#1016 Annual Open House – Ottawa Studio Works

Mark Your Calendars!
Our Annual Open House is coming up soon:
Saturday, November 30th.
160 Preston St, Ottawa.

Saturday, November 30th, 2013;
3-4pm Photo craft for kids (while supplies last)
4:30-5:30pm Large format camera demo
6-10 General celebrations and people’s choice award!

We’re exhibiting a selection of student photos this year!
See below for details…

Ottawa Photo Studio

Art Exhibition – Ottawa Studio Works

We’ve had a great year.
Some highlights:
First Annual Media & Celebrity Photo Contest
Online Photo Program Celebrates One Year!
Platform Series launched
• We are soon to introduce the newest photographer at OSW
• Darkroom space in development
New big camera developments
Artwork successes
Photo Classes continue to help students soar!

And this year’s Open House is dedicated to highlighting our student’s work.
That’s where YOU come in!

Student Photos Wanted!
We’d like to feature YOUR work in the main studio and we’re having a juried show.
If your photo is chosen for the exhibition it will be printed and presented by our site sponsors:
• Artopix.ca
• DaveAndrews.ca
• PatrickGordonFraming.ca
You will receive a beautifully matted print of your photo after the show.








Suggested Submission Guidelines:

DEADLINE = November 16th, 2013
• maximum 450 pixels wide (Small web files please!)
• include your name in the filename
• sharp, engaging photos from 2013
• Send your photo submission with “Open House” in the subject line to Harry@HarryNowell.com.
• If chosen we will need a LARGE file size to create your print


Ottawa Photo Studio

Open House: Ottawa Studio Works

We’ll be raising money and food for the West Quebec SPCA.
What else is going on at the Open House?
• Cards and print sales
• Meet our newest in-house photographer
• Meet other photographers and our instructors
• Discounts on courses (available at the Open House only!)
• Ask about our soon-to-be darkroom

Photo studio Ottawa

Past Open House

Saturday, November 30th, 2013;
3-4pm Photo craft for kids (while supplies last)
4:30-5:30pm Large format camera demo
6-10 General celebrations and people’s choice award!

160 Preston St, Ottawa.

Join us…

#1015 New Photo Course – Exposure Basics – Mastering Manual Mode.

Better Photos
Few things scare a novice photographer more than the words “Manual Exposure Mode.”
Join us on this short course to learn how to avoid grey snow.

Learn to shoot with more confidence in Manual Exposure Mode!

Better photos - better exposures

Whites should be white!!

Who should take this course?!
This mini course is perfect for new photographers looking to establish a solid set of skills or for the intermediate photographer looking for a refresher.You will learn:
• simple, effective tips to get consistently better exposures
• about the importance and effectivenes of histograms to evaluate your photo in the field (erm, the screen on the back of your camera is notoriously bad at evaluating exposure!)
• the basis for successfully photographing advanced lighting conditions

Histogram Tips

About the Histogram

Join us:
Saturday, January 18th, 2014; 10-1pmLocation
A central Ottawa location with lots of warm shooting potential to explore the world of exposure.

$80 + applicable taxes

Register now.

#1014 Tips for Better Selfies + Selfie Contest!!

Selfies (self portraits) have become hot since Facebook met iPhones.

Hipsters and the more average among us are turning cameras on themselves… with varying degrees of success.

In this month’s version of Exposed! we offer tips for better Selfies.

Win a photo membership!
And this month we’re offering a free three-month Online Membership to one lucky reader who submits a selfie to us by Sunday, October 27th, 2014.

Details at the end of the Selfie Tips newsletter.

Be bold. Be brave.

Win an Online program!

Self portrait tips

Selfies – top tips for better selfies

#1013 New Photo Class – DIY Simple Studio Lighting

Our winter and spring photo courses are coming online. In January we’re offering a variation of a challenge we offered last winter to our Online Photo Program: Simple Studio Lighting.

Studio Lighting Made Easy!
For most people, studio lighting is prohibitively complex and expensive.
it doesn’t need to be!

We help you use tools you already have to create creative shots like the ones below.

Photo Class - Studio Lighting

Simple Studio Lighting – Learn creative Lighting Techniques with Simple Tools

Join us as we explore techniques and everyday tools to produce stunning imagery. We share techniques to use flashlights, store-bought lamps, obsolete camera flash and LED light sources to transform your creative ideas into beautiful pictures!

Thursday, January 9th, 2014 ; 6-9pm
Saturday, January 11th, 2014; 10-4pm
Thursday, January 16th, 2014 ; 6-9pm

Workshop is held in central Ottawa at Ottawa Studio Works.

$350 + applicable taxes

Register now!

studio lighting - DIY

Simple Studio Lighting – Learn to create beautiful photos with lights you already have.

#1012 Platform – Learn the Basics of Framing with Patrick Gordon Framing


As part of our Platform Presentations we are very pleased to have Patrick Gordon Framing, one of Ottawa’s premier framing shops, teach you the basics of framing – and caring – for your artwork.

Join us to learn:
• how to enhance and protect your photos (and other art).
• different options for presenting your art
• basics of framing photography (and other art) with both aesthetics and longevity in mind

The seminar will focus on matting, frames, backings, mounting, glazing, hinging, as well as conservation methods of caring for your photos.

A big thanks to long time supporter and student Ken H for suggesting this seminar!

Where: Patrick Gordon Framing – 160 Elm  (near Preston), Ottawa, ON.
When: Wednesday, November, 13th; 7:30-9pm.
Cost: Free – donations appreciated.
RSVP appreciated.

Framing Studio shop Ottawa

Photo courtesy of Patrick Gordon Framing

#1011 Large Format Camera Building

A long while back I talked about using ‘small’ large format cameras.
A shorter while back I talked about building a bigger large format camera.

Well, it’s almost done.
All I need are a few bits to allow it to mount onto a mega tripod (thanks Jim) and a couple of other holes drilled to keep the back pieces aligned around the ground glass and film holder.

home made 8x10 field camera

Building the large format camera – thanks, John, for your help.

A big, BIG thanks go to my distant neighbour John who helped make production as precise as it needed to be. What I thought may take an hour or two turned into 10 hours of design modification, precision cutting, routing, gluing and clamping.

Buying a new or used Large Format Camera would’ve been easier, way more expensive but less rewarding.

So what’s my fascination with Large Format Film?

• It’s big.
Full Frame SLR covers about 1.5 square inches of film/sensor space. A Graflex (lovely camera) covers 20 square inches of film. My new camera covers 80 square inches of loveliness.

‘Big’ helps you print big, very well, but it also has a lovely tactile feel to it. Looking at big slides/negs lets you see something you don’t get on a monitor or under a loupe.

8x10 view camera

Large format camera 8×10 hand made

• It’s slow.
That’s a good thing in some cases. The process forces you to slow down and get it right.

Modern photojournalist-based cameras boast a firing of speed of 11 frames per second. An 8×10 camera could get you 2 frames a minute if you’re FAST.

I’ve been experimenting with one process and I was getting one frame every 2-10 hours. It makes you think your shot through when a mistake costs you a whole day.

Ahem, last week, on a test shot, I forgot to take the dark slide out (equivalent of the lens cap.) Oops, that wasted a three hour almost-exposure.

And at $25 for film and processing one sheet of E6 film (a traditional slide) you want to make sure you’ve set the camera correctly! There’s not much room for winging it.

• There are no upgrades, obsolescence or menu screens.

I love my DSLR.
I do.

But there are many, many variables, menus and choices.
When I bought it (Nikon D800) the file sizes bogged my laptop computer’s speed. Photoshop and Lightroom needed updates to support the new camera’s raw files and my data crunching machine (Mac tower) needed a newer operating system to operate the software upgrades. Sigh, the dear Mac tower couldn’t run the new OS…

One camera purchase created a huge technology domino effect in my office.

Large format camera

Tom from the CameraTradingCompany.com. Big Camera

• Low Tech
With the large format camera there’s one piece of film, a focusing screen, one lens, a shutter to set and an aperture to decide upon.

There are no upgrades, ever.
It’s simple, mechanical genius. In school, I was never excited about science but this camera has had me excited about focus theory, flange distances and chemical properties related to Caffenol and UV light. Mr Deussing wouldn’t know what to make of me.

The simplicity is refreshing…

Who Used / Uses  Large Format Cameras?
Yousuf Karsh
Ansel Adams
Richard Avedon
And even current photographers:
Edward Burtinsky
Andreas Gursky (whose photos sell for $millions!)
Tom from the CameraTradingCompany.com

Stay tuned….

#1010 Web Distractions

It’s time for more of you web distractions – thanks for sending them in!

Red Bull Photo Contest Winners
Theresa H offered this group of amazing photos from the Red Bull photo contest. Red Bull? It’s a highly caffeinated drink that promotes big adventures!

Totally Cool Hallowe’en Camera Costume
A big thanks to Mimi for sending us this amazing WORKING digital camera Halloween costume. It has plans and everything to make it work!
What are you going to be for Hallowe’en?!

Better pictures

Photo Tip #271 LESS computer time. More photo time. Please…

• Michel Campeau: Icons of Obsolescence
Robert Burley: Disappearance of Darkness
A reader who prefers to remain anonymous suggested these two links from the National Gallery of Canada featuring exhibitions around the declining world of darkrooms and film photography.

Photo Tips

Photo Tip #278 – Notice the value of leading lines and where they can take your viewer…

Place Hacking” and Photography
Hold the Press!
We just got this link from Lois about the dangerous ‘sport’ of entering forbidden areas for fun! Often with cameras…
Be careful out there!

Photo Tips
Read our latest photo tips.
And somebody that likes our Facebook page this month will win a free three month membership in our Online Photo Program.

… We’re always looking for photo tips and web distractionsSend us your best!

#1009 Creative Fundamentals Photo Class Review

Another session of our classic course is complete.

We’ve been running Creative Fundamentals since 2001 and it quickly became popular with people who were intimidated with f-stops, manual exposure mode and grey snow in their photos.

photo class Gatineau Park

Creative Fun – Photo Workshop – Gatineau Park © André Tognarelli

The course offers the fundamentals of photography in simple, easy to understand terms. People often join the course scared to shoot in manual exposure mode and, by the end, capture good exposures in tricky mixed lighting scenarios.

The students did well…

We often teach this course as a Custom Course.

Dates are up for the next group session of Creative Fundamentals in April 2014.

Photo Class Ottawa

Silhouette Photo – Photo Class – © Judy Scott

New, Advanced Creative Fundamentals II
For many years students have asked us to run a follow-up session to challenge and solidify  their fundamental skills.

Well, now is your chance to test your skills further. We take the core material of Creative Fundamentals and take you further. We assume you have some experience in Manual Exposure Mode and help you:
• recognize/capture advanced exposure scenarios
• maximize control of Depth of Field
• delve into creative compositional construction

Dates are set for May 2014

#1008 Platform Series – Solo Climbing in Yosemite with Doug Pratt-Johnson

Join us for an evening of photos, stories and adventure as veteran climber, Doug Pratt-Johnson, shares experiences of his most recent climbing trip to Yosemite.

Ansel Adams captured Yosemite in iconic large format photos in the 1930s.

Now Yosemite is a mecca for climbers who spend days inching their way up sheer cliffs.

Doug spent 9 days attached to one of the big walls last summer…

photo presentation Ottawa

Platform Series – Doug presents stories of his 9 day solo climbing adventure on Yosemite’s El Capitan.

Doug’s Climbing Presentation
Doug Pratt-Johnson will present an evening of photos and stories from his 9 day solo climb of El Capitan in California’s Yosemite Valley.  Widely regarded as a mecca for bigwall climbers,  Yosemite attracts climbers from all over the world.  Come see what it’s like to sleep on a portaledge and hang your feet over the abyss while having your morning coffee!

Date: Wednesday, November 6th, 2013; 7:30-9pm.
Location: Ottawa Studio Works; 160 Preston St., Ottawa.
Cost: Free, but donations accepted.
Registration: It’s first come, first served. Space is limited – Doors open at 7pm.

Join us!

Our Platform Series offers a platform for people to bring a selection of interesting photo, arts and related events to the community.

Doug Pratt Johnson climbing near Ottawa

Doug Pratt Johnson climbing near Ottawa © HarryNowell.com

#1007 Online Program September’s Photo Challenge

photo challenge

Online Photo Program © Maisie I. Light Variations

In August we asked our members to shoot things from a different perspective.

Last month we offered a new challenge to members of the Online Photo Program – one to get them thinking about different light variations to help them go from an ok photo to something stunning!

Members were urged to shoot a scene in different ways (with guidance) to achieve photos like they’d never shot before! Tips and techniques were offered to help with starbursts, night shooting, star trails, sunsets, light painting as well as daytime shooting.

Results were awesome!

online photo challenge

Light Variations – Online photo Challenge – © Gilles Gagnes

Some comments, this month, about the program:

Yes, I am totally hooked…

I learned a tremendous amount and it was a refresher in night photography – something I don’t often do.

I found just dealing with all of the lighting conditions extremely challenging but overall the process very rewarding. I learned a great deal about lighting and my camera.  It was alot of fun and the reading on lighting effects was fascinating.

Looking forward to your lessons in the critique and what others have produced. There was some impressive work on the forum!

Thanks Harry – I have signed up for another 6 month session. I like the challenges. It stretches my creativity.

We’re proud of the student successes. They deserve some applause!

Interested in challenging yourself with weekly support and a supportive online photo group?
Join us for the Online Photo Program!

Photo Course

Online Photo Challenge – Light Variations – © AL Garner