Friday, December 24, 2010

The Caffè

The Caffè
The only thing I can say is that it was -18 degrees. My hands were freezing inside the gloves. I could not feel my nose at all and my toes were painful even in my boots. I guess I could do HDR but I didn't since the environment was changing a lot and I did not have a tripod with myself. In this photo I tried to consider two of Joe McNally's advices on mixing warm and cold colors in addition to using cloudy white balance in this setting which produces a deep blue sky and magenta on ground. If the photo is a little bit noisy it is because of the high iso speed.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Train Station

The old woman was waiting for her bus while sitting inside the train station and looking outside the window, waiting for her bus to come. It was a cold day. She told me that her son was 25 and pursuing his studies for another maybe 6 years and she wanted him to get married and she wanted to see her grand children.

Friday, December 17, 2010

That Fall Afternoon

I was wandering around in mid-November around the backyards of people. At some point I was even searching to find Uri again. I could not find him and I might do it next year. Anyway, the setting sun was making everything so shining and golden and I was passing by a school yard. I saw a couple sitting in the middle of the school yard with their dog. I took the camera, metered the light and shot it. I thing this photo captured the time they will remember someday as "That fall afternoon" .

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My indoor soccer shoes!

I was at home all the weekend because of the cold weather and my cold which I am hoping to get better. During this time I tried to use my SB-600 to take some still life shots from my indoor soccer shoes. You might have noticed how new are my indoor soccer shoes ! why ? because the winter did not let me play with them at all. I bought them and they were there waiting to be photographed! So I kind of made an advertisement shot (for example to appear in a magazine) or something. I was not trying to show all the features of product. I used side bounce flash to lit this and as you might have guessed it has been shot with a single light.

I know what you are thinking. What does indoor soccer has to do with winter! Well, winter affects my laziness and my laziness affects my playing soccer!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Streets of Winter

I don't know whether it was -15 or -25, what I remember is I could not feel my hands at all. I have to buy gloves. For me it is a lot easier to be aware of light in the night time. The lights are explicitly there and you can see them. Anyway, hopefully I will get to do more winter photography if I can finish my term projects. I don't know whether this photo is too dark or too bright but if you can distinguish between the blurred head of the person and the wall behind it that is the way I see it. If you cannot, you are viewing it too dark.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Bottle

I was at home in a winter evening and I was playing with my flash lighting. After going through Mitchell Feinberg's great still life photos I was thinking of trying some studio stuff. I am just a beginner for home and studio lighting and I have a SB-600 that I usually use off-camera. I was thinking of what would be great to take a photo of and I realize that there is a bottle of Grant's Scotch that can be a good model for me. So here are the shots. These are all with one off-camera flash.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lebanese Restaurant

Lebanese restaurant on whyte ave. They have hookah, latte, and pizza.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Portrait of Yuri - The Backyard Philosopher

Nothing satisfies my hunger for photography like a street portrait. I can go and take so many photos from different things, but one street portrait from a totally new person, sometimes also followed with an interesting conversation would give me a really good feeling. I found Yuri in his backyard plowing the field. We talked about so many stuff like politics and culture. He was a second generation Ukrainian person here. We talked about the inevitable depression of the first generation immigrants to a country. I am planning to go and chat with him more and maybe I might be able to give him a print of this photo.

I took this photo with the awesome 85mm/1.8f Nikon prime lens. That lens is magnificent.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sun Flower

Simply a sunflower photo from my backyard photos of summer 2010.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ice Hockey

Taking assignments from newspaper is good in a way that forces you to explore what you have not had the chance to explore. I never did sport photography. Last week was the ice hockey match between University of Calgary and University of Alberta teams. I had with myself a 70-200mm and a 18-105mm and I used both of them. The arena was well lit but I am still puzzled about setting the white balance. I read that white balance for a hockey game is very tricky and I did not have a white card to fix that and even if I had, I saw that half of my photos are green and half are pink without changing anything ! It was weird ! Some of this pinkish stuff is the artifact of taking photos from behind the dirty and scratched glass around the arena. Anyway, lets make it short, It was a lot of fun, I suggest you do it and don't forget to take both wide and telephoto lenses.

Ice hockey is such a fast paced game and it is not possible to compare it to soccer or any other sport that I have seen before. It also has a certain amount of violence and that just makes it super amazing;) here is a photo of a body check that happened right in front of me.

Body Check

Calgary scored in this photo. However the final result of the match was Alberta 5-2 Calgary. The goalie of the UofA was amazing.

Watching ice hockey is for sure entertaining. Sitting in a safe place and drinking beer while players are butchering each other (metaphorically speaking) reminded me of Gladiator fights in Rome.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Elk Island

Fall in Edmonton lasts only for a few weeks. However, if you have the opportunity to hike in national parks or river valley, you will enjoy the beauty of the colorful trees. Elk Island is located less than a hour away from Edmonton. It is sad that I could not be there for a 24 hour period to take photos of the sunset and sunrise.

Time and patience play a significant role in photography. It would have been helpful to observe different angles and compositions and wait for better light to take a photo of this place. However I didn't have the time. I took this with 10mm-20mm sigma.

The stripped trees in Elk Island were telling us that soon it will be snowing all over again and and this beautiful land will wear its white make up.

I will post more photos of Elk Island later. I am busy this semester. I have to thank Metanat who was very patient while I was stopping and taking a lot of photos.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


This "Vanishing Breed" book did something serious to my mind. I cannot get it out of my head and I go through the photos I took here and there from something that I call cowboy culture over and over. I will probably put more photos later about cowboys later. The reason that I distinguish my definition of the cowboy culture from what is actually considered to be the cowboy culture is that I am sure that I have not grasped the essence of it yet. I believe it should take longer for me to somehow fully understand this.

Friday, September 3, 2010

First Newspaper Photo Publication

I am very excited about my first works that are published in the Gateway newspaper. It is the official University of Alberta newspaper and I am finally working with a newspaper, love it.

So basically I took the first photo for the residence air quality article. I do not know how it ended up under international students seek housing. It showed the residence I guess, anyway. here it is:

Remember the previous post about Edmonton being buried under smoke? well, this photo is one of the photos I took that day which shows the smoke on campus bus station.

And this is the front page (sorry Dan, half of the front page) of the issue that my first photos are published in. Great. Unfortunately I could not get much work done this week because of the thesis defense and traveling to Calgary, but hopefully next weeks I will do more work.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Smoky Day

Friday, August 20th, "The river valley and Edmonton city skyline is obscured by heavy smoke from B.C. forest fires Thursday." So there was a thick smog in the city and I went out to take some photos. Unfortunately I did not have access to a high rise place to take a good photo of the layers of the trees disappearing under heavy smoke.

I waited in a backyard alley for someone to pass in distance to take this photo. It migh be called "A Smoky Day" or anything you like. It was funny that several Iranian friends told me that it smells like Tehran, city of smoke.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Wandering the backyards of Edmonton, you need to treasure whatever you see. It is changing so fast, either by the people or by the weather. Remember those flowers near the wooden fence that I posted here, they are all gone. This might be also gone next week. I call it "Abajour".

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Old Buckaroo

I felt the strong smell of some sort of cream, maybe a bug repeller ? I don't know, but the man's hands were white from a cream and he was robbing more cream on his hands. He looked like an old cowboy to me, even though he was in the city. Maybe because of his hat ? I guess even if he wasn't a cowboy, he was from this city, Edmonton, which has a good deal of cowboy culture pumping in its veins. Well, he was kind enough to let me take a portrait of him. Then I showed him the picture on the camera LCD and he replied, "yeah, that's me!".

I dedicate this photo to "William A. Allard" whose book, the Vanishing Breed, has inspired me and it has a lot more for me to learn.

Just a technical note, if the photo is too pale, or too saturated or too dark on your monitor, it might be that I have edited this photo using my laptop LCD and again the old calibration problem holds.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Death Squad

I would like to call this photo "Death Squad". It was taken during my trip to a lake in Alberta, Canada. I am not sure about the colors and if they are weird on your monitor, it is probably because of my monitor calibration, which I cannot find a reliable way and a reliable monitor to do it.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Summer Times

Summer in a small city, after 8 months of winter, really shows itself. People try to make the most out of it and enjoy before the next cold breeze. Walking through the backyards in city is quite amazing. It has a certain feeling of serenity. Occasionally you hear a distant voice of mother calling her children or the smell of burning wood for a barbeque.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Eugene Richards

There are so many amazing photographers that I can just sit and enjoy watching their photos. However, I have to confess that after seeing so many photos, I was still shocked by Eugene Richard's photos. He is there, in the middle of what is happening, and he captures it so amazingly that you will be there too. I remember that I read somewhere that a photographer first need to master the rules of composition. After mastering those rules, it becomes possible to break them. It is easy to see this masterly breaking of these rules and lots of other rules in his works. There is no single word that I can describe his work with. The funny part is whenever I wanted to pay attention to the technical details, I found myself drowning in the photo and forgetting all about technical details. He is the master of story telling.

His works can be found in his website

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

William Albert Allard

It has been a while since my last post. I was sick and I am currently busy writing my thesis and lots and lots of things to keep me away from here. Recently, I have been looking at lots of works from William Albert Allard, one of the greatest National Geographic photographers. I borrowed his book "Vanishing Breed" from the library. This book contains lots of great photographs about the ''Cowboy" culture. His photographs are a must see for a person who is interested in photography. Strong compositions which shows his great awareness of shapes and great light in his photos are amazing. He says in one of his interviews that he had more painting books than photography books. Another important aspect of his work is that most of his work is in color. He has mastered the shapes, light, and colors and as a result he can play with them so easily in his photos.

Having said that, his photographs are like old paintings. I do not know paintings from what era. I have never been in art school nor studied different eras in painting. However, I can say that his style can be easily mistaken as paintings. I think he inspired me a lot. I am putting some of his work here.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Street - A New Way of Seeing

Street photography is about capturing the street, whether it is life on street or something else. We walk the streets of cities everyday and we don't usually pay much attention to the things surrounding us. Among most of things that we just walk away from and consider them insignificant, there are always some stuff that can be interestingly seen from a different point of view. Paying attention to the most insignificant stuff and thinking about them can help finding interesting things. Viewing this subjects from a different view (both literally and figuratively) can result in very interesting and original photos.

No one usually cares about little lakes and dead leaves after fall showers. What is there to see ? why should we care about so common stuff ? Have you ever sat down to see them from a closer or different point of view ? The photo I have here is taken by me on a very ordinary fall day in Karimkhan Street in Tehran. There is a very little lake of water on the side walk and people are passing by. There is a dead leaf that is drowning in the little lake. Its life was as important or as insignificant as anyone else, depending on one's view of life. Anyway, I sat down and took a few photos of it to show its drowning, the lake, and the people who are passing by to show how life on street is going on.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Documentary - Ashoora (Ashura) in Iran

Street/Documentary photography is one of my favorite areas of photography. The reason might be my passion for anthropology. It gives you the opportunity to observe real people. A camera can be a shield that you can hide behind and observe life as it goes on. This invaluable shield also gives you the opportunity to make the striking moments of life eternal.

One reason that I like documentary photography is that our memories are fading. A moment as seen with the eye can be striking at that moment and then it fades away. However, a photo can make that striking moment eternal, if it captures the heart of that moment. Another reason is that not all people has the same opportunities, and not all of them can be present at those moments. So as a payback for what I had the opportunity to see, I like to show them to people. To show them how bizzare things in your life can be totally normal in other people's life. So "Open mind for a different view".

This photo has been taken during the night before Ashoora/Ashura which is a very important day in Shia (شیعه)(Shitte) Islam. There are many different traditions in different parts of muslim countries. During this night, people gather usually at mosques or places called Hosseinieh (حسینیه) in Tehran. They hold a big funeral and they mourn till passed midnight. Each neighborhood (specially in older ones) they have groups they called Dasteh (دسته) which go on the street and carry big signs. People follow them in lines and mourn in different ways.

I should note that Ashoora is the 10th day of a ten day mourning the starting day of which is on the beginning of lunar year in Arabic countries (Iran is not an Arabic country).

One of the most important traditions during these 10 days in Iran is that some of the rich people who are also considered to be believers, or more faithful to Islam, give out free food to who ever comes and mourns in this big funerals. As part of this tradition they will sacrifice sheep, sometime for the mourners and sometimes for themselves. This sacrificed sheep is killed in the Islamic way of killing that makes their meat halal, usually on street. Then they make that dinner that they give out to the mourners with the meat of this sheep.

I took this photo in an old neighborhood in Tehran, Iran during this funeral in Winter of 2007. It shows one of those sacrifices taking place on the street. The butcher is slitting the throat of the sheep.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A New Photoblog

Hi everyone,

Welcome to my photography blog. In this blog I am going to talk about everything related to photography including my works and other photographers' works. I hope this blog would help both of us, you and me, to pursue our goals which in my case is to improve my work and discuss photography from various points of views.

Frameless Frames is a goal I am trying to achieve. Some photos take you to a great journey far beyond physical boundaries of that photograph. There are so many ways to see photography and talk about it: different styles, different genres, different techniques. However, regardless of what a photographer's style is or what genre he is working in, if he can produce a frameless frame consciously, he has the power to change the world.

Now lets talk about this photo. I took this back in summer of 2009 in Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. If you search for Lake Louise photos, most of them are from the same angle in which you cannot see the hotel and the camera is facing south-west. At least I did not see many photos from Lake Louise from other angles. The reason might be the fascinating beauty of Lake Louise when you enter its area from north-east. I took this photo in the middle of the walking path near Lake Louise and the camera was facing north-east.I used my Canon A640 (yes a compact camera with swivel LCD) to take this. I attached it to my tripod tilted the LCD to be faced down. Then I put the camera on timer and hold the tripod up in my hands in order to get the photo from a 3.5 meter-ish height. I could adjust the composition in the faced down LCD and I did the light metering and focusing when the camera was down.