Weekly Picture Story – The Old Wagon Wheel

Wagon Wheel Was Not On My List That Day

I had heard about a new lavender farm close to where I live and I wanted to visit and shoot some lavender flowers while they were still in full bloom. Unfortunately, that day was not ideal as it was very windy and rain was in the forecast. I tried very hard to capture beautiful lavender flowers that day but nothing really came out that satisfied me. Who could have thought that an old wagon wheel was going to be my picture of the day.

The Wagon Wheel By The Side Wall

As I left and was walking back to my car, I noticed a old wagon wheel by the side wall of a building at that lavendar farm. My attention was immediately drawn to that wagon wheel and I decided that I would shoot that old wagon wheel and try to make a good picture out of it. Some subjects are just meant for HDR and sometimes HDR technique will give you something out of nothing. So I took two sets of 3 exposures at different angles and decided to go home and work on those files.

Before I started processing these files of the wagon wheelt, I looked at the raw files and noticed that the pictures were not very representative of what I had seen. They seemed to be missing, color, contrast and structure just like raw files often do. So I decided to process them with Photomatix and give it a try to see what I would get out of these raw files. I did a few versions and stop when I was satisfied with one of the results. I always try to make on picture that satisfies me when I go on a shoot. My goal is to make a great picture out of ordinary subjects. HDR that day, did just that for that old wagon wheel.

Here Is My Favorite

Old Wagon Wheel

Old Wagon Wheel

You will notice that the raw file on the left does not reveal as much details and structure as the processed file in Photomatix does. You will agree with me that this subject was a natural for an HDR image. Finally, that day out to shoot lavender was not a total write off, I was able to get one good image even if its not what I was going for.

Old Wagon Wheel

Raw File Crop

Old Wagon Wheel

HDR File Crop

Finally That Old Wagon Wheel Made My Day

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How to save a completely submerged lens in water

Why thinking out of the box sometimes works

Yesterday morning I left early to shoot a small stream surrounded by beautiful green moss. My goal was to capture the water with in the background, the moss and the small plants growing through that moss. The stream was difficult to reach because there was a lot of dead wood and a steep slope. At a certain point I tought that the mosquitos and black flied were going to lift me off the ground. It was really bad but I had no intention of leaving before I did that shot. As I was changing my lens I got a black fly that landed in my left eye and at the same time a mosquito in the right eye. Voila, i drop the lens and when I reopened my eyes it was rolling down to the stream, I tried to reach it but it fell in the stream and it became completely submerged. Boy I was pissed off.

A good friend of mine saved her Canon 7D by putting it in rice and she saved her camera. But by the look of my lens it was pack with water on both side and my felling was that this was not going to work. Having been a rep for 22 years at Canon, I could remember what the service dept would often say ”un-economical to repair” I tried it anyway and at the end of the day I took it out of the rice and it was a bit better but still covered with water drop inside.


She also told me put it in the sun and I did so  for two hours with little improvement. This morning I went to my car to pick-up something and as I opened the door I felt the extreme heat as it was park in the sun. I decided to try it and leave the lens in full sun laying on my dash,  anyway I had nothing to loose. I had tried the lens mounted on my camera after the incident and it would not work or focus. To my big surprise, when I opened the car and look at the lens at the end of the day the water drop had completely disappeared, I could barely pick it up as it was extremely hot.  I immediately rushed upstairs and mounted the lens and it work just fine.

Frankly it taught me a lesson, don’t quit, keep trying you never know the outcome. Thanks Marie-Claude for telling me to try the heat of the sun it work, I just had to increase the heat to get the water to evaporate.. My lens has a few marks because of this incident but after trying and shooting a few pictures they do now show anywhere in my pictures. This may not work in all case but it work for me. Try it you may never know the outcome.

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My First Try at Shooting Sport Photography

Last week, I got an invitation to join a friend and take some pictures of speed skating in a competition with her son. Being a photographer that mostly shoot landscape photography,  I had some concerns about the difficulty of taking action shots because it is not a type of photography that I have practice and that I am familiar with.

Miguel Bérard

During my career as a sales representative at Canon I had a chance to meet and share with great photographers who specializes in sports photography and many have shared with me their photos, their experiences and the difficulty of taking excellent action shots.

I think I got  stung by sport photography last week.

Miguel Bérard

Miguel Bérard

I loved the experience and I am already looking forward to the next opportunity to take more photos of speed skating. What I found difficult was the lighting and the fact that I had to work A ISO 2500 in order to have a fast shutter speed to freeze the subject, the compromise was getting pictures with a bit of noise.  Another challenge is to anticipate what will happen when the subject comes in your viewfinder you can’t hesitate. The autofocus mode selected is very important I experimented with AI Focus and AI Servo mode and I  finally prefered AI servo, it seems to produce more shot in perfect focus

Miguel Bérard

Next time, I’ll try to get familiar with the location and look for the background and all the angles where I could make a picture that’s out of the ordinary. I will also try panning with a lower shutter speed  to create blur and the effect of speed.  At the end of the day the best part was to see the joys in the eyes of some kids when they were give a medal at the end of competition. They were finally recognized for the efforts and sacrifice they did to get on the podium.


Here is a picture of my friend’s son  Miguel receiving his first gold medal.

Miguel Bérard

Miguel, your first gold medal and certainly not the last,  you really have the spirit  of a champion. Your efforts and your sacrifices have finally paid. Now you can dream and think about what the future has to offer you, we are all behind you…..


Miguel say this to yourself and repeat it everyday ” I believe in myself!  Today is my day!  and nothing can stop me now!”

Posted in Article, Sport Photography

Get A Chance To Win A Sigma APO 70-200 F/2.8 EX DG OS



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Getting The Picture You Want

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a few days  in the Eastern Township region just to relax from busy schedule I had in the past few weeks. I had seen many times a particular tree in a field and I wanted to shoot it but it was never at the ideal time of the day.

The Magical Tree

Being off for 3 days, I new that if I got there early when the sun gets up in would be the best time to shoot that tree, I had pass by a few times early in the morning and this was the ideal time to shoot that tree. So one morning I got up early and drove to that location so that I would be there 1/2 hour before the sun goes up. After a few minutes scouting the best place to stand, I installed my tripod and made all the necessary setup so that I would be ready when the best light shows up.

This picture is the result of 5 exposures taken with a 1 stop increment and process with Nik HDR Efex Pro. I used a Promote Control remote which facilitates the process of shooting HDR pictures. You can find more information about the remote on the following website Promote Control Systems.

I knew in advance that this was going to work for me. Not all landscape scenes are adequate for HDR shooting but this one was and I knew in advance that it was a question of planning to get what I wanted. So don’t give in to early, many of us  have regretted at a certain point that we did not stop to shoot a particular scenery or subject. Sometimes it’s only about coming back at the right time of the day with the right light conditions, the right season or looking for a better location to shoot from. I have already a few pictures that I want to do in that area next year.

The only thing that was missing was my friend Louis Michel so that he could see with his own eyes that amazing 15 minutes that the morning light brings us. It’s like listening to Mozart!

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Old Car City Workshop With Mike Moats

The images I Saw In My Head 


Last week I had a chance to attend a workshop with Mike Moats at Old Car City near Atlanta, Georgia. I had a wonderful time at this workshop and in very good company may I say.

Everyone in the group was a skillful and passionate photographer with their own vision. I enjoyed myself so much that if next year there is another one, I will go back for another fix. Mike thanks for the great workshop I will not forget this one.

Old Car City

Images Are First Created In Your Mind


When I shoot images, I always try to see in my head the final image. I often try to look at something that seems ordinary and see if I can’t to make it into something extraordinary.

Old Car City

Looking at rusty cars in a scrapyard is not necessarily inspiring to a lot of people but it’s what I saw in my head that makes it beautiful to others. As Mike said during the workshop, ” I bet you anything that if you look carefully, every car has something nice to shoot at ”.

Artistic vision is about the images we see in our head. The simplest thing such a s a small leaf or a rusted piece of metal  can become extremely beautiful and artistic if you look at it with your creative vision and style. It goes beyond rules and techniques. It’s about your inner vision and insights, your perception of what you find beautiful or what moves you.

The serie of images that I have placed in the Old Car City Gallery is not what I saw with my eyes but rather what I saw in my mind that could be created to express my vision and style. As they say  ” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder ” I did not see only rusted metal, I saw the most beautiful rusted cars in this world!

Click here to see the entire gallery

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I had taking them. Your comments are always appreciated and welcome.


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Visit To The Valley Of Fire State Park


Valley of Fire State Park

Valley Of Fire

Jean Lafontaine shooting in the Valley of Fire

Had a chance to spend a day in the Valley of Fire National State Park in Nevada with some of my customers. We had a great day at admiring and photographing this beautiful area. I was hoping that the desert was going to be in full bloom but we were a bit early so maybe next year I will show up when the desert is in full bloom.

The scenery is just incredible and breath taking and the beauty of this place is that it’s only a 45 minute drive  from Vegas and the fees are $ 10 per car quite affordable for such a great place to visit.

If you are a landscape photographer this place is a must. The park is open all year. Valley of Fire State Park is six miles from Lake Mead and 55 miles northeast of Las Vegas via Interstate 15 and on exit 75.  CONTACT the park at 702-397-2088 for more information or email to vof@mvdsl.com.


Shooting In Good Company

Hooting the Valley of Fire

Jean Lafontaine Trying to convert Joe to Nikon

I had the chance to spend the day in good company with Jean Lafontaine and his son Samuel from Photo CDM and Alain Berthiaume from Photo ABS, we are all in the photo business so it was fun to do some shooting rather than selling gear.

During the day we made some stops to take pictures of the red sandstone formations, formed from great shifting sand dunes during the age of dinosaurs. The weird part of the day was that we met people that we know very well such as Jean-François O’kane from Montreal that appeared out of nowhere and Joe Todd from Forest City Image Center and Harry Mac from Downtown Camera. These encounters were really fun, who could imagine to meet people from home. Look like the park was invaded on that day with people from the photo trade. It says a lot about independent photo retailers they don’t only sell boxes they are also great lovers of photography and avid shooters. We did not see anybody from Best Buy or Future Shop that day shooting pictures.


The Valley Of Fire Road

The main road  that crosses the park was designated as one of the 19 Nevada Scenic Byway on June 30th, 1995 and is worth the drive. The landscape is incredible and its a photographer’s heaven. From the sandtone formations to limestones, sand dunes and rock art (petroglyphs) your visit will be worthwhile.

Valley Of Fire

Nevada Scenic Byway – Valley Of Fire


 More of the pictures taken that day at the Valley of Fire


Valley of Fire

Valley of Fire


Valley Of Fire

Valley of Fire


Valley of Fire

Samuel Lafontaine in quest of a great Image


Valley of Fire

Jean-François O’kane in the Valley of Fire


Valley of Fire

Alain Berthiaume walking the valley of Fire

In conclusion it was a great day despite that both Jean and Samuel tried to convert me to Nikon we had a fantastic day together, The discussion went from  gear usage to rules of photography, social media and business in general, the pact that we made not to talk about business did not last long, what do you want we are all passionate about the photography business.

Thanks Jean, Samuel and Alain for a great day in your company it was a privilege and an honor to spend that day in your company. Keep spreading the passion of photography this is what differentiate us from big boxes. Hope you enjoyed this small post. Now let’s see your pictures, are they still stuck in your Nikon’s menus? maybe I can help.

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Famous Photographer Weekly Quote – Robert Frank

When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.
– Robert Frank


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First Photo Captured of and with HTC’s Upcoming Ultrapixel Smartphone?

Great Article on PetaPixel – HTC’s Ultrapixel Smartphone


Last week we reported that HTC is preparing to launch a new camera sensor technology called Ultrapixels, which aims to improve image quality using a Foveon-style stack of three sensor layers. The smartphone imaging war is heating up, after all, an rivals like Nokia are investing heavily in photography technologies of their own (e.g. PureView).

We’re reportedly just days away from seeing the official launch of the new HTC phone (which may be named the M7 or the HTC One), and leaks are beginning to spring. There’s a good chance we now have the first product shot of the phone and the first published shot captured with the phone.


Read the full story:

First Photos Captured Of and With HTC’s Upcoming Ultrapixel Smartphone?.

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Famous Photographer Weekly Quote – Ansel Adams


Ansel Adams Quote

Michel Nadeau

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