was just too ackward to get around carrying my equipment. I re-focused my time working at my computer developing business ideas, my website and workflow management.

Although I was getting flustered, I thought it might be interesting to see if there were any websites out there of photographers working with different types of disabilities. After hobbling around for a week on one foot I imagined what it would be like to have to do that all the time or to operate a camera without an arm as an example and how that might change a persons perspective and attitude. It would also be interesting to see what kind of pictures I would find, if any. Surprising or not, there is an actual website called Photographers with Disabilities and Rolling F Stop..  which talks about adaptive equipment and how hard it is to find. You have to really appreciate what people are able to accomplish when they have  to deal with adversity in any degree.  

I also had to look into other things I could photograph. I decided to work on portraits and this is one of my favorites from the week.

 Update: This blog is appropriately named! I had to change my plans because I'm having trouble with I'll post a pic I took a month ago! Thems the breaks.

Humbling Encounter.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I've met some pretty cool people in my life but I'm kind of  struggling to put into words my experience yesterday and how truly honored I was to be able to meet Steve McCurry. Mr McCurry has worked for many years with National Geographic and is known world wide for his incredible portfolio although he's most famous for his 1985 cover picture of Sharbat Gula, more commonly known as 'Afgan Girl'.

Having grown up in a household where National Geopgraphic magazine was akin to great works of art (because we didn't have any of those!)  he's a bit of a superstar to me. OK seriously, the magazine was on display in order of month & year in our family room book shelf. When that filled, the older issued were moved to the basement where the order remained precise.. and the issues pristine. If you knew my dad, he was the absolute poster child for clutter so this was one of his obvious exceptions to the rule.

That withstanding, it was the most transcendent experience for me, listening to Mr. McCurry talk about his travels to Afganistan, India and the Far East. About countries in turmoil and at war, about nomads wandering without a home working for pennies a day to survive. The photographs were breath taking. The stories equally so. It's as if I held my breath for the 45 minutes he spoke.. not wanting to miss a single word. I've barely been out of North America. How can the world beyond me be so barbaric and inhumane yet so beautiful and innocent?

I encourage you to check his website.

I've also included a link to an upcoming tv episode about his return to Afganistan to find Sharbat with little to go on except the photograph he'd taken of her as a child. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Oh Captain! Our Captain!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Interesting Fact #1 - The number of NHL players to play 1000 games.  251.
Interesting Fact #2 - The number of NHL players to play 1000 with the same team.  44.
Interesting Fact #3 - The number of NHL players to play 1000 games with the Ottawa Senators. 1.

He's our distinguished hockey captain Daniel Alfredsson. Alfie is an incredibly determined player who has donned the Senators jersey since 1995 and has made himself known and loved in the Ottawa community both on the ice but also with the very generous commitment of his time off the ice. Steve and I decided that we wanted to be there as he was honored for this huge milestone in his career and got tickets to the game.

And because I'm such a genius, I would bring my camera and get some great shots to post on my blog! Well, that was until I was accosted by a very amply proportioned security lady who told me to lose the camera or she would show me her dark side. You mean that wasn't IT? Yikes.

I missed out getting many shots, including one of Cuba Gooding Jr. who is filming a movie in Ottawa with Christian Slater and is a big hockey fan (apparently) and was at the game.

That's OK. I was there for Alfie.

Interesting Fact #4 - Some cameras are apparently NOT allowed at Scotiabank Place.
Interesting Fact #5 - Number of times I've feared for my life? At least

A gentle reminder of perseverance.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

If you don't know it by now, my dad was, and still is, my biggest hero. Ever. If there was ever an example as a real super hero, it was him. He was the utilmate doer of good and humblest of humanitarians. Among the many volunteer positions he held were President of the Red Cross Blood Donor Society in New Brunswick, executive positions in Minor Hockey and Little League Baseball, with United Commercial Travellers where he worked tirelessly raising money for handicapped children and with Camp Chaleur so hundreds of kids could go to summer camp. He met with provincial gov'ts to increase benefits for senior citizens, was treasurer of our church for as many years as I can remember all while working a full time job. Even raising his own 6 kids he didn't hestitate to accept when asked to manage the household of a second family who were unable to do so on their own.

Alternatively, dad also spent every spare moment at the cottage, at the camp, at the ski hill, biking, hiking and camping with his family. He rarely missed a play, a concert, a hockey game nor a night around the dinner table; he never raised his voice or spoke a mean word. My siblings and I did however understand quite clearly that 'daddy don't take no crap'.. though it was in a manner that only the gentlest of souls could do. His friends were true and lifelong. And his camera was ever present capturing it all.

So yesterday I found myself struggling with a project I'm working on. Nothing was going as easy as I expected and I found myself remembering that person from whom I always got strength. Memories of a man who only looked onward and upward; who could find extra time when none existed and inspiration in the simpliest of things. I needed some of that right now! How bizarre was it that almost at THAT moment, my brother phoned to tell me that he had brought some of my dad's old cameras from home for me to have. It was exactly the boost I needed to check myself and get going. As Steve and I went through the cases, he stopped and smiled. There, tucked in a pocket of his camera bag was a small picture of me at about 5 years old. He had cut it out and saved it there all this time.

And in that moment, I felt inspired beyond belief ....and that my hero was watching over me.

The Girl named Lou....

Friday, April 2, 2010

We've all hear of the Johnny Cash tune "The Boy Named Sue". Well I have a girlfriend named Lou! We basically talk non-stop about photography when we're together and she's really fantastic at it, especially when it comes to shooting people. To be fair, she does have the MOST adorable little girl who is often her subject but I've seen alot of her headshots and they are wonderful.

Well Lou is doing a children's portrait session at Kid Kaf in Ottawa on April 26th and you should drop in and get a really cute professional portrait of your child done. I'm going to kidnap my nieces and bring them in as a surprise to their mom. Shhhhhh! *wink*

 Check her blog below for more info.....Maybe we'll see you there?