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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Cambridge Photo Walk with a VTech Kidizoom Action Cam

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

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.

Would love to hear what you think!

 


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Sketchy

Clearly, I don’t get out to much on the photography front much these days – or at least not the way I like to take photos, which tends to be¬†away from people and out in nature. That said I have been doing a lot more work with my phone camera, which I’ve been posting here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/139848974@N04/

Still, I wanted to find a way to something creative while at home Рso I tapped into one of my older creative pursuits: drawing. I used to draw quite a bit when I was younger; I even took an art class on cartooning when I was about 13 or so. I used to spend a lot of time trying to sketch characters I developed or replicating baseball team logos that caught my eye.

I’m not sure I was ever very good, but that’s really not the point. I liked it. And I recently discovered I still like it thanks to my wife Kim and my friend Steve. Kim¬†started colouring complex colouring books a while back and I realized that she was really onto something not over complicating her artistic endeavours – she didn’t wait for the right conditions or the time. She just sat down and created something.

Steve on the other hand embarked on the #100daysproject, where he did something creative every day for 100 days. This was my favourite of his.  

I started with a rough sketch in a notebook, but it wasn’t until I sat down with our oldest son to draw together that I really found enjoyment in it. The kids inadvertently destroyed that sketch by “adding to it” with some markers. But we sat down again a little while later and I made this sketch based on a photo I took last fall.

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I was pretty happy with the result, so I soon embarked on another effort, this time based off of a photo my friend Wayne Simpson took of the Elora Mill.

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More recently I did this one, which was a pen sketch, that I went over with charcoal afterward. This wasn’t based on an existing photo, and while I need to work on perspective, I was quite happy with the results.

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Looking forward to sharing more with you!

M.

Classic black

I thought I’d post this shot of the Classic Dodge pick-up in¬†a separate entry¬†as it stood out too much from the rest to feel like it belonged in the set.

For the most part I resisted B+W conversions for this series, primarily because the colour of the truck was so great and I really liked the contrast of the cool blue car and the warm fall colours in the leaves.

This one however was different – the tight framing created lots of opportunities for light and shadow and allowed the sleek texture of the surface to really show.

Mike

 

 

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Classic blue

A few weekends ago we were visiting my wife’s family¬†for Thanksgiving. It was a beautiful day and we were all hanging around outside, playing football with the kids and chatting.

I noticed that Connie and Harv (Kim’s aunt and uncle) had this beautiful looking classic Dodge pick-up truck out front of the house. I loved the colour and the way the fall colours in the trees and the fallen leaves were providing a warm colour contrast to the cool blue truck.

After taking a few shots I immediately thought of creating this triptych:

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Here are a few others I took that I really liked – I particularly like the last one as it has a sense of motion to it despite everything being perfectly still.

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