Archive for the ‘Black & White’ Category

Music in The Air   1 comment

While I can’t claim the images in this post represent originality, I will say that experimenting with photographing smoke did result in some very original forms from which I was most pleasantly surprised.

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

I have seen smoke photographs in the past, but it wasn’t until I was able to really study them, that the beauty of the form and texture emerged. The motion of the smoke,  influenced by the occasional puff of air or wave of my hand, was beautifully captured against a black background to accentuate the movement and sense of motion. Honestly I can’t say that I have ever seen smoke this way before or that it was even possible to take such shape.

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

Music in The Air

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

As my artist wife was quick to remind me, titling a photograph has its pitfalls and so it was that I stopped short of attempting to name every image. But the image above did remind me of musical notes and so it is aptly titled, Music in The Air.

I am very pleased with the results of these experiments, but I am also anxious to look for ways to bring something original to the subject. We’ll see what I can come up with.

Thanks for stopping by.


The Jaguar   1 comment

© 2013 Paul Coffin Photography

The hood ornament of a classic car offers a variety of symbolism for its brand and its driver. I’m not a huge “Jag” fan, but this classic hood ornament on a well preserved classic caught my attention. I learned a long time ago to shoot in “aperture priority” mode in my camera and over the years forgot why. The recent acquisition of some great lenses for my camera reminded me why. Depth of field is a tool in every photographers toolkit and when used properly can be an effective method of drawing attention to a particular area of the image. This is a bit of an extreme example, but I like how it makes you feel like the jaguar is really going to leap off the car.

Today’s subject is a bit of a departure from recent posts, but I wanted to share this image as it is a recent favorite.

Thanks for stopping by.

Peru Revisited in B&W   Leave a comment

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography
© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

I’ve written about my visit to Peru in several recent posts and continue to be drawn to a few particular images that move me in a way very few of my photographs have over the many years I have been a photographer. Sometimes, words simply do a disservice to images and therefore I am electing to write nothing about these in favor of letting them speak for themselves. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

As always, thanks for stopping by.

Posted August 4, 2012 by Paul Coffin in Black & White, People, Photography, Portrait, Travel

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Gently Sleeping   Leave a comment

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography


A couple of weekends back, my youngest son and I went for a drive in the country. He told me a story of a friend of his who went on a date and simply drove until they got lost, parked and had a picnic for two. Once back in the car, they set their GPS to home and meandered along the back roads until they were safely at their destination.

My wife and I took a similar adventure in the country last weekend. We took random turns here and there until we stumbled upon a group of friendly horses in a pasture beside the road. I’m not very familiar with horses, so I didn’t venture too closely, but they certainly seemed friendly enough. This photo was snapped as one of them lie still in front of me. I think it was a blink, but it appears as though he is gently sleeping.

I live in an area not far from plenty of horse farms and stables and am anxious to photograph them again.

Posted July 13, 2012 by Paul Coffin in Animal, Black & White, Nature, Photography

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In the Studio   2 comments

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

I decided to spend a bit of time in my studio experimenting with glass and reflections. It is turning out to be much more difficult than I thought and I now understand why many studio photographers have assistants. Nudge this, click, nudge that, click, move this, change this, adjust that. I have plenty to learn about this style of photography and will just need to experiment over and over to better understand the dynamics of light, glass and reflections.

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

The Decisive Moment   1 comment

Henri Carti-Bresson has always been an inspiration to me. His iconic image “Behind-the-Gare-Saint-Lazare-1932”, shown here, is the quintessential example of the decisive moment. The moment when light hits film and epitomizes the peak of the scene observed in front of the photographer in the frame of his camera.

I have written in the past that I tend to be less technical and deliberate on compositional rules than I am for instance on tone and color. I am  inspired by Carti-Bresson when it comes to the moment in time that best represents what I see and feel and am keenly aware of the very moment when I press the shutter release and what is happening in time and space in front of the lens.

Walking by …

© 2012 Paul Coffin Photography

As I was setting up this image, in the corner of my eye, I observed the man about to enter the frame. Walking briskly in shadow and without notice of me on his right across the street, I clicked one frame. There are a few things compositionally wrong with this image, yet it resonates with me. I wish I had framed it better to include the bottom of his leading foot for example. This particular image is a visual juggle for me. The shadows falling on the facade of the building juxtaposed with the silhouette of the walking man.

Finally, I am left wondering who was this guy, where was he going and where is he now. The photography of strangers always leaves me with these questions. The image is all that is left to document a moment when our paths crossed, and he will forever be a stranger to me.

A World at War   3 comments

When I first started to write this blog, I decided it would be wholly dedicated to my photography and the stories behind the images. I have been tempted to deviate from this mission from time to time by  including pictures that are not my own and have resisted that temptation until now. In looking into my digital library, I came upon a series of images and newspaper clippings from a time before my own that, while not part of my personal history, is a part of my family history.

It is a story that has been told many times and to this day remains as powerful and as intimate of any I can imagine. It is the story of bravery, love, tragedy, death and hope. It is the story of my first cousin, once removed who served in the Canadian Navy in 1940.

What follows is a glimpse into his life, detailed in correspondence with his mother, my father’s Aunt, and newspaper stories of the tragedy of two ships colliding in the dark of night in the North Atlantic ocean. It is the story of the loss of the Canadian destroyer Margaree and the death of Harold F. Gray on October 22, 1940.

The tragic news of my great Aunt’s sons death arrives.

Soon after receiving the news through formal channels, the local Halifax Herald and Halifax Chronicle newspapers ran the story.