News & Articles 2011 - 2012


Dated archives. If it is past its best before date in 2011 or 2012 and it doesn't fit anywhere else on the site, it probably is on this page.

Christmas 2012 - My Christmas Card to All

virtual Christmas Card 2012
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My 2012 Christmas Card to All of You

Northern lights over my home.
(Perspective corrected in Photoshop)
Pentax K-5, Tamron AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di-II LD @ 17mm, 19sec @ f/2.8, ISO 1100

September 2, 2012 - About page Rebuilt and Updated

Finally I have rebuilt this website’s  About  page with the more modern, compliant and manageable code that I have used for the more actively developed pages for over a year now. With this upgrade comes an overdue update to my bio, including a more recent photo. The rest of the content on the page has been almost completely rewritten. You might notice some recent “maintenance” updates elsewhere on the site as well. More to come, including more photos.

September 2, 2012 - Creative Commons License

Although I am never averse to earning a bit of revenue from my images to help offset the expense of my craft, I decided many years ago that I was not interested in pursuing photography as a career. I valued it too much as a hobby to sacrifice that to the demands, responsibilities and compromise of creative freedom that go with the profession. Still, like most creators, I do not want others to take advantage of my work for personal gain with none of the benefit accruing back to me and I worry about the potential for unscrupulous people to misuse my photos for nefarious purposes, possibly with legal consequences to me. Thus I have been protective of my copyright. This often has been an uncomfortable stance for me, especially since I started this website with my main purpose being to share my artistic vision with the world. I have resisted the precaution of marring my website images with a watermark or employing techniques that make it harder to download them, relying mostly on relatively low resolution to limit their commercial value. I know many people download images with callous disregard for copyright and really I am fine with them doing so for their personal enjoyment. I am not so thrilled that my work could be widely distributed with no credit being attributed to me as the creator. To publicly license rights for such uses with proper conditions is a legal minefield I am not prepared or qualified to navigate by myself.

I first became aware of the Creative Commons a couple of years ago. I was attracted by its facility to proffer certain usage rights to the public that I wished to allow, backstopped by a solid legal license and appropriate conditions of use. I considered adopting one of their licenses at that time but did not get around to it, partially out of concern that it did not adequately protect against use for purposes that might misrepresent me by contradicting my personal viewpoints and values. That concern remains but, on balance, the Creative Commons provides the best framework I am aware of to share my photographs without making criminals of users who respect the conditions of the license, while encouraging attribution to me and maintaining reasonable safeguards against abuse ... or at least a sound legal basis to address abuses.

I have chosen to adopt the  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License , the most restrictive of the Creative Commons license options. If someone wants to use my work for commercial purposes I generally expect compensation for this so they must negotiate a separate license with me. I am more receptive to people wanting to create derivative works using my images but to guard against them being used in ways that I would find objectionable I maintain the requirement that they obtain specific permission from me.

I have written more  here  about how this Creative Commons license applies to my images on this website.

August 26, 2012 - Whitehorse Photography Club Website, Workshop with Darwin Wiggett & Samantha Chrysanthou

The Whitehorse Photography Club now has a website as well as a facebook page.
On the weekend of Friday, September 14th to Sunday, September 16th we are presenting a workshop instructed by eminent Canadian photographers and teachers, Darwin Wiggett and Samantha Chrysanthou. Follow one of the above links for more information including the registration form. Visit the instructors'  website at

Christmas 2011 - My Christmas Card to All

Christmas Card 2011
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Pentax K10D, Kiron 105mm f/2.8 macro @ f/2.8

August 16, 2011 - The Whitehorse Photography Club Presents André Gallant : Sept 23 to 25, 2011

Andre Gallant

If you are in Whitehorse or the surrounding region, you may not want to miss this weekend workshop by the award winning, widely published New Brunswick photographer, teacher and author. A close associate of Freeman Patterson, André Gallant is best known for his impressionistic landscape photographs and he will be sharing with us the techniques he uses to create these dreamy images. There also will be a presentation on travel photography as well as a session on photographing people. The event begins on Friday evening with an audiovisual presentation that should appeal to a wide audience including non-photographers. The main workshop sessions take place Saturday. On Sunday there will be a hands-on field outing followed by an evaluation of selected photographs from each participant.
For more information, view the  information poster  and  detailed description.  Also, check out André Gallant's website at
If you are interested in attending, email your request for a registration package to  Whitehorse Photography Club.
Note that I am involved in this workshop as an executive member of the club.

July 24, 2011 - Major Site Rebuild

The main reason for this overhaul is to upgrade and modernize the source code behind the pages to provide flexibility for continuing updates. This should improve page loading as well, but there are additional important changes to enhance your viewing experience. If you are familiar with this site you may already have noticed that the page you are on has been shortened, with brief summaries of the old posts below linking to the full articles and photos which have been archived in a new page. Similarly, the main Feature Photos index page, which had grown quite unwieldy, has been divided by year into more easily loaded pages. But the biggest improvement here is seen when you click on a Feature Photo image ... the enlarged view window now has navigation buttons so you can advance through the photos in this view without having to return to the index page each time. Pre-loading of the next/preceding image should minimize your wait for successive images to display. The enlarged view now can be accessed even if you do not have javascript enabled in your browser but, if possible, you still should enable javascript for full functionality including display optimized for your screen resolution.

Note that the url's have changed for all the pages in the Feature Photos section so please update any bookmarks you may have set.

This upgrade has been a long time in the works. Well over a year ago I realized I was going to have to switch to new web authoring software. I have been using NetObjects Fusion 7, a neutered version of which was provided free by my web hosting service, but it does not work satisfactorily in Windows Vista on my laptop and I knew it would have the same issues in Windows 7. My trusty Dell desktop XP machine was already over 6 years old at that time and starting to struggle under the burden of modern applications and all the security software one needs running in the background to stay safe these days. I would soon need a new computer with a new operating system. I was never happy with NetObjects anyway, especially with the restrictions of my web host's version which limits publishing to its server only with no real possibility to test first on the desktop. Plus it generates poor quality code that is both outdated and not fully compliant even with legacy web standards. That last point was problematic for editing my existing pages in another application and I decided I needed to rebuild much of the site from scratch.

Feeding Baby Flicker

Feeding Baby Flicker

These birds were nesting in the trunk of an almost dead tree near my house. I tried for days to get a sharp photo of them feeding but their heads oscillate violently back and forth during the transfer and all I got was dozens of blurred images. The other two chicks had taken flight and it was my last chance with this late bloomer when I boosted my ISO to 4500 to achieve a fast enough shutter speed to freeze them. The Pentax K-5 was up to it and, after some work in Photoshop with the Noise Ninja plug-in, this image yielded a satisfactory 11" x 14" print.
Pentax K-5, Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM @ 400mm, 1/750sec @ f/8, ISO 4500
As this site is a labour of love that does not generate any revenue, I chose another free (and unrestricted in this case) application as my new web editor, the open-source KompoZer. I have since supplemented it with BlueGriffon and I use
PSPad for direct editing of code. KompoZer proved to be even buggier than NetObjects, with an alarming propensity for annihilating large portions of a page upon applying the save command. But its capabilities are comprehensive enough for my purposes, it produces modern code with full implementation of CSS and the quality of that code is impeccable so my new pages should be widely compatible and adaptable into the future.

There was a learning curve with the new software and especially with the new architecture in order to effectively implement CSS. My progress has been excruciatingly slow. Web design is not desktop publishing, there are very real limits to what is possible and even within those limits the means to achieving the desired look and layout can seem quite obtuse. I can lose hours getting a single element on a page the way I want it, and that has only gradually improved with practice. Bugs in the software have brought me up against a brick wall from time to time and incurred catastrophic setbacks when I lost huge chunks of work on a couple of occasions before I learned to save and back up with compulsive frequency.

Quite honestly, though, the main reason this upgrade has taken so long is that life keeps getting in the way of me spending time on it. It has been a busy period for me, including major renovations to my house last summer that dragged into the winter ... and I still have some painting and staining to do. More relevant to the context here, I got my new computer in January and much of my computing time through the winter went into getting it set up. (I seem prone to making things hard for myself with complex configurations.) I might also mention that I spent some time familiarizing myself with a new camera, a relatively brief diversion to be sure.

The upgrade is not yet complete but it is now coherent within the new and rebuilt pages as well as between the new and the old so I am ready to upload all that I have done. And hopefully I will not again have to fire up my old computer to run NetObjects. The About page and the Galleries index page will be rebuilt in conjunction with updates to their content and I hope eventually to get around to completing the reconstruction of the Feature Photo pages, which to this point has been done back to the beginning of 2009. Other, static pages will live on in their current form ... they work okay and I have no reason to redo them if I will not be editing their content.

I have tested the new pages in current or recent versions of all the popular browsers. Since these pages were created mainly in KompoZer and BlueGriffon, which are based on the Firefox code, you can expect reliable rendering in Firefox. But I did not encounter any significant issues in any of the browsers, except I would advise avoiding the "back to main page" button in the Feature Photo enlarged view if you are using Opera. If you still are stuck on Internet Explorer 6 or earlier, sorry, I have employed some code that is not supported by these old versions so many of these pages cannot be expected to display properly. I cannot begin to test all possible configurations and it is possible that you may experience problems that I didn't ... or you may find oversights such as broken links. If so, I would appreciate it if you Report Problems so I can try to fix the issues.