Thursday, August 31, 2006


It's funny how styles change...and I mean that. Mostly positive change when talking about photography and weddings.

It seems the more I talk to people the more I understand what it means to them to have captured the details of the wedding. Long gone seem the days when formal, rigid rules applied to wedding photography and all the good stuff went overlooked. In fact, I seem to say that even less. I find myself saying 'wedding photojournalism' or 'creative wedding portraiture'!

I'm meeting brides that tell me all about their dresses and how the design of the dress meant more than just pearls and lace. It's so important for them to have me capture some of the things that they've invested a lot of time, effort and money into. And I couldn't agree more. One bride-to-be recently told me that she loves the idea that I'll be taking pics of the back of her head, because she'll never get to see it...I was blown away!! She's so right!! She'll have her hair done up in the early morning and won't get to see it all day. How sad is that? And she's paying some very talented hair people to do it, so it will be gorgeous.

Another bride thought it was a great idea that I visited the groom and his groomsmen when they were getting ready. She's going to miss them playing poker and telling fun stories at the groom's expense and she only wished she could be a fly on the wall.

I am truly appreciative of all the months and months of preparation that brides and grooms (and their family and friends) have spent on their wedding, only to have it go by in such a short time! It is for this reason that I feel very much responsible for trying to capture all the details so the newlyweds can pull out their album anytime and remember what a great day their wedding truly was.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


One of my favourite photographers is Freeman Patteron . He has written a number of books and one of my favourites is 'Photography and the Art of Seeing'. In it, he challenges you to find some photographically pleasing aspect of something that you might find very ordinary. Not an easy task, and not something that we all necessarily have a knack for. He also challenges you to turn your camera on, on a bleak, dreary day when the light seems flat and the visual world seems rather mundane. It is a difficult task, but well worth the effort if you are patient enough to keep looking and often you'll be surprised with the results.

I enjoy picking that book up every so often to inspire me to get outside and challenge myself a little more. With that in mind, I went outside at 6AM on a Tuesday to visit our Tulip Festival grounds along the canal. Tulips, you are probably thinking, is an easy subject, and the light of course is just a perfect golden could you go wrong...?

Well, honestly, I don't know that you could. But I started out taking pics of all the flowers together and trying to get everything into the shot. The flowers, the buds, the stems, the ground, the sky...I mean everything! When I started to look at the pics, I was thoroughly disappointed and uninspired...

I was about to give up, when I thought about Freeman and his approach (and it should have been my approach from the beginning) to a photograph. So, it got down on my stomach, and got in close to the flowers themselves. Below the surface of all the flowers was a whole new world! There were bugs and soil and the flowers that hadn't even opened up yet! Here is one of the pics.

Enjoy your day!

Friday, August 25, 2006

National's 2006

So, Track & Field nationals were held in Ottawa this summer and I was lucky enough to have been able to shoot a portion of some of the event as an official event, thanks to Sean Burges. Of course I was biased in that my wife Maureen was fortunate enough to (a) qualify and (b) compete. She is a national level long jumper, but most of this season was out because she was injured with either a calf or achilles problem. Big time pain if you're a jumper.

For those of you that know me, I am an avid sports fan and love pretty much any sport there is. So, as much as I love to play a sport, I love to shoot it. It was a fantastic day for both the athletes and the photographers. The long jump pit was backlit and the jumpers had a nice breeze to push them down the runway, but not so much that the wind was illegal (they have a wind meter there to measure this...).

Anyhoo, given Mo's injuries, she made the top eight jump-off and then ended 6th in the country! Not bad, not bad at all. That's my girl!

That's a pic of her in action!

So, details on the pic:

1. Since I didn't have my light meter on me, I took an overall scene metering with the camera's built in TTL meter and opened up about 1 full stop.
2. Then I sat at the end of the pit, just off to one side. (I tried both sides and I was getting a bit too much sun flare, so I opted for this one!)
3. Kept the camera on Hi-speed shooting mode and dynamic focus (these women can really cruise!!).
4. Shot wide open (F2.8) to help blur the bg, and at about 1/2000th of a second to freeze their motion.

Give it a try sometime and see what you come up with! These aren't rules, but just a suggestion and what worked for me given the light and the speed of the action. Try shooting from a sitting or standing perspective, and shoot slower or faster. See what interesting things you come up with. I'd be interested in hearing how you did.

Happy Shooting!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

It's about time...

Hey everyone,

Seeing as how it's my first post, I should be somewhat ashamed...but I'm not. In fact, I am pretty excited! I'll get a chance to show you what I've been up to and to help us keep in touch!

Not only have people been asking me to post new photo's, but being a cameraman, I have camera-people friends and they've been inquiring about some of the things I do with my business. From the image itself, to the workflow, to some of the finer details of the business. And I say fair enough. It's not like this stuff is a real secret and I'm not about to say no to someone who's interested, so I'll do my best to explain things. How else would I have got my start with out some wonderful friends and mentors offering their advice to me?!

Anyhoo, stay tuned, looking forward to sharing with you!

All the best,