Collin Orthner – Photographer

August 9, 2015

Thuja plicata

Filed under: Abstract, Black & White, Minolta 100mm f2.5 Rokkor-X, Nature, Sony A7R, Travel, Trees — collin orthner @ 11:43 pm

Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata), Mount Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia

24″ x 30″ – Edition of 9 + 1 AP  Printed on Hahnemuhle Photorag 308g, signed, numbered, and shipped  http://www.paypal.me/collinorthner/350

32″ x 40″ – Edition of 4 +1 AP  Printed on Hahnemuhle Photorag 308g, signed, numbered, and shipped  http://www.paypal.me/collinorthner/750

 

[ Sony A7R, Minolta 100mm f2.5 Rokkor-X ]

 

 

August 7, 2015

Tompson Lake, British Columbia

Filed under: Black & White, Minolta, Minolta 100mm f2.5 Rokkor-X, Nature, Sony A7R, Travel, Trees — collin orthner @ 7:47 pm

I know, right? That’s not how you spell Thompson, only in this case that is exactly how you spell it. It’s a small lake between Vernon and Kelowna along Commonage Road. This beautiful tree just across the lake grabbed all my attention as we were driving by. It was a very cloudy day, but I thought if the sun were to poke through the clouds it could really make for a great image. I stopped along the road and set up my tripod and camera. It only took 5 minutes or so and the clouds parted long enough for me to grab a couple of shots.

20″x30″ – Edition of 9 + 1AP

 

[ Sony A7R, Minolta 100mm f2.5 Rokkor-X ]

 

 

August 1, 2015

Spirit of Sail

Filed under: Hand of Man, Skyscape, Sony RX100 II, Travel — collin orthner @ 10:28 pm

Soft dusk lighting illuminates this iconic fibreglass sculpture by well-known local sculptor Robert Dow Reid which has become a symbol for the city of Kelowna and is prominently featured in many tourism publications. It was installed at the foot of Bernard Ave on Waterfront Street in 1978.

 

 

 

[ Sony RX100 II ]

 

 

July 6, 2015

Giant Sparks

July 3rd, 10pm, my wife and I are enjoying the evening reading books on our deck. We noticed some “interesting” clouds moving our way. After much deliberation I decided to pack up my cameras and head out just in case it turned into something. It did! There were a lot of giant sparks emanating from the clouds and heading more or less earthward. It was very enjoyable to watch. My first stop was south of Joffre across the river looking NE as one of the storms was heading away from me. It almost seemed like the thunderstorm was dissipating as very few lightning strikes were present. I tried an exposure anyway and managed to capture this lightning strike.

 

Within minutes of this strike the storm gained some life as it started putting the odd CG(cloud to ground)strike from the back of the storm, although there were many that only lit the clouds up from inside. After setting up my camera I hit the shutter and waited, and waited, and waited. I was only seconds from stopping the exposure, to head for another location as more storms were around me, but thought I would pack up my second tripod first and then end it. As I was getting the other tripod into the car I saw a flash out of the corner of my eye. Quickly swinging my head to the screen on the back of my camera, I confirmed that it had indeed captured the strike pretty much exactly where I would want it!

 

My second location was north of the river now and slightly SW from Joffre looking south. A very active storm was travelling perpendicular to me about 10 km or so away. It was getting dark at this point and was very hard to focus the camera. Subsequently, I missed the focus on this second image slightly, so unfortunately no large prints can be made from it even though it looks fantastic on the internet.

 

 

I travelled a bit further to the NW and situated myself near a very tall radio antenna somewhat SE from Blackfalds and almost directly south of Lacombe. Another very large storm was approaching quite quickly with a rather high volume of CG strikes. Blackfalds and Lacombe were in the direct line of fire. I put on a zoom lens allowing me to get a tighter shot of the strikes and a lens which is weatherproof, just in case. It was far easier to focus now as I had all the streetlights to use as an aid.

 

As the storm moved east it was about to hit Lacombe. I really wanted a shot of a CG right into the city There were a few near misses like this one.

 

But, perseverance paid off and wammo! Right into the middle of the city. From what I have heard, it knocked out some power locally and was a very loud crack that was quite frightening for those near it! I was quite a distance away as I was using a telephoto zoom lens remember. I did hear the boom, but it took a bit of time, travelling at 3 seconds a kilometre, to reach me.

 

 

A completely satisfying time. I could easily have stayed out much later, but I had to work in the morning. I returned back home around 12:30am or so, but was pretty pumped after all the excitement and it took me another hour at least to finally fall asleep!

 

[ Olympus E-M5II, M.Zuiko 9-18mm, M.Zuiko 14-150mm ]

 

 

June 8, 2015

Beautiful Night

Filed under: Nature, Night, Skyscape, Stars, Storms, Travel, Water — collin orthner @ 2:11 pm

Last night was one of the best nights I’ve spent outdoors enjoying creation. It was warm, no wind, very few insects and a major league bonus included seeing the fireflies I talked about in my last post. It didn’t stop there though!! The aurora borealis showed up and put on a nice show, so I was able to capture this image showing the reflection of the auroras in Gull Lake, which was very calm. Oh, the show wasn’t over yet – noctilucent clouds started to glow brilliantly along the horizon as you can see in the image. Listening to all the grebes, geese, ducks, loons and coyotes and even the fish making noises was an experience along with the stunning views is something everyone should put an effort into experiencing! These beautiful nights don’t last long in Alberta, so I love to take advantage of them when I can. I have a few more images that are worth posting, but I have been really busy all day already and I want a nap. Apparently things could fire up again tonight!!

 

 

 

[ Canon 5DmkIII, Canon EF 11-24mm L]

 

 

Fireflies and Star Trails

Filed under: m4/3, Nature, Night, Olympus E-M5II, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Skyscape, Stars, Travel, Trees, Water — collin orthner @ 8:18 am

Hoping to catch a nice sunset I headed off to Gull Lake last night. It’s only a 30 minute drive, so a bit of a last minute desicion was no big deal. The temperature was 28ºC and the parking lot at the beach was packed solid when I arrived. I’m not one for big crowds anywhere, malls, carnivals etc. I much prefer quiet and so I didn’t haul out my cameras as they grab far too much attention. Instead I parked my butt on a bench and enjoyed the setting sun. It was interesting too, as I noticed thousands of small fish feeding on the insects on the surface of the water just like trout do and birds, both gulls and terns in turn skimming the surface picking off these fish as they surfaced. I have no idea what kind of fish they were, but I’m curious to know. While I was enjoying the warmth of the sun I got an e-mail alert about possible aurora, so I thought it would be nice to wait and see if they showed up.

Pretty much as soon as the sun disappeared below the horizon the crowds started thinning out quite quickly and I didn’t feel so conspicuous with my camera. It takes a long time to get dark at this time of year! The sun set at around 9:50pm and it takes a couple of hours for the sky to get dark.  A few minutes before 11 a park warden came by to tell me they were locking up the gates and I would have to leave. I explained what I was doing and the warden said he wouldn’t kick me out of the park if I was to park outside the gate and walk back in. It’s under a kilometre to get in so I was all for the idea! He also mentioned that the evening before there had been a lot of fireflies around and that they were seen around midnight for an hour or so. This perked my interest as I have only ever seen fireflies once before while out chasing thunderstorms around this time of year a long time ago. I parked my car outside the gate and gathered together the minimum amount of gear I felt was necessary and wandered back down to the beach. The warden had given me a good tip and almost as if on que the first flash of greenish light of a firefly appeared in a small group of trees next to the beach. I set up my camera and took a twenty minute time exposure looking out over Gull Lake. As you can see the earth rotates and creates star trails in the sky, but the main attraction for me was the squiggly green lines tracing out the flight path of these amazing little insects!

 

 

[Olympus E-M5II, Panasonic 20mm f/1.7]

 

 

 

May 31, 2015

They Still Stand

A few months back when the snow was just starting to fall I came across many many tree, big poplars, likely close to 80 years old, that had been cut and piled. Hundreds of them, to make more room for grain. The benefits of a windbreak gone. The benefits to all the birds and other wildlife that called it home, gone. the aesthetic beauty of these trees, gone. It felt like a disaster to me! What would make someone destroy such beauty for so small a gain?

Then, in spring as I was driving around Red Deer County during one of the last few flurries to spread it’s white powder coating on the land, I came across this beautiful windrow quite near to where the others had been cut. There was a thick fog all morning allowing only small glimpses of what was around me. A cold wind blew in and started to clear off the fog as the sun was rising. I noticed it shining through the fog only momentarily numerous times and managed to line it up with these majestic trees only to have it disappear just as quickly. I raced into this field in the hopes of seeing it again. Battling the strong cold wind, I managed to get the camera all set and ready with my gloves off and could feel my fingers stinging painfully. Putting my gloves on helped for sure, but being out in the wind was very unpleasant! Thankfully the sun poked out from behind the fog long enough to capture the view on film and after getting back to my car and warming up my fingers over the heating vents, I couldn’t help wonder if this windrow might be seeing it’s last season before falling to the bulldozers that seem intent on stripping our land of the few bits of remaining beauty.

 

 

 

[ Plaubel Makina 67, Kodak Portra 160 ]

 

 

May 28, 2015

Ochotona princeps

Filed under: Film, Mammals, Mountain, Nature, Travel — collin orthner @ 9:35 pm

Otherwise known as a pika, this adorable little guy entertained me and my friend Ron Yachimec while we were hiking in Yoho National Park. We had traversed many of the trails around Lake O’Hara, but hadn’t headed up to McArthur Lake. We decided to climb up Mount Schaffer, me only nearly to the top, Ron all the way, but then he has some good training in climbing skills! Such beautiful views from so high up but there were some rain showers starting up, and so on our decent we decided to scramble down a very long scree slope, which felt a lot like skiing moguls. Near the bottom where we joined up with the trail back to our campground we heard the unmistakeable shrill chirp of a pika. It didn’t take long to locate him as he scrambled among the boulders rounding up all his grasses etc. he had set out earlier to dry in the sun. He would grab a mouth full and head under the rocks only to pop his head out and check to see if there were any risks about before getting his next mouthful. I simply watched where he would stop and snuck up on the spot when he wasn’t looking or had dived under a boulder. When I was close enough to get a decent shop, I got my camera to the appropriate settings and waited. Within a few moments he was back. He spotted me and stopped to be sure I was an OK kind of guy and click, the memory was preserved an a small piece of Fuji Velvia film. I entered this image into the Canadian Geographic magazines photo contest at the time and it won the animal category and was published, which then resulted in a few print sales. All in all I was a pretty happy camper! (Pardon the pun)

 

 

 

[ Nikon F3HP, Nikon 80-200mm f/4, Fujichrome Velvia ]

 

 

May 25, 2015

The Effect of Heat upon the Visual Acuity of Large Compression Telephoto Images

Filed under: Abstract, Hand of Man, Industrial, m4/3, Olympus E-M5II, Panasonic 100-300mm, Square — collin orthner @ 1:37 pm

 

 

[ Olympus E-M5II, Panasonic 100-300mm ]

 

 

May 19, 2015

Crazy ’bout a Mercury

Of course David Lindley is singing about a car – oh well! This old Mercury truck was found on an old farm south of Brooks, Alberta, near Rolling Hills. It was a creepy place too! My travelling partner Michael Chesworth went exploring the old farmhouse and discovered old bank deposit slips from the early fifties,  and an old shot up television that had only the original dial that let you choose one of thirteen channels. I remember being a kid watching our old B&W TV that had this same sort of dial, unfortunately, we couldn’t even make use of the dial as we had the luxury of getting only one channel! So, if we didn’t like what was on we were back outside riding our bikes or playing hockey on the local rink, depending on the season of course. Anyways, back to this farm, there was no sign anywhere at the start of the dirt laneway indicating “No Trespassing” so we felt OK checking it out. This truck was one of three in the yard and the one I liked making images of the best. I made a lot of close-ups of the patina of the metal with my digital camera, but really felt a pinhole image would add a sense of being in a dream and also would give some indication of how I was feeling in this farmyard. It really makes you think about who it was that lived there and why it was left in the state it was. Someone had a full life here and we only got to see a few remnants of it. I would have to think it wasn’t a creepy existent either, but just the way things have gone since whomever it was departed, left us feeling a bit unsettled. This image was made with a ten minute exposure with my camera mounted to my tripod and awkwardly arranged just inside the cab of the truck. I thought my meter was out to lunch indicating such a long exposure, but here you are, and it was rather dark in the shadows of the cab. An hour or so later we hit the highway to a new destination still heading further south.

 

 

[ Zero Image 6×9, Kodak Portra 160 ]

 

 

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