Collin J Örthner – Photographer

January 14, 2015

Along the Clearwater River

Filed under: Black & White, Hi Res, Ice, Mountain, Nature, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M, snow, Travel, Trees, Water — collin j örthner @ 8:50 pm




[ Sigma DP2 Merrill ]




December 23, 2013

Essential Elements

Filed under: Abstract, E-M5, Hand of Man, Ice, m4/3, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M, snow, Winter — collin j örthner @ 4:34 pm

I need to post this image especially for my friend Gary Kuiken. We had been talking about what sort of elements make a good image, more specifically if any were essential. A certain blog came up in our conversation that shows image after image that are essentially the same. An early morning sun, usually off-center, a ditch with grasses and a fence. Apparently the photographer thinks that these are essential elements as virtually every image on the blog has the same basic elements in it. I literally laughed out loud when I realized what I had done here!



I think a bit different and have no set list of requirements I feel are necessary to make an image successful. I rely more on balance vs. unbalance, texture vs. smooth, wavy vs.straight, dark vs. light, empty vs. full, follow the rule of thirds vs. nothing lining up with this rule, elements that touch vs. elements comfortably separated. Are you getting the idea? A couple more, complementary colours vs. analogous colours, patterns vs. abstraction, simple vs. complex, loud palette vs. soft palette. Now obviously not every image is going to have one of these contrasts. It may just have a subtle suggestion of one, and many times it might have a mix of a few different ones. Maybe a loud patterned palette with some element landing smack dab on the rule of thirds line vs. an empty soft palette of abstracted separation. This list could go on and on! Many of these differences and contrasts go through my head all at the same time, and quite honestly I don’t realize how I managed an images’ composition until later when viewing it on my computer. I can get into the “zone” when I’m out sometimes where instinct takes over and I just keep busy working out my next image with very little thought. Maybe it’s not so good, but it’s the way I operate. A lot of the time, if I overthink an image, and it’s creation, it tends to look contrived or predictable. Following a pattern or style all the time becomes boring. Some people claim they can see my “style”. I honestly haven’t got a clue as to what it could be!!

I will let the elements fall where they may, either being “essential” or otherwise. I just can’t imagine what sort of element could be considered as essential.



[top – Olympus E-M5, Panasonic 45-175mm, bottom – Sigma DP2 Merrill]



November 3, 2013


Filed under: Agriculture, Black & White, Hi Res, Nature, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M, snow, Trees, Winter — collin j örthner @ 9:11 pm

With our record setting snowfall today, I wasn’t about to head very far from home. I did go a few kilometres south of town, the roads were in very bad shape, but I did manage a couple of images. The fine detail of these trees along the horizon reminded me of an etching. I also found it quite unique that the snow on the ground was brighter than the cloudy sky. I will have to do some research on the phenomena to understand how it works.  Update, I found the answer! Just not sure I understand it:

 “The sky at the horizon is darker than that at the zenith owing to the law of darkening. This gradient over the hemisphere above, however, is so shallow that this darkening is generally not noticeable. Because the illumination of the snow requires integrating over the hemisphere, the snow’s luminance will typically be greater than that of the sky at the horizon. Hering-type Mach bands will cause further brightness enhancement, such that under ideal conditions the brightness of snow can be greater than that of the zenith sky.”  

J. J. Koenderink
Utrecht Biophysics Research Institute, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
A. Richards
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Cambridge, Massachusetts


[Sigma DP2 Merrill]




September 30, 2013

Kinnear Centre – Banff Centre

Soft light of a winter’s day floods into a lounge in the Kinnear Centre for Creativity at the Banff Cantre. I was visiting my good friend Doug Williamson while he was doing an art residency last March. Doug was busy working on some paintings in his studio, and I took some time to wander through the Kinnear Centre and it’s fabulous Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives. The Donald Cameron Centre sits immediately north and the Eric Harvie Theatre can be seen in the background.




[Sigma DP2 Merrill]



September 25, 2013

Coupe Deville

Filed under: Hand of Man, Hi Res, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M, Vehicles — collin j örthner @ 9:30 pm

This beauty pulled up across the street from work the other day. I just happened to have my camera with me and proceeded to line up my shot. There is a garage across the street and it was obviously there to get some work done, but so was a somewhat beat-up Chevy Nova that was struggling to keep running as it was being parked right beside the Caddy. I quickly lined up my shot and managed  to get two frames before I had to move out of the way of the coughing and sputtering Nova. All good though, as I got the image I was after!



[Sigma DP2 Merrill]



June 25, 2013

5:25 a.m. – Moraine Lake

Filed under: Hi Res, Nature, Panorama, Panoramic, Rocks, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M, snow, Travel, Trees, Water — collin j örthner @ 11:15 pm

Sunrise in the Alberta Rockies is early when you travel there near the summer solstice. Having been up making images with stars until 12:30am with a group of photography students in Banff National Park, and then needing to be on the road at 3:45am in order to catch the sunrise at Moraine Lake, I was pretty tired for the rest of the day. It was a 45 minute drive up past Lake Louise and then a 10-15 minute hike up to the lookout. Surprisingly there was our group and another couple, so it was a very quite  morning. I can’t believe there weren’t throngs of people to view this almost unbelievably beautiful place. One of the women from our group commented to me as the sun was just starting to graze the top of the mountain peaks, “Now this is God’s country!” I couldn’t agree more!!

I made the image using my Sigma DP2 Merrill camera to do a multiple image stitch. This involved being sure to level the camera properly and setting the exposure for the brightest part of any one image and locking it in using “manual” mode and manual focus. I also use the self timer on my camera to avoid any vibration from me pressing the shutter button. Once all is set, I Start at one end of my image and overlapping each subsequent image by about 30% (doesn’t have to be exact) I continue shooting until I reach the other end of where I want the image to end. This image required 5 images, all shot as verticals. I got to try out my new Sunwayfoto ballhead (XB-44 w/ DDH-02) The little DDH-02 allows me to level  the head and then swing my panorama above the ball of the head which is so much faster and easier than adjusting three tripod legs independently to get things leveled up! Just for fun I rezzed this image up to a 120″ print in Photoshop CS – it could go bigger still!! These Merrill camera having amazing resolution  and stitching five images together creates the ability to print incredibly detailed images at very large size.



[Sigma DP2 Merrill]



April 23, 2013

Hoar Frost

Filed under: Abstract, Ice, Nature, Panorama, Panoramic, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M, Trees, Winter — collin j örthner @ 10:09 pm

Hoar frost lines the branches of a large elm? tree in downtown Red Deer. Not sure about the elm, but it’s my best guess.




[Sigma DP2 Merrill]



April 14, 2013

Tulip Duo

Filed under: Flowers, Hi Res, Plants, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M — collin j örthner @ 9:50 am

“In no class of plants has nature so varied her delicate tints as in this.”

A Short Treatise on Horticulture – William Prince, 1828




[Sigma DP2 Merrill]



April 13, 2013

It Might Be a Blizzard Outside, But It’s Like Spring Inside

Filed under: Abstract, Flowers, Panorama, Panoramic, Plants, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M — collin j örthner @ 10:20 pm

Has snowed all day and it’s still coming down! 😦  Laura, though, has made it feel like spring in our house with some beautiful tulips. Please don’t think this is a terrible camera. I added a bunch of grain for effect.



[Sigma DP2 Merrill]



April 8, 2013

Eric Harvie Theatre – Banff Centre

Filed under: Architecture, Documentary, Hand of Man, Sigma DP2 Merrill, Sigma DP2M, snow, Travel, Trees, Winter — collin j örthner @ 8:20 pm




[Sigma DP2 Merrill]



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