Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Sumac Lodge - Photos by David Gilbert

A couple of weeks ago, David Gilbert headed out with Phil Norton's "Group of Seven" to spend the weekend photographing the scenery around Sumac Lodge - in the Sharbot Lake area north of Kingston.  Unlike Prince Edward County which got inundated with snow, Sumac received a light dusting that provided magical moments in and around the historic old farm buildings.  The snow flakes falling provided an effective foreground for several monochromatic images that David edited using his Photoshop Elements graphics program.

The newly fallen snow, provided a delicate texture on the recently hewn logs and around wooden structures from times gone bye.

Thanks David for the submission.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Family Day Outing with Terry Sprague et al

On Monday Feb. 18th, a group nearly 40 strong gathered at the Hillier Town Hall for the start of a nature walk along a portion of the Millenium Trail that spans Lake Consecon.  The group was led by Terry Sprague, Pamela Stagg and local photographer Rick Matthews.  It was a glorious crisp sunny winter day with very little wind.  It didn't feel like the -12C that my thermometre indicated.  The lake was frozen solid with the exception of a small patch near the trail bridge.  This provided sanctuary for a glorious flock of swans allowing those of us with cameras to get some great close-ups of these majestic creatures.  Here's a sampling of swan portraits taken by some of the participants.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Prince Edward County Photography Club Initial Meeting

I am pleased to announce that the inaugural meeting of the Prince Edward County Photography Club will take place in the afternoon on Sunday March 3rd at the Wellington Public Library.

Anyone with a love and passion for the photographic image and who is interested in improving his/her photographic skills, whether aspiring amateur or experienced photographer, is invited to attend and be part of the initial formative meeting.  The overall goal is to stimulate and motivate members to use their cameras more and to see their surroundings in an enlightened manner.  The club will allow for the sharing of images, discussing common photographic interests and provide educational opportunities to learn from others in our community.
At the initial meeting, David Vaughan, a well known photographer working in and around the County, will present a slideshow depicting a selection of his work and discussing his image capturing techniques.
Time of Meeting: Sunday March 3, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Location: Wellington Public Library – Downstairs meeting room (access from east side of building - note elevator is available for those that need assistance)

There will be no charge for the meeting.

If you can't make this initial meeting, but have an interest in subsequently joining in the fun or require further information, please email or contact me - Ken Liddon at 613-476-2164.

I do hope to see you all at this important kick-off meeting.

Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Case for Post Image Capture Processing

While I would dearly love to have all the images taken directly off my camera's memory card to be immediately viewable for public consumption, I find more often than not, that the images do not initially live up to my expectation. Recently I came back from a photo shoot and sat down in front of the computer to view what I had captured. I was sure I had some good images as I had taken my tripod and bracketed many of my shots. I had set my camera's white balance for “Cloudy” as it was a gloomy, cloudy late afternoon (well into the pre-dusk time period). Well, I was quite dissapointed when I saw the result.  It seems that our eyes and the human mind have a great capability to compensate for ambient colour temperature and areas of darkness/shadow in the subject scene. Not so for the camera – it records things pretty much as they are and not as you may have perceived the subject matter. The shot below was taken with my Nikon D5100 on a tripod using a long exposure – 1 sec. f/8.0 at ISO 400. I was saving both raw and jpg files. The shot below is the jpg that came out of the camera. The raw file was even more dull and lifeless.
Well, I decided to give the raw image a little uplift in order to reproduce what I was trying to capture when I originally took the photo. I used my trusted GIMP image editor along with its UFRaw plugin for handling raw image files. It didn't take much. I altered the white balance, utilized the shadow recovery plugin (to bring out some colour under the eaves), used an unsharp mask to sharpen the bricks and cropped a small bit from the right hand side to achieve the symmetry I wanted for the shot. The result is as follows:
This is precisely the image that I was trying to originally capture. GIMP to the rescue!

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

O'Hara Mill

Quinte Conservation owns an interesting property which is currently being restored to its historic heritage by local residents.  The property is called O'Hara Mill and is located just north of Madoc off hwy #62.  The multi-acre site contains many 19th century buildings, numerous streams and hiking trails, along with a covered bridge. Below the bridge resides a weir and falls area. An old water wheel is located off to one side.  It is a unique place and we are lucky to have such a treasure nearby.  I went with Phil Norton and his Photo & Fitness group of adventurers photofitness group .  It was a typical Ontario January day - overcast and dull - requiring a rather high ISO number for many of the shots. These were taken with a Nikon D5100 camera with an 18-105mm lens.  A tripod got put to good use in order to allow long exposures of the flowing water.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Winter Wonderland

I hope that all you local County folks have picked up your cameras this weekend as we have been blessed - if you are a photographer - or cursed - if you are a driver - with one of the most beautiful snowfalls in recent memory.  It is a virtual orgy for the eye.  Even the most mundane item is covered in a beautiful blanket of snow.  Fortunately, the winds have not blown and the snow remains clinging to the trees.  Between a lot of shovelling, I managed to take these shots around our house.  Hope you enjoy them.

This is our old stone house cloaked in its pristine snowy blanket.

The top of the arbour was covered in fluffy white magic.

Even the deck posts had their hats on!

Bullrushes weighted with the white snow.

Old willows along the shoreline  draped in their white covering presented a wonderful monochromatic opportunity.

This one was taken when the snow was falling quite heavily.  I used flash to highlight the gigantic falling flakes



And after the storm had passed, peaceful serenity was evident all around!

But no time to sit down on the chair - time to start shovelling!

Ah - I finally hear the snow plough coming to dig us out.

Now, if you've captured some great snow images, send them to us at countyfotoclub@gmail.com and we will post them here for you.

Friday, 1 February 2013

Photo Tip - Composing Your Image

Normally, a great image just doesn't happen - it is carefully planned and meticulously composed. Once the subject has been selected and the appropriate light has been attained, the photographer must now compose the scene in the camera's viewfinder.  Often, I utilize the simplistic "rule of thirds" and the four sweetspots on the film frame to produce eye pleasing images.  If you think of two equal spaced vertical lines intersecting two equal spaced horizontal lines, then the sweet spots are the four intersecting points within the viewfinder frame.

It is here that the eye will often be drawn for that key focal element in your image.  In landscape photography, keeping the horizon along one of the two horizontal "third" lines results in an effective separation of earth/water/snow and sky.

In addition, remember that lines in your image have very different effect on the viewer depending on its slope.  Oblique lines indicate motion and lead the viewer's eye along the line either toward a point of interest or potentially out of the picture thereby creating in the mind of the viewer, the impression of unknowns that lie beyond the field of view.  Horizontal lines imply static, serene and peaceful events, whereas vertical lines can imply grandure, exaltation or majestic exuberance.  Use these techniques to heighten viewer interest in your images.