Walter M. Gray
Walter Gray was born and raised on a farm near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Many hours spent under the prairie skies working the family farm gave Walter an affinity for space and eye for beauty in the natural environment. He employed this sense of balance with nature in his photography while at the University of Saskatchewan. He was head photographer for the student newspaper and yearbook for two years. After graduation, Walter continued to hone his photography skills while working in the field of chemistry, education and computer technology.
Photography has become a passion and a joy for him and when he travels, a camera is always close by. His work is found in private and corporate collections across Canada, the USA, England and Saudi Arabia, including the collection of Prince Abdullah bin Faisal bin Turki, Saudi Arabia.
Since moving to The Crowsnest Pass, Walter has been active in capturing the many moods of our Rocky Mountains, surrounding foothills and prairies. Trips across Canada and parts of the USA have provided many new images.
I have worked at all types of photography including, scenics, portraits, sports, weddings and studio work. I originally worked with black and white, and later color slide and print. Over the last few years, digital technologies now allow the complete process to be carried out at home. I have owned Nikons for years and found the older F's to be the most reliable cameras, though lugging them around with a good assortment of fixed focal length lenses was difficult.
I now use lighter cameras, a older manual Nikon FA (no batteries to fail) and automatic/manual Nikon F80 with good zoom lenses for film work. I used an older Canon G-1 for digital work, then a Nikon D70 and have recently upgraded (2012) to a Nikon D-700 with full frame FX size sensor. I also use a Nikon Coolscan V ED for scanning 35mm slides and print negatives and an HP Scanjet 6300C for scanning flat material. All photos are printed with an Epson Stylus Photo 2200 printer using archival quality Epson inks and papers.
I enjoy scenics and portraits and this is reflected in most of my recent work. The mountains provide a unique environment in which subject, light, shadow and texture change endlessly to allow capturing of many unique images. I strive to reproduce the color of the original scene in the printed works but there are technical limitations in digital equipment. Though often a slight enhancement of some colors provides a more dynamic image for viewer enjoyment. All prints are issued with a certificate serialised and signed. I usually limit the number of re-prints to 30.
I use Linux as the operating system for all my work now (since 1998) after losing too much time with various MS Windows products.
My workflow involves shooting images in raw form with my Nikon camera, processing the images with BibblePro (now Aftershot pro from Corel) to full size JPGs for preview and e-mail sized JPGs, catalog each image using Digikam with tags and a rating if desired, processing the highest rated images with AftershotPro to TIF files, processing the images further with the GIMP graphics editor, then printing the images using Gutenprint drivers to my Epson P2200 and finally matting and framing the mounted prints. To make panoramas I use AutopanoPro, which also works for HDR images. For flat art objects, I use Vuescan with an HP 6300c scanner. For large flat art objects I scan in sections and stitch together with AutopanoPro. Some software is purchased others are free and open source software under various license models such as the GPL. I also scan all of Jean's paintings for records and for limited edition prints.
All software runs on Linux using (currently) the Ubuntu 13.04 LTS 64-bit distribution (installed with both Gnome and KDE interfaces and about 5,700 packages plus others). The hardware system was built using an Antec 1200 chassis with six fans, Corsair modular 850W PS, Gigabyte GA-X58-UD5 motherboard, Intel CoreI7-920 overclocked and cooled with a Cogage True Spirit 1366 cooler (Thermaltake), 12 Gbytes of OCZ PC3-14400 memory (2x 6 GB/channel), 6 internal SATA WD drives totaling 5.5 TBytes, LG dvd dual layer, GEAR usb/ms/sd/cf/xm/tf USB-3 3.5 in internal universal connector, external BlacX dual 2.5/3.5 drive bays using e-SATA, and a high quality LED backlit LCD monitor Flatron IPS231 and Colormunki Photo system for colour calibration for monitor, scan and print. I use Luckybackup (rsync) to backup to external WD 2 TByte drives. I also backup to two different brand name dvd's to hopefully insure future readability.
I am willing to help anyone setup their computing environment using any Linux distribution (see Distrowatch.org for other distros). Linux can be dual booted on any PC so that one can use either the Linux or Windows systems.
I also work with and recover users MS Windows based PCs and show them the best tools to use for security and image management and application processing.