Jul 292015

American Southwest Day 2

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Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon

This day started with the most amazing scene of the Horseshoe Bend. After help from our tour guide on the best spot to photograph, I spent the next 30 minutes lying on my stomach at the edge of the cliff snapping pics. I felt my hands shaking, I was so close to the edge. I was also in total awe, which made for an exhilarating 30 minutes of photography. Crazy!! From there it was off to the Lower Antelope Canyon which was a similar experience to shooting in the other canyons. There was more light in this canyon and with the sun rays beaming in it made for some photos with strong highlights. You had to really get creative because of the lighting and also because of the losers posing with their iPhones and selfie sticks. Really? Really. Sheesh. Also, because of the tight space and the number of tourists, I couldn’t stop myself from telling people to move out of the way. Anyway it was a great day (long and strenuous) and I struggled to make it back to the car due to the 100 degree weather and the crazy steps to get up and out of the canyon at the end (we did this canyon from end to front) and with the walk back to the parking lot. Another quick shower, beers, camera check and cleaning before a great sushi dinner.

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Jul 282015

American Southwest Day 1

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Owl Canyon, Rattlesnake Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon & Mountain Sheep Canyon

Gear; Nikon D3s, Nikon D700, FujiX100T, 24-70 2.8, 24 2.8, 35 2.0 and Benro Mach 3 Carbon Fiber with Benro V3E Head

Wow, crazy tight spaces in all the canyons. There were times where I thought I was going to get stuck or not attempt to move forward because of the tight or challenging terrain. Each canyon had its own beauty and I took over 600 photos. I used mainly my D3s with my 50mm and some with my FujiX100T. I also used my tripod when it was possible to do so. The Upper Antelope Canyon was extremely busy with other photographers and tourists but you do the best that you can in these situations. For the other three canyons Colette and I were lucky to be the only ones there, just with our Navajo tour guide who was awesome. I was extremely exhausted by the end of the last canyon which wrapped up a long day that started at 5am. The drive back from the canyons to our hotel in Flagstaff was spectacular as we gazed at the amazing colours through the Painted Desert. It was hard to stop and shoot the beautiful landscapes along the Painted Desert but I’ll always remember those colours and all the ‘other worldly’ views. Back at the hotel it was a quick shower and a couple of beers, and then I spent a good amount of time that night cleaning all of the gear which was covered with dust and desert sand.

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May 182015

Edwards Gardens

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Soundtrack for today’s stroll included Aero Flynn’s self titled album.

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Nov 232014

A Grey Day In November

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It warmed up to a balmy 8 degrees celsius today and that gave me just enough motivation to get out of the house with my camera. I visited Edwards Gardens, my usual place to relax and lose myself for a couple of hours and left with these photographs.

Soundtrack for the day included Damien Rice’s stellar new album, My Favourite Faded Fantasy.

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Sep 252014

Cabot Trail, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

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One of the things to cross off in my bucket list of places to go was the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton NS. I have driven the Pacific Coast Highway in California (twice) and just love the spectacular views and overall driving adventure and I was curious to experience the Cabot Trail. I found some extra time and money since I wrote off my annual New York trip for several reasons and decided to spend four days in Cape Breton instead. I wasn’t sure what to pack gear wise as I wanted to travel light but I also wanted to make sure I had enough gear to cover whatever I would come across on my adventure. My initial thought was to bring two camera bodies, 70-200, 60 micro, 24-70, 35F2, 24 2.8, tripod, MacBook and after several hours I decided on one camera body, 24-70, tripod and my iPad. I also packed a minimal amount of clothes and felt good that I was able to travel so light. I usually pack way too much stuff. Temperature for the four days in Nova Scotia was in the mid teens with sun and some nice clouds which added some depth to my photos. The views from the Cabot Trail were absolutely stunning and I managed to stop at almost all the scenic spots to take it all in. There weren’t that many tourist at this time of year so it was great to not only take my time shooting but also to shoot efficiently. I did go off the Trail several times to experience some of the little towns and for photo ops. I also made it to Meat Cove which is the most eastern tip of Nova Scotia. I did notice as I was taking several iPhone photos at Meat Cove that I had no reception. I checked my other phone which has a different cell provider and it also had no reception. I must have been off the grid for several hours which made my slightly anxious. Crazy but I guess you don’t realize how much you depend on your phone especially for safety reasons. Anyway, I continued driving for three full days along the Cabot Trail staying at different inns and lodges in Beddeck, Ingonish and Cheticamp. It was great to experience these different towns and absorb a bit of the culture. I also enjoyed some fantastic seafood. On the last day of my trip I decided to make a visit to Peggy’s Cove. A little far from the Cabot Trail but somewhat on the way back to Halifax airport. Last time I went the weather was very foggy and overcast which made for some great photos. But with the weather being sun and cloud this time around I thought it would be nice to have a separate feel for Peggy’s Cove. Also, last time I was there it was at 6am when no one was around. I knew this time there would be many tourists ruining my images. But to my surprise parts of Peggy’s Cove were fairly tourist free which made for some great shots. After a few hours my feet had just about enough and I also needed to make it to Halifax airport with enough time to fill up and return the rental so I bade farewell not only to Peggy’s Cove but to the beautiful and peaceful Cabot Trail in Cape Breton.

All of images from this trip can be viewed here.  Also included in this gallery are images from my first visit last year to Peggy’s Cove.

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May 222014

Montreal Botanical Garden

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Colette and I spent a few relaxing days in Montreal, with our cameras of course. We spent most of the time walking downtown and in old Montreal but we also visited the Montreal Botanical Garden and Insectarium. Crazy how large this botanical garden is and we spent the whole day fussing about with our macro lens capturing everything. Nothing like adding more flora to the already large selection in my creative portfolio. Here are a few of my favourites.

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Dec 292013

Butterfly Conservatory

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Colette and I decided to spend a couple of days relaxing at Niagara On The Lake and we made sure to stop at the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls on the way. We’ve been a couple of times but there is always the challenge of getting a different shot from the last time. I used the 60mm Micro lens for most of the shots and I still shake my head at the sharpness of this lens. Anyway here are a few from the day.

Soundtrack to the afternoon was Ryan Adam’s great album Love is Hell, Steely Dan’s album Pretzel Logic and Iron & Wine’s album Kiss Each Other Clean.

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Sep 072013

Street Photography in NYC

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LouEPhoto 9 8 13 blog

Lucky to capture this image as I was sitting in a cafe on 18th Street between fashion show. Love my iPhone!

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Sep 052013

Eastern State Penitentiary

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I remember viewing a photographer’s portfolio of Eastern State Penitentiary about a year ago and just loved the images. I finally had an opportunity to go to Philadelphia since I was invited to cover Small Boutique Fashion Week in New York once again and thought for the extra 1.5hr drive, it would be well worth it. Subsequently I spent a good four hours shooting inside the penitentiary, amazed by the cells which were left pretty much untouched since they shut down operation over 40 years ago. Technically, although I had several lenses and a couple of camera bodies with me for the trip, I used my 35mm F2 and Nikon D700 exclusively. Click here to view all of my favourite images from that great day.

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Sep 022013

Fugitive Moments 1

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LouEPhoto Fugitive Moments 8 13

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Aug 282013

Peggy’s Cove

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I had some business (not photography related) in the Maritimes and of course I had to take my camera. I needed to travel light so it was my D700 with my 35m F2. I was kept fairly busy but I did have time one very early morning (7am) to make a trip to Peggy’s Cove. It was a very foggy morning and I didn’t have a tripod but I got some great shots regardless. There was nobody else around this early and the beautiful, serene landscape was absolutely stunning. I spent a couple of hours just looking, thinking about life and then as visitors started arriving, it was time to go. I’ll be back for sure and next time I’ll have a bit more gear with me. Several more images can be viewed in my creative gallery here. Yes I do shoot more than just fashion and concerts.

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Jul 012013

Viktor&Rolf Dolls

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After a week of shooting the jazz festival and trying to catch up with some edits and everyday essential business activities, I thought I would enjoy the city and get back to some sort of life. It’s been about a couple of years since I’ve been to the Royal Ontario Museum and Colette and I thought that today would be a great day to visit. We were in luck because there was an exhibition of Viktor & Rolf Dolls as part of the Luminato Festival. There were 31 Victorian porcelain dolls dressed in miniaturized versions of Viktor&Rolf’s historic couture designs. Kind of creepy but pretty amazing with all of that detail. Anyway, we spent the rest of the afternoon absorbing the great exhibits at the ROM and then back to the dungeon for more edits.

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Jun 082013

Colette and I decided to make the most of the gloomy weather and go shooting in Mount Pleasant Cemetery. Having been here many times before, I found it challenging to find something different to shoot. I came across this tombstone that I had shot previously and decided to shoot it again. I also shot and edited it with my iPhone for a different feel and look. Which do you prefer?

Soundtrack for the day was Tricky’s fantastic new album, False Idols.

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Jan 202013

LouEPhoto abandoned house blog 1 LouEPhoto abandoned house blog 2

Feeling restless and the need to leave the loft for a few hours, Colette and I decided to go for a drive. I remembered weeks back driving through Orangeville and seeing an abandoned house that I thought was interesting enough to photograph. I did not have time that day to photograph it but today it gave us a destination and purpose. However, it probably wasn’t the best day to shoot since it was a cold -8 degree celsius with 70km wind gusts and snow squalls. Also, my foot was acting up again and I was barely able to put on my shoe without some pain and discomfort. Anyway, with a few tylenols and the need to get a fix, we grabbed our gear determined to get at least one shot.

We arrived at the abandoned house and parked the car off to the side of the highway. Quite dangerous actually and we knew we wouldn’t have much time. After about 10 minutes of photographing the abandoned house with different perspectives, I remembered to use my iPhone (read previous blog post) before limping back into the car, frozen.

The top image is from the iPhone. It was both edited and processed through a couple of filters in the iPhone (hence the slight pixelated look) while the bottom image was shot with my D700. Which do you prefer?

Soundtrack for the drive included Lambchop’s albums OH (ohio), Nixon, Is A Woman and What Another Man Spills.

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Jan 132013

Balmy Sunday Creatives

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After hitting two large buckets at the golf range for the second consecutive day I thought I would give my rubber arms a break by shooting some creatives at Edwards Gardens. On this particular January day, a balmy 14 degree celsius made this choice very easy. I used mainly my macro lens but also captured a few images with my iPhone. The middle image was taken with an iPhone and edited with the Snapseed app.

The camera on the iPhone 5 is pretty amazing. Yes it has its limitations but as an extra photographic tool that I have with me almost all of the time, I really should be using it more. The convenience and ease of apps that provide instant gratification have an appeal to them as well. Thanks to Colette for some inspiration of late, I have started a gallery in my extended portfolio page titled iPhoneography and all of the images in this gallery were and will be shot and edited with my iPhone only. This gallery is mainly for experimenting and creating some fun art. As you can see from my regular portfolio I am a purist in the sense that I do not like using filters, effects, etc. with my images in Photoshop or Lightroom. In fact I even hate to crop. But with an iPhone, I feel that anything goes as long as it still contains the aspects of a good image (composition, lighting, subject, mood, emotion etc). Anyway enough babble. Check out the gallery here and I will have more images to come.

Soundtrack for this balmy day was Rosebuds’ fantastic album Loud Planes Fly Low.

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Nov 172012

Black & White Creatives

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I had to meet a client in Stoney Creek to scout a location for an upcoming editorial shoot and thought Colette and I would make a day of it by driving to Niagara with our cameras. It was a warm November day and the weather made for a great drive and we stopped occasionally along the way to shoot some scenics. It had been a while since we went out with our cameras and shot some creatives and I realized how much I missed doing so. A nice break from a busy last couple of months. These are some of my favourites from the afternoon.

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Apr 152012

Mount Pleasant Cemetery

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It’s been a while since I walked around Mount Pleasant Cemetery and I hate to admit it but I kind of missed this place. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not morbid, I just find it very peaceful. Here are a few keepers I made while listening to Mark Lanegan’s great new ablum Blues Funeral. Again, I’m not morbid.

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Apr 072012

Edwards Gardens

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Finally some colour on my stroll at Edwards Gardens. It was a quick visit but I got a few shots to add to my portfolio. Sharon Van Etten’s latest album Tramp made for a beautiful soundtrack.

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Mar 042012

While listening to Tindersticks’ fantastic new album The Something Rain on my iPod, I strolled around Edwards Gardens. It has been several months since I last made my rounds here and it felt great to absorb the colourless and serene surroundings. It’s always about taking a time out from the ‘noise’ of people and conversation as well as escaping the ‘energy’ from computers/t.v. Much needed and I was lucky enough to capture an image I liked during the afternoon.

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Feb 162012

Strollin’ on Avenue of the Americas

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I had a few hours to kill before shooting a fashion event for New York Fashion Week so I went for a walk around Soho, Tribeca and  Greenwich Village. It had been a few years since I’d been in New York and walking familiar streets in a balmy 10 degrees celsius on this February day made for a nice return. It certainly put a bounce and swagger in my walk. I spent more time absorbing my surroundings and reflecting on how great it was to be away from Toronto shooting in New York than I did taking photographs although I did manage a few street shots. This man was not using the public phone but was on a cell phone desperately trying to save his relationship with his wife/girlfriend.  I caught a bit of his dialogue as I walked by and took a shot and only realized later the irony of the advertisement.

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