I Got Myself A Nikon D90

Sometimes circumstaces come about that cause things to happen that you could never have foreseen.  This was the case this Christmas.  Up until now I've had my eye on a Canon 50D but have also realized that it was going to be a while before I could go out to get one.  Enter Boxing Day at Henry's, a great deal on a Nikon D90, a buyer for all of my existing Canon gear, a bit of spec comparison, a whole lot of usable ISO, throw in a 50m f1.4 and an 18-200mm f 3.5-6.3 and voila, I'm a Nikon user! I went out and got it, charged that battery, called my buddy from Defining Design who shoots with his wife's Nikon D300 and we hit the streets of Toronto:

I really can't wait until I actually understand how to use it!

CN Tower Gangsta Pose

Snow On The Roof Of My Car

Mack Truck Lineup

Smoke On The Water

The Buttery Bokeh of 1.4

Olympic Torch Relay In Toronto

How often does the Olympic torch come through town? Once in a lifetime, I'm told. It's actually come through three times in my lifetime but only now have I been an the opportunity to capture the moment. Here are some pictures from the Olympic Torch Relay as it passed by Yonge and Sheppard.

Light Painting and Long Exposures

Light painting is quite possibly one of the coolest fun things to do as a photographer. Wikipedia defines light painting as:
"Light painting, also known as light drawing or light graffiti is a photographic technique in which exposures are made usually at night or in a darkened room by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. In many cases the light source itself does not have to appear in the image. The term light painting also encompasses images lit from outside the frame with hand-held light sources."

a great tutorial can be found here on diyphotography.net

This first image was my first attempt at light painting which may be used for a project at Spring Garden Church and the second image I took when I noticed this funny looking character jump into my car while trying to capture long exposure shots above the highway.

These are a few of the shots I got overlooking the highway.

Visual Word Of The Day - Perseverate

Perseverate -\per-SEV-uh-reyt\ , intransitive verb;

1.
To involuntarily repeat a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.

2.
To repeat something insistently or redundantly.

The revolving doors to the Eaton's Centre provided me with a great Perseverative temptation!

Visual Word Of The Day - Stentorian

Stentorian - \sten-TOR-ee-uhn\ , adjective;

1.

Extremely loud.

This is actually a part of an amazing art exhibit located on Leona Dr. in North York. The exhibit is called the Leona Project and it is a part of Toronto International Art Fair. The exhibit is a Biography of the area that has been known as Willowdale, Lansing and Newtonbrook, located in North York. For more information on the Leona Project, please visit the site

I will also post some other pictures from the exhibit, but if you get a chance, you should really see it for yourself before it closes on Saturday. It's quite the piece of work.

While the Car never really crashed into the window of a small bungalow on Leona Dr. had it, the whole thing would have been a stentorian experience.

Visual Word Of The Day - Descry

Descry
\
dih-SKRY\ , transitive verb:

1.
To catch sight of, especially something distant or obscure; to discern.

2.
To discover by observation; to detect.

Only by great strain could I descry my wife as she sped away toward Turkey dinner. Who would get a ticket quicker? Her doing 130 or me taking a picture of it? Of course either would require being descried by the O.P.P.

Visual Word Of The Day

If you are familiar with Dictionary.com you are aware of the word of the day. Simply put they give you a random, and rarely used word along with it's definition and a few uses. I thought it might be fun to try and conceptualize the words on days that I can find/make the time. Since I have an hour for lunch, I hope to do so somewhat regularly. We'll see.

Today was difficult for a couple of reasons, one was the difficulty of containing my giggles (I'm such a 12 yr old boy) the other was hopping in front of the camera. Unlike Right Said Fred, I am not a model.

Titivate
\TIT-uh-vayt\ , transitive and intransitive verb:

1.

To make decorative additions to; spruce.

intransitive verb:

1.

To make oneself smart or spruce.

The glasses and deep thought clearly titivated Jay's appearance.

Grammatical corrections are welcomed.

Let's Go To The Ex!

For A week or so now, I've been anxiously awaiting the opening of the C.N.E. because of the awesome night photography opportunities that it presents. When I heard that opening day was going to be $1.75 I must say I got a little giddy, pair that with finding free parking, and you could say that self containment was slightly difficult to locate. I didn't get to spend nearly enough time there, but I was able to get some great shots.

Sometimes, just having the camera out sparks a bit of curiosity from strangers, leading to a good old fashioned photo op. This great couple was walking by, while I was taking a long exposure of the Midway and asked what I was taking pictures of "anything" I replied. "How about us?"

I do need to apologize to the high five jumpers as your pictures didn't work out. Sorry about that.

you can photograph lightning

It's actually quite easy, and last night I finally got the chance to do it.

The basics of photographing lightning include a DSLR camera, and a tripod. Most people recommend having a cable release for your shutter, but I didn't use one because of the length of my shutter speed.

Here are the steps.

1) Find lightning.
2) Set up camera on tripod.
3) Point camera in direction of lightning. (trickier than it sounds)
4) Don't get hit by lightning
4) Choose aperture that will allow for appropriate depth of field (I used f/8)
5) Set exposure to B or BULB (the bulb setting allows you to keep the shutter open for as long as you like, this is the part that requires fiddling depending on the amount of available light. It is also the reason that you would want to use a release cable as you don't want the camera to shake.
6) Experiment, and enjoy the results

After I showed Michelle some of the pics I got, she told me to 'get my butt back out there' I said 'you do it it's easy' so after asking how, she did it! This is the one that she got. It's pretty freakin' awesome!

The toughest part about photographing lightning is actually pointing your camera in the right direction at the right time. Michelle and I likened it to switching slot machines at a casino. There were a lot of really cool shots in the sky last night, but most of them resulted in someone else walking away with the jackpot. Oh to own that wide angle lens.

Light Painting

We have these floating globes in our pool. They have little solar panels built into them so that when it gets dark, they light up and change colours every few seconds. I 've been wanting to photograph them for a little while now. Last night I took the time to capture them on 30sec exposure

The Last image is a blending of all of the others that I threw together in Photoshop.

Blackberry Macro

I read an article that told me about a mounting ring that will allow me to turn my 50mm lens around, thus turning it into a macro lens. After going on a bit of a hunt and doing some research, I found out that this is in fact true, but these rings aren't very popular in Canada, even difficult to come by. I was told of a bunch of other options, such as filter kits, extension tubes, etc. And then it dawned on me, why don't I just turn the lens around and hold it in place. I know, not the world's best solution, and one major missing component is any control over focus or depth of field, but the picture didn't turn out all too bad. I will continue the experiment.

No Loitering

I spent some time at the beach on the way home the other night. I was down by the waterworks getting ready to set up a shot and then I noticed some crazy lightning on the water. I thought for a brief moment that I may want to try to capture that, and then I thought about the metal tripod and my stature as the most exposed object in an very wide open space. I got back to the car. Quickly.

Here's a fun image that I did get.

I guess it's not very beachy. But it is the message that the lightning seemed to be giving me.

Don't Text And Drive

It occured to me as I took this first shot, that if there are going to be hefty tickets for using a cell phone while driving, I probably shouldn't be snapping off pictures while I am on the highway. Oh well, i liked the outcome.


The second shot is an ongoing quest, I love the look of these Condo development near McCowan and Ellesemere, and I am searching for the perfect night shot of it, as I was exploring the area last night, a bus went by at just the right time.

Toronto City Mission Photography Workshop

I was given the opportunity today to do a little workshop with a couple of the Boys from the Toronto City Mission Summer Camp. They were each given a Nikon Coolpix camera to use for the day and we went over some basics of photography. I explained a little bit about the eye and the camera, went over some basics of light and spoke a bit about what the camera is doing with the iso/aperture/exposure on each of the auto settings. Then I sent them off to capture. After that, I introduced them to Picnik and they got really excited about being able to edit their own pictures. Apparently taking pictures and playing with them, post production is more fun than listening to some guy talk about the exposure triangle. Who knew?

here are a few shots from the day, as well as some of their shots (post production)

What's with the droplets? haha
I can't wait to do this again.

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Starbucks Gallery

Can I tell you how excited I am to be on display?! I'm not actually sure that I can do it with words. I've actually spoken with a few different Starbucks locations, and will be putting my stuff on their walls as well. Right now the Starbucks at Yonge and Avondale has agreed to show my photography for a month, from there, the work is supposed to move to the location at Bathurst and Wilson, and then The Beach location next spring. These are the pictures that are on display right now. So what do you do once you start getting a little public exposure? I was finishing up Trevor and Zuska's engagement shoot today (pics to be posted soon) and as we were setting up a shot, a lady came up to me and said "Are you like a 'real' photographer?" hmmm, well I am on display.......

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