One Giant Piece

•March 27, 2014 • 1 Comment

SunIce PanoTuffin’s Island is a short distance from shore near the community of Too Good Arm, Newfoundland. The southern end of the island was still attached to the harbour ice which was still quite healthy despite it being late March. So,what else is there to do on a Sunday evening but to wander across the ice to the north end of the island to capture the last golden rays of the setting sun? As an added bonus several large ice sheets, which had become dislodged from shore, drifted lazily with the light evening breeze.

I don’t need a thousand words to describe this scene. The photo does it for me.

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Stanley Glacier Hike

•January 15, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Stanley Glacier is located in Kootenay National Park in southeastern British Columbia  forming part of a World Heritage Site.

Highway 93 near Trailhead

New Growth After Fire

Near The Edge Of The Forest

This is our first stop on a seven-day journey through south-central BC and southwestern Alberta. It’s a short commute down Highway 93 from TCH near Banff traveling south to Stanley Glacier trailhead. The trail itself is approximately 4.2 km, well maintained with numerous switchbacks especially during the first kilometer. Even though the first part of the hike passes through a huge burnt area, it too has its beauty accompanied by the sound of wind whistling through the still standing black trees. Apparently, the fire was a result of a lightning strike in 1968.

Josh Looking Ahead

It isn’t long before we enter an area of more mature, old growth forests with only traces of burnt wood. The trees quickly thin as altitude increases eventually giving way to tonnes of rock debris (also called moraine) left behind by the retreating glacier. This is the end of the well-marked trail. From here on you have to be more conscious of where you step and which area has worn rocks indicating it’s the path most traveled.

The final kilometre is somewhat difficult with sharp-edge rocks and boulders making it unclear which route to follow. A spectacular view at the end overlooking the entire valley certainly compensates for the long tedious journey and the steep incline. Even though it’s a slow process, a retreating glacier, which took thousands of years to form and many more years to shrink, can leave a lasting impression on the surrounding landscape. It also left a lasting impression on me.

Sea Breeze Park

•March 14, 2012 • 1 Comment

One of my favorite places to shoot seascapes is Sea Breeze Park near Long Point, Twillingate Island. Long Point, with its picturesque lighthouse , is one of the most famous destinations in the province attracting tourists from all over. The park is noted for its rugged beauty with steep jagged cliffs rising sharply from the cold North Atlantic. Spring and early summer attract the most visitors to this area, aptly named Iceberg Alley.

My favorite time to view this pristine landscape is winter where spectacular sunsets drape the ice-covered cliffs and rafting slob and sea ice ring the shoreline in majestic rows of sparkling beauty. It’s a quieter time with only the roar of the sea and the distant sound of an occasional  seagull to catch your attention. With an excellent view to the west, the setting sun illuminates the slob ice tightly packed in neatly curved rows, layer on layer, along the sandy beach.

When I visited on this mid-winter afternoon, there was just enough cloud to the west to add some color. Winds were calm and there was ample slob ice to give the scene an other-worldly and mysterious feel. It’s a special place with much to offer.

Here are a few of my shots.

Newfoundland’s Northern Peninsula

•August 29, 2011 • 1 Comment

The Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, by far the largest peninsula in the province, covers an area of approximately 17 000 km2. It consists of the Long Range Mountains and low-lying coastal areas which,together, help enhance the natural beauty of the area. The highway leading into the area, for the most part, overlooks the Gulf of St. Lawrence to the west, with an equally impressive view of the Long Range Mountains to the east.
Despite the large area, the peninsula has a population of less than 10 000 people. Fishing, forestry, and tourism are the key industries employing most local residents.

My recent trip to the area was quite a drive from Notre Dame Bay to the tip of the peninsula, a distance of approximately 800 km. My main goal was to view the icebergs that were “spawned” from the Petermann Ice Island parked in that region. I was not disappointed. The area around St. Carols and Goose Cove near St Anthony had quite a few of the ‘monsters’. Here’s a few of some of the many scenes captured along the way.

Near Goose Cove, Newfoundland.

Sunset over bergs.

Another drifter.

Point Riche, Port aux Choix

Salmon angler, Torrent River, Hawkes Bay.

Cape Norman

Fishing Point, St. Anthony

St. Carol's

Moving Ice, St. Carol's

Quirpon

L'Anse aux Meadows

The Art Of Photography

•June 26, 2011 • 5 Comments

Despite what many people believe, photography is an art. Everyone who snaps a picture, though, is not an artists. As artists, we shouldn’t just record things, places, and events mechanically with a camera factory-set to reproduce every shot in robotic fashion. If five photographers photograph the same scene at precisely the same time, each of them should produce something aesthetically different, otherwise, we shouldn’t label it as works of art.

Each artists should acquire his/her own style, thus, enabling a piece of work to be easily identified without a signature. Producing massive files of stock photos and postcards is not art. Whatever it takes to produce ones own style, whether it be software, hardware, or a realm of other devices, should be a part of your arsenal of tools which will allow others to identify your work. Until you reach that stage, you are merely another ant in a nest of millions with no identifiable markings to distinguish you from all the others.

Life Is Just A Fantasy

Listening to negative pundits and those who frown on your methods stymies creativity. Taking advantage of filters and various types of computer software to stimulate your creativity is not the proverbial sin that so many despise. An artists who paints a scene does not necessarily reproduce exactly what he sees before him,  but rather the scene he envisions. A carpenter who builds a house to the specifications of a prospective buyer is not chastised for the tools he used or his methods of calculating. Its a means to an end. It matters not how you create your masterpiece, but rather that you created a masterpiece.

Being creative requires patience, time, and persistence. When processing a photo, always have a vision in mind as to what it is you want to accomplish. Attempting to recreate what has already been done is not unique…..no need to reinvent the wheel. Software programs like Photoshop allow us to redo, undo, and make adjustments without having to start from scratch. Using layers and adjustment layers offer endless possibilities to fine-tune  your work.

From Another Time

Many photographers attest to the fact that photographs, especially landscapes,  are only  meant to be taken during “the golden hours”- around sunrise or sunset. That may be true if you depend solely on your camera and mother nature since these times offer the best natural conditions with an abundance of soft,  rich light. It’s also the optimal time for shadows, giving your photo a sense of depth. But what if you want to give your work a more surreal or otherworldly look. In most cases, neither mother nature nor your camera will allow you to accomplish this feat.

Occasionally, people like to escape the real world and become captivated in a world of unexplained phenomenal wizardry, a place where imaginations run wild, where there’s no need to explain since there is no real necessity. In modern-day photography, this is now possible. For many people, this serves no purpose and has no place in the traditional world, but there is an appetite and a market for such creations. Call it what you like. It’s real.

Floating Rocks In A Blue Mist

Spring In Northeast Newfoundland

•May 5, 2011 • Leave a Comment

The coming of spring in northeast Newfoundland is not what most people would consider as a normal spring. The typical “April showers bring May flowers” saying doesn’t necessarily hold true in this part of the world.  A shift in wind direction can quickly turn a balmy spring day into a bone chilling nor’easter accompanied by the usual drizzle and fog. If you don’t like the weather, stick around…. it’ll soon change. Despite the weather, Newfoundland has some of the most spectacular scenery in North America. Tourists from all over the world travel here during spring and early summer to view icebergs from Greenland and pack ice from Labrador. The northeast coast of the province is the prime area for viewing these spectacles.

Here are a few of my shots taken earlier this spring.

Check out more of my photos here or at my website.

Salt Harbour Berg

Surf And Sea Ice

Floaters

Northern Visitor

Sunset Over Sea & Ice

Ocean Fury

 

Processing An Image

•April 12, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Before

 

After

It’s not always easy to get the image you want without fine tuning. Like it or not, it’s a huge part of modern photography.

I always take every shot both as a jpeg and a raw file. In so doing, it’s simple to see how my camera processed the scene as a jpeg and compare it to processing the raw image with software. Every raw image has loads of data that’s never processed. The two examples above show that is is possible to select an otherwise dreary image, using the raw file, and create something that is, at least, acceptable.

I’ve tried several different brands of photo editing software and I’m convinced that Photoshop CS5 with the accompanying plug-in, Adobe Camera Raw, tops the list. Despite all the rave about Photoshop, Camera Raw really has most of the tools necessary to create the image you desire. PS has the fine tools for the finishing touch, however, CR has the optimal basics to bring out whatever is possible to recover from a raw file.

Basic adjustments in CR are really quite simple, and it’s important to follow them in the order they are presented. White balance, exposure, recovery, fill light, and contrast top the list as first steps. Minor tweaks might be necessary later.

One of my favorite features in the new version is the graduated filter. It can be dragged around to fit in almost any position where you can then adjust any of the other features (ie. color, contrast, exposure, clarity, etc,). It works great on skies.

Noise reduction has been vastly improved in the latest version of CR. That said, if you want a real improvement in noise reduction, use the Photoshop plugin, Noise Ninja. It targets only the areas that need noise reduction while leaving other areas untouched. That’s important since too much noise reduction produces a soft look on the overall image.

For a complete detailed analysis of CR, there’s one excellent book available, “Real World Camera Raw Photoshop CS5” by Jeff Schewe and Bruce Fraser.