This coming Friday will mark the fourth installment of CreativeMornings/Montréal, and I’m really looking forward to it. I have had the privilege of attending the event on two occasions and have brought my camera along both times to try and capture the vibrant atmosphere – even at 8am which is hardly prime time for small firm people, creative-types and programmers.

This week’s speaker will be Louise Guay, whose talk will be on the topic of Urbanism – which may at first seem a little off the mark for something called “Creative Mornings”. The fact is, each speaker has so far successfully expanded the minds of the audience by offering some insight into their world or how they approach their work. Plank’s very own Steve Bissonnette is part of a fantastic committee of volunteers from our local creative community that have done an amazing job of organizing the events so far. Tickets for this week’s talk sold out in just over three minutes! The speed at which this sold out is a testament to the great organization by the team and to the compelling subject this week.

So far all of these events have been fascinating and none have been very “techy” or provided any insight into how to be better at what you do behind a computer each day. That’s what I like about it. You’re introduced to a subject you might not think about very much and immersed into that world by an expert; thereby expanding your mind and providing you with a new perspective on something you might be surrounded by everyday.

At June’s edition we were introduced to John Mike of Tripes & Caviar. He shared his experiences as a young, driven up-and-coming local chef and his fight against what he calls “foodism”. He ended his presentation by creating a Jackson Pollock-style breakfast buffet. See for yourself.

For July, Claude Théoret explained space in lay man’s terms. Claude was one of the founders of McGill’s Astronomy department and started the big-data firm Nexology in 2006. Fittingly, the talk was held at the Planetarium which was an absolutely perfect venue for this fascinating presentation.

But back to the photography… About a year ago I snapped this shot of the Canadian Centre for Architecture – where Louise Guay will be speaking on Friday. I was actually looking for a good subject to try my hand at this this whole HDR photography craze that has been going on for the last few years, and this stunning building fit the requirements nicely. The sky was appropriately active and I took position on busy Rene Levesque to try and grab the necessary shots to put together an HDR image.

HDR, briefly is High Dynamic Range imaging and the proper way to do it is to take a series of RAW shots, each at a different aperture or exposure. The images are then merged; creating a vivid and exaggerated contrast by combining the darks from the darker shots and the lights from the lighter shots. It requires a tripod to ensure the same shot is taken without any movement whatsoever. I’ll let these guys explain it more clearly…

This is the result of my experiment. You can play with the contrast, colour, saturation and other adjustments for very different results, but I decided to stop here because I could probably spend about a year adjusting it and fiddling with it. The key to proper HDR is subtlety, but once you get going you can very easily get carried away. This is far from the best HDR work on the web, but it does seem to capture the majesty of this stunning building, one I am looking forward to shooting the inside of this coming Friday. Learn more about the CCA Learn more about CMM.

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