14 September

Student Project Mentorship – Life is a Highway with Chris Bone

Highway 762 is different things to different people; just another road on their way to somewhere else, a destination for cyclists and motorcyclists, a place to drive slowly while viewing the scenery, the route for an annual cattle drive; and probably more besides. I intend to peel back my familiarity with the subject in an attempt to reveal what I see as the essence of this short, 22 km highway.

Meet Chris Bone. Chris is someone who travels Highway 762 a lot – whenever he wants to get anywhere from his home, in fact. While there may be more iconic stretches of pavement in the world, 762 has its own particular charm. But if you are setting a mentored project for yourself, and you want to push yourself to see something… deeper than scenery, more unexpected than cliché, is a road a good subject matter to choose?

It’s certainly not an easy choice! That’s Chris’ project statement above, and his portfolio of ten images below. In some ways, Chris was easy to mentor: he needed little guidance on goal-setting, articulating his idea or curating a final collection. We think he has come up with a very thoughtful story about Highway 762 as portrayed in his photo essay below. We suspect Chris will continue to travel everyday roads and come away with something unique to say about the experience.

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

©Chris Bone

For previous students’ mentored projects, click here.

17 April

The Chain Mail Chickens Return – The Search for Larry-Lays-Two-Eggs!

Any long-time follower of the oopoomoo blog will remember the adventure of our Chain Mail Chickens. We sent four, very brave rubber chickens out into the big, wide world to experience a life of adventure and bring fun and joy to our free-spirited photography friends. We were amazed at the response from both feathered friend and photo buddy. Apparently, photographers are just as corny as us (did you get that sly innuendo, just there, about corn? And chickens? No? Ok. Read on, – you can still get valuable information here.). The journeys of our intrepid fowl were documented by the skilled hands of many photographers and you can catch up their back stories here. Three of our feathered friends, Stu Pott, Cluckin Chuck, and Peter Pecker made safe returns to our chicken coop back home in Cochrane, Alberta. But somewhere out in the big barnyard of the world, Larry Lays-Two-Eggs, most sadly, went M.I.A. Last we heard he was in transit between British Columbia and Florida… we suspect he may have been fried somewhere in Kentucky but we held out hope he escaped the 11 herbs and spices! We secretly hoped that he’d defected, a la Edward Snowden on some kind of crackdown on the inhumane reality of chicken battery coops.

But now we’re not sure.

Well, it seems we are not the only ones who are concerned for the safe return of Larry-Lays-Two Eggs. We have this updated report from Drake Dyck of an interesting encounter he had related to our missing chicken. Drake’s report follows below:

It’s been a while since I have been in touch with oopoomoo, but something happened today while I was out taking photos in my neighbourhood that I thought I should pass on.  It was one of those days where the weather was changing from overcast and breezy, to clear, sunny skies.  I decided to take advantage of one of the sunny breaks by taking some pictures of our flowers.  Just as I was snapping a photo of a lone tulip, an intruder appeared!

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

Well, this is the first time that I’ve heard of a flower being photobombed, but there it was, a crazed looking chicken.  Immediately, my Golden Retrievers gave chase, and one of them, Meva, caught the culprit before she could fly the coop.

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

I persuaded Meva to turn her over to me for a little chat and I learned that her name was Henrietta and she was here searching for a long lost member of the Chain Mail Chicken clan.  She said that family lore had it that one of her uncles went missing a couple years back when he was on a grand adventure visiting photographers across the country.  According to the story she heard, one of the last destinations that her dearly departed uncle had planned to go to, was Sooke, on Vancouver Island.  That’s what she was doing in my garden; she was searching for her uncle.  After hearing her sad tale, I decided to help her in her quest.  First, we searched the rest of the yard and she stopped for a drink from the hummingbird feeder.
3

©Drake Dyck

Then we walked to the nearby pond, where the search continued.

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

Despite looking high and low, we didn’t see her kin anywhere.

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

Henrietta was in a foul mood, even for a fowl.  She was getting hungry from a full day of travel all the way to Sooke and then trudging through the cattails.  As she crossed the bridge, she called back to me that she was going to grab a bite to eat.

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

Seeing what looked plump and tasty, she jumped at the chance to fill up.  She told me later that it was the worst hotdog she ever ate and it was no wonder someone had left so many of them on sticks all around the pond.

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

Before I could explain her mistake, she was off filling up on some mushrooms.

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

The cattail and mushrooms must have made her very thirsty, because the next thing I know, she’s crawling over to nearby stream and wading in.  She found a bottle and was drowning her sorrows.

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

 

I fished her out and reassured her that her uncle would be proud of her for going to such great lengths to try and find out what happened to him.  This seemed to buoy her and she decided to take a brief rest under a nearby tree to collect her thoughts before continuing.

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

Feeling refreshed, Henrietta decided the area around the pond had been thoroughly searched and that she should walk me home.  On the way, she saw a gentleman watering a garden and stopped to talk to him.  Unfortunately, he didn’t say a word and remained stone faced the entire time we were there, even when Henrietta cuddled up to him.
©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

Henrietta was disappointed that we didn’t find a trace of her long lost uncle and she said she wants to keep searching around the area.  She said that she didn’t have a plan as to what to do next, so she’d have to wing it.  When I invited her to stay as long as she wanted, she was overjoyed and insisted I take one more photo when we got home, where she told me she was going to make sure to stop and smell the roses!

©Drake Dyck

©Drake Dyck

I have a feeling that Henrietta will be joining me on some more of my local adventures, but I hope that when I’m taking photos, she’ll keep a little lower profile… at least most of the time.  If the missing link from Henrietta’s flock is ever spotted, she will make sure to send him straight back to his family with the clan at oopoomoo.

If anyone else has information about our missing Larry-Two-Eggs let us know. Below is a portrait of of beloved chicken!

Where is Larry-Lays-Two-Eggs?

Where is Larry-Lays-Two-Eggs?

To see more of Drake’s photography be sure to visit his website!

3 May

Meet the Cluckers! Chain Mail’s Cousins Take Up His Journey

Yesterday we reported the sad news that Chain Mail Chicken appeared to have been kidnapped right out of Mike Fitton’s luggage. Today we received news from Cuban immigration that Chain Mail was not taken by some poultry-plucker but had, in fact, defected! Can you believe it? Apparently Spring’s refusal to visit Alberta this year really upset Chain Mail. (Chain Mail may even have claimed refugee status… some hints of abuse… being frozen in the ice at Abraham Lake or some such nonsense…we denied everything, of course.)

©Chris Manderson

©Chris Manderson – he’s not frozen; he’s just resting!

But all is not fowl news! In tracking down Chain Mail’s family to tell them the sad news that Chain Mail had flown the coop, we were amazed to hear that Chain Mail’s cousins wanted to carry on Chain Mail’s photo adventures around the world! We found the Cluckers in Brooderheim, Alberta. This is a family portrait of the Cluckers below. Aren’t they cute?

Meet the Cluckers

Meet the Cluckers!

So, we are super excited to confirm that Chain Mail’s dream of traveling around the world and sharing photo adventures with new photo friends will continue. You can read about how it all got started here, but in a nutshell, everyone who responded to our first call-out to be a photo-host for Chain Mail will receive one of the cousins (more about each of them below). The photographer will have two weeks to show the cousin around, take the cousin to the scenic spots and iconic stops of their home, and then the photographer will mail the chicken on to the next photo-friend. As the photographers send them in, we’ll post photos of the happy Cluckers’ experiences on the oopoomoo blog so everyone can share in their journeys! And this time the avian adventurers will be traveling with a journal so that their thoughts can be recorded and shared with us all. Oh, the stories they will tell!

A chicken and his journal

A chicken and his journal

Before we send the cousins on their way to their first photo-hosts, we should tell you a bit more about them. Meet the Cluckers!

Grandma Gertie Goosepimple

Gertie Goosepimple

Grandma Gertie Goosepimple always acts surprised when invited over for dinner. — ©Catherine Byram

Gertie actually left Brooderheim long ago to live in the cold wilds of northern Canada. But she had never ventured as far north as the Arctic Circle before, so when photographer (and oopoomoo eBook author!) Dave Brosha volunteered to escort her there, she flew at the chance. We’ll have more on Gertie’s adventures shortly, but we thought it appropriate to start with the matriarch of the Brooderheim Cluckers. Gertie’s a big-boned girl (they grow ’em big up there). Her favourite activity is lawn bowling.

Cluckin Chuck

Cluckin Chuck

Cluckin Chuck

Chuck is probably the most talkative and friendly out of this broody-bunch! When we drove into the yard, Chuck ambled over to greet us right away! He loves poetry: his favourite activity is crooning about his love of corn at 3 am (much to the annoyance of his barnyard buddies).

Stu Pott

Stu Pott

Stu Pott

Probably the biggest intellectual, Stu has previously ventured out into the big world before. He returned to Brooderheim with a degree from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of ALES (Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences) — wow! We couldn’t understand his thesis — something on the origins of pecking order as a hierarchical behavioural strategy — but we were impressed with his ability to play the kazoo in the local band, The Domestics!

Larry Lays-Two-Eggs

Larry Lays-Two-Eggs

Larry Lays-Two-Eggs

Out of all the Cluckers, Larry is the most shy and sensitive. He’s a bit of a homebody. In fact, he’s borderline agoraphobic, so taking up this journey is a big step for him! His favourite activity is babysitting eggs in the hen house.

Peter Pecker

Peter Pecker

Peter Pecker

Peter is quite industrious, even athletic (for a chicken). He got his nickname because of how good he is at scratching through the dirt for juicy bugs.

There you have it! Watch the blog for the Cluckers’ adventures with their photo friends, and a big thanks to the cousins and their photo-hosts for carrying on Chain Mail’s legacy! Stay tuned!

By the way, we are using rubber chickens from the game Flickin’ Chicken to power this adventure!

7 February

Software Tools for Photographers

What are your favourite apps?

I’m not sure how I ever lived without GPS. I have it in my car, I have it in my camera, and I have it on my phone. At any given time, I can open up a map and get an aerial view of my location and find my way around. It’s a very exciting time for geography related tools which has direct benefits for photographers.

There are an unlimited number of apps available for photographers but one of the lesser known options in the classic desktop app Google Earth, is light simulation. Sure, there are apps like The Photographer’s Ephemeris that can provide fantastic data for where and when the sun will rise and set – but what if you could actually see it? Google Earth can do that for many locations.

This is most useful for large landscapes and would have little use in the prairies.

Mount Rundle from the Vermillion Lakes side, Banff

Mount Rundle from the Vermillion Lakes late on a February afternoon just before sunset.

(more…)

29 June

Alternative Iceland Photos – Ghostly Reykjavik Graveyard

There’s a lot more to Iceland than lava fields! Sometimes, Darwin and I found ourselves attracted to the most odd things to photograph…such as the Hólavallagarður graveyard in Reykjavik. In Alberta, we often don’t have such magnificent, mossy relics as these old boneyards. Consecrated in 1838, a plaque in the graveyard tells us that no family wanted to bury the first deceased in the new graveyard. Apparently, the spectre of the first person laid to rest becomes the guardian of the graveyard, welcoming the future inhabitants to their everlasting sleep. As with everything, somebody had to be the first…the dubious honour went to the wife of a Reykjavik judge, Guðrún Oddsdóttir. We didn’t see Guðrún’s ghost in the murky shadows under the trees, but visiting her little grave with its magnificent, large iron cross did inspire respect and awe…and maybe a little shiver. Her grave marker is captured in the final photograph below…and is that a little of her spirit in the wind-tossed leaves above? Rest in peace, Guðrún Oddsdóttir.

Hólavallagarður graveyard, Reykavik, Iceland

Welcome to Hólavallagarður…won’t you come in? ©Samantha Chrysanthou

Hólavallagarður graveyard, Reykavik, Iceland

©Darwin Wiggett

Hólavallagarður graveyard, Reykavik, Iceland

©Samantha Chrysanthou

Hólavallagarður graveyard, Reykavik, Iceland

©Darwin Wiggett

Hólavallagarður graveyard, Reykavik, Iceland

©Samantha Chrysanthou

Hólavallagarður graveyard, Reykavik, Iceland

©Darwin Wiggett

Hólavallagarður graveyard, Reykavik, Iceland

Three Crosses ©Samantha Chrysanthou

Hólavallagarður graveyard, Reykavik, Iceland

©Darwin Wiggett

Hólavallagarður graveyard, Reykavik, Iceland

Guðrún Oddsdóttir’s Cross to Bear ©Samantha Chrysanthou

19 June

We’re Back from Iceland!

After a day of rest, laundry and emails, we’re back in the oopoomoo office. We had a great time with our friends photographing this incredible country. Since this was more of a holiday for Darwin and me rather than a working tour, we made sure that we enjoyed ourselves! Beer, ice cream, yogurt and lava fields…what could be better than this! We’ll have more images of our travels and an eBook of the group’s photographs soon, but for now, proof that we enjoyed our trip.

Darwin enjoys the ice cream.

Darwin enjoys the ice cream.

Sam enjoys the ice cream.

Sam enjoys the ice cream. So do Dave and Scott.

Did we mention the ice cream was fantastic? For good chunks of time, the weather was surprisingly warm and sunny. What better way to cool off? Except maybe beer….

We sample the local brew.

We sample the local brew.

Too much sightseeing makes one thirsty.

Too much sightseeing makes one thirsty.

Darwin enjoying hot chocolate and pastry in Reykjavik.

Darwin enjoying hot chocolate and pastry in Reykjavik.

Sam enjoying a latte in Reykjavik.

Sam enjoying a latte in Reykjavik.

Sam warms up while whale watching.

Sam warms up while whale watching.

The food was delicious in Iceland!

The food was delicious in Iceland!

Sam and Deb relaxing at Askja caldera.

Sam and Deb relaxing at Askja caldera.

We did work sometimes….

Sam works sunset at the Snaefellnes peninsula.

Sam works sunset at the Snaefellnes peninsula.

Darwin shoots the stinky geothermal pools.

Darwin shoots the stinky geothermal pools of Seltun.

Working the glacier lagoon outlet....

Working the glacier lagoon outlet....

Moss covers the old lava fields.

Moss covers the old lava fields.

Breaking news…oopoomoo finally has a facebook page and google+ page! (I know, I know. Better late than never — right?) We’ll be sharing some of our images from the trip on these platforms so stay tuned! A big thanks to Stephen for checking in on the blog and adding a couple of posts while we were eating ice cream. Expect to hear more from the talented members of the oopoomoo Team in the next few weeks.

The creative brains of oopoomoo.

The creative brains of oopoomoo.

 

11 June

Alive and Well : Update from Iceland

Sam and Darwin might be able to take off for a vacation and unplug from the world but it’s not something I can do and two weeks is too long for a blog to go in silence. Since I just happen to have a password, I can abuse this privilege and post some behind the scene photos of Sam and Darwin hard at work in Iceland.

Still one week to go.

Darwin and Sam in Iceland

Darwin and Sam in Iceland

(more…)

30 May

We’re Off to Iceland!

It seems Iceland is a popular place these days for photographers! We’re jumping on the bandwagon by going with a group of friends on a photo tour of this incredibly picturesque country. Our photo guide is Tim Vollmer with Esja Travel, so this is a vacation for us! And since we’re on vacation, we decided not to bring our laptop which means things are going to be silent here on the oopoomoo blog until we get back June 17. No email, no business administration no endless lists of ‘must dos’…just experiencing Iceland. Wow, it’s going to be great!

Gone Shootin'

Gone Shootin'!

We’re leaving you with a few things to read/think about while we’re gone. First, highlights of the spring have definitely been:

  • our little experiment with the Destination Travel Workshop in Fernie, British Columbia (June 25-28, 2012) — Read about our crazy ‘Pay What It’s Worth’ idea here. There’s still space!
  • announcing that David duChemin is coming to town next March, 2013. Last word was the All Inclusive Passes are more than half gone so don’t delay if you’re interested in this great event! And if you enter the photo contest while we’re away, don’t worry; you’ll hear from us when we’re home. (Two days left for the May contest…)
  • publication on oopoomoo of our 11th eBook, Essential and Advanced Filters for Creative Outdoor Photography — phew! Our brains hurt.

In case you get lonely here at oopoomoo without us around, here are a whole bunch of free articles to browse through. We hope you find something to tickle your shutter button. We’ll share our adventures and images with you when we get back. ‘Till then, happy shooting!

Why Every Landscape Photographer Should USe Filters – Still!

How to Photograph Waterfalls

7 Advantages of Using Tilt Shift Lenses

Beyond the Rectangle: There is More to Photography than the 3:2 Ratio

Shooting Blind for Better Action Portraits of Dogs

Telephoto Lenses for High Impact Landscape Imagery

Filter Tutorials

The Minimal Upgrade

RAW VS JPEG: Take the Quiz!

Winter Blues: Enhancing Mood in Monochrome

How to Create Great Nature Photos No Matter Where You Live

 

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!

 

 

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