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The Photographer's Notebook





My 3 Favourite Landscape Photography Techniques

There are many different approaches a landscape photographer can take when capturing a single scene. This is, in my opinion, where much of the artistry in landscape photography is born. I’ve been asked before if I ever get bored of shooting the same scene over and over again, and my answer is always, “Absolutely not!” Weather conditions, light, and seasons change. Those changes add beautiful differences into a scene. However, a photographer does not necessarily need to wait for a different day to capture a scene differently, as it unfolds. There are three ways in which a photographer can capture a single scene that will yield a different look with different results.

In the below three images I’ve captured the same scene, the iconic Three Sisters in Canmore, Alberta, Canada. However, I used a different technique in each of these images, which resulted in different looks. Below are three different ways a landscape photographer can capture a scene with...

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Inside my Landscape Photography Bag

Landscape photography is no small feat! I’m usually weighed down by an incredible amount of weight as I trudge out into my beloved mountains. You see, I like to be prepared just in case I need this lens or that lens or this filter or that one. Part of my enjoyment when capturing landscapes is when I explore creative techniques, so I like to have some tools to do that too.

If you are interested in landscape photography, I think the equipment you have is enough for you to start learning and immersing yourself in nature. So don’t let gear limit you when you’re first starting. Over the last several years, I have built up some lenses and tools to help me capture landscape images with my vision for a scene. Here are some of what I take with me while I’m out capturing landscape images. 

1. Backpacks

Having a great backpack to hold all my gear is essential when it comes to landscape photography.  I wouldn’t get far without this. I must be able to...

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Outdoor Composition: 3 More Techniques (Part 2 of 2)

Last week I mentioned how I enjoy incorporating foreground elements, framing and leading lines into the composition of my images to create stronger and more dynamic images. This week I’m sharing three more aspects of composition that, when used well, will strengthen the quality of your captures. Composition is easy to use as you go about capturing your everyday. It’s about being aware and shooting with intent.

Here are three more composition techniques that will bring attention to your subject and help you create stronger photographic images.

1. Centre composition  

One of the first rules of composition I learned as a new photographer was the rule of thirds, which specifies your subject placement should not be centre composed; rather, it’s more pleasing to have your subject placed within the first or last third of a scene. However, this rule is meant to be broken. Nature has a way of being incredibly balanced. When I see a scene in which nature is...

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Outdoor Composition: 3 Techniques (Part 1 of 2)

Despite a couple of weather hiccups this spring, involving snowstorms, we are slowly warming up, and I know that many of you are well into summer-like weather. With spring blooms on the horizon, where I live, we are venturing outside a lot more often. Heading back outdoors has rejuvenated my creativity, and I’ve started to look for new but familiar places to photograph my children. With that, I’ve also become excited about exploring composition outdoors. Composition is an essential tool in photography as it can attract a viewer’s attention, lead a viewer through a frame, help tell a story and infuse intention into what the artist is trying to convey visually. Intentional use of composition will help you become a stronger photographer.

Here are a few techniques and elements of composition that I like to use in my outdoor images.  

1. Incorporate foreground elements

Incorporating foreground elements within a frame can help add depth to an image, which...

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4 Landscape Photography Lessons that have made me a better Mom Photographer

I have the fortune of living a short distance from the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and I have loved these mountain ranges since I was a little girl. As a child, I remember my sisters and I impatiently waiting for our father to arrive home from work. At the same time, our mother hurried around packing up our motorhome in anticipation of a family adventure into the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I recall feelings of excitement as I buckled my seatbelt with my sisters beside me and my sheltie pup, Cindy, at my feet, as we pulled away from our house towards our adventure. It’s been many years since I was a child, but my connection to the Canadian Rockies has only grown stronger as the years have passed. Today, I'm grateful to be able to take my children into these mountain ranges and create beautiful memories with them.

My fondness for photography began during my childhood adventures out into the Canadian Rockies. However, once I became a mother, my fondness for photographing...

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Break the Rules and allow Creativity to Flow

One of the things I quickly realized when I was a new photographer is that there are many rules in photography. Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that. Gah! It can be overwhelming, right? Rules are essential, though, and they help you create stronger images and messages within your photographs. Rules, however, are meant to be broken. Intentional rule-breaking in photography can result in very impactful images. Rule-breaking is also freeing, and in that freedom comes enormous creativity. My advice is to learn the rules and then learn to break them. Here are a few photography rules I think are meant to be broken.

1. Compose using the rule of thirds

Finding good composition in photography is essential to creating a strong image. One of the most basic rules of composition is that images should be composed using the rule of thirds. The rule of thirds is a simple technique in which your frame is divided into thirds on the horizontal and vertical axis....

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4 Ideas for Valentine's Day Themed Images

Valentine's Day is a couple of days away, and I always enjoy being creative when it comes to themed images. There are a ton of creative ideas out there that can be incorporated into Valentine’s Day images, but I do have a few favourites!

1. The Paper Heart Project

The Paper Heart Project is an incredibly important campaign that was started by a fellow photographer friend, Danielle Awwad. Danielle’s son, SJ, was born with ten different Congenital Heart Defects and Heterotaxy. He has undergone significant surgeries and extensive medical procedures. Currently, his heart has only one pumping chamber. 

Danielle explains,

“The Paper Heart Project is a campaign to spread awareness about Congenital Heart Defects, also called CHDs. Congenital Heart Defects are the most common birth defect. The severity of CHDs can range from mild to deadly. One out of nearly 100 babies is born with Congenital Heart Defects yet it is one of the most underfunded childhood illnesses in...

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8 Mistakes I Made as a New Photographer

When I first began my photography journey, I made a lot of mistakes. It's those mistakes, though, that have helped me develop into the photographer that I am today. I believe that a person can learn a lot by making mistakes. I also think that mistakes can be avoided by listening to others who have been there and solved these issues. I want to make your photography journey a little easier and share with you some of the mistakes I made as a new photographer in the hope that you can skip these challenges. 

1. Shooting at slow shutter speeds

Choosing a slow shutter speed is probably the biggest mistake I made when I jumped from photographing in auto to manual mode. I didn’t quite understand the importance of a fast enough shutter speed. Shutter speed controls motion in your images. It is essential to ensure that you maintain a fast enough shutter speed to freeze not only the movement of your subject but your camera shake. 

Playing around with shutter speed can be...

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The Dreaded Winter Rut: Tips to help you stay Inspired

January can be tough. The nights are long, and the days are short. It’s often frigid up here in the Northern Hemisphere, especially where I live, and we are sometimes stuck inside with cabin fever. By this time of year, we’ve already had a couple of months of winter and with a few months to go before spring starts blooming, we can begin to feel quite blue. 

I, however, actually love photography during the winter months. Here are a few tips on how I stay inspired and avoid the dreaded winter photography rut.  

1. Bundle up and head outside

There are plenty of days when spending some time outside is possible. Here, we bundle up in our winter gear, and off we go. There’s a ton of fantastic childhood winter moments to capture. I have a small collection of colourful toques, mittens and scarves that I can pop on my children before heading out into the winter elements. My children play joyfully in the snow, and I capture all those rosy red cheeks and fun...

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6 Tips to Capture Everyday Moments without the Overwhelm


We are all busy. Our days are filled with routine and obligation. I know that there isn’t much downtime. So how is it possible to find the time to photograph those everyday moments when you're so busy? It's not all that challenging! Incorporating photography into your daily is pretty easy to do. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:

1. Keep your camera in an accessible location

I like to ensure my camera is visible. Keeping my camera in a safe and visible location reminds me to pick it up and capture something every single day. I also like to have user-friendly exposure triangle settings ready in my camera. This way, I’m less likely to miss a moment as it unfolds before me.

ISO 200, 35mm, f2.0, 1/320ss

2. Keep a log with moments you want to capture

I love my photographer’s notebooks! I have quite a few. I am constantly jotting down notes, ideas and inspiration that come to me about how and what everyday moments I want to...

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