ONPHA Awards videos

I was responsible for selecting photographs and videos to reflect the award winner narrative.  This often required some creative use of stock photos to fill gaps as a result of too few or irrelevant photos from the award winner.

See the complete list of award videos (2008 to 2013).

Trade show booth

I worked with the signage company to design the trade show booth for the ONPHA annual conference.  The design had to satisfy several criteria, including reflecting the association’s member-driven service and the educational resources we provided.  Most of the photos used were shot by myself at various ONPHA and member events.

Use of Photoshop and InDesign to create quarter-size files to the manufacturer specifications.


Orchid Show

I had the opportunity to join a group of photographers for a special shoot. We arranged to enter the show before it was open to the public, and we were permitted to use tripods.

The group gave pointers before the event to use a middle f-stop (f5.6 or f8)  to ensure you get the entire orchid in focus, and make sure you have a soft or black background. Use of the tripod and remote trigger was essential to eliminate any camera shake and get the sharpest possible images.

ONPHA Blog – writeON

I was responsible for developing a fresh, new visual scheme for the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association’s new blog. The site also needed to be user-friendly enough for other staff to create and edit their own posts.

Content was developed by other staff, while I provided copy editing and tagging for use on the blog.

The site can be seen at writeon.onpha.on.ca.


MediHub International Inc proposal

I assisted a supplier of equipment and medical supplies prepare a proposal for exclusive distribution privileges in the Canadian breast implant market. I provided writing, proposal layout and business cards for the new business venture.

Distillery District Christmas Market

I returned to the Distillery District for their annual Christmas Market. Taking photos at night time can be tricky. First, a tripod is absolutely essential, as you can count on your shots having longer exposure times and shooting by hand would only result in blurry photos. In the digital realm, using a tripod also allows you to reduce your ISO and produce cleaner images with less grain.

The second thing to consider is that scenes at night in urban environments are extremely contrasting. Electric lights fight against the darkest shadows. Our eyes can easily adapt to the high contrast, but our cameras have less ability here. For some shots, I decided to expose for the light. This leaves the darkest area completely in black. The photo of the clocks are a perfect example, where the walls they are on completely disappear, and the detail in the clockface are clear, giving them the impression of floating in the air.

Distillery District HDR Photo Meetup

For another photographer’s meetup, we went to the Distillery District in Toronto. The area is a rejuvenated Victorian-era industrial park, which now houses shopping, art galleries, a brewery, and restaurants. The Victorian feel with cobblestone streets and old buildings mixes with contemporary art and architecture. It’s also a nice spot for their annual Toronto Christmas Market.

From a photogenic perspective, the interesting stuff here are the old trucks, the wine barrels, and the multitude of textures on display. The trick was trying to compose at least one shot where indications of modernity were left out. I think I succeeded with one photo, not including the close-up shots.

For many of the shots in this collection, I used HDR or high dynamic range photography, where multiple exposures are combined together. Sometimes this technique can be pushed to create gritty and high contrast photos.

Dufferin Islands, Niagara Falls

Folks in Toronto make Niagara Falls a usual destination, sometimes going there for the heck of it. Visit the falls, of course, maybe the casino, and take in the ridiculous sights of Clifton Hill.

Just west of the Falls, a lovely little spot known as Dufferin Islands, a quiet, secluded, man-made area of little ponds, trees, and waterfowl, is a world away from the hustle bustle of Niagara Falls.

I spent some time there after a conference I was attending in Niagara Falls, and took some photos.

Algonquin Provincial Park Camping

2011 was the first time I had been back to Algonquin Provincial Park in a number of years. I was in a new relationship at this point, and it was our first camping trip together. One of the more memorable moments was on a bike ride starting from Lake of Two Rivers. We stopped at a river crossing and encountered a young family where dad, son, and daughter were taking advantage of the hot summer day by jumping off the bridge into the river below. I took many pictures of them jumping and offered to the mom to email her the photos. I did so once back home.


Graffiti Alley HDR photo meetup

Meetup.com is a great place to meet others with similar interests and share knowledge, network, and improve your own skills. I joined meetups for songwriting, photography, and social get togethers. For this specific meetup, the organizer started with a quick tutorial on how to capture HDR, or high dynamic range, photos. This was the first time I had heard of it, and have been using it regularly since.

Normally in photography, and more so in the digital era, photos have an exposure that tried to balance the lightest lights and the darkest darks. In high contrast scenes, you tend to lose details in the shadows or in the highlights.

To shoot an HDR photo, you need to bracket your photos. That is, take one underexposed, one overexposed, and one in the middle. You can also do it with two exposures. Then, using special software like Photomatix, you can blend the multiple images to taste, and capture details in both shadows and highlights. It’s critical to use a tripod so your shots end up lining up perfectly. When I don’t have my tripod on me, I tend to hold my breath and shoot in high-speed mode, which gets the shots pretty darn close. Plus, Photomatix has a pretty good algorithm for lining up multiple shots.

The meetup organizer chose Graffiti Alley in Toronto to hold this shoot. Tucked in behind Queen Street West, it’s a popular spot for photographers to shoot cool urban models. Here, we focused on the graffiti itself.