Light is Everything!

Archive for June, 2012

Grad!

What is a mix of sadness, change, excitement and happiness? If you said high school grad, you’d be right. I had the privilege of taking some grad photos for our family’s favourite grad today. Our long time babysitter is going to be spreading her wings into a brave new world in no time. It’s sad!!! We will miss our beloved Erin soooo much! But at the same time, it’s happy and exciting! This chapter of life is complete. The next one is just beginning. It’s life is it not? We are always growing and changing. I guess that makes it fun! 😎

I’m shooting a series of environmental portraits from rural Saskatchewan and I’m including this photo we made today. It’s a really meaningful shot. The Lion’s Park in Oxbow was where Erin and the gang hung out – forever. I knew we had to make an image there. The park is being updated and the old equipment replaced with new stuff. The old-timey spring ponies are still there though and Erin played on them as a little girl. There were two other little kids playing in the park. They ran through the frame and symbolize the fleeting blink that childhood is. We ought to never underestimate how fast time flies. Savour every moment of every day! Cherish the memories πŸ™‚


The Fair!

The Estevan fair was really quite sensational. And I’m really not kidding! It was a boat load of fun!! It was doubly so for me because I got to take some family photos of the Mercers in a really incredible backdrop of colour and lights. 😎 After we had completed our photo shoot I wandered around a bit longer and waited for the light to fall a bit darker for some fun “lights at night” shots. Thankfully the thundershower held off and we were able to get our shots and not have to worry about the rain. All we had to worry about was the carnie’s grip on our wallets! hehehehheh….. (I have it on the highest authority that the fair is a bigger rip off than even the circus!) πŸ˜‰


Princess Party!

Moir Dr. is a perpetual princess party! We’ve got more royals around here than Buckingham palace! πŸ™‚ Check out the shots of from Kennedy’s Birthday. They all came fresh from Salon Diosa, all gussied up and princessified. 😎

 


Awesome Storm!

The storm itself wasn’t all that bad tonight but the cloud structures were awesome! Living next to a big valley is awesome for getting amazing thermals to make the clouds to pop-wheelies! πŸ˜‰ And the best thing ever was the huge golden light that was coming from the West. It made this tremendous rainbow! It was raining still but I ran out into the backyard to nab the shots. I bracketed the rainbow for HDR to get the max amount of definition. Only bummer was it was hand held so there is some ghosting on the trees. But I don’t care, the rainbow was awesome. I wish I had an FX camera though and I probably could have got the whole thing in the frame! 😎


Early Mornin’ Wildlife!

We got the phone call this morning from our neighbour Eagle-Eye Jimmy that there was a momma & baby Moose on our crescent sauntering around. Nature guide Olivia spotted them from the breakfast table. So I grabbed my camera and went out trying to get the photo of the year with mom & baby in town. However, they had already vacated the premises. But I did find a baby bunny in point blank range and . . . a giant black bear!!!! πŸ˜‰


Website Refresh

Just a quick post for Sunday – I recently refreshed my portfolio website at schultzphotographic.ca. I liked my old site fine enough, but it was Flash. As a result it couldn’t be viewed on iOS devices. With the majority of people viewing web content on the internet from mobile devices, it only makes sense to have a website format that everyone can view. I switched to an HTML5 portfolio site that can be viewed by anyone, anywhere on any mobile device. Flash sites, as cool as they are, were designed for PC use with mice. In many ways, it’s already a dinosaur in that it predates the mobile “touch” generation. The new site has many flash-like features. I also updated my logo and blog and social media sites accordingly too. I like the more minimalist styling. 😎 Β And, I added a new gallery for my own on going photo projects. I’m excited to get them underway! Anywayz, just a quick post about the site update.

 

 


Workman’s Dam

I took advantage of the mad rainfall we had today (it put a damper on my deck repair plans, so I might as well take photos!) I’ve been wanting to test my ND filter on some running water. By killing the ambient light with the ND sunglasses, I was able to take some really long exposures 8-13 seconds long at f/22. 😎 It’s a really artsy look and gives the water a surreal, ethereal look. So I toddled down to Workman’s dam (it’s really more of weir) with my trusty tripod in tow. I nearly sank my Β Sub-Compact, Fuel Efficient, Off-Roading Toyota Echo in the rhubarb though. The road in was pretty wet and nasty. Fortunately for me, a family was fishing nearby so I knew that if I got stuck on the way out, someone would be there to gimme a tow. hehhehhe… πŸ˜‰ Anyways, I really enjoyed the end results tonight with the long exposure water shots and I’ve been wanting to try this aspect of photography for literally years. Hopefully this summer in our travels I’ll get to try it on some waterfalls. πŸ˜€

 


The Dam

I finally got a minute to run out to the dam and try my new variable ND filter in a landscape scenario. But of course, the water at the Dam was nearly glass anyways. Just my luck… But I took the kids and did a few long exposure setups in an effort to really blur the water and make it look dreamy. Many of the photos were shot at f/22 and upwards of 6 seconds! Not too shabby. We’ll have to try it again on a day where there is mucho waves. Thinking ahead though, Β I threw a little flash setup into the truck last minute. Actually it was my beastly new C-Stand and Photoflex NXT Octodome – I love this new stand! I was able to put the light right over head of the kids and blast ’em without worry of the thing tipping over. It’s so sweet! Even though it was a bicep buster hauling it up and down the bank at the dam. My favourite image of the night is the one I put at the top of this blog post. Ethan was facing opposite to the light, but it captured the fun of the evening!


Turtle Power!

Auntie Heather found a friendly turtle at her place and she brought it over for the kids to check out. What a riot! It brought back fond childhood memories of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Except we were surrounded by toddlers and babies. hehhehe… πŸ˜‰ Auntie Heather is a hero in a half shell in our books! 😎


In the Garden

I posted some weird photos of a moth last night on Facebook. After I saw this strange thing, I thought it was a hummingbird! But it turned out to be a form of a hummingbird moth. Which makes sense. Because it looked both like a moth and a hummingbird. heheheehh….. πŸ˜‰ I was out in the yard last night trying to get a macro photo of a Monarch Butterfly that has been hanging around our place for the last few days. Our lilac bushes are in full bloom and they are drawing all manner of creepy crawly. So I waited and waited and waited and finally the Monarch showed up. But they were very finicky and flighty. It proved very tricky to creep up close and nab a shot. But I was happy to be able to get one at all. I was using my 150mm macro lens and even on my DX format body, it’s reach almost isn’t enough. I think that Sigma’s 150mm would be just that much nicer, in terms of reach, for going after the creepy crawlies. I also nabbed a bumble bee shot. You can’t tell from the photo but that bee was so huge that she had her own area code! heheheh… 😎


This one’s for the Geeks…

Prepare to get your photo-geek on and see if you can keep up to this post. 😎 I just got some new toys that I’m stoked about. For the longest time I’ve wanted a variable ND filter. Neutral Density is pretty much sunglasses for your lenses and especially useful for landscape photography, especially water shots where you want a long/slow shutter speed to get those cool blurred water effects. But additionally, you can use them for flash photography and strobist work. ND filters help you kill ambient light, like in the full bright sunshine (it can bring a shutter speed down from 1/8000s to 1/250 to get full power flash sync speeds!) Or, you can use it in available light too. Here’s the scenario. The kids are ripping around the back yard being cute as usual. It’s super bright out – the old “Sunny 16” rule. With loads of sunlight everywhere, your camera lens has to stop-down to f/8, 11 or 16 to control how much light is getting into the camera as to no blow out an exposure. However, taking portraits/candids at such a small f/stop sucks. Everything is in focus and it’s not bokelicious or appealing. Say I want to get crazy and shoot at f/1.4 in full sunlight. How can I do it? It’s impossible without an ND filter. So I slapped on the Genus 2-8 Stop Variable ND and away we go! Check it out – these next 4 shots are all shot with my 50mm f/1.4 lens at 1.4 1/250 in full sun!!! 😎 It’s pure awesome and totally impossible without an ND filter.

As if that wasn’t enough, I also finally broke down and bought a C-Stand. I wish I would have bought it when I first started getting interested in flash photography. It’s basically a big-bad-heavy light stand with an extendable arm which allows you to hang a light up over someone. It’s the bomb! Plus, I got some sand bags for it and filled them with pea gravel and now, it’s super strong enough to stand up in the fiercest of Saskatchewan wind. I used it the other day to nab one of the shots of FlowerPot. It’s super secure and with all that weight in the bags, it ain’t goin’ nowheres.

Just as one last aside, take a look at the difference flash makes, especially off-camera flash. Here’s two shots of Phoebe taken right after each other. The first is natural open shade light, the second is with flash from the C-Stand setup above. It’s such a better result to me. There’s pop and contrast and great light! This is why I keep sinking money into lighting gear. If your light is right, your photos will be awesome 9 times out of 10. πŸ™‚


FlowerPot is 2 Months Old!

Well it is certainly hard to believe that 2 whole months have gone by since FP was air lifted into the world. Where hath the time gone?! Unbelievable. The kids were playing outside yesterday in the beautiful weather and I took some quick candids. I’m still in disbelief of how fast time is flying by. I remember being a kid in school and hours dragged by like an eternity. Now, 2 months goes by like a blip on the radar! Crazy stuff. Anyways, here’s some more photos of FP (and the other kids too for good measure) 😎


Fire!

We got home tonight and noticed that A) it was still warm and B) there was no wind. Perfect for a family fire! We stoked it up and then I threw a little magical pixie fire dust in it to make the flames fire up. I thought it might make a cool picture with the twilight settling in in the background. Fun stuff! 😎  ISO 400 f/11 1.6s 16mm