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July 2012 Newsletter

Summer's well under way, and I hope you've all been out taking photographs now that the nice weather is here.  I've wrapped up most of my workshops for the summer, and am enjoying a bit more free time in the evenings, when the light is softer and the shadows are long. However, I'm busier with weddings and outdoor portraits right now, and commercial clients looking at fall advertising, so while my schedule changes, it seems there's always a lot in the works.  I'm enjoying the different pace.

Workshop info......

My final workshop this summer is coming up at the Arboretum in Guelph on Saturday, July 14. Nature & Wildlife Photography includes another field trip in the woods and meadows of the Arboretum, where we'll photograph plants and small animals. To register for this class or for more information, visit the Arboretum website.  There is a registration deadline of this Friday, July 6, after which you may not get a spot, so don't delay if you think you'd like to take it. Looking ahead to fall, I will have a lot of classes lined up again, including my "Introduction to Photoshop", "Equine Photography" and "How to Photograph Your Own Artwork", as well as a number of classes in Elora and Orangeville.  I'll send out more information and dates later in the summer, but if you want to be added to my list for these, let me know.

My complete workshop schedule is posted on my website, regardless of location.  Be sure to check this regularly, as I add new classes to the list. 

Recently I was asked to take part in an interview on CTV News to talk about landscape photography. I thought I'd share some of those tips here.  With the longer days and more time to play, the summer is a perfect time to try new techniques, or visit new locations.  Consider:

Lighting – ideal times of day are early morning & late afternoon until after sunset. Use the ‘magic hour” – a half hour or so both before & after sunset. The light changes continuously and produces astonishing effects, especially when you are around water.  Don’t head in right after sunset – often as it grows darker, the sky becomes very dramatic.

Weather – watch for dramatic skies, storm clouds, rain streaks, or deep blue clear skies.

Landscape compositions – look at everything in the viewfinder and change your position if there are unwanted elements in the photo. Pay attention to the foreground in your photo, use various lens settings to alter the perspective, for example a wide-angle lens will distort the vertical lines and increase the distance between near & far objects. A fisheye lens will curve the horizon dramatically. A telephoto lens will shorten the distance, making everything seem much closer. Use a telephoto to find ‘landscapes within landscapes” – small details that we tend to miss when looking at the entire scene. Look up at trees and the sky, and down at objects at ground level. Vary your shooting position, get down low, or take photos from a high vantage point.

Try abstract landscapes – look for textures or shadows in the landscape and isolate them from the main scene. Photograph sunlight patterns on water, or the edge of a wave on the sand. Use long shutter speeds to blur moving water – this will make it look soft or misty. Or try moving the camera while using a slow shutter speed – this will introduce a blurred, streaked pattern – this works well for subjects with strong colours.

"Sea Glass"

I'm starting to think I should have been a fish.... or a duck.... I can't seem to stay away from water, whether a small pool in the woods or a great lake or the sea.  As a subject for my images, I can't get enough of it... still reflections, crashing waves, or patterns in the surface.... I am never bored by it, and am astonished by how varied my water photographs are.  This is a new image, which I call "Sea Glass".  It was one of those sparkling late spring days, with clear blue skies and a golden sun.  Turquoise and amber light danced over the surface of the water, while the rocks underneath cast dark shadows on the sand below.  So cheerful and playful.   And yet on another day, this same water can look black or grey, with it's secrets hidden from view.   This is the challenge that appeals to me - a subject that is one day open and inviting, threatening and uncooperative the next.

This weekend, July 7 & 8 ...  Join me at Art in the Yard:  

This outdoor show takes place this weekend, at the Elora Centre for the Arts in Elora. Over 50 artists, who work in all art forms including photography, painting, jewellery, glass, and more, will have original pieces for sale. Come for the art, stay for the day...there's food, live music all day and into the night, and fun events for all ages.  Bring your friends, your family, your dog....The show runs from 10 until 8 on Saturday, and 10 until 5 on Sunday.

I will have a number of new images on display, including "Sea Glass", and some of my landscape abstracts.  Look for me in Booth # 26.

Visit the Elora Centre for the Arts website for more details.

For more of my recent images.....

Visit my art photography website, www.sylviagalbraith.ca I have several galleries and am updating them regularly.

Sylvia Galbraith
519-787-7040 or toll-free 1-866-787-7040
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