Thursday, February 21, 2013

Assembling Lunch

I really admire food photographers and/or food bloggers. I follow quite a few who not only create amazing meals from scratch but they also take really excellent pictures of the final product. It would really be a daunting task for me to mimic their efforts because my food creation talents are next to zero. And, honestly, it seems like a lot of work.

I am more of a food "assembler". I didn't make lunch today, I assembled it from leftovers. Refried beans, quinoa, roast beef, asiago cheese and Frank's Red Hot. I just happened to have some lighting equipment set up as part of another shoot so I took a few shots of my proud creation.


It was neither gourmet fair nor an amazing food shot but it sure was yummy!

Keep shooting.

Making Stock

Yesterday I shot stock images. All day. It is quite an involved and time consuming process but I really enjoy it, especially when it all comes together.

A lot goes in to setting up and shooting stock. I thought about some ideas and played with some concepts a day or two before I shot only to come up with a completely approach on shoot day. Still, getting from that idea to a finished product takes a lot of work, especially when I am also playing the part of the model.

Probably the most difficult part is nailing the focus. Autofocus is not even an option. Manual focus is necessary to make sure the focus is in the same spot each time, especially in a series of images. I typically use light stands with focusable targets as stand-ins and then mark my spot with tape. Tape will mark my centre line as well as where my toes should be.

With focus nailed I can work on tweaking my posing. This means snapping a dozen shots, grabbing the memory card from the camera, downloading the images, reviewing them and then repeating the process until I have the shots I want. It is possible that hooting tethered would speed up the process but I am not set up for that.


When I am finally happy with my images the next step is post-processing, uploading and key wording all of which can take a fair amount of time. Then, you wait. You wait for the images to be check over and approved or rejected. This can take any where from days to weeks and it can be a bit nerve wracking wondering if your images are good enough to make the cut.

If the images are lucky enough to be approved then you hope that all your hard work is rewarded with plenty of sales. Of course, there is no guarantee. Images I have been most about have done nothing while others I uploaded on a whim have been successful. I honestly never really know if something will do well or not. I am hoping over time I will get it down to a science but at this point I am not there yet.

Keep shooting.

Monday, February 18, 2013

An Inspiring Afternoon

On Saturday I took part in an afternoon seminar on making a living with stock photography. It was led by a very talented local photography and designer, Lori Andrews. The seminar took place at Canon's Image Square, located centrally in downtown Calgary. It was an afternoon well spent.

I have a simple philosophy when it comes to seminars and workshops. If I come away with just one piece of knowledge or one idea, then it was totally worth my time and money. Well, I walked away several nuggets from the two-and-half hour session but the by far the biggest takeaway was a sack full of inspiration.

A few hours of my time and a few dollars out of my wallet in trade for a sack full of inspiration? You bet!

I'll take that trade anytime.

Keep shooting.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Funky Colours...

I had a mission on Thursday night. I wanted to grab a night shot of the ongoing demolition of the old Herald building in the heart of downtown Calgary. The building is about seventy-five percent demolished, which is great because the really interesting innards are exposed but it also meant there wasn't much time left to capture it.

Getting to the site is a short trip from my downtown condo and a quick dash up six flights of stairs to get to the top of a nearby parking structure for a better vantage point. As I reached the top floor of the parking garage my anticipation of getting a picture instantly vanished. The site was vacant and dark. There was no demolition happening on this particular night and there was no light.

Instead of sulking and walking back home, I decided to move to a different location. Just a block away was the Wonderland sculpture at The Bow, so I wandered over there, took a few shots but then another idea hit me.

I have been wanting to grab some pictures of the new-ish 4th Street SE underpass at night but had not yet made the time to do so. This was the night. Bad luck quickly turned in to good luck because there was also a Flames home game on this particular night and that meant plenty of vehicular and pedestrian traffic, which was exactly what I wanted.


Awesome. Keep shooting.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I finally got a chance to check out the new "Wonderland" sculpture in front of the new Bow building in downtown Calgary. It's pretty cool.

Jen was with me and I had her pose in a few pictures so I could use them for editorial stock.


I will definitely be visiting it again for more shots.

Keep shooting.