Abstract

Autumn abstract

On the first day of October, I was in Banff National Park and found great fall colors across the Bow Valley.  I returned to Hillsdale Meadow along the Bow Valley Parkway where I expected the larch would be showing their best golds and yellows. I wasn’t disappointed!  For this image, I used a slow shutter to abstract the landscape similar to how I had done with the same stand of trees in July.  I moved the camera downwards during the 1/40th of a second exposure to exaggerate the vertical lines present in the golden trees and echoed in the evergreens in the mountainside behind.


A forest for all of its trees

There is a beautiful stand of aspen trees on the eastern edge of the Hillsdale Meadows which I have photographed for years throughout the seasons.  Last weekend I stopped for another visit with them.  This time around I was drawn to the contrast of the slender, white trunks and the dark spaces between them.

I worked a few different ideas before I found what an approach that allowed me to illustrate that contrast.  Using longer shutter speeds (1/8th of a second – 1/4th of a second) and moving the camera vertically during the exposure, the blurs created illustrated the contrast in a way I really like.


Aspen lines

Aspen lines along Grand Valley Road - © Christopher Martin-1119

Canon 5DIII camera and 300mm f/4 lens: 1/15th of a second at f/16 on ISO 200

I drove along the Grand Valley Road in search of raptors and was fortunate to come across a small group of fellow photographers who had spied a Northern hawk owl in a roadside stand of trees.  I will share a couple of photographs of that fine bird soon but wanted to first show the abstract images I made earlier in the day.  Before finding any wildlife, I was spending time looking for them among the trees and meadows along the road.  Early on, I found this stand of Aspens and I loved the vertical pattern and the stark contrast between dark and light within and between the tree trunks.

Aspen lines along Grand Valley Road - © Christopher Martin-1090

Canon 5DIII camera and 300mm f/4 lens: 1/500th of a second at f/9 on ISO 1250

I loved the straight image and once I dialled that in the way I liked, I wanted to drag my shutter and play with the blurred images that I traced out.

Aspen lines along Grand Valley Road - © Christopher Martin-1111

Canon 5DIII camera and 300mm f/4 lens: 1/30th of a second at f/16 on ISO 200


A second set of abstracts

I prepared a gallery of abstract and interesting images for a client recently and have added it to my portfolio page.

2013 © Christopher Martin

2013 © Christopher Martin

If you would like to see this new set, please click on the image or this link.


In the world Raven made

A conspiracy of ravens - © Christopher Martin-4170

Raven
The many are the one
Fly over the world you have made
Share your vision with those who will see
Fly where you will and we will know you are
In time we will understand more of what is
And we will change as you change
We will fly in our way as you fly in yours
You are and we will be


A Red Rock Canyon Abstract

Red Rock Canyon Abstract - © Christopher Martin-3217

The Red Rock Canyon is one of Waterton’s popular sites to visit.  My son had a great time parkouring along the slick rock, jumping across the shallow stream that the creek becomes in the middle of summer.  I photographed him mostly but the water, its ripples and the lines in this slab of rock, drew my attention for a minute.


A different tree of life

An abstract tree of life - © Christopher Martin -0619-2

I found this abstract tree form in the exposed bed of Medicine Lake east of Jasper.  I liked how water was running down the branches that led into the dry ground.


Cabo traffic’s night moves

Cabo traffic's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3351

Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/10th of a second at f/4.5 on ISO 640

Cars, motorcycles, buses and rickshaws swung by me one evening while I was in the heart of Cabo San Lucas.  With the neon signs hanging above many of the shops and the sky still deep blue, I didn’t want to pass on the opportunity to drag my shutter and play with what images I could create.

Cabo's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3364Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/6th of a second at f/5 on ISO 640

Cabo's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3432Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/5th of a second at f/13 on ISO 1600

Cabo's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3283Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 4/10ths of a second at f/5.6 on ISO 200

When practicing motion photography, I like to try different techniques.  I switch between keeping the subject sharp by panning in sync with its movement and panning out of sync so that only a small part is sharp or the whole thing has a large or small amount of blur that pushes the image into an abstract shot.

Cabo's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3339Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/15th of a second at f/4 on ISO 640

Cabo's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3372Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/6th of a second at f/3.5 on ISO 640

Cabo's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3296Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 3/10ths of a second at f/8 on ISO 640

Cabo's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3419Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/4th of a second at f/10 on ISO 1600

Cabo's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3383Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/6th of a second at f/13 on ISO 1600

 For the better part of an hour, the traffic kept me happily occupied while I waited for my bus to arrive.

Cabo's night moves - © Christopher Martin-3495Canon 5DIII with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1/15th of a second at f/6.3 on ISO 3200


Ice and Snow: lines and shadows

20140301-163635.jpg

The waves of mild temperatures then bitter cold that have been winter’s pattern this year have played havoc with the ice.

20140301-163828.jpg

Along the Elbow River the once smooth sheets of water frozen layer on layer, have buckled and split along the channel.

20140301-164117.jpg

The temperature went into free fall yesterday but the blue skies pulled me outside this morning. Near the edge of the ice down the Elbow I spent some time photographing the forms created by the blanket of snow, broken ice cover, and the long shadows of winter.

20140301-164231.jpg


Aurora Dance

Aurora Dance - 2013 © Christopher Martin-1005

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 24mm f/1.4 lens:  2 seconds at f/2 on ISO 1600

One more from the Northern Lights that I watched from my backyard last month.  There was a pile of photographs from that night which I had not yet looked at.  A few days ago, I worked through them and this one stood out for me.


A late night light show

Astral Duck - 2013 © Christopher Martin

A few nights ago, the Northern Lights came out in force and extended brightly above my home in Redwood Meadows just west of Calgary.  We rarely see the Aurora Borealis here, when the lights are out I usually head further west to escape the nearby city glow, but the extraterrestrial storm that night was exceptional.  The Aurora rippled throughout the night, with blues and greens early on and then adding in purples and yellows as the morning approached.

Ghost lights - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Sheets of color - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Northern silhouette - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Color spray - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Purple horizon - 2013 © Christopher Martin

It was a wonderful evening spent in the backyard.


A walk around Granville Island

Wet rust - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Granville Island is a favourite place of mine to stroll around on a rainy day in Vancouver.  To be clear, it is great in good weather too but when it is wet the industrial-artistic buildings, galleries and walkways reveal beautiful details.  The wood gleams, the rusty browns and reds in weathered metal become deeply saturated and the blooming flowers of mid-March glow despite the grey skies.

Narcissistic spring - 2013 © Christopher Martin

When I used to live in Vancouver I would head down to the market on the island regularly.  When dark clouds greeted us one morning during a visit my friend Jack and I made to Vancouver in March, my memories of Granville in the rain came back and it was fun to wander around there once more.

Eventually we did head into the market for a little while.  The food was, as usual, incredible and we walked out with several bags of fruit as a temporary keepsake from the morning.

Granville Island Market - 2013 © Christopher Martin

I didn’t buy any fish but I did ask the gentlemen presiding over the chilly group below if I could photograph.  The rough, inconsistent pattern caught my eye.

Fish on ice - 2013 © Christopher Martin

 

All of the morning’s hard work built up a thirst so we stopped by the Granville Island Brewery’s Taproom.  These lightbulbs looked like they were from someone’s Steampunk dream and I was compelled to ask a couple if I could lean over next to them in order to grab a quick shot.

Steampunk lighting - 2013 © Christopher Martin

 

On the way out of the maze of buildings, this metal rail contraption drew my attention.  It wasn’t in motion, I’m not even sure that there was anything that did move, but it was really cool.

Metal rails - 2013 © Christopher Martin

A little earlier, I had really enjoyed the metal construction art at the entrance to the Ocean Concrete yard along the island’s waterfront facing the inlet.  The two pieces seemed like distant cousins with the house suggesting a slightly more inviting alternate reality.  It is a very cool place where even a concrete company gets into the artistic vibe.

Ocean Concrete art installation - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Another great tour through Granville Island.  I’m looking forward to the next one, rain or shine.