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Everybody Out!

I can just picture this fire alarm going off years ago…a sharp clang-clang-clang mixing with the wail of sirens on the way from the nearby #1 fire station in downtown Calgary. This fire alarm is on the outside of the old Simmons building in what is now part of the new East Village development in Calgary. It is currently the home of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and it’s a super cool old brick building…I’d love to be able to get inside at some point and see what (if anything) is left from the original design. Anywho…this is my first HDR attempt with my brand new Canon 50mm f/1.4 and I think it turned out pretty well. To get this shot I was straddling my tripod on the ground craning my neck upwards to try and get the framing right on this somewhat strange view of the fire alarm. Let me know what you think!

Canon EOS 50D, Canon EF 50mm f/1.4, 50mm, F 1.8, ISO 100, 3 Exposures

Fire Alarm Redux » Heath O'Fee Photography - October 6, 2010 - 7:15 am

[…] posted a different shot of this same fire alarm a few weeks ago (you can find it here), and I thought I’d show it from a more conventional angle today. I don’t know what it […]

Downtown Calgary Reflections

I’ve always thought one of the coolest things about the downtown core of any city are all the reflections that play in the mirrored glass windows of office buildings. I really like the idea of being able to see a building within a building and there are a couple of these in this shot.

This was taken in February of this year and was on one of my very first photowalks with my (at the time) brand new Sigma 10-20mm lens and was also among the first batch of bracketed images I took with the intent of processing in HDR. I had kinda given up on this image after the original processing was done but recently went back to it. I converted it to black & white, masked in the original sky and I’m now much happier with the final product. So, don’t be afraid to go back through some of your old brackets…you never know what you’ll find!

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 11, ISO 100, 3 Exposures

Another View of St. Paul’s Anglican Church

A little while back I posted a photo of St. Paul’s Anglican Church here in Calgary (old post here) and it was a very successful photo for me. Not only did I receive a bunch of positive feedback from photogs and non-photogs alike, the photo was also purchased by the Anglican Journal for their 2011 calendar! So I thought I’d share another photo from what was a pretty cool day for snapping some brackets…perfect clouds and a very cool church/cemetery for a subject. Hope you all like this one too!

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 13mm, F 11, ISO 100, 3 Exposures

Wheelset 046

Have you ever felt completely uninspired by the shots you were able to get after a day out shooting? That’s mostly how I felt after the afternoon I spent hunting brackets in Invermere, BC this past weekend. The light was kinda flat all afternoon and there didn’t seem to be very much drama in the grey, overcast sky…so I had some trouble finding inspiration. I find in these situations it helps to distance yourself from the photos for a day or two before you go back to process them all. This way you can attack the photos with a fresh attitude that isn’t tainted with the crummy feeling you had while you were out shooting.

One of the places I knew I wanted to hit was the train tracks on the west side of Windermere Lake. There’s always at least one train just hanging out there and I’ve always found trains a little bit fascinating even though I know next to nothing about them. I shoot most of my HDR with a wide angle lens and try to take in as much of a scene as possible so this detail shot of a train is a bit of a departure from the norm for me. I have no idea if the wheels on a train are actually called a ‘wheelset’ or if the number painted on these wheels has any kind of significance, but I thought it would make a cool title anyway.

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 11, ISO 100, 3 Exposures

Conference Lounge – MGM Grand

I was in Las Vegas for the very first time in May and we stayed at the MGM Grand. Not only was this my first time in Vegas, but it was also my first trip anywhere since I started shooting HDR in January of this year. Needless to say I was extremely excited about all the amazing photo opportunities I knew I would have, but I was also a bit nervous (and self-conscious) about carrying my camera/tripod setup with me everywhere since I’d never done that in such a public place before. I hope I’m not the only one who felt this way the first time they walked through a busy hotel or down a busy street with camera on tripod, legs extended just looking for a cool shot! After the first day of exploring and shooting I was feeling much better about things and was almost feeling confident…until the first time I got kicked out by security. Well maybe not kicked out altogether, but I was definitely told my tripod was not welcome…so I asked if I could shoot handheld…of course that was forbidden as well. Crap. Back to feeling like I’m some weirdo with a tripod.

To be fair, this was only one of two times I was told I couldn’t use my tripod in any of the hotels in Vegas, and the vast majority were more than welcome to accommodate me. But it’s those few bad experiences that stick with you. So…if any of you have some good tricks for getting in under the radar or how to approach security about permission to shoot I’m all ears!

One very early morning (4 AM) while staying at the MGM Grand, I went downstairs and explored as much of the hotel as I could before it got too busy. Eventually I made my way down a long corridor past the pool and ended up in the conference center which is absolutely enormous! We definitely don’t have hotels with conference centers like that here in Calgary. After snapping a few brackets in the main lobby area I made my way upstairs to where they have some of the smaller conference rooms…and stumbled into this really cool lounge type area. Anyway, enough rambling. Here’s the shot:

Canon EOS 50D, Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5, 10mm, F 8.0, ISO 100, 3 Exposures