Archive for January 2012

Poppycock   Leave a comment

In a previous post I touched on the idea of humor in photography and how I tend to stumble upon it accidently in my photographs.

While in London on a trip I’ve referenced a few times, I was walking through the House Guards Army Headquarters and on the other side of the pass through found this happy young man on his steed. (said tongue firmly planted in cheek).

Like many North Americans, I have a stereotype of the British and sadly, it is reflected in this photograph and the caption I gave it. I can’t help but blame it on the media.

I just love how his lower lip is protruding, almost pouting, though I am sure he takes his job very seriously. Each time I look at this image it makes me smile and I wonder if this guard is still perched on his horse.

Posted January 27, 2012 by Paul Coffin in Animal, People, Photography, Travel

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Musicians   Leave a comment

Both my sons are musicians. Ben, the oldest, plays bass guitar and acoustic guitar and Noah my youngest, plays violin, irish fiddle, and guitar. I have a few pictures of them with their instruments and occasionally I get to actually photograph them while they perform. This picture of Ben playing in a local band competition was one of the few times I was able to catch him on stage.

Admittedly, this photo was a bit of an accident as I really had no idea how to take pictures in a dimly lit environment with spotlights shining on the musicians. I’ll take luck when I can get it with my photography. It makes me wonder how many times great photographs were created entirely from luck. No doubt, the decisive moment in journalistic and street photography relies on planning with a heavy dose of luck, but sometimes with all the best planning and forethought, our intentions are usurped by the serendipitous.

I can’t say I planned on the light falling on Ben’s silouette in a way that just hints at his profile, but the result, none the less, is more than I expected.

Posted January 26, 2012 by Paul Coffin in People, Photography

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Color Color Color   2 comments

A few years back, as part of a regular eye exam, I took a color blind test. The visual test placed slightly different color tones against one another in a pattern and I was asked to identify the pattern if I saw one. I passed every test, to which the optometrist asked if I was in a profession that was artistic in nature, and went on to say before I could answer, that if I wasn’t I should be.

Color has always captured my attention and imagination. Many of my early photographs were simply about color, sometimes abstract and other times isolated objects with colors that were strong and bold.  You can imagine my delight, while at Universal Studios in Orlando last year, when I walked past this scene.

Color evokes many emotions and the whimsical, cartoonish nature of the colors in this photo lend themselves perfectly to the subject. Leave it to Disney to have that down to a science. It’s not often I bring humor to my photography, so when I do, I need a little help from my subject. In this case, I think the elephant deserves all the credit.

Posted January 24, 2012 by Paul Coffin in Abstract Color, Animal, Photography, Travel

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Beauty and the Beast – Part Deux   Leave a comment


Beauty and the Beast, a photo by Paulco_CDN on Flickr.

In the summer of 2009, I was in London on business and stayed the weekend to take in the city. This picture was taken in Trafalgar Square and the young lady was posing for another photographer nearby.

Observing the “action”, I couldn’t help but notice the shirtless man beside her also hamming it up for the camera, much to the chagrin of both the model and the photographer. Of course I was loving his shenanigans. It was such an obvious case of “beauty and the beast”, I had to snap away. I was far enough away that I was unnoticed, and the troublesome, albeit innocent jester, continued to pose and tease his unwilling beauty. I loved how, despite his obvious imperfections, he felt he was a match for the woman beside him.

Posted January 22, 2012 by Paul Coffin in Portrait, Street Photography, Travel

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The Choir Chair   Leave a comment


The Choir Chair, a photo by Paulco_CDN on Flickr

Traveling through the mid western part of Georgia on my search for an abaondoned church near Sparta, GA, I literally stumbled upon a second abandoned church ravaged by time and neglect. With reverence and some degree of trepidation, I ventured in to see what was inside. To my surprise, the pews, pulpit, piano and a few other artifacts were in otherwise reasonable condition, given the decrepit condition of the building.

I snapped a few photos, careful that I might not step on a loose board and tumble into some dark abyss below. The photo above is a 3 frame HDR photograph that I took hoping to extract some detail in the curtains and still maintain the shadowy feeling surrounding the dimly lit place I found myself in.  The photo below is also a 3 frame HDR.

If I am being honest, I was creeped out, but that didn’t stop me from further exploration. I had no doubt, in the back of my mind, something or someone would soon jump out from between the pews and scare the heck out of me. I have several great pictures from this place and am anxious to return.

Posted January 19, 2012 by Paul Coffin in Architecture, HDR, Photography, Travel

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Reflections   Leave a comment

Window Reflection by Paulco_CDN
Window Reflection, a photo by Paulco_CDN on Flickr.

Strolling along a cobblestone road in Charleston, SC last summer with Mary we came upon this small gallery, one among many in the city. I don’t recall the name of this particular one, but it struck me that it was off the beaten path and may have been an artist cooperative of sorts.

A glimpse through the window revealed the artwork on the wall and my curiosity to further investigate what I was looking at. It was early morning and the light was shining directly on the glass that I was looking through. My eyes started to play tricks on me and soon, rather than focusing on what was inside the room, I was looking at the reflection of what was behind me.

Like a rear view mirror I glanced at the reflection and darted between what was in front and what was behind. I readjusted my vision and realized there was another window, across the room that I could look through that revealed the scene on the other side of the building. Three visual planes captured on the pane before me.

As is often the case with my photographs, once I had the opportunity to study the image further, I disccovered something new. I realized how confusing this picture was. I liked that. Reflections are a curious photographic study I want to explore.

Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia   1 comment

Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia by Paulco_CDN
Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, a photo by Paulco_CDN on Flickr.

In my provincial backyard near where I grew up are an amazing array of beautiful landscapes that dot the coastline. Nova Scotia is, as many Maritimers will attest, God’s country, at least those from Nova Scotia will say so.

My travels find me in exotic locales and sometimes  in the mundane, yet nothing has the visual magnetism for me, like my homeland. What is all the more exciting, certainly  in the context of my current home, is how many new places there are to discover in the world nearby.

Sometimes I feel like I need to “get away”, to find something visually appealing to photograph, and yet there are plenty of visually stimulating environments in my own proverbial backyard. This photo of Peggy’s Cove is one such area. I’m not sure I visited it more than half a dozen times during my childhood, but it is a must see each time I return home.

Posted January 16, 2012 by Paul Coffin in Maritime, Photography, Travel

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