http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog Jeff Hamon Photography: Blog
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/img/s/v-5/u922779356-o271628431-50.jpg 2016-06-21T20:50:00Z (C) Jeff Hamon Photography Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2016/6/welcome-to-summer-2016---the-life-of-a-landscape-photographer-vol-1 Welcome to Summer 2016 - the life of a landscape photographer Vol. 1

Bird Railway Crossing Sunset - Summer Solstice 2016Bird Railway Crossing Sunset - Summer Solstice 2016

The first day of summer, 2016. So time to get back to a blog post here.

Landscape photography. It's often a solo outing and, to some, debatably 'boring.' A great friend and mentor, Ben, once told me: "You gotta take me out with you sometime to show me some tricks. I don't know how you have the patience to do that shit. I really don't." Sadly, I never made the time TO take him out to stare at a tree or old house or sky and every time I'm out hunched over my tripod dealing with the evil southern Saskatchewan winds or the evil Saskatchewan mosquitos I'll think about him laughing at me for saying "yeah it has its moments but it's not all it's cracked up to be!"

Last night, June 20 2016, I could tell the clouds were potentially going to give me some kind of show (keyword: potential... I've been skunked --thankfully not literally...yet? -- numerous times going for a drive and having sundown just vanish or fizzle). I got a late start out of my house and by the time I got through Regina traffic I didn't have many options for where to get to before the sun went down so headed for a familiar spot. The added bonus tonight was that it was also a full moon and according to first nations lore / Farmer's Almanacs the first full moon of June signals time to pick strawberries (and other fruit). Well look what I picked yesterday... 

I got to the railway crossing and the sky was fairly busy but nothing spectacular. As I was setting up the tripod on the tracks, a red-winged blackbird kept landing on the crossing sign and watching me and then flying away when I'd get closer. Sometimes that's your only company - a watchful bird. That's okay because I enjoy the solitude and being outdoors away from...well, my computer - this infernal device from which I type this entry. I could see the full moon rising out east and so walked to the other side of the road just to snap a few shots with my 18-200mm just to say I did. When I came back to set up on the tracks again, the blackbird was back on the crossing sign. So I thanked him for being a willing model (model release signed. check.) and snapped his portrait.

 

Last night I also had some other company...frequent companions in the form of the gol'darned MOSQUITOS. I'm a magnet for them. Last time I was out, I was shooting with my colleague, Ryan, who rarely has a mosquito suck his life blood. Me, not so lucky. I left the "bug suit" (real sexy) at home but at least had some bug spray and long pants and a jacket. They swarmed me like they usually do and I'm often doing stuff "behind the scenes" that you never get to see...

Like waving a towel or jacket or something to fan the mosquitos away from my camera lens / head or just sometimes walking or running away for a moment. There was literally a CLOUD of the little buggers last night and they wouldn't move. So here's the other part of the behind-the-scenes goings-on that one may perhaps not realize about the "boring" nature of landscape photography: the time involved on the back side of any photographic image whether it be developing, cataloguing / keywording, and/or processing and file exports and uploads.

 

There's always some form of post-production involved in the processing of photographs and I'll happily debate any purists or the photoshop bemoaners. What some of them may not realize is that a DLSR is designed to capture a flat 'RAW' image and that JPEG inserts contrast, saturation, sharpness etc. (such as what your cell phone camera does) and so "the pros" or advanced amateurs always have to / choose to make similar adjustments.

I digress. In the past, someone commented "oh you Photoshopped thaaaaaat... c'mon..." and it was a shot of a sunset and I replied "absolutely - I had to reduce some of the reds because it was clipping - the sky was so red I had to tone it down. And I always put my watermark on with Photoshop."  Last night's task was doing some colour correction (white balance, contrast, saturation, highlights, shadows - all par for the course) and.........




That's right. Each of these dots (and some were created while zoomed in and do not show up here) IS A MOSQUITO. 82 of them. Just another boring task your friendly neighbourhood landscape photographer has to deal with when out capturing those beautiful / serene photos of nature ;)

I never WANT to see this season end, but I always offer the same 'pro' point about that opposing season...  as cold as it may be, there's no damned mosquitos or ticks.

Enjoy your summer! Thanks for reading! And, yes, most of my images are available for sale in various forms. Contact me at info@jeffhamonphotography.ca or right here via the website contact page!


Cheers,


Jeff

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2016-06-21T20:50:01Z 2016-06-21T20:50:01Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2015/1/composing-instinctively Composing Instinctively

My first blog post for 2015; I almost missed all of January but I'll try to be a little more diligent about my posts.

 

There are all sorts of technical points to "proper" photography and then sometimes you just have to shoot from the hip. Making mistakes is how we learn and improve.  Today I'm going to give away one of my big composition "secrets" that will hopefully help you with your own shots.

 

When you line up a shot, what's the first thing you do?  Do you 'focus on' your exposure, your framing/composition, or your focus? Like so many people, I usually have my camera set on Auto-Focus and half-press the shutter button when I'm framing a shot and then... zip!!! the lens snaps into focus.

Off the axle.Off the axle.

There are many compositional elements of design/style like line, shape, form (light/dark), texture, pattern, colour, etc. I've learned a lot from my mistakes and I keep an album of some 'screwups' and 'outtakes' and what I stumbled across one day was that I found myself composing a shot sometimes with the camera set to manual focus and the image in the viewfinder was badly out of focus. SO PLAY WITH THE FOCUS SO IT IS BLURRY AND YOUR EYE WILL NOTICE THINGS YOU MAY NOT NOTICE SO EASILY WHEN IT'S IN FOCUS.

 

I've had great fun with this technique and do it quite often now to help me decide how to compose my shots. I just did this the other night when I was shooting pints of beer for a product shoot.  It works especially well (for me) when there are areas of light and dark in the frame, because the eye is drawn naturally to the brightest part of an image. So if that's not where you INTEND the viewer to look, maybe you want to think about re-situating yourself/the camera or adjusting your lens to frame it differently.  Alternatively, try squinting the next time you're looking through the viewfinder and see if any elements of design like light/dark or line/shape pop up and help you frame your shot any differently.

 

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2015-01-25T21:11:41Z 2015-01-25T21:11:41Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2014/6/stopping-to-smell-the-roses---or-shoot-the-lily Stopping to smell the roses - or shoot the Lily.

On a week that is receiving much rain, people are pretty glum around here. While it's very true that "we can't control the weather," we can control what we do about it. Sure, I hate being cold and wet as much as the next prairie person. But today after a wet trip to and from work, I needed some camera therapy. I just had to stop and smell the smell of the post-rain surroundings for a bit. Today I didn't even have to leave my yard to find something visually intriguing. There's a song that says "Beauty's where you find it" and sometimes you just have to stop and smell the roses - or shoot the Lily. 

Lily in the Rain 1Lily in the Rain 1

I love seeing raindrops hold their shape when suspended naturally. They way they are all unique and catch and hold the light appeals to my photographic eye. And I hope you find this one appealing as well - happy to show you what I see!
 

And then I noticed that a ladybug was trying to catch some shelter from the rain today as well.

Ladybug Takes ShelterLadybug Takes Shelter

 

 

All photos available as printed product or electronic device wallpaper - contact me if you are looking for one! This one would be FANTASTIC as a metallic print!!!

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2014-06-19T02:15:59Z 2014-06-19T02:15:59Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2014/4/alzheimers-society-fundraiser-2014-05 Alzheimer's Society Fundraiser 2014-05

I'm a believer that what goes around comes around and good karma goes a long way.  Part of my business is definitely to give back - doing something GOOD with my artwork. So I plan to do more 'group-sourcing' efforts for my charity donations. I do a number of things like donating prints for silent auctions for fundraising every year and, as you can imagine, field a number of requests. I'd love to help each organization out that asks but it's just not possible. So I thought "how can I still help support charities and events raising money?"  I want to enlist the help of all my clients and the people that follow my website/Facebook pages.

Through your kind donations, funding can be provided for the creation of the artwork materials for silent auction donations which then raise money for that group/event.  

This particular event is a gala for Alzheimer's Saskatchewan and they wish to have one of my photos "Always by her Side" as a large-format print.

Cost of the materials for the print I wish to submit is $120. Any donations are graciously accepted and any donation of $40 will receive a signed 8x10/8x12 art photo of your choice. So that's just 3 people at $40 and 12 at $10. Hold back on your Starbucks for a week! :)

 

Thank you for helping support charities and fundraising. You never know when you, yourself, may be in need. So it's good to give.

(Please note: I can accept cash, cheque, email money transfer, or the PayPal link below)

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2014-04-26T17:39:55Z 2014-04-26T17:39:55Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2013/9/dawn-of-another-day---jeff-hamon-scenic-fine-art-photography-regina-sk Dawn of another day - Jeff Hamon Scenic Fine Art Photography Regina SK

Lately I've been having problems getting a solid sleep at night, and waking up wayyyy too early.  However, sometimes it can send me off into a field or down a grid road or to a lake at those wee hours of the day. Then I take my frustrations out on my camera and tripod...I mean let the peaceful dawn calm my jitters!

I was out early a couple mornings this week and here is what I was able to watch, and also capture for you the lucky viewer who likely slept in! :)

Wascana Lake Sunrise Panorama

The above image is a 4:1 panorama so if you're thinking about a print - GO LARGE because the height will be quite small in comparison. That was just a fantastic start to a day, the colours just kept on coming and then WHOOSH - gone and sun was up and on with the day.

Sometimes you have little photographic accidents that result in something neat. This was such a case as I was running a long exposure on a timer and moved the tripod as the camera clicked.

Sunrise Streak

This morning I was up way too early and drove around looking for a spot. Then I remembered a trip back from up Prince Albert way and wondered if the sun would come up anywhere in the vicinity of a tree and a couple grain bins that I passed. Sure enough... it was worth the trip this morning.

Sunrise Sept 7 2013

And finally, after a train had passed and I crossed the tracks to turn around on the grid road and head back, I had to pull over to get one last shot once the sun was up and illuminating the grain field nicely.

Fall Morning Grain Bins

But here is what I wanted to show you today - the sunrise so you could see for yourself... Enjoy!

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2013-09-08T05:59:56Z 2013-09-08T05:59:56Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2013/8/hidden-in-plain-sight---jeff-hamon-scenic-fine-art-photography-regina-sk Hidden in plain sight - Jeff Hamon Scenic Fine Art Photography Regina SK

What do YOU see in this image?

Anything interesting to take photos of? This was taken from the "no-no box"-- if you're standing there is a range and eyeline you should 'never' shoot from, that being about head height and angled and where we would normally see things as a human where our eyes spend most of our time. Because that is 'boring' photographically. 

I found five different things to photograph in this 'scene.' #1 was the tree to the right side of the frame.

Then the stump sticking up at the back of the scene was next.

Followed by a couple mushrooms.

And, yes, it was this tree that got my attention the most. The one 'broken and laid over'. 
But, what, it's just a dead tree....... Right?


I saw this 'face' in the ground-end of the tree right away. But then again, I'm kind of a camera geek with an odd sense of looking at the world around me. Makes for good photos, though! Hahahaha

Next time you go for a walk, take time to look at things from different perspectives or angles. Or even stop and look behind you from time to time. Even if you're not paranoid, you'll still get a neat view :)

Jeff

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2013-08-23T22:02:11Z 2013-08-23T22:02:11Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2013/7/jeff-hamon-scenic-fine-art-photography-regina-sask-the-forest-floor Jeff Hamon Scenic Fine Art Photography Regina Sask: The forest floor

I love my 'bug suit.' Well, let's clarify. I "strongly dislike" mosquitos and can only handle so much bug spray so a few years ago I got a nice nylon mesh outfit with full mitts and a hood. While I was away this past week at Baker's Narrows in Manitoba, on Lake Athapapuskow, I had to throw on the ol' bug suit as I ventured into the trees for some macro photography. 

Stump and mushroom

It was also a fun experience (when I WASN'T wearing the mosquito-netting-suit) to have a group of campground kids follow me around after they saw me laying on the ground staring at a leaf through my camera lens. "Hey guy who takes pictures, how about this? How about that? Is this pretty? How about this acorn?" etc. It was pretty amusing.  

Green Leaf on Forest Floor

They really got a kick out of how I told them that sometimes you just have to stop, get down really low and see what's down there on the ground or the forest floor. The things that we normally don't get to see or pay much attention to, as "non-photographers."

Standing Green Leaf


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


It's only the geeks like me who stroll past an old stump or leaf and feel the need to lay down, covered by mosquitos and black flies, and get a close up shot of it to show others.

I hope you enjoy this little set, some of which will be available for purchase as a set of smaller pieces in one 'collage display'!

Always keep lookin' down!
 
 
Yellow Leaf Acorn Bed


Jeff Hamon Scenic Fine Art Photographer Regina Saskatchewan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Gold Leaf on Pine
Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2013-07-31T05:24:47Z 2013-07-31T05:24:47Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2013/6/back-on-sunset-trail Back on Sunset Trail

I know. Me and a sunset.

How... overdone. I had to look back on my blog postings and, yes, it really has been since December. There's been a fair amount of 'life' since then, including the whole loss-of-two-jobs thing. But it really has brought me back to how much I love photography and why I enjoy the scenic photography so much...just being there and feeling, breathing, taking in the scene around you.

Sometimes you get a shot out of it. Sometimes you don't. I just said to my friend, Paul, the other day: "it's the same for everyone...you show (what you hope is) your best work, it could have taken 100 shutter presses to get there and that doesn't matter one lick. What counts is the final image that people see."

So, once again I return to my instructor Lori Maxim's mantra: don't show me your camera, show me your images. Tonight's, as has sometimes been the case... thank you iPhone.

Yes, I take a lot of photos with my iPhone. It really is a story of "the best camera is the one you have with you." And learn how to use that tool. For those interested, there are rumours floating around about me potentially instructing an iPhoneography class in the fall... neither confirming nor denying! But I can attest to the fact I have won photo contests with "the best camera I had with me" and I'm very happy about that!

And, yes, yes, it is almost the longest day of the year. We all know that; some of us just won't admit it. For me, that just means the maximum available minutes of natural light photography so bring it on! I'm not afraid of the summer solstice.  And, unless I post (hopefully! Since I'm between jobs once again) again soon, I'll see you again at/after that event! Enjoy your summer season! And, as the saying goes; shoot early, shoot often. Pictures, of course. Shoot lots. Show few. People may think you know what you're doing. Maybe you DO...  works for me! :)

Jeff

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2013-06-12T05:07:47Z 2013-06-12T05:07:47Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/12/welcome-to-winter-2012 Welcome to Winter 2012

  Well, it is official. It is past December 21 and that means... a) we are all still here and the calendar continues, and b) it is past the Winter Solstice and we are now into 'WINTER'.  However, if you're like me and residing in Saskatchewan, we have been in 'winter' for a couple months and buried under record snowfall already.

  What better way to celebrate the DAYS GETTING LONGER (which means: more light on both sides of the day for me to photograph with!) than to get out into this climate that is, at times, woefully cold and bitter...yet can make for some great photographic opportunities.  We had been hit with a very long-lasting, thick frost on everything around us for the better part of a week so I felt compelled to get out with my camera like so many others and document it.  There are usually two conditions that get me out with my camera. Frost is the default. And then either a crystal blue sky or completely socked in with grey fog/mist/whiteout conditions.  Hopefully you find some of these enjoyable!

This was a great day -- total whiteout conditions outside Regina and who, except a fool with a camera, would be out walking through a field along the side of a highway? (this guy) I was rewarded with a few nice shots this day...one of which will remain unseen until my next showing in late February. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime catch.

   While on my cross-country skis at White Butte trails, I met a septugenarian who tries to get out on the trails almost every day. Yes, he passed me. First time on skis for me in over two decades.  I was impressed enough to immortalize him in a photo at one of his favourite spots.

  I actually had a person honk at me as I was passing through a field, with my snowshoes and my umbrella to shield me from the wind and snow. Friendly Saskatchewan folk! :)

   This will likely be my last blog entry for 2012 so I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy 2013 ahead!  Thank you for visiting my page and blog and thanks to those who have purchased art prints---yes, many of my images are available for purchase in various sizes and formats/media!

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-12-24T18:06:53Z 2012-12-24T18:06:53Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/10/reflecting-on-autumn Reflecting on Autumn

  I had a late night last night and woke up this morning, without an alarm. It wasn't enough sleep for my liking, but I sat up and had "that feeling". Everything was very very quiet but it was light out. 7:20am. I peeked through the blinds, and sure enough: the first snow cover.

  I really dread this time of year. The end of autumn and the start of......... well, here in Saskatchewan, 6-8 months of jaw clenching hahaha. It's much too early to have snow on the ground and it will melt, come back, melt, come back...and then stay.

  The GOOD thing about this time of year, and mornings like these is: wonderful evenly diffused light. Calm. Quiet. Excellent days for a walk in the park before heading to the factory. Here's my favourite image from this morning. Nothing special to go past it every day on a walk or jog or bike ride but when the early morning light is like this, the colours come out of the autumn foliage, like they are trying so hard and gasping for one last capillary-filling breath before they give up their colours for the season.

Reflecting on Autumn   Not a perfectly still reflection this morning, but the frame just says so much. The snow has arrived. The grass is dying.  The beavers have been busy.  The leaves have fallen and are still in their death throes. The colours are pushing out.  The water was filled with ducks this morning, none of whom wanted to swim into frame to allow me to tell the story of the ripples; they were instead content to just swim around politely OUT of frame like they could see my zoom range.

  

 

  I also tend to stop and look at the things low to the ground when the first snows come. Low angles are always interesting and we see things differently. For instance, the angle of the leaf and how the grass is keeping it up despite the fresh snow on top.  And the detail of the snow crystals on the edges of the leaf and stem.

 

  Well, I predicted we wouldn't have any snow until mid-November. So let's see if it fades away for awhile and no real accumulation comes to stay until then.  Undoubtedly, we will have more snow than last year. But that will hopefully make for some WINTER PHOTOS that I didn't really get last year.

  Tis the season... enjoy the final days of Autumn.

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-10-10T17:51:38Z 2012-10-10T17:51:38Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/9/tis-the-season 'tis the season

Well, for a photographer (at least myself, anyway), there are two 'seasons' that I wait for. The hoar frost days of winter, and autumn in general. Sure, people have told me I'm a bit kooky for loving the smell of the leaves/forest in the fall ("that's the smell of the leaves dying!"), but it really is my favourite time of year.  It also allows for some great photo opportunities. Sometimes I can find summer a bit 'boring' with its bright sun and everything green green green.  Sure, where I am in Southern Saskatchewan, there aren't a lot of trees around but the ones that WERE left behind from the glacial swath do a nice job of showing their true colours as they wither and die.

But I look at it more as rewarding us. The trees are providing us with some nice zen eye candy before dropping all their leaves to reveal more of the open sky around us for the remainder of the year.

I've been up early a couple days this week for sunrise, hoping to catch some fog over the creek in my area but unfortunately, so far Mother Nature has not rewarded me for my early alarm-setting.  However this particular shot was worth the hour-long wait for the sun to creep over the trees to light up the leaves. I'm hoping to get back to this spot to compare a nice foggy morning and I'll very likely get it on Thursday if the high truly is 8 degrees C !!!

Autumn Creek

It truly is my favourite time of year and yesterday was a very 'active' fall day with the leaves raining down. I almost wish I had taken some video footage.  Enjoy what's left of the fall colours! Because, soon enough................. brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-09-29T15:03:57Z 2012-09-29T15:03:57Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/8/focus-on-the-focus Focus on the focus

It's not what you think for that title. While 'focus' is important... FOCUS is more important. Motivation and goals.

I just attended a two day PPOC Super-School workshop with Tim and Bev Walden, masters of their craft.  And as with any time I get to watch someone extremely talented and gifted at what they do, I feel both inspired...and dissuaded.

So this is where the 'focus on the focus' comes in. Mindset. The way you think and approach a 'problem' in order to solve it.

Set goals for yourself, personally, business-wise, etc. Even little ones--keep you 'achieving' and feeling like you're moving and accomplishing. We all get jaded (I think? hahaha) with photography from time to time, whether it be thinking we're shooting the same thing all the time, edit the same way all the time, use the same lens all the time, not feeling as creative as 'we should' (how creative do you THINK you 'should be'?), etc.

Tim and Bev really drove home the 'focus' and the 'narrowing' of application/style. I'm currently having to select some images for an exhibit at the end of the month. So, for me, today's focus was to go look for some of my favourite recent images that give me a good feeling and throw them at the wall to see what sticks. 

So this is my first entry into Kent Weakley's "Sweet Shot Tuesday" blog posting--I hope you enjoy looking at some of these!

Halcyon Solitude Herringbone

 

-Jeff

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-08-14T19:59:05Z 2012-08-14T19:59:05Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/7/why-settings-don-t-matter Why 'settings' don't matter...much.

I say it often. "A good image is a good image." Frankly, I don't "care" how it was made or what it was made with. That's just my own personal take on things. A good image is a good image, shot with your $6000 DSLR, or your Blackberry (though, iPhones take better photos LOL), processed with actions, presets, or by hand.  Tools are tools. It's the final piece that is of more interest. That said, sure, sometimes there is curiosity as to how an image was created.

Was the following image shot with two different capture devices? Or same shot processed differently? Is one image 'better' than the other? Which one, and why? 

What people that haven't taken classes, workshops, or just played around with software enough on their own (I'm 90% self-taught in the Photoshop world FYI) don't realize is that EVERY image (ok, I'll qualify that by adding 'shot with a DSLR') is processed. The only person that sees the 'SOOC' (straight out of camera) image is the person shooting it and anyone who sees the LCD screen. And, surprise, if your point 'n' shoot or iPhone or DSLR has any 'modes' set on it, congratulations, you've just processed your image. PHOTOSHOP!!!!!!!!! (I still have that scream echoed in my mind)

There are basic JPEG conversions that automatically get done to RAW images in certain software upon import and export. It's just the way it is. That's 'processing' whether you like it or not. So we should just relax on that topic and enjoy a photo for what it is. If we weren't there when it was shot, as the subject, or a viewer, we don't know how the image looked as it was clicked. And, again, does it matter?

I believe I'm a technically strong photographer; I've been trained well. I know rules and then apply them or toss them out the window as I choose. The same goes with processing an image. For me, it's about making the best image possible; to tell a story with a frame, to (attempt to) elicit emotion. To make corrections, changes, or improvements.  You know the deal: everything from blemish correction, "laugh line / life line" softening (wink wink nudge nudge), to adjusting contrast, brightness, saturation, or (gasp!!!) HDR.

Sunrise on Regina Beach

So when people wrinkle their nose or get out the torches and scream 'PHOTOSHOP!!!!!!!!' about an image (I'm going to link to a great image shot by Regina Photographer Chris Graham here that has been getting a lot of comments in general and enough 'PHOTOSHOP!!!!!!!!' comments to drive a photographer batty: Chris Graham Lightning Photo), I just wonder "do they understand what they're saying?" I use Photoshop on every single image.

Every one. I add metadata and my name stamp in Photoshop. So I'm not lying when I say I use it on every single image. And on some images I even TWEAK THINGS! (gasp!!!)

Rainbow Windmill

Regarding my topic of "settings don't matter"---I read a blog post this morning by Kent Weakley with a great quote that I wanted to pass on.  Sometimes I get asked what settings I used for a particular photo, or when taking a shot, someone will ask what settings I'm using.  The quoted response from (someone with a lotttttttt more experience than myself) the person was essentially "fx, 1/y, ISO z, and 40 years of experience!"  So when someone asks what settings I used, (I once got complaints on my website that I don't list settings used for the shot. That's a choice.) I sometimes just ask 'why'? Not because I'm being elusive or protective or 'a jackass', but because...really... I could shoot at f8, 1/250, 200 ISO, or I could shoot f5.6, 1/500, 200 ISO. Or I could get crazy and shoot ISO 800 and _________________. Basically, that's the thing. The settings are 'somewhat' irrelevant because they're all related. HOWEVER, yes there are creative choices made to create an image. Do you WANT to blow something out? Make something appear 'less in focus'? Do you want something to blur but something else to stay sharp? That comes with experience.

The blog post was about 'the most important photo accessory to have'. And that's "experience". Not a tripod, not a polarizing filter, not the best camera you can afford (or pay high interest on). I've had friendly competitions with my photo-friends where I take photos with my DSLR and iPhone and without showing side by side, post one and people guess which a photo was shot with. Or I'll have competitions using ONLY our iPhones, etc. It's not the tools. It's what you do with them. Give a master carpenter some power tools or hand tools and the product will still turn out better than an apprentice.  Expensive paint or cheap paint for Picasso? Gross examples, yes. But truthful. My photo instructor has been known to say "don't show me your camera, show me your images."  Thanks, Lori!

And it is sooooo important to GET OUT THERE AND SHOOT! Keep practicing!!! A very lucky few are just able to 'shoot and make things look great'. Just like any artist or person talented at anything---it's either lots of practice and DOING or they're a prodigy. I'm not a prodigy.

 

And, for reference, for those still reading: the caterpillar? Left image was my DSLR, right image was my iPhone. I should have aperture-matched the two shots if I was actually thinking I'd use it for instructional purposes.  The windmill and rainbow? Sure, I'll tell you my settings: I use a Nikon D7000, shot at ISO 200, f/5, 1/2000, 17mm focal length. I could have bumped up aperture and slowed shutter speed. Settings don't matter... much.

-Jeff

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-07-24T17:46:15Z 2012-07-24T17:46:15Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/7/storm-chasing-bucket-list Storm Chasing Bucket List

I accomplished a 'Bucket List' checkmark yesterday, July 1, 2012.  I was able to ride along with Greg Johnson (twitter @canadogreg) the Tornado Hunter in the Storm Spotter F150!  I'm still wired from the adrenaline and have finished reviewing my photos from the afternoon / evening.  Not as good as his lightning pictures but I'll take 'em.

A Lowering

I have been fascinated with storms since I was a kid, and also with tornadoes. The power and the fury, and also the beauty, of storms has intrigued me as a photographer as well.  Other than a few lightning storms and eerie cloud formations I have never willingly gone TOWARD a large thunderstorm before.  This past Tuesday my friends Paul and Tamara decided to go out and intercept the large tornadic storm that was heading toward Regina just off the #11 and #2 Highways and got some great photos.  They will appear in my 'Tempests' album to view full-screen as soon as I upload them.

Wall Cloud Descending

These images are from the official storm chase today with Greg. It was truly a thrill (literally) to be in the vehicle and have access to the tracking technology and the knowledge.  And we had GREAT opportunities for some very interesting cloud formations.  No tornadoes were spotted but warnings were issued as we were chasing a storm in the Mortlach/Caronport area -- eerily near the site of Tuesday's tornado touchdown in the area.

Clouds over Shamrock

Not many people get the opportunity (nor...would they want them?) to get in the path of a storm on purpose to get images of it.  Once again, thank you to Greg for extending the invite to go along today. I'm kind of happy that I didn't get to run out and twist the large dog-tie-out spike into the ground with the GoPro camera mounted onto it like was planned in the event of a tornado nearby today...  Driving through the green grey wall of loonie-sized hail was enough. For today.

Unstable Bridge

The Razor's Edge

Enjoy the frames; the outing was well worth it (even if I DID leave my tripod behind in a hurry to get going). Totally wired on adrenaline, up until 5:30 editing photos and then just tapping my fingers waiting to get tired. Happy Canada Day 2012!

 

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-07-02T16:00:00Z 2012-07-02T16:00:00Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/5/seeing-the-light Seeing the light.

Really, that's what it's all about in the world of photography. Seeing the light. Finding the light. Knowing how to control and use the light.

And then putting it onto your media with whatever device you have at hand.
 

 

This morning I had a crazy idea; I'd set my alarm for 5:15 and get up with the sun.  Tired as all heck, I'm GLAD I did. Perfectly cloudless sky, which is usually the bane of a photographer's existence. But that allowed for a nice orange red glow as the sun was coming up before it actually hit horizon.

Then I went to a location I had been thinking about for awhile to see how the sun was hitting things. What do you think?

Into the light

 I snapped a few other shots (please note: AS-SHOT) to illustrate how interesting the light is at different times of day and in different weather conditions. I have to thank Douglas E. Walker  for really driving home for me the importance of just LOOKING at what you're thinking of shooting. If you have any control at all over what you want to shoot, do it. Don't just make it a snapshot. Those are fine, but "all good things to those who wait"

 

These are for illustrative purpose: just look how interesting that lighting is! Beats showing up at high noon doesn't it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-05-11T16:57:29Z 2012-05-11T16:57:29Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/4/presentation Presentation

It's a topic that comes up from time to time for a photographer. "Presentation." How do I 'intend' my photos to be seen? 

Online in electronic form? A private showing? Hanging in a gallery? Entered in competition?

It's no secret that how an image is presented affects how the viewer's eyes see the image.  Recently I had a discussion with another couple photographers about matting and framing, etc.  Personally, I like to leave framing choice (etc.) up to the client because it's to go in their own home or as a gift for someone else and we all know frames are great to GIVE an image to someone in because it helps protect the image at least until they decide on a display option of their own choice.

Then you have mounting and laminating. Off-the-shelf mattes vs. custom-cut mattes. Which colours? What to accent? Ready-to-hang or ready-to frame? So for most of my online/electronic images I choose to simply let the image speak for itself.

For those that know me, you'll know my feelings on competition entries and the like.  There's a local competition which allows people to enter images matted or non-matted but must be mounted.  My personal feelings on this are: it can give advantage to --or harm-- entrants fairly easily.  Some people get their prints retail-or-custom-made and mounted and matted. Some D.I.Y. people make their own mattes and do their own mounting and I've seen some images that end up suffering in presentation (AND competition!) because the mattes aren't supportive colour or are hand-cut and are may not be exact or are simply glued onto a backing with liquid glue that ends up wrinkling the photo. Or taped on with scotch tape. Or 'the sticky tack' blue stuff. 

I'd much rather see a universal format or say no matting to make it more about the images at hand and not the presentation because some people don't care about presentation or aren't as well-versed or experienced in it and, frankly, that can hurt their chances.  I heard a judge comment once "it's a nice picture but the matte colour kept it out of the short list".

Really? Sad.

 

So today as I looked back at this old image from September and thought "it's and okay shot, what happens if I play with some matting on it?" I was at a restaurant last night and saw some framed prints hanging on the wall and said "let's pretend this was hanging somewhere in a gallery or showing, how would I do it?"

I presented two options to a friend and she said 'no contest...option B...makes it not even look like the same image'.

Old Building Triptych

So the lesson is: when you DO choose to present something - even in electronic form - will your presentation format help your image?

-Jeff

 

 

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-04-11T23:06:56Z 2012-04-11T23:06:56Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/3/the-importance-of-seeing-whats-around-you The importance of seeing what's around you.

  Part of the 'game' of photography is to capture what you see. Pretty easy enough, right? When you start to understand that a camera's mechanics 'see' things differently than the human eye, that's where the real game is. I'll touch on that in another blog post but the thing I wanted to mention today is: as a photographer, you only help yourself by always being aware of what's going on around you. Find 'the shots' and GRAB 'the shots' where and when you can.

  I attended another workshop with the great Warne Noyce (Warne Photography) last week at his home studio in North Battleford, working with a couple fantastic models, Amanda and Kimberly.  We did studio stuff and outdoor on-location stuff.  This day was Kimberly's day to model and Amanda was helping her with hair/makeup/wardrobe. While the rest of the gang was finding a spot to shoot and setting camera settings / flash settings, I took advantage of a couple locations and the subject who was right in front of me, in her street clothes and 'everyday hair/makeup'.

  This was a quick "two minute photo shoot" with Amanda. Two locations, a borrowed Canon 50D camera (I'm a Nikon shooter), natural light, natural diffusion (because it was early afternoon and was nearing snowstorm conditions so beautifully overcast), two shots and thank you very much! 

Cool Beauty

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, as photographer, always be aware of 'the bigger picture' around you, and your environment and sometimes some GREAT shots come with very little prep and setup. Thanks, Amanda!

 

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-03-29T20:55:18Z 2012-03-29T20:55:18Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/3/the-return-of-bunny-boy The Return of Bunny Boy

It's Jeremy's birthday today so I wanted to churn out a few more images for him.  These are a few of the other images from our shoot in Saskatoon in February, with the spectacular makeup artist Tamsen Rae.  Always fun to 'shoot outside the box'.

Have a fun St. Patrick's Day weekend!

 

Bunny vs. the Paparazzi Blue Bunny Bar Bunny and the Blizzard

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-03-16T18:36:17Z 2012-03-16T18:36:17Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/2/wacky-weekend Wacky Weekend

One of the best things about photography is getting to meet and work with many different people.

This weekend I had the pleasure of working with a fantastic makeup artist in Saskatoon, Tamsen Rae, and helped

bring to life her concept of "Bunny Boy"--all on his own in the crazy world of humans. He's just a bit different...tryin' to get by like the next guy.

My slogan of "Shoot Outside the Box" certainly applied.

What a fun way to spend a birthday!

Bunny on a Bike

 

First Bunny Boy's off on his bike, in weather that keeps the humans away.

Bunny Tunnel 01

Next, he stops by his favourite hole where he keeps a supply of fine Quebec beers.

 

What's a Bunny Gotta Do...?

Bunny Boy decides to go meet some ladies at a local watering hole. No bites this day.

 

Bunny does sushi

Bunny Boy gets tired of waiting for no-show friends and samples his own ear. 

With enough sake, it is found to be good.

 

The Bunnyfather

Frustrated, Bunny Boy sits and waits. And grinds his teeth.

 

 

All Work and no Play Makes Bunny a Dull Boy

And, of course, we know all work and no play makes Bunny Boy

a dull boy.

 

 

 
Thanks again to Tamsen and Jeremy for a very fun day of shooting!
(note: these photos can be found in the 'Outside the box' gallery)
 
-Jeff
 
 

 

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-02-28T05:50:05Z 2012-02-28T05:50:05Z
http://www.jeffhamonphotography.ca/blog/2012/2/welcome Welcome

Well, it's one giant leap for Jeff, one small step for photo-kind. Isn't that the way that saying goes?  

I'm going to try to keep up with a bit of blogging (I know, I'm a few years too late) here on my very own website--so welcome to it!  Over time, my blogspot will fade in activity and I thank you all for visiting it but now that I have my OFFICIAL (and very spanky) website I may as well USE it to full capacity, no?

 

I'm still new at the social media game and a friend of mine recently said "what good is having a website for your photos if nobody visits it to see them? What are you doing to MAKE people see your photos? Isn't that the whole point? You just want people to randomly drop in from a Google search or when they feel like it?"

 

It's all very true. The social network is really the crest of a wave and I've done a few tiny experiments to see just how quickly things can be seen and sent around the internet.

 

So it's true. I don't take photos just for myself anymore. Well, I do... but now I'm very happy to have people see them as well. So please, spread the word! Facebook, Twitter, tumbler, stumbleupon, pinterest, yadayada. If you see something you like, spread the word.

And also let ME know that you like it! That's the greatest compliment.

 

And for those that are telling others / pinning / linking, etc. I just please ask, as all artists do--please link and provide info to where you saw the image originally.  It's the right thing to do.

 

And now, enjoy my two most recent images especially for the social network crew!

"Thawing Leaf" © 2012 Jeff Hamon

 

 

"Riding the Curve" © 2012 Jeff Hamon

 

Jeff Hamon Photography info@jeffhamonphotography.ca (C) Jeff Hamon Photography 2012-02-21T06:11:11Z 2012-02-21T06:11:11Z