#991 Art Events in Ottawa

1. Portraits of Bluesfest
Last night I soaked up the fun at Peter Simpson‘s annual Portraits of Bluesfest Event at Patrick Gordon Framing.

What I love about this annual show is the diversity of work. There are a few photos but most the work are interpretations inspired by the festival.

Fine Bluesfest oriented artworks are auctioned off to raise money for Blues in the Schools. This year Peter estimated they raised close to $10,000. Pretty nice!

Bluesfest Ottawa

Michael Franti – Bluesfest Ottawa

2. Oil/Change 
Danny Hussey, accomplished Ottawa artist has recently opened a new studio Central Art Garage in Ottawa’s China Town and is kicking off the fall season with a show with other celebrated Canadian artists.
Worth a visit!

Central Art Garage
September 13th 2013 7PM 10PM
66B Lebreton St. N. Ottawa, Ontario

3. Watershed Exhibition at YOW
More coming later… but our Watershed Exhibition is now hanging in the Ottawa Airport in the departure lounge.

Watershed Art

Ottawa Airport Exhibitio (thanks to Lisa Forbes for the photo)

#990 Exposed! Photo Newsletter – iPhone Photo Tips

This spring my web developer, Tanya, told me I needed an iPhone.

I protested.
She insisted.

Guess who won…

In this month’s Exposed! photo newsletter learn to take better Smartphone photos…

Better Pictures

Photo Tip – Make your whites white by touching the blue sky to expose well.

#989 Portraits Photo Class – Review

Another session of one of our longest running courses is complete.

We offered the summer session of Natural Light Portraits in August and nerves turned into smiles all round.

photo class

Natural Light Portraits
© Marie Josée Leblanc

Let’s face it … making people pictures is hard. The photographers often get nervous and worry they’ll be good enough. Not only do they have to manage their camera’s technical elements and creative concerns but they ALSO have to engage with a person or people. That’s a lot to deal with even if you have experience!
By the end of the course students were more comfortable and relieved that their ability to capture good portraits had produced good results!

Photo Course Ottawa

Portraits Course
© MJ Leblanc

“Great learning curve.”
“Very patient and positive instructor. Loved it.”

And the models were happy with their photos!Our busy workshop season is coming up with courses by photojournalist Blair Gable, socdoc photog David Trattles, Graphic Designer Peter Handley and myself, Harry Nowell. Courses range from Night Light to Fundamentals to Lighting to travel to processing.

See more workshop details and invest in yourself and your photo skills!

Photography Course

Portraits Photo Course
© Madeleine Bachand

#988 Watershed Photo Exhibition + Assignments + Photo Class

I realize I’ve been slacking on sharing some projects I’ve been working on…

What’s been going on this summer:
• Just finished an editorial assignment that sent me shooting a municipal political portrait and sunrise in a canoe for the same article.

• Finishing a stock assignment with an educational client.

• Finished Natural Light Portraits photo workshop. It’s always a good sign when nobody leave at the end of a course – makes me smile.


Better Portraits – Natural Light Portraits Photo Class

• Handed in some product shots a while back of some BEAUTIFUL custom furniture.

• Preparing some promotional material for our workshops.

• Installing Watershed at the Ottawa Airport very, very soon.

Watershed Art Exhibition

Details and photos will be coming as they become available for sharing…

#987 Web Distractions

A big thanks to readers for this week’s set of fun photo links to the web!

The “A-Z guide to street photography.”
Ron L sent us this link from DazedDigital.com with 26 tips to street photography.

Too much equipment, not enough clicking…
Wayne S
sent us this article about buying too much gear and what’s really going on!

Colouring Classic Black & Whites
And Mimi G offered this link showing some coloured interpretations of classic imagery.

Photo tips = Better Pictures
Finally, take a look at these photo tips – simple and fun!

As always – send us your favourite photo distractions from the web!!

Photo Tips = Better Pictures

Photo Tip #229 Learn from your child’s perspective.

#986 Free Gatineau Park Photo Safari

Free photo safari in Gatineau Park!

Free photo safari in Gatineau Park!

That’s right – we’re offering a free photo safari in Gatineau Park.

There’s no catch.
You just have to get to MacKenzie King Estate and, if you come by car, there is an $8 parking fee per car.

Gatineau Park Photo Safari!

Gatineau Park Photo Safari!

We offered the session last year. It was well received and we’re doing it again!!

The National Capital Commission is picking up the tab for the (approximately) 45 minute photo safari – we’ll be visiting different sites on the estate and offering tips and challenges for any skill level and equipment – iPhone to pro DSLR.

• Saturday, August 31st
• 4x afternoon time slots starting at 1:15, 2:15, 3:15, 4:15pm
• MacKenzie King Estate information (including directions!) – meet at the flag pole by the tea room.

Visit Gatineau Park!
Bring a camera.

Gatineau Hills

Free photo safari!

#985 Who’s doing what in Ottawa photography

Each Friday over at Ottawa Studio Works we offer insight into what photographers are working on in Ottawa & Gatineau.

Ottawa Art Studio

Ottawa Art Studio

For three years we’ve covered photo fun like:
Tony Fouhse’s review of Ed Burtinsky.
France Rivet’s devastating story of Innuit on display in Europe.
Justin Van Leeuwen’s extreme family portraits.

As well as our own photo classes and photo tips.

What’s new this week on the OSW Blog?

Ottawa artist studio

Ottawa Studio Works Event

#984 Latest Photo Tips

A year ago we started posting photo tips on our photo Facebook Page.
That became popular enough that we created PrimePhotoTips.com.

The Facebook page gets tips first but there’s no way to easily search archived tips.
PrimePhotoTips lags a few days behind but you can search for all tips on portraits.

Please like our Facebook page (ahem, someone got a free three-month online program for liking the page last month, just saying) and check PrimePhotoTips regularly to keep inspired to shoot.

Here are some recent tips:

Photo Tip #230
Do things differently.
Most people take photos of trees from the outside. Try going inside the tree’s canopy – everything changes perspective.

Photo Tips = Better Photos

Photo Tip – Do things differently – Try shooting from within the tree’s canopy!


Photo Tip #229
Learn from your child’s perspective.
Give them your camera/iPhone etc. – they produce some beautiful (and perhaps unusual from-an-adult perspective) photos.
We can learn so much from them…

Photo Tips = Better Photos

Photo Tip – Learn from the perspective of your young kids!


Photo Tip #228
Dedicated to all of our photo students:
“With time, small steps will take you a long way!”
Photo below by Morina Reece of Ottawa (who has come a long way in her photo skills!)

Photo Tips

Photo Tip – With time, small steps will take you a long way.


Photo Tip #227
Ask yourself “What is this portrait about?”
• Physical appearance?
• Their soul & passion?
• What they represent?
Then, reflect and shoot.
This thought process can take days or more.
But it’ll help you produce better portraits!

Better photos = photo tips

Blacksmith Portrait – what’s the photo about?!


Photo Tip #224
Choose what you are exposing for.
• Don’t let the camera do it for you!
• Different light levels can have a huge impact on your photos depending on whether you expose for the sunny or shady areas…
A simple shot of backlit towels on a clothes line can produce some magic if YOU control the light settings properly.

Photo Tips = Better Pictures

Photo Tip – Backlighting can add magic to your photos


#983 Art Studios at Ottawa Studio Works

We have just renovated two spaces available appropriate for fine artists, writers or other creatives at Ottawa Studio Works.

Individual artist’s studio spaces (2 x approximately 100 sqft) are available with shared access to larger exhibition space looking onto Ottawa’s Preston St.

Exhibition space @ Ottawa Studio Works

Exhibition space @ Ottawa Studio Works

Included with your own private creative space:
• use of kitchenette
• shared use of private patio/gardens
• access to shared exhibition space to meet clients, prepare bigger works, exhibit your work in solo shows.
• internet
• utilities
• feature on the OSW website and Facebook page
• your name on the studio door
• excellent Preston St exposure

Available September 1st.

Studios are just under 100 square feet and offer shared access to a larger exhibition space looking directly onto Preston St.

Work in your studio.
Greet patrons and show work in the exhibition space.
Get walk-by exposure from bustling Preston St.

View past art events at the studio:

Cost $290/ month + HST.
First and last month needed.

Viewings available:
Please send your information (website, CV, artist’s statement or letter of intent) to info@Ottawastudioworks.com
… or call us at 613 601-9460

Questions? Anytime.

Ottawa art studio

Artist studio / exhibition space at Ottawa Studio Works

#982 Photo Contest Winners Announced

In July we launched our 2nd annual photo contest for past students and we were very happy to see the results. Entires were diverse and spoke highly of the hard work (and fun) students have invested in their photo skills.

Ottawa photo contest

Photo Contest Winner! © Morina Reece

We selected four winners.

What were our criteria?
We were looking for:
• diversity in the photos
• technical excellence
• something different… There are many, many good photos out there – we wanted something that would catch the eye and make someone smile. We’ve always preached “Do something different.” Each of the winning photos stood above the norm.

Ottawa photo contest

Photo Contest Winner – © Eryck B

We’re very proud of all of our students.

Photography is tough. During the last ten years digital camera manufacturers have erroneously preached “EASY.” It’s NOT easy. It takes skill, perseverance, passion and many years of time to develop skills.

All the winners have been involved with our lessons for YEARS!

Alan and Cheryl have separately taken (almost) every course we’ve offered. They have taken a couple of courses more than once. Both are currently enrolled in our Online Photo Program with monthly challenges.

Yesterday Cheryl sent me a note after learning about her win: “I would have never got that photo if it wasn’t for your great teaching ability and getting me out of the box of ho hum photography.

Eryck started with the Pro Hockey photo workshop and has grown from there reading our photo tips and newsletters, etc.

Ottawa photo contest

Photo Contest Winner – © Al Garner

Morina completed our ProProgram last year and has taken many of our courses. She commented about Natural Light Portraits – “Superbly challenging, informative, exciting & very practical!

Thanks for sticking with us to develop your skills.

The winners all receive a free three month membership of our Online Photo Program.

Ottawa photo contest

Photo Contest Winner © Cheryl Kreis