Studio: 204 Main Street, Milk River, AB
Mail: Box 93, Milk River, AB, T0K 1M0


We take the ordinary and make it look extraordinary

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Storm clouds gathering on the horizon near Lethbridge

Storm clouds gathering on the horizon near Lethbridge

I have no idea what these wheels are. I am guessing they are supposed to be wheels of a steam engine, but while they are located right behind the Galt Museum, there is nothing that I could find on the museum site, or by any other search that even mentions the wheels. A few photos, but mostly just mentioning the High Level Bridge in the background.

Storm clouds on the horizon

I am guessing that they are supposed to represent the drive wheels of a steam engine, but because of the size, I doubt they ever where on a real engine.

What I can tell you, the wheels are not from this steam locomotive. This little guy is part of the Airdrie Train Park which has several different tracks and engines that you can ride on.

Steam train locomotive located behind the old train station in Lethbridge.

This one located behind the health unit in the old train station is a little easier to find information on because there is a plaque that details the history of Locomotive 3651, a oil fired steam locomotive.

Now we move from Lethbridge to Coutts, where we have the Coutts train station on it’s original site but boarded up in preparation for it’s move to the Galt Railway Museum in Stirling.

Coutts Train station on its original foundation before being moved to Stirling

They made it to Milk River and brought it up and around the hospital

The move also required the use of the utility companies to either lift lines over the roof, or to actually take them down and other crews were required to remove other road side obsticals such as road signs

Exploring New Photography Equipment and Software: A Photo Journey

Exploring New Photography Equipment and Software: A Photo Journey

I have been searching for software that will allow me to tether my camera to my Ipad.
There are a number of programs that will allow me to tether to either a PC or a Mac. I have Capture One, ON1, and Lightroom and all will tether to my desktop. However I traded my laptop for the extra portability of an IPad., and while all of the software works on the IPad, none of them work in Live View. 
One of the big advantages to tethering is the ability to work in Live View. Live View is a game changer when it comes to product photography because you can actually watch your composition on a large screen while you are arranging the products on the set. You can see what your lights are going to do while you move them. And you can make sure the focus is exactly where you want it. You simply cannot do that through the viewfinder.

Which is why I really missed Live View when I went to the IPad. I had many of the advantages of shooting tethered, but the big one is Live View was missing.

Which means I have to take a photograph, wait for it to import, and then look at it on the screen. Then go back and make adjustments again in the layout again. It works, but it’s tedious and often times you end up settling for less that what you want, just because it gets down to where the changes are so little that it’s hard to adjust to perfection.

In the studio I can do that on the computer, but it is a two person job as I have to run a long cable from the camera to the computer, with one person sitting at the computer to make the camera adjustments and firing the shutter and the other making changes to the layout.

Today, I found some new software Helicon Focus and Helicon Remote. The software is designed to work in tandem to create images with incredible depth of field. Helicon Remote lets you pick your front focus point, your back focus point, and then it works out how many photographs it will have to take, each with the focus moved just a bit to create a set that has all of the image in focus.

You then import that series of photographs into Helicon Focus that will then stack the images and create a single image that covers your entire focus range.  
In this example you can see that while the front collar is in focus, the rear one is not.

With Helicon Remote I set the front focus point on the handle and the rear focus point on the front of the rear collar. The software then calculated that I would need eight images to achieve that. Then when I hit the button, it took all eight images shifting the focus point on each image.
I then imported the set of eight images into Helicon Focus and it created the following image.

You could do that in the past, if you had the patience and the editing skills, but it was time consuming and required great skill.

If you do much product photography where you are struggling with small apertures to try and keep everything in focus, then that alone makes it worth the price.
However, that was just a bonus to what I was looking for – being able to see the image in real time on my Ipad, and to control the camera from the Ipad.

This allows me to not only save time when composing a photograph, but in picking the moment when to press the shutter. That is what the coffee photo is all about. I am pouring the coffee with one hand, and triggering the camera with the other, all while watching the live image on the IPad.

Spring has Sprung in Southern Alberta

Spring has Sprung in Southern Alberta

Spring is officially here – the gophers made their appearance in the area on February 27. May have been earlier, but that is when I saw my first gopher for this year.

I am sure we will still have a few more snowstorms, but they will be short lived and it is not likely we will see the -40 to -50 weather that we had at the start of February.

In the near future we should stat to see the return of the geese, swans, and ducks that migrated for the winter

But one must remember, this is southern Alberta and we can get snow well into July. Our poor freezing Red Wing Blackbird was a snowstorm in the middle of June.

March also brings flooded streets

and of course with the warmer weather we will start to see more of this as police start their spring vehicle safety campaigns.

Another eclectic mix from across time

Another eclectic mix from across time

Our featured image is from a recipie created for Petersen’s Re/Max Journal, a custom publication created for Rich Petersen who was the broker for the Re/Max brokerage in Fort St John.

Dealing with hunting stories in north eastern BC, the magazine had a regular featured wild game recipe

The recipes were provided by Florence Plotnikow and we photographed the finished meal to put into the magazine.

Lethbridge Health Unit

steam train engine Lethbridge
The Health Unit is located in the old train station in Lethbridge, and behind it is one of the steam engines that used to work out of Lethbridge

Is this a Downy or Hairy Woodpecker?

The two birds are very different in size, with the Hairy being about the size of a Robin while the Downy is only the size of a sparrow. But the coloring is almost the same, so you can usually tell them apart by the length of the beak. In the Hairy the beak is longer than the head, while in the Downy it is shorter than the head. So that would suggest that this is a Downy however, a Downy also has white spots on the tail feathers that are not present here, suggesting it’s a Hairy.