So my lovely wife came up with a swell brain wave for Halloween this year. Instead of simply going around and collecting a bunch of sugar & treats, why not try to help people in Uganda collect safe drinking water? Seems logical to me! So the idea was born! We will sell hotdogs and a drink for $5 bones and donate all the money to Compassion! And sell we did. But first, it needed a name. The “Hallowiener!” (I came up with this title all on my own with no help from anybody else. Ignore whatever tales people may tell out of school). It fuses both halloween and hotdogs. What’s not to love? 120 hotdogs sold and a pile of extra donations! Grand total: $881.10!!! This translates into nearly 9 clean water collection systems or third of the way to a well for a community. Woot!! 😀 A humungous thank you to everyone for their generosity. It was a sucker-cold and windy halloween so we were super glad to see so many people stop by and warm up at the hallowiener! 😎
Oxbow’s latest entrepreneur, James Fonstad, has setup an engraving company called JF Engraving. James does computerized laser engraving on just about any medium you can imagine. The tagline for the business is “if you can dream it, chances are we can do it!” And that’s the truth. From classy aluminum business cards, to dog tags, to pens, to wine glasses, leather, stainless steel – nearly anything can be engraved with laser precision. The results are outstanding! It’s amazing to see your vision for a project materialize right before your very eyes as the laser beam brings it all to reality. 😎
I took some shots of James’ finished products for you to check out. The detail is amazing! If you’re looking for that custom giftware, look no further than locally owned and operated JF Engraving!
I got a phone call to go and do a headshot portrait of Alvin Scheresky. He is a retired farmer in Oxbow who has just won the “Organic Hero” award. Long before it was trendy and hip to be “organic,” Alvin was. A detailed write up on him has been published in the Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan. He is being honoured for a lifetime of commitment to organic farming development and principles. It was very interesting to visit with Alvin and gain some insight to the early years of his organic operation, but also to learn about his passion for soil health. It only makes sense that if you have rich, healthy soil chock full of needed nutrients, your yields will be better and input costs significantly lessened – read “more profit” for the farmer. I did one other quick portrait of Alvin too showing him with his farm. When spring rolls around, I told him I’d love to come to his farm where he continues to “garden” – growing test plots of organic grain – and get some proper environmental portraits for him. Might turn it into an “organic” series. 🙂
We were able to sneak a photo shoot in the other day betwixt bad weather and hectic schedules. Our nice warm fall climate has suddenly turned nasty making it a wee bit trickier for outside photos. However, we prevailed and were able to make it come together for the Perrot clan. Not only were we able to get family photos, we also got some shots of Rocco and his horse. The light was fading fast on an already overcast day. I decided that warm light was the ticket and proceeded to back light the horse and also splash some nice light on Rocco too. I really liked how the final image came together! 😎
It’s a photo shoot I won’t soon forget! Leighton contacted me about taking some photos of him and his girlfriend Brandy. Simple and straightforward enough. But then, there was a catch. A wonderful catch indeed. Turns out that at the very end of the shoot, he popped the question! And the camera caught the whole thing!! 😎 It was tremendous and I was excited to be part of the adventure. Catching real emotion and moments with a camera is an unbelievable experience. 🙂 And . . . she said “yes.” 😀
For the record, children should be dressed up as fuzzy animals always, all the time! 😎 We were camping at Adam Lake, Manitoba last week and we decided to do a little photo shoot of Ethan dressed up as a Kunk. He’s a kunk because he can’t say “sk”unk yet. Well, that’s not true. He can make the compound sounds, he still just doesn’t do it on principle. hehheehhe… So anyways, he’s our little fuzzy Kunk.
I wanted to get these photos in a forest setting and it was loads of fun. Normally he can be a bit of a punk for taking photos but he was super into it with the costume on. +1 for photo madness. 🙂
A little BTS of the shoot, I brought a light stand and a shoot thru umbrella, but I left half the cover on, essentially making a quick strip box. It was cool because it let the light fall off quick.
We also had the rest of the non-kunk based family there too and I was able to nab a few more shots of the kids.
So I had this idea for a photo shoot. Call me crazy, but it just happens. I get an idea and it plagues me until it comes to fruition. I wanted to do a dramatic portrait at the Souris Valley Motocross. I had the whole thing sketched out in my mind, pre visualized down to the last detail. I wanted a sunset. I wanted cool lighting. I wanted a cool subject. Jen willingly agreed to be my cool subject and she rocked the set! 😎 I got my cool dramatic lighting but I didn’t get my sunset. Instead, we got some wicked pre-storm clouds! And, I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! I’m so glad that hitches come in the photo plans because often they turn out better than if things had simply gone according to my preconceived ideas. I’m super thankful that this shoot came together the way it did. The colours of the incredible sky and Jen’s gear all worked together beautifully. I love these personal photo projects and I hope to do many more! 😀
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, 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!
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
Bokehlicious! It’s a term blatantly stolen from DigitalRev TV presenter Kai. Bokeh, that lovely Japanese word for “the stuff not in focus in the image” is awesome. Normally we think of big apertures like f/1.4 or f/2 to get amazing bokeh in an image, but you can squish a background with a long telephoto lens and get a similar result. I shot this self portrait (mainly because it’s infested with wood ticks back there and nobody else would go as my subject) 😉 tonight as the sun was beginning to get low and directional. It was super cloudy so it was diffused nicely. I put a speed light on a stand camera left and shot it through a Lumiquest Softbox III light mod. It’s a sweet little modifier. I mainly wanted that new growth poplar behind me to go into bokehlicious heaven. And I think it did nicely for being shot at f/5.6 @ 270mm (which on my DX Nikon actually is like 405mm)! 😎 All you get is a background that goes smooshy and gooshy, like a painter’s canvas. Certainly, this would have been even more pleasing had I shot the photo at f/2.8 or f/4. But even at 5.6 I like it! I just love that green bokehlicious background!
Just Kidding! My brother Ryan got a new bow and wanted a coolish looking photo so we went out and nabbed this one tonight in the holy city of Moose Jaw! 😎
Besides landscapes, the 16-35mm f/4 lens is a gem of an environmental portrait lens, giving loads of options for including the subject’s setting in the photo. Love this lens!!! 😎
Watch this 1981 video of the inventor of the environmental portrait Arnold Newman. He’s an inspiration and a photo genius!
Ever noticed one of the peculiarities of the English language is where the ‘i’ and the ‘e’ go in words? It confuses not only second graders but adults as well. ‘I’ before ‘E’, except after C. Unless the word is German: Rottweiler, Stein, Hammermeister! 8)
We had a fun photo shoot last night at the Hammermeister haus. It was nice to take advantage of the sliver of mild winter that is over us right now. Fingers crossed it stays without getting too icy! 🙂 But we do live in Saskatchewan and we know the weather will probably change (for the worse) any time now… But on the sunny side of life, here’s a couple of highlights from the shoot! 😉
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! 😉 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…