Friday, November 30, 2012

Industrial Photo Shoot: Final Image & Self-Assessment


ISO 400, 28mm, f/5.0, 1/125sec

ISO 400, 105mm, f/4.0, 1/40sec

This past Wednesday, November 28th, I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Jeffrey Samson, one of Dawson's Mech Tech graduating students. I worked using two softboxes: one, on the left, lighting the machine; and a second strip softbox on the right, lighting my subject. 

Overall, the photo shoot went quite smoothly. No major challenges, just minor adjustments like eliminating hot spots and flare as well as distracting background elements, such as power cords, boxes, people, other classmates' lighting equipment, a big brown rust spot on the ground, etc. As usual, I had to experiment a little to find a good pose and angle, but this was one of those shoots where I could have kept shooting a long time before running dry.   

What worked well for me on this assignment? 
I was fortunate to have a great subject, and I was well-prepared. I actually found that the physical constraints of the space helped me to focus and structure the shoot effectively. 

What would I change in my preparation if I had the opportunity to go back and do it again? 
I would have checked that the battery of the camera I borrowed from the equipment room was completely charged. After testing my lights, I would have lowered the ISO to eliminate some noise, especially since I had the wiggle room. 







Monday, November 26, 2012

Corporate Industrial Session: Lighting Diagram & Pre-Production Notes


Here are my lighting diagram and pre-production notes for an indoor photo session taking place this Wednesday, December 28th at Dawson's Mech Tech Department. The objective of this assignment is to execute a full-length portrait of an machinery operator in his workspace to be used on a company website or the like. My subject for this assignment is a graduating student from the program. 



Pre-Production Notes:
    • What type of available light will I be encountering? What is my intention in terms of how I plan to use the available light? I will be shooting indoors under fluorescent lighting.
    • What is the reason for my lens choice? I will be using a wide angle lens in order to capture the subject full-length, as well as some of the background elements. 
    • What aperture do I plan to use and why? Explain! I will use a wide aperture to maximize the amount of light coming in the camera.
    • What shutter speed do I plan to use and why? Explain! As slow as I can without getting blur (probably approx. 1/60sec).
    • Do I have enough available light to achieve these camera settings? Yes.
    • Do I have enough strobe to achieve these settings? Yes, in fact, I may have to be careful that my strobes are not too strong. 
    • Are there any technical problems that will need to be addressed at the shoot or in post-production? I will definitely need to address and control the color of the fluorescent lights by using green gel filters.   
    • What equipment will I need for the shoot?
      • camera + lens
      • tripod
      • light meter
      • external drive
      • radio slave
      • synch cord for tethered shooting
      • laptop
      • 2 flash heads
      • extension cords
      • 2 softboxes
      • 1 reflector
      • 2 stands
      • grey card
      • green gel filters
      • neutral density filters
      • sandbags


      Friday, October 26, 2012

      Outdoor Photo Session: Final Image & Self-Assessment

      Trevor Williams:
      A Man of Talent, Opportunity and Vision 


      Trevor Williams, a native Montrealer, is a retired Canadian basketball player and former member of the Canadian olympic team. He is currently head coach of the Dawson College Women's AAA basketball team, and founder of the Trevor Williams All-Star Basketball Academy, which runs a basketball camp every summer. Mr. Williams' contribution to the youth of the community does not limit itself to sharing his basketball experience and skills, but also teaching valuable life skills through the Trevor Williams Kids Foundation, a non-profit organization.  

      Self-Assessment

      Saturday, October 20th, I photographed Mr. Williams on the grounds of the Dawson College campus. I worked using a softbox as a fill light and a flash with a reflector bowl as the main light. My camera settings were: ISO 100, Focal length: 17mm, Aperture: f/5.0, Shutter speed: 1/250sec. My biggest challenge was the ever-changing ambient light: sometimes I had shade from clouds passing by in the sky, then I had bright sunshine a couple minutes later. It was back and forth like that for the duration of the shoot. 


      1. What worked well for me on this assignment? 
       I was fortunate to have a great subject, helpful assistant,  and nice weather. I also really appreciated all the feedback and guidance from my teacher. 

      2. What would I change in my preparation if I had the opportunity to go back and do it again? 
      More practice with posing. 

      3. What would I change in my photographic approach? 
      Not settle for less. Keep pushing for the results I'm looking for. Address issues right away so that I don't waste time or photos which are not working. 




      Thursday, October 18, 2012

      Outdoor Photo Session: Lighting Diagram & Pre-production

      Here are my lighting diagram and pre-production notes for an outdoor photo session taking place this Saturday, October 20th on Dawson College's campus.

      The objective of this assignment is to execute a full-length portrait of a person from Dawson, fictitiously intended for use by a Canadian magazine featuring a "People of Dawson" spread. My subject for this assignment is Trevor Williams, currently the head coach of the Dawson College Women's AAA basketball team, and former member of the Canadian national men's basketball team.




      Pre-Production Notes:

      • What type of available light will I be encountering? What is my intention in terms of how I plan to use the available light? I will be shooting outdoors in the early morning with a little bit of shade from surrounding large trees. I will use the available daylight as my fill light. 
      • What is the reason for my lens choice? I will definitely be using a wide angle lens in order to capture a full-length photograph and a give a sense of the background elements. 
      • What aperture do I plan to use and why? Explain! I will try to use an aperture f/8 to get some depth of field, but not too much. Also, because I will attempt an action shot, I need a high shutter speed, so I will probably have to increase the ISO and I'll be limited with my aperture to maintain sharpness. As such, I don't think I'll be able to increase the shutter speed beyond f/8.
      • What shutter speed do I plan to use and why? Explain! As fast as I can because I will attempt an action shot, and I don't want it to be too blurry. I may allow some areas of visible motion blur, but definitely not in the face. 
      • Do I have enough available light to achieve these camera settings? I should, unless there are very dark clouds.
      • Do I have enough strobe to achieve these settings? My flash will be used for effect-- to shape, highlight, dramatizes my subject. If there is sufficient daylight to expose him properly without extra lights, then I will probably use the flash as a backlight. If the available light is weak, then I will use the flash to properly expose my subject from the front. 
      • Are there any technical problems that will need to be addressed at the shoot or in post-production? Given that I will be attempting an action shot, I will need to control and manage the exposure and motion blur to the degree that I'm aiming for. 
      • What equipment will I need for the shoot?
        • my camera, a Canon 30D
        • camera lens: 17-85mm (canon kit lens)
        • fully-charged battery and backup;
        • memory cards (with space on them to shoot)
        • tripod
        • light meter
        • external drive
        • radio slave
        • synch cord for tethered shooting
        • 2 roller carts to carry equipment
        • laptop
        • synch cord for flash
        • 2 flash heads
        • 1 vagabond baterry
        • 1 split-power cord
        • 1 softbox
        • 1 reflector
        • 2 stands
        • grey card
        • location misc kit
        • snacks


      Thursday, October 4, 2012

      Food Photography: Final Image & Self-Assessment

      On September 29th, I photographed a plate of food in a conference room of Dawson College. The plate was prepared by the school's cafeteria. When I arrived at the location, there were 9 different plates to choose from. I already had in mind to shoot against the wood paneling to create a cozy, evening dinner atmosphere, so I picked this colorful bean salad which I believed would go well with the background ambiance.  

      Although I positioned the table next to a window, there was very little light coming through because of that day's overcast weather. As planned, I used flash as my main light source and mounted a telephoto lens on my camera to get shallow depth of field. In order to highlight the food, I used a reflector pointed towards it (reflecting light from the flash to the left of the table), while goboing the background to keep the rich color of the wood and to eliminate excess flare on the props. 


      My camera settings for this shot: ISO 200, aperture 2.8, shutter speed 1/160sec and a focal lens of 110mm. 

      1. What worked well for me on this assignment?
      Being prepared and arriving early! Like usual, I brought more than I needed, but my props and location kit came in handy for both myself and the person I was shooting with. This was my first tethered shoot and I quite appreciated being able to view my photos on a bigger screen and accurately assess their quality, particularly sharpness and exposure. 

      2. What would I change in my preparation if I had the opportunity to go back and do it again? 
      • Not forget to eat breakfast and/or bring snacks! 
      • When borrowing a lens from school, double-check that I was given the right brand (even if I wrote down the specific lens and brand that I need), and make sure that it is compatible with my camera, otherwise, I also should borrow a suitable camera as well;
      • Bring black foam core for goboing;
      • Get a longer synch cord for tethering.
      3. What would I change in my photographic approach? 
      Attend to all aspects of the photo, not just the main subject/object. Remember to pull back once in a while to look at the big picture and make sure that the background is lit and composed in a way that supports the main subject/object.

      Friday, September 28, 2012

      Food Photography: Lighting Diagram & Pre-Production Notes

      This Saturday, September 29th, I will be tackling food photography. The objective of this shoot is to create a stylish editorial image for a food magazine. I will have the opportunity to work indoors again using lights in combination with the ambient lighting and architectural elements and environment to give a sense of context.


      I will be shooting with a telephoto lens to get a shallow depth of field, and flash, however, I may choose to only use the modeling light, which is tungsten. I plan on bringing in accessories, props and extra food items, such as a candle, wine glass, linen, cutlery, and slices of bread to create a cozy, evening dinner atmosphere







      Thursday, September 27, 2012

      Editorial Portrait / New Entrepreneur - Part 2

      On September 22nd, I photographed Vladi, who played the role of a young new art gallery owner. I worked indoors using flash and daylight coming from floor to ceiling windows behind me. The objective of this assignment was to execute a portrait intended for use as a magazine cover featuring New Entrepreneurs. Below are my post-shoot notes.



      As expected, the available light was weak, so it was a challenge to light the background while maintain a sharp image. In the end, I shot with the following camera settings: ISO 400, aperture 5.6, shutter speed 1/60sec and a focal lens of 81mm, using my 17-85mm zoom lens. 

      When I prepared my pre-production notes and lighting diagram, I had in mind a horizontal portrait using the wide angle end of my lens. However, I realized that for the cover of a magazine, a horizontal shot would not work, so I switched my composition to vertical and used the telephoto end of my lens. My time, focus and energy went mostly into getting proper exposure, focus and composition. I completely forgot to use a grey card, and I chose not to take the time to set-up the tungsten filter. With regards to equipment, I brought than I ended up using. I ended up using a classmate's radio slave which worked better than the ones I borrowed. I had hoped to shoot tethered in order to see my images on a bigger, superior screen than my camera's small display screen. Unfortunately, I had issues accessing the school's laptop, so I had to rely on my camera's screen. 

      1. What worked well for me on this assignment?
      Being prepared by answering all the questions on the pre-production notes and determining the lighting diagram. Taking the time to think and decide these things ahead of time gave me a clear plan and direction for the photo shoot. 

      2. What would I change in my preparation if I had the opportunity to go back and do it again? 
      I arrived early and prepared in respects to everything that was within my control. However, when unexpected issues arose outside of my control, I struggled to manage the stress. Therefore, in retrospect, I would take some time to prepare myself mentally and strategize how to with unexpected issues outside of my control and develop a problem-solving attitude/reflex. 

      3. What would I change in my photographic approach? 
      Be more open to trying different things. Use my pre-production notes and lighting diagram as a starting point, not as a rule. Keep a certain flow to the shoot.  

      Wednesday, September 19, 2012

      Editorial Portrait / New Entrepreneur

      Here are my lighting diagram and pre production notes for a location photo shoot taking place this Saturday, September 22nd at 3500 De Maisonneuve, 2nd floor, Atrium.

      The objective of this assignment is to execute a portrait intended for use as a magazine cover featuring New Entrepreneurs. I will be working indoors using flash and daylight coming from floor to ceiling windows. My model is Vladi. She will be playing the role of a new, young art gallery owner.


      Lighting Diagram:



      Pre Production Notes:

      1. What is my intention in terms of how I plan to use the available light? The available daylight in my location is indirect and weak. With regards to artificial light, there are a few small ceiling tungsten lights above. I intend of using the ambient light to light the background.  
      2. What is the reason for my lens choice? I only have one lens: a zoom 17-85mm lens. However, I plan on using the wide angle part of this lens because I want to include the large background paintings in the shot and give the image a feeling that it's a big space. 
      3. What aperture do I plan to use and why? Explain! Because the ambient light is quite weak, I will need to use my widest aperture, which is 4.0.
      4. What shutter speed do I plan to use and why? Explain! According to the light meter reading, in order to properly expose my background, I need to shoot at approx. 1/15th or 1/8th of a second. 
      5. Do I have enough available light to achieve these camera settings? Just barely, but since I'm using a flash to illuminate the subject, I do not need to worry about motion blur.
      6. Do I have enough strobe to achieve these settings? Yes, definitely. In fact, I will not need much power because I do not want too much contrast between the subject and the background. I'm going for a more soft, diffused lighting set-up. 
      7. What type of available light will I be encountering? Indirect and weak (because the location of the shoot is somewhat distant from the windows and in a more closed narrow space/hallway. 
      8. How will I be addressing this mixed light situation? A number of ways: I plan on using a grey and Macbeth color chart to have a point of reference in post-processing. Second, I will shoot one image with the tungsten setting to correct the background and shoot a second image on flash mode for the subject. That way, I have the option to use both photos in post-processing that will give me the right color for both the background and subject. Thirdly, I will try using a tungsten gel filter on the flash to match the ambient, tungsten light and set my camera on tungsten.  
      9. Are there any technical problems that will need to be addressed at the shoot or in post-production? I will probably have some color correction to do, and exposure adjustment on the background (which may be slightly underexposed). Lastly, I may need to correct the lines of the painting frames on the wall behind the subject, which may distort as a result of shooting wide angle.   
      10. What equipment will I need for the shoot?
        • my camera, a Canon 30D
        • camera lens (currently my one and only): 17-85mm (canon kit lens)
        • fully-charged battery and backup;
        • memory cards (with space on them to shoot)
        • tripod
        • light meter
        • external drive
        • card reader
        • radio slave
        • synch cord for tethered shooting
        • 2 roller carts to carry equipment
        • extra lenses (in case I'm not satisfied with the results using my zoom lens)
        • laptop
        • synch cord for flash
        • 1 prophoto kit
        • 2 power cords
        • 3 extension cords
        • 1 softbox
        • 1 reflector
        • 2 big stands
        • 2 sandbags
        • 1 superclamp
        • grey card
        • tungsten and fluorescent gel filters
        • macbeth color chart
        • tape
        • location misc kit
        • snacks

      Wednesday, May 30, 2012

      Interiors and exteriors


      ISO 100, f/22, 1/13sec
      Building: Back of residential apartments in St-Henri

      Initially, I went into this alleyway because I saw some graffiti that caught my eye, but I also found this interesting view. I like the multiple frames happening in the picture, and the unexpected view of the sky through the top half of the building. I'm not sure why there is this open space in the upper half of that building. It looks like there might be a staircase that passes through there, but it lets the viewer's imagination wander.



      ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/40sec
      Building: Caisse du Quartier de St-Henri

      I have passed by this bank before. It's an unusual building; and it looks quite different depending on what angle you look at it from. It stands to the left of a tall, old Catholic church, which exaggerates the contrast between the two architectural styles. Surprisingly, I did not run into an issues with photographing this bank, probably because I was shooting on a Sunday. I could not find a security guard to get permission, and no know stopped me.



      ISO 800, f/3.5, 1/3sec
      Location: Residential home

      Although not glamorous, I've always liked the view and spatial arrangement of this master bedroom. I like the fact that when you open the door, you face a window which runs 2/3 of the wall length. I chose to shoot this view at the end of the day when artificial and daylight are of similar strengths. I like the mix of colors from the light, and by keeping some of the shades down, I find the eye wanders from the side lamp, to the bed, to the two doors across the street.



      ISO 100, f/8, 1/8sec, 1/13sec, 1/15sec, 1/50sec, 1/60sec, 1/80sec
      Location: Conference room at Dawson

      This image is a composite. I used several images in order to have a perfectly exposed and clear image both inside and outside the window. I chose this view because I love the rich color of the wood and the cream colored bricks of the wall and from the light flooding in from the window.

      Wednesday, May 9, 2012

      Composites: View Therapy

      Composite images are made up of two or more photographs merged together. In this series, I use as my main image the photograph below of my mother sitting on the window ledge of a condo in New York City.  I find her posture of rest and reflection against the backdrop of the cityscape to be beautiful; and the large windows bring in so much light and view from the outside.


      In the following, I use a second image in combination with the main one to change the backdrop. The tools and techniques I use to create these composites are quite simple. I open the main image in Photoshop. Then, I drag the second image into it; use the free transform tool to align and place it correctly in relation to the main image; apply a mask; use the eraser to reveal the layer of the second image; in "trouble" areas, I use the clone stamp to maintain consistent or appropriate colour, tone, shade, texture, and light values; finally, I apply a Gaussian blur filter to smoothen the transitions between pixels. I re-open the images in Lightroom to make some final minor adjustments to the overall image, and voila!


      I believe the impact is most effective with this first composite. Both images work well together. Different elements like tone, density, and colour are similar. I really enjoy looking at this image. It conveys such a sense of peace and serenity. On its own, I think the image could be used as advertisement in a meditation or wellness context.



      With the last two images, I find the merging of the background and foreground do not flow as well as the first one. In the image above, the vantage point seems slightly off or strange; below, the urban interior clashes with the southwestern landscape. That being said, I have also come across constructions in real life that had that same slightly awkward feeling or juxtaposition. Because of the window views, I can imagine these images in the context of lifestyle or travel photography.



      What I learned from doing my first composites?

      Composites take a lot of time and planning to compose well, otherwise, they easily look fake and put-together. However, I've discovered that they are fun, exciting and even therapeutic because of all the creative possibilities it opens up. Now, I'm motivated to learn photoshop not just because I need to but because I want to!


      Friday, April 27, 2012

      Photo Story: Financial Literacy

      Whether we have jobs or not; 
      whether we have free education or pay thousands of dollars in tuition fees; 
      whether we are heavily taxed or not; 
      whether we are the government or its citizens, one thing is for sure: 
      we can ALL learn to manage our money better! 


      It's Spring. A season typically associated with hope, new life and growth. In the U.S., April is designated as the month to promote financial literacy. In Quebec, however, this Spring is marked by demonstrations of discontent and fear of the future. Money is at the heart of it all. 


      I would like to introduce you to some people who have chosen to take responsibility for their financial health, wealth and future by registering in a course this Spring called Financial Peace University. At this point, they are halfway through the course. Financial Peace University is a 13-week video training series created by Dave Ramsey, an American financial author, radio hosttv personality, and motivational speaker-- a strong proponent of financial literacy. The course covers topics like cash flow planning, investing, saving, credit, retirement, and giving from a Christian perspective. For the past two years, River's Edge Community Church located in N.D.G., Montreal, has offered Financial Peace University to anyone interested. 


      Below are photos of these individualsThe pictures are taken in front of the entrance to the church basement which also serves as a Community Kitchen during the week. I've included their first name, age and occupation, along with some questions they agreed to answer. I chose to photograph this story as a typology which is to maintain the exact same camera settings, lighting, angle and composition in each image. I took a typological approach because I wanted to keep all my subjects on the same level and convey the message that financial matters are a universal issue.  

      Jérémie, 23, Barista/Second Cup

      What is the most significant thing you learned about money as a child? Every penny is worth someone's effort.


      In retrospect, what are 3 things you wish you had learned?
      1. I am responsible for all of my expenses. 
      2. My needs and my wants are two completely different things. 
      3. Saving money is more than just saving for expenses. It is meant to take away certain situations that may become critical like emergencies.



      What gaps in financial literacy are you still missing? The value of my work vs. the value that I am being paid: how does it relate and how can it be qualified as "hard work".


      Do you believe that financial literacy will solve your financial problems? Why or why not? Literacy? I doubt it. But it has given me a stronghold, a foundation from which I can become financially independant without debt.

      What is your strongest, most frequent emotion related to money? Honestly, peace.

      What have you learned about money as an adult that has been most valuable? And where did you find this information? I would say that the most valuable information that I've gathered up until now has been through reading and learning about Dave Ramsey. For the past severals years, I've been learning how he manages his money and the results that have appeared thanks to that. 


      Laura, 28, Graphic Designer 

      The most significant thing I learned about money as a child was the importance of saving.  At that time it was more for short term savings, and my parents also instilled the idea that if I wanted something I needed to earn it.  By the time I was a teenager I was able to have a part time job to save for university and to pay for personal expenses.

      Three things I wish I had learned when I was younger are:
          - not to use credit cards;
          - to save for an emergency fund;
          - that saying "no" to lending money to friends is okay.

      The piece of financial information that I feel I am still missing is the concept of investing and saving money for long term. 

      I do believe that financial literacy has helped to solve my financial problem. Learning that spending habits and debt have more to do with behaviour traits helped me to start thinking about my own habits. Slowly with this knowledge I am able to make choices to change these behaviours.  

      My strongest and most frequent emotion related to money is anxiety.  When looking at bills, and seeing how much I have to pay versus how much I have, I begin to feel anxious.  Even when making purchases, sometimes that feeling of anxiety will come up again if I am concerned if it is right for me and if I can afford it financially.  

      The most valuable information that I have learned about money as an adult is that it indeed does not belong to us, and as much as we feel we need to hang on to it and own it, it has only been given to us by the grace of God.  I also think understanding money in this way helps ease the tension and burden that can be associated with it. I learned this information recently from my financial peace class at church.


      Tina, 34, University Student Advisor 

      What is the most significant thing you learned about money as a child? The most significant thing I learned about money as a child was to save. My parents opened a bank account for me when I was six years old, and I never wanted to spend any of it because I knew that once it was spent, it was gone forever. I remember finally buying a camera with money I had saved, but I wanted to quickly save up again. 

      In retrospect, what are 3 things you wish you had learned?  I wished I had learned about budgeting, how to use credit cards wisely, and the importance of being generous with money. 

      What gaps in financial literacy are you still missing? I still feel I am missing knowledge about investing, saving for retirement, and mortgages. 

      Do you believe that financial literacy will solve your financial problems? Why or why not? Yes, I believe knowledge will empower me to make the right choices. However, discipline and sacrifice are just as necessary in order to carry out these plans. 

      What is your strongest, most frequent emotion related to money? In the past, guilt was probably my strongest emotion related to money over poor decisions, and lack of knowledge and planning. However, since learning how to budget and actually following it, I feel virtually no guilt since I know I have made a plan and am sticking to it! 

      What have you learned about money as an adult that has been most valuable? And where did you find this information? The most valuable thing I have learned about money is that it does not ultimately belong to me, but to God. I am just a manager of what He has entrusted to me. This is valuable because it makes me want to be more responsible with it and use it to build a good life for my family and to bless others. This is not a totally new concept to me since I have heard it in church and read it in the Bible, but it was covered in much more depth in the Financial Peace course I'm taking. I have learned a lot of practical things in the course which have been incredibly helpful, however I believe that in order to really change your habits, you have to change your perspective and root beliefs first.


      Robert, 41, Unemployed

      What is the most significant thing you learned about money as a child? You need to work to earn money.

      In retrospect, what are 3 things you wish you had learned? Do not buy things to gain love from others.  Do not trust others with your money.  Money can destroy relationships.

      What gaps in financial literacy are you still missing? Not much, I always been interested to learn about finance.

      Do you believe that financial literacy will solve your financial problems? Why or why not? My financial problems are mostly been caused by the fact that I am currently not working and bad decisions made in the past, which I'm learning from. :)

      What is your strongest, most frequent emotion related to money?  For me, money is a tool.  Having more money will mean that I could give more money to causes  that I love.

      What have you learned about money as an adult that has been most valuable? And where did you find this information? Invest in an house. My dad gave me that information... and I am really happy to have followed his lead.


      Simon, 32, Security Financial Advisor

      What is the most significant thing you learned about money as a child? You need to work for it.  

      In retrospect, what are 3 things you wish you had learned? Cars are a bad investment.  

      What gaps in financial literacy are you still missing? None that I know of.

      Do you believe that financial literacy will solve your financial problems? Why or why not?  No, behavior is the biggest issue in solving financial problems, not knowledge. 

      What is your strongest, most frequent emotion related to money? Happiness. 

      What have you learned about money as an adult that has been most valuable? And where did you find this information? We need to make a plan for it or it will find a plan of its own that will not be in our best interest. Reading books like Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.



      Liliane35Self Employed
        What is the most significant thing you learned about money as a child/teenager (negative or positive)? Not to lend or borrow money from friends. That served me well.

        What are three things you wish you had learned when you were young(er)? I wish I had learned to save money. And to invest my money while I was younger. Also to keep good credit. 

        What gaps in financial information and knowledge are you still missing? I pretty much know what information is important so I do not feel as if I am missing anything. The problem for me is execution. It would be good to know if certain financial decisions are more wise than others. For example is it better to lease or buy a car?

        Do you believe that financial literacy will solve your financial problems? Why or why not? 
        I don't believe that financial literacy alone will solve my financial problems. I know that execution is the most important and going on a financial diet which really depends on a decision that has to be made me and my spouse. Most of the times, we know what we need to do but don't know how to actually do it. So when we try to please ourselves for the time being we miss the goals for the long run. Also if we don't set goals and stick to them, we end up with the same habits.

        What is your strongest, most frequent emotion related to money?
        I almost always feel as if I don't have enough. I feel that if I had more money and a good job that I would be happier and more responsible. That I would be more generous. That I would help other people. Even though it says in the bible that it is with the little things that we have that show what we will do when we have more. So right now while we aren't as well off, if we are not giving, we will not give even when we have a lot. I indeed have met people who are extremely generous with little and those who are really stingy when they have a lot. So I know this is a problem I have. That I feel that I never have enough and definitely not enough to give. It makes me anxious.

        What have you learned about money as an adult that has been most valuable? And where did you find this information?
        I learned a lot about money in business school. I learned a lot about debt vs equity and other valuable money knowledge. I am not sure what has been the most valuable. I am starting my own business so I know that this is really the only way to make real money and to actually have financial freedom is to have your own business and be your own boss. So that is probably the most valuable lesson that I learned in business school.

        Thursday, April 5, 2012

        Travel

        I shot these images in Old Montreal as examples of travel photography that can be used in tourist brochures or online websites, such as:
        www.vieux.montreal.qc.ca/eng/accueila.htm,
        www.quaysoftheoldport.com/,
        www.tourisme-montreal.org/Accueil/.


        ISO 200, F/16, 1/80sec
        An establishing landscape shot of Old Montreal and of the quay.



        ISO 400, f/5.3, 1/30sec
        A still life food shot of breakfast to show Montreal's love affair with brunch!



        ISO 200, f/3.5, 1/400sec
        A lifestyle shot of someone cycling along the Old Port, reinforcing Montreal's reputation of being a bike-friendly city!

        Sunday, April 1, 2012

        Street Photography

        I took these photos on Promenade Wellington, where there was a sugar shack on the street offering people tire à l'érable and other seasonal treats and drinks. The street was milling with all sorts of people. I decided to hold my camera at waist level and take pictures of unsuspecting folk as I strolled down the street.


        ISO 500, f/3.5, 1/200sec


        ISO 00, f/4.8, 1/200sec


        ISO 500, f/4.2, 1/250sec


        ISO 500, f/4.8, 1/200sec

        Getting the right angle, good timing and proper focus was challenging because I held the camera at waist-level and could not see through the viewfinder, and the lens would slide down slightly. There were several shots I missed because I wasn't quick enough. I also struggled with timidity, which I hope will dissipate with more practice. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the process because of the element of surprise-- I like the natural look and candid quality to the shots.

        Thursday, March 8, 2012

        Conceptual Images


        Still Life
        ISO 160, f/16, 1/10sec

        I shot this image in an empty classroom at Dawson College, using an old projector. I turned off the lights, pulled down the screen, and laid my objects on the projector plate. I wanted to include the objects as well as the projection in my image, so I had to bring the projector close to the screen. The stone engraving was given to me several years ago by a friend of my mother's. The candle is a peace candle I recently received as a visitor in a local church. And the necklace is a post-mortem gift from my mother which holds her picture.

        A few years ago, Dawson College became the site of a tragic shooting. Lives were unjustly taken. There was a lot of grief, anger, fear, anxiety and a struggle to resume normal activities. At the age of 61, my mother's life was unjustly taken away by cancer. Losing my mother has been marked by a lot of fear, anxiety and a struggle to carry on, which is why I used the stone engraving with the words "On the other side of fear, you will always find freedom", with the necklace and candle, representing presence, remembrance, prayer, and peace. The use of the projector is for two reasons. As I've grieved privately, at times I needed to share my grief and memory with others-- to make it public. But for the first year, when the pain was too great, I could only talk about it by disassociating myself from the reality of it-- like a reflection that doesn't quite do the original justice.


        Narrative Image
        ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/4sec

        In this image, I stand at the end of a long hallway. I've opened the door to a room filled with light. Behind me are three closed doors. Through this shot, I'm trying to show the mystery, the unknown, and the element of surprise that we find in life as we face and make different choices.

        Saturday, February 25, 2012

        Environmental Portraiture

        I chose Justin McKinney, an aspiring librarian, as my subject for the following portraits. Justin has a degree in English Literature and enjoys writing and performing comedy around Montreal.



        f/14. ISO 200, 1/10sec
        Available light only



        f/5.6, ISO 200, 1/13sec
        With silver reflector



        f/4.5, ISO 400, 1/250sec
        Off-camera flash, Split light pattern

        I would imagine these photos being used alongside a short bio like on the Comedy Works website or in an interview/feature on LaughSpin http://www.laughspin.com/.

        Some problems I encountered:
        I did not have a light meter with me, so I used my camera meter when possible and guessed the rest of the time. However, I've decided to go ahead and invest in a light meter with my next paycheck!

        At the start of my shoot, my camera froze a couple times and even made a disturbing, crunching sound that I had never heard before. I kept getting this strange error message telling me to shut off my camera and try again. After a couple times, I simply replaced the battery with a spare. After that, everything was fine and normal again. I'm so relieved that I had brought a backup battery with me, otherwise I would have had to completely re-schedule the shoot.

        Several of my pictures were slightly out of focus because my zoom lens is getting a little old and worn. For some shots, I simply switched to manual focus.

        Summary:
        Overall, the shoot went very well. At first, I was nervous, so I've concluded that in terms of preparation, I can't prepare enough! Every little bit of planning, preparing, scouting, checking and testing is useful and worthwhile. Justin was a great subject to shoot-- easy-going and patient. We had fun! I was also very fortunate to have Fiona Mak as an assistant. Although, I did not have a lot of equipment with me, it would have been more complicated and stressful to shoot and hold the external flash and/or the reflector/diffuser at the same time. Justin and Fiona both told me that I was clear and specific at giving directions. This was encouraging to hear!

        Thursday, February 16, 2012


        Camera Settings: ISO 800, 83mm, f/5.6, 1/5sec

        I chose a small f-stop to get a shallow depth of field because I wanted the object to stand out and not have the viewer be distracted by the details in the background. I framed the picture tightly to give it a more intimate feel. I also framed it at a certain angle to give the eye a path to follow and thereby create a feeling of movement beginning at the top left, moving down and through the flower and out again towards to top right. Lastly, I purposely kept the inside of the flower in a dark shadow to emphasize a 3 dimensional look.




        Camera Settings: ISO 800, 17mm, f/13, 1/4sec

        I chose a high f-stop to get greater depth of field because I wanted more elements in the frame to be in focus, such as all the arches and semi-circles found in the ceiling walls, which create a sense of movement. In addition, I selected a small aperture to create a flare around the ceiling lights and make them look like stars. I framed the picture in keeping with the rule of thirds so that the hanging cross-chandelier would fall prominently on the lower right hit point, and less prominently, the detail of top column in the top-left hit point.




        Camera Settings: ISO 100, 83mm, f/8, 6sec

        In terms of depth of field, I chose an average f-stop because I did not want to lose the background completely but I also did not want to have a flat effect. There are some multiple frames and entry points as well as strong lines that guide the eye through the picture. I was particularly interested and drawn by the mix of light sources and colour temperature so close to each other.