Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Little Behind...

I am nearing the end of my 365 project for 2010. Tonight's image was 362 of 365. The last few images of my project all had one thing in common. The light was coming from behind the subject.


In the first image of the tea cup, the single light source was directly behind the subject and above, just out of the frame. For the tea cup image a piece of white foam core board was used to reflect just a touch of light to remove some of the mystery. The second shot with the female subject the light is behind the subject but more so to camera right rather than directly behind. And in this third image, the light is again directly behind the subject just like in the first image with the tea cup. However, in this case the shutter was slowed quite a bit to bring in some of the ambient from the candle.


It was fun to experiment a bit moving the light behind the subject to see what different looks, moods and imagery I could create.

Keep shooting.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Proof of Concept

I met a couple of guys for the first time today for the purpose of checking out a location and doing some "proof of concept" shots for some future work. It was great to hang with fellow photogs who share a passion for the craft and enjoy experimenting.

We set up just a couple of lights on stands and occasionally used another handheld flash. Cactus V4 triggers tripped the flashes today - something I had never worked with before but they worked really well. We even had a Nikon flash in there too! The cool thing about the Nikon flashes that Canon should pick up on is that the Nikon flashes can be used as an optical slave. Canon flashes can only trigger other Canon flashes.

Today was great fun and I even managed to grab a pretty good frame along the way.


Keep shooting.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Fun With Christmas Lights...

I have been experimenting for the past week with LED Christmas lights and managed to get quite a few interesting shots. I started with simple, still shots such as the one below.


And then I built up to longer exposures with the LEDs moving in the background like this next one.


That shot was a four-second exposure to give the LED lights time to paint the background and then at the end of the exposure a small flash was popped to expose the subject. The same technique was used for this portrait.


The only subtle difference between the two exposures is that in the first shot the lights are hanging from a C-stand on one end and just before the exposure begins they are stretched away from the C-stand, raised up as high as they can go and then released. As you can see in the result they just paint diagonally across the background. In the second example, the chain of lights is being held by a person on either side of the background and they are raising and lowering the whole stand, somewhat in unison. The effect is more like a fountain, which I thought was pretty cool. I suppose there is no limit to the ways to move the lights with each one creating a unique effect.

Tonight, I went back to still life and shot a close-up shot of an eye, which was lit with only a handful of LED lights taped in place very close to the subject. Again, it produced a very interesting effect, catch lights and almost a make-up look on the face. Pretty neat.


Keep experimenting and keep shooting.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

One Day With Joe

Today was day one of a two day weekend seminar style workshop with Joe McNally. The even was sponsored by CAPIC and The Camera Store. This was my second time with Joe. Back in July of this year I spent a day with Joe at his workshop in Dobbs Ferry, NY. I gotta say each day I spent in the company of Joe, I learned a bunch and I came away with tons of energy and inspiration.


The highlight of day one of this weekend workshop happened after we came back from a fifteen minute break. Joe had an idea. We had two female models, both pretty done up but one was in character as Marilyn Monroe. So Joe's idea was to create a paparazzi type scenario. He had the two girls in front of the stage facing away from the audience. Way at the back of the theatre he had one light stand with flash on either side of the room pointing towards the stage. Each of those flashes was gelled yellow. They were to be the "Hollywood search lights". In front of the models he had two strobes in Lumiquest Mini Soft Boxes. The killer addition was he pulled a half dozen Nikon shooters out of the audience and set each of them up with a hot shoe strobe. The fake "paparazzi" were told not to turn on the cameras as Joe was working his TTL magic from his camera. It took him about two or three tries to get the lighting right and then he ended up with this amazing shot!


Wow! I think I got goosebumps on that one. OK, now my picture of his creation projected on to a big screen does not do the image justice but you get the idea. It was truly incredible to see Joe create that one out of thin air and end up with such an awesome shot. That was definitely a show stopping moment for me. And, I would be very surprised if a shot from that scenario does not show up in a blog post. It was so good.

I honestly can't say enough about Joe. It is twice now that I have had the privilege to see him work his magic and I am never disappointed. He is gracious, he is willing to share all what he knows and he does it without any ego and with so much humour and humanity. This guy is the real deal.

The best part about today is I get to do it all over again tomorrow. So good.

Keep shooting.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Football Fun!

This past weekend was a busy one. Shooting family portraits on Saturday and an Atom football game on Sunday. The coolest part about Sunday's football shoot was I was able to rent Canon's 300mm f/2.8L IS lens. That thing is a beast! It's about ten inches long and it weighs in at almost six pounds but let me tell you, this is ten inches and six pounds of pure awesome! Super sharp and super quick to focus it captures beautiful images, well, as long as I'm doing my part. Check out the lens shot below.


I don't shoot a lot of sports on a regular basis but I can share a few of the basic tips I use. First off, I start by taking a few shots of a grey card. This allows me to find proper exposure and the grey card image can be used to set (with software) correct white balance during post-processing. Once I have my exposure I just lock in the settings by switching the camera to manual. That way I never have to worry about the camera making incorrect exposure choices due an abundance of dark coloured jerseys or other scenarios that fool the camera's light meter.

With the help of the grey card I was able to establish a baseline exposure of f/4, 1/1000th of a second at ISO 400. I want to keep my ISO as low as possible while still maintaining a 1/1000th of a second shutter speed. Shooting outdoors on a fairly sunny day affords me that luxury. Indoors or at night under artificial lights I would have had to crank my ISO up to 1600 or beyond and shoot wide open at f/2.8.

Having my exposure locked in leaves me one less thing to think about however if you have a partially cloudy day like I did, you need to be cognizant of changing light conditions and adjust accordingly. I just check the LCD from time to time if I sensed that the light was changing. On this particular day it took no more than a 1/3 to 1/2 stop adjustment to get back to a proper exposure.


Another essential tool for handling a lens as big and heavy as the one I was using is a monopod. With image stabilization you could probably hand hold a big lens and get decent results but after a while arms will get fatigued and likely the quality of the pictures will suffer. Monopods are cheap and they work great. Just get one that can easily and quickly adjust to various heights so you can get shots from a variety of angles.

Lastly but quite likely the most important detail is focusing. Anytime there is movement you need the camera to track focus and this means switching to a continuous focus mode. For Canon shooters that mode is AI Servo. I was shooting with a Canon 40D, which is a pretty old camera but it is still a very reliable workhorse. The 40D does not have a lot of the fancy focus zones and tracking that more modern DSLRs do but it still does a very good job. What I do is light up just a single focus point, typically one that's off centre, and then make sure my subject is hit by this point. After that it is up to the camera to do the rest. I just have to line it up and press the shutter.

Hope some of those tips helped.


Keep shooting.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Something a Little Different

I shot the picture below yesterday as a part of my 365 project.


The first thing Jen said upon viewing the image was, "that doesn't even look like a picture you would take". Perfect. Mission accomplished. I wanted to do something out of my comfort zone, something a little different.

For this shot I stuck a 24 inch soft box behind, slightly above and very close to my subject. Then I cranked up the power on the flash all the way - full power! This gave me f/32 on the far side of the flower. The camera was at f/8. My flash is three stops over my camera settings! This produced a really cool wash of light, perhaps even mirroring a blast of sunlight from a window. I actually experimented with bringing my flash more in line with my camera settings but it didn't have the same impact and it certainly did not match the vision I had in my head. The final touch was to flip the white balance to tungsten in post to give the image that pale blue shade.

Keep shooting.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Difference of One Light...

I did some fun portrait shots for Jen the other night. She was using a default graphic for her Twitter profile, which I felt needed to change. So I set up the gear, we gathered up some props and set about having some fun getting some new shots for her profile.

For this shoot I decided to use a shoot through umbrella straight on for the main light, fill (one to two stops below main) on the left, again, another shoot through umbrella, a hair light and a snooted light for a highlight on the background. All the lights were Canon 580EX IIs triggered with Pocketwizard. It's a pretty straight forward set up that yields quite good results.

As the shoot progressed we goofed around more with various props for no other reason then to see what we could create. It was fun. I was reviewing the shots quickly on my camera's LCD from time to time as we shot but I didn't have time to pull them up on the computer. We had another engagement that night so we had to move quick. I reviewed the pictures later that night. There were many really great shots from the session, however, my absolute favourite had a little piece missing. Below, on the left is the flawed favourite and on the right is my number two selection, which, by default became my number one.


Other than the slight difference in composition, the one on the left is missing the hair light. The hair light did not fire. It is a shame because everything else in that shot was perfect. The hair/rim light adds such a nice finishing touch to the portrait. The beautiful highlights in the hair and along the arm and shoulder - it brings a bit more spark to the image and nicely separates Jen from the background. *sigh* At least I got a good visual reference on the difference that one light can make in the overall aesthetic of an image.

Keep shooting.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pursue Your Passion

I caught a two hour presentation by Dr. Wayne Lynch on Sunday night at the conclusion of the 2010 Digital Expo in Calgary. It was a tiny glimpse in to a three decade career in nature and wildlife photography.

Dr. Lynch shared many amazing stories and incredible images. He has been on every continent and it was astounding to see all the places he had been in pursuit of his passion. And make no mistake about it, it truly is his passion. From the very beginning of his presentation you immediately knew this man was passionate about the natural world and all the critters in it.

It was inspirational to hear his story of starting a career as an emergency physician but realizing early on that it truly did not make him happy. And with that realization he began an amazing adventure that shows no signs of slowing down. Pursuing one's passion in life is something that most of us dream about but sadly too few of us do.

Pursue your passion.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Lovely Autumn...

The last week and a bit Calgary has been blessed with a magnificent fall. Warm temperatures and clear blue skies and amazing colours in the trees. This part of the world does not get a great variety of fall colours but it is easy to appreciate what we get. And, this is quite a contrast to last year when green leaves were literally freeze dried right on the branches. Yikes!

I wandered around today and gathered up a bunch of leaves for close-up shots. For the set up, I taped the leaves to a large, south facing window, backlighting the leaves to bring out all the incredible detail. My camera was positioned on a tripod as close as my lens would allow, which is about one foot. At this proximity getting the camera square to the subject is essential because even at f/16 the depth of field is razor thin - probably only a few millimetres. And, the leaves need to be as flat as possible for the same reason. It was finicky work but patience paid off and my favourite shot is below.


Keep shooting.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Peace of Mind

I love shooting on the city at night. There is a completely different energy when all the busyness of the work day has subsided. Less people, less busy. It is generally calm and quiet. The business crowd that occupies the core during the day is replaced with peoples perhaps less visible during the hustle and bustle of the workday.

I really enjoy wandering around the downtown core with camera and tripod in hand discovering things that catch my eye. Last night I spent a while exploring before setting up in front of an alley. This particular alley had kind of an endless quality about it. It seemed to go on forever. The different light sources and colours, people off in the distance, they all added much mystery and interest.

As I was lining up and focusing the shot I noticed a solitary figure enter in to the frame. As the individual drew closer I could see he was carrying a bag of cans and bottles and was likely homeless. He stopped to chat. He said, "I love this alley. I walk it many times a day. I call it peace of mind." He went on to suggest that is what I should entitle the picture - peace of mind. I said, "I would" and he carried on his way.

A few things struck me from our brief conversation. I am amazed at the power of the camera to evoke a conversation. I have had countless conversations with people curious as to what I was photographing. Some wanted to see the image I was composing and some have even been photographers from years gone by and we struck up a lengthy chat. The other thought that popped in to my head was that I have never had an unpleasant experience (knock on wood) during my time roaming the streets at night. People have always shown a curiosity and an interest in conversation rather than altercation. It is a nice reminder that people are people and fundamentally we are all the same.

Below is my image of the alley. Peace of mind.


Keep shooting.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

These Guys are Pros

I was fortunate, once again, to do another teacher shoot at the Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre today and man these guys are pros. Perhaps not pros at modelling in the true sense of the word but pros in that they can bust out the most amazing poses and yet look completely relaxed and at peace. It really shows the true power of a dedicated yoga practice.

A detailed post of the shoot is coming but until that is done I just wanted to share one image.



Keep shooting.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Of Self Portraits and Patience

The other night I decided to update a my profile picture for a number of online sites. This, obviously, required a self-portrait. Now, I suppose I could have asked one of my photog buddies to take the picture but that would require planning ahead. This was a spontaneous decision. And, I would rather do it myself anyhow.

This is what I came up with.


That shot took about two and a half hours. Phew! Self portraits certainly test the patience and can be quite time consuming. If you want to know more how I developed the shot, read on.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Life 2.0

Below is a shot of my cubicle as I left work today for the last time, ending a 20 year career in IT.


I caught the photography bug just over a couple years ago and it has been a driving passion in my life since. It is a fastastic time to be a photographer because there is so much innovation and inspiration all around us. And through the Internet so many have selflessly shared their passion for their craft and in turn inspired countless others to explore and share. Names such as Scott Kelby, Joe McNally, David Hobby, Jeremy Cowart, Chase Jarvis, Scott Bourne and so many others.

I end one chapter and begin a new chapter of exploration and creativity. Through my camera, I get to live life like a child once more, discovering the beauty and wonder in the ordinary and capturing a fleeting moment forever. I am fortunate and I am so very excited.

Keep shooting.


Friday, September 10, 2010

Give Up The Fight

My friend Amy Thiessen had her CD release event tonight to promote her "Give up the Fight" album and I was fortunate enough to be there. Amy had also asked me to display my work as part of the "artist collective" accompanying her night. It was a privilege to be invited so naturally I accepted.


To hear Amy sing live is an absolute treat! Her voice stirs up emotions of all sorts, from goosebumps to tears. Her passion pours through in every song and I am was so thrilled to be a part of her amazing night.

Of course I had my camera in tow and grabbed a bunch of frames of her performance. Everything was done with available light, which meant shooting wide open with high ISO. My 5D Mark II did an admirable job. I rarely do this type of photography so it was a good chance to get some extra practice.


Next to Amy, the guy playing the upright bass had to be my favourite. The raw cool factor of that instrument combined with the fact that he was dressed like Pee Wee Herman (only "biggie" size) made the perfect combination.

Anyhow, it was an absolute privilege to share the night with such a talent and, as always, it was nice to make a few pictures.

Keep shooting.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When the Universe Calls... Part Two

Yesterday I wrote about an interesting encounter I had while taking pictures at lunch. That was part one of the story, which you can read about here. This is part two.

Monday, August 16, 2010

When the Universe Calls...

You answer.

I was out shooting pictures at lunch today, head down, focused on the task at hand and ignoring all the background chatter. Jen was with me but I could sense that someone else was hovering near.

I tend to ignore the curious observers for the most part, especially the "hey buddy, what are yah shooting?!?" calls from across the street. It's not that I mean to be rude but I am out there concentrating on the task and usually with limited time. If there's a break in the action I am usually happy to engage in friendly chatter.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Making Lemonade...

How does that old saying go? I think it's something like, when life gives you lemons make lemonade. Tonight I made some "lemonade".

Friday, August 6, 2010

Feeling Blue

I just returned from a one week visit to New York City, which included a one day workshop with Joe McNally in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Both the vacation and the workshop were amazing. But now I'm back in my home base of Calgary and I am truly missing the vibrance and excitement of the big city. I'm feeling a little blue.

Last night was my first 365 shot outside of NY in over a week. I didn't have a lot in the tank but I knew it had to be flash and I knew I needed some colour. This is what I ended up with.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Be Prepared

Be Prepared. I believe that is the motto of the Boy Scouts of America. Well, last night I went to shoot fireworks and I thought I was prepared.

Friday, July 9, 2010


The Calgary Stampede officially kicked off today with a parade through the heart of the city. An estimated 350,000 people lined the downtown streets to take in the spectacle. Wow! Lucky for me it travels right past my place so a quick trip down the elevator is all it takes to get in on the action and make some photographs.


Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

Being Canada Day today I thought it was appropriate to go out and shoot some fireworks pictures.

I knew where the fireworks were being fired from but I didn't exactly know where the best vantage point would be so I guessed. I guessed wrong.


Monday, June 28, 2010

Session with Tyla

I had the good fortunate today to work with Tyla to create some images for her website. The images were yoga-centric and about three quarters were shot indoors on white seamless, as shown by the image below.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Always Learning...

I follow Chase Jarvis on Twitter and from time to time troll by his blog. The other day I caught a tweet about Zack Arias and oh boy I am so grateful I did. That particular day Chase had Zack on creativeLIVE. I was able to catch a live interview with Zack and they were conversing about Zack's Studio Photography workshop. Thank goodness I caught that interview because I found out about Zack's workshop that ran this past weekend. My busy schedule only allowed me to see some of the live broadcast (which was completely FREE by the way) over the weekend but I purchased the presentation and have been watching it for the past few days. And, I just have to say, WOW! Zack is a humorous, engaging and very knowledgeable instructor. I think I am only through the first hour or so of the first day but I am completely blown away. Zack poured his heart into this thing and it shows. People will talking about this for months. If you are interested in that workshop you can now purchase it from creativeLIVE. If you do studio lighting it is worth every penny.

Anyhow, this post is not all about that particular workshop, it's about learning. During the past few years my photography has grown by leaps and bounds. It is a big cliche but I have truly learned a ton. Watching Zack's presentation gave me so many "connect the dots" kind of moments. I knew one "dot" over here and one "dot" over there but Zack's instruction filled in the blanks and made that connection. And the timing was perfect because some of what he covered this weekend tied in to a shoot I did this past Friday.

A quick bit of background. Anyone who has used off camera flash has probably seen a shot like the one below at one time or another.


That shot is an example of what happens when you exceed the max sync speed of your camera. In this case I had accidentally bumped my shutter speed to 1/400th of a second, which is well above my max sync of 1/200th. So what happens? Well, here goes a quick explanation. There are two curtains on the focal plane shutter in your DSLR. The two curtains both move in the same direction. I guess one way to look at it is one curtain covers the shutter and the other curtains waits to cover the shutter. When the camera is "waiting" to take a picture, the shutter is closed. When you press the shutter button the first curtain moves across the sensor revealing it to the light. The flash fires once the first curtain is completely open. *POP* goes the flash. The camera waits for the duration of the shutter speed and the second curtain moves across the sensor (in the same direction) to hide the sensor from light and end the exposure. The black bar is simply the second curtain closing before the flash burst was able to expose the entire frame. The interesting part of the example photograph are the few specs of light on the top portion of the black bar. They are wee bits of ambient from the window at the top of the frame.

Zack's blog contained a pictorial example of the same issue but what is really interesting is that there is a bit of image degradation at the edge of the frame seen until 1/125th of a second, which is well below the max sync speed. You can take a look at those images here. The funny thing was I saw those images today and instantly made a connection to a shot I made this past weekend. Check out the image below.


Can you see it? You may have to click on the image, which will bring it up on a white background, to see it. Anyhow, there is just a faint bit of darkened edge on the right side of the frame. In that shot my shutter speed was at the max sync speed of 1/200th of a second. The picture is not cropped and there was minimal post production done but the degradation was clearly visible. I noticed it in quite a few of the images but never made the connection until I saw the example on Zack's blog. I shot a quick image tonight to try it out. This final image was shot at 1/125th and is a similar light setup to my prior example.


Again, you made need to click on it to bring it up on a white background but you will notice there is no darkening on the right edge of the frame. I did notice the slight darkening on the right edge but didn't connect the dots until I saw Zack's post. He connected the dots and that was an incredible "aha" moment of understanding.

Thanks for sharing Zack!

Keep shooting.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I am out of Ideas...


I'm kidding. The shot above was just a bit of a play on a similar photograph I saw earlier today. And, unlike some of the epic 365 shots I've done as of late, this one was quick and easy to shoot. I honestly cannot even remember where I saw the original shot but it immediately gave me the inspiration to try my own take.

Keep shooting. 'Cause that's what I'm doing. :-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Today my "Photos and Videos" on Flickr surpassed ten thousand views! To me that felt like a pretty major milestone.


On March 8, 2010 my Flickr page had accumulated ten thousand total views. Just over two months later this same number had jumped to almost seventeen thousand. Wow! To put it in perspective though some users on Flickr get thousands of views per day, which is quite astounding in itself. There are plenty of amazingly talented people uploading their work and inspiring people such as myself and so many others every single day.

I originally joined Flickr because I wanted to be inspired and to learn from others. I certainly have been inspired (actually most times I am in complete awe of some of the talented people posting their work) and I have learned so much viewing the incredible photography on Flickr. And now as my views creep upwards it not only feels like an accomplishment but it also feels like me giving something, albeit small, back to this community of creatives.

It's a nice feeling.

Keep shooting.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Positive People

I just love working with positive, happy, creative people. It makes my job oh so much easier.

Once again I had the privilege today to do a photo shoot with a bunch of the wonderful Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre instructors. If you are in Calgary and enjoy doing yoga, you will not find a more passionate and wonderful group than the people at the Bodhi Tree. It honestly is a one-of-a-kind community.

Here's a little "behind the scenes" shot.


Today's shoot was pretty ambitious. I needed to get shots of five instructors, a few group shots and a few other creative ideas and necessities. And, at the same time, a video was being made of our session and all the instructors working at the studio. Oh yah, it was a very full day.

As always, the shoot was fast paced. Poses and people were changing pretty quickly. For the most part the only constant was the lighting, which I will talk about in a future post. But what makes a shoot like this truly possible is the people. So, thanks guys for making my work so much fun and a ton easier.


Keep shooting!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Ah Ha!

I had one of those "ah ha" moments while shooting my 365 shot for tonight. It is exactly what I wrote a few months ago about a change in perspective.

I was satisfied with tonight's shot and started taking pictures of my set up when the "ah ha" moment struck. I saw a wonderful, new perspective that I liked so much more than my initial composition. The first composition is below.


Oh, that is so me! Get in tight on the subject and fill the frame with the important stuff. But after backing up to get my set up shot I noticed a whole new perspective and one that I found much more pleasing visually than the first.

124/365 (Breakfast of Champions)

This is a little bit of a departure from my style. As I said above, I love to get in tight and fill the frame. In my keeper shot for the night I backed up quite a bit and left a ton (a ton for me) of white space at the top. I was totally digging it and it's what I enjoy so much about my exploration in photography. I always learn something each and every time I put the camera to my eye.

Keep shooting.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Oh man, what a weekend! Two days packed full of planning, making pictures and post production work.

Saturday was the busiest of the two days as I had two sessions lined up. One was to set up and test the lighting for an upcoming yoga instructor shoot and the other was to update a head shot/portrait for a friend of mine.

First up was the yoga instructor shoot set up and lighting test. It was pretty straight forward - shoot the subjects on white seamless and make the background pure white.

Currently I am only shooting with off-camera flash (all Canon 580EX IIs) so perhaps that makes it a bit more challenging, I'm not really sure. Regardless, it took probably about an hour to pack up, transport, unpack and set up all the gear. About twenty minutes of testing and I was making pictures. For the yoga instructor shoot we want pure white backgrounds but we still want shadow, some "connection to the Earth". I got it.


I learned quite a few things in the process, which was the whole idea. When it's time for the main shoot, just over a week from now, I will have all my settings ready to go.

The next session was to update a portrait for my friend Cariann. And, just like a lot of people, she does not really like getting her picture taken. My job as the photographer is to make her feel at ease and give her results she completely loves. For portraits I find that there is nothing better and more natural than beautifully diffused daylight. Luckily I have access to this great wall of glass blocks that does an amazing job of spreading and softening the natural light. The setup for her portrait was pretty easy. Use the wall of glass bricks as a background and place a large, round reflector in front of her to redirect some of that gorgeous light on her. I used a grey/white card to meter the exposure and set the white balance and twenty minutes later we had a wonderful portrait.


With the portrait out of the way we switched to more of a studio look for a bit of fun. Here is my favourite shot from that set up.


Purple is such a vibrant colour and Cariann was a wonderful, cooperative model. A great end to a busy day.

On Sunday I was supposed to do an indoor decor shoot but that got cancelled at the last minute, which I think worked out for the best. It gave me more time for post production work, which ended up consuming the better part of the day.

But before Sunday came to a close Jen and I got together to make a fun birthday picture for a wonderful friend of ours who has moved away from us. Here is the result.


There was a quick bit of post production work on that shot before sending it off to our friend. And, very quickly after that I found myself heading for bed.

It was an awesome weekend! Lots of picture making and even better I was able to give my new Canon 5D Mark II a really good workout. Oh, it performed flawlessly by the way.

Keep shooting.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Say Hello to my Little Friend...

The nice UPS man brought me a new best friend today.


After much thought and research I figured this was the best choice to succeed my 40D, which has served me so well for nearly two years.

The 5D Mark II is about one and a half years old but it is still considered top notch for both stills and video. It would not surprise me to see a 5D Mark III appear before yearend but I am happier going with a proven model. And I could not resist the deal on a refurbished unit from Adorama.

I have a whole bunch of sessions lined up this weekend so I am really excited to see what this baby can do.

Keep shooting.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Working for the Weekend

I'm excited for this coming weekend. Lots and lots of stuff happening.

Saturday I am shooting a couple of yogis at my favourite yoga community, the Bodhi Tree Yoga Center. The main goal is to do a lighting test for a major shoot coming up in a few weeks. But I am also hoping that I can get a few stock images at the same time. It should be a lot of fun. After a few hours there, I disassemble the gear head back home and get ready for a portrait shoot with the lovely Cariann. With my number one assistant Jen by my side, the three of us should have a great time making great images.

Sunday I am back in action shooting the interior of the Bodhi Tree Yoga center for an upcoming project. And, maybe in between I can sneak in a yoga class or two.

And if my luck holds a new piece of equipment should be arriving on Friday. Just in time for all the weekend action. Very, very exciting!

I can't wait.

Keep shooting.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mmmmmmm... Cookies....

Sometimes you're having a bad day and the Universe knows just what to do. It taps a friend on the shoulder and asks them to bake a few cookies for you.

That's just what happened to me today. My friend Celeste made me some cookies and left them for me to pick up before my yoga class tonight. What a nice thought and a yummy treat. Celeste is a friend of mine and co-owner of the most incredible yoga community in all the Calgary, the Bodhi Tree Yoga Centre. She also has a gift at making even the most mundane items look completely amazing. Below is a shot of the bundle of cookies I received tonight.


Simply and beautifully presented. Even better, a quick tug of the ribbon revealed the delicious oatmeal raisin cookies within, fresh from Celeste's kitchen. Mmmmmmmm.


Celeste didn't know I was having a bad day but "something" intervened on my behalf and I got cookies. I don't often contemplate the mysteries of the Universe but it sure is nice when a little magic happens and a bad day becomes a good one.

And that wonderful package of goodness served as the inspiration for today's picture.

Keep shooting.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Best. Meal. Ever.

I had a long, tiring and perhaps tough week. I came home tonight a little bit cranky, worn out and just generally feeling less than happy. All my excitement and energy throughout the week had evaporated. But all that changed when I walked in the door tonight.

My wonderful partner Jen, who patiently models for me all the time and pays attention when I endlessly spew all sorts of photography jargon, surprised me with the most amazing meal tonight.


We cracked a bottle of wine and enjoyed the most wonderful meal I have tasted in a long time. I think it took me forty minutes to consume a single plateful - I didn't want it to end. I wanted to eat it as mindfully as possible, savouring every last bite.

My mood went from dull to happy, my energy from low to bubbly.

Thanks Jen, you made my night.


Keep shooting.