Family Sessions are pretty much finished off now, especially since winter has set in with a mighty wallop of cold temperatures & wind! It’s already been quite nasty other than not having a metric pile of snow which is great! And also, on the positive note, there has been none of that freezing rain malarky either. Two whoop whoops and a boo ya for -20ºC right off the hop of winter! LOL :cool:
Fall on the prairies is hellfire fast. But this year it was somewhat delayed which is a such a sweet bonus. It was rather rainy though which limited the shooting opportunities. But you have to be fast when it comes to hammering out all the best colour as it is usually here one day and gone the next. Here are two images I shot at the end of my crescent where there was this amazing red hedge. These photos were shot only 3 days apart. Crazy difference! I shot the same photo/pose with the families to illustrate this reality of fall photography in Saskatchewan: HURRY! :D
A little bit of wind can ruin your photo background in no time! That said, while we missed the red colour on the latter shoot, we also picked up some incredible yellow that wasn’t ready just 3 days before.
So you never know what kind of palette you will be given to work with from shoot to shoot. A couple of days is an enormous difference! But you can still wring it out even when the colour gets scarce. The photographer’s two best friends are Bokeh & Compression. Or, long focal lengths and wide apertures. This shot of Lexi was with my 85mm at f/2.5. A bit of telephoto compression and pretty wide aperture. Similar results could have been nabbed at 200mm and f/4. Charlea’s photo was similar, with my favorite 85mm at 2.8. She had much more colour at the red hedge while the bush behind lexi was really on it’s way out. But the bokeh goodness smooshes it into a pleasant blur of colour.
Being that I am a Pastor by day, Photographer by day off, I have a few connections with other Pastors and Churches. When the two worlds collide it’s a cool experience. I was up in Regina, Saskatchewan doing some photography for Mount Olive Lutheran Church. Such projects include building/grounds photos, portraits of staff & workers as well as a library of stock images that can be used on websites, e-publications, etc. It’s a lot of fun with lots of opportunities to be creative.
One of the other cool extras of this assignment was that Rev. Ted Giese, one of the pastors at Mount Olive along with Rev. Terry Defoe, is that Rev. Giese does movie reviews from a Christian perspective. He is regularly featured on an American Lutheran Radio program called Issues, etc. As such, I knew I wanted to do a movie-poster-inspired portrait of Ted that was a bit more edgy than the regular “nice light” I typically do for such a project.
So for this portrait I shifted the color spectrum into tungsten to give the photo a very cool and shadowy feel. The BTS photo below shows the location of this two light setup. By using an empty corner for the shot you get a free, nifty background location with varying degrees of light fall off shadows and gradients. I used a soft lighter on the floor with my Alien Bee 1600 for the fill light. It was just left in daylight white balance which was shifted blue by the tungsten control in camera. The key light was an SB-900 in a Lumiquest Softbox III that was gelled CTO taking it back to a daylight color. Had I done this shot over again, I would have thrown on an extra 1/2 cut of CTO to warm that key light up more and give it an extra color contrast. But the end result is a really cool feeling movie-reviewing-Reverend type look. :D
The only thing that makes weddings better is when you add guns into the mix! The Lemieux wedding was super rad. It was guns-a-hoy! As a sportsman myself, I was on cloud 9mm! :cool: So let the fun begin!
Susan and I split up for the pre-wedding photos. I went out to the farm where the men were getting ready. And to my surprise, skeet shooting redneck style was on the agenda! Matt hammered that clay and I was happy to get the “turn it to dust” photo. It was without a doubt one of the most fun groomsman getting ready sessions of all time! And, we found out later that Bryanna actually bought Matt a rifle as a present. Gotta love that! The whole wedding party was super fun and up for anything. I did my signature eyelash photo not only with Bryanna, but took it to a whole new level with Matt. hehehehe…… He was a good sport.
We got lots of great shots during the wedding but for the ultimate shot came towards the end of the shoot when we were wrapping things up before going to dinner. We wanted to get a fairly epic shot worthy of the day. We noticed that the gravel roads around Alida were eagerly blasting dust everywhere. So we figured that a dust photo that was all lit up with a cool setting sun might do the job. Our first plan was to get the wedding party to drive two trucks up the road behind the couple to really get the dust flying. It didn’t work so hot as we were scared the bride and groom might be pummelled with rock. So we had to go to plan B.
Plan B was to get the wedding party to shuffle around the road and stir up the dust enough to get the particulate matter in the air. It was like herding cats by this point but all in all, the wedding party rocked the set and really came through! It was hilarious!!! :D
And here’s the final image. It was a load of fun!
The last image I want to talk about was this one from the dance. It was super awesome to have bubbles courtesy of the DJ. We had some sweet ambient light from the DJ’s spot lights as well. Then we lit it up with our patent-pending flash on stick technique. LOL. :cool: I just loved their expressions and the light and of course, the bubbles! So all the best to Matt & Bryanna! It was a pleasure capturing your memories!
One of the perils of living in Saskatchewan is that you never know what the weather is going to hand you. Some say just wait 20 minutes, ’cause it’ll change! But any event from October to April is anybody’s guess. Including weddings. Outdoor gigs are especially prone to getting a mad blast of cold. We encountered that at the Pittman wedding in Storthoaks. It was a very cold and windy day, lots of grey skies and non-cooperative rainy/misty moments. But the bridal party were troopers and we over came the tricky forecast. :D
I haven’t been posting very much stuff lately on the ol’ blogosphere as I’ve been busy with 50 billion other things. But I will catch up a bit with some posts over the next little while of some client stuff and maybe a post about a possible switch to a fully mirrorless equipment setup! Maybe. :cool:
Here’s some family shots I did a while back for my Buchanan friends. This is one of my favourite shots of all time by far! This is a real photo. No fakey-fakey instagram-perfecto-family. I love the emotion and the looks on the faces of all the kids! It’s just super! eheheheh…… :D
The second instalment in my Organics photo project is here! It’s been over a year since my last post about the Daybreak Mill in this on going project looking at various aspects of Organic farming. This time around, we are looking at harvesting honey.
Most people are unaware that the majority of human civilization depends not on new, cutting edge technology, iPhones or indoor plumbing. What we do depend on are tiny, buzzing, stinging, pollinating insects known as bees. Yes, bees. They have an enormous part to play in the human food supply and it turns out we need them a lot more than they need us. And they are in trouble. Read on… (more…)
Been a long time since the last blog! Super busy with weddings and shoots and the rest of life!!! But last night was the ultimate in nights for astro photography. No moon. It was warm with a mild wind to keep the mosquitos away. I was lazy and just shot around the house, but if I had gone out a few miles from town, it would have been even better. Light leaks are generally a pain. But in the top image, it worked out ok. It made for some cool cool contrasts. :cool: I was out behind our house for this shot and crouched down in a pile of clover. I had the tripod in a nearly flat configuration. I was checking with a head lamp the settings on the camera. Just after I snapped this shot, I had the lamp on and I tilted my head up just in time to see a set of eyes staring back at me from the other side of the fence. FREAKY! I grabbed the set up and hi-tailed it back to the yard. Still not exactly sure what they were. Let’s hope just a bunny. :D
I did a little light painting too, just for fun. It was nice to nab the Milky Way as the backdrop for that. I was shooting with the Nikon Df and my 16-35mm lens. f/4 at 3200 ISO for about 25 seconds. The Df files are so nice and clean for astro photography, even at a long exposure. The grain is neat and tight. Here’s a couple more. Loads of fun!
Family photos, in my opinion, should fall into the category of “nice photos.” They are simply lit with one light or a reflector. They don’t look lit. They don’t look edgy. They have a very simple elegance about them. That’s been my aim, at least, for the majority of family shoots I do. I have experimented with ring flash but I find that it must be relegated into the realm of fill flash only in this context. As a main light, it’s just too much for this look. The look and feel of lighting is definitely worth paying heed too – especially for “nice photos.” Of the photos in this post, can you guess how they are lit? It’s tough to tell which was flash, reflector or just ambient? Watch the catchlights of course… :cool:
Also, when shooting siblings, I almost always try to shoot sets of images – similar photos for each member of the family so they look like a cohesive whole on a photo wall. It’s a nice technique for nice photos. :D
I must confess, ever since I got the Nikon Df, my X100s has been on vacation. I still love it to death. But I find that the Df gives me more versatility with my DSLR lenses. However, every time I go and re-pick up the X100s, I think I could totally sell all my DSLR gear and just go mirror less Fuji. They are so light and wonderful in almost every way. So compact. So handy and versatile. And of course, the B&W. I love shooting the X100s in black and white. I just love how the Fuji renders the files. I have to do virtually nothing to them providing I shot the exposure right in camera. I had it along as the image maker today and shot primarily in black and white. Most JPEG and a few RAW files – which are easy to edit into Black and White gold since Lightroom has got the Fuji camera profiles now. Quick user preset of wee exposure tweaks and you are golden. I love this camera!!! It was the perfect camera to enjoy a day up at Kenosee Lake with the family. :cool: