Tag Archives: camera

The Right Time

A camera walk was the only item on my agenda today. I haven’t been on one for awhile. I was due. My wife and I had traveled yesterday to camp with friends near Shuswap Lake west of Salmon Arm, B.C.  This is a beautiful part of British Columbia.

Shuswap Lake is know world wide for the annual Sockeye salmon run that occurs at this time of year. Most famous is the Adam’s River salmon run which starts around the end of September. Not so well known is the Scotch Creek Salmon run. It is occurring now and to me is equally fascinating. That was my destination this morning.

Usually I’m out just after sunrise for my camera walks. This morning, after having been up early to golf with my buddies during the week, I slept in. It seems that geezers like the early tee times so they can finish and get home early…..I’m not sure for what, though. After all we are retired with lots of time on our hands. Oh well…. I digress.

After a drive of about half and hour I was hiking along the banks of Scotch Creek. The salmon had returned! Not in the numbers I have seen in past years but there were many more than last year. About four years ago there were record numbers of returning salmon. The opportunities to photograph the spectacle were abundant.

I wasn’t the only one there to see the salmon this morning. Many others had also stopped to witness the spectacle. Its difficult to negotiate the rocks and the river to get the images I was looking while also having to work around groups of curious tourists. I decided to return just after sunrise the next morning when I would be alone and the light would be mellow. Before leaving I ‘scouted out’ a few interesting sites where it was easy to get down to the water’s edge close to the spawning salmon.

 

The Scotch Creek Salmon Run

The Scotch Creek Salmon Run

 

A tripod is necessary if you hope to capture the drama of salmon spawning in fast moving water. In this image I captured the movement of the water by using a slow shutter speed. The brilliant red of the returning salmon contrasts the muted color of those that have completed their life cycle and now litter the water’s edge.

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Photography Summer Camp

Self-taught, I have taken a wandering path to learn to use my camera effectively and creatively. Books, magazines, videos and websites have all provided me with knowledge and information that have heightened my ability to make interesting photographs. And I’ve attended weekend workshops and presentations at photography club meetings. I’ve learned a lot. But my approach has been piecemeal. I still needed to determine my personal approach as a photographer and artist.

With serious encouragement from my friend, professional photographer Michael Breakey I submitted prints to Artwalk in Lake Country, British Columbia. For the last 3 years and hopefully this year, my work passed the ‘jury test’. It displayed well with the work of a number of very accomplished photographers. Several of my pieces even sold. Happy yes, but…

Again, with Michael’s encouragement I looked into a photography school called Image Explorations. Initially, I was somewhat dubious. After all, this school was designed for professionals. That wasn’t me. I’m a geezer. This year I put my fears of looking out of place, looking like an amateur…..like a geezer, aside. I attended.

To my great surprise I fit in! There were many professionals there as well as those looking to join the professional ranks. And there were several other geezers there as well.

Image Explorations is held annually in July at the Shawnigan Lake Private School about 45 minutes north of Victoria, B.C. It is an intensive 5 day photography school. Wedding Photography, Portraiture and even the business of photography courses were offered. I chose Landscape Fine Art Photography. Taught by Tina and Mike Timmons from Michigan it was probably the best course I have ever taken. For me, it brought the camera, software and the workflow process together to form a creative vision that I could apply to my photography.

I learned a lot about photography and myself by attending Image Explorations for the first time this year. I met many wonderful photographers. Each and everyone of us, I learned, were on a journey to improve our photography. We all brought a unique approach to photography. The course I chose, Landscape Fine Art Photography has given me the boost I have been looking for to set my own personal direction in photography. Needless to say, I have pre-registered for next year.

 

I captured this image at sunset on my first day at Image Explorations. Using Photoshop Lightroom 5, Photoshop Element 11 and Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro 4 I was able to create the mood and feeling I felt at that very special time of the day.

Posted in Education

Travelin’…..Sydney

Modern Buildings surround the Circular Quay

Anxious to get out with my camera the morning after our arrival in Sydney several years ago, I headed first to McDonalds across the street from our hotel. A free internet connection there would allow me to check for email and announce our safe arrival to friends at home.  Out the door, across the sidewalk, a quick check for traffic on the left and as I was about to step off the sidewalk… a horn blared!!! Traffic comes from the right in Australia. I narrowly missed becoming a hood ornament on a bus. A geezer’s life can be an adventure!

Sydney is a dream come true for a photographer. Wrapped around a large natural harbour Sydney serves as the gateway to a wonderful and mysterious country. I was struck by its rich history, its multicultural flavor and its magnificent architecture.

Our hotel, situated about 2 km from the Circular Quay was just a stone’s throw from the free ‘Hop On Hop Off’ shoppers’ bus stop and was just down the street from the Central Railway station. A day pass on the transit system gave us access to the subway, the buses and the harbour ferries. With passes in had we spent 4 days touring the harbour with a stop over in Manley, strolled on Bondi Beach, visited the town to Cronulla  and the Darling Harbour district. And of course, we wandered extensively in the Circular Quay and downtown area. All the while I made sure my camera was very busy.

My 18 to 70 mm was my ‘go to’ lens on this trip. It turned out to be a very good ‘walk around’ lens. The only difficulty I encountered was at night. I did not bring a tripod on the trip and had no other way of keeping my camera still for night shots. So I improvised. With the camera on ‘manual’, I set the shutter speed so that I could safely hand hold my camera. Then I experimented with the ISO and aperture until I could record an image with decent resolution and depth of field. As long as I could stand firmly and brace the camera will with my hands and arms my results were fairly good. Had I shot in RAW I would have been able to use the power of my software to make some very good images.

In my next post I will leave my Australian trip for a week or so. My focus will be on the steps I have taken in learning about digital photography.

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Welcome to My Blog

Thanks for visiting my new blog – Geezer with a Camera.  Why the name you might wonder? Who would use such a title? Well, I’m retired and I’m getting up there in age. I’m a senior.  My grandkids regularly if not always beat me in whatever contest they decide to inflict on me and I drink red wine. That makes me a geezer. And, of course I pack around a camera so I’m a Geezer with a Camera. Most importantly though I thought it would be fun and interesting to approach this blog from the point of view of a senior getting into digital photography.

 

Digital photography was new to me when I got into it 10 years ago.  I had put photography aside while my wife and I raised our 2 sons and pursued our careers in education. My experience to that point had been with film cameras and with film processing and printing photographs in my darkroom. While I knew that digital and film photography were similar I discovered that there were many differences. Confused and feeling lost in a new language of photography was an understatement.

 

In my blog I will introduce you to my photography and I will describe the steps I took to learn about digital photography.  I encourage anyone who is beginning the journey into digital photography and wanting to discover who they are as a photographer to read my blog. I have a real passion for photography and aim to bring that enthusiasm to my readers and to those who visit my photography site.

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