Club Blog

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Dominican Republic With a 50mm

When we were writing up our packing lists for what to bring on our family vacation to the Dominican Republic, we struggled when we got to the camera part.  We didn't want to be weighed down with all our equipment, nor did we want to risk something happening to it.  On the other hand, we didn't buy a DSLR to not use it.  So we decided to take our body and one lens.

Because we didn't want to take our flash, we wanted a lens that would perform well in low light.  Our macro lens could go as low as f2.8, but it was big and heavy.  Our kits lens is... well, a kit lens.  We needed something better.

So we decided to buy a new 50mm f1.4 lens.  One of the reasons we could justify it was that we figured it would be small enough to also take backpack camping in the summer.  (And, of course, we could have some more fun with it artistically.)  We also bought a really small outdoorsy bag to put it in (only the small 50mm lens would fit in there with the body on its back).  The bag, besides being compact, had a few good features for bad weather, like waterproof zippers and a rain cover.  Again, perfect for the vacation where tropical rains could appear any time, as well as for when we go backpacking.

It was really interesting trying to get used to the lens once we were in the Dominican.  We really hadn't used it before leaving, and so we hadn't yet learned that you really don't want to use it wide open (i.e. on f1.4) all the time; you just don't always get enough depth of field to keep the important parts of the picture in focus.  (Of course, at night, we didn't have a lot of choice...)  It was also interesting to learn how to make just one focal length work in every situation.  It wasn't always easy, and some compositions definitely suffered.  But we did end up with a decent set of vacation photos, so it was worth it in the end!

I shared a few shots below (which you can click to see bigger versions as usual), but you can check out the whole set, too.

DominicanRepublic-2 DominicanRepublic-4 DominicanRepublic-26 DominicanRepublic-36


Birds With Macro

Andrew got me a new macro lens for Christmas, and we've had lots of fun playing with it.  It's our fastest lens to date ("fast" means you can have wider aperture, or lower f-stop number, which lets more light in and allows for a faster shutter speed).  We went for a walk on the Jack Pine Trail near Barrhaven, where the birds will eat right out of your hands.  What a great opportunity to try and get up close with the macro lens!

Some of our results are below (click the images to get a bigger version, and check out the entire set here).  I love how some of the photos have the birds blurred out just right, so they look like paintings.


BirdWalk-18 BirdWalk-12 BirdWalk-11  


Can't believe that I'm blogging!

Hi all,

Well here it is. My first blog entry.

To start, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Rick Morris, I work in high tech and have been doing so for the past 20 years. Makes me old. I really enjoy photography and look for opportunities to capture moments and feelings around me whenever I get a chance. I've been dabbling in photography for the past 15 years or so.

I get to travel quite a bit for work. So whenever I can, I bring my camera gear and walk around and take in the flavour of these great places with photography.

Gail has asked me if I could share these images with the rest of the group by means of this blog. I am flattered and I am more than willing to share the images that I have taken. I'll show a few images below, but if you would like to see all of them, please see my Flickr account at

Lastly, I always look forward to any comments on my blog entries or on my images. I also look forward to meeting more of you in person possibly in March. I'm off to Hong Kong and Barcelona so I'll be missing out on the meeting in February. Hopefully I will have many more images to share.
Thanks for reading this far and I hope that you enjoy my images.


I've selected three random images.

A fishing hut on the Rideau River. I found the crack interesting and leading to the hut. I like food. This is a plate from the Yellow Canoe in Merrickville. A friend of mine at the Plaza Real in Madrid. I like how the position of her arms are repeated by the ceiling arches.

My Light Assignment

I wanted to do something a little different for my light assignment due at January's meeting.  My concept was "no light at the end of the tunnel" and was going to be a self-portrait.  I had never tried to do self-portraits before, so I wanted to push myself.  I did take the pictures, but I chickened out before the meeting and switched to something more conventional.  However, my photos did get uploaded to Flickr anyway, so I figured I'd share them here. You can click on the photo to see a bigger version.

Light Assignment: No light at the end of the tunnel Light Assignment: No light at the end of the tunnel (3)


pictures - gonna try again!

ok can't seem to figure out how to get images on here so I've posted them on my site - you can see samples here - they all are GREAT!!

Bayfield Shoot

Well everyone, I don't know about you but I sure had a great time at the Bayfield shoot!  What started out as not the most promising "event" due to the low amount of people that signed up, turned out just fine with "walk ins" and late sign ups filling our schedule for the day!  I think it could have been the spectacle of all those tripods and cameras and excitement in our voices, that got everyone in the mood and wanting in on the "action":-)

From the comments I heard from club members, I'm thinking this was a fantastic learning experience as well!  I'm really happy we did the preshoot as this gave many of you a clearer idea of what was required.  And from the images I've been receiving - you all did a GREAT job!    (Anyone that hasn't emailed me portraits please do so soon so I can get the contact sheets made, go over there again and get the orders for a final print.)

One of the funnest aspects about the old folks is their great personalities and amazing faces that show their entire life in them.  Everyone from reluctant Corra, to our dapper Reg talked freely of their interesting lives and family.  What we can all be happy about is recording these people with the fine portraits you all took.  Kudos to you all on a job well done!  It's a day I won't forget soon!

Here are a couple of the portraits I've received so far…….

Sorry I can't credit the photographer but I have no names attached to any of them - just saving them in a file.  I sure hope you know your own file numbers when I need them - course you do!


Group Shoot at Bayfield Manor

I've been pretty disappointed lately about missing all of our club outings, but luckily, I was able to come for the first half of the fundraiser at Bayfield Manor.  We took portraits of the manor's residents, which we will then sell to them and their families.

I quite enjoyed getting into a small room with 15 other photographers.  Granted, it was pretty crowded, but it was really cool to feed off each others' energy.  The residents must have felt like movie stars, because we sure looked like the paparazzi!

It's not easy making sure you get just the right expression for a portrait, and it's even harder when you have a couple in front of the camera.  My strategy was to use rapid-fire shooting, which meant that I could hold down the shutter and the camera would take lots of shots very quickly in succession.  This way, as the subjects' faces changed, I would be sure to catch something reasonable.  I ended up with a couple hundred photos, but even with so many, I narrowed it down to under 25 pretty easily.

I don't want to post the results of the shoot yet since we are going to sell prints, but I do want to share some of the photos of us doing our work.  "What? THAT'S what I look like when I'm taking photos?!" :)

As Always, you can click on the images below to see them in full-size on my Flickr account.


Bayfield-1   Bayfield-2   Bayfield-4

Bayfield-5  Bayfield-7

Bayfield-6  Bayfield-8


This one is Wendy, the shoot's organizer, posing for the other photographers so they could test out their setup.  What a ham! ;)




DSLR Camera Course

Digital SLR Camera course$80

Sunday November 8th, 11-3 p.m. max. 4 persons

For those familiar with their cameras and lenses, this course will cover composition techniques for all sorts of photography (SL, landscape, macro, abstract etc..)  After about an hour of compositional instruction and discussion the rest of the time is all hands on putting theory into practice.

Class is limited to 4 people and fills up fast.


Instructor: Wendy Stevenson 


To register call 613 258-2195, or email


There are only 2 spaces left if anyone is interested.

Bring your camera, lenses and tripod!



Enlarging for Print

If anyone was wondering how Mike Laking, our last guest speaker got such a large image from such a low resolution (on top of deep cropping in some instances) this could be how.  There are many enlargement "programs" and add ons you can get for PhotoShop.  They basically do what you would manually but make it MUCH quicker and take the tediousness out of manual enlargement.  I have never used these however, I have read forums and these seem to be the two best ones out there according to photographers opions.

First check out , they give you a review as well as the name and company of the two products.

The second is  I have other editing software from these guys and I love it and they have fantastic support as well. 

Check it out!



Macro Photography

I like all kinds of photography but one of my favourite types of photogrpahy is macro photography.  Macro photography can show you a world that normally gets overlooked.  The colours, textures and shapes are astounding.

It helps to have a true macro lens but you can get decent shots with a P&S

Beer Porn

If you're using an SLR you can invest in a reversing ring, bellows, close up filters, extension tubes or a true macro lens.   All of these can be purchased used for reasonable prices. 

The best solution is a true macro lens, will give you a 1:1 magnification.  If the lens is too short, e.g. a 60mm, you'll need to be too close to the subject and will be invading its space.  

The price of this increased magnification is a shallow depth of field and increased image shake. 

Use a fairly small aperture will help some with the DOF but if you use too small an aperture defraction becomes a problem.  A rule of thumb is to not use anything smaller than F/14. 

Focusing is critical.  Pick the intersting part of the subject as the main focal point.  If photographing insects, then its usually best to focus on they eyes.

Using a flash can help supply and control the light and reduce image shake. It can also be used freeze the action.

Rip Saw


Patience is critical.  Its probably going to take lots of shots to get the keeper.

More macros and other types of my work can be seen at the following.

Dewbee War of the Worlds

< Falling Lady Its a spider.  Eating. Acadian Hairstreak Lunch time. On Approach Its bug season! Black and Yellow Argiope?

Next.....Deptford Pink