Collin J Örthner – Photographer

February 26, 2010

Learning To See

Filed under: 6x17, Architecture, Autumn, Hand of Man, Hi Res, Medium Format, Panorama, Panoramic, Trees — collin j örthner @ 3:55 am

The warm colours of the late day sun in autumn, just seconds before setting, on a small building which was only a minute or so walk from where I lived in the hamlet of Rosedale, Alberta. The building is gone, as are the trees, all plowed under. I spent many a day photographing this building and it’s surroundings, all the while learning to see. It allowed me to start seeing abstractly, playing with different weights and balances of colour, shape, lines, and textures. I made close-up abstract images, documentary images, nighttime images, and images with movement, square images and panoramic images. This image, though, is one of my favourites made with my Linhof 617 panorama camera. I have another favourite image of this building made with another favourite camera, my Yashicamat 124G, which makes 6×6 images. I will have to dig through my files and find it.

So often we complain that we have nothing to make images of, when even right under our noses there are some superb compositions waiting to be found. I still complain, it’s an easy out, but every now and again force myself to start looking. Looking closely, at things around me which I carelessly throw away, figuratively, so often without so much as a glance. Now that the weather is pleasant I go for a walk almost every day during my lunch break, taking along a camera of some sort searching out the commonplace that is hiding beautiful, complex, or sometimes downright stunning compositions that I had walked past many many times without “seeing” them. Get looking and really see!!

[Linhof 617, 90mm, Fuji RFP]

February 25, 2010

Wall of Green

Filed under: 6x17, Hi Res, Medium Format, Nature, Panorama, Panoramic, Travel, Trees — collin j örthner @ 4:38 am

This wall of green foliage is growing in all the cracks and crevices of the massive Canadian Shield along the north shore of Lake Superior near Coldwell, Ontario. I would put the drive on the Trans Canada around the north and east of Lake Superior as one of the most beautiful drives I’ve ever been on – it really is spectacular!! We came through in July when it was all green. I can’t imagine me being able to make much headway if I were to travel this route in fall. The colours must be out of this world. Even all the greens were breathtaking. The two days we took along here also had lots of fog which just made it seem even more special and mysterious.

[Fuji GX617, 90mm, Fuji Provia 100]

February 22, 2010

Victoria Glacier

Filed under: 6x17, Hi Res, Ice, Medium Format, Nature, Panorama, Panoramic, Rocks, Travel — collin j örthner @ 10:29 pm

Flowing down the valley between Fairview Mountain and Whyte Mountain, is the massive Victoria Glacier in Banff National Park. Hiking up the trail that starts along the south end of Lake Louise, you start heading up following the rocky moraine left from previous glaciation. We hiked up this on Labour Day weekend almost 20 years ago or so, along a very busy trail – too busy for my liking – but the spectacular views really make up for it. It is quite an experience to get very close up to a glacier and see just how massive they are and realizing the power of the ice to reshape mountains is rather humbling. The day was near 30C, which is quite unusual in the mountains especially in September. The heat was causing large chunks of ice to fall down the face of the mountain with resounding roars and looked for all the world like a waterfall. The way the glacier flows down the valley made the use of my panorama camera especially appropriate in capturing the feel of the area.

[Linhof 617, 90mm lens, Fuji RFP]

February 19, 2010

Riverbank – Drumheller

Filed under: 6x17, Autumn, Hi Res, Medium Format, Nature, Panorama, Panoramic, Plants, Trees — collin j örthner @ 6:36 am

Another image from along the Red Deer River, this time from downstream in Drumheller. This is one of my older images made in the late ’80’s with my Linhof 617 panorama on Fuji RFP 50 ISO film. You won’t find many trees near Drumheller, but there are always a few along the riverbanks(riparian zone) where this image was made. You would literally fall into the river if you stepped through these trees.

Riparian zones dissipate stream energy. The meandering curves of a river, combined with vegetation and root systems, dissipate stream energy, which results in less soil erosion and a reduction in flood damage. Sediment is trapped, reducing suspended solids to create less turbid water, replenish soils, and build stream banks. Pollutants are filtered from surface runoff which enhances water quality via biofiltration.

The riparian zones also provide wildlife habitat, increase biodiversity, and provide wildlife corridors, enabling aquatic and riparian organisms to move along river systems avoiding isolated communities. They can provide forage for wildlife and livestock.

They provide native landscape irrigation by extending seasonal or perennial flows of water. Nutrients from terrestrial vegetation (e.g. plant litter and insect drop) is transferred to aquatic food webs. The vegetation surrounding the stream helps to shade the water, mitigating water temperature changes. The vegetation also contributes wood debris to streams which is important to maintaining geomorphology.

From a social aspect, riparian zones contribute to nearby property values through amenity and views, and they improve enjoyment for footpaths and bikeways through supporting foreshoreway networks. Space is created for riparian sports including fishing, swimming and launching for vessels and paddlecraft.

The riparian zone acts as a sacrificial erosion buffer to absorb impacts of factors including climate change, increased runoff from urbanisation and increased boatwake without damaging structures located behind a setback zone.

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February 15, 2010

Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park

Filed under: 6x17, Autumn, Hi Res, Medium Format, Nature, Panorama, Panoramic, Plants, Travel, Trees — collin j örthner @ 3:51 am

Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park is about an hours drive south-east from Red Deer along the badlands of the Red Deer River. This is one of my favourite parks near enough to Red Deer to allow a day trip. It provides a wonderful variety of scenery and has some trails, but allows for freelance hiking through the badlands and along the riverbank. This image was made a few years ago and is a spot I love to revisit almost every time I’m in the park. The small group of beautiful trembling aspens are surrounded by balsam poplars and other smaller shrubs like they are held in high respect by those around them and given a space to grow in their glory. It’s a magical spot! It does take a bit of bushwhacking to get to and can be a bit difficult to find, but definitely worth the effort.

[Fuji GX617, 90mm, Fuji Velvia 100F]

February 12, 2010

Bower Woods

Filed under: 6x17, Hi Res, Medium Format, Nature, Panorama, Panoramic, Trees, Winter — collin j örthner @ 5:13 am

Bower Woods borders the small Piper Creek as it flows north through Red Deer eventually meeting up with Waskasoo Creek only a short distance before it empties into the Red Deer River. I made this image the same day as the last post on a bitterly cold day.

[Fuji GX617, 90mm, Fuji Provia 100]

February 10, 2010

Along Piper Creek, Red Deer

Filed under: 6x17, Hi Res, Medium Format, Nature, Panorama, Panoramic, Trees, Winter — collin j örthner @ 4:22 am

This particular day was -27C and windy. I wandered along the Piper Creek coulee, near our home, to stay out of the wind and found that the previous nights snow was still hanging onto the spruce trees along the creek. Even though I made this image with colour slide film, it appears almost as a black and white photo.

[Fuji GX617, 90mm, Fuji Provia 100]

February 8, 2010

Panorama Series

Filed under: 6x17, Abstract, Hand of Man, Hi Res, Large Format, Medium Format, Movement, Night, Panoramic, People, Skyscape, Travel, Water — collin j örthner @ 5:16 pm

As the New York City work hit 50 images I felt the need to change my posts to something different. I have decided to do a series of panorama images I made with Linhof 617 and Fuji GX617 cameras over the years. Some of the images have never been posted before anywhere and have never been outside their protective sleeves for a good many years. Shooting with a large panorama camera which sees in a 3:1 ratio can be challenging. I do love the 3:1 format, but I need to keep in mind that a person’s eyes will tend to travel from the left side across to the right and I must have a subject that stops the eye from simply traveling off the edge of the image and encourages it instead to pause and return back into the image again.

This camera produces 6x17cm images on medium format film. I get 4 images on a roll of 120 and 8 on a roll of 220. Shooting with this or any other of my large cameras, I must first look for a potential image before setting up my camera. Fortunately, this camera has a removable finder that allows me to scan for an image with the finder up to my eye and only after having found the spot to shoot do I set up my tripod and mount the camera to it. I sold this camera a few years back when in need of money, but I am having yearning for one again. I have always loved seeing in the panoramic mode and I can stitch together images digitally, sometimes with outstanding results. Some photographers say a camera is just a tool, but I happen to love the process of using them as well and this particular camera was a complete joy to me.

Let’s get started with the series!

July 1st is Canada Day, and you know there is going to be a fireworks show!! While waiting for the show to start on English Bay in Vancouver, British Columbia I decided to make a long exposure to catch all the boats moving around the bay. Someone out there decided to fire off an emergency flare and soon all the boaters were firing them off. Throw in some onlookers along the shore and the moon for good measure and you have an interesting recipe for a rather unique image.

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