Light is Everything!

Archive for October, 2011

Trick or Treat!

It was trick or treat around Moir Dr tonight! Β Look at all these hooligans! 8) I just can’t get over this lobster!! πŸ˜‰


Lil’ Ballerinas

Who doesn’t love ballerinas?! They’re cute. They’re petit. They keep the crinoline industry alive! πŸ™‚ We went to Phoebe’s little recital at the family centre today and it was very cute. The girls did a great job in getting the troupe of baby Ballerinas on the same page! They trotted. They curtsied. They did a whole bunch of other stuff I can’t pronounce or even dare to type. Suffice it to say, it was cute! 8)

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Sunset Gourmet with Ruth D!

Do you want to eat better?! Do you want to live in flavour country?! Well, then you’d better check out products from Sunset Gourmet!

Oxbow’s newest entrepreneur locally selling Sunset Gourmet is Ruth Dearlsey.Β Their products taste great, take little time to prepare and are perfect for any occasion. And she is hosting a really exciting come and go tasting party at the Friendship Center on Saturday Oct. 29th from 1-4. Everyone is welcome to come out and experience first hand all that Sunset Gourmet has to offer. On a personal note, we just sampled the peach mango habanero salsa the other night with a pork roast. It was unbelievable! Sweet heat in one convenient package. 8) But they make a huge variety of different stuff if heat isn’t your favourite. You really owe it to yourself to go and check it out! And, as a bonus, Ruth is giving away some really great prize baskets with a variety of Sunset Gourmet products and recipes. Come on down to the tasting party for your chance to take home some of that good ol’ gourmet goodness! πŸ˜€


Healthy Halloween!

Have a healthy halloween! We made these jack o’lanterns out of oranges! 8) The idea is that you fill them up with fruit and other healthy good things instead of the brutal madness of sugar. We made up a bunch of them for Phoebe’s pre-school party and I couldn’t resist nabbing this shot. When the kids get them, they won’t have lights in them though. hehheeehh… πŸ˜‰


Expecting

Pregnancy is an uphill battle to be sure. The human body goes through amazing changes yet it’s nothing short of miraculous when you think about it. A new life is being created and brought into this world. Not much can really compare with it. Photos help lock in the memories but they also must convey the essence of maternity: Expectation. Hope. Excitement! πŸ™‚ And, graphically speaking: Shape. Contour. Softness. 8) That’s what I had in mind when I set out to do my latest photo project, maternity photos.

Trina, my model (and her lovely family), was absolutely beautiful. Fortunately for me, it’s impossible to take bad photos when your subjects are this good. πŸ˜€ We had a really good time making some photos and trying a bunch of different things that are typically not quote-unquote “maternity” photos. We did some nice soft ethereal window light stuff but I also did some edgier stuff that was more typical of glamour shoots. The light was hard, edgy and low-key, but I think it all worked in the end, especially in black and white. The whole shoot was done inside mainly because the weather was no longer cooperating with us. Read on below the gallery for photo geek info. 8)

 

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Just the 3 of us

So I had this big idea that we should go out and do a family photo for the Christmas card before it was really really too late. It’s already too late to nab fall colours which would have been nice, so we decided to do some texture shots at the old stone house (before it falls over completely – it’s really become a cesspool of dilapidated iniquity!). Anyways, I had the vision for the family shot and it went well (look for it at Christmas time…) 8) But before going home, I decided to do an environmental portrait of just the three of us (Me, Regan and baby III). The sun was setting and approaching delicious golden light. The other two kids were screaming in the truck because it was too cold to be outside and they hated their lives in the car seats. But close the truck doors and viola! No more noise problem! πŸ˜‰ tee hee…. Anyways, we did the setup and got the shot. All in all a pretty fun 45 minutes on the old timey prairie. Read on for photo photo geek disclosure…

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Crunchy

I went for a bit of a relaxing photo walk today with the dog. He’d been cooped up for days on end and needed a run and I hadn’t snapped any shots for a couple of days and I didn’t want to lose my edge. Fall colours and textures are a plenty down in the Oak tree ravines just behind our place. I went out to see if I could find a picture of two.

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The Black Grouse

 

Earlier this week I went down to Starr Liquor and Wine to buy a bottle of my favourite red wine: Angus The Bull (a delightful cabernet sauvignon from Australia). 8) It’s pure awesome! Big bold bull flavour. But alas, Starr didn’t have any in stock. 😦 But, lest my palette be dismayed, I caught a gander of a beautiful Scottish Lass! πŸ™‚

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U can haz Kitties

Farms. They are a never ending source of life. Especially when it comes to kittens. All you need is one good Tom and a couple females and soon your whole farm will be over run. πŸ˜‰

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Blue Fog!

Wow! What a crazy night. At about 11PM I decided it would be cool to venture out into the intense fog that had saturated the valley. Grabbed my camera, cable release and tripod and away I went. It was thick, barely could see past the car hood. I knew there would be some sweet sassy photos down by the river as the folks in beaver park had some yard lights that could work to back light some trees and then use the moon light as ambient fill. It was long exposures 30″ or more at tiny f/22 apertures. And while those 30 seconds tick by, all you hear is leaves crackling around you. What’s out there in the foggy darkness?!!?! 😯 Turns out it was deer. Whitetails were surrounding me all round which was very spooky! I finally scared them away and went back to the car. It was so calm too. Geese flying over head sounded like a roaring crowd of 30,000 people. Then a great horned owl flew overhead of me while I was doing the bridge exposure. I could have had a silhouette shot of the owl in front of the moon if I had another camera with me! That would have been cool. 8) Oh well, I was mid a 3 minute exposure so I didn’t want to goof it up. And I’m glad I didn’t.

More photo geek tips: When shooting at night, lock your white balance into tungsten. It makes everything have a really cool blue look, especially when you have fog. White fog is rather boring, but blue or pink looks ethereal. πŸ™‚


Robin

 

Turdus Migratorius

Yesterday 10,000 robins descended on my mountain ash tree to gobble up berries like they were going out of style. Not really a good sign. Usually means big crazy cold coming our way. Or, maybe they’re just hungry. πŸ˜‰ Let’s hope it’s that one.


Touchdown for Dreams

If you haven’t heard yet, my good neighbour Megan was selected as the inaugural recipient of a wish with the Saskatchewan Roughriders Touchdown for Dreams. πŸ˜€ Totally awesome stuff!! She gets to go to Las Vegas and see a Garth Brooks concert, which is super exiting. There was also a really slick press conference which you can check out here on YouTube. They got super fly pink jerseys and rider shirts for cancer awareness as well. πŸ™‚ I asked Jimmy if I could nab a photo of him today dressed in the mad pinkness and he agreed. I didn’t want a simple snapshot. I wanted an epic photo with freaky awesome details. Here’s what I did to build the photo from the ground up.

Step 1: compose the shot. I really wanted the menacing clouds in the background to set the mood of the photo (hope in the midst of troubled times). So I crouched down and framed the shot to make Jimmy look larger than life. This first shot is pure ambient light. Waaay under exposed which is what I wanted. 1/250 at f/14

Step 2: Add some light. In this case a warmed up flash to throw some hard rim light on his right side. When layering your lighting it helps to follow this guideline: Ambient Fill Key Accent (AFKA). In this case the rim light was also acting somewhat like a fill light too. 1/250 f/14 SB-600 on 1/8 power gelled warm with 1/2 CTO.

Step 3: Add the Key light. I used an umbrella as the key light. It’s a sweet sassy wrapping light. It’ works good most times. It was warmed with 1/4 CTO gel. I needed to adjust my aperture a bit and I opened it to f/10.

Step 4: Crank the Freaky Awesome Details. I wanted an almost HDR appearance as the final image. I like the edgy light and the cranked up definition of the finished image. I used Aperture 3 to crank the definition, then brushed some away from Jimmy’s face so he didn’t look to crazy. Then I used Viveza 2 to crank the cloud detail and contrast way up. 8)

So there you go! Lighting in layers. It’s not all that difficult and this is a really simple 2 light setup. We went from start to finish in 15 minutes. Big thanks to Jimmy & Livy my extra light stand holder girl. πŸ˜‰


Maternity Photos, Here we Come!

It’s all public now! Regan is pregnant with our third child. We just got the ultrasound shots done and, as always, it’s incredible to see the miracle of life in the womb. Before they get out and cause you nothing but money, stress and grief. πŸ˜‰ I kid, I kid. 8) We’re super excited and really thankful it’s not twins. πŸ˜† Ethan’s gonna be a big brother and Phoebe will be a big sis again. Everyone is fired up to meet the third one! Yes sir. I’m trying my very best to stave off Demographic Winter.


Punkin’ Patch

A couple of weeks ago now we went to the grand province of Manitoba to visit Meandher Creek Pumpkin Patch – Where Fun Grows! And let me tell you, fun does indeed grow there! Β There were tons of activities for the kids and a zillion photo ops. First of all, it was inexpensive to get in the door. Admission was $3bucks each, Ethan got in free. So for less than $10 bones, you’re into pumpkin madness. Second of all, there is no shortage of stuff to do when you get in! They’ve got a hay ride to tour the farm. There’s a little tractor pulled wagon ride. There’s a store with snacks and tickets for all the activities. There’s a zip line, corn maze, hay labyrinth, pumpkin catapult, corn canon, petting zoo, etc. There’s a metric tonne of fun to be had. Plus, they sell (bet you didn’t guess it) pumpkins of every shape and size and variety. It was super fantastic! πŸ˜† We highly recommend checking them out if you want a great way to spend an afternoon. The farm is near Oak Lake, MB which is 186km from Oxbow ~ so less than a 2 hour drive. Cool stuff!!! 8)

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SK Workers Conference

We had the Saskatchewan Pastor’s & Deacon’s conference in Lumsden from Sunday night to Tuesday morning. The event was held at St. Michael’s retreat centre.Β What goes on at such events? Well, here’s your inside pictorial guide! πŸ˜‰ Definitely not as wild and crazy as Opus Dei, but really close. Actually, it’s mainly a bunch of banter, jibba jabba, learning, some business and a dash of merriment. This year’s speaker was without a doubt the best yet. Professor Pulse from Concordia Β Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Indiana gave a very insightful presentation on Unified Theological Motifs that occur in the Old Testament. I said they were actually reverse engineered allegorical thematic linkages. But it’s probably the same thing. πŸ˜‰ It was interesting to be sure, but if you’ve spent any time studying the Church Fathers, it’s not all that revolutionary. The earliest Fathers were masters of allegorical hermeneutics. And of course, there was the fun side too. Endless theological speculation, whilst sipping the finest of Irish Whiskeys around the hearth. That and all the very, very quirky aspects of the retreat centre made it all worth while. The Space Ball. The uplifting and affirming shawls. The endless episodes of Storage Wars on CR’s laptop. This is the stuff that makes a conference a conference. 8)

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Good Times in Grenfell

Went up to Grenfell on Thursday night to celebrate my niece’s 2nd birthday. Howz that possible?!!? Time flies when you’re having fun. While I was there I was also taking some family photos for the Duryba clan and my other sister in law. Some sweet strobist portraits to liven things up a little bit. πŸ˜‰ I was super happy with the way everything turned out. I was trying to make use of what wee bit o’ fall we had left in terms of colour and we nabbed it before it was too late.

Photo Geek Info: Umbrellas were the name of the game on this shoot. That and a beauty dish gold reflector combo for Hailey’s shots. For the Duryba’s family shots, I wanted to meld the flash with the ambient so it looked as natural as possible, filling in the shadows while making use of all that glorious back light and colour. I gelled the SB-900 warm with a 1/4CTO gel which worked perfectly. Same with the Beauty Dish. It was shot during golden light so the warm gel and the gold reflector worked superbly. Can’t beat golden light. It’s my absolutely favourite time to shoot. But, you have to be quick. The light falls very fast so moving quickly is a necessity. I’m always shooting manual with flash so knowing the settings before hand is a bonus before the real shooting begins. TTL would always work but I prefer having supreme control over the light and knowing exactly what it is going to be doing. 8)


Fall Photo Walk

So at last night’s photography club, we decided to go on the fall photo walk today. Beautiful, beautiful day for a walk in Shepherd’s ravine near Oxbow. Β I have been in there many times for geocaching and running the dog but low and behold, when we got there today, it was barricaded with a locked gate! CURSES! πŸ‘Ώ We had to park at the top and then hoof it on down into the valley for the mad shots. The exercise was good for us, so I’m not complaining. πŸ˜‰ It was another fun photo event to be sure. I decided that I was going to shoot macro for this photo walk so all I brought was the 105mm AF-S VR Micro. That and my trusty reflector/diffuser, it was all I needed . It’s way more fun and way less complicated when you bring only 1 camera and 1 lens. Scott Kelby also did a photo walk today, you can check out the website here.

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