Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Finding Treasurse

Cabinet full of old bottles and jars in my basement
Fuji X-T1, Fuji 18mm R, ISO 640, f/4, 1/60th sec, bounced flash
When you live in a really old home, you often find yourself thinking of what life was like before you were here. This house is from the 1890's and that's about all we know. There was an addition put on in the 90's, but there is just something very special, welcoming, warming about the century part of the home. It just sparks your soul with happiness and joy and makes you feel very welcome. Could it have been a hotel where weary heads slept on their long journey by horse and buggy? Could it have housed happy families that flourished? One thing is for certain, this house doesn't feel one bit negative, scary, creepy or cold.

In the basement, you have two parts. The large part of the basement belongs to the addition on the house. In recent images of mine, you have seen my progress on trying to refinish this area since there was a flood almost a year ago. The other part is under the century part of the house. It is a typical 1890's basement. Dark, cold, damp and full of creepy crawly critters. While planning some upgrades, I was looking around down there and noticed this awesome old cabinet with all kinds of old bottles. I definitely have plans for this! I think I might bring it up out of the basement and use it as a decoration piece.

One of the bottles stood out to me:

Elders Beverages - Kingston, ON
Fuji X-T1, Fuji 18mm R, ISO 200, f/2, 1/140th sec, vsco
All I know about Elders is that they were a local bottler located on Montreal Street, near Rideau Street. Other than that, I cannot find information about when they opened or closed, but there are images floating around with mention of Elders from at least 1973. If you have information, by all means leave a comment!

Sunday, 14 June 2015

How and when to use a polarizing filter.

Fuji X-T1, Rokinon 12mm, ISO 200, F/8, 1/20th sec, Formatt Hitech 0.9 Soft Edge Grad ND, Formatt Hitech Firecrest 95mm Cir Polarizer

Have you ever used polarized sunglasses and noticed how they reduce reflections, take away some of the atmospheric haze and made blue skies POP and white fluffy clouds look more details? Polarizing filters are very specialized filters that no amount of Photoshop or Lightroom can re-create. Polarizing filters in photography can help with all those mentioned above and some. They can help if you want to shoot through a window or some type of glass, they can help you "see through" the water and get those amazing details from below.

When I found this gorgeous piece of landscape last night, I immediately saw the amazing detail and colours of the old tree's roots under the water. At one time, this tree probably stood fairly tall, maybe the road was that far over and over the years erosion has had its wear and tear on the area.

I had to stop and think about how I could get those details to show up in the image, how could I turn my idea into reality? A circular polarizing filter! I use Formatt Hitech filters exclusively and I highly recommend them.

*Disclaimer* I am not compensated or sponsored by Formatt Hitech in any way

Formatt Hitech Circular Polarizing Filters

It doesn't look like much, but when used properly it can add some punch and drama to otherwise bland images, providing it is used in the right conditions.

By attaching this filter to your lens and rotating the outer ring, you can see the effect happen before your eyes. This allows you to vary the degree of polarization and where it effects scene. For my idea, I rotated it until it revealed the details below the surface of the water in the immediate foreground. It also helped the otherwise bland sky transform into a sky with some detail and contrast.

If you don't have a polarizer in your camera bag, you probably should. But keep in mind, there are some things to remember about using filters on your lens:

  • Make sure you buy a high quality filter with multi-coatings to help reduce flare or glare. Hoya, Heliopan, Formatt Hitech, B+W Filters are a few great brands that have top notch products.

  • Find one that is fairly neutral in it's colour transmission and isn't a warming or cooling polarizer, which can change the white balance or temperature of your image. White balance will be another topic for another day.

  • If you use UV or Clear Protection filters on your lens, remove this filter and put on your polarizer. Stacking filters can cause a reduction of sharpness and possibly vignetting.

  • Also be aware that polarizing filters can and will reduce the amount of light coming in to the cameras sensor up to 2.5 stops. This will reduce shutter speeds and can cause blurry images.

  • There is no real need to use a polarizing filter indoors.

Friday, 12 June 2015

What an end to an adventurous day of storm chasing with my excellent Fuji gear. I grabbed this quick shot from my backyard of the storm cells finally breaking apart and letting some gorgeous sunlight through at the end of the day. The day started like any other, grab a coffee, check my blogs, Flickr, Facebook, Instagram, etc... I am a bit of a social media whore, especially when it comes to putting out my photography in as many places as possible.

Storm warnings were popping up by 7:30 AM. Severe Thunderstorm Warnings and Watches as well as Tornado Watches and Warnings. My good friend Billy Kimmerly and I got into storm chase mode and headed out to see what we could find. Unfortunately the strongest cell of the day got the best of us, but we were able to make the day work for us.

Below is a series of images from that day, documenting what we saw.

All images shot with a Fuji X-T1, Rokinon 12mm f/2.0, processed in Photoshop CC