Archive for June 2012
Yesterday was an intense day. With a team of 7 photographers we shot the 2012 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon and between us we made close to 25,000 images which I will sort, process, and upload for the client this week. I have taken a comfortable seat in front of my computer and it looks like I will be here a while. I have posted a small preview gallery on SmugMug with images from myself and a few other photographers. It’s an unbelievably anxious feeling to be responsible for so many images, and with 6500 runners on Sunday it was bound to be a huge undertaking, but the more images I get to, the happier I am with the team that I pulled together for the event.
Have a look if you are interested!
So much in the hopper right now ahead of this weekend’s 2012 Scotiabank Vancouver Half-Marathon and just a week out from this year’s BC Bike Race. I have been very excited to put together a team of photographers to shoot the ‘Scotia Half’ this year, regularly regarded as among the most scenic Half Marathons in Canada and I am looking forward to seeing a lot of great images from our team, perhaps as many as 18,000 images, which will see post production and upload next week. Wow, it will be interesting to see the final numbers. Get ready SumgMug!
As last summer was coming to an end I was asked to shoot the 2011 RBC Whistler GranFondo and this is one of the images shot that morning in September from the back of a motorcycle on the Upper Levels Highway above West Vancouver. My buddy Chris and I spent a huge day with the event shooting close to 4000 images between us in the period of about 16 hours. It was an intense day, but what can I say, I love shooting events, and I love shooting cycling. Sunday is going to be epic and I am looking forward to a team photo at the start line at UBC early Sunday morning.
The weekend is almost on us, events are everywhere, cycling, running, farmer’s markets, fairs and parades, these are the stock and trade of staff shooters covering weekend shifts across North America, these are where features are made, faces found and stories are witnessed. I hope you find something to shoot this weekend, your latest portfolio piece is out there.
When I left the house early Friday morning to mark the route of a charity bike ride stretching from Crescent Beach in White Rock to Chiliwack, BC about 100km east of where it began I wasn’t thinking much about making photos. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve left the house with my camera with it never seeing the light of day, but I always remind myself that there is a lot to miss in this world and you never know what or who you are going to run into.
I can’t tell you much about the community of Yarrow expect that it sits in the shadow of the Cascade Mountain Range, has about two dozen businesses on the main street through town, offers a great sandwich at the Yarrow Deli and has been home to Hank and his barber shop since the 1940′s. Hank had a seat in the sun in front of his shop when we pulled into town and the sun seemed to light up his white, starched barber jacket. He was impossible to miss and after our lunch break at the town park, I wandered across the street to introduce myself and ask if I could make his portrait.
“I’m Hank the Barber, guess how long I’ve been here.”
We only had about five minutes with him, and I shot shot a few frames, but this was one of those times where I was grateful to have had my camera in my bag. I love this colour frame of Hank, but as much as it captures a certain light in his eyes, it is a reminder to me that some portraits are more than the face they capture. What’s making me crazy, days later, is how I overlooked including more of his shop in the frame given his shop is such a large component of who he is and his place in his community. Next time I will do better.
I was working on a post earlier and will get back to it later I suppose, it features a few images I shot on the weekend of the 2012 Starbucks Run For Women at UBC last Saturday. As I was writing, and trying to collect my thoughts about what it means to see people complete their first 5 or 10 km race I found myself struggling to capture the emotion, satisfaction and exhaustion written across so many of the faces I saw that morning.
This is totally different! A link the the Atlantic’s In Focus Gallery, @In_Focus, came up in my twitter feed today with this remarkable gallery of images from the New York City Municipal Archive. Long before I considered a career in Photography, I studied history, receiving a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria in 1999. I didn’t often get to sort through historical photos, but I relished any chance I got. I love seeing places I recognize in a fully different context, I love the differences and I love seeing what remains after the passage of time and human development.
What is most remarkable about this gallery are the images that also link to Google’s Street View to reveal their modern incarnations. If you love NYC, or old photos have a look and check out how these scenes appear today. I challenge you, however, when looking at these photos to consider them not as just images of our history but for the people captured in these frames, at the moment they were made, it is the apex of their modernity.
Have a look:
As much as I struggle with the nature of photography and my relationship with it’s various facets, commercial, editorial, sports, snap shots, I am still drawn to things that inspire me aesthetically. Despite the early steps of my photography career in photojournalism, parts of which I continue to miss desperately, I love shooting elements of design. I’ve always liked Architectural Digest and have been buying issues off and on since high school, I am drawn to Dwell Magazine and DwellingGawker.com to look at beautiful homes which sit on the cutting edge of architecture and design. I also spent five years producing marketing collateral for the hospitality industry and in that time I shot some truly beautiful examples of interior and exterior design, from the Hotel Beau Rivage in Nice, to the Park Hyatt in Dubai and the W in Honolulu. During that period, no matter how much I missed working in daily news, that part of me attracted to design was feasting.
Early last year I was introduced to Design Maven Patti Houston and the retail side of her home staging and design house Fluff. Patti hired me to shoot furniture and design product for KeepFluff.com which became the beginning of a rewarding and collaborative relationship. Over 2011 Patti and I, and her team at Fluff, worked together several more times including a shoot of her newly renovated 1950′s North Shore rancher. I love Patti’s house and I hope you can see that in these photos. I was drawn in immediately by the openness, the floor to ceiling commercial windows and the blend of interior and exterior space. I also very much like the lack of window coverings and lamp shades which speak to my years adjusting both in hotel and motel rooms around the world. Please enjoy the gallery and to find out more about Patti and Fluff visit PattiHouston.com. If you an editor or writer looking for more information, please drop me a line.
Every photographer or photojournalist has had assignments they seem to remember with perfect clarity whether it was last month, last year or a lifetime ago. I remember my time with Danny Casper with a clarity that is absent when I think of other assignments shot for the dozen or so different newspapers I have contributed to at one time or another. I remember the state of his poverty-worn home, a trailer as old as he, his story of what happened to him as a truck driver when he returned from his military tour in Vietnam. I remember his acute sensitivity to light as a result of the medication he was prescribed to treat cancer. I remember being in his trailer and having to dial up the ISO to 1600 on my Nikon D1H, a camera not known for it’s capacity in low light. I remember shooting this image of Danny in his doorway on my way out, camera still set at 1600 at f2.8. It was lucky I didn’t end up with something blown out and unusable. I look at this image, one that hangs on my wall ten years later, and I see the perfect portrait subject, unaware of the camera and totally unconscious of his appearance. This remains one of my favourite images from my summer in Spokane at the Spokesman-Review in 2002 and remains my favourite of the portraits I have shot. No mater how strong technically or creatively appealing any portrait since, Danny Casper is the bar by which I measure any portrait I make and at the worst of times Danny Casper is the mirror in which I see myself in 20 years wondering what has become of my life.
Turning the camera is good advice. Advice that was often heard in the halls and classrooms of the Photojournalism program I completed ten years ago. Wow, ten years. There has been a lot of mileage racked up in that time and a lot of turning of cameras. Perhaps there is no coincidence that within a year of graduating I was shooting 360 degree panoramic images for hospitality and tourism clients, and in traveling the globe for a lot of that work, the world continued to turn under me. Somehow I don’t think my instructors meant their advice so literally. It was also a huge turn from working at a newspaper and though I no longer do that kind of work there are days when I miss both experiences; telling stories and capturing moments to be shared on newsprint and looked at by perhaps hundreds of thousands of readers and producing images capturing elements of style, design and far off places of luxury.
If you’ve been looking at my photos, or have looked through a few of my galleries, you may have already guessed that I have a strong interest in cycling, it goes back to childhood. One of the lessons that wasn’t taught when I was at school was that it wasn’t enough to be interested in photography alone. Photographers need to be interested and curious about the world they live in whether surrounded by family, food, design, heartbreak or even cycling. Start by photographing what you love and what you are passionate about and let the rest unfold. If you don’t like what you see try changing your perspective, try turning your camera. I shot this image in Whistler, BC on a sunny Saturday in May, and to capture this frame I had to take that advice from so many years ago. I turned the camera. In this case I turned it straight up.