Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Timothy Taylor

These are from an Urban Pie story on prolific Vancouver writer and best selling author Timothy Taylor. Taylor has a great office in the turn of the century (the last century, that is) Dominion Building, that made for some great photo locations.

When we arrived on the 12th floor, I fell in love with the central staircase that ran through the middle of the foyer. It's one of those old fashion staircases with a central well that you could look all the way down to the ground floor. Timothy warned me that Mark Mushet, another Vancouver photographer, had already photographed him there on the stairs, but I didn't care. The old wooden doors and wood panelled office also made for great locations.

Tech Stuff
This shoot caused me a lot of problems, not so much technically, but that my camera decided to take a dump in the middle of the shoot. I set my flash up, and it wouldn't fire. I grabbed a spare flash, and the same thing. I managed to get it to work for a few shots, and that was enough to get what I needed without having to go to the spare camera. After I finished, I drove straight to Richmond where the Nikon service centre is located, and told them to over haul the camera.

Lighting-wise, I used Honl Snoot on an SB-900, and then SB-800 flash for the B&W images. The Honl is a terrific tool for high contrast, dramatic lighting, especially when you don't have a lot of time to work in. The photo of Timothy in his office was shot with the available lighting during the interview.

Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8
Lighting: Nikon SB-900 and SB-800 flashes, controlled by SU-800. Honl 9" speed snoot.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Caribou Road Trip

Burned forest near Barierre
Joyce and I took some time and went on a really nice road trip over the Duffy Lake road to Lillooet, on to Clinton, then Kamloops, and finally back home.

Along the the Duffy Lake Road. The valley drops almost 1000 ft.into Cayoosh Creek. It's one of those places you definitely don't ever want to drive off the road

Joyce shopping for nick-nacks in the hamlet of Clinton. They have terrific antique stores here for some reason. They all seem to work on the honour system, we got there about 7:00, and all the goods were still piled up outside the store

Want to buy a 1950's era Chrysler? One of the tires even holds air.

Burned forest near Barierre

A feral wheat field near an abandoned homestead, The Bonaparte Indian Reservation, near Cache Creek.

Auto White Balance

If there's one thing I really hate, it's the over automation on modern cameras. Especially high on my list is auto white balancing. Last night I was shooting a hockey game at the Meadow Park Arena, and since I forgot to bring something to set the white balance with, I set it to Auto WB. Luckily for me, the pictures will probably run on a B&W page in the paper, as the Auto WB didn't do any good at all.

Anyways, I was out shooting some pictures this afternoon of the fall colours. For the first photo, I had forgotten change the WB back to 'Cloudy', my standard setting, from Auto WB. In the lower photo, which is was actually the first one I shot, you can see that the camera has read the all the yellow leaves, and added a pile of blue into the image to balance the colour out to neutral. In the main photos with the bike in it, it's set for 'Cloudy, which is what I almost always have the camera set on. The colour seems to be about spot on.

Tech Stuff:
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 70-200 f/2.8

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fun with the Hipstamatic

Sonya McCarthy
A pleasant feature of the Apple iPhone is a pretty good camera, and someone topped it off by coming up with an app called Hipstomatic, which makes the photos look like early 70's snap shots, like what you'd find in a shoe box in the back of you parent's closet. I've been playing with it for the summer, and came up with some fun shots.

Beavers at work along Green Lake.

An old bathtub we found in the bush. It's now sitting in our garden.

I can fix that.

My wife Joyce.

The tastiest bacon cheeseburger in Whistler can be found at the South Side Diner. On Monday's, for $12.00 you can get a burger and beer, one of the best deals in town.

My real camera.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Here be Monsters

This is a story on the 'Here be Monsters" alternative threatre troupe in Vancouver.

Here's an outtake from the shoot that Urban Pie publisher Alan Forsythe and I ended up in by mistake. It gives a good idea of the process.

Tech Stuff:
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8
Lighting: Alien Bee B1600 strobe w/ small softbox.

Giant Pumpkins

I got an assignment from the Whistler Question to head up to Pemberton, and "get some kind of fall photo". Stopping in at the North Arm Farm, I found these guys harvesting some huge pumpkins in the field. There was a large storm breaking over Mt. Currie, which made for a nice dramatic image.

The hayride.

Tech Stuff:
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8

Friday, October 8, 2010

Lost Lake Wedding

Andrea and Richard are a nice couple from the UK who came to Whistler for a quiet wedding. I sent them a list of different places in Whistler where they could have quiet ceremony, and they picked Lost Lake.

There are some really great forests in the park, which make for nice portraits.

When Andrea called me and said she wanted to have thew wedding at Lost lake, I had to tell her that there was one big draw back to the area, it's a local nude bathing spot. Nobody seemed to mind too much. When I posted this photo on my Facebook page, it got 40 comments overnight.

Tech Stuff:
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8, Nikon AF-S 28-70mm f/2.8, Nikon AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8

Whistler Executive House

These are the exterior shots of a house I photographed the inside of back in February. It's a beautiful place, and the builders asked me to get the exteriors done before the weather turned rainy and miserable.

Tech Stuff:
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikkor 28mm PC f/3.5

Terry Miles making Popcorn

This is a shot of independent film director Terry Miles, who has a new film debuting at the upcoming Vancouver Film Festival. We wanted to do a story on do-it-yourself film making for the cover of the Urban Pie. First we thought we'd get him working in the projection booth at the Rio Theatre, but they had a show going when we arrived, so we had to settle for the concession stand. The first couple of shots we had going just we're working for me, and then I noticed the popcorn maker and thought it would make a cool photo to get Terry running that. The problem was that the glass was covered in a thick film of popcorn grease, and as soon as I put a light on it, it became impossible to see through. The solution was to put a flash up on the popcorn cooker inside.

Here's the lighting setup. The cooker was still hot from the last batch of popcorn, so I got a wet rag from the dish sink and put the flash on that. I fired it with the SU-800 controller.

Here's the original shot, which isn't bad, but just wasn't making the cut.

Tech Stuff:
Camera: Nikon D700
Lens: Nikon AF-S 17-35mm f/2.8
Lighting: Nikon SB-900, trigger by the SU-800 controller.