Thursday, 28 January 2016

Camel Silhouette

I took this photograph while on a week long walk through the desert of the Western Sahara in Morocco.  This vast landscape appeared to be virtually void of features which heightened my sense of the subtle changes in light and form.  The week long walk was not always through beautiful sand dunes; often it was flat and gravely with the odd tree.  After a day of walking with our small party of Moroccans and a French Canadian, I felt the chatter in my head slip away into a deep walking meditation.   I was surprised at my power of observation in the following days and how tuned in I was to everything around me.  The camels were just as much  a part of our party with their different personalities as all of the human beings in our group. The walking meditation connected to me to the earth and he living creatures around me in a ways I have never felt before nor felt since.  
It is a challenge to translate this feeling in an photographic image but my intention was to created images that could echo the concept of my experience.  

At night, the camels were let go to run free to search out their own food and relax while we slept.  This photo was taken at the moment when the camel’s work day was over and they were released into the night.  I chose to photograph this moment in the direction towards the sunset so that my friends would be silhouettes in front of the desert colors.  Abdul’sl gesture tells the  camels they are free for now.  I was carrying my compact Leica M6 on this walk and this photo was shot with fuji positive film.  

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Toreador

Everyone needs a muse and my partner with his handsome features inspired me to go into the studio to shoot him in his latest flamenco costume.    I take flamenco classes with my muse, Rolando and he scored a part in the school's latest company show of Carmen.  He looked so good in his Toreador costume I was hoping he could keep it for a special occasion.  Since that was not possible, I documented it instead.  We had a lot of fun working with flamboyant poses.  I chose this fairly classic pose as my favourite from the shoot.
I kept the lighting fairly frontal and flattering with a little soft shadow so mimic the old graphic bull fighting posters.  I further made it "vintage" by making it black and white however I kept the contrast "as shot" unlike old photos that tend to be very contrasty.  To finalize 'the look', I added an effect that is a plug in, in Photoshop called 'Edge FX Pro'.  It adds cracks mostly around the edges to create the illusion of an aging negative.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Wesley Snipes

I had to dig deep into the archives to find this image of Wesley Snipes aka Blade the vampire hunter emerging heroically from a fire unscathed after setting ablaze to one of the undead in the film "Blade Trinity".  I had a lot of fun shooting the stills on this film back in 2004 as the sky's the limit for visuals when dealing with the supernatural. There were a lot of stunts, pyrotechnics and blood of course.  The dark and dreary winter weather of Vancouver was a perfect backdrop for this script.

I barely remember shooting with film stock as it was such a long time ago but I do remember the stress of waiting to get the film back when shooting  irregular fire light.  There is a lot of guess-work in determining your exposure when shooting fire,  especially at night because it does not balance with the ambient light.  The strength of the fire light hitting your subject could vary by a few stops depending on how the special effects department wants the fire to behave.  It looks like a got it right but I can not tell you what Fstop, ISO or shutter speed I used as my scanned in images shot on film do not have meta data imprinted on the file.    



Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Grizzly Bears


In September, the area around Bella Coola BC, has an onslaught of Grizzly Bears catching the parade of salmon swimming upstream to breed before dying.  The Grizzlies are trying to put on as much weight as possible to survive the oncoming winter.  The salmon and the bears are so plenty you may see a few bears at once eating only the extra rich salmon eggs and throwing the rest of the fish away.  We made a special trip into the BC wilderness to capture this phenomenon.  The bears are so intent on the task at hand that the humans wielding cameras at them are not even a small curiosity to them.  I love this shot of the Grizzly eating his salmon because of the minimalist quality of the dark shape against the green water.  I used a  few photoshop techniques to bring out the details in the water ripples and the course fur. 

In September

Fitness Instructor

I have been enjoying my heavy duty work outs taught by the fit  man you see featured here in this photo. He approached me about getting some promotional photos for his business and I was happy to oblige.  I wanted to come up with a signature look for his company.  Something that echoed the intensity of his classes and the blood sweat and tears required to survive a session.  I chose a very hard edge  light coming from behind and a somewhat directional light from the front to show off the contours of his muscles.  I used HDR in photoshop to bring out strong detail in the image to heighten the potency in this image.  I let the shadows in the BG fall as they may to add more grittiness. 


Monday, 31 August 2015

Thing

Gotta a love a large orange humanoid-looking creature amongst all kinds of urban rubble.  This is “Thing” in the movie “Fantastic Four 2, The Rise of the Silver Surfer”.  I had a lot of fun shooting stills on this film because super heroes and stunts and explosions make for a very interesting day at the office.  We took over a couple square blocks in downtown Vancouver and made quite a mess to film the climactic ending.  It looked amazing with all of the neon lights!  There was so much light coming off our set! Everything was so lit up from sunset to sunrise that I doubt any neighbouring condo dwellers got much sleep.  

Because there was more light than usual when filming at night, I was able to shoot at an ISO as low as 800.  The light that was hitting “Thing”, was at a high enough level that it balanced out nicely with the neon signs, I did not have to worry about them blowing out.  Light bounced of of the smoke particles blown in by the special effects department so that the lower lit areas did not disappear into pure darkness.  I love the bright colours and mayhem.