The Beauty of Summer and Winter Combined

I took this picture on October 24th, 2013 during the first light snowfall of the season. I liked how it combined the beauty of summer which was still evident in our gardens with the beauty of winter which was provided by the snow. I know some might have been just as happy if the snow did not come, but living here in Canada snow is inevitable so we might as well accept it and enjoy its beauty. I hope you like the photo. It was taken from my deck in the Stonecroft community in New Hamburg, Ontario.


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PIKTO – The Art of Connecting Through Portraiture – V. Tony Hauser

Today I had the pleasure of participating in “The Art of Connecting Through Portraiture” workshop organized by PIKTO and led by internationally exhibited portrait photographer V. Tony Hauser. The workshop provided an excellent learning experience and was well worth attending.  Although much of the learning came from the workshop leader, individual discussion with the twelve other participants and working with them on the exercises contributed to the learning experience.

The exercises involved taking portraits of individuals, couples and family groups where the participants had the opportunity to be both the subjects and the photographer. My apologies to my wife and two daughters, as I needed a new wife and adopted two daughters and a son to participate in the exercises.

Our homework for the workshop involved selecting some of our best portraits to share with the group. I was pleased I received the best feedback on Julie’s maternity shot and Julie’s backlit profile shot and a special thanks goes to Julie for making it possible for me to attend the workshop. I also received excellent feedback on Jody’s black and white portrait and one of her candle light portraits.

One of the purposes of this blog article is to enable sharing shots taken during the workshop among workshop participants. For example, I would like to see some of the pictures I was in. To facilitate that I created a Flickr (public, invitation only) group “PIKTO October 20 Portrait Workshop”  ( ) This group can also be used to facilitate discussion among workshop participants.  Please ask to join this group so you can upload your pictures to it and download the ones you want.

The photo shown below is a group shot of the workshop participants taken just outside the Toronto Distillery District.


Workshop participants, please acknowledge you have seen this article by commenting on it. I promoted the article on my Bill’s Photography Facebook page. Please visit it and like it if you have a spare moment.

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Sometimes Mistakes Make Good Pictures

I almost deleted the picture shown below when I first looked at it in the camera. I forgot to turn on my main flash so the only light came from my secondary (B channel) flash reflected from an umbrella and a second B channel flash using an EasyGo Speedlite Snoot for hair highlights, thus significantly under exposing the front of the subject. I am glad  I did not delete it as the more I looked at it in Aperture, along with the subject, the more we liked it . The photo is pretty much the way it came from the camera with the exception of some cropping and I believe I tweaked the black levels to darken it slightly. The picture has provided us with some low light ideas we would like to try on our next maternity photo session. I hope you like it.


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You Don’t Have to Look Far to Find an Interesting Picture

I have not been very good about keeping my resolution to take an iPhone picture each day for my blog. Possibly I should  work with someone who is also having difficulty doing something they planned to do so we can motivate and encourage each other. I don’t think I will have to look far, in fact I know someone who is  behind schedule in writing their journal entries who could use and provide encouragement. I should work on that goal as I am impressed with the capabilities of the iPhone camera and camera apps. I am also looking forward to reading the reviews on the Sony QX10 and QX100 smart lenses which will be coming out soon for iPhone and android phones which should add significant power to ones iPhone camera.

Well, back to the picture which was taken when I was enjoying a meal in the Old Spaghetti factory with family and friends. I had already taken pictures of the folks in our party to document the occasion, when I noticed the beautiful designs in the marble table top on which we were eating. I took a couple of shots and this is the one I liked the best. I posted it on Facebook and one of the folks who saw it thought it looked like a satellite image and I agree.


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Family Photos are Fun – Angie & Mike

I had occasion to spend some time with Angie and Mike and their family a while ago. It is always a nice experience to do family pictures although there are challenges to get the little ones looking at the camera. Maybe we should just accept that small children will not always do that and having them looking in different directions is just the way children are. Here is one picture I liked of only the children from the batch.  More of the photos can be seen in Angie and Mike’s gallery on my Bill’s Photography web site.  The pictures in the gallery are a few that I picked but I like to have the folks for whom I am taking the pictures review and pick from all the shots. I find this works best as they see that special expression or mannerism that only a mother or someone who is involved can be aware of.

DSC_0346 - Version 2

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Stonecroft Charity Golf Tournament

I had the pleasure again this year to photograph the 7th Annual Stonecroft Community Charity Golf Tournament. As in previous years the weather presented some challenges but in the end a good time was had by all and the event was ended with a delicious dinner provided by the Grand Valley Golf and Country Club. As the title implies the tournament is held to benefit charity and this year over $8000 was raised for the Bring a Splash Pad to Wilmot project.


Here is a link to additional pictures from the tournament on Flickr.

The tournament also, as it has in the past, provided the opportunity to contribute to my Flickr 100 Strangers project, a photography project to help one improve their portrait photography skills. Thanks to Halie, whose picture is shown below, for helping me with my 100 strangers project. Here is a link to her write up and a link to my 100 strangers project on Flickr.

Stranger # 72 of 100 - Halie

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Sunrise and Fog

Having been impressed with the capabilities of my iPhone 5 Camera Awesome app I made a promise to myself to take a photo with it each day. I must confess that even with the best of intentions I have fallen far short of keeping that promise, but I think the iPhone and app captured some nice shots today.  Unfortunately I can’t even take credit for taking the picture, just the idea to take it and selecting the Camera Awesome treatment after it was taken.  There was a beautiful sunrise and fog driving to Toronto at 6:50 AM this morning, so to be on the safe side I asked my passenger Julie to take a few shots and I believe she got some good ones.

The shot below had the “Rawhide Texture” applied by Camera Awesome which I thought gave it a nice look. I hope you like it.


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Maternity Silhouettes / Profiles

Silhouettes can make for very effective photos and  are quite frequently used in maternity photography to highlight the significant changes which take place during a pregnancy.  I have had the pleasure of working with Julie to document two pregnancies and I wanted to share some pictures from a recent photo session.  I initially thought they were all silhouettes but after doing a Google search I found “a silhouette is defined as a view of an object or a scene consisting of the outline and a featureless interior, with the silhouetted object usually being black” so I guess they are not all technically silhouettes. The fourth image certainly is a silhouette but I guess we’ll have to call the others backlit profile shots. Although not technically silhouettes, I believe they are equally dramatic and effective.  I would appreciate your thoughts. Thank you Julie for your patience as we experimented to create these shots and for letting me share them.  We wish you and your baby a safe and healthy pregnancy as you pass the 18 week mark. Please check out Julie’s Gallery on Bill’s Photography web site for additional photos and more maternity shots to be added soon.


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Candle Light and Reflections

I tried something new during a candle light portrait session with Jody earlier this month by trying to catch a reflection on a piece of plexiglass placed behind the subject. The plexiglass can produce nice reflections when used in front of the subject but using it behind the subject was something new.  Not knowing what the results would be and it is sometimes difficult to validate the image using the on camera screen I was not sure how good the images would be so I only took a few.  I think the results are promising and Jody liked the picture so I think I’ll look for opportunities to practice more with this concept. I hope you like it. Any volunteers?



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Flickr 100 Strangers Project – New Additions – Jenessa and Bob

The Flickr 100 Strangers project has been a rewarding one for me but it only provides its rewards so long as you keep participating in the project and I had not added a portrait for a few months. Jenessa and Bob whose pictures I  included below helped me get started on the project again and reminded me how much fun it is to meet and talk to people you don’t know as is required by the project.  Thanks Jenessa and Bob for helping me with the project. Now the challenge is to finish the project which will take 41 more portraits. Surely I should be able to find 41 more strangers by the end of the summer if I set my mind to it. Only time will tell.

Stranger # 58 of 100 - Jenessa

Link to Jenessa’s Picture and write up on Flickr

Stranger # 59 of 100 - Bob

Link to Bob’s picture and write up on Flickr

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