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.