Photography & the Arts

Site's under construction- most of the key parts are here, but check back soon for more!

Photography is my visual art of choice when I'm away from the drawing board. I tend to experiment a lot, manipulating light and colour in unusual ways in the hunt for interesting visual effects.

If you're in or near Kingston, Ontario and are interested in a unique portrait, personal or commercial shoot, I might be the photographer you're looking for. (This section of the site is still under construction, so it might look a bit sparse for now- and please contact me if something's missing or broken.)

If you see something here that would look good on your wall, ask about ordering a print.

Photography: Articles & Ramblings

Photo keywords & metadata are important

Properly sorting, keywording and cataloguing photos can be a bit tedious, but it does pay off. And modern tools make it quite a bit easier to do it right.

Baby snake

Katy found this cute little guy- a young Thamnophis sirtalis, if I'm not mistaken- in the park this afternoon. He (well, perhaps she- it's hard to tell with snakes) was quite a co-operative model for a few macro shots.

Correcting autofocus errors with AF fine-tune

Autofocus systems, as good as they are these days, aren't perfect. A modern camera's AF is a complex opto-electro-mechanical system, and while they are manufactured to incredible tolerances, there is usually some final calibration that must be done by the photographer to account for the quirks of his particular equipment. Here's how to do that calibration.

Some sunsets

There isn't much to say about these ones... I'm just playing around with the colour and tone tweaking tools in Lightroom 4.

What makes a "professional" camera?

There appears to be something of an obsession among the blogosphere's photography equipment reviewers with "professional" versus "amateur" equipment. It's remarkable how strong reviewers' opinions can become on this topic.

Resolution wars (are pointless)

Maybe it's a party, or a wedding- some social event, in any case. A group of friends wants their picture taken. A tiny point-and-shoot camera is shoved into my hand: "Can you take one on mine too?"

Sure, of course I can.

"It's already set, just push here."

The great fat DSLR hanging from my neck, and the speedlight and 50mm prime lens tucked in my pocket, should be a sign that I know where the shutter release is. But yes, I appreciate the hint.

Lights and ice

I love shooting at night. In the absence of natural light, the mundane can become extraordinary.

And while I'm not exactly a cold-weather person, winter does have its charms. Especially at night.

Sorting through some of my old files, I came across this series of images. Several days of icy wind storms had churned up Lake Ontario, and the spray froze onto whatever it touched- in this case, the street lamps along the waterfront pathway at Spencer Smith Park in Burlington, Ontario. The resulting sculptures, lit from within by sodium-vapour bulbs, were marvelous.

Where's the ice?

It's February. It's Canada. There should be ice.

But this is what Collins Bay looks like today:

And here's the same place last week.

Frozen fog

The Kingston winter should have hit by now. Instead, it's cool, sunny and still rather green.

For those who are wishing for the "real" winter to arrive, here are a few shots from January 2005. We had a very humid, dead calm evening followed by a flash freeze, and the fog precipitated out onto the trees as ice crystals. It was one of those sublimely beautiful things that make the Canadian winter worth sticking around for.