Photography vs. Life

Posted in: Business Schmissness, Living on July 10th, 2014

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted on this site. Completely unintentional, but other matters popped up about nine weeks ago, which required 100% of my attention. Ah, such is life, eh? This wasn’t my only interruption of late either. It’s hard when there is a life vs. photography situation presented to us. As photographers, we like to think photography is life…our life. We live and breathe our craft; it enters our dreams and also our nightmares when things don’t turn out right. We dedicate a huge chunk of our life to making images; and we’ve often created our own inner world around our love for photography. But what happens when life outside of the click gets in the way? It can turn a photographer’s life upside down.

Photography vs. Life »» Sidney Blake Photography, Black and white landscape of a Pincher Creek wind turbine during a late summer sunset with a Canadian Rockies backdrop. Alberta landscape. Sidney Blake Photography

Thankfully, those days are slowly fading away and I can start focusing on photography again, as well as my OHS work. Phew. I’ve missed it so, but through the days and nights I couldn’t shoot, I never stopped chasing the light … only it wasn’t with a camera in hand.

Updated / new galleries – where you be? I’ve mentioned in recent posts I was working on changing my galleries. After about fifty hours dedicated to customizing and organizing my SmugMug, I ran into some blips with them and it left me reevaluating the kind of service I want to be a part of, and how I want to display work, blog, focus on clients for licensing, prints, etc. After all those hours I had put in, and after discussing my dilemma on my podcast and with my co-host off-air (thanks, Mac!), I decided to scrap my Smug (ouch!) and I turned to my web chap, Adam, for a new jam plan. We are going to rebuild my site completely and it will be pleasing and functional for not only myself, but more importantly, those visiting my site, no matter the device or platform…finally! It will also give more options for those using the site, which is great and long overdue! It was a big decision, financially as well as the time factor, to decide what which path to take and actually go forward with, but I believe I’ve made the right one. We are not going to take this project on until the new year, so this gives us time to plan every detail out as well as allowing me to rebuild my inventory, which is very much needed.

Photography vs. Life »» Sidney Blake Photography, Pincher Creek windfarm at sunset from the gravel road perspective - Sidney Blake Photography.

Read on..

Canadian Rockies, Southern Alberta »» Landscape Photography

Damn, Canadian Rockies … I miss you today.

There’s something so peaceful about being surrounded by the incredible landscapes where the Alberta prairies and the Canadian Rockies collide. I could easily spend much of my life roaming the land with a camera in hand. It’s a unique landscape and it’s one of the few places I actually find to be relaxing. Most of my mates travel around the world, and one day I’ll do the same, but right now I’m making the most of soaking up all the beauty Alberta has to offer. This should keep me going for a few more years, though my passion for our Alberta landscape will never fade.

Speaking of cameras, these photos were taken with my Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 14mm ƒ2.8L …. I mention these as I’ve recently sold the beautiful 14mm lens (sob) and I am selling the 5D Mark II body. While I’m still keeping my other Canon body and 2 Canon telephoto lenses, I’ve made the switch to the new Fuji X-T1 body. I needed something lighter for everyday use and since I’ve shot with the Fuji X-Pro 1 in the past, I knew it moving to another Fuji body wouldn’t disappoint me. I’ll miss my full frame body and ultra wide angle lens though — yowsa! I’ll talk more about the Fuji later on once I post some Fujilicious photos.

Double rainbow over Waterton Lakes National Park, early morning, late summer. Canadian Rockies, Alberta landscape.

Alberta landscape, Alberta Prairies, rural Alberta, agriculture, farmland, sunset, gravel roads, Canadian Rockies, wind turbines, wind farms, Pincher Creek

I’m almost done moving my galleries to another site and once completed, I’ll be linking up all the goods here on the blog. Until then, enjoy this selection of some of my favourites from my most recent trek to Southern Alberta.

Fading rainbow captured in the Canadian Rockies in Southern Alberta, early morning. Pincher Creek wind turbine during a late summer sunset with a Canadian Rockies backdrop. Alberta landscape. The rising sun casts a pink glow over the Canadian Rockies and farmland in Southern Alberta, late summer. Alberta landscape. Canadian Rockies, late summer morning in Southern Alberta landscape, Alberta farmland.

See you in the field!

Wildlife Viewing Tips »» Alberta Wildlife Photography

Posted in: National Parks of Canada, Resources, Wildlife on April 25th, 2014

Wildlife viewing can be one of the most spectacular adventures you can participate in outdoors. There is much to learn and enjoy from wildlife observations, and it’s important to know some of the things we should and should not do before heading outdoors.

Large bull elk (wapiti, Cervus elaphus) quietly eats food during the strong, early autumn morning light in Jasper National Park. Sidney Blake Photography.

While there are hundreds of tips for wildlife viewing and hiking in the great outdoors, I thought I’d share a handful of basic tips off the top of my head. Hopefully these will be of use to you.

  • Learn your target species. Even knowing the basic biology of a wild animal can help you safely view wildlife while causing no stress to the animal or yourself.
  • Bring your binoculars. Having these with you can help you accomplish a couple of important things:
    • alert you to animals lurking in the same vicinity as you, but you may not be able to spot on your own
    • allow you to safely observe and enjoy wildlife behaviour from a distance; this is especially useful for viewing larger predators such as bears or small alpine animals such as pikas.
  • Be prepared at the probability of crossing paths with a wild animal as you shuffle along the trails. This will probably be one of the highlights of your trek, but it’s important to know what to do when you encounter a wild animal. Whatever you do – do NOT run away. This goes hand-in-hand with learning about wildlife in the area and how to react should you encounter these animals on or off trails.
  • Give the wild animal some space. They are always aware when we are in their hood, so it’s up to us to respect them and their territory and learn to happily co-exist. No amount of stress to a wild animal is worth any photograph, video or viewing. If they are disturbed by your behaviour, you are too close and you need to move back or in some cases, move on.
  • Educate yourself on any local regulations and rules and obey posted signs with respect to wildlife distances you should keep, staying on designated trails and away from any prohibited areas. Respect these signs and closures. Ecosystems are often fragile and even footprints can damage an ecosystem. Know where you are walking and the impact each step you take can have.
  • Never feed a wild animal. Ever. Not even one you see as possibly being in distress or starving. The damage can be irreversible in a number of aspects.

Richardsons Ground Squirrel, Alberta wildlife, is standing guard at Elk Island National Park mid-morning during summer. Sidney Blake Photography.

Read on..

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