orthopedic pain management

Toronto Contact Photography Festival — May 1–31 2010

Last week I spent 2 days gallery-hopping at theToronto Con­tact Pho­tog­ra­phy fes­ti­val. It’s always a treat to see so many pho­to­graphic works being exhib­ited at the same time. This fes­ti­val shows pho­tog­ra­phy work all around the city of Toronto (from local and Inter­na­tional artists) but it’s mostly con­cen­trated downtown.

Heidi Leverty - Tincarnation 13
Heidi Lev­erty — Tin­car­na­tion 13

I go to these events purely to see good pho­tog­ra­phy and to get inspired. I LOVE see­ing work that moves me even if it is out­side what I nor­mally con­sider to be ‘my’ sub­ject mat­ter. As with most pho­tog­ra­phy fes­ti­vals, the major­ity of the work doesnot appeal to me. Pho­tog­ra­phy for the most part is a one frame deal and if I have to look too hard for the deeper mean­ing, or work to see the great­ness of the shot, then for me the pho­to­graph makes me go “meh”. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE sym­bol­ism, I love images laden with themes and I love dou­ble or triple mean­ings in an image but SHOW it to me. Don’t embed the gold too deeply in the image, make the gold shine. Don’t make me go back to a text on mythol­ogy with an obscurely titled pho­to­graph, show me some­thing uni­ver­sal that moves me now.

There were far too many exhi­bi­tions to see them all but I did see a good 20 exhi­bi­tions. I should say that I missed at least 3 shows purely because I could not find them.Her­man & Audrey is a show that I would have LOVED to have seen. I drove to address the on Duf­ferin, in fact I planned part of my day on that show since the gallery opened at 4pm.…nothing there to indi­cate any exhi­bi­tion there folks…and no phone num­ber either.

So here were the shows that intrigued me the most with a brief review:

-Bar­bara Probst — Expo­sures — This was a cool show; 12 cam­eras all set up in dif­fer­ent loca­tions, pho­to­graph the same scene from dif­fer­ent angles. The result­ing large scale pho­tographs all taken at the same moment, are pre­sented in an inter­est­ing and cohe­sive way. 1450 Dun­das St. W — 416–537-3125

-The Skin you Love to Touch — Jodi Bieber, Lau­ren Green­field, Zed Nel­son — I thought this one was very intrigu­ing show­ing the ‘skins’ of very dif­fer­ent peo­ple and their rela­tion to mar­ket­ing, con­sumerism, per­cep­tion and self-perception. 80 Spad­ina suite 310

Ben Ng -Exposed: Per­va­sive Influ­ence — Glad­stone Hotel on the sec­ond floor ( a great venue at 1214 Queen St. W. with MANY exhi­bi­tions). I found Ben’s land­scapes extremely well done and very strik­ing. In par­tic­u­lar the print­ing qual­ity is just fab­u­lous. Most of the images were hand-painted; mean­ing they started off as black and white images and then selected parts were hand-painted. It looked to me like they were hand-painted old school (as opposed to doing this much more eas­ily in Pho­to­shop) which means that you apply paint to the actual photograph.

My fave — Some­times you’ll walk into a Gallery that is show­ing one main artist and other artists intrigue you even more. This is what hap­pened atBau-Xi Photo with their main exhi­bi­tion At this Moment by Zoe Jare­mus, which over­all, I liked. Bau-Xi is located at 324 Dun­das tel # 416–977-0400 and their gallery was my favorite stop of the entire exhi­bi­tion. I dis­cov­ered 2 artists there whose work struck me imme­di­ately;Heidi Lev­erty (whose image is fea­tured in this post) andAnthony Red­path. Heidi’s work is AWESOME and has tremen­dous impact. She only had 2 (large — around 32 x40 inches) images that were exhib­ited but Robyn who works at the gallery showed me some addi­tional work. Her work depicts large scale recy­cled mate­ri­als pre­sented in an abstract yet extremely com­pelling way. Anthony’s work was even larger in scale and his exhib­ited image Trailer Park Party (64.5 x 96 inches) is excel­lent and incred­i­bly sharp. Spe­cial thanks toRobyn McCal­lum for the extra infor­ma­tion she gave me.

My apolo­gies to all the artists whose work I missed. If you are read­ing this and want to send me some links to your work, I’m all eyes. Spe­cial thanks toJoe Cormier who gallery-hopped (lit­er­ally — he has a sore leg) with me on day 1. He also showed some fab work at this fes­ti­val atMoos Gallery.

29 other things to buy after your first DSLR

I recently did a pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast on buy­ing your first DSLR. In that pod­cast I sug­gested NOT spend­ing a whack of cash on your first cam­era body, and sav­ing it for lenses and acces­sories instead.

Speak­ing of all those accessories…member masp from our pho­tog­ra­phy forum started this thread list­ing other items you’ll need to go with that first DSLR if you want to get seri­ous about pho­tog­ra­phy. It’s a big list for sure but it will give new­bies in par­tic­u­lar a feel for what many advanced shoot­ers con­sider to be essen­tial gear, acces­sories and must have gadgets.

So hat tip to masp once more for this list! Feel free to add your own sug­ges­tions in the com­ments if you feel any­thing is missing.

Here’s a par­tial check­list I’ve put together from my own research and lis­ten­ing to the pod­cast. I’m sure I’ve prob­a­bly left some­thing impor­tant out here or there, so please let me know if you spot any omis­sions or use­ful things I should include. Aster­isks denote the stuff that is more impor­tant or cheap enough to buy first.

A. CAMERA PROTECTION
* 1. UV fil­ter ($10 to 30 to $60?)
* 2. Padded cam­era case
3. Cam­era armor?
* 4. LCD screen cover if not included. (Included for Nikons)
* 5. Viewfinder cover and mag­ni­fier
6. Fancy cam­era strap, like the Black Rapid straps?
* 7. Lens hood for any lenses that lack one. (Also keeps stuff from bang­ing into your lens)

B. CLEANING
* 8. Microfiber cloth and a “huff of breath” (Can’t be more than a few bucks)
9. Air blower. Marko says to buy from a cam­era store, but Ken Rock­well says a $5 air blower from a drug store may suf­fice. Any rea­son to dis­agree with Rock­well here? (I’m kinda cheap )
* 10. Also con­sider a blower brush or lenspen. ($5–10)
* 11. Sil­ica gel — it eats mois­ture in humid con­di­tions (A few bucks)

C. PHOTOGRAPHIC TOOLS
12. Polar­izer and ND fil­ters
* 13. Tri­pod ($50? — $140 + + No rea­son not to buy used though, I think)
14. Maybe a mono­pod for porta­bil­ity, but a tri­pod seems more use­ful.
15. Flash (con­sider buy­ing the most expen­sive one)
* 16. Reflec­tors maybe, or just a cheap piece of card­board wear­ing white cloth­ing.
17. Light meter. Use­ful for stu­dio work mainly.

D. COMPUTER STUFF
* 18. SD or CF reader. Can you go with a cheap one here? As long as is a high speed one, I *think* it’s okay, but I’d hate to cor­rupt my data.
19. Photo printer. Pict­bridge?
20. A decent mon­i­tor that isn’t exces­sively blue, con­trasty or bright (refer­ring to cal­i­bra­tion pod­cast)
21. Mon­i­tor and printer color cal­i­bra­tion tools.
22. Pho­tog­ra­phy soft­ware (I’m going to stick with what’s free for now, but I sup­pose I’ll even­tu­ally buy some soft­ware when I fig­ure out what’s most stan­dard)
23. Color cal­i­bra­tion equip­ment ($400-$1400?). Some may be avail­able for $200 or under. Con­sider buy­ing one before you start doing a lot of editing.

E. MISCELLANY
24. Spare bat­tery ($10 to $30 on Ama­zon, more for brand name)
25. SD or CF card ($20 to $40 depend­ing on desired size)
26. Extra lens and body caps (los­ing the orig­i­nals may lower the resale value of your gear?)
27. Plas­tic trash bags to cover your gear bag if it’s not water­proofed and it starts rain­ing. White ones may dou­ble as reflec­tors if you don’t mind look­ing unpro­fes­sional.
28. Zip lock bags for hold­ing your clean­ing sup­plies and other stuff maybe.
29. Base­ball bat for when some guy on the street tries to grab your cam­era. J/K J/K I don’t con­done vio­lence, except for the Three Stooges variety.

1 bloody good reason to try the camera before you buy

The answer is PAIN.

I recently upgraded cam­eras and pur­chased a Nikon D700. It’s an awe­some cam­era and I love it except for one thing…it does not feel great in my hand. In fact, after using it for a month it has been caus­ing me a good deal of pain in my shoot­ing hand.

SHAME ON ME.

I should know bet­ter, I coun­cil peo­ple to try before they buy and yet I did not fully lis­ten to my own advice. Here’s what hap­pened — I actu­ally tried the D700 for a week­end 4 months ago. On that week­end I shot with the D700 for two peri­ods of about 1 hour and my hand felt fine. I did notice that it was a heavy cam­era but I felt fine so I fig­ured all was good.

SHAME ON ME.

I mean when I go out to shoot nor­mally, on a gig or for plea­sure, I USUALLY shoot for 3–4 hours (plus plus). So test­ing on 2 peri­ods of 1 hour was a huge mis­take. But I was in a “rush” to test the cam­era as it was only on loan for the weekend..and week­ends are often busy.

PLEASE LEARN FROM MY ERROR.

Before you spend a whack of cash on a cam­era, test it for the length of time that you nor­mally shoot with. Try­ing it in the store or for an hour is bet­ter than noth­ing but it’s not an accu­rate test. Rent the cam­era you intend to buy for a week­end espe­cially if it is an expen­sive cam­era. Many larger brick and mor­tar cam­era stores will deduct the rental price off your new cam­era if you end up buy­ing it. For my own case, I think adding a bat­tery grip will solve the prob­lem as it will take the excess weight off my shoot­ing hand and divide it more evenly.….but this could have been avoided if I had fully fol­lowed my own advice.

Fed Up With Fake Photography ?

Whether an image is “too” pho­to­shopped, or overly retouched is a huge issue for both pho­tog­ra­phers and non-photographers. We’ve talked about it many times on our forum. It’s an issue for pho­tog­ra­phers because our medium is in the midst of a dra­matic change. Pho­tog­ra­phy has gone dig­i­tal. Every­one has a dig­i­tal cam­era. Every image is fod­der for manip­u­la­tion. Many pho­tog­ra­phers over-manipulate.

The prob­lem is that there is no con­sen­sus on how much manip­u­la­tion is too much. Some pho­tog­ra­phers say over manip­u­la­tion occurs with any­thing over and above basic edit­ing (con­trast and tonal con­trol, crop­ping and some dodg­ing and burn­ing). Oth­ers say we are crafts­man and that Pho­to­shop is a tool like any other tool, so there is no limit. (Per­son­ally I don’t buy this for a second).

Cer­tainly when you look at a photo, you often can­not tell what level of manip­u­la­tion was done and nowhere is the level of manip­u­la­tion revealed. Some­times though, you can EASILY tell when an image is over-retouched or manipulated.

This is less of a big deal when you are cre­at­ing a pho­to­graph for artis­tic rea­sons, but it’s damn seri­ous when young girls want to look like mod­els that don’t exist. The mod­els exist of course but their images are over manip­u­lated to the point of fraud. Impres­sion­able girls want to look like these mod­els hawk­ing beauty-cream. They feel bad/sad when they can’t look like these mod­els. Here is just one recent Newsweek arti­cle on this over-manipulation (hat tip to AcadieLi­bre from our forum). If this trend con­tin­ues, it won’t be long till we’ll be sell­ing anti-wrinkle cream to ten year olds or freckle remover for red headed babies.‚ All it will take is a cou­ple of‚ before and after pho­tos show­ing the ‘improve­ment’ in their appear­ances. Even babies and ten year olds want to feel ‘bet­ter’ about themselves.

But peo­ple are catch­ing on, they are get­ting fed up with this manipulation/fraud/cheating. This week in Lon­don Eng­land, Con­ser­v­a­tive party leader David Cameron was blasted for a cam­paign elec­tion poster where he looks 20 years younger than he does. Here’s the orig­i­nal poster, a spoof poster and what Cameron looks like on a nor­mal day.

Over manipulation in photography

Over manip­u­la­tion in photography

So what say you? Are you fed up with fake pho­tog­ra­phy.….….?‚ Or am I just whin­ing because I have no Elvis hair to style?

75 — How to buy your first DSLR

Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast #75 is geared toward pho­tog­ra­phy enthu­si­asts that have not yet pur­chased their first DSLR cam­era. It encour­ages you to save money on your first DSLR cam­era body because you’ll need it for the lenses and acces­sories as you improve.

Links /resources men­tioned in this pod­cast:
Canon 50D at B&H (Dis­clo­sure — Aff links — helps sup­port our site)
Eos Rebel XSI (450D) at B&H
Nikon D3000 at B&H
Pho­tog­ra­phy forum dis­cus­sion on buy­ing your first DSLR

December’s night pho­tog­ra­phy assign­ment on the Photography.ca forum

Please join the Photography.ca fan page on Face­book
My Face­book pro­file — Feel free to “friend” me — please just men­tion Photography.ca

My Twit­ter page — I will fol­low you if you fol­low me — Let’s con­nect — PLEASE email me and tell me who you are in case I don’t rec­i­p­ro­cate because I think you are a spam­mer.

If you are still lurk­ing on our forum,
feel free to join our friendly :) Pho­tog­ra­phy forum

Thanks to Greg Nus­pel, Benny, jack­la­bel, Jimmy Brown, Michael Van der Tol, Aaron Hock­ley, raiven, Antz, Dominic, Bambi, Fortytwo, Crys­talb, Yise­haq and Kent Wil­son‚ who posted a blog com­ment about our last pod­cast. Thanks as always to every­one that sent com­ments by email about our last pod­cast. Although ALL com­ments are appre­ci­ated, com­ment­ing directly in this blog is pre­ferred. Thanks as well to all the new mem­bers of the bul­letin board.

If you are look­ing at this mate­r­ial on any other site except Photography.ca — Please hop on over to the Photography.ca blog and pod­cast and get this and other pho­tog­ra­phy info directly from the source. I Sub­scribe with iTunes I Sub­scribe via RSS feed I Sub­scribe with Google Reader I Sub­scribe for free to the Pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast — Photography.ca and get all the posts/podcasts by Email
You can down­load this pho­tog­ra­phy pod­cast directly by click­ing the pre­ced­ing link or lis­ten to it almost imme­di­ately with the embed­ded player below.

My new logos — Thanks a ton Sylvain Grand’Maison

I’ve been want­ing a new logo for my own per­sonal pho­tog­ra­phy for quite some time now. There’s just some­thing about ‘sign­ing your work’ that I feel is impor­tant. For me, a sig­na­ture pro­vides a sense of clo­sure. There are so many ways to tweak/modify/enhance a pho­to­graph that some­times you’re not sure if your ver­sion is the fin­ished ver­sion. A sig­na­ture allows you to say, OK enough now, I’m done with this image, let’s move on.

I’d like to thank Syl­vain Grand’Maison BIG TIME for the great work that he did for me. For those of you that don’t know Syl­vain, he has one of the most pop­u­lar French Pod­casts (even though he’s per­fectly bilin­gual) in Que­bec called le Que­bec en Bal­adod­if­fu­sion. He also helps busi­nesses and indi­vid­u­als get started in the social media space and works as a con­sul­tant in this regard. So why did I ask him to cre­ate my logos?‚ That’s because his back­ground is in graphic design and he still takes on the occa­sional graphic design gig.

So now I need YOUR help. I really dig both of these logos and I think I know which one I like best but I’d like some opin­ions. Which one of these above logos do you like bet­ter, the left one or the right one?

In choos­ing these logos Syl­vain pre­sented me with a bunch of dif­fer­ent choices on totally dif­fer­ent themes. Here is another design Syl­vain cre­ated. I love this one as well — it has a seri­ous Russ­ian feel. I’m not sure what I’ll use this red design for, but I do know what my next Face­book avatar will look like.

My new logos — Thanks a ton Sylvain Grand’Maison

I’ve been want­ing a new logo for my own per­sonal pho­tog­ra­phy for quite some time now. There’s just some­thing about ‘sign­ing your work’ that I feel is impor­tant. For me, a sig­na­ture pro­vides a sense of clo­sure. There are so many ways to tweak/modify/enhance a pho­to­graph that some­times you’re not sure if your ver­sion is the fin­ished ver­sion. A sig­na­ture allows you to say, OK enough now, I’m done with this image, let’s move on.

I’d like to thank Syl­vain Grand’Maison BIG TIME for the great work that he did for me. For those of you that don’t know Syl­vain, he has one of the most pop­u­lar French Pod­casts (even though he’s per­fectly bilin­gual) in Que­bec called le Que­bec en Bal­adod­if­fu­sion. He also helps busi­nesses and indi­vid­u­als get started in the social media space and works as a con­sul­tant in this regard. So why did I ask him to cre­ate my logos?  That’s because his back­ground is in graphic design and he still takes on the occa­sional graphic design gig.

So now I need YOUR help. I really dig both of these logos and I think I know which one I like best but I’d like some opin­ions. Which one of these above logos do you like bet­ter, the left one or the right one?

In choos­ing these logos Syl­vain pre­sented me with a bunch of dif­fer­ent choices on totally dif­fer­ent themes. Here is another design Syl­vain cre­ated. I love this one as well — it has a seri­ous Russ­ian feel. I’m not sure what I’ll use this red design for, but I do know what my next Face­book avatar will look like.

The city and the people working as one — NOT

Every pho­tog­ra­pher has sub­ject mat­ter that inter­ests them more than other sub­ject mat­ter. For me, what gets me going the most is fine art pho­tog­ra­phy and por­trai­ture. However.….every once in a while I’ll pull out my cam­era to shoot dif­fer­ent sub­ject mat­ter. Gotta pay those bills. This morn­ing how­ever I pulled out my cam­era because I was sim­ply pissed off at my city. Look at what they are doing with our recy­cling. Does THIS look like a recy­cling truck?

I love Mon­treal. I find the city VERY pro­gres­sive, tol­er­ant, fairly clean and great place to live. My wife and I love it here. We are com­mu­nity minded peo­ple who believe in the envi­ron­ment and we ALWAYS recy­cle as much as we can. We wash out con­tain­ers and bot­tles and sep­a­rate papers to make it easy for the recy­cling crew. We used to see our recy­cling going into a recy­cling truck, where it would get sorted on the spot. As far as I know, crunched up mixed recy­cling in a garbage truck is NOT recycling…it’s frig­gin’ garbage on its way to a landfill.

Does any­one know what is going on here? I mean as much as I love to do my part, I hate wast­ing my time, and I hate munic­i­pal bull­crap. If my recy­cling is going into a land­fill, then why am I wast­ing my frig­gin’ time?