Sometimes, you just have to run wild at sunrise with a flash and your favorite lens. Good friend of mine, the photogenic Christian Hill, joined us on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada for some early morning hero shots as we at Captivate get back into the swing of things for this summer!
Canada Day weekend brought with it a horrid heatwave by Canadian standards with it reaching as high as 35°C and 44°C with the humidity index. Now is as good a time as any to take advantage of cooler temperatures in the mornings to get your shoots done if you plan on doing location oriented work.
As photographers we cannot always control everything in our environment but we can sure as hell try. In this case, it meant getting out at around 5 a.m. with a single flash, a stand, and my camera. It may take some extra initiative for some (I am one of those people) but just know that you’re not the only one who hates early-mornings. Personally, I hate the heat way more than I do waking up early. It’s a no-brainer for me.
So get out there and enjoy the morning. Your results will be worth it. I shot these images on a Rebel T5i with a Canon 35mm EF lens. You can get away with using any type of flash you have on hand so long as it isn’t your built-in. Mount that baby above your subject, pointing down at them and you have a recipe for magic.
Happy shooting and be sure to keep up with the blog as we are going to be releasing a lot more content over this summer!
A little while after the new year, as is tradition, thousands of media professionals thaw out, sober up or get back to business and say “what the hell happened?” As we begin taking stock of the previous 12 months for cerebral clarity, emotional sentiment, data backups or to draw fresh marketing material for the next push, we hopefully will encounter standouts along the way. For me, this next image is such a standout.
Shot in Bucharest, Romania while working for a Canadian textile import brand called Poco Loco. The gig had taken me all over the country, shooting everywhere from castles to medieval mountain cities, but I finally snagged the frame I was looking for on my last production day in Eastern Europe, in Herastrau Park. After the jump is a narrow crop of the shot, which I also find striking. Oh, and the model’s natural, wild eyes which seem to follow you around the room. Continue reading “DAILY EDIT: Wild Eyes”
In 2012 I had the great privilege of shooting for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) when Doha, Qatar hosted the UN’s COP18/CMP8. COP is the Conference of Parties, basically when the world comes together to figure out how to save the human race from man-made climate change. The other side of the curtain gave me incredible insight into the process, protocol and perils of the climate change debate.
As a photographer, but also as a human concerned with the state of the planet we call home, to see how our collective future is debated over and quantified in geopolitical and economic terms is most definitely sobering and enlightening. It both demystified the workings of geopolitics and compounded the importance of vision, action and compassion when tackling issues of global consequence.
With the recent successes scored at COP21 Paris, I cannot help but look back to my experiences during COP18 and remember just how hard ministers, delegates and activists had to fight for such even the smallest concessions from industrialized nations.
My own country of Canada was actively acting against the interests of low-lying and at-risk nations through climate change policy and took home several “fossil of the day” awards for being environmentally backwards, often touting previous achievements instead of committing to the necessary action in the present.
With cautious optimism, I am pleased that our new government takes such a more proactive stance on climate change and took power just in time to be a positive voice for much of the Paris convention. Stay tuned for Part II.
We love location work at Captivate. Like really, really love it. Near or far and all the challenges and rewards it brings. After a few trips and several months shooting in Europe in 2015, one of my favourite shoots was much closer to home in Montréal. We were working with our friends from Kania Couture, a Canadian based clothing brand that retails online and from their swanky York St (Ottawa) boutique. The gig was to produce a short documentary about their entirely made in Canada manufacturing process, and after wrapping up that portion of the project we had enough time to cast a model and do some fashion portraits in Montréal’s Old Port district. Which, of course, is when the storm hit us.
Location lighting can be tricky enough without dealing with the elements, but heavy rains present their own unique set of challenges. We tackled this by wrapping the lenses in a scarf/rubber band combo, and trusting that the robust Canon 5DmkIII, Speedlite 580exII’s and ziplock bagged transmitters would get us through. For the sake of the model, we tried to keep her out of the rain as much as possible, but to get the shot the lights and myself were almost constantly exposed to the storm. Even still, we worked through a number of looks and locations and had an absolute blast. Check out Kania.ca to see some more of the shots in action!
It is that time of year once again, Movember. To launch the beginning of Movember, my friend Jeffrey Rafuse (House of Barons) was asked to come to the office of the mayor of Ottawa to give him a straight razor shave. Matt (GM of House of Barons) Jeff and I brought everything necessary for a proper shave including an over 100 year old barber chair to the brief case/shave kit. During the press conference held by mayor Jim Watson, he was sat down and shaved in the boardroom infront of the local press. Thanks for bringing me along.
Oman was always one of my favourite parts of going to the Middle East. The people, culture, occasional access to bacon (for a Gulf State) and incredible geography all contribute to making it a worthy destination. Even on the way out of the country, our cab driver insisted we had enough time to tour around Sultan Qaboos impressive Al Alam Palace. I had a mini tripod in my carry on bag that required me to spend a good amount of time on my belly, drawing curious looks from the palace guards, but it was worth it to capture the symetry and presence of the front, along with how vibrant it is, in stark contrast to the muted desert colours of palaces in other Gulf monarchies. Photographed by Alexander Vlad.
I’m a really big fan of aggressive, hard light, so when a brief came in to shoot some bold looking food images to promote an event series called The Supper Club, I decided to take a swing at making bare bulb work for food. Photographed by Alexander Vlad for Antidote Magazine.
Ottawa based Real Estate firm Coldwell Banker Rhodes were celebrating their 75th birthday at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum. It was an absolute pleasure to shoot in the main hall amongst the machines that chronicle a century of flight. Photographed by Alexander Vlad.
Trying to continue this trend of photographs from warmer weather, here’s a strobist portrait of Ottawa DJ/producer Michael Wayne. Two speedlites bracketed together on Mike’s right, each on 1/2 power and another on his left also at 1/2, triggered with Pocket Wizards. Due to silly lack of an ND filter in the kit at the time, it was shot at f20, 1/160. Photographed by Alexander Vlad with assistance from Alex Brazeau.
I lit and shot this portrait of a gypsy accordionist during a music video shoot close to Rupea in Transylvania. His traditional band was starring in a music video for Ottawa rock outfit The Wicked Mercy. More news on the production later this month, but it was hands down the most fun I’ve ever had shooting anything, ever.
While conducting a food & beverage shoot for Brother’s Beer Bistro in the Ottawa’s Byward Market actor and comedian Tom Green walked into an otherwise empty restaurant with a small entourage of beer representatives and proceeded to get involved in the shoot! Photographed by Alexander Vlad.