#355 Computer Support

I organize and support a support group for people working full time in creative fields. Tonight we met at photographer Willie McElligott’s studio for a casual session on optimizing computers for creative workflow.

The presentation was run by Pat Castell of ProMac911. He had good insights, tools and presented the material in a way that made the audience smile.

Thanks Pat and Willie!

#354 More Dave Trattles Soc Doc Workshop Photos

Today: more successes from David Trattles’ Social Documentary Workshop at HarryNowell.com supported by Canadian Geographic.

Ross relates his experience on David Trattles’ workshop:

“I got to know Dave Trattles a bit a few years ago.  I was fascinated by his life and enthusiasm, and impressed by the personal involvement and empathy he has for his subjects.  I think he is a brilliant social documentary photographer and one of the most genuine and committed people I have ever met.

I have no inclination at all for journalistic photography. However, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend some time with David, so I signed up for the workshop.

DavidTrattles Social Documentary Photography Workshop - HarryNowell.com

It was very relaxed and just plain fun. David is such a hugely genuine mensch, and funny as heck too.  The assignments were well designed I thought – not too specific so there was lots of opportunity to choose what we did, but with definite goals in mind.

DavidTrattles Social Documentary Photography Workshop - HarryNowell.com

I appreciated the small group, which allowed us to view each other’s work and learn from the comments that David gave. From my pre-workshop submissions he pointed out that my people photographs were contemplative and static. So in my three assignments I tried to relax and not attempt to frame everything perfectly – shoot from the hip he kept insisting, capture motion, get close in.

DavidTrattles Social Documentary Photography Workshop - HarryNowell.com

Despite Dave’s assurance that the workshop wasn’t about f-stops and
technical perfection, I think I used more different settings on my camera than I had ever done before in such a short time. It was all very unnatural for me, but I was amazed at the results. I really appreciated the challenge Dave gave me to see outside my photographic box. I feel a lot freer from my viewfinder, squaring images up and having everything in focus!”

Nice work, Ross!

#353 David Trattles Social Documentary Workshop Follow-up

We were lucky to have David Trattles lead the Social Documentary Photography Workshop in Ottawa.

Social Documentary Photography Workshop David Trattles Ottawa HarryNowell.com

Social Documentary student – Prasad

As expected students were wowed by Dave’s vision and teaching. His photography is among the world’s finest social documentary photography. His big heart, stories and ability to relate to people had the group growing photographically and splitting their sides with fun.

Social Documentary Photography Workshop David Trattles Ottawa HarryNowell.com

Social Documentary student – Prasad

One regular student at HarryNowell.com, Prasad, had this to say about the workshop:

Harry – thank you for introducing me to David.  This course has changed the way I take photographs.  More importantly it has changed the way I see myself and the world around me.  It’s not about WHAT we see in the world through the rectangular viewfinder but HOW we see the world.  My journey through photojournalism will begin with a smile and a hand shake, not the sound of a shutter.

This is me.  This is what I want to do.

Social Documentary Photography Workshop David Trattles Ottawa HarryNowell.com

Social Documentary student – Prasad

Prasad’s photos are featured in this post. I am very impressed!

If you are interested in learning from Dave sign up for our Exposed! newsletter (at the top, right of this page) where we will be announcing the next David Trattles opportunity in 2010.

Nice work Prasad! Thanks also to David and Canadian Geographic.

Social Documentary Photography Workshop David Trattles Ottawa HarryNowell.com

Social Documentary student – Prasad

#352 More Night Light

The Night Light Photo Workshop is complete!

Students left smiling. Some comments:

Overall, very happy I did this. Would love to take another workshop with you.

It was easy to apply new techniques right away. The review session was a must.

You’re so good. Always clear and specific.

An excellent and well thought out introduction to night photography, painting with light and motion.

Some photos – all shot on the course – at night:

Night Light Photo Workshop

Night Light Photo Workshop

Night Light Photo Workshop - Ottawa

Night Light Photo Workshop - Ottawa

Night Light Photo Workshop - Ottawa

Look for the next Night Light course in March, 2010!

#351 Night Light Photo Course

Tonight students meet to critique photos from the Night Light photo workshop. It’s one of my favourite courses in our photo workshop line-up.


Amazing lights and colours become available to our cameras seemingly by magic!

Hagen sent me a preview for the web – see below. Nice work!

To see an amazing site devoted to the magic of lights at night – LichtFaktor.eu

Nigt Light photo workshop - Ottawa

#350 Value of Photogrpahy, revisited

Remember a while ago I blogged about the “Value of Photography?” In it we mentioned:

organizations replace experienced working photographers with donated or free  photos


colleague once told me of a former client who said the best thing about their volunteer photographer’s work was that he gave free photos.

One reader commented nicely:

Every customer focused industry goes through this… There are many challenges and not everyone can succeed at the transition…”To Stand Still is to Fall Behind.” –  Gordon Forward, CEO Chaparral Steel

Photographer in Action

Portrait Photographer in Action

Well recently Photo District News ran an article on this growing phenomena:

Photographers who shoot action photos at school sports games face competition from amateurs armed with DSLRs who give pictures away.” Read the rest of their article: In Youth Sports Photography, It’s Pros Vs. Parents

Am I upset? No. It’s the free market.

Is it frustrating? Yes! It’s hard to compete with free photos – even if there is a significant difference in the work.

Time to get even or stand on the soap box? No, just time to stay ahead of the game. Some photogs are turning to video or different business models. It’s important to stay ahead.

#348 Andrew Balfour – On Assignment

New workshop details are in!

Prominent Ottawa studio photographer Andrew Balfour will be sharing secrets of the studio with students fortunate to be taking this course. Andrew will open the workshop at his studio and share some theoretical ideas of studio lighting with some hands on demonstrations.

Days later Andrew will meet the group at a prominent Ottawa dance school – Dance with Alana – where photos will be created. The practical session simulates an assignment and Andrew helps guide students through the process of assessing the location, lighting and preparing for the action.

Over the session students get some practical hands on shooting under Andrew’s guidance.


  • Thursday, Nov 12th 7 – 9:30pm; Andrew Balfour’s studio in the Glebe by Lansdowne Park.
  • Sunday, Nov 15th 4 hour practical shoot at Dance with Alana in the Glebe – time being confirmed.

Cost: $275 + tax

Included: Instruction, use of studio equipment, shooting time.

Andrew Balfour - On Assignment

Andrew shooting at DanceWithAlana.com

Who is Andrew Balfour? Check his website. Or read the interview below:

HN: What is the highest profile shoot you have done?

Andrew Balfour: A few months after 9/11 I shot a sold out dinner where Prime Minister Jean Chretien was keynote speaker & President of Israel was guest of honour. Security was nuts with RCMP & Mossad everywhere. I was given a spot 70 feet from the podium to shoot from, but luckily was allowed to move once the speeches started & oddly by the end of dinner security was so relaxed that I was 3 feet from the dignitaries.

HN: What was your scariest assignment?

AB: 15 stories above Confederation Square in the bucket of a crane at morning rush hour (oh yeah the temperature was -30C), climbing on icy rocks at the edges of Rideau Falls to get the shot I wanted, photo flight in a Cessna also -30C that day.

HN: What was the assignment you enjoyed the most?

AB: Whatever’s coming up next!

HN: Who have you photographed?

AB: Prime Ministers, Governors General, Bank of Canada Governors, Diplomats, all kinds of people, all ages from a few days old to late 90s.
See course details.

Sign up for the course.