Calling For Her Mate

This female Bald Eagle, spotted at Wilkes Dam in Brantford, Ontario today, was calling for her mate. Me thinks he was probably doing the male thing and sleeping somewhere!🙂

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What Makes Someone a Good Teacher?

I teach photography courses out of my home and in the field. I have no formal training, never went to school for it, but I love it. Why?

I have been asked a few times why I enjoy teaching. There is no simple answer to that question. I consider myself a decent photographer. I am by no means amazing, technically gifted or anything else. But I have a passion for it. I absolutely love to be behind the camera, capturing the beauty that surrounds all of us every day. Okay, you enjoy photography, but how does that make you want to teach it to others? Simply put, I love to see the smile on someone’s face when they see the result of an image they have taken out in the field on one of my excursions. I love to hear the “wow..that worked!” I love to see the fist pumping and the high fives when people make images they are happy with. Being able to pass knowledge onto others is not only rewarding, but makes me happy as a person. Most times when I am in the field teaching, I don’t take a single image. I may set up my camera to show others a composition, but for the most part, I am there to help. 

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What makes someone a good teacher? What makes you want to go and learn from that person? 

Knowing a lot about a particular subject does not necessarily make someone a good teacher. It is having the ability to pass that knowledge onto others in a manner that makes them want to learn. Everyone wants to learn throughout their lifetimes. It is being human that makes us want to learn something new. Some teachers will teach in a way that is boring. They will drone on about the subject, without having any emotion. Others will teach by telling you their way is the only way. And others will teach you in a demeaning way. Criticize you and bring you down. I have been taught by all 3 types of teachers and it is not a lot of fun. But I have also been taught by those who are passionate about their subject. They show real emotion, they are friendly and funny and they just love to teach. I try to be a teacher like that. 

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If you have ever taken any of my courses you will know that I avoid handing out criticism, constructive or otherwise.  Many photographers will tell you that constructive criticism is the only way you will learn. I don’t agree with that. I think many people will learn by making mistakes and by learning from those mistakes. We all make mistakes, each and every day. It is up to you to learn from those. Photography is an art form. And as such, it is completely open to interpretation of the subject matter. You can sit 10 people down, show them the same image, and perhaps 5 will like it and 5 will not. There are literally hundreds of reasons why one image may appeal to someone and not appeal to someone else. All images are completely subjective. Everyone has their own opinion and it is their right to like or dislike an image. I will always help you when you take my courses. I will show you the way I do something, or how I approach a scene, or how I set up for a particular image. But I will never, ever tell you that is how you must do it as well. For it is up to you. You may not like the image I have composed and you may find one that appeals to you. That is perfectly fine. That is what learning is all about. That is what finding your path and growing creatively means. 

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This coming year I will be introducing 2 brand new courses! Stay tuned!

November Sunrise

This morning I met up with a few members from my Hamilton Photographers Meetup group and we enjoyed a pretty sunrise at Burloak Park in Burlington, Ontario.

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Moody Sky

Yesterday at Sam Lawrence Park, Hamilton. I purposely Post Processed this low key in order to enhance the moodiness of the sky. 
 
Canon 5D MK III
17-40mm Lens
ISO 100
f16
121 Second Shutter
Lee Big Stopper
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Century Manor

I was wandering around the escarpment in Hamilton this afternoon and happened by Century Manor, the last remaining building of Hamilton’s Insane Asylum. This particular building housed the worst of the worst, the criminally insane. I noticed the sign about no trespassing. One wonders if that is to protect you from the ghosts that haunt the old building…

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Loppem Castle

On my day off today, we headed to the city of Brugge, Belgium, near the west coast of the country. Although the sky was completely grey (have not seen the sun yet), our spirits were high as we had a historic city to explore! Our first stop was Loppem Castle on the outskirts of the city. Although access to the castle was closed for the winter months, we still had great views from the walking paths. We then headed into Brugge itself. A very pretty and quite old city. We walked around parks, through old streets and plazas and across historic bridges. We sampled Belgium’s famous waffles, the calorie free ones (not a chance!). We also made a stop or 3 at some of the many chocolate stores throughout the city. Oh the chocolate!
 
Below is a shot of Loppem Castle. The castle was built between 1859 and 1862 for Baron Charles van Caloen and his family. It is considered a masterpiece of civil Gothic Revival architecture.
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