Mar 26, 2014

Scott Grant/RONiN photo's profile and photos added to the official X-Photographers website!

Received an email from Fujifilm Cameras today to let me know that my profile and photos have been added to the official X-Photographers website!
I'm super excited to join such an incredibly talented group of individuals!

Eye Contact!

I keep reading that attaining eye contact can be an important aspect in both wildlife and people photography.  If that is the case i got this one all wrapped up! 

No, i didn't add those eyes in Photoshop.  Swear to God.

This is a Great Blue Heron actively displaying on it's nest in South West Florida.

Mar 24, 2014

You reap what you sow!

A few days back my little girl and i visited the Venice Fishing Pier just outside of the town of Venice, in Southwest Florida.  The Pier extends seven hundred feet into the Gulf of Mexico and provides locals and tourists alike with ample fishing opportunity and stunning views.

Half way out the pier sat on a bench under an umbrella was a gentleman with paintbrush and clipboard in hand, adding the finishing strokes to a water-colour painting of a beautiful sea turtle.

Since choosing to photograph for a living i enjoy speaking with artists of all kinds about their work, and usually inquire whether they do it for a living or for pleasure.  I had to kick up a conversation.

I asked, "Excuse me, do you sell your paintings"?   He replied, "i do, both online from my website but also in person where i offer much better deals".  I asked if he did this for a living to which he replied that he works with computers most days and leads a very stressful life.  He explained that his painting helps him relax and was also good for relief of high blood pressure.  He then broke into a rant about how painting was real art as it came from the heart and soul and was so open to interpretation by it's audience.  He mentioned that images from digital cameras (Fujifilm XPro1 hanging on my side) can't be considered real art for several reasons including the artist being limited by the photographic medium as it stifles the minds creativity and also because giclees (digital prints created with inkjet printers) utilize only eight base colours to reproduce entire palettes of colour.

I was at a bit of a loss for words.  What started as keen interest in his art and a possible sale for him quickly diminished into me feeling resentment towards this individual.  Why on earth would he feel the need to praise his art form while belittling another?  I felt no need to disclose to him how i help feed my family.  And I want to be clear to you that i don't consider myself to be much of an artist, instead more of an observer/recorder of happenings.

During his spiel one of his paintings sitting next to him caught my attention.  I noticed that one edge of the painting was bordered with a perfectly straight line of paint.  There wasn't a single brush stroke that extended beyond that line.  It looked suspiciously like he was painting over an image that was pre-printed on paper.  Was he only adding brush strokes on top of prints?  They seemed very similar to images i've seen in souvenir stores in Florida.  Now i'll be the first to admit that i'm more than likely wrong about my asumptions.  It was probably my subconscious looking to find fault with him.  This person may be an incredible painter but regardless i was still quite dumbfounded by his disparaging words which seemed to spew out of nowhere!

'Thank you for your time but we have to be on our way as we have much to see and do today."  I'm not sure if he bothered to offer a goodbye or not and by then i could have cared less.  I just wanted to walk away from him.

My daughter and i continued to explore the pier and it's denizens which included some very friendly teenagers successfully fishing for shark from the Pier.  If you are wondering the little miss wasn't too keen on getting close to sharks, even if  they are only fourteen inches long and still on the hook!

On the way back i preset my camera's focus and exposure settings so i could shoot from the hip to get a candid image of him in his setting.  If you are curious photographing an individual without permission is legal in any public place in the U.S. and Canada.  I honestly didn't care if he would have been upset with me doing so.

At the base of the pier I found a very pleasant lady selling stretched canvas reproductions of her water-colour paintings.  One of which depicted three of my favourite herons.

Any wonder who gets my cash?

You certainly reap what you sow!

Can wildlife be better providers than humans to our children?

I went out specifically to shoot birds here in South West Florida for the first time during my trip here yesterday. At a local hotspot i found cormorants diving continuously for fish (mostly catfish from what i could see). Once they gulped down one down they dove back down for another. The process repeated itself every few minutes.

On the other side of this 'hotspot' nests were abound and it became clear just why they were catching so many fish. As fast as they could bring them back their chicks were stimulating the parents by clicking their beaks and rubbing their throats to make the parents regurgitate the fish so they could eat. The chicks were large, and full of energy so it seems the parents were doing a great job!

After reading a story about some very neglected children in California a few days back i'm beginning to think that wild creatures make much better parents than a lot of humans do!

Nature is incredible if you take some time to observe!

Prints are available on paper and canvas.

Mar 5, 2014

RONiN is now an official Fuji X-Photographer!

I'm honoured and more than delighted to announce that Fujifilm Cameras has invited me to join their worldwide team of X-Photographers, a group devoted to providing feedback directly to Fujifilm on current and future X-Series products!

There are currently about ten of us in Canada. They'll be hosting an online gallery of images of mine made with the X-Series cameras. You'll be able to find it here in the very near future....

I've shot over 15,000 frames with my Fuji X100s since July of 2013. Currently i have an X Pro1 on loan with a host of lenses and am expecting the arrival of the just released X-T1 with a trio of fast primes this week! These two cameras have totally changed the way i view and take photographs and their output is second to none. I'm really excited to be taking this first step towards replacing my massive DLSR's! My cameras bag has already shed more than 5 lbs with a comparable Fujifilm setup which means i can take my gear with me anytime, anywhere!

It's an amazing time to be a photographer!