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

3 June

May Days Inspirations – Your Inspiring Shots

In our last oopoomoo newsletter we asked our readers to send us a photo about what inspires them about spring. For the photo we found most inspiring we promised to feature it here on the blog and the lucky showcased person would also get our Photography Fundamentals eBook bundle. Well, Sam and I were impressed by all the entries and in particular we found the three entries below to be exceptional.  Congratulations to Carl, Al and Henrik for work well done! Your eBooks are in the virtual mail!

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter if you have not already because we’ll be giving away something extra special this time 😉

Wild Poppy – Carl Heino

Everywhere I look, there is re-birth and renewal!  New growth and vigor abound!  There is a deep freshness in Nature that one finds only on a large scale in Spring.  It is this quality that I try to capture with my camera. In image below, there is a feeling that the complete opening of the pod halves and the unfolding of the exquisite contents are imminent.  In a few days, the faded petals will fall to the ground, the seeds within the stamen will slowly ripen and eventually be shaken on to the soil where, once established, they will repeat the cycle next Spring.

©Carl Heino

©Carl Heino

Dewdrops – Al Garner

The crisp air, sunny days, new grass, wildflowers and the promise of renewal that spring brings – what more could a photographer ask for!

©Al Garner

©Al Garner

Magnolia Blooms – Henrik Fessler

In Germany, spring was in fast forward mode and flowers and trees were in full blossom 2-4 weeks in advance. With the year gearing up so quick in contrast I slowed down in my own photography by taking pictures with an old manual lens mounted on a modern camera. Doing this kind of slow, relaxed and more conscious type of photography helped to take in all the wonders of Nature! My Pic shows a magnolia tree detail taken not too far away from my home.

Henrik Fessler

Henrik Fessler

 

7 October

Vote for Your Favourite Green Business — Maybe oopoomoo?

Did you know that oopoomoo is a member of REAP, a non-profit organization of local businesses committed to making ethical business decisions and operating in environmentally sustainable ways? The photo industry is not exactly known for being a visionary when it comes to conservation, moderation and reducing impact so it’s important that we all use our skills as photographers — and businessmen — to set an example and share what we value. As nature photographers, we value nature. We try to reduce the impact of our work by investing in wind power for our home, recycling like crazies, and refraining from buying the latest and greatest gear that is released. (That last one can be hard.) We also shoot a whole lot locally so we can bike or walk to photo shoots. We base our workshops out of sustainable lodges where possible and reduce out impact by treading lightly where ever we go.

reap awards

As a way to showcase the great things that local, conscientious businesses are doing, and to prove that the profitable way forward is to work within a community context, REAP is having a little competition where you can vote on your favourite local business. Be sure to peruse the REAP members listings…I’m sure if you live in the Calgary area, you’ll see some familiar faces! Take a little time to share your opinion by voting for your favourite (here’s our link, hint hint) and share with friends.

Tell us what you do to make this world a better place!

6 March

‘Around Town’ Persistent Vision Photo Contest Winner – Tracy Hindle

We are pleased to announce that Tracy Hindle was chosen by Winter Photographics as the grand prize winner of a full day pass to our upcoming photography event, Persistent Vision. The photo had to be taken in Cochrane Alberta (Around Town). Here is what Tracy had to say about the making of the image:

Cochrane Lanes Bowling Alley – when making this image I originally had one thing in mind.  A lady I know from bowling was turning 90, yes 90, and she still bowls AMAZINGLY!  She beats me almost every time.  I wanted to make a special birthday card depicting different aspects of bowling and headed down to the lanes to take pictures.    End result – she was thrilled.  The bonus for me once I got there was the challenge of taking action pictures of the ball hitting the pins.  Trying to freeze that moment when there is ultimate contact with low lighting and no flash.   I hope to go back and try again, and again, as I really enjoyed it.

When I saw your contest looking for pictures from “Around Cochrane” I wanted to submit something that I thought no one else would think of and possibly had not already been done before.  Dare to be different in my interpretation of – A “round” Cochrane,  I thought this picture captures not only the beauty of the balls, but the essence of the game with the allies and the pins just out of focus.

 

©Tracy Hindle

©Tracy Hindle

6 November

Persistent Vision Walkabout Photo Contest – October Results

Drumroll, please! October marks the final month of our Walkabout Photo Contest. Six lucky winners will be hanging out with David duChemin at the Meet ‘n Greet in Bragg Creek Alberta on March 15, 2013 as well as toting home a lovely print of their winning image after the Persistent Vision seminar. Woohoo! A big thanks to everyone who entered the contest and inspired us with your lovely images. It was really tough to pick one image over others — we’re glad we didn’t have that job! (And just a note: although we’re sold out of the All Inclusive Weekend Passes, there’s still room in the Saturday Seminar with a full day of inspiring stories and some insider tips on actually making a go with your photo business — yes, it’s possible!)

The October winner was chosen by talented shooter Daisy Gilardini. We are happy to say that we’ve met Daisy who is not only an incredibly gifted photographer (you should check out her images — she specializes in the polar regions!), but also a wonderful person. Thanks for helping us out, Daisy!

Person with dog through a snowy fence

Throw it! Throw it! – © Isabelle Larose

Daisy picked Isabelle Larose’s image as the winner for October. Here’s what she had to say about the image:

What makes an image interesting is its originality. We achieve originality by observing our subject in a different way, by looking for a different angle, by searching diversity while playing with shapes, lines and colors. The simplicity and great composition of this image immediately grabbed my eye. 

Here a couple of my favourite quotes I would like to share with you:

Simplicity is nature’s first step, and the last of art. (Philip James Bailey)

There is nothing quite so complicated as simplicity. (Charles Poore)

Isabelle provided some background on her image for us:

When you get up on October 10th and see this outside your window, you have 2 solutions:
 
1- Call in sick and go back to bed
2- Go walk your dog and bring the camera before heading to work
 
I am glad that day I decided to go walk the dog and did not forget to bring my camera.
 
The picture’s title is:
Throw it! Throw it!

Congrats, Isabelle! Very creative ‘seeing’. And finally, Darwin and I like to highlight some of the other creative images submitted. So here are a couple more talented shooters who deserve an Honourable Mention. We look forward to meeting our six winners at the Meet ‘n Greet in March, 2013!

3 October

Walkabout Photo Contest – September Results

For September, we asked Yellowknife-based portrait photographer Dave Brosha to judge the month’s entries. Congrats to Jens Preshaw who was chosen by Dave to be the September winner! Here is what Dave had to say about his choice.

Reflection of yellow crane

© Jens Preshaw

This is a great, creative reflection image that not only frames in the subject of the overhead frame beautifully, but it also has strong visual elements – for example, the cracks in the pavement which lead your eye across the image – along with a nice colour contrast to make an image that not only pops, but makes you take a second look.  This is a perfect example of what I like to call ‘making something out of nothing’, and it took a good eye and a creative spirit to capture so nicely. Well done.”

And here are some other entries that Darwin and I thought were worth mentioning. Remember, October is the last month of the Walkabout Photo Contest and your last chance to win a pass to the exclusive, Meet-n-Greet with David at the Persistent Vision Seminar!

Lone shed on a prairie

© Rosana Ramos

Wall of colourful posters

© David Farr

3 September

Persistent Vision ‘Walkabout’ Photo Contest – August Results

Some of you photogs are out and about on a Walkabout! Thanks to everyone who entered the Persistent Vision seminar photo contest for August. This month, we had Mark Wainer as our illustrious judge. Here is Mark’s ‘pic’ of the crop!

Mail in open mailbox

© Leslie Degner

Mark says, “I admire images of everyday objects that have a graphic design appeal. This image invites the viewer to inquire what is represented, while leaving room for personal interpretation.” A big congrats to Leslie Degner! She must be reading Darwin’s mind as this shot really shows the extraordinary in the ordinary. Pretty cool to turn something as rote as fetching the mail into a work of art. Darwin and I also thought the following submitted images were worth a mention in their creative vision and compositional prowess. Well done, Nigel and Anna!

Detail in black and white of a feather

© Nigel Roberts

Tar lines on pavement

© Anna VanDemark

Remember, there’s only two months left in this photo contest, so lace up your boots and get walkin’!

6 August

Persistent Vision “Walkabout” Photo Contest – July 2012 Results

Coming in March of next year (2013), travel photographer and popular blogger David duChemin is coming to the Canadian Rockies at the invite of oopoomoo for a weekend photography extravaganza in the small mountain town of Bragg Creek, Alberta. There are still a few spots left for the exclusive weekend package (Friday night Meet-n-Greet, Saturday full day seminar and Sunday’s field workshops). There’s still lots of space for the Saturday seminar itself but, keep in mind, only people who sign up for the ‘full meal deal’ are able to attend all three events. Of course, if you win one of our monthly photo contests, you can still meet David on Friday March 15, 2013 even if you don’t invest in the full weekend pass (click here for full rules and guidelines). And you get a framed 16×24 print from Winter Photographics of your winning entry!

Until word gets out, your chances of winning are actually quite good; in July we only had six entries! Part of the reason why this contest may not attract as many entries as most photo contests is because this contest has a twist; only images accessed by the photographer’s own non-motorized, locomotive power can be entered into this contest! This means you can only enter images that you made by walking, biking, skateboarding, jumping or skipping from your house to the great big world out there (or stay in your house of you prefer). If you took a bus, drove your car, flew in a plane or otherwise used motorized transit to get yourself out of the house and then you walked — sorry that won’t count. You gotta be motorized-free right from your home to qualify. Be sure to enter for August!

This month’s judge is supermom and ace nature and stock photographer, Varina Patel. We have not met a nicer, more down to earth person in a long time! And talent… did we say talent? Be sure to check out her website and her blog if you haven’t already!

From our six entries, Varina chose Scott Dimond’s shot of an outfitter’s tent (we think this is actually his home)! Here is what Varina said about Scott’s winning photo:

“These are some gorgeous shots! A tough choice – but in the end, I kept coming back to Scott’s photos of the tent in the field. It’s got everything going for it – a beautiful and unique point of interest, a gorgeous location, and tons of beautiful details. I love the dark greens surrounding the brightly lit tent – and the rich golden tones of the light shining from within. The flowers add a quiet beauty to the image without pulling my eye away from the tent itself. All those elements come together to pull me into the photograph – it makes we want to walk through the meadow and settle myself in that tent for a peaceful evening in such a beautiful place. I hope Scott got to do that after he took his shot. :)”

©Scott Dimond

Darwin and I get to pick our favorite entries and these are below. First up is Leslie Degner’s painterly flower image. Leslie created a unique flower portrait that had us both ooohing and aaahing! Wow, Leslie that is both fresh and beautiful! Incredible work with aperture, as well.

©Leslie Degner

And we love the photo below from Nigel Roberts. Also, Nigel had an inspiring idea that he’s trying out…. Why not make this monthly contest a little assignment for yourself? You still have August, September and October to enter!

“Reading over the contest rules I get tired just thinking about all the walking, biking, hiking, etc. that I could be doing to enter this contest!  So being the lazy photographer that I am (and not wanting to break a sweat by straying too far from my beer fridge), I’ve decided to challenge myself to only submit images that I take within 100 m or so of my home.  I’ve also challenged myself to submit  an image a month to force myself to come up with something – should be interesting!”

©Nigel Roberts

10 July

Persistent Vision “Walkabout” Photo Contest – June 2012 Results

Coming in March of next year (2013), travel photographer and popular blogger David duChemin is coming to the Canadian Rockies at the invite of oopoomoo for a weekend photography extravaganza in the small mountain town of Bragg Creek, Alberta. There are still a few spots left for the exclusive weekend package (Friday night Meet-n-Greet, Saturday full day seminar and Sunday’s field workshops). There’s still lots of space for the Saturday seminar itself but, keep in mind, only people who sign up for the ‘full meal deal’ are able to attend all three events. Of course, if you win one of our monthly photo contests, you can still meet David on Friday March 15, 2013 even if you don’t invest in the full weekend pass (click here for full rules and guidelines).

Until word gets out, your chances of winning are actually quite good; in June we only had eleven entries! Part of the reason why this contest may not attract as many entries as most photo contests is because this contest has a twist; only images accessed by the photographer’s own non-motorized, locomotive power can be entered into this contest! This means you can only enter images that you made by walking, biking, skateboarding, jumping or skipping from your house to the great big world out there. If you took a bus, drove your car or otherwise used motorized transit to get yourself out of the house and then somewhere you walked — sorry that won’t count. You gotta be motorized-free right from your home to qualify. Be sure to enter for July!

This month our judge was Outdoor Photography Canada magazine’s editor Roy Ramsay. From the eleven entries received, Roy chose the one below from Andrew Kulin: Here is what Roy said about the winning photo:

For me this is a true winner for the theme ‘walk about’. The compositional balance, the implied motion of the hikers and the camera movement of the walking photographer balance nicely.

Getting the movement right to provide the perfect amount of blur at the right time is not as easy as one might think. I don’t know how many tries it took to achieve this photo, but the final result has everything in the right amount. Great shot!

Congratulations, Andrew! Roy has even more good news — Roy would like to publish your image in the next issue of Outdoor Photography Canada as a Hot Shots image; he’ll be in touch!

©Andrew Kulin

Andrew describes how he made the winning photo:

This photo was taken while I was walking with my family through the forest by our home.  It is an abstract obtained using a slow shutter speed while I was walking behind my family.  This particular shot is a 0.4 second exposure at f8.

Darwin and I also really liked the following photos as well and want to congratulate the photographers on their finely crafted images!

©John Fujimagari – Smoke from BC Forest Fires hangs in the air. New directional street lights are dark-sky friendly.

©Lida MacLellan

©Nigel Roberts – Rainstorm

©Heather Simonds – Raindrop on borage plant in my garden

©Stephen Starkman – The Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto

24 June

Persistent Vision “Walkabout” Photo Contest – May 2012 Results

In March 2013, travel photographer and popular blogger David duChemin is coming to the Canadian Rockies at the invite of oopoomoo for a weekend photography extravaganza in the small mountain town of Bragg Creek, Alberta. There are still a few spots left for the exclusive weekend event (Friday night Meet-n-Greet, Saturday full day seminar and Sunday’s field workshops). Only people who sign up for the full meal deal are able to attend all three events, but you can still come and meet David on Friday March 15, 2013 if you enter and win one of six monthly photo contests (see full rules and guidelines).

Until word gets out, your chances of winning are actually quite good; in May, we only had six entries! Part of the reason why this contest may not attract as many entries as most could be because this contest has a twist; only images taken within a distance accessed by the photographer’s own non-motorized, locomotive power can be entered into this contest! We wouldn’t want to call photographers lazy, now would we?

The entries and the winner for May are below. So far for June we have only one entry so get out walking, skateboarding or biking for photos and get your entry in for June (just follow the guidelines and send us your shot by the deadline of  June 30 11:59pm MST)! This contest runs monthly until October so if you miss the June deadline, not to worry.

Chris Martin, a renowned photographer from Bragg Creek and Bob Cook, owner of Branded Visuals (a wonderful photo gallery in Bragg Creek) were our celebrity judges for the May contest. Thanks guys for arm-wrestling for a winner!

©Rosana Ramos

©Scott Dimond

©Gail Foster

©Leslie Degner

©Craig Taylor

And the winner is Tim Lutic for this photo of the Muttart Conservatory in Edmonton Alberta. Congratulations to Tim and see you in March for beer with David!

©Tim Lutic

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