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These help notes apply to this particular picture viewer. If you go to the old site, please refer to it's own help notes.
This viewer is designed for use on Web browser versions 4 and above. It replaces the now-unfashionable "frames" technique used in the old site.
If those options do not work, you should also check your security and firewall settings to ensure that image downloads are allowed.
The banner at the top of the photograph viewer is common to all pages and shows page identity plus a menu bar.
The title of the current page or gallery appears on the left to help to keep track of where you are.
Click on the options in the menu bar when you want to change galleries or access more information
There are two types of viewers available on the new site. The "Favorites" galleries contain a larger number of pictures, so we have provided a thumbnail viewer to speed up the selection of individual images.
In this viewer you will see a set of thumbnail images underneath the banner. These represent the pictures available for viewing in that gallery, and you can click on any thumbnail to see the enlargement below the thumbnails.
The thumbnail images can be scrolled horizontally in both directions, and should remain on the screen when you click any one of the thumbnail pictures.
Click on the "Open" button beside each thumbnail if you want to see a larger version of the picture in its own window. In this case only the picture is shown, giving you the address of the file in your browser.
This enables you to send a picture link to a friend, or you can put a link to the picture in your web site. This is also the easiest way to download a picture for printing.
Please note that many browsers will resize the screen image to fit the window. So using a larger window will enhance your viewing experience. The actual image file is not altered.
Use your browser's "Back" feature to return to the thumbnail viewer. This may be a button on a computer screen, or a swipe on a touch sensitive device. You can also use your browser's "open in a new window" feature when clicking the "Open" button.
This viewer provides "Next" and "Previous" options to allow you to page through the images one at a time. It does not display photo information and it is mainly used to preview the old site galleries.
The viewer wraps round when you reach the end of the collection from either direction.
There are also "First" and "Last" options to go to the first and last pictures in the collection.
Click the "Open" option if you want to see a larger version of the picture in its own window. Use your browser's "Back" feature to return to this viewer.
Where appropriate, links are provided to the old site, where you will find more descriptions and titles for the pictures. You can also use the "Change Gallery" option in the menu bar.
There are two sizes of enlargement available in most galleries, (Some of the older pictures are just one size). The normal pictures are generally 800 pixels wide, with a file size average of about 120 to 180 KBytes. This makes it easier to download and view images over slow internet connections or with small screens and cell phones.
A larger version will generally be 1100 pixels wide or more, with a file size of approximately 400 to 600 KBytes. This provides a more suitable file for downloading and printing, but please read the "Frequently Asked Questions" and Usage Conditions in the "FAQs" link on the menu bar.
You can use the links on the menu bar to change gallery or to find out more information.
Please note that some items on the "Change Galleries" list may provide links to the old site. Use your browser's "Back" feature to return to the thumbnail viewer.
Touch sensitive media such as the iPhone and iPad are already optimized. For computers, the pictures are best viewed with your browser maximised at a screen resolution of 1024 x 768 or better. You may want to remove any sidebar menus if you need to make more room when the pictures do not fit on your screen. Some browsers have a "Full Screen" option that gives more space for the pictures.
The web images have been compressed from about 3 megabytes in size and over 3000 pixels wide, so expect some distortion caused by resizing and compression. Colors are compressed for viewing at 256 colors or better, which may cause some banding on clear blue skies.
Don't worry about clicking buttons - this gallery is commercial-free, and there are no stealth advertisements, unrequested pop-ups or hidden links to other sites. If you see any of these, see the note on unwanted advertisements in the General Notes below.
Some of our index pages (such as the "no-frames" versions of the old site) have links that open in new windows to allow the index to stay on screen. Unfortunately, some pop-up blockers may prevent this happening. If you come across an apparently dead link, try over-riding your pop-up blocker or try using your browser's "Open Link in New Window" option.
(End of viewer help)
These photographs of Calgary and its citizens are aimed at a family audience. The other contributors to viewCalgary are Barry Jennings who edits his own galleries, and Garry Thuna who is responsible for the technical design and operation of the site.
Several high speed sports are pictured in my galleries, including luge, ski jumping, slalom skiing and speed skating. I have often been asked to give advice on how to photograph these sports, therefore some notes have been added in the next panel.
This web site is non-commercial, so you should not see any advertising. If you do see unexpected pop-ups, requests for money or information, advertisements or links to sales sites, please check your computer for hidden Adware, trojans or other viruses.
Another source of unexpected advertising occurs when you open links from a search or other site which keeps you in its window frame without your knowledge, allowing it to control and monitor what you see. These sites are very common, so it pays to do all your searching and linking from known and trusted sites, or better still from your own bookmarks.
The biggest clue that you have been trapped by another site is finding a window unexpectedly open after you close what you thought was the last window of your browser. This mystery window is in fact the frame of the offending site that had you trapped. They usually take the opportunity to hit you with one more advert., bur rarely identify themselves, so you can fall into the trap again during future browsing.
Most of the pictures in these galleries were taken several years ago with Nikon D1X digital cameras, now at least 2 generations old. To make me feel even older, when we started this web site in 1999, I used a 0.9 Megapixel Fujifilm MX-700 pocket-sized camera and later an MX-2900 consumer-level camera.
I moved to the D1X when speed skating became a major subject. Coupled with the Nikkor 80-200mm AF-S, I was finally able to capture the high speed movement of the skaters in the arena, no longer a problem with today's excellent professional cameras. Several other Nikkor lenses were used, (20mm AF, 180mm AF, 28-200mm AF, 28-70mm AF-S, 80-400mm AF-VR), with L37C filters.
I took all the pictures in my galleries in ambient light with no flash or additional artificial lighting. A tripod and timer were used for night shots, and a monopod was used occasionally for some of the earlier pictures.
(End of general notes)
A number of people have been kind enough to ask me for tips on low-light photography of high speed sports such as speed skating, luge, ski jumping and skiing, which makes it tempting to launch into a major ego trip. But truth be told, it's all been done before and the techniques are covered in many photography reference books. For enthusiasts there are web sites such as Rob Galbraith's which offer an excellent forum for discussion. Furthermore, camera technology has advanced significantly from when these photographs were taken.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop? Well OK, here are some things that photographers can consider when covering speed events when flashlights are prohibited.
When these images were taken it was very hard to take low-light pictures of speed skaters indoors unless you had well maintained professional sports photography equipment costing enough to make your eyes water. But don't despair. Increasingly powerful cameras are now available in consumer products. Look for the ability to adjust White Balance, fine tune Exposure Compensation, automatically adjust exposure speed with aperture locked, coupled with ISO settings over 1600 without excessive grain.
The LCD viewer should have options to examine images in detail. This includes histograms and features to examine enlarged portions of the image for sharpness, (everything looks sharp in the tiny viewers - it's only when you examine the full size image that reality sinks in).
Lenses should have apertures down to F2.8 and preferably have automatic focus features that can pinpoint an athlete in motion. The sport pictures in these galleries were taken with Nikon D1X digital cameras (already way out of date!) using a Nikkor 80-200mm AF-S lens and to a lesser extent a 28-70mm AF-S lens for closer work. Because of the large amount of vulnerable glass in these lenses I use L37C filters for lens protection.
We have to get the right composition, color balance, exposure and sharpness in the camera before trying to work with the image. Although you can do wonders with in-camera electronics and picture editing software, the best shots should only need minimal editing. Initially impressed by the camera's electronic enhancements, I now have the sharpening, contrast and other in-camera adjustments turned off.
The following notes suggest ways of improving the raw image, but please don't look for advanced subjects such as profiling techniques - I leave that stuff to the real professionals.
For speed skating I set the white balance to eliminate the majority of any excess yellow from the track lighting. This results in a slightly cold appearance in my pictures, but avoids the way that yellow seems to accentuate grain. I also tend slightly towards over-exposure, since under-exposure creates dull, grainy images. I am prepared to let the ice highlights blow out if it means having a better exposure for the skater, but I try to avoid large areas of glare.
We are talking about a fine adjustment to the Exposure Compensation here, and something that may require re-adjustment throughout a race. When checking your shots in the LCD, look for warning signs such as a yellowing of the ice, overall darkening of the image or large areas of overexposure, all of which are difficult to cure in post processing.
Wait and click the button at the moment the skater seems to explode through the frame of your viewfinder. If I get timid and take the picture a split second too soon, I usually end up with a poor image. I cannot rely on electronic enlargement to make good pictures from tiny images of skaters, so most of the pictures that get into my galleries require little or no cropping. This might answer a few questions I have received about lens size. Quite simply, use the lens that gets the skaters perfectly framed. My zoom is usually set to somewhere between 80mm to 135mm, because my success rate drops as I go below 75mm or above 200mm. Note that the old D1X multiplied these values by 1.5, so adjust for newer cameras.
I am right handed and stand with my left elbow tucked into my side for stability, which means that I am pointing the camera towards my left shoulder. It should go without saying that it is important to lock parts of the body that can cause camera shake or spurious rotations. When panning, my legs are positioned so that I can rotate to cover the skater all the time, and arrive in the most comfortable and stable position at the point of exposure. I practice this movement before every shot. Also, I periodically take time in events to relax and take a few deep breaths, because it is most important not to be tense while shooting.
I pan nearly every shot, and it is vital that my body rotates to match the exact line taken by the skaters. Following a skater round a corner may require vertical and horizontal movement, so it is necessary to minimize the body parts used to achieve that compound rotation, i.e. move from the waist. Trying to correct the line by adding unnecessary movements by wrists, neck or knees will only increase the likelihood of camera shake. Failure to track the skater accurately may result in tilting and poor framing. It may seem obvious, but I never use the LCD screen for action shots, preferring instead to use the viewfinder.
It is very important to continue panning after exposure, so that you do not introduce additional braking movements or tensions during exposure. This means being aware of your surroundings and fellow photographers, so that your lens does not smash into something or someone who was not expecting the follow through. Use your practice movements to check your space and warn others. The follow through can be quite dramatic provided you do not lose balance.
It is worth spending time examining the track lighting before and during each competition. Exposure settings can vary by just walking a few feet, or by changing the height of your position, or by light coming from outside the track. Make use of intervals in competitions to test lighting angles, or to examine test images at full size on a lap top or iPad.
Even with good track lighting, it was necessary to use F2.8 and ISO 800 or ISO 1600 to obtain good exposure speeds with the technology current at the time these images were taken. These days professional cameras routinely offer much higher ISO values, but some people shy away from high ISO settings because of the grain. However, I believe that the grain is acceptable at ISO 1600 and 3200 if the exposure and white balance are correct.
In long track, luge and skiing events I try to follow the subject for about 75 to 100 feet before exposing. In short track I pick up the skaters in the straight and follow them through the curve. I only attempt to focus on the lead skater, even if the better-known skaters are behind. This is why I rarely promise to photograph a specific short track skater, because if the subject never gets to the front in the final laps, I never see them.
In order to bring out the grace and power of athletes you have to know how and when they reach motion peaks, e.g. the leg extension in speed skating and the forward lean in ski jumping. By knowing the athlete's behaviour you can better position yourself to frame them at that optimum moment. Talk to coaches and athletes on non-competition days, and get a consensus of what they believe to be the most significant movements that interest them. I have been surprised a couple of times by learning that I was wrong about what I thought the competitors would like.
I hope these few comments have been useful, but remember that photography is an art in which personal expression may sometimes be more important than technique.