Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Newspaper Exposure

Check it out! The shot I entered for the Metro Global Photo Challenge was published in yesterdays (October 5, 09) paper!

And here's the original:

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Guitar Star

Here's a series of shots I did for a fellow from Bridgewater who needed some promotional photos for his new website. He was great to work with! Enjoy!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Lovely Ladies

Here's another little photoshoot I did recently with Heather and Tasha. It was a lot of fun! Not a whole lot was involved, just two pretty ladies and some cool outfits. Enjoy these as much as I did taking them!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Helios 44-2

I Picked up this old gem on eBay for $25. It's a Helios 44-2, manufactured years ago in the USSR under many different companies. 

It's in absolutely pristine condition, with no scratches or wear. The glass is clean and scratch free, no fungus, and no oil on the aperture blades. This thing is seriously in perfect condition.

I'm going to have a helluva lot of fun playing with it, since it's 100% manually operated, with no autofocus. It'll be a great tool to get out of using Aperture Priority mode and really learn how to use my camera's full-time manual mode.

It's mountable on most of the newer lines of cameras, Canon's EOS included. It's a simple screwmount, adapted easily with a $5 adapter from eBay.

After doing a little more digging, I found out some more about some of the companies that manufactured the Helios 44 series of lenses. The little symbol found near the glass shown in the picture is the logo of the factory that manufactured the lens. This one in particular was made in Valdai. I found this paragraph online:

Valdai Optical- Mechanical Factory Valdai (may be cur rently known as Valdayskaya) is located about 250 miles NW of Moscow. Very little is known of this plant, but it has been a prolif ic producer of lenses for KMZ, and Zenit BelOMO. The SLR lenses bear the Helios name, and this plant has also produced many accessory lenses for RF cameras. For many years, this plant con fused collectors, who dubbed it "Shishkebab Factory". Current status unknown.

The following is the very first shot I've taken with this lens. It was tricky nailing the focus with such a small viewfinder, but it was extremely satisfying when I got the shot I wanted.

The lens has proven so far to be incredibly sharp, especially with the aperture stopped down to 3.5 and beyond. Contrast and colors look great!

The satisfaction you feel when getting "the shot" is tenfold with one of these old manual focus lenses. It feels much more rewarding.

My conclusion? Best $35 of camera equipment I ever bought. They can be had for Canon and Nikon cameras alike, all you need is a simple M42 adapter ($5 on eBay). If you've got the patience to really sit down and shoot manually, head to eBay and get one!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cape Breton Landscapes

Mine and Heather's trip to Cape Breton was a load of fun. We spent a few days at my grandfather's in Gabarus, and a few days at her grandfather's in Ross Ferry. We had a blast! Below are some beautiful Cape Breton landscapes I snapped while we were there.

Heather and I will be doing a shoot next Saturday, with a possible "Candy" theme! If it turns out like we envision, it's going to look great! I'll be renting an 85mm f/1.8 lens for the shoot, too. Results to follow!

Also, I'll be doing another "Ten Minute Photos" sometime in the end of September to the middle of October. I hope to see everyone come out!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Megapixel Myth

The more megapixels your camera has the better photos it will take, right? Well, you couldn't be more wrong. This is easily the biggest misconception in digital photography to date. I’m sure the last time you went camera shopping, one of the first things you asked the salesman was “How many megapixels does this camera have?” Well remember, not all megapixels are created equal.

The quality of an image is dependant on many things, such as the camera’s sensor size and quality, the glass inside of the lens, it’s processor, and of course, the photographer. No amount of megapixels can make a photo look good if shot through a low-quality lens, and too many megapixels packed onto a small point and shoot camera’s sensor is going to produce lots of noise and give a very poor performance in low light situations.

A cameras megapixel count is only essentially useful if you plan on making enlarged prints. A three megapixel camera can make sharp, clean 8x10 prints. So if you are going to print an 8x10, why would you need a camera with 12 megapixels? Quite simply, you don’t. And how many mom and pops photographers make forty inch prints? None of them do. Again, jamming 12MP into that small camera’s sensor is only degrading the quality of your 5x7 and 8x10 prints.

So why do camera makers and salesmen keep pushing you towards cameras with more and more megapixels? Part of the blame can be laid on the consumers, who have become fixated on megapixels. A megapixel is a marketer’s dream come true, where almost every consumer thinks that more is better.

So next time you go camera shopping, think about what you want to do with your camera, and don’t fall for the megapixel myth.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


The undead horde arose in the old Camp Hill cemetery, and ambled its way through downtown Halifax to the horror of it's unprepared citizens. Though grotesque and at times unruly, the legion of the dead obeyed the law and refrained from jaywalking, terrorizing women and children, and consuming the innocent.

It was a helluva of time, and the perfect day for it too, at a cool 36 degrees. Check out some of my snaps below, and come on out next year!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Everything but the Kitchen Sink

I've started on my latest job photographing kitchens for a lovely little (well, they're rather large) company called Living Lighting/Progressive Cabinets. They needed some photos of their work to showcase on their website. It's been a great experience so far. We've done two kitchens, and let me just say, they are beautiful. I can only hope someday I'll have a kitchen as nice as one of these!

Here are a few sample images from the shoot. Ten kitchens left to photograph! More to come!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Heather and I headed down to the Buskers Festival today to check out some of the acts. We ended up seeing quite a treat with the Pogo Dudes. They were absolutely fantastic. Hilarious AND talented. They are definitely worth seeing if you are around downtown Halifax in the next week.

Here's a few photos to whet your appetite!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Welcome all!

Greetings folks, and welcome to the first post in my new photo-blog! The goal and aim for this blog is to showcase some work, and keep everyone updated on my latest photography projects. Check back often for updates, specials, upcoming projects, and any other interesting happenings in the world of photography.

I am, of course, always for hire. If you would like to see a portfolio, I've got a website you can check out at http://www.photogatto.com. Please feel free to contact me anytime regarding rates, or if you have any questions.

I've recently started to re-visit some of my older works, paying special attention to Heather and Sarah's vintage shoot. I threw this mock coca-cola ad together in photoshop with a snap from our photoshoot, and was very happy with the results. Heather makes an adorable coca-cola girl!

I've got a few ideas for books I've been brainstorming, and I hope to get started on those very soon. I'll keep everyone updated as things progress.

Lastly, I'll be photographing some kitchens for a lovely little company called Living Lighting next week. They're building a website and they needed some professional shots to showcase. I'm very excited. It's going to be a fun project.

On that note, I'll end my first post, and the beginning of my foray into blogging. I look forward to sharing this experience with you! Check back soon!