Merry Christmas everybody! Thanks for your support and patronage in 2016! We are looking forward to capturing your memories in 2017! All the best from me and my family to you and yours!
So today has been an exciting day for Nikon! Loads of new goodies for Photogs to covet. Finally, finally, FINALLY Nikon has returned to the greatness of yesteryear. The D3 and the D300 were amazing technology jumps for Nikon that brought them to a new level of awesomeness. You had your full frame monster flagship as well as the DX crop sensor mini-monster. It was a great & logical setup for photography products.
Then the D4 generation came out. It was D4 flagship . . . and a 36MP monster D800 . . . and a D7200 . . . and the D600 . . . and D610 . . . and a Df. It was a complete schmoz. And above all, no D400! Where was the DX upgrade with maximum FPS, rugged pro level build quality and all the great stuff that Wildlife and Sports photographers wanted?! It never came. People were left in limbo land and Nikon really seemed to be walking around the desert of product releases that nobody really wanted or asked for, splitting markets in weird ways.
But it all changed today! The D5 was released alongside mini-monster D500! This is awesome news! Now semi-pros, enthusiasts, and full time working pros FINALLY get a solid DX performer that is up to snuff. Boo ya! Congratulations Nikon for making the product that everyone wanted and reclaiming the logical glory of yesteryear.
In other news, I updated my professional portfolio website that you can check out. It was long overdue for an update and I kept the simple minimalistic style that I like. You can check it out at www.schultzphoto.ca
And, I also went for a walk with the dog today and took along the beloved FujiFilm X100s. Here’s a few street shots from the walk. Really great clouds again today!
We took our 2015 Christmas Card photo at Cypress Hills, Saskatchewan at a really cool destination called Conglomerate Cliffs. You can’t tell from the photo but there was a 500 billion mph wind the day we took this. The way the cliffs are we were able to get some wind protection. I had along with me my Alien Bee 1600, Vagabond Mini pack and a medium Photoflex litedome for the modifier. We lucked out and still caught some of the glorious fall colour that was still around in October. So from my family to you & yours, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Christ is Born! Glorify Him!
It’s that time again! Oxbow celebrated the town light up and got the festive season kicked into gear the other night. We setup our live nativity again and it was great. Substantially warmer than last year which was weather from the depths of hades. This year we had very little wind which made it at least 17% better for man and beast alike!
We had our resident livestock guy Hubert bring us some sheep this year which is always a hit and the kids did great acting out the Bible characters. Nobody yet has volunteered their newborn to be baby Jesus though. Probably the -25ºC temperatures have something to do with that! lol
I threw in the Nikon Df and the ever versatile 16-35 f/4VR lens that I like so much for event photography. The Df lowlight capability makes up for the slower f/4 aperture, but I’m not going to lie, it’d be nice to have Nikon’s new 24 f/1.8G lens for evening event photography. I’m debating picking it up. But then again, I also want a new FujiFilm camera too. And if you get a new FujiFilm camera, chances are I’ll want the new 35mm f/2 lens to go with it… Contentment…Contentment…Contentment… 😎
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 😎
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! 😀
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. 😀
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! 😎 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!!! 😀
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. 😎 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!
Barrel racing is one of those things that runs in the blood, like farming or hunting or so many other things that exist in a symbiotic relationship with people and animals. My friend Maria wanted some photos of her and her horse Honey. So we picked one of the coldest days of the year when the light was falling fast! LOL 😎 The cloud cover was thick and it was quite dark. We were able to do a bunch of natural light stuff rather quickly but then the sky burst forth a wee silver of gold for us. We had a good 5-7 minutes to work the light before it completely faded into blue. We had to work quickly but we managed to hammer out a bunch of different looks using flash and ambient. The EXIF of the top image was 1/8 of a second at f/7.1. I was trying to drag the shutter as much as possible to get adequate ambient exposure and then use flash for the subject exposure. This relatively longer shutter speed allowed both Maria hair and Honey’s mane to motion blur in the wind but the flash exposure keeps them sharp. Handheld at 1/8 is no sweat with my 16-35mm f/4 Nikkor with VR.
I quickly moved from ambient to flash and back to ambient again to nab the amazing sky for silhouettes. The color was so juicy and rich that it made for the perfect background! You can’t sunset shots. They are like peanut butter and chocolate! The veritable Reese’s Pieces of the photographic world. They make for great photos & happy clients . . . and happy Photographers! 😎
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. 😀
Here’s a couple shots from a wedding we did a little while ago but didn’t make the blog until now! We had a super fun time with this wedding in the awesome little community of Miniota, MB. You never know what to expect in small prairie towns but Miniota really brings the thunder. Great little town, super friendly people, gorgeous golf course and a great selection of ales at the liquor store! (We arrived early and the girls hair wasn’t quite done yet so we took a tour). 😎 The ceremony took place at the golf course beneath some beautiful big trees. The weather was great which is always a huge blessing for an outdoor wedding. The only hiccup was that for a short time the rings were lost. #BestManFail! LOL But they found them thankfully and everything went off without a hitch. So congrats again to Jarrid & Melanie! It was a blast!