Category Archives: Photography

St. Albert City Hall

This is a panorama of the St. Albert City Hall. It was created from 27 individual images to create this highly detailed picture that prominently features the statue of Lois Hole with a child. 


Lois Hole was a Canadian politician, businesswoman, academician, professional gardener and best-selling author. She was the 15th Lieutenant Governor of Alberta from 10 February 2000 until her death. She was known as the “Queen of Hugs” for breaking with protocol and hugging almost everyone she met, including journalists, diplomats and other politicians.

St Albert City Hall


This image is over 50 inches long at full resolution. Its vibrance, clarity and sharpness make it perfect for wall art.


To illustrate the sharpness and level of detail in the image, here is a full resolution crop of the plaque on the retaining wall behind the statue which tells the story of Lois Hole:

Websites for Photographers

When I’m teaching photography, either on an individual or group basis, I am often asked not only about gear but also the business side of photography. I share my experiences with client proofing software, bookkeeping, client scheduling, etc.

One of the first things every photographer has to decide on is how to promote and share their work online. There are a huge number of choices, including 500px, flicker, Squarespace, and wordpress with custom photography themes such as Photocrati.

This website is currently running the Photocrati theme with WordPress as the back end. While I am very happy with it, I use a different program for online galleries and proofing. I’ve been using Sytist (and its previous sibling, PhotoCart). You can see my Sytist installation here: Whitesell Photography Galleries

I recommend either of these; both are designed to be installed in your own web hosting account which means you have the ability to move to a new hot if you aren’t pleased with your current host. This is an advantage over hosted platforms which would require to to abandon everything and start over from scratch if you decide to move your website.

I like Photocrati’s WordPress engine which allows for much customization, and Sytist has come a very long way and now includes such advanced features as invoicing, a booking calendar, wall designer, eGift cards, project proofing, and much more. Both companies offer great support and have been very helpful whenever I have a design question.

If you’d like to check out either of these programs, you can find them here:


NAIT Women’s Hockey 2015

We shot the Nait OOKS women’s hockey team yeasterday and got a bunch of great memories of the athletes.

Ladies, we’ll have everything for you to to see soon – but until then, here is a great shot of the team:

NAIT womens hockey team 2015Click picture to see larger version

Here’s the same image as a 360 degree panorama

Drag your mouse in the picture to turn it:

Edmonton Winter Portraits

Love the winter? We’re totally up for winter portrait sessions!!

Edmonton photographersWhile most families and couples want to get their portraits during the summer months, There are still a few brave souls who embrace our winters. Shooting a winter portrait in Edmonton can be challenging. Here are some of the things we want on the day we shoot the session:

  • Warm (relatively) weather. Even minus 10 can be challenging for everyone. Red noses and cheeks aren’t the most attractive (unless that’s the look you’re going for!). Batteries in the equipment don’t last as long. It can just get uncomfortable if it’s too cold!
  • Clear, sunny skies. We want one of those gorgeous clear sky winter days for your session. If it grey and gloomy, or even foggy, we’ll probably want to reschedule for a nicer day.
  • Fresh snow. We love to shoot right after a snowfall, when everything is white. It isn’t very pretty if the snow is two weeks old, dirty and half ice. We want beautiful snow!

edmonton-winter-portraits-2We also bring out lighting in the winter, just like we do in the summer. Controlling the light is critical for the bright, well balanced portraits we’re known for. As we’ve always said, “It’s all about the light!”

Sometimes we end up rescheduling a time or two waiting for all the conditions to come together for the best portraits possible. But believe me, the results are worth it!!

winter engagement pictures



2014 St. Albert Farmers Market Opening

Check out this 360-degree panorama we made of the opening ceremonies of the 2014 St. Albert Farmers’ Market.

Click the picture to go to the panorama…

St Albert Farmer's Market - opening ceremonies

NAIT Women’s Hockey Team 2012-13

Here is our team photo of the NAIT Women’s Hockey Team:

NAIT women's hock team photo by Jim Whitesell

NAIT Women’s Hockey Team 2012-2013

Some interesting facts:

  • Created from eight images
  • Approximately 100 megapixels
  • Full size image is over four feet long
  • The women were positioned in a semi-circle, yet appear to be in a straight line in the final photo

Would you like to see the full size photograph? Post a comment below so we can gauge interest.

NAIT Women’s Hockey Team Preview!

We did a great team portrait of the NAIT OOKS Women’s Hockey Team last week. These are some amazing athletes and we feel very fortunate to have been able to spend some time on the ice photographing them.

Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes look of the team picture being set up:
NAIT women's hockey team photo


If you look closely, you’ll see coach Iwanicka (back to camera) holding a string that is tied to the tripod. She’s making sure the players are all exactly the same distance from the camera. The final team photo is made from eight separate images shot left-to-right. It’s important that the players’ distance from the camera doesn’t vary so they appear correctly in the final composite photo.

The final result will be posted tomorrow, so check back to see the result!

How to Microadjust lens focus

The newest high-end DSLRs offer a function that allows you to fine-tune how each lens focuses on your camera. There are lots of instructions and aids available to accomplish this task, some more effective than others.

Google Search Results for ‘micro focus adjust’

This is one of the first things we do whenever we get new camera bodies. Until you’ve done this, you can’t be sure your camera and lenses are perfectly adjusted for each other. Depending on the number of lenses you have, this might take from 15 minutes to. A couple hours… But it pays off big time!

Here is Canon’s helpful guide to how your autofocus system works, and explains shooting techniques for proper use as well as how to do the adjustments:

QuickGuide to Accurate EOS autofocus

Have Pro Lenses Gotten More Expensive?

Pro lenses are delivering so much more sharpness and resolution that older lens designs sometimes start to show flaws that were not apparent with earlier cameras. whenever a new version of a lens is introduced, photographers are shocked by the new price as it is almost always substantially higher than the lens it is replacing. When the new Canon 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM II lens came out, it was priced about $400 more than the lens it was replacing. There is a new Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II just released which is replacing the current lens that was introduced 10 years ago. The price for the new 24-70 is a whopping $900 more than it predecessor!

A German photographer has done an amazing job of analyzing price histories for most Canon lenses and the data shows that the overall average price increase is about 2% per year – less than inflation! These large price increases we see with new lens introductions may seem excessive, but the actual data shows a different story.

You can take a look at his analysis and the conversation it has generated here.