Friday, December 9, 2016

How to Size Your Image for Printing

the title image for a blog post about dpi or dots per inch, all about how to size your digital photos for printing and understanding resolution by Chris Gardiner. www.cgardiner.ca

It's a common question for photographers all over - "what size do I export my image for printing?". Luckily, it has a very easy answer, and I will go over that, and more about printing in this blog post.  So please, read on!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Reviewing : JVC GY - HM170 UA 4K Digital Video Camera

The JVC GY HM170 UA 4K Video Camera shown on a white background as a product style photograph captured by Chris Gardiner Photography
The JVC GY HM170 UA 4K Video Camera

Woo! I've joined the land of 4K. I mean, I had 4K before, from my GoPro Hero 3 Black at 15fps and then my Samsung S5, but those are kind of like… gimmicky versions of 4K video resolution - lacking a full feature set, and without the kind of control a photographer likes to have with an image they are capturing.
Very recently I decided to take the plunge into a truly 4K workflow and service offering by purchasing the JVC GY-HM170UA 4K digital camera. I know.. it's a mouthful, why can't the have easy names like Canon 6D or GoPro 3 Black. anyways… after a few weeks of using it, I thought I'd share some thoughts on the new feature loaded 4K camera.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What Camera Should I Buy?

an image showing a dslr camera with a glowing light shown through the lens with the title text overlaid on it "which camera should I buy? a guide to the most important features to get in a new camera"
What Camera Should I Buy? The Most Important features to get in your new camera.

I am present in a lot of photography forums online, and an active contributor in a select few of them.  One of the absolutely most common questions in almost every single one of them is "what camera should I buy?". It's a big investment sometimes - a new camera body, so it's no surprise you would want some second, third, or forty more opinions on it.

For every time that question gets asked, there is an equal number of individuals who have a few, very repetitive things to say. I am going to say those things, and one major little tidbit that tends to get left out.
Read on for more information about what is the absolute best camera to buy for your needs.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Protecting Your Data : Which Hard Drive To Choose

title image depicting a HDD platter with text overlaid saying "backing up your data - how to choose a storage solution HDD vs SSD vs Cloud".

After shooting with digital cameras, cell phones, and the like for several years now, you no doubt will have a massive collection of important and valuable data you will want to take care of for many years to come.
One of the main questions I hear is "what hard drive should I use to back up my digital photos and videos?" and I intend to help you out with exactly that decision and why I've approached my data backup the way I have.
Read on if you're shopping for hard drives.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Picture of the Day : Sunset in Collingwood, Ontario

a colourful sunset scenic showing boats in the harbour, the shipyards development across the water, and a sky full of colourful clouds.
Sunset from Collingwood Harbour, Ontario, Canada
I know it's been a while since I've shared any of my work - I am definitely still shooting - I just haven't had much time to get out and shoot for myself instead of shooting for a client project.

Here is one from a sunset the other night, showing the Collingwood Harbour on Georgian Bay. 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Blender 3D : Subsurface Scattering Reference Sheets

Subsurface Scattering Reference for Blender 3D Software Applied to the Default Cube


Subsurface Scattering (SSS)

If you look at my most recent posts across my blog and some other social media spots you may start to forget I am a photographer and more of an aspiring 3D modeller. But regardless, here is another one for the whole realm of Blender 3D software enthusiasts. 

I do a lot of reading, and one thing I didn't find in my searches is was something to help me understand how blender's subsurface scattering works. So I've taken it upon myself to create some subsurface scattering reference cards. They show you what happens when you change each of the SSS settings from their default, and in different lighting conditions, from a balanced lighting setup, to a heavily backlit, and a heavily side lit setup. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Blender 3D Update


title for 3d software made in 3d software by chris gardiner
"3D Software" 3D software render
It's certainly been busy around here so I haven't been able to blog as often as I'd like, but I thought I'd share some of what I've been doing lately. Mostly 3D work with Blender. Partly because I've recently moved to Collingwood and my studio has been among the last things to get unpacked, but also because its so addictive. You imagine it, you build it, you render it.

I've been trying my hand at real life representations of inanimate objects, sold my first few floor plans with my real estate packages, and for fun, I've been building abstract 3D background compositions - things you could never actually photograph - at least not without spending a lot of time and money.

Take a look at some of the fun I've been having with Blender 3D software.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Bigger and Better : All About Real Estate Photo Video and Design

Real Estate Photo Video and Design Services
I put together a short little video this week with the intention of helping real estate agents understand exactly what I can bring to the table that will help them sell more houses, faster.   On a somewhat related note, I am now officially a homeowner in Collingwood Ontario, and one of the challenges with moving somewhere new is getting the ball rolling on business contacts.  Thats where this video comes in too. Read on for some more about real estate.

Monday, March 21, 2016

The Absolute Worst Workaround Ever : Make the 580EX Work With a Peanut Slave

How I triggered my 580EX speedlight with a pocket wizard and peanut slave that is incompatible with it by Chris Gardiner www.cgardiner.ca
These 600EX-RT flashes work their bags off for me. 

I have some Canon Speedlights. They're great, I actually love the new 600EX-RT because of the built in radio transceivers which saves me two AA batteries per flash which would be used in a pocket wizard. Before I had those, long before they were even on Canon's drawing boards, I was using the 580EX-II. I have one of those. Unfortunately the systems aren't totally compatible, at least not in the way I want them to be, but I did find a way to make it work - what is essentially the absolute worst, most redundant workaround ever.  Read on if you have a mixed bag of gear like I do.

Avoid being Phished : How to Spot a 'Lure'

It is basically common place now - phishing - when 'unsavoury' individuals are trying to get something from you using less than honest approach over the internet.  There really is no way to immunize yourself, but if you can get really good at spotting their 'lures' you'll be very hard to catch and basically immune anyways.
I got a really spectacular one today, and one a few weeks ago, so it prompted me to write about it. I know it's not very 'photo & art' as my blog would suggest, but as photographers we spend a lot of time online, with a lot of our assets online, so I think because its about protecting those assets - it's still relevant.
Read on if you want to see some tips to protect yourself and help solve the problems they create.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Blender is Fun!

Wacom Tablet 3D Render with Blender by Chris Gardiner www.cgardiner.ca
Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet Render

I never would have guessed how much I was going to enjoy 3D modelling. Actually, cooking and photography were both the same start for me - this surprising onset of a desire for total immersion in the subject.. 

Read on for some info about how I did it, and the other models I rendered before I managed to render this version of my Wacom Intuos Pro Tablet.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Constraints Promoting Creativity

A photo of an opened cardboard box with title text for the subject of this blog post on creativity, image sourced from Flickr under a CC-Share-Alike License Katsuhiro Osabe
Think Outside the Box : How Constraints Promote Creativity

I've had this on my mind for a while now. I actually started writing this particular article back in 2011 and only recently motivated myself to finish it. I think it can be a great read not just for other creative professionals, but anyone who hires a creative professional.
It's all about how having some form of boundaries can help promote a more creative end product. So just hear me out while I state my case, I think by the end you will see things the way I do too.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Xplornet Hates Me : The Challenges of Working on The Internet in the Countryside

A title image for a blog post about the challenges and unreliability of rural internet connections through Xplornet shown with a typical browser screen saying "you are not connected to the internet"
"You are not connected to the Internet" I see this screen far more often than I should.

I've been living in the countryside for about a year and four months now. We are so far out of the nearest town, they don't have any sort of cables or DSL lines running to our property, so our only option for internet is literally the archaic dialup (who even has a 56k modem anymore?) and Xplornet Satellite Internet.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Making Faithful Art Reproductions with a Digital Camera

Remaining Faithful, a blog post about making art reproductions using your digital camera by Chris Gardiner www.cgardiner.ca on a photo showing fine details on a portrait of General George Patton
Making Art Reproductions : 1:1 detail of a digital reproduction from Pencil Sketch of General George Patton

I took on a project recently that required that I learn a whole load of new techniques and workflow. Given the size of the project, I feel comfortable enough writing about that process and sharing what I've found with others - hence - this article! Read on if you're curious.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Photo of the Day : Ski Resort Monochrome

This is a black and white photo at Blue Mountain in Collingwood Ontario from the chairlift looking straight into the sun with high contrast silhouettes and shadows of the chairlift and the terrain captured by Chris Gardiner www.cgardiner.ca
Just nice light at Blue Mountain Ski Resort, Collingwood, Ontario
Almost two years it has been since I was snowboarding last.  So this was my first day out in the 2014-2016 Snowboarding Season. We were riding Blue Mountain Ski Resort just outside of Collingwood Ontario with scenic views overlooking beautiful Georgian Bay of the Great Lakes.
Read on for a bit more about the photo..

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Getting an E-Book Out There : My Experience With Publishing

My book available on the kindle for the video game, Game of War : Fire Age by Chris Gardiner www.cgardiner.ca
I wrote a book and it's available on the Kindle! 

Being a photographer, you get pretty darn proficient with a computer. We have to use all sorts of programs, communicate with all sorts of people and businesses, and basically use electronics all the time. As for myself, I tend to get bored easy so thats when I love to try something new. Let me tell you about this experience I've had with stepping out my comfort zone into the world of e-publishing, and all the surprises that followed.

A Day in the Life : Microstock Photo Reviewer

Soft focus on a macbook pro computer closeup, with title 'a day in the life of a microstock agency photo reviewer' by Chris Gardiner Photography
Let's talk about this unique, work from home opportunity!

You probably wouldn't know this about me - but I am a micro stock image reviewer for a stock photo agency.  It's quite likely that you don't know what micro stock photography is, let alone what a 'reviewer' would do for it.  So let me walk you through a day in my life as a reviewer.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Getting Credit Where Credit is Due

Getting your written photo credit in the caption is sometimes the only visible link your images can have to you

Part of being a photographer in the 21st century means that you're going to get clients that are going to want to post, share or otherwise publish the work you create for them.  So how do you make sure that wherever they post those images online, you get your due credit by way of a short line in the caption? Well go ahead and read on for one of my favourite methods. 


Friday, February 12, 2016

Using NASA Media Assets - For Free!

Composite Image of Ed White's First Spacewalk (1965) and a Deep Space Nebula.  Elements of this image are furnished by NASA.
Composite Image of Ed White's First Spacewalk (1965) and a Deep Space Nebula.  Elements of this image are furnished by NASA. 

Did you know you can use many of the images NASA has captured over the years - totally free under a royalty free license? I bet you didn't.  This article has a few quick links for you to do your own research if you don't believe me, some tips on usage, and some ideas to help inspire you with a way to use them!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Taking Photos at Night : A Compendium (sorta)

A night photo to illustrate the techniques in this how-to to capture night time photographs by chris gardiner www.cgardiner Iimage circa 2008


I feel like I've spoken, or written anyways, at great length about shooting Night Photos here on my blog. The problem is that today, my sister asked for advice on shooting night photos and I wanted to link her one great blog post of my own that says it all, but truth is - if it's there - I couldn't find it. So that is the purpose of this post - a semi-compendium to shooting night photos.  She is making a trip to see some of Scandinavia, and at this time of year, its a basic guarantee that you'll see northern lights.  She went to Iceland a few years ago - and did see the Northern Lights - wasn't happy with the way she caught them. I tried at that time to explain a bit about night photos, but I clearly needed a better delivery since she asked again for this next trip.

And to go with this compendium I am including a whole bunch of probably never-seen-before night photos I shot in 2007 and 2008 back when I was a beginner, to maybe provide some extra inspiration.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Why I Don't Have a Drone Yet

advice for photographers and cinematographers on using a drone in canada
Why I Don't Have a Drone Yet : Some information about using a drone for photo and video in Canada.

Before I start, I've got to mention how often I am at a shoot, mainly video, and a bystander will ask why I am not doing the same thing with a drone, and sometimes I just want to laugh..but I don't.  Instead, I'm going to lay it all out once and for all about my relationship with drones.. Get ready, this might be a semi-long one…  But the info I share will likely be a great insight for just about everyone who is new to the idea of drones.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

2016 Design Trend Predictions : By Shutterstock

Every year, shutterstock releases an updated info graphic of what they predict will be the biggest design trends for the upcoming year.  For stock photographers, that information is super-helpful - some sort of inclination to what will sell well for the coming year can go a long way.  Who is shutterstock? Oh they're only one of the largest stock photo agencies out there. That means their clients are thousands of real designers searching through their 50 million plus image library.   With numbers like that, they can get a pretty accurate feel for what is trending. Take a look at this info graphic just released for 2016.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Your Stock Photo Workflow

This article was originally featured on the dreamstime.com blog, written for stock photographers regarding a specialized micro stock photography workflow to maximize efficiency.

We don't get paid for micro stock photography by the hour so being efficient with your time is the most important thing of all. 
One of the important things to consider as you dedicate more time to stock photography is the workflow you use to do it. There are no right or wrong answers - a workflow will either work for you or it won't. All you need to worry about is what works for you, but here are some things that work for me, and may help you out; 



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Do You Tsu?

What is Tsu?  Basically another social media platform but they pay you to be on it, is the short answer.  If you want the longer answer, read on!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Video : Exploring An Ontario Autumn


2015 was a great year. It was the first full autumn season I spent in Ontario since 2009.  In our beautiful, prolonged and very colourful autumn I shot a whole bunch of video, and then compiled those clips earlier this week into a short video linked above.


Monday, January 11, 2016

Using Creative Commons to Source Music for Your Video Project

Closeup view of piano keys with title for sourcing music with creative commons licenses, photo and article by chris gardiner photography www.cgardiner.ca
Sourcing Music with Creative Commons Licenses

When I initially started off making short videos with my clips to share with friends and family via YouTube, I quickly found I didn't have as much control as I would have liked over my video because I was using popular music.


Thursday, January 7, 2016

Creating a Matte Painting aka a Composite Landscape

the steps involved with creating a realistic composite landscape in photoshop.
A cold, composite landscape creation
I had some fun with compositing landscapes earlier this week. It's a technique that has been around for ages, known as 'matte painting' and was used in the film era to create movie backdrops that would be too expensive or difficult to do otherwise.  Of course, its all done digitally now.   So the photo above is a composite landscape made with photoshop. It's made up of five smaller original images that helped to build the final version.
Read on for some info about choosing and blending your images.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Picture of the Day : Thousand Islands

A winter time scenic of dock extending into frozen water at Thousand Islands National park Captured by Chris Gardiner Photography www.cgardiner.ca
A view from within Thousand Island National Park.
This picture of the day comes to you from Thousand Island National Park in South Eastern Ontario, Canada. Maybe you're familiar with the salad dressing of the same name?