#576 Ottawa Studio Works – Open House: Thank-you!

A BIG, BIG thank-you for making our first open house so memorable!

We had two evenings of festivities and many generous supporters that helped us celebrate our new photography studio based in central Ottawa.

Ottawa Photo Studio open house - © Alain Simard

Ottawa Photo Studio open house - © Alain Simard

People grooved to the tunes of DJ Ron LaVoie and ate the scrumptious Ottawa Studio Works cupcakes baked by past student (and fine baker) Nancy on Friday.

Our designer, Roberta G, below, was very excited to see her design work made into food!

Ottawa Studio Works open house

Ottawa Studio Works open house

On Saturday night the celebration continued with some guests returning for their second night of fun!

By the end of the two night open house we were pretty pleased with the response to our new photo gallery, studio, artwork, photo classroom and community space on Ottawa’s Preston St.

We also raised hundreds of dollars and many pounds of food for the dogs (and all animals in need!) at the Aylmer SPCA and Ottawa Humane Society.

Big thanks to everyone else who helped make it such a success: Nancy and her cupcakes, Ron LaVoie’s DJ service, Bev Webster, Louis Helbig, Roberta, Alain, Caitlin and all the past and future clients, students, supporters, colleagues and friends at HarryNowell.com and OttawaStudioWorks.com.

Biscuit and Tigger say thanks to everyone who helped us help the dogs.

#575 Reminder and a thank-you!

First, a big THANK-YOU to the continued support of our sponsors that help keep this blog possible. Please visit Patrick Gordon Framing – our sponsor of the month.

Patrick Gordon Framing

Patrick Gordon Framing

Also, coming up this weekend we open the doors to our central Ottawa photography studio – OttawaStudioWorks.com.

Please come and join us in celebrating the studio.


Friday and Saturday, January 28th and 29th, 2011. 7-10 pm

Let us know if you can make it.

Ottawa Photography Studio

Ottawa Photography Studio

#574 Student Success – ProProgram graduate!

A big congratulations goes out to Scott Martin as he completes his time in the ProProgram. We’re proud of his successes and the challenges he (and everyone) goes through on this course.

Photo Course Graduate - Scott Martin Photo

Photo Course Graduate - Scott Martin Photo


The Ottawa based photo based program will help you build your business knowledge, photography skills and network to help you pursue your photography goals. We work towards photo accomplishments and a portfolio of photos.

Photography courses, working experience and a network of photographers developed from the classes and sessions helps you find your photo success.

Scott started the program with basic skills… Read Scott’s description of his photo journey in the program:

When I first met Harry, most of my pictures were mere snapshots. With his help, my photography has improved, I have explored new subject matter, and I learned to experiment.

Photo Course Graduate - Scott Martin Photo

Photo Course Graduate - Scott Martin Photo

Looking back, I can see a huge difference in the quality of my photographs. Harry has provided me with a solid foundation to help me reach my goals. There is still a lot of hard work ahead, as I continue to build my portfolio, look for clients and grow my business.

But more important than the photography, the course helped me gain some self confidence and grow as a person.

I was recently contacted to do some portraits by a local band. I can say with some certainty, that had the band contacted me for portraits 1 1/2 years ago, I would have run the other way.

Photo Course Graduate - Scott Martin Photo

Photo Course Graduate - Scott Martin Photo

Today I am ready to continue working with them and chase down some more bands on my own.

Thanks Harry!

Scott has developed a diverse portfolio. See some of his other work at ScottMartinVisuals.com. I am proud of your successes Scott. Congratulations on your accomplishments!

#573 Portraits photo course preview

Last week we ran the Natural Light Portraits Photography Course in Ottawa. Students clicked. Models shone. Lots was learned.

I am always pleased with what is produced. Below is a preview of more to come from the workshop. This photo workshop is about portraits using available light and simple equipment.

We started a second session of the Portrait workshop this week. This second batch of students test their skills this weekend. Stay tuned for more inspiration!

Natural Light Portraits Photo Course

© Kevin F. - Natural Light Portraits Photo Course

#571 New photo courses – triple whammy!

We are offering a triple whammy of photography courses this winter in Ottawa. They are not about taking photographs but about what to do with them once they are captured.


Scanning – We get many request from people who want to scan their libraries of film based photographs. Join Glen Elie, on this seminar to digitize your memories!

Post Processing – Join Hagen Hohn on this exploration of post processing and pick up tips as he transforms a simple shot to a flaming jalapeno.

Printing – Join master of printing Dave Andrews on the basics of home based printing.

Photo scanning course

Photo scanning course

#570 Exposed! Photo Newsletter – Slow Photos

This week we sent the Exposed! Photo Newsletter to over 1500 subscribers in Ottawa, across Canada and around the world.

Slow Photography

I hear it regularly. Students glow as they beam “I took 1512 photos over the weekend.” That’s a lot! Compare that with Ansel Adams who was known for saying, “Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.”

Like the slow food movement, more does not always mean better. Faster is not always a good thing.

In this edition of Exposed! we look at tips for creating better photos by slowing down.

Slow Photography

Slow Photography

Also remember the Open House at our new photo studio – OttawaStudioWorks.com – in central Ottawa January 28th and 29th, 2011. We’re raising $money for the dogs (and other furry friends) at area animal shelters.

Open House - Ottawa Photography Studio

Open House - Ottawa Photography Studio

#569 More success from our Photo Course graduate

Yesterday, we offered the first half of Yan’s field report from last summer’s Commonwealth Games.

Yan has taken our photo courses over the years and has been fortunate to shoot some high profile, international sports events. Below is part TWO of his report:

In table tennis, the exchanges are so fast, so I focused on capturing the serves, when players seem to silently implore the ball before unleashing their shot.

Sports photo

Sports photo - student success!

The field hockey venue was the legendary Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium, located at one end of the Raj Path, a major avenue in the centre of Delhi, just next to the historical landmark India Gate. (Field) hockey is a religion in India, and there were more tickets sold for this sport at the Commonwealth games than for all the other sports put together, with some incredible atmosphere when India was playing, especially against their perennial rivals Pakistan or in the semi-final against England.

Once again, I needed to schmooze with some key volunteers at the venue to obtain “the bib” necessary to go pitch side, but it is amazing what a handful of pins and a few Canadian Team caps can do to entice inflexible officials to slightly bend the rules!

I described my experience shooting field hockey in a previous entry of this blog , so I won’t repeat myself and just show a few samples:

sport photo

sport photo - student success!

sport photo

sport photo - student success

Once again, it was an exceptional experience having the opportunity to shoot high level sport from close range. But I also remembered the advice given by Harry Nowell in his workshop (“cover the whole event, not just what is happening on the field”) and I documented the life of the Canadian Team, including the visit of Prince Charles and Camilla in the Village, an exclusivity since this visit was closed to the “official” photographers!

sport photo

Commonwealth Games - 2011

Yan Huckendubler at the Commonwealth Games - 2010

Yan Huckendubler at the Commonwealth Games - 2010

Yan Huckendubler

Chelsea, QC

Thanks Yan. I am impressed – and a little jealous!

#568 Photo course graduate – student success!!

Yan Huckendubler is a graduate of some of our photo courses – mostly sports including the pro-hockey photo course in February – and last summer Yan had the privilege of assisting the Canadian team at the Commonwealth Games in India.

He has posted international sports reports on our blog before.

In the next couple of days he shares stories and his photos from his adventures last summer:

2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India

In October, I was selected as Media Attaché for the Canadian Team at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. Although photography was not my primary duty, I packed my camera and a few lenses, hoping to grab some shots of the sports I was assigned to: archery, boxing, table tennis and of course field hockey, the sport I have been involved with for a long time.

I left with the advance Canadian contingent, a group of a dozen staff going about ten days before the rest of the team to prepare everything, and we immediately had to deal with the abysmal state of the Athletes Village, which was well documented in the media. As the only communications person in the group, I was in the eye of the storm, working with the correspondents of the main Canadian outlets, called in from places such as Kabul to cover the “situation” in Delhi.

student success - photography course graduate

student success - photography course graduate - © Yan Huckendubler

I was confronted with a dilemma that many photo-journalists probably have: should we release the series of pictures I took to illustrate the sorry state of the athletes’ quarters? The media were pushing to have them, arguing that “a picture is worth a thousand words” and would speed up the resolution of the problem; but the Canadian Team staff did not want to, opting for a more “Canadian” approach and hoping that the Indian officials would become reasonable.

Our dilemma was resolved when the BBC web site published a similar series of pictures (obviously leaked by the English Team) and the proverbial shit hit the political fan, triggering an immediate and decisive action to clean-up the Village.

At these types of events, you need to carry with you all your equipment from venue to venue, and through numerous security checks: computer, video-camera, camera, lenses, rain gear, granola bar, etc… not to mention an “unmarked” neutral shirt recommended by our security group in case you were separated from the official group. So I decided to limit the lenses I would carry to:

  • AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm 1:2.8G IF-ED for the casual shots, team pictures, etc…
  • AF-S VR-Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G ED for archery, boxing and table tennis;
  • AF-S Teleconverter TC-14EII 1.4x, combined with the 70-200 for field hockey.
photo student success

photo student success - © Yan Huckendubler

The plan “nearly” worked: the combination of 70-200 with the 1.4 teleconverter was too short for field hockey pictures (I would normally use my AF VR-Nikkor 80-400mm 1:4.5-5.6D ED).

For archery, the type of pictures you can take is limited. I was flabbergasted by the regularity with which the archers hit the centre of the target but it is mostly a static sport, everybody having the same stance and being perfectly still while aiming, with little emotion shown after a shot to avoid wasting mental energy.

At the boxing venue, I somehow became friend with the Venue Photo Manager and he let me go “ring side” when the Canadians were fighting. It is certainly a choice position to follow the action, although I spent a lot of time trying to decide if I should shoot below or between the ropes! There is great potential to catch the expressions on the boxers’ faces during the build-up phases, and, with some luck, you can shoot at the right time to catch a wild swing.

photo student success

photo student success - © Yan Huckendubler

Stay tuned for more of Yan’s adventures from the 2010 Commonwealth Games!

#567 Guest Student Post

During December we had the chance to take on a photo student from Algonquin College. We both learned. Below is his take on the life of a photographer and a few of his photos.

40 Hours In the Life of a Professional Photographer.

Hi my name is Matt Usherwood I’m a young local Ottawa photographer new to this industry. I had the opportunity to intern with Harry for 40 hours.

To sum up a co-op placement I spent 8+ hours with him for a number of days and do whatever he asks me to do, whether that be cleaning garbage cans (ed. note: it was only one!) to assisting him on shoots. When I first came into this internship I had no idea what to expect.

Matt Usherwood Photo

Matt Usherwood Photo

I’ve been behind the scenes in a photographer’s life. We’ve had discussions on certain topics, he has also answered a lot of questions I’ve had for a while. I had the opportunity to work with him on some assignments and meet some clients. This internship was a big eye opener for me.

I wish I had more time than 40 hours to intern with him.

Matt Usherwood photo

Matt Usherwood photo

When I finish school in April I plan to go tree planting and travel. I don’t know where I’ll live yet but I know I will find work where ever I go as long as I am persistent about it.

Matt Usherwood”

Thanks Matt!

Be sure to check Matt’s photo blog.

Matt Usherwood Photo

Matt Usherwood Photo