Hastings Park…with my new camera!

June 13, 2010

I can’t believe I haven’t written about this yet: I am now the proud owner of a new camera!

After about four years of faithful service, my old Pentax *istDS started acting up in late 2009. It would take ages to save a photo to the memory card, it performed poorly in low light conditions. Occasionally, the aperture reading would go blank and I would have to shoot blind or Auto and hope for the best. The Pentax got me through my first two Photography units earlier this year, but it became apparent it was no longer capable of the tasks I needed it to do.

In early June, a new addition joined the family: A Canon EOS 50D SLR with a Sigma 18-200mm lens. The first real test of the Canon took place on an outing to the Italian Gardens in Hastings Park, Vancouver, with my friend C. Here are some of the photos from that shoot:


Australia 2010 – a short note

June 12, 2010

I know I had promised to write a blog post about my trip to Australia earlier this year. Photos as well.

Unfortunately, life has been very busy over the last month or two and time has gotten away from me. As I write this, I’ll be on my way to the US in just over a week and RushCon is about a month away. Ergo, Australia 2010 will either have to wait, or it’ll be one of the first photo galleries constructed on wanderingpixie.com.

It’s times like this that a clone would be really handy!

Busy Times on a Panoramic Planet

May 30, 2010

It’s been busy times these last couple of weeks. The project that holds most of my attention at the moment is the RushCon Photo Archive. A collection of images from RushCons past, it will be the central ‘herding point’ for any RushCon related photo I can find. So far, I’ve added a bunch of others people’s images (with permission, of course!) as well as selecting and editing some of my own. Not an easy task at the best of times.

Between the RushCon photo project and choosing images for my own website, I’m finding I’m developing a more critical eye when it comes to my photography. No doubt, my recent Photography studies have helped. Cultivating a form of ruthlessness is also an essential component. There are photos that I may have included on the old (now defunct) version of the site, but they are now being filed to the Trash bin. Some are not quite ‘good enough’ but I’m putting them aside for the moment. I may eventually post some of them here.

In closing, I came across the Photoble website this morning and found an interesting tutorial on creating mini panorama planets. As landscapes are one of my favorite forms of photography, I do have a few panoramas hidden in my collection. Some are quite good, others…well, I was still learning at the time!

Here’s my first panoramic planet attempt:

This was a series of shots of the Ottawa River, as seen from Gatineau, QC, that I took back in the summer of 2005. Probably not the greatest example of a panoramic, due to fluctuating lighting levels, but it’s a start. I’m going to play with this idea a little more and see what else I can produce! 🙂

Photos – Vancouver Aquarium

May 11, 2010

A few days after my 30th birthday, I made my first ever visit to the Vancouver Aquarium (courtesy of my friend C). We had a great afternoon wandering through the exhibits and shooting with our cameras.

I found this particular shoot to be quite a challenge. My Pentax *istDS is now almost 5 years old and it’s beginning to show it’s age. Also, the camera’s performance in low-light situations has often been touch-and-go, at best. Without the use of a tripod – as was the case in this shoot – I often wing it and hope for the best. Whilst low light issues can be resolved by boosting the ISO, my pictures start developing major noise artifacts after ISO 400.

Given these limitations, I was quite surprised to get these results. Yes, I did tweak some of the shots in post-production. The topic of natural shot vs post-production is hotly debated amongst many photographers. I have my own opinions on the subject, but I’ll save them for a future blog post.

Thanks again to C for the Aquarium visit  (and showing me the dolphins!) 🙂

Night Shooting

May 4, 2010

A couple of weeks ago, our Basic Digital Photography class had an evening shoot around the Planetarium & Vanier Park. Most of these shots were my submissions for that particular assignment, but I threw in a couple of extras. 😉

I have experimented with night photography & long exposures previously. Some results were good, some…not so good and a few turned out to be rather interesting. I’ll dig around in my archives and see what I can find.

Photos – Basic Digital Photography Term Assignment

April 21, 2010

These are the shots I submitted for my Basic Digital Photography Term Assignment.

The brief of the assignment was to choose eight subjects out of ten and present an image embodying that particular subject. The eight I chose were:

  • Portrait
  • Blurring Motion
  • Freezing Motion
  • Maximum Depth of Field
  • Minimum Depth of Field
  • Backlit subject
  • Rule of Thirds Landscape
  • Subject/photo converted to Black & White or Sepia (I chose B&W).

I am happy to report that I got a 10/10 for the assignment! 😀

Photos – Grouse Mountain

April 20, 2010

I’ve lived in Vancouver for almost three years now. It took me that long to finally pay a visit to Grouse Mountain!