Thursday, July 30, 2009

Farmer Family Moose Jaw 1972

Here's the Farmer family circa 1972 in the family room of our home on the air force base at CFB Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. The photographer is the impish 13 year old on the left side. My excitement was twofold. First I was thrilled that I'd got the gang together for a photo-shoot. Second I couldn't wait to develop the negatives, print the prints and then see what I got.

My favorite parts of the photograph are (a) my brother Mike's pants (yes - strips do make you look thinner bud) and (b) my sister Diane's choice of neck jewelry. Neck chokers did eventually fade but back in the '70s they were the definitive fashion statement.

Technically this was a very long (2 hours) photo restoration effort. Well worth it needless to say.

Dad Taking My Bike for a Spin 1972 Moose Jaw

Here's a picture of Dad, back in 1972 (or so) taking my overly detailed bike out for a spin in our backyard in Moose Jaw Sask.

Nothing says 'Cool' like a banana seat and retro handle bars

2009 Celebration of Light United Kingdom 02 Jul 29_DSC7832

The UK did a great job of using the sky during their performance. Lots of high altitude / big bang rockets. This shot was at 10:20 - roughly 5 minutes before the big finale.

Fireworks United Kingdom 01 Jul 29 2009

Ahh the pre-show teaser fireworks. Three or four times prior to the 25 minute long main event the fireworks barge launches teaser fireworks to get the crowd warmed up for the fantastic light show to come.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Diane Dad Mike and a Pike Saskatchewan 1972

I love this shot on numerous levels. First are the expressions on my brother Mike's 7 year old face and that of Dad holding up the good sized (aka a family meal sized) Saskatchewan pike. Second is the bell bottoms on my sister Diane in the background - ahhh the '70s. Third is the recollection of how totally delicious fresh pike were - mmmmm. I really miss that meal.

My best guess is that this picture was taken during the mid spring in 1972 in what was for certain Saskatchewan. Best fishing on the planet.

Diane and Lucky at the Colemans Cottage

Here are Diane and the family companion Lucky captured in the shared contemplation of a sun sparkled lake in Ontario's cottage country.

This has been a favorite shot of mine for many many years.

1972 My First End to End Photo Northern Saskatchewan

This is one of my earliest self portraits taken during the summer of 1971 or 1972 in the mid northern area of Saskatchewan. By 12 years of age I was already enamored by photography and this photograph represented a crowning achievement for me right near the start of what became a lifelong passion. I performed the full old-school workflow for the picture including taking it, developing the B&W negatives and printing the enlargement.

I miss my old darkroom but I love my 21st century digital lightroom even more.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bryce IR 04 June 2009 DSC_8312

The hoodoos of Bryce Canyon Utah.

The legend is that the hoodoos are people who have been tricked by the cayotte god. I'll need to research that legend some more. Personally if I was tranformed into a tower of multi-color rock so that I can stare at the geological beauty that is Bryce I'd consider that a reward.

Ironic in that I spent much of the two days there with the lyrics "hoodoo? hoo doo you think you're foolin?'" stuck in my head. Maybe my floppy hat was adjusted too tight. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Burrard St Bridge Jul 11 2009_DSC7325

Here's the view looking north from the bay side of the Burrard Street Bridge Vancouver Canada on Saturday July 11th 2009. A mere 5 days away from the 40th anniversary of Apollo 11 and its crew's mission to the moon and 2 days away from the start of the trial bike lane on the bridge.

Being a space geek more than a bike geek I was more looking forward to reliving mankind's first steps on the surface of another stellar object then a safer bike lane. Not to mention, at 36 floors the hi-rise right in front is the same height as the Saturn V rocket that took Neil, Buzz and Mike on the grandest journey in history. :P

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bryce Canyon Mossey Creek 01 Jun 2009_DSC6971

Canyon Creek

9,000 feet up is Mossey Cave Creek. Built by Bryce himself back in the 19th century. Very silky at f/25 and 1/13th of a second exposure.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cool Dudes in Photo Moods Jun 20 2009_DSC7016

Here's my brother Mike and I at the entrance to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah on our second day. The weather would eventually clear and the canyon would once again become spectacular.

Monday, July 13, 2009

+/- 0 Base HDR_DSC6519

+/- 0 Base HDR_DSC6519, originally uploaded by VancouverDoug.

This is another spectacular view of Bryce Canyon.

I really like this composition in that the trees on the canyon floor seem to hug the rock messa. A nice embrace of ashes to ashes, life to life then dust to dust.

However the photo is not quite "real". I remember this view and the darks were darker, the lights were lighter and the sand on the canyon floor was warmer.

Bryce HDR 02 Jun 2009_DSC6519_20_21_22_23_24_25

High Dynamic Range - The Kodachrome of the digital age.

This image is a composite created on my computer by merging 7 digital images. Half were purposly under exposed, half over exposed and one, the base image (see above) `perfectly exposed`` by the camera.

By doing this my camera gets to capture a much larger exposure range than what it can in even at 12 mega pixels per image. Size is not everything. Dynamic range is what turns chicks on. :)

This is what I saw. On the left is the darker darks of the rock overhangs. On the right is sand inbetween the trees that reflects the same subtle rust color of the rock face. Where the sand comes from.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Burrard St Bridge Bike Lane July 11 2009_DSC7314

Coming a few days early the City of Vancouver has started the summer trial of a dedicated bike lane on the iconic Burrard Street Bridge. The bridge connects the western limb of Vancouver (Kitsilano, Pt. Grey, etc.) with the downtown core.

Today's congestion (see on the left side of the image) was due to road work at the intersection of Burrard and Pacific. The most interesting moment will no doubt be this coming Monday afternoon during the 3:00 to 7:00 pm commute home.

Personally I'm a huge fan of this initiative and hope the bike lane is permanent. I've walked across the bridge many times and biked across it a few. Given that most drivers lack basic reading skills and interpret the 60 km/hr speed limit on the bridge to mean 90 km/hr both walking and biking across it are hair raising experiences. My ultimate dream, and it's a trend that is taking root in other cities, would be for the bridge to be just for biking, walking and public transit period. Two blocks east of the bridge is the ever under-utilized Granville Street Bridge.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sirrus Deciding July 2009_DSC7243

Decisions, decisions ... le sigh ... decisions? Hmmmmm..

The funny thing is I bet you can't guess what she decided to go for in the end.



The shoes. 30 minutes or so after I took this capture I glanced left and there was Sirrus with her head planted in my drying hiking boots.

Cats ....

are .....

so wierd.

Bryce IR 23 June 2009 DSC_8347

So far this is my favorite capture from the Bryce Canyon shoot. It was taken with my trusty old Nikon D100 modified for Infra Red photography by the magical elves at in Washington state. If you have an old digital camera and want to give it a second life point your browser at their web site.

I was totally impressed with the work they did on my D100. So much so that the first thing I did the day after Bryce was to ship them my Nikon D80 for conversion. I think I can combine my love of HDR and my love of IR into this totally cool and very new fusion.

Until then it's pure magic like this shot. I really like this capture in its raw version (shown). Notice that it's not really black and white. It's more a semi color tinged black and white. Sometimes a shot looks best in pure B&W. Other times though, this one in particular, looks best just as the camera shot it.

Bryce Canyon Utah Jun 2009 01_DSC6598

Here's a nice view of both Bryce Canyon and the Colorado plateau off to the east.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Forest Foretress Bryce Canyon Jun 2009_DSC6585

Here is Bryce Canyon's version of Stonehedge and a spot I'd love to camp overnight at. However, even at this level of zoom (150 mm) I can't see any signs of current or past camp sites. No fire pits, no tents, ... nothing. It's almost as though the fortrest ... consumed them! Mohohahaha. :)

* Insert scary music here *

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Bryce IR 02 June 2009 DSC_8310

One of the countless majestic messas that dot the Bryce Canyon landscape looking bold and powerful in infra red light.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Instinctive Courage Bryce Canyon Jun 19 2009_DSC6796

I know it's just a tree. And yes, the tree being there is thanks to a random drop of a pine cone seed many years ago. But ... for some reason, every time I see a piece of nature dangling over an abyss like this I get this feeling of envy for both its courage as well as its view. Yes it's just a tree but ... a tree with balls and a kick ass view 24/7.

If I get the chance to come back as a tree I want to be this tree. :)

Mike Gettin The Shot Bryce Canyon Jun 19 2009_DSC6540

Here's my brother Mike workin' his Nikon D200 at the start of the first day of our Bryce Canyon photo shoot. I'd flown from Vancouver to Las Vegas the day before to pickup Mike who had spent the week at a Hewlett-Packard storage conference. If you zoom in on the capture you'll notice a few HP logos (cap and shirt). Ahhh ... nothing says lovin' like conference freebees.

Sigh ... my bro went to Vegas and all he got was a cool HP shirt. :)

The drive from Vegas to Bryce Canyon is a lengthy one (5 hours with traffic) but pure desert richness - at least for the first 3.5 hours or so. The route scoots through 3 US states (Nevada, Colorado and Utah) and is visually stunning for someone used to the lush mountains of British Columbia. By the time we arrived near Bryce however it was quite late and nearly pitch black. I turned to Mike and said "This sucks! I was hoping for awesome views but it's all black and dark!! Grrrr." :)

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Bryce HDR 07 Jun 2009_DSC6650_1_2_3_4

In the High Dynamic Range club this shot isin the "Lucas Arts Tone Mapped" school. So deep into HDR that you have a right to expect to see Luke Skywalker around the next corner.

This is not your ganddaddy's natural geological arch. This is today's arch.

HDR Sunset July 4 2009_DSC7215_16_17_18_19_20_21

I love this moment.

My eyes did not see this but my camera, linked to my computer, did. This is what I'm sure will become my favorite High Dynamic Range capture. ... At least until the next time a high pressure system roles ontop of a low pressure system over English Bay.

Sirrus In Her Lair July 4 2009 _DSC7195

_DSC7195, originally uploaded by VancouverDoug.

Bryce Canyon Utah - HDR 01 - Rainbow Point

Here is the first of many of the color shots taken while at Bryce Canyon last month.

I'll make it a point to post to this blog in a balanced way over the next few weeks. High Dynamic Range (HDR) is an incredible tool but it's like the icing on the cake. Too much icing and not enough cake can make your teeth hurt. After two hours this morning organizing my photo archive and then processing the first half a dozen of the HDR sequences I realized that the punch of HDR tends to decline as you view more and more images created with this technique. HDR is a great opening in other words but shouldn't be the whole show. I'll make sure to post photos from all three of my favorite photography food groups - Black and White (infra red), High Dynamic Range and Regular.

The results, even of the early HDR sequences, are quite stunning. My workflow for the images is Lightroom (organize the images) -> Photomatix Pro 3 (the HDR composite software) -> Nikon's Capture NX2 (final color and light balancing and dust bunny removal). While working on the HDR captures this morning I was able to flip between the views that all three applications had of the same image and I must admit - HDR does reveal what I did see in my mind's eye more than the regular captures do.

A great example (coming up in a later image) was the color of the sand between the trees on the slopes below the rust colored mesas. In the regular image the 'perfectly exposed' shot produces a light yellow, almost white cast to the sand. In the HDR image the sand matches the color of the higher level rock which is where the sand came from in the first place. HDR shows what I saw. The regular image shows what the camera saw.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Bryce IR 25 June 2009 DSC_8351

Day two of the Bryce Canyon shoot and Mike has finally joined the photo-collective and got himself one of those cool floppy hats.

Bryce IR 20 June 2009 DSC_8339

I'm nearly done with the B&W set of captures taken at Bryce Canyon and while a daunting task I'm getting charge to dive into the color and high dynamic range sets. A bit ironic in that I've focused on the black and white views of a vista that explodes with color.

Here's a capture looking away (towards the west) from one of the numerous and excellent vantage points onto Bryce Canyon Utah. This shot nicely reveals the alpine nature of the region (the viewpoints are nearly 10,000 ft above sea level) as wells as the never ending thunderstorms (seen off in the distance) that have provide the rain that in turn has etched out the canyon.

This capture was taken a few minutes after one of those micro thunderstorms raced over this spot.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Queen Elizabeth Park IR 07 May 21 2009 raw

This afternoon I roamed around the new condo's near and about Vancouver's Yaletown area. A decent day for IR but, sigh, short on clouds. Boring skies turn IR photography into but cool high contrast black and white photography. .... Le sigh.

I love how IR treats buildings though. At least the ones in downtown Vancouver. Clear and crisp ... Very much a "the day after we landed on this new planet and built these buildings" feeling to it. Warm like the Snow Queen on the movie "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe". Perfect for B&W pushed into the infra red end of the visible light spectrum.

This photo however has nothing to do with the above. It was taken 2 months ago at Queen Elizabeth Park. I love nature in IR. It's like life gone wild.