Sunday, 29 March 2009

HPS Wedding Seminar

A Bride's Radiance!Steve Kaiser ran a "shooting weddings" workshop at St. Mary's Basilica for the Halifax Photographic Society. It was a great event, although less for shooting and more for learning the process and protocol of shooting before, during, and after a ceremony.

None-the-less, if you mix a room full of photographers with a location oozing with charm and sprinkle in three willing models, you will get *some* shots!

It was also my first real test of my new D700 in low lighting. I shot at ISO 1600 and was very pleased with the low level of noise in my images.

Here is a link to a very short slide show of my shots.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Round Church

The Round Church_20090228_0020-2 When I'm taking pictures I can always tell when something is going to turn out well. I get this sense of 'connectedness' bordering on the spiritual. It's an addiction that motivates me to haul my ass out of bed at 5:00 for pre-dawn shoots. And nowhere to I get that sense of connectedness-come-spirituality than when shooting inside an old church. Not that there is anything wrong with new churches, it just that they don't have the same 'presence' as older ones.

The Round Church Crew

The guys at the Halifax Photographic Society organized a shoot at St. George's Anglican church, also known as The Round Church.

Holy ArchesI've never been inside a round church, until now. It was quite interesting and nowhere as odd as you might think. The first thing I noticed was that the ceiling was the same colour as that of Trinity Anglican church In Kingston, NB - a very odd coloured blue. It turns out both were built in the late 1700's, which likely has something to do with the choice of colours. An attempt to create an illusion of a 'blue sky' when casting a glance at heaven?

Different churches inspire different types of shots. This one, like Trinity, inspired me to look for shapes and connections, although I think that the moody tones of the shot of the entrance is my favorite.

Grand Entrance

Yes, that is Blair front and centre in the group shot above. Click on the photo to go to Flickr and run your mouse over the photo to see the names of the rest of the crew.

A slide show of my shots from St. George's is here.


Sunday, 22 March 2009

Smoke Abstracts

Smoke MonsterBlair and I were playing around with some incense smoke to create some abstracts. We set up a black background and put some incense on a table. We cross lit the smoke with a couple of strobes set to 1/16 power and shot at 1/250 @ f8, ISO 200. We tried wide angles and zooms and found that zooming in on the smoke as it just came off of the incense was the best.

We then pulled the files into PS and adjusted the levels to increase the density of the smoke. Some of them we inverted to get black on white, some we left as white on black. We then painted colors onto the smoke. A few manipulations such as copying and blending allowed us to create some very interesting abstracts. Blair took it a few steps further by applying some distortions to create some really far out effects. I hope he posts them up on Flickr soon so I can link to this blog. All-in-all, it was quite addictive.

Smoke Insect


Saturday, 21 March 2009

St. Lucia

Sun, sand, beach, sky.Trish and I have never gone anywhere hot for a winter vacation. Quite the opposite. We usually head to some ski event, where temperatures can be quite cold. At one Birkie marathon, the temperature at the start was -32 (the temperature when I finished was slightly warmer at -31).

Since I already had a dose of winter when I spent a week on my own at the World Cup event at Whistler Olympic Park, this year we decided to go south to the Sandals Grande Resort in St. Lucia. The weather was definitely not cold! On the contrary, it was the definition of sun & sand.

Pool 3One of the things I wanted to try out on this vacation was some underwater photography. I got a special case for Trish's Canon G7 and tried it out in both the pool and in the ocean. The pool shots turned out much better and I especially like the ability to shoot the small flowers that were floating in the pool. To be able to shoot from a completely different perspective was quite fascinating, especially shooting from the bottom of the pool up!

GeckoI was also keen to shoot in the jungle, so we went on a "tropical rain forest guided tour". While the tour guide was a bit of a character, I found the Caribbean rain forest was quite interesting with completely different plant and animals from what we are used to in Canada. The animals are much more aggressive: this little guy came up to me and asked me if I was satisfied with my insurance. He said his cousin was in the business and he could get me a good deal.

Since we were at an ocean front resort, there was also a lot of activities like sailing and kayaking. I managed to squeeze in a bit of both and thoroughly enjoyed running the catamaran.

Unlike creating photographs, linking together words into a coherent sentence is a bit of chore for me. So in keeping with the 'not-at-work' theme, I'll let my shots do the talking. Click here for a slide show.