Cambridge at Seven

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 ūüôā

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.

Hope you enjoy!

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Monthly Photo Challenge – November 2011

We hit a few setbacks with this challenge. In the end neither of us was really able to get out to meet the challenge to it’s fullest possibilities, so it became more about pressing on with what we had available.

The theme for this month was “low light” – Dave’ suggestion, and a damn good one at that. So good in fact that I think we’ll come back to it soon and do it properly.

But as I said, life intervened and we pressed on with what we had. So here it is:

©Dave Joyce

Dave took one of his days off to visit a bird sanctuary that housed some Golden Eagles. A small group of photographers was allowed to come in and meet the birds, take some photos and see them fly. Dave took a tonne of images, almost all of which are amazing, but this was my favourite.

©Michael D. Pereira

For me, I headed out around sunset one afternoon to this amazing little spot called Rocky Saugeen. The Saugeen river runs along here, and someone built a mill on the river just down from the highway. The location is nearly impossible to filter, so I decided to make this my first test of blending exposures in Photoshop (yep, I finally broke down and bought the sucker). I’m not totally in love with how my blend worked, but for a first attempt I think it was okay. I’ll definitely be back to try again!

Enjoy!

M.

Ten out of ’10

Every year between December and January I begin to see top ten lists from all over the cultural spectrum. Newspapers, magazines, websites, radio stations, TV shows, etc. all being to buzz with the best in music, movies, performances, and slew of other items from the year just past.

I personally love top 10 lists (and I am sure I‚Äôm not alone), but I am also very curious about them. Why do we like them so much? In my meandering studies of human behaviour, I have often heard it mentioned that it is in our nature to want to classify things; to assign order to an otherwise unordered world. Take biological taxonomy ‚Äď Aristotle began classifying species over 2000 years ago, and we continue to use the Linnaean system to name and order species. Where does that impulse come from? Why do systems of order seem to be so important to us?
I am not complaining here ‚Äď like I said, I love the top 10 lists. I am just curious about why humans seem to naturally gravitate towards this sort of behaviour. Does it connect to some sort of primal survival skill? Or is it something that has developed inline with our increasingly sophisticated social behaviours?

Maybe at the end of the day, it’s just how we lend a hand to others in search of way to understand what we feel we already have a handle on.

Photographers too, like to post top 10 lists for the year, and this year I am no different.

I think part of this is a way to help people new to our work find an easily accessible starting point for viewing this art. I know that sometimes when I visit a photographer’s website I am overwhelmed by the number of images and often don’t know where to begin. But deep down, for me at least, the list provides an opportunity to revisit my work; to ask new questions, see opportunities, and continually challenge myself. Most importantly, it’s a chance to remember something special.

So here are my favourites for 2010. I’d love to hear what you think, about this post and these images.

Thanks!
M.

©Michael Pereira

Inside St. Mary’s Catholic church in Kitchener, ON.

© Michael D. Pereira

A stand of birch near the sugar shack at Gamble Farms.

©Michael D. Pereira

Rushing water on the Laurel Trail, Waterloo, ON.

©Michael D. Pereira

A heron on the shore of Victoria Lake, Kitchener, ON.

Michael D. Pereira

Down river at Inglis Falls, Owen Sound, ON.

©Michael D. Pereira

A tree growing on the rocky slopes near Inglis Falls, Owen Sound, ON.

©Michael D. Pereira

A sea gull soaring past the Owen Sound Grain Elevator during Summerfolk.

©Michael D. Pereira

Fountain and the Parliament building, Vieux, Quebec.    

©Michael D. Pereira

 Motion blur of a tree on the roadside at Gamble farms.

©Michael D. Pereira

 Wild trees along the Conestogo River, Waterloo, ON.

Owen Sound Grain Elevator

So, Kim’s parents gave us tickets to the Summerfolk folk music festival in Owen Sound last weekend, and man, what a great show. We got to see Colin Linden, the ever awesome Danny Michel, and one of my personal favourites,¬†Sarah Harmer (who I got to nervously say hello to after the show!). I’ll have more¬†from the show later, but for now, enjoy this one¬†I snapped while watching The Human Statues. The scene is a sea gull soaring past the Owen Sound¬†grain elevator.¬†

M.

P.S. I stongly recommed clicking on the names above for some awesome music.

©Michael D. Pereira

Archives – Day 7

Well, here we are at Day 7, the final day, of my quick trip through the old¬†point & shoot archives. It’s been a lot of fun and an interesting experience to go back and select a few shots from previous years to share on the blog. It has also reminded me, again, how valuable the simple P&S camera can be as a tool for making great images. It feels like there is a strong pull these days for people to gravitate towards bigger and more expensive cameras with the sense that it will yield superior results. There is some truth in that, but it only goes so far.

In my view, the more control you have, the more things there are to think about, and the more things there are that can go wrong. To paraphrase Thomas Edison, I haven’t failed, I’ve just found several thousand ways not to make an image. Some days I don’t want the mess of hauling around my gear – I just want to, well , point and shoot. And I think that often works well for me.

In the end, I tend to agree with Guy Tal, the camera is a tool, like a paint brush or an instrument, and the quality of the tool matters little compared to the quality of what you make with it.

This one is from the same location as yesterday, Sauble Beach. I hope you like it.

M.

©Michael D. Pereira

Victoria Park, Part II – The Heron

Part two of my morning excursion to Victoria Park!

As I was walking through the park I spotted a Great Blue Heron cautiously stalking by the lake in the shallow, murky green waters by the island shore. As I moved closer, the bird seemed somewhat anxious of my approach. I backed off and simply watched for a while. After some time the heron seemed less concerned with my presence and I was able to get a little bit closer for a few photos. The large bird stayed quite still, and so did I, moving only a little as I took the photos below. After a few shots I put down the camera and took a few moments to simply admire this beautiful creature.

A few people have asked me for some more technical information about my images, which I am generally forgetful to include, so here is some info on these shots:

Canon EF 80-200mm, 5.6, ISO 1600 (the light was pretty low still). I didn’t do much processing aside from tweaking the contrast and some noise reduction.

Hope you enjoy! 

M.

©Michael D. Pereira

 

©Michael D. Pereira

 

©Michael D. Pereira

 

©Michael D. Pereira

 

©Michael D. Pereira

A Lucky Man

It has never been clear to me how I have managed to be so fortunate in life, especially with regards to my wife. She really is the most amazing person. She sees joy in people; she sees good in the world, despite being in a position to see bad things more than most people ever do; she is a deeply loving person; she makes me laugh; and she is beautiful, in every sense.

These four images remind me of her. The first is of her standing in a barley field at her parents’ farm; the latter three are from our honeymoon on Prince Edward Island Рa beautiful place.

For me these reflect those moments in our life where intimacy meets grandeur; where solitude intersects the world. Those moments that overwhelm until you slow down, breathe, and allow them to simply flow over you and touch your deepest feelings. I am very, very lucky to have had so many of these moments.

M.

© Michael D. Pereira

© Michael D. Pereira

 

© Michael D. Pereira

© Michael D. Pereira

 

© Michael D. Pereira

© Michael D. Pereira

 

© Michael D. Pereira

© Michael D. Pereira