Weekly Post Challenge: “Contrast”

Highlighted Beauty

Highlighted Beauty

SERIOUSLY?! This is this week’s photo challenge from WordPress? COOL!

Some complain about high contrast work, especially in monochrome photography. They say it’s overdone but it NEVER gets old to me. I love high contrast, especially in black and white; slight grays and the whitest white details standing out amidst vast seas of the richest, inky blackness.

Most people don’t want drama in their lives but when it comes to photography, the drama that is created through contrast really helps to tell the story of what’s going on in an image. Emotion is even conveyed best through contrast. In some of my B/W work, I’ll even go for a black-on-black look. There’s nothing like it.

I very much enjoy setting up high contrast lighting in studio but I like it even more when all the elements needed come together naturally in the street. I look for this all the time, and it is so rewarding to me when I can find a situation or person I can capture in this light.

I made this urban portrait of a natural beauty at pretty much the same time as when I shot ”One Look” and ”Furrowed Brow.” They are all visually simple but carry the impressive and mysterious impact of the film noir aesthetics and mood that I fell in love with as a young illustrator.

Weekly Post Challenge: “Room”

Keeping Our Distances

Keeping Our Distances

This week, WordPress has another inspiring brief that I can’t resist providing my interpretation of:

They are so close, and yet so far. It’s not even just that space that lies between them that dares the mind to dream up stories either. It’s how the people are in their own spaces. It’s the way she’s sitting there indifferent with her book, and the way he’s standing there so pensive with his hands in his pockets and his head nodded forward. She’s in dark clothing and shade while he’s in light clothing and exposed to direct sunlight. All these elements come together to force you into creating some happening of life that, in reality, probably doesn’t exist. Without maligning, go on and dream up whatever scenario you wish is to take place between these two lives. Imagination is meant to be fertile.

For the breakdown of what inspired the shot, click HERE.

Weekly Post Challenge: “Split-Second Story”



WordPress has issued a really good non-challenge this week. For it, I’ve posted the above shot from Hammer Home that I think is appropriate. Go there if you want the written description of what’s happening but I have an older picture called “Stricken” that I also considered entering for this non-challenge. To see stricken and the explanation for it, you’ll have to go this older post and read the comment section. If you do go there and click on “Stricken” to enlarge it, you’ll also find more dialogue about the image.  Feel free to share your thoughts.

That image will eventually also wind up in Hammer Home.

Affectionately and colloquially referred to as “action photography”, it’s really something to capture the suddenness and extreme drama of life like this. It is obviously so hard to do because events like these are so rare and fleeting and their stories often should be told.

To capture such occurrences in street photography, sports photography, wildlife photography, pet photography, photojournalism — even in event and editorial work in which such scenes are sometimes allowed to be staged, is the apex ambition of many creative photographers. It’s such a rush to make these shots to convey important dynamics, and we love seeing other shooters produce such images.

Flying Low 2014/I

In the Air

In the Air

Calling All Visual Artists in Hamilton & Art Collectors Everywhere! WE HAVE LIFTOFF!

NO, YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD MAN DOWN! It’s been 2 years since MOF held a Flying Low Art Sale. Although on such short notice, I’m happy to announce that we are holding at least one this coming Saturday May 31, 8:00am – 1:00pm. We’ll see about holding any others throughout the summer months, and if it’s in the cards I’ll be sure to provide ample notice as I usually do.

Since relocating, it certainly took a lot of time and careful planning to be able to kick this one off. Yeah, this time it’s even more of a community effort now that we’ve got neighbours participating on their properties, so it’s ALL SYSTEMS GO!

If you’re looking to buy art, find great art deals or meet Hamilton artists, find your way to 152 West 19th Street, Hamilton, ON.

If you’re a visual artist within or around the City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, can’t find a place this weekend to pedal your craft and would like to join us, and promote yourself in it please call Allan or Kim at (905) 523-1839.

You can also contact me through the About page on this blog for more information about this non-juried exhibition.

Watch for potentially more posts about Flying Low on this blog, and the MOF Fan Page on Facebook

Print the coupons below to use toward your visual art purchase at the upcoming Flying Low Art Sale.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all again!




Weekly Post Challenge: “Twist”

Weekly Post Challenge: “Monument”

Gore Park Fountain at Night

Gore Park Fountain at Night

Every piece of art has an interesting history or sentiment behind it. Another art truism, specifically about photography, is that everything of this world that could be shot has been shot. Photography now is not about discovery. It’s about rediscovery.

Back in 2011 I briefly met Paul Elia, artist and member of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association, at the clothesline art sale that was headed up by the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology. He was interested in this piece and told me about a quite similar image made by photographer Jeff Tessier. Producing original work is extremely important to me, and I must admit that my paranoia had me fearing that perhaps Paul thought that I was pedaling Jeff’s shot as my own.

Honestly, I had never heard of Jeff or seen his image before (I shot mine in July of 2009). So I looked up his shot, panicked over the similarities and contacted him hoping to smooth things over. Great guy; he put my mind at ease. Although he was only acquainted with Paul, he assured me that he didn’t believe that Paul suspected me of copying anything. It was just an observation of an uncanny coincidence. He said:

“Well, photography is a funny thing. There’s only so much to photograph and it’s no surprise that if one photog with a good eye sees something in a certain way, then the next photog will likely come along and see it in a similar light. It looks like that’s what happened with you and me. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I need to say that my image of Gore Park at night was inspired by some work I’ve seen from another Hamilton photographer, Peter Michael Wilson, who has some stunning nighttime photos of the city, including Gore Park. I used to use Peter’s images when I was the Photo Editor at H Magazine and for one of my recent projects I decided to go out for a few nights in the middle of the night, inspired by the images and emotions I saw in his work. That’s where the ‘Gore Park Fountain at Night’ image came from. So if anyone’s copying, it’s me!”

Thanks, Jeff!

So, despite the hundreds of photos already taken of this fountain over decades, I hoped that I had succeeded in creating a picture that is unique. Although I see that I have failed in that endeavor, I am quite satisfied with my results. There are enough differences for that. I am also intrigued to know that there is another Hamiltonian who shoots with the same enthusiasm and approach as me.

For a little history on the fountain, click HERE.

Weekly Post Challenge: “Street Life”

An Alley A Cane & A Long Hard Stare

An Alley A Cane & A Long Hard Stare

I like this latest challenge by WordPress. It’s right up my alley.

Click HERE for the story. Fair warning, it’s a fairly long photo essay.


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