Al Dixon Photography

Our World. Our Heritage. My Passion.

Filtering by Tag: sunset

First Test Drive

As those of you who follow me via social media will likely already know, I recently made an addition to the ol' camera bag.  Last night I FINALLY got my hands on a Nikon 24mm f3.5 PC-E lens.  This is a specialized lens that allows you to 'tilt' the lens in relation to the camera sensor, altering the focal plane.  You can also 'shift' the lens to control the perspective (think of all the photos you have of buildings that look like they're falling over).  Another benefit of being able to 'shift' the lens is virtually seamless panoramic images, both horizontally and vertically.

It was this panoramic feature that I headed out tonight to test.  With camera, lens, and tripod in tow; I popped across town to the rodeo grounds here in Stony Plain.  Although I wouldn't classify the images below as 'keepers', I think they gave a good indication of the panoramic capabilities of the lens.

 

 

Although the panoramas above were relatively simple to produce, the learning curve with this lens has just begun.  I am looking forward to spending more time with it in a effort to fully harness the power of this truly unique lens.

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Grandma's Church

Nearly 3 years ago, I happened to stumble across an old church while on my way to Banff for the weekend.  Me being me, I had to stop and photograph this great old structure near Morley, AB.  As I was shooting that night, I couldn't help but get the feeling that those shots were going to be very special.  Little did I know at the time, but less than 5 months later one of those shots would be used in the program for my mother's funeral. Since that time, the Morley Church and the image used have become very special to me; as are those who have received a print of the image.  Last night, the weather held off long enough for my daughter and I to visit once again and photograph, as she calls it, "Grandma's Church".

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Be Prepared

Although I was never a Boy Scout, when it comes to photography I strongly believe in their motto of "Be Prepared".  As anyone who knows me will confirm, my camera gear is rarely more than an arms reach away... you just never know when you will spot a great photo opportunity.  Those that have ever gone on a road trip with me know all to well that I have no problem stopping on the side of the road or detouring to check out something I have spotted.

Sometimes, however, I have spotted a location but it just wasn't 'ready' yet to be photographed.  Case in point... there is a field NW of Edmonton that I drive by on my way to visit my Dad or my sister's family that I've had my eye on for nearly 2 years!!  Last Saturday I found myself heading to my sister's for a family BBQ and, of course, I checked out 'my field' on the way past.  Much to my surprise, and delight, I found the field had been planted with canola this year and it was in full bloom!!  My 'Spidey Sense' began to tingle, and I knew that there just may be a chance for a shot here late in the day. 

Timing my departure from my sister's to coincide with sunset, I arrived approximately 15 minutes before the sun actually set.  This gave me time to get set up and take numerous shots as the sun approached the distant tree line on the horizon.  As you can see below, I think that the combination of prior scouting and being prepared paid off.

 

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