Saturday, January 30, 2010

Back in Whistler

Dave and Kathleen, from Scotland
After 2 1/2 months in South Africa, I'm back in Whistler. The first week back, I had a small wedding to photograph, and three commercial commissions. The first was to shoot a beautiful local house (I'd love to show you pics, but the home owner requested that they remain private), and two public spaces.

BonBon anyone? The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
This was shot for the contractor who had just done a recent renovation. When I was still in South Africa, I ordered three Alien Bee strobes to replace my old Norman strobe set up (although I did keep the 2000w/sec pack, and a couple of heads, just in case I need some real horsepower). When I got home, they were sitting in my studio ready to go. The Norman's were great, but heavy and awkward to use, and took a small truck to carry on location. Three Alien Bee 640w/sec heads, all the cables, speed rings, and a couple of folded up soft boxes, all go in a full sized LowePro roller case that used to hold my RZ-67 set-up (another great technology sadly gone the way of the buggy whip).

This is the Whistler Museum and Archive. I was hired by Panther Management, the company that did the museum exhibits and design, to do some photos of the newly renovated museum. They called me Thursday afternoon, said they needed pictures ASAP, as they were needed for a bid on another project. I shot the job Friday morning, did the photoshop work after lunch, and had the pics uploaded to Panther's FTP site by late Friday afternoon.

The key to this shoot is that it had to look like a museum, with low key warm lighting, but it can't be so dark that you can't see what's going on. In the large photo, you can see that I have a large light source to light the chairs and front of the scene, and another smaller light to brighten up the exhibit just off to the left of the frame. In the smaller photo, that's what the scene looks like without the extra strobe lighting.

This week coming, I have two more clients with work to be done before the Olympics start.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Sani Pass

My Dad took us up the Sani Pass, which is the main southern access road into the Kingdom of Lesotho. Lesotho is a separate country that is actually completely inside South Africa. It's a pretty desolate place, and all they seem to do is raise sheep and provide hydro electric power to South Africa. If you've ever seen the movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy", this is the view point where the little San Bushman throws the coke bottle off the end of the world.

The Sani Pass cuts right through the Drakensburg Mountains, and the views are truly amazing.

This what passes for a major highway up here.

Custom 4x4 minibus taxis climb the final switch backs into Lesotho. If you're a local on your way home, you get to ride in one these nail biting machines.

Ah, scenic Lesotho