Fog on our walk

Walking the dog this morning and the fog was amazing! Did not have a camera with me but a snap from my cell does okay. Like I tell my photography students it is as much being there as anything.

They say you never have a second chance to make a first impression. Well in photography you seldom have a second chance to get a image. Today I got a second chance. When I got home from walking the dog the fog was all gone. About an hour later my son says “wow is it foggy”, I looked out and sure enough the fog was back. Had to go out with a good camera and retake the playground image.

Fog at the playground

I like both images for different reasons. The good thing is that I at least had something to shoot the first one!

Learn about my photography courses here

Photography courses can cut through all the confusion and help you get on the right path. Photography can be an enjoyable hobby or even a business if you have the correct knowledge. I will teach you all the functions and features of your camera.

I also offer location courses and workshops for individuals or groups. All the courses may be customized to meet your learning requirements. Whether it is a point and shoot camera that you need help understanding, a new DSLR camera or a new piece of gear you want to get the most out of.

One of the first questions that I get from new students is what course should I take to start, and my response is always the same.  If you have never taken a photography course and you are interested in building your photography skills you should start with the Digital Introductory Course.  Only by starting with the basics will you be sure that you have a good base to build on in the future. Once you have a good understanding of the basics of photography you may take other courses that you are interested in.

Please follow and like us:

What print size won’t crop your image

Why does that print size crop my image?

So what print size will I be able to print without loosing any of the image? The question is almost daily. “Why is it when I get a 5×7, 8×10, 11×14 or 16×20 print made of my digital file I have some of the image cut off”?

The answer

A digital camera sensor is NOT the same proportions as the print sizes mentioned above.

Why are those print sizes so popular? According to history the sizes that we have come to know as normal where used by photographers that shot 645 medium format. These sizes fit this format perfectly.  35mm Film and most sensors in digital cameras are proportioned to 4×6, 8×12, 11×16, 12×18, 16×24. Only these sizes will give you the full image file without cropping any of your image.

Cropping can be a good thing if you plan for it. It can allow you to get closer to the subject and eliminate “extra” parts of the picture.  For some pictures it is a killer.  Imagine a picture of a large family and the people are from one edge of the image to the other.  Then the client asks for a 16×20.  Well you now have to choose who in the family that you are going to cut out. Or you will have to do a lot of editing to add sky or foreground to the image.

Full print size
The full digital image
Cropped print size
When you ask for a cropped print size

So what should you do?

When shooting images imagine that you have crop lines in your viewfinder. Or do like many did in years past and draw the crop lines in – if you so dare or are crazy enough to try.  Then leave space around your images for the cropping to the common sizes. 

If you want to do something artistic like shooting a image to print to 24″x8″ make sure that you let your client know first. That way they won’t try and order a 8×10 from that image. Or maybe do one that is more artistic in posing then do some that will fit the common format sizes.

If you do mess up and crop too tight for the print size, add some space using Photoshop. Unsure of how to add space ask when ordering and I will help you with it.

Please follow and like us:

Slow Down!!

What you see when you slow down!! I was out for a walk the other night at Belly River Campground in Waterton Lakes National Park. I have to walk slowly with my lung condition and this night was no different with the heat and humidity. As I stopped to catch my breath I could hear something in the tree beside me. It was a gentle noise like a light breeze but I could hear something in the tree. I stood still for a minute then this little guy appeared in front of my face, He had been checking me out as I stood there and had decided that I was no danger. Probably because of my wheezing he figured he could outrun me 🙂 🙂 . So he continued with his feeding. I was able to shoot a pile of images, the only thing that caused me to stop shooting was the horde of mosquitoes that showed up and the fact I left the bug spray in the van.

What you see when you slow down

So the next time you are out shooting, don’t be in a rush. Slow down and see all the things that you would miss if you were rushing past.

#nature #wildlife #naturephotography #canon #lethbridgephotographer #summer #naturecanada #ourcanadamag #bbcearth #ShareCanGeo #outdoorphotographycanadamag #myalberta #albertalife #dailyviewalberta #greatescapepublishing #imagesofcanada #natgeowild #travelalberta #sigma #sigma150600 #calgary #alberta #Waterton

More on my exploring

Please follow and like us:

American Goldfinch – Break Time

When I am trying to do some work on the van and a Goldfinch shows up I have to take a break and take some pictures. I have seen Goldfinches in the river bottom in Lethbridge. This one must have heard about the amazing food that we have and decided to do a road trip for lunch. Of course I had to sneak into the house to take some pictures. I always have the 150 – 600 Sigma ready to go on the 70D body. So I grabbed that set-up and shot off a few pictures before I had to get back to work.

He was a very cooperative subject and I got some great images. One question that I am asked about shooting birds in your backyard is how do I do it?

Do I have windows without screens on them?

Do I open windows to shoot?

Well it is yes and no. I try and remove the screen from the window and quietly open the window. But many times if I do that I scare the birds away. If they are at the back of the yard I will try and open the window. If they are close to the window I will shoot through the window. All these pictures are shot through the closed window. I do not shoot through the screen part of the window. Fortunately for me half of the window is screen. The rest is glass. So I can shoot from any window and use the non glass part.

Goldfinch and House Finch
House Finch and GoldFinch
Why is there a Goldfinch on my branch??
Why is there a Goldfinch on my branch??
Those seeds look good
Those seeds look good

Learn how to get better images

Please follow and like us:

External Hard Drives – WARNING

I am a BIG advocate of using external hard drives to store your images and data. This is of course in addition to other back-up sources. Things such as DVD’s, extra external hard drives and additional computers.

External Hard Drives

New Drive

Recently I went out and bought another external hard drive. Picked up a Lacie to transfer all my nature pictures to. That way I would have them in one place and be able to take it with me when I am on the road without taking other files. Spent a Saturday night and part of Sunday transferring and organizing the new drive. I have several other Lacie drives as back-ups and have had no problems to date. Then I took the to the studio to download the files there.

I plugged the drive into one of the studio computers and watched as it said “New Drive Detected”, “Installing Hardware”, “New Device is now ready to use”. Then I clicked on My Computer to find that the device is not there. Tried a second computer then a third, all with the same results.

External Hard Drive
External Hard Drive

That not good

I was finally able to locate the drive through a couple of backdoor routes and found that the drive was running. But after a lot of research I found that even with the computer recognizing the drive it was not accessible. After looking into it I found out that it is the way the drive was set-up from the factory.

So a word of warning, if you have an external drive that you are using make sure that it is readable on other computers! You should do this ASAP!!! I would actually try several computers to make sure if your computer should die, or be upgraded, that the external drive is accessible.

Check your drives NOW!!!

Again as a word of warning, if you have an external drive check it on another computer ASAP to make sure that it can be read, before you need the drive to work and it doesn’t. This is one of those issues that if you find out when you have a computer problem it is too late!!!

Please follow and like us:

Equipment for the wildlife photographer

What equipment do I need?

One of the most common questions that I am asked is – “I would like to get more serious with my photography, what equipment should I buy to get better pictures?”

Well it is not an easy question to answer as a lot depends on the type of photography that you want to do.  I will address this post from the nature / wildlife photographers area.

Camera

A DSLR camera, one that will take interchangeable lenses. Yes you can use other cameras and I know some great photographers that do. A DSLR allows you to switch out lenses and do upgrades using the same camera body. Also a camera that is at least 8 megapixels is a good place.  If your camera meets the above specifications then I would upgrade other equipment first.

Lenses

A good wide angle lens for landscape and a good telephoto lens for wildlife is a must. You do not need to go with the $14000.00 lens but small improvements in your lens quality and range will help you to properly frame your pictures better. I have a amazing Sigma 150-600 that I LOVE for my wildlife. Well worth every penny!!!

Flash

For nature and wildlife I would stay away from spending on any flashes.  In my opinion more important areas should be updated first.

Tripod / Monopod

If you do not have a good tripod this is an area that you should look at. The cheaper tripods are fine as a platform to hold your camera in bright light but nothing less. A good tripod will hold your camera still and allow you to pan with your lens.  You can use your tripod for long night exposures and also to hold your larger lenses. Monopods are a great option if you like to hike or just need some extra support for a big lens in bright light.  They are cheaper than a tripod and a lot lighter. These are designed to add some additional support when hand holding.

Carrying bag

A good carrying bag is a must to keep things organized and safe.  If you do a lot of hiking get a good backpack and you will never regret it.

Equipment Paterson Photography Lethbridge Eye cup
I bought a larger eye piece for shooting wildlife so it is easier to see through the viewfinder in bright sun

Batteries

Extra batteries are relatively cheap and a great idea.  Nothing is worse than getting out to a location and running out of power.  A in-vehicle charger is also a good idea to charge your batteries if you are going to be on location for a number of days.

Accessories

Other items like filters, remotes, etc can also help improve your photography. My way of telling if I need something or not is if I have needed it at least a couple times I will put it on my list to buy. I NEVER buy something if I don’t need it for some type of shooting.

Please follow and like us: