What’s New

Chris named a CAPA Certified Judge

After having taken the CAPA (Canadian Association of Photographic Art) judging course and judged in a number of photo competitions I was recommended by CAPA President Jacques Mailloux to become a CAPA Certified Judge.

On November 5 I received this email saying:

Hi Chris:

Congratulations, I am pleased to confirm your acceptance as a CAPA Certified Judge, effective November 5th, 2012

Allen Bargen, FCAPA, Hon FCAPA
Chair, CAPA Learning Courses

I then received the following email:

“Congratulations in attaining this important milestone in your photography pursuits!  It’s great to have one more CAPA Certified Judge in Ottawa.”

Jacques S. Mailloux, FCAPA, Hon. FCAPA
CAPA President

Manitoulin Island Magic

I had a magical time on Labour Day weekend 2012.  I went up to Manitoulin Island on the north shore of Lake Huron for a photo shoot and to reunite with a teenage acquatance who I hadn’t seen in over 40 years–Algis Tribinevicius.  Algis toured me around his farm and the island and we spent days talking about old times and catching up on old friends and spent evenings with some his friends eating, drinking wine, talking about anything and everything and listening to some amazing musicians play for us.  On the weekend we went to a nearby Assinabe Indian reserve–M’Chigeeng–for their annual Pow Wow.  It was all I expected it to be.  There were hundreds of locals dressed in fantastically colourful regalia.  (I initially made the mistake of calling them “costumes” and was quickly educated that costumes are to hide identity while regalia is intended to show identity.)  There were troups of drummers and singers and folks would just get into the dancing circle and start dancing with the beat.  I discovered that there were many different types of dances–the chicken dance, the duck and dive and the cape dance.  And there was a variety of Indian foods to try–how about an Indian taco (chili on bannock) or b0logna on a bannock scone.  I shot a lot of images which you can view in my Portfolio section.  Hope you enjoy them and let me know what you think.

Poland pilgrimage

In June 2012 I travelled to Poland to visit and connect with a family I never met.  It was a gratifying and emotional experience.  I got to travel around a lot with a cousin who is a photography student in Warsaw–to a national park with a herd of the last European bisons, to Marlbork (the largest crusader castle in Europe), to the Baltic and, of course, to Warsaw that was filled with fanatical soccer fans for the UEFA cup games.  Poland is a beautiful country–check out my images in my Poland 2012 gallery in the Portfolio section.

Can Geo contest winner

The February issue of Canadian Geographic Traveller has published one of my rodeo photos.  I was a runner up in the Western Values Contest.  Not a winner but I still got published in Can Geo–one of my goals over the past few years.  Next time I hope to have an article accepted.  Go to the Services tab to view a larger image.

Photo Life contest winner

I was the winner of the Photo Life Magazine February 2012 photo contest: Vintage.  My first win with this magazine!  Go to the Services tab to view a larger image.

Fabulous Photo Shoot in Cuba

An internationally acclaimed photographer and friend, Dan Sniffin, wanted to celebrate his 70th birthday with a tour and photo shoot in Cuba. He invited a group of his photographer friends to join him AND ME TOO! The group included renowned professional photographers Tony Sweet and John Barclay and some accomplished amateurs: Joe Farrell, Scott Oberle, Jim Dunaway, Bow Towery, Newton Seiden and Ellery Samuels. All of these folks are Americans and this was their first time to Cuba. Though we had a bus and tour guide at our disposal, as I had been to Cuba many times I became their photo shoot guide pointing out good shooting spots and photo op ideas.

When the guys first arrived in Havana they were less then awed but in time got to appreciate the wonderful, dillapitated Spanish colonial architecture of Habana Viejo and the friendliness of the people. And, once they discovered the old American cars everywhere shutters started clicking. There were not many cars that weren’t photographed. We made arrangements to photograph a practice by the National Ballet junior troupe (just wonderful) and got to see a practice session at a Cuban kick-boxing school run by the reigning Cuban middleweight national champion of mixed martial arts–Evelio Padron. Oh, and most evenings a number of us went to hear great Cuban jazz and salsa on Obispo street–of course, with many Mojito‘s to accompany us.

We then bussed down to Trinidad on the south shore of Cuba. This was my first time there and what a difference from the hustle and electricity of Havana. What a quaint, colourful colonial town! It reminded me a bit of San Miguel in Mexico. Each day, groups of two or three would head off in different directions shooting the wonderful doorways, windows and walls each colourful but with a patina of age. We got to the point that we would say: Oh, no. Not another f***ing wall!” And AFW or AFD was heard each time we found another interesting one.

We then bussed back to Havana for a last dinner and bit more shooting and then everyone headed back home, some by way of Toronto and others through Mexico.

What a fabulous time and what an opportunity for me to shoot with some great photographers. My eyes were opened to new styles and possibilities. I shot so much that I actually got shot out one day and had to take a rest because my eyes were literally hurting. Nevertheless, I think I did some of my best work so far. And, the camaraderie we had and the friendships I developed will stay with me forever.

Thank you Dan and all the guys for inviting me and for sharing not only your skills and experience but also your love of photography.

Check out my latest Cuba shots in the Portfolio section.

Incredible India

April 2011, my wife and I did a two week tour of the golden triangle area of India. This was not a shooting trip but an opportunity for us to experience India. And, what an incredible country–in both senses of the word!

The trip included the cities of Delhi, Jaipur, Baratpur, Agra, Orcha, Kajuraho and Varanasi. It was early summer for them with temperatures in the mid to high 30′s–so hot that you did not sweat (or pee either) despite drinking 5 to 8 liters of water each day. It was crowded everywhere–afterall the population is 1.2 BILLION people and most of them seemed to be on every road we were on. Though quite dirty, smelly and polluted it was still a lot cleaner than I expected.

The country teems with extremes of beauty and ugliness, of filth and opulence and of congestion and peaceful solitudes. The people were fascinated with us occidentals and often asked to have photos taken with us. I, of course, took the opportunity to photograph them. In fact, on this trip I did a lot more people shooting than most other shoots.

I really have to get back to this place again!

Havana again!

I needed to get warm this January so I went back to Havana again. Crowded, noisy, polluted and dirty but still the most fabulous, colourful and amazing city I’ve been in. Much more air pollution downtown than ever before–must be from all the old cars. I got a flu while there and was bedridden for three days. Despite losing three shooting days, still managed to get some nice shots. Had lots of fun with my new Nikon D7000 body. I did a lot of street and night time shooting to take advantage of the D7000 low light capabilities. Some of the bar shots were taken at ISO 6400–some grain though but decent colour and detail. Can never get enough of Havana.

I met a bike taxi guy and had a nice chat. This may be my new job if photography doesn’t pay the bills.

Chris Does Rodeo !

On a whim I went to Alliston, Ontario to attend their potato festival and the Ontario Rodeo finals. I had never been to a rodeo before. What fun and what wonderful folks these cowpokes are.

It was extremely difficult shooting. The rodeo was inside an arena–mixed lighting and not enough of it. I had to crank up the ISO to 2400 and even 3600 to get any shutter speed worth working with. So the shots are kind of grainy but with those wonderful Topaz filters I managed to get a few keepers. The graininess actually contributes to some of the shots I think. I also used some diffuse glow filtering and an Photoshop action I found called Old West that gives a kind of sepia glow to the shots.

Fun stuff and gotta do this again!


Chris Does Safari !

In early June I fulfilled a life-long dream and went on a wild game safari to Kenya, Africa. The trip was with Trek Adventures operated by African Horizons in Nairobi. We visited Samburu National Park, Ol Pejeta Nature Conservatory, Lake Nakuru National Park and, of course, the Masai Mara. We stayed in lodges and tented camps and did game drives every morning and evening. I had the chance to visist a Masai village and get to know the local people. We saw an encyclopedia of African animals including the big 5–buffalo, elephant, lion, rhinocerous and even the elusive leopard. I had to pinch myself to realize that this was no zoo or game park–these were wild animals living in raw nature. We saw a cheetah kill and had a 600 lb female lion lay right beside our jeep to get some shade from the hot day. I could have touched her from an open window–but my guide strongly suggested against it.

I took some 3000 photos and you can see some of my best in the Africa gallery in the Portf0lio section. Hope you enjoy them!


Arizona Photo Shoot

In mid-October I spent 10 days in Arizona on a photo shoot. Based in Phoenix, I travelled to Tucson to photograph the saguaro desert, the mountainous village of Sedona, the old mining town of Jerome and then did a 3 day trip to north-western Arizona stopping at Winslow (famous for the Eagles song “Taking it easy”), Chinle and the Canyon de Chele, up to Monument Valley on the border with Utah and then to Page to explore the breathtaking Antelope Canyon. I also did a couple of day trips to the western themed Pioneer Living Village just north of Phoenix. Overall the shooting was very difficult with harsh light and lots of ground haze either from smog in the south or dust storms in the north. I had to do a lot of Photoshop work on the images and experimented with a bunch of new filters and actions I got. For the Pioneer village shots I used an action–western–that I found on the web. It gives a really neat old bleached look to the images. Here’s a few examples, but you can see the whole gallery on the portfolio page.

I hope you enjoy them–let me know what you think.


Vintage War Planes

Last weekend I went to the Aviation Museum to shoot vintage war planes as they were flying over the airfield. The Ottawa Citizen newspaper published one of the images in the September 31 issue Page A5.

You can see all the shots from that show in the Portfolio section in the Latest Gallery.


July East Coast Photo Shoot

In late June and early July I went to New Brunswick on a photo shoot. The first week was spent in the Miramichi area, guided by Jeff Patch the ex-Regional Director of Natural Resources for the area, who took me deep into the highlands through logging roads where we saw moose, eagles, coyotes and other animals and visited salmon fishers on the Miramichi river. The whole week was rainy and overcast and made for very difficult shooting, but I did manage to capture some “keeper” images. The second week was spent in the Fredericton and Saint John area where I visited Kings Landing–a reconstructed heritage village with lots of re-enactors. I managed to get a couple of days of sun and shot some very fine images.

Go to the Latest gallery in the Portfolio section to view them all. Hope you enjoy them.


May 1, 2009 — First Exhibition

My first exhibition opened on May 1st at Timothy’s in Ottawa. For more about the exhibition see Exhibition in the Services section of this website. Here’s me, the owner Angie and my son-in-law Jonathan who helped me put up the photos.


April 25, 2009 — Kayak competition

Went to the International Freestyle Kayak competition at Bates Island on the Ottawa River. This was day 1 heats. Here is a photo of the kayaker in the rapids. You can see more of my shots in the Latest gallery in the Portfolio section of this website.


April 18, 2009 — Easter weekend

While on an Easter weekend getaway in Prince Edward County, we met up with Gucci. I don’t know what breed he is, but he certainly is the ugliest dog I’ve ever seen.


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