Monday, October 19, 2009

Alanna and Derek's Wedding at the Nita Lake Lodge

This is my last wedding for 2009, and I couldn't have gotten a more pleasant group of people than Alanna and Derek and their guests and family.  It's also the first time I've done a large sized wedding at the Nita Lake Lodge, and I'm really starting to like this spot as a wedding location.

Alanna's Dad, waiting for the girls at the chapel.

Rough weather for the whole day, but we did get a nice rain free hole just after the ceremony.  It was nearly dark by the time we finished the bridal portraits.

We finished all the posed bridal and family portraits early, so I asked if I could try some locations around the lodge.  Most of the venues I work in at Whistler tend to more 'Mountain Rustic' in their decor, while the Nita Lake is quite modern and cool looking, so it was a good opportunity for me to try something a little different.

Tech Stuff:
I used a wide range of techniques for this wedding.  The first two interior shots are lit with just the available available light.

The guys on the dock needed a touch of on-camera fill flash, because of the generally gloomy and miserable conditions were causing heavy shadows on their faces.

With the bride's maids, I asked one of the groomsmen to hold the flash off to camera left, and then under exposed the sky to get a dramatic look out of it.

The interior shots were all done with a flash bounced into a photo umbrella.  The shot at the bar also had another flash positioned behind the bar to act as a 'kicker'.

Camera:  Nikon D700 (all)
Lenses:  AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8 (first, fourth, fifth, sixth), AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8 (second, seventh, eighth), and the AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8 (third)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Big Group Shot

This was a seminar group that asked me to do a group shot of the delegates and speakers.  While it's far from the most interesting shot in the world, it did pose some interesting problems.  First up, the client wanted the shot taken on the wooden deck behind the Lil'wat (First Nation) Cultural Centre, with Blackcomb Mountain in the background.  It was a very tight space, I needed almost the whole throw of my 17mm lens to get everyone in, and even more problematic, the site is heavily back lit throughout the day.  Even the most casual of photographers know that the cure to back lighting is to use a flash to fill in the shaded part of the photo, but what about when you have 70 people, and they're 30 to 40 feet from the camera...

You bring in a really huge light source.  The above set up is a 2000WS Norman flash pack (the brick like object under the ladder), which is about as big as they get, and a 48"x36" softbox light bank.  This light is 400 times more powerful than the average add on camera flash, and although the softbox absorbs a lot of that light, it's still plenty to get the job done.  I used my tallest light stand to lift it 10" up, and 25 Lb and 10 Lb sandbags to keep the whole thing from blowing over in the wind.  A ladder is also a good idea, as a higher angle is always good for getting a good view of the whole group.

Here's the same photo, but without the strobe, pretty big difference.

Slightly off topic, if you're ever in Whistler, check out this location, the Lil'wat Cultural Centre, it has a great museum and art gallery, and the cafe serves real native banock bread.  Well worth the stop.

Tech Stuff:
Camera:  Nikon D700
Lens:  Nikon AF-S 17-35 mm  f/2.8
Lighting:  Norman P2000 strobe pack, Norman 2400 strobe head, and Photoflex 48"x36" softbox

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The North Arm Farm

The North Arm Farm in Pemberton is one of those places I like to go to unwind.  It's a working farm, but the owner lets people wander around the fields, and this day they had some horse and carriage rides going for Thanksgiving.  I ran into a friend of mine who was there with her Niece and some friends from her church group, and got a couple of nice shots of the fall pumpkin harvest.

That night, my wife and I had fresh veggies and roast garlic soup, along with delicious fresh butter tarts from the farm's bakery.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

High Pass Filter

The job I had scheduled for today fell through, so I was sitting around trying out some oddball Photoshop techniques.  This one is a mixture of the highpass filter, along with some de-saturation, to push the contrast and colour saturation through the roof.  That looks pretty crazy, but I don't know where I'd ever use it.