House concerts are becoming our thing as of late. We got to catch The Lion, The Bear, The Fox in the booming megapolis of Grenfell, SK on Friday night. They were good. They could really harmonize well and their songs were really deep and chock full of substance. No fluff here folks. These dudes all came from the school of hard knocks and that is depicted in their music.
Tatum Duryba of Paper Moon Photography hosted the concert in her photo studio. The cozy venue really makes for a cool concert environment.
And, the Bear played a Gretsch. And that is 100% awesome.
It’s that time again! Graduation is in the air and excitement abounds! I was covering grad up in the great town of Arcola, SK on Friday of last week. It was the first real day of hot sun we’ve had in all of 2014. Needless to say, I was as red as a ripe hothouse tomato afterwards. 😎 The weather was beautiful though and I was grateful for that. They raise ’em right up in Arcola, let me tell you. Both Quinn & Julian were gentlemen through and through. They were fun to photograph, had awesome families and gorgeous escorts! There is nothing more that a photographer could ask for. I was totally spoiled. 😀
We went to my all time favourite restaurant and all-round place of awesomeness, The Happy Nun on the weekend. As always, the food was AMAZING. And the talent is likewise fantastic. To kick off the deep winter blues festival was Forget, SK resident and Juno award winner Ken Hamm. He’s a tremendous guitar player and I really enjoyed the sound of his vintage tin guitar. It took me back to my Edmonton days of Blues on Whyte. It’s really a tremendous genre of music full of soul and reality.
Speaking of soul and reality, my noble Fuji X100s was in hand for the event. I love how the fuji can capture the colour so well. Ken was being lit by 2 overhead lights, one CTO as the main on his left side and the other CTB for a fill on his right. I love that look. The vastly different colour temperatures work together to really give the atmosphere a great mood. I shot the rest of the event at a very warm Kelvin temperature. I was really digging that CTO look. That said, I probably should have dialled it to blue to emphasize the Blues. heheehhe… next time. 😎
OK, I’ve lived in the South East corner of Saskatchewan for over 5 years, almost 6, and I only just the other day heard of The Happy Nun. Where have I been!?!? It is the most incredible restaurant I have ever been to in my entire life! From the first step I made through the door, I instantly fell in love. There is such an overwhelming ambience of joy and a glorious welcoming spirit that permeates the whole establishment. It’s in the decor, the staff, the art work, the ambience. It truly is something special. Everyone knows that a good restaurant is hard to find, but so is a great place for entertainment. When the two come together with perfect perichoresis it’s sensational.And that describes the Happy Nun to a tee for it’s not only a restaurant, but it is also a mini centre of performing arts! We had got tickets to see Craig Cardiff live in concert at the Happy Nun. He was tremendous as well, adding to the over arching good times of the night. As the music filled the place, the ambient light levels became saturated with warm, beautiful colour.
And then, dear friends, there’s the food. I’m really not exaggerating when I say that it is the best restaurant food I’ve ever had. It’s all homemade. No propeller pigeon chicken. No industrially baked bread. No typical ‘big business’ restaurant food. I had the beef with mashed potatoes and asparagus. My wife had the orzo and Israeli couscous. Both dishes had incredible flavour and that unmistakable “made by hand with love” feel. There was also a starter salad that was bursting with flavour, not to mention a mushroom zucchini soup that was to die for. And when the soup came out, it was noticeably contained in a hand made pottery bowl. Every last detail has been thought out, including the numerous examples of nun-based decor. And who doesn’t love nuns?! Remember Sister Act? 😎
And, the final book end of the night was driving home, only to look up and see the most incredible display of Northern Lights. The whole sky was illuminated by the dancing green and blue Aurora. Could there be a more perfect end to a great night with great friends, awesome entertainment and the best dining experience you can have in south east Saskatchewan? I think not. And, I will certainly be back!
I’ve often wondered why we call “Grad” Grad and not Prom. I continue to ponder it. 😎 I got to go and do some grad shots for a couple of lovely Arcola girls and their families on the 17th. It was a riot and the weather held out giving us some sweet, sweet dramatic skies. I took my trust X100s along for the ride, as well as my D800. With my two favorite cameras in hand we got to make a ton of really exciting images with lots of different looks. Just one note on Sarah’s pink dress – it really is THAT pink. 😎 And the guitar, yep, Juliana can totally rock it. It’s not just a prop. Thanks for the fun times girls! You’re amazing! It was awesome to do back to back shoots for such cool friends!
Ah, winter. We live in it the majority of our lives in Canada. Why not get married in it?! 😎 No reason not too, other than heinous blizzards, sketchy travel conditions and . . . it’s cold. Usually. But not February 9th of this year! It was an incredibly beautiful day. Blue sky, frost covered trees, mild temperatures, no wind! I was truly blessed to be part of a winter wedding with some amazing folks from the Alida area.
And not only was doing a winter wedding a new thing for me, so was being a second shooter. My awesome photog friend Susan Hill from Carievale found herself in a last minute health bind and needed an extra lens on the wedding. I was glad that I was available to help.
It was a metric tonne of fun to watch how another photographer handles a wedding but also to see how truly complimentary it was to get two perspectives on the same moments and events. By both of us taking pictures, it was actually less stressful overall. I knew that whatever I wasn’t getting, Susan was, and vice versa. What the client ends up with is double coverage of the event and double the amount of stellar images from the big day. What’s not to love?! 😉
I thoroughly enjoyed the experience – even though I don’t normally shoot weddings. 😉 I got to shoot some off camera flash stuff which I love. Strobist skills came in handy as the sanctuary where we did the formals was very, very dark. Dark wood ceiling and brick walls and dark flooring chewed up the light. We through up 3 speedlights in umbrellas which made an impromptu studio. Bouncing the light would have been nicer, but it wasn’t an option. Solving problems on the fly is mandatory stuff for wedding photogs. Having another photographer there made it less scary and easy to deal with as Susan has a tremendous eye and great compositional skills. She lined the families up, got everyone ready and all I did was press the shutter.
The snow was FEET deep back by the grotto, but we braved the soaked socks and frozen feet to get the shots. We nearly killed the poor bride and groom, but they were amazing! They went full speed ahead for all the shots and didn’t tell us to go jump in the frozen lake! 😀
We wound up the night at the reception which was one of the best I’ve ever attended. It was heartfelt and more importantly, didn’t drag on forever! 😉 It was truly a blessing to help capture a young couple’s memories of the big day. Susan and I had a blast and I certainly hope to be able to work with her again on future projects. If she can put up with me… 😎
Happy Birthday (belated) to me! I got a new lens and I’m super stoked about it. Nikon announced their new 85mm f/1.8G prime in January. Half a year later, I’ve got one. And it is pure AWESOME. I really can’t emphasize enough about how much this lens rocks the set. I read a few reviews about it and everything was extremely positive. It’s sharp. Contrasty. Renders awesome colours. Focus is bang on. Shot wide open, it’s really good, stop it down to 2.5 it’s boo ya sharp & bokelicious! 😎 I finally got to try it out at Eddie & Roberta’s 50th Anniversary Come & Go Tea at the Alameda Legion, then also afterwards at the family party at the farm. It was mainly candids but I did do some family photos too. The event was a riot, despite the heat and everyone had a great time. I’m thankful to be able to have spent the day with the Frietags and very thrilled to try out the new lens. It didn’t disappoint!
We were treated to a trip down on the farm today. Hubert always puts on a great show for the kids and they had a riot looking at all the animals. He even snuck a rooster and 2 pigeons into the house!!! 😎 It was a blast! And the swing in the hay loft is super cool too. Even the grown ups had a good time! 🙂
So last night we went to Estevan to partake in some sweet sweet East Coast music. The
Celtic Defenders . . . Irish Descendants were in concert at the Comp. The Estevan Arts council does a tremendous job in bringing in top quality stuff and these boys did not disappoint! Everyone loves East Coast music. Everyone! Why? Because it’s so cheery and uplifting. Yer toe’ll be tappin’ in no time bye! I’d love to have a kitchen full of Newfies for some good old timey guitar, mandolin and hard bread! 😆 Like I said, they did a great job. The sound in the comp was kind of muffled though, like the Charlie Brown teacher waw waw waw voice, which made parsing the Newfoundland accent tougher for us mainlanders than it already is. 😉 But it was still a whole pile of fun. I bootlegged some illegal band photos. Shhhh! don’t snitch on me. 8) I know why concerts say no photos. Every granny and their point and shoot would be there blasting useless onboard flash in a vain attempt at snagging a blurry memory. I brought $2000.00 worth of camera equipment and with ninja like f/1.4 stealth . . . snagged a blurry memory. 😐