Highlight & Shroud

rtown, Fort Vemilion, Alberta
rtown, Fort Vemilion, Alberta

Before the day’s meeting and before arriving at our meeting’s destination a colleague and I detoured to a way point with our cameras – his Nikon and my Canon. An hour later our cameras held images gathered from the St. Louis Roman Catholic mission in Fort Vermilion’s north settlement – Buttertown. During that hour, the groundwork for this high dynamic range shot was sparked by the cloud work highlights above and the darker light below enveloping the mission storehouse and surrounding foliage, shrouding texture and low-lying colour … three shots (-2, 0 and +2) a good harvest with which to begin a bigger day of work – my gratitude goes out to my fellow camera shooter and colleague, for investing an earlier hour with me, image-making. Good on you!

Photography, this week – this past seven days has been extraordinary in terms of encountering students, colleagues, friends and former students who have engaged in dialogue about photography, gear and software, each a photographer in the making. My gratitude goes out to each of you for your solid discussion and trajectory as photographers – good schtuff!

Listening to – the morning has held Casting Crown’s ‘Follow Me,’ Bruce Springsteen’s ‘One Step Up,’ and two tonally heavy tunes from Chris Whitley – ‘Big Sky Country’ and ‘Dust Radio;’ musically, U2’s ‘Vertigo Tour’ has been the concert to watch via DVD this week.

Quote to Inspire – “The photographer is always trying to colonize new experiences or find new ways to look at familiar subjects – to fight against boredom. For boredom is just the reverse side of fascination: both depend on being outside rather than inside a situation, and one leads to the other.” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

12 Comments on “Highlight & Shroud

  1. That Sontag quote is perfect … and the image is wonderful, too. How great that you had such fun and interesting interactions with others.

    • Hey there, Laurie:

      A fellow-teacher 113km away – got him started on N-Photo magazine for his Nikon camera practice and helped him order a Manfrotto tripod. A church congregation member has asked me if I’d auction off a print for our church’s opening and dedication in November – the mission storehouse print may be the one; but, I will have her and her daughter choose photos. Phil Calaway will be at that event. I donated five images of various sizes to be auctioned off at a fundraiser for a fellow teacher with MS; that auction is happening tonight – two photos are of Peggy’s Cove (Nova Scotia), a Guatemala photo of the manhole cover heart, a 1949 Chevrolet grain truck (b/w) and a photo of Canada flag grain bins. On Wednesday, I led two eighty minute sessions on photography for a junior high career day for our division – composition and editing; composition and Animoto creation. On Friday, two former students who will be getting married in November have asked me to be their wedding photographer. I’m organizing a workshop for teachers who teach photography at the high school level and for teachers who’d just like to know a little more and to refine their skillset; I need to set the most workable date for the workshop and figure best way to cost the workshop for teachers. And, I’m working through the implementation of equipment/technology with another teacher; I’m the support behind our school’s media studies club. No doubt, I’ll be leading a photo walk or two. It’s been neat to have my photos up on my office walls as places to talk from when I meet with students and parents; the REO Speedwagon truck is something that always turns heads and/or provides a double take. I’ve only just learned (and this still needs verification) that REO as a vehicle producer was subsumed/bought-out by Buick.

      The Quotes – Susan Sontag’s ‘On Photography’ is on iTunes as an audio-book; if you have a long drive or flight it is work the listen.

      Take care … 😉

      • So many exciting opportunities and successes! Is photography your primary career (if so, congrats!). If not, how do you fit it all in?
        Either way, how wonderful to have so many people recognize you for your work!

      • Hey there, Laurie:

        You right to be looking to the opportunities and to the successes. Photography is not my primary career. I’m an educator dealing with the coordination of services for students with special needs; so, keeping up with all this has been a challenge. As the years have progressed, people have seen more and more of what I can do with a camera – so, yes people are recognizing me and my work; last night’s auctioned netted over six hundred dollars for the photos. For me, the encouragement is that there are others in my vicinity who are also interested in what a camera in their hands can do. Maybe a shooting group is next … we’ll see; is this something that you have? 😉

  2. Nice crisp clouds in this image, I’m working on a Dartmoor HDR but the clouds moved during the three pictures so I get a slide effect, like they are speeding across the sky. Not something I was looking for but gives me something to work on. Always things to learn when editing.

    Hope the auctions have gone well,


    • Hey there, Jim:

      No doubt you have used a tripod for your Dartmoor HDR; to minimize cloud movement it might be something to see how high you need to move your ISO so the time your shutter is open is reduced. Sometimes the HDR software has a correction that you can apply as you process the image.

      I’m thinking about utilizing a new technique that is very similar to the merge of HDR images through automatic exposure bracketing – something called photostacking, keeping the f-stop between f8 and f11 (strongest focus range on most lenses) and merging three or more images (one where focus point is established in the foreground, one with focus in middle ground and a final one with focus in the background); you have a shot you did as one of your first HDRs (looking out over a valley from a trail on a valley ridge) that might very well have benefited from this practice/technique and rendered all parts of the image in stong, focused detail. There is software used with this techique produced in the Ukraine; the software itself is designed to help establish focus at different depths for microscopes in micro-photography; here’s the URL – http://www.helicon.dstudiosoft.com ; the photographer using this technique and software is Michael Breitung – http://www.mibreit-photo.com . Have a look.

      The auction – the photos netted $600 for my fellow teacher (I am happy to contribute the images … and to be contributing); that money and all monies raised will support renovation to this young family’s home to accommodate more and more limited range of motion.

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