The Legacy – From a Lesson in Still Life

Grandma's Legacy

A quick freebie from a still life workshop I provided for some disabled folks yesterday. Topics included styling, composition, lighting, and use of reflectors. The subject is a handmade display case my late grandmother put together. Such memories…

Shot taken with EOS 60D, Tamron 18-270mm zoom at 33mm.

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/16, 5″

Grunge effect courtesy of Topaz Adjust.

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Ghosts at the Lake

The Twilit Lens:

One more reblog this week. Photos like these remind me of why I got into photography in the first place. Do check out her blog, “There Was a Time.” :)

Originally posted on "There was a time" -the runes of the gatekeeper's daughter and other tales:

a family story

We summered at Shawnigan Lake on the island when we were all young. I look at the old movies and photographs of us- mom, dad and the four siblings, laughing, with arms around each other, and wish I could peel back the fading layers of time. Sometimes I think I see light shining through the cracks and if I just put my eye to it there we all will be again; water skiing, swimming, sitting around the campfire roasting marshmallows and weenies. Of course, we didn’t have iPads or iPhones, so we talked, listened to transistors and read and told stories in the evenings!!

Both my parents, my grandparents,and my little brother are now gone but they and all the rest of us have left a memory here, stirring among the wind eyed trees and echoing on the lake like the lone and unknown piper whose plaintive longing…

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Mini Photo Adventure 3: The Mummy’s Tomb

photograph of rat mummy

While exploring the old barn, the owner asked me if I wanted to see “the mummy.” Naturally, I said yes.

The mummy turned out to be a rat that died long ago, apparently lying against some large object. Now, the object having been removed long ago, the carcass was hardened in place, seeming to leap into space. A tad macabre, I suppose, but the fascination with something so odd was too infectious to resist, like the thrill of a circus freakshow.

A final note in this series: I decided to post-process this image with Google’s Picasa instead of Photoshop in order to provide a low-cost alternative to those just getting started with post-processing.

Exposure Data: ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/80

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Mini Photo Adventure 2: Surreal Tractor

surreal photograph of an abandoned tractor

Part 2 of my outing with an Olympus dslr. The sky is actually composited in because I found the sky uninteresting at the time. Once again, an entry-level camera provides wonderful shots. And I’d like to add at this point that the camera did very well at high ISOs.

Final processing courtesy of Topaz Adjust and Nill PhotoFX bundle.

Exposure Data: ISO 1600, f/5, 1/640

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Mini Photo Adventure: Inspiring My Friend

photograph of broken hammer

I was offered a bit of a challenge recently. A friend of mine owns an entry-level Olympus dslr and was skeptical that he could take great shots with it. At first, I just tried to reassure him with my usual lines that “It’s the photographer, not the camera.” But I decided to take it a little further this time. He offered to lend the camera to me while he attended a family event, and in turn I said I would shoot with it and blog about my experience. So here’s the first entry in this two or three part mini series. :)

I was fortunate to tour a largely abandoned barn over the weekend and got some shots that intrigued me as an artist. I’d never worked with an Olympus model before, but I was quite pleased with the results it delivered, such as the shot of the broken hammer above.

I hope everyone who reads this little series will be inspired to practice their craft and grow confident in their own abilities. A camera is a mere tool, albeit a fascinating one. But in the end, the mind behind the camera will be what makes a great shot. Happy adventuring!

Exposure Data: ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/125

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Too Much Darkness? – A Friendly “Rant” on Doing What You Love

Photograph of statue double exposure

Not long ago someone I know accused me of being morbid, no doubt an instinctive reaction to the low-key nature of my work. I respectfully disagree with that view. Instead let me present a dream.

I’ve had light sensitive eyes all my life. I’ll squint when other people’s eyes are wide open. And since I squinted so much in my younger days, I made good use of it and imagined a “World in Twilight” where a dim reflection of our universe was the norm.

Over the years that act of imagination colored my professional leanings. Fascination with the shade and long thought sessions held in solitude: these led to a desire to create images that would make other people stop and think for a while too.

Take the image above, where a little double-exposure action gives even cold stone a soul of sorts. Aristotle may have said “Nothing is what rocks dream about.” But with a few image manipulations, stone can be seen to dream in truth and the viewer dreams right along with it.

I love making these kinds of images. And if I’m doing what I love, what I believe I was made to do, isn’t that at least part of what life is all about?

Exposure Data: ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/400

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