Mitzy and I took a trip to England and Scotland this past May. While Mitzy had arrived a couple of weeks earlier, the first leg of our time together was in Cambridge, along with a jet lagged train ride to Brighton.
Picking the right photo equipment was a tough job but in the end I went with the D700, AF-S 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5 G, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and AF-S 85mm f/1.8G. Too much weight to carry all together for an outing but not bad if I left a lens or two at the flat.
On the morning of the recent ice storm I had the pleasure meeting up with Kaitlin and Sean (and their daughter Alice) for an engagement shoot. We first had some fun indoors with some shots in the front window… thanks so much to Kaitlin’s family for letting me dismantle the entire living room (including all the perfectly arranged gifts) to make room. I shot natural light only and used the gold side of a large reflector propped up on a chair to add some fill against the extreme backlight.
After the indoor shots we braved the icy outdoors. These photos really don’t do justice to how absolutely treacherous it was and I give much respect to Kaitlin and Sean for managing to look so relaxed and natural while fighting to stay standing. Also for being so brave despite branches and trees falling in the near vicinity.
I shot with the D700 and made full use of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and the Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8. I even managed to squeeze in an icy Brenizer method pano.
I had a great time this past weekend at the Starlight’s 10th anniversary block party in the parking lot behind the venue. Seven great bands, hundreds of people, great food and probably some beer too. I had my camera with me all day and these are some of my favourites from the 800+ photos I shot.
It seems I’ve mostly be posting weddings and concerts lately. I thought it was about time that I put up some personal work that I’ve taken over the last few weeks. There’s no real theme to unify the photos, except they’re all with the D700.
Elisabeth and Behzad got married in style at the Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto this past July. My afternoon started at their fantastic apartment where I got to see the beautiful dress (that Elisabeth made herself!) and meet the super-fun bridesmaids. The makeup was exceptional, thanks to the talented Misty Fox, which made my work in post a breeze (where skin was concerned). Once I arrived at the Steam Whistle (after an unfortunate delay from the thousands of Blue Jays fans pouring into the streets after the game) I met the guys and set about photographing the wedding party. The weather was HOT and BRIGHT so I quickly whisked everybody to a shaded area. If you look closely at these photos you might spot the Leon’s store through the windows. The ceremony had many Persian elements, as Behzad and family are Iranian, and was quite beautiful. Thankfully the sun dipped had below the SkyDome just in time to not cook the guests.
This was my first time working with the assistance (and 2nd shooter skills) of Sylvia Pond and hopefully not the last! She did a better job than I could have ever hoped and I’ve included a few of her pictures here.
The cocktail-style ceremony provided all the candid photo opportunities that I could hope for and this is where the D700 and fast primes really shone. When things got darker I broke out the strobes. I placed the SB-700 on a stand against a pillar and either pointed it at the stage for speeches or into the crowd for dancing/party shots. I held the SB-900 in my left hand with Lumiquest Softbox LTz to work in tandem with the stand-mounted strobe. For the photo booth I set up the Alien Bee B800s with umbrellas outside against one of the large doors.
Scottish band Big Country rocked the Starlight in Waterloo a few weeks back. Lucky me got to photograph the incredibly animated 5-piece. The highlight for me was the HUGE sound that the drummer got out of his equally HUGE kit.
D700 (the replacement one) with Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G. All shots were with the lenses wide open at ISO 3200-6400.
During my visit to Colorado in June my aunt Glynis and I took a drive to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s a magnificent park, spanning a huge mountainous area with very little roads or development. The road we did take (Trail Ridge Road) climbs to 12,000 ft and is the highest continuous paved road in the USA. While we only made it up to 11,000, the altitude was definitely noticeable. Standing up too fast after changing lenses took a few moments of recovery.
I saw my first wild elk and, at the very top, a yellow-bellied marmot. Another first was being truly IN a thunder-storm, with lightning striking the valley far below us. Needless to say, we high-tailed it off the mountain.
The shots here were taken with the D300s and Tokina 11-16/2.8, Sigma 35mm f/1.4 and Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8 G. Many are HDR.
Gateway to Estes Park.
View near the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.
A pair of elk.
Stanley Hotel in Estes Park (Shining, anyone?)
Even in June, the snowbanks are at least 10 ft. high.
View South towards Estes Park.
Tundra above the snowline.
Panorama of Long’s Peak.
A sudden and violent storm from high on Trail Ridge Road.
Nik and Erin’s wedding last month was beautiful from start to finish. The setting was a winery in the heart of the Niagara wine country, which is already a great start, and their tasteful decorations complemented the natural beauty wonderfully. The good looks of the wedding party and guests helped too! Highlights of the day included the horse and carriage ride from the Inn to the Estate, outdoor games, and a few Estonian wedding traditions… not to mention that I was seated with a lot of good friends of mine.
Now, I can’t say that everything went smoothly. This was my first event with the new (to me) D700 and as much as I thought a week of constant shooting beforehand would bring any problems with the camera to light, I was sure wrong. Right in the middle of shooting every overlay feature in the viewfinder turned on and stayed on! This included all the AF points and the DX crop, blocking out most of my view. Nothing I did could make it go away, and I tried everything. Fortunately, being the overly prepared worrier that I am, I had brought both my D300s and D7000 along and I managed to switch pretty seamlessly to the DX kit for much of the rest of the day. I still used the D700 in non-critical situations. I’ll post soon about the ongoing saga of the broken D700 and its recent resolution.
Back to the shots. Mike Portt did a great job second shooting, giving some excellent candids and details. Overall, a fun day full of photos that I’m proud of. Thanks, Nik and Erin!
Quite the week for music at the Starlight in Waterloo. I was told that they had been trying to get Lee Fields to play the venue for two years and finally it worked out that he could come. A phenomenal singer with a phenomenal band.
D700 with Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8. Mostly wide open at ISO 3200.
Last night I got to try out the D700 in a concert photo shoot at the Starlight in Waterloo. Danny Michel brought the Garifuna Collectiveup from Belize for a tour as his backing band. They were simply amazing and definitely a contender for Top 5 acts seen in my 14 years in Waterloo. Danny and band traded off between his songs and theirs every two numbers to keep the night flowing and dynamic. Coolest thing of the night was the turtle shell and donkey jaw percussion.
The D700 performed as I had hoped it would. Fast AF, low noise, great dynamic range at ISO 3200 and 4000. The photos below were taken with the Sigma 35mm f/1.4, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Nikon AF-S 85mm f/1.8.