Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Amy Babe Turns 7!

I just couldn’t have today’s blog not be about our Amy Babe!  She has changed our lives in so many incredibly wonderful ways, and it has been a privilege to be able to be her Mommy!  At 7:14pm 7 years ago today, we were able to see our little girl for the first time.  She cried when she was born, then the Dr. laid her on my stomach and she just peacefully looked up at me without  a sound, and I cried tears of utter joy!  Happy Birthday Baby ! We Love You So Much!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Origins Of Photoshop

For those who haven’t seen this before…or those who have and just thought like me, that it’s kinda cool :)


Monday, September 28, 2009

When Is Editing Too Much?

Editing has simply become the common expectation in the world of digital photography, but sometimes it just goes way too far…you be the judge.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Matt & Jen’s Ray Of Sunshine!

The weather was looking good today, it almost looked like we would miss the predicted wet.  Fortunately this was one of the easiest going couples I have met when it came to the weather!  A  beautiful outdoor wedding on the beach with light drizzle made for a beautiful shell of umbrellas during the ceremony!


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Watch David Jay Presentation Through UpStream Live !

During a check of some of my favourite photographers blogs I noticed David Jay had posted the video from a recent talk he had made at BAPVA (Bay Area Professional Videographers Association).  This event was sold out – but you can watch it live here – Well worth the watch!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Guess What Photography

Want to see something really cool? Just playing around with some macro photography - the awesomeness of creation is so clear when you look at it this way!!!
The Other Details :
f8 1/40sec ISO 125
50mm Macro
Hand held :) – Breakin’ the rules–hand held at under a 1/60th sec

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hot Rod

Yesterday I had a new vehicle pull up at my front door, well, actually it was pulled since it had no engine – the chassis itself is pretty cool though eh?!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Before & After

Post processing – this is my job all week long between shoots.  Changing or tweaking a picture until I have it the way I want it, other times, I am happy with SOOC (straight out of the camera).  Below is an example of a before and after with no Drastic changes made – but this is rather just to show what kind of tweaking can be done to a snapshot photo.  This was taken with a small point and shoot camera on our way home from fishing one night after my neighbour told me she never looks good in pictures, I beg to differ…



Edited in Photoshop – action sets used:

TRA – Totally Rad  Actions & MCP – Multiple Choice Photography

Step 1:  TRA-Boutwell Magic Glasses 100%

TRA-Warm it up Kris! 85%

CIMG1420 b_resize

Step 2:     TRA-Ying Yang Opacity 31%   Flow 37% on face, arm, and ear to brighten.

CIMG1420 c_resize


Step 3:    MCP Eye Dr. (and used on lips too :)) to pop the eyes and brighten lips a bit.  Finished off with minor cropping.

CIMG1420 d_resize

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Everyone Loves Marine Land!

Our kids have believed this slogan since the first time they saw the Marine Land commercial!…and they have waited patiently for the day they could finally go – well, yesterday was the day – and it was worth the wait!  If you do research before going to places, such as Marine Land, you find reviews, and maps etc.  Well, firstly, there were not any up to date maps of good size that we could find – so I’m going to post one here of course!  As well, one of the major complaints I have heard is that there is WAY TOO MUCH WALKING!  So, I was expecting a ton of walking – but, with the help of a map, you can decide in advance whether you  want to become overwhelmed with walking or not, but I think our Biggest advantage to enjoying our visit to Marine Land was a result of timing: we went shortly after school started back, and before the schools had time to book their field trips too!  The company was Great too!

Marineland Roller Coaster Marineland Beluga Whales Marineland Dolphins Marineland Fun Marineland Map

Saturday, September 19, 2009

John & Andrea's Animal Lovin' Wedding

John and Andrea had several animals involved in their wedding day, and well, they are animal lovers!  Actually Andrea works with animals all day long since she is a vetrenarian, so having these four legged creatures involved in their day only made sense!

Happy Birthday Aunt Helen!

Today is Celebration Day!  It’s the day for 90 years of the life of one amazing woman!  Family and friends will be gathering today up town to see and celebrate with a woman who has touched countless lives with her heart, hand, and faith.  Join in today at the Senior/Fire Hall!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Always Wear Your Helmet


When I was a kid helmets were not popular yet – and it’s not that we were “cooler” than the kids today, it just wasn’t a thing to do then.  But would I allow my children to go out for a bike ride without their helmet now?  Absolutely not, and I’ve even had my neighbour tell the kids to be sure to get their helmet on…thanks Tony!  So what do helmets have to do with photography?  Hee hee, everything when you are wanting to get a different perspective!  I’ve also seen a version of this used in a 365 which looks pretty cool. 

Enter, “The Happy Helmet Camera Mount”.

This is actually pretty slick and put together like this:

  • Nylon strap with two adjustable buckles
  • Slides through the cut-outs on your helmet
  • Standard tripod mount with quick release lever
  • Strap length: 15"
  • Strap width: 1"
  • And, the cost isn’t  really that unreasonable, coming in at around $20USD.  If you want to get some different perspectives during your next bike ride, check it out.


    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    The Latest From Gary Fong

    Gary Fong Gary Fong has come out with his latest lightsphere – Great concept – collapsible!  After all, they are combersome to fit in a camera bag – even if you do slot a lens inside to save on space.  It looks like a great product, and it’s nice to have the discount available if you go to the Gary Fong Site.  One thing you will note however is during this video he makes a comment about how well the lightsphere stays attached to the flash, I found it really annoying using the older “classic” lighsphere as it would randomly come off, I much prefer the newer style where it attaches by velcro…just a personal opinion!  As far as the quality of light – Love It!  I think these should be a standard in every photographers bag.

    Wednesday, September 16, 2009

    Wedding Day Workflow – Part 1

    I’m sure there are as many was to go about preparing and shooting a wedding as there are photographers, but I thought I would share my “typical” – if that is possible – wedding day workflow. My day has basically started much earlier in the week as I contact the couple to confirm and check for last minute changes, I also think about what the Bridal couple are looking to do, locations, size of wedding party, etc. All of these things play an important role in my job, and it helps me to go over these things multiple times through the week, I am also going over the names of the Bridal party if the couple were able to give them to me in advance. I really find this helpful, not only in positioning people, but I like to know the individuals names who I am spending the day with! So, on with my day, I start loading up my basics at the front door – digital frame, tripods, laptop case (generally not full yet) back up bag (filled with back up camera, equipment, and camera rain jacket), during this process, my husband is calmly and sweetly listing reminders for me. Next I’ll lay out my main camera bag, going through and cleaning the lenses, and the sensor on the camera body, along with checking the flashes, and other goodies packed in there – contract, deodorant, and a granola bar – often eaten by me, however it has been know to be used to bribe a flower girl J. Then come the batteries…a whole wack of them! Six camera batteries, and approximately two dozen rechargeables, I really really don’t like the possibility of running out of power…so on top of all of this, I also carry in the vehicle car chargers for AA batteries, and canon batteries. Lastly, I dump all of my CF cards onto an external drive along with anything that may be on the laptop, This is basically for backup purposes. Once this is done, I pack the laptop, and add the cards to the camera case. This is the point where on most occasions my wonderful Ruphus has taken to packing the vehicle for me, (and adds in stools, just in case, though I don’t tend to use them that often.) cell phone, and GPS.

    Now packed I grab a quick snack and am off, in time to be at the Brides an hour prior to when the Bride needs to leave for the ceremony.


    Tuesday, September 15, 2009

    Rechargeable Batteries

    Finding really good rechargeable batteries is like gold for a photographer.  I have some great rechargeable batteries that I picked up well over a year ago as a result of reading Michael Andrew’s Blog.  They are a mercury battery, but I can’t find the battery or supplier for them anymore – which leads to the new release of Sony’s latest battery line:
    “Sony has announced a new type of lithium ion rechargeable battery that combines high-power and long-life performance, using olivine-type lithium iron phosphate as the cathode material. The Olivine-type lithium iron phosphate used in this new battery is a perfect cathode material due to its robust crystal structure and stable performance, even at high temperatures. These bateries have a high power density of 1800W/kg, and extended life span of approximately 2,000 charge-discharge cycles. What’s most surprising is that the battery will keep an 80% charge retention after those 2,000 charge-discharge cycles, which is very impressive.
    This new battery is also able to charge rapidly (99% in 30 minutes). It will first be supplied for use in power tools, then gradually make its way to consumer electronic electronic devices. With lithium ion secondary batteries able to deliver both compact size and high capacity, their usage continues to diversify and grow. This new battery delivers an extended life-span of over four-times existing rechargeable lithium ion batteries used in conventional electronic devices. By adding this high-power, long-life lithium ion rechargeable battery to its lineup, Sony has certainly strengthened its battery business going forward. Here
    are some specifications:”

    Monday, September 14, 2009

    Beautiful Boy

    Recently the Brown family, and I’m sure much of our little village was rocked with the news of the loss of Kaeden James William Martin Brown.  Kaeden was only 7 years old when his active light hearted little life came to a tragic end.  Flowers are abundant, and friends, family and neighbours are wishing and wanting to do whatever they can.  Yesterday a private funeral was held where family and close friends remembered; the procession of cars then left the funeral passing through Arkona, where traffic was blocked off as community members lined the street to show their respects.  I had the privilege of taking this family photo, for the family’s business website in the spring.   Please remember the Brown Family and extended family in your thoughts and prayers
    We Remember. 
    A Beautiful Boy.
    A Life Cut Short.

    An Open Letter By Marty Meadows:
    On September 10, 2009 a young life was taken too soon. It was a beautiful late summer day, the perfect day for having fun. The perfect day to drop your backpack at the door, grab a quick afterschool snack and run outside for some adventure. The perfect day for an ATV ride through the family apple orchard…..but as fate would have it, this perfect day would turn tragic. For on this day, Kaeden Brown a seven year old full of life, adventure and free spirit would have his life ended in the orchard that he loved to farm with his dad. Kaeden was killed when the ATV he was riding flipped over and pinned him underneath. It is now as If time has stood still, and a life full of so much promise has ended far too soon.
    Kaeden, or “the wild man” as I lovingly referred to him was a boy through and through. He was always getting into mischief, no adventure was too risky, no wall too high to try to climb. Kaeden was never far from his dad Darren’s side. Whether they were riding in the tractor, packing apples, fishing….they were always together. Kaeden proudly told anyone who would ask that when he grew up he wanted to be a farmer…just like his dad! Kaeden was not afraid to get dirty. There was no chore on the farm that he refused to help with. He loved any outdoor adventure. All you have to do is look at pictures and you will see him with a fishing pole in his hand, swimming at the lake, boating, four wheeling, riding his bike….this was not a boy content to sit inside the house watching television. Kaeden had a love of hockey. He would push himself to skate faster, work on his stick handling and if you got in his way look out…we called him the wild man for a reason!
    Kaeden had a lot of friends. Of course many were his own age…his class mates, his team mates. Kaeden was special though, for he had a knack for making friends of all ages. Since he was always by his dads side…it was natural that his dads good friends would become close to Kaeden too. It was like he had this immense circle of people who loved him as their own son….Oh what we all would have done to be with him on that fateful day, when his ATV adventure went terribly wrong.
    When I found out that there had been a terrible accident and that Kaeden had passed away. The grief that tore through my heart was greater than any words could ever describe. How does something like this happen? How can a boy so full of life be taken so soon?? This confusion turned to anger. Anger at the world, anger at the ATV, anger at the loss of so many things. There was one thing I always knew about Kaeden Brown. He was going to make a difference in this world. This boy so full of energy, who was never afraid to keep trying…who wouldn’t let anything get in his way. He was going to grow up and truly make a difference. But suddenly he was gone. All that was left was the memory of all that he accomplished in his short 7 years on earth. I was so saddened by the loss of what would never be. What we would never experience of Kaeden in the future.
    My anger then turned to an insistent mission. A mission that I would not and could not let Kaeden’s life be in vain. What could I do…that would help keep Kaeden’s memory live?? What could I do, to make sure that the “spirit” of Kaeden Brown, does not die with him under that four wheeler. Kaeden had his whole life ahead of him and I knew that Kaeden would want to be remembered. Kaeden would love to be an inspiration for other kids like him. Kids that love the outdoors, love adventure and who take the road less travelled never letting anyone or anything stand in their way.
    I am now in the development process of creating the Kaeden Brown Foundation. My vision is to fund a scholarship so that every year a graduating high school student from North Lambton Secondary School (the school Kaeden would have attended), will be awarded an opportunity, an opportunity that Kaeden didn’t receive. The candidate that will be selected for this scholarship will have similar philosophies of life as Kaeden. We will be looking for a student that may not have had the highest marks in the class, but was a hard worker, someone that had an edge, someone that is a friend a friend would want to have, someone with a love of the outdoors. Someone planning on going to post-secondary education in a field like Fish and Wildlife or something focused on Agriculture. A scholarship designed for someone with a zest for life, with a can-do attitude and a team player. Someone that may not have ever earned a “traditional” scholarship based on academics….someone whose family may not be able to help them fund their education. In this way, Kaeden Brown will live on in the future of every person who is given a helping hand with this scholarship. Kaeden will live on to be apart of their lives and their future. I will never forget Kaeden. I love him. He was like the son I never had. If I can play a small part in helping him live on and not be forgotten…I will feel as though I have helped in some way.
    I am sending you this letter to ask you for your support. I need your support to get this foundation off the ground. I would appreciate any financial contributions you could make or any time you could donate to this very worthwhile cause. I only remember one thing the minister said at my mom’s funeral…..”The Lord plucketh the nicest flowers”……so if that is the case, the Lord just plucked a flower that will live forever. His memory will live on through this foundation and every child it will subsequently support.
    I appreciate you taking the time to read this letter. Your friendship and support means the world to me.
    I would ask that you please ask your company if they would find it in their hearts and budgets to support this foundation. As, mentioned, I am in the process of creating this foundation and once I have the charitable number, donation receipts will be issued. I know this will be a pre-requisite for some companies.
    Please make checks payable to the Kaeden Brown Foundation;

    Saturday, September 12, 2009

    Kevin & Candice

    With the incredible sorrow that has engulfed our community in the recent days, it felt very strange to take part in a joyous celebration.  The Bride was beautiful, the Groom was handsome, and the Bridal party was superb, what a beautiful day, spent with wonderful people.
    The Fun Couple!
    The sand ceremony at the church was beautiful!
    Why is she on the ground you ask?...Because the grooms men dropped her, and Candice thought it was hillarious - a Bride with an incredibly fun attitude.
    An incredible shoot location - the Bride had an in for this location!
    The Bride was happy to shed her shoes as soon as possible.
    Our little Goffer friend who showed up to the photo shoot!  Apparently deer came to the rehearsal!

    Thursday, September 10, 2009

    Site Meter is my main advertised sight, it is set up and designed by me, now granted I do realize it's not overly flashy etc. - and I would absolutely love a  David Jay Showit site - they are fantastic for anyone looking into having a professional looking site, and yet not an avid HTML editor!  Being in a rural area however I do realize that not everyone is on high speed, so keeping things basic comes in very handy!  Here is a really good tool though for anyone who runs their own site, and wants to follow the traffic.  I recently added to my blog site, I mean 24 hours ago, I was noticing the counter going up, which I hadn't been watching previously, and was curious to see where the hits where coming from - in more detail than what my web host gives them.  If you are interested in checking out in more detail the stats for your site, check it out - - it's free, and pretty neat!

    Wednesday, September 09, 2009

    Jasmine Star Speaking In Michigan

    One of the top names in photography right now will be in Michigan one week from today - I'm thinking of taking a trip over the border for this.  I kind of wish the topic covered was something different - but she does seem to be quite the expert in the area of "Branding and Marketing" and that's what the talk is on.  If anyone else in the area is interested in going and wants to carpool, let me know, here's the details as copied from Jasmine's Blog:
    Michigan. Yup, that's right. The Great Lakes, the Wolverine state, and Eminem. I've never visited Michigan before, but I'm dying with excitement because I'll be there in just two weeks! Holllla! I'm presenting at Michigan Triangle Professional Photographer Association in Lansing (an hour from Grand Rapids) on Tuesday, September 15, 2009. I'll be speaking about Branding and Marketing Your Online Presence, so feel free to join me and JD at the University Club MSU at 7pm. The cost of admission is free if you're a member, but also open to the public for $49. You can also purchase dinner for additional $21 (which starts at 6pm). For more information and registration, check out the PPA Lansing BLOG! (P.S. Be sure to a good luck charm because I'll be giving away door prizes!)

    Monday, September 07, 2009

    Brian & Ashley's WOW Day!

    WoW - is it !  I mean, when you see everything put into this beautiful day, you'll understand. And WoW- what a cute widdle puppy too!

    MEET KILLER...The Ring Bearer for Brian & Ashley's Beautiful Wedding.

    Brian and Ashely had a very Scottish Wedding Day - Bagpipes included for sure! But Killer, well, he was adopted into the clan - and did extremely well.