#1076 Big Film Photo Workshop

People keep asking… so we’re offering a workshop for people who want a challenge beyond the DSLR.

Join us this summer as we introduce different large formats to the group while exploring a couple of locations from my Watershed Collection which involves 20 kilometres of exploring a waterway.

8x10 view camera workshop

Large Format Photo Workshop

For the last 22 years I’ve worked as a photographer. It’s only since 2007 that I have owned a digital cameras…. the early ones were terrible (technically) and I held out as long as I could. I’m now happy with current available digital equipment but still have a passion for film.

I’ve owned and shot many formats including:
• 18x24mm (half framer)
• 35mm (standard SLR format)
• 6×7 cm 
• 24×50 mm (panoramic)
• 4×5 inch (large format)
• 8×10 inch (large format)

large format photography workrshop

8×10 Large format – photographing Watershed

There are many reasons to shooting film and big formats:
• a new (or old) challenge – Think you’re a good photographer? Can you capture a technical shot with one click and no preview?!
• large file sizes
• tangible archival back-up material
• slow process
• There’s been a renaissance in film!

Dates – July 17 (eve), 19, 20, 24 (eve), 2014

Locations – Ottawa Studio Works (central Ottawa) & Chelsea Watershed (just north of Ottawa.)

Cost: $375 + taxes

Click here for more information and online registration.

large format photography workshop

From the home made 8×10 camera

#1075 Web Distractions

This edition of Web Distractions is brought to you by many of our readers and supporters! Thanks for keeping the links coming…

55 Best Photographers, Ever
We stumbled upon this list and I was curious who got the number one spot…

Pre-Pantone Colours
Norman P offered this link about a book of colours described hundreds of years before Pantone.

Film Photography

Photos of Tears
Gina R suggested this link with photos about the uniqueness of tears.

Historic Negatives Found at Thrift Shop
Wojciech J. posted this link about a story of negatives that surfaced in a Thrift Shop.

Motorbikes and their Loads
Peter H brought our attention to this light hearted look at heavy loads.

Oops, wrong photos in a big news story
‘Anonymous’ suggested this NY Times story about the wrong photos being used for a mega news story

Post-Baby Beauty
Murielle C posted this link challenging perceptions of beauty.

• Photographer Round-up 
Check who’s doing what in the photo world – expand your horizons.

A big thanks for the links – keep them coming!

Bye for now…

#1074 Join Us – New Works

June offers the New Art Festival in the Glebe’s Central Park in Ottawa.

Hundreds of artists congregate to bring you their latest works with innovative ideas.

home made 8x10 camera

Hand bult 8×10 camera – photographing the Watershed project

This year I’m presenting:
• BIG Watershed prints

• My latest Watershed works shot with my hand built camera – these photos are originals – the photograph is the medium that gets exposed in the camera.

black & white original photos

Watershed 4×5 Black&White Print – this photo is the material loaded in the camera… there is only one.

• Sunstreaks – For a year I’ve developed a way to capture the sun streaking across familiar landscapes with an old process not intended for the camera. These pictures also come straight from the camera.


Sunrise over Ottawa – an 8×10 original. The photo is straight from the camera. That is why it is backwards!

• and some work from the archives.

Join us!
I appreciate your support and purchases – there will be a range of prices and work to suit everyone.

June 21, 22, 2014
Ottawa’s Central Park in the Glebe.

#1073 We’re Expanding

We’re expanding!

As many of you know, I’m a stock/assignment photographer and educator.
I operate out of Ottawa Studio Works in Ottawa’s Little Italy on Preston St.

photo studio

Ottawa Studio Works – shared space

Last year Bonnie Findley brought FindleyFoto to the studio.
Who’s Bonnie?
She’s an established Ottawa photographer – stay tuned for a proper introduction!

We’re looking for a complimentary small business (ideally a graphic designer, event planner, etc.) to round out the space at the studio – we have a 7×10 office space with access to shared meeting space and studio for rent for the right small business.

The Space:
70 square foot private space – includes utilities and internet with shared access to other parts of the studio – is available for rent for $250/month + taxes.

The Bonus
We’re both looking for the right small business person to support our businesses – web updates, wedding packages, managing clients and ideas. The right person for the studio and our businesses (our creative hub) can rent an affordable space and get two new clients at the same time!

Send Bonnie and Harry an email with your relevant info and questions.

Ottawa art studio

Blair Gable at presenting his photojournalism work at OSW

#1072 Oops, I dropped a camera in the lake.

I dropped a camera in the lake – submerged…

I trekked into Fortune Lake to continue my “Watershed Project” with two cameras:
a ‘small’ 4×5 Graflex large format camera
big hand-made 8×10 wood camera

With supporting gear, I hauled 50 pounds of equipment to a remote part of the lake. 

large format home made camera

8×10 hand-made sliding box camera

I set up and shot a scene with the 8×10 camera after which I set the Graflex on a tripod and went for the film holders. With my back turned (just a minute) I heard sploosh! One tripod leg had slowly shrunk causing the camera to pitch into the water.

classic camera

Graflex 4×5 camera

Clean-up and Recovery
I fished the camera out of the water and immediately took the lens off and dismantled it – the nice thing about large format lenses is you can unscrew most elements of the lens without tools.

I cleaned & cleaned & dried & dried with a soft cotton, absorbing cloth for 10 or 15 minutes and then went to save the camera by draining water and drying it as best as possible.

Once home, I took out the affected gear, warmed the oven to 200F, turned the oven off and put the camera and lens parts inside for a couple of hours.

Large format lens

Nikkor 75 mm lens with 4×5 coverage – easy to disassemble!

I am happy to report that all critical elements are functioning – I did damage the Graflok spring back but there’s an easy work-around until I can find a part… Anyone have spare parts for a Graflex?

Ottawa’s Camera Trading Company did not have the part but did have the expertise to help me make the camera usable without the Graflok back – that’s the value of Tom and Mark (and sometimes Bob) in the store – they know a lot!

Ottawa photographer

David Barbour

As I was leaving the store I bumped into David Barbour, veteran working photographer. He smiled commenting about my camera-in-lake Facebook post. “Never turn your back on a tripod!”
Thanks David.

In 1997 I assisted Malak in the Yukon. At 82 years old he had seen it all. He told me “I’ve made every mistake in the book!” It’s comforting to know others have big ‘oops’es.

I am a big, big fan of simple, mechanical equipment.
… I love it!

#1071 Advanced Fundamentals – Photo Class Review


© AlG –  Advanced Techniques – LightPainting balanced with night light

Last weekend we ran Advanced Fundamentals – a photo course designed to take people beyond the basics of “manual exposure mode” that we cover in Creative Fundamentals.

The idea of the workshop is push people’s skills beyond their comfort levels… just a bit.

photo fundamentals

©GillesG Exploring Shape, Line and Form

We offered:
• traditional exercises to help with composition, perspective
• unusual tasks to make participants think (and shoot) differently
• advanced challenges dealing with light, shape and form

Ottawa photo class

Advanced Challenges… How is the background (metal bars above) blurred and the portrait subject sharp? (It’s not done in post processing!) © AGarner

All in all, it was a productive weekend. We dodged the rain retreating into some underground and covered secret spots I’ve discovered over the years.

Enough from me…
Students said:

“I would happily recommend – urge – anyone interested in improving their photography to take one of your workshops.”

Gatineau Ottawa Photography

Finding Beauty in Chaos © GGagnon

“Harry is very attentive to the student needs and is always available to help and answer questions – The course took me out of my comfort zone… that is good.”

“Thanks again for a fun Creative Fundamentals 2 workshop. It was very helpful and it enriched my photographic knowledge beyond what I expected.”

Ottawa photo workshop

© ALG     Secret Spots shared with participants.

#1070 Web distractions

This edition of Web Distractions is brought to you by many of our readers and supporters! Thanks for keeping the links coming…

• 2014 Scotiabank Photography Award goes to…
Mark Ruwedel! Congratulations…

• Sun Streaks to Analemma 
Gilles saw my SunStreaks project and sent me this link to the related Analemma – very interesting! Thanks Gilles…

sunrise photo

iPhone Ottawa Sunrise

Mike V of PhotoKibitz offered this link to Custom Cameras… very fun!

NY Times: Alternate views of animals
Debbie S shared this article on different photos depicting animals.

Powerful photos…
Thanks again to Deb for this link!

Photographer Round-up 
Check who’s doing what in the photo world – it’ll help you develop your own vision!

A big thanks for the links – keep them coming!


Building a picture – soak up as many influences as possible!

#1069 Creative Fundamentals – Course Follow-up

In it’s 14th year we offered this spring’s Creative Fundamentals session.

Creative Fundamentals Photo Workshop

Creative Fundamentals Photo Workshop © Kathleen

Typical progression:
• Classroom Theory Session – Wide-eyed wonder
• Practical Session (early) – Trepidation
• Practical Session (late) – Smiles and relief
• Critique Session – Smiles and (early) confidence

Creative Fundamentals Photo Class - © Richard Provencher

Creative Fundamentals Photo Class – © Richard Provencher

The course went well.
Photos and skills progressed.
Smiles became more frequent.

Creative Fundamentals - Photo Class © Lisa Nabe

Creative Fundamentals – Photo Class © Lisa Nabe

Students said:
“Positive. Fun. I appreciated the prep work and care.”

“Amazing. Harry’s easy-going, well-explained style is perfect for this beginner’s course. His knowledge came through very easily using simple, easy to understand language… I came to this course very much intimidated by my camera. In a very short time I felt confident about what I was doing.”

Creative Fundamentals Photo Workshop - © Virginia

Creative Fundamentals Photo Workshop – © Virginia

“I learned so much with this workshop. I went from knowing nothing about exposure, iso, aperture and shooting in ‘auto’ to shooting in ‘manual’ and understanding.”

Thanks for the fun!

Creative Fundamentals © Gabriel

Creative Fundamentals © Gabriel