Apr 072012

Tip-toeing about the lot enclosing this dilapidated barn I was on edge. There was a small house about 20 feet away, but I couldn’t tell for sure if it was inhabited. There was no-one about to ask if I could wander about the property, but I knew there would be some good photos about. Sure enough, there were.

This was about as far as I was willing to go down this dirt road. If someone had pulled in I’d have preferred to be visible from the road. I wouldn’t want anyone thinking I was a prowler hiding from view. It’d also allow me to walk straight over to them to say good morning and hope they were as friendly as everyone else I’d met around Niagara-on-the-Lake. As it turned out, nobody showed up.

This photo required a slightly different treatment to the usual. It was so bright that I realized my exposure bracketing would need to extend to -4. In order to get my Canon 5d Mk II to take this, I had to set it to auto bracket the following: -4, -2, 0. After this I fired off an additional three frames at -3,-1,+1. I took a look at the exposures and realized that the +1 had captured all the details in the shadows and I wouldn’t need to go any further. I combined these in Photomatix prior to polishing up in Photoshop.

The title of this photo is inspired by the Beatles’s. I had to go into work today and The White Album is my go-to when I need to get my head down and get some work done. I just decided to give it another listen so found it on YouTube. As I tried to think of a name for this photo John Lennon sang the line “the sun is up, the sky is blue” in Dear Prudence. I decided that was fitting.

If you’re ever in need of a bit of The White Album and don’t have it to hand, I found it all here:



Dilapidated wood and corrugated metal barn on a dirt road with a bright sunburst sky in Ontario, Canada.

Jan 142012

I’ve made it to Prague! I’m staying in a pretty cool little hotel/hostel called the Mosaic House Hotel. It’s got a very tempting bar downstairs in the lobby. I did set out with my camera earlier but it turned out to be more of a scouting trip. The sun set surprisingly early, it dipped below the horizon by 4pm. However, at 5pm it still looked like the sun had just gone down. It was quite strange. I think I’ve found some good shots and plan on going out tomorrow morning to get them before there’s so many people about.

“At the crossroad, which way to go?” sounds like it could be a line from a blues song, maybe it is. This is another shot from Rwanda, and if it looks vaguely familiar it’s because you’ve seen part of it at the top of this page. Just to the right of this shot is an orphanage that we visited. When we got there the kids came running out and greeted us. One even embraced Cameron in an enthusiastic hug. We’d brought a football for them, which they quickly went about playing with, and destroying. We’d been there about twenty minutes when we discovered that the ball had split. Fortunately, Cameron had packed the roll of duct-tape he’d insisted on bringing to Africa. He’d also insisted on bringing parachute cord, which was vindicated when it acted as a belt for me during white water rafting and a chin strap for Soniko’s hat. We got the ball patched up nice and quickly. Then, 2 minutes later, it happened again. Cameron went to work and covered the entire ball in what had to be two layers of duct tape. It’s officially indestructible.

When Cameron saw my banner above all he said was, “Why did you take a picture of a dirt road?”

I didn’t have much of an answer at the time but now I remember. I set up for this shot because I liked the contrast between the wet and dry tracks. I got all set up and a truck decided to drive up the track on the left, moving me aside and sloshing the water about as it went. I thought it was going to ruin the shot. To the contrary, the truck pushed the water up so that the wet soil met the dry at the midpoint of my frame. Excellent timing.

Two dirt roads meet, one dry and one wet, forming a triangle of green in the Rwanda countryside with the mountains in the distance.