Featured Images 2001
This page features selected photographs
from my portfolio taken during 2001
that I am particularly pleased with and for which there is an interesting story.
Current entries can be found here.
Pentax 67II and 55~100mm f/4.5 zoom. Provia 100F
An early December shooting trip to southern New Mexico took me to a couple of great photography locales — one for wildlife and one for landscapes. White Sands National Monument is southern New Mexico's loveliest landscape photography location. This image was taken shortly after sunrise, and though the early morning light makes it look warm, in reality the temperature was well below freezing.
Canon D30 @ ISO 100 using a 400mm f/4 IS DO lens
Bosque del Apache is one of the world's hot-spots for migratory bird photography. Three days of shooting in the refuge was an opportunity to refine my wildlife photography skills as well as test-out some new Canon lenses. The Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese co-habit this lake, yet as seen here lead very separate lives.
The making of these photographs will be featured in Issues #3 and #4 of The Video Journal.
Photographed with a Leica M6 and Tri-Elmar @ 35mm on Fuji Provia 100F
I wrote recently on these pages "Great photographs don't just happen. Sling a camera over your shoulder and head out the door to take photographs and you'll likely best return with the newspaper and a loaf of bread. You're not likely to stumble on a great image on the way to the Mall".
This photograph was taken at a subway station just a couple of hundred yards from my home. This then is the exception that proves the rule. I was heading out to shoot the annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade and had a couple of Leicas over my shoulder. I don't ride the subway very often and I don't usually walk around my neighborhood with cameras around my neck.
In this case, as the train was about to pull into the station behind me I saw this enigmatic figure standing in the shadows along with the strong converging horizontal lines of the platform. Serendipity.
Photographed with a Rollei 6008i and 300mm f/4.0 Apo-Tele-Xenar lens on Provia 100F
In late October, Chris Sanderson, the producer of The Video Journal and I spent 3 days driving the almost 600 mile length of the combined Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway on our way from Toronto down to my Great Smoky Fall Colour Workshop in Tennessee.
Running from the outskirts of Washington DC almost to Georgia, this continuous road is one of the most beautiful in the world. No stores, no billboards, no restaurants, no gas stations — nothing except a gentle two-lane road running through some of the most exquisite scenery in North America.
Late on the afternoon of our second day on the road we encountered this bucolic scene. It encapsulates for me the serenity of this lovely highway and its surrounding countryside.
Photographed with a Hasselblad ArcBody and 35mm Rodenstock lens on Provia 100F.
I was shooting in Sandbanks Provincial Park with another photographer, and at one point commented to him that though the area was quite interesting I was finding it difficult to find a composition because it was so "messy". Since nature is often messy I see it as a landscape photographer's job to see though the mess and to try and extract the essence of the subject. John's reply was that I should, "Embrace the mess".
As we hiked the dunes this stuck in my mind, and when I came across these three trees, looking like so many abandoned telephone poles, the jumble of grass, dunes and limbs came together into a satisfying composition.
Photographed with a Voigtl”nder Bessa-T and 12mm Heliar on Provia 100F
While I am primarily a landscape photographer who works in colour, all aspects of photography appeal to me. Recently my repertoire has expanded to include wildlife and travel as well as documentary street photography. The latter brings me back to my early career as a photojournalist in the '70s.
This month's entry is from that genre. It was taken in mid-August on the Midway of a country fair. The image's striking perspective was achieved through the use of the new Voigtl”nder 12 mm lens. (A comparison with essentially the same frame, but taken with a 28mm lens, can be seen in my article titled Variations).
To get this frame I moved to within about 2 feet of the young man. I could have reached out and touched him. Since I was crouched down, seemingly photographing the ride overhead, I suppose he didn't think that I was much interested in him. It also may have been that he was just too cool to care and saw me as just another crazy gray-beard.
Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and 28~135mm f/3.5~f/5.6L IS lens
June offered little opportunity for photography since I was heavily involved with launching Issue #1 of The Video Journal. Therefore though actually taken in late May, it was June until I processed this image, so I guess I'll consider it my June selection.
It has become one of my favourite photographs taken so far this year. Shot while on vacation in Florence, Italy, I was walking over a bridge crossing the river Arno before dawn. A flock of birds came flying up the river towards me and I took several frames in rapid succession, none of which later turned out to be of any interest. But as they passed overhead I swung around and took this one frame as they receded into the distance.
Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and 28~135mm f/3.5~f/5.6 IS lens
Two photographs share the honors this month. Neither is strictly a landscape or a nature photograph. In fact both are from the genre of "travel photography", not my usual expertise but something I try my hand at from time to time.
Both were taken on a vacation in the Tuscany region of central Italy in mid-May. The first is of a fisherman on the Arno river where it runs through Florence. First light is a wonderful time to wander about European cities as there is no traffic, crowds or open shops to distract and overwhelm the senses. There is peace and light. This seems to me to be a scene more from medieval than modern Florence.
These doorways are on the second floor of the world-famous Uffizi Gallery in Florence. These rooms have been deserted for hundreds of years and are just now being opened to expand the gallery. I have received more comments on this photograph since it was first published in late May than any other this year.
More photographs and a brief commentary on this trip can be found here.
Photographed with a Mamiya 7 II and 65mm f/4 lens
Driving back from Lake Powell, after my April 2001 Master Class in the canyons of the Escalante River arm, we came upon this scene — Mt. Hillers shrouded in a developing snowstorm, with the foreground sand and sage still in brilliant sunlight.
I took a number of frames but the first one was the best, with the sun still almost visible behind the writhing clouds. Within minutes the clouds had thickened, the dramatic light had flattened and the magic was lost. This turned out to be the finest image of the 10 day trip.
It's lucky that we got there at just the right moment; but remember
— "luck" is preparedness in the face of opportunity.
Photographed with a Canon EOS D30 and 100~400mm f/5.6L lens @ 400mm
While I'm primarily a landscape photographer I take pleasure in shooting wildlife when possible. This photograph was taken on a hike in the rainforest during a week-long trip to Costa Rica. Howler Monkeys aren't terribly large but in the early morning and the late afternoon, when a troop starts to howl, you'd swear that you were listening to the sounds of a Tyrannosaurus from Jurassic Park.
I called this my 400/400 week since almost every photograph taken was with a Canon Image Stabilized zoom lens at 400mm and the ISO setting on the digital EOS D30 was always set to 400. This particular shot, taken on the first hike of the first day, turned out to be a lucky one because I never again was able to get this close to the Howlers under decent lighting conditions.
Photographed with a Hasselblad XPan and 30mm lens on Fuji Provia 100F
In early January, 2001 my wife and I went to a retreat in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica for a break from the harsh Northeast winter. I had plans to do some landscape work while there but upon arrival I came down with the flu and spent most of the week housebound in our cottage. (If you have to get the flu, Jamaica ain't a bad place to have it). On top of it all, locals said that during the week we were there the weather was the cloudiest that they had seen in years.
As we walked the heavy clouds that had hung over the mountains almost all week started to clear and a lovely sunset developed. Just moments before the sun dipped below the horizon I found a location to set my small tripod on and an arbor to use as a frame. The ocean is about 3,000 feet below where we were standing.
2000 featured images are found here.