Light is Everything!

Strobist

Lighting Workshop

I’m very excited to make available an Off Camera Flash Lighting Workshop I’m doing in South East Saskatchewan on October 13th, 2012 in Roche Percee. It will cover the basics: fundamentals of lighting, getting started with Off Camera Flash techniques and knowledge, familiarization with gear and hands on opportunities to shoot a model on location. It’s going to be a lot of fun! 😎 There are a couple of spots still available so if you are interested, contact me. The cost is $100.00 each and the workshop will start at 1PM.

Advertisements

Canadian Gothic

 

What can I say? Opportunity knocked somethin’ fierce on this shoot! 😎 We were doing some pleasant family portraits up in an incredible old barn loft that didn’t really have much in it except some loose straw and . . . this pitch fork. We finished the family photos and it caught my eye. I instantly knew we needed to try an “American Gothic” style re-make photo. It’s such a familiar painting that it is readily recognized by nearly everyone! So we did it as a last minute thing and I am so happy we did. It’s just so crazy and off the wall. Jen & Lee did perfectly well in keeping the straight stonewall faces. It was priceless, even as I was cracking up behind the camera barely keeping it together. The rest of the shots we did outside of the barn were also fun, promising the kids we’d do some fun and crazy stuff on the fence. All in all it was another really fun photo shoot!


Eve of Destruction 2!

Eve of Destruction 2! This time, it’s not Eve of Destruction 1! 😎 The event is pure awesome! Last year it was a combine smash up derby, this year, a truck and trailer figure 8 crash up! hehhhehe… But not only is there the main event, there is also lots of other amazing performances from exploding cars to MX stunt dudes to car flips to truck pulls. But I wasn’t there for any of it. My job was to take some pictures of the Lord of the Speedway, Byron Fichter. He’s an Estevan area photographer who specializes in landscapes and motor sports. His work at the Estevan Motor Speedway is exceedingly well known and he knows his craft. Be sure to check out his images at his website ByronFichter.com. I had fun following Byron around and taking some shots of him in action.For a guy who is known for his work at the track, it’s nice to actually get some shots of himΒ at the track. 😎 People were saying to him “Are you the guy from the track?” Now they will see the photos and know. It was lots of fun shooting Byron and being able to nab a few shots of the event. The MX bikes were 80 feet in the air when doing their stunts! Unreal! I’m glad I was on the ground with a camera. πŸ™‚


Laney

Laney has a heart of gold! And that sweetness of her personality flows out of her and looks tremendous on camera. 😎 This shoot was really enhanced because of that. I really liked being able to do some fiddle shots of Laney too. The location was really fitting for a western theme and added a lot to how the images worked over all. We setup in a big shed and the floor was perfectly full of fine dust that I knew would give some sweet texture to the shot – especially when you have people runΒ through it and really stir it up! πŸ˜€ Light and dust/dirt/smoke/fog go together like peanut butter & chocolate!

And, last but not least was the barn. Again, some amazing textures in there. When you mix the sweetness of Laney and the roughness of the location, some cool lighting, it makes for some really dramatic portraits. πŸ™‚

 


Pepe Le Kunk

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. πŸ™‚

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.

Here’s the whole set from the camping trip. Take a peek see at the rest of the kunk photos. πŸ˜€

 


Evening Shoot

Went out last night for an evening shoot with the Sawatsky family. We had perfect weather with glorious warm golden light – until the last 2 minutes of the shoot when the wind came up out of nowhere, blew over my c-stand (sandbagged!) and carried my light setup a quarter mile! bwahahahah.. I wish I would have taken pictures of my shoot-thru umbrella carrying my flash bracket across the beach. Β It was hilarious. Fortunately, nothing was damaged and, we got the shot after all! πŸ˜€

Not enough can be said about golden light, that mystical time of the day right before sunrise and right before sunset. The light is super soft and warm. It’s pure awesome. Plus, scheduling the shoot at that time allows for the sunset to get richer and richer as time goes on. Most of the photos from this shoot were shot using ambient light as the key, supplemented with a CTO flash to help add warmth and a kicker. It’s really soft subtle light which works nice for the kids. They did an AWESOME job as photo candidates. We worked quickly and nabbed a nice mix of shots.


1 Year Old!

After having my own kids, I know how fast a year can come and go. We did Leighton’s 1 year photos this past weekend and it was a riot! When you are 1, the whole world is an adventure. And if Grandpa keeps you awake before your photo shoot, so what?! It’s still cute no matter what! πŸ˜‰ Leighton did fantastic and she was sporting all the late summer fashions, especially the Rider Pride! 😎


Gettin’ Hitched!

July 28th 2012. It’s the day two wonderful people made their vows and promised each other forever. It was also the day I became a wedding photographerΒ photographer who took wedding photos. 😎 Although, with a twist. I also officiated the wedding in my Pastoral capacity. Now, if I only did the catering and the DJ stuff, I’d truly be a jack of all trades. But as it was, the service and the photos were enough. Where to begin?! I thought I would elaborate on the experiences from the day a little bit in this blog post. First of all, as I mentioned it was my first wedding for photos. I did research, as I always do. I went to Manor to scope it out prior to the big day. I’d never been there before and I needed to know some locations. Also, because the wedding was in the evening, the photos needed to be taken care of first. That meant starting at 1PM when the sun was high. And, we had to capture the critical moment of the Bride & Groom seeing each other for the first time. Normally this happens at the ceremony, but with an evening wedding, the need to still capture those moments is key. We setup a little surprise for Kayla and it worked! Lucas caught her unaware and photos captured it all.

Seeing each other for the first time!

From there, I took several more photos of the couple together in the moment. It made for some really great candids. After a few minutes or so, my awesome assistant Michelle helped do some run and gun lighting setups. Nothing fancy, just 1 light in a medium softbox. It gave us a fantastic result and allowed us to keep moving quickly getting a wide variety of shots in the short time we had.

One technique I was dying to try out was Cliff Mautner’s signature lighting setup. No flash was used in this photo. And it was taken at 1:35PM. By turning your subject so that the sun is directly behind her, it gives you an evenly lit face and front. Juxtaposed against the dark backdrop, this technique works awesome. You have to shoot in Manual Mode to get it though as your camera’s meter is next to useless for getting this photo. The camera sees all the white and all the dark and goes “AAAAAHHHHHH!” Β You have to override the meter and chimp it to make sure your exposure is bang on. You could use spot metering for the face, but that’s too easy. πŸ˜‰ I love the result of this technique. Long lenses, wide apertures and awesome lighting. It’s the recipe for pure awesomeness. Thanks Cliff!

Cliff Mautner’s Style

Speaking of Cliff Mautner, another shot he’s famous for I also wanted to try. It’s the “elevated perspective, shallow depth of field, mad-lens compression, way cool beauty shot.” Putting the focus cursor right on Kayla’s eyelash gave me this photo. I love it! It’s nearly angelic and royal, which is exactly what bride portraits should be.

“elevated perspective, shallow depth of field, mad-lens compression, way cool beauty shot.”

After the bride and groom photos were wrapped up, we had the group shots to contend with. Fortunately for us, we lucked out with the beautiful location and the 3PM time slot. I knew that the sun would be lower by then so some nice north facing shade was perfect for getting everyone uniformly lit. Then, we used my typical group lighting setup with two speed lights & umbrellas to brighten the scene and add some much needed catchlights. I had Kayla make up a list of family shots she wanted in advance so we burned through the group shots in no time in an orderly fashion. I shot all the group stuff with my 50mm prime which ultimately looks better than a wide angle for groups.

A split second after we finished the family group shots, it started raining. Boo! Hiss! 😦 But, it didn’t stop us. We ducked for cover and made the most of it. Having Michelle with me was vital for getting these photos because she held the light and we burned around quickly and got all the bridal party shots we needed. I really like this technique of framing the bridal party members around each other for a portrait.

Then we finished up the bridal group photos and everyone was wiped, including me. That took us to 5PM which is what we budgeted for, allowing us a nice break to get prepared for the ceremony.

I got my thoughts together for the ceremony and gave my camera to Michelle. She nabbed some ceremony shots for me as it would have been a wee bit awkward to stop the ceremony to do photography… heheheheh…. 😎 But before we did the ceremony I also wanted a shot of the wedding bands. We framed up a macro shot, making use of what was on sight and in theme with the wedding.

After the ceremony there was the party! The rest of the night was candids of the moments that unfolded before us – which in many ways is easier. The shooting gallery is before you and the moments just happen! It’s awesome.

The couple’s first dance

Like any hall, we always are faced with the problem of poor lighting. So to combat that, I put a flash on a stick and had Michelle keep her eyes on where I was going. It worked like a charm and made for some really cool, dramatic lighting as well as just some nice, evenly lit photos too. It was great to have that control and versatility at our finger tips.

Way cool rim light!

So, all in all, it was an awesome day, albeit exhausting. I don’t think I will sign up for the “whole meal deal” again anytime soon, although not many other photographers can do your photos and your service! hehehhehe… πŸ˜‰ It was a really fun day and the couple was a dream to work with. I was thankful for the opportunity to try something I’ve never done before and I am very happy with the results. Thanks again to Michelle Needham for being an awesome assistant! And, all the best and God’s blessings to Lucas & Kayla! You guys are amazing! πŸ˜€


Souris Valley MX

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! πŸ˜€

 

 


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™‚