Portrait photography by Jo McAvany at Chase Falls canyon on a cold winter day with model Chantel Amber produced interesting results, drawing the viewer to the picture. (Jo McAvany photo)

Portrait photography by Jo McAvany at Chase Falls canyon on a cold winter day with model Chantel Amber produced interesting results, drawing the viewer to the picture. (Jo McAvany photo)

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

Portraits at a winter waterfall

The weather is getting warmer and I planned on taking a couple of local photography trips. But that wasn’t in the stars, as they say.

My shop was broken into again! This time I didn’t lose any cameras… just my laptop computer. The front window was smashed and I think one of those grabber poles must have been used to reach my computer to wrangle it up and through the larger space between the window bars.

Shop and restaurant windows on Tranquille Road in Kamloops have become a regular target for people wanting to break glass. The insurance companies must be tired of replacing windows. Nevertheless, I’ll be looking to find better protection with additional barriers for my shop window. So much for that disturbing news.

This week I thought I’d write about my friend Jo’s Chase Falls trip.

Jo and her sister Chantel Amber decided to use the falls for some portraits. Jo had planned to include some long exposure scenic shots of the falls, but she said the waterfall and deep snow was muddy and rocks were tumbling down the icy canyon walls.

They carefully chose locations that were safer to walk through. Both she and Chantel were wearing ice cleats on their boots.

Jo was shooting with her Nikon D780. The full frame D780 is a unique camera that can function like a DSLR or Mirrorless with many of the best features of each. Jo tells me she especially likes using the camera’s articulating LCD when holding the camera low to the ground or above her head. Focusing is easy with the touch screen. Just touch a location for specific metering and again to quickly release the shutter. It’s an extremely versatile camera for the kind of portraiture Jo likes doing and although I don’t think she has tried, I think it would be excellent for macro work.

As I looked through their photos I saw that Chantel had modelled more than one outfit and knowing how cold it must have been in Chase Falls canyon I wonder at how she could even stay still enough (without uncontrolled shaking) for the photos.

I included my favourite photo. It’s a good photo and brrr!

In spite of the cold, wet location, Jo built a story that helps viewers conjure up or imagine something about her subject and the photograph.

So much of the time we viewers are bored with the stand-the-pretty-girl awkwardly a few feet away with a pleasant background, excitedly point the camera and shoot. They are pleasant, but are uncreative point-and-shoot kind of photographs that seem to proliferate many photographer pages these days.

Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dalí wrote, “The reason some portraits don’t look true to life is that some people make no effort to resemble their pictures.”

I’m not sure what Jo and Chantel’s goals were, but they tried more than one outfit, different locations, worked on different poses and I’m sure Jo changed lenses a couple times to transform the perspective.

Photographer Mark Denman said, “It’s not enough to just own a camera. Everyone owns a camera. To be a photographer, you must understand, appreciate, and harness the power you hold!”

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week.

Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net.



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