Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fortune favors the prepared.

I was checking out a post on Flickr where someone was asking about doing his second wedding shoot with a Canon PowerShot SX110 - a decent point and shoot but a point and shoot nonetheless. There were some posts gently and not so gently suggesting that he not even attempt a wedding with the camera.

Switch over to yours truly. I am doing my second wedding shoot this Saturday and I booked a D700, a 24-70 f/2.8 and a 70-200 f/2.8 about 6 weeks ago for the event.  I checked out the venue last weekend and it is dark but the ambient light is really cool. I am still playing around with the idea of using some flash but the nice thing about the D700 - crank that ISO up and the pics will still look nice. I have my D90 as a second body and my 50 mm f/1.8 just in case. It might not be my first choice but it'll definitely do the job if I have problems with either the body or the lens I am renting.

Now we know that it isn't the gear that makes the photograph. The person posting didn't have a lot of shots in his portfolio so I can't comment on his ability. There is however a point where gear can either help you achieve your creative vision or prevent you from realizing it.  There is a reason why high end professional spend thousands on their gear. Every lens, camera or piece of equipment has its limitations and the better photographer you are the more you can push those limits.

And the big reason to get higher end gear? Fortune favors the prepared.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Few Fall Photos

Last autumn I felt gypped by the leaves. We had a couple of cold nights that froze the leaves on the trees and they turned black and brown. This fall, however, has been incredible for color. Bright yellows, reds, oranges with subtle hints of green dispersed throughout really make it easy to enjoy this season. The fact that we're hitting temperatures in the twenties doesn't hurt either! (Celsius not Fahrenheit you crazy imperial folk!)
Click on an image to see a larger version.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A bit of lighting fun

Well, I haven't posted any of my own images for awhile and I think I'm over due. No, its not the Lake O'Hara shots thought that is definitely on my agenda for the next few days.

I haven't shot anything just for fun for awhile and I think I've submitted to DP Challenge just once or twice in the last month not to mention I haven't played with my lights for awhile. Alright...I actually got a little stir crazy and/or narcissistic and set up my lights to photograph myself. The challenge topic over at DPC was "Portrait with Chair" so I sat down and cranked out a few frames.

Sigma 530 Super Flash gelled with a full cut CTO and bounced off an umbrella camera left. SB600 with a Stofen diffuser behind me and to camera right. I flagged it with a Honl snoot just half wrapped on to keep the light off the background.

I used the Nikon wireless TTL to trigger. The Sigma was set to -1.3 EV and the SB600 was set to -3 EV

Processing might seem like a lot but it wasn't really. I have a "300" preset in Lightroom 2 to create the basic dark moody look and then I dodged and burned to bring back the details.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


I've been stupidly busy the last few days. I've been up to my eyeballs in photoediting and work leaving me little time to work on the images I took at Lake O'Hara and even less time to shoot anything new.  I hate to say it but for the last few days, working on images has been a chore.

Like I previously wrote, if you can do things in camera to reduce the amount of editing you need to do it will save you a lot of time. Unfortunately, the scavenger hunt for the Foothills Camera Club necessitated a lot of editing. Typically I think 5 minutes an image is a lot. These images were more like one hour per image....on average.  And to be honest there was no way around it. One of the images we needed was to have our main character "Chris" jumping across the railroad tracks just in front of a train. While we could have done that in camera we may have ended up with one less group member as a result. And since I was the one doing the jumping...

I do have to admit that the results were pretty cool and I learned a lot during the process. That being said however,  I will be happy to get caught up on all my editing projects so I can refocus on new images and maybe sharing some of my stuff from my getaway to Lake O'Hara.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Beyond Craft (initial thoughts)

Yes...I am still up and should be sleeping in preparation for my trip to Lake O'hara tomorrow.  Just going through e-mails, checking blog posts and just wrapping stuff up before going to bed. After all, its not like I am going to have access to a computer for the next three days.

One of the articles that really spoke to me is David duChemin's article titled ("Beyond Craft"). The article speaks about the difference between the craft of photography vs the Art and vision of photography. Its a really powerful article and definitely worth a read. Its actually funny but Carol Blakey from the Foothills Camera Club and I were talking about a few things related to this very topic. 

More to come...(i.e. when I return!)

Lake O'hara! Here I come!

I am very excited about my upcoming trip to Lake O'hara in Yoho National Park. Lake O'hara is roughly half way between Lake Louise and  Field, BC. Everyone tells me how beautiful it is and I know its going to be a lot of fun. So yes, I should be in bed instead of posting but I am so excited! For the next three days I am going to be away from it all and I'm gonna love it!