Posts filed under ‘Photography’

Know When to Quit

This morning I was torn between a nice long, intense bike ride on my Opus or a photography journey on my Fuji. I chose a photography ride since it is Sunday and the trails would be packed with people. I had trouble deciding what to bring and I finally decided to bring a roll of 120 Tmax 100 and finish off the roll of Ilford 100 in my Minolta Autocord. I also decided to bring my Crown Graphic and two film holders for 4 large formats shots (just in case).

We left around 8:30 and Alex was going to go to Te Aro and work on her paper for Montreal. Off we go on out bikes and once we hit Sherbourne and Gerard we parted ways. On the corner I noticed a door the screamed photo. It was a colour shot so I did nothing about it and just kept heading south on Sherbourne. A few houses down from the door scene was this guy in his front yard with a huge orange , blue and green parrot on his shoulders. The parrot was filled with colour and it’s master’s face was filled with character. I thought dam, I have no colour film so I just kept riding. I turned onto Queen St East and headed for Parliament st. It sudden;y dawned on me that I had my digital Canon G11 and I could have taken both shots. Ok, bad start. I got to Cherry St and turned west towards the docks. Two lakers were at the docks so I stopped the bike and set up my Minolta with filter and lens hood, took a light reading and proceeded to compose and take a shot of the closest boat. I then looked at another shot of the two boats and cranked the film winder to take another. Then I saw I hadn’t set the proper f stop. I set everything up for the next shot and took it. The Minolta was done. I got on my bike to look far a shady spot so I could remove the exposed film and load the next roll. Pulling everything out of my knapsack, I found I had left the new roll on the table back home, arrrggghhh. Oh well, I have four shots with the Crown so off I go on my little route.

I headed towards the water again for a different view of the laker. This time I had the Toronto skyline and the boat in the same frame. One more I pulled the Minolta, the light meter, the G11, the film holders, the Crown and various filter cases from my knapsack. I set up the Crown and pulled the lens board to the infinity stops. I put a film holder into the back and composed through the viewfinder. I took two bracketed shots and started to put everything back. When I folded the Crown I noticed the focusing rails to be at the 8 foot mark. Ok, time to quit since nothing is going right. I sent a text message to Alex saying I was on my way to Te Aro and proceeded to slowly make my way there.]

I’ll post the images when I develop them.

Some days you just have to know when to quit

May 16, 2010 at 5:26 pm 1 comment

Nikon Back

I love doing new things that require a bit of planning. As previous posts show, I have started up photography again and been a bit successful with it. I recently had a photo chosen by the Torontoist to display on their site. If you want to see the photo go here.

Anyhow, that bit of news is not what I want to write about here. In browsing Flickr I discovered a Flickr friend had produced an image using a Canon 5DmkII mounted on a Widepan sliding back attached to a Linhof 4×5″ Technika V camera with a Wollensak 11.5″ lens (see the image here) . I loved the color the lens produced and I also was attracted to the challenge of doing the same thing using my Crown Graphic. I decided I would try to attach my Nikon D80 to the camera. The fun was in the planning.

I needed a mount for the camera and Stan, at International Camera (now closed) gave me an old Nikon lens that had the mount I needed. I took the lens apart and voila, I had the adaptor. My next problem was to decide how to mount the adaptor to the Crown Graphic. I let the problem sit for a few weeks and one morning woke up with the solution. I would go to the art store and pick up a foam board that I could cut to proper dimensions and mount the adaptor on. While looking at the foam boards I saw a 5×7 canvas that artists use to paint on. It was perfect, two glued together would be just the right thickness for the Graflox back on my Crown. I bought some flat black paint and three boards and the total came to $11.

I measured the film holders and applied the measurements to the canvas, cut the canvas, found the centre location for the adaptor and cut the required hole for it. Everything worked like a charm. Actually, I was going to mount the adaptor with the lens barrel but decided to use an extension tube as a spacer for the camera and mount the adaptor fluch on the back. Here is the pre paint (I need to paint the Nikon back black) results……………

Initially I mounted the camera using a 36mm extension tube for a spacer but I couldn’t focus the camera to infinity. I stopped down the lens to f32 and this photo resulted……….

This was my very first picture using the Nikon on my Crown Graphic. Although totally out of focus I was really happy about it.

I exchanged the 36mm tube with a 20 mm one and these are the shots I took with it……….

All the above shots were with the focus on infinity so I had to test a macro shot using the same setup.

Since the Graflex uses bellows there was no reason why I couldn’t get as close as I wanted to my subject. Anyhow, the results of a closeup………………….

The lens on my Crown Graphic is Schneider Kreuznach Xenar 135 mm, a “normal” lens for 4×5. I don’t know what the focal length is when my Nikon is mounted on it but I suspect it must be around 500 or 600 mm. It was a fun project and now I need to find another one. Hmmm, maybe build a camera using an old Minolta zoom lens as a start.

May 10, 2010 at 8:25 pm 1 comment

Large Format – A Love / Hate Relationship

I belong to an online photo management and sharing application called Flickr. It’s a great place to get answers to technical questions, get critiqued on your photos and make contact with other photographers. As I have mentioned here, I have been slowly immersing myself in the world of large format photography and have documented stupid mistakes I have made while trying to take photos. A friend I had met on Flickr (and gone on photo shoots with) provided a link to endless errors large format photographers make.

If you want to browse the actual location it is here.

I have edited the list here but left the Flickr names of the members at the beginning of each entry. If you link to the site you can click on any of the contributors to see their work.

The originator of the discussion is Berin Loritsch and he starts off with;

“I have a love/hate relationship with large format photography. I think I have made enough mistakes to fill a book. As far as operating a LF camera, it’s easy to appreciate the creative freedom that it provides. Although if composing a picture on the ground glass was all that was needed, life would be good. It’s when you have to deal with everything about film handling and exposure that you really appreciate all that your small format camera does for you–film or digital.

 Here’s the challenge, let’s see if we can come up with a complete 101 ways for messing up a LF picture. I’ll get the ball rolling:

1. Load the film backwards in the film holder
2. Load the film in front of the retaining rails so that when you pull the dark slide out, the film falls into the camera. (that was embarrassing).
3. Pull the dark slide out before you switch off the preview mode on the lens.
4. Use the numbers from a meter that only gives you EV100 values when you have ISO 25 film. Really dark negatives.
5. Shoot a really low contrast scene and forget to push development. You get negatives that don’t have enough contrast even when printing grade 5.

Michael Costolo
6. Put empty film holders in your bag (only to find out they are empty when you go to develop).
7. Not flipping the darkslide over after a shot and then not being able to determine which sheet you exposed.

Berin Loritsc
8. Forgetting to compensate for bellows draw on closeups
9. Forgetting to compensate for reciprocity failure for long exposures

csant
10. Forget to tighten the controls and have your composition go down the drain when you insert the film holder (of course you realize the mistake only once you develop the film).

mattneighbour
11. Forgetting to wind on the roll film back and making a double exposure.
12. putting roll film in the 6×12 back the wrong way round, then wondering where all the frame numbers went. Fortunately I realized and didn’t try to shoot backing paper.

csant
13. When using several holders with different films (b/w, colour…), forget to take note while loading – and then not remember which film is in which holder.

electrosmack1
14. Always remember to clean out the film holders before inserting a new sheet of film. I’ve messed up more than a few negatives with dust.

Rob Cruickshank
16. Pull the Grafmatic right out of the back, instead of changing sheets.

matthew_comeskey
17. load two sheets into the holder, both backwards.
18. forget to change the lens apeture and speed when changing the lens.

and so on…

tALSit de CoD
19. Pulling off the WRONG darkslide when about to take a shot and ruining a great shot… 
Originally

Ray Pempengco
20. Forgetting to bring either a loupe, cable release, or a tripod (or all of the above).

Seqqat
21. Lose track of which film is in the holder (getting mixed up in pencil inscriptions on the holders), eventually shooting black and white when you thought this was velvia…
22. Forgetting to turn dark slide after loading the holders, getting confused, and paying E6 development of unexposed sheets…

Mr. E.
23. scratching/bending film when it doesn’t want to come out of the holder easy.
24. forgetting to change ISO on your meter when shooting different speeds.

xtol7
25. loading multiple sheets into the same Expert drum slot for developing
26. shooting film at the wrong speed after carefully labeling film holders
27. forgetting to close down the lens
28. trusting old beater shutters which were wildly inaccurate
29. light leaks on a homemade lens board
30. lensboard not secured and lens jumped into a lake
31. taking spot readings with my fancy meter in incident mode
32. fingerprints on film from clumsy loading 
Originally

Paul Vernon Photography
33. using so damn much front tilt that the edge of the image circle runs across the middle of the frame.

Paul Vernon Photography
34. Set tripod up temporarily with legs still collapsed. Put 4×5 field camera on top of tripod. While rummaging in bag for lens, use big butt to knock tripod and camera over into rushing stream. Spend rest of day drying out camera.

yo_tuco
35. Forgetting to reverse the darkslide when sliding it back into the holder after taking to picture to indicate an exposed sheet .
36. Unexpected double-exposures

OldUncleMe
37. Lose grip on darkslide in the wind and watch darkslide sail away.
38. Bump camera unknowingly and make exposure 20° to the left.

pax.
38. Load the holder with a sheet of film only to discover when you go to develop the sheet, the backing paper was loaded into the holder too.

pommas
39. Forget to drop the bed when using a wide angle lens and get blessed with fuzzy stuff in the foreground of every shot

40) Assume that what is in focus with the rangefinder is in focus on the film 
Originally

jayavant
missing number 15 in a list of 101 things that can go wrong

so i’ll do it now, out of order
15. forgetting which box you have stored your exposed sheets of film in, waiting to be processed, and opening a box of film thinking it is the box you keep processed velvia slides in….

Tim Johnson
41. Having two unopened boxes of Type 55 in the fridge – finding it difficult to make the decision on which first and last project to shoot with this classic film.

GregRob
42. Being so afraid of the wasting precious large format materials that you let purchased film expire instead of shooting it.
43. Failure to fully re-insert the envelope on a Polaroid packet into the holder before pulling it through the processing rollers.
44. Forgetting to switch the Polaroid 545 holder over to “process” mode before pulling the envelope while the holder is in your hand.

Sandeha Lynch
45. Kick tripod without realising it.
46. Somebody else kicks tripod while you were searching for the cable release.

OldUncleMe
47. Insist on hand inspection (in dark-loading bag) and almost get laughed out of Schipol Airport (Amsterdam). The security genius followed my instructions, but left the film box open in the bag when he was done!!

enjoy_alaska
47. When using quickload holders, don’t pull the darkslide out enough and get a cropped image.
48. Using a wide angle lens, carefully take a picture of your cable release.

OldUncleMe
49. Count seconds by Mississippi’s because you forgot your watch.

Berin Loritsch
50. Your cable release gets stuck because you bought a cheap Chinese release… only to find out that the release works differently than you thought.

pommas
51. Today’s screwup: Change lenses but still set everything up as though it were the other lens (went from a 90mm to 135mm, but looked at the DOF for 90mm and used the viewfinder set for 90. Grrrr)

Rob Cruickshank
52. forget to set the focal plane shutter on the Speed Graphic to “O”
53. Set the shutter to “T” when you mean “B” and turn a 5 second exposure into an indeterminately long exposure.

Berin Loritsch
54. buy outdated color film, but forget to compensate for speed loss… On the bright side, the home development went well and the color balance was good.

Ben Rains
55. Having holes in your camera bellows that cause secondary pinhole images to show up on your film.
56. Not being careful enough with your film development agitation and having your negatives come out unevenly developed.

killtheDJ
57. Mis-labeling your film holders so that you think you are shooting black and white, when instead you are shooting color, and then subsequently developing those color negatives in b&w chemicals… oh and it’s 8×10 film.

MJM67
58. Having you stopwatch malfunction (OK it was me) 3 times in a row on 12-15 sec exposures!. I was actually using my cell phone as a stopwatch–it has a stopwatch function, but it was a pain in the butt to use,

OldUncleMe
59. get lazy, and don’t drag your camera with you, don’t even go out … this has messed up untold shots for me!

Ben ©
60. Buying film then getting so broke you need to sell it.

angryalan.com
61. Forget your tripod plate and have to hand hold the camera.

Cristiano Abreu
Been there myself… traveling more than 100 kms to shoot with a F2 monorail, just to find that I forgot the tripod on the floor of my room 😦 that’s what I gain from sleeping too little

My history of goof-ups has been to forget to change back the ISO setting on the lightmeter for different films and underexpose the negative, pulling the DS before cocking the shutter with the preview lever opened (normally manageable by estimating a new time and re-exposing the shot if the overall exposure was long enough in the first place), and
62. taking the holder out of the bag accidentally by pulling the DS, which was not secured due to a loose pin, and partially exposing the neg before sliding it back again in hastiness.

Al Graham
63. Drill the hole for the shutter’s locator pin in such a way that it gets covered when you open the aperture to set up your shot, then uncovers a bit when you turn the aperture down to shoot.

Mr. E.
64. Shoot at an out of town location, wandering around. Instead of putting finished exposed holder in your ass pocket or back in your bag leaving it on the ground and not realizing until you get home and go to develop. Was one of my few good holders too…

pommas
65. From yesterday: Realize after two sheets that today’s loaded holders do not follow the usual convention of “black side unexposed, white side exposed”. So, change to proper system for holders 2 and 3. But holder 4, already in the bag, had the correct system. So which is which? Bound to have two blank sheets. Grrr

matthew_comeskey
66. take the wrong tripod head to location and get stuck finding a way to fit a LF camera to a MF head. sighhh… will the stupidity end? Probably not.

pommas
67. Try using a Quickload holder and realize that the release button must be depressed before any pulling happens and thereby yank off the metal slide that holds the envelope closed. Hello, over exposed $3 film sheet.

pommas
68. (tonight’s other screw-up) Forget which of the three infinity stops is the right one for a given lens and end up with out of focus sheets (difficult to focus on the GG in the dark). A whole evening for naught!

picsbymac
69.Deciding to start shooting at 11 pm when tired is silly, and possibly .

spiky247
70. the ground glass is dark, so you open up the lens, but it’s still dark, and then you realize you just made a double exposure on an already inserted, and open film holder.

Alex.Springer
71. Insert your film holder and pull out the darkslide, then cock the focal plane shutter on your Speed Graphic. Then realize that cocking the focal plane shutter will expose the film as the slit winds past.

cabbiinc
72. buy a LF camera but fail to buy any film holders for it.
73. forget to tighten the front standard and the first few frames are spot on while everything else gets that fuzzy foreground effect increasing more and more.

GregRob
74. Get frustrated with your Polaroid holder, and start slamming things a little too hard so you end up knocking the camera out of whack. (Shift and Swing the rear). 
-or phrased differently-
Not being cautious while inserting things into the camera and accidentally changing the swing and shift.

Th@fred
75. shooting handheld with my Graflex 4×5 and in a hurry put the dark slide in my trousers front pockets, the scene needed a lower pov and as soon as I bend my knees I cracked the darkslide in two (I had only 2 holders at the time)….
76. pulling a holder out of my messenger bag and finding only a darkslide in my hand and a open holder in my bag (curse those loose fidelity elite “locks”!)* allready mentioned under #62 sorry!

jayavant
77. load a quickload backwards

csant
78. “Now, *this* is an empty holder, I always put the exposed ones over *there*” – and open it for cleaning… (in daylight, of course, why would you clean the holder in the dark?…)

Xia Ke
79. Went out shooting some lobster boats in the cove this morning. Had a great scene all composed. Apparently after I composed I was a little too focused on making the exposure as when I got home and developed the shot, I found a few people had walked in frame, dead center 😦

pommas
80. Set up a night shot outside the house, open the shutter, leave, and completely forget it. Wake up the next morning and think, “wasn’t there something I needed to remember?”

NoJuan
81. Break your ground glass on the first day of a two week road trip!
82. Run out of film with three days left on your trip and trying to find film in a series of small towns along the way.

libertyinlight
83. Meter with a DSLR with a polarizer on, then forget to transfer the polarizer to the LF lens and make 3 frames 2 stops overexposed.
84. Decide “4 shots is enough” the night before and not reload the other 4 film holders, then burn 3 of them as mentioned above.
85. Brag to mother in law how quick I was getting setting up the LF camera, make the mistakes above, only realize it after screwing the bellows back down and have to completely reset to get the shot with the remaining piece of film. Elapsed time: 45 minutes.
86. Not test every single film holder before flying to Alaska only to discover that one of them has a not-insignificant light leak. I still don’t know which one of them is the culprit.

John Falky
87. Proudly demonstrating your camera out in the boonies to a Mexican Rancher, only to find that you have no battery in the light meter….who nods and nods, and then drives off….failure and humiliation.

spodzone
88. Realise, 55miles up the road, that there’s not much point in carrying a LF lens if the rest of the LF camera is still at home, resulting in emergency trip to one of the better camera shops in Scotland en route to the scenery. Oops.

Rob Cruickshank
89. Hand Speed Graphic to friend, but forget to tell him about the shutter select switch which always slides back up to “back” and which I hold in place without thinking. Forget to open back shutter again after explaining problem to friend. Spend rest of evening shooting blanks.

Ben Anderson (#BennehBoy)
90. Shoot some portraits on 8×10 chrome, sync a shoe mounted strobe on Auto for fill and forget to not obstruct the meter on the flash whilst holding it up = overexposure.

ndavid
91. pushing the release button on the Fuji Quickload when pulling the envelope out for the shot, pulling the film too. paying to develop a blank sheet.
92. finding a great landscape shot with a painter painting the scene, and getting him to agree to pose. (he was very helpful in getting the lighting just right) forgetting to stop down the apreture, oeverexposing by more than a few stops. It would be too embarrassing to meet that gentleman again.

Chris McIntosh [www.cmcintoshphoto.com]
93. Missing the correct tray when developing.
First times developing sheet film I a) put the negative in the stop bath first- fail, and b) missed the tray and had the negative stick to the scratchy sink surface. Too bad there’s no clone stamp in the real darkroom for scratches/ dust.

cjcowan
94. Finish shooting. Take lens off camera. Realize the film holder is still in the camera and along with the lens, you’re holding the darkslide.
95. Start developing film at 1 in the morning. Place 6 sheets into the developer at the same time instead of one by one. Swear a lot for the next 5 minutes while you try to pry them apart.

John Falky
96. You take your Crown Graphic on a hike. The girlfriend comes along. you take a picture of the Crown Graphic and the girlfriend with your 35mm, and after developing you find unfettered hate being displayed toward the Crown Graphic, it is wisely left at home on subsequent trips. Now the girlfriend is gone, the Crown Graphic lives on.

Matt Perko Photography
97. Changed a lens on a Cambo 4×5 and when sliding the lever back to lock the lens in place, I inadvertently slid it too far which unlocked the bellows. The bellows hung there about a 1/4″ or so away from the front standard while I took a shot.

angryalan.com
98. Set up final shot, remove darkslide, shoot exposure, start to disassemble camera beginning with lens, completely forgetting to replace the darkslide.
Too late, film is overexposed due to light.
No more film left.

JackDahlgren
99. Change your portrait set-up, open the lens up to recompose, shoot photo at 3 stops over-exposed
100. Hold camera up, set shutter and aperture, check rangefinder, check wire frame, anticipate the moment… shoot…. pull darkslide…
101. Buy a large format camera

Just another train nut
102. Get fed up with all of the above and go buy a digital P&S.

pommas
103. Think you’re all sophisticated using the zone system in a new way, but forget to re-set the light meter to reflect the N+2 situation. Shoot 4 sheets of precious, irreplaceable film. Somewhat rescued by developer….

Medusa83
104. Forgot to bring film and film holders as they were in a separate bag from the camera. Needless to say very short day after a very long drive.

GregRob
105. When using a digital camera to check lighting before exposing real film forgetting to set the DSLR ISO to match the 4×5 film ISO.

NO Photography
106. Getting permission to use your schools darkroom to load film. Then loading the six film holders and turn on light to leave, realizing as the flourescent lights were warming up that the rest of your film was outside of the box on the table. Thankfully I only lost 2 exposures

zach elston
107. shifting your crappy super cheap tripod because you shoved your ill-fitting film holders in too hard, losing composition…being too lazy to fix it.
108. dropping all of your film holders in the snow by accident before you even take one shot…

Chris Walrath
109. While waiting for the light to change with your Sinar on the tripod, throw a stick for your dog to fetch, forgetting your holding the leash. Oh, you threw the stick past the camera and your dog is a Great Dane.

pommas
110. Set up shot for long exposure, hit shutter. Repeatedly run to camera to cover lens to avoid car headlights in shot. At the end of the 6 minute exposure, realize the lens was not set on T after all, but on 1/15.

And I wonder WHY we do this …………………………….

April 20, 2010 at 7:48 pm Leave a comment

Two Months Later

Well, it’s been quite the journey. In the last post I talked about my two new cameras. The Monolta Autocord and my Pacemaker Crown Graflex. I have pretty much all I need to develop my skills with these two cameras but I must admit, the large format Crown is going to be a challenge.

I have taken 2 rolls of 120 with the roll film back and both of those were a disaster. There are too many things wrong for me to begin analyzing at this time. Some of it is mechanical, either the film back or the camera. I have stopped trying to get this back to work.

The other format, for which this camera is designed, is 4 x 5. I have taken 12 shots, actually, 14 shots. I develop the sheet film in batches of 6, since that’s all my tank holds. The first batch I developed was a first on many fronts. A first using the tank system I bought, a first loading sheet film into the holders and after, into the tank holders and a first shooting with the camera. There have been 3 runs of developing and each one has been totally different from the last. In the first batch, I had two negatives that I shot and 4 that were in the holders when I received them. My two negatives turned out fine. The second batch had light leaks on ALL the negatives and the third batch , well, let’s see. I had two shots that were good, except for the minor light leak. The two middle shots were completely ruined by a major light leak and the last 2 were actually funny. I took my shot and then changed the shutter and f stop for the second shot. I did not reverse the film holder so I ended up with 1 totally blank negative and 1 double exposure. Thank goodness I was bracketing the scene with a tripod so the blur is not too bad. Anyhow, here are the examples…….

This is a photo of vertical blinds. I shot this to test the shutter and other things. It was more or less my first shot with large format and it was also the first batch of developing. Notice there aren’t ANY light leaks in this shot.

This is from my second batch. Notice the light leaks on both sides of the image. This same pattern also appeared in the third batch and I have no clue where it’s from. The contrast in this one is ok but the image is a little harsh

This image is also from the second batch with the same light leaks. In addition, the whole image is kind of a gray, Contrast is bad. The other images are more or less like this one in terms of the gray and the light leaks. Notice the light leak is the same pattern as the others

These last two images are from my third batch. Out of 6 negatives I manged to get 2 of any use. This image is great, except for the light leaks. This is the result I am looking for. Lot’s of tones, good highlights and detail in the shadows. I had a hell of a time during developing this batch. When you pour the developer into the tank you want to make sure it goes in relatively quickly. For some reason, the liquid would not go into the tank quickly enough. It took over two minutes for me to get the developer in. I extended the developing time by 30 secs and I was lucky with this negative. Note the persistent light leak again.

This is the other image that was more or less useful. It’s a double exposure and you can see from the swirls on the image that the developer didn’t get in there quick enough. It’s still a success as far as I m concerned, lol. Actually, the reason I am very pleased with these two is because of the tonal range in both of them. If I can keep producing images with these tones I will be very happy. Note the light leak again.

The Minolta is another story. I am REALLY happy with this camera. I have lot’s to learn with it but overall, I have been taking some nice photos with it AND developing the film myself. Here’s some of the results with this camera.

This was from the very first roll I shot with the Minolta and probably the reason I kept going with it.

There were LOTS of mistakes with those first few rolls and there are still mistakes being made but I am REALLY pleased with this camera.

And a little later…………

and I blew this one up to 20 by 20 and it’s still crisp and sharp……..

I can see myself giving in to the large format but never to the medium format of the Minolta. I’ll keep trying to perfect the large format and see where it goes. First thing is to figure out where that darn light leak comes from.

Until next time…………………..

April 16, 2010 at 7:03 pm 2 comments

Canada, The First Week

We’ve done a lot over the past week. Signed our lease, got our medicare cards updated and I joined Hart House so I can get back to the gym.

Our apartment is right down town and actually 3 floors directly above our old one. Talk about luck. We move into the place in June. This is our little oasis in the middle of downtown Toronto.

Yesterday, Pearl took us to a park right near her place. Consider this, the park is in an urban area, cycling distance (long maybe) from downtown Toronto. When we went I felt that the ambience and feelings were Canada. This park represented how I felt about Canada. It was great. I had never felt that way before but as Alex explained, sometimes you have to leave and come back before you notice these things. It was so true. There were loons diving for fish, geese flying low over the water and lines of other water fowl flying in formation past the point. The mist was light and the air cool. It really struck me that I was back in Canada.

Not many people around either. After the crowds in Barcelona, this was nice.

The trees had not yet grown their new leaves and most of them held only the hint of green. Some were further along than others but the mixture was lovely. Subtle coloring in the background and calm waters made for a sensuous ambiance.

The boats were ready for another season and people were out cleaning and socializing. For boaters, it was more socializing than cleaning……

Alex exploring the photo ops of bleached driftwood. She bought herself a new digital camera and was testing it out.

We had a great time thanks to Pearl. We will be doing this once a week like we did in Barcelona. We hope to pick a neighborhood in Toronto every week and go exploring with our cameras. I’ll post something about where we went and some photos and if I can, I’ll give a little history. Our friends in Barcelona will be able to know more about Canada. I hope it makes them interested enough to come visit.

May 10, 2007 at 3:32 pm 1 comment

We Are All Photographers Now

Last week I found a post about an art project in Lausanne, Switzerland. The exhibition is titled “We Are All Photographers Now” and it’s being held at the musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne. The exhibition is about the rapid mutation of amateur photography in the digital age and displays photos from around the world. Anyone can submit an entry via their web site which is here.

When an entry is submitted, you receive an email from the museum containing the following message…….

Thank you for uploading your picture. You are the xxxxth contributor to upload a photo to our servers! It will be shown in the galleries of the Musée de l’Elysée during the exhibition “All photographers now”.
Once the exhibition starts, we will photograph all the images. If yours is being shown, you will receive an e-mail with a picture showing how your image was exhibited.

In my case I was the 18,161th contributor.

As I understand it, they will randomly choose 100 photographs a week. These pictures will then be printed and shown as such for a full week before being replaced by the selection from the following week, and be subsequently archived in the permanent collection of the Musée de l’Elysée. All other photos will be selected at some point and will be displayed using projection or other means.

I sent two photos last week and today I received an email containing the following message…….

Your image was shown in the Musee de l’Elysee’s exhibit ‘We are all photographers now!’ in the last few days. Enclosed you will find an installation view of your image that shows it in the wall.

The visitors to the exhibit are fascinated by all the different photographs that are being shown from participants like you from all over the world. Thank you again for participating and please feel free to upload more images to the site

Here’s the image I submitted …..

and here is the installation photo ………….

I know it’s a random selection process but hey, I’m still proud of it being there.

March 5, 2007 at 2:38 pm 3 comments

Thursday’s Walk Feb 15,2007

I post all my photos in a place called Flickr. It’s more than just a storage place for photographs, it’s also a virtual community of photographers, artists and all types of creative individuals. One of the things I enjoy about Flickr is the ability to join a group. These are special interest communities. One may be only for critiquing, one for Black and White photography, etc.

There is one that stands a little above the others with the addition of it’s own web site that interacts with Flickr. It’s called UTATA. The admins are great for getting projects going and a regular project is the Thursday Walk. This week was Utata Thursday Walk 44. All you have to do is get out there on Thursday and take some pictures. This Thursday I did and this is what I saw and where I went. Those who visited will remember these places.

When I stepped out of our apartment I was met with clear blue skies, a great day.

I started my walk towards the Med and on the way I saw two police on horseback. We don’t see too much of that here in Barcelona so I was pretty cool.

At the next corner there were a bunch of police directing traffic. Four officers were on the sidewalk watching three others in the street. I suspect they were from the police academy and were training. I tried to get their photo but one waved me off so I figured I shouldn’t push it.

I kept walking towards the Arc de Triomf at the end of Psg Sant Joan with the sun in my eyes, it was really bright.

Once on the other side of the arc I noticed the bicycle path, this city has a very large network of cycle paths all over the city and on weekends the people are out in force on their bikes.

Looking to the right I noticed I could see the spire of Santa Maria del Mar with the sun shining between the buildings, gorgeous light.

I walked down the centre of this massive walkway and noticed a large group of elderly men playing a game of ……… Don’t know what it’s called but they were into a serious discussion (maybe cursing the dam paparazzi which was me)

I walked all the way down to the entrance of Parc Ciutadella and ventured in towards the mechanical sculpture. I turned and saw the Musee de Zoologia.

That big gear to the right is part of a massive sculpture. There were ducks in the water and they weren’t afraid of people because I got really close to one.

From there I walked throught some groves of palms and other trees. They were watering the sun shinning through the branches made for a very dramatic scene.

I stayed until they turned off the water, the air was cool and you could feel the oxygen that was in the dense brush, really fresh. I went over to the big fountain and just sat on a bench observing people with their dogs or kids or just reading books.

The sound of the water, the sunlight shining throught the trees and the cool air in the shade made this place a very peaceful and relaxing place.

I was supposed to meet Alex at 1:30 and go for lunch. It was around 12:30 and she called to see where I was. I told her and 10 minutes later she joined me. We went to lunch at a place on the corner of Psg Pujades and Lluis Companys, of course we ate out on the terrace and it was Paella day.
It was a wonderful day, it was a Thursday Walk

February 16, 2007 at 4:20 pm 3 comments

I’ve been published!!

I didn’t want to say anything before, but now that it’s out, I can tell everybody! A few weeks ago, the editor of BCN Week saw some of my pictures of Barcelona on flickr and asked me if I wanted to collaborate with them. BCN Week is a free English-language newspaper distributed weekly here in Barcelona with articles on what’s happening on the city that week. I hesitated since I’m not a professional photographer but what the heck, they weren’t going to pay me anyways and if they didn’t like the pictures, they didn’t have to use it. So they gave me a project – I was to submit 15-20 pictures on the Romantic Barcelona. By romantic, they didn’t mean couples kissing or anything like that but rather what did I see as the ideal Barcelona, the romantic view that inspired me to come.

Well, you can see the results here:

Romatic Bcn, by me!

Now I need to find the printed version and see if it came out on that too 😉

February 13, 2007 at 10:22 am 6 comments

Moussa ag Assarid

La Vanguardia is a castilian-language newspaper from Catalunya that I often read when having lunch at the bakery near the archives. The backpage always has an interview with some interesting person with a fascinating life. Usually people who make a difference in their communities.  Today’s feature was about Moussa ag Assarid.

MoussaLike his father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Moussa was a shepherd in the sahara, part of a nomadic Berber tribe called the Touareg.  One day, when he was a child, the Paris-Dakar rally went through his camp and a book fell out of a French journalist’s bag. Moussa rushed to return the book to her but the journalist gave it to him as a gift and explained what it was about. It was the Little Prince. He vowed one day he would be able to read it himself. Two years later, after his mother died, he convinced his father to let him go to school. He walked 15 km every day until a teacher took pity on him and gave him a bed. A lady in the village fed him. His persistence paid off, he won a scholarship to study in France, has written a book and now studies management at the University of Montpellier. His book, Y’a pas d’embouteillage dans le désert! Chroniques d’un Touareg en France, became a huge hit in France and Moussa uses his new-found popularity to speak in defence of the nomadic pastoral tribes that live in the desert of North Africa.

In Europe, he cried when he saw running water for the first time. Until that day, he says, “every day of my life had been spent in the search and collection of water”. His mother died in a drought when he was twelve. Seeing water run from faucets was too powerful for him.  It still pains him when he sees elaborate water fountains. But what shocked him the most was the materialism of western society, the fast-paced life, our inability to live the here and now. The lack of human contact that lead so many to pay so that specialists can listen to our problems.
Moussa’s life is  one of those inspirational stories that make us think about our own life and sense of priorities. He’s going to be here in Barcelona next monday and we hope to catch his photography exhibit at Baïbars bookstore.

Click here for an interview with Moussa in French.

In Spanish, his book is called En el desierto no hay atascos: un Tuareg en la ciudad

February 1, 2007 at 8:43 pm 1 comment

Most Viewed Photographs

Here is a slide show of my most viewed photographs. I still can’t figure out what attracts people to an image. Some of these I wouldn’t have expected to be on the list. This slide show is always changing, depending on the views, so come back later.

To view the slide show, click HERE

February 1, 2007 at 3:39 pm 2 comments

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