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

31 July

Free Tilt-Shift Instructional Videos: Part II – Using Shift to Correct the Keystone Effect

In the photos and video below, Darwin and I show you how to use shift on a tilt-shift lens to correct a perspective effect that occurs with wide angle focal lengths known as keystoning. In the first photo, Darwin used a wide angle lens (a 24mm) to frame an old building at the Nordegg Mine. Any time a wide angle lens is pointed up to frame a subject (or pointed down) we get problems with straight lines in the scene not being parallel to the edges of the image frame. Look at how the building looks like it’s leaning into the frame: this keystoning can be corrected by making the camera back parallel to the building and then using shift on a tilt-shift lens to return the lens to the original composition. The second photo shows the corrected image using shift. Watch the video to see exactly what we did (warning: high cheese factor!)

By the way if you really, really want to be an expert using tilt-shift lenses, then we invite you to take part in our special one-on-one, hands-on tilt-shift lessons in Kananaskis Country west of Calgary, Alberta (we meet in Bragg Creek). Complete one of these three-hour sessions with Darwin or me, and you’ll be a yogi-master of the tilt-shift lens! Cost for a private session is $300 plus GST. Grab a friend, share the session and pay less at $200 per person (max two participants per session). Contact us at info@oopoomoo.com to set up your session!

The new eBook on tilt-shift lenses has also just been released!

Available dates and times in August are as follows (1st come first served):

August 4: 9 AM – Noon (Full)

August 5: 9 AM – Noon (Full)

August 11: 9 AM – Noon or 3 – 6 PM

August 12: 9 AM – Noon or 3 – 6 PM

©Darwin Wiggett – Image shot with a 24mm lens tilt-shift lens without any shift correction.

©Darwin Wiggett – Image shot with a 24mm tilt-shift lens using shift to correct the keystone effect.

27 July

The Nordegg Mine Results – Bob Bowhay

Below are the five favorite photos made by Bob Bowhay on the Nordegg Mine Tour in early July. Bob was kind enough to send in his EXIF data so we had more information on how he captured and processed his photos. Enjoy!

©Bob Bowhay

Canon EOS 5D Mark ll, 5 sec at f/11 ISO 100,
65mm (EF 24-105 f/4L IS USM)
Silver Efex Pro 2

©Bob Bowhay

Canon EOS 5D Mark ll 1/8, 1/2, 2, 8 and 30 sec at f/10 ISO 100,
24mm (Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L ll)
HDR Efex Pro

©Bob Bowhay

Lever , Winch Throttle
Canon EOS 7D 1/2 sec at f11, ISO 100,
97mm (EF70 -200mm f/4L IS USM)
Silver Efex Pro 2

©Bob Bowhay

Interior Montage
Canon EOS 5D Mark ll, f/5.6 to f/9 ISO 100
60mm (Canon EF 24-105 f/4.0L IS USM)
24mm (Canon TS-E 24mm f/3.5L ll)
three hdr images blended together,
HDR Efex Pro, Photoshop CS 5.5 Extended

©Bob Bowhay

Crescent Falls
Canon EOS 5D Mark ll 1/4, .8, 2 and 10 sec at f/8 ISO100,
24mm (Canon TS-E 24mm  f/3.5L ll)
HDR Efex Pro, Topaz Adjust 5,

20 July

The Nordegg Mine Tour Results – Gary Taylor

In early July, for an oopoomoo photography tour, we spent one and a half days with complete and unique access to the Brazeau Collieries in Nordegg, Alberta. This abandoned briquette coal mine is a treasure for history buffs and photographers alike. In addition, we did a little exploring of the natural beauty around the Kootenay Plains. This is Gary Taylor’s third workshop/tour with us and as always we enjoyed his company and thoughtful discussion. We are pleased to present Gary’s five favorite images from the tour!

©Gary Taylor – Blacksmith Forge

©Gary Taylor – Briquette Plant in Monochrome

©Gary Taylor – Briquette Plant Windows

©Gary Taylor – Briquette Interior

©Gary Taylor – Whitegoat Lake – Sunrise

29 May

Photos from the Brazeau Colleries in Nordegg

Below are some photos Samantha and I have made during several visits to the Brazeau Colleries in Nordegg Alberta. This historic place is a photographer’s dream but it’s difficult to get access to this industrial site which is one of the largest intact briquette coal mines in North America. Alan Ernst of Aurum Lodge has negotiated a full day and a half of unfettered photographic privileges to this fabulous place in the warm summer days of July! Besides the mine, there’s the outstanding natural scenery of the Kootenay Plains in the Canadian Rockies to be amazed and inspired by and of course the down-home warm and cozy comforts of the Aurum Lodge. So come join Alan and Madeleine Ernst of the Aurum Lodge and Sam and me for our special mine tour this summer. There are only two spots left for this visual romp into Alberta’s history! Click on any photo to see it larger in our Nordegg Flickr Stream or to see see many more photos from our time in the mine!

©Darwin Wiggett

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Samantha Chrysanthou

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett

14 May

Travel and Humanitarian Photographer, David duChemin is Coming to Alberta!

Here at oopoomoo, we’re super excited to announce that international travel and humanitarian photographer (and all-round cool dude) David duChemin is coming to Alberta! Together with The Camera Store, we’re presenting Persistent Vision: The Photographic Pursuit of Story and Inspiration — a weekend photography extravaganza! The event kicks off on Friday, March 15, 2013 with a private, Meet-n-Greet in Bragg Creek, Alberta; meet David at this smaller gathering! Then on Saturday, March 16, 2013, we have the main event, a full day seminar with David dishing on the stories behind the images and how he’s made the switch from entertaining comic to successful photographer. Expect an engaging and inspiring account of his travels around the world! Darwin and I will also be speaking at the Saturday Seminar sharing both practical tips on how to be a skilled shooter (even without leaving your hometown) and insights into the world of commercial photography today (including a few ‘behind the scenes’ stories about the creation of oopoomoo). Finally, closing the weekend is an opportunity to head out with David in the field for some hands-on photography! For full details on this exciting event, including info on prizes and our Photo Contest, visit the Persistent Vision page.


International travel and humanitarian photographer David duChemin

Look Who's Coming to Alberta!

A Note to the Wise

David is not only a talented and respected photographer but he is also a popular author: between his blog, books and eBooks, he’s been highly influential in the photography world. So we were very happy to secretly announce last week this awesome opportunity to meet David to our newsletter subscribers first before going public today. There are a limited number of All Inclusive passes to the full weekend (only 40, to be exact), so we wanted to give first dibs to those members of the oopoomoo community who are looking to receive info from us in our newsletter! We are already halfway sold out on the weekend passes! If you aren’t signed up for the newsletter, consider taking a moment to do so; there will be more great opportunities in the future! (By the way, we respect your privacy and you won’t be spammed with newsletters. We’ve barely managed three newsletters this year so far so your inbox won’t be inundated with oopoomoo News – phew.)

We expect this event to fill quickly, especially the limited number of All Inclusive passes, so don’t wait too long if you’re interested!



2 May

Two New Photography Talks in Cochrane Alberta This Fall

First of all, thanks so much to everyone who came out to our photography talks this spring in the big metropolis of Cochrane, Alberta. We’ve had many positive comments not only on the content of the talks but also on how refreshing not to have to fight Calgary traffic and pay Calgary’s crazy parking fees! Out here in Cochrane, traffic is thin, parking is free and beer is cheap — if you know where to go!

We are taking the summer off but starting in the fall we’ll be at it again with fresh new topics. Check out our two offerings and be sure to sign up for our newsletter because our next Twoonie Talk ($2) will be opened up to newsletter subscribers first before we go public. It’s a great topic that will sell out fast (hint hint – subscribe!)

Also, if you have an idea for a talk, or a person you want to hear speak let us know.

Below are our latest offerings (remember, there is always a door prize for the first person to sign up!)

The High Art of Lo-fi Film Photography with Jim Slobodian
October 27, 2012

Pro shooter and acclaimed photography instructor Jim Slobodian explores the wonderful world of low-fi film photography in this fun talk. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn the creative power of toy cameras like Holgas, Dianas , Sprocket Rockets, pinhole cameras and more. After hearing Jim, we bet you’re hooked!

Follow the arrows

© Jim Slobodian

The Art and Craft of the Photography eBook
November 3, 2012

Join Samantha and Darwin as they discuss the pros and cons, the nuts and bolts and the finer points of making your own photography eBooks. Benefit by learning from their mistakes and their successes. Whether your project is a wedding album, travel retrospective, or instructional eBook you plan to market and sell, shortcut the process and get on track to make a great eBook the first time out!

Learn how to make your own eBooks