Canon G7x

Every couple of years, they roll out the biggest show in Photography.

And that’s Photokina. It’s held as a 6 day event in Cologne, Germany. A monster ‘trade show’ of new product from virtually anyone involved in the industry and it’s on now.

It’s when the big guns roll out their ‘best of show’ and it generally gets saved up FOR Photokina.


Now personally? I realized years ago that I just wasn’t havin’ any ‘phun’, dammit. I’d finally come to the point I’ve been dreading for years, and that is not wanting to go take pictures unless it was job related.

For any professional photographer, that’s flat out t-o-x-i-c. I talked it over with the Boss: ME,(*nice guy but a bit crabby), and we both decided that it would be a prudent idea to buy something for tooting around with. Always have a camera with you, ya’ just never know.

Case in point, this was done on my rusty old iPhone 4.


This was shot in my wanders with my Fuji XE-2, Wi-Fi’d to my phone from the camera and uploaded in a matter of a minute or two. Just a T-shirt hanging in a gift shop window but the point is , well you get the point.

Gimmee my Timmiesphoto

None of these images add of to anything special, but it’s not about that. It IS about trying to re-inject that original sense of wonder that got you into photography in the first place and as such was one of the smartest things I could do. This, Kids, is how you sharpen the saw.

The point of all this inane rambling leads us to to the following little story. Some years back when the above mentioned decision to re-equip was made, I bought the Canon G8. It was tough, produced great photos and I loved it with a BUT. It had to go with me on a shoulder strap. No matter, I also bought the G9, G10 and G11… selling each of the previous models at a substantial loss but who’s to explain Photographers. Oui? Non? And then came the Canon S95 Powershot. OK I was giving up the optical viewfinder however I could also fit it in a jacket pocket and that, to me, was a fair trade off. Still? The compact size demanded some trade off’s, no more articulating screen, no direct viewfinder whatsoever and worst of all, lens speed. I missed the ‘serious shooter’ capabilities of the G-Series Cameras but I already HAD a big DSLR, so to pocket and pocket lint we went.

Last year I adopted my Fuji XE-2 with ‘kit lens’. Now it’s the iPhone for goofy little stuff and the XE-2 for people standing outside windows taking Smartphone piccies of their pals. Lookit’ her. Ain’t she having fun? Somebody should tell her it’s raining out there. Oh yeah, and I still have my killer little S95.

But WAIT! Hello, Photokina. Out comes this shiny new ‘Love Child’ born from the mix of the S-Series compacts and the G-Series Muscle.

I’m very impressed. I think you will be too. Here’s an article I bumped into yesterday afternoon, the first image in the article is pretty funky.

Then? Check out the specs.



John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots


Super Chameleon

Super Chameleon

There’s plenty of discussion where this fascinating little viddy came from about whether it’s real or its fake.

Seems to be a split decision but it’s an interesting watch with over –you’re sitting down, right?

Over 8 million views.

A LOT of us have too much time on our hands.

John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots

4 Things To Be Thinking About When Doing Headshots

Some of my sneaky little tricks when doing Headshots.

1.) Unless there’s no way around it, show up and set up ahead of time. Nothing drags a session out longer than somebody with a tight schedule waiting for YOU to get set up. Lighting ‘tests’ will always be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean the need to be there to watch you haul in your gear. Of course there are exceptions; sometimes you’ll show up at a person’s home and you have no choice, but in an office environment? Get there early and be ready to go when the shoot is scheduled to begin. I’m an hour early any time it’s possible to be.

2.) There are Portrait Lenses out there that astonish. I’ve used quite a few. Canon’s 70-200/2.8 L II is deliriously good for skin tones. I can’t speak highly enough about this lens. I’d stack it up against anything.

3.) Shoot fairly wide, backgrounds are a beautiful colour-wash of brilliant bokeh blur. It cuts your subject out in ways that are absolutely beautiful. Any quality long zoom or telephoto will accomplish the same thing. just move your ‘victim’, lol, away from the background. That’s the effect you’ll achieve.

4.) When I’m shooting, I seldom talk about Photography and much less about ME. Ask your subject Questions and listen to the answers, I also give them ‘direction’ quite quickly. “Drop your chin, turn your shoulders this way…” if you do this quickly enough it has a wonderful effect of making them listen and pay close attention, and thusly? Uh-huh. Takes their mind off their nerves–they’re too busy paying attention, to think about anything else. Works Wonders. Trust me.

These images were part of a session done for a large commercial client.

In the beginning, and now we’re talking when I first started, I used to multiple light everything– at least three strobes with multiple lighting ratios too boot. And then I realized that I could blend flash with the available light in the room and for the most part, you could barely tell that flash was used. For these I used an Alien Bee 800 in a silver umbrella barely to camera left and a Canon 580EXII with a Stofen Diffuser at shoulder height to the right.

Perfectly wonderful for the background was a floor to ceiling etched window that faced the foyer. Morning sunlight was coming in from outside the large front doors lighting up the glass in patterns. These were shot at about 160mm/4.5 ISO 200.

The hotshoe trigger for the Alien Bee was fussy and decided not to co-operate. I used the 580EX II in a pinch: it triggered the big flash but added a nice degree of fill as well.

Sharpeshots_Headshot1 Sharpeshots_Headshot2 Sharpeshots_Headshot3 Sharpeshots_Headshot4


So, there you have it. It took 22 years to figure it all out.

Location Portraiture, Johnny Style!

Call me if you NEED some!

John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots


Lumix CM1-Holy Guacamole!

Panasonic just blew my mind!

What a hot new camera.

The new Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 sports a 20-megapixel sensor with an f/2.8 Leica DC Elmarit lens. It comes with a mechanical shutter and a manual control ring. Notably, the 20-megapixel sensor is of the 1-inch MOS-type, the highlight of the device, and which is also akin to the sensor size of the Sony RX10. The camera further is backed by a Venus engine, usually seen on the company’s Lumix cameras.

Further, the Lumix DMC-CM1 camera runs Android 4.4 KitKat out-of-the-box. It is powered by a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor alongside 2GB of RAM. It features a 4.7-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display. For connectivity, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-CM1 supports 4G LTE networks. It comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage, which is expandable up to 128GB (via microSD card).

I’m Gobsmacked!


John Sharpe/Sharpeshots

Photography with a Twist

There are times when ‘literal’ interpretation doesn’t count.

On an early morning road trip with my good buddy Chris ‘BigDoer’ Doering we noticed this shot on the edge of a farmer’s field east of Calgary.

Chris and Connie have a terrific blog that covers a boatload of hiking and exploring. They are infinitely curious and climb places that would take me a week to get up to and an ambulance to get down from.

You can find their remarkable Blog HERE

Highly recommended.

Many years ago I read an absolutely inspirational book written by celebrated Canadian Photographer Freeman Patterson.

Freeman said on more than one occasion, ‘There is no correct exposure”.

In other words everything is open to interpretation. it’s entirely about what works for you, right?

The initial shot was fine, but it was missing something ‘essential’.

Lightroom is your darkroom, so honestly? Why not play a little?

Here I’ve added ‘feel’ by using a Graduated Filter in Lightroom 5, some vignetting, colour shifting.

Now like I’ve said…

There are times when ‘literal’ interpretation doesn’t count.

It pays to remember that.

Play a little!


Here’s a LINK to a larger version.

John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots

Canon 7D Mark II

The Canon 7D Mark II

From PetalPixel:

The camera will feature a dust-proof magnesium alloy construction on the outside, and a 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor on the inside with ISO of up to 16,000. We’ll also see a dual-pixel CMOS autofocus system that packs 65 autofocus points (all of them cross-type). There will be a new 150K RGB+IR pixel sensor for metering.

Dual DIGIC6 image processors will power the camera, and continuous shooting speed will be 10 frames per second. Other features include Full HD 60p video recording, built-in GPS, an interval timer, and a bulb timer.

Photokina is coming in a week, watch for some very interesting news.

Canon Eos 7D Mark II


John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots


Here Come The Christmas Dogs!

Here Come the Christmas Dogs!

OK. I’m crazy to even try this.

Dogs are difficult to photograph, I m-e-a-n it.

So Kaylene Newsom, a fellow photographer friend and and I got to thinking, we’d like to photograph dogs a lot more often…

WHAT were we thinking?

The idea of Christmas Cards came up and I knew right away that we’d need some samples.

These two clowns belong to my good friend Paula. They’re both rescue dogs and I had no idea but there are loads of ‘feral’ dogs running free on Reservations.

These two weenies were imports from Manitoba, and both different as night and day.

The ‘Reindog’ is LuLu, she’s a wonderful little girl with a heart of gold.

She got  ALL the innocence and personality but they left out a few spoonfuls of ‘smarts’. She’s adorable and a real cuddlebug. Most of the time she’s never 100% sure of what’s going on but she’ll run with it anyway as long as YOU will.


Here come the Chrsitmas Dogs!

Here come the Christmas Dogs!

Now Lacee, on the other hand, ‘gets it’, and one thing she knows more than anything else is that she positively detests having her picture taken!

Can you tell? Yeah. She’s the big, savvy sister.

However, as we all know there’s this undeniable allure of …TREATS.

Yep treats and squeaker toys. A photographer’s best friend.

Dogs, Xmas


Now. Technically this was a bear to do. These dogs are the canine equivalent of a black hole. Light goes in, it never comes out. You have to pound it to them.

To make things a little more interesting, if you want the Christmas Tree to show up at all you need a wide aperture and slow shutter speed along with really high ISO-1250!

And then there’s the issue of autofocus–forget it, there’s no contrast in these mutts, so the camera just keeps on searching. Best you can possibly hope for is the eyes are sharp and the expressions are priceless.

So, in the meantime, we’ll keep on working out the bugs.

It takes a whole lot of clicking to make something stick!

Oh and thanks, Paula for digging out your Crimmiss Tree in the middle of September!


John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots

Cats Bullying People!

They mean BUSINESS

Compilation Of Cats Bullying People Proves Who Really Rules The House. We should have seen it coming when cats started bullying dogs with reckless abandon . Instead, we laughed at how easily they were intimidated . Now, with dogs all but conquered where will be cats turning to…you got it: US!


John Sharpe/ Sharpeshots