Author Archives: spd_wp_admin

So Much To Say

Dear Reader (2019-05-12),

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. It was a time of successes.  It was a time of pain. At long last, spring returned, and the new back deck was open again.  April and I went galivanting through CBC’s Calgary Reads book sale and found a suitcase of books. I had my second session with a model.  It was an outdoor session in a seldom used corner of Fish Creek park.  The diet of Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and Amoxycillin has grown thin.  The dietary restrictions should end tomorrow morning, after I have had a root canal.  In the afternoon I return to the working world.  The income will be good.  The loss of time will reduce the frequency of daytime photo rambles – the night rambles return.

Having an income leads to the possibility of a new camera. Now there is a rabbit hole which you may want to skip (go to bye bye rabbit).

I am not interested in making movies.  All I want is a really good still camera with the capability to correct perspective.  Up until yesterday, I thought I was bound to Nikon. Actually, I only have one lens that could be used on a full-frame Nikon that is of sufficient quality to support a high resolution. In other words, my bias towards Nikon is familiarity, habit, and emotion. 

The first contender is a 4 x5 digital view camera that LargeSense is still developing and will have an estimated retail price of $US 48,500.00.  That is just crazy talk and is only a lottery win away. A Phase One camera is equally priced and unobtainable.  It doesn’t even have perspective controls.  Really – what’s the point?  The tonal range and pixel size of a medium format is very appealing, but traveling with one reminds me of an observation made years ago, when I was wandering questionable streets of Quito, Ecuador.  My camera of the time, which I still have, was a Nikon FM, and I was shooting Kodachrome with a polarizing filter (for the blue). I remember seeing a woman off to my left with a Hasselblad around her neck and dressed to match. Nothing says rob-me quite like a Hassy. There are still some trails to walk literally and figuratively. So, I’m back to a camera that supports a full-frame sensor, to which I can attach a tilt-shift lens. At this point brand is unknown – stay tuned

Bye Bye Rabbit

There are two collections today.  The first collection is from this past Wednesday.  Unable to concentrate I went out to a familiar area (Glenbow Ranch Provincial Park) and walked a new trail.  The skies were at times ominous and wet.  The second collection is from yesterday.  Sunray Suzie (see Model Mayhem) was a pleasure to work with.  She also gets credit for making all three of the dresses she posed in. This was my second shoot with a model, and I was pleased I had first practised studio lighting with the also ever so helpful Elora Dawn (see Model Mayhem).  As I started to assemble the collection, I realized that putting Suzie with Glenbow Ranch was too disconcerting, so today is only a short introduction.

Cheers, Sean

Too Late But …

Dear Reader,

Wednesday night I thought there might be potential for mist Thursday morning. When the alarm went off at 4:30 the fog was in my head. Where was I going and why? The fog lifted at 5 and shortly thereafter I was out the door with renewed commitment. According to my “Golden Hour” app I would probably be late. I drove on anyway, and the sun rose 15 minutes before I was ready. Rather than continuing north I turned west towards home. If it hadn’t been for a U-turn I would have the missed the capture below. This image is not a false positive , unlike the one from the other day, and is now a proud member of the Thin Line series.

Cheers, Sean

On The Verge 02

Dear Reader (2019-05-05),

I know it has been weighing on your mind – has the OTV series come to an end? Fear not, the raw material for another 2 or 3 images have been sitting on the hard-drive waiting for a grey day. Days where colour and contrast have been interesting enough to compensate for “The Time of The Flat Light” have been rare. And so, yesterday and today were fine times to do some assembling. The result is a new addition to the On The Verge series.

As in the other cases, this image looses sharpness through compression. If you would like to see the crispy version, please let me know.

Cheers, Sean

Happy Friday

Friday AM
A new addition to the Thin Line series, which has been updated accordingly, always puts a smile on my face. This morning on the way back from a location which hasn’t worked yet, I found the one below. I had driven by this location any number of times, but it had never really registered until now. Maybe there will be a still foggy day one morning, and I shall return to this gravel road.

Friday PM
After much consideration (ie it has been festering in the back of mind on and off during the day), this photo is only a 3 and therefore it does not meet the minimum requirement to be published as part of the Thin Line series. The photo has been removed from the collection. I am still pleased with the location but not the image.

Cheers, Sean

Clean Up 20190430

Dear Reader (2019-04-30),

There are 3 images from today that are from all over the map, but they do all come from Friday’s drive. The first image was originally shown, slightly edited, as 6 tiles on Instragram (@artspud80).

Cheers, Sean


Dear Reader (2019-04-29)

In Saturday’s post I mentioned I had been on a country drive.  The town of Swalwell has no services.  It does though have a recently renovated community centre, a Railway Avenue, and a number of residents living a prairie life.  As I was photographing the memories below, I heard footsteps behind me.  A young woman and her pre-school daughter were enjoying an amble along quiet streets.  I moved the tripod to the next panel. A short time later, a young man left his house in an expensive red truck.  The cows at the feed lot continued to moo.  Another panel captured. I turned my head again, when I heard wheels on gravel.  The UPS truck had stopped at the intersection of Main Street and Alberta Avenue. I left Swalwell on Wacker Avenue, the third of 3 town avenues. The family name was familiar, as it was a common one at the cemetery just outside of town.

Cheers, Sean


Dear Reader (2019-04-28),

I know the golden rule of social media is to only show completed work.  But hey, it’s my website, my rules.  Today I have 4 versions of the same image for you.   The photo was captured on Friday’s 2 hour tour.  In process order, the images are as follows:

1 – This is the original raw image out of Lightroom with absolutely nothing done to it – not even a colour profile was applied.  The light was flat, and the image was captured using a tripod from the side of the road.  As per normal for my Nikon D7100, the focus is good, the colours are a little pale, and everything looks soft.

2 – The photo has been cropped, a colour profile has been applied, and various adjustments have been made.  It’s now not a bad image at all, and it gets 4 stars on the spd scale.

3 – You know what? This is a perfect image for a black and white treatment.  I did what I could within Lightroom.  Like my other B&W digital photos processed in Lightroom, the tonal range is there but the whites aren’t quite right, and the texture isn’t quite there.  The image remains a 4.

4 – A week ago or so friends we hadn’t seen for a long time came by for food and drink.  The meal and conversation were lovely.  R has taken to photography, and he some stunning images. We started to babble, and he talked about a world previously unknown to me.  There are Lightroom plugins.  One collection of plugins is called the “Nik Collection” from DXO, and one of the 7 plugins from that collection is “Silver Efex Pro 2”.  Thank you R. OMFG!

What do you think?

Cheers, Sean

Thin Line Photos Aren’t So Easy

Dear Reader,

On Thursday I visited the same site a third or may be it was a fourth time. The result is the first of today’s photo. One of the surprising things about having a particular image structure in mind is that those structures are harder to find and capture than I would have initially thought. After all how hard is it to find a relatively common set of elements properly lit? Guess what? It’s not that easy, and more often than not more than one visit is required. It’s a good thing I enjoy the process. Speaking of which, yesterday I spent a couple of hours out driving on a new set of roads between here (yyc) and Drumheller. Actually, when I left the house around 10:00, April said I’ll see you around 5:00. She was right, I arrived home shortly before 5:00.

Thin Line 022
Thin Line 024
Thin Line 023 – Out looking for 022 above
The remaining photos in today’s collection are ones I like but do not make criteria for the Thin Line Series , which has bee updated accordingly, along with the Love This Land page.

I will share more in the coming days or so.

Cheers, Sean

Coffee and Cameras 2019-04-14 H

Dear Reader,

There  may not be many of you, but I know you are all clever.  The companion post is here.  As per that post, these photos are only connected via time and place, or at least those are the only connections I am going to confess to. 

Cheers, Sean