#714 Reader’s Photo of the Month Contest Winner

Our winner this month’s photo contest… is Willa Mason for her photo of a wild turkey feather.

Why did she win?

Well, it’s a classically good photo – strong leading lines and triangles – but what she says in her supporting text (see below) about observation skills tipped the photo over the edge to win!

Photo contest winner!

Photo contest winner - Willa Mason

Willa says:

I came across this wild turkey feather while on a walk on my Aunt & Uncle’s farm in Orton, Ontario.

It instantly caught my eye because of it’s unique stripes, I like this photo because I think it shows a simple thing that some people wouldn’t even give a second glance, but when I took the time to look at it closely, and observe the texture it made me wonder, because I never would have guessed that turkeys have striped feathers!


Willa Mason

Nice work WIlla! For her fine photo Willa wins a Canadian Geographic Magazine Subscription. Congratulations!

Canadian Geographic Magazine

Canadian Geographic Magazine

This is the final instalment of monthly photo contests this year. A big Thank-You to prize donators – DaveAndrews.ca, Canadian Geographic and Gwyn/Andrew Batchelor.  And a special Thank-you to everyone who took the time to enter and share!

Stay tuned – the contest will return in 2012!

#713 Photo Studio Open House, Exhibition and Print Sale Reminder

Visit our annual Open House:

Ottawa Studio Works

160 Preston St, Ottawa 

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 – 7pm onwards

Why should you come:

Gift ideas – anything from cards, posters to fine art prints to photo courses & safaris – something to fit any budget.

Do it for the Dogs! – We’re collecting money and food for the West Quebec SPCA.

Limited Edition Cupcakes. Yum.

• See a selection of our student’s work.

• Enjoy the funky festive atmosphere with tunes by DJ Ron LaVoie.

Sneak Peek – get a preview of 2012’s ‘Watershed’ photo exhibition – photographs along 8km of a watershed.

What more do you need?!

Hope to see you at Ottawa Studio Works, 160 Preston St – December 3rd, 7pm.

Ottawa Studio Works - Open House & Print Sale

Ottawa Studio Works - Open House & Print Sale

#711 Reminder – Art Exhibition at the photo studio this Friday

Yep, That’s right, Kevin Foisy‘s  “Love through the Lens” opens at Ottawa Studio Works on Friday, November 25th. Make it fast – it’s a one night show!


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

When: Friday, November 25th, 2011; 7pm onwards.

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.

Art Exhibition - Ottawa Studio Works - photography studio

Art Exhibition - Ottawa Studio Works

#710 Do-it-Yourself Portraits – more fun!

Kym Shumsky filled one of our DIY portrait sessions and brought in two strangers as part of her ‘100 strangers project‘. One photo below – see more of Kym’s strangers from her DIY session on her ‘100 strangers‘ site – LeMien.

Thanks for sharing on our photo blog, Kym! It was a pleasure to have you in our studio!

DIY Portraits - Ottawa

DIY Portraits - Ottawa

DIY Portraits - Ottawa

DIY Portraits - Ottawa

#709 Photos with Santa at the West Quebec SPCA

Santa’s coming to town!

He’s here for all the dogs and the cats and their humans.

Details for “Pet Photos with Santa”:

 SPCA of Western Quebec

659 Auguste-Mondoux, in the Aylmer sector of the city of Gatineau.

Sunday, December 11th; 

11:30 – mid afternoon – get their early!

Bring a furry friend and a donation ($15 minimum) for a photo with Santa!

SPCA and Santa photo on the dog blog

Rex the dog was so excited with Santa he wanted to show he could fly with Rudolph!

The Aylmer SPCA – technically the SPCA of Western Quebec – is a no-kill animal shelter. Some shelters euthanize animals when they run low on space/time/money. This means SPCA of W Quebec is under greater $ pressure to care for all animals that come in. Killing them is not an option!

They also receive no public/government funding and relies solely on adoption fees and donations to cover all costs incurred in operating the shelter, and providing all of the necessities to their animals.

This SPCA is also where our lovely Biscuit was introduced to us.

Dog on the Blog

Biscuit on the Blog

#708 Exposed! Photo Newsletter – Gift Ideas for the Photographer on Your List

It’s time for our annual gift buying suggestions and this year we went straight to our readers to ask what YOU wanted for Christmas! So, if you have gifts to buy for the photographer on your list read our photo gift suggestions!

We are also excited to be helping the dogs and cats at the Aylmer SPCA again – we are donating our photo services on Sunday, December 11th from 11:30-4pm so YOU can have a photo taken of Fido and Santa. This is an important fundraiser for our furry friends!

photo gift buying suggestions + Santa photos!

photo gift buying suggestions + Santa photos!

#707 Our photo blog went on vacation

Sooo, we just got back from Toronto on a mini vacation – few days of leisure to charge the batteries.

What did we do?

There was some professional development and a few photo worthy items for the photo blog:

• iPad at the ROM

We visited the Royal Ontario Museum where we saw medieval armour, many animals and David Hockney’s iPad/iPhone exhibition that is pushing the art medium forward. The most interesting part of his exhibition for me was to see what people are doing with new technologies.

• Centre Island Visit

We met an old friend for lunch and he suggested going to Centre Island for a walk and coffee. I haven’t been there since maybe 1978 and wasn’t sure what to expect. It was perfect fall weather and as day turned to dusk the whole of Toronto started to light up like our annual fall Night Light Photo Workshop. It was stunning. I’d show you the photos except I didn’t take any (I was with family and friends and had no camera)! I LOVED the spectacle and would love to go back with the sole purpose to shoot.

• Toronto Skyline

I visited the roof top deck of our hotel and saw potential for a stunning series of  shots similar to the the variations photo in a recent Exposed! photo newsletter – but, sigh, I didn’t even bring a tripod.

Although I’d love to have shot the spectacle (and found a market for the work) sometimes recognizing the potential and the desire to shoot is a good reminder that I still love what I do.  That’s a good sign!

• Baby

I DID bring some basic equipment and took some photos of a very fine subject – our young son and his super mom. We both took some photos while in our hotel. Below is my favourite of the set – photographed by my wife at EXACTLY the right moment.

Harry and son photo on the blog

Harry gets punched on his nose!

We’re back in the office in Ottawa on Monday – with charged batteries.

#706 Guest Post – Ottawa Valley’s Kevin Foisy on our Photo Blog

Today we have a guest blogger – Kevin Foisy – who is exhibiting “Love Through the Lens” at our photo studio, Ottawa Studio Works, November 25th, 2011.

Kevin writes:

“Become a Better Photographer through Sharing.

We are taught as children to share with others but when it comes to our photos, we sometimes cringe at the thought of it.  A photograph is a reflection of the photographer; by sharing, we expose a part of ourselves that might be a bit uncomfortable.  

“What if they think it’s terrible?”“My work isn’t good enough,” “Other people’s work is so much better.”

These and many other thoughts go through our minds before we take the plunge to start sharing our work on a regular basis.

I can remember when I first started sharing.  I would email a picture out to a few friends here and there.  To my surprise, they were quite kind and offered valuable feedback.  I started to see my work through other people’s eyes, learning that everyone has their own perspective, likes and tastes.  Other people see my work differently than I do and are generally very kind.

With time, I was encouraged to broaden my list of friends and so I scoured through my address book and invited many others.  The more people that I added, the better, fuller, richer the experience became.  It’s one of the things that I really love about photography … the sharing and the feedback. 

Kevin Foisy - recent photo work on the blog

Kevin Foisy - recent photo work

Most of us have stared up in awe at the sprinkled field of twinkling stars that lights a moonless night. In this image, I wanted to capture the sense of spirituality of man and the universe around us, and the idea of these being one, as is claimed by Noetic scientists. The image is titled, “Man and the Universe.” 

“So, how exactly does it make you a better photographer?”

The process of sharing invokes more thinking around the photos you’re sharing.  It encourages you to tell a story about the photo.

Why did I take it?  What does it mean to me?  What do I see in it?

When you share, you are forced to think about these things and that practice makes you better.  Soon, you are thinking about these things before you take the photo instead of after and that leads you to being a better photographer.

As your list grows, you become very aware that what you send out is representative of your work.  Soon, you find yourself striving for better and better images.  You critique your own work with greater detail when you know that many people will view it.  Things that would have passed before, will not pass now … but that’s ok because you’ll find yourself producing better and better images.

There is another bonus!  Your fans will be there when you are ready to step to the next level with shows and print sales.  You now have a following of people that know your work and are excited to see it presented, displayed and celebrated – please visit my upcoming show and print sale at Ottawa Studio Works!

“When my work is good enough, I’ll start sharing it.”  

I have friend that is a pro photographer; he’s been published in many magazines and has been shooting most of his life.  He recently said, “Nobody will want to buy my work.”

You will never feel that your work is good enough!  It doesn’t matter what level you are at.  We always look up at the work of others and feel that our work is less and hence, “Not good enough.”  It’s only through sharing that you will start to realize that your work is good enough.

Kevin Foisy - recent photo work on the blog

Kevin Foisy - recent photo work

The fall colours are warm and vibrant but none that I have seen match the incredible vibrant reds of the burning bush.  While most leaves have settle to the ground, this bush stands out as though it is on fire.  Today, it was further saturated by rain droplets that settled on these fiery leaves.

“So, where do I start?”

There are several ways to start.  The first and easiest is to start with an email list.  Create a group in your email program and add your friends to the list.  It’s a good idea to ask permission first because not everyone wants to receive pictures. 

As you become more confident, grow your list by adding more friends and colleagues.  Ask your friends if they have friends that would like to be on the list.  Before you know it, your list starts getting pretty large.  When the list grows large enough, you could consider using a hosted service like Google Groups, or Yahoo Groups.  I recently switched to GroupSpaces which allows people to sign up to join my list and to also unsubscribe.  This allows the list to “grow in the wild” so to speak.

Facebook is a great way to share your work too.  I have a friend that is an amazing sculptor.  He shares pictures of his work on Facebook and I love seeing what he’s working on.  Your friends will feel the same way about your photos.

Use a blog.  It’s free and it’s simple to setup with with Blogger or WordPress.  These offer a great way to share and to keep a history of your work.  I post my blogs to my website and to blogger.

Kevin Foisy - recent photo work

Kevin Foisy - recent photo work

After a late evening of printing and preparing works for the show later this month, I rose before the sun and headed out to capture the world as the sun rises.  A very cold night resulted in fabulous frost formations.  An hour later, my toes were frozen and fingers numb, but I had captured an exciting sequence of shots. In this shot, long crystals of ice cling to these tiny twigs.  To the passerby, this is a mere coating of frost.  To the close observer, these micro crystals form shapes that resemble a spruce tree.

“But I already share my photos on Flickr.”  

Flickr, Picasa, SmugMug and others offer great places to setup galleries where you can share your work.  Though these are good, my preference is still the ‘photo a week’ type publication where you’re actively reaching out to people.  Having a gallery is great but it doesn’t develop your skills in the same way that a reach-out type activity does.

Now go take your favourite photo from the past week and share it!  Good luck and I hope to see your photos!


Thanks Kevin!

Join Kevin’s photo of the week email list.

Visit Kevin’s upcoming exhibition November 25th at Ottawa Studio Works – 160 Preston St, Ottawa!

#705 Student Success! ProProgram photo graduate

Trumpets blare.

Smiles stretch.

We have another graduate from our ProProgram and we would like to celebrate Lou Truss‘ successes on our photo blog.

Lou entered the program with basic skills and aspirations to work as a photographer. Her photos have blossomed and her confidence has bloomed.

Lou Truss - Photo Course graduate!

Lou Truss - Photo Course graduate!

I love seeing the difference in student’s work from beginning of the program to the end. And Lou worked hard through many photo classes and workshops.

See her photos throughout this blog post. Visit her website. Cheer her successes!

Lou says:

 Yay, I have finally completed the Pro Programme which took a little longer than planned!  I guess that’s what makes the Pro Programme so special as it caters for your needs. 

For me, It fitted perfectly around a young child and a husband that travels alot with work.  

The last two years has been an amazing journey.  It has allowed me to do what I love most… take pictures with confidence as well as the knowledge I have picked up on the Pro Programme.  

It’s been an incredible journey – I’ve met some amazingly talented people on the way. 

Lou Truss - Ottawa Photo Course graduate!

Lou Truss - Ottawa Photo Course graduate!

Thank you Harry for opening my eyes and giving me the confidence to follow my dreams.

Thank YOU Lou. We are cheering for you. Please blow your trumpets to congratulate Lou’s successes!

Stay tuned for Lou’s photo exhibition at Ottawa Studio Works in September 2012.

Lou Truss - Ottawa Photo Course graduate!

Lou Truss - Ottawa Photo Course graduate!