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It's all just a façade

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It's all just a façade "Okay, so it's a building's façade. What about it?" I can see how one may react this way, but on the contrary, it was a rather challenging image to make. Where would be the fun in this if it was just a click away? Let me show you what it looke [...]

Under cover of trees

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Under cover of trees Sometimes, a situation conspires to make things impossible for you. When this happens, a part of you starts to worry that the image you have in mind simply won't be feasible—but a challenge is also stimulating, and the most difficult images are often the [...]

Untethered Tethering with the CamRanger

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Untethered Tethering with the CamRanger You may recall a previous post in which I talked about a solution for light-weight tethering using a tablet as an external monitor. It works very well, because it is quick to setup and carry around. But as good as it is, there still needs to be a cable [...]

What's [now going to always be] in my Camera Bag?

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What's [now going to always be] in my Camera Bag? When shooting architecture, getting the proper angle sometimes requires your camera to be placed in difficult positions. I'm not talking about standing outside in the cold at the crack of dawn on top of a step ladder—that's just part of the fun! I mean wh [...]

Tidy and Effortless Redundancy

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Tidy and Effortless Redundancy The importance of backing up your data is one of those things you often learn the hard way, once it's too late. But enough about that: I don't want to bore you with another treatise on the why , which you should already be familiar with, but rather [...]

How much do you charge?

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How much do you charge? Working with Speedlites (small, portable flash units), I use quite a few AA batteries. But I don't work with these units quite as frequently as I used to since I have gradually been embracing studio monolights (when weight/size is not an issue). [...]

Like a Ton of Bricks

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Like a Ton of Bricks There's a lot of talk about whether things should be done "in camera" or "in post-production", and photographers often find pride in the idea of nailing a shot at capture time, requiring as little post-production as possible. "We'll just fix it in Photos [...]

The Little Chalet That Could

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The Little Chalet That Could I was meeting a friend at a small country house, up north, for some portraits. When we arrived at the location, I realized it was a place that could have found its way in Shelby Lee Adams' work—a rather unattractive setting, to say the least. It didn [...]

Suggesting Light

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Suggesting Light I love it when portraits have a warm/cold duality in the light, but it's tricky to find a location where the lights are naturally balanced and positioned to create this look. Easier is to find (or set up) a location where a warm ambient light (a lamp [...]

The Fuji X100S

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The Fuji X100S In my previous post, I discussed my long search for a smaller camera than my DSLR that I could carry with me everywhere. At the conclusion of the post, I told you that I had decided to take the leap and buy the Fuji X100S , as it seemed to wonderf [...]

The Camera That's With You

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My DSLR and assorted lenses do a great job when I am purposefully "out to make pictures". But, like most, I have longed for a separate camera I could carry with me anytime, anywhere, that would not be so large, heavy and intimidating. For many, thi [...]

The YongNuo Speedlite YN560EX

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The YongNuo Speedlite YN560EX What do you look for in a flash gun? It depends on your needs, naturally. If you need an on-camera flash with full TTL support and the ability to remotely control other flash units, that's one thing. But do you need all of those features if you're only ev [...]

Big Lights for your Speedlites

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Big Lights for your Speedlites Your first steps in strobist territory probably involve a variation on the typical basic kit: a flash gun, a small light stand, a bracket, an umbrella (~42") and a trigger (or cable). That works just fine for a simple, one-light kit you can take everywher [...]

Up Close

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Up Close Back in 2009 I made a series of head shots of some of my friends. The first picture I made was a happy accident—the result of fooling around with lights. I immediately liked what I saw: light that made the subject look very serious and gloomy. T [...]

Let it Flare

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Let it Flare This is a picture I made back when I was testing out Speedlite (small, battery-powered flashes) setups outside . An easy way to get away with the power limitation of those units is to shoot in a darker environment where you don't have the full power [...]

The Gentleman

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The Gentleman I had been wanting to take a picture of my friend Mathieu for Movember , as he traditionally sports an impressive moustache, but the timing wasn't right. I ended up bringing my equipment to his place a few weeks later to make a tongue-in-cheek portrait o [...]

Twilight: Break it Down

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Twilight: Break it Down When photographing interiors, the quality and intensity of sunlight, outside, is important, but is rather permissive. You'll likely want to shoot during the day (because dark windows would be odd, unless you have something specific in mind) and perha [...]

Tether on the Move

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Tether on the Move Sure, the more recent LCD screens on the back of our cameras do a fairly good job at helping us estimate focus accuracy, and the histogram gives us a decent idea of our exposure. But as good as they have become, they cannot compare to looking at images up [...]

A Hack to Shoot Vertically with the ABR800 Ringflash

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A Hack to Shoot Vertically with the ABR800 Ringflash You might recall a previous post in which I discussed (what I considered) design flaws of the Paul C. Buff ABR800 Ringflash. Perhaps the biggest problem, for me, was the inability to easily shoot with the camera in vertical orientation. I have since dec [...]

The AlienBees ABR800 Ringflash

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The AlienBees ABR800 Ringflash Until recently, I was under the impression that in order to use a ringflash, one would necessarily need to work with a separate ringflash head and power pack—a solution that would be very costly for someone who, like me, is working with monolights. A ring [...]

An Adjustable 17mm Lens?

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An Adjustable 17mm Lens? When I first learned that Canon had created a 17mm adjustable lens , I instantly knew I'd have to add it to my camera bag eventually. When I finally got a hold of it, even though I had been working with both versions of the TS-E 24mm lens for quite some [...]

Flash Guns In the Sun

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Flash Guns In the Sun One way to give an exterior portrait a moody look is to use flash—even during the day, when the sun is still out. But how much power do you actually need to beat the sun at its own game? As a proof of concept, I decided to go out with a bunch of small, ba [...]

The Browser's Eye

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The Browser's Eye When technologists are advocating the use of a specific web browser, what they are usually concerned with is its support and respect of web standards (does it properly interpret the HTML/CSS/JavaScript code and render the page as it should ) as well as i [...]

Saving Images for the Web

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Saving Images for the Web When exporting images for the web, resizing them down and saving them as JPEG one by one isn't a proper approach—it's tedious, and incomplete. There are a number of additional steps that are important to take into consideration. Sharpening Every i [...]

To JPEG or not to JPEG

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It has become a truism nowadays to say that although our most important images should be shot in raw format to preserve maximum potential, when it comes to casual images (family snapshots and such), shooting JPEG makes sense to save time and disk space. A [...]

What is Still Missing

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What is Still Missing In my previous post , I talked about a few neat features that'll make using the 5D Mark III more practical, aside from the obvious core improvements to the camera over its predecessor. In this post I'd like to address a few features that are unfortunatel [...]

A Closer Look at the 5D Mark III

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A Closer Look at the 5D Mark III A lot has already been said about the new Canon EOS 5D Mark III —reviews and video reviews show up on a daily basis, created by independent photographers, publications and retailers. The problem is that those reviews rarely go past the headlines (and the [...]

On Bokeh

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On Bokeh If you spend even just a short amount of time reading some of the comments left on various image sharing sites, soon enough you will stumble on one along the lines of "Sweet bokeh!" What such a comment probably means, in fact, is closer to "I like the [...]

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the D800

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the D800 When Nikon revealed the specifications of their upcoming D800 camera, the long awaited successor to the D700 (1) , people's jaws dropped in amazement at its leapfrogging 36 megapixels resolution. This was then systematically followed by a stream of "Yeah [...]

Mont-Saint-Hilaire Outing

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Mont-Saint-Hilaire Outing I'm always keen in a photo outing, such as on that perfect winter day when I had a chance to go walk around the Mont-Saint-Hilaire with a group of photo enthusiasts. This was a rare opportunity, because the skies were clear, yet the temperature was very m [...]

HDSLR?

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As soon as DSLR s that could record video came out ( Nikon's D90 , then Canon's EOS 5D Mark II , and pretty much every new DSLR since), people started looking for an appropriate acronym to designate them. It seems after the high profile early adopters [...]

On Vignetting

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On Vignetting I find that almost every one of my images benefit from some amount of "artificial" vignetting—a darkening of the periphery of the image. I must qualify that observation by noting that, like every technique, if it is overdone, or performed indiscriminate [...]

Umbrella Bracket Woes

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Umbrella Bracket Woes If you've ever shot with off-camera flash guns, chances are you've used one of those brackets: They allow to mount a flash gun (with or without accessories), angle it at will, and attach an umbrella if necessary as well. To top it off, they are [...]

Flash Color Variations

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Flash Color Variations When working with flash, one has to be aware that the color of the burst might vary slightly as the power is changed. Common wisdom has it that the more you decrease the power of the flash, the more it warms up (with higher end units typically maintaining [...]

Adding Contrast: Curves Vs. Levels

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Adding Contrast: Curves Vs. Levels Adding contrast to an image is often a good way to give it more character, more "punch". It basically means making the dark tonalities darker and the bright tonalities brighter . This can be easily accomplished using a Curves adjustment layer, by pushi [...]

Around the CESM

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Around the CESM The area surrounding the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex has a number of buildings that have proven interesting for my Monoliths project. The first structure I approached stands taller than the pack and has an odd element protruding—an element that, [...]

Côte Vertu

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Côte Vertu When I embarked on the Monoliths project, the main challenge was not technical, it was finding appropriate subjects (according to my long list of criteria ). Not only was it complicated to find monolithic buildings—facing the right angle for sunlight, wh [...]

The Big Silo

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The Big Silo While I was working on the original four "Old Port Monoliths", one of the images was this shot of Silo no.5: Pressed by a time constraint, I had been forced to get the shot on rare days when the weather was "ok." You can see, in this shot, that [...]

Clock Tower

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Clock Tower Part of the initial four "Old Port Monoliths", the Clock Tower shot was not the easiest to capture. For one, being a tower, the structure is much taller than wide, so thought must go into the framing in order to fill the frame in an interesting manner, no [...]

Montreal's Miami

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Montreal's Miami Going back home, after a drive looking for interesting buildings to shoot, I noticed that large apartment building on Sherbrooke street. Frankly, had I not been on the lookout, I would never have noticed how much potential it had. It—normally—looks like j [...]

Five Roses

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Five Roses I had been taking a walk around the Old Port and, like tons before me, wanted to take a closer look at the Five Roses mill, which is located a bit farther west. The sky was not amazing that day, but I thought it worked perfectly to deliberately give [...]

Stadium Tower

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Stadium Tower The temperature was nice that March evening, so I decided to bring my camera for a walk. I had nothing specific in mind, just the hope that I'd capture some nice architectural photography, would I be inspired by what I found. Since I happened to [...]

Atop Silo no.5

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Atop Silo no.5 In late August, I had the privilege to go on top of a mythical Montreal landmark, Silo no.5. Like tons before me, I had shot that structure from the Old Port , never imagining I could one day see it from that angle. The only issue is that we ha [...]

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