Archive for the ‘Tips and Techniques’ Category

Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM – A

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

On Monday I received the newly redesigned Sigma 35mm 1.4 DG HSM Lens , it is one of Sigma’s new ART Series lenses part of the Contemporary line of lenses.   It was last November when I first saw this lens at the Henry’s Exposure Show, but I didn’t have an opportunity to take any photos with it at that time other than of the trade show area. What I did notice and was extremely impressed with, is the design and the high quality of construction of the lens.

Yesterday I took a few test photos around the house, we had a huge snowstorm in Ottawa, so I stayed inside.  So far I’m impressed! The auto focus is quick and very smooth and there is also a full-time manual focus override using the large and easy the reach focusing ring. Over the next couple of weeks I will try to put this lens through various shooting situations and will write a review giving you my honest and  objective thoughts about this lens. Here are a few of the images from yesterday.



Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens



Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens


Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens



Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens

Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM lens

 Our poinsettia is still flowering, 3 months after Christmas!


NFRCC – Niagara Falls Presentation

Saturday, March 2nd, 2013

Canon 5D MKIII – Sigma 24-70 F2.8 EX


Upcoming Presentation NFRCC 2013 – March 15,16 & 17

“A Fashion Shoot, from Conception to Final Image”

There are countless variables to go into the making of a great fashion image;  Concept and Theme, Location, Lighting, Model; hair, make-up, clothes and posing, Styling, Post-Processing & Retouching, Photographic Composition and Creativity.  The photographer has to create everything that ultimately appears in the picture. Basically starting with an empty studio or location – a blank canvas.

In this presentation, Garry intends to demonstrate how the use of light can create form, dimension and contrast. As with every other field of photography it’s all about the light. He will also cover model posing/composition and will offer some post-processing tips.



Masterclass Studio Lighting and Post Production Workshop

Sunday, January 27th, 2013

Canon 5D MKIII - Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX DG


Masterclass Studio Lighting and Post Production Workshop – Due to a cancellation a space has become available


Sunday February 3, 2013  –  10am to 4pm
Wednesday February 6, 2013  – 7pm to 10pm

What Does It Mean?

Thursday, January 24th, 2013


As a professional photographer and one of the Sigma Pros, a lot of people write to me asking all sorts of questions about lenses and cameras and well just about everything imaginable about photography. One of the common questions is about lenses for Full Frame and Cropped Sensor cameras. A full framed lens will work on either camera while the cropped sensor lens will only work on a cropped camera.

With the Sigma lenses there are 2 different designations in the name, which specify the camera they are to be used with. DC, which is only for cropped sensor cameras, or DG which are lenses for full frame or cropped sensor cameras.

Here are two lenses, do you know which one is only for cropped sensor cameras?

Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 IF EX DG HSM

Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 DC Macro OS HSM


So what does everything else mean?

IF stands for internal focus – the front of the lens doesn’t rotate when focusing, this is a good feature if you are using a polarizing filter. It also allows for the lens to focus faster.

EX stands for the professional top of the line lenses – optically and mechanically.

HSM stands for Hyper Sonic Motor. It is a new type of motor used for auto focus in some of Sigma’s newer lenses.

OS stands for Optical Stabilization which helps to keep the camera steady when handholding with a longer shutter speed.


2013 – A Look Forward

Saturday, January 12th, 2013


to blog or not to blog


The year is off to a fantastic and a hectic start – Busiest. Winter. Ever!  I have already had several photo shoots, prepared a new program and gave a presentation to the RA Photo Club, organized and booked 3 more Studio Portrait Lighting Workshops,  and of course spent far too many hours in front of the computer. However, one of the things that I haven’t done is post very much to this blog. So much so, that several people have written asking what happened. While I do post often, very often, on my Facebook pages – it is usually only photos.   I have always left my blog for articles, announcements, tips and techniques or reviews.  But I am curious, what would you like to see here? Photos? What other information can I share with you?  What do you want more of?  Drop me a line, either in the comments below or email.

Hope your year is starting off great!

Henry’s Ottawa Exposure Show

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Canon 5D MKII - Sigma 120-400 f/4.5-5.6 DG OS @F14-1/60sec 200 ISO


This weekend Nov 16-18, I will be giving several presentations at the Henry’s Exposure Show in Ottawa at the CE Centre. The topic of my presentation is “The Secrets of Creating WOW in your Photos” Hope to see you!!!!!!

Friday 1:30 – 2:15
Saturday 12:30 – 1:15
Sunday 11:30 – 12:15

If you can’t make it to my presentation I will also be at the Sigma Booth all weekend long.

Model and Property Releases

Friday, April 13th, 2012
Mykonos Taverna

Nikos Taverna - Mykonos, Greece


One of the most asked business related questions that I am asked is about model and property releases. FYI – The most common question is “how to make a living as a photographer?” The American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP) has a series of very informative business resources, including releases. If you have ever wondered if you need a release, then this is an excellent article that you should definitely read.

In the Park

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012


Around 10 years ago in the park at the end of our street I met a neighbourhood teen-aged girl and her father. He was teaching her the basics of how to use a (film) camera. We chatted about photography for a little while, well Okay for a long time.

Fast forward 10 years to this past December when at the Christmas lights on Parliament Hill photo shoot I met up again with that same girl, who is now a young woman.  I hadn’t seen her since we had met at the park so many years ago. Over the years she really hadn’t had the time to be serious about her photography and the only photographs that she had recently been taking were with her cell phone (not that there is anything wrong with that). Then about a year ago, she decided she wanted to get back into photography. She bought a DSLR  camera and lens, filters, extra battery, tripod and after much research she also recently bought a camera bag.

The camera bag that she ended up buying was a Tamrac Evolution 8 Backpack. Which is a really good choice for a bag, but the strange thing about all of this is, that I also recently got the same bag. Except, that mine is black and hers’ is the brown one. It got me thinking, wouldn’t it be interesting to find out why she chose exactly the same bag as I did. You would think that our needs for a bag would be completely polar. I mentioned the idea to her about writing an article about the bag and why both of us chose it and what we liked and disliked about it. She thought is was a great idea too, so this past Saturday we got together and went over all of the good and bad points of the bag and what made both us chose this bag over all of the others that are available.

The good news is that I have lots and lots of notes about the bag. The bad news is, you are going to have to wait just a wee bit more until I have a chance to write the article. Right now, Val and I are getting all of the reservations in place and everything organized for the Scotland Photo Tour.


BTW – The little girl in the photo was playing hide and seek with her friends.

Secret to taking better photos

Monday, October 3rd, 2011
Blue Domed Churches - Santorini, Greece

Blue Domed Churches - Santorini, Greece


If there is a secret to taking better photos – This is it!

For nearly 30 years I have earned my living by taking pictures while travelling the world. I have also taught many photography workshops at home and abroad. This has put me in contact with quite a few people and as a result I have had many phone calls and emails asking for my advice on a range of photographic topics. These topics range from where to go in Namibia,  to which camera, lens, tripod or accessory to buy, to how to become a professional photographer. I can understand why people ask me, whether you are a beginner or have been taking pictures for years, the sheer volume of photography information that we need to know and process is quite intimidating.

Now with the information overload from the internet we have access to everyone else’s opinions, thoughts and endless debates about camera equipment, lens resolution, sensor sizes, Photoshop, RAW converters – the list goes on. It is so easy to get lost in all of this information and forget the reason you are taking photographs in the first place. Personally, even though I work with it every day, I find it all very daunting. I can certainly understand how “amateur” photographers feel.

I have one piece of advice which will definitely help in taking and creating better pictures, but it is going to take a major commitment from you. Ignore all of the talk about equipment; it really doesn’t matter what you use to take pictures, the important part is for you  to get out there and shoot. Just keep on shooting, practice in different situations and lighting conditions, review the images then go out and shoot some more. The more you practice the better and stronger your images will be, you will eventually become more observant which in turn improves your photographic vision.

So what does it take to make a strong compelling picture? There are a lot of factors, some of the most important ones are; exposure, composition, the light, the location, the subject, your vision and your imagination. Did you notice there was no mention of equipment or software?

Ottawa Photo Shoot Locations

Monday, August 29th, 2011

I just wrote an article for the Camera Club of Ottawa about the importance of getting out and using your camera and how that will help in improving your photography. Another side benefit from it, is that by getting out you will find and explore many new locations for your photography. Since I have been photographing for a “few” years, I have discovered many great photo locations.

Quite often I am asked, where is a good spot for photography. Given that, and also that I heard this past weekend an Ottawa photographer and the couple that he was photographing were all given $95.00 tickets each for trespassing at an abandoned NCC barn off of March Road. Here’s a list of legal and excellent places for Wedding Ceremony Location Photos in the Ottawa region. These locations are also great for engagement and model photo shoots too!


  1. National Gallery of Canada
  2. Nepean Point Park and the Sunken Gallery behind the National Gallery
  3. Major’s Hill Park
  4. Locks next to Chateau Laurier
  5. Along the canal and under the “overpass” bridge across fro the Chateau Laurier
  6. In the market “Tin Court” around the Black Thorn Restaurant
  7. Around the Courtyard restaurant. Great place with lots of stone, sort of an old feeling.
  8. The stairs by the US Embassy and the area around there.
  9. Currency Museum Bank of Canada – good interior location as well.
  10. Tabaret Hall at the University of Ottawa
  11. Canadian Museum of Civilization
  12. Mooney’s Bay – little white arched bridges and Hog’s Back Falls
  13. Experimental Farm – Ornamental Gardens
  14. Experimental Farm – Arboretum
  15. Garden of Provinces – Wellington at Bay
  16. Graffiti wall at the corner of Bronson and Slater
  17. Graffiti wall Brewer park, across from CU – Bronson Bridge at Carleton
  18. The Grounds at Rideau Hall
  19. The Gazebo in Rockcliffe Park
  20. The Ruins at Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park
  21. The Rockcliffe Rockeries