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Monday, December 31, 2012

The Year Draws To A Close - Hopes for the New Year.

As 2012 draws to a close, I want to thank all of the readers who read this blog. You are the reason that I write this blog.

In the New Year, I plan to take the 365 photos a day to my new FalconRosePhoto365 blog that I have created. The old frphoto365.blogspot will be taken down and deleted and removed. I am hoping that this sparks some creative photography where I can get out every single day and do some photography whether with my DSLR or with my iPhone 4s.

I also plan to do some video for the Maniac With Camera blog so that people can see just exactly what I go through in order to get the shots that I get. Wildlife photography is a lot of mundane watching of animals sitting around doing nothing interspersed with frantic periods of shooting as some action comes our way. It also involves a lot of patience as well due to the above.

Now all three of my blogs will be linked together: FalconRose Photography, this blog and my FalconRose365. The first, my main business blog will focus on my prints for sale and my photoshoots for wildlife photography as well as business promotion. My second blog will be for my own personal photography such as what is currently up on this blog and furthermore, my FalconRose365 will be a strictly one photo a day creative photography venture.

Also in the New Year, I will be trying to get out considerably more often to Green Timbers, quite possibly to Serpentine Fen, as well as George C. Reifel. And I will also try to get out to Boundary Bay to see if I can get a few more bird photos into my portfolio. There is just that little something with regards to nature and wildlife photography that always makes photography addictive; whether it's the ever-changing venues or the multiple subjects that you can focus on, or the thrill of being able to commune with wild creatures. But it's what drives me to pursue wildlife photography.

Also set up a link to a countdown on the Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4 G EF-ID VR. Showing me how long it's going to take to get that lens. So looking forward to it as the photography options will take off as a result of the purchase of that lens.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year with plenty of photography opportunities. Happy Shooting.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from us at FalconRose Photography.

The Year In Review - FalconRose Photography

It has been an absolutely fun 2012 with regards to "Maniac With Camera". Nearly reaching the completion of the full year (the post a day challenge) with my blog has been one of the highlights of my photography career. I'll be cutting back the pace of the posts on the blog this year concentrating on my photography and on the trips that I take with the car that we now have. There will be plenty of opportunity for more photography, and that is what I will be focussing on to show you in 2013.

My Best of 2012

There will be a purchase of a TC-20EIII in 2013 and the saving of funds for the eventual purchase in 2014 of the Nikon AF-S 600mm f/4 VR super-telephoto; a purchase that will range with taxes the cost of almost $10,500. This will undoubtedly bring a change in the calibre of photography of wildlife photography that I can bring to the table here. The purchase of this lens is going to be one of the best purchases I will have ever made in the progression of this business.

I have committed to wildlife photography as my passion and career choice. The purchase of equipment will thus reflect that and support that decision. It will allow me to get the photos that I know I'm capable of getting and start me on the journey to being a professionally published wildlife photographer. I look forward to sharing that journey with you. And if there is one thing I can ask my readers of this blog. Please mention my blog to your friends and let the readership of this blog grow. I hope to bring videos and other interesting tutorials into the makeup of this blog down the road. Maybe I'll be able to sponsor a field trip to places like George C. Reifel for photography for those who might be interested. All of those things are interesting ideas. But in order to do that, the readership of this blog must go up and right now, that means my current readership numbering 12 must rise exponentially. Thank you to everyone who has supported FalconRose Photography throughout this year. We appreciate your support.

Happy Shooting!

Did You Get My Best Side?

I've Got My Eye On You - December 14, 2012

Soaring Gull - December 14, 2012

Merry Christmas To All

And May You All have a Wonderful and Prosperous New Year!

Happy Shooting to all of you in 2013!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Pursuing Further Photography Knowledge (with magazines)

One of the most important things about wildlife photography is continually updating your knowledge. It is the rare photographer that "knows all". There are many books and magazines that can be read, but the few that I've found that have really helped me out as an advanced photographer are the following two magazines.

Outdoor Photography Canada is a regional print magazine that deals with wildlife photography in Canada. It has informative articles on both photography in general and wildlife/nature/landscape photography. It is an industry specific magazine, unlike other magazines such as Popular Photography and Shutterbug. Digital Photo Pro seems to be geared towards portraiture and weddings. If you are reading this blog, you probably are more interested in wildlife photography or landscape photography.

The other magazine that deals with wildlife/nature/landscape photography is Outdoor Photographer magazine, which despite its similar name, has no relation to OPC. As of late, I have stopped picking up every month at the newstand, due to the magazine's repetitive fascination with a) Ansel Adams and b) it's constant articles on the joys of HDR. I understand Ansel Adams is the god of landscape photography, shooting many of his beautiful black and white landscapes with his 4x5 view camera.

But wildlife photography is a whole different "animal - no pun intended" than landscape photography and there doesn't seem to be many wildlife articles in Outdoor Photographer Magazine as it also concentrates on "travel photography" which is even more of a different genre than outdoor photography which also delves into protraiture as well as landscape photography.

PHOTOGraphic Magazine is a tutorial magazine put out by Shutterbug and it gives you lessons on how to get the most out of your photography with the tutorials by Jim Zuckerman, George Schaub, Joe Farace and others. Those are names that are familiar to anyone who is familiar with photography and to those who are well attuned with photography, they can recognize just from the style of photo, who took them. These articles in the PHOTOGraphic magazine are tailored to help beginning and advanced photographers advance in their knowledge of photography to take the skills gleaned from the pages of the magazine into their own work. Reading these magazines will form an added supplement to anyone who is thinking of taking a photography course. The more you build on your foundation of photography knowledge, the better your photography will become. These magazines can be found at any reputable newstand. I usually get mine from either Chapters, London Drugs or Black Bond Books.

Happy shooting!

Crystal Angel - December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Stormi Portrait - December 21, 2012

Stormi with SB-600 off-camera (remote command mode) Speedlight on floor aimed at her face at 45 degrees; a close-in portrait. ©2012 FalconRose Photography - want to get Capture NX2 or Lightroom 4 with Nik Viveza. This was done with a Nikon D300s/70-300mm f/4-5.6 G (non-VR) basic telephoto zoom lens. Post-processed with Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.

Flying Seagull - December 14, 2012

Richmond Sunset - December 14, 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Personable Crow - December 14, 2012

After a few months off from photographing birds and concentrating on my son's hockey, I've gone back to picking up the 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII to photograph birds. I don't know if it was a hiatus or what, but the inspiration that I got from the photos on 500px was no end of frustration due to the length of lens required to get the shots that I want in my mind's eye. And I threw up my hands and said "why bother shooting and wasting frames on photo-ideas that aren't going to work until I get the lens I need." We are working on the 600mm + TC-14EII (1.4x teleconverter) purchase and hopefully by close to the end of 2014 (around September in time for November 2014 and Harrison Mills, I should have that lens in hand.

This crow was absolutely accomodating with my camera by using the 2004 Impala 4-door sedan that I have for a "rolling blind". It was curious enough to venture close to the vehicle despite the big black eye staring at it from the driver's side window.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Hey! No Fair! Coach!! - December 8, 2012

Chris trying to stop the one of the coaches on a defensive checking drill. Poor Chris! Just doesn't have the arms length to poke check the puck away from the 5'10" tall coach. Oh well!

2 on 1 - December 8, 2012

Chris WarmUp #5 - December 8, 2012

Chris Hockey Warmup #4 - December 8, 2012

Chris Hockey Warmup #3 - December 8, 2012

Easier To Build Up A Boy... - December 8, 2012

When one hears about the Newtown, Connecticut shootings committed by the son of the teacher that was killed today; one often wonders how much influence we have on our children as parents. I often think of this sign at the arena that my son goes to every weekend to play hockey. My son has always wanted me to come out and watch him play hockey. I am not the most sociable person in the world and I hate being around crowds of people. However being a part of your children's life is probably the most important task you can have as a parent.

I wonder how much resentment has built up from the perpetrator of those crimes today. My questions are, instead of vilifying the perpetrator, was he ignored, was he minimized, was he in the least bit abused as a child. What was the motivation for this heinous crime; a crime that has taken the lives of 20 children and 8 adults. I don't condone how this perpetrator lashed out. I believe that the fact that he killed was not right and that the crime was especially horrific since it involved 20 innocent children. No person deserves to die at the hands of another. There is no excuse. But was there another way? Could he have received the help he could have needed before he felt that it was necessary to lash out?

This sign pretty much says it all: "it is easier to build a boy than to mend a man". By the time we get around to mending; it's usually too late. I'll leave this post for you all to think on.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Rest In Peace, Diane.

Tuning into my Facebook account today, I just found out that Diane Loomer, my conductor and choral director, when I used to sing with the Amabilis Singers, passed away yesterday after a short illness. The last time I saw Diane was 2010, when I went to see the reunion Christmas concert from members of the choir and to shoot photography for the concert as a former member of the Amabilis Singers.

CBC - Arts and Entertainment article marking her life and passing.

Diane was a vibrant personality and she made everyone around her inspired by her love of music and choral singing. I can still remember "The Mahler Song" that the Amabilis Singers came up with on a whim while we were singing for the massed choirs with the Mahler 8th Symphony. That was a treat to do. I sang with the Amabilis Singers during my stint at Douglas College in 1990-1992 taking music. Unfortunately, I chose to get out of music (because I didn't have the talent in music) because I wasn't achieving the levels that others were capable of doing with a lot less effort.

When you create an image of someone, you never know exactly when you will have taken a "last photo" of a person. They had asked me to photograph Diane at the podium speaking and conducting the choir. These were the instructions given to me and as a former member of the Amabilis Singers I tried my best to follow them to the letter. I wanted to capture Diane at her absolute best, to capture her vibrant personality and I feel I succeeded in these two photographs of her.

The origin of these two photos came about when two years ago, I received an invitation to the reunion Christmas concert with the Amabilis Singers who were looking for singers to sing with their massed alumni choir. Unfortunately my voice had completely gone to "heck in a handbasket" after that and I was unable to sing. So I opted to photograph the concert instead in my capacity as a photographer.

Diane was happy for my new career path as a photographer (rather than a singer). Her words to me, if I recall correctly, were "everyone has their own path". Little did I know that I would photograph Diane Loomer for the first and LAST time that day. Yesterday I saw an obituary in the paper saying that she had passed away after a short illness. The choral community of British Columbia has sustained a heavy loss as she was an inspirational and joyful person who gave of her time and her efforts to improving the choral community.

This is a deep loss for the music community at large and for all those who have come into contact with Diane Loomer. But even more so is the loss of a wife to husband, Dr. Richard Loomer, and the loss of a mother to her son. She will deeply be missed.

I will choose to remember Diane in these two pictures, doing the things she loved and inspiring others to become the best that they could be in choral singing. I will remember my time under her tutelage as a choral singer and I will remember her in this way. A vibrant, caring instructor who lived and breathed singing at her absolute best when she was in front of a choir. A vibrant presence like hers will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace, Diane Loomer, you were loved and you will be missed deeply.

Chris' Warm-Up Drills - December 9, 2012

It's an actual Zamboni! - December 9, 2012

Thursday, December 6, 2012

FalconRose Photography - We have our own Blog!

A lot of the images that I put on Maniac With Camera, my personal photography blog never make it to the FalconRose Photography blog. The FalconRose Photography blog - also powered by Blogger, is the creme de la creme of my photography. Please check it out at

This is also where my photos from 500px are featured under the headings New Photos For Sale.

Please check my FalconRose Photography blog. Currently it sits at 1 follower, I'd like to see that expand to more than 10 followers as I have 12 on my Maniac With Camera blog.

Thanks a bunch and Happy Shooting

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Gift Ideas for Photographers

As the Holiday Season rapidly approaches, you may have a photographer in your circle of friends that you exchange presents with. Many of you may take photos recreationally. But no matter what your skill level, no matter how deep the passion for photography is, there are gifts that can be bought for for relatively inexpensive costs.

Most of you have seen the camera prices that camera stores are charging to purchase a DSLR or an advanced compact camera such as a Nikon P7100 or a Canon G11. Those prices are insane and best left for the significant other in the family provided that significant other is supportive of the photographer's venture/hobby. With camera prices ranging from $200-$8,000 and lenses ranging from $149.99 all the way up to $10,900; this is a purchase best left up to the photographer or their significant other. But there are other expenses that a photographer incurs that can be greatly reduced at Christmas time if his/her friends pitch in and get the little things that count. Here are five ideas. This is by no means: the definitive list, however, it will give you a good start to having some gift ideas for that photographer you know.

1. Memory Cards. Cost: Between $30-$60. Memory Cards are a definite must for any photographer. Most photographers usually need a spare memory card for their photographer's bag. The best cards to get are the Lexar Pro or the Sandisk Pro cards. There are two types of cards generally used by digital cameras. The first photo being a SD card ((SDHC 8GB and higher, SDXC for 32GB and higher)- you need to check the camera by date of production to see if your friend's camera will take that memory card - use Digital Photography Review otherwise known as DPReview for short) and the 2nd being Compact Flash or CF cards. At one point Sony had their own memory card. I'm sure they got wise to the fact that the rest of the world used only two proper types of memory cards and promptly cut production of their "memory-sticks". These combine reliability with speed. Cheaper cards are a risk, but they are good for those who are weekend snappers. I would say 8GB is a good compromise between capacity and price, since you can usually get 8GB for a relatively inexpensive price, if you end up with a card getting corrupted you only lose 8GB worth of shots as opposed to a whole shoot and they're the first to price-drop at Christmastime or during Boxing Day clearouts. Hey, in my family, Boxing Day is Christmas. That's when you can stock up on cards for $20.00 each. $60 will get you three. It's the thought that counts, right?

2. Batterys/Chargers Cost: Batteries: Between $60-$249.99/Chargers: Between $80-$249.99. Depending on the camera, they can be operated by either AA batteries or by different types of Li-Ion batteries specific to the camera. The best way to find this out is learn the brand and model of your friend's camera (this will involve some deception - Just ask what kind of camera the friend has - this will give you enough info to google the battery or charger). There hasn't been a photographer on this planet who hasn't sworn up and down that they couldn't use an extra battery or two or sworn about forgetting their charger at home when they go on the road. It's always nice to have a battery charger in your camera bag and they'll appreciate you for the gesture.

3. Remote Timer Shutter-Release CordCost: Between $40-$199.99 Most advanced photographers tinker around with long exposure photography. Most cameras only go up to about 2 min. on their onboard timers. Again, this purchase will involve some deception like the batter/charger present. The brand/model information will be enough to either google the information or just take that info to a camera store and they will be able to find it for you. Not to mention this device is uniquely capable in keeping vibration blur out of the photographer's image while it is on a tripod. Even with a tripod; using the onboard camera shutter button will be enough to impart some blur into the image. Using a remote shutter-release cord will remove that blur that comes from tapping on the camera's shutter button.

4. Monitor Color Calibration Device - The Spyder Pro Cost: Between $149.99 - $249.99. This device is used to calibrate the color on the monitor display so that the adjustments the photographers makes to the photograph are color-accurate. This is especially important if the photographer is a do-it-yourself kind of photographer and prints his own photographs from a color photo-printer. (Don't ask about the color photo-printer. They don't come cheap. Think in the price range of a good professional lens. Unless you're extremely generous or you're rich or both: in which case: "Can I be your friend?")

5. Advanced Photo-Editing Programs Cost: Between $149.99 - $249.99 Depending on the type of camera, the suggested programs will work with practically every camera. the newer types will require updates to their software which is usually provided free of charge by the company. You can't go wrong in gifting these advanced photo programs. Lightroom 4, Nikon Capture NX2, Aperture. These photo editing programs if bought for the photographer will be able to bring out that distinctive attention-grabbing "oomph" in the photo. The brilliant color when boosted (most photographers use that knowledge that they have gained from 10s of thousands of shutter actuations and photographs to know just how to bring out that color in-camera). Most digital images require that last little tweaking in the photo-editor program to really bring out the image. So this kind of present will help the photographer immensely.

No, photography is not a cheap hobby or occupation. And yes, the prices will scare the living daylights out of the average snapper. But your photographer friend will thank you for it. And by the way, if you're the type that freaks out at these kind of prices. Just get your photographer friend some socks. Nice warm neoprene socks. Every photographer needs socks.

Happy Shooting and Happy Holidays!