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Friday, February 28, 2014

"You Miss 100% Of The Shots You Don't Take"

I am and will always be a hockey fan. Wayne Gretzky once said "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.". And that quote from the world's most famous hockey player can be translated into the photography world. You miss 100% of the shots that you do not pull out your camera for. What does that mean? You have to get out and shoot. Just as hockey players fire the puck at the goal hundreds of thousands of times to develop their shot and their accuracy, so do photographers. Your accuracy builds up on the number of shots you take. That doesn't mean you fire off a hundred thousand shots without thinking. Each shot you take, you step back, you assess what quality of image you obtained and make fine-tune adjustments and each time you do that, that etches into your memory. Like hockey players adjust their shots when they come up against a goalie like Dominic Hasek - they learn what style of goalie he is, and what shots will work from what angle. Do they beat him glove or stick side? Do they go for the shot over his shoulder or through the five-hole? Do they fake him out and get him out of position so that they have an open net?

Photography is like hockey in that you learn what works in a given situation and be flexible in your skills. You have to be able to get the shot in any given situation. My favorite landscape scenes are snow. But in the Fraser Valley, it's not feasible as our wet Pacific Coastal Rainforest and mild temperatures cause snow to be shunted off to the north and east of us. So when we had that freak 3 day snowfall, I took the opportunity and went out with camera in hand. This is what Gretzky means when he says you have to take the shot or else you don't get the goal. If I had complained about it being too cold or thought that "ah, there'll be another time", it would have resulted in no photos and no 500px popularity. You take the opportunities that you are given and you just might come up with a golden moment.

Above all, keep it fun and Happy Shooting.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

My Photo Hit POPULAR on 500px.

After spending a few years on 500px, I'm finding that this seems to be the best platform for photo presentation. In fact, I use 500px as my portfolio for my images. I find that my exposure is slow,yet steady. In fact, it appears that my photos popularity rate has been growing. One of my photos made it in to the POPULAR (over 80% PULSE) rating. Hopefully this is a sign of better things to come.

As a photographer, one enjoys it when one's photos get a very popular rating which translates to the fact that people like the photo. And people liking the photo hopefully will mean photo sales. It kind of works like that. My next goal is to get my "AFFECTION" (how many votes needed by people who like your stuff) up to over 1000. Right now it's hovering at 386. It was hovering at 341 for the longest time and my photos were stale at the time. According to 500px. Affection equals "a total of Likes. Keep in mind that Likes from users who are not signed in are not counted towards your Affection, but are counted towards your total Likes, so the numbers may not match."

So far that affection rate has been pushed up by 40 because of the new "snow" pictures that I put up in the past day and a half.

In fact, my latest shot posted has had 7 likes in the past 44 minutes.

At least it means that I am doing something right in my photography. And I'm glad - it means that my photography is progressing.

Just had to throw that in there.

In all seriousness, I'm glad that my photography is making some people sit up and take notice and I'm glad that I'm able to do so in such a public portfolio site as 500px. Hopefully this is the harbinger of better things to come as my photography improves further.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Return To Green Timbers - A Sunny Day.

Returned to Green Timbers this morning as I woke up to what promised to be a sunny day. After I dropped my daughter off at daycare, I headed for Green Timbers and walked the park looking for photography opportunities. I also took the opportunity to go see Holland Park and got some photos while there as well.

Snow is a rarity in the Fraser Valley and one has to take advantage of it while it is here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Snow Day at Green Timbers

For the past three (almost four) months, I've been trying to fight off a nasty throat infection that has curtailed my attempts to do any photography being lethargic from coughing so much. Now that I've gotten my energy back somewhat, I find that it's high time to get out the camera and start shooting again - Cabin Fever.

It's been snowing for three days straight so far and I've really found that Lower Mainland BC, which normally doesn't get a whole lot of snow has turned into a winter wonderland and this happens in February. So I'm really enjoying the chance to pull out the camera and photograph something that I don't normally do. So I went out this morning after dropping my daughter off at daycare and went to Green Timbers Park to do some photography.

As you can see my hands got very cold. Took a photograph to show how red my left hand got when I was out shooting.

The info-center at the parking entrance to the park was covered in snow was the trail marker.

I tried blowing off some snow off my polarizer filter and created an artificial fog effect

Snow-covered branches on the trail.

The poor mallards were freezing their tailfeathers off. I'm sure they weren't expecting this cold-snap.

...the lake. The snow was coming down quite heavily at the time and it caused the filter to have droplets of water on it as the snow impacted the filter surface.

This is a panorama of Green Timbers Park.

This snowfall was an opportunity not wasted as the Fraser Valley rarely gets snow during the winter time and most of the previous times this has happened, I've usually been too sick as a dog to go out. So I wasn't going to waste this opportunity.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Hockey Mornings

Friday mornings are early. 5:15 AM wake-ups so that my son can get to hockey practice. Sometimes I just stay up the whole night which then does a number on me so I do what I can to rest up. Then it is a quick five-seven minute drive to Surrey North Arena. The Arena parking is now pay parking but we can get a parking pass for 3 hours if we're utilizing the arena by registering our license plate at the arena parking kiosk. These shots are just iPhone snaps. I hardly ever take my DSLR up to the arena, however one of these days, I'll do so and capture some of the sights around the arena. The exterior of the Surrey North Arena is one of the nicer ones.

This is what looking out the sliding doors of Surrey North Arena at 6:25AM looks like. Still too early for my brain to work.

This is the lobby of the Arena-Recreation Center

Walking through these doors to the dressing rooms is what the kids do every Friday morning for their practices.

This is the change area to Arena #2 (there are two ice sheets in Surrey North Arena. Needless to say, it's much warmer than in the Arena 1 changerooms.

And this is what we parents freeze our butts off our children can enjoy and learn our nation's great sport of hockey.