Thursday, May 31, 2007

Sorry to Leaf You Hanging...

Moving. Packing. Cleaning. No time for blogging. No time for photography.

Found this old picture on my hard drive today. You like it? Yes, or no?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Father and Son

My Dad and I are trying to be very intentional about spending quality time together at least one day a week. We're making the most of the few months we have remaining. In fact, Bethany and I are moving in less than two months, so time is running out. On Monday Dad took me to explore West Vancouver, which is situated on the north side of the bay, opposite the city of Vancouver.

We had a great time hiking along the Capilano River, which cuts through the rain forest that is only a few yards from the home he lived in as a teenager. Later, he took me for a drive through his old neighbourhood, "The British Properties", a collection of fancy-pants houses planted on the side of a mountain. After peering between million dollar homes to enjoy the billion dollar view of the Pacific Ocean, downtown Vancouver and the infinite smoggy sprawl that is suburbia, we headed back down the mountain to sea level.

I was astonished to learn of this hidden beach which is situated a couple blocks from where he lived as a young adult. This photo was taken from that beach, looking east, towards downtown. It's not a great photograph, but I thought it appropriate, as it depicts another father and son duo enjoying this otherwise empty beach. I don't know if they caught any fish, but with a view like that I suppose it doesn't matter.

Dad and I had a great day together. I've been living in Vancouver for twelve years, and yet he was introducing some of these places to me for the first time. Soon I will be discovering another ocean side city. It will be hard to leave this beautiful city, but it will be harder still to be so far away from my Dad.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Gorge Distortions

This is the Columbia River, as seen from a lookout near Bethany's parent's home in Gresham, Oregon. I spent a few minutes enjoying the view one evening last week. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I went back a couple of mornings later to catch a bit of the sunrise. I think the gorge is fabulous. Perhaps I will share the sunrise with you later this month...

I got my new computer this week, and it's super. I was disappointed to discover, however, that PTLens only works on Windows, not OS X. I usually use PTLens to correct lens distortions that tend to be a bit of a problem with my 18-135mm. Without the plugin, this photo looks a bit funny, particularly up in the top right corner. Oh well, I like it anyway. Does anybody know of a good lens distortion plug-in that works on Macs?

Peace out,


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tulip in the Mist

I'm down in the States, so I don't have any photos to choose from. That will all change soon. My new Macbook is coming, so I will no longer be chained to my desktop computer.
My friends liked this one, and I happened to have a copy in my email, so I thought I'd share it with you. I took it while Bethany was watering the garden.
Peace out.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Some friends of mine...

(This picture looks sucky small, so make sure you click on it to see the larger version.)

I've told you lots about the Famous Uncle Robert. He has been a huge help and influence in my photography. He loans me all sorts of different gear; including lenses, tripods, and books. In fact, last week's picture was taken with his macro lens. You should check out some of his photos (click here). He's a Canon man, but I love him anyway.

Somebody I haven't told you about is my friend Greg. When I got my new camera, he gave me an old lens of his. It's an 80-200mm f/2.8, and I've really enjoyed using it. I was using it last night from the balcony of a Catholic church. The combination of 200mm and f/2.8 made it possible to capture tight, crisp images of the activities near the alter.

Another great use I have discovered for this lens is portraiture (is that a word?). I had a great time doing some portraits of my friend Heidi last week at Queen Elizabeth Park here in Vancouver. I still have lots to learn about composition and lighting when it comes to portraits, but at least I feel confident with the equipment I'm using. Thank you Greg! (Check out his video production company by clicking here.)

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Tulip Wars

Bethany and I often have disagreements about my photography. She often likes photos that I think are junk. Ironically, she sometimes dislikes some of my favourite photographs. Sadly, because she has access to our entire hard drive, many of my "nice try" pictures make it to her blog. Today's post is no exception. I thought I would counteract the lame tulips that appear on her blog with a much better tulip pic. To be fair, Bethany does like this photo, but had already posted it a few weeks ago.

I took this a couple months ago while trying out a lens that the Famous Uncle Robert is loaning to me. It's an old Tamron 70-210mm macro and I like it a lot. For this image I used it with a 2x teleconverter. I like the lens a lot, but the mount is too old for my camera, so I'm going to find out if I can get an adapter for it that will make it work better. As of right now, the camera seems to get confused and doesn't get enough light from the lens even though I have manually set the lens to f/2.8 (this problem exists with and without the teleconverter). Hopefully I can get a more modern adapter, because this lens is pretty sweet. As of right now, I have to use such slow shutter speeds (this one was a 10 second exposure) that hand-held shots are out of the question, and a stiff breeze will leave me completely powerless.

Next week I will tell you about the wicked lens that my friend Greg gave me. It works beautifully as a portrait lens.

Peace out.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

See You On The Flip Side

Okay, this is kinda lame, but I'm short on time these days. I'll try to put up something better this weekend, but no promises. I took this while Bethany and I were walking with the Famous Uncle Robert and Aunt Sylvia. This empty lot will one day be condos. In fact, there are numerous signs up, urging people to buy in early. In the meantime, the lot is filled up with rain water and refuse from the neighbouring construction sites. The Famous Uncle Robert has pointed out that people should probably think twice about buying a property built on a plot of land that currently looks like this.

I thought it was neat to see the building from across the street being reflected in the watery foundation of its future neighbour. I know this sounds artsy-fartsy and lame, but I think the junk at the bottom of this photo symbolizes the questionable foundation of the building that will be built here. Therefore, I took the picture in such a way that the reflection was growing out of the junk. I didn't have time to adjust the RAW file, so I simply rotated the JPEG and cropped it in Picasa.

Peace out.


ps. Thanks for the encouraging words Anna. Yes, I can ship to Ontario.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Baker Boats

I have no idea if anyone will look at this, but I think I don't care. I took this while walking along the Fraser River near my parents house. This week Mount Baker made its first appearance in weeks. I took a picture of it.

Peace Out.


Thursday, March 22, 2007

I'm Back...

I'm back...

Well, not really, but sort of. I've been away from the blogging scene for a long time. To be honest, it has been a good break. I was beginning to get cynical about the whole thing, and photography was becoming a source of stress, rather than a stress release. I was getting way too wrapped up in trying to please other people, forgetting that I got into photography because it pleased me.

Recently, a number of my friends and family have told me that they miss my blog and are interested to see some of the photos that I have taken with my new camera. Frankly, I don't want the pressures of having to keep up a daily blog, but I do miss sharing some of my creativity with you all. I'm not too fond of the blog format, and at some point this year I hope to start my own website gallery sort of thing. In the meantime, I will be randomly posting some photos here. There will be no fixed dates for new photos, so you'll just have to check in from time to time. At this point, I would guess that I will be putting up about one picture a week.

Last year I became too concerned with attracting traffic to my site, worrying that nobody was going to see my work. I've gotten over that, and now I don't care. As it turns out, nobody can see my photos if they just sit on my hard drive. Whatever the case, I won't be working very hard to attract visitors, so I guess I'll be counting on word of mouth. If you like what you see, tell your friends.

There have been lots of changes since I last wrote you. Bethany and I are moving to the Philippines in July. We are being sent as missionaries by a local organization called Impact Nations. Bethany will be serving at Mercy Maternity Center as a midwife in training , while I will be learning all sorts of things, including the installation of water filtration systems (6000 children will die today from bad drinking water). Our plan is to acquire a number of skills while in the Philippines, so that we can then go as experienced missionaries to many parts of the developing world.

I will be bringing my new camera with me. Yes, that's right, a new camera! I recently purchased a Nikon D80, and I like it very much. To be truthful, much of the camera was a gift from my wife and the rest of my family (thanks again to all of you!). They got me started with a primed SLR piggy bank back in August. The remainder of the photos here at Rookie Photographer will be from the Nikon. So come back soon and you just might see some new stuff, but I'm not promising it will be any good (yes, I'm still dealing with low self-esteem when it comes to my craft, but I don't care).

One last thing; I used two exclamation marks in the previous paragraph. I promise never to do that again. Peace out.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Autumn Floor

Another abstract fall photo, processed in Picasa. I drove all the way across town to the West Side. Why is it that the west side of every city is always the more classy part of town? In Vancouver, the folks on the west get bigger houses on bigger lots, with bigger trees and less power lines and telephone wires (I think they're all underground). On the east side of town, our streets are lined with lame little trees, and we get properties that are so small, that if the windows are open, I may as well be in my neighbour's kitchen. Sadly, they cook some pretty smelly Vietnamese food next door, so being in their kitchen can be a rather unpleasant experience (don't tell them I said that).

Oh, sorry for the rant. Anyways, I went to the west side to photograph their superior fall foliage. The famous Uncle Robert suggested I give myself an assignment, and I accepted the challenge. I decided to spend an hour in a parking lot. I could shoot anything in or outside of the parking lot, but I was not to step outside of the boundary of the lot. I had a lot of fun shooting a whole bunch of really bad photographs. An hour wasn't enough time either. I never made more than one parking space away from my car.

Some of my time in the parking lot was spent with my camera mounted on my tripod pointed straight down. I wandered the lot, exploring the shapes and colours that passed through the viewfinder. When I found an arrangement that was interesting I would stop and fine tune the composition. It was fun, though perhaps not as successful as I had hoped. I also have a square version of this, but I think I like this one better because the green lines seem to be pointing towards the red in the top corner. I'm mildly perturbed by the exposure because I trusted the auto exposure (aperture priority). My Canon tends to over expose on a regular basis, so I normally manually adjust it by one f-stop. I forgot to this time.

Canon PowerShot S2 IS, 72mm, f/5.0, 1/2 sec, ISO 50