Photography

Continue to image albums (created by JAlbum)

 

For as long as I can remember I have been fascinated by photography and the capacity that a well rendered photograph has of evoking emotion in the its viewer. I have, occasionally, been discouraged by the work of other photographers, knowing that I could never produce photographs as good as the work I was viewing; but photography is for me like the poetry I write. Even though I may not be the best, I'll keep at it knowing that as long as I'm doing my utmost to glorify God, enjoying and sharing the gifts He's given me, then I am doing well. It doesn't matter whether I stand alongside Robert Frost or Ansel Adams or someone who doesn't know semi-colon from an f-stop, as long as I please Him I am doing well.

 

Just as I use poetry to reveal the majesty of God through word and rhythm, I use photography to reveal the majesty of God through colour and form. Our God is a God of wonder whose beauty is revealed in every blowing leaf, every singing bird and every child that calls "Mommy!" or "Daddy!" It is my hope that the images on these pages will enhance your appreciation for our God. These images are a gift to my visitors, shared in the hope that God will be glorified and you will be blessed through them. As with everything else on this website, I encourage you to use these images to honour God and the gifts that He has given you.

 

I am not particularly concerned about the equipment used to take a photograph; no more so than I would be about the paper on which Robert Frost wrote his excellent poetry or about whether the man on my roof is using a 16 oz claw hammer or pnuematic nail gun. There is no doubt that the expensive camera with the top quality lense will make a technically superior image but the image is never ONLY about technical superiority. The image is MORE about heart, emotion, feeling. The image is poetry without words; whether that poetry is written with a stub pencil or the finest pen, the poet's words will be the same. The tool is not important; the tool is merely means of creation and the benefit of a good tool over a poor tool is the ease with which that creation is produced. I am less concerned about the quality of an image than I am about the content of an image and will often use the first camera that comes to hand when "that shot" presents itself, my preference being to take "that shot" before it gets away rather than to lose the opportunity by looking for the perfect tool.

 

That being said, for those of you who care (and because I am inordinately proud of my equipment), the equipment & software used to create and/or manipulate the images on this website include the following. (Note that all focal lengths are given in their 35mm equivalents.)

 

- Pentax K-3 II - 24.35 Mp; 6016 X 4000; SMC DA 17-70mm f/4 AL [IF] SDM; SMC DA* 50-135mm f/2.8 [IF] SDM; SMC DA 35mm f/2.4; Metz Mecablitz 48 AF-1 flash - My wife (Hi Honey!) gave the Pentax K-3 II to me as an "Achieve your dreams!" gift following a wedding shoot for my cousin (Hi B & T L!) and after being asked to assist my daughter (Hi J R!) in a wedding shoot for friends (Hi C D & C R!) later 'this' year (Hi 2016!). This is, quite simply, the best camera I will ever touch! What it's capable of is unbelievable!

 

- Samsung A71 - Multiple; Cell Phone - The M1 wasn't cooperating with the new VOIP system installed at my office so I had, simply HAD, to replace it with something better. The A71 was on sale and fit the bill.

 

- ASUS ZenFone Max Plus (M1) - 16Mp; Cell Phone - Bought to replace my ASUS ZenFone 4 Max, which broke when I dropped it on our patio.

 

- ASUS ZenFone 4 Max - 13Mp; Cell Phone - Bought to replace my ASUS ZenFone 3 Max, which I gave to my mother.

 

- ASUS ZenFone 3 Max- 13 Mp; Cell Phone - Bought it because I was missing WAY TOO MANY pictures with my S3.

 

- Samsung Galaxy S3 - 8 Mp; Cell phone - Because the best camera in the world is always the one in your hand ;<)]

 

- Pentax MX-1 - 12 Mp; 28mm - 112mm - Early Christmas gift. (Thanks Moms!) I wanted a smallish camera capable of good results for a trip to Austria & Switzerland that Beth and I are planning ... to celebrate our 25th anniversary! So far, I love this camera and what it is capable of. It is compact, straightforward to use with a wonderful lens and a capable sensor. Like the K7, the MX-1 appears to have been designed by someone wanting to make the camera as unobtrusive to the process of making art as possible. It worked! This camera is a sheer delight to use!

 

- Olympus TG-2 - 12 Mp; 25mm - 100mm) - I bought this camera for my daughter to use while on Prosago, Medeba's wilderness leadership training program (www.prosago.com). She needed a camera that "could take it" as she adventured in a variety of environments and require very little care. Having completed the program I exercised my parental perogative and reclaimed it, hoping to use it as a rugged little kayak beast.

 

- Motorola Atrix - 5 Mp; Cell Phone

 

- Pentax K-7 - 14.6 Mp - My wife gave this to me as gift for my 50th birthday during the summer of 2010; along with the 17-70MM F4 SDM lens. I am extremely impressed by the K-7, its controls fall easily to hand and with good glass its images are beautifully rendered, accurate and relatively noise free to ISO 800. With the 50-135 the results are nothing less than spectacular. I gave this to my son and his wife when I got the K3 II, they're doing spectacular things with it!

 

- Canon PowerShot SX200 IS - 12 Mp; 28mm - 336mm - This was a gift from my wife who bought it for me after my Baby Nikon (CoolPix S10) was dropped on our car's running-board and destroyed. What a lovely little camera, even smaller than the Nikon and much greater capability. I had a lot of fun with this one! Thanks honey!!

 

- Nikon CoolPix S10 - 6 Mp; 38mm - 380mm - The Nikon S10 was bought as my walk-around camera. (I called it my Baby Nikon.) It had its permanent home in my computer bag and as such took pictures I wouldn't otherwise have been able to (the R1, after all, is quite large). For an ultra-compact, ultra-zoom the output is exceptional. At moderate print size (up to perhaps 8 X 10) there is nothing at all to be ashamed of. Noise and Purple Fringing are well handled and the quality of the lens is awesome considering what I paid for it (it was on sale at Best Buy for half price and I bought it in anticipation of a Christmas gift from my mother-in-law - Thanks Mom!). Unfortunately, this camera did not survive an encounter with gravity and a running board.

 

- Sony Cyber-shot DSC-R1 - 10.3Mp; 24mm - 120mm; HVL-F32X flash - I bought this camera because I really, Really, REALLY wanted a more capable camera (larger sensor, higher resolution, greater control & flash sync at any shutter speed) that would allow me to return to the type of photography I once did with the Minolta X-700. In my opinion the DSC-R1 is the finest fixed lens camera in existence. It is rugged, easy to handle, a delight to hold and because of its marvelous Carl Zeiss T* lens it takes some of the most beautiful pictures I've ever seen. Combining it with the HVL-X32F flash has resulted in some excellent portraits while helping my church, Westney Heights Baptist, create a new members photo-album. I have since sold it to my daughter, who eventually sold it to one of her friends (who's still shooting with it) when she got her Canon.

 

- Canon PowerShot S1 IS - 3.2 Mp; 38mm - 380mm - I purchased this camera (with a Christmas bonus from my office) because I was unable to take the pictures I wanted to with the Panasonic. It became my wife's camera when I bought my R1 and has since been given to one of my nephews. It still makes wonderful prints up to 8" X 10".

 

- Panasonic Lumix DMC-F7 - 2 Mp;35mm - 70mm - This was a Christmas bonus from my office and was a very delightful introduction to digital photography. It now belongs to a friend of one of my sons. Even today, I am amazed at the quality that a good 2Mp image can possess.

 

- Minolta X-700 SLR - 50mm, f2.4; 70mm - 210mm, f4; 360PX flash - After messing around with low end SLR cameras for several years, I purchased thie marvelous Minolta X-700 on the advice of a friend who operated Photo Chalet in Belleville. He did me a greater favour than he realized; it wasn't until I received my Pentax K7 that I've had as much fun taking pictures.

 

- Vivitar PS-35 - 35mm point & shoot won in a high school raffle. I gave this camera to my Mom when I bought my first Minolta and she used it for many years before going digital herself.

 

- Computers

- Dell Precision M7520 - Windows 10 Professional, 16Gb, 2.7GHz, 15.6" 1920 X 1080 display

- Dell Precision M4700 - Windows 7 Ultimate, Windows 10 Professional, 8Gb, 2.7GHz, 15.6" 1920 X 1080 display

- Dell Latitude D830 - Windows 7 Ultimate, 4Gb, 2.4GHz, 15.4" 1680 X 1050 display

- Toshiba Satellite Pro M10 - Windows XP Pro, 1Gb, 1.5GHz, 15" 1600 X 1200 display

- Compaq Presario 1700 - Windows ME, 128Mb, 700MHz, 13" 1024 X 768 display

- Toshiba Satellite 2520CDS - Windows 98, 64Mb, 300MHz, 13" 800 X 600 display

 

- Previously printed images have been digitized by one of the following methods:

- Acer 640p flatbed scanner

- Canon Pixma MP150 all-in-one

- Directly to CD at development

- Photographed with currently favourite digital camera

 

- Image Processing Software

- IrfanView

- Microsoft Photo Gallery

- Paint.NET

- Panorama software: AutoStitch, Hugin & Microsoft Image Composite Editor

- Picasa

- The GIMP for Windows

 

- Album Preparation Software

- JAlbum

 

- Books

- "Within the Frame" by David duChemin - This is one of the finest books on photography that I have read, not merely because it includes a wealth of technical detail but also because of the heart of its author; David is an exceptional photographer and he is also a man with great concern for his fellow man. I have learned from his writing not only to care for the photo I am making but to also care, as much and perhaps even more, for the subject of my photograph; especially if that subject is my fellow human. One constant theme I have found in his writing is to respect those we photograph and to care for those whom God has given us the power to assist.

- "Photography for the Joy of It"  by Freeman Patterson - The theme of this excellent book is essentially encapsulated by the title "Photography for the Joy of It," in which Freeman's contagious joy in the act of photography is evident on every page. It is a delightful and illuminating read.

- "The Joy of Digital Photography" by Jeff Wignall - I try to take at least one lesson from every book I read, from Jeff's book the lesson is: "If you're not having fun you're doing it wrong." It's not up to us to match the work of the great photography artist but to express ourselves and our own view of the world. That this can and should be a source of immense pleasure is the primary focus of this book.

- "Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs" by Ansel Adams - One of this era's most well known and highly regarded photographers, Ansel shares in this book the thoughts and processes involved in the making of 40 of his most powerful images. A very good insight into the mind of an exceptional artist who created masterpieces in an age when photography was not yet recognized as an art form.

 

 

One Last Thing ~ Since the advent of digital cameras and the tremendous increase in their popularity, there has been relentless discussion on their merits compared to film cameras. All aspects of comparison (including print size, dynamic range and inherent noise) have been used as valid hooks upon which to hang the superiority of one medium over the other. All that really matters, though, is this: Can the medium used enable you to take the pictures you like to take and that you and others like to look at? All I know is that I enjoyed photography tremendously back when I used film and spent a great deal of money and I enjoy photography tremendously now that I use digital and spend a lot less money.

 

To those who claim that digital photography yields a less accurate representation of its subject than film photography I will say this: Photography at its very best remains a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional world; inaccuracies abound regardless of the medium the photographer uses. What's more, every photograph presented here is the result of my emotional response to the world around me; which is a thing that no level of technology is competent to reproduce. No photograph, regardless of the skill of the photographer or the perfection of their equipment, will ever convey more than a suggestion of what was in front of the camera when the shutter was released. The only question I can ask myself when evaluating any photograph is this: "Do I like looking at it?" If the answer is "Yes" then it is a good photograph, regardless of how accurately it represents its subject or the type of file or number of pixels used.

 

Each of the photos presented here makes me happy. It is my hope that they will also make you happy. It is an incredibly beautiful world we inhabit and no camera can do it full justice; all the photo can do is echo the beauty as is itself an echo of the beauty of the One far greater than His creation.