Abandoned Pond

Bower Ponds, a winter skating area, is completely deserted on this chilly January day.

Bower Ponds, a winter skating area in Red Deer, Alberta, is completely deserted on this chilly January day.

Frigid winds.

A sunless day.

An abandoned pond.

The depths of winter are upon us.

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A Taste of the Past – Grandma’s Banana Bread

banana bread

I’ve been wanting to expand my portfolio for a few years, and food photography has been one of the items on the list of things to shoot. I actually used to do quite a bit of food photography, maybe too much, when I worked in the U.K.. A Christmas hamper company was one of the main clients for the company I worked for and we would literally shoot Christmas dinners for 6 months of the year.

Blogging has given me a reason to expand what I shoot beyond portraits, weddings and a few commercial jobs. It has been refreshing.

banana bread

The images today are of banana bread from my grandmother’s recipe.

I will admit this is actually the second attempt shooting banana bread. The first attempt was last week when I made the loaves one afternoon while our older children were in school. I pulled the loaves out of the oven just before picking them up from school, we got home, they smelled banana bread and the rest is history……my shooting subject became the after school snack. This time I was sneaky and I made the loaves and shot them after the young ones had been put to bed.  I still had to fight off a very attentive husband who kept saying “That smells so good!”, and followed me and the loaves into the studio to “help”.

banana bread detail

As this recipe makes very good banana bread, I am also going to share the recipe with you. My grandma used to put walnuts in the bread, but as schools have all gone nut free, my loaves are made without the walnuts so that we can pack slices into our big kid’s lunches. I have discovered that oil can be substituted for butter in a pinch, but butter definitely makes the best loaf.

banana bread

Grandma’s Banana Bread

3 or 4 ripe bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

– Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Mix butter into mashed bananas.
– Mix in sugar, egg and vanilla.
– Sprinkle baking soda and salt on top and mix in.
– Add flour and mix in.
– Pour into a buttered 4″x8″ loaf pan.
– Bake 1 hour.

Prairie Sunset

The Oxbows, Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

This was a magical moment of lighting this evening.

The sun was setting fast. I wanted to try to capture the sunset before it disappeared but we were in the middle of the city. I did not want urban rooftops and power lines littering the beautiful painted sky. We started driving south, trying to get out-of-town. The sun was dropping, and then I saw what I needed…haybales.

Perfect.

A prairie sunset.

Macro Photography – Winter Leaves

winter leaves Winter leaves, as seen through a macro lens, are an amazing mix of color and texture. What may seem like a dead brown leaf from a distance becomes a mix of gold, green, red pink and tan. Up close the veins and stems create amazing patterns. The contrast of the white snow against the leaves adds to the visual interest.

These images of leaves are from the photography outing from yesterday. I am still amazed at how much there is to see when photographing in an area that is only 30 feet in length. When you look up close the natural world is amazing.winter leaves

winter leaves

winter leaves

winter leaves

winter leaves

winter leaves

Macro Photography – Winter Berries

Today I had the opportunity to take my fourth child out taking pictures. She loves getting to use “the kids camera” which is a Fuji XP20 waterproof point-and-shoot, the perfect rugged camera for a four-year old. We decided on an easy to get to location which turned out to be the natural area across our street. I thought it was the perfect chance to use my Canon EF 100mm f.2.8 macro lens which had not seen a lot of use since the snow arrived back in October.

We photographed this area from the side-walk as it is a steep forested hill. The area we covered was only 30 feet in length at the most. Once you get up close and personal with a macro lens there are an amazing number of things to shoot. I have decided to do a few different posts from this outing as there are so many images. Today I am featuring my winter berries.

cotoneaster berry

winter  mountain ash berries

cotoneaster berries with snow

mountain ash berries

Little Flower

"little flower"The last few days I have been shooting a bit in the studio. I have been concentrating on a bit more classical child portraiture. A look that is a little more timeless. The real challenge is to shoot children that are all dressed up but to make them look natural. This little girl is a princess at heart, which makes the task quite easy. She actually told me she is going to be a fairy princess when she grows up; pretty exciting stuff!

I am a big fan of black and white. I love the simplicity. In this portrait the little touch of color softens the portrait and adds to the sweetness of the little girl.

The New Wedding Coverage – Hunter Photographics

bride and groom

The Background

After years of shooting hundreds of weddings we have decided to change our format for the wedding coverage we offer. We had noticed that over the years the wedding photography had become less and less about the bride and groom. Weddings had gone from being about the bride and groom with a few wedding party and family pictures, to weddings full of family politics and wedding party drama (even months before the wedding, let alone on the wedding day) that we as photographers, for some inexplicable reason, were expected to sort out. We realized we had to make a change. Our choices were to either stop photographing weddings or to change the style of wedding coverage so that we could do what we do best …………photography.

bride with colored flowers

The Concept

The wedding is one of the bride’s and groom’s most important days of their life. We believe the photography should reflect the couple’s relationship. We believe that their wedding day photography should be carried out in an enjoyable, stress free environment and be carried out in a time efficient manner. For these reasons we have chosen to focus on a wedding coverage that is for the bride and groom only.

Our goal is to provide beautiful photography for the wedding couple. We can tailor the style of photography to be anything from classical portraiture to a journalistic look, but at the end of the day the couple will have a lovely selection of fine art wedding photographs. Our goal is to provide memorable images to last a lifetime in this age of disposable iPhone photos. Our goal is to provide photography to couples who take photography as seriously as we do.

bride and groom on bridge

How The Packages Work

The wedding photography industry has become notorious for having complicated packages so that the wedding couples have no idea what they are really paying for. My all time favorite is the “minimum investment” system, which has all the vibes of a used car salesman.

We decided we want to make the packages as simple as possible. Our packages are for a set time frame; one package is a one and a half hour time frame, the other package is a two-hour time frame. During the photography session we shoot an unlimited number of images, and photograph in an unlimited number of locations. The packages have a specific number of enlargements included, all are the most popular sizes we sell, and all enlargements are fully retouched.

Our goal is a simple and refined system for wedding photography.

bride and groom with flowers

The Packages

The Classic Wedding Portrait Package

The Classic Wedding Portrait Package is a two-hour photography session of the bride and groom concentrating on creative photography in studio or at your choice of locations in Red Deer.

This package also includes:

Six 5×7 enlargements in folders.

Six 8×10 enlargements in folders.

$795.00 (plus GST)

The Wedding Portfolio

The Wedding Portfolio is a one and a half hour photography session of the bride and groom. Photography is available in studio or at your choice of locations in Red Deer. This package is available September through April on Saturdays, and weekdays throughout the year.

This package also includes:

Four 5×7 enlargements in folders.

Three 8×10 enlargements in folders.

$395.00 (plus GST)

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Please check out our website to view samples of our work and to contact us with any questions you may have.