Black and White from HDR






Some shots from the weekend



Monkeying around





Natalie again…



I have to hand it to my wife. She is always willing to pose for me when ever I ask. If it wasn’t for her I would never get to practice portraits very often. It is hard to get friends to pose. They like the idea but are afraid their self confidence gets the better of them. So I am quite thankful for my wife for helping me out with my passion.

Winter is here!

Christmas OrnementWell XMas is in less that a week and I thought I would try my hand at photographing some sparkle. I took a bunch of shots with different ornaments and played around in Lightroom to get this result.

Now hopefully Santa heard my wishes for some new gear. nothing spectacular like a new lens r body, but maybe some light modifiers. Either way I am sure it will lead to some more shots and posts.

Winter is completely here in Ottawa and that means it is very white outside and very dark inside. Tomorrow is the winter solstice and the sun will set at 4:21PM. Basically it will be dark when I leave in the morning and it will be dark before I get home. This makes shooting a challenge plus the cold makes it hard to have your hands exposed to the elements for changing up settings. So all this is to say it brings on more challenges. Can’t wait!!

Till next time keep shooting. Oh ya and Merry Christmas!

Fall Leaf



Took a walk this sunday around the neighbourhood and brought my camera with my 105mm f2.8 VR with my new R1C1 lighting kit hooked up.

I am still experimenting with it but so far I like the results. It is interesting having two flashes at the end of your lens that light up an object or subject just enough. Any way I thought I would share this image that I took some Lightroom liberties to.


World wide photo walk 2010

Yesterday I attend my first Scott Kelby world wide photo walk here in Ottawa. I really didn’t know what to expect before going. I was joined by a friend of mine who shoots like me for fun and friends. Both of us were hoping to be inspired either by the leader or other individuals. I don’t think I was, or at least I didn’t feel I was. And as for my buddy, I think he was feeling the same.

The above is a link to a gallery of images I liked and post processed in Lightroom 3. The images are OK but I feel I can do better. I have to admit landscape and urban landscape photography are not my strong suites and I use these events to try to better my skills and open my artistic view.

The location was in an area in Ottawa we call the market. Lots of little shops, restaurants and tourists. The biggest issue of the day was the heat and humidity. Almost 95% by noon! So it was sticky and not a breeze at all. Now the area is great for a photo walk but I have lived here for a while and actually did some photographic art classes in the area which had us out side shooting a few times so I felt I needed something new.

I think if you are comfortable you could shoot random people if you were able to get their permission or at least take the shots from a distance. I think this could make for some interesting images and stories.

So all in all I think I might have failed my first photo walk. None the less there is a small gallery for you to be the judge.

Till next time keep shooting!

Lightroom Presets

Lightroom Killer Tips logoA lot of people ask me where I get all my cool Lr presets. It is simple! Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Killer Tips that is hosted by Matt Kloskowski. Matt is a Lr expert. I go to his site on a daily bases to learn, look and browse information on Lightroom. The best thing is the content on his site is free.

His site is part of the Kelby Media Group that host a collection of Adobe and photography related sites that I have to say I visit often. I use the Kelby Training site a lot to learn Photoshop products as well as photography. I even found a great set of training videos that helped me create and launch this site.

What I like about Matt’s site is it is a combination of tips, downloads, reviews, how to’s and information about Lr. And Matt delivers this either by video or text depending on what works better for the information being presented.

The other interesting part of Matt’s site is he always has interviews with Adobe staff on Lightroom which get a closer look in to the product. This week he took on a new approach and interview a fellow Lr blogger which prompted me to write this post. You see the site is a direct advertisement for the Kelby Traing site but it is never presented that way. In-fact you would never need to visit Kelby Training to learn enough about Lr to be satisfied, but if you are a learning junkie like me the site is a great prequel to the mother site.

If you find yourself over whelmed with all the cool features of Lightroom and don’t have the $200 or so bucks to join the training site, or if you are looking for a starting point this is the starting point you need to go to. Check it out!

Bye for now… keep shooting!

Lightroom 3 beta 2 is now out!

Hey everyone,

i just read over at Scott Kelby’s blog that Lightroom 3 beta 2 is available for download. Click here if you want to read what hey have updated in this release.

I am not going to repeat what Scott wrote just go to his site and read it. There is one thing I was interested in and it was the introduction of tethering built right in. Yes! No need to buy special software or get that freeware stuff working. I can’t wait till the final release comes out.


Look no hands!

Fish floating

Look no hands!

Since I started to learn photography I have tried in many ways to get my family involved in my hobby. My wife constantly poses for me and my son and daughters are ready for any sort of paparazzi their future careers might engage them with. But really I have been looking for some photography to get them excited about seeing the image and sharing it with their friends and grand parents.

While looking through an issue of a photo magazine I found a simple technique that wasn’t new to me just showed a different way to use it and get the family involved a bit. So today I am going to demonstrate how to use mask edits to create the following type of pictures.

Step one you need to shoot two images and they have to be done on a tripod other wise you will have a hell of a time lining up the images. The first image I shot was the person or people propped up on a supporting object(s). In my case was an upside down toy container which is usually the state it is in in my house. I used my cameras lock focus to ensure that the two images have the same focal point and depth of field. You might have to do this if you are in a shorter room or not in front of a window. Next I shot the empty image as I call it. It is void of any people or props.


Lightroom Tips

Hey everyone,

No class this week so I thought I might pass on a trick I have for Lightroom (Lr) white balance I found over at Lightroom Killer Tips check out the site if you want to learn anything to do with Lr.

One of the only few differences in Lr when it comes to handling JPEGs over RAW images is the White Balance (WB) settings. Well Matt over at Lightroom Killer Tips has this tip to even up how Lr can handle WB equally whether you are shooting RAW or JPEG.

Find a RAW image in your cataloge that you shot with your camera. Now go to the Develop module in Lr. Next all you have to do is create a preset for each of the define WB settings listed for the WB. There is no need to create presets for “As Shot”, “Auto”, or “Custom” as those will appear regardless of your file type.

white balance

White Balance

To create a WB only preset, set the WB you want from the White Balance settings drop down picture on the right. Then over in the preset list, press the “+” at the top right of the list. I suggest you create a new folder called “White Balance”. Give it the name of the WB setting you choose i.e. Daylight and add the camera name if you have more than one camera. Next all you want to do is make sure you select the WB setting to save in the preset. So click the “Check None” then check the box besides the White Balance in the list of check boxes. Then hit save. Repeate for each setting in the WB list for each camera you have.

There you go now when you are editing JPEGs you can use these presets to change the WB for the image just like you would for a RAW image.

Hoped this help you out. Check out Lightroom Killer Tips for more videos and tips on Lr.

Introduction to Lightroom

Well this week’s class was an introduction to Adobe Lightroom. Personally I have spent countless hours learning and using Lightroom (LR) since the release of version 2.0.

I love this software as it allows me to manipulate photos in so many creative ways. As the name states the link between film and the darkroom is now a link between the digital SLR to the lightroom. A lot of people feel post processing of images is cheating and I can agree to a point. These sentiments apply to the film days too. Get it right out of the camera not in post processing. I just think there is more than one way to skin a cat and sometimes post processing is the only way to express your artistic creative side. I guess it is to each there own.

Lightroom provides various ways to process your images as well make exposure corrections either globally or locally via the adjustment brush. From version 1.0 to 2.0 Lr has change to be a leader in its handling of both RAW and jpeg images.

I think the most important feature Lr has to offer is the unlimited un-dos via a non-destructive layering process. Lightroom layers the adjustments you make and stores those changes in its catalogue and never saves its changes to the image file itself. If you were to use your file browser to goto the original photo location on your hard drive, you would not see any adjustments you have made in Lr applied.

Getting your final image out of Lr to share requires you to export it to a new location. Other wise you can create portable slideshows or print via the print module in Lr.

Sticking to the themes, here are some images from session 4 class. These images were processed in LR a bit. Or maybe a lot in some cases.