Collin J Örthner – Photographer

January 22, 2014


Filed under: Black & White, Canon G10, Nature, Skyscape, Storms — collin j örthner @ 8:40 pm

“Song of the Skies” is the title used for a 1986 “Camera Canada” magazine article  featuring nine fabulous sky images by Alfred Upton, which I have gone back to over and over again through the years. To quote from this article and from “Moments of Beauty”, a catalogue of a 65 year retrospective exhibition in 1987:

“One of Upton’s long term goals has been to capture the drama of clouds in a photographic symphony. As a result of this challenge, he has spent many hours watching the skies for the precise moment when the movement of clouds was most expressive. Gathering storms, promising sunsets and cloud-filled summer skies would send him scurrying to an appropriate vantage point, often preselected. The dramatic results were further heightened by clever darkroom techniques in printing, choice of paper and toning. The dramatic results, in symphonic terms, were [his images titled] “Prelude”, “Crescendo”, “Allegro”, “Adagio”, “Animato”, and “Furioso”, a series of skycapes taken between 1935 and 1982. His ability to do justice to this subject matter prompted one admirer to refer to him as “king of clouds”.


My eyes are virtually always scanning the skies for  the same drama that Mr. Upton was, and his images have been and continue to be an inspiration to me. Mr. Upton would usually show where a cloud is travelling as opposed to it being simply a storm cloud by including at least something of the surface of the earth to give the clouds both scale and context. His images are  like poetry to me.

Alfred Upton has shown me that patience and perseverance will reward me with expressive skies, but also he has shown me how to interpret and present these skies espressivo.




[Canon G10]



January 13, 2014

Accurate Document

Filed under: Autumn, Documentary, Hand of Man, Hi Res, Sigma DP1 Merrill, Sigma DP1M, Travel — collin j örthner @ 10:51 am

This morning I worked on a couple of images from this past fall that I made in the abandoned town of Bulwark on a pleasant and cloudy morning. The look I’m after is that of Kodachrome, if anyone can remember that! Accurate and pure tones with realistic contrast. Not easy to accomplish with most modern digital cameras these days pushing the contrast up even when set to “Standard” colours and saturation.




[Sigma DP1 Merrill]



January 9, 2014

Autumn Storm Clouds

Filed under: Agriculture, Autumn, Black & White, Hand of Man, Nature, Sigma DP3 Merrill, Sigma DP3M, Skyscape, Square, Storms — collin j örthner @ 10:23 pm

Storm clouds rolling over Red Deer County last fall. I made this along one of my favourite backroads that winds through some hilly country a bit east of Red Deer.



[Sigma DP3 Merrill]



January 2, 2014

Parkland County, Alberta

Filed under: Abstract, Black & White, Nature, Sigma DP3 Merrill, Sigma DP3M, snow, Trees, Winter — collin j örthner @ 8:46 pm

While visiting with my wifes family over the Christmas holidays, I managed to sneak out for a few minutes just as the sun was setting one afternoon. I found these aspen trees inundated by fresh snow. All that was really necessary was to move my point of view around a bit to get the right balance. As it was getting dark out the light was very flat so just a hint of texture shows in the snow.



[Sigma DP3 Merrill]



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