April 2015: Events & More

Contact Logo SBCPF_logo_CMYKSMALL_300dpiI’m sure excited to say welcome…but first, I want to let you know that Contact begins May 1 weekend! Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is an annual event held in May with well over 1500 Canadian and international artists and photographers exhibiting at more than 175 venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area.

Stephen Gilligan and I will be sharing one of these venues! But more on that later in the blog (as well as on my events page).


And here is a link to a news article featuring Stephen Gilligan and myself regarding the Contact show:

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]elcome to my new blog post. Yes, it’s on a new platform and linked to a newly designed website! All very exciting indeed!
There are a number of things I want to share and a few new images to show.


Kent Farndale Gallery
It has been a busy few months since I last put anything on here.The year began with a solo exhibit at the beautiful Kent Farndale Gallery in Port Perry.

JD's reception copy

Thank you to all those who came out and enjoyed this gorgeous space. One does not often get an opportunity to display so much work in an environment so conducive to viewing photographs. The quiet, the lighting, the viewing atmosphere – all just so perfect. Thanks to Amy for all the help.


Bird Maldives_DSF4693 copy

I just returned from a tiring, yet beautiful trip to the other side of the world; the Maldives to be precise. This is a long and narrow country, formed by a series of 1,200 islands and atolls. Located in the area of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian sea, it is truly an exotic location which I was fortunate to visit for the sole purpose of photographing a wedding for a lovely couple from the Czech Republic.

Beach_DSC4138 copy

Beach_DSF5148 copy


Oh yes, it took me over 26 hours (three flights and one boat) to get there and even longer to return! Did I mention it is far?

I’ve visited a lot of islands in the Caribbean, but never have I seen water this colour. The Maldives is an underwater paradise for those wishing to scuba or snorkel the endless beauty of its colourful reefs.



As this was a trip to photograph a wedding, I found very little time to make personal images. But here is a typical occurrence found on the shoreline in only a few centimetres of depth. Small sharks are everywhere!

The island at which we stayed, is very small – only 1,300 metres in length. But, in addition to the sole resort (as is usually the case in most of the smaller islands) it is home to around 400 locals who have their own beautiful sports fields for volleyball & soccer, tennis courts, and a community centre. Most of the islanders work for the resort. I believe it is typical that the island resorts are indeed small villages as well. Very unique. This particular island is around 50 kilometres from the capital, Malé. Travel by sea is a way of life in the Maldives!

Since it is close to the equator it is predictably hot. Yet not all is perfect in this part of the world, as global warming creates climate change and the resulting rising sea levels are of great concern here. The Maldives averages only 1.37 metres above sea level and is only 2.44 metres above sea level at its highest point!

The entire existence of this country is threatened, for as the polar ice caps melt, the sea continues to rise.

A Break
I’ve decided not to return to teach at Durham College next fall. This is not a permanent decision, just a break – as I love sharing my photo knowledge with the wonderful young people who take my courses. And I shall miss them very much next fall.

Won’t miss their phones though. 

Recent Shoots
Several shoots of note to mention.

• Industrial shoot for a steel manufacturer. Thanks to Redwood Marketing for the continued opportunity to work with them.



• Recently I shot  an opera singer called Victoria Gydov.  Wow!

Victoria is a classically trained soprano who sings a wide repertoire of music.

If you’ve never heard her sing, do yourself a favour and visit her site at:






20150414-_DSC4672-Edit-Edit copy

• Just two weeks ago I shot a series of photographs for the

wonderful writer, Suzanne Crone. She was doing an article on violin making for Musical Toronto.

Here is a link to the article:



 Pan Am & Parapan Games


Logo TORONTO 2015 Pan Am:Parapan Am Games


I am very happy to announce that my proposal to shoot for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Para Pan Am Games has been accepted. So, this should be a very busy summer. Yes!


Contact and Other shows

Contact Logo SBCPF_logo_CMYKSMALL_300dpi

Back to Contact 2015. My good friend and very talented landscape photographer, Stephen Gilligan, and myself, have acquired what must be the most unique gallery venue to exhibit our work!

Our exhibit explores the nuance of place and occurrence in both natural and contrived environments.

Katya, the bookseller who owns The Great Escape in the upper Beaches area, has agreed to let us transform her garage into a gallery.

Here is a direct Contact link to our exhibit:


Our space is small, very cozy and we would love to have you come visit.
New work will be featured in this exhibit.

501 Places008 501_DSC0038 copyIf you can’t make it on opening night (Sunday, 3rd May from 6-9pm) then please visit anytime during The Great Escape’s bookstore hours until May 30.

At the same time you can browse through the fine collection of books in Katya’s lovely shop.




And here is a link to a news article featuring Stephen Gilligan and myself regarding the Contact show:


The Great Escape Book Store
957 Kingston Rd
Toronto M4E 1S8
(416) 691-7150


Tue–Sat, 10am–5pm
Sun, 2pm–5pm

Opening night:
Sunday, 3rd May from 6-9pm

Refreshments will be served at the opening!

Here is a list of other shows in which I am participating this summer:

• Pelham Art Festival (Fonthill)
May 8 – 10, 2015

• Rotary Arts Festival (Cobourg)
July 1 – 4, 2015

• Buckhorn Fine Art Festival (Buckhorn)
August 15 – 17, 2015

• Artfest Distillery (Toronto)
Sept 4 – 7, 2015

January , 2015 Events and More.

Shows and Events 2015

Well it is the beginning of a new year for us all. I wish it to be wonderful for everyone.
For myself this promises to be the beginning of many new things, starting with a month long exhibit in a lovely space in Port Perry opening this weekend. 
Here are the details on it, as well as a few other dates so far in 2015:
Observations Through the Lens
Kent Farndale Gallery:       Jan 10 – Feb 5, 2015
Scugog Memorial Public Library
Box 1049, 231 Water Street
Port Perry, ON L9L 1A
(905) 985-768

August 2014

The end of summer is in sight and with that, a reminder that another semester of teaching photography at Durham College approaches. I get mixed feelings at this time of year. I love the fall. I really enjoy my “non-texting” students and being able to inspire them to learn the craft of photography – but gosh, I sure love the beginning of summer a lot more than its end!
Of late there has been lots of opportunity to explore new themes with the camera (both digital and film based). Shot some 35mm as well as 120 film and got some super images from the new Fuji X-E2; a fine camera. More to come on these themes…


This coming weekend I have a show to do in Buckhorn: The Buckhorn Fine Arts Festival. The following weekend is slated with another event. Here is the information on these two:

Buckhorn Fine Arts Festival: August 15 -17, 2014
If you can, plan to attend the Art Festival for a day trip, or vacation. While in the region, come and enjoy the many attractions the Kawartha region has to offer.
Friday, August 15: Preview Night Garden Party 7-10pm,
Saturday, August 16: 10 am – 7 pm
Sunday, August 17: 10 am – 5 pm
Admission Friday: $25 good for re-entry all weekend.
Saturday & Sunday: Adults: $7.00 Children under 12 free.
Art is available for purchase using Mastercard, VISA, Interac (debit) and Cash.
Captured by Camera – Show and Workshops: August 23, 2014
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Buckhorn Community Centre
Presented by the Buckhorn Community Centre (BCC), Captured by Camera is a one-day juried Photography Show and Sale. Browse and buy images presented by the professional photographers, and learn from the experts while you enjoy your lunch in air-conditioned comfort.
I am going to be presenting a three-hour workshop on HDR (high dynamic range) photography. Other workshops there will include a very informative three hours on panoramic photography presented by Stephen Gilligan. This one should be packed with great tips and ideas! Book early.
See the Buckhorn Fine Arts website for further details:
Here’s the info on this event:
Photography & HDR Workshops
When: Saturday August 23, 2014
Check here for details:
Beaches JAZZ
As always this summer’s Beaches Jazz Festival featured fine new players and some simply just new to me.  
Drumhand • Nikon
Once again, Bill King, the artistic director of the Beaches International Jazz Festival, did a remarkable job of ensuring that top quality and crowd-pleasing musicians filled the streets with music lovers. There were a couple of changes, the biggest being all the Kew Park stage events were moved a few blocks to Woodbine Park, where several stages were set up and bands performed simultaneously. The move was not an issue for me, as I actually enjoy the street-fest vibe much better anyway. Always fun, always a great buzz.  

On the street, many bands, including Jerome Godboo, Dr Draw and the incredible KC Roberts and the Live Revolution – who are always great. But this year I was particularly impressed with the band Drumhand. They have been around for several years I guess. But in the past I just didn’t get close enough to really experience their sound: Wow. This is such a unique sound. Drumhand is an ensemble of five or six musicians who infuse their ancient and new rhythms with the most compelling music and musical instruments. I’m not going to attempt describing that sound, but I urge you to sample it. They have web presence so search them out. Take the Long Road indeed.
Drumhand • Nikon
Drumhand  • Nikon
Drumhand • Fuji X-E2
Drumhand • Fuji X-E2
Drumhand • Fuji X-E2
Drumhand • Nikon
Drumhand • Fuji X-E2
Here are some other images from that event:
Dr Draw • Nikon
Dr Draw • Nikon
Dr Draw • Nikon
guitarist from Cambridge called Conor Gains (of The Conor Gains Band) was backing up Jerome Godboo on guitar. Terrific player. Here he is in a couple of images shot on film. 
Conor Gains • Nikon 85mm lens, HP5 film
Conor Gains • Nikon 85mm lens, HP5 film
 A Fuji thing
No sense going into the whole digital vs film argument once more. Film is, I agree, a constant pull for me and has been discussed previously here, so I won’t pit the merits of one against the other. And really, in certain cases no argument can be made. C’mon, with the digital tools available today, would anyone seriously consider shooting “event” photography with film? No. Clients want results fast.  In many cases we all do. Shooting with digital files is fast and images are delivered so quickly now…especially once the workflow has been refined and perfected.  
But film is so beautiful. When asked what is the difference between a digital file and a negative I no longer search for analogies such as analog (vinyl) vs CD (or any other digital sound quality) or, the tonality of black and white film vs (even) a RAW digital negative.  No, not doing that one either. I’m finished with that.
Let’s just sum it up with these three words: Film has soul. That’s it. Really. And you only need look at both and then realize the truth to it.
K, that’s off my chest so now I can make an about face and take the hypocritical stand of praising a certain digital wundercamera: The Fuji X-E2!
Fujifilm X-E2
This mirrorless APS sized sensor camera is small, fast to focus, fast to shoot, elegant looking and (most importantly) has a sensor that is capable of capturing details and colours in a way unheard of until now (by this camera guy). This is all made possible with the revolutionary X-Trans CMOS sensor. No, it won’t deliver 36 megapickle files like the new Nikon 800/810, but that is not a fair comparison. This thing can be carried around all day without pain, making it a perfect camera to actually use for an extended period of time. Travel anyone? One only has to use it for a day to see what I mean.
It is just so sleek.
Fuji X-E2
Fuji X-E2
Fuji X-E2
Fuji X-E2
Fuji X-E2
By the way, the lenses are sharp, growing in number and fast. Check out the 56mm f/1.2! This is equivalent to an 85mm f/1.2 lens on a full-frame or 35mm camera – very impressive indeed!  The JPG files coming out of the Fuji X-E2 are so wonderful that some enthusiasts may not even bother with RAW! Not so this guy. Then again no one could be disappointed with the files straight out of the camera. Oh yes, this is a company (whose film I still love) which is eager to please all users and their service people back this up. The only negative (yikes, here we go again) is that you better get an extra battery as you will want to shoot a lot.
Can a digital enthusiast be happy with this small elegant camera? Yes. Just don’t expect it to replace a typical high end DSLR for event shooting.
But enough with praise of things digital – because it really is all about the image and the image is much more than a piece of celluloid, or a flash card with a recorded number of bits and bytes. Here are a few images shot both digitally and on celluloid, which I am very happy with.

Coming up:

A new website. I am so bored with the existing one that of late I barely ever update it or market work with it. 

My intention is a completely new look. Early this fall I hope.  
The rest of this has only images with captions. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading.

Some Other Images  (no more words)

Hasselblad • Ilford HP5 film
Hasselblad • Fuji Acros 100 film
Hasselblad • Ilford Pan-F film
Singer/songwriter Ronly Teper, Toronto • Mamiya 7ll • Fuji Acros 100 film
Mamiya 7ll • Ilford HP5 film
Nikon  • Fuji Acros 100 film
Hasselblad • Ilford Pan-F film
Hasselblad • Ilford Delta 100 film
Fuji X-E2


Hasselblad • Ilford FP4 film
Mamiya 7ll • Ilford HP5 film
Hasselblad • Ilford HP5 film