Friday, December 20, 2013

Making The Jump... Here Comes 2014

Scaling Tiffany Falls

This will be my final post till 2014. And today's images (which you can view full screen if you click on one), taken at Hamilton's Tiffany Falls, just got me thinking about whether I'm ready for the new challenges ahead. And the new adventures that always wind up in your lap when you least expect them.

The Descent Begins

Not knowing what lies ahead for another new year, makes me realize I should accept now that everything continues to be a learning experience. And that lessons I learned this year should not be forgotten. They're the foundation for how I approach the next challenge, the next failure, the next part of the journey God chooses to take me on.That's the difference between placing value on your past, or wallowing in it.

Smooth Ride Down

 So, ready to make the jump to 2014? I am! Let's see where it takes us! 
And not to race ahead too much, I'm ready for Christmas to arrive next week. To gather with a ton of family and friends, to eat some serious food until the thought makes me sick, to shower my kids and hubby with tokens of how much I cherish them through the year, around the tree, carols on the stereo, never leaving our pj's until absolutely necessary!

Successful Arrival

So, to all my friends, my wonderful clients, my family, and talented photogs... I wish you the very best of the season, and may blessing and adventure find you in 2014!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Makin' Plans

Leaving Cottrells Cove...
Newfoundland, Canada

With some of my free time last week, I worked on this image from my first trip to Newfoundland. It was in the "possibilities" folder. Meaning I had some significant work to do on it before I'd be happy posting it anywhere but the vantage point was interesting to me, and I loved the golden shoreline against the blue. It had definite possibilities.

Then I got to thinking about other possibilities I now have time for. 2014 is steadily approaching, and I'm thinking about travel again. Do I go back to the east coast? Do I head out west? I have a road trip stuck in my head now that revolves around the Muskoka area and the ol' Nikon in summer or fall... so many possibilities abound. All require money of course, and some planning but what I want to include in whatever trip I may take this year will be the opportunity to meet up with some of my photography buddies... you're all such wonderful people, I need to start meeting more of you!

Anyway... that's what this photo got me thinking about... traveling and visiting, and coming back home with great memories and photographs to share. 
Does it get any better than that?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Don't Need A Do Over: The Benefit of Moving On.

In a Land Far Away... Central Newfoundland

Ever make a really hard choice, then realize after you do, that it was the most fantastic thing you've done for yourself in a long time?
And it wasn't a matter of being a quitter, or a failure, or a lazy good-for-nothing. But more like the blinders came off, and for the first time you could see all the chaos, all the unwanted clutter and stress, and how it all really wasn't a good fit from the start?

I've decided to, (brace yourselves), move on from the business of photography. This does not mean I'm stepping away from photography itself, because I love working with a camera, I love exploring, I love producing prints... it means I am no longer going to exhaust myself trying to maintain it as a business. You'll notice I didn't say I was "giving up"... because if my 5 years of determined struggling is any indication, I do not fall into the "quitter" category! Rather, I am aiming for something better, for me personally. Something stripped down, creatively productive, and less intense. 

And it feels right. I'm no longer fighting insomnia. I have time to be a wife again. I have time to invest in others. I'm exercising. It's time to invest in the other parts of me that the insanity of a business blocked me from. And I was trying all the things experts said would succeed, believe me. But sometimes it's just not meant to be. When I look back, even in the last year, I spent too much time thinking I had to be the next Jasmine Star/David DuChemin/Ansel Adams combined. It was what everyone around me was doing, and it was what well meaning fans and friends assumed I could easily pull off just cause I can take a good photo. I tried, and tried, and tried some more! Instead I was resenting the camera, which before brought me joy, and I was avoiding clients, ironic since I'm truly a "people person." And the more I thought about it, the more I realized, "I don't need a do-over! What I need is to move on." 

I've been spending the last while quietly phasing it all out, down to where it's just myself, my images, and a few online communities where I can simply grow as an artist, including getting back to blogging. Will I still do the odd shoot for friends?... if they ask. Will I be opposed to selling the odd print? Never... it'd be a thrill. I still have a few clients to finish the odd project for, I'm not bailing on them either. And I will continue to ramble, gosh darn it! It's just not going to be the giant desperate shadow following me around, threatening to overpower me if I don't look productive, feel competitive, or try to beat the trends before they happen. I'm going to do photography for me.

What will you see on the blog?... real life. Big images and simple snap shots. I do have a personal project or two under wraps. And we'll see what happens. With the pressure off, the joy has returned, new experiences await, and I'm free to expand into new territory that was once just a day dream... that's the benefit of moving on.

I'm done with do-overs. Let's move forward.

Would love to hear your stories of when the decision to move forward was the right one and how you felt... let's get some replies up here!

Have a good one gang, and thanks for the ramble...

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Photographs of Christmas Past

So, I thought my blog was gone forever! Did you know that? I did. A little while ago I terminated my original website as I was figuring out what direction I'm personally going in with my photography. Needless to say, I couldn't find my blog when that happened.
When I realized all it took was going into blogger and switching back to the blogger hosted domain, I gave myself a smack upside the ol' noggin and promptly adjusted the blog to be my main online presence for the moment along with flickr and Facebook.

To celebrate my recovery of my own blog (I know, you're all shaking your heads right now) I thought I'd post something cheery and Christmas-like! 
Click on the first image to view them at full size! Enjoy!

To all my readers and friends, no matter what you celebrate at this time of the year, I wish you love, and joy, and peace!
It's good to be back!

Friday, July 26, 2013

It's Been Too Long

"Opening Night"

I know you're shocked. Or maybe not. No sunset shot today, no towering architecture, no flowers, no historical ships. This is my image for today, and it's been too long since I've explored the streets of downtown Hamilton with the Nikon. It's been too long since I've had something so different to share with you all. I kind of did a little jig when this image demanded my attention!

Joined our local Hamilton Flickr Group last weekend for a photowalk. And I'm glad, very glad, I did. Not only did I get a chance to connect with a fabulous group of people for a few hours, wandering the streets, being inspired by the different things that would stand out to different people, but I was reminded that it's still fun to hunt for those "photographic gems" that are available to us if we care to look hard enough.

Several telephone and hydro poles were sporting this particular poster... for a rave or music event... and the eyes would follow you no matter where you stood. They really got my attention, and the graphic face emerging from the shadows screamed to be photographed. In my experiment to see how far the eyes would follow me, I wandered past the pole, then looked back in the lens... I realized if I got my exposure right, I'd get the "open" sign in the dark window of the dance studio behind it. Take what you will from it, paper vs neon, the solitary vs the city bustle, blue vs red (ha). Is it the most stunning image I've ever produced. Nope. But it was so much fun to take, and I can't wait to print it up. And that's the point.

If it's been too long since that was you having fun, being excited, creating something you can't wait to share, causing you to give an unrestrained giggle of accomplishment, then maybe its time to revisit something you once had time for. Doesn't have to be photography, and it doesn't have to be complicated. Just has to bring you joy. 

Thanks to the HFG for the great night, for John who got us into the local fire hall with our cameras last minute (and to all the firemen out there, stay safe and thank you for all your hard work at all hours of the day and night)... 
..... and thanks for the Ramble here on the blog, gang! Have a good one!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

When You've Got The Blues

"Quiet Dusk"

Dusk. Things quiet down. Bird song is amplified. Music carries from the distant pier. The water barely moves. We walk the trail by the local marina and here and there a couple sits on benches overlooking the restful scenery, letting the calm do the talking. I let it call to my camera on this particular night.

Why haven't I used this wonderful low light more often?

We see in colour, we see in black & white, but I have struggled with seeing in 'blues' I'll confess. There are only subtle, gradual changes from highlight to shadow. From one tone to another to distinguish shape and line. If anything, the blues of dusk cause me to really pay attention to the light, where it plays, where it disappears, what and how it illuminates and not as much on good composition to also carry a story.

When you've got the blues that come with dusk's final light, you are forced to sacrifice blatant contrast for more subtle details, in order to preserve mood and perception. And in processing, you have personal considerations galore. Do I remain true to the colour cast? Do I only accentuate the light skimming over the objects in the foreground? Across the water?

I decide it's not necessary to see every bold detail on the boats, we know they are there and that's enough for the image. I decide I love how the light grew intense near the sun's connection to the horizon and keep that intensity. I keep the composition consistent with the lily pads mimicking the clouds above.

When all is said and done, how lovely and quiet the evening was comes rushing back to me. You'll all see something different, which is just as wonderful. It's what I love about the arts period.

Have a great week, and thanks for this ramble in the dusk.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Imagination Set Sail

"Evenings Companions"

Another image from the Tall Ships that visited Hamilton last long weekend. Grown ups and children alike were excited to see these beauties. If you click on the photograph to enlarge, you will notice all the flags fluttering in the background from the other ships waiting for visitors as well. Some of the festival personnel were decked out in 1812 era gear, demonstrating musket firings and drills, and two of the ships touring the harbor fired "canons" at each other, shaking the pier.

I don't care who you are, but at that point your imagination reminds you of other fantastic vessels you've encountered over time. Maybe from childhood. Maybe from current films. The eerie but trusty Black Pearl from the movies, the glorious danger of Captain Hook's ship from J.M Barrie's "Peter Pan", the Hispaniola which emerges from "Treasure Island" and the delightful mind of Robert Louis Stevenson.

I don't know if this image is my favorite from that evening... but it's the one that causes my imagination to ramble through all the things we love about these fantastical vessels. So I thought I'd share.

Have a great day, explore your own local festivals, and heck, take the camera.... but whatever you do, take your imagination.

Thanks for the ramble! 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tall Ships and Opportunities Abound

"Sorlandet in Sunset"

One of our long weekends just past, the family and I wandered down to the waterfront to enjoy the Tall Ships event happening in the Hamilton Harbor. The weather was a perfect summer temp, so the entire Pier and beyond was swarming with people there to enjoy the festival. The tall ships don't dock here every year, so the crowds were thick. As were the number of cameras visible. You knew the local photo communities were about to be flooded with sea faring vessels photographed at dock.

Limited access was the order of the day... many ships roped off for special sailings and tours, others simply docked near food and displays... and throngs of people. It quickly occurred to me that there were only so many places and views and vantage points to be had. And that all weekend hundreds of other photographers would use them all as well. But I didn't let that deter me from getting my own photographs of these carefully restored and historical beauties. And sure, I could have returned with dozens of others in the early morning hours in the dawn, to try to get something different and unpopulated but I was also enjoying some added family time.

I guess I'm posting all this to say that I no longer valiantly try to get "the" shot when I'm out on a ramble... one that no one can compare another to... I think over the last little while I've figured out that I'm always happy documenting what my own eye and camera actually see, or interpret, around me. If I'm experiencing something similar to someone else shooting nearby, so be it. Another photographer I know showed up, saw how limited it all was and decided it wasn't worth it. But why not? Why not enjoy what you see? What speaks to you personally is just that, personal. And if it's personal, you would hope there would also be something unique about it anyway.

So many are obsessed with the "it" shot that no one else can get. But the world isn't exactly getting any bigger. Just the opposite. You are going to ramble and explore and get the same scenes or subjects someone else might have had at some point. Does that mean you pack the Nikon away and pick a new career or hobby? For me that day, it meant noticing the way the sun shot beams through the Norwegian Sorlandet's rigging across from where I happened to pause with my daughter. I took a minute to drink in how pretty it was. It meant if I waited in that exact spot, I could compose for a nearby ship to sail into the frame as well, under a golden sky. Getting the image was a creative and personal experience. And after some slight editing, I can say that this photograph is completely unique to me personally, which is the most rewarding feeling to come away with anyway.

In a world overflowing daily with more and more photographers trying to outdo one another, fabulous images will abound on a more personal level. Don't let anything rob you of that.

Thanks for the prodigal ramble, gang! It's been a while I know. 
Have a good one.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trains From Above

Haven't blogged lately due to workload. Thought it was time to rectify that. Took these photos one lazy evening by the bay front here in Hamilton. Sometimes it's restful to show up with your camera somewhere with no definite expectations and your only goal to photograph whatever suits your fancy... no agenda, no limitations, no pressure to even show them later if you choose not to. Just an exercise in letting your circumstances propel you a bit as an artist. Please click on an image to view in it's best quality.

When WAS the last time I let something simple like the train yards make me feel like I was 10 years old? Excited to watch as the trains exchanged tracks, exchanged cars, and ambled towards the bridge I was watching from? It was so much fun that I even used the fun way to view them... with a tilt/shift effect... causing them to look slightly more miniature. Thinking of tracking down someone who can actually get me into the yard for a day, photograph how it really ticks... now that would be an exciting photo story to dig into!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!


A late post for today, but I finally had time to work on some photographs of our local mama Swan. She's laid one egg, and is watching over it and tending to it carefully everyday. In much the same way we should be tending to and watching over the only world we have. Appropriate for Earth Day, don't you think?
I did everything in my power to ensure she still felt safe with my presence nearby... so the trusty telephoto zoom came in handy. I hope you enjoy. I'll return often, no idea when the tiny cygnet will hatch!

"Nesting II"

"Details in Nature"

"Mama and the Egg"

Happy Rambling on this special day, gang! Get out there and enjoy nature today, and perhaps say a prayer of thanks for all we have.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

It's Not Always About Location

"Springing of the Year" 
Royal Botanical Gardens, Arboretum, 2012

I'll never stop photographing the area around my home. Yes, partially because I don't have the type of coin right now to go to more exotic locations. And partially because I'm still technically a stay at home mom. But also because no matter how many times I think I've exhausted a local park, or city block for interesting or beautiful photo ops, I always find treasure after treasure on every return trip to a local location. Today's image was taken at a local garden/trail 20 minutes from my home, one I explore on a regular basis. This magnificent tree was only spotted on my 100th visit, or so it felt!

It's daunting to be a part of the photographic community. The web is flooded with images from Patagonia to Iceland. Exotic scenery. Sights you can't ever hope to see when you step out your front door, for most of us anyway. Well who's to say that the fine folks in Iceland ever get to see the scenes or subjects you're about to post! Perhaps you're exotic to them?

Keep photographing. Don't let the globe trotters get you down. You see things around you that no one else can. And you probably know those locales like the back of your hand, a huge advantage to be honest, with constant access to it. Those other countries and communities will be even more fun, and easier to photograph when you DO get there one day.

What's your favorite local scene to photograph? Would love to hear about it, and why it fascinates you! If you send me your favorite photo of it, I'll include it on the blog with your comments.
Thanks for the ramble gang! Have a good one!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Don't Miss It

"Double Six With the Guys"

I pull out my gear and the family groans collectively. They know they'll become instant subjects and let's face it, none of us wants to be the focus of the camera. We want to visit, laugh, eat, play, and eat some more without becoming the next big photo essay. But what can I do? Everyone eventually appreciates that we have a record of each celebration or holiday later on, they contain our memories better than we do sometimes, and sometimes contain people we don't ever want to let go of either.

There is a way to do this, get the pictures you want, even get ones you LOVE, all without ticking off your closest relatives and friends. But you have to play a part. Step into a roll, so to speak.

You have to go into wedding photographer mode. You know what I mean... the fly on the wall approach. This mode means you grab your camera, and simply bide your time, float about the edges of groups or rooms, till folks forget that you are taking pictures of them at all. I can even do this with a flash, off camera, set down somewhere close to the action, and trigger it remotely when needed, all without blinding people and causing a riot. Personally, I don't run well from angry mobs with a camera in one hand and an appetizer in the other...

Today's shot is my favorite from Easter dinner last weekend. The family was playing Dominoes, and so immersed in the game that I could sneak around and wait with camera at the ready. I got a few posed pics, then let my son, my brother, and my uncle forget about me. I like to keep a wide angle zoom on the camera which gives me instant flexibility concerning how close I am to a scene or how much room I have to move around, and still get everything in the frame. The flash was tucked off to the side on a small table, remotely triggered. And, to keep people from feeling like targets, I made sure to aim the camera at the action itself for the most part. I didn't want to miss it.

I wound up with a great story telling shot, in some great light, involving people I love deeply. Even without faces, you've got three generations sitting at a table (as confirmed by the differences in the hands), their posturing suggesting each move is being considered carefully, and the low angle and perspective placing you in the middle of the game. A frozen moment. One that embodies how great and relaxing the weekend was.

Got family events you need to capture? Dig into your inner wedding photographer/fly on the wall mindset and don't miss it. Don't miss the moments that count.

Traveling Back

"Ready To Go Out"

I have neglected the blog as of late, so I thought I'd post a new image today from a previous visit to Newfoundland. I don't yet get to travel often as a photographer, but I absolutely love it. So on days where I can't get rid of the ache to explore and have to stick close to home, I pull out my travel files and explore the memories via images I have yet to work on!

Today's image was taken somewhere on our way to Ocean View National Park and Leading Tickles. There was activity happening on the docks, so I only had a few seconds to get the sky skimming past these vessels lined up in the cove, ready to head out for the morning... I loved the boat in the middle ground with the flag waving proudly.

So now I've shared my itch to travel back... and to be sure I'll be arranging another trip, a longer trip, to magical Newfoundland. But for now, this will have to do while I get back to work! And hey, if you have one place you'd recommend to this rambling photographer, what would it be? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Have a great day gang!  Thanks for the Ramble!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Three Cheers For Inspiring Women!

Happy International Women's Day! Just a quick post today to share how all you ladies out there inspire me. Some of you because you're photographers, some because you're amazing moms, some because you are bravely battling illness, some because you've become incredible friends and mentors. I applaud all of you today! So the following is a list of blogs and websites that I highly recommend, all owned by amazing women! When you have a moment be sure to check them out!

This is just a handful of sites I visit regularly, and find inspiration from... what are your favorites?

Have a great weekend folks! Next week... images from Hamilton's own annual Spring Tide @Gage Park, it's on now until March 17th. If you need a shot of spring, keep your eyes peeled here at the blog.
Happy Rambling!

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Natural Progression ~ My Creative Process

Cowboy Boots Study #1

A week or so ago, I noticed my husband's boots sitting out near the back door. I've been chiding myself on neglecting my camera lately. So I grabbed the boots and started looking for some nice light to photograph them in. It'd been a while since I'd done any sort of still life photography, and something was waking up inside me.

Today I'd like to post the resulting images, in the order of how my creative process worked, so you can see how I got from the beginning image above, to the final image that felt right, and why. Not EVERY shoot goes exactly like this, but this is my general process. And it's not methodical tedious thinking per se, it's a natural process that happens while I find the light and composition I feel melds with my intent. There's a rhythm and a flow.

Study #1: The most interesting light (above) was happening from the southwest, very late in the afternoon, shining in on our stairway. I don't like images that look too staged, so I plunked the boots down in a way that looked like they'd been left there. I wasn't sure how I wanted to use the stairs at all, and when I begin to explore a subject I pop my wide angle zoom on first, allowing me to photograph certain elements in the scene all at once and decide what I'm continually drawn to.

Cowboy Boots Study #2

The #2 shot (above) is actually much better than my first for a few reasons. I moved from eye level to shooting across the stairs and slightly below. Rarely do I stay at eye level for anything. The light shifted slightly at this point too, giving some definitive shadows and highlights. And including more of the surroundings actually helped this perspective, while showing off the light. It started to occur to me that the wear and tear on these 22 yr. old boots was a way to express my intent when lit with low side light.

Shot #3 below became a switch for a couple of reasons. I was still looking for a more interesting way to frame these while the warm light was hitting them. I liked the worn spots on the stairs and thought to play that against the wear on the boots in that light. Plus, at some point, I ditch the wide angle, and grab a lens that will bring me closer to the subject. I grabbed my F1.4 50mm prime lens instead, and getting aggressive with my point of view, I placed myself above the boots on the stairs. I also changed the placement of the boots, using them to pull you into the frame naturally to the right. But somewhere in a series of shots taken of this version of the composition, I realized I loved the details on the boots more than anything, and that the deep interior of the boots from above pulled the eye away from those same details.

Cowboy Boots Study #3

Which brings us to the final image. The shot that shows my intent. The shot the emphasizes those rugged details, that leaves nothing unnecessary in the frame, that even propelled my decision making process in the digital darkroom. I got low, I got close, I used a shallow aperture, I waited till the light would bounce off the back of the stairs and skim the wrinkles and lines of the boots. I made a decision to point the detailed toes of the boots into the camera lens which seemed natural to me. And in post, I overlayed a very subtle and warm sepia-type preset I'd created for myself, enhancing the used look of the old boots. It's my favorite image from my self-imposed exercise. 

"These Boots" Study #4

There's just a glimpse into how my head works as I photograph. It's my creative process. Some of it is born out of adapting to the light changing, some of it to how a composition feels, and some of it's born out of how the whole package speaks to me. It's the work flow of a shoot. A natural progression, and very abstract in many ways. For those that have wondered how this all progresses for me, I hope this helps. (You can click on any image to see it enlarged and of better quality.)

What's your creative process? It's something every artist should be aware of. Have a good one, and thanks for the longer than normal ramble.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

What I LOVE About Canada - A Chain Blog

Whirlpools at Niagara Gorge, Ontario, Canada

A little while back, fellow blogger Pamela MacNaughtan began a blog post chain. Normally I don't go for these kinds of things, but she's a fellow Canadian as well and she had a great idea... that no matter who you are and what you blog about, that one giant shout out could begin in honour of Canada, in the form chain blogging! Well, she had me sold! Who wouldn't want to brag on Canada? So I've finally carved away a chance to continue the chain... here's my Canadian Ramble:

Dundurn Castle, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

As a photographer, I have always been excited about what Canada has to offer me. Great wild landscapes, phenomenal architecture, ever expanding communities, and areas swamped in rich history. Anywhere I decide to go with the camera has been rich in subject matter that never disappoints. The above image of Dundurn Castle was taken literally minutes from my house, yet further along today's collection of images is a view of Newfoundland at sunset, accessible via a two and a half hour plane ride from Toronto, also down the road from me... and there's so much I've never seen!

Glimpses of Canadian Pride, Vineland, Ontario, Canada

What I have seen though makes me proud. People who for the most part work hard at leaving a solid Canadian legacy behind for the next generation. Friendly, easy going people. People who will step out their door for a perfect stranger, give you permission to wander their property with your camera, then wish you all the best as you get back in the car, and to say 'hi' to Ralph who has an even better farm to check out down the road... they'll call him to tell him you're coming.
Oh the stories Ralph had. 

Toronto Harbour Life, Toronto, Ontario

The major metropolises have their own rhythm, and so much colour. Eye candy for someone like me. And my family will always tag along, visiting museums, galleries, art crawls, festivals, huge outdoor concerts, air shows, and you can't forget the CNE! Exhausted yet? This is why I love Canada! It doesn't sit still until you're ready for it to sit still.

Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

I can't include all the images from places I've spent time with my camera. Quebec, Northern and Southern Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland... and I have yet to travel across the west half of the country. Trust me, I will. And it'll be just as wonderful. Why?

Killick Island, Botwood, Newfoundland, Canada

Because it's home. It's beautiful, it's diverse, it's true to itself. It's for the CEO in their glass tower in Vancouver, and it's for the fisherman in Cottrell's Cove. It's for the cattle rancher in Alberta, and it's for the indy musician in Montreal. That's cool. And I'm proud of it.

A Frosty Kiss....

Thank you to Corrine over at Have Baby Will Travel for tagging me to continue the chain! If you reside in Canada, keep exploring all the good things we have. Be thankful for them. And if you don't live here, we want you to visit as soon as you can! We'll introduce you to Ralph... I hear he tells great stories.

And so now I pass the chain blogging baton over to Esther, and Peter who each have wonderful blogs and will have fun with this chain post! Have a great day, and keep an eye on the above bloggers for their take on why they LOVE Canada, coming soon! Also, you can follow the progression on Twitter using the hash tag #MyCanada to search for posts!

Happy blogging! Happy Reading! Happy Rambling!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Using Intentional Parameters...

"What Time Has Left Behind"

Today's image should speak for itself. Actually, every image should be able to speak for itself. When you read a photograph, you shouldn't need verbal help to tell you what theme, or story, or emotion has hopefully been woven through it. I'm not sure that I've considered that enough in the last year but am working to fix that. You can click on the deserted industrial shed to see a larger version. But I hope my intent for this image is clear whether you enlarge the image on your screen for better viewing or not.

The day I photographed this, I was feeling spent, mellow, I was far from the hustle and bustle of life... so I gave myself those exact emotional parameters to guide what I pointed the camera at, and all the creative decisions that followed. This was one of the photos that day that really came alive within the ideas I wanted to explore. In fact, anytime you give yourself a theme, a visual goal, or parameters of any kind, you make stronger photographs. These intentional parameters give you something to hone in on, to freely explore with the medium of photography. Consider it another tool to round out your "creative kit bag".  

Great composition is a must. A good exposure is necessary. The right light can be a bonus. But your images will always be lacking a little something if there aren't some intentional parameters to help guide your creative process. To tell the reader how to experience the photograph. 

That's my tip for the week.
Thanks for the ramble friends! Let's get out there and make purpose driven images, no matter what you raise your camera to!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

In a Fog...

"An Inconvenient View"

Today's image is from last year's Doors Open Toronto. I've been mucking about in old files again and couldn't stop tweaking this one. If you click on the image you'll get a bit larger view and a bit more sharp (something about compressed files on this page...). The perspective you see here is one you can only get every couple of years when they decide to open the observatory at the top of Toronto's SunLife Building to the public. No tripod's allowed, and a thousand smudges on the glass from everyone trying to look down... but I got a shot of the CN Tower emerging from the fog that day along with it's fellow skyscrapers. My telephoto to the rescue.

I know I'm not the only one who'd confess to being in a creative fog at times. There are days the possibilities for really engaging photographs comes so easily, and then there are days I'm not sure I should be showing anybody much of anything for fear it'll be stale or misguided somehow. Worse yet, I have days where I still second guess where I want my photography to go, or what it should be accomplishing. What I, myself, should be accomplishing. If anything.

And in rolls the fog. I guess today's photograph reminds me to climb the unusually high, difficult to access places in life, and see above the fog to what could be on the other side. To spy whatever that is, for just a moment, means I can stay the course for just a little bit longer... till the next SunLife building comes along. Am I coming through loud and clear...? 

If yes, then the fog is lifting.

Thanks for the Ramble, looking forward to Doors Open TO 2013 in a few months time!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Where Have We Been...?

"Enter History"
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario

2013 has arrived. My first image of the year is of the interior entrance of the ROM. (To see it in full view just click on the image.) An entrance leading to history. Moving into the past. Backwards and yet not.

Christine, what are you trying to say?

I'm not a huge resolutions person, have never done well on change for the sake of having something to do. I make changes when a lesson teaches me something, when a choice reveals itself to be good for me, or when someone inspires me to reach for something I never thought to reach for before.

I know I strengthened my perspective and spacial skills this past year, my architectural portfolio grew, and I got to experience a taste of traveling again with my camera, allowing my soul and my passion to be reignited. I learned new things about my personal style, and what's been missing from my work flow. 

But I also know after reviewing the year that I would love to do some reportage work, I want to include people inside the broad spaces I photograph, and that I would like to do some  very dramatic portraits just for the heck of it...  and that I still need to understand things as simple as knowing my computer programs better.

By looking back, you can see where you still need to go in future. So I've been compiling some personal projects and some goals I need to strive for that the past year has shown me I've been missing, in my photography, and in life in general. Many of them can't help but overlap. If you're an artist, you understand what I mean by that.

Let's ask ourselves where we've been. It'll assist in showing us where we're going next if we let it.

Thanks for the Ramble! Happy 2013 to you all!