#756 Easier photo class registration


That’s what we like to hear.

We recently added online registration to our workshops. This means you can register for a workshop without finding your cheque book and stamps or phoning with your credit card info.

At the bottom of each workshop description you will see a button that says ‘Register Now.’ Follow the instructions and you can quickly and easily pay the deposit and register for a course. It’s safe and secure. You’ll receive an automated response and a follow-up from a real live human.

If you’re not sure about the internet and would prefer to pay by mail or by phone that is still an option!


If there are any questions you can still reach a real, live human – who knows what’s going on – by email or phone.

We will be posting some new fun on the workshops page in the next few weeks. Stay tuned by signing up for our free monthly newsletter at the top, right of any page.

David Trattles - photo narrative workshop

David Trattles - photo narrative workshop

What’s coming up that’s fun?

Creative Fundamentals – April – our most popular course! Learn the fundamentals of photography. Lay a solid foundation for your photo fun!

Dancing Horses Photo Safari – April – FUN shoot capturing lovely horses that will dance for our cameras!

On Location Lighting with Blair Gable – April – FULL – we’re looking at a second section in the summer.

• Developing a Photo Narrative with David Trattles – May – David will shake up your world of story telling with your camera!

Macro Photography with J David Andrews – June – 3 spots remain (may change without notice) – Get close and personal with flowers and other delights!

Fun for all and now easier to register!

Motion exercise within Creative Fundamentals photo workshop

Motion exercise within Creative Fundamentals photo workshop (that's me in the helmet working hard to create a zooming subject for your cameras!)



#755 What camera equipment to bring to a photo shoot…

I’ve often said my job is a pack mule.

I lug a lot of equipment. Whether it’s teaching photo classes or creating photos for clients there is a lot of equipment to move. Sometimes I have an assistant but often I am moving equipment by myself.

Today on the way to a custom hockey photo workshop I weighed my camera bag. It was just over 20 pounds (approx 10 kg). That’s a fair bit! Each photographer chooses different equipment for different purposes. So for today’s blog post I started thinking about what I pack for different scenarios.

What goes in the bag?

1. Today’s workshop… I usually shoot a little of the workshop in action and want to be able to show different equipment options for shooting different scenarios. I also bring some extra gear in case a student has a malfunction – it’s nice to be able to lend something in need. So I brought:

• Two DSLR bodies, 80-200/f2.8, four small primes: 14/2.8, 24/2.8, 50/1.4, 85/1.4, memory, batteries, water, Clif bar, teaching aids, student notes, etc. in a hefty over the shoulder bag. It came to slightly over 10kg or 20 pounds.

2. A commercial shoot… Depends on what the shoot is but it’s reasonable to suggest:

• Laptop, two DSLR bodies, 80-200 f2.8 zoom, prime lenses, memory, batteries, chargers, studio gear, tripod, back drop gear, water, lunch. Could come to 50 or 100 kg (100-200 + pounds)

3. In the field art shoot… For a Watershed type shoot I might bring:

• 4×5 Graflex film camera plus two lenses, Pentax 67 film camera plus three lenses, 35mm panoramic camera, film, batteries, food, water, small bag of extra clothes (down jacket, etc.), tripod. It all goes in a backpack style camera bag, tripod bag and small duffle bag. Possibly 15kg (30 pounds). I feel like a pack mule hiking or biking into a location.

4. Vacation photos… We recently went away for a week’s vacation (see attached photo) and I was “asked to provide” some family photos. I was on holiday… and I did not want to lug equipment. I brought:

• One DSLR, 3 small prime lenses, an extra battery and a couple of memory cards all in a small over the shoulder bag. Probably came in at 5kg or 10 pounds, tops.

Family Portraits - bath time

Family Portraits - bath time

What you bring depends on what your goals are. The more complex the shoot, the more equipment there is to haul. I often evaluate the haul after the shoot and ask:

  • Did I use everything? 
  • Could  I have brought less?
  • Did I need more?
The photography is sometimes the easier part of the day. Lugging equipment up elevators or through swamps is the part that is rarely seen. Brilliant photos often take a truck load of equipment. Some amazing photos are shot with simple, light gear.

#754 Hockey and the importance of training

This Sunday we are back to the Ottawa 67s for another session of the Photographing Pro Hockey class.

Ottawa 67s hockey

Ottawa 67s hockey

It’s fast and challenges even the finest photographers!

In that vain, a reader sent us a link to photographer and educator Scott Kelby‘s blog post entitled “My Painful Dance with shooting hockey continues.”

Fun… Thanks for the link, Victor.

Ottawa hockey photography class

Ottawa hockey photography class

#753 Open Doors at the Photo Studio – Ottawa Studio Works

We have been throwing open the doors of the studio about once a week to welcome curious people into the space.

We have had the studio almost two years and never originally planned to run it as a store front. But with enough people peering through the windows and even walking into the studio when we are working… we hear you. Since Christmas time we have been opening each week for nosy people to see what we’re all about!

Ottawa photo studio - Open Doors

Ottawa photo studio - Open Doors (Alain Simard photo)

Last week we cycled through some Iceland photos and had a steady stream of small groups coming thorugh.

So coming up we have two more Open Doors coming up:


Watershed Exhibit Preview

Thursday, March 1st – drop by between 6-8pm

We will be previewing some of our Watershed proofs – works in progress – as we prepare to start printing pieces for the show. What’s Watershed? A muddy study and photographic exploration of 8km of creek/stream/river that passes through our back yard. Very fun for the last 11 years!


Show & Tell

Thursday, March 8th – drop by between 6-8pm

Bring one photo to present and receive critique. Get some feedback on your work. Share with other photo phans. Meet new people. If possible pre-send your photo to us so we can line them up for the show.


Feel free to just be nosy, ask about workshops or purchase some of our fine art prints.

Hope to see you there!

#753 Watershed Art Exhibit

In December we offered a Sneak Peek at our photo studio of an art exhibit that is nearly complete. ‘Watershed’ is project that started 11 years ago as my dog and I wandered, wondering where our local creek went.

Watershed Art Exhibit

Watershed Art Exhibit

Over many years the project grew from a sense of adventurous exploration into the realization that I had the basis for an art exhibit.

As the muddy adventure developed into a collection of artwork my cameras soaked up ever changing beauty, debris of human existence and extensive feats (and wrecks) of bulldozed infrastructure.

Watershed Art Exhibit

Watershed Art Exhibit

“Watershed” weaves eight kilometres from its headwaters in Gatineau Park through a divided highway’s tunnel. My self imposed rules were simple:
1. To follow the watershed and see every bend, turn and obstacle.

2. To return with cameras – predominantly medium, large and panoramic format film cameras – to selectively document different aspects of the watershed.

Watershed was shot predominantly on large film to allow BIG, fine prints.

“Watershed” illustrates the power of an innocuous trickle and the connected nature of the lifeline that provides life to all surrounding it. I was continually surprised to see where the “little creek” behind our home brought me – to the local village, highway and some favourite locations in Gatineau Park.

Stay tuned for more Watershed news…

Watershed Art Exhibit

Watershed Art Exhibit

#752 New Bonus for Photo Workshops

We are very happy to announce we have a bonus for people registering for our workshops with photographer J David Andrews this winter and spring.

Macro Photography Class - Ottawa

Macro Photography Class - Ottawa - © J David Andrews

Participants in:

… will receive a 12×18 premium print by Dave Andrews, the printer.
Printer Dave Andrews - Ottawa

Printer Dave Andrews - Ottawa

• J David Andrews – the photographer – is a humble but magnificent photographer whose work has been used by VW, Canadian Geographic and featured on Canada Posts stamps. He has two well reviewed photo coffee table books to his name.

• Dave Andrews – the printer – is a modest but exceptional printer who prints for fine artists far and wide. His prints hang in significant galleries throughout North America.

There are still a few spots left in the workshops by J David Andrews.

And the deal just got better!

Contact us to reserve your spot!

Winter Landscape Photography Workshop

Winter Landscape Photography Workshop - Ottawa region - © J David Andrews

#751 Cameras and photography…

I’ve never been a big techie and have often shied away from the ‘leading edge’ of technology – too over-rated.

When I present photography to different groups I often get asked “What camera do you use?”

I usually say “It doesn’t matter, really.”

Digital Camera Technology

Digital Camera Technology

And for many elements of photography, the camera takes the back seat to a human’s photo skills. I had a student once tell me they blamed their ‘inadequate’ digital camera for his lack-lustre photos until he saw a fabulous photo show and discovered it was photographed on his ‘inadequate’ camera.

Digital photography has come a long way in the last 10+ years. For the first six or seven years I resisted the digital revolution – cameras produced small files with marginal pixels and limited iso capability.

Digital Camera technology

Digital Camera technology

I couldn’t imagine shooting work with those early cameras – granted most of my work was for stock or for clients who had no need for immediate delivery. Instead, I shot on well-tested film cameras and invested in a significant scanner to deliver quality files to stock agencies and clients.

I eventually invested in digital cameras, of course. I have been waiting a long time for a larger file-capable, higher iso camera for my specific work. The Canon 5DMk2 was close to what I wanted but, alas, it doesn’t fit my lenses. The Nikon D800 has just been announced and I have been excited to have a look.

Anybody got their hands on a demo, yet?! 

Digital Camera Technology

Digital Camera Technology

#750 Hockey Photography Workshop results

We wrapped up the Pro Hockey Photography Workshop earlier this month.

As usual, the Ottawa 67s game flew by for participants. And there were big smiles.

We have been asked for a second session of this workshop – we are offering a second, condensed, session for up to four lucky people on February 26th, 2011. Details…

A big thanks to the Ottawa 67s for working with us! 


Ottawa 67s hockey photography

Ottawa 67s hockey

See results of  the workshop below!

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop - Marc LaFleur

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop - Barb M

Ottawa hockey photography workshop - Barb M

Ottawa hockey photography workshop - Barb McKenzie

Ottawa hockey photography workshop - Barb McKenzie

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop - Marc LaFleur

Ottawa hockey photography workshop - Marc LaFleur

#749 ProProgram Success – Weddings +

Barb McKenzie approached us a little over a year ago about joining the ProProgram – an intense, part time, self directed photo program that draws on expertise of my photo business of almost 20 years as well as the support of other Programmer graduates and current students.

Barb wanted to pursue weddings and sports. She had a busy year of learning and shadowing with wedding photographers. A year later she is smiling with a new website and a recent showing at a bridal show.

Student Success - Family Portraits

Student Success - Barb McKenzie - Family Portraits

See some of Barb’s work. And hear what she has to say about her experience:

I got my first DSLR camera for Christmas in 2009.  My husband I were planning on going to Europe for our vacation so I wanted to learn how to take some awesome vacation photos so I started looking for some courses that would help  me achieve those photos.  I came across the Creative Fundamentals course that Harry offered that spring.  Well, that was the start of something bigger for me.

Student Success - portraits

Student Success - Barb McKenzie - portraits

When I came back from my vacation in September I had such a great time and was really pleased with my photos, I decided I really wanted to learn a lot more so I started to investigate different programs offered in photography and I decided on the ProProgram Course offered through Harry.  Two of my ultimate favourite courses included the Hockey Workshop with the Ottawa 67s and the Night Lights Workshop but one great events for me was assisting Harry with the “SPCA Photos with Santa” Fund Raising event in Chelsea.  I had an amazing day taking pictures of dogs, cat’s and a pig named Einstein.  It was an awesome experience.

I was having some major exposure issues and Harry came down to my office at lunch to help me overcome this problem.  After a ½ hour with Harry’s one on one attention I finally overcame my exposure problems.    Another great advantage of the course is having the current and past ProProgrammers to work with.  We often get together for photo excursions, trade advice and expertise.  It’s an amazing group of people.

Student Success - Barb McKenzie - wedding photography

Student Success - Barb McKenzie - wedding photography

It took me just over 1 year, 40 hours of work experience, 5 workshops and 1,000’s and 1,000’s of photos to officially become a ProProgram Graduate and I’m thrilled at where I have ended up. I look back at the first 15 photos that I gave Harry on our first meeting after joining the ProProgram and I am beyond thrilled at how far I’ve come.  I’ve started my own photography business bphotography.ca and have got to meet some super talented photographers.

Thanks Harry!  It’s been an awesome experience.

Thanks Barb – we love seeing students succeed! Please visit Barb’s website and send her some cheers…

#748 Hockey Workshop Part 2

We are finishing up our Photographing Pro Hockey Workshop – capturing an Ottawa 67s game – on Wednesday night. We’ve been running this workshop for five years now and we’ve taught many, many people to take better sport photos.

We’re excited to announce that we’ll be offering a second condensed session. Details below.

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Ottawa hockey photography workshop

Stay tuned for a review of photos from Saturday’s practical session.

New Date:

Sunday, February 26th: noon to approximately 5pm (time depends on length of game).


$325 + HST

Group size:

Limited to 4 people.

Contact usto register.

Ottawa 67s hockey photography

Ottawa 67s hockey photography