landscape

You are currently browsing articles tagged landscape.

This weekend I went to Algonquin Provincial Park with a couple of friends/family from our little photography group. Our plan had been to see the spectacular fall colours that, on average, reach their peak on the last weekend of September. Well, unfortunately, Nature has been so good to us over the summer that she’s now taking back when it comes to the Fall, so the peak change is going to be later than average this year. But, we had our hotel reservations which are impossible to change at this time of year, so it was then or never for us. Determined to make the best of it, we set off early on Saturday morning. When we reached the park about 3 hours later we saw that there was a decent amount of colour change, not anywhere near the peak that we’d hoped for, but enough to give us some excitement.

The two girls in the group had never been to the Park before, so this was all new for them. I’ve been a number of times so I’d actually wanted to do something a little different this time, and I’d planned a weekend of long exposures, ICM, multiple exposures and all-round ‘arty-farty’ (as my wife calls them) pictures. I had also just read up on a new technique being pioneered by a couple of photographers, Pep Ventosa and Stephen D’Agostino, called Photography In The Round which consists of circling a stationary object, say a tree, taking shots from all points of the circle and then combining them in PS to produce a very impressionistic single image. I was excited to try this and the other techniques, so the lack of colour didn’t matter that much to me.

Then there was the light. Everyone knows that landscape photographers only go out at dawn and dusk and never shoot anything in between because the light is so bad. Correct? No. At a seminar given by one of my inspirations, the Canadian landscape photographer Darwin Wiggett, he said – and I paraphrase – that there is no such thing as bad light, there’s only what you choose to do with it. So when we found ourselves on top of The Lookout in blazing sunshine in the middle of the afternoon with not a cloud in the sky, well then, we started to practice backlit portraits and fill flash, intentional camera movements and abstract photography. No, we couldn’t get the scenery we wanted, but we certainly could take photographs. We drove a long way to spend the weekend making pictures, and that’s what we did.

Editing is key too. I shot around 300 pictures. Most of them are technically sound; around 10% are what I consider keepers. They are the ones that show me something I haven’t seen before or that I haven’t achieved before. The rest, well they’re part of the journey. They’d make nice snapshots, but they wouldn’t generate a lot of interest. I’d rather have 25 good-to-great (in my not-so-humble opinion) pictures than 200 shots that were simply OK. But heck, it was fun and we made the most of the trip, the landscape, the environment and the opportunity to shoot for ourselves without boring the pants off our poor families.

Same time next year?

Algonquin road trip

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

In my last post I talked about using film again and showed a few shots taken in black and white. Now b&w can cover up many sins and mistakes but colour can be a little less forgiving, so the next challenge I set myself was to see what the ‘new’ F90x could actually do with colour film. Having looked at what’s available I decided that Kodak Portra 160 had just the feel I wanted. I will be trying out many other film, I think, but Portra seems to have that desaturated look I was going for. Velvia was very different, and the Ektar 100 I have sitting at home is different again. But the question was, could I achieve that look, the look that says, yes, this is a film shot, it’s not some digital instagrammed simulation, it’s the real thing.

A trip to Mountsberg Conservation area over Easter gave me the opportunity to shoot in the countryside but with enough buildings and objects around to break up what could otherwise be a fairly monotonous environment.

Here are some of the results. To my mind, I got exactly what I wanted.
Nikon F90x, Portra 160, scanned on Epson V550.

Mountsberg100Paddock

Mountsberg102Tractor

Mountsberg104Horse – at lunch

Mountsberg108CN train

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

« Older entries