Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I don't want to scare you...

But it's August. And you know what that means in the Highlands, right? FALL IS COMING! Scary thought.

It's been a tough year. A horrid winter, followed by a wet spring, a few warm days at the beginning of July, but cool and less-than-sunny for the past couple of weeks. I've been trying to find a date when we could go out and shoot some star photos but every night has been cloudy and the forecast isn't much better. If you're one of the Stars Workshop group, please be patient! We're slaves to the weatherman!

Back to the fall thing... a couple of years ago I wrote a 53-page PDF "Guide to Shooting Fall Colours" eBook. If you want a free copy, all you have to do is click the "Newsletter" button in the upper right corner, or here. I'm trying to build my readership, and what better way than to give away something valuable for free! If you're already a subscriber, you'll receive a download link in the next newsletter.

This is pretty cool.

Some time ago, I put some images up on RedBubble, a fine art site. I just discovered that you can buy these on their site:

Yes, that's my picture of the baby owls! Very reasonably priced and apparently all of the images that I've uploaded there are also available as throw pillows! Three sizes are available, and you can buy just the pillow covers or complete pillows.

Here's the direct link to the baby owls throw pillows. This link takes you to my portfolio on RedBubble. Click on any picture and the navigation bar changes to "Cards - Prints - Posters - Throw Pillows - Tote Bags". They do T-shirts and stuff too! Looks like I'm going to have to (a) order one of these so I can see if it's as cool as it looks, and (b) update my portfolio with some more "pillow-worthy" images!

Life in the Highlands

One thing I love about living up here is this. This morning I went out and picked a big handful of ripe, sweet raspberries, poured myself a bowl of cereal and coffee and enjoyed breakfast al fresco. A shame they're only ripe for a short time!

Working on my "People Skills".

Last week, I put a picture of my mom up on the blog. I like it: it represents what she looks like and communicates who she is. I also wrote, "No doubt, my mother's going to call me when she sees this picture and say, "how could you put such a horrible picture of me up on your blog?"." Sure enough... "Glenn, I'm standing on my [10th floor] balcony and if you don't delete that picture of me, I'm going to jump!". LOL Sorry, mom, I like it! PS: she didn't jump...

People never seem to like pictures of themselves. Especially women... that's why I shoot rocks & trees, they never complain! Here's another picture that I think the subject wouldn't like. But to me, it really shows her character, and since she's singing the blues, I think it fits!

Her name is Zoe Chilco and she used to host the blues show on CANOE-FM. Now she does a late night jazz show. She has a really rich bluesy voice and was singing and playing keyboard – busking – with a sax player named John Deehan at the Haliburton Crafts Show last weekend. I decided the harsh sunlight she was in was suited for this low-key black and white approach.  

By the way, the new "Focus Selection Tool" in Photoshop CC did an outstanding job. Look at the flyaway strands of hair, for example. Black and white treatment with Nik Silver Efex Pro 2.

Highland Yard

The Highland Yard is a 2K walk/run, and a 5k and a 10k run that's taken place in Minden every summer for umpteen years. In fact there's one fellow in the race who was wearing a shirt that said "Heiniken Yard 1977" and a sign on his back that said he's in his 37th year running it.

I've shot this event a few years now, so it's hard to come up with new approaches to the pictures. I tried to focus on people's expressions and tell the story. So here's a few shots from the race.

To set the scene, this is downtown Minden as runners come in to the finish. FWIW, I added a masked layer using Topaz Adjust 5 for the grungy detail effect. Reminder, if you use the Topaz link at right (OK, or here) and enter "faczen" in the code field at checkout, you'll get a 15% discount on their full suite. And I'll get a couple of free Tim Horton's coffees out of it.

The kids are my favourites.  I have a few shots where I engaged them before the race but this was one of my favourites. I love the determined expression on young #517's face. He's determined to get a good start!

And here's "Mr Cool" coming in to the finish line. Notice the untied shoelace on his Superman shoe! 

I used this effect last year too. A slow shutter speed adds a sense of action and motion and the angled horizon creates some triangles and makes the picture more dynamic (If you buy that, I have some land in central Florida you might be interested in...) 

Another runner coming in for a landing. I used another masked Adjust layer to enhance the subject. If you're wondering why he's in the middle of the picture it's because the story is about him AND the other guy, plus I wanted to give him room to move so I kept the bottom right corner of the shot. Check out the sense of depth created by the vanishing yellow line! (In teaching mode...)

Another finish line shot. More subtly enhanced using the radial filter in Lightroom. I like this one because of the expression on her face. 

And for my finale...

"The Thrill of Victory"! 

Amazing. All these people pictures. I'd better get out and do some landscapes before I forget how!

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