Summer is ready when you are
The video for The Breeders "Saints".
John is available for photographic assignments. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 613-282-1568 with details. Photo FAQ
Here's another head shot of Mike Blouin from last evening's Factory Reading Series at the Ottawa Art Gallery.
For fun, I looked at the EXIF settings embedded in the image files, and all told our impromptu photo shoot lasted a mere one minute and sixteen seconds.
I try to make my photo sessions as efficient as possible by planning the layout as much as I can before I click the first frame.
I first look for the best available light in the immediate environment. I choose what I want to portray, in this case a simple headshot. That deterimines the lens that I want to use (85mm f/1.4). I pretty much knew ahead of time that this photo would be in black & white so I didn't mess with dialing in the "correct" white balance.
Finally, I needed to get the subject seated and positioned properly. Easy. There were chairs in the room and I moved one into the light that shone from the ceiling and I showed him where to look. I made him sit in the chair backwards which automatically gives him a place to put his elbows and sit in a relaxed position.
So, all told 15 frames clicked, two basic poses (hat on, hat off) in 1 minute and 16 seconds. Painless. Thanks for posing for me, Mike.
Mike Blouin read from a new novel-in-progress at the Factory Reading Series last evening (27 March 2008). You can find out more about Mike's writing on his personal blog:
See also rob mclennan's interview with Mike as well:
I am very eagre to read his novel, Chase and Haven , which will be published in September 2008 with Coach House Books. I remember hearing him read from it four years ago - almost to the day. It's a long time coming for this one but it'll be worth it.
Tibetan protester looks back at towards his fellow marchers as they walked down Wellington onto Sussex in Ottawa. The mass rally, on 20 March 2008, was to show Ontario and Canada's solidarity with the Tibetans inside Tibet.
Here's the official Chinese Government's Position on the Lhasa Unrest as of 2008/03/15 as quoted from the website of the Chinese Embassy in Canada: www.chinaembassycanada.org/eng
"The recent unrest in Lhasa, involving beating, smashing, looting and burning by a small handful of people, has disrupted social order and undermined the lives and property safety of the local people. There is ample evidence proving that it has been organized, premeditated and masterminded by the Dalai clique aimed at sabotaging the Beijing Olympics, which has drawn strong indignation and condemnation from the local people. Their separatist plot will never succeed. The local authorities are taking effective measures to properly handle the incident. We will severely deal with, in strict accordance with the law, those who engage themselves in activities of splitting the nation. Any responsible governments will take the same approach to stop this kind of violence. We are fully capable of maintaining social stability and safeguarding the safety of the lives and property of the people of various ethnic groups in Tibet. The attempt by a small handful of people to disrupt the tranquility and harmony in Tibet runs against the will of the people and is doomed to failure. Lhasa is not under the martial law and no casualties have been reported among foreign nationals who were in Lhasa during the unrest."
Photographer Charles Earl captured local Ottawa poet Janice Tokar last evening in his own photo blog: www.charlesearl.com/index.php?id=685. I thought I would give my take on the same subject, Janice.
I believe that ambient light, in most cases, like in Charles' photo of Janice, makes the photo a more intimate visual experience than using a strobe flash at an event such as this. Most times public readings and event photography pose a lighting challenge for photographers. The existing light is either very harsh, incorrectly placed, very dim, or non-favourable to making a properly exposed photo. It doesn't help that the venues are usually basements, bars, libraries or combinations thereof...and held at night.
The solution I have figured out is using fast glass (pro-grade lenses with an aperture at f/1.4 or wider) to let as much light as possible hit the camera's sensor. This will let you use a lower ISO which means less digital noise. The other important factor is using a slow enough shutter speed to let in the available light but also fast enough to allow for a sharp image. Nothing worse than motion blur to ruin a photo in this instance. I was also using a monopod to help steady the camera.
This venue at the Ottawa City Hall Art Gallery is such a challenge to photographers. But on the other hand, it is elegantly lit for the occasion at hand. I really enjoyed the placement of the red panel behind the podium which created a depth in the room.
Anyhow, that technical treatise aside, I think I captured a nice moment as Janice had just finished her reading and was about to take her seat. I love that brief pause, the fleeting look of satisfaction in her eyes, and her easy smile knowing that she shared something special with the audience. Click!
Janice Tokar's work appears in a chapbook featuring poems by members of the Pumping Irony Poetry Workshop. She has read at Tree, Sasquatch and the Muses reading series. One of her poems will be published by Bywords in their March on-line edition at bywords.ca.
This my 2nd annual-Newlove-toasting-mclennan-photo. The last time I saw these two together with a beverage was last August at rob's farewell party held at the Carleton Tavern 25 August 2007. This occasion marked the launch of rob's book Ottawa: The Unknown City published by Arsenal Pulp Press. This event was also a celebration of mclennan's birthday today and it took place at Nicholas Hoare Books.