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Image of the Week: Fog photos…bad for driving, great inspiration

The fog may have slowed down our road trip to Minneapolis…or it may have been all the photo op stops along the way. Here’s a few of my favourites, let me know what you think! All this unusual weather has inspired me lately, so stay tuned for more!

fine art photography, fog, nature

fine art photography, frost, manitoba

fine art photograph, winter, tree

fine art photograph, abstract, winter

Fine Art Photograph, Winter, Tree

Art Photography – Image Inspiration for Prairie Dreams #1

A new category on the blog: Image Inspiration. It will feature the stories behind the images and/or thoughts/poetry/ramblings that are inspired by my own creative place at the time of creating an image. Basically more of what makes my art unique…me. Enjoy.


Whisper to me, honey-drenched words that sparkle with warmth and vitality.
Throw open the oven door, roll your heat over me, and smother storms yet to come.
Lay yourself bare, sunshine kisses like a lover apologetic for harsh days past.
Tell me a secret.
Don’t wake me up.

art for sale, nature photography, macro photography


A huge thank you to everyone who commented on the images featured in the “win fine art” blog post. Your feedback is most appreciated, but there can only be one winner.

After randomly selecting a winner from a hat, I’m happy to announce that Candace W. will be taking home the featured image of her choosing. Congratulations Candace!

Unfortunately there can only be one winner, but if you were hoping to add some of my fine art to your home or business, don’t despair. I’m offering 15% off all of my fine art prints for the until Jan. 20th. So, if you fell in love with any of the images (or some of my other work) order one today!

I personally take care of all orders, to ensure the highest quality, so simply contact me to set up your order. Each image also includes a certificate showing the image title, artist signature, and story behind the image.

Win fine art images!

Win a 8×12 fine art print of one of the images below. It’s fast and easy to win:

  • Step 1 Eye Candy: review some gorgeous images.
  • Step 2 Vote: let me know which 3 images are your favourite.
  • Step 3 Decorate: win your favourite print for your home.

Simply comment on this post (or comment on facebook or email) to let me know which 3 of the following images are your favourites. From all comments received by Jan. 1, 2012,  I’ll randomly select a winning comment.  (I will contact the winner in the new year to arrange print drop off.)

Good luck and thanks!

Creepy halloween photography tips

…or in other words, how to keep kids (and fun loving adults) entertained for hours.

A spooky moon/tree combo prompted me to haul out the tripod and camera over Thanksgiving weekend. The rest, as they say, was history.

Camera buffs: if you have never played around with “painting with light” , this exercise will help you remember why you fell in love with photography in the first place. Quite simply: it’s fun!



Gear you’ll need:

              • a camera
              • a tripod
              • a flashlight
1) Well after sunset, set up your camera on your tripod. Have your subject stand a good distance away (these examples were shot at about 10-15 feet). Set your camera to manual focus, and use your flash light to illuminate the subject to find your focus. (Cameras can’t focus in dark conditions).
2) Select a long shutter speed…about 4 seconds for zombie or ghost shots. I prefer to shoot in manual or TV (shutter priority) mode for this one. Aperture and ISO doesn’t really matter.
3) Press the shutter. While the shutter is open, exposing your picture, “draw” your subject with your flashlight. Think of it as colouring your subject with light. Anywhere the light hits will appear bright in the image. Everything else will be dark.
4) Experiment! Have your subjects move around as you paint or flash them with light. Conversely,  have them hold the light and flash it on and off as they move. See the examples below for some ideas.
These are meant to be fun…not perfect. Let the kids play around with whatever characters or techniques they want to try. Note: the longer they stand in one place, the more solid they will appear in the image.

Image of the Week 27 Sept.

Dramatic skies over the prairie harvest. Interlake area, Manitoba. Another shoot, another tough choice…black and white or colour edits? Leave a comment and let me know which one you prefer!

Scroll down to see an alternate shot as well.

Headshots of the lovely Robyn

Robyn is working on starting up her acting career, so we had some headshot fun in the studio today. Now to decide if the colour or black and white is better…what do you think?


Image of the Week: Grant and Kati are getting married!

Hope you all had a great long weekend! Here’s a quick sneak peek at a weekend engagement shoot. Beautiful blue eyes, lots of laughs, and some fabulous weather…does the long weekend get any better than this?

Great Depth of Field

What is Great Depth of Field? In simple terms, it’s keeping as much of your scene as possible in sharp focus. Ideally, subjects close to your camera and subjects far from your camera will be equally sharp.

Because it allows the viewer to see all the details of the scene, it’s often used in landscape photography:

Notice how all the trees, even into the distant background appear sharp. This was shot at f/ 22.

Notice how all the details are sharp in this image of a clear cut forest; from the woodchips in the foreground to the sad-looking trees in the background. The treeline in the far distance appears softer due to atmospheric haze. This was shot at f/16 (I would have shot at f/22, but did not have a tripod at the time to allow for the slower shutter speed.)

To try a great depth of field shot, change your f-stop number to the highest number your camera will allow. **To find out how to change your aperture (what is aperture?) or f-stop number, check your manual!  To really see the results of your aperture settings, fill your scene with objects of varying distances.

You can also use Great Depth of Field creatively to help add details and information to a scene. This is common in environmental portraits, where a good amount of details from the subject’s environment are included in sharp focus within the image.

environmental portrait

Great Depth of Field in an Environmental Portrait allows the viewer to see details in the subject’s environment. In this case, the details of the historic farmhouse add context about the character in this portrait.

Finally, consider your Depth of Field when shooting group shoots. To ensure that ALL the people in your group appear in sharp focus, use a higher F/stop number. ( I usually start with F/8 and then check to make sure everyone is sharp. If not, go to f/11 and so on until you get the desired result.)

Notice how all the faces are sharp in this group photo, even though the people are spread relatively far apart. It was shot at f/11.

Wondering what effects the opposite of Great Depth of Field will have? Check out the last photo school  post: Shallow Depth of Field.

Image(s) of the Week 07/13/11

Macro lens, how I love thee. Here are some of my favourite experiments from a recent trip to the English Gardens at Assiniboine Park. With such gorgeous weather (and light!), who can pick just one favourite?

Leave a comment and let me know which one you like best. 🙂

There are more images from this series on my flickr site, so please check it out. And don’t forget that all images are available as fine art prints, if you’re looking to do a bit of summer redecorating!



Image of the Week 06/29/11

Creative Landscape Shallow DOF

twinkle, sparkle, glow, and pulse. radiate, illuminate, shine and dance. paint, direct, revolve, emit. represent, connect, captivate. Remember.

This image was taken on a recent field trip to Pinawa Dam Provincial Park on the first hot day of the year. Back in the bush, the heat hits you in waves, like that blast of air when you open the oven door too quick to check on the chocolate chip cookies. In the stillness of the bush, it’s like the heat is alive; after a long winter I was relishing the simplicity of just being.

In the quiet clarity of this moment, I came across the smallest puddle, a tiny universe of sparkling light in the mid-afternoon heat. I spent at least a half hour photographing this tiny muse (literally – the puddle was probably only a foot across), all the while thinking of stars and the strange connection between macro and micro beauty. I put the following ramble together while thinking about all the things that stars (and perhaps the puddle) can mean:

twinkle, sparkle, glow, and pulse. 
radiate, illuminate, shine and dance. 
paint, direct, revolve, emit. 
represent, connect, captivate. 


Artist Playlist: This image and creative experience makes me think of the tune “Parry Sound” by Jason Collett. Check it out!

Ingredient Profile: Fennel

A bulb of fennel or "anise", as it's called here in Canada.

So, this week’s blog post stems from a frustration I’ve often dealt with at the grocery store.  Now, if you’re like me in the kitchen, you NEED a recipe to follow. Creative photography is my forte, not creativity in the kitchen! So it rocked my little culinary boat a bit when I couldn’t find fennel for the life of me in any of my local grocery stores.

Well, thank goodness for the internet. I finally decided to research what exactly fennel is, and came across an image of the bloody thing. So the next time I visited the grocery store, I realized FENNEL IS ANISE. Seriously.

For some bizarre reason (lets call it a weak post-colonial attempt at independence)  North Americans decided to call Fennel “Anise” or “Sweet Anise” (even though Anise happens to be a completely different spice altogether.)  But our cookbook authors like to give a prissy shout out to the folks across the pond, and still use “fennel” in their recipes.

So, can I just say: WTF. 

It’s hard enough for me to haul my ass into the kitchen each day to cook up a healthy, taste meal. Why do the powers that be want to mess with my mind in this way?

So now you know. Take note for the next time you’re looking for fennel. And also take a peek below for tips on how to prepare it (including a fab vegetarian recipe.)

1. Cut the top off your fennel bulb

2. Core your fennel. This is done easily by quartering the fennel and then using a sharp paring knife to cut the core out of each quarter.

3.  Prepare fennel as described in your recipe (this one calls for diced fennel.)


Recipe: Fennel-Spiked Lentil Cobbler with Red Pepper and Goat Cheese*

Cook 2 diced onions and 1 diced fennel bulb in olive oil until softened.  Add 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1/2 tsp black pepper, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup lentils, and then deglaze the pan with 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 3 cups vegetable broth.

Pour this mixture into a slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours (or until lentils are tender – if you are cooking on stove top). Stir in 1 diced red bell pepper and continue to cook until the pepper is tender.

Preheat boiler. In a bowl, combine 2 cups bread crumbs and 125 grams of soft goat cheese. Transfer slow cooker mixture to an oven-safe dish and then spread the goat cheese mixture on top of the lentil mixture. Broil for a few minutes until the goat cheese mixture begins to brown.


* recipe originally from “The Vegetarian Slow Cooker” by Judith Finlayson

Shallow Depth of Field

What is Shallow Depth of Field? In simple terms, it’s throwing most of your image out of focus while keeping the main subject in your image perfectly sharp. It’s often used in portrait photography:

Creative Baby Image

My little monkey discovers he has feet! Notice how his feet are perfectly in focus and sharp, while his face looks slightly blurry.

Creative Maternity Shallow DOF

Here, the subject's eyes are sharp but the shallow depth of field blurs the rest.

To try a shallow depth of field shot, change your f-stop number to the lowest number your camera will allow. **To find out how to change your aperture (what is aperture?) or f-stop number, check your manual!  For best results, keep your subject pretty close to you, and be sure fill the image with objects of varying distances from you and your subject.

You can use Shallow Depth of Field creatively to help draw attention to a subject, as in the portraits above. You can also use it to make unexpected images, like this one:

Creative Landscape Shallow DOF

Typically, we expect landscape and nature image to feature lots of detail and be in focus throughout. But by using a shallow depth of field, we can create a very different image. Notice how the points of light on the puddle in the background turn into a round shape with a shallow depth of field. This is called a bokeh effect.

Stay tuned for the next photo school, where I’ll feature the yin to this artistic yang: Great Depth of Field.

What is Depth of Field? What is Aperture?

Shallow Depth of FieldHave you been hanging around some photo buffs and heard them drop these terms? Found them in your manual and wondering what the heck they mean? In a nutshell, Depth of Field will help you create photographs that are more artistic and creative.

See, photographs are made by letting light into your camera. Without light, no image. The APERTURE  is the tiny hole in your camera that lets the light through.

The size of that hole creates something called Depth of Field, which is basically how much of your image will appear in focus. The bigger the aperture hole, the smaller the depth of field. The smaller the aperture hole the greater the depth of field.

Clear as mud?  (Or should I say “sharp as a shallow depth of field photograph”?) Check out this tutorial on shallow depth of field for more info and examples.

Do trees sigh when it rains?

Leaves unfurling with aural gush to catch drops sent down from the sky

in stiff lines, rapt attention, limbs outstretched

like North Kildonan youth

at a friday night worship?