Posts tagged “Black and White

Bald eagle in a tangle of branches

Whitehorse is home to bald eagles among many other birds – large and otherwise.  We found them on several occasions during our visit there last summer.  This one landed in these twisted branches and I was able to play with her framed by them.


A pair on the prairie

 

I enjoy the backroads on the prairies.  This afternoon I found a pair of ravens perched on the peak of this weathered homestead east of Dalemead.  When they flew I tried to compose their flight against the field and the house.


A grizzly in the grass

From a couple of years ago during my last visit to the Khutzeymateen on British Columbia’s west coast in the Great Bear Rainforest.  I reworked this image for a black and white photography contest.  I liked how monochrome palette highlighted the textures in the wet fur and the sedge grass. But, for me, it’s those eyes that steal the show and make the image.


Snowy flight over the Prairie

I found this snowy owl perched along a forgotten fence line north of Lyalta (which is east of Calgary).  After a trek across the field to get to about 60 meters away, I leaned against a post and waited.  I set my exposure so that I would have a slower shutter speed at the start.  I wanted to show some motion in the wings and estimated that 1/200th of a second would allow for that.  Fifteen minutes later something drew his attention and he launched perpendicular to me and the fence.

 

I had two nice images of him flying towards the sun before he was past me.  The first had a soft blur in the wings as they were near level.  The other caught the wings at their full extension upwards.  Both images kept the head sharp so luck played to my hand when I was panning with the bird.  The shutter speed worked out well.  I continue to try slower speeds but have yet to nail one of those with a sharp face.  I will share those when I do.


Raven vocals

Cochrane Raven - © Christopher Martin-0024

This raven and I crossed paths in Cochrane.  As I pulled up to a stop sign, she landed on a fence post.  I pulled out my camera and she croaked a couple of times while looking this way and that.

Cochrane Raven - © Christopher Martin-0030

She seemed restless from the moment she landed so I was unsurprised when she launched back into the air, rejoining another raven that had been circling the field behind her.

Cochrane Raven - © Christopher Martin-0058


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


Radium Otter

Otter Abstract - © Christopher Martin-8903

A few years ago I photographed river otters swimming in a pond in between the Columbia River and the town of Radium in British Columbia.  They swam around for an hour and I had great fun watching them.  I never looked through these images afterwards but came across them while working on a client’s project.  I enjoyed having a look at these again and particularly liked how this image looked in black and white.


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


Rippling on the water

A pond of abstraction - 2013 © Christopher Martin

From a small pond in Granville Island where a light rain was falling. The circular ripples created by the raindrops hitting the water distorted the reflections of trees above.


Winter chaos

Winter chaos - © Christopher Martin-9847

Winter chaos - © Christopher Martin-9847-3

A few echos of the blizzard from last week blew through since then.  More opportunities to photograph winter storms and with the image above I wanted to show the chaotic aspect often seen when the wind blows and the snow flies.  Click on the image to open a page with a higher resolution version.


Early morning with Vermilion and Rundle

Dawn at the second Vermilion Lake was beautiful with some lovely colour in the sky around Mount Rundle early in the sunrise.  As the sun climbed, I moved into the contrasts and this one worked well in black and white.

Dawn at Vermilion Lake - 2013 © Christopher Martin


Dolphin Spray

Dolphin spray - © Christopher Martin-4273-2

A dolphin slices through the waves of the Northern Swell off Kaua’i, Hawai’i.  I was on a catamaran and the dolphin had no trouble keeping up


Storm Ridge

A storm threatened to cross over the western ridges in Kananaskis yesterday when I was in the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park.  The ridge above caught my eye and displayed the tension high up on the mountains.


A raven’s portrait

Stopping at a viewpoint along the Icefields Parkway on Sunday to photograph a pair of friendly ravens during the second day of John Marriott’s Jasper Fall Wildlife Workshop.  This raven lived up to advance billing and was a pleasure to photograph.  This portrait was one of my favourite images from a wonderful wintry day that saw us photographing mountain goats, bighorn sheep rams and bull elks in Jasper National Park.


Mount Kidd

 

The morning got bright quickly when I was at a set of reflecting ponds just west of Wedge Pond and the Galatea Trailhead in Kananaskis.  I met a fellow Calgarian photographer, Graham McKerrell, along the water’s edge and we watched the most promising cloud slip behind the mountain just a couple of minutes before the sunrise hit the face.  The early light was still beautiful on the rock of Mount Kidd and its reflection.  I really had fun once the morning sun was well established as I switched from hunting warm light to thinking about the sun and shadows for black and white images as seen here.

(please click on the image to link to a larger, higher resolution version)

These ponds are a beautiful location to welcome the morning, I hope to get out there once more this season.

 


Quartering a Window Taxi

Along 9th Avenue in downtown Calgary, Gulf Canada Square’s dark panes of glass often provide a large mirror that abstracts the traffic heading east on the one way road.

I watched traffic for a while, looking down from the 12th floor of Banker’s Hall, until this taxicab drove by distinctive and separated from the other vehicles in that moment.  The slight curvatures of the glass did the real work to create this warp of a simple scene.


Around an amphitheatre at the zoo

We went to the Calgary Zoo a few days ago and we had a great time having a guided tour by our children through all of the areas.  During one of their breaks, Kezia and Kian played around the outdoor theatre while mom photographed the zebras and dad photographed them.


Commuting on a rainy day

The rain came in last night and, with dark clouds apparently anchoring directly above Calgary, fell all day.

The trains were a somber affair both in the morning and in the afternoon.  I thought this gentleman’s body language and the resigned look on his face accurately portrayed the mood of the city on this rainy day in May.


The Spring Storms Come

Now spring seems to have asserted control and with that comes the storm clouds that roll out of the mountains through the summer.  Here then are a couple of image from the start of the storm season from this afternoon.


Silhouettes: Elk on a Ridge


 The Sibbald Herd is a large group of elk that forage west into the front range of the Kananaskis mountains and east to Springbank near Calgary.  They move within a relatively thin band along the eastern part of their land and are often in the scrub brush that edges the farmland along Highway 22 between Highway 8 and the Trans Canada Highway.  They often graze behind this ridge in a shallow valley but on this morning I found them lined up among the trees and the rocks.  They were quite interested in my for a couple of minutes and then resumed grazing and wandered back behind the hill. 

 I photographed these animals about an hour after sunrise with the sun still below the crest of this ridge.  The strong backlighting made for wider range from dark to light than my camera can capture so I chose to work with the structural elements within the scene.  Reduced to black and white, there is an interesting relationship between the land and the elk highlighted in these pictures.

  Playing around on this last one.  I like how the white bushes look like splatter paint.


Abstract Zebra

I found this great faux zebra print and enjoyed creating this image out of the pattern.


Storm through the Bow Valley

Following a very pretty sunrise and a great walk with an elk, this storm started to build as it moved through the Bow Valley corridor in the Banff National Park.  This great chunk of rock is Mount Rundle which looms above the towns of Banff and Canmore.  It is a favourite subject for hikers and artists.  I am certainly not immune to its siren call – I really enjoy photographing this mountain – year round it always presents an interesting face and is usually reaching into the clouds to create dynamic compositions.


Banff Landscapes: Lines into Patterns

In several spots along the Vermilion Lakes in the Banff National Park there are sections of open water despite the sustained cold that has frozen over all three lakes this winter.  These breaks in the ice are due to runoff from underground hot springs that ring the lakes.  The warmer water attracts birds and the occasional mammal in the winter.  On the weekend, I saw an American Dipper and followed it flitting amid the reeds and diving for bits in the water.  Following that, I turned my attention to working with patterns created by the sticks and reeds and their reflections in the water along the shoreline.

Here are two that I liked in particular.  One presenting dominant vertical lines and the other creating horizontal movement across the frame.  I enjoy working on these type of compositions while waiting for the dramatic landscapes to fill with clouds, light or anything else of interest.  Sometimes those come, other times they don’t.  Having a list of different types of images I want to create helps avoid a strikeout when things aren’t cooperating.


Portraits of my son

With Kian in the hospital for a few days, we have had time to just hang out, which has been great.  Not good circumstances but a definite silver lining.

Along with us is the camera and as we’ve toured the hospital I’ve taken photographs of my little boy, here are a few.