Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Did I Tell You it's Cold Out There?

I love winter, truly I do, I embrace the beauty of the season, been skiing for 38 years and that keeps me sane during the winter. This year it's cold, I mean really cold as in a puffy down jacket on a cold January's night has no insulation value with arctic winds taking the windchill down -38c or some crazy number like that.

If you plan to go out and partake in some winter photography, dress in layers,  have spare batteries for your camera as they drain fast in cold and keep them close to your body. I still shoot with film and my go to camera for winter and travel photography, the Olympus OM-1n has a mechanical shutter so the battery just powers the centre weighted light meter.

For this series of photos I used a black and white motion picture stock as a still film from a German company called ORWO .  The particular product was 35mm UN54 which is rated 100 ISO for daylight and I process in Kodak Xtol at a one part developer one part water ratio for 6 minutes and 30 seconds.









To give you an idea how cold it got this January:



This was last year first week of February:

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fun with a iPhone 5s

I love my new iPhone 5s, my plan rolled over and I had Fido Dollars to redeem. A lot of pixels have been devoted to this handset in the "smartphone wars", what grabbed me aside from the speed courtesy the A7 chip which gives way more computing power was the big leap forward with the camera which has double the number of pixels my old iPone 4 had.

Now here's the deal with smart phones period you can do lots of neat things with them, I love my panorama feature on my 5s. Here's the deal it's not so much the stock camera but the apps you can use so you have greater creative control of your images and they are easy to use in terms of editing.

The apps I use on a regular basis are Google Snapseed , VSCOcam which is a very elegant app that also includes an online community like Instagram and if you edit your photos via Adobe Lightroom, plug ins to give you to opportunity to re-create the look of different slide and negative films. Another app worth looking at for download is 645pro which gives you control of your smartphone camera as if it were a DSLR or a mirror less Micro 4/3 camera with the added bonus you can create the image in TIFF files. That gives you even more creative control if you download to your computer and edit from there in either Aperture if you are a Mac user, Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop if you have time on your hands.

So go out there and play with some apps and see where your smartphone photography can go.







Shot with the VSCOcam app with the C1 filter applied



Edited with Google Snapseed

Friday, January 24, 2014

Winter Part Three: The Last of the Post Ice Storm Shots.

Finally gone through the last of my post ice storm shots from over the Christmas holidays. I'm amazed at what I got out of this roll.

Camera: Olympus OM-1md, various Zuiko lenses.
Film: Kodak Tri-X400, Xtol 1+1.











Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Winter Wonderland

Sorry for the silence but I got the second act of a cold I caught back in December and have been distracted over a week.

Aside from the occasional Polar Vortex and the December ice storm, this has been a fun winter so far and great for skiing. In fact I think this is the first real winter I remember since the 1970s at the risk of dating myself. One thing, there's no way I'm sitting on a chairlift of the windchill goes below -18c while I am a dedicated skier, I'm not THAT dedicated.


Camera: Olympus OM-1md, Zuiko MC 50 f1.8 lens,
Film: Kodak Tri-X400, Xtol 1+1.





Monday, January 13, 2014

This is Winter, Part Two

If you're looking for fancy title, you're out of luck my friend. Winter is a constant season. As I am writing this the CBC call in program Cross Country Check Up is playing in the background with the topic "Coping with winter, have we become weather wimps?"

 I spent the first 12 years of my life in Montreal and cold winters were the norm. This past Monday night and into Tuesday it dropped to -40c with the windchill, I didn't go out out of common sense. I just know better, the cold doesn't last forever. I love winter just as much as Summer because the beauty in the landscapes. My only wish is we got more snow and a lot less freezing rain.

Camera: Olympus OM-1md, Zuiko MC 50 f1.8 lens.
Film: Kodak Tri-X400, Xtol 1+1.









Wednesday, January 08, 2014

This is Winter, Part One

The one byproduct of the great ice storm of 2013 is stunning winter photography. I enjoyed shooting between Christmas and New Years because while cold, a layer of snow over the ice covered the landscape up in Caledon Ontario. I go skiing at a private ski club in this neighbourhood and I take pictures on the drive up and on the way home, I never get tired of shooting the landscape up here and it's so close to the GTA.  What struck me was how white the landscape was, even more so then after a regular snowstorm.

Hearing stories from the locals made me very thankful I was only without power for a day, west of Highway 10 the power was out for a week around Belfountain, Brimstone and Forks of the Credit Road. What left me in awe were the trees bent over from the weight of the ice which you see along Mississauga Rd. in the bottom photo.



Camera: Olympus OM-1MD, Zuiko MC 50 f1.8 lens,
Film: Kodak Tri-X 400, Xtol 1+1.







Saturday, January 04, 2014

Ice Storm 2013.

Four days before Christmas, Central Canada got sucker punched with a weekend long ice storm, electrical grid suffered some serious damage in parts of Greater Toronto and other regions of Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. I was fortunate that my neighbourhood was only without power for 12 hours, other people were in the dark and cold for over a week.

One side effect of this weather disaster is the beautiful images with the ice encrusted branches. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, I kept looking up, not so much for potential subject matter to document but to make sure a branch is not going to land on my head.  I cringe when I hear people complain about the snow, I'll take a snow storm over freezing rain every time.

Camera: Olympus OM-1MD, Zuiko 75-150 Zoom lens, 50 f1.8 MC lens,
Film: Kodak Tri-X400, Xtol 1+1,
Location: My driveway in Oakville







Thursday, January 02, 2014

Post Christmas Photowalk Part Three

I really have to wrap this series up, there's lot of neat images I want to show you soon.

Walking around Boxing Day allows me to document an environment I move through once a week usually on my way to University of Toronto's St. George Campus. Documenting the construction chaos at Union Station without the commuters is a rare treat.

Camera: Nikon FM, mostly the Nikkor H 28 f3.5 lens,
Film: kodak Tri-X400 processed in Xtol 1+1.