“… So I can write a blog!”

That was the gist of our aprés-ski conversation the other day at Mount St. Louis, over beer, of course. Nothing stupid was said, worth writing about, anyway, so the only thing I have to write about is the last 12 weeks of the #dogwood52 photography challenge for 2018.

[Click on any photo for the slideshow. Please leave comments at the bottom of the page]


Week 41 Composition: Rule of Odds


Week 41 Composition: Rule of Odds





Damn, I missed my train.


Week 42 Technical: Shutter Drag

Used to balance fill light with ambient light or add motion-blur to images.




Will I see you tonight… on a downtown train


Week 43 Creative: A Song

Create a photo from the title of a song. Written and recorded by Tom Waits, then later a big hit by Rod Stewart.



Barton 541


Week 44 Wildcard: Photographer’s Choice

There’s a restaurant in a poor area of my hometown, Hamilton, ON, called Barton 541, which is also the address. Most of the employees, including the cooks, are actually volunteers. The food is very good and very reasonable and you don’t leave tips. Instead, you buy buttons for $1 each and put them into a jar next to the cashier. People less fortunate, who cannot afford a meal, can take these buttons and use them as cash. No shame and no judgement. You just sit anywhere you like to eat. I’ve seen homeless people almost right next to suits. I love going there because aside from the great food, and conversations with the manager, Jenn, I like the neighbourly feeling and the sense of tolerance and inclusiveness.

Vision: Show Half


Week 45 Vision: Show Half

Tell a complete story by only showing half of it.






Composition: Golden Triangles


Week 46 Composition: Golden Triangles

A diagonal line divides the frame from corner to corner, two more lines are added from the other corners, intersecting the diagonal line. What’s with all the geometry?



Week 47 Technical: Step Back

Edit your image to where you think it’s perfect and let it sit for two days. Then return to it and see if it works. Print a picture and review it from a different perspective before finalizing.

Desolation and the light

In Dogwood2017, week 2, we had to make a SOOC (straight out of the camera) photo, then edit it for week 50. My entry was a strange face in the front window of a house on Toronto Island, which I was not really happy with. For week 47, this year, I thought I would do a re-take and make it a little more interesting. So I got to the island, on a very windy, 0° C day this week, freezing my fingers off, and couldn’t find the house! Weird, because there’s not that many homes on Ward’s Island. Maybe it sunk in the floods of last spring.

But I did get some other shots. This is the boardwalk on the south shore of Ward’s Island, processed with the Fuji Acros preset in Lightroom. What looks like a very straight horizon is actually a sea-wall. I’m using Acros quite a bit now, either as a LR preset, or SOOC with my x100f, which has Acros as an in-camera film simulation. But you probably don’t really care about all that! 🤷‍♂️





Week 48 Creative: Split Tones

This is using the Split-Tone tool in Lightroom. 🤷‍♀️





Black Friday


Week 49 Vision: Look Back

My way of thinking about photography has completely changed over the 3 years. Not sure if it’s better, but certainly different, and certainly better in my own mind. I really couldn’t go back, so I just did another wildcard. There’s a new technique I just learned about… In The Round (ITR) which is basically a composite with 12 Photoshop layers.

This image reminds me of the materialistic insanity of Black Friday.


Leonardo’s time warp

Week 50 Composition: Golden Ratio

In my opinion, the Golden Ratio, or Fibinacci formula in art is an urban legend. Did Leonardo Da Vinci use this for the Mona Lisa? Probably only in Dan Brown’s book and movie. But anyway, here’s my interpretation…. more technical than composition. The background spiral is a photo I made by pointing my camera up towards the staircase at the AGO (Ontario Art Gallery).



Technical: Exposure Compensation

Week 51 Technical: Exposure Compensation

Exposure was not a big challenge for me, as I use it often, to make most of my photos under-exposed a little. Since I use Fujifilm cameras, my thumb is always on the Exposure Compensation dial.

As a volunteer photographer at the Evergreen Brickworks in the Don Valley, I got to shoot the Future Cities Canada Summit . This lady was one of my victims, er… subjects.



Creative: Self Portrait


Week 52 Creative: Self Portrait

When I told a non-photographer friend I was doing research on selfies, she really couldn’t understand what I meant, until I said, “You know, self-portraits”. “Oh… that’s what you mean”.