Author Archives: Evan

City Centre School – Day 1

Hi, and welcome to Introduction to Digital SLR photography at the City Centre School in Charlottetown!

This week is the introductory week where we’ll get to know each other a little bit, figure out what we want / need to get out of the course, and learn what we’re going to learn over the next 10 weeks.

Each class will have a similar structure.  We will start by having a show and tell / critical discussion of the class participants’ homework.  We will then introduce a new technical feature of your camera.  Finally, we will practice with this feature in the classroom and around the school.  Activating the feature on our cameras, and then exploring what kind of photographic results we get when we use this feature.

Everyone should bring their camera and a manual for the camera to class.

Our technical talk for the first day is (was) about a couple of composition basics:  the Rule of Thirds, and Leading Lines.  This week, try to practice using these in your photography.  Take photographs that use these concepts, and take others that don’t, and compare them to see what you think of the results.

Another discussion topic was good online resources for the learning photographer.  Google is definitely your friend.  We will introduce more online resources as the course progresses, but for now check these out:

  • For equipment reviews, use  Almost any piece of equipment can be found there and the user reviews should represent a very broad cross section of all types of users.  Another great resource for reviews would be B&H Photography, though these will be very technical users.  The final source I will suggest for now is Fred Miranda.  There are all kinds of equipment reviews here, with the added bonus that users can post links to sample photographs to demonstrate the potential quality of results.
  • For new equipment purchases, B&H always have the best prices (though they are American, and the currency exchange is a killer at the moment).  Closer to home we have Henry’s Camera and Vistek.  For used equipment, kijiji is popular but do your research and make sure the seller is not charging prices equal to or higher than actual new equipment.  I have always had good experiences when ordering used gear from people on Fred Miranda.
  • You can watch an almost infinite number of videos from Fro Knows Photo to learn concepts and see them demonstrated.  Scott Kelby can be found for free on Youtube, and if you like him you can subscribe for more material.  You will like him, I’m quite sure.


Shoot in P mode only.  Don’t worry about controlling your camera.  Let it do the work for you this week.  But keep the rule of thirds and/or leading lines in mind when shooting.  Carefully compose your practice shots to follow these rules.  You can also try breaking the rules to compare / contrast your results and see what you make of it.

Posted in Learning Tagged , , , , |

Before and after

So… back in the winter after the worst of our storms here in PEI (90 cm, 120 km / h winds), I snowshoed around the city with my camera.  I shared the resulting photos with fellow members of a forum I belong to, many of them in states and countries that don’t get snow.  I was asked if I could reshoot the same photos in summer, so they could see the difference a season or two makes.   I thought that was a great idea and put a sticky note on my wall to do just that.  Now, a mere 5-ish months later, I finally finished the summer shots and have created some comparisons with a slider.  They have their own page on this site, check them out!

Posted in Blog

Aurora Borealis show in PEI – one night only!

So thanks to a pair of solar flares that both hit Earth at the same time, last night the Aurora Borealis aka Northern Lights, made a rare appearance in Prince Edward Island.  I hit up the North Shore with great company –  John Sylvester and Stephen Desroches.  The big show was scheduled to hit anywhere between 9pm and midnight.  Shortly after 9 pm, we were sitting in a car near Covehead lighthouse, squinting both to see the slight green fog that we knew to be the lights appearing on the horizon, and to avoid the glare of headlights from literally hundreds of cars patrolling the Gulfshore Parkway, full of people also hoping to see the lights.

After a few minutes, we decided to change location and head down the parkway towards Robinson’s Island, where we hoped there would be less traffic (hence less light pollution).  We pulled over in a new location, just a short distance from someone with a telescope larger than a person, I think they were hoping to spot individual ions in the storm.

Shortly after we set up in our new location, someone turned the lights (the Northern kind, not the headlight kind) all the way up.  It was a pretty amazing show.  For 15 or 20 minutes, a green arc stretched across the ocean horizon, with red radiating out above that, and almost white vertical streaks dancing back and forth white cutting through both layers.

This was my first time attempting to shoot aurora, and I really look forward to another opportunity.  Here’s hoping the sun gets another case of the hiccups.

Posted in Blog

Getting things set up

Well I’ve just managed to transfer from my old web hosting to a new one.  It wasn’t without it’s difficulties, and everything got wiped out in the process, but it was worth it.  The time to load a page here is now a second or two, instead of the 30 seconds I was getting before.  Much improved!

Posted in Blog