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.

On the hunt

The hunt!

I was in Waterton on the hunt for some birds. So far the day was pretty productive but there was still a lot of daylight remaining and I wanted to get some more pictures. I decided that I would stop at one of my favorite spots. Maskinonge is located just outside the Waterton Park gates and I find a lot of birds pass through here. I parked my van the White Turtle II in my favorite spot. I came across the usual birds as soon as I arrived, a mix of song birds, a Heron, a couple Trumpeter swans and a number of ducks.

I cam e across a couple Trumpeter Swans on my bird hunt
Trumpeter Swans

The hunter becomes the hunted

I was enjoying taking their pictures but the birds seemed nervous. I spotted a couple hawks and an eagle across the lake and even they seemed nervous. Then the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I heard a noise a ways away, but close enough that I turned towards the noise. It was like I was being watched. I reached down to make sure that the pepper spray was still on my belt and wondered if I needed it if it would still work. I looked around but could not see anything but I felt it, then I spotted it.

Hidden on the ground behind some trees it could survey the entire lake. It was not close enough to pounce on me but it wasn’t that far away. I tried to get a better angle to get a picture but it was well hidden in the trees. I did not want to approach to close as the closer I got the worse the angle would be to get a picture. Also the closer I got the more chance that I would get injured should it get spooked.

A good perch

I finally found a spot that I was in the open but a ways away. I watched it for a while but it did not seem like it was in any hurry. By its size I could only imagine what it was like when dinosaurs roamed this area. It was HUGE!!!! I also realized what it must have been like to be hunted by a Pterodactyl.

After watching it for several minutes I figured that it must be asleep as it had not moved since i spotted it. I then took some pictures of the birds in the area that were also confused by this massive invader in their wetlands. They would go about their routine but they were keeping a close eye on it.

It moves!!

After about 20 minutes of photographing the birds I heard another noise. It was getting ready to move. Before I could turn my body it was starting to rise behind the trees. Then without warning it put it’s nose down and started coming towards me. I had fortunately left enough space so that I had time to react. I swung my camera around and grabbed a few shots, not even thinking about the bear spay on my belt.

Before I knew it it was looming over me. As it went past I noticed that all the birds in the area were taking off and seeking cover. It headed west towards the river then it turned to the north. As fast as all that happened it was again quiet. The lake was now empty of birds but it would only be a short time till they came out from hiding and flew back from their hiding places.

I survived

Well they say that any time you survive an adventure it is a good one. I had survived!! I realized that I was now getting hungry and it was getting late so I decided that I would head to the campground for supper. A good day it was, a number of great images and an experience that I have not had in Waterton before!!

Mom & hungry baby
Heron on the hunt
Heron
Hidden behind the trees
It rises!!
Here it comes!!
There it goes…….

Screen Door

I wanted to add some extra airflow and a screen door seemed to be the best option. For me there is nothing better than sitting on a screened in porch to enjoy the late evening light or the early morning light without worrying about mosquitoes. Now I can lay in bed and enjoy the scenery and no bugs.

I want to do a screen for the side door but have been putting it off till I figure out what I am doing with the layout of the van. A back screen seemed like a great idea. I can say the view is second to none while laying in bed. Plus when the heat of the day gives way to cool evening breezes the van cools off REALLY fast!!

White Turtle III
My lawn chair and the back door screen

I priced out having this made locally but the company that I had quote from was not overly encouraging, nor were they cheap. I thought of having my wife sew it. But I knew I would tweak it and she would not be happy to make the changes. So I went REALLY hi-tech and bought some high quality screen, some Velcro and a roll of duct tape. After about an hour of design and tweaking I had my screen. I am thinking of some adjustments but so far it performs 100%.

Screen Door
Velcro grabs on the carpet that I put under the bed to stop the mattress from sliding
Screen Door
Can stay in place when the doors are closed

The only time I think I will remove it is in the winter. I want to get a insulated blanket done for the back and the side door. Once I have the insulated blanket I think I will take the screen out. I can use the screen to make a pattern for the blanket.

I also have made a canopy that goes over the back doors when they are open. Now I can leave the doors open in the rain. Another luxury of the White Turtle III.

More about my exploring and the White Turtle III here.

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.

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

Borderless Art Card / Postcard

Finally available a folding borderless art card. Printed on a fine art paper this is great for a gift, for trade shows and art shows.

Art cards printed on fine art water color paper.  These cards have a very expensive feel and look at a reasonable price!

I can make these cards using a digital image, negative, slide, print or from your art work

Suitable for:

  • Christmas cards
  • Birthday cards
  • Graduation cards
  • Thank you cards
  • Wedding announcements
  • Gift cards with your art work or photography
  • Art cards to sell at craft shows
  • and many more uses.
Borderless art card
Borderless art card

Flat cards

Flat cards are 5×7 in size and can be printed with or without borders. Back text can be black & white or color.

5×7 flat cards (standard – no text on back) $2.20
5×7 flat cards (deluxe – with text on back)  $2.30

Folding cards

Folding cards are 5×7 when folded and can have a border of 1/4″ or no border. Back text can be black & white or color. Printing can be inside on top of fold, below fold and / or on back of card.

5×7 Folding cards with or without inside text including envelopes $2.75

Card Boxes


When you want to put together a collection of cards a card box is PERFECT. A clear top with black bottom will easily hold up to 24 folding cards and envelopes, or up to 48 flat cards and envelopes.

Boxes/ tops $4.00 each

Clear Envelopes

If you want to sell your cards you need a way to package them to prevent damage. Our clear envelopes are the perfect solution! Re-closable adhesive top, Perfectly clear so customers can easily see your art. You can purchase 1, 10 or 1000. Price breaks for larger quantities.

Advertising Information

If you are selling your cards I can print information on the back of the cards such as website, email, QR code, phone number or the name of the artwork. A great form of advertising. Set-up fees apply.

Lethbridge full service photo lab