Friday, September 16, 2016

Photography Boot Camp 101

Vancouver Island Photography Bootcamp (aka Workshop), Port Renfrew - Sept. 9-11, 2016
Instructors: Thomas Dawson, Adam Gibbs, and Kevin Finn McNeil

Boot camp? Why? Well, we met at 5:45 each morning and apart from a break for breakfast both days we shot until after sunset. And did we ever learn a lot!

On Friday, we met at the Big Fish Lodge in Port Renfrew and after introductions we headed off to nearby Botany Bay for some sunset shots.

A beautiful sunset

And we stayed for some night photography.

The next morning we met at the Botany Beach parking lot at 5:45 and headed down to the beach in the dark, being passed by some surfers who were booking it, without headlamps! We arrived at the shore, hoping the sky would lighten up, as it turned out to be a grey morning. But I did get a shot of some wave action that I liked. 

It started drizzling and we returned to the lodge for breakfast. After breakfast, because it was still raining, Kevin gave a presentation on editing, showing us his editing technique from start to finish. Then Adam showed us some of his fabulous images, pointing out the fine points behind them. We then headed off to Botanical Beach, just next door to Botany Bay. It was still very grey out, but started to lighten up.

I brought Chica, my high-priced model, along for the outing. 

"Look at that wave action!"

Then in the evening we went out to nearby Fairy Lake to shoot the famous bonsai tree.

And returning to Port Renfrew we saw some elk grazing beside the road.

And Sunday morning we returned to Botany Bay, and had better light this time. 

"Yikes! That wave is getting pretty close!"

Then we went back for breakfast, checked out, and had a group photo taken on the beach in front of the "Big Fish." The sun had now come out!

The we went to "Avatar Grove," a grove of ancient cedars about a 1/2 hour drive from town--very aptly named, as the Hindu meaning of avatar is a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth." 

Yes indeed, a mystical place, with moss-festooned logs,

enormous cedars reaching for the sky,

and gnarly trunks.

Then after a quick lunch, we headed to East Sombrio Beach, a busy place with surfers and campers, but we headed to the far end where we scrambled up some rocks for a vista of a waterfall.

And then a short ways back to the "Hidden Waterfall."

My "model" was becoming a little tired by this point.

Then this man rowed ashore in his replica of a St. Lawrence Skiff - he had rowed from six hours away. A few hours later when we were at Mystic Beach we saw him rowing back to his camp.

Then we headed to little Mystic Beach for the sunset. The sky was too clear, though, for a colourful show. But there was some nice wave action.

The moon rise making an end to a perfect weekend!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Magical Macro

Last week I purchased a set of electronic extension tubes - a 10mm and a 16mm. An inexpensive way to do macro. I find that with my 16-50 mm lens I only need the 10 mm tube. I received the tubes last Thursday morning, and in the afternoon I just went out near our house on Stephenson Point to see what I could find.

It had rained earlier, and some raindrops on a spider's web caught my eye:

Then, I tried an F/16 of this dune tansy.

And of course there were ample blackberries.

rose hips,

Oregon grape,

and maple leaves.

And then on the way home I photographed the mugo pine cone in a neighbour's yard:

This shot looks much different than the close-up I took on Tuesday:

Then, Friday afternoon I went down to Piper's Lagoon at low tide and I rearranged some shells and barnacles for "still lifes:"

And then I peered into a shallow tidal pool and was amazed at all the life!

On Saturday, I went to Linley Valley, up on a ridge at the end of Prince John Way. Some arbutus bark caught my eye:

And then this seed cluster that was catching the sun's rays:

And the variety of plants in what I had thought was merely moss:

And after many hopping pursuits I finally managed to get a shot of a grasshopper:

And then I pulled out my water spritzer and sprayed some plants. First, these arbutus berries:

This oak leaf with the tiny spider and web:

This interesting fungus (?) on a tree trunk:

And some more Oregon grape:

And lastly, these salal berries:

I love the way you can see the water droplets on the berries! And you'd never see the drops without the macro.

So now, I can walk somewhere that I've walked countless times before and make "new" photos. Over and over again!