Writing with Light

Posts tagged “landscape

Blue Hour at the Pier

This image was taken on the same evening as the previous post with a more expansive view of the pier and the old town in Malaga.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a print.

Malaga, Spain, sunset, blue hour, golden hour, landscape, pier, long exposure

The Light Within

Slot Canyons are caused by erosion. Water seeping through cracks over millions of years chips away at the rock and forms very deep and narrow canyons. Maybe that’s why they’re so beautiful…you should never rush perfection.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print. 

Arizona, Page, Antelope Canyon, slot canyon, landscape, nature,

Heart’s Afire

If you look really carefully the rock formations become recognizable shapes and depending on how the light filters through the beauty reveals itself.

Click on the image to see a larger version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Arizona, Page, Antelope Canyon, slot canyon, landscape, nature, heart,


Antelope Canyon is one of those places that keeps calling to me whenever I would see pictures of it but being inside the canyon and seeing it with my own eyes is an experience all onto itself. The colours, the light…the crowds 😦

I am grateful that I took a photo tour. Without a guide holding back the crowds it would be impossible to get a decent shot. As it was we had approximately 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to set up and shoot each shot. I’m glad that we had started with Rattlesnake Canyon first as it gave me an opportunity to try different settings in a less crowded canyon and at a more relaxed pace.

In the end it was worth it. Here’s the first image I come away with. More to follow.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Arizona, Page, Antelope Canyon, slot canyon, landscape, nature,

Rattlesnake Canyon

I just returned from a trip to Arizona and can now happily cross off one of my photographic bucket list items…slot canyons. I’ve been wanting to photograph Antelope Canyon from the time I first saw Peter Lik’s famous image. I know it’s been photographed by everyone but none the less its something I’ve always wanted to do.

The slot canyons are on Navajo land so the only way to access them is with a Navajo guide but even so if you want help with crowd control and be able to set up a tripod then your best bet is to book a photo tour which is what I did before leaving home. I’ll give you more information on the tour company I used and the tour I booked in a subsequent post.

I did two canyons that day with the first being Rattlesnake Canyon. This was a great canyon to start with as there were no crowds and a great way to start shooting and testing different settings and exposures.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Arizona, Page, Rattlesnake Canyon, slot canyon, landscape, nature

2015 My Year in Review

Every year Jim Goldstein runs a project on his blog, JMG Galleries, where he encourages photographers to post their best pictures of the year. It’s a great project and I’ve participated every year. When I started participating about 4 years ago I thought, “what a great way to have pictures seen by a whole new audience.”

That was me when I first started blogging but now there are so many other reasons that I participate. Yes I still like that fact that I may reach a new audience but more than that I find this to be a difficult and yet rewarding exercise. It’s tough to cull through your work and pick what you think may be the best of the year. It really gives me a chance to go though my images (some that I haven’t looked at for almost a year) and decide whether they’re good enough to make the cut of the top 10 or 15.  I try to review my images from a technical perspective and from a creative one. Certainly I’m drawn to certain images due to the circumstances of where and when they were taken. The picks may not always be perfect and certainly wouldn’t win any awards but art is subjective and what one person views as a masterpiece another make look at and dismiss entirely.

It’s been a busy and rewarding year both on the photographic front and from a family and work stand point. I’ve taken on a new role at work which was unexpected at the beginning of 2015 but I am loving it. The only downside has been that its been so busy that my photography had to take a bit of a back seat.

From a photography perspective I’ve continued to sell prints and license new work which is always very exciting and rewarding. I won’t make any specific commitments for the new year because I know that my day job will still be taking up a lot of my time but learning new photographic techniques and honing my craft is something that I know will always be important and I will find and make the time to do it.

If you have a chance jump on over to Jim Goldstein’s site here in or about the second week of January and he should have a list of year in review post listed for your viewing pleasure. There’s always a great list of photographers on there, you won’t regret it.

As always you can click on the images to enlarge them or to Purchase a Print.

Cuba, Havana, Old Havana, street photography, travel photography, black and white


water drops, gerber flower, refraction, milkweed, macro photography

Refracted Water Drops

Havana, Cuba, Cuban Cigars, Cigar, Stogie, travel photography, cigar aficiondo, black and white


Hilton Falls, Ontario, Milton, conservation, waterfall, long exposure, trees

Hilton Falls, Ontario

Boston, skyline, Fan Pier, sunset, blue hour, travel photography, harbour, lights, Charles River


Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, Ontario, Muskoka Chairs, dock, sunset, nature


Lake Ontario, Toronto, Beaches, sail, sailboats, water

Lake Ontario

Old Montreal, Quebec, night photography, long exposure, historic

Old Montreal

Jerusalem, Israel, street photography, black and white, monochrome, man, beard

Jerusalem, Israel

Israel, Jerusalem, Western Wall, Orthodox, Man, Walking, Motion, black and white, travel photography,

Jerusalem, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel, sunset, beach, family, photographer, golden, water, sea, Mediterranean

Tel Aviv, Israel


Sunset Solitude

I spent the weekend in Muskoka with my husband celebrating our anniversary. It was a wonderful, relaxing couple of days spent by the lake and exploring the neighbouring small towns. The resort we stayed at was right on Lake Rosseau and of course my favourite time to shoot is at sunset so how could I resist this scene.

Click on the image to view a high resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, Ontario, lake, sunset, silhouette, trees, landscape

Interview with Shannon Kalahan from Seeing Spots Photography

I think that one of the most important things that we, as photographers, can do to grow and improve our craft is to learn from other photographers. Whether you’re attending a workshop, reading a book about photographic vision or techniques or learning what makes a particular photographer tick, that knowledge will propel you forward and inspire you in immeasurable ways.

I am so pleased to introduce you today to Shannon Kalahan of Seeing Spots Photography. Shannon approached me a few weeks ago to see if I was interested in being interviewed for her blog and she on mine. I’d never done an interview but I jumped at the chance especially since I’d been following Shannon’s work for quite some time.

Shannon resides in Connecticut and is an incredible travel and landscape photographer, writer and teacher. Shannon has a keen eye for composition as evidenced by her beautiful photographs. You can see a selection of her images throughout this post but I do encourage you to visit her site and explore further.

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

How did you start out as a photographer and when did you know that this was something you wanted to do?

I think I’ve been excited about taking photos for as long as I can remember.  I remember many rolls of film passing through my hands when I was a little girl.  As far as what set me down my current path though…?  My first taste of travel photography was a trip to Spain and Portugal in 1999.  I loved being able to capture all of the beautiful places and moments I encountered while I was there.

My first serious attempts at photography came a few years later when I started volunteering for an equine rescue.  At the time, they didn’t have a website and very few images of the adoptable animals.  I knew that if people could see the animals, they would be more inclined to help – they stopped being some nebulous problem and started being living, breathing creatures that could melt your heart.  So, I picked up my camera (well…my Mom’s camera) and started shooting.  Having a structured project like that, including building a website, newsletter, etc helped teach me a bit about some of the discipline and skills I would need later when I finally started “Seeing Spots Photography”.

(The name, “Seeing Spots”, by the way, is an homage to the horse “Spot” I adopted from the rescue.  He was my favorite subject to photograph for a very long time! lol)

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Did you study photography formally?

I took one black and white film darkroom class, which went over the basics of composition and camera use towards the beginning of the semester.  The rest of the semester mainly focused on processing film and developing images in the darkroom.

From that class, however, I picked up a photo mentor who was a great resource when I had questions (still is!) and continued to teach myself with online resources, the occasional workshop, and by making lots of mistakes.

Your landscape and travel images are beautiful. What inspires you?

It’s a two-fold answer, I think.  I love the idea of putting something beautiful out there into the world and I love experiencing all of the awesome stuff that our planet has to offer. I have a strong belief that if more people could travel, as a whole, the human race would benefit from it.  It’s harder to ignore problems in other places when we have a vested interest or emotional connection with the diverse and beautiful cultures/locations around the world.

I am very aware of how blessed I am to have the opportunities and resources to travel, and equally aware that not everyone is as fortunate.  I love the idea of being able to bring beautiful images from the places I’ve seen into other people’s homes.  Again, the hope is that it will both bring them some measure of happiness to see these places, similar to the joy I get from creating the images…and that it will entice them to learn a little more about whatever the subject matter is.

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

As I was going through your catalogue of images I was blown away by your long exposures. Can you tell us what your process is in creating these images?

First, thank you so much for the kind words.  I really, always appreciate feedback. 🙂

So, long exposures… Most of those long exposures are either done in low light/overcast conditions or with simple ND filters.  I have used higher stop filters, but that isn’t the norm for me.  Most of my images involve waiting for the right light and going to pre-scouted locations when I think the conditions will be favorable.  From there, I tend to use basic camera controls to get the time value I’m looking for.

In particular, I like trying varying long exposures for water (waterfalls, streams, lakes and ocean) since we have so dang much of it in our state.  I am definitely not a “water” person (because…you know…sharks and such) but I am drawn to water as a subject to photograph.  It ends up in a lot of my images, preferably smoothed out with a long exposure.

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

As I was reading through your website I learned that you volunteered at an Equine Rescue and photographed the horses. Can you tell us a little more about that? Do you plan on pursuing animal photography down the road?

Well, as I mentioned a little bit earlier on, it was definitely one of the catalysts that put my feet on the path to photography.  The idea of taking photos of the horses started out as a way to help get them placed in permanent, loving homes but it turned into a huge learning process on so many levels for me.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with horses, they are generally anywhere from about 800-2000lbs and are “flight animals” who have survived over the years primarily by running from danger.  Their eyes are very good at picking up movement (aka danger), and the only thing that usually tempers that is a strong hierarchy (faith that their alpha leader will keep them safe).  This boils down to very large animals that spook easily and can trample you if they get too afraid.

It created a unique environment for learning photography, to say the least. I learned a lot about patience, about waiting for the right moment and about the importance of good light (a camera flash is usually terrifying for a horse).  Since the idea was to get these animals adopted, I also learned a lot about the importance of flattering angles for the subject and how significant a beautiful landscape background could be.

As far as pursuing it in the future…I have no active plans for that at the moment, beyond the occasional request for portraits, but who knows where I’ll end up?

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

I love photography books so naturally I was excited when you offered your “Photography + Connecticut – The Nature and Landscape Mini Guide” as a free download. What inspired you to write this book and can we see more ebooks from you in the future?p1_cover

Ahh, now this is something I do see more of in my future!

As a lifelong Connecticut resident, I have spent a long time finding the beauty in our state and have also noticed it frequently gets overlooked by other photographers looking for locations.  It’s a damn shame, in my opinion.  I’ve felt for a long time that with a little more marketing, Connecticut could attract more “photo tourism” (because let’s face it, us landscape photographers are our own unique brand of traveler more concerned with good light and location than where we will end up sleeping).  I guess I finally just got tired of waiting for someone else to put out a good “Why you should bring your camera to CT” publication, so I decided to do it myself.

Plus, it was a great trial run for an educational ebook we have in the works for later this year.  It’ll have a lot of great tips, beautiful images and embarrassing stories in it…I think people are going to love it.

— You photograph, you write and you teach. (And I thought I was busy 🙂 ) You offer private sessions for photo editing, in field instruction and photo critiques and if that’s not enough to keep you busy I noticed that you and your business partner are going to be offering workshops. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Yeah, who needs to sleep anyway? Haha  Well, at the moment, we are acquiring permits for a few east coast locations so we haven’t announced workshop dates yet.  There will be at least one or two New England dates though, and possibly a third a little further down the east coast.  I have a newsletter which I will use to keep everyone up to date on that as it develops. (hint hint!)

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

What’s next Shannon? What new projects do you have on the horizon?

I’m currently working on another magazine article, and have an art gallery showing if you’re in the CT area.  Although, if you’re in the CT area, you know our weather has been awfully unpredictable lately and the opening reception just got postponed again.  I have a friend who photographs for a local newspaper, though he was allowed in to see the display and says it looks great. 🙂

We also have at least one educational ebook and workshops, and I’m hoping to put together at least one more mini guide in the next few months.

Beyond that, I’m always open to new partnerships, projects and friendships.  If anyone has anything in mind, contact me and we’ll see if it’s something we can make happen.

Shannon Kalahan - Seeing Spots Photography

Shannon Kalahan – Seeing Spots Photography

Where can people find you?

www.seeingspotsphoto.com or email me at seespotsphoto@yahoo.com

I’m also on 500px, Twitter, Instagram, G+, and Facebook.

2014 A Year in Review

It’s that time, when I sit back and reflect on the year that’s behind us and the work that I’ve done. I’ve been fortunate this year to have had the opportunity to do quite a bit of travelling and to document those places with my camera.

It’s also been an incredibly busy year both on the home front, at work and photographically speaking. Earlier this year I launched a pet photography business,  PhoDOGraphy by Edith but at about the same time I did that things started really heating up at work which left me with less time then I had hoped to start building my business and marketing it. I intend to change that in 2015. On the positive side my print sales were up this year and I was fortunate  to have some of my images licensed for book covers and fundraising events.

I’ve become more critical of my work, which I think is a good thing and I’m always looking to change and improve, which in essence helps you grow both as a photographer and as an individual. This year I became a member of Professional Photographers of America and I will be attending their Imaging USA conference in Nashville at the end of January. This will enable me to immerse myself in 3 full days of learning the business side of photography, photographic technique and post-processing techniques.

I always find it difficult to narrow down a years worth of work into my “favourites” but here it goes. Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy 🙂 You can click on any of the headers to view the original blog posts.

Down Under the Manhattan Bridge

Over Christmas and New Years last year we took a family trip to New York. As I always do on family trips I try to find some time to sneak off and take photographs. We were staying with family in Brooklyn and I had to opportunity to explore DUMBO quite a bit. This was one of my favourite shots from Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

DUMBO, Manhattan Bridge, night photography, city lights, New York, Brooklyn, Jane's Carousel, cityscape

City on the Edge

This was taken on the same trip but along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Brooklyn Heights, Manhattan, city view, cityscape, Hudson River, long exposure, golden hour, sunrise, travel photography, Black & White, monochrome

Tiny Bubbles

We had a very different winter last year. We were hit by an ice storm in Toronto just before Christmas and the months of January and February we saw most days in the -20C range. One very cold February day I decided to start experimenting with some macro photography and oil and water. I really liked the final result.

Tiny Bubbles, bubbles, abstract, macro, macro photography, oil and water, blue

Mush, Mush

I did end up braving the cold one weekend and headed out to photograph dog sled races in Cannington, Ontario. I’ve always wanted to do that and wasn’t going to let the -12C forecast get in the way. I bundled up tight and headed out….brrrrrr!

Dog sled race, Cannington, Ontario, Siberian Husky, Huskies, snow, race, sled, Pet Photography, Toronto Pet Photographer

Pets in Studios

Last March I attended a Pet Photography workshop in Houston, Texas given by the Paw Print Divas. It was an incredible experience and I learned a lot. It was also he first time I had attempted pet photography in a studio and fell in love with the process and the control that I had over the setting and lighting. This is Gilley.

Toronto Pet Photographer, Paw Print Divas, Houston, photo shoot, lifestyle pet photography, Border Collie, studio

Hey….Looking at me?

Here’s another favourite from the workshop. This is Jiff!

Toronto Pet Photographer, PhoDOGraphy by Edith Levy, Corgi, Paw Print Divas Workshop, dog

Watch Out for the Jellies

Toronto’s newest attraction open last year, Ripley’s Aquarium and I joined my camera club for a photo outing there. It was a tough shoot due to the lighting conditions but the Jelly Fish exhibit was my favourite.

Ripley's Aquarium, Toronto, attraction, jellyfish, jellies, silhouette, water, blue

Upstairs Downstairs

In April I once again attended a photo outing with my photography club, this time to the Toronto Centre for the Arts. This was taken from the upper lobby and I loved all the converging lines.

Toronto Performing Arts Centre, lobby, interior, Art Deco, North York, North Toronto, Theatre, upper lobby, staircase

Old Jaffa Arches

The month of May found me travelling to Israel, for a family function, with a side trip to Petra Jordan. This image was taken in the old city of Jaffa.

Old Jaffa, Israel, archway, stones, green light, travel

Tel Aviv Sunset

The best views of Tel Aviv are from a top the hills of old Jaffa.

Tel Aviv, Israel, sunset, Mediterranean, sea, coastline, travel photography, Old Jaffa

A First Look at the Treasury

Petra is a place that I’ve been wanted to visit for a very long time. I flew from Tel Aviv to Eilat in the south and then walk across the border (yes walked) and then I boarded a bus a drove 2 hours to the ancient city of Petra. It was incredible! It was another hour-long, hot walk in the desert before getting to the Treasury but it was well worth it.

Petra, Jordan, The Treasury, monument, travel

City of Lights

This year I celebrated a big birthday and when my wonderful husband asked me what I wanted for my birthday I promptly answered that I wanted to go back to Italy…what else. As an extra treat we stopped in Paris first for a few days. The images I took in Paris and Italy are some of my favourite and it was difficult to narrow it down. This one was taken on our first night. We were exhausted from travel and jet lag and sunset that evening was at 9:53pm but I wasn’t going to miss photographing the Louvre at night.

Paris, France, louvre, museum, city of lights, night photography

Bay of Poets

You can travel to Italy every year and still not see all its beauty. With the exception of Rome every place we visited this year was new to us. One of the towns we visited was Lerici. We stayed in a wonderful hotel over looking the Bay of Poets and it was one in many spectacular views we enjoyed on this trip.

Lerici; Italy; Liguria; harbour; La Spezia; town; Bay of Poets

Bellagio Street

Lake Como is a place that I’d wanted to go to for a very long time and it was our first stop when we arrived in Italy. We stayed in Bellagio with its narrow, multi-stepped streets.

Bellagio, Italy, walkway, street, stairs, village, travel photography

Manarola Blue Hour

Our base in Cinque Terre was Manarola.

Cinque Terre, Manarola, Italy, village, colored village, blue hour, long exposure, cliff, sea,

The Bistro

This is one of my favourite images that I came back from Paris with.

Paris, France, bistro, street photography, restaurant, sidewalk cafe

Tourists at the Louvre

Some images just work better in Black & White and these tourists strolling through one of the many arches at the Louvre fit the bill. I love how having the tourists there really gives you a perspective on the scale of those arches.

Paris, France, Louvre, museum, tourists, arches, balk and white, monochrome

Rolling Hills of Tuscany

Nothing says Tuscany more than rolling hills, hay bales and cypress trees…oh and wine of course but you can’t see that in the image 😉

Tuscany, hills, countryside, Montepulciano, travel photography

Distillery Bike

This is one of my favourite images that I took at a shoot at Toronto’s Distillery District this fall.

Distillery District; Toronto; downtown; store; bicycle; night photography; vintage


So this is it folks, Happy New Year to you all. I look forward to seeing what 2015 brings.

Standing the Test of Time

Cypress trees line the hills of Tuscany. I don’t know how long these have been standing in this spot but I do know that I could photograph the Tuscan countryside ad infinitum.

Click on the image to see a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Tuscany, Italy, Blackand White, monochrome, landscape, travel photography, hillside, cypress trees, minimalist

Corniglia – Cinque Terre

Last week we visited Manarola and Riomaggiore on this blog. Today I’d like to take you to the next village that I visited in Cinque Terre… Corniglia.

Unlike the other 4 villages that make up Cinque Terre, Coniglia is not directly on the sea. It sits on a promontory 100 meters high. When you arrive by train you can either order a car to take you to the village or climb the Ladarina, a long brick flight of stairs which is equal to 33 flights or almost 400 stairs.  Can you guess how we got to the top? The Ladarina of course 🙂

Click on the images to see them in high resolution (they really do look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Corniglia, Cinque Terre, Italy, village, narrow street, ice cream parlour, travel photography

Corniglia, Cinque Terre, Italy, village, narrow street, staircase, flowers, travel photography

Manarola, Corniglia, Cinque Terre, Italy, village, cliff, sea, landscape, travel photography


Portofino Vista

Portofino is an Italian fishing village and resort town that’s located on the Italian Riviera.

It was recommended to us not to drive into Portofino as the traffic rules are strict for visitors and it was likely we would get a ticket if we drove into the village. We heeded that advice and drove an hour from Lerici to Rapallo and then ventured slightly further to Santa Margherita where we parked our car. Always on the lookout for a little adventure, exercise and of course photo ops, we decided to walk to Portofino which took us close to an hour. The walk itself, along a beautiful rugged coast was breath-taking. Upon arrival in Portofino we were rewarded with a much needed glass of wine, lunch followed by a cappuccino  and last but certainly not least this view.

Click on the image to see a high resolution version (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Portofino, Italy, Italian Riviera, boats, sea, vista, landscape, travel photography


Photography Mini-Guides by Ian Plant

Aside from spending the weekend getting ready for Passover (and that constituted spending  lot of time in the kitchen) I was able to kick back a little bit and catch up on some reading. Last week I download 3 new photography books to my iPad and I finally found some time to read them.

Ian Plant has just released 3 new mini-guides….

The Mini Guide to Photographing Slot Canyons

dreamscapes, mini-guides, photography guide, Ian Plant

The Mini Guide to Photographing Sand Dunes

Dreamscapes, mini-guides, photography guide, Ian Plant


The Mini Guide to Coastal Photographing

Dreamscapes, mini-guides, photography guide, Ian Plant

These bite sized guides are the perfect companions when you’re planning your shoots or to have with you when you’re out on a shoot. Ian Plant’s has kept these simple and to the point with the information you need to know to get the shot. Each guide is 20 pages, they are concise and Ian has included all the tips that you need to get stunning photographers in these locations. From timing and composition, shooting angles and location specific tips, these guides are indispensable.

Each guide is priced at $4.95 but you can purchase all 3 for $12.95. In addition Dreamscapes is having a Spring sale until the end of April. Simply use the discount code SPRING and you can save 15% of all purchases in the Dreamscapes eStore. You can click here to go to the Dreamscape store.

The Visual Flow Companion

The first book that I ever read by Ian Plant was Visual Flow: Mastering the Art of Composition.  That was the start of a beautiful friendship between myself and Mr. Plant…in print anyway 🙂 That monster 287 page ebook has become my go to reference book when I’m conceptualizing what images I want to shoot and how. You can read the review of Visual Flow here.

Visual Flow Companion, Ian Plant, composition, landscape, ebook,

You’ll understand my excitement then when I found out that Ian Plant has just released The Visual Flow Companion as a compliment and update to the first book.  Overflowing with new images, new ideas and insights and new image analyses I was ready to dig in.

Each image in this 51 page volume is brilliant and Ian goes through a thorough analysis of the compositional values of each and the techniques he employed. In addition to his own images Ian goes through the same in-depth compositional analysis of images of fellow Dreamscapes bloggers, George Stocking, Kurt Budlinger, and Richard Bernabe.

Visual Flow Companion, Ian Plant, composition, landscape, ebook,

As with the first book this companion piece, albeit not as hefty in page count, is packed with indispensable information and insight for photographers at any level.

The Visual Flow Companion retails for $7.95 which is a great deal in itself but for the month of December you can get 15% OFF  just use the discount code DECEMBER at check-out! For more information, please visit the Dreamscapes Store.

Photographing Waterfalls and Streams

The team at Dreamscapes just released another ebook, The Advanced Guide to Photographing Waterfalls and Streams by waterfalls, dreamscapes, photographing waterfalls, streams, Justin Reznick, ebook, guide,Justin Reznick.

I love photographing waterfalls and bodies of water and when I’d heard about this ebook I was ready to dig in but honestly I hadn’t heard of Justin Reznick before. Let me introduce you to this talented photographer and author first before I dive into the ebook.

Reznick is a full-time nature photographer who travels the globe in search for the perfect landscape. He’s been published in such magazines as Backpacker Magazine, the Audubon Society, Nature’s Best, Outdoor Photographer and Photography Monthly (UK).

Justin has a real easy-going way about him when he writes and it felt as if he was directing his instructions directly to me as I was reading the book. At a high level the book contains the following:

  • Eighteen water photography tips for how to get that best shot—including fashion tips for water wading (how to stay warm and dry), how to maximize your chances of getting the image you want (don’t leave too early), and how to protect your gear in damp conditions.

  • Post-processing tips for making the image—including advice on analyzing and choosing images in Lightroom, and practical how-to instruction on blending multiple exposures in Photoshop to showcase the best of the light.

  • Some of Justin’s favorite water images with extensive discussion of how he made them.

What I really loved about the ebook was his in-depth explanations about in-field techniques. He doesn’t just focus on the type of gear you should be using (which he does cover off very well) but what to look out for when photographing waterfalls. How to keep your scene clean, how to fight off water spray, what you need to do to get the best compositions. Within each section he provides a breakdown of the image that’s on the page so that the reader knows exactly how it was taken and under what conditions.

The section on post-processing was excellent as well. Justin goes through various techniques focusing primarily on Lightroom. Once again he provides tips (what looks like notes in the margin) based on the content of the section) which you can refer back too long after you’ve finished the book. As an aside this is actually a great follow-up to the last Dreamscapes release Master The Digital Darkroom (Lightroom) by Michael Frye.

waterfalls, dreamscapes, photographing waterfalls, streams, Justin Reznick, ebook, guide,

Until the end of the month, you can get 15% OFF if you use the WATERFALLS code when purchasing this ebook. Click here to go to the Dreamscapes Store.


While at the workshop at the Rockwood Autoyard this past weekend, I broke off from the group to go do a little exploring on my own and I came upon this scene. Remember in my last post I said that there was a foggy mist that enveloped the area? See what I mean.

After some minor adjustments in Photoshop I ran the image through Topaz Clarity to give it a bit more definition and then Perfect B&W to desaturate and give it a bit of a mysterious feel.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

forest, mist, fog, Ontario, mysterious, trees, path, nature, landscape

The Compelling Photograph – Techniques for Creating Better Images Book 2

Back in April of this year Anne McKinnell released her first book of this series aptly named The Compelling Photograph – Techniques for Creating Better Images – Book 1. You can see my review of Book 1 here. Since the release of book 1 Anne has continued on with her adventures, exploring North America and creating spectacular imagery. She also introduced and launched One-on-One Photography Coaching sessions which sell out…quickly and her ebooks can usually be found ranked in 1st place on Amazon.

The compelling Photograph, techniques for creating better images, ane mckinnell, ebook, review, book 1, book 2,

Book 2 follows the same format as the first, where each chapter is structured as a lesson on a particular topic. There are 8 chapters  (or lessons) each focused on a different design element. McKinnell, always the teacher, takes great care in explaining how to achieve the design element and what makes for a successful image. This ebook isn’t just about sitting and reading. At the end of each chapter there’s an assignment to help you put into practice what you’ve just read.

Book 2 covers the following:

  • Patterns
  • Symmetry
  • Leading Lines
  • Curves
  • Shapes
  • Depth of Field
  • Long Exposure
  • Minimalism

If you’re just starting out in photography or want a refresher on the basics then this should be in your library.


This eBook contains 85 full-spread pages and over 100 photographs to illustrate the lessons. It normally retails for $9.99 but there is a special introductory price of $7.99. Click Here to purchase the book.

The Bundle Deal

If you haven’t picked up Book 1 yet, there’s a great deal on the bundle of both eBooks. You can get both books for only $14.99. (You don’t need a discount code for the bundle deal.) Click Here for the bundle.

Landscapes in LightRoom & A Trip to Iceland

It seems that fall is the time for new product announcements from companies like Apple and Google. It’s also when we see new photography related ebooks released. In the last couple of weeks I’ve ingested 2 new such releases from the team at Dreamscapes.

Landscapes in Lightroom 5

Landscape, Lightroom 5, Michael Frye, Dreamscapes, Ian Plant, ebook

The first, Landscapes in Lightroom 5 – The Essential Step-By-Step Guide by Michael Frye was actually released a few weeks ago. If you’re not familiar with the author then let me introduce you, Michael Frye is a Fine Art landscape and Nature photographer, writer and teacher from California who has lived in or around Yosemite National Park since the 1980’s. As you can image his images of Yosemite are iconic.

In this, his 7th book (4 print and 3 ebooks) Michael instructs his readers on how to make their landscape images shine using Lightroom 5. Whether your new to Lightroom or just upgrade to LR5 you may want to pick up this book.

Michael walks you through the Develop Module in Lightroom and talks in-depth about the differences between the older versions and the latest. Learn about tone control and all the new features in LR5.

Want to Know What Got Me Really Excited?

Ok…I’ll tell you. Half of this ebook (it’s 87 pages) is made up of examples. A total of 6 example images each approximately 5 to 6 pages where Michael evaluates the landscape image; discusses the profile; what he did to process the image and there’s a link to a video tutorial for each example.  So now you’re asking why I’m so excited? Well at the start of the examples section Michael provides a link so that the reader can download all the DNG RAW files to the images he’s used in his examples so that you can follow along and process the image yourself. Now if that’s not exciting what is?

What a great why to learn!  Landscapes in LightRoom 5 retails for $14.95 but until September 21st Dreamscapes is having a 15% off sale on everything in their store. Just use the discount code CATSAWAY1 to take advantage of the discount. Click here to go to the store.

Forever Light

Forever Light, Iceland, travel guide, Dreamscapes, ebook

The second book that I just put down was released only a couple of days ago. Forever Light: The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Iceland by Sarah Marino and Ron Coscorrosa.

This is a terrific guide (I really wish I was planning a trip to Iceland but alas that is not to be).  Sarah and Ron are very thorough and discuss everything from the ins and outs of traveling through Iceland…driving tips; lodging options; food options; travel costs, etc to providing ideas on recommended gear and gear considerations as well as providing specific location guides from north to south. The location guides themselves are just as detailed providing GPS coordinates; best time to go; driving directions and even the best lenses to use.

Of course the images themselves make me really want to buy a plane ticket and head over there but if this is a photographic trip that you have planned or are planning to embark on then this guide is an indispensible resource.

You can find Forever Light in the Dreamscapes Store for $14.95 but remember until September 21st Dreamscapes is having a 15% off sale on everything in their store. Just use the discount code CATSAWAY1 to take advantage of the discount. Click here to go to the store.

A Walk in the Judean Hills

When I first go through images from a shoot I mark the keepers (and the ones that I’m going to process), delete the technically poor ones and then there are the ones that are technically ok but just don’t jump out at me.  Every so often I go through my archives and see something in an image that I didn’t see before. This was taken a few years back on a trip to Israel. We were in the Judean Hills not far from Jerusalem. It was mid-day and the sun was very harsh so the original image was washed out but when I looked at it again I really liked the way the tree was shaped. It almost looks like its going for a walk. I re-processed the image with a vintage monochrome look and really liked the way it came out. What do you think?

If you’ve been thinking about taking the plunge and purchasing the Topaz Labs Bundle there are 2 more days, until July 7th, to save $100. You can click here to view the deal or to download a free trial.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Judean Hills, Jerusalem, Israel, desert, tree, landscape, monochrome, travel, Edith Levy Photography

A Year in Review – 12 From 2012

Welcome back. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Well it’s that time of the year again. Time for me to sit down and have a look at the images that I’ve taken and posted this last year and try to narrow down my favourites from the year. This is a very tough exercise indeed. I tend to be very critical of my own work but the following images that I’ve selected really speak to me either because of the place itself or from a technical stand point, I tried a new technique that I’ve never done before.

So before we get to the images I just wanted to say a big THANK YOU! Whether this is your first visit or you follow this blog I’m extremely grateful of your continued support and visits. I know that there is a lot of content on the internet, many wonderful sites and blogs and you taking the time and interest of visiting my little space on this world-wide web is very much appreciated. I hope to also post a recap of my iPhone images by the end of the week and then I will be taking some time off until the beginning of the new year for a much needed vacation. If I find myself with internet access I will try to provide a few updates here and there.

You can click on the images to see the original post. So without further ado…My 12 of 2012….

St. Joseph's Oratory. Montreal, Quebec, nightscape

Lead the Way_viewable

saw whet, owl, muskoka, ontario, wildlife centre

south street seaport, New York, Brooklyn Bridge, HDR

Brickworks, Ontario, Toronto

rome, italy, corner store, travel

mars diner, Toronto, retro, eatery, HDR

Toronto, Mississauga, Marilyn monroe towers, building, architecture

fireworks, toronto, Canada Day, black and white

Rocks, Halfway Log Dump, Lake Huron, Tobermory, landscape, long exposure

Schwartz"s Deli, Montreal, St. Lawrence, The Main, smoked meat, travel photography

Bruce Peninsula National Park, Ontario, Tobermory, Georgian Bay

Weekly Photo Challenge – Changing Seasons

My favourite season is Fall. After a long, hot, green summer it’s nice to put on a chunky sweater, breath in the crisp air and marvel at the fiery coloured leaves when taking a walk through the park. This is an image I made in October during a photo outing with my photography club to Rouge River in Toronto.

Click on the image to enlarge (it really does look better) or to Purchase a Print.

fall colours, rouge river, ontario, trees, landscape photography

Weekly Photo Challenge – Renewal

I was contemplating this week’s photo challenge and which image I should post. Naturally with a theme like “renewal” I was leaning towards posting an image of a bloom in the spring but then I started to think about what makes me feel “renewed and fresh.” It’s being out by the ocean…it does it to me every time and obviously this couple felt the same way on this day. I was a bit envious when I spotted them. It seemed that they had Otter Point (in Acadia National Park) all to themselves. I made a mental note to bring a chair the next time I visited 🙂

Click on the image to enlarge (it really looks better) or to Purchase a Print.

Maine, Acadia National park, Otter Point, ocean, view, B&W, landscape

Puddled Reflections

Here’s another image from Little Cove in Bruce Peninsula National Park. The ripples you see in the dolomite bedrock are called conchoidal fractures. Conchoidal fractures are a curved breakage on the surface of the bedrock which occurs over time from the crashing of the waves. The resulting effects are ripples in the rock that create pockets of water.

Little Cove, Bruce Peninsula National Park, conchoidal fractures, Ontario,

Forest Mist

I’d like to thank everyone for the responses to Monday’s post, asking for your opinion on either the colour or black & white version of “Swirls.”  So what did everyone think?

66% liked the colour version

22% liked the B&W version

9% liked both.

It looks like the color version was a favorite. Thank you again for taking the time to visit and providing your feedback.

On to today’s images. The start of our Tobermory weekend was, how shall I put it…soggy. We had to delay our start on the first morning because of the pouring rain. When we did finally head out, close to an hour behind schedule, the rain had subsided. It actually subsided up until we parked the cars and were ready to start hiking. That’s when the sky opened up again. Our workshop leader and photographer, Ethan Meleg, quickly put plan B into action…we would hike to a wooded area where we could at least get some shelter from the rain. This provided another photographic opportunity.

There was this wonderful mist in the air and the the rain and dampness made the colors of the forest pop.

Click on an image to enlarge (it really dies look better) or to Purchase a Print.

Tobermory, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, mist, forest, trees, nature

Tobermory, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, mist, forest, trees, nature

Tobermory, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, mist, forest, trees, nature