Sunday, June 27, 2010

Whistler Stagette Party

You end up doing some odd gigs in this job, but this one was one was really out there. I got a call from a friend of the Bride, who asked me if I would come and photograph their stagette party in the Whistler Village Saturday night. The group was from Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, so I obviously wasn't going to be shooting the wedding, but it sounded like a fun job, so I said why not. It was actually a ton of fun, and we counted seven other stagette groups in the village that night, so it seems that Whistler has become the destination of choice.

Tech Stuff:
We didn't start shooting until after they had finished dinner at almost 10:00, so it was almost dark outside. With such a large group, it was too much for a flash on-camera set up, so I had to use an off camera lighting set up for all the pictures. I had an assistant hold an extended light stand with a photo umbrella and a Nikon SB-900 flash on it, and walk beside me as I followed the ladies around. Joyce had to stay to camera right, and slightly in front of me for the SB-900 to read the signal from the controller.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8
Lighting: Nikon SB-900 bounced into a photo umbrella, controlled by a Nikon SU-800

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tattoed Ladies

Cherry Chichi
This is an interesting story I did for the Urban Pie on Ladies with Tattoos. I had spent the day on an exhausting shoot in a re-modeled house here in Whistler. I had time to grab a shower and a bite and head to Vancouver to shoot this. I got home at midnight, 16 hours after I started the day.

Maila Harlow

Tech Stuff:
I used two Alien Bee lights, the key with a 22" beauty dish, and a kicker with background reflector on it. I still haven't replaced my grid spots, so I just turned the back ground reflector around so it aimed at the models instead.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 28-70mm
Lighting: alien Bee B1600 x 2, 22" Beauty Dish, background reflector.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Linda and Eric

The boardwalk at Green Lake
I was having a nice brunch last Saturday when I got a call from the groom, Eric. He said, "I'm getting married today at four, and we wondering if you could photograph our wedding?". Not having anything else to do that day, I said sure, it would be a pleasure.

Linda and Eric are a nice couple from Miami Florida who booked one of my small Elopement wedding packages. It was just them and their parents.

The Stone Circle, by Alta Lake
I do a lot of wedding in the Whistler area, but sometimes someone comes up with a location I've never been to. This is a feature just off the Valley Trail by Lakeside Park. It made for a great wedding location.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Yellowstone Park

Grizzly Bear
Checking my map, I realized that I was 100 miles from Yellowstone prk, so took a short detour through the park. Well worth the trip.

A Bison and her calf walk around a geyser.

The Old Faithful Lodge

Tech Stuff
For the picture of the Grizzly Bear, I used my old 300mm f/2.8 manual focus (when I say old, it's probably 25 years or more old) on a Nikon D2x, which with the 1.5x magnification factor makes it actually a 450mm lens. The bear was a long way away. It was such a spur of the moment trip that I packed the 300mm (which I hardly ever use), but forgot the monopod to steady it with, so I had to hand hold it. As a result, of the 60 or 70 frames I shot, only two were sharp.

The other photos were shot with with my D700 and the 17-35mm lens.

Cameras: Nikon D700 and D2x
Lenses: Nikon 300mm f/2.8 ED-IF, Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8

St. Anthony's Dunes

Jason Sheppard
I finally arrived in Idaho to meet up with my fiend Jason and his buddies at the Sand Dunes in St. Anthony. They took me out and put on a great photo show.

We had an epic bon fire that night, plying our Mormon neighbours with cheap tequila and potato vodka.

Tech Stuff:
Oddly enough for Idaho in the late spring, it was rainy, cold, and really dark out, which made for tough shooting conditions. I pushed the D700's ISO settings up to 500, and then 800 for most of the shots. The bon fire was at ISO 1600. The D700 excels at high ISO shooting, so this was no problem.

With any kind of motorsports, you never want to use a shutter speed higher than 1/500th of a second. Without some movement in the wheels and background, the bike or car just looks like it's been parked. The 70-200 has an image stabilizer in it that really helps to keep the subject sharp when you're panning with it.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lenses: Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 (top three), Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8 (bottom two).

More of the Road Trip

Welcome to Idaho. Fuck the speed limit.

Another delicious breakfast.

Abandoned train station. Lima, Montana.
My trip across the western United States had a melancholy feel to it. Most towns seem to have seen their best days a generation ago.

Old drive-in restaurant. St. Anthony, Idaho.

The Columbia River. Washington State.

Tech Stuff:
When I'm working, my main two lenses always seem to be the 17-35 and 70-200, but when I'm just walking around, it's the 28-70mm I tend to use the most. When I get around to replacing it (I've owned this lens for over 10 years, and it's heavier and bulkier than my 70-200), I'll probably semi retire the 17-35mm, as I usually just use the top half of the zoom range on that lens.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lenses: Nikon AF-S 28-70mm AF-S

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Idaho and Montana Road Trip

Thunder storm over Butte Montana
The time between the Easter school break and the summer vacation in Whistler is known as the shoulder season. It's when there's nobody in the resort, and everybody's hanging around waiting for the tourist season to start.

Which is why I jumped at the chance to head down to St. Anthony's Dunes in South Eastern Idaho to shoot some old friends of mine who are down there on a quad biking trip. I drove to Seattle last night, and this morning I lit out at 5:30 and spent the day on the road. Tomorrow morning, I arrive in St. Anthony.

My first night's hotel room. I was half expecting to get attacked by Norman Bate's dead mother.

Truck stop breakfast in Ellensburg. French toast, bacon, and eggs, all for $7.50. And the waitresses call you "Hon", to boot.

A trucker from Greenbay WI. having breakfast.

Looking to buy a stuffed bear? Wallace Idaho.

Tech Stuff:
The biggest skill a photographer can have is getting people to let them take their picture, like the trucker, or getting someone to let you shoot in their very foreign (to you) surroundings. The place with all the stuffed animals was pretty crazy, and included things like belts of live machine gun ammunition, and a wooden crate full of 30mm rifle grenades (I asked the lady in the store if they were live, and she just shrugged. One of them could have killed everybody in the place if it when off). The trick, just ask.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8