A few weeks back, my 7-year old son Malcolm and I joined my friends Kevin and Paul on a Film Revival photo walk in Historic Galt, located in Cambridge, ON.
If you’ve never been there before, it’s an absolutely stunning part of Waterloo Region that straddles the Grand River with church spires, old buildings, and so on. It gets used a lot for filming locations on shows like Murdoch Mysteries 🙂
Malcolm really wanted to use my Canon DSLR, so we traded cameras and I used his VTech Kidizoom Action Cam you can read about that here. Malcolm took over 850 shots with my camera, including a LOT of the insides of garbage bins for some reason. It was fascinating to look through them and see what caught his interest.
I went through every one and picked out what I thought were the best ones and we reviewed them together and talked about what made them work (focus, composition, subject) and landed on these as the favourites. I did some light processing, straightened a horizon line or two, and the B+W Conversions, but otherwise these are more or less what he shot without significant alterations.
This past weekend my son Malcolm and I joined my friends Kevin and Paul on a Film Revival photo walk in Historic Galt, located in Cambridge, ON. It’s a beautiful part of town that straddles the Grand River with church spires, old buildings, and so on. Avid watchers of The Handmaid’s Tale will recognize parts of it instantly.
My son really wanted to use my Canon SLR, which left me with his VTech Kidizoom Action Cam. This camera has some … limitations… but I thought this presented an interesting challenge.
About the camera
VTech Kidizoom Action Cam
At a total size of 1 x 2.3 x 2.2 inches, this thing is small. It was actually challenging to hold it as you can really only use your finger tips.
The lens is tiny – about the same as what you’d have on a older smartphone
The photo resolution is 640-x-480 pixels or 0.3 megapixels – these are really small images basically. For comparison, an iPhone X has a 12 megapixel camera
There is no manual control whatsoever – you just point and shoot… and hope.
I can’t say if this is a bug/feature of these cameras in general or just a sign we haven’t been able to clean the tiny lens, but I notice all the photos had really interesting blur and edgy quality that naturally produced something slightly akin to the Fractilus Photo look. It’s like the camera leaves out some details and over emphasizes others leaving a painterly feel.
What all this translated to for me was the framing mattered a lot. I didn’t process these much aside from a converting some to B+W and adjusting the brightness and contrast a bit – the results were really neat and I actually think they’d make neat set of tiny prints.
Obviously I don’t post a whole lot these days, but a few weeks back we visited a cottage on Manitoulin Island and I managed to get a few shots done around sunrise while the kids were looking for frogs.
Bonus, the next day we found a little tree frog on the deck!
I like farms. Probably because I spend a lot of time on one. It’s a beautiful place, in an amazing community, and it constantly inspires.
So when it comes to putting pencils to paper, I find myself drawn to rural scenes, both real and imagined. Here are a few new drawings I’ve done in the last year. I am particularly fond of the latter, which took much longer than most of my drawings and is one of my most detailed – the farm building are based off this photo of the Freeman Farm where my Brother-In-Law was raised.
A few weeks ago, my good friends Kevin and Paul came down to Kitchener to check out the Edward Burtinski exhibit at the KW Art Gallery. The exhibit was (of course) incredible and while we were there we also got to see Kent Monkman‘s breathtaking series “The Four Continents”. It was pretty mind boggling and I am thrilled that we’re able to have such world-class art here in KW.
Inspired, we headed out into the utterly frigid streets of KW to take a few photos of our own! Here were a few of my favourites from the day.
As I work to improve my sketching, particularly around things like scale and perspective, I often find it easier to start to with a photo. I don’t always do this, but I find it effective to learn the more technical side of the art – and I also just find it really enjoyable.