A perk of my job is that occasionally I get sent to Vancouver to do testing at UBC. This year I was lucky enough to visit in July and had perfect weather for the whole trip. I brought along the D750, 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art, and 70-200mm f/4. Here are my favourite images:
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.
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.
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.
In this post I’ll show some examples of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 on my new (to me) D700. Like the Sigma 35 from the previous post, this lens is great on the D700. The bokeh is lovely and it’s nice and sharp. I’d say the only complaint is inconsistent exposure; it tends to over expose much of the time.
Here is a series of the bicycle subject at close distance from f/1.4 to f/5.6:
In this fourth and final post from the recent batch of developed film I’ll show some scans from a roll of 35mm Kodak Portra 160. I shot these with the Nikon N80, an autofocus film body that can handle the most modern Nikon lenses with AF-S and VR. That means that the lenses I use on my digital bodies are compatible with the N80. Even more exciting is that, since I normally shoot with a DX (cropped) digital sensor, this is my only opportunity to use my FX prime lenses as they were intended. Photos from three lenses are shown in this post. The Sigma 50mm f/1.4 and Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8G are both fantastic lenses on both DX and FX digital sensors and here on 35mm film. I also used the AF-S 35mm f/1.8G here and while it is a DX lens the image circle is about big enough to work on 35mm although the corners often vignette depending on aperture and focus distance.
The roll of Portra (as well as the others in the previous posts) was developed at Dwayne’s in the USA. I had them make prints of this roll and it is interesting to compare how my scans and digital editing compare to a standard print. Often they are quite similar in that we both agree on colour balance and brightness. I tend to prefer a bit more saturation and contrast than Portra provides so I enhanced both on many of the images using Photoshop.