Scouting Locations with the Fujifilm X-T1

Posted in: Discover Alberta, Gear Chat, It's In The Bag, Scouting on August 5th, 2014

We’ve had some decent foggy mornings of late and because I work in Australian / NZ time zones as well as my MST, I’m often working when the sun starts to rise, and I miss out on some real goodies, like much of this past week (Murphy’s Law, the big meanie). A week and a half ago, I found myself free right as the sun was about to rise, so I grabbed some gear and headed on out. In an attempt to chase the fog, I came across a killer scene, about 5 minutes away from my home. The fog was low-lying everywhere except one area, and it was encompassing some grain silos in the most perfect manner, with the sun adding the right mix of mystery, eliminating the drab feeling of the boring bald sky. Here’s the thing – I was once again roadblocked as I still have no clue where to shoot these silos from without trespassing, which is something I refuse to do. So I pretty much spent the first 30 minutes trying to get to these damn silos from a number of possible entry points, but I was out of luck. I’m not sure why I thought suddenly today I’d be able to access them when I haven’t been able to the past 5 years. Ah, I amuse myself at times.

By the time I was done, the light was average and I missed my moment. Taking advantage of the fact I had the little Fuji with me, I thought I’d spend the next hour or so scouting locations before heading back home. Wet, dirty and covered in bites, I found a few spots where I think with the right lighting and some good ol’ fashioned effort, I might be able to make something interesting at another time.

Scouting Locations with the Fuji X-T1, Location scouting around rural Alberta with the Fuji X-T1 and 23mm ƒ1.4 lens. Abandoned stucture after sunrise with lens flare. VSCO edits. Sidney Blake Photography.

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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.

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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 find many aspects of agriculture fascinating and really enjoy shooting the wide open crops and fields of our Alberta farmlands, especially when supported by a rocky mountain backdrop. 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!