Project Inglewood

I am making progress, albeit slow, on a body of work about the Calgary neighbourhood of Inglewood.

My latest image in the series shows the old National Hotel in its new incarnation as Off Cut Bar at The Nash. Another beautiful old building given new life in this historic part of town.

In case you missed the first image, here it is.

I think Black & White photographs are a good fit for this series. What do you think? Please contact me with your thoughts and opinions about this. I welcome your Feedback.

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Discrete On The Street

Most of the time it is quite apparent when someone is about to make a photograph, their camera is at eye-level, and their finger is poised over the shutter release button. We do not always want to send out this signal so we need to employ a more discrete technique. Having your camera strap around your neck with the camera hanging in front of you does not suggest that you are about to make a photograph, particularly if you are looking straight ahead rather than down at your camera. Also, a smaller and less noticeable camera does not attract attention in the way that a big DSLR does. I made this image last month at the street market in Victoria BC using this technique. Not being able to frame the image via the view finder means there is definitely an element of hit-or-miss, something that adds to the fun. A wide angle lens that you can pre-focus to the hyperlocal distance according to the aperture setting is helpful. An aperture setting of f5.6 or f8 will work well. This will give you enough depth of field to ensure the image appears sharp from just in front of the camera all the way to the background. You need to turn autofocus off for this to work. Unfortunately, very few modern lenses are equipped with functional depth of field scales, something that makes setting hyperfocal distances a little more difficult. Depth of field charts are available for free online, and there are smart-phone apps to calculate DOF and hyperlocal distances. This is a very useful technique to master, not just for candid photography.

Fuji X-E1, 14mm f2.8 lens at f5.6, 1/400 sec at ISO 200.

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Super Moon

I have been digging through my photo library to clean out the images that deserve to be in the trash. This is part of a process of change as I move to different post-processing software. While this is a major chore, there are some enjoyable moments such as when a long forgotten image pops up. This shot of the “Super Moon” on May 5, 2012, was made during a visit to Arizona.

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Flood Mitigation Project

No matter how hard we might try, we cannot improve on nature. This small water control structure is just one of many that have been successfully engineered by Beaver Construction Inc. This industrious group construct, operate and maintain a network of small dams that provide an important flood mitigation service during the annual spring thaw in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. They ask nothing in return except to be left alone to do what comes naturally.

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Project Inglewood

Inglewood is the oldest community in Calgary and last year it received the accolade of Canada’s best neighbourhood. I always enjoy wandering around the area because of the old buildings, the eclectic mix of stores, restaurants and the various live music venues. Inglewood is also a great place to sit and watch the world go by over a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Over the next little while (time yet to be determined), I will be making photographs in and around Inglewood with the idea of assembling a body of work that represents the character of the place. Recently I made this photograph of the back of one of the old buildings that face onto 9th Avenue, the main street of Inglewood. It remains to be seen whether or not it makes it into the final portfolio.

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Another Interesting Sky

I am not sure whether we are actually experiencing unusual cloud formations this winter, but it certainly seems so to me. Regardless, when combined with the late afternoon light the winter skies have been spectacular. This is another example from a few days ago. I made the photograph at Paddy’s Flats in Kananaskis Country near Bragg Creek, Alberta. I like the contrast in mood created by the warm light of the setting sun on the trees juxtaposed against the threatening clouds.

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Walking The Dogs…

We walk our two dogs twice each day, often close to our home. Whenever I do not take a camera it seems that the sky shows off with dramatic colours, particularly later in the day. Lately I have been better prepared, so today I shot a number of images. Here is one of them.

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Image for December.

At the beginning of 2014 I gave myself a project to post an image on my blog for each month of the year. The only criteria were that the photographs must be made close to my home, and during the month they were to be posted. The images could be representative of the place, the particular month, or both. If you have followed this from the beginning you may recall that the intention of the project was to help me out of the creative doldrums that I found myself in at the end of 2013. What it has actually done is more than that. It has helped me to understand the problem rather than just overcome it. I was trying too hard to come up with ideas rather than letting those ideas find me. Interesting subjects are all around us, all of the time. I was looking somewhere beyond and not finding inspiration as a result. Also, while I still enjoy photographing expansive landscapes, I sometimes find the smaller details within the larger scene to be more interesting. With this image for December, the project is now complete. I have some ideas for 2015 that will unfold in due course, but probably not in the form of specific projects.

This image was made right in my home, and for me it also represents the month of December. A wood stove may not appear to be very interesting but I like the way the internal parts are framed, first within the uncovered opening in the top of the stove, and then again within the photographic frame. The geometric shapes together with the contrasting tones and textures also make this an interesting photograph for me. The reason it represents December is because the stove gets a good workout whenever the weather is very cold, even more so over the holidays when visiting family insist on having a wood fire burning.

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