Sunday, October 3, 2010

On my own with off camera flash...

So after last weekend's successful introduction to the world of Off Camera Flash, I decided to continue that learning process and made arrangements to take a friend out for a photo shoot this afternoon.  I managed to find a nice little stand, clamp and shoot through umbrella from Vistek. 

In my own mind, I thought that I had thought through the shoot...  The position of the OCF in relation to the sun (it was there, although it was a rather cloudy day) and the poses I envisioned for the model.  In reality, I need a lot more practice in doing this.  While there are some good pictures, they were nowhere near the level I feel I achieved at the workshop (those photos needed relatively no editing after the fact).

Still, there were some nice photos.  Thanks to Christie for modeling and giving up her afternoon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A day at the Erratic rock learning about off camera flash

I spent the day just south of Calgary taking a photo course at the Okotoks Erratic rock.  Kurtis Kristianson of Spin Drift Photography has offered this workshop for the past couple of years and I was lucky enough to learn about off camera flash, and using the flash in general. 

Kurtis' entire message was about creating the right lighting and understanding how to create that lighting each and every time you set up a photo shoot.  Lethbridge's Michael Warf came along and shared some great tips and ideas about working with the model and the "glamour" side of the industry.

As I arrived home and started looking at the pictures that I took, the first thing I noticed, was that I wasn't doing a lot of editing.  The pictures that I took were composed and set up properly enough, that I didn't need to go in and play with the lighting or exposure or colours.  Ok, I did some cropping here and there, but that was more a result of the 70-300 lens that I was using. (Most others were using some form of 24-105, 50-200 canon lens.)

My model (well, the group's model) for the day was Iryna Moriyama, who is herself, a very talented photographer and OCF workshop graduate.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Finding photos when you don't feel like looking

I haven't been very prolific with the camera in the past few weeks, because honestly, I just haven't felt the urge or desire to "create".  Well, today I went out with some other photographers to find some inspiration for a photo journalism assignment on homelessness and poverty.  There was one catch, in that we're supposed to try and NOT use people or faces to tell the tale...  Not as easy as you might think!!!

Hope: When the world seems like it has ganged up on you, sometimes baby steps are the only steps that can be taken.  Take this house that is desperate for attention.  The fence stood out in that, out of the entire length, just one board had been replaced and painted.  One board at a time...

Loneliness doesn't just affect the homeless or the elderly.  One in Seven people suffer some level of loneliness (not to be confused with depression) in their life.  A destructive cycle that can seem inescapable.

Shopping carts play such a large part in the life of the homeless: They hold their belongings, bottles and can act as shelter.

Shaun approached me on the street and asked what I was taking pictures of, and asked if I'd take his picture.

Empty bottles of Listerine outside of a homeless shelter.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A couple of quick pics

Well, it has been a busy couple of weeks back to Calgary and back to work, but I went out with some other photographers for a lunch-hour-quickie last week.  Specifically, we were playing around with depth of field and bokeh (out of focus backgrounds or foregrounds).  Now that I look at some of the photos, I realize that I need to do some reading about photographing bright colours.  The fuchsia flowers seem to overwhelm the camera sensors.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Willkommen to the Cabaret...

Last night, I was taking some pictures at a concert of cabaret music, so I thought I would share a couple of shots.  Taking photos of concerts or stage works can be tricky, because the automatic light sensors in the camera tend to mess everything up.  You have to play around with your settings to know (and guess) what will work in different kinds of low light situations.  Although it wasn't incredibly dark in the hall, I found that I had to go to a higher ISO (640-800) to get a fast enough shutter speed so that the subjects were not blurred out.

In a way, photos of a concert are like photojournalism, because they are not posing as you take the picture.  But, they generally are going to be in the same small area for a certain amount of time.  The problem is that they don't usually stay still while they're in that small area.  Always waving their arms about, and singing and performing...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

The sun really does shine in summer...

After almost two weeks of not terrible, but not fantastic weather, here in Newfoundland, the sun broke forth from behind the clouds and the mercury started to rise.  Strong southerly winds kept most of the heat at bay, but all of today's weather was a welcome change.  Enough of a change to go downtown and experience some of the harbour and downtown.

I really like my new lens (Canon 18-55mm, f2.8), but I keep trying to zoom in closer for shots and sadly realize that this lens isn't made for it.  Most definitely, the next lens will have more zoom/telephoto on it!!!

Even though, here are a couple of shots from the harbour today.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Galas, Girls & Fish...

My time here in Newfoundland has been busier than I expected so I haven't had the chance to get out and shoot as much as I had hoped, but I have had a couple of opportunities to take the camera out.  In fact, last week I was a 2nd shooter at a "Masked Ball" Gala for Opera on the Avalon, and today we went out on a rather cool whale watching/boat tour based out of Bay Bulls (about 30 minutes south of St. John's).  Unlike their animal cousins, the tigers and dragons, the whales were not crouching or hidden, but they were elusive and I wasn't able to get a picture of the two or three that momentarily surfaced in the distance. Lots of people though to take pictures of...

And from O'Brians Boat Tour...