This journal documents my experiences with a Canon 50D, my first DSLR camera, purchased on Oct. 16, 2008. The camera was end-of-lined by Canon in July 2010 and the 60D was announced.

Friday Foto: Unbearable Lightness


Fri 07 Jan 2011 12:50:09 PM EST

From Pfoto 2011

This photograph is a two-image panorama stitch of the Winter Magic displays at Dundas Square, last month. I was using the 50mm lens and so couldn't get the entire bear in a single frame.

If you want your photograph to be immediately recognizable around the world, as being taken in Toronto, put the CN Tower, City Hall or a TTC streetcar in the background.

Fuji X100 Camera


Sat 08 Jan 2011 00:01:01 PM EST

I look forward to the review of the Fuji Finepix X100 .

I love the retro look, the small size and weight; the f/2.0 wide-angle lens is the icing on the cake. I find that the 50D with the 24mmL lens is a burden to carry every day. I am tempted to buy the Fuji.

Update Tue 25 Jan 2011 01:19:48 PM EST: First look from DPReview.

Neill, Tal, Briot: Essays on Photography


Sat 08 Jan 2011 08:40:24 PM EST

I recently read three essays on photography, two of which agreed with my philosophy:

The first, "Immersion Course", by Willam Neill, noted "One of the keys to develop depth in your work is to observe, and photograph, a chosen landscape for an extended period. The best opportunity is to explore a local nature preserve that you can return to often, during different seasons and times of day."

You will notice that most of my pictures in my Picasa album were taken south of Gerrard Street, east of Church Street, west of Simcoe and north of Front Streets. I still haven't exhausted the photographic possibilities of that area.

The second essay, "Teach Yourself Photography in 80 Years", by Guy Tal, noted "Photography is not about cameras, it is about the expression of stories and life experience, and those can only be painstakingly accumulated over a lifetime of dedicated pursuit."

After reading the third essay, "Rethinking Talent", by Alain Briot. I wrote him an email commenting on it:

I enjoyed reading your essay very much and as I got near the end I kept wondering whether you would mention "luck" at all, and whether you would define "art".

My thoughts kept drifting to luck (as the opposite of talent) because there was an element of luck involved in your getting accepted to the art school. One of my favourite quotes is: "Photography is the only art where it's better to be lucky than talented." (Unfortunately, I don't have an attribution for it.)

I would be interested to know whether you agree with the quote or not.

I think in certain areas of photography, that quote is true-- photo-journalism, for one-- being in the right place at the right time and having a camera with you. But then photo-journalism is not considered art.

He was kind enough to answer me; I have excerpted his email:

Regarding your quote I think luck helps, but you still have to do the work. For me luck is the little bit that pushes things over when I've done the best I can. It usually adds something better, but by itself luck won't make things happen. You still have to be there, be ready, know what you are doing, etc.

Forgotten "Page 3" Girls


Sat 08 Jan 2011 11:59:47 PM EST

From Pfoto 2011

The photo was taken during a site inspection prior to it being renovated into a research lab. The site originally was the loading dock for the Sears catalog division.

That pipe running across the photo is a sprinkler pipe so the clippings were located pretty high up and the original photo didn't look good from the low angle it was taken. So I corrected the perspective in PsEl and a did bit of cloning at the edges.

The conversion to mono was inevitable because the photos were faded and the room was lit with a single, exposed 50W bulb.

Update Sun 09 Jan 2011 12:58:46 PM EST: The more I look at this photo, the more I want to Photoshop out the bikinis of those two women at the top and imply they are topless and lower the poster of the left one and also Photoshop out her bikini; using the sprinkler-pipe as an ersatz, black censor-bar.



Sun 09 Jan 2011 09:30:45 PM EST

I was searching for photographs of Edward Weston's "Pepper No. 30" and found an introductory course on digital photography with a great essay on composition and another one titled Why We Make Picture s: A Concise History of Visual Ideas .

Olympus XZ-1 Preview


Mon 10 Jan 2011 09:45:40 AM EST

The Olympus XZ-1 ($500) is another amazing, recently announced camera with an f/1.8 lens, unheard of for a point-and-shoot (sample images).

If Canon doesn't improve its compact camera offerings soon, I will be considering getting a non-Canon camera for the first time in my life.

A Review of the Vivian Maier Exhibition


Mon 10 Jan 2011 09:55:05 AM EST

Alex Garcia, staff photog for the Chicago Tribune has a review of the Vivian Maier exhibition that opened in Chicago.

Friday Foto: Imitation of Life


Fri 14 Jan 2011 10:41:38 AM EST

From Pfoto 2011

Today's photo is a two-image panoramic stitch of a mural opposite the St. Lawrence Market. You can see the seam in the bricks if you look closely; the shadows are also a giveaway.

Some of the people walking in front of the mural are reflections of the mural itself— this was completely lucky. I took the two photos over a period of about two minutes.

Photography Student Demographics

Fri 14 Jan 2011 02:19:11 PM EST

One of my co-workers is taking a 1-semester introductory digital photography course (continuing education night course) at Ryerson. I asked him to note the demographics of the students. I expected that the majority (99%) of the class would be male, in their early 20s (there's always one "older" person taking a night course) and Caucasian. I expected the faculty member to be male and Caucasian.

After his first class, he said that of the 20 students in the class, only 5 are male (completely unexpected to find a female demographic, but understandable) and 30% (higher than expected) are visible minorities; the age of the students is early 20s. The faculty member is male and Hispanic.

He also mentioned of one woman, (the only one) who brought her new camera with her to class, who didn't know the type of storage card in the camera when the instructor asked her, didn't know where it was located (instructor showed her) and didn't know how to review a photograph of the instructor she was asked to take (she asked a student next to her). I think she's in the wrong class.

My predictions about the sex of the class was completely wrong because I hadn't payed close attention to the student groups photographing downtown. Thinking back, they were also mostly female and Caucasian.

Flickr May Be Doomed

Sat 15 Jan 2011 03:58:02 PM EST

After an article on the financial viability of Flickr, a followup article includes rebuttals from Yahoo! executives, which were dismissed by users as nothing more than PR— that Flickr will also be sold off.



Sun 16 Jan 2011 04:20:19 PM EST

Bokode is a method for cameras to read tiny barcodes from a distance (12 feet) using the bokeh effect.

Big Picture at The Atlantic

Tue 18 Jan 2011 10:39:33 PM EST

Alan Taylor, curator of The Big Picture at the Boston Globe, has moved to The Atlantic to start a new feature: In Focus.

Friday Foto: Do Not Disturb


Sat 22 Jan 2011 12:33:25 AM EST

From Pfoto 2011

Walking home one night, I found the dry-cleaning store on Church street still open and looking in the window from the sidewalk, saw this woman working at her sewing machine.

I paused outside the window and took one photograph "shooting from the hip". One photograph; didn't check if it was good until I got home.

Photographer Portfolio: Ann He


Sat 22 Jan 2011 12:57:08 PM EST

Ann He, 16 years old, is a professional fashion photographer.

I am envious because she has such talent at 16, but I don't envy the hard work involved in being a fashion photographer. My fantasy of being a fashion photographer vapourized after watching Antonioni's "Blow Up" and seeing how much hard work it was.

Man Without a Tie


Sun 23 Jan 2011 12:25:02 AM EST

From Pfoto 2011

The interesting composition of this photograph is a complete accident— it was shot without looking, by holding my S60 camera at thigh-level and photographing behind me, while walking. I suppose you could call it shooting from the thigh.

I like how the power lines converge at the man's head and the clouds emanate from it.

Friday Foto: Berberis Thunbergii in Winter


Sat 29 Jan 2011 07:27:20 PM EST

From Friday Foto

luis fernandes / Jan 2011 Canon 50D Journal