Episode 12 – Jason Dain – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Podcast Episode #12 – Jul 15, 2022

In this podcast interview we will be talking to Jason Dain, a Wildlife, Landscape and Night Sky photographer, currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

You Can Learn Photography Podcast Episode 12 – Jason Dain (mp3)
©Jason Dain

Jason Dain is an Information Technology professional in the Natural Resources sector. Jason is a passionate birder and photographer who got into birding about 7 years ago when he got a new digital camera and started taking pictures of birds and learning more about them. Jason enjoys birding around the St. Margaret’s Bay area where he lives as well as other areas all over the province. As part of his work, Jason travels to different places around the world and has had the privilege of birding on 5 of the 7 continents.

Jason has been involved with Astrophotography for just over 4 years. He started with photographing the Milky Way and progressed into multi-night Deep Space object photography. Jason has had his photographs published in print and online internationally and has been recognized with 2 NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day awards for his work.

You can follow Jason’s work and learn more from the following links:
■ Instagram: @dainjason
■ Facebook: jasondainphotography

As mentioned in the podcast about ethical birding and nature photography, here is the link to The American Birding Association Code Of Ethics.

From your podcast app click on this link to the images which will automatically use your browser.

The Music snippets that you hear in the intro and outro of the podcast is from “upbeat-motivation-corporate” by M-Dewala on Pixabay Music.

July Theme Challenge – “Boats or Cars”

The theme challenge for July 2022 is “Boats or Cars“. This month the assignment is to go out and take images of “Boats” and/or “Cars”, whatever you have access to, and at the same time you’ll enjoy some exercise while out for a walk around your local town. The best time to take these types of images is not in the middle of the day as the light is too harsh unless your subject is in the shade. The best time is early in the morning or later in the day and even better if there is some type of atmospheric condition that will enhance your image. Let’s see what images you create this month.

If you want to share your image there is no facility to upload your image here, however just paste your social media link to the image in your comment and we’ll be able to see your image. Please note comments are moderated so it will not show up right away, however we do get a notification when any comment is posted so it won’t take long to get approved and subsequently show up. By posting your social media link of your image in your comment, it gives everyone visiting the bog a chance to not only see your image for the challenge but also the ability to look at your other work as well by visiting your social media through your link. We want sharing to be a positive experience and we hope you have fun this month with this challenge.

The first image of a the boats in the fog creates a nice clean background and with no wind allows us to see the reflections in the water as well. The second image of the sail boat was taken as the sun was setting and the moon was rising. In this case the timing of this type of shot requires a bit of planning and it only happens once a month where the moon is rising about 15-20 min before the sun is setting. remember the earth is moving so the moon will appear to be moving in the sky on a vertical angle left to right, so your composition may be changing slightly as you take multiple shots. In this case you also need an adequate smaller aperture (larger Fstop number) and focus on the island to get the boat and the moon within acceptable focus. In addition capture at lest one or two images while focusing on the moon as well just in case you choose an incorrect aperture.

You can take images of boats at a wharf after dark if there is enough artificial light. The first image the artificial light is included with a star burst created by using a small enough aperture between f8 and f16. The tricky part is getting the right exposure, so make sure you take enough images as you are adjusting your exposure to ensure you get the shot. You also need to consider the movement of the water which will blur the boats if the shutter speed is slow, (greater than 2-5 seconds), you may require to use a higher ISO to allow an increased shutter speed and then use noise reduction in post processing. The second image not only had artificial light but also the moon was rising within the clouds which adds more mood to the image and with a single exposure the moon is a bit over exposed however I decided to maintain this exposure because its was what I experienced while taking the image.

The images of the blue and maroon cars shown below were taken with a DSLR with different lenses. The first image of the blue car was taken with a zoom lens at 180mm from across the street to get a better composition than what I could attain than being close with a wide angle lens. The second image of the 1948 Willys Jeep Overland Station Wagon was taken again with a zoom lens at 120mm to limit the view of the subject as the background outside of the composition was too busy to include in the image. Take time with your compositions to exclude anything in the background that is distracting as much as possible.

The next set of car images were taken with a iPhone 11 promax. The first image of the 1948 Willys Jeep was taken using the 2x lens which is equivalent to 52mm to again isolate the subject as much as possible to minimize the distracting elements from the composition. The image of the 1943 International KB-1 half ton truck was taken using the 2x lens to again isolate the subject as much as possible. The next image with the reflection of the three vehicles was also taken using the 2x lens to again isolate the subject as much as possible. If you do not have a 2x lens you can always use your 1x lens and then crop the image accordingly to remove distracting elements, but remember to try many different compositions to achieve the best image possible and also keep in mind the tilt of the camera phone to minimize the perspective distortion which is exaggerated the closer you get to the subject.

If you are struggling with composition trying to remove distractions or people you can always get close and take detailed images by finding ornamental objects or patterns such as the following images shown below.

With our monthly theme challenges we try to seek out an instructional resource, below are a few YouTube video links to help with some hints and ideas.

This Month’s Photography instructional aids:
Car Show Photography Tips: by Tony & Chelsea Northrup (6min 35sec)
Photography Tips: How to find the right camera settings – think like a photographer: by Mike Browne (11min 30sec)

Students are encouraged to develop their ability to tell a story or invoke an emotion, as well as how to plan and troubleshoot while creating their images. As such it’s important to not only create the image but to also include a “title”, and write a short paragraph about; how they came up with the idea, any interesting back ground that compelled them to make the image, and describe any techniques on how they overcame any obstacles.

An important part of improving your photography is practice, which is one aspect of the monthly theme challenge, in addition you have an opportunity to learn about different genres, techniques and tips.