ObG Thursdays – Sweeping the Sky

I took this shot in the Summer of 2009 during the Kitchener Blues Festival. The reflecting pond water feature outside of city hall had been drained and a beer tent set up. Unfortunately there had just been a torrential downpour, flooding the pond. The surface is very flat and level (since it is also used as an outdoor rink in the winter) giving the water not much place to go.  A group of people armed with squeegees started pushing the water away from the beer tent. I caught these two taking a break, where the smooth still water was incredibly reflective.

This was shot with the Pentax K20D and Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 at 1/50s f/8 ISO 400. Yes, there is a bit of Photoshop to remove a few unwanted objects.3809986392_d5ccfe1d6f_o

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Screams at the Trepid House

Here’s a bit of nostalgia for those who were as lucky as me to have been part of the Trepid House in Waterloo.

For those who don’t know, the Trepid House was both a record label headquarters, music venue for house shows, art gallery and a great place to live. The house, mostly under the guidance of Jeff Woods, hosted in the range of 100 shows over its five years and served as a launching point for many local artists. I lived there from spring of 2007 until the winter of 2009, a time I will cherish forever. I do intend to write a much more expansive post about the house (and how my experiences there shaped me into the photographer I am now) but for now I’d like to show the images from an art installation I put up in the attic art gallery.

Called “Scream”, these images all have a common theme that should be quite obvious. They were taken mostly through 2008 using a lighting system that Jeff and I worked out with some trial and error. We worked with three lights, Vivitar 285HV, triggered with cheapo ebay triggers and then later on with Paul C. Buff Cybersyncs. A light was clamped to the door frame at the left and another on a window frame at the right. The third light sat in the back left corner of the room, pointed at the camera to provide rim lighting. Occasionally we would add a fourth light on the right side of the room, pointed at the drummer.

Enjoy!

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ObG Thursdays – The Wrestler

I’ve decided to start a weekly post called Oldie-but-Goodie (ObG) Thursdays where I’ll revisit an old photo of mine and explain a bit about how/why it was taken. Last week’s post was technically the first installment, so here’s the second!

I call it The Wrestler and it was taken when a friend, Colin Hunter, asked me to cover a wrestling match for a book he was writing on the world of amateur/semi-pro wrestling. He got me full ring-side access at Club Element, in Kitchener, and free reign to set up lights (incidentally, Element is kind of sketchy, as I found out when entering the washroom with my camera around my neck and getting harassed extensively by the manager. I think he was worried I was going to document the washroom!).

I set up three lights around the ring, each pointing into one side of the ring. This gave me the opportunity to have rim light at nearly every angle and still have fill in front. I triggered the flashes (2 Vivitar 285HVs and a Pentax AF-500FTZ, all at 1/2 power) with cheapo ebay triggers that were about 80% reliable.  As It turns out, it is quite difficult to juggle fast moving action, slow Pentax autofocus, flash refresh times and unreliable flash triggers… but I’m happy with the results that I got! There are a lot more from the day here.

Pentax K10D, DA 16-45mm f/4 @ 21mm, f/4.5, 1/80s, ISO 200.2917792968_540de20153_o

Nik and Erin’s Arboretum Engagement

This past October I had the privilege of taking engagement photos for my friends Nik and Erin. Both Nik and Erin are wonderfully fun people who smiled and laughed their way through the entire shoot. Their good chemistry was instantly obvious… and infectious. This was probably the first time I’ve ever had to direct people to take a break from smiling and flirting once in a while for a few more serious shots.

We started the day off at the University of Guelph Arboretum, where the trees were just hanging on to the last of their fall colours.

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The first image here is a bokeh panorama combining 30+ shots from the D7000 + Sigma 50mm f/1.4 at f/1.4. THe next three are from the D300s + AF-S 17-55 f/2.8.DSC_8592-EditDSC_8577-EditDSC_8638-EditAnd finally with the D300s + Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8DSC_8602-EditAfter the arboretum we headed down Gordon St. to the river and Guelph’s beautiful covered pedestrian bridge. First, with the D300s + AF-S 17-55mm f/2.8: DSC_8734-EditAnd finally another bokeh panorama with the D7000 + Sigma 50mm f/1.4.
DSC_8477-EditYour thoughts?

An Oldie but a Goodie

Here is a photo that I took a few years ago (June, 2008, to be specific) of my friend Elsa as part of a series of art for her upcoming album. Elsa wanted an “ethereal” feel and dressed accordingly. After taking a few in the garden and another few under a tree (with a lamb!) we saw that the sky was rapidly darkening. As the clouds rolled in and claps of thunder were heard in the distance I made the snap decision for us to hop over the fence an up into the field.2549214861_b348e08ffe_oWe had two lights with us, Vivitar 285HV, and cheapo ebay triggers for firing them. I set them up in a simple arrangement with the main light at camera right and the other at camera left to act as a rim. This second light can be seen at the left of the frame. I set the camera (K10D) to manual, 1/80s, f/6.3, ISO 160 to get the ambient exposure how I wanted it (1/2-1 stops underexposed) and adjusted the flashes to either 1/2 or full power. The lens, a Pentax DA 16-45/4 was zoomed out to 16mm.

A few quick snaps later and we were happy… and just in time, because as soon as we packed up the skies opened up and it rained like you wouldn’t believe!

Thoughts?