Photo Essay: Preservation and Patina

We’re so very fortunate that even though the GeoKids attend different schools, they have the same two weeks for spring break! They think they’d like to sit at home “relaxing” in front of a computer screen. But we know better! So we’ve organized some interesting activities (at least they’re interesting to us) to get us out and about in the amazing Bow Valley.

For example, earlier this week we spent the afternoon at the Canadian Museum of Making, a privately owned and operated collection of machinery and tools built and used from 1750 to 1920 in Canada, Britain, and the United States. The machines have been carefully preserved and restored to working order; they are mainly steam-driven and are powered by a huge steam plant located outside the museum building. The Museum’s website includes a wide range of photographs of the machinery (and a wealth of historical information about each machine). To give you some idea of our walk-through experience, here are just a few of the photographs we took on site…

The main reason we arranged to visit this unique location was to provide K with another opportunity to work with a blacksmith. While the blacksmith was guiding K through the process of forging a small axe head (subject of a future post), I slipped outside to photograph a couple of old pieces of equipment in the yard…

I challenged myself to shoot exclusively with a fixed-length lens: the Olympus 60mm f/2.8 Macro. I came away a little more familiar with its capabilities and with considerable insight into opportunities for my own skills development (focus plane, composition, more careful selection of subject matter, giving more thought to the story I’m trying to tell, selecting the most appropriate depth of field, to list a few), as well as (yet) another reminder to always use a tripod.

Is there any particular aspect of photography you’re working on right now? What resources are you finding most helpful as you move up the photography learning curve?

3 thoughts on “Photo Essay: Preservation and Patina

  1. Pingback: Photo Essay: Forging a Hatchet Head | Out and About with the GeoKs

  2. Dwaine Ronnie

    nice article, again..good luck with that photography. I have been a shutterbug since I was about 12 Just recently threw out a green bag of have the option of digital now which is good for you.!

    Sure wish I had a penny for every picture I thought was superb, only to discover after developing they were only so so.I still do a lot of photo`s but now I am more selective and I can also edit them on the spot. I believe that is a better learning curve as well because you are not limited in the cost etc and the other thing that always happened….ran out of film just as that “perfect” shot was lining up…D:

    1. Hi there! Haven’t heard from you in forever. Hope life’s treating you well.

      I can’t imagine how many photos were in that green bag of negatives. We have a box or two somewhere around here that we should either digitize or dump!

      I agree completely about how much less expensive it is these days to take lots of photos. The trick is to learn something from the bad ones (and the good ones). I’m in the middle of culling my 2012 photographs…started with just over 10,000 and after screening through the first 4 months I’m down to about 7,500. I’m sure by the time I’m done with the year I’ll be around 3 to 4 thousand – and lots of those are not great, but I’m keeping just because they remind me what I was doing that day or what the family did that week. Still on a steep learning curve and continue to discover all kinds of amazing resources out there. Take care!

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