#613 New photo course dates

We are starting to line up the late summer and fall workshops based out of our Ottawa photo studio.

Over the summer we are working on some safaris – early last summer we were planning two adventures that turned into a photo trek in the Laurentians developed with a student who wanted something different than a workshop. This year we have more fun in the works – stay tuned.

Photo adventure

Results from last summer's student photo expedition

Later in the summer we are hosting one of our longest running workshops – Natural Light Portraits. Many, many, many students have learned the secrets of portraiture: optimizing available light managing your subjects to get natural smiles, flash… Mark your calendars for August 24th, 27th, 31st for better people pictures.

Ottawa portrait photo class

Natural Light Portrait Photo Class

In the fall we have set dates for our most popular workshop, by far – Creative Fundamentals. This adventure helps new photographers and intermediate shooters create better photos by mastering the basic elements of photography – such as understanding exposure, learning to manipulate depth of field, getting a handle on theory and practice of composition. We start with the most simple building blocks and build from there. September 7, 10, 14, 2011.

Digital fundamentals photo class - Ottawa & Gatineau Park

Understanding exposure and focus depth in Creative Fundamentals - Gatineau Park



Coming up later in the fall is Night Light, one of my favourite photo workshops. Why? The lights at night offer opportunities that can make your eyeballs fall out. Stay tuned for dates to be set in October. We offer this once a year only.

Night Light Photography Workshop - Ottawa

Night Light Photography Workshop - Ottawa

And in November Photography for Communications Professionals helps corporate communicators learn to capture photos on the job.

Photo workshop for government communicators - Ottawa

Learning to shoot at a press conference

We have other, new photo classes in development. Stay tuned.

And, once again, we’d like to thank Patrick Gordon Framing for helping keep this blog and the newsletters coming to you!

Patrick Gordon Framing

Patrick Gordon Framing





#612 Reader’s Photo of the Month

That’s done it.

We have been deliberating for a couple of days. We recently started the Reader’s Photo of the Month. We choose a photo from reader’s submissions based on the photo but also the supporting commentary.

We don’t care what specific camera, lens or how many mega-zooples your processor zapped.

We do care about your inspiration, creative process and perhaps some minor technical info.

Read the guidelines.

Send us a photo for next month’s Reader’s Photo of the Month.

Darrell Larose won top spot this month for his version of a classic – see a larger version of Darrell’s portrait:

Reader's photo of the month

Reader's photo of the month

“Inspired by Karsh’s John F. Kennedy portrait.

I always liked this study (of Kennedy by Karsh), the fact reinforced when I held this original 11×14 photo in my hand. To see an original Karsh can’t be described. For a portrait photographer it is truly holding the Holy Grail. My self-portrait was inspired in terms of lighting and the profile. I opted not to be praying but I think I got the lighting close.

I opted to replicate Ilford FP-4 (my personal favourite B&W film)

I add just a hint of brown-sepia to emulate Agfa Portriga warm tone FB photo paper.”

Thanks Darrell.

His was chosen as this month’s Photo of the month.


We liked the lighting and technical elements, inspiration and homage to a classic portrait, photographer and medium. I have a spot for film photography and although Darrell shot this digitally he tips his hat to film.

Thanks Darrell and to all the people that sent in a photo.

Please try again in May.


#611 Loose Ends – photo of the month, exhibition +

Three points worthy of mention:

1. Our new feature – reader photo of the month will be posted this week. We’re always looking to highlight people’s work. Want to be noticed? Read the guidelines. Send us a photo.

2. David Trattles Exhibition and Print Sale. One night only – May 7th 2011. OttawaStudioWorks.com

Mark your calendars for a night with an accomplished, award winning, compassionate, 20 year veteran of the social documentary photography world discovering people stories around the world with camera and bicycle. More later this week.

3. CanPhoto.net is back! After a four year absence this photographer’s site is back online with news stories, forums, and info for Canadian photographers.

David Trattles Exhibition and Print Sale

© David Trattles - "The Boxing Ladies"



#610 Exposed! Newsletter – Tips for Turning Photography into a Business

My job has perhaps never been as challenging as the past two weeks.

Our new baby boy (now ten days old) decided to arrive two weeks early. Mum’s water broke early Saturday morning — 10 hours before I was to run a photo workshop. In the middle of the night I arranged back-up as I packed hospital bags and supported my wife’s increasingly frequent contractions. It was a bit of a scramble and I couldn’t call in sick!

Photo businesses and babies

Photo businesses and babies

I often have people tell me I have a dream job. It is pretty nice but there are many challenges people never see. Over the last 20 years I’ve made big blunders, had wonderful surprises and learned many, many hard lessons.

In this edition of Exposed! we share some tips to take your photos into a job with fewer bumps in the road.

Exposed! :: Tips for Turning Photography into a Business


#608 Student Success!

France Rivet of Polar Horizons joined our ProProgram a little over a year ago. She had specific goals to help her photography business – built around a love for the polar regions – to grow.

France came, learned and grew, enormously!

Help us send her congratulatory cheers as she graduates from the ProProgram. See her photos and visit PolarHorizons.com

France shares her recent photo experiences and photos:

I first heard about the ProProgram in the fall of 2009 when you came to talk about stock photography & Iceland. Hearing one of your first pro-program students, Nathalie Madore, & you talk, I quickly realized that it was a program I could definitely benefit from.

Student Success - Photo Course Graduate - Gatineau

Student Success - France River - Photo Course Graduate

About a year earlier, I had decided to make a drastic career change and wanted photography to be a major part of my new career path. I had so much to learn not only on how to improve my photography skills but also about the business side of things.

The ProProgram was a wonderful opportunity to benefit from the experience of someone who had gone through the process, who was willing to share his knowledge, skills, etc. Less than a month later I was registered.

Student Success - Photo Course Graduate - Gatineau

Student Success – France Rivet Photo Course Graduate – Gatineau

The main benefits I got from joining the program include :
• My photography skills have undoubtebly improved. I feel a lot more confident. This year is the first time that some of my images made the short list of a provincial-level photography contest. I couldn’t believe it when I was told that not just one but three of my four images submitted had been selected.

• I have explored brand new areas of photography. I can’t wait to photograph new scenes, new destinations at the magical time of day.

Student Success - Photo Class Graduate - Ottawa/Gatineau

Student Success - France Rivet - Photo Course Graduate - Gatineau

• I have learned so much through the ProProgram by being in contact with various individuals who are passionate about photography. Sharing our experiences is so beneficial. Some of the “second degree” contacts I have made following my participation in the ProProgram workshops have had a major impact on my photography and new long-lasting friendships were born.

• Shadowing was a fun and most beneficial exercise of the program. It forced me to meet established photographers and learn from their own way of doing things. Chatting about their life experiences, about their successes or failures proved to  be most useful.

Student Success - Photo Class Graduate - Ottawa/Gatineau

Student Success - France River - Photo Class Graduate - Gatineau

• Both the workshops and the shadowing have helped me identify where I really want (and where I do not want) to take my photography.

• I always appreciated the fact that whenever I sent you a question by email, the reply came in a timely fashion. Every time, I was amazed at how detailed the answer was. You had obviously taken the time and effort to provide me with more information. You have always been very open to sharing your knowledge.

Student Success - Photography Course Graduate - Ottawa/Gatineau

Student Success - France Rivet - Photo Course Graduate - Gatineau

Merci, France – I am always happy to see someone progress like you have in your ProProgram!


#607 Baby Portraits

We made a special announcement Monday about a special event.

It’s been an interesting week learning about the ways of babies. If you haven’t guessed yet, our baby arrived 5 days ago.

We’d like to introduce you to our special bundle of joy – ‘Q’ – below

All are well and we are getting to know each other. As for the blog and photo work we are operating on baby schedule so we are working at slower speed than normal for another week.

Newborn photography

Newborn photography

#606 Farm Photo Safari

Join us for our Farm Photo Safari coming up as we explore the world of sheep shearing, working dogs, pigs and cows.

Farm Photo Safari - Ottawa

Farm Photo Safari - Ottawa

Meet new friends. Learn photo tips as we visit a working demo farm in the region.

We spend two and a half hours walking and exploring life on the farm with your camera and a group.

We have arranged special access to photograph a working dogs in action. There will also be some sheep shearing, cows, goats, horses and smiling faces.

Farm Photo Safari - Ottawa

Farm Photo Safari - Ottawa

Sunday, May 22, 2011; 9am-11am.

We shoot at a farm in the Ottawa area!

$65 + taxes for the photo safari.

Register by contacting us to arrange payment and a complete registration form for the Farm Photo Safari.

#605 Special Event bulletin!

We aim to bring you three blog posts a week with photo news, ideas, links and upcoming photo events and workshops.

A photo safari blog post was in development for Monday but got sidelined by a very special event – a new baby.

Harry – who writes most of this blog – and his wife got some good news very, very early Saturday morning. Their baby was coming two weeks earlier than anticipated. Everything went well and all are healthy and learning how babies work.

A special thanks to J David Andrews who stepped in to take over the Creative Fundamentals workshop practical session on Saturday.

Regular blog programming will commence once the diaper situation stabilizes.

#604 Sugarbush Photo Safari

A couple of weeks ago we visited Fulton’s Pancake House & Sugar Bush in the Ottawa Valley near Pakenham for a delicious photo safari.

Fulton's Sugar Shack and Pancake House

Fulton's Sugar Shack and Pancake House

Participants arrived for breakfast and then warmed up their cameras to capture the sweet photos of the sugarbush.

Sugarbush Photo Safari - Ottawa Valley

Sugarbush Photo Safari - Ottawa Valley

People explored, clicked, and ended their photo session with a sleigh ride.

And then the photos came in. See the fun!????

We have another safari lining up for May – stay tuned – we’ll be announcing that on Monday.

Sugarbush Photo Safari - learning about sap!

Sugarbush Photo Safari - learning about sap!

Sugarbush Photo Safari - Ottawa Valley

Sugarbush Photo Safari - Ottawa Valley

What’s the difference between a Photo Safari and a Photo Workshop?:

• A safari emphasizes fun and friends with some photo guidance and tips included. They are short and inexpensive.

• On a workshop the emphasis is on learning specific photo skills. Fun is always included. Photo workshops are more intensive, longer and are usually more costly.

Sugarbush Photo Safari - Ottawa Valley

Sugarbush Photo Safari - Ottawa Valley

A big thank-you to participants, Fulton’s and Alain for helping pull this together.

Sugarbush Photo Safari - Ottawa Valley

Sugarbush Photo Safari - Ottawa Valley

Ottawa Sugarbush

Ottawa Sugarbush lines