Category Archives: Assignments
On set for Theatre Encounters – Waiting for Godot. I brought in two 2400ws packs with a 6 foot box, 3 foot box and 4 heads. Enough power to cook a small chicken with and help keep a cast warm in the factory! I could light up a 15 foot area and still shoot at f22!
In light of the Perseids Meteor shower and full moon on August 12th 2011, I thought I would follow up the celestial delights with an image I took at the Centre of the Universe in Victoria BC. This is the inside the Planetarium with some of the best Astronomers in the business. The funny looking devise in front is the projector illuminating the stars as they are in the night sky against the dome. This image is a combination of two shots on film in order to get the field of view. A third shot was taken with the Astronomers in the dome and the lights on. I used a flash to fill in the harsh shadows on their faces. I then combined all three images to get the final result.
Happy Star gazing!
This was a publicity shot for Theatre Encounter’s Every Man production. Upon first glance there may be nothing challenging in the creation of this image, but if one were to peer deeper into human physiology you would begin to see why these people in the image are trained professionals in physical theatre work. As a Photographer and professional in my craft, I also had to look deeper into my creative vision to see and accept that physiology.
In 2006, after finishing film & recording work on a project in Amdo, Tibet, I decided to make my way to Delhi, India, overland through the Tibet Autonomous Region and Kathmandu, Nepal. I happened to be in Xining a month after the highly debated and anticipated rail line that China had completed, crossing expanses of permafrost and high mountain passes ending in Lhasa, Tibet. This rail line connects China to Tibet in an accessible trade and tourist route. Built to impress the world with engineering and ingenuity, the train hauls tourists, locals and entrepreneurs in a comfortable and interpretive 3 day trip. The passenger style train is equipped with oxygen under the seats for those of a weaker constitution, and boasts explanations of the technology and scenery in English over the intercom. Until the opening of this rail line the only way to make it to Lhasa was by plane, or on a very uncomfortable, and very long nine day bus ride. For the entrepreneur and locals the flight is an unattractive option because of baggage restrictions the new rail which is able to carry much heavier and larger loads is an appealing alternative. For tourists, the very reasonable ninety Yuan price tag and amazing scenery to be enjoyed in cushy roomy seats make it very hard to pass up, except for the following consideration…..
I was recently on a shoot for Theatre Encounter which is a small company in Calgary, Alberta that does expressive alternative productions of theatre’s classic works with a focus on physical explorations and textual interpretations. Their latest production “Quest” looked into the human psyche of people who live for exploration. My job was to photograph the dress rehearsals along with video taping them.
I just spent the last couple of weeks figuring out what the best software is for me to create professional slideshows in which I could add video, audio and have lots of options for customizing the look and feel of the project. After lots of trial’s with different software and search I ended up playing with ProShow Producer from Photodex. I believe that if anyone likes producing multimedia slideshows without having to be a master of Adobe Flash then this software might be the best answer!
Here is a shot I did for Theatre Encounter of the two founding members – Mike Unrau and Michael Fenton. This was shot in an empty parking lot in front of a meshed fence and some interesting piping. I used two Canon Speedlight 550EX’s to light it up. My main light was off camera left on a light stand triggered remotely using Elinchrom’s Skyport system and bounced off the white ceiling which was not too far above their heads. I zoomed the head on the flash to maximize the efficiency of the strobe which clocks in at 55 Watt-Seconds, which is not too much to work with if you want a decent aperture. I placed the second the strobe just behind the mesh fence a raked the light across to enhance the contrast of the fence and also lighting up the pip and adding the nice separation light on the person on the right. It was shot on the Canon 5D with the 24-105mmL at 80mm f5.6 ISO 400.
I didn’t want to push the ISO any higher than 400 on a commercial shoot like this as these images might be printed big. I find that the 5D does amazing up to 400 but anything past that you will start to see some image degradation in terms of noise and loss of colour dynamic range.
For Post production I do all my workflow in Lightroom and lately everything in the Beta 3 version. I convert my RAW files into DNG which are smaller files and don’t need side car files (.xmp) to store develop information or keywords. The DNG’s embed it right into the file like a Jpeg. After processing in Lightroom I opened it up in Photoshop and used Nik’s Color Efex Pro doing a bleach bypass over the image with very light settings. I then masked through to the original faces to keep healthy looking skin tones. I also did a version of this image in B&W using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro. I have used Nik’s plugins on numerous occasions getting excellent results. I can’t wait till one day we will be able to use their plugins to a RAW files without having to convert it to a Tiff!
Here is the poster for Theatre Encounter’s "Everyman" play that is up and coming. I have been working with Theatre Encounter on a few occasions within the last year photographing head shots and promo material. Click here to visit their website for more info.
They are a small Theatre Company that creates expressive alternative productions of theatre’s classic works with a focus on physical explorations and textual interpretations. Theatre Encounter enhances community development by artistic and social means through the essence of quintessential theatre.
Photographing theatre has been a wonderful challenge especially with Theatre Encounter. Since they are movement based, it is important to try and convey that within the photograph. The most popular technique is to drag the shutter to gain blur and then pop a flash in rear curtain sync to freeze something in the scene. One could also drag the shutter and move the zoom on the lens to create forward or backward motion. Another way which gains the most control for output is to freeze the motion with a fast shutter and make the blur in post production which was done in this image.
Well its that time of year again where PDN magazine and National Geographic Traveler magazine pair up and hold the “World in Focus Contest”. Its an international contest which receives thousands of entries every year. The grand prize is usually a trip to somewhere exotic. I won the grand prize in 2007 which was a trip for two to the Galapagos Islands. The trip was awesome with the only problem being that we had to pay our own flights down to the Galapagos. Everything else was taken care of once we got on the ship.