Carleton Place Photowalk

June 2nd, 2013

On a recent Sunday this summer a group of photography buddies travelled with me 30 min Southwest outside of Ottawa, Ontario to photographically explore the small community town (pop. 10,000) of Carleton Place. We walked a couple of hours through the small downtown core photographing what we saw as being visually interesting. Afterwards we visited the new Waterfront Gastropub along the Mississippi River for a mid afternoon bite.

A train railway line with rails removed, leaving only the gravel and ties. (Stephen Harrison)

Ventilation pipes eminating from a building facade. (Stephen Harrison)

A heron hunts for fish in a fast moving river near an aqueduct, (Stephen Harrison)

A lopsided tire stockpile rests outside an auto service shop. (Stephen Harrison)

Soil spills from an overturned flower pot on a grassy lawn. (Stephen Harrison)

Alley with staircase between two residential buildings. (Stephen Harrison)

Elements of nature overgrowing a cinderblock wall and electrical box. (Stephen Harrison)

A hardy green fern grows from a rock crevice. (Stephen Harrison)

Residential facade with front door and flowers. (Stephen Harrison)

Pizzeria and restaurant The Eating Place along Bridge Street in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

A closed retail storefront offering vacuum and sewing services. (Stephen Harrison)

Cafe and restaurant storefront along Bridge Street in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

The Waterfront Gastropub restaurant in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

All-in-all we had a chance to create some neat photographs of a quiet town, eat good food, relax, and talk photo. What more could you ask for?

 

Orchid Photography – Ottawa Orchid Society’s 32nd Annual Show

April 23rd, 2013

This past weekend I was able to make it out to the Ottawa Orchid Society’s 32nd Annual Show and Plant Sale at the Nepean Sportsplex. It was my first time out to this event and there was so many great orchid displays that at first it was almost overwhelming. The show was well laid out with dedicated areas to the orchid exhibition, orchid art and jewelry, and buy areas. The show was definately well attended with many photographers which made for tight working spaces with tripods and lighting equipment everywhere (Sunday 9-11am).

Equipment and Technique: Camera set to manual exposure: ISO 100 1/125th sec. Aperture was between f/11-f/22. External SB-600 Key light (on light stand) was set to manual 1/4 power and fill SB-600 (hand held) was set to manual 1/8th power. Triggered wirelessly via Nikon CLS from Master SB-800 speedlight on camera. Lens on manual focus. Shot on a tripod for the most part (to aid in fine-tuning composition changes), with some handheld due to space restrictions. Due to the flash(s) firing a brief blip of intense light I am able to freeze subject and camera motion blur so handholding was not an issue.

Feel free to click each image for a larger view in the gallery and for fine-art purchase details.

Pink Masdevallia Bella Donna orchid flower. (Stephen Harrison)

Orchid Dtps. Nobby's Pink Lady (Dtps. Nobby's Valentine x Phal. New Cinderella) (Stephen Harrison)

Angulocaste Santa Barbara flower. (Stephen Harrison)

Orchid Dtps. Nobby's Pink Lady (Dtps. Nobby's Valentine x Phal. New Cinderella) (Stephen Harrison)

Pink Orchid flower. (Stephen Harrison)

Phragmipedium Belle Hougue Point orchid flower. (Stephen Harrison)

Orchid Dtps. Nobby's Pink Lady (Dtps. Nobby's Valentine x Phal. New Cinderella) (Stephen Harrison)

Art Project – Discarded

April 17th, 2013

As the winter snow receded last year, I took an afternoon and decided upon myself to collect as much garbage along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada as possible. With gloves in hand I collected bags and bags full of discarded garbage that had been carelessly thrown into the natural environment. Some items were newer, some decades old with the liquor bottles a reminder that youth can be as much careless as carefree no matter what generation. Much of the items were glass and plastic bottles. Other discarded garbage came in the form of lighters, clothing, toys, product canisters, car parts, and even a gas can. The volume of items collected in such a small area (approximately 1km) made an impact, and I wanted to express it visually through photography.

Poole Creek Cleanup Area

The Discarded Art Project cleanup area along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada.

Art Project:
Discarded trash collected in 1sq. kilometer along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada and displayed for effect. Items collected on Monday March 26th, photographed on Monday April 2nd 2012.

Most of the images are created in a documentary top-down fashion with the found objects placed in organized rows based on size, type, and if possible even down to the brand. Photographed on my pavement driveway the shadows of tree branches are a subtle reminder of the natural environment that these items were discarded into.

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Some notes on items recovered:

  • 2 Lego/Duplo blocks
  • 1 pair of childrens sunglasses
  • 1 childs shoe
  • 4 mittens/gloves
  • 1 large metal gas can
  • 1 large rubber tire liner
  • 6 sheet metal shards
  • 6 tennis balls
  • 1 car hub cap
  • 2 plastic oil containers
  • 1 silly string can
  • 1 flashlight
  • 3 body spray canisters
  • 1 Jasmine tea tin
  • 2 whipped cream cans
  • 8 glass liquor bottles
  • 39 plastic water bottles

… and many many more assorted items

Brands:

  • 14 plastic Coke bottles
  • 10 plastic Gatorade bottles
  • 9 Molson cans (one full/sealed)
  • 4 Monster cans
  • 2 Red Bull cans
  • 4 PC cola cans
  • 8 Coke cans
  • 5 Pepsi cans

(there are more… but the labels are too hard to read)

Other assorted brands: RC cola, Crush, 7Up, Sprite, Mountain Dew, Mist, Schwepps, Dr. Pepper, Carling, Busch to name a few…

All together items filled 6 large garbage bags. Most was recycled although some items weren’t possible to recycle.

Detail images:

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Discarded trash collected from along Poole Creek in Stittsville, Ontario, Canada. (Stephen Harrison)

Although much of my photographic work touches on human interaction with nature in a fairly positive light, this project was inspired by the works of environmental documentarian photographer Edward Burtynsky in which our mindset of manufacturing, consumerism, and disposable culture is explored photographically. As a professor of photography at Algonquin College, part of my course “Creative Digital Photography” each fall touches on the documentary use of photography through social responsibility with such documentary films as 2006’s “Manufactured Landscapes” by director Jennifer Baichwal which explores Burtynskys view of an industrialized world.

I would like to invite the community of Stittsville out to early Earth Day cleanup activities this Saturday April 20th at Village Square Park and along the Trans-Canada trail. Meeting at Village Square Park 10am. Cleanup activities will last for approximately 1hr (or longer if you wish). Note: Actual Earth Day is Monday April 22nd.

On the Flip Side – Metallic Macro World

April 8th, 2011

Sometimes with the right angle, lighting, pattern, and technique, you can make the ordinary into extraordinary. When walking through the grocery store a few weeks ago, my wife stopped to look at a set of shiny new frying pans. Of course she was looking at them with a purely practical mindset. When I saw them I thought “Wow, that base would be cool to photograph with a macro lens!” So home they came.

After sprinkling a bit of water from the kitchen tap on the underswide of the pan I set it on the counter, upside down. At the same height as the subject, I setup a Bowens Gemini 200ws flash on a light stand with a Softlite Reflector and Clip-on Barndoors. Using a Nikon D300 with Nikon 105mm f/2.8 VR Micro lens I began finding the image and working the scene. Working different angles and areas of the pan I was able to take away two neat images.

The first image focuses directly on an abstract fractured fish shape created by three water drops.

Fractured and distorted abstract fish shape. (Stephen Harrison)

The second is a composite with one exposure near the spiral center of the underside of the frying pan, the second exposure being an out of focus highlight shot of the water drops coloured purple and composited ontop creating a cool glittering bokeh effect.

Glittery purple bokeh over metallic spiral. (Stephen Harrison)

A behind the scenes setup shot displaying the location and placement of light in relation to the subject:

Bowens Gemini 200 with Softlite Reflector and Clip-on Barndoors. (Stephen Harrison)

Next time you’re out at the grocery store, keep an eye open for those neat items that might photograph well under the lens!