February 9, 2017
The 10th Anniversary (Winter 2017) issue of Outdoor Photography Canada Magazine is now at the newsstands. Congratulations to editor Roy Ramsay and the staff at OPC! Ten years ago, I began writing and illustrating a feature called 'Discovering Canada' in each issue of the magazine. With this 40th issue, I explore the northwestern region of Ontario, the Lake of the Woods area in and around Kenora that borders the eastern side of Manitoba. Each issue of the magazine features interesting and topical articles by some of Canada's finest nature and outdoor photographers ... and the images aren't too shabby either! In every issue, editor Roy Ramsay runs a profile with an interview and portfolio of images from either an aspiring or seasoned photographer. And there is much, much more too! I invite you to have a look and join us!
November 4, 2015
F8 and be there! It pays to be ready. Most importantly though, you have to be there! You need to make the effort. I left Winnipeg with my friend Dave Benson on a wet and soggy early morning around 4:30 AM and arrived in Kenora just before sunrise. It rained for most of the two-hour drive. It looked as if the sky would clear just in time for sunrise at Middle Lake and, in fact it did, but it only lasted a few minutes, just enough to create a few images. Had I listened only to the current weather forecast or not made the trip out to Kenora, the top image would have remained unexposed. The sky remained fairly cloudy for the rest of the day but I did return later at sunset to capture the bottom image. I used neutral graduated filters to better balance the extreme contrast of light. F8 and be there!
October 28, 2015
I came across this quiet, intimate view of lily pads floating in Middle Lake, Kenora after spending a few moments capturing a brief but dramatic sunrise. I had driven to Kenora with my friend Dave Benson to pick up a series of fine art prints from a show that had been hanging at Elizabeth Campbell Books for a couple of months. From the high vantage point of a rocky ledge, I isolated the lily pads with my 70-200mm lens fitted with a polarizing filter. While the 'big landscape' is often captivating, I am more often than not attracted to the more personal and interpretive intimate view.
October 28, 2015
While in Kenora last August to do a book signing for my Ontario book (Turnstone Press) at Elizabeth Campbell Books, I spent a few hours in the early part of the morning exploring the area. Driving along the TransCanada Highway, the sun peeked through the clouds long enough to create these long, dramatic shadows of evergreen trees.
November 10, 2013
Two weeks ago I led a photo workshop in Kenora for the 'Word On The Water' Book Festival. We had wonderful participation from folks across Northwestern Ontario as well as from Winnipeg. Things started 'in the dark' literally with Ontario Hydro shutting down power in much of the city at 6:30 AM which made meeting the participants an interesting event in the lobby of the inn.
Arriving at our destination at Rushing River, heavy cloud covered much of the sky but held some promise for dappled light later in the morning. Rushing River provided plenty of inspiration eventhough the leaves had mostly fallen off the trees. This simply forced us to 'look' more attentively and begin to 'see' shapes, lines, form, texture and color rather than subject matter itself. For one participant however, it meant thinking more in terms of B&W as this was his medium of choice.
Back indoors around mid-morning, we downloaded the morning's images and began to edit and process the images following some instruction. I demonstrated my workflow as well as how I process my images using a few different examples. I also demonstrated how different software tools can assist in bringing about one's creative vision. An image critique at the end of the day gave us all a chance to see what the various participants created that morning. It is always interesting to see how differently each one of us can interpret a particular scene. I critiqued the images by offering ways for improvement, always trying to keep in mind what the photographer is trying to communicate. I feel it is also important to invite comments from the other participants so that this becomes an inclusive dialogue rather than a lecture.
While I heard from most of the participants that the day had been very succesful, I would like to add that workshop leaders often benefit from these events too. As is often the case, I was quite pleased to see a number of fine images presented. What inspired me perhaps the most from this workshop was seeing how a few individuals focused on Black and White photography. I have always had a soft spot for B&W and I really enjoyed darkroom work, particularly during my formative years. When I changed career paths to working as a full-time freelance professional photographer many years ago, B&W took a 'back seat' as it was seldom in demand for commercial work. However, my interest in B&W remained and this workhop simply re-ignited my love for B&W. Thank you participants for this inspiration!
Below are a few images that I have processed since the workshop. Be sure to CLICK on the main image in order to see the other images.