Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography: Blog https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog en-us Copyright (C)2020 Rita Wong Photography - All Rights Reserved info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) Sun, 21 Feb 2021 22:25:00 GMT Sun, 21 Feb 2021 22:25:00 GMT https://www.ritawongphotography.com/img/s/v-12/u859504689-o33985562-50.jpg Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography: Blog https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog 120 117 Stay-At-Home Views: 10 Months Later https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2021/2/stay-at-home-views-10-months-later Ten months ago in late April 2020, when I was one-and-a-half months into the stay-at-home orders imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote a post with a series of 12 images titled "Stay-at-Home Views". Next month will mark the one-year anniversary of these social distancing orders in my part of the city. Although businesses had reopened to some degree last summer/fall, we're in lockdown mode again except for essential trips outside the home.

 

If you missed my previous post, it's linked here for your perusal, and I've included the 12 original images below for your reference. Here are 3 recent images taken with the same theme. Although similar colour schemes and lighting conditions appear when compared to the previous series, isn't it amazing how cloud formations can give unlimited combinations and produce unique images? 

 

Stay-at-home View 13Stay-at-home View 13 Stay-at-home View 14Stay-at-home View 14 Stay-at-home View 15Stay-at-home View 15

 

Below are the 12 images from last year's 4-week project (these images were captured with mobile phone at maximum zoom, so please excuse the blurriness!). Which lighting/weather condition do you like best? I like the soft colour palettes near sunrise/sunset, but also enjoy the dramatic lighting conditions. 
 

Stay-at-home View 1Stay-at-home View 1 Stay-at-home View 2Stay-at-home View 2 Stay-at-home View 3Stay-at-home View 3 Stay-at-home View 4Stay-at-home View 4 Stay-at-home View 5Stay-at-home View 5 Stay-at-home View 6Stay-at-home View 6 Stay-at-home View 7Stay-at-home View 7 Stay-at-home View 8Stay-at-home View 8 Stay-at-home View 9Stay-at-home View 9 Stay-at-home View 10Stay-at-home View 10 Stay-at-home View 11Stay-at-home View 11 Stay-at-home View 12Stay-at-home View 12

 

When we need new photographic ideas (or for other creative endeavours), it helps to set constraints on our project. For example, in this case I limited the project to one frame as viewed from my window. Nonetheless, it has created numerous unique images and helped me to see this scene with new eyes, bringing a sense of calm despite the pandemic.

 

Although vaccinations against COVID-19 have started around the world, new variants are surfacing so it may be a while yet until we can return to life as normal. What creative projects have you started in the past year? Let's stay strong, stay home as much as possible and continue to let our creativity roam in unlimited directions!  
 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) calm COVID-19 creativity home photography lighting lighting condition photographs Rita Wong Photography social distancing stay at home sunrise sunset view weather condition https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2021/2/stay-at-home-views-10-months-later Sun, 21 Feb 2021 22:25:22 GMT
Winter Scenes Amidst a Pandemic https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2021/1/winter-scenes-amidst-a-pandemic Despite the promising news of various vaccines being available against COVID-19, it will take time for sufficient supplies to be produced and distributed around the globe. The pandemic is still roaring in many cities around the world and new variants are causing additional concerns. 

 

Combined with the winter weather (in the northern atmosphere) and curfews or other stay-at-home lockdown orders, it's becoming more challenging to remain patient through this time. Having recently lost a family member to COVID, I can fully understand the pain that countless other families have experienced throughout this pandemic. I continue to hope that everyone will do their part to stay home as much as possible, wear masks and keep physical distancing, along with observing other recommended precautions. 

 

While taking a walk at a nearby park for exercise (and to clear my head), these snow-painted trees made for a perfect art image. I've always wanted to capture such a winter scene, but usually the snow would be blown off or melt by the time I got to it. I processed it to further create a painterly feeling. The thick trunk on the right acts to balance the four thinner trees on the left. 

 

Snow-Painted TreesSnow-Painted TreesTaking a walk after a fresh snowfall, this series of tree trunks painted by the snow caught my eyes. The effect was further enhanced to impart a painterly feel to the image.

 

At another part of the park, two trees created an arch framing this lady out for a walk. I added the zoom blur effect to make the photo more abstract, to depict the feelings that many of us may be experiencing now, trying our best to ride through this pandemic, aiming to keep our sanity despite the many restrictions and changes to our lives. 
 

Winter Isolation MoodWinter Isolation MoodDuring the stay-at-home orders in various cities across the world, many people are struggling with feelings of isolation, reflected in this image. Another way to view this is to use this time for self-reflection, while connecting with family and friends via phone or video calls and online meetings.

 

Although temperatures are cold, the wind chills to the bones, and winter days are gloomy, let's do our best to persevere through this challenge. Know that the sun will shine again, to warm the earth, and melt away the snow and frost. 


Sunny FrostSunny Frost

 

Let's stay strong and conquer this pandemic together!
 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art covid-19 fine art photography painterly pandemic persevere snow stay strong winter winter scenes https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2021/1/winter-scenes-amidst-a-pandemic Mon, 25 Jan 2021 00:48:58 GMT
Happy New Year 2021 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/12/happy-new-year-2021 As the world heads into 2021, no doubt everyone around the globe is hoping for a better New Year, a year where the COVID-19 pandemic can come to an end and health can be restored, where everyday activities can resume without fear of contracting the virus or the need for various personal protective equipment, a year where the world can return to normalcy.

 

We should also take time to reflect on the past year, as challenging as it was. To those who have lost loved ones, may you be comforted knowing you are in our thoughts, and will find peace in your hearts through your healing. To all the frontline healthcare workers who continued to care for the afflicted, and to essential workers who kept groceries and other supplies available, a heartfelt thank you for your courage and dedication. May you continue to find strength as the world fights this battle together. To everyone who has been doing your part to stay home and stop the spread, thank you for your consideration, not only for your own health but also for the well-being of others.

 

Reflecting on past captures, I found this image of a frosty window and looked for ways to make it new.

Frosty WindowFrosty Window

 

Although we've had to make sacrifices and forego many of our usual activities, we have learned some important lessons. We've found that we can adapt to changes - new ways of working, different methods of attending classes and collaborating, virtually meeting family and friends, hosting movie nights online, to name a few examples. Some have learned new skills, baking cakes and cookies for neighbours, experimenting with new ingredients and recipes, sewing cloth masks for donation to healthcare workers, learning to speak a new language or to play a musical instrument, and other creative endeavours. Though we had to stay apart physically, we connected more via phone or video calls, putting aside family disputes to express concern for relatives, reconnecting with long-distanced friends, and making new friends through online groups. We also learned to simplify our lives and focus on the essentials, be grateful for what's truly  important in life - we really don't need ALL the material goods that we strive for. 

 

Here's the new version of the image - a more colourful representation of the frosty wisps. What parts of your life would you like to reinvent for 2021? 

 

Happy New Year 2021Happy New Year 2021Happy New Year 2021! Let's welcome a peaceful year filled with new experiences.
 

 

Let's carry the lessons from 2020 into 2021, while welcoming new experiences. May the new year bring good health to you and your families. and happiness for all!

 

Happy New Year 2021!

 

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) "happy holidays" 2021 art covid-19 fine art photography gratitude happy new year holiday season" thank you https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/12/happy-new-year-2021 Fri, 01 Jan 2021 04:59:00 GMT
Happy Holidays 2020 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/12/happy-holidays-2020 Two more sleeps until Christmas Day! How are you celebrating the holidays this year? For most of us it will be very different, with COVID-related restrictions in many countries. Instead of the traditional get-togethers with families and friends, most gatherings will likely be held via online platforms. Thanks to technology, we can stay connected, see each other through webcams, unwrap Christmas presents or watch holiday movies together virtually, and come up with other creative ways to celebrate. 

 

Despite the many challenges this year, let us remember to count our blessings for the things that are most important - health, family and friends, food on the table. Although we were not able to do some of the activities that we used to do, go to places that we used to visit, let's consider those as a temporary pause, and that we will come out better after the pandemic. Let's continue to stay strong in solidarity, and do our part to limit the spread. May the new year bring new hope, as vaccines against COVID-19 are becoming available, that in 2021 the world can return to normalcy. 

 

I would like to share this ecard with you, to brighten your holiday season and wish you the best for 2021!

Happy Holidays 2020Happy Holidays 2020

 

May you and your families have a safe, peaceful and happy holiday season!

Happy New Year 2021!

 

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) "happy holidays" art christmas presents covid-19 fine art photography holiday season" presents https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/12/happy-holidays-2020 Thu, 24 Dec 2020 14:00:00 GMT
Black Friday 2020 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/11/black-friday-2020 Before you know it, American Thanksgiving is coming up this week along with Black Friday, Cyber Monday next week and shopping for Christmas presents! This year Black Friday shopping will be quite different in many cities, with COVID restrictions and lockdown implemented to curb the second wave. 

Most of my family and friends have already switched to online shopping earlier this year, even for their groceries. My friend commented the other day that although extra payment is needed for delivery, the amount of time it has saved her - not having to drive to the store, line up to get into the store (when limited number of shoppers are allowed at one time), navigate through the aisles with a shopping cart, wait for the cashier in socially distanced lines - all these are enough to justify the delivery fees. Every Friday morning she receives her groceries, and stores them away in her fridge and pantry before starting her workday in her home office. Amidst the challenges brought on by the pandemic, we're adjusting our lives to suit and making new discoveries!

 

Here is a new discovery I made recently in my photography - with the aid of a post-processing software, I was able to turn a simple photo of summer flowers captured in a garden into an artistic image of shimmering jewels. Let's continue to explore new or creative ways of doing things in our lives, whether in obtaining our day-to-day goods or in photography.

 

Summer Floral Jewels - 1Summer Floral Jewels - 1A simple photo of summer flowers in the garden turned into an artpiece of shimmering jewels.

 

Those of you who have been reading my blog (or seen my Publications webpage) may recall I had previously self-published photo books titled "Dreamy Florals" and "Art and Design in Photography". Today I want to share the news with you that they're now available for purchase in Apple iBooks! Yes, this means you can start your shopping now, for your friends who prefer to view digital formats.

 

Dreamy FloralsDreamy FloralsA book of dreamy floral photography to bring peace and hope to your heart. To say thank you, to brighten someone's day, and for all flower-lovers.

 

Here is where you can preview and purchase "Dreamy Florals" (a perfect gift for anyone who could use the peace and calm from seeing dreamy photographs of roses) and "Art Design in Photography" (for all photographers who want to create more artistic imagery).  For family and friends who still enjoy flipping through pages of a book, hard copies are also available. Please see my Publications page for more details, including other eBook formats of these photo books. 

 

Art Design in PhotographyPhoto book with sample images and text for 10 art design elements that can be applied in photography to create impactful images.

 

Wishing everyone in the US a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving!

 

Please stay safe while shopping for Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals.

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art Black Friday books Christmas presents Christmas shopping covid-19 Cyber Monday design fine art photography floral gifts ibooks online shopping presents shopping thanksgiving https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/11/black-friday-2020 Tue, 24 Nov 2020 22:23:55 GMT
Thanksgiving 2020 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/10/thanksgiving-2020 As schools restarted in September and some people tried to resume pre-COVID life by socializing in restaurants or in large groups, COVID-19 cases rose in recent weeks. To control the rise of this second wave, the Ontario government asked that families celebrate Thanksgiving only with those living under the same roof. As this announcement came just 2 days ahead of the Canadian holiday, some may already have planned their gathering with family and friends. 

 

I reverted to a modest homemade dinner - bought a carnival squash with festive design (and found a perfect art backdrop for it at home!), and filled it with a delicious combination of onion, mixed mushrooms, quinoa and pumpkin seeds. Rather than attempting to cook a turkey, I opted to make simple turkey patties that tasted just as good. 

 

Carnival SquashColourful carnival squash - a festive design for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving MealHomemade Thanksgiving meal, smaller feast this year due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders in Ontario, Canada.

 

Although this dinner was much different from the traditional feast with my relatives, I am blessed to have enjoyed the abundance of this meal. I am grateful for health, family and friends, food on the table, and the beauty in nature (such as the fall colours captured below) that surrounds us and is a source for fine art photography. Despite the many challenges that COVID has brought to the world this year, I try to remind myself to practice gratitude daily.

 

Happy Thanksgiving 2020Fall colours arrived a bit earlier this year, just in time to create this photo ahead of Thanksgiving.

 

Thank you for reading and following my blog, dear readers. I hope you had a peaceful Thanksgiving.

Stay well everyone!

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art celebration covid-19 design fall colours fine art photography gratitude squash thanksgiving turkey https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/10/thanksgiving-2020 Thu, 15 Oct 2020 23:00:00 GMT
Invitation to join FRAMES Magazine and Photo Community https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/10/invitation-to-join-frames-magazine-and-photo-community As we head into October and countries around the world continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, I hope your art and photography are helping you navigate through this unprecedented time. Perhaps you are working on creative photography projects from the safety of your home or out in nature, taking virtual classes to learn photography techniques, or sorting through previous captures and post-processing them with innovative methods to create new images. 

To continue honing your craft of photography and to be inspired by other photographers' work, I would like to personally invite you to join the FRAMES Magazine and Photo Community.

 

It is undeniable that we live in a digital age. For a fact, photography has been one of those genres that have undergone quite a dramatic transformation in the last few decades. The overwhelming majority of photographs are captured with digital cameras. Additionally, we use our computers and mobile phones to consume photographs most of the time.

But…how about paper?   When was the last time you held a photography book or a photo print in your hands?

Enter FRAMES.

 

Photographer Tomasz Trzebiatowski, based in Switzerland, is launching a quarterly printed photography magazine. Yes, printed. On paper. And it is looking wonderful.

 

     

 

What is pretty unique about this new publication is the fact that FRAMES Magazine embraces all possible photography genres and formats. Each quarterly edition of FRAMES will feature the work of photographers using digital and analogue cameras, mobile phones, even pinhole cameras.

 


“Excellent photography belongs on paper” - that’s Tomasz’ motto. The common denominator connecting all the images being printed in FRAMES is simply their visual quality and inspiring, thought-provoking character.

The magazine itself is looking gorgeous. In essence, it is a top-notch, quarterly photography book, printed on 140gsm uncoated Edixion Challenger offset paper manufactured using 100% ECF pulp. Each edition consists of 108 pages (!).

 

  
FRAMES is off to a good start. In the first edition you can see the work of such acclaimed artists as Michael Kenna and Phil Penman as well as some great photography by less known, emerging photographers such as Robert Atwater, Olga Karlovac, Yalim Vural, and Curtis Salonick. What’s more, the first issue also includes two in-depth exclusive interviews with Magda Keaney (Senior Curator, Photographs, National Portrait Gallery in London) and Richard Tsong-Taatarii (photojournalist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune).

 

     
   

 


But that is certainly not all. When you become a FRAMES subscriber, you automatically get access to the entire suite of their digital offerings: FRAMES Digital companions, online Photography Masterclasses and the insider FRAMES Photo Community.

 

    
     

 


FRAMES is set to become an impressive blend of printed and digital photography assets. Tomasz’s idea is to create a passionate international photography community with the magazine and its additional digital components as its hub.

You can become a member of FRAMES today for a monthly fee of $14 USD, benefiting from the early bird fee (regular pricing will be $17 USD per month). Your membership will secure you annual access to 4 printed editions of FRAMES Magazine, 8 editions of FRAMES Digital Companions, 4 Photography Masterclasses and the private community and forums. 

This package is of great value!

Without a doubt, FRAMES Magazine has every chance to become a collector’s gem. It is looking pretty exciting and impressive.

If you would like to start your FRAMES Magazine collection from its very first issue, please ensure you become a FRAMES member by October 15th 2020. Volume 1 will be shipped on October 30th. The magazine is printed in the UK and can be shipped to any international location, shipping fees are included in the subscription.

 

To learn more, check out the FRAMES website and subscribe today. If you have any questions about this magazine or community, please contact me at info@ritawongphotography.com.

 

Happy photographing, see you in the FRAMES Photo Community and stay well!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art collection collector COVID-19 fine art photography forum Frames Digital Companions Frames Magazine magazine Magda Keaney Michael Kenna Phil Penman photo community photographers photography photography magazine photography masterclasses printed magazine Richard Tsong-Taatarii Rita Wong Photography Tomash Trzebiatowski Tomasz Trzebiatowski https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/10/invitation-to-join-frames-magazine-and-photo-community Thu, 01 Oct 2020 13:00:00 GMT
ArtWalk in the Square Online 2020 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/9/artwalk-in-the-square-online-2020 Fall has officially arrived this week - a few days ago temperatures dropped to single digits in Canada, and my building had arranged for central heating to be turned on, making me worried that Fall season had already been overtaken by Winter! Luckily it warmed up today for a late summer feel. Let's hope this warmth lasts for another month, or two...wishful thinking!

 

To draw our attention away from the upcoming cold weather and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, I'm pleased to announce that one more virtual event is taking place for your enjoyment from home! ArtWalk in the Square is an art show that had traditionally been held in the plaza of Shops at Don Mills, located in Toronto, Canada but in an effort to minimize social gatherings and keep artists and art lovers (and their family and friends) safe from COVID, the show has moved online this year.

 

As we've been spending more time at home this year (and likely for part of next year), many people have been working on home improvement projects. If you've recently upgraded your space and need artwork to suit your new decor, or want to refresh your walls for a new look, you've come to the right place!

 

ArtWalk in the Square Online 2020Rita Wong Photography storefront for ArtWalk in the Square Online 2020 art show.

 

The ArtWalk in the Square Online art show runs from September 25th to October 9th and features more than 80 artists working in various art medium, including photography, painting, and sculpture. Here's a direct link to my Eventeny storefront where you can view the pieces for sale, with product photos showing the printed and framed views, along with sample images of how they would work in various interior spaces. Once you've found the right piece(s), you can buy them from the virtual store too! 

 

ArtWalk in the Square Online 2020Rita Wong Photography storefront for ArtWalk in the Square Online 2020 art show.

 

For example, a display of "Strolling on Silk" and "Silken Sahara" artworks would complement a space with Moroccan decor style. Please see the images for each piece of artwork in my storefront for more interior design ideas. If you'd like some guidance specific to your unique space, please contact me and I'll work with you to choose the best suited piece of artwork, print media and framing or mounting option.

   

Mockup of "Strolling on Silk" and "Silken Sahara" artworks.Mockup of "Strolling on Silk" and "Silken Sahara" artworks.

 

Even if you're not currently looking to purchase artwork, please enjoy the virtual art show and the joys that art can bring (more important this year than ever before)!  Please continue to stay healthy and safe from COVID-19, and I hope to meet you in person at a future art show!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art art sale art show Artists Network Artwalk ArtWalk in the Square artwalksquare COVID-19 fine art photography home decor interior design nature photography Toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/9/artwalk-in-the-square-online-2020 Thu, 24 Sep 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Making Summer Last https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/8/making-summer-last It's already the end of August - where has the summer gone? I hope you're enjoying the most of it, despite the restrictions on travelling overseas and various degrees of social activities permitted in each city. At least we can do more now than a few months ago, and the weather is warm for spending time outdoors. Even when staying indoors, there are lots of different hobbies to take on, whether it's cooking, reading, playing a musical instrument, learning a new language, or making fine art photographs. 

 

Here are two macro images that I took indoors, and processed to highlight the features of each plant (and making summer last longer). In the first image, the tiny green dots shine like emerald gemstones, and in the second image that has a more abstract feel, the veins of a lily petal that sustain the flower's life are featured. Which one do you prefer?

 

Emerald GemsEmerald GemsThis plant's green dots shine like emerald gemstones.

 

Lily PetalLily PetalVeins of this petal sustain the life of the lily flower.

 

As we head into September, here's a bright sunrise to start off the school year and welcome the Fall season, while we all adjust to the new normal way of life. 

 

Summer SunriseSummer SunriseAn early rise on a summer morning was rewarded by this fantastic sunrise. What a way to start the day!

 

Enjoy the warm summer weather while it lasts, and please continue to stay healthy and safe from COVID-19!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art COVID-19 fine art photography flowers macro nature photography plants summer sunrise https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/8/making-summer-last Sat, 29 Aug 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Dreamy Summer Days https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/7/dreamy-summer-days It's July 31st, which means another month has flown by in 2020. Summer is halfway over, so take advantage of the beautiful warm weather to enjoy the great outdoors. While the world is still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, more cities are reopening their businesses and restarting the economy. Please continue to stay healthy and safe as you get together with family and friends, socialize in restaurants, visit museums or galleries, and adjust to the new normal way of life. 

 

Recently I went for a long walk in a city park and discovered some new walking trails. Well, they're not actually new but they're new to me - this is the first time I learned of their existence! Although international travel may still be limited (or we may not be too eager to get on an airplane just yet), we can explore our city and surrounding areas. I'm sure there are more discoveries to be found! 

 

From my walk, here are 3 images I'd like to share, to inspire you in exploring new locations or new ideas. The initial captures looked fairly ordinary, but after I tried some new methods of post-processing, it resulted in these dreamy abstract art photographs.

Guess which one is my favourite? Which do you like best?

 

Summer GarlandSummer GarlandGarland of white flowers, its gentle fragrance carried in the dreamy summer breeze.

 

Summer ParasolSummer ParasolWhite parasol to provide shade on a sunny, hot summer day.

 

Summer GrassesSummer GrassesWatching the grasses sway in the breeze, on a dreamy summer day.

 

Enjoy the dreamy summer days, watching grasses sway, smelling flowers' gentle fragrance, capturing all the beauty nature has to offer and making new discoveries.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art COVID-19 dreamy fine art photography flowers grasses nature pandemic photography summer summer days https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/7/dreamy-summer-days Fri, 31 Jul 2020 12:00:00 GMT
Happy Canada Day 2020 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/7/happy-canada-day-2020 Before I know it, summer and July 1st has arrived. Happy 153rd birthday, Canada! Although many provinces in Canada have advanced in reopening businesses and restarting the economy, we are still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. To keep us safe, traditional festivities where we typically gather with fellow Canadians to celebrate this great country have mostly moved online. Music performances by Canadian artists will be streamed live, the CN Tower in Toronto will salute Canada Day with a 15-minute light and sound show tonight, and there's even an app for us to virtually watch the Canada Day fireworks! It's certainly an extraordinary way to celebrate in extraordinary times!  

 

While waiting for the light show and fireworks, I found some images in my photography collection from a few years ago, when Canada turned 150 and special events were held. Here are some memories to share with you. At the Canadian National Exhibition, performers flew the Canada 150 flag on waterskis. 

 

Canada 150 Flag on WaterskiCanada 150 Flag on WaterskiCanada 150 flag in waterski performance on Lake Ontario, for Canada's 150th birthday.

 

This Canadian group of wakeboarders were united in their performance as they glided across the waters of Lake Ontario. 

Canadian WakeboardersCanadian WakeboardersCanadian wakeboarders united in their performance on Lake Ontario, for Canada's 150th birthday.

 

At Toronto's HTO Park, the artwork on these Canadian canoes represents the heritage and colours of our country:


Canadian CanoesCanadian CanoesCanadian traditional canoes docked in Lake Ontario, next to Toronto's HTO Park.

 

Until we can all gather together again (without having to keep our socially distanced bubbles), keep smiling like this giant rubber duck that docked by the water taxi in Lake Ontario. 

 

Rubber Duck Docks in Lake OntarioRubber Duck Docks in Lake OntarioGiant rubber duck docks in Lake Ontario, near Toronto's HTO Park, for Canada's 150th birthday.

 

The more united we stand with our fellow Canadians in caring for each other's health, the sooner we'll be able to gather together again, hand in hand across this vast country of ours. 

Happy Canada Day, and enjoy the virtual fireworks tonight!

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) artwork canada day Canadian National Exhibition COVID-19 fine art photography happy Lake Ontario photography social distancing summer Toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/7/happy-canada-day-2020 Wed, 01 Jul 2020 22:33:07 GMT
Post-Lockdown Happy Clouds https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/6/post-lockdown-happy-clouds During the COVID-19 lockdown, as most people stayed at home to follow social distancing guidelines, cars remained in parking spots, planes stayed on the tarmac as flight travel was restricted, factories sat silent while industries slowed down. Although this doesn't solve the global climate crisis, for sure the air was less polluted during this time period which lasted several months. 

One sign of the cleaner environment are the clouds in the sky. For those who may have watched Bob Ross teach landscape painting on TV (as I did as a child), you would remember him painting "happy little trees" and "happy little clouds" on his canvas. As I walked around my neighbourhood today, I found some happy little clouds. Some were not so little but still looking happy!

 

In this first image, the clouds formed a speech bubble shape right above the street lamp. What do you think the lamp is saying? Maybe it's wondering why there's been fewer cars on the roads lately, more people taking walks, jogging or riding their bikes. 

Happy Clouds-1Happy Clouds-1

 

Then this one caught my eye, a giant bird with its wings spread out, swooping down over the treetops. 

Happy Clouds-2Happy Clouds-2

 

And finally, I saw this soft fluffy bunny hopping over the buildings, its ears lifted by the wind. The clouds sure were happily enjoying the warm summer weather and blue sky today!

Happy Clouds-3Happy Clouds-3

 

Despite the challenging times the world has been through recently with the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, let's continue to hope for a brighter and happier future.

The next time you're out for a walk, look up at the sky and see if you find other happy clouds!

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art clouds COVID-19 creative fine art photography happy happy little clouds lockdown photography social distancing stay at home summer https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/6/post-lockdown-happy-clouds Tue, 16 Jun 2020 13:00:00 GMT
In Uncertain Times https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/6/in-uncertain-times In a previous post over a year ago, I wrote about how photography can be a reflection of life. The theme of fog seems to appear again in line with the times. Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, many people are faced with uncertainly, in terms of health, work, family life - every aspect of our lives has been touched and affected in some way. Ranging from how to safely get groceries from the stores to feed our families (something we didn't think too much about prior to COVID) to the world economy and how or when it will recover. So many uncertainties, so many unknowns...

 

At times it will feel like we're walking along a foggy path, not able to see clearly to know how to proceed. Perhaps it's not a straight path ahead, but with curves that we must take care in navigating. The way to handle this situation, as you would do on a foggy path, is to take one step at a time. Just focus on the step ahead of you that you can see, and not worry about the path out in the foggy future. Once you take one step, you'll be able to see the next step, and so on, until you've made more progress along the path than you've realized. 

Foggy PathFoggy PathWalking in the rain along a mountain path, its stones a shiny contrast to the foggy air.

 

It may seem like you're alone in this situation, facing unique problems in solitude that no one else can see. But know that we're all in this together, we're all affected in one way or another. While some have lost their loved ones, others have lost their jobs. Some are trying to cope with homeschooling their children and working at the same time, while others are coping with loneliness from social distancing. Stay strong and know that we'll work through this together. Support each other through this challenging time, stand in solidarity - we are one world.

 

Foggy SolitudeFoggy SolitudeA bird stands in solitude on the craggy rocks, taking in the foggy silence.

 

When the fog lifts, and it will eventually, the air will be clearer, the view will be more beautiful - as this landscape that was unveiled before my eyes. I hope these art pieces bring hope for brighter days ahead. We will overcome this disease, find new ways to connect, take better care of ourselves and those we love, be kinder to each other and to the earth.


After the FogAfter the FogAfter the fog lifted, this beautiful mountain view was unveiled before my eyes.

 

Despite the uncertain times the world has been through due to the COVID-19 pandemic, let's continue to hope for a brighter future!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art COVID-19 fine art photography fog foggy lockdown photography social distancing stay at home uncertain times https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/6/in-uncertain-times Tue, 09 Jun 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Being Creative While Staying At Home https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/5/being-creative-while-staying-at-home Another week, another month is coming to a close. June will be arriving In a few days - many people are looking forward to resuming activities after the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. During this time when concert halls and restaurant dining areas were silent, lots of creative ideas were generated as people strived to stay connected while socially (or physically) distancing. Musicians performed together via online collaborations, virtual wine tastings and cooking classes were held, grandchildren sent (in the old-fashioned snail mail) handmade creative crafts to their grandparents, 3D-printed tools were developed to allow for opening doors without touching the handles.....the list goes on. 

 

As for my new experiences, I ordered produce boxes for home delivery and tackled chopping up a giant rutabaga for the first time. Roasting it with other vegetables (carrots, onions, and celery) yielded 2 large casseroles filled with healthy and delicious goodness! Here's a photo of them, piping hot out of the oven.

Rutabaga BakeRutabaga Bake

 

Another creation I worked on was my cloth mask, hand sewn with pleats on the sides to resemble surgical masks. It's made with a double layer of cotton fabric, with a pocket between them to insert an extra layer of filter when necessary. If I rest my glasses on the top edge, it keeps the fabric tight to my face. This became my go-to mask when I'm heading downstairs to the lobby to pick up deliveries and mail, or just going for a walk in the neighbourhood. Although social distancing guidelines are posted in the building's elevators, some residents don't keep their distance or don't wear face coverings, so I use my cloth mask as a layer of protection. When going to grocery stores with more people at closer distances, I'll use disposable surgical masks. Please remember to follow the distancing guidance while we continue to fight the pandemic.  (It's not visible in the photo below, but a few weeks ago I also attempted my own DIY haircut - guess how the results turned out?)

Mask CreationMask Creation

 

One morning while taking a walk in my neighbourhood, I passed by the local community centre and found this empty baseball field. As group sports had been suspended for the past 2 months, the field is overgrown with yellow dandelions. It was quite a pretty scene, despite the fact that dandelions would usually be promptly weeded out. I turned it into a creative abstract art image, to simulate the action that typically takes place on a baseball diamond, with players running around the bases. I'm sure baseball players can't wait to restart their games, just in time for summer. 

Overgrown Baseball FieldOvergrown Baseball FieldBaseball field overgrown with dandelions, due to cancellation of group sports in COVID-19 pandemic.

 

What creative activities did you engage in during this time of self-isolation and social distancing? Did you find new ideas or subjects for your photography? Please share with us!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art baseball field COVID-19 creative fine art photography mask photography self-isolation social distancing stay at home summer https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/5/being-creative-while-staying-at-home Fri, 29 May 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Signs of Spring and Renewal https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/5/signs-of-spring-and-renewal Can you believe we had snow flurries in Ontario last Saturday, the second weekend of May?  Now that we're into the Victoria Day long weekend in Canada, there are finally more sure signs of spring. This aligns well with the reopening of businesses in various provinces across the country, signalling the renewal of economic activities and life routines as the number of COVID-19 cases slowly decrease. Although schools remain closed and events with large gatherings are not yet permitted, we can start to return to some type of normalcy in our lives, but it will be a new normal.
 

With the city having much less car traffic over the past 2 months, the sky appeared more blue, more clear, the clouds more white, more beautiful than before. Making a perfect backdrop for the baby green leaves sprouting out.

Sign of Spring 01Sign of Spring 01

 

Tree branches dotted with new leaves, their delicate silhouettes still clearly visible, taking on a fresh spring look after the long winter and self-isolation period.

 

Sign of Spring 02Sign of Spring 02

Even the yellow dandelions usually considered as weeds complemented well against the green grass. With the bright sunshine, all the colours appeared more vibrant, lifting my mood.  
 

Sign of Spring 03Sign of Spring 03

 

Having gone through a period of stay-at-home orders, it made me appreciate and be grateful for the simple things in life, rethink what's most important in life, what I could do without, and recognize the beauty in my nearby neighbourhood.

Did you make any new discoveries in your neighbourhood during this time of social distancing? Perhaps you've found new inspiration for your photography?

Enjoy your Victoria Day!

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) COVID-19 grateful photography renewal self-isolation signs social distancing spring stay at home https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/5/signs-of-spring-and-renewal Mon, 18 May 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Stay-At-Home Views https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/stay-at-home-views As we continue to flatten the COVID-19 curve, I hope you're keeping well and staying healthy. Although there are positive signs and various countries around the world have reopened (or are making plans) some businesses and schools, we must continue to take precautions to avoid future surges of infection.

After my past posts on "Coping with Social Distancing Amidst COVID-19" and "Treasures I Found While Social Distancing", I undertook a small photo project from the comfort of my home. Living at a busy intersection (well, typically it’s packed with cars, but both streets have been much quieter during this stay-at-home period), the view from my window isn’t very photogenic.

Picking one view which I thought has the most potential, I took photos of it whenever an interesting condition in lighting, weather or cloud formation appeared. Even in just one small square frame, this project over a 4-week period showed how many different images can be made by nature’s paintbrush, if we observe how it changes over time. This exercise brought me a moment of zen with each capture, and made me rethink how photogenic the view can be!

Here are various views at sunrise, sunset, before/after the rain, during snow flurries, on a sunny day...can you guess which image matches which condition? (I took quick shots with my phone at maximum zoom, so please excuse the photo quality!)

Stay-at-home View 1Stay-at-home View 1 Stay-at-home View 2Stay-at-home View 2 Stay-at-home View 3Stay-at-home View 3 Stay-at-home View 4Stay-at-home View 4 Stay-at-home View 5Stay-at-home View 5 Stay-at-home View 6Stay-at-home View 6 Stay-at-home View 7Stay-at-home View 7 Stay-at-home View 8Stay-at-home View 8 Stay-at-home View 9Stay-at-home View 9 Stay-at-home View 10Stay-at-home View 10 Stay-at-home View 11Stay-at-home View 11 Stay-at-home View 12Stay-at-home View 12

 

If you’re feeling bored, try a similar project in your home. It can be a view outside, or a spot inside your home that is exposed to different lighting conditions - of course you can create the lighting conditions too, have fun with it!

Although we’ve been restricted from freely going about our daily lives, our creativity can’t be bounded. We're still free to be creative and find different ways to express our art. In fact, this time period may have boosted creativity by limiting our physical boundaries. 

What creative endeavours did you take on? Please share!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) comfort COVID-19 home photography lighting lighting condition photographs social distancing stay at home sunrise sunset view weather condition zen https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/stay-at-home-views Mon, 27 Apr 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Complimentary Floral Cards https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/complimentary-floral-cards Further to my previous post about Dreamy Florals photo book, I've created a set of cards based on this floral theme. These digital cards are complimentary and can be downloaded for free from my website, as my gift to you during this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic. While it's difficult for everyone in many aspects, we should express our gratitude and thanks to those who are assisting us during this time, and also remember special days of our loved ones, even though we can only get together via online chats while social distancing.

 

Floral Card - Thank YouFloral Card - Thank You

 

These cards can be sent to your family and friends conveniently during this "stay at home" period. You can use them as a thank-you to a healthcare worker, your friend or neighbour, or for a loved one's special day (Mother's Day is coming up, or for Father's Day, graduation, a birthday or anniversary).  "Get Well Soon" and "Thinking of You" versions are also available for those who have been affected by this disease, and a sunny yellow "Happy Day" card to brighten someone's day with cheer. Choose the card you like from my gallery, look for the "Download" button above the photo, hover on the triangle pull-down to choose "Original" for that specific card, or select "All Available Originals" to download the entire set of 9 cards. If you would like to purchase printed greeting cards with these designs, please reach out to me via my website's Contact form.

 

Floral Card - Happy DayFloral Card - Happy Day
 

 

While creating these cards, I looked up the meaning of different colours of roses and found the following from Passion Growers:

  • Pink - admiration, gentleness, grace, gladness and sweetness
  • White - innocence, purity, remembrance and new beginnings
  • Yellow - cheer, joy and friendship
  • Lavender - an enchanting way to say, "I love you!", offer a daily reminder of your love
  • Orange - energy, enthusiasm and excitement
  • Red - traditional symbol for love, romance, will always be a way to say "I love you"
  • Novelty (dual-colours) - combines messages of both colours (in the case below of pink and cream: admiration, gladness, and charm - perfect for a graduation; send congratulations to the graduates - unfortunately convocations may have been cancelled due to the pandemic)

 

Floral Card - CongratulationsFloral Card - Congratulations
 

I hope these cards will bring a smile to your face and to all who receive them.

Keep well and stay healthy!

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) cards colour complimentary COVID-19 dreamy ecards fine art photography floral floral photography flowers gift greeting cards hope pandemic peace photo book roses social distancing stay at home https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/complimentary-floral-cards Mon, 20 Apr 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Dreamy Florals Photo Book https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/dreamy-florals-photo-book While we continue with social distancing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, I would like to share with you a slideshow of uplifting floral photography to bring some joy into your day. This slideshow is a small collection of dreamy floral photography that I captured last year at a rose garden.

 

Uplifting Florals (slideshow)Uplifting Florals (slideshow)Uplifting floral photography set to music.

 

As more financial support is needed around the world to assist with the global pandemic, I wanted to contribute with my photography in addition to making personal donations to charities in need. 

I've created a photo book filled with the images that you saw in the slideshow above (plus 30 additional photos) that will make a perfect present for someone in your life. It may bring solace to those who have lost a loved one to this pandemic. Or it can be sent it as a thank-you gift to healthcare workers who have been working tirelessly, to your local grocer who is keeping shelves stocked for your shopping convenience, to your neighbour who dropped off groceries at your door, and to friends who showed extra care for you during this time. It's also a great way to brighten someone's day during this period of social distancing and self-isolation. And don't forget to celebrate with your loved ones - surprise them with this gift for Mother's Day (coming up soon), Father's Day, a birthday or anniversary. These flowers will last all year round!

Please visit this page to see a preview of the book or to place an order. Printed and eBook versions are available. Net proceeds from this book sale will be donated to the COVID-19 Global Appeal.

Thank you in advance for your support, and I hope all recipients of this book will find a sense of peace and hope in their hearts.

Together we are stronger. Stay at home, keep well and stay healthy!

 

Dreamy FloralsDreamy FloralsA book of dreamy floral photography to bring peace and hope to your heart. To say thank you, to brighten someone's day, and for all flower-lovers.

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract charities COVID-19 donate donation dreamy fine art photography floral flowers gift hope pandemic peace photo book present social distancing stay at home https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/dreamy-florals-photo-book Thu, 16 Apr 2020 16:35:26 GMT
Hopeful Easter 2020 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/hopeful-easter-2020 Easter 2020 will be a memorable one, for many reasons. Religious celebrations were held online rather than in churches, Easter eggs were hunted for inside the house rather than in the park, relatives sharing Easter dinner via webcam - many unique experiences to mark this occasion. 

I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to all the healthcare workers who continue tirelessly in this battle, and those who work in essential services to keep our cities running. I am grateful for my relatives and friends who have connected with me during this time (I was pleasantly surprised by a message from a friend that I haven't met in many years - thank you T!).

As it is a challenging time for many families who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, whether physically, financially, or emotionally, let us keep them in our thoughts. On this day which symbolizes rebirth, may it bring renewed energy and strength to all. 
 

Wishing peace and hope for everyone around the world on this Easter day!

Hopeful Easter 2020Hopeful Easter 2020May this Easter bring peace and hope to all.

(Ecard created from a photograph in my portfolio.)

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract COVID-19 Easter Easter 2020 fine art photography hope pandemic peace rebirth renewed https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/hopeful-easter-2020 Sun, 12 Apr 2020 16:04:25 GMT
Treasures I Found While Social Distancing https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/treasures-i-found-while-social-distancing I hope you are all keeping well and staying healthy (physically and emotionally) as we continue to fight COVID-19. To start off, I would like to extend my gratitude to all the frontline health staff and emergency responders who risk their lives daily to help others, and all the people who are working to provide essential services to keep us sustained. Also, to everyone who is doing their part by staying at home, thank you for making minor sacrifices to make a major contribution in saving lives. 

Rather than complaining about the social distancing and stay-at-home rules we've been asked to follow, this is a call for us to slow down our hectic lives and reflect on what's most important in life, giving us more time to connect with family and friends, to help others in need, work on to-do lists that we never had enough time for. 

Since my last post on "Coping with Social Distancing Amidst COVID-19", I've been revisiting photographs in my catalog, dusting off photo albums and books from my bookshelf - lo and behold, I've found some treasures to share with you.

 

I came across this image from Angel Road, which on first look, is a sunny vacation photo to brighten our days during this challenging time. But as I thought about it, this image is actually a metaphor of the situation we're in right now. Angel Road is a sandbar on an island - this beautiful scene only appears during low tide. It's believed that couples who walk across this sandbar together will find happiness together and their wishes will come true. Similarly, in this time when moods may be low and the situation seems dire, we get to see the best in people. Businesses converting their processes to manufacture items most in need, restaurants providing meals to healthcare workers, special provisions in grocery stores to assist seniors, the list goes on. Let us all work together to walk across this low point - when we reach the other side we will be stronger, and our wishes to overcome this disease will come true. 

 

Angel's RoadAngel's Road

 

The next treasure I found is a photo book that I put together after a family trip to Prince Edward Island. Usually I'm not a big fan of driving, but I made an exception for this trip - it was the best way to see all the amazing scenery and unique attractions around the island. Some of the photos from this trip can be viewed here. Of course, the photo book is also full of wonderful memories from the vacation with my mother, along with my aunt and uncle. We ate plenty of seafood, strolled on red sand shores, visited gardens, art galleries and the famous Green Gables (how could we miss this? I read all the books in the Anne of Green Gables series during high school!). What family trips and stories do you recall from your photo albums?

 

PEI Road TripPEI Road Trip

 

Another treasure I found on my bookshelf is a small book on Japanese living. Those who know me would have heard about my fascination with Japanese design, whether it be the use of wood in houses, the earthy tones of wabi-sabi pottery, or the simple yet refined style of food presentation. While flipping through this book, I found a piece of paper with page numbers written on it. The handwriting belonged to my mother, and seeing her notes immediately brought tears to my eyes. My mother had marked down pages of images that she liked most in the book. I looked for the pages she noted, turning the pages as if she was sitting next to me. All the photos that she liked are my favourites too, including the image below of matcha and sweet mochi, including all the zen design elements that appeal to me. I'm grateful that I have this special connection with my mother, and hope that in this time, you can find some special memories to bring you comfort. 

 

Japanese LivingJapanese Living



Have you found some treasures while social distancing?

Please continue to stay at home as much as possible, practice social (physical) distancing and stay healthy!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) Angel Road comfort COVID-19 grateful gratitude Japanese memories photographs Prince Edward Island social distancing stay at home treasures zen https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/4/treasures-i-found-while-social-distancing Sun, 05 Apr 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Coping with Social Distancing Amidst COVID-19 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/3/coping-with-social-distancing-amidst-covid-19 Although spring has arrived, many of us in North America (and elsewhere around the world) are staying at home and practicing social distancing. How are you spending your time? It's a challenging time for everyone in so many aspects, but we must remember to take care of ourselves (physically and emotionally) in order to care for those around us.

 

Let's remember to nourish well - eat healthy foods (as much as possible), cook at home (try new recipes and be creative!), drink plenty of water (a cup of warm tea can be calming), take vitamins to boost immunity, use aromatherapy to relax, and have sufficient sleep. Try to exercise at home, in your yard, or at a park that's not crowded. Or go for a walk around the block, go for a bike ride. Practice yoga, lift free weights or sing and dance in your living room. Practice mindfulness (meditation, prayer), write your feelings in a journal or blog, help others remotely. Despite the situation, be grateful for what you have - I'm grateful for my relatives, friends and neighbours who are calling to check in on me, to bring me bulk dried goods from Costco (thank you!).

 

To boost immunity, I made a comfort meal consisting of butternut and carrot soup (full of beta-carotene, added diced onion and garlic, spiced with turmeric, black peppercorns, cayenne pepper and finished with paprika) and a potato casserole with green beans and mushroom, topped with a slice of smoked salmon sprinkled with dill. Definitely brought warmth and comfort to the body and soul! (Please excuse the quality of the photo...I was hungry and just grabbed a quick photo with my phone before devouring the delicious foods.)


Healthy MealHealthy MealButternut-carrot soup and potato casserole - a healthy meal that brings comfort to the body and soul.

 

Be sure to stay connected with others. Thank goodness for technology - call your family members, friends, neighbours, have video chats via FaceTime or Skype, use Netflix Party to watch shows or movies and discuss with your friends. Take to social media - Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, so many options. Also spend some time offline - anxiety levels rise when we keep hearing or reading about the latest number of cases. Tackle the to-do list, declutter your home. Read paper versions of books or magazines (if you still have them), revisit photo albums (for those of us that did print out photos), work on a puzzle, spend time on your hobbies or take on a new hobby, learn a foreign language. (I'm keeping up with my Japanese studies while the classes are moved to an online conferencing system.) Do more of what you enjoy! 

 

To align my teatime with what I enjoy most, I filled my plate with Japanese snacks (various senbei, or rice crackers) and my matcha bowl with a turmeric matcha drink (it's a drink mix I bought, not my creation). After this oishii afternoon break, I resumed working from home, filled with a sense of zen. 

Japanese TeatimeJapanese TeatimeJapanese snacks and matcha to enjoy for an afternoon teatime break.
 

For photographers, what better time than now to catch up on sorting through and processing photos in your catalog? That's what I'll be doing in the next while. Keep taking and sharing photos! Photography is a great way to relieve stress. One morning I got up early and was rewarded with this beautiful sunrise - may it bring hope to everyone that this situation will be resolved soon.

 

Hopeful SunriseHopeful SunriseBeautiful sunrise colours painted across the sky - the best reward for getting up early!
 

Please share what you're doing to cope with social distancing. I'll be posting updates from my corner of the world. 

Until then, keep social distancing and stay healthy!
 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) comfort connect COVID-19 healthy meal home hope photography social distancing sunrise zen https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/3/coping-with-social-distancing-amidst-covid-19 Sat, 21 Mar 2020 18:04:50 GMT
Happy Women's Day 2020 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/3/happy-womens-day-2020 To celebrate International Women's Day, I want to express gratitude in remembrance of the most important woman of my life - my mother. Not only was she the strongest woman I ever knew, but she made countless sacrifices for my sake; everything she had done has shaped me into the woman I am today.

After a difficult childhood in a family with 5 siblings, my mother's challenges continued as an adult. She was diagnosed with cancer during her pregnancy, and 5 years later, she became a widow. Despite these tragic events in her life, my mother dedicated herself to raising me up. She took on numerous jobs, including hand sewing, house cleaning and babysitting, worked hard and saved every penny towards my education. I am forever grateful for her love and selfless dedication, and could not have thanked her enough. 

When I found out that my girl friends have challenging relationships with their mothers, it made me further realize and appreciate how blessed I was to have had my mother. I sincerely hope my friends can mend the relationships with their mothers while they have the opportunity to do so.

Who are the important women in your life? Remember to celebrate them today and cherish their love for you!

Happy Women's Day 2020!
 

Women's Day 2020Women's Day 2020Celebrating all women on International Women's Day 2020.

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) celebrate international women's day love mother photography https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/3/happy-womens-day-2020 Sun, 08 Mar 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Look at the World with Fresh Eyes https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/2/look-at-the-world-with-fresh-eyes As we round up the first month of 2020, how are you doing with your new year (and new decade) resolutions? Some of you may be striving to try new experiences, while others could be aiming to change past habits or get out of challenging situations. Though we may easily revert to old habits, we shouldn't give up without a fight! One way to get through the winter blues and continue our journey to self-betterment is to look at the world with fresh eyes. If that resolution isn't quite sticking, make some adjustments or break it down to smaller steps. Going up a gentle slope is more manageable than climbing a steep hill! 

Similarly with photography, we can acquire new camera gear or change the way we compose photos to create new images. We can also look at past photos with fresh eyes, try different processing techniques and find new creations. Below are some images I made recently while browsing through my collection of photographs. 

For this image "Two Suns in the Sunset", I used a new painting filter and gave it a square crop, placing focus on the two suns as they set into the fiery-orange sky.

Two Suns in the SunsetTwo Suns in the Sunset

This "Light as Air" image below was given a blue filter to enhance the feeling of a balloon floating up high into the sky. (Although in reality this was a porcelain balloon in a display case next to the window.)

 

Light as AirLight as Air

To further provide an abstract look to the image "Shapes of Winter", motion and blur filters were applied. The trees' shadows appear to be moving while the observer is stationary - does this sound like a dream where you wanted to run but was stuck in place?

Shapes of WinterShapes of Winter

I hope these gave you some inspirations to look at your photographs (and the world) with fresh eyes, find alternative options and carry on with your new year resolutions!

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) balloon fresh eyes New Year photography resolutions shadows sunset https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/2/look-at-the-world-with-fresh-eyes Sat, 01 Feb 2020 14:00:00 GMT
Artsu Matsuri 2020 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/1/artsu-matsuri-2020 Happy New Year! Here's to more photography and art in 2020!

On the heels of The Big Holiday Smalls Show, my next art show is opening at Toronto's Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre. It's Artsu Matsuri (Art Festival) 2020 - running from January 11 to March 29, 2020. This show features art work by Japanese and Canadian artists, sharing the Japanese Canadian culture with art-lovers in Toronto.

For this festival I'm exhibiting three pieces from my new series combining Japanese calligraphy with images captured in Japan's flower parks - two from the Hitachi Seaside Park when it's full of flowers blue as the sky, and a third from the Ashikaga Flower Park filled with dreamy wisteria. 

 

Flowers of the SkyFlowers of the SkyNemophila flowers (also known as Baby Blue Eyes) cover the gently sloping hill, forming a uniform scene with the blue sky. Part of my new series combining calligraphy with images captured in Japan.

Colour of WindColour of WindOrange poppies can be found here and there amongst the sea of blue nemophila flowers. Standing taller than the baby blue eyes, dots of orange sway in the wind. Part of my new series combining calligraphy with images captured in Japan.

Pearls of FlowerPearls of FlowerThe curtain of wisteria flowers were an amazing sight to behold. Focusing on one string showcases the pearls of flower that make up the entire scene. Part of my new series combining calligraphy with images captured in Japan.

Please visit the exhibit to see these in person, along with the work of numerous other artists.

The gallery is located inside the JCCC located at 6 Garamond Court, Toronto.

The opening reception is January 9, 2020 at 7-9pm. Hope to see you there!
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art art sale art show artists artsu matsuri calligraphy exhibit Japanese Canadian Culture Centre JCCC photography Toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2020/1/artsu-matsuri-2020 Mon, 06 Jan 2020 13:00:00 GMT
Merry Christmas 2019 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/12/merry-christmas-2019 How time flies! Before you know it, Christmas has arrived!

Thank you for a year of sharing in my photography. I look forward to creating more art in the coming year (and decade) and sharing the wonders of our world with you.

I wish you and yours a joyous and peaceful holiday filled with warmth and laughter! 

Happy New Year 2020! 

Christmas 2019Christmas 2019Merry Christmas 2019 and Happy New Year 2020

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art Christmas Christmas lights Happy New Year holiday Merry Christmas New Year photography Toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/12/merry-christmas-2019 Wed, 25 Dec 2019 20:48:30 GMT
The Big Holiday Smalls Show 2019 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/12/the-big-holiday-smalls-show-2019 Did the Cyber Monday online shopping frenzy tire you out? Here's a more relaxing way to shop for holiday gifts - in person, in an intimate gallery space filled with original art! This month I'm participating in The Big Holiday Smalls Show, a holiday art exhibit and sale in Toronto, located in the Artists' Network Gallery at 1158 Queen Street East. All art pieces are 12"x12" or smaller. This is a perfect opportunity to shop for your home/office or for the art lovers on your holiday gift list! Please see the evite below for details. 

The gallery's hours are: Wednesday - Sunday 12-5pm
 

You can also grab a bite to eat in nearby cafes/restaurants before/after seeing the exhibit. Choices in Leslieville include Completo sandwiches, Kaspace cafe, YaYa brunch, Nodo Italian, Descendent pizza, La Paella...the list goes on! 

 

Big Holiday Smalls Show PostcardBig Holiday Smalls Show Postcard2019 Artists' Network "Big Holiday Smalls Show" event is on.

 

UPDATE: The show will be extended to January 12, 2020

Happy holiday shopping!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art art sale art show artists artists' network artists' network gallery exhibit holiday gifts holiday shopping Leslieville photography Toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/12/the-big-holiday-smalls-show-2019 Tue, 03 Dec 2019 17:26:56 GMT
Inspired by Halloween Pumpkins https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/11/inspired-by-halloween-pumpkins As we head into November, I hope you had a fun Halloween with lots of treats! Toronto had inclement weather that evening, with strong winds that continued howling into the night, long after trick-or-treaters headed home with their buckets of goodies. 

Pumpkins were abundant at the grocery stores, and even in my office where a pumpkin carving contest was held. I was inspired and reminded of several photos I had captured (inadvertently) throughout the year based on this theme.

The most direct capture was this famous yellow polka-dot pumpkin sculpture by artist Yayoi Kusama, located on Naoshima island in Japan. Many people had lined up to have their photos taken in front of this yellow pumpkin, so I had to quickly steal some shots in between their posing times. It turns out a red pumpkin is also located on that island, one that is cut open for visitors to climb into.

Kusama Yellow PumpkinKusama Yellow PumpkinYellow polka-dot pumpkin sculpture by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, on Naoshima island.

 

For the next photo, I was initially caught by its graphical pattern. But on second look, they resemble a batch of pumpkins. Secret revealed: they are a cluster of ceiling lights that I photographed from directly underneath. Tricked you, didn't I?

Pumpkin LightsPumpkin LightsThis cluster of ceiling lights resembles a batch of lit-up pumpkins.

The orange circular theme then led to this photo below, on a more abstract level. What appears as a golden circle is actually parts of a circle painted on various elements inside this house - on the wooden beams above, on the shoji screen walls, and on the floor's tatami mats. Only by standing at a certain spot, at a certain height, will a perfect circle appear in front of the viewer. This was part of the Setouchi Triennale art festival, where artists transform some existing buildings on the Setouchi islands into art installations.   

Golden CircleGolden CircleWhat appears as a golden circle is actually parts of a circle painted on various elements inside this house - on the wooden beams above, on the shoji screen walls, and on the floor's tatami mats. Only by standing at a certain spot, at a certain height, will a perfect circle appear in front of the viewer. This was part of the Setouchi Triennale art festival, where artists transform some existing buildings on the Setouchi islands into art installations.

 

Which version of "pumpkin" was your favourite?

Don't forget to set your clocks back tonight for an extra hour of sleep tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art art festival fine art photography Halloween lights Naoshima Ogijima photography pumpkins sculptures Setouchi Triennale Yayoi Kusama https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/11/inspired-by-halloween-pumpkins Sun, 03 Nov 2019 00:02:25 GMT
Happy Thanksgiving 2019 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/10/happy-thanksgiving-2019 Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians! As we celebrate this holiday, many friends are asking if I'm feasting on turkey today. In fact, due to a dental-related procedure last week, in place of a feast, I'm having a simple but delicious vegetable soup, with all the nutritious goodness of carrots, cabbage, onion, and mushrooms, seasoned with nutmeg, turmeric and paprika, perfect for the fall weather! And for dessert, apple + pear + coconut milk chia seed pudding, flavoured with cinnamon, all spice, a touch of ginger, and sweetened with honey. Healthy and delicious!

Feast and food aside, let's not forget the real reason for the celebration. Let's remember to give thanks for our family and friends, for our health, for the beauty that nature provides, for peace in our country, for the fresh air we breathe, (please add your own items here...). Before your meal, please remember to thank all the people who worked tirelessly to produce our food and those who transported it to the stores, and of course to those who prepared the meal!

Happy Thanksgiving 2019

 

Let's count our blessings and give thanks! Enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner!

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) feast fine art photography happy thanksgiving photography thanks thanksgiving https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/10/happy-thanksgiving-2019 Mon, 14 Oct 2019 22:21:05 GMT
New Chapters in Life https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/9/new-chapters-in-life As summer rolls into fall, it's the beginning of a new school year, new activities, new endeavours - new chapters in life. Not only are the years marked by the changing of the seasons, but the hands of time (for those of us who still like analog watches and clocks!) serve as a reminder that time is continuously ticking away. The photo below was captured on a Disney cruise ship, where adults can turn back time and return to their childhood fantasy world, or have so much fun that they forget completely about time!

The Hands of TimeThe Hands of Time
 

When we disembark the Disney ship and return to reality, we continue to navigate our way through life, trying new things, starting new chapters. We may encounter some road blocks along the way, but there'll be another path that we can take, much like the criss-crossing beams supporting the Szent Gellért station structure in Budapest.

NavigationNavigation

Although it can be scary to start new chapters - it may feel like you are entering into the abyss, not really sure if this is the right path, or not really knowing what you're getting into, but life is about taking risks, tackling new challenges, learning and growing with every experience. So as long as there is some light shining on your path (not heading into complete darkness - although adventurous types may attempt this), go ahead and give it a try! On a foggy, rainy afternoon on Mount Pilatus in Switzerland (~ 2000m in elevation), I ventured unknowingly into the "Dragon's Path". No one else was out there and several times I considered turning back, but I was curious to see where it led. So I gathered up my courage and forged ahead until I completed the trail, and captured the photo below. Didn't encounter any dragons though...

Into the AbyssInto the Abyss

With each new chapter in life, we are testing our bravery, putting ourselves out there and making new discoveries. If we don't push ourselves out of our comfort zone, our growth will be stunted. So I encourage you to start something new, whether with your photography or other aspect of your life!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) black and white photography Budapest fine art photography hands of time into the abyss life journey Mount Pilatus photography Szent Gellert time https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/9/new-chapters-in-life Sat, 21 Sep 2019 13:00:00 GMT
A Walk Through the House of Mirrors https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/9/a-walk-through-the-house-of-mirrors This summer, my friend and I had a chance to visit the House of Mirrors that was part of Luminato festival in Toronto. This is a yearly summer festival in Toronto, with contemporary art installations, along with many other artistic performance events around the city. I'm glad they allowed photography inside this experiential art installation, so I can share the experience with you through the photos below. 

Before we entered the maze, we were advised by event staff to keep our arms outstretched, but not to touch the walls with our hands, to avoid leaving our fingerprints all over the mirrors. As soon as we entered, it was completely clear to us as to why we needed to walk with our arms out in front of us.

House of Mirrors 1House of Mirrors 1

Every way you turn, there's a mirror and your reflection in front of you, on your left and on your right. Without arms out to test for walls, you risk walking right into a mirror! Twisting and turning this way and that way, we slowly made our way through the maze. With the open "ceiling", at least we could use the surrounding buildings and landmarks as guides to move around. It did get a bit dizzying, I must say! The angled photos reflected exactly how I felt in the maze - as if losing my balance with every step.

House of Mirrors 2House of Mirrors 2

This maze felt like a "reflection" on life, pardon the pun. As we find our way through life, we may take a left turn here, a right turn there, and see where it'll lead us. Sometimes we take a wrong turn and keep going in circles, or reach a blockade and have to revert in another direction. We have to keep trying different routes on this journey of life, as we seek out our paths. For some people, it could be an easy straightforward path, for others, it could be a more convoluted path through the maze. I digressed...

When we got to the end, there was a large open space, surrounded by mirrors of course! Here I felt less claustrophobic, and could take more photos without worrying that someone would bump into me. 

House of MIrrors 3House of MIrrors 3

I liked this geometric piece the most. It includes elements from the House of Mirrors, while reflecting some surrounding buildings from the urban area. 
 

House of Mirrors 4House of Mirrors 4

 

This House of Mirrors can be seen as a reflection of our journey through life.  We'll each have unique experiences from our different paths - let's keep exploring and share our stories! 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art art installation contemporary art festival fine art photography House of Mirrors life journey Luminato mirrors photography reflection Toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/9/a-walk-through-the-house-of-mirrors Mon, 09 Sep 2019 12:00:00 GMT
ArtWalk in the Square 2019 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/9/artwalk-in-the-square-2019 Have you moved to a new house over the summer? Finally finished renovating your much-loved home? Or just want to refresh your wall decor and update your interior design for the new school year? You can do your art shopping, along with buying some new clothes, and enjoying a late summer lunch or dinner al fresco, all at "ArtWalk in the Square". This year, the art show runs September 13-15, 2019, so summer vacationers can catch it too! It'll be held at Shops at Don Mills (southwest corner of Lawrence Avenue East & Don Mills Road), Toronto.

 

My pieces will be at the Pop-Up Gallery for this show, in booth 47-53, near the Artists' Network information desk.

 

Please see the evite below for more details, and visit www.artwalksquare.ca.

ArtWalk in the Square 2019ArtWalk in the Square 2019ArtWalk in the Square 2019, Shops at Don Mills, Toronto.

 

I'll be making a pop-up appearance on September 15 - hope to see you there!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) 2019 art show artists' network artwalk in the square fine art photography interior design rita wong photography toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/9/artwalk-in-the-square-2019 Tue, 03 Sep 2019 12:00:00 GMT
How to Turn Straight Lines in Your Photography into Art https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/8/how-to-turn-straight-lines-in-your-photography-into-art While going through my closet the other day, I noticed a collection of tops with striped patterns. They're so similar, yet each has its unique appeal, whether it's the colour of the stripes, the width of the lines or spacing of the stripes, or the angles at which the lines run - most are horizontal, some run vertically and a few have diagonal stripes!  Then, opening my photo portfolio, I found a collection of images with orthogonal patterns (or lines at 90 degree right angles to each other). Just as fashion designers add accessories or vary the patterns to enhance the universal appeal of stripes, how can you turn these regular, plain straight lines (which are so prevalent in our build world) in your images into art? 

One way is to convert the image to black and white, and then adjust its tonality and contrast to make it pop. In this example below, the adjustments made in post-processing highlighted the central space in the building's new addition, while showcasing reflections in the glass on the left and the historical brick structure on the right. 

Matrix of New and Old *Matrix of New and Old *This historical building with a modern addition is representative of Barcelona, where there's a mixture of traditional and contemporary architecture.

 

Another method is to combine the lines with other elements such as interesting patterns and colours. Here the patterned lines of a building's reflection are paired with strong diagonals and shimmering details (part of a staircase and decor inside the building) to create an urban graphic design. The pastel colour palette also works well with the geometric patterns.

Urban Graphic Design *Urban Graphic Design *Architectural elements work together to create this urban graphic design.

 

In the example below, the rhythm of wine bottle placement on the shelf adds variety to the orthogonal pattern's black lines, making a great abstract that resembles an abacus. The glowing golden light in the background further adds to the artwork.

Modern AbacusModern AbacusThis wine rack filled with glass bottles is like a modern-day version of an abacus.

 

Try these techniques and see what results you can get with line patterns! For more details about use of art design elements in photography, please see my previous post here

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract architecture art art design black and white photography fine art photography geometric lines patterns reflections https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/8/how-to-turn-straight-lines-in-your-photography-into-art Wed, 21 Aug 2019 12:00:00 GMT
Art in Response to Industrial Revolutions https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/6/ArtInResponseToIndustrialRevolutions Earlier in the spring, in the week after debuting my "Art Design in Photography" book and talk, it was fitting to see an art exhibit on my favourite art style (impressionism) at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO): "Impressionism in the Age of Industry: Monet, Pissarro and more".

The exhibit included artworks that showed how the change from rural life to industrial development (post Industrial Revolution) influenced artists of that time in Paris. Advancements were made in train travel, and in building iron bridges and iconic structures such as the Eiffel Tower. Almost 150 years later, we continue to travel on ever-faster bullet trains, and build taller skyscrapers reaching for the sky, even designing 3D-printed shelters that can be placed on the Moon or on Mars and beyond.

Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare (Claude Monet)Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare (Claude Monet)

Claude Monet, Arrival of the Normandy Train, Gare Saint-Lazare, 1877
 

Eiffel Tower (Georges Seurat)Eiffel Tower (Georges Seurat)

Georges Seurat, Eiffel Tower, c.1889

Since that time, two more Industrial Revolutions have taken place, and the 4th Industrial Revolution has started. We now live in an age where we use augmented reality to ride up the Eiffel Tower's elevator while standing inside a room in Toronto, and robots attend to hotel room service and serve food in restaurants. There is fear that some jobs will become obsolete due to these developments, yet on the other hand, robots can assist with tasks where human resources are lacking, and more. 

 

As Monet captured the atmospheric effects of the first Industrial Revolution's pollution on London's Charing Cross Bridge...

Charing Cross Bridge, Overcast Weather (Claude Monet)Charing Cross Bridge, Overcast Weather (Claude Monet)

Claude Monet, Charing Cross Bridge, Overcast Weather, 1900 
 

...I once again admire an architectural gem - the spiral staircase at the AGO, ponder on the effects of the 4th Industrial Revolution, where we are headed, and created the following photographic art piece in response.

Looking to the FutureLooking to the FutureWhat does the future hold? A perpetual question...looking to the sky for answers.

 

Looking to the future - where will the 4th Industrial Revolution take us?
 

(All images of paintings credited to the exhibition held at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 2019.)

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) advancement AGO architecture Art Gallery of Ontario Claude Monet fine art photography future Georges Seurat impressionism Impressionism in the Age of Industry Industrial Revolution paintings technology https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/6/ArtInResponseToIndustrialRevolutions Tue, 18 Jun 2019 12:00:00 GMT
Photo Book: Art Design in Photography https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/3/photo-book-art-design-in-photography For those who have read (or missed) my first series of blog posts on Art Design in Photography, the series is now available in a book form! Learn how to apply elements of art design in photography, to use the visual language for creating impactful images and convey the intended visual message. Ten elements of design are presented, along with sample images from my portfolio, accompanied by explanatory text. New images from my recent collection have been added into the book as examples, along with an artist's quote for each topic.

Please visit this page to see a preview of my book and to order your copy.

Art Design in Photography

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art art design art design in photography book design elements of art design photography visual design https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/3/photo-book-art-design-in-photography Wed, 13 Mar 2019 02:47:39 GMT
Looking Forward to Spring https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/2/looking-forward-to-spring In two weekends Daylight Savings Time begins and our clocks will spring forward, and the groundhogs predicted an early spring. But today there's still a mixture of rain and snow, with a wind storm blowing through...when will spring arrive?? This winter has been too cold, with lots of snow, so I'm definitely looking forward to spring!

Until then, here are some colourful photos from my collection to brighten your day, as we wait for the sun and warm weather to return, the flowers to bloom, the birds to sing...

These images were captured in Italy in the month of May, with beautiful golden colours both at sunrise and sunset. The buildings in this area are painted in various shades of yellow, orange, pink, and brown, creating this amazing reflection in the water. The happily floating buoys were the perfect subject to add into this composition.

Painting in Water *Painting in Water *Early that morning, I was greeted by this colourful palette of paints in the water. What an amazing background for the pair of buoys enjoying a morning float!

At sunset, from the top of a hill appeared this magical scene. What a fantastic array of colours brushed across the sky, forming the backdrop to the mystical mountains. It was a long walk up to the hill, but definitely worth it!

Mystical Mountain at SunsetMystical Mountain at SunsetThis Italian coastal scene appears even more mystical with a watercolour effect.

And my favourite, a minimalistic abstract from blending the sunset colours in the sky and water with a motion pan. I'd much rather have this on my window than the grey winter sky!

Sunset BlendSunset BlendI always loved seeing this kind of abstract photo, so I finally created one of my own with this sunset blend.

I hope these art photos have brightened and warmed up your winter day. Rest assured that spring is on its way! 

 

 

                                                                                                                   

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract artistic coast fine art photography Italy minimalist photography minimalistic photography spring sunrise sunset https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/2/looking-forward-to-spring Sun, 24 Feb 2019 21:42:34 GMT
Behind Every Dark Silhouette is a Bright Light https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/1/behind-every-dark-silhouette-is-a-bright-light As we start off the new year in 2019, most of us probably did some reflective thinking before the year end. Hopefully there were more positives than negatives, more good times than bad, giving an overall balance on the plus side. There may have been some negatives...didn't get the promotion you were hoping for, or maybe the new relationship didn't work out. But perhaps there's a better opportunity coming this year, or that person wasn't really the right one! You may have guessed what I will say next. Don't be discouraged, because "behind every dark cloud there is a silver lining".

In photography, there is an equivalent saying: "behind every dark silhouette there is a bright light". The silhouettes are like the dark clouds, where you won't see much details of the person or object except for their shape, but beyond that is a bright light shining, whether it be the sun, the moon, or artificial lights. 

Here are some examples I found, while sorting through last year's travel photos. These two images were taken at the same water fountain with bright lights in changing colours - one image I kept the original blue lighting, the other I converted to a black and white image to emphasize the silhouette. Children and adults alike (and photographers) all have fun at this place!

Playtime ContinuesPlaytime ContinuesThough night has fallen, children's playtime continue at this modern water fountain. Reliving ChildhoodReliving ChildhoodAt this modern water fountain, even adults have fun reliving their childhoods.

Another location that lights up an architectural marvel...with the right timing, this person's silhouette provided the perfect scale for the building's giant columns!

Amongst the Giants *Amongst the Giants *A passerby amongst the giant columns is the perfect element to show the size of this geometric structure by Santiago Calatrava.

 

Some viewers may prefer to see more details in the subjects, but I think these silhouettes make for impactful images, and work well as minimalist photographs. This will be the subject of a future post...stay tuned.

Don't mind the dark clouds, eventually they will pass. In nature, in photography, and in our lives, something brighter and better is beyond what we can see!

All the best for the year ahead, filled with more photography adventures!

 

 

                                                                                                                   

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract artistic fine art photography light minimalist photography minimalistic night photography silhouette street photography https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2019/1/behind-every-dark-silhouette-is-a-bright-light Tue, 15 Jan 2019 13:00:00 GMT
Happy Holidays 2018 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/12/happy-holidays-2018 Happy Holidays and Happy New Year 2019! Wishing you all the best for the holiday season and beyond!

 

2018 Christmas CardMerry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) 2019 fine art photography happy new year lights merry christmas starburst https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/12/happy-holidays-2018 Sat, 29 Dec 2018 00:50:17 GMT
BowsArt 2018 Exhibit https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/12/bowsart-2018-exhibit This year, the holiday season approached so quickly that I was delayed in posting this announcement. I'm participating in BowsArt 2018, a holiday art exhibit and sale in Toronto, located in the Artists' Network Gallery at 638 Queen Street East. This is a perfect opportunity to shop for your home/office or for the art lovers on your holiday gift list! You can also grab a bite to eat and enjoy a hot drink at the adjacent Dark Horse Espresso Cafe before/after seeing the exhibit. Please see the Evite below for the details.

 

BowsArt 2018BowsArt 2018

 

 The exhibit runs until January 6th. Happy holiday shopping!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art artists artists' network artists' network gallery BowsArt exhibit holiday shopping photography sale Toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/12/bowsart-2018-exhibit Fri, 14 Dec 2018 13:00:00 GMT
Photography is a Reflection of Life https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/11/photography-is-a-reflection-of-life Often, photography is a reflection of our lives. By this, I'm not just referring to direct captures such as portraiture or event photography, where faces and actions are documented. When we're going through rough times, we may choose to focus on darker subjects or process our images in low-key. On happier days, we may choose to photograph flowers in bloom, landscapes with cheerful colours, and produce more high-key images. Sometimes even landscapes, street photography or other fine art photography subjects just happen to represent our moods or the phases of life and emotions that we' re going through (as a result of some higher power?). 

As an example, in recent months I gathered some images that were all related to the theme of fog and mist, as shown below. 

The first is a temple in Japan that was hidden behind a curtain of thick fog where it was obscured entirely from my view - eventually it emerged so I could capture its top next to the treetops.

Temple in the FogTemple in the Fog

In another city I saw this man walking into a sea of mist. Visibility was down to nearly zero at the mist's highest density. Fortunately, the high curb kept everyone safe on the walkway, which overhangs above a river.

Into the MistInto the Mist

Finally, closer to home, there were many foggy days as summer turns into fall, and temperatures fluctuated dramatically, giving moody images like this one. 

Foggy Fall DayFoggy Fall Day

All of these images coincided with a "foggy" time in my life, in which I was struggling with a decision, and the way ahead was unclear. But just like the mist and fog, which eventually faded away, I slowly made my way through the cloud, and the path emerged, letting me see which road to take. 

 

I'm sure that if you look through your photography, there will be many parallels between your images and your mood or emotions at the times those photos were captured. Do you agree? 

 

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art contemporary art emotions fine art photography fog foggy life mist mood photography reflection https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/11/photography-is-a-reflection-of-life Mon, 05 Nov 2018 13:00:00 GMT
Fleck Fine Art Catalogue Exhibition Fall 2018 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/8/fleck-fine-art-catalogue-exhibition-fall-2018 Can you believe that summer is almost over and the fall season is approaching? A small red leaf on a green shrub reminded me of this fact. Not to fret, the fall season has its own appeal, such as the wonderful fall colours, apple picking, etc.  For me, this year the excitement came in the form of being part of the Fleck Fine Art Catalogue and Exhibition (Fall 2018). 

Here is the cover of the Catalogue and a page excerpt that features two of my photographs. My image submission is one of 20 Best of New Submissions. 

Fleck Fine Art Catalogue Fall 2018 - coverFleck Fine Art Catalogue Fall 2018 - coverFleck Fine Art Catalogue Fall 2018 - Front Cover Fleck Fine Art Catalogue Fall 2018 - Rita Wong Photography PageFleck Fine Art Catalogue Fall 2018 - Rita Wong Photography PageFleck Fine Art Catalogue Fall 2018 - Rita Wong Photography (Page 25)

A group exhibition will be held September 19 to October 3, 2018, with an Opening Reception on September 20, 2018. Elaine Fleck Gallery is located at 1351 Queen Street West, Toronto. Please drop by to see the group exhibit as part of your fall season activities!

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art art gallery canada catalogue contemporary art elaine fleck gallery exhibit exhibition fine art photography fleck fine art photography rita wong photography toronto toronto art gallery https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/8/fleck-fine-art-catalogue-exhibition-fall-2018 Fri, 24 Aug 2018 12:00:00 GMT
2018 Riverdale Artwalk Summary https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/6/2018-riverdale-artwalk-summary Thanks to everyone who visited my booth at the Riverdale Artwalk this past weekend. It was my first outdoor art show, which I always wanted to try (after visiting other similar art shows in the past number of years in Toronto). I started with a lot of questions, not knowing how or what exactly was involved in such a show. Thankfully, the supportive members of the Artists' Network answered all my questions about show preparations, and a group of cheerful volunteers also helped the show run smoothly. 

 

Here's a look at my booth after it was all set up on Saturday morning. 

Riverdale ArtWalk 2018 BoothRiverdale ArtWalk 2018 BoothRita Wong Photography booth at Riverdale ArtWalk 2018 at Jimmie Simpson Park, Toronto.

 

The most popular piece was "Aglow", the jellyfish on the blue round print. Second up was the black and white print next to it, "Solitary Sahara Trek", and a common question was "what animal is it that left those tracks on this photo?" - I think it's a bird, but it's still a mystery to me! Another question came up more than once for the "Strolling on Silk" piece - "was that person really there, or did you add him in?" He was definitely there, wandering freely on the sand dunes. And yes, I had to climb onto a HIGH sand dune to capture that image! 

 

It was lots of fun meeting all the visitors to my booth and talking about the stories behind my photographic artworks and photo books. Some who had visited Antelope Canyon, Kyoto or Morocco shared their trip memories with me. One couple even said I should be invited along on their trip to Morocco to take photos for them (just contact me when you're ready to start your trip)! I met people who shared a similar artistic philosophy, and others who simply enjoyed viewing my calming images after seeing alternative art styles in other booths. The most heartfelt comment I received was from an elderly lady: "You have a WONDER in your heart!"  So priceless! 

 

Riverdale ArtWalk 2018 Booth PanoramaRiverdale ArtWalk 2018 Booth PanoramaPanorama view of Rita Wong Photography booth at Riverdale ArtWalk 2018 at Jimmie Simpson Park, Toronto.

 

On Saturday it started off a bit cool but the sun warmed up brightly that afternoon. I even had to run across to my neighbour's booth to cool off when it became too warm on my side. Can you spot me (trying to hide from the sun) and my booth in the photo below? Fortunately, the rain that was forecasted for Sunday held off until close to wrap-up time and was of short duration. It allowed for all artists to pack up their booths and artworks without getting drenched.

Riverdale ArtWalk 2018 View of BoothsRiverdale ArtWalk 2018 View of BoothsView of booths including Rita Wong Photography's booth at Riverdale ArtWalk 2018 at Jimmie Simpson Park, Toronto.

A huge THANK YOU to my friend Ro for helping me with my booth setup starting at 8am both days and with the load-out, and also keeping me company on Sunday!! 

Overall, it was a great experience! Until the next time, please stay in touch for new works posted on my website.

 

2018 Riverdale Artwalk

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art show artists' network booth exhibit exhibition fine art photography photography rita wong photography riverdale artwalk toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/6/2018-riverdale-artwalk-summary Fri, 08 Jun 2018 22:25:33 GMT
2018 Riverdale Artwalk https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/5/2018-riverdale-artwalk I've just wrapped up at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival group exhibit titled "Isolation". Thanks to everyone who came out to see the exhibit and take in the Artists Talks! It was a great experience for me and the other 11 photographers who were part of this group show.

With the warm summer-like weather these days, I'd like to invite you to the the 2018 Riverdale Artwalk in Toronto this coming weekend on June 2 & 3, 2018. 

This outdoor art show runs both days in the Jimmie Simpson Park & Community Centre from 11am to 6pm, with 150+ artists participating and is free admission! 

Please see the postcard invite below for details. Hope to see you there! 

 

2018 Riverdale Artwalk

"Get out and get some art!"

 

[UPDATE: Please see this blog post for a summary and photos from this event.]

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art show artists' network exhibit exhibition fine art photography photography rita wong photography riverdale artwalk toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/5/2018-riverdale-artwalk Mon, 28 May 2018 23:00:00 GMT
2018 Contact Photography Festival - Isolation Exhibit https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/4/2018-contact-photography-festival-isolation-exhibit Now that the long winter is over and the weather is finally getting warmer, I would like to invite you to a photography group exhibit titled "Isolation", as part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival in Toronto. It is running May 1 - 27, with an Opening Reception on May 4. Also, there will be an Artist Talk on May 19.

Please see the postcard invite below for details. Hope to see you there!

2018 Contact Photography Festival Invite2018 Contact Photography Festival Invite2018 Contact Photography Festival Invite for the group exhibit "Isolation".

 

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) artists' network contact photography festival exhibit exhibition fine art photography isolation photography rita wong photography scotiabank contact photography festival toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/4/2018-contact-photography-festival-isolation-exhibit Fri, 27 Apr 2018 12:00:00 GMT
Winter Trip to Mont Tremblant - Day 3 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/3/winter-trip-to-mont-tremblant-day-3 Continuing on to Day 3 of my Mont Tremblant trip (if you haven't read about Day 1 and Day 2 yet, click on the links in this line):

Winter AerialWinter AerialAerial view in winter looks like a fabric pattern with snow blanketing most of the land. Knee-Deep in SnowKnee-Deep in SnowSnow drifts reach the window sills of Mont Tremblant's airport.

This morning we slept in, catching up from the activities in the past two days. Well rested, we had brunch at La Maison de la Crepes. Their savoury and dessert crepes are all made fresh to order and very tasty, staff are friendly and the musical atmosphere completes the meal. 

To round off our trip, a visit to le Scandinave spa was a must. The outdoor hot tubs and cold pools were an amazing sight, not to mention the benefits of hydrotherapy along with the saunas. We were not allowed to bring in phones or cameras (for obvious privacy reasons), and all visitors were reminded to be silent in the pools and sauna areas, to truly appreciate and benefit from the relaxing environment and have a detox from our electronic gadgets, discussions about politics, parties, or other gossip of the day.

Winter FamhouseWinter FamhouseThis farmhouse and its hay bales are weighed down by a heavy layer of snow. What a serene view!    Winter Hide-and-SeekWinter Hide-and-SeekThough this school bus is mostly hidden in the snow, its yellow frame gave it away in this winter game of hide-and-seek.

Wrapped only in my soft fluffy hooded white robe and draping my towel around my neck as a scarf (a far cry from my typical winter gear), I quickly stepped into the hot tub and immersed up to my shoulders into the pool of 38' C water. Compared to the frigid -25'C temperature, this felt like heaven! Fresh crisp air kissing my hair and face combined with the gentle warmness of water caressing my body, what more can I ask for? Without cameras, we could only capture the incredibly beautiful scenes in our minds, using the memory "cards" of our brains: a thick curtain of steam rising from the water a mere few inches in front of my eyes (at times I couldn't even see my hands held up in front of me) and beyond that, a little pine tree with all its needles enrobed in snow, next to it a small deciduous tree whose branches were individually wrapped in glistening frost. Lighting this scene was the late afternoon sun peering through the mist in between the two trees. A truly amazing scene that I'll never forget! 

Winter Forest SketchWinter Forest SketchWith the forest shrouded in snow, the line details of trees resemble a pen-and-ink sketch.    Winter ShowWinter ShowWho needs a TV screen when I have this beautiful view to enjoy? Watching the softly-falling snow and occasional drifts in the wind, while warming my hands and stomach with a steamy cup of hot chocolate.

Surrounding the hot tub were layers of rocks each blanketed by snow. Suddenly I felt as if I had been teleported to Japan - the only thing missing were the red-faced snow monkeys that love to lounge in the hot springs! After spending 10 minutes in this smaller tub (needless to day, I dreaded getting out of this pool, both for not wanting this amazing feeling to end, and fearing how cold I would be before reaching my robe and towel), we quickly wrapped up in our robes and stepped into one of the relaxation rooms to warm and dry up. Then we hastily walked over to the largest hot tub at the far end of the property. One of the highlights of this tub was a waterfall dropping into the pool. Just hearing the rush of the water splashing into the pool was a therapy on its own! Again the view from this tub was spectacular - behind a thin veil of steam were silhouettes of a group of girls sitting in a row, leaning against the infinity edge, enjoying the warm water soak and relaxing by the jets of the hot tub, with the sun shining through behind them. Later in the evening, changing coloured lights surround the pool, giving a romantic and magical feel to the whole place! 

Church Scene in WinterChurch Scene in WinterThe red roof of this church gets a wintry white coat, and the blue light transforms the skating rink into a mini lake by the church. Festive LanternFestive LanternA giant festive lanterns decorates the street in Mont Tremblant resort. Perfect for the Christmas season!

Although we would have liked to stay longer in the hot tubs, we had to drag ourselves out of the tub for the massages we had booked, which were much needed after all the activities in the past two days. It definitely helped to soothe my sore muscles from the snowshoeing falls and the hit by the snowboard! I almost fell asleep under the heated blanket in the pine-walled treatment room, soothed by the therapy and natural surroundings. After being mellowed out, we continued to relax in the lounge area, munching on complimentary apples and sipping spiced tea, warming up by the fireplace until it was time to get ready for dinner.

It took me longer than usual to get dressed after chilling for the past few hours. We took a cab to downtown Tremblant for fine dining at sEb, where we tasted local specialties including rabbit, sweetbreads, and lamb. Full of food and wine, we rolled back to the hotel to pack up for next day's departure. The next morning we made sure to have another fill of the delicious crepes before heading to the airport. This time we got a table on the first floor and could watch the young chefs dance to the music as they craft our crepes.

As I couldn't capture photos at the spa, scattered in this post are some pictures from the first and last days of the trip, as we commuted between the airport and hotel, at the airport and some aerial photos taken from the plane. 

  Sleepy-Eyed View of TorontoSleepy-Eyed View of TorontoAs I emerged from my nap on the flight, this was my sleepy-eyed view of Toronto.   Travel BeyondTravel BeyondThe perspective of lines lead you right to the vanishing point...what lies beyond? Hint - it has to do with travel.

After this trip, it sure has changed my mind about taking a vacation to a winter destination! I hope these stories and photos will inspire you to go out and do some winter photography. Until next time...

Darkness Shall PassDarkness Shall PassAlthough these menacing cloud shadows dominate the scene at this moment, their presence is only temporary, as are the dark moments in our lives that eventually pass.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) aerial canada frozen itinerary le scandinave mont tremblant mountain photography quebec snow spa things to do in mont tremblant travel trip visit mont tremblant white winter winter trip winter vacation https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/3/winter-trip-to-mont-tremblant-day-3 Sun, 04 Mar 2018 13:00:00 GMT
Winter Trip to Mont Tremblant - Day 2 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/2/winter-trip-to-mont-tremblant-day-2 Continuing from Day 1 of my Mont Tremblant trip (if you haven't read it yet, you can find it here)...

  Snowy View of Mont Tremblant ResortSnowy View of Mont Tremblant ResortMont Tremblant resort is veiled by snow, muting the bright colours of the buildings. Snowboarder and SkiersSnowboarder and SkiersSnowboarders and skiers on the slopes from early morning.

The next morning we started with a hefty breakfast buffet at Le Shack. Even though we were almost the only ones eating at 8:30am (others were already on the ski hills!), the chef started the omelette station to make our customized omelettes. Fuelled with energy, we headed to our morning snowshoeing "fire man" tour. Most of us in the group of 8 were newbies at snowshoeing, and our guide was very helpful with strapping in everyone's snowshoes. After some notes about techniques for going up and downhill, we headed into the forest. As this is meant to be a tour for snowshoeing, there wasn't as much time to stop and compose images as we would have liked. So the two of us lagged a bit behind the group - on top of trying to take photos. we also had to struggle with camera gear that was freezing up in the cold.

  Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant-1Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant-1Snowshoeing into the forest at Mont Tremblant   Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant-2Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant-2Snowshoeing at Mont Tremblant, making fresh new paths in the deep snow.

Due to the nature of this tour, I had brought my mirrorless camera rather than my heavier DSLR. Nevertheless, the small camera fared well enough and managed to give me these photos. The only issue was when I turned the camera off occasionally, trying to protect the lens both from the falling snow and from falls INTO the snow (which happened to me a few times in the beginning as I tripped on my own snowshoes!) sometimes it would result in error when the lens got stuck at the -30'C temperature. A gentle tap on the front fixed this issue as I went along. We headed up the hill where a snowboarding run was located, but didn't have any snowboarders at that time which would have made awesome photos. Nonetheless, we got a great view looking down towards the frozen lake, along with some snow-tree sculptures!

Snowboarding HillSnowboarding HillLooking down the hill groomed for snowboarders and skiers.   Snow-laden TreeSnow-laden TreeWith so much snow loading its branches, this tree becomes nature's winter sculpture.

Halfway through the tour, we stopped next to a giant rock wall covered with icicles and our guide started a small fire to warm us up. He even played a traditional Quebecois song on his harmonica! A great entertaining addition to this walk in the fairytale snow-white forest. After that we headed back to the activity center to conclude the tour. Overall, it was a fun new experience for me, although at times I was out of breath going up those hills, but my energy and stamina grew as we went along.

  Icicled RockwallIcicled RockwallCurtain of icicles covering the face of a rock wall.   Snow-White ForestSnow-White ForestTree trunks covered in snow contrast against the golden-brown leaves of their neighbour.

The sleigh ride that we had booked for the afternoon was cancelled because the strong winds on top of the frigid temperatures would have made the open-field ride unbearable, both for us and for the horses pulling the sleigh. So we warmed up and enjoyed a snack at the packed Cafe Johannsen (most skiers were in there sipping hot chocolate and munching pastries!), then retraced some of the paths taken that morning, to take more photos of skiers coming down the beginners' slope. As much as we kept to the side and out of their way, I learned my lesson the hard way when a novice snowboarder came too close to the side and fell, taking me down along the way. I was lucky he had already slowed down when his snowboard hit me, and ended up with a badly-bruised shin instead of a broken leg! As the saying goes, no pain no gain. Here are some images I got after the incident:

Skier 1Skier 1Skier enjoying the snowy scenery.   Skier 2Skier 2Skier ready for the slope.

Skier 3Skier 3Young skier at the underpass. Skier 4Skier 4Skier's colourful outfit is almost a perfect match with the wall!

After another hour or so of photos, we retreated to the shopping area where we found anti-fog wipes for glasses - a must-have for those wearing glasses along with a balaclava-type mask to keep the face from frostbite. Luckily I had worn my contacts that morning, or else would have had to go snowshoeing without my glasses, which would have caused more falls and injuries! We also spent some time picking out souvenirs to bring home, to remind us of this trip. We were planning to have a go at the free sliding evenings but I believe they were cancelled, as temperatures fell below -25'C. Next on our agenda was a sumptuous dinner, of course. We were fortunate to come across a little known restaurant (and were able to find a table last minute!) in la Quintessence hotel - their French cuisine, wines and service couldn't have been topped. Our sever was so knowledgeable about all their dishes and wines, and extremely friendly too! I highly recommend enjoying a meal here. Although not listed on most tourist guides, it's actually quite close to the resort area. In warmer weather, you could even enjoy your meal on the terrace with a beautiful view of the lake. Our bellies filled with delicious goodness, we retreated to the hotel for a restful sleep, though there was a small disruption as some neighbours held a birthday celebration!

Watch for the next post to read about the ultimate activity on Day 3 of our trip...

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) canada frozen itinerary mont tremblant mountain photography quebec skiers skiing snow snowboarders snowboarding snowshoeing sports things to do in mont tremblant travel trip visit mont tremblant white winter winter trip winter vacation https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/2/winter-trip-to-mont-tremblant-day-2 Thu, 15 Feb 2018 14:00:00 GMT
Winter Trip to Mont Tremblant - Day 1 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/1/winter-trip-to-mont-tremblant-day-1 Got you hooked with the teaser image I posted a few days ago, didn’t I? Thanks for coming back to read about my winter trip. I rarely take a winter vacation, but at my friend's suggestion to go somewhere with LOTS of snow, we went to Mont Tremblant in Quebec for a long weekend. Although neither of us are skiers, there are plenty of activities to keep us busy.  As this will be a longer post than usual, it’ll be divided into the 3 days of the trip. Here's what we did on Day 1.

We took a morning Porter flight and arrived at Mont Tremblant in an hour. The airport shuttle to the Tremblant resort was highly convenient and we reached our hotel before noon. After putting on additional layers and warm gear to protect our faces and hands from the frigid temperature of -25'C (remember how I said our trip coincided with the cold winter spell that fell across the region? This was the actual temperature, but felt more like the minus 30's with the windchill factor!), we headed up the mountain. A ride on the cabriolet took us to the base of the mountain. As we had never been to Mont Tremblant in the winter, seeing the huge snake of a line-up for the gondola almost deterred us from joining the queue. Once we realized how quickly the line actually moved, we jumped in behind the skiers. We clearly stood out as the only ones not wearing ski helmets and goggles, no ski boots, not carrying any skis or snowboards. Eight at a time, we were swiftly shuffled onto the next gondola coming around the tracks.

A sea of skiers lining up for the gondola to head up to Mont Tremblant's summit. Racks of skis and snowboards parked outside as skiers and snowboarders refuel in the restaurants. "Wish you were here" to join in the fun!

Scene as reflected from the orange lens of a skier's goggles.  

As my friend and I are both photographers, we quickly took corner seats hoping to get the best vantage points from inside the gondola. When we saw how frozen over the windows were, we immediately started to wipe away the frost with our gloves, to clear enough space for our camera lenses. As the gondola carried us up the mountain, we took the opportunity to photograph the downhill scenery, the row of gondolas coming uphill and the other heading back down, and the skiers zooming by the sugar-coated trees beneath us. Once we reached the summit, we exited the gondola into the sea of skiers and snowboarders.

From Up HighFrom Up HighView from gondola to the skiers below, and the rows of gondolas going up and down the mountain. Hitting the SlopesHitting the SlopesSkiers eager to hit the slopes at summit of Mont Tremblant.

A note to photographers here: although it is tempting to start capturing images at this spot, you should first move away from this disembarkment area - I almost got whacked in the head by someone's snowboard as they eagerly headed to the slopes! We were a bit disappointed to learn that the free guided tour at the summit was meant for skiers only, so we couldn't join, but the friendly guest services told us about the balcony lookouts where we could see the panoramic views. The racks of skis and snowboards parked outside also made for interesting images, along with a communication tower that camouflaged against the white sky.

Skis Parking LotSkis Parking LotRow upon row of skis parked outside Le Grand Manitou restaurant as skiers warm up and grab a bite to eat.

It was simply too cold and windy to go up the observation tower, but from the balconies we were able to take photos of the snow-laden trees acting as the perfect backdrop to the skiers and snowboarders in their colourful ski jackets. Due to the snowing conditions, visibility to the mountain base and lakes was reduced, but this added a mysterious atmosphere to the images.

Misty Summit PanoramaMisty Summit PanoramaA misty panoramic view from Mont Tremblant summit, with beautiful sugar-coated trees in the foreground. Snow-FrostedSnow-FrostedThe white snow frosting on every branch of these trees dispels the name of "evergreen"! Watch Me SkiWatch Me SkiA young skier decked in bright ski outfit makes downhill skiing looks so easy! Ready for the SlopesReady for the SlopesA skier gets ready to head down the slopes.

When our fingers got too cold to continue pressing the shutter buttons on our cameras, we headed into Le Grand Manitou and enjoyed a warm bowl of butternut squash soup, staying there until the last gondola down the mountain. The ride down was much quieter, as we were two of the few without other means to get downhill! We had much more freedom moving around inside the gondola to get the best angles for our shots.

Landscape View From GondolaLandscape View From GondolaCloser view from gondola to the skiers below, and the rows of gondolas going up and down the mountain. Ski, Ski, SkiSki, Ski, SkiSmooth skiing down the slope next to the gondola line. Winter MagicWinter MagicThe power of snow to transform the landscape into a magical white scene.

We spent the rest of the late afternoon checking the deals in local shops - what's a girls' vacation without some shopping? As it was the weekend after Christmas, the festive decorations were still up for some holiday photos. There were also fire pits for warming up when you want to sit and "chill". For dinner we found a cozy little place, le Q. G., which had fantastic food and great service. A wonderful way to end Day 1 of our trip! 

Festive Lights at Mont TremblantFestive Lights at Mont TremblantA perfect festive backdrop for holiday photos!

Stay tuned for the next post about activities and photos from Day 2 of this winter trip. 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) canada frozen gondola itinerary mont tremblant mountain photography quebec skiers skiing snow snowboarders snowboarding sports things to do in mont tremblant travel trip visit mont tremblant white winter winter trip winter vacation https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/1/winter-trip-to-mont-tremblant-day-1 Mon, 22 Jan 2018 13:00:00 GMT
Winter in Canada https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/1/winter-in-canada Here's a teaser image for an upcoming blog post...to start off the new year, my friend and I spent a long weekend in Quebec, which coincided with the coldest days this winter (thus far) across Canada. Guess what temperature this was at, and what other photographs we got from this trip? Stay tuned for the next post!

 

Frozen (Winter in Canada)Frozen (Winter in Canada)

A big thanks to my friend for capturing this awesome photo!

 

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) canada frozen photography snow winter https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2018/1/winter-in-canada Thu, 18 Jan 2018 21:55:11 GMT
Happy Holidays 2017 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/12/happy-holidays-2017 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2018! Wishing you all the best for the holiday season and beyond!

Christmas Card 2017Christmas Card 20172017 Christmas Card from Rita Wong Photography

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) bokeh christmas fine art photography globe lights night https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/12/happy-holidays-2017 Sun, 24 Dec 2017 19:53:46 GMT
Furry Friends to Keep You Warm https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/12/furry-friends-to-keep-you-warm As the snow flies and temperatures drop, what better way to warm up then with some furry friends. If you don't have a furry feline to curl up with, don't fret, I have several to share with you here. Cats are so abundant in this blue town of Chefchauoen that you can find them everywhere - on the window sill, by the doorway, on the steps leading up to houses on the hill. They love to pose for photos, and usually have a beautiful blue background to contrast against their fur colours!

Cat on Window Sill

 

Cat on Doorstep

Cat on Steps

Until next time, enjoy these photos and stay warm!

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) blue blue town cats chefchaouen furry friends photography street photography https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/12/furry-friends-to-keep-you-warm Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:30:00 GMT
Exhibit at Art Square Gallery https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/11/exhibit-at-art-square-gallery Before you know it, the holiday season is fast approaching! I'm participating in an upcoming art exhibit in Toronto, starting on November 20th. The show is "BowsArt 150", located in the Art Square Cafe & Gallery across from the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO). This is a perfect opportunity to shop for your home/office or for the art lovers on your holiday gift list! You can also grab a bite to eat and enjoy a drink at the cafe while visiting the exhibit. 

BowsArt150-2017BowsArt150-2017Invite to Art Exhibit at Art Square Gallery in Toronto, Nov. 20 - Dec. 4, 2017.

 

 

A reception will be held on November 22nd, and the exhibit runs until December 4th. Happy holiday shopping!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art art square cafe & gallery art square gallery bowsart exhibit photography toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/11/exhibit-at-art-square-gallery Thu, 09 Nov 2017 20:09:19 GMT
Exhibit at Blue Crow Gallery https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/10/exhibit-at-blue-crow-gallery To those who may have missed the invites through social media channels, I'm participating in a group art exhibit for the month of October 2017 in Toronto. The theme is "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" and each piece is 12x12 inches or less, perfect for the smaller areas on your walls thirsting for a piece of art!

 

Blue Crow Invite-Oct 2017Blue Crow Invite-Oct 2017

 

A reception will be held on October 20th, and the exhibit runs until the end of this month. Hope to see you there!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art blue crow gallery don't sweat the small stuff exhibit photography small pieces small stuff toronto https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/10/exhibit-at-blue-crow-gallery Fri, 20 Oct 2017 02:16:11 GMT
Latin Festival https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/9/latin-festival One of the many benefits of living in a multicultural city is the range of festivals held each year, giving us an opportunity to learn about other world cultures while sharing our traditions. Recently I attended a Latin Festival - the Latin countries are not only known for their singing, but also their amazing dancing (and of course, delicious foods such as empanadas and tamales which I also tasted)! I watched several different dances and couldn't keep my camera away from the dancers' bright dresses!

Here are a few images that are my favourite, both for their beautiful colours and fantastic abstract patterns that resulted from the dancers' motions.

Dance of ColoursDance of Colours Yellow SwirlYellow Swirl

Blue SwirlBlue Swirl

While some viewers may like still images of these dancers frozen in time, these "in motion" images convey the energy of the dancers as they moved and twirled their dresses across the stage!

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract action art colourful dancers dresses latin festival motion photography https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/9/latin-festival Fri, 22 Sep 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Back to School https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/9/back-to-school As we head back to school, life can get hectic and feel frenzied, with packing lunches and making sure everyone gets to school on time, then heading off to dance lessons or hockey practices after school. Of course, this is on top of the regular work routines and house chores. Before you know it, the day is over and you wonder where time has gone...much like these scooters zooming by in this abstract image:

To survive this madness which most people know as "life", you often have to stretch yourself and bend over backwards (or perform other forms of acrobatics) to meet all these demands, with little Suzie crying for her favourite toy or Johnny asking (the sixth time!) for his permission form to be signed. Perhaps this pair of artistic acrobats can give you another inspiration:

In the midst of all this craziness, it's important that we take time to press PAUSE now and then (freezing action as below, only when safe to do so, of course), to take stock of where you are and check whether you are heading in your life's desired direction.

If so, continue to forge ahead! Otherwise, see what changes are needed and take steps to make these adjustments before life passes you by! 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract acrobats action art capture photography sports street photography street scenes https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/9/back-to-school Tue, 12 Sep 2017 00:30:00 GMT
World Photography Day 2017 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/8/world-photography-day-2017 In honour of World Photography Day today (August 19, 2017), I will share with you some of my favourite photos from a recent trip to Tokyo, Japan. These images highlight what photography means to me. Photography involves observing the world around us, finding interesting scenes and capturing specific moments in time. Photography is also a way to create art, framing snippets of our surrounding into art pieces. or turning reality into abstract images that are different from how we typically see our world. 

By observing the world around us, we can find interesting scenes and capture these moments through photography. In both a physical sense and as a metaphor, this reflection image below epitomizes life in Tokyo. The modern architecture is representative of leading-edge design in Japan, yet traditional festivals (the red and white lanterns) continue to this day. This scene may seem chaotic, with a crowd of people crossing the street, the festival float, and shoppers entering the shopping mall, but pedestrians somehow maintain their order.

Reflections on Life in TokyoReflections on Life in TokyoIn both a physical sense and as a metaphor, this reflection image epitomizes life in Tokyo. The modern architecture is representative of leading-edge design in Japan, yet traditional festivals (the red and white lanterns) continue to this day. This scene may seem chaotic, with a crowd of people crossing the street, the festival float, and shoppers entering the shopping mall, but pedestrians somehow maintain their order.

If we focus in on specific parts of our surroundings, whether in nature or in architecture, there are countless patterns that can be captured by the camera, putting these snippets within frames and creating art pieces. I am particularly drawn to geometry, and the image below makes use of light, lines and reflections to form strong criss-cross patterns. This makes a great piece of art on my wall!

Xris-Xross *Xris-Xross *Light, lines and reflections work together to form criss cross patterns in this contemporary building in Tokyo, Japan.

I also like to use photography to turn reality into abstract images. We see reality often enough that it's fun to see something different, to give our minds a break from real life. The out-of-focus photo below is an example of this. I just love how the lights look when they're not in focus, also the patterns of the crosswalk lines and the cyclist that just passed through. I'm sure the real, in-focus version of this image won't be as impactful!

Quiet Scene in ShibuyaQuiet Scene in ShibuyaEveryone is familiar with images of the busy Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, Japan. Not far from that crowded intersection, I found a quieter scene in comparison.

The above examples show some my favourite types of photography. What does photography mean to you?

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art black and white capture geometry japan patterns photography street photography street scenes tokyo world world photography day https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/8/world-photography-day-2017 Sun, 20 Aug 2017 02:30:46 GMT
The World of Insects https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/7/the-world-of-insects Recently I tried the technique to shooting hand-held macro photography - it was so liberating! No longer restricted by the degree to which I can set my tripod legs, or the angle that my lens can tilt to once attached to the tripod, being able to quickly move my camera around to catch fast-moving insects, don't you feel tempted by all this freedom? I certainly do!

With this new-found freedom, I was able to poke my camera lens into the flowerbeds, entering into the world of insects that I otherwise may have missed. Here are a few fantastic scenes that I found in the garden.

First I caught a black ant climbing around leaves searching for the perfect part to cut out and take back to its colony. The serrated edge of the leaf adds interest to the image.

Then I found this four-lined plant beetle attempting to camouflage itself among the yellow flower, but its dark black stripes gave it away!

 

Finally I was lucky to find this caterpillar on display. Usually I'm not a fan of caterpillars, but I've never seen such a colourful one, covered with blue and brown dots, and tufts of hair along its body. A rare thing for me to say, but what a beautiful caterpillar! Added to this is the vibrant flower on which it rests!

 

A minor drawback to this hand-held photo technique is that quick bursts of shots are needed to increase the success rate. But with the current camera technology and memory card speed/storage capacities, it is easily doable and well worth the effort to capture these beauties in the world of insects!

 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) ant art beetle caterpillar colours flowers hand-held insects macro macro photography nature photography photography technique plant https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/7/the-world-of-insects Fri, 14 Jul 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Canada 150 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/6/canada-150 For Canada's 150th birthday coming up this Saturday July 1, 2017, this blog post will take on a different format. To share what Canada means to me, I created a photo collage from several of my images from Canada. This collage shows Canada as a kaleidoscope of colours and landscapes stretching from the west to the east coast. 

Canada KaleidoscopeCanada KaleidoscopeCanada is a kaleidoscope of colours and landscapes, stretching from the west to the east coast.

 

As we enter the summer season, get out there and enjoy this vast country of ours! There's so much to explore and see in each Canadian province and territory. Aside from the sightseeing, don't forget to sample the local specialties of food and drinks. Enjoy your Canada Cay celebrations!

Happy 150, Canada!

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) 150 2017 Canada Canada 150 Canada Day July 1 July 1, 2017 birthday colours country landscape province territory https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/6/canada-150 Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:00:00 GMT
The Trend of Selfies https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/5/the-trend-of-selfies In this day and age when selfies are all the rage, many people have perfected the art of taking selfies with their phones, and the inventor of selfie sticks are continuing to cash in on the trend.  We also hear stories of people who have been accidentally hit by selfie sticks, or tourists who unfortunately have been injured or lost their lives while taking selfies on mountain edges or at famous landmarks around the world. While this trend of selfies can be seen as boosting narcissism, or even dangerous, selfies can yield interesting images as long as we take the proper precautions.

I take a twist on this trend and prefer to take "selfies" of my shadow, as I find them much more photogenic than the selfies showing my face!

Here are some recent examples. While on vacation, I had just come out of the store with a bag of groceries and saw my shadow along the beautifully decorated sidewalk - what a great spot for a selfie. The late afternoon sun cast a long shadow - this is the only time I can be so tall! 

This past weekend, I took part in Doors Open to visit some new buildings in town. This landscaped space was full of geometric shapes that complemented my selfie and made the abstract all the more interesting. 

Shapes and ShadowShapes and Shadow

Another selfie taken near the same building - this one also incorporated unique shapes of reflections on the ground and shadow of a street lamp. 

What forms of selfies have you taken? Do you prefer traditional selfies or other styles? With the trend of selfies being so popular, photographers need to be more creative and artistic with their selfie images.

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract artistic photography selfie shadow https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/5/the-trend-of-selfies Tue, 30 May 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Painters of the Land https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/3/painters-of-the-land Both artists and photographers are painters of the land. While artists may carry sketchbooks or palette and easel with them to paint the landscape colours, photographers bring their cameras, lenses and other accessories to capture nature's beauty. To accentuate the feeling that landscapes resemble paintings, post-processing can be used to apply various painting media such as watercolour or oil paint, techniques including crosshatch or different brushstrokes, and backgrounds of paper or canvas types, etc.

This processing technique can be used to turn an ordinary landscape into a more artistic scene, as colours may be brightened and mixed into adjacent colours for a soothing effect. Here is one example of a landscape that looked more pleasant after an artistic treatment.

Winter Field at SunsetWinter Field at SunsetAlthough the barren winter field seemed desolate, the multi-hued sunset colours turned this scene into a painting.

The paint treatment also does well for fragments of a landscape - in this image below the paint brushstrokes enhances the feeling of motion as the grasses are blown about by the breeze. 

Flow with the WindFlow with the WindI watched as these grasses swayed in the gentle breeze, enjoying their carefree spirit.

If you like to focus right in on a subject, as I did in this photo below, the painting effect can work its magic here too. Not only did it highlight the main subject in the image with the vibrant ochre and white colours, the foreground water became more transparent showing the pebbles below, and the background ripples were emphasized in the darker azure blue water. I can see this painting hanging on my wall!

Snow-Capped TobleroneSnow-Capped TobleroneThe shape and colours of this rock made me think of the snow-capped toblerone chocolate, except this one is emerging from the azure blue waters of the lake.

Photographers not only paint with their cameras in the field, but are also artists when processing their photos, especially when paint treatments are applied. Which effect do you like best? 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art treatment artistic canvas oil paint paint treatment photography watercolour https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/3/painters-of-the-land Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:00:00 GMT
When Reality is Not Enough https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/3/when-reality-is-not-enough As varied and interesting as our world is, sometimes reality is not enough. Artistic photographers will feel the need to create something more, to produce images that may be based on what we photograph in reality, but with other additions or modifications applied to make them even more artistic, more intriguing, more impactful.

While watching a skating show, I took multiple images of this dancer. Upon reviewing the series of photos, I found her shadows even more interesting, as the lights cast shadows in three directions, forming a trillium shape. I decided to make a composite from 2 of the images, with the following result:

Skating ShadowsSkating ShadowsAs this figure skater spun around the skating rink, I couldn't help but focus on the interesting shapes of her shadows, so I decided to compose an image with this as the main focus.

Reality can also be transformed into abstract art. The photo of a simple tree was manipulated into a black and white abstract, which I titled Night and Day. Simple yet effective, I think, and has a lot more impact than the original tree image!

Night and DayNight and DayAbstract made from views of this tree at night vs. at daytime.

A third example is this building which I redesigned. The architect of the original building likely won't approve of this change, but it made for a fun exercise in creating composites.

ROM RedesignedROM RedesignedThe ROM Museum is given a new look in this abstract composition.

If you need some inspiration for your photography, play with the photos in your collection. The results are only limited by your imagination!

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) ROM abstract architecture artistic black and white composites imagination inspiration photography reality shadows skaters tree https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/3/when-reality-is-not-enough Tue, 07 Mar 2017 13:00:00 GMT
Wintry Days for Photography https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/2/wintry-days-for-photography It's that time of the year again, winter, cold, grey, snowstorms, freezing rain...but don't despair! This range of weather offers various photo opportunities, whether you are out braving the wind and cold temperatures, or staying in from the elements. 

After a heavy snowstorm, when children are out building giant snowmen or tobogganing down mountains of snow, it's the perfect time to capture nature at its best. All the trees and shrubs are covered in a blanket of snow, outlining and highlighting the delicate shapes of branches and dried leaves, some of which we don't even notice at other times of the year. Here is one sample I found today after 15cm of snow shrouded the city.

Snow-CappedSnow-CappedThis winter snowfall offered a perfect opportunity to capture all sorts of trees and shrubs covered by a blanket of snow.

Just a few days ago, the scenery was much different. It rained all afternoon and as evening approached, the temperature hovered around 0 degree. A veil of ice masked the city, including my room window. While it was treacherous to be walking or driving in this weather situation (I hope everyone stayed safe!) and kept me indoors, it didn't stop me from seeing the beauty in this scene. This is what a frozen streetscape looked like, including the towers across the street and the lights from cars stuck in traffic. 

Frozen StreetscapeFrozen StreetscapeAn evening of freezing rain kept me indoors, but didn't stop me from photographing the city under a veil of ice.

I continued to search for interesting patterns through my window, and soon enough, a car in the parking lot below started moving. Its brake lights became the glowing red sun in my winter sunset scene, a la Monet style. It has turned the sky into a peach tone over the water below. (This involved a bit of imagination and a vertical rotation of the original image.) 

Winter Sunset a la MonetWinter Sunset a la MonetContinuing to play with the freezing rain on my window, the lights in the parking lot below turned into a winter sunset Monet style.

What sorts of winter images have you been making? Whether realistic or abstract, the possibilities are endless!

Stay warm and keep safe in your winter photo shoots!

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract artistic cold freezing freezing rain grey ice image nature photography rain snow wintry https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/2/wintry-days-for-photography Mon, 13 Feb 2017 13:00:00 GMT
Dreary Days for Photography https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/1/dreary-days-for-photography Often, photographers may shy away from dreary days, as the golden light will not be available to add that magic touch that landscape photographers dream of. Or even if they went out for a photoshoot, they may not be impressed by the resulting images. Don't be so quick in dismissing those dreary days, or rejecting the grey photos from your photo library. With the power of post-processing software, even drab photographs can be turned into artistic images.

A good example is this photo that I took one grey day - the clouds presented interesting textures in the sky, but it was so overcast that the colours in the vegetation were barely visible.

Yellowknife PondYellowknife Pond

The underexposure didn't help either. But after a transformation using a NIK software filter, it takes on an artistic look and a whole new life! Although some of the cloud texture in the sky is lost, it is still visible in the reflection on the water. The triptych panelling also adds to the painting effect.

Yellowknife Pond Art EditYellowknife Pond Art Edit

Using another filter effect, the original photograph is transformed into a completely different form below. This abstract version retains (and enhances) much more of the dreary, cool mood, but in an artistic dreamy manner. If I hadn't shown the first photo above, it may be difficult to figure out what the original image looked like!

Dreamy Landscape on a Dreary DayDreamy Landscape on a Dreary DayIt was a grey, dreary day when I visited this pond, but after some artistic touches, the scene became the subject of a dreamy landscape.

One photograph, three vastly different looks - which do you find most effective? Which version do you like best?

This definitely is a good reminder to keep photographing, no matter the lighting conditions. You may be surprised by the resulting images that you can create!

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) NIK abstract artistic dreary effects filter grey image landscape lighting photography https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2017/1/dreary-days-for-photography Fri, 06 Jan 2017 13:00:00 GMT
Photo Book: Titled Art No. 1 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/11/photo-book-titled-art-no-1-draft My first collection of Titled Art images is now available in a photo book format. Please visit the pages below to see a preview of my book and to order your copy.

Titled Art No. 1 Cover

Hardcover: http://www.blurb.ca/b/7615737-titled-art-no-1                           

Softcover: http://www.blurb.ca/b/7555560-titled-art-no-1

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art book design graphic design photography titled art https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/11/photo-book-titled-art-no-1-draft Wed, 30 Nov 2016 13:00:00 GMT
Artistic Portraits from Photography https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/11/artistic-portraits-from-photography In portrait photography, it seems the trend nowadays is to have a model in the middle of a forest, perhaps with her long hair weaved into the branches and leaves of the trees, often with the help of some post-processing. For a while, levitating models were another fad in portrait photography. I'm sure you've seen tons of images in these categories. Instead of following the latest trends, why not create your own style of artistic portraits?

As long as you have captured a suitable portrait to start with, many different artistic effects can be applied to alter the look of the image. The effect applied to the image below gave it an illustration look, and reminded me of an aged book cover. Something old can be refreshing when compared to the plethora of similar images out there.

A Pensive Moment *A Pensive Moment *A boy and his horse take a break from posing for visitors' cameras.

Aside from applying artistic effects, I also like to look for unique portraits while shooting street photography. Two examples are shown below. In this image, many people will say that an artistic filter was applied to the image, and won't believe when I say otherwise. It's actually a piece of installation art where a wall was covered with silver reflective film. As this passerby approached the wall, his reflection is distorted and gives an impressionistic effect to his portrait. It was a great coincidence that his outfit colour goes so well with the fuchsia colour in the wall opening! 

At the Looking GlassAt the Looking GlassAlthough some viewers see this as a filter effect created in Photoshop, it is actually a scene captured in reality. It is an art installation placed between two historic stone buildings, with reflective paper lining the inside surfaces. Anyone walking within the installation will become distorted - perhaps once they pass through the looking glass, they will enter into Alice's wonderland!

Candid shots can make for interesting portraits too. As many observers were peeking through this art installation, they became part of the artwork and added another dimension to it. The geometry of the art piece and placement of these two men in the frame created an unique portrait. The subjects' clothing colours also matched that of the artwork! What more could I have asked for?

Through the Looking MoonThrough the Looking MoonAs observers peek through the crescent moon art installation by Ai Wei Wei, they become a piece of the artwork by looking through the moons.

The styles for artistic portraits are limitless, so photographers don't need to follow the latest trends in creating similar images. We just need to keep watching for unique portrait opportunities.  

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) artistic candid effects image photography portrait portraits street photography style https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/11/artistic-portraits-from-photography Wed, 02 Nov 2016 12:00:00 GMT
Photography Involves Detective Work https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/10/photography-involves-detective-work Sometimes, being a photographer makes me feel like a detective. When we're photographing landscapes or events, the subjects are well laid out in front of us, as long as we find the right locations and show up at the appropriate times. On other days, we may be out shooting without a specific photographic subject in mind. This is when our detective skills come into play. 

On an unusually warm Fall day, I was walking in a garden enjoying the flowers that were still in bloom. A large white iris caught my eye and I started by capturing it in its entirety. With the bright afternoon sun, it was not the ideal lighting condition for this type of shot, and the background is quite distracting with other flowers and leaves pointing every which way.

White IrisWhite IrisWhite iris flower

Typically, I prefer to see more close-up details of my photo subjects, so I moved in for a closer look. Peeking into the petals of this snow-white iris with my detective eyes, I found a Japanese beetle hiding in there. In turn, it was peering through a hole in the flower petal...I wonder what it found?

Peek-a-BooPeek-a-BooPeeking within the petals of this snow-white iris, I found a Japanese beetle hiding in there. In turn, it was peering through a hole in the petal...I wonder what it found?

To continue this peek-a-boo game with the beetle, I took a photo from outside the flower and saw its head poking out slightly from the hole in the petal. Although this also makes for an interesting shot, the subject may not be as clear if this image was presented by itself. Now that you know the whole story, which photo do you prefer? The one showing the beetle from above, or this version from below?

Peek-a-Boo 2

Whichever one you like, it's a reminder to always keep our eyes open for photographic opportunities everywhere, to play games with our subjects, and to use our detective minds for unique shots. Instead of carrying a detective's magnifying glass, just whip out your macro lens instead!

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) Japanese beetle close-up detective flower insect macro nature peek-a-boo photography plant white iris https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/10/photography-involves-detective-work Wed, 19 Oct 2016 01:45:41 GMT
Minden Rodeo 2016 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/6/minden-rodeo-2016 Now that summer has arrived, many sporting events are taking place. One such event where many photographers are ready to capture the action is at the rodeo. There are several different competitions during the 2-hour event, including bareback or saddle Bronc riding, pole bending, barrel racing, bull riding, steer wrestling, tie down roping and team roping. 

One popular event for female riders is barrel racing. Riders race their horses around 3 barrels in the arena following a cloverleaf pattern, with the aim of getting the fastest time without knocking over any of the barrels, although touching or tipping the barrel is acceptable. This rider is intensely focused on the barrel as she maneuvers her horse around it. 

Barrel RacingBarrel RacingAn intense moment as the cowgirl and her horse go around the barrel.

After going around the third barrel, the rider runs a long stretch from the far end of the arena back to the finish line. It seems the louder the crowd cheers, the faster the horse gallops! This is the perfect opportunity to practice panning shots. The photographer needs to switch from the previous high shutter speed used to freeze action around the barrel, to a slower shutter speed and narrower aperture for panning with the galloping motion. With many trial-and-error shots, I was able to get a few where the rider's face was in focus. I really like how the panning effect conveys a sense of motion, as opposed to a static image where everything is sharp.

Galloping to Finish LineGalloping to Finish LineThe louder the crowd cheers, the faster the horse gallops towards the finish line.

Another exciting event at the rodeo is Bronc riding. The cowboy has to stay on the bucking Bronc for at least eight seconds, holding on with just one hand and not letting his other hand touch his horse. The bucking action of the horse is so violent that this event is considered toughest on a rider's body, with the highest stress placed on his arm and back. This cowboy was certainly riding with style!

Bronc RidingBronc RidingCowboy hangs on tightly as he rides the bucking Bronc for at least eight seconds.

At a rodeo, photographers can capture unique action shots while learning a thing or two about cowboys. But for their own safety, photographers must also be prepared with an escape route as aggressive horses or bulls can run into the fence towards them! 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) Bronc Minden barrel racing bucking bulls cowboy cowgirl horses panning photography races rodeo sports https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/6/minden-rodeo-2016 Tue, 28 Jun 2016 05:36:48 GMT
Haliburton Dog Sled Races 2016 https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/3/haliburton-dog-sled-races-2016 Two weeks ago while the city was still enjoying a relatively mild winter, I went north to see and photograph the Haliburton Highlands Dogsled Derby. Although my friends (fellow photographers) and I were trying our best to get there on time to catch all the morning races, we couldn't help but make several stops while driving along the way.

When you see the photos from that morning, you will understand why we stopped numerous times. We even considered skipping the dog sled races all together, just to stay by the fields to capture the beautiful winter scenes. Here is one of the morning shots, in the misty air. It reminds me of Turner's paintings, the way the light is filtered and falls across the canvas. 

MIsty Winter MorningMIsty Winter MorningIt was a foggy, frosty winter morning, creating a painting right in front of my eyes. Definitely worthwhile to get up early that morning and go out for photography.

 

Another photograph from that frosty morning by the side of the road. I used a high-key treatment to further accentuate the branches' lightness and delicacy. We really could have stayed there all day, or at least until the frost melted away, but we continued on to the dog sled races... 

Frosty BranchesFrosty BranchesThese trees looked ever so delicate with their frost-covered branches. What a wonderful winter scene!

We began near the starting line to catch the dogs and mushers as they ran off with an energetic start. Photographers were welcome at the event, though we had to be mindful to stay off the race track, and not to make sudden movements to spook the dogs. I crouched down by the side of the track while the dogs were still far away, being careful not to stand up until after they've passed my spot. However, the dogs of some teams were quite curious and almost ran towards me. Luckily, all race teams and photographers stayed safely away from each other!

Haliburton Dog Sled Race MusherHaliburton Dog Sled Race MusherDogs and musher are off to an energetic start to this dog sled race.

After all the teams started off, we waited patiently as they raced along the trails. We could move around the grounds to catch the race teams at different parts of the trails. Some popular spots were crowded with photographers, while some other areas were quite open. I caught the following moment as two teams dash towards the finishing line, the second team hot on the heels of the first one. I wonder which team was faster in the end? The pano crop chosen for the image emphasizes the linear shape of the subjects.

Hot on His HeelsHot on His HeelsTwo dog sled teams race towards the finish line, with the second team hot on the heels of the first team.

As you can see, one day of photography outing can yield vastly different results. From serene landscape photos to action-packed images, it's all for the taking!

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) Haliburton dogsled frosty landscape misty mushers nature photography races snow sports trees winter https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/3/haliburton-dog-sled-races-2016 Mon, 21 Mar 2016 04:07:47 GMT
Impromptu Photo Shoot at Skating Rink https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/2/impromptu-photo-shoot-at-skating-rink  

After a hiatus from my blog posts, I am resuming my entries with a change in topics. Whereas the previous series was about adding elements of art and design into photographs, this series will highlight various images I come back with from each photo shoot, talking about both the photographs and interesting stories about the shoot itself.

A recent photo shoot was an impromptu one...originally the plan was to photograph some dance shows, but it turned out photography was not permitted inside the theatre. Stepping outside after the shows, I saw skaters enjoying the unusually warm weather and sunshine. Thus, it became a photo shoot at the skating rink instead.

One of the first skaters that caught my attention was this boy. He was likely a beginner skater, but brave and showing off some tricks already, such as skating with his eyes shielded. His mom was certainly proud to see his footwork! 

Look at Me, MomLook at Me, MomThis boy is a beginner skater, but is already showing off some tricks.  

As this day was so warm, the skating rink had started to melt. It was an unique opportunity to photograph skaters on ice covered with water, so I wanted to focus on this aspect. I zoomed in on two pairs of skates, followed by trails of water. This image is also complemented by the skaters’ reflections and shadows. 

Skating on Melting RinkSkating on Melting RinkOn this unusually warm winter day, skaters continue to skate on a melting rink. The rink was closed later on to repair the ice, so that evening skating can take place.

Later in the evening, the rink ice was repaired and skaters returned to skate along with music and colourful lights shining around the rink. I captured this skater in motion with panning and motion blur. Some viewers may prefer a sharp subject, but I wanted to convey his motion on the ice, and like the flow of colours around him in this blurred rendition. It's blurred, but his skates are still visible to convey his action.

Skater in ActionSkater in ActionSkater enjoys an evening skate, accompanied by music and colorful lights.

So, the next time that your planned photo shoot turns into an impromptu one, don’t be disappointed...you can also get other interesting images that you had not expected! 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract boy ice impromptu long exposure melting motion blur panning photo shoot photography rink skaters skates skating https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2016/2/impromptu-photo-shoot-at-skating-rink Fri, 26 Feb 2016 00:05:32 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Gradation https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2015/3/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-gradation Gradation is a slow transition between opposites - whether it be darkness slowly changing to light, small objects growing larger, or one colour turning into another. Any visual element that can be contrasted can also be gradated: shape, size, edges, direction, value, hue, intensity, texture or temperature. Gradation creates a sense of harmony between things that would otherwise be competing with each other. 

For example, in “On Guard”, there is a gradation in both colour and value. The colour of the clouds changes from a purplish blue to pure white further out over the ocean. Also, the value gradually turns from a brooding mid-tone to a bright white. Without the gradual transition, a sudden change between the two extremes would be too jarring.

On GuardOn GuardLifeguard station at Cavendish Beach, on guard for swimmers in need and ready for any changes in the weather.  

In “Soap Orbs”, the soap bubbles slowly change from small globes at the top of the image to large spheres at the bottom. This creates a sense of perspective as the bubbles float in from outer space towards the viewer.

Soap OrbsSoap OrbsWhile in the car wash, I watched as colourful soap slid down my windshield, forming abstract artwork. Inspired by soap bubbles, I created the orbs.

A transition in direction can be seen in “Winter Tent”, where the angles of the red tent poles vary around the curve of the tent. This provides a dynamic feel to the image, leading the viewer’s eyes into center of the lightweight tunnel.

Winter TentWinter TentThrough the red arches supporting a white fabric winter tent.

Often, some degree of gradation occur naturally, as shown above. But at other times, photographers can make use of this design principle to create impactful artwork.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art change colour composition design gradation image impact photography shape size transition value visual https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2015/3/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-gradation Tue, 31 Mar 2015 02:45:42 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Balance https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2015/2/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-balance Related to the use of positive and negative space in an image, which I discussed in my previous post, is the use of balance as an element of design. Balance refers to the way that elements are arranged, whether it be lines, shapes, or colours. This arrangement, or balance, can be symmetrical, where elements have equal weight on either side of a central line. Balance can also be asymmetrical, where elements are placed unevenly in the image, yet creates an overall sense of harmony in the composition.

 

In the photo “Couples”, the use of symmetrical balance can be seen. A couple is placed on either side of center, and offset in the vertical direction to form a slight diagonal line between these shapes. The symmetry gives a stable feeling, suitable for the theme of couples in the photo.

CouplesCouplesTwo generations of coupled statues sharing a cozy moment in the ocean at sunset.

Similarly, symmetrical balance is employed in “Double Phoenix”. Not only are the shapes of the phoenix equally weighted, but the colours added to the sky are also in balance. Again, a diagonal design is added to suit the elements and to create visual interest. The balance in shapes and colours emphasize the presence of the subject. 

Double PhoenixDouble PhoenixMystical clouds take on the form of a phoenix rising into the sky.

For the image “Architecture Reimagined”, asymmetrical balance is chosen. The three spheres are placed unevenly around the image, but there is harmony between them. The reflections on the spheres are similarly repeated, and the spheres are arranged in a zigzag fashion towards the viewer, creating a sense of dynamics.

Architecture Reimagined *Architecture Reimagined *Building facades as glass spheres - perhaps this is the future shape of architecture.

See how the use of balance, whether symmetrical or asymmetrical, can enhance the subject or design of your images and add impact.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art asymmetrical asymmetry balance balanced composition couples design image impact photography space symmetrical symmetry visual https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2015/2/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-balance Wed, 11 Feb 2015 04:39:58 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Positive-Negative Space https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2015/1/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-positive-negative-space In compositions of photos, as in art, the proportion of positive and negative space can be used to emphasize the subjects. Positive space is the area in the image that is the subject, while negative space is the area around the subject. These can be balanced, or one can be dominating, depending on what your photograph’s statement is. 

When I captured the image “Puzzle in the Sky”, I wanted to show the different fragments of buildings and parts of canopies as pieces of puzzles in the sky. Thus, the upper portion of this image has more negative space, to give room for the puzzle pieces to fit into. 

Puzzle in the SkyPuzzle in the SkyInteraction between several structures.

In the photo “Embrace”, the main subject is the rock formation enclosing the slot canyon, and this positive space rightly dominates the composition. However, some viewers see the negative space in the shape of a fish, as the two sides of the canyon also embrace it. 

EmbraceEmbraceEmbracing sandstone rock formation in Lower Antelope Canyon.

The abstract image “Urban Tuxedo” uses balanced positive and negative spaces to convey its message. The positive space shows the urban structures, yet the negative space is equally needed to complete the artwork, providing the outer “tuxedo” part of the composition.

Urban TuxedoUrban TuxedoUrban architecture turned into a fashionable tuxedo.

Although the examples I provided above are all in black and white, this is not a necessary requirement for the application of positive-negative spaces in an image’s design. The next time you’re composing your photographs, take a look at the positive and negative spaces and see how you can use them to add emphasis to your images. 

 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art balanced compose composition design image impact negative photography positive positive negative space space visual https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2015/1/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-positive-negative-space Mon, 05 Jan 2015 04:10:11 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Tonal Contrast https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/12/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-tonal-contrast A common way to add impact or direct viewers’ attention to the main subject in an image is through the use of tonal contrast. This refers to the difference between dark and light areas in a photograph. The greater the difference, the more attention that area attracts. Varying the tonal contrast in an image can be done locally to focus on the center of attention, or applied to the entire image for adding overall impact.

Initially, the photo “Towards the Light” looked fairly bland, but once it was converted into black and white, the tonal contrast became more apparent. By contrasting the light shapes against the darker areas, the geometry of the stairwell is accentuated and directs the viewer towards the light.

Towards the Light *Towards the Light *Light streaming through an architectural stairwell.

Tonal contrast can be provided naturally, as in the previous photo, or through the use of applied lighting. In “Building Blocks”, a flashlight was used to light up and create high tonal contrast on the blocks and part of the arch. This localized contrast focuses the attention onto the blocks, which are used to form the arch.

Building BlocksBuilding BlocksBricks in old kiln building.

Overall impact can be added to an image by applying high contrast to the entire photo. The shapes and textures of oyster mushrooms are highlighted in “Mushroom”. Here, there is maximum contrast between the lightest white and the darkest black areas, enhancing the curvaceous shapes of the mushrooms and giving an abstract or pop art look to the image.

MushroomMushroomCurvaceous shapes and textures of oyster mushrooms turned into pop art.

Look for areas of high contrast when you’re photographing, or add tonal contrast with lighting sources or in post-processing. This is another method to create impactful images.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art contrast dark design image impact light lighting photography tonal contrast visual https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/12/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-tonal-contrast Wed, 03 Dec 2014 04:42:15 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Scale and Size https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/11/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-scale-and-size In photographs, as in art, the scale and size of various elements can serve various purposes. For landscape images, including an element of known size will help viewers make a relation or size reference to the objects in the photo. Also, the relative sizes of objects add depth and perspective to a two-dimensional image. Thirdly, the relative areas occupied by one shape to another can indicate major-minor relationships and show dominance of a subject. 

In the “Frozen Lake of the Rising Sun”, the inclusion of the couple walking their dog gives a scale reference, showing the immense height of the ice mountain built on the lake’s surface. Similarly in “Fantasy Flight”, the difference in size between the large wing tip and the smaller airplane near the bottom of the image depicts the relative distance between the two.

Frozen Lake of the Rising SunFrozen Lake of the Rising SunEarly morning walk on the frozen lake at Crystal Beach. The transparency of the dog-walkers mimics the translucent ice, as if they're being melted by the rising sun.       Fantasy FlightFantasy FlightTwo planes flying by the moon.

For architectural photos, the diminishing sizes of objects provide a sense of depth and perspective. Two examples are seen in “Galleria Wave” and “Rhythm and Blues” with the red balls and blue columns decreasing in size into the distance.

Galleria Wave *Galleria Wave *Wave sculpture of red balls in Galleria.   Rhythm and BluesRhythm and BluesThe rhythmic pattern of blue-lit columns leads to the light at the end of the tunnel.

The large size of the statues in “Farewell My Sailor” are of dominance (major elements), while the smaller boats in the background are supporting (minor) elements to the story. On the other hand, in the abstract “Sun and Moon”, both circles are of similar size, both being equally important as the sun and moon in the image.

Farewell My SailorFarewell My SailorA wife bidding farewell to her husband before he sails off into the sunset.          Sun and MoonSun and MoonLights through a screen forming an abstract sun and moon in the sky.

When composing your photos, including elements of varying sizes can help with the story-telling aspect, either by providing scale references or showing major-minor relationships between subjects/objects, giving your images the desired impact.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art design dominance element image impact major minor photography reference relationship scale size visual https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/11/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-scale-and-size Sun, 02 Nov 2014 04:10:55 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Patterns and Rhythm https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/9/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-patterns-and-rhythm Related to the previous post about textures is that of visual texture, which includes patterns and rhythm. Patterns are when elements repeat in a regular manner, while rhythm refers to items placed at a slightly irregular sense. Patterns and rhythm are used in art and photography to create visual interest or add impact. Regular patterns give a graphical look and can present a sense of order, whereas varied repetitions in rhythm add some spice. 

In the image “Strawberry Corn”, the 3 pieces of corn (three is a good number to use in visual design) are repeated in a row, forming an orderly array. The size of corn gets smaller the further back it is from the viewer, giving a sense of depth to the image. This makes for a calm decorative piece in the kitchen or eating area. 

Strawberry CornStrawberry Corn

 

On the other hand, the symmetrical repetitions of wheels and spokes in the abstract “Electrified” provide great visual impact to this photo. The effect suits the title and purple lights in the image. After being electrified by the lights, the eye sees multiples of wheels and spokes, similar to the multiple bright spots that you see after looking at bright lights. This pattern also highlights the architectural qualities of the artistic sculpture. 

ElectrifiedElectrifiedColoured lights streaming through a sculpture of wheels makes it electrified. This is part of Ai Wei Wei's Forever Bicycles sculpture for Nuit Blanche in Toronto.

 

The lily pads in “One by One” are lined up in order, but there is some variation in how they are positioned. This creates visual rhythm that adds interest to this photo, leading the eye from one lily pad to the next, while moving from one side of the image to the other. Although the lily pads are similar to each other, their arrangement allows a comparison and shows they are distinctly different - some perforated with tiny holes and others having collected small pools of water, some with flat edges and other with a raised lip.

One by One *One by One *A row of water lily pads forming an artistic curve.

 

Add some patterns or rhythm into your photo compositions, and see how they can enhance the messages you are conveying with your images.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art design element image impact order patterns photography repeat repetitions rhythm texture visual https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/9/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-patterns-and-rhythm Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:54:14 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Texture https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/8/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-texture Texture is an element of art that is often used in photography, whether it’s physically existing in the object captured or added during post-processing. The tactile feeling is conveyed to the viewer through surface quality, whether it is rough, smooth, hard or soft. 

In the photos “Tangled” and “Nature’s Ice Sculpture”, the rough curly texture of the leaves and the glossy smooth undulations of the ice are highlighted (by increasing contrast) as the images’ main subjects, giving a sense of depth to the two-dimensional pictures.

TangledTangledCurled leaves of a dried plant resemble a plate of tangled pasta.

Nature's Ice SculptureNature's Ice SculptureIce cave formed on the shore of Crystal Beach. Amazing how nature's forces can sculpt the dimpled patterns in the ice without the use of any chisels or tools.

Additional textures can be used to enhance the surface quality of the original images. In “The Beginning of The End”, the rough bark on the tree trunk and roots is further accentuated by the cross-hatching pencil sketch treatment applied in post-processing. 

The Beginning of The EndThe Beginning of The EndRoots and truncated trunk of tree, best portrayed by a pencil sketch.

Similarly, the pencil crayon effect in the “Red Rock” image makes the elements of clouds, rock and grass pop out with a three-dimensional quality. This effect is similar to painters applying multiple layers of oil onto the canvas and creating textures with their brushes or palette knives. 

Red RockRed RockRed Rock Canyon depicted in pencil crayon.

Some photographers add other textural effects (wrinkled paper, cracked stone walls, etc.) as backgrounds to their images, combining the main subjects with the specific context for an aged or artistic look. I’ll cover this approach in a future blog post.  

Try experimenting with different textures in your photos, whether enhancing the natural qualities of the objects or applying artistic filters to produce fine art images.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art design element image impact photography quality rough smooth surface tactile textural texture https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/8/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-texture Sat, 23 Aug 2014 03:33:42 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Colours/Hues https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/7/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-colours-hues Aside from black and white photos, colour is of major importance in photography. Usually it is the colours in an image that capture a viewer’s eye and gives the first impression. For landscape photos, the colours or hues are provided by Mother Nature. The “golden hour” is preferred by landscape photographers as the hue of sunlight appears more reddish during this time. In other types of photography, how can colours be used to create more visually appealing images? As in art, the colour wheel and colour theory can be applied. 

 

For colour harmony in a photo, analogous colours can be used. These are any three hues that are side by side on the colour wheel. An example is “Crimson and Gold” where the three hues of red, orange and orange-yellow are present.

Crimson and GoldCrimson and GoldBottles filled with red and golden elixirs.

Another theory for colour harmony is that of complementary colours, in which two hues are on opposite sides of the colour wheel. In this photo “Together at Sunset”, the background colour of the sky was altered slightly in post-processing. The yellow in the lower portion matches the colour of the canoes, while the purple in the top portion is complementary to yellow. 

Together at SunsetTogether at SunsetKayaks at sunset.

A more vibrant combination is a triadic colour scheme, where the hues are evenly spaced around the colour wheel. For this theme, the three colours should be balanced such that one colour dominates with the other two as accents. For the “Pears” image, the triadic hues of red, green and blue create a strong visual image with red taking precedence.

PearsPearsColourful pears lined up on the runway.

You can apply the above (or other) colour theories when you are capturing images, or adjusting hues in post-processing software to design your fine art photos.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) analogous art color wheel colors colour wheel colours complementary design element hues image impact photography theory triadic https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/7/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-colours-hues Fri, 11 Jul 2014 03:10:44 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Shapes https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/6/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-shapes Continuing from the basic element of lines, the next design element that adds interest to a photograph is shapes or forms. These are self-contained areas bound by lines, and can be regular, geometric shapes or irregular, organic forms. 

A number of shapes arranged around an image becomes the composition, as in this photo of “Beach Houses”. There are several forms in this image - the frames around the window/vent opening, the three colourful beach houses, and the shapes cast by their shadows. All these shapes are carefully placed to move the viewer’s eyes around the image - from the brown house in the foreground to the yellow house in the background, then to the red house in front and continuing to the shadows in the foreground.

Beach HousesBeach HousesColourful beach houses in Atlantic Canada.

In this image of “Autumn Treescape”, a natural shape is used to add impact to the image. The crimson red leaves of autumn are made more dramatic with the mountain-shaped outline. Although many viewers suspect this form was created in Photoshop, it’s actually made by nature. This image was taken from inside a small cave, and the rugged shape is the overhanging rock of the cave entrance. The resulting frame and shape definitely make the photo more intriguing. 

Autumn TreescapeAutumn TreescapeUsing a cave entrance as a frame, a treescape is created where autumn foliage resembles a mountain range.

A more simple shape is used in this minimalist image “Glow”. It is simply one side of a porcelain bowl, although some viewers have wondered if it is a piece of cloth or some other object. In this photo, the shape of the bowl dominates and is the main subject. I really liked the way light reflects off its side face and the soft glow created along the top edge of the bowl. 

GlowGlowGlowing edge of a bowl.

As these photos show, shapes can be used alone or in a group to design an impactful image. 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) areas art design element forms frame image impact photography shapes https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/6/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-shapes Fri, 13 Jun 2014 02:01:35 GMT
Add an Element of Art Design Into Your Photos - Lines https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/5/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-lines My next few posts will be a short series about elements of visual design and how they can be applied in the composition of photography. As photography is a visual art, the design elements in a photo are important aspects that can be used to pull viewers into your image or convey emotions/meaning to them. I'll start with the most basic element of design - the line. We often visualize a line being straight as an arrow, but curves are also lines in this context. Lines help to suggest perspective and give depth to a two-dimensional image. 

In this example, the well-worn boardwalk acts as a leading line in the photo, drawing the viewers to the colourful bushes and trees beyond. The narrowing of this line element conveys depth, moving in from foreground to midground of the image.

A Path Well TravelledA Path Well TravelledA well-worn boardwalk leads to the hiking trail at Torrance Barrens, where one can enjoy the autumn colours.

The second example shows how the direction of lines can affect the mood of a photograph. Wavy curves in the snow lie horizontally in the plane, conveying a sense of calmness and tranquility. Their slight diagonal angle projects a sense of motion, as the drifts are blown by the wind, giving the graphic patterns. 

Winter DesertWinter DesertSnow drifts resembling desert sand.

A third example given in this image includes both line direction and weight. The vertical parallel lines of the frame suggest strength and power, as is needed for support. Diagonally oriented, the thick line of the conveyor is the photo’s subject and commands attention with its sliding motion. Together with the third line of the rooftop, a triangle is formed which keeps the viewers’ eyes going around the image.

Sugar Slide *Sugar Slide *Conveyor slide used in sugar production.

For your next photo composition, add in some lines to guide and communicate to viewers. 

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) art design diagonal direction element emotion horizontal leading lines mood photography vertical https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/5/add-an-element-of-art-design-into-your-photos-lines Wed, 28 May 2014 03:36:20 GMT
Need Inspiration For Your Photos? Add a Dash of Imagination https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/5/need-inspiration-for-photos-add-a-dash-of-imagination Sometimes when we’re out shooting, we may not feel inspired immediately. Take time to study the surroundings and add your imagination. You may be surprised with the resulting images. On a cold winter day, I went for a walk in a nearby park. I was looking at some of the dried plants that were peeking out from under the thick snow cover when I noticed the shadow of this plant. The shape of the “flowers” reminded me of sakura (cherry blossoms), although it was far from reality at -15 degrees Celsius. I made this image and changed its tone from a dull grey to a gentle pink, looking forward to the warm spring days ahead when the cherry trees will be covered in white and pink blooms. 

Sakura ImpressionSakura ImpressionShadow of dried flowers on snow reminiscent of sakura (cherry blossoms) in spring.


Another example is this photo taken by a pond. Some people will see this simply as a branch surrounded by ripples, but with some imagination, it resembles a water strider creating concentric figure eight patterns in the water. Even a plain object can become a subject for art. 

Water StriderWater StriderRipples surrounding branch resembles a water strider.

A third example is this humorous image I made in the southwest US (below left). You may hear many photographers say that with the harsh light at mid-day, it’s time to pack up the photo gear and head indoors. Without the bright light casting this shadow of the rock (and a bit of imagination), how would I have captured Miss Piggy making an appearance at the slot canyon? While scrolling through my winter images, another prominent portrait caught my eye, that of a lady in white (below right). It’s snow accumulated on top of a concrete curb in the park, and its shadow forms a profile of a woman with long flowing hair.  

Miss Piggy Spotted at CanyonMiss Piggy Spotted at CanyonShadow of rock at slot canyon resembles Miss Piggy from The Muppet Show. Lady in WhiteLady in WhiteProfile of a lady formed by snow gathered on a ledge.

Add a dash of imagination in your next photography outing, and you may find some unexpected objects or subjects in your images!

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract creative imagination inspiration photography sakura shadow snow water winter https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/5/need-inspiration-for-photos-add-a-dash-of-imagination Sat, 03 May 2014 02:48:09 GMT
Turning a Street Photo into Art https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/4/turning-a-street-photo-into-art For my first blog post, I want to share a technique I like to use for turning a street photo into art - the use of reflections. I was first captured by this street scene with dazzling purple and red lights draped across the trees, and as I moved closer to compose the image, something else caught my eye. The lights were reflected on the roof of a car parked by the road. These made a perfect addition to the composition, balancing the lights in the treetops. The drizzle of jewels also gave a sense of mystery. 

Drops of Jupiter and Mars *Drops of Jupiter and Mars *Scene of trees draped in red and purple lights, outshining the well-dressed mannequins beyond, with drops of coloured jewels sprinkling down.

 

Some viewers have found this image to be too busy and complicated, and suggested cropping out the lights, keeping only the mannequins in the store windows. To me, making such a crop would lose the entire meaning of the image. Without the lights and reflections, this would just be a capture of a street scene, not an artistic interpretation. On the other hand, others have found this to be an intriguing image. A family physician chose this image for his office’s waiting area. The photograph serves dual purposes on that wall, both as art and to give his patients something to think about, relieving their minds from anxiety - how was this image made? What are the drops of lights beneath the trees? 

What are your thoughts - do you like the image including the lights and their reflections?

Another example of using reflections to enhance an image is that of the residential towers reflected in a water feature (below left), adding a surreal feel to the street scene. Or making a photo of reflections only, such as the image of a banner and surrounding buildings reflected in a pond of water (below right). The ripples in the water transformed the words on the banner into "Subliminal Messages", and interesting abstract shapes are formed. 

Reflections on Urban LivingReflections on Urban LivingReflections of residential towers in water feature.

Subliminal MessagesSubliminal MessagesReflections of a banner in the ripples of a water feature turn into subliminal messages and abstract art forms. When you go out to shoot street photography, keep your eyes open for interesting reflections, whether in ponds or puddles of water, on windows, mirrors, metallic surfaces or car roofs - they can turn an ordinary street scene into an art piece.

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info@ritawongphotography.com (Rita Wong Photography - Fine Art & Architectural Photography) abstract art blue buildings city lights night pond purple red reflections ripples scene shapes street street photography street scene trees urban water https://www.ritawongphotography.com/blog/2014/4/turning-a-street-photo-into-art Tue, 22 Apr 2014 03:02:07 GMT