Life gets busy sometimes and you sometimes forget to take care of minor details. Well I will be updating my Facebook page shortly and there will be another surprise coming up shortly. Hopefully you will all stay tuned for this exciting news.
I realize we are looking forward to higher temperatures and sunny days... but let me share the great time I had the other month at the Niagara On The Lake Ice Wine Festival.
Everywhere you turned there was someone laughing, eating or drinking. The sugary ice wine goes down easy. Combine that with the picturesque town of NOTL, tables made of ice, random fire pits, fantastic local foods and live acoustic music and how could you NOT have fun?
One of my first wedding was on Feb. 28th of last year and I have to say it was a great experience...but man, was it COLD. Nick and Melissa were great sports as we tried to get the shots they wanted on their wedding day. I believe it was -21 celsius at sunset and -28 celsius at night. I understood that these were cold temperatures for bridesmaids in sleeveless dresses and groomsmen in thin jackets, so we tried to take quick shots outside and then ran back inside to warm up before out next set up.
It has now been over two years in the Conestoga college photography certificate program and even with some low points, overall it has been a great experience.
I have met and have learned from some great people during these years. I still have another 2 courses to complete my certificate and am looking forward to the portrait portion of this program.
I suggest to anyone at any age to learn something new. It's never too late, and if you look at me as an example... old dogs CAN learn new tricks.
As I continue my photography studies in controlling light to create images such as portraits or product photography, I still occasionally go back to landscape photography. In this field of photography you are at the mercy of available light. You cannot turn off the sun, or move a tree out of the way. You can only control when and where you capture an image. There is beauty in this. It is nature and it is (for the most part), out of your control. Capturing landscapes is exciting in knowing that someone will get to experience the same beauty that I have also experienced.
Well the end of the Digital series of courses offered by Conestoga College is over for me. It was an interesting course and got me a lot of hands on photoshop experience with minimal text book references (which I don't really enjoy anyways).
Our final exam for Digital 2 was to reproduce a magazine cover using our own photos, or photos supplied by the teacher. Here was my take on one of my favourite magazines "Digital SLR Photography":
One of our assignments for my Digital Photography course at college was to create a "surreal" photo using Photoshop. Here is what I came up with and how it was done.
I decided to create this image after trying a different idea and failing miserably (yet with more time, I might complete it). I started off setting up a soft box feathered to the right so I could accent the wrinkles of the clothing. Then set up my camera on tripod, focused on the roll pillow since there is where my head would be, set a timer and connected my sync cable to the strobe.
Here is a surprising thing I found out.... static from a dry house and micro fibre sofa will travel through your magnesium body camera, through your sync cable and set off your strobe. Who knew?
So after zapping myself to the point of making my arm go numb, I finally got a shot of myself positioned on the sofa.
From this shot I was able to keep the camera in the same position, take off my clothes (feel free to try and not visualize this) and position them in the same location from the shot above.
Now that I got everything lined up, I put my clothes back on and went to the computer to layer these images in Photoshop.
With a couple tweaks in Lightroom and converting to black and white, I was ready to mask the top image of myself and use the clothing image as my background. I painted in my head, hand and glasses along with some of my chest. Then flatted the image and used the liquify tool to adjust the position of my hand and fix some of the shirt. Touched up some remaining elements and presto, I lost more than half my weight in less than an hour.
We decided to take a vacation this winter and bought tickets to Cuba. The package we chose was 3 nights in Havana and 4 nights at a resort in Veradaro. We stayed at the Parque Central in Havana and it was right in the heart of old Havana. The rooftop pool had an amazing view of the city.
Of course things are different in Cuba than at home, but different can be exciting and good. Experiencing new things is a thrill for me and around every corner of old Havana there was always something different.
Be it an old colonial building (the one shown above is the city hall of Havana where couples get married. And a place where an old cuban drunk was harassing me before a police officer pulled him away), or a person with character.
Day time in Havana is lively and colourful. From the buildings, cars, food and people. Great company on a trip like this is a must, but it doesn't take long to slow down to the relaxed feel of Havana. Lazily walking the streets and taking in the sights is easy to do along with keeping hydrated by some fantastic beverages.
The only thing that I wished about this trip, was that I had more time there. I would highly suggest Havana as a destination for a photographer, or anyone really. This city is as bright, exotic, and fun as you make it.
Well I never thought I'd be blogging but here I go. I thought it would be a nice touch for potential clients to see and experience what I have been up to in the photography world.
I guess I'll start off with what got me into photography in the first place. I've always been good with a camera and guess I've had a strong "eye". But the photography bug hit me when I got my first iPhone. With the ability of having a very decent camera on me at all times (have to admit the iPhone does have a decent little camera), I starting shooting almost everything. After entering a lot of my pictures on Instagram and gaining a little bit of fame through contests held on the app, I decided it was time to take it a step further.
My mom, had a Canon DSLR (Rebel series, nothing special) and I started taking photos with that. After teaching myself the setting of the camera along with how to manually set the camera up for a proper exposure, I was hooked. I purchased my own semi-professional camera (Canon 60D) which came with a spectacular all around kit lens, the 18-200mm. This camera almost became permanently attached to my hand. Also at this point I started my first class of the Conestoga College Photography Certificate program. I made a lot of friends in class and it was and is an amazing experience sharing our knowledge of photography and creating images together.
It amazes me to look back even just 2 years ago and to realize how far I've come. It seems like eons ago, maybe because of how much I've grown as a photographer and all that I've learned.
Even though I am still in school, I have branched out and have created my own business. Sean McDonald Photography will be my future, and I hope to help my clients obtain the most creative, expressive and quality photography available.