#688 Reader’s Photo of the Month Contest

Another month and another challenge to pick the top photo submitted to our monthly photo contest on our blog!

I sometimes feel bad because there are often a few that could run away with top spot. This month there were three that came very close. But there can only be one winner based on photo and supporting text.

And this month’s winner is…

Al Garner with his chrysalis of a Monarch butterfly.

Ottawa photo contest

Al Garner - Winner! - Ottawa photo contest

Al says:

Each year in the late summer my wife, Cathy, likes to collect monarch caterpillars and the milkweed plants they feed on.  We then watch as they eat and grow, eventually turn into achrysalis and later finally emerge as butterflies. 

This summer we were at my aunt & uncle’s cottage when Cathy did her collecting.  She collected 3 caterpillars and we watched them feeding while sitting on the deck.  Then one “escaped” and we later discovered that it had moved to the outside wall of the cottage to make its chrysalis.  I loved how it had attached itself right on a seam. 

The long line of the seam leads your eye right to the amazing sight of the chrysalis hanging in space.  I used a telephoto lens and extension tubes to get a close up view.  The telephoto lens combined with a large aperture gave a thin slice of focus which helped to isolate the line of the seam and the chrysalis.

Why did Al’s photo win? It’s a great photo with a good story and there was some significant thought and work that went into developing and capturing this photo. Congratulations Al!

Al wins a year’s subscription to Canadian Geographic Magazine. A big THANK-YOU!! to Canadian Geographic for their donation to the contest.

Canadian Geographic Magazine

Canadian Geographic Magazine

Please keep your photos coming! It keeps me on my toes choosing the winner.

This month’s prize is a LowePro Nova 1 photo bag (suitable for an SLR camera and lens), courtesy of a couple of our readers – Andrew and Gwyn.

See all the winners. Keep clicking and submitting. Good luck!

#687 Photo Exhibition – Ottawa – “Love through the Lens”

We’re pretty excited.

In November, Perth photo artist, Kevin Foisy joins us at Ottawa Studio Works for his show of new works – “Love through the Lens.

I’ve been watching Kevin’s work develop over the last year + and like what I have seen!

The show:
Perth area art photographer, Kevin Foisy, combines traditional and new photographic tools to create images of love that combine the literal with the abstract.  “Love through the Lens” features recent works, each connected by a theme of love;  love of nature, love of fellow man, love of family, love of life.

Kevin’s imagery and written words connect the viewer with the subject matter, teasing their emotions from within. This is the first opportunity to purchase Kevin’s most recent work.

Kevin Foisy – photo exhibition – Love through the Lens :

Kevin Foisy - photo exhibition - Love through the Lens

This baby racoon scurries up the tree, relinquishing its new found freedom in favour of the safety of its mother. In human psychology, this stage of development is called "rapprochement". This image captures the love of mother and child.

Kevin Foisy, Artist Statement:

In an increasingly digital world, we long to experience the essence of life beyond BlackBerries, iPhones, and social networks. We crave a connection with the natural world around us and there are few mediums left that can create that connection.Photographic art is a language for me. On its own, a photograph can provide a viewer with a simple visual experience. But an artistically expressed photograph imparts a powerful visual medium, using a vocabulary that conveys deep emotions such as love, compassion, peace, joy and sorrow in a very personal way that requires no words. My art reaches into people’s hearts, tapping into emotions that long for release. It appeals to a side of us that desires the natural world experience, longing to be one with the world around us.

Kevin Foisy – photo exhibition – Love through the Lens:

Love of the Sea

Love of the Sea


Abstract art has always engaged my mind, enticing me to draw out my own story, my own images, turning the wheels of my imagination. When an abstract piece is connected to something tangible, the abstractions become even more powerful and I feel a delightful sense of engagement that keeps me interested far longer than a literal image would. My work draws upon this understanding


I often stand before a subject and contemplate the underlying emotions behind the scene that I am about to capture. Using a combination of in-camera shooting techniques and post-processing artistry, I combine the literal image with its abstract essence. The literal image grounds the viewer in the place or thing, while the abstract engages the mind, drawing out the underlying emotions of the experience. This combination allows the viewer to feel the true nature of the subject matter.


Each day, each experience, each emotion provides a fresh canvas to paint as I strive to use photographic light and artistry in ways that remind us of the emotions within.


Kevin Foisy - photo exhibition - Love through the Lens

Love of Colour


Please join us in November to celebrate Kevin’s new works:

Where: Ottawa Studio Works; 160 Preston St., Ottawa

When: Friday, November 25th, 2011.

#686 Creative Fundamentals Photo Class

We recently finished our longest running, most popular workshop with a critique session at our Ottawa photo studio.

It’s been running for 11 years and keeps attracting people either as a Custom Course or a group course. Why?

Creative Fundamentals delivers the fundamentals of modern, digital photography in easy to learn chunks. And it makes people smile – we make it accessible and fun.

Below are some photos from the course:

Julie A photo - Creative Fundamentals Photo Course

Julie A photo - Creative Fundamentals Photo Course

Sarah R photo - Creative Fundamentals Photography Class

Sarah R photo - Creative Fundamentals Photo Class

Laura H photo - diamonds in the creek?! - Creative Fundamentals Photography Class

Laura H photo - diamonds in the creek?! - Creative Fundamentals Photography Class

Robert G photo - Creative Fundamentals Photography Workshop

Robert G photo - Creative Fundamentals Photo Workshop

Please cheer for all our student’s successes! Our next group session of Creative Fundamentals is January 18, 21, 25, 2012. We already have people on the list. Custom Courses are available anytime.

Today we hosted the Farm Photo Safari – stay tuned for photos on the blog!

#685 Ottawa photo contest – Honourable Mentions!

In honour of the last half year of our Reader’s Photo of the Month Photo Contest we would like to celebrate a few photos that deserve some trumpeting and applause. The photos below did not win the contest but came close – there are others that we could not include – sorry! These ‘honourable mentions’ are displayed in no particular order.

This month we have some strong contenders vying for this month’s prize of a Canadian Geographic subscription. There’s still time to enter your photos – sports, gardens, portraits, or dogs launching from your dock – send us your photos! We are looking for fine photos and some text about your inspiration.

Congratulations to the photographers below!

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention - Celso Bressan

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention - Sandra Croft

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention - Stéphanie Beauregard

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention - Stéphanie Beauregard

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention - Joe Davis

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention

Photo Contest - Honourable Mention - Pamela Byrtus


#684 ProProgram Graduate – Student Success!

About 18 months ago Mercedes enrolled in our Creative Fundamentals photo class. She enjoyed it enough that she became interested in our ProProgram. For Mercedes, the ProProgram enticed her to help strengthen her résumé in the arts field. And she dove in, eager to learn.

And learn she did!

She soaked up photo classes and pursued shadowing opportunities, establishing important contacts and experience in arts fields. Mercedes has just graduated from the ProProgram. Her photo skills have developed. New doors have opened for her and she’s found a new love of film photography.

Enough from me. Mercedes shares her Photo Program experience:

Harry Nowell Photography Inc.’s Professional Program (ProProgram) was a definite turning point in my personal and professional lives. Personally, it provided me with the knowledge and skills I had always wanted to acquire, even as a hobby photographer. It gave me the background I was lacking to produce better photos and to overcome my fear of film and to overcome the technical challenge of using a camera. I feel more confidant about my ability to capture an image, a moment, a memory.

Photo Class success

© Mercedes Déziel-Hupé - Oscar Peterson inspiration

Professionally, I feel that my eye has been trained in a different way than what was taught in my Communications program in university. Instead of simply analyzing a photo from its marketing perspective, I now know how to evaluate it’s aesthetic and technical qualities as well. Moreover, I am competent at manipulating or modifying an image if and when necessary. Naturally, this is very valuable to me as a communications professional. In this sense, I have become more equipped to cover a work-related event or take on a private contract, if the need should arise. In addition, I am more aware of the realities surrounding the career of a photographer and this enables more constructive dealings with photographers hired on through and for professional functions.

Ottawa Photo Class Success

© Mercedes Déziel-Hupé - Inspired by James Dean - shot on film!

The format of the ProProgram is rigorous yet very convenient as it is flexible. There is a good balance of theory, hands-on learning, practical exercises and homework and professional coaching. One must be self-motivated, but this is an ideal program for professionals looking to redirect or to refresh their skills or for a serious hobby photographer looking for more training. Harry’s teaching is efficient and kind, positive and constructive and his workshops are organized while still allowing plenty of room for creativity. That’s the point, isn’t it? Lastly, there is a wonderful support system put in place for all ProProgrammers to discuss and help each other through every step of the program.

Ottawa Photo Class Success

© Mercedes Déziel-Hupé @ Ottawa Fashion Week

As a recent graduate of the ProProgram, I am currently working on my very first extensive photo project and am working towards a show. I don’t want to give too much away right now, but let’s just say it addresses one of my passions: dance. Follow my blog for updates. Stay tuned!

Good work Mercedes! Check her blogs:

Mercedes’ photo blog

Mercedes’ Dance blog

Please help us cheer for Mercedes’ achievements and bright future!


#683 Do-It-Yourself Portraits in Ottawa

Shoot your own portraits in a well-equipped photography studio in central Ottawa – Just in time for the holiday season.

That’s right, direct your own shoot, photograph your own family, friends, colleagues, save money, control your photos.

Do-It-Yourself portraits - Ottawa

Do-It-Yourself portraits - Ottawa

All that’s involved is to show up with your people, spend five minutes with a technician plugging in your digital SLR camera. Lights are set up. We give you the correct settings for your camera. All you do is… start shooting.

At the end of the session you go home and download your photos. You own your copyright. You can print, email, copy, upload, edit as you wish.


Ottawa Studio Works 160 Preston St., between Gladstone and Somerset bordering on Little Italy and China Town. The studio is surrounded by wonderful cafés, restaurants, bars and sandwich shops.

Ottawa Studio Works is a working photography studio offering an 11×24 main studio with a support room available for make-up and styling. Bathroom and kitchenette are also available to support your portrait session.


Introductory cost for 1 hour session

$125 + HST

Book your session for an hour. The second consecutive hour is $100 + HST.



Check what dates are possible in November and December.

By appointment only – Please contact us to see what is available.

Contact us by email or by phone at 819-827-9460 for more information and to book your Do-It-Yourself Portrait Session.

Do-it-Yourself Portraits - Ottawa Photo Studio

Do-it-Yourself Portraits - Ottawa Photo Studio

#682 Ottawa Photo Studio featured

Last week we were contacted about a studio rental for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation for the filming of a 10 second spot to be featured at select movie theatres.

As it’s such a good cause we asked if we could feature the session on the blog to get a little more awareness out there. No problem.


Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Katie, the star of the video, showed up with her support team. Honey and Dear were brought in for the video. Everything went smoothly for Emily, Katie and the CBCF.

Thanks to everyone for allowing us to sit in on your session at Ottawa Studio Works.

Ottawa photo studio

CBCF @ Ottawa Studio Works

Ottawa photo studio

CBCF @ Ottawa Studio Works

Ottawa photo studio

CBCF - Ottawa Studio Works

Ottawa photo studio

CBCF @ Ottawa Studio Works

Ottawa photo studio

CBCF @ Ottawa Studio Works

Ottawa photo studio

CBCF @ Ottawa Studio Works

Ottawa photo studio

CBCF @ Ottawa Studio Works

Ottawa photo studio

CBCF @ Ottawa Studio Works



#682 Exposed! Photo Newsletter – Homework Ideas to Improve Your Photography

I’ve been shooting for years – but I just can’t seem to take my photography to the next level.

I hear a lot of comments like this: People who have been shooting for years but get stuck in a rut.

They’re accomplished and are very comfortable doing things the way they’ve been doing things. And that’s part of the problem.

In this edition of Exposed! we look at ways to shake up your comfort level to improve your photos.

Read “Homework Ideas to Improve Your Photography

Homework Ideas to Improve your Photography

Homework Ideas to Improve your Photography

#681 Baby photos revisited

Remember Daniel?

He and his wife were waiting for a baby to arrive this summer.

While they waited Daniel’s wife found our website and asked us about a “How-to-take-baby-photos” custom course… We spent half a day going over photography’s fundamentals and I brought in a wee model for him to practice at our studio.

Baby photography - Custom Course - Ottawa

Student Photo (Daniel B) - Baby photography - Custom Course - Ottawa

Well, yes, the happy couple now have a beautiful baby boy! I heard from Daniel last week. He was pretty excited:

… and when he was 7 days old we produced his first photo shooting session. I’m very satisfied with the results and Mommy is very, very happy.
Daniel’s photos of his son are presented in this blog post.
Maternity Photography - Custom Course - Ottawa

Student Photo (Daniel B) -Baby Photography - Custom Course - Ottawa

I’m pretty pleased at his successes after his Custom Course, too! He did very well.

I developed the curriculum for our fundamentals course over 11 years ago. It’s based on almost 20 years of photo and teaching experience. Other workshops grew from there. It makes me smile to see our student’s successes!

Congratulations Daniel & Mommy & baby!

Newborn Photography - Custom Course - Ottawa

Student Photo (Daniel B) - Newborn Photography - Custom Course - Ottawa

#680Natural Light Portraits Photo Workshop Review

Earlier this month we ran one of our longest running photo classes in Ottawa – Natural Light Portraits.

Portraits Photo Workshop - Ottawa

Student Photo - Portraits Photo Workshop - Ottawa

We start with students in our photo studio covering theory on everything from cameras to technical photography, flash and then talk about working with the people at the other end of the cameras.

Portraits Photo Workshop - Ottawa

Portraits Photo Workshop – Ottawa

On the weekend we transform the course learning from technical to practical bringing in groups of people to model for the portrait photographers. You can see the intensity increase as students feel some performance pressure – all with comfort of support close by.

Ottawa Portrait Photo Class

Ottawa Portrait Photo Class - Working with the models

We finished the workshop last week with some review and critique.

It’s a big course with good results – students climb to a new level of photography.

We usually run this course twice a year – January and the summer. Next dates are coming just after the holidays:

Natural Light Portraits – January 10, 14, 17, 2012.


Portraits Photo Workshop - Ottawa

Portraits Photo Workshop - Ottawa