Archive for August, 2010

By end of August, the weather finally stabilized and the weatherman announced a sunny period, without any storms in sight. That was the signal, I was waiting for, so without any delays, I got packing, threw the canoe on the car, and got going in the direction of Killarney at the northern shore of Georgian Bay. After an early start and pleasant 4-hour drive, we arrived around 8:30am at the Killarney Provincial Park, paid for the parking permit at the nearby Chikanishing parking lot, and started to paddle across the Colins inlet, and then around the west end of the Philip Edward Island towards the Fox islands.

Good thing, we started early. The wind has picked up during the late morning, and the waves were getting bigger, but by then we were paddling through the protected waters between the numerous islands and shoals on the southern side of Philip Edward island. These waters are ideal for sea kayaks, and that’s what you see mostly out in the open water, but I prefer a medium to large tripping canoe since I usually carry more stuff than I could put into a kayak. The disadvantage of a large canoe is that it rides quite high and is more susceptible to head and cross winds.

By noon we found our camping spot and set up our base on a nice rocky island with a high, but easily climbable granite hill with a beautiful view in all directions. The weather was fantastic, mosquitoes few, and beside photography, we engaged in a lot of swimming, paddling, exploring nearby islands and bays, and more swimming.

Here are some pictures from the trip.

Our 'private island' campsite

Kayaking and canoeing paradise

Rest stop on the return way

Typical Georgian Bay scene


Read Full Post »

Ownership and copyright
All submitted images must be wholly owned by the submitter.
Submissions must NOT contain any copyrighted material including paintings, other copyrighted photos, copyrighted logos, or any other artwork/sculptures/exhibits or audio which are copyrighted. If submitted material contains any of these or other types of copyrighted content, you must either submit releases from the copyright owners or you must mark the images as editorial.

Photographs of people
Any image of an identifiable person (even from behind) must be accompanied by a model release. Submissions must not contain violence, x-rated content, or any illegal content according.
Submissions depicting a minor must be accompanied by a model release that was signed by that minor’s parent or legal guardian.

In contrast to the early purchases of stock images that were used primarily for printed media, nowadays many images are bought for online newsletters, websites, and blogs that do not require large image size. However, there is still need for inclusion of images in books and brochures, so it is best to submit images in larger size, i.e. 10MP or larger. Do not upsize the original images, since it results in reduction of image quality.
Typical sizes: 1920×2560 (6MP), 2800×4200 (12MP). Minimum size: 4MP

Not important, if the size requirements are met. You can set it to 72, 240, or 300 dpi.

Colour Workspace
sRGB workspace is preferred. If you are processing your images in ProPhoto, convert them to sRGB prior to the upload.

Clean Image
This includes removal of any dust or oil spots, noise reduction, and cloning out obstructing wires, trash, or poles.

Composition / Cropping
If it is a landscape or street shot, use common guidelines, such as Rules Of Thirds, and whatever considerations you deem pleasing. If it is an isolated image of a tomato, you may as well place it in the middle of the picture.
If you start with a large image where the main subject doesn’t quite fill the frame, consider cropping the original image. This usually increases the apparent size of the main subject while removing unnecessary space. More importantly, this method makes the main subject larger in the thumbnails which are presented to the prospective buyers.
On the other hand, be careful not to crop the image too tightly and leave enough background on all sides to give more flexibility to the designers/graphics artists who will be using your image in their artwork.

Color contamination
This can result from excessive saturation, HDR treatment, or color fringing along the edges. Go easy on any HDR treatment, and examine edges and critical areas in your image for any stray color pixels or stripes. If needed, use defringing tools to remove any fringing around the edges.

DO NOT use any output sharpening.
If the images come out too soft from the camera, use gentle capture and localized creative sharpening to improve the apparent sharpness.
Sometimes you can improve the sharpness and salvage the image by reducing its size, i.e. from 18-24MP to 6-8MP, and then apply gentle sharpening. It’s better to have a medium-sized sharp image than a soft extra large image.
Always watch for the halos around the edges. You shouldn’t see any.

Again, in contrast to fine art prints, stock photos need to be simple and sharp. Generally, a large depth-of-field is more desirable than shallow depth-of-field, especially for landscape and nature pictures. When it comes to food or people photography, a shallow DOF can be used when appropriate, but in the beginning I would recommend to steer away from blurry techniques.

Tricks / Techniques
In contrast to fine art prints that often look best in subtle colours, stock images need to be vibrant. Apply saturation techniques in gentle and judicious ways, when you use saturation sliders or tools such as NIK Tonal Contrast, or Topaz Clarity to make the images pop out.

Read Full Post »

The Whitewater Slalom National Championships were held at the Gull River Wild Water Preserve on Saturday July 31st and Sunday August 1st in Minden, Ontario. This stretch of river is beautiful, the conditions were ideal with sunny weather and high water levels, and the event was attended by the top slalom racers.

Here are some action shots from the event.

Click here to see a video clip

Minden 2010 National Championship Slalom Book

Read Full Post »

Power Hockey Cup 2010

On August 7th, I was invited to watch and photograph the Powerhockey event at Ryerson University. The Toronto Power Wheelchair Hockey League (TPWHL) hosted the 2010 PowerHockey Cup at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario, Canada from Aug. 6th through Aug. 9th, 2010. The tournament was attended by the Calgary Selects, Carolina Fury, Michigan Mustangs (WCHL), Minnesota Stars, Minnesota Saints, Ottawa, Toronto Rock, and the host Toronto Lake Raiders.

PowerHockeyâ„¢ is based on basic hockey rules with a few adaptations to allow everyone in a power wheelchair the ability to participate. Relatively new sport, it provides a competitive sports opportunity for persons not possessing the physical upper body strength needed to participate in other sports (such as wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, quad rugby, etc.). Participants not only get to be a part of a fast paced exciting game, they build life long positive attributes such as teamwork, good sportsmanship, strategy, self-confidence and self-esteem.

All games in the tournament were filmed by a professional crew, and simulcasted on http://www.gretzky.com. I used Canon 2Ti camera with a 50mm and a 200mm prime lens, both for action shots and video recording at 1080p. All pictures and footage were captured in the available light, without any flash. I was very pleased with the video quality of this camera. The little built-in microphone on the camera delivered also amazing sound quality. When filming outside, the recorded sound is usually compromised by the wind or even slight movement of the air, but inside the gym this was not a problem and sound quality of the clip is surprisingly clean. Make sure, you check out the short video clip below.

This year, Minnesota Saints team took home the 2010 Power Hockey Cup.
Below are some pictures from the game between Ottawa and Minnessota Saints teams.

Click here to see a video clip

Power Hockey Book
Link to Powerhockey.com

Read Full Post »