Thursday, February 16, 2017

Great Ideas | Commercial Lifestyle Photographer

In December I had the opportunity to work with a large commercial construction company who was holding their annual Christmas party at the Aero Museum in Calgary of all places. What a cool place to have a party! Once I got talking to my contact we came up with the idea to shoot a fun stylized portrait setup with each group in pilot and bomber outfits to match the war-era aircraft. It took a bit of planning but my contact Nicole worked hard to find the costumes and with the right lighting setup we pulled it off.

Fun at the Aero Museum in Calgary.
I ended up using 4 speedlites on manual settings. One large overhead softbox to fill in the front directionaly. Then one bare speedlite on either side of the group to give it some hard raking side-light. Then one single speedlite tucked in behind the aircraft to light up the canopy.

Full group setup with large kit in the outside hangar - very cold that night.
I love it when a client wants to do something different and we get to come away with more than just the standard stuff. Looking forward to more of this in 2017.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New Commercial Work | Commercial Lifestyle Photographer

Recently, local health and nutrition coach Ramona Kossowan approached me for some new image assets for her social media channels and website. Ramona seemed to have a good idea of what she wanted and I was excited to work with her as she had a great attitude and some of the work was going to challenge me in the lighting department.

Like I mentioned, Ramona has a great attitude and it was fun working on the headshots in studio.

Next we setup a very small and portable kit at her training facility. The idea was to get a commercial illustration of the kind of work she does and still maintain good professional lighting. Ramona and her model didn't need much direction so I was free to manage how to control the light in such a large space.

The biggest challenge was finding a location for the kitchen shots and try to give a bright healthy look that made you feel like the room was filled with  sunlight. The space Ramona found was awesome so it was just a matter of pumping it full of light without blowing her out. This was one of my favorite jobs so far this year, exactly the type of work I love to do.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Quick Primer On Day To Night Curve With The Pulse by ALPINE LABS

I wanted to quickly throw a post up for a few of my friends as it would seem the Pulse by ALPINE LABS on Kickstarter was very popular. So here goes...

The settings screens are not very explanatory and in my opinion just very simple for someone who understands the day to night slope. The unit automatically manages the slop, you just need to estimate a few points on the timeline.

Click for larger image.

The Promote Control setup is very different so I will keep this specifically for the Pulse setup.

1. Make sure your camera is on, set to manual and set a shutter speed / aperture combo that looks good (take a test shot). A scene in the shade or overcast day is good around 1/20 f-8 @100iso.

2. Plug in the Pulse unit to the camera and switch to "on" (I won't explain how you should be composing the scene but I will tell you unless you are working with ND filters you should not be pointing into the sun).

3. Turn on the app, search for device, once connected go to timelapse screen.

4. Your first screen is your interval (obvious setting) and "duration". The Duration is the full time from A to D above.

5. Upper right menu will bring you to the "exposure ramp" menu. Click enable and make sure it shows start/end shutter and start/end iso.

6. Your Delay is A to B length to set. Your Duration is B to C length to set. And your run out will be whatever time left after after A to B to C is completed (based on Duration set in step 4 above). Don't overthink it, minus A to C from A to D and you have your runout time.

Some thoughts:

Many sites will tell you 30 minutes is a normal sunset slope length but I have found in central Alberta 40 minutes is better. Dusk seems to hang here for a long time after sunset. To estimate your start time just consider B as the "actual" sunset start time for that day in your location (use an app or the web). Then just work backwards. Your starting shutter speed should always be at the beginning of your timelapse, once the ramp starts (B) it will work along the curve until it hits the end of sunset/twighlight generally around 40 minutes later. At this time you can let it runout for an extended time and it will be the shutter speed you figure looks great in that condition. Usually in the city with bright lights or sometimes you have to make your final shutter longer if you are shooting dark sky and stars,

Best way to get some good numbers to start is to go out the day before and take exposures (WITH THE SAME F-STOP) at 20 minutes before sunset, 1 minute before sunset, 30 minutes after sunset, 40 minutes after sunset, and again at 50 minutes after sunset (ideally where you want your final ending shutterspeed to be).

Note on ISO: If you are using 10 second intervals and your exposure lengths are ending at greater than 10 seconds (for example), you can set your "ending" iso to one stop faster (100 to 200) to give like a 10 second @ 100iso a shift to 5 seconds @ 200iso.

Biggest down fall to this unit is you WILL have to use LRTimelapse software to manage the flicker that will appear later on during the encoding process (this happens because the camera sets the shutter speed in steps and less like a high resolution curve or slope. Each time it steps-up you see the jump in exposure and resembles a flicker in post). You should be using it anyways with your workflow. I normally don't need to with the Promote Control. Overall the price is right for this unit and the form-factor is small. With a little software know-how, this unit can create some decent results.

Feel free to find me on facebook or email me for questions. Happy shooting

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Another Whitby Resurrection | Adventure Lifestyle Photographer

Completed 1931 AJS S8 Deluxe spring 2016

John Whitby has done it again. It was only November 2014 that Greg Williams and I had our piece published (Motorcycle Classics Nov/Dec 2014) on John's 1962 Rickman Scrambler. This project was one of the finest restos I have ever seen, in fact possibly better than the original "out of the crate" condition of 62'. Only two years later he has done it again....

 The "bare bones" in spring 2015

I got the call in spring of 2015 and Greg suggested we should do a before and after for John's new project, a 1931 AJS and come back to it when it was complete. I don't think it was even a year from March 2015 (I first shot the bare bones) to when John had finished the full restore in spring of this year. As usual John did an amazing job replicating the original creation and adding a little of his own style.

John Whitby getting ready to kick it over.

I am a big fan of John's work and so glad Greg gave me the call. It is awesome to work closely with so much of the talent in our local MC community and the piece in this months (Motorcycle Classics Sept/Oct 2016) looks great. If your into bikes make sure you go out and get this months issue and give it a read. Greg Williams is one of the finest motorcycle writers/ historians in North America and its an honour working with him.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Starting Over | Canadian Lifestyle Photographer

 Brandon Alberts, Brad and Ryan Fleischer are Flaysher

Over the last few years my work at AirdrieLife Magazine has given me the opportunity to connect with some very interesting and talented people. Some even continue to be friends and eventually we get to work together again. One group that I always enjoy working with is the Fleischer boys from the Airdrie band "Storm". However I should say that they are no longer called Storm. After years with that name, dealing with the trouble of such a generic search term (in social media) and a new album on the racks, the guys have a new name.

Brad Fleischer, Ryan Fleischer and Brandon Alberts are now rockin into the future as Flaysher (a play on the brothers' names). With the new release on the way this summer the guys met with me in the late spring to get a little street and studio work done. Make sure you check them out at their Facebook Page and give the new album a spin on itunes.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Ad Work | Canadian Lifestyle Photographer

Last fall I was asked to solve some imaging needs for an agency that had an office in Calgary. Adfarm had asked me to use some of my farm contacts in the area to provide the right look for a pair of models for a specific look in a spring ad.

I can't give a lot of details but a screen shot of the piece can be seen above. A couple I have worked with in the past and get to photograph their family every year. Awesome people.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Summer Update | Canadian Adventure Photographer

As crazy as things can get here in Alberta these days I have to say I have had a pretty good summer so far. Some quality time with the family managing a Christian camp we work with in the Waiperous Valley, Lots of white water kayaking and the usual great clients we work with.

Foothills Magic making a few last low precipitation super-cells before the end of the season.

Normally at this time of the year I would be finishing up a 2 month season of storm chasing but not this year. As dramatic as the weather has been it is not like it was a few years back. The weather is always changing and so is my life and I just do not have the time for all the cool things I like to do. It is nice to look at storms on radar and chat with some of the old team, maybe warn a few people but it is just no longer my focus.

Couple campers get a devotional from their LTD at Gull Lake Camp.

Every year I get to spend a day at Gull Lake Camp and add to the library of images for this amazing place. Always so great to spend time with Steve and see the impact God is having on these campers and LTD's. So much energy and fun, I always look forward to it.

Treffrey Deerfoot (great grandson of the Deerfoot Trail namesake) dancing at EAP.

Stampede is big around here and as much as I like to spend the week away from the city I cover one event for a great client in the city. Eighth Ave Place and their event management group had me back for another year to photograph their mid-day stampede party which had the Blackfoot Medicine Dance crew back as well as country singer George Canyon.

Bow River fly-fishing guide Ryan Lees catching the last rays of sun along the Bow at Policeman's Flats

It has taken some time but I am back working on my own project to produce some new and conceptual adventure lifestyle stock and working with two very different but interesting sport fishermen on the Bow River. There is something about fishing that is almost medicinal and I think it may be one of those outlets where you can quickly shed the stress of the daily grind and lose yourself in "the nature". I can see myself dropping the camera and throwing a few casts myself.

I hope you have had a good summer and it hasn't sped by to fast. If you are feeling like your missing out then you might want to jump on some of the fine days we could have left before the cubs are back in school and the days begin to cool.