The Devil is in the Details

My day was spent trudging through the historical site of Sainte-Marie Among the Hurons where my students learn all about the Wendat people and French colonization. While this is my eighth visit in as many years – ouch – I decided to take my Canon camera and see if there were any photo opportunities to take advantage of while students built clay models, wrote with feathers and tried not to create too much mischief.

Taking photos in low light is never simple. One needs to be able to render the colours properly and capture the light properly exposed in a chiaroscuro effect. The herbs drying from the roof of a longhouse seemed like a great place to start. I would say these have a bit of Martha Stewart to the arrangement and a whole dose of wintry weirdness to the colour tones.

The tools in the workshop were much harder to render than you might think. The light from the window is quite harsh, yet the darkness of the iron needs to retain as much detail as possible. I tried to put into use some knowledge I learned about the Zone System created by Ansel Adams from a book V. bought me last Christmas for this shot, and I think I am getting closer to understanding light.

Who doesn’t love a big wooden table with a Fall harvest theme? I am shooting a f.1.4, so that is while the background bokeh intense here. I would probably want to add some sharpening to most of these photos given the shallow depth of field, but that really needs to be done in Photoshop when my eyes are not feeling so tired.

Simple crosses resonate with me much more than the outrageously extravagant monstrosities of the Vatican. The above image was taken without much light at all, but it retains much of its mood and strength.

I shot a disproportionate number of fire images today because I wanted to really focus on capturing the balance between light and darkness. The coals make a consistent transition from red to black, and I kept a fair bit of detail given that this is also f.1.4 and handheld at ISO 400. I like this photo enough that I hope to use it as the next banner for my website update next week. At the end of the day I was able to keep fully engaged with a place that I had already seen more than my fair share of, which only goes to show how a camera can be used to make every mundane event into an adventure.

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