Collin J Örthner – Photographer

February 3, 2016

Drilling for Fish

I suppose with almost no drilling for oil in these parts right now, an alternative might well be drilling for fish! Gull Lake in south central Alberta has it’s fair share of winter sportsmen who enjoy hanging out on the ice waiting for a fleeting glimpse of a fish. I for one don’t care for the sport, oh I’ve done it, but likely won’t ever again. Fly fishing – you bet, ice fishing – not so much. However, being that I enjoy photography so much, who is to say I can’t make a few photos of those that are still exploring the sport?

I have most Mondays off work(I usually work Saturdays, so please don’t get too excited thinking I get three day weekends!) and I have been waiting for a Monday that shows up with a nice cover of high clouds to enable the photo I am after for quite awhile. Sometimes my Mondays get rather full of things I need to get done, but this past week, I had a few hours available to go photographing and the conditions were ideal! I set off after driving my wife to work and enjoying a coffee with her.

It is a fairly short drive from Red Deer around a half hour or so. The day use area of Aspen Provincial Park is gated for the winter so a short half a kilometre walk got me to the beach area and just off shore were some of the fishing huts I was after.




I attempted this image last year, but the one time I made it out, the windchill was hovering around -30ºC, and I only took the time to make a photograph on 35mm film, which unfortunately was very far outdated 400ISO, so the resulting image was lacking shall we say!

As I was walking down the beach I noticed the one hut on the far right of the above image looking a bit lonely at the edge of the herd and I decided to isolate it with a telephoto lens to really give it the feeling of being lonely out there.




Then just before I was about to leave the beach and head back to my car one of the sportsmen decided to drill a new hole far from all the others. He had walked quite a distance with his ice auger and started drilling. I slang into action hoping to get set up in time to get at least one image before he finished the chore. I don’t know if he trouble starting the machine, but he seemed a bit delayed allowing me the few extra seconds to get my tripod set up and ready. I like this image the best from the time I spent at Gull Lake and would like to try printing it large with a white wood frame.




6.7″ x 10″ – Open Edition Printed on Ilford Galerie Prestige 310gsm, signed, numbered, and shipped

20″ x 30″ – Edition of 9 + 1 AP  Printed on Ilford Galerie Prestige 310gsm, signed, numbered, and shipped

30″ x 45″ – Edition of 4 +1 AP  Printed on Ilford Galerie Prestige 310gsm, signed, numbered, and shipped

40″x 60″ – Edition of 4 +1 AP  Printed on Ilford Galerie Prestige 310gsm, signed, numbered, and shipped

October 4, 2015

Tree Museum

Filed under: Autumn, Hi Res, m4/3, Nature, Olympus E-M5II, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm, Trees — collin j örthner @ 9:32 pm


They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
They took all the trees
Put ’em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see ’em
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
’Til it’s gone…

~Joni Mitchell, from “Big Yellow Taxi,”, © Siquomb Publishing Company



Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, Alberta


7″ x 10″ – Open Edition Printed on Ilford Galerie Prestige 310gsm, signed, numbered, and shipped

21.5″ x 30″ – Edition of 9 + 1 AP  Printed on Ilford Galerie Prestige 310gsm, signed, numbered, and shipped

28.5″ x 40″ – Edition of 4 +1 AP  Printed on Ilford Galerie Prestige 310gsm, signed, numbered, and shipped


March 2, 2014

Doo, Doo, Doo, Lookin’ Out My Backdoor

Filed under: Abstract, Architecture, Black & White, E-M5, Hand of Man, m4/3, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm, snow, Winter — collin j örthner @ 9:07 pm

Full credit to CCR for the title!  It is so true, except for one small detail  – it’s not out my backdoor, but my good friends Doug and Shannon Williamson’s backdoor in SE Calgary. After visiting the latest Esker Foundation’s latest exhibit (go see it!) and celebrating Doug’s birthday with a great meal at Model Milk, I woke up the next morning to some great light illuminating the many angles of roofs, doors, fences, and steeples.




[Olympus E-M5, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8]



October 28, 2012

Character of Trees

Filed under: Autumn, E-M5, m4/3, Nature, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm, Panorama, Panoramic, Travel, Trees — collin j örthner @ 9:22 pm

I’ve seen this tree now for three years. Situated next to the campsite that two of my friends and I stay at when we go fly-fishing in September each year. It’s in the southwest corner of Alberta in the Crowsnest Pass and looks like it was likely distorted by heavy snow when it was a small sapling. Situated along a small open meadow near the base of a mountain it stands along with a few other beautiful trembling aspens, but this one stands all on it’s own when it comes to originality! From virtually every angle it oozes character and it twists and turns like a great ballet dancer. Searching out compositions that include trees can sometimes occupy hours of enjoyment for me some days – this one took about 3 minutes to accomplish! I made multiple horizontal images and stitched them together to create a very high resolution vertical image.

[Olympus E-M5, Olympus 45mm f/1.8]

October 6, 2012

Piper Creek Reflections

Filed under: Abstract, Autumn, E-M5, Hi Res, m4/3, Nature, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm, Panorama, Panoramic, Plants, Rocks, Trees, Water — collin j örthner @ 4:41 pm

I took a short walk into Bower Woods this afternoon, and found the opportunity to make an elongated vertical panorama by stitching three vertical images together.




[Olympus E-M5, Olympus 45mm f/1.8]



May 22, 2012

Mark Creek, Marysville, B.C.

Filed under: Abstract, Black & White, E-M5, m4/3, Movement, Nature, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm, Travel, Water — collin j örthner @ 5:26 am

Marysville, B.C. is just south of the popular tourist town of Kimberley. The small Mark Creek joins the two communities and as the creek flows through Marysville it goes over a few very dramatic waterfalls. It is a short and easy trail, although it can be dangerous as some of the boardwalk is old and unstable and a few places have no guard-rails, so if you have pets or children, caution is strongly advised. I decided to try a new method(for me anyway) of showing water as opposed to blurring the water to make it appear serene. This method allows me(and now you) to see water as our eyes and minds are unable to. I wanted to capture the very fast motion of the raging currents without any blurring of details which shows the myriad of details of the workings of the laws of physics!! I needed to use shutter speeds of between 1/2000 and 1/4000 in order to accomplish the task and as it was a cloudy day this made it necessary to crank up the cameras ISO to 3200. This was even more necessary as I stopped my lens down far  enough to keep the depth of field I needed as the lenses viewed over the water.



“… but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 4:14   ESV

[Olympus E-M5, Olympus 45mm f1.8]

April 16, 2012

More from Ogden – Abstractions

Filed under: Abstract, Documentary, GX1, Hand of Man, Industrial, m4/3, Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm — collin j örthner @ 6:19 am

One of my great pleasures is searching out abstracted images in the ordinary everyday places I happen to be in and around. This was the same day that Doug Williamson and I were out a few weeks back in the Ogden area in Calgary. Just like the last post, I can’t really say much about the images here in the way of explanation other than the balance of colours, textures and patterns appealed to me enough that I felt it necessary to examine them closer and attempt to capture an image that holds together. I hope you enjoy them, and as always I welcome your comments.












[Panasonic GX1, Olympus 12mm M.Zuiko, Olympus 45mm M.Zuiko]

April 14, 2012

Ogden, Calgary, Alberta

Doug Williamson and I spent some time a few weeks back exploring the Ogden district of Calgary searching out some photo ops. We weren’t really looking for anything in particular, just things that caught our eye.. Things we could study to find balance and patterns. Things that may not mean anything to anyone else but things that somehow made sense to us at that time and in that place. It is fun to head out without any agenda and just explore with your eyes and mind to come up with an image that “works”. I can’t really say a whole lot more about these images as they were just things on that day that “worked” for me. If any strike you as something that “works” or maybe they all “fail” for you, I’d love to hear your comments!

Doug is a fabulous artist and I have had the pleasure of spending time with someone who inspires and enriches my life. I always look forward to the time I can spend with him and his very talented wife Shannon! Doug has a big exhibit of his artwork coming up in Calgary at the Wallace Gallery starting on April 26th.

[Panasonic GX1, Olympus M.Zuiko 12mm, Olympus M.Zuiko 45mm, Leica 60mm Macro Elmarit-R]

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