Photo Class on Saturday

I’m making some final tweaks to the slides for the class on Saturday, and I thought I’d take a break to put up a photo and let you know about the Draw for Free Stuff. You’ll get entered if you share the post on facebook, like the St Albert Photo Classes page, or blog about it and post the link there.

So like or share this: St Albert Photo Classes Facebook Page and you could win an 8×10 print or a pendant!

Also, if you want to learn all about photography and how to use your camera (it must have interchangeable lenses for this class) sign up at

The photo is from Jasper. 300mm, f5.6, 1/125 of a second on a tripod.

Photo Classes

I’m excited to announce that I’m teaching photo classes in St. Albert. What will you learn? The principles of photography necessary to get awesome photos out of your camera. You’ll also get to practice with your camera with me and Eric there to answer any questions. It should be a fun day of trying new things and learning tons. We’re looking forward to it, and hope you can make it. The first one is on April 20th. More details are on the website:

And because you’re probably expecting a photo of one sort or another, I won’t disappoint. Spring is coming, and I can’t wait till all the new greenery appears!

Taken in pouring rain near Abraham Lake. 150mm, f2.8, 1/400 of a second.

Random Updates

On Saturday in the afternoon (between 2 and 4pm for sure, and probably a little longer) I’ll be at Tix on the Square if you’d like to stop by. I’ll try to bring more cufflinks too (just have to package them up)!

The Daffodil now has my first extra large square pendants which have been requested by a lot of people! I just dropped them off yesterday.

Today I’m going to pick up my new Olympus OM-D! I’m super excited about this camera. It looks like it will have really good image quality, and because it’s light and weather-sealed it should allow me get to more places and take more interesting photos. I’ll report back once I get a feel for it, but I think it will be good. Now I just have to save up for a couple more lenses. Speaking of which, anyone interested in a Panasonic 14-140 or a Canon 50 f3.5 macro? I’ve used both of them very little, and they’re in great condition.

The photo above was taken at Beaverhill Lake with a Canon 5d and 300 f4, at f4 and 1/400 of a second.

Aspen on a Clear Night

This was a 20 second exposure on a clear, still, moonless night in Dillberry Lake Provincial Park. This took some accurate esimating of the distance from me to the tree and a focus distance indicator on my lens. I’m not sure if some modern SLRs could autofocus in this kind of darkness, but mine certainly can’t.

I’m starting to enjoy night photography more all the time. It forces me to slow down — once it’s dark there’s really no rushing necessary. Sunsets and sunrises can be a little more stressful as they’re very time-limited. Finding the balance between enjoying the outdoors and becoming a professional photographer can sometimes be hard. There’s always pressure to get a better shot, a different composition. But coming up with something new is also extremely rewarding.

Rare Fog in the Prairies

This photo was taken late in the evening on our way back from Grasslands National Park a while back. The thick fog softened everything and let the windbreak fade away into nothing. This look reminds me a bit some lomo or holga photos I’ve seen, but I really like that you can see a lot of the detail here, while still retaining that soft dreamy feeling. Although I suppose a big orange light leak would change the photo quite a bit.

Marsh Marigold

Caltha palustris in the buttercup (Ranunculaceae) family.

I got quite wet on this hike. Mostly my boots got soaked, but taking pictures like this also requires wet knees (and sometimes elbows). There are days I wish my camera had live view.

More Highlight Experimentation

Which do YOU like better? I’ve been going back to some of my older photos and trying this blowing-out-the-highlights thing. It’s a little different, and I’m still not completely sure what I think about it. So today I’m going to post two photos—from the same place, same time, and slightly different compositions.

Here’s the new one that I’m still getting used to:

Here’s the old one—this is the way things are usually done for landscape photography. I actually put my camera on my tripod, fully extended the tripod, and held it up as high as I could to get some perspective in this shot.

What do you think?

The Last Photo

Wednesday night as I was driving home from a day of hiking an owl decided to sit in the middle of a dark road — in front of my car. I braked and swerved, as anyone would who likes owls at all. Despite my efforts there were two casualties. The first is obvious (the owl didn’t make it), but the second is a little more strange. When I got home, I opened the door of the car to grab my camera from where it had been sitting in the back seat. I got the camera, but strangely there was no lens attached. Or more accurately, there was part of a lens attached. My Sigma 150 macro had broken in two. The lens is held together in the middle by three small screws in plastic. After seeing this, I’m not sure how it stays together at all. So here is the last photo taken with this lens for now.

Lens Changes

While my photo compositions and perspectives change slowly over time, lens changes transform my pictures overnight. I recently switched over to a camera system with a larger sensor, and currently only have money for prime lenses. This has taken a bit of getting used to, and limits my photography in some ways, but it has also provided opportunities I’ve never had before. Cue the shallow depth of field landscapes!


For the past couple years I’ve been doing all my photography, web development, and everything else on a Macbook Pro. It’s a nice computer. Only occasionally locks up. Does everything pretty seamlessly, almost never gets in the way. There seems to be a lot less maintenance then when I had a windows computer. Overall, I enjoy it quite a bit, but…

Every once in a while I catch myself looking wistfully at shiny new motherboards, processors, graphics cards and cases. I remember assembling them all into a modular beauty. I can picture a black screen with a command prompt and a blinking cursor. Customizing a kernel module was a frustrating and wonderful thing at the same time. Sometimes I’m really tempted to go back to linux.

So it makes sense for a programmer to use linux, maybe even a web developer, but a professional photographer? Yeah, I dismissed it as ridiculous for a while. But one day I stumbled across Bibble. Hmmm, a raw developer that works on linux. Sure there’s always been dcraw, but for managing a catalog of thousands of raw files, that really is not going to work. But Bibble is interesting. I tried a preview of version 5 on my mac, and honestly I liked the results a bit better than out of Lightroom. But here’s the problem: version 4 doesn’t support my camera, and version 5 was supposed to be out about 2 years ago – and it’s still not done. That makes me wonder about future support.

So I’m still looking wistfully at those computer parts and dreaming of linux. Don’t ask me why – I’m not missing anything on my Mac. Maybe I’m a bit sentimental.