Wednesday, November 23, 2011

By The Light Of The Moon

The other night I was in Grand Bend and had some spare time. My family was watching a Rom-Com and I thought I'd go outside and try some lunar photography. To be honest, photographing the moon is a lot harder than I had thought it would be, and even after working for so long and trying a few different tactics, I still didn't end up with an image to be proud of. these two aren't awful, but they certainly aren't art either. I was using a tripod (of course) and using shutter speeds of up to 30 seconds. Even with all that time, there still wasn't enough light to satisfy my original photographic ideas. What I did end up with were a few creepy, dark photos.
Archipelago Photography- islands of thought and image, connected with a name

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Preggo Pepper

Imagine my surprise the other morning when I go to make lunch (Ham and Red Pepper sandwiches) and I cut into my beautiful red pepper only to find that there is a baby pepper inside! I was in a moral conundrum! I had just eaten a pregnant pepper! I know I shouldn't care because it's a vegetable and lacking sentience, but it's still a little strange.
(FYI I didn't eat the baby, I kept it)
Archipelago Photography- islands of thought and image connected with a name

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Well, Duh!

I've had Photoshop Elements for a while. And when I got it, I uninstalled the mediocre free photo-editing software I had, and switched to using photoshop. Obviously. But for some strange reason, I kept using free software for HDR (High Dynamic Range) and panorama stitching. A short while ago, I looked for comparable software within photoshop. And today I found it. Being attached to completely legit Adobe Photoshop, they are so much better quality than the free software is. Not that it isn't good for beginners. It really is quite helpful when your hobby is on a budget. But as I am looking at making a career of this, it's nice to see that Photoshop can be helpful.
The first photo I made today in photoshop and it is an HDR photo made of 3 exposures last winter.
The second is a panorama that i would not have been able to accomplish without photoshop's cloning and healing brushes. when you get the hang of them, they are invaluable!
Archipelago Photography: insulae de cogitum lumenque, maritus cum nomen

Friday, October 21, 2011

Harvest To Holiday Festival

Look for Archipelago Photography at Wesley Knox's Harvest To Holiday Festival on Saturday November 5th from 10am-12pm.
We'll be selling photo cards and a few framed 8x10's. Also accepting commissions and event assignments as always.
Remember, if you ever want to purchase something you see on this blog, get in touch with me ASAP and we can work something out. Keep Smiling,

The RAW Deal

Today, I have for you a little bit of an information session. This was just recently really explained to me so I felt that it might be helpful for me to (try to) explain it to you.
The difference between RAW and JPEG.
JPEG is the format that nearly every camera uses for their photos. When you make a photo, the computer inside the camera processes the image and gives it certain pre-determined qualities that are either programmed by you or automatic. Qualities like White Balance, Saturation, Contrast, Colour Space and things like that. All those are given to your photo and all of the 'information' related to other white balances, etc. are discarded. That's why if you have a 10 megapixel camera your photos end up at 3 or 4 megapixels.
RAW is exactly what it sounds like. Completely raw. All of those qualities and adjustments are not made to the photo inside the camera. It leaves all of those options open for changing later. The files end up being just the size they were advertised at. Which makes RAW photos much larger than JPEG. It also does mean that they can't be previewed or used for things until they are processed in photoshop. It takes a lot longer but the difference is often quite astounding.
Above are two photos, the first a JPEG and the second a JPEG made from a RAW. The difference at first might not look like much but when examined closely it really is quite the improvement. So next time you're out and about, give RAW a try. It just may surprise you.
Archipelago Photography; islands of thought and image, connected with a name.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Skyway Fades

On this blog there is no shortage of posts related to music. It's because music is a large part of my life. It's something I am very passionate about. As is my brother. Most of my music related posts have had to do with one iteration of his band. The latest iteration, named Skyway Fades, is him (Trevor), his bassist (Matt), the singer (Josh) and the guitarist (Jose). The last shoot we did was especially challenging. It was dark and fast-moving (like all band shoots) but especially so. And also it was a very small space. So I couldn't just dial up my ISO and Shutter Speed. It wouldn't be enough. Next option is flash. I just got myself a new flash this summer which is excellent to be honest. I love it. So, I gave it a go. And it was awful. They were too shiny (due to the gleam of the instruments and the posters in the background). Not to mention that I was sending high powered flashes into the eyes of musicians as they play. Not the best idea. So I played around with bouncing my flash; a technique I learned about at a Henry's photo conference a few years ago. And man, did it work. The flash was being bounced off a white ceiling and it worked rather well for creating natural looking light. So, when your flash is giving you trouble, just bounce it around.
Archipelago Photography- insulae de cogitum lumenque, maritus cum nomen.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

From Komoko to KeeMoKee

The weekend before last my Youth Group and a few others went camping at KeeMoKee. A lovely little camp. And one of the best parts for me was that I was partly in charge and I got to spend as much time as I wanted just taking pictures and running events. It was great. One of the events I got to run was a photo scavenger hunt. I found items around the camp that the kids would have to find and take a picture of. Then I gave them a clever hint to figure out what it actually was. It was a big hit at camp.
The first photo is a group shot, made possible by my tripod and a 10 second timer.
The second is a photo of our cabin, lit wonderfully, by mid morning sunlight through a very green tree-cover for this time of year.
The last one is a photo of three guys playing one of the kids favourite games, Zap.
Archipelago Photography- Islands of thought and image, connected with a name.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Trip to The Market

A large part of being a photographer, and a first rate uncle, is being able to tell when to make a photo, and when not to (in relation to taking care of kids). For example, if something happens to the child, you don't sit around and make a photo. It doesn't matter if that would be the best photo you've ever made, you go help the kid if they're hurt. That's no question. But say the kid is angry, or a little upset, but not injured. If there's a photo opportunity there, take it. Don't sacrifice a photo fro something that may not even help at all. It's not really complex, it's just about good morality. Putting the well-being of the child above your photos. It's really pretty simple.
So that's my lesson of the day, with a series of photos from a trip myself, my mother and my wonderful two neices took to The Covent Garden Market this past weekend. The girls had a great time and I got a few good photos of them and some local architecture as well. Overall, a wonderful day. I'm getting better and better at balancing a camera with a life.
Archipelago Photography- islands of thought and image, connected with a name.

Friday, September 16, 2011

What a Wonderful Day For A Wedding

This summer, my second cousin got married. The bride was my Mom's cousins daughter, and yet she's just as close to me as my 1st cousins. Families are strange like that. So, anyway, she got married, and my whole family was invited. It was pretty great. The wedding was at a tiny little church and the reception was at a golf course. A good time, to be sure. The first photo is called With This Ring, the minister showing The Ring to everyone. The rest don't have names, but are good enough to show nonetheless. The second is of my Mom and her cousin in front of the little chapel. The third is the ceremonial throwing of the bouquet to determine who will get married next. See the girl on the left, holding her dress and booking it towards the bouquet? That's my sister. Looks like we may be doing this again sometime soon.
The last one is all three of my sisters (middle and right biological, left in-law) doing the macarena. Even funnier in person.
Archipelago Photography- islands of thought and image, connected with a name.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Summer Miscellaneous

This summer I made a bunch of photos. And by a bunch I mean about 1700. Which when you look at it, isn't all that many. For me at least. Considering I had a 3 day vacation up north, a job with unlimited photo opportunities and attended a wedding, it's pretty reasonable. (If you want to see some wedding photos, have some patience they'll be up right after this.)
These are just a few randoms of the summer. The first and third are from a trip my mother, sister, a few friends and I took to this quaint pioneer village. The first being of a barn hoist, and the third of a sketchy attic. The middle photo is one I made during the greatest of the summer storms. The 'fountain' in the street is actually the manhole cover popping off and the rainwater from below pouring up into the street. Pretty intense actually. If you are wondering about the ambient lighting, it is actually sheet lightning (in reality the sky was pitch black).
Archipelago Photography; insulae de cogitum lumenque, maritus cum nomen.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


In a little park near Peterburough are the Warsaw Caves. And as menacing as that sounds, you should see how menacing they look. This is one of the places my family and I stopped at on the way home from our camping trip. These caves are the epitome of claustrophobia. They are small, dank, dark, and cold. As you start descending into the caves bit by bit you start to wonder "Is it just me or is it getting much much colder?" It's not you. In one of the caves, aptly called The Ice Cave, there is ice that doesn't melt well into July. Yeah, winter ice, in July. If you come looking for a big roomy, fun cave exploration, you have missed it. I would only recommend this to the most brave of non-claustrophobes. But if you are looking for a thrill, looking for something to test your steel senses, I would highly recommend this park. The caves are really something to behold. But one warning, do not bring your camera in. Even if it's one of those water-proof, shockproof, invincible cameras, don't bring it. If you drop it, it'll be gone. If you want to have anything even vaguely exposed you'll need flash, and that would blind you and everyone else in the cave. It's just not worth it. (Notice my photos are from the outside?)
Archipelago Photography: islands of thought and image, connected with a name.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


After a great summer of relaxing and a bit too much work, I'm back to the blog. And I have half a summers worth of photos to show you. first off, some photos from my family vacation. We started off to Toronto, so that my parents could have a visit to Ikea while my sister and I visited the Fan Expo (A comic book convention for those not in the know). After that we went north up past Peterborough to a campground called Silent Lake and stayed there for about 3 days. While there we visited the nearby Petroglyphs which, while looking very very cool, was a bit of a bummer for me, as there were no photos allowed (because of the religious significance of the drawings). On the way home from Silent Lake we stopped by a town called Burleigh Falls and The Peterborough Canoe Museum (of special significance to us, as we had brought our family canoe with us camping). That pretty much ended the trip. Overall it was a great time canoeing, swimming, making fires, and just lounging about. I ended up making a solid four hundred photos that week. Here are a just a few.
Archipelago Photography: insulae de cogitum lumenque, maritus cum nomen.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


One of my favourite opportunities for photography (though arguably one of the more dangerous ones) is going on photography trips on bicycle. If you are very careful with your equipment and your cycling, it can offer some very rewarding photo opportunities.
Archipelago Photography: islands of thought and image connected with a name.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Part 2: :(

And the flip side to the last post, is that children (especially two year olds!) are prone to temper tantrums. Its a fact of life.
Archipelago Photography: insulae de cogitum lumenque, maritus cum nomen

Part 1: :D

Children are so often smiley. This post is all about little smiles. :)
Archipelago Photography: insulae de cogitum lumenque, maritus cum nomen

Walker Daycamp

Every summer, my mom takes a break from her job babysitting kids, to have a bit of a summer holiday. So me and my siblings (this summer, my sister Maggie) take care of the kids. We usually have up to 5 children to take care of, between the ages of 1 and 12. This last week, we had nine. NINE KIDS. It was nuts. And we realized that instead of a daycare, we've become more of a day camp. Best job ever.
Naturally, I haven't put my camera down, spare to change a few diapers of course. And so photos are made. Lots. And cute ones to boot.
Archipelago Photography: islands of thought and image, connected with a name

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Last week I managed to convince a friend of mine, Rachelle, to do a portrait session with me. So we did the session and it went swimmingly. It was fun, comfortable, and I got a lot of great stuff. Two big changes that I saw in this session; The equipment (my new lens), and the model. My friend that I photographed is actually an actress. And boy, did that make a difference! It was a lot smoother and more natural in instructing poses and ideas for photos. After all, one of the main goals is dramatic photos, and it turned out an actress was exactly what is needed!
Archipelago Photography; insulae de cogitum lumenque, maritus cum nomen

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


This past weekend my church, Wesley-Knox, went camping at Pearce Williams (if you recall, the camp I worked at last summer). It was a great weekend. So relaxing and fun. And it gave me a chance to break in my new lens. I did a lot of switching back and forth between lenses depending on the situation, which means that I'm gonna have to start getting my camera cleaned occasionally. Because as careful as I am, I'm sure that there is some dirt getting into the camera when I switch. The new lens (EF 75-300mm USM) has afforded me a lot of new opportunities including many more candid photos. Also, some super-close portraits and some killer action shots were mine this weekend, because of my new equipment. I think this is the start of a new era of photography for Archipelago.
Archipelago Photography; islands of thought and image, connected with a name.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

New Lens!

Today, as a graduation present, I was given by my parents a new lens! It's a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM, and I am so happy. I've been fooling around with it a bit today, and I plan on using it some tonight on a portrait session I am doing. So far I've been very impressed with the massive range of distance I can now cover. This is my first telephoto lens and I'm very impressed with all the things I can now do with it. But to begin with, baby portraits.
Archipelago Photography: insulae de cogitum lumenque, maritus cum nomen

Monday, June 20, 2011

Second Best

Sometimes it all comes down to instinct. If something has caught your eye as photo worthy, it's because your eye is telling your mind that it has the potential for art. And sometimes that first photo, if thought-through and deliberate enough, is all you need. If you get the exact aim you were looking for the first time, why make twenty more? Sometimes it can yield better results. But more often than we'd like to think, the first shot is exactly what we want, and the photos go downhill from there. But, this isn't me saying to snap-one-and-run. It's a very good practice to continue altering and changing your frame and exposure from the original, but when analyzing later, pay special attention to the first photo. It's often the one that best captures the original intent you had when photographing. Such was the case with these two, both made this weekend.
Archipelago Photography: islands of thought and image, connected with a name