Monday, December 5, 2011

Derrick’s Portraits


My standard executive portrait package includes a single finished portrait, as chosen by my client from among one or two dozen select previews that I provide. Following post-production, the finished portrait is delivered as both, a high resolution image file that is ready for print, and a low resolution image that is ready for the web.

Derrick was in the studio last week, and as a matter of course, I covered a range of expressions. It’s not uncommon for clients to make the choice that Derrick did, after he saw his previews. He placed an add-on order for the finished version of an additional take. The range of expressions that we cover during photography means that your portrait session can yield more than one useful finished portrait. Portraits with different looks can be used to serve different business purposes. One portrait might be ideal for your web profile, while another could be the perfect accompaniment for a presentation or publication.

To find out more about our photography services for businesses in the Hamilton, Burlington, Oakville and Milton areas, please give me a call, at (905)481-0704.


Friday, December 2, 2011

1940’s New York Photography by Stanley Kubrick

Wow, these photos are awesome! Perhaps what you might expect if Henri Cartier-Bresson and Diane Arbus were to have a love child photographer. Oh alright you left brainers, let's say he made it with Diane Arbus's mom then.

View the above and 14 more images here.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Time And Value


Pablo Picasso was sitting in a park when a woman approached him and asked him to draw her portrait.

He opened his artist’s pad, and after studying the woman’s face for a moment, quickly drew some contoured lines. He handed the women the drawing.

“It’s perfect!” she exclaimed.  “You have captured my essence with just a few strokes of your pencil!  Thank you!  How much do I owe you?”

“Five thousand dollars,” he replied.

The woman protested, "But it took you only a minute!"

"No, madam,” Picasso replied.  “It took me a lifetime."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Awards in 2011 PPOC Ontario Image Competition

I have just received notice that I won the following awards in the 2011 PPOC Ontario Image Competition.  Judging was earlier this week.


Award of Merit - Fashion category - Mocha and Caramel

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(Modelling by Casey Lynn Rand. Hair and makeup by Virginia, Beauty on the Go.)


Award of AchievementPress Category - Kickboxing Championship

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burlington_May 1, 2010
Burlington’s Bay Area Athletic Club provided the athletes for Canada when the Night of Champions kickboxing event was held in Burlington on May 1.2010.
David A. Gilmour LPPO


Award of AchievementFine Art category – Old World Charmer

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The intimate portrait album that I produced for Jessica as a gift for her husband won an Award of Achievement in the Feature Album category:


View the album by following this link

Thank you again to Jessica for her kind consent to my use of the album in competition and promotion.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thinking About Holiday Season Gifts Yet?


Monday, October 31, 2011

Movember Mo Down at Pure Salon


It’s Moustache Season and I’m growing a fine moustache for Movember!  I’m joining thousands of guys worldwide who are growing moustaches during November, to raise funds and awareness in the fight against prostate cancer.

Yesterday, my team, Theta Omega Mo, held its annual Mo Down at its headquarters, Pure Salon at 460 Brant St. in Burlington.  Team members got trimmed and shaved, in preparation of Movember’s kick-off tomorrow.  Some funds were raised, and thanks to Steamwhistle, some beer was enjoyed.

Naturally, I brought along my camera to record some of the fun.  I turned it over to my buddy Dan, so that he could do the honours while I was in the chair.  He is responsible for the shots of yours truly getting sheared, #5 and #6, and also for capturing a great moment in #3.

I need Mo sponsors!  To help me to reach my fundraising goal, and to support a good cause, please make a donation by visiting my Movember profile,

Funds raised will help make a tangible difference to the lives of others. Through the Movember Foundation and its men’s health partner, the Prostate Cancer Canada Network, Movember is funding world class awareness, research, education and support.

All donations are tax deductible.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stephen J. Thorne’s Images from PPOC CPB Workshop, October 2011

On Monday, October 24, 2011, PPOC’s Central Portrait Branch hosted a professional photography workshop led by Ottawa’s Stephen J. Thorne

Stephen shared his experiences and his photographs from the two phases of his career, first as an award winning photojournalist covering international conflict and disaster, and then more recently as an artist specializing in beauty, glamour and fashion. 

The other organizers and I had arranged several sets and models which were inspired by Stephen’s current interests.  Participants observed, as Stephen spent some time working with these sets. 

Stephen has just forwarded a few samples of the images that he created during the day, for me to share with our workshop participants.  Originally I had intended to post these to our branch’s Facebook group page, before remembering that not all of them were compliant with Facebook’s rules.  So, with Stephen’s kind permission, here they are. 

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All photographs copyright © 2011 by Stephen J. Thorne.  Used by permission.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Recent Executive Portraits





Sunday, October 16, 2011

Win the coolest COOLPIX


Regarding the workshop for pro photographers that I described here and here, if you register before midnight tonight, you qualify to be entered in a draw to win a Nikon COOLPIX AW100.  MSRP $379.  Water-proof, shock-proof, freeze proof.  GPS and electronic compass.  16MPB.  Full HD video.  Courtesy Nikon Canada. 


Saturday, October 15, 2011

Why I am Excited About PPOC CPB’s Workshop on October 24


As described in my previous post, at this workshop we will be providing several different sets and models for attendees to work with.  Themes will include fashion, glamour, pin-up, nude, and fitness.  Our speaker and instructor will be Stephen Thorne.

Now, add to that the news contained in our latest announcement, reproduced below.  Thanks to our sponsor B3K, attendees will be able to try out PhaseOne medium format digital cameras.  That’s 80 megapixels, baby!  

80 megapixels of resolution is a big deal, but an even bigger deal, in my opinion, is the increased bit depth of these cameras.  In digital imaging, bit depth is what limits dynamic range and colour range. 

Greater bit depth means wider dynamic range.  Most DSLR’s have a dynamic range of 6 f-stops.  Medium format digital backs have a dynamic range of 12 f-stops. Six more stops of dynamic range allows for much greater shadow detail.

The greater bit depth also provides tremendously greater colour reproduction capability.  DSLRs capture RAW files in 12-bit format, while medium format digital backs capture 16-bit files.  16-bit files have 65,536 colour values per RGB channel, instead of just 4096 values per colour channel for a 12-bit RAW file, or only 256 values if you’re shooting 8-bit JPEG.  Combine the colour channels, and 16-bit RGB image files can contain 281 trillion possible colours, versus 68 billion for a 12-bit RGB RAW image file, and only 16.8 million for RGB JPEG.

What does all that mean in the real world?  The point is, at this workshop, you can discover the answer for yourself.  You will have the opportunity to photograph the same model under the same lighting conditions using your DSLR and a PhaseOne medium format digital camera.  Take the image files home and compare them, study them and weigh the differences for yourself.

By the way, we will be lighting the sets using a variety of setups based on a different major pro lighting brands, so that you can experience and assess those also.

To top it all off, our sponsors have provided a treasure trove of door prizes with a total value of over $4000.

Here’s our latest promo piece with more details.  Click on the thumbnail of the announcement for a full size PDF version with active web links:


The event is open to PPOC members, non-member pro photographers, and photography students.  For more details, visit the Central Portrait Branch website.  Register here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

“From Battles to Beauties” - PPOC Workshop on October 24

Attention local pro photographers! 

At PPOC Ontario’s Central Portrait Branch, where I am Vice Chair, we have been busy arranging our biggest event of the year.  On Monday October 24, we are excited to have Stephen Thorne as our guest speaker and workshop instructor.  Stephen will describe how he transitioned from his twenty year career as an award winning combat photojournalist, to become one of Canada’s finest glamour, fashion, beauty and fine art photographers. 

Our jaw dropping venue for the workshop will be the cavernous third floor of a 111 year old former industrial mill in Hamilton, which also happens to host my studio, at 270 Sherman.

To register for the workshop, or for more information, please visit the CPB website.  You can also find discussion about the event on the branch’s group page on Facebook.

We are creating a number of sets for the workshop, inspired by Stephen’s specialities. Themes include glamour, fashion, and fine art nude.  Stephen will work with our models on these sets to demonstrate some of his techniques. Then, workshop attendees will be given an opportunity to work with the same models and sets.

We have just announced the model line-up.  Click on the graphic to view it full size:


Notice the door prize for early bird registrations?  That is a special treat provided by Nikon Canada.  The COOLPIX AW100 has not been released to the general market yet.   Nikon is one of many great sponsors who are joining us at this event.  Altogether, they have provided more than $4000 in valuable prizes that we will be giving away (and in one case auctioning) during the day.  Watch for another announcement shortly, detailing these prizes.

Don’t forget to register this week if you want a chance at winning that awesome camera from Nikon. 

The event is open to PPOC members, and to non-members who are either pro photographers or students registered in an approved full-time post-secondary photography programme.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Angel in Pastels

Here is a taste of what resulted when I got together with some creative collaborators a couple of weeks ago.  Modeling was by the lovely Judith-Elyse.  Makeup and hair styling were once again by the talented Virginia of Beauty on the Go.  Lighting assistance was ably provided by my friend, master photographer Brad Kelly of Tequila Moon Productions.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Is Your Business Portrait Sending the Right Message?

At Lumacraft Photography, we work hard to produce finely crafted business portraits.  We appear to be meeting a need, as our business portrait service has been growing steadily.

David, shown below, was in the studio recently.  We have been busy this year producing portraits of many of the employees at David’s company.  While I fine tuned my setup for David’s look, David and my regular stylist Virginia had the kind of deep conversation about dogs that only true dog lovers can have. 

Photography buffs will appreciate that capturing the detail in David’s white hair, and the detail in his black jacket, while exposing for his skin properly, and avoiding eyeglass reflections, all while attending to the rest of the technical details involved in making a business portrait, takes some skill.  Of course, what was more important was conveying David’s personality, capturing his inviting and natural expression, and showing him at his best, presenting him in the way that he wants to present himself to his customers.  David took the time to send me a quick note of appreciation for this portrait.


Karen, pictured below, called us last Friday, needing a business portrait in a hurry.  We always strive to meet our clients’ needs and sometimes that requires special effort of our part.  In Karen’s case, we were able to arrange a special studio session with her on Sunday.  Then we provided next day delivery of her finished portrait.

While chatting with Karen during her session, she mentioned that she had found us by googling “Burlington business portrait photographer”.  Although we came up third or fourth on the list, after checking out the other photographers’ portfolios, we were the one and only photographer who she approached about making her portrait.  There are several other very good photographers working in the Burlington area, some of whom are my friends, but I believe that Karen’s assessment is simply a reflection of my expectation that the extra attention and effort that we invest in producing the very finest business portraits is readily apparent when making these comparisons.


You have worked hard to build a successful career and to establish a reputation for quality.  We work hard to produce business portraits which present you at your best, reflect  your individual character and business style, and are made to the highest photographic standards.  A business portrait is a relatively small investment, yet it will leave a wealth of impressions about you.  If you feel that your business portrait should be doing a better job of representing you and your message, please give David or Lorraine a call, at 905-481-0704, to arrange your portrait session.

By the way, makeup and light hair styling for both David’s and Karen’s portraits was provided in the studio by our regular stylist, Virginia of Beauty on the Go.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Away on a Course


Lumacraft Photography will be closed for a few days, while I am away on a professional development course.  From Sunday August 21 through Thursday August 25, I will be checking email and voice mail periodically.  During this time, please allow 24 hours for a reply.  Operations will return to normal on Friday August 26.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Photogenic Cottage Country

I have just returned from three days at my friend Mike’s cottage near Haliburton.  Here are the results of a couple of brief photo hunting expeditions.


To see more of my nature photography, please visit my Pictorial and Scenic portfolio gallery.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cost of Saving Time

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"The more time that you save, the less that you invest emotionally."

  • Interviewee commenting on one of the consequences of the transition from film portrait photography to digital, in Karsh is History, a documentary about the great Canadian portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh, broadcast last night on TVO.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Don McLean, Vincent and Karma


I was listening to ‘Vincent’ from Don McLean’s American Pie album again today. I probably listen to it at least once a month. All things considered – subject matter, mood, lyrics, music, and performance – I still regard it as probably the most perfectly crafted song that I have ever heard.  It still gives me goose bumps. 

Later, I again pondered the Don McLean mystery. One stupendously brilliant album, and very little else of note. Why? I turned to his Wikipedia bio, mining for insights.

At the end of that article, there is this curious tidbit: “McLean had a series of conflicts with Saturday Night Live writer Andy Breckman, starting when Breckman opened for McLean on tour in 1980. Breckman and McLean have penned competing renditions of the origins of this feud, both of which are available online.”

Here are those duelling articles:

While I’m not sure that McLean’s ten year late rebuttal does much to settle the score, or to set the record straight, if he truly was secretly paying Breckman out of his own pocket while touring, that does add a quite a head-scratching layer of irony to the tale.

McLean is still a frustrating, intriguing mystery to me, but at least now I can appreciate that there may be some karmic rhythm to it all. Could the man who crafted something as perfectly beautiful as ‘Vincent’ also be an insufferably obnoxious a-hole of legendary proportions?

Footnote #1: The page about ‘Vincent’ on McLean’s website,, is well worth reading.

Footnote #2: Every yin needs a yang. If McLean’s version is perfect, then the cover version of ‘Vincent’ by Josh Groban is perfectly vile. Some songs don’t lend themselves well to being covered, but Groban’s overwrought abomination desecrates a masterpiece. It’s like pissing on Michelango’s Pieta. The only good thing that I can say about it is that it nicely demonstrates by counter-example what I enjoy about McLean’s performance on the original version. McLean seems to knock it off in a matter-of-fact, workmanlike fashion, like it’s nothing, making it so approachable that when its power ultimately hits you, it stings all the more. It shares a characteristic of many of my favourite artworks. In some respects, they can appear deceptively simple.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Burlington BOMBA PeeWee Baseball


My son Matt’s game last night made for some exciting entertainment. In the final inning, his team, the Athletics, lost their first play-off game to the Phillies, 16-17.

As usual, you can click on any image to see a larger version.