Time for a long overdue High School Grad blog update! I love shooting grads, it’s probably my favourite genre photographically. It incorporates such a variety of styles from headshots to detail shots to environmental portraiture to off camera flash to natural light, the whole gambit. And, 99.99999% of the time, the grads actually want their photos taken. So they cooperate! 😎 This goes a loooooong way to making awesome lasting memories for the client. This gallery has a few of my fav images from this past grad season.
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!
Family photos, in my opinion, should fall into the category of “nice photos.” They are simply lit with one light or a reflector. They don’t look lit. They don’t look edgy. They have a very simple elegance about them. That’s been my aim, at least, for the majority of family shoots I do. I have experimented with ring flash but I find that it must be relegated into the realm of fill flash only in this context. As a main light, it’s just too much for this look. The look and feel of lighting is definitely worth paying heed too – especially for “nice photos.” Of the photos in this post, can you guess how they are lit? It’s tough to tell which was flash, reflector or just ambient? Watch the catchlights of course… 😎
Also, when shooting siblings, I almost always try to shoot sets of images – similar photos for each member of the family so they look like a cohesive whole on a photo wall. It’s a nice technique for nice photos. 😀
We had another all-star wedding the other day. The weather held out for us beautifully, the bride and groom and the wedding party were great! And, above all, we had a lot of fun! Some of my favourite shots came during the dance. The hall was decorated with beautiful chinese-lantern style balls. They make for awesome light modifiers when we put a speed light in one. Very cool. But my favourite wedding dance photo technique is the really slow shutter speed with flash firing on second curtain to freeze the exposure. It gives the photo a sense of movement, but there is enough in sharp focus so the eye has something to rest on. Tons of fun! 😎
Well Boo ya! This years grads are all done graduatin’. And what a crazy fun time it was taking photos of all these amazing young people. It’s hard to believe that our kids will one day be wearing the suits and dresses! Another reminder that time truly does fly by far too fast. Anywhos, here’s my quick picks of Oxbow grad shots this year. After a MARATHON editing session today, I got them all done. The kids will have their photos at the start of the week. Just glad the weather cooperated today by being heinously wet and rainy as to dispel any fun things I could have otherwise done. 😀 Also, I invented a new photo this year. I call it “The Smiling Suit.”
The kids wanted to go looking for crocuses yesterday. So did I. 🙂 So we went out back and found a few little bunches. I’m not sure if they are just starting to come up or are nearly done. Normally they’ve come up even through a light snow. But this year the weather has been wonky so say the least. I feel a special attachment to crocuses as they are “Saskatchewan’s Flower” at least anecdotally. 😉 I’ve seen more crocuses than tiger-lilies, I’ll put it to you that way. heehehe…..
About the technique for nabbing these photos. I went out with a collapsible reflector/diffuser to block the harsh sunlight that was pouring in. I had my D800 & 105mm macro for this detail-rich gig. I was shooting at apertures of f/16 or f/32 so I needed more light reach this at ISO 100 and 1/250. I used my Orbis ring flash and SB-900 synced with an SC-29 cord. I basically was able to set the Orbis on edge on the ground, which doubled as a rest, and shoot right through it. It worked great. 😎 The macro detail that the D800 can capture is really tremendous! Here’s a 100% crop and the full shot beneath.
Susan Hill and I ran two DSLR and Photography workshops this past week in the charming little town of Redvers, SK. The classes were held at the Redvers public library and 30 people in all took the course. It was tonnes of fun! 😎 Helping people take their camera off of Auto Mode is always such a treat. As for myself, I bought my first DSLR (Nikon D40) because I hated how slow and laggy my point and shoot was. I took a billion photos in auto mode and loved every minute of it. Nothing really changed until I got a 50mm f/1.8. Best thing ever for turning the ol’ mode dial to A mode. That’s what started my foray into being a full blown photo and exposure nerd. We introduced the participants to all the basics of ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed – knowing full well nobody is going to become a full blown M mode shooter overnight. But to have someone take me by the hand and guide me through everything would have been helpful to me when I was getting interested in photography. But we all had a blast and we will be running more classes in the future. 😀
For the last post of 2013, I will go out with double the fun! Leighton is having a blast being big sister to Laya and Levi. We had a fun little shoot with the twins and they cooperated swimmingly well. I’m always taken aback by how well the little newborns tolerate photo shoots and photographers! 🙂 So here’s to 2013! May 2014 double the fun yet again! . . . Photographically speaking of course! 😎
This last month of December hath been a whirlwind of adventure to say the least. I’ve hardly had any time to blog between family commitments and church work stuff. Lots going on and too many irons in the fire. But as 2013 comes to a close, I thought I would go back over the year (and the literally tens of thousands of images I shot) and put together a couple of slideshows of my favourites. They may or may not be my very best work. Probably more of the emotional connection I have with them. 😎 But I realized that since I got the FujiFilm X100s, it’s really become my camera of choice for my personal work. I attribute this to 2 main factors. 1) Fuji is awesome. The image quality is fantastic and the cameras a literal joy to use because they work great and have a compact form. And 2) as a Pater Familias, I’m usually chasing after my kids or at least have them in tow. DSLR is a good system but its bulky and not conducive to life with wee ones. The X100s has really filled my camera needs and I used it for probably around 75% of my personal photography this year. It’s been a great experience. So much so that I would consider completely switching to Fuji mirrorless cameras totally! I’ve heard a rumour that a weather sealed X is coming in January. That camera with the 10-24, 35 and new 56 1.2 lenses and I’d be one happy customer. That said, I do love my D800 and I made good use of it for the majority of my client work this past year. The image quality is really tremendous. And of course Nikon’s CLS system is awesome for lighting on the fly and working with speed during weddings. So I probably won’t be parting from it anytime soon. But Fuji keeps beaconing me. 😀
For 2014 I want to do more work on my personal projects. And I think I’m going to get a big printer and enter into the photo printing foray. It’s definitely more art than science. But having complete control of my images will be nice, as well as having the in house ability to make big prints whenever I want. That will be a fun addition! Should be a fun 2014! 😎
But for now, here’s my photography from 2013 in review. This first video is my personal and family shots while the second video has client work.
Thanks again for your views and interest! Have a very blessed 2014. 😀
Way back in October I went to my cousin’s wedding in Saskatoon. My dad was the official photographer on the job. But I became a conscript shooter. No problemo. Because doing the gig got me the chance to use the epic Nikon 24mm f/1.4G. Dad’s friend Ham just happened to not be using this gem and wondered if I could put it to good use. One word: YEP. 😀 It’s near optical perfection. Unbelievable glass. I still love my 16-35 f/4 for events, but this 24 rocked the set. I slapped it on the D800, did a test shot for focus and used it for all the formals and the group work. Coupled with my 70-200 f/4, it was a dynamic duo. So it was a lot of fun from a photographic stand point.
But from a family stand point, it was even better. My cousins are insane! And this party was off the hook! It was a metric tonne of fun. 😎
Now, as for the Beatles-esque post of the title, it never really hit me until I thought about it later. George was the bride’s last name. Paul was the groom’s last name. John was the groom’s brother. And Mike was the groom. Sorry Ringo, you just got ditched. 😉 So cheers to both Chelsea and Mikey! God grant you many years! It was an honour taking your pics!
I am not making this up! A true blue wedding between a Lewis and a Clark! And what an adventure! First of all, we got lost on the way to the shoot. Twice. Nearly got hung up in sinking cesspool of iniquity muddy road. No cell service. Barely made it out alive! But, in our process of getting lost we stumbled across the most incredible yard full of red leaves. We made a mental note and knew we’d be back later. And we were super glad we were. It was incredible. We had a great time photographing Lewis & Clark making history. Congrats to Justin and Kelly, you guys rock the set! 😎
And, as one final note at the end of the night, we got to play with sparklers. Everyone loves sparklers! 😉
Well kiss my grits! I got printed in Rural Roots Magazine! My photo that I did as part of my on going Organic Project has been printed in the fall 2013 edition. The magazine was running a story by Alvin Scheresky and they came across my shoot with Nicole Davis, the new proprietor of Day Break Mill. They wanted to run a segment on the idea of Ancient Grains and Modern Mills. I’m stoked to have my image in print! It’s a very nice spin off of a personal photography project. To me it underlines the idea that if you seek fame and recognition, you won’t find it. But if you pursue your passion and do it because you love it, great things will surely follow. 😎 Big thanks to Rural Roots Magazine for running my photo and for bringing attention to this great part of the country we call home!
As much as a I hate winter, I love fall. More precisely, the fall colours. Which only last for 3.4 days in the prairies. 😉 Except this year! We’ve had a very nice slow start to autumn and it’s brought a lot of beautiful colour. I love shooting fall landscapes to nab the colours but the photos are never as vivid or as saturated as I perceive them to be. So I decided to do a new twist on shooting fall landscapes. Abstract! 😎 The colours can’t help but pop in their full glory on account of that’s all the photos have going for them is colour. I kinda like it! 😀
Try it for yourself. Don’t be a Photoshop pansy. You can do these shots in camera. I used the superb new Nikon 70-200 f/4 for all of these shots. It’s sharp and light but it also stops way down to f/32. Which is where I shot these. I shot at ISO 100 because it was already bright this morning at 7:30. Crank your aperture down as far it will go and then just adjust your shutter speed down till you get the desired exposure. In my case, I was shooting these at 1/5 of a second. And then comes the twist. Just zoom your lens and you get way cool motion blur and super amazing colour. It’s kinda fun and gives you a new twist on fall! 🙂
I had a cool opportunity to shoot a really unique family session the other day for fellow photographer Emily Rutledge of One Thousand Words Photography. She had this amazing idea of a themed family photo shoot, in this case a circus. She came up with idea and did all the setup. I basically showed up and lit it. 😎 It was great! Plus, I didn’t have to do any editing. 😀 BONUS! But I did a little bit on these photos, a wee smidgeon of the shoot. It was super fun and made for some really creative family memories. I’d love to do more of this kind of shoot in the future as it’s super fun and out of the ordinary. Plus, the whole family can be involved and the kids think its awesome. They were very cooperative during the shoot!
The group photo was rather involved so here’s the breakdown:
There are no white lights in this image. All the flashes have gels to some extent.
Background: I decided to light up the barn to add drama to the awesome texture and further the circus theme. Simple red and blue theatrical gels were on 2 SB-600 speed lights in the back.
Fill: I had a small soft box boomed up high from a c-stand with an SB-900 gelled full CTO to give a super warm fill light to the image.
Key(s): I used two LumoPro LP180 flashes in shoot through umbrellas with 1/4 CTO gels on the boys to light them. They did double duty by hitting the girls in the middle and letting the overhead fill light do the rest.
We had a super great time taking some wedding pictures for a fabulous couple in Moosomin a couple of weeks ago. Normally I’m second shooting for Susan at weddings, which I love doing. But on this wedding, I was the chief cook and bottle washer. 😉 It was really cool to be on the other side of the wedding coin, and by that, I mean editing the whole project. I normally (happily) leave that for Susan to contend with. But as I edited the photos and put them all together, seeing how the second shooter shots completely compliment the first is near magical. Both angles of events are covered. What one shooter misses, the other gets. And when you put it all together, it makes for such a better end product for the clients. It’s awesome! 😀
So here’s a few shots from Leighton and Brandy’s big day. I included a few BTS pictures of us in action too, just for fun. 😉