Thanks for a Great Evening!

Bighorn Sheep Sharing a Ledge in Jasper

Thanks to everyone who made it out on Wednesday night to the St. Albert Photo Club! We had a packed room — I got to meet lots of photographers, and see some familiar faces. I had a great time and appreciated all your comments and questions! Best of luck to all of you in your photography adventures!

Bighorn Sheep in Jasper National Park
210mm, f4, 1/640 of a second

St. Albert Photo Club Talk

Mountain in Jasper Rising Through the Clouds

On Wednesday, Jan 13th (yes – in two days) I’ll be giving a talk at the St. Albert Photo Club. There will be a lot of practical photography advice, plenty of photos to critique and enjoy, and hopefully some inspiration. It will include a lot of nature photography, as that is mainly what I do, and it will also include other photos that I’ve never shown before. This may be slightly embarrassing for me, and hopefully entertaining and educational for you. I hope to see you there!

Jasper National Park, AB
210mm, f4, 1/5000 of a second

Warmth in Winter

Guanayara Cuba Pool in the Rainforest

Being Canadian, this was a strange winter. Going to Cuba was an interesting adventure and I could spend years exploring this mountainous rainforest, but when the cold air hit me at the Edmonton airport I knew I was home and everything felt right again!

On this tropical hike it was sometimes raining on us, sometimes sunny, and sometimes a bit of both. Either way it was warm and misty and incredibly beautiful. This pool was deep with a waterfall feeding it – the perfect spot for a swim.

Taken in Parque Guanayara, Cuba
18mm, f8, 1/100 of a second

Wildlife Photography Class

Lynx Edmonton Valley Zoo

On March 12th I’ll be teaching a Wildlife Photography workshop at the Edmonton Valley Zoo. This will be the first winter course at the zoo, and should give us some simple snowy backgrounds which should let the animals really stand out – a great opportunity for photographs. If you’re interested in registering you can go to ereg.edmonton.ca website (the course code is 554483) or call 311 in Edmonton.

I’m living in Camrose now, so I’m starting to think about teaching some classes down here if there’s interest. I haven’t had a lot of time to look into it yet, but if you’re interested, please either send me an email at joel.koop@gmail.com or in the comments below.

Lynx at the Edmonton Valley Zoo
210mm, f4, 1/250 of a second

Photo Classes in St. Albert

Southern Alberta Foothills

On Saturday January 23rd Eric and I are running the Mastering Your SLR class in St. Albert and it’s filling up fast. This is good news – if it fills up, we’ll schedule another date for people who couldn’t make this one.

We would also love to schedule a Composition & Editing and a Mastering Editing class if we get enough people in the SLR courses. If you’re interested in these, let me know. You can always sign up for class notifications on the right side of the page – StAlbertPhotoClasses.com

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Photo was taken near Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site
40mm, f5, 1/250 of a second

Open Spaces

St Mary Reservoir Minimalism

During the Royal Alberta Museum project, I got to spend a lot of time in southern Alberta. St Mary Reservoir was pretty low when I visited, and there were many kilometers of mudflats. There is very little change as you wander in such an empty space, but the little changes become more apparent. Every pebble, every crack in the mud becomes obvious because there’s nothing to distract. The one tree on the horizon is a constant companion no matter how far you walk. Thoughts become more solid. There are no interruptions here, and being comfortable with yourself becomes important.

The one challenge for me during the day was the constant wind – there is no escape. Early in the morning when it was still, it was absolutely stunning. And then, when the wind started, it was just a few playful wisps. But as the sun rose, the constant wind rose with it and it becomes like sandpaper – slowly wearing you down. Sometimes it would literally sandblast me as it picked up particles from the dry parts of the mudflats.

St. Mary Reservoir, Alberta
24mm, f16, 1/80 of a second

Possibilities

When you’re doing interesting things, you should share them with the world. The problem is you’re too busy doing things. This has been a wonderful problem for me this year, and I feel very fortunate.

San Luis Reservoir, California
56mm, f10, 1/250 of a second

Projects and Time

I’ve been silent for a few months now, and there’s a good reason for that. I just finished a huge project for the new Royal Alberta Museum. It’s been a whirlwind of coordinating with guides, driving around the province, scouting locations, and way too much time processing images. I met quite a few wonderful and fascinating people who made this job a pleasure to do.

When you walk in to the new museum when it opens (probably in late 2017), there will be a wall of 10 of my images in a row – each one 3 meters wide by 7 meters high. This was both a very exciting and intimidating project, and I can’t wait to see the final result. I’ve done a lot of prints over the years, but none quite as large as this. Prints always have something extra that a screen can’t quite deliver, so although I’ll have to wait for a long time to see them, I’m really looking forward to it. I’m going to let the photos remain a surprise – you’re going to have to go to the new museum to take a look and learn the stories associated with them.

Thanks to all the people who put up with me not being around and being slow to answer calls and emails while I was working on this.

Thanks to Jack Brink for the photo!

Online Gallery Updates

I’ve completely overhauled my online galleries, and there are a lot of new photos there. Hopefully they’re a lot easier to browse, it’s easier to buy prints, and somewhat useable on a phone or tablet. I’ve been working on this on and off for many months, so it’s exciting to finally have it done and be able to show you all! Of course, nothing is ever really done, but I’m happy with the update.

To take a look, just click on “Photos” in the grey bar on the left.

Taken in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.
16mm, f7.1, 1/40 of a second

Solar Activities at Night

A couple nights ago we got a spectacular display of northern lights here. Elk Island National Park is a dark sky preserve near Edmonton, and it was a great place to view them. Although a lot of people had a similar idea.

Also, if you missed the update on my last post, you can sign up for a Wildlife Photography Course I’m teaching at the Edmonton Valley Zoo here: City of Edmonton > Activities > Courses

12mm, f2.8, 20 seconds