3 June

oopoomoo May Photo Challenge Results – Juxtaposition

For May 2017, we challenged oopoomoo Creatives to photograph and interpret the theme of Juxtaposition. Below are some of our favourite entries. Our photo challenge for June will be released in the next oopoomoo newsletter (sign-up here and get our Born Creative eBook for free!).

©Tracy Riddle

©Pam Jenks

©Michael Greenlaw

©Mandeep Bal

©Kristof Lauwers

©Keith Walker

©Keith Walker

©Kathy Stinson

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Janice Braud

©Janice Braud

©Jan Clark Lyall

©Henrik Fessler

©Connie Quinton

©Christian Van Schepen

©Christian Van Schepen

©Bernice MacDonald

©Alan Garner

3 May

oopoomoo March Photo Challenge – Emergence from Henrik Fessler

In our last blog post we showcased images on the theme Emergence (#emergence) submitted though our oopoomoo Creatives Facebook group. In this post we want to highlight an image we received via email from Henrik Fessler. We love the photo and wanted to share it here on the blog. Henrik says of the image:

Every spring I feel the urge not to miss out the bloom of things after a long gray and dull winter. After a short blossom phase of 2-3 weeks everything is switched back to “normal” spring mode. That way, I have the sense of emergency to not miss the phase of plants’ emergence phase (-;  To celebrate this magic period, here’s my submission (It’s a magnolia tree in our small city park taken at Bruchsal/Germany). On a technical note: it was taken with a 60 year old GDR lens -Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58mm F2-, with an APS C Camera and a cheap focal reducer … I do not want to bother with a bulky full frame camera any more (-;

©Henrik Fessler

2 May

The Results of the March 2017 oopoomoo Challenge: Emergence

For March the monthly challenge over on the oopoomoo Creatives Facebook Page was “Emergence”. Below we present our favourite submissions posted to the Facebook group. Congratulations to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for the April challenge which will be sent out shortly in the oopoomoo monthly newsletter (sign-up form in the side-bar to the right).

©Chris Baird

©Chris Bone

©Chris Greenwood

©Cindie Fearnall

©David Klautt

©Drake Dyck

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Kathy Stinson

©Michael Gay

©Monica Schimanke

©Pam Jenks

©Pam Jenks

©Phyllis Fitzsimons

©Riana Vermaak

©Riana Vermaak

©Robert Skoye

©Shooting Earth Naresh

6 April

Janice Kretzer-Prysunka: Non-iconic Images in Iconic Locations

Each month we send out a newsletter to our oopoomoo newsletter subscribers with an assignment for the month. In March, we wanted photographers to show us a non-iconic view of an iconic location. We themed the assignment #league_landscape in honour of our new publishing project League magazine (which is now open for subscriptions and submissions). There was a lot of fabulous non-iconic assignment images shown by photographers in our oopoomoo Facebook group but one photographer, Janice Kretzer-Prysunka, really stood out with her portfolio of personal takes at iconic locations. Great work Janice!

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka – Mount Robson

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka – Horseshoe Lake, Jasper

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka – Medicine Lake, Jasper

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka – Mount Rundle, Banff

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka – Athabasca Falls, Jasper

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka – Tangle Falls, Jasper

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka – Three Sisters, Canmore

3 March

Your Junk Our Treasure

Whew! Lots of great images from February’s newsletter challenge posted in the oopoomoo Creatives’ Facebook group. We’ve compiled our faves here in this blog post. Ha! It seems the ladies smoked the guys on this assignment! Remember to sign up for our Newsletter if you wish to get the monthly challenge delivered to your inbox.

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Brian Hayward

©Brian Hayward

©Carol James

©Carol James

©Cheryl Wallach

©Cheryl Wallach

©Chris Baird

©Chris Baird

©Chris Baird

©Chris Baird

©Chris Baird

©Chris Baird

©Chris Baird

©Chris Baird

©Chris Baird

©Chris Baird

©Christian Van Schepen

©Christian Van Schepen

©Cindie Fearnall

©Cindie Fearnall

©Dave Williamson

©Dave Williamson

©Dave Williamson

©Dave Williamson

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

©Gerry Ambury

©Gerry Ambury

©Gerry Hiebert

©Gerry Hiebert

©Janice Braud

©Janice Braud

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Janice Kretzer-Prysunka

©Kyle McIntosh

©Kyle McIntosh

©Liz Forrester

©Liz Forrester

©Liz Forrester

©Liz Forrester

©Liz Forrester

©Liz Forrester

©Michelle Wilson

©Michelle Wilson

©Phyllis Fitzsimons

©Phyllis Fitzsimons

©Ralph A. Croning

©Ralph A. Croning

©Riana Vermaak

©Riana Vermaak

©Riana Vermaak

©Riana Vermaak

©Sherry Christensen

©Sherry Christensen

©Shirley Davis

©Shirley Davis

©Veronica Reist

©Veronica Reist

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31 December

Lights of the Season

For December we challenged our oopoomoo Creatives Facebook group to interpret the theme #lightsoftheseason. Below are some of their results that we liked best.

Congratulations to Drake Dyck who we think did the most creative interpretation of the theme. Drake wins a copy of our eBooks: The Icefields Parkway Winter Edition and Kootenay Plains and Abraham Lake Winter Edition.

If you are interested in participating in our monthly photo challenges sign up for our newsletter and get our Born Creative eBook for free!

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Carol James

©Carol James

©Dave Williamson

©Dave Williamson

©Fran Gallogly

©Fran Gallogly

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Jane Chesebrough

©Nancy Coffey

©Nancy Coffey

©Pam Jenks

©Pam Jenks

©Pam Jenks

©Pam Jenks

©Ralph Croning

©Ralph Croning

©Robert Skoye

©Robert Skoye

7 October

Our Obsession with Gear

This article was previously published in Outdoor Photography Canada several years ago. To get these articles when they first come out please subscribe  to the magazine. 😉

We’ve all heard the old saying: “It’s not the camera that makes the picture, it’s the photographer.” Why in music isn’t there a similar refrain? “It’s not the piano that makes the music, it’s the musician.” Or in art? “It’s not the brush or the paint, but the painter.”  We rarely care about what brand of brush an artist uses; we care about the art produced. So why is it that, invariably, the first question asked of photographers is, “what kind of camera do you use?”

Photographer with King Penguin at Fortuna Bay, South Georgia Island ©Darwin Wiggett - oopoomoo.com

Photographer with King Penguin at Fortuna Bay, South Georgia Island
©Darwin Wiggett

We think the problem with photography is that photographers use a tool that records images directly from reality.  There is no implied ‘interpretation’ in using a camera. It’s seen as a device which objectively records the ‘real’ world. As such, we think that the better the recording device (the camera), the more accurate the reality, and therefore the better the photograph. And so it goes. As photographers we become obsessed with getting better and better gear. Our camera, lenses and accessories become the ends to the means and the means to an end. We become slaves and lovers of the technical aspects of the endeavour. Art is forgotten if even acknowledged at all.

©Samantha Chysanthou - oopoomoo.com

©Samantha Chysanthou

In photography we are less likely to think like an artist. An artist uses his or her tools as a means of inner expression. Art is about telling the world who you are and what you think. Art is not reality; it’s an interpretation of your personal reality. Photographers mistakenly believe that the more they know about gear, tools and technique, the more accurate their representation of reality. Of course, nothing is further from the truth. Obsession with gear and goodies only gets in the way of communicating any message whether that message is journalistic or artistic. In photography we spend precious little time developing vision and voice. Mostly we just want to play with goodies.

sam5871

Aspen Trees and Abraham Lake – ©Samantha Chrysanthou

For photographers who want to advance beyond gear obsession into the realm of artistic expression, we recommend several approaches:

  1. Take a bare minimum of gear with you on photo outings. We have written about this before but remind you about taking only a camera and one prime lens like a 50mm lens to help you hone your ability to see and express yourself with a single tool.
  2. Think of your photography not as a hunt for single trophy shots but instead in terms of a project. Pick a topic (e.g. garbage, trees, puddles) or a conceptual theme (isolation, power, contrast) and develop a body of work that speaks to the topic or theme. Project-based photography will help you concentrate more on the message than the medium. Gear quickly becomes secondary and diminished in importance compared to artistic expression.
  3. Take a course in photography that is about leaning to see and expression. Avoid courses that discuss technique or gear. You want to exercise your creative expression and not your wallet. Buying more gear, software or camera goodies will not help you. Invest in discovering your creative eye. One option is our Resolve: Discover Your Creative Self  eCourse which is targeted so that you discover what makes your creative clock tick.
  4. Instead of reading on-line reviews of cameras and lenses, book off a day a month to go to art galleries and check out paintings, sculptures and visual installations. Take a notepad and jot down why the art appeals to you or not. Relax and really look at the pieces. What is the art telling you about the artist?
  5. Don’t try too hard; let your subjects speak to you. Don’t force a technique or a conscious attempt at style. Just respond and soon your photos will be created from within and not as a result of blindly jabbing at the shutter of your high-priced optical recording device.
  6. Get off the camera control crutch. Go back to fully auto or program mode in your camera and just shoot intuitively. Don’t think, just respond.

Of course there is a lot more you can do, but hopefully these little exercises will get you off the obsession with gear and on to the discovery of your self!

Ripples on Horseshoe Lake, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada ©Darwin Wiggett - oopoomoo.com

Ripples on Horseshoe Lake, Jasper National Park
©Darwin Wiggett

1 September

Student Project Mentorship – Barb Kreutter

I’m not going to say much about Barb’s results from the 7/365: The Mentored Photo Project. There’s not much to say…because they’re excellent! Fresh seeing, working with everyday objects, many shot in bright daylight…how many of us can come away with such a strong, compelling portfolio? And Barb was quite prolific (you can see more results at her website), generating several other themes than the one represented in these ten images. Her keeper rate was astounding, so we found the best way to help Barb going forward was an exercise in curating her collection. Congratulations, Barb, for an incredible body of work!

Barb’s project statement:

Through the use of composition and pattern, I will uncover the extraordinary in the everyday world around me.

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

©Barb Kreutter

 

2 August

Project Mentorship: The Bragging Wall

Darwin and I are constantly impressed with the work of our students. It truly is a pleasure to see photographers gain confidence under our tutelage and pursue wholeheartedly their unique ideas. We’ve wrapped up the first week of our brand new eCourse, 7/365: The Mentored Photo Project. And before we begin our second course, we just had to brag a little about our first week’s students.

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

Meet Lynn

Lynn loves flowers. Oh sure, we all like to sniff a rose or admire a bouquet of colourful carnations. But Lynn takes appreciation of flowers and plants to a whole new level. Lynn sees flowers. With whatever tool comes to hand, be it a smartphone or dSLR, Lynn leans in close, capturing the sprinkling of pollen on a stamen or the elegant sweep of a petal. Lynn’s images are rooted in reality – we know we are looking at flowers, after all. But the everyday magic of the details of flowers is what Lynn adeptly reveals with her camera.

As part of the 7/365: The Mentored Photo Project eCourse, students are asked to define the project they wish to work on in one or two sentences. Here is what Lynn had to say:

I want to discover ways of photographing flowers to show what I can now see and to try to portray the excitement I now have.

Why is the world of flowers revealed anew for Lynn? Because, as she references in her project statement, Lynn can “now see”. A recent operation on her eyes has given her back the gift of clear and close sight. And what better blessing for a photographer! So, lean in and look closely at the world of flowers cleverly brought to life through Lynn’s eyes. We expect to see more beautiful work from this budding photographer in future.

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

©Lynn Schwehr

 

14 July

The Results of the Creative Crops Assignment

Each month we have a creative assignment in our monthly newsletter (to sign up go here and get our free Born Creative eBook). For June the assignment was #creativecrops. Below are our choice picks of the photos submitted. The theme was open to the photographer’s interpretation.

Be sure to check out the oopoomoo Creatives Facebook page to see ongoing assignment postings.

©Anita Vermaak

©Anita Vermaak

©Anita Vermaak

©Anita Vermaak

©April Henrikson Daly

©April Henrikson Daly

©Carolina Bhering

©Carolina Bhering

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Connie Quinton

©Connie Quinton

©Cynthia Hinson

©Cynthia Hinson

©George Clayton

©George Clayton

©John Fujimagari

©John Fujimagari

©Kyle McIntosh

©Kyle McIntosh

©Liz Forrester

©Liz Forrester

©Lynn Smith

©Lynn Smith

©Michelle Barclay

©Michelle Barclay

©Phyllis Fitzsimons

©Phyllis Fitzsimons

©Riana Vermaak

©Riana Vermaak

©Sharon Rynsburger Peters

©Sharon Rynsburger Peters

©Shaun Conarroe

©Shaun Conarroe

©Vince Ready

©Vince Ready

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