Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Greetings and Happy New Year from NYC.  I haven't had the opportunity to do much for New Year's eve for many years because of my work schedules.  This year I am off, so I have chosen to jet to NYC and experience the new year in Times Square.  Pictures to follow soon.
Happy Holidays :D

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Just wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!!

Now to leave you with a few images from around Toronto this past snow fall...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice

Happy winter solstice.  The longest night of the year is drawing to a close and I'm quite thankful for that (especially the really short days are awful when you work shift work).  Here in Toronto we usually celebrate it by a street festival and parade through the streets of Kensington Market - the festival of light.  Unfortunately this year the festival was canceled.  The reason being as best I can figure is due to the extreme cold weather we were experiencing.  The official cancelation didn't stop there being a bit of a party, and music playing in the streets, but it was quickly dispersed when organizers reminded everyone that the party was a no go and they were taking legal responsibility for themselves as they ran through the streets.  I was also disappointed with myself photographically tonight.  As always, my camera followed me out into the freezing night, but I was missing my focus, shooting too late, moving the camera on long exposures...I came home with far more rejects than keepers.  Even my posted picture, I've missed my point of focus and due to shooting at 800 ISO even with heavy noise reduction in place it's still too noisy for my likes.  

I guess we all have bad days from time to time...

Sunday, December 14, 2008


So I mentioned earlier that I've got an idea for an upcoming photo shoot and that I want to be starting to build a portfolio.  I managed to convince someone the other day to stand in front of my lens in the coming weeks.  I'm getting excited at the idea of getting to do some creative shooting that will be meant to build my business.  The first steps are always the hardest when you're not sure if you're ready to leave the nest (mixing metaphors - gotta love it).  I am excited though and I know it's time to do, not say I'm going to.  In preparation for the upcoming shoot I've been upgrading or replacing some of my lighting equipment.  I've got a flash bracket adapter that has served me well, but it's also the piece of equipment that broke my SB 600.  It's also poorly made and the plastic housing has become stripped so it no longer will support an umbrella (without taping it into the adapter).  So I've now upgraded to a new metal umbrella holder, and along with that I've gone with a small shoot through umbrella.  I like the control that is provided by a shoot through over a reflective umbrella and how I can get that light in much closer to my subject (who am I kidding...I'm almost always my test subject).  I'm looking forward to the coming shoot now.  I know that I'll be able to get the look I'm after from it :D

- ttfn

The D3x Strikes Again!!

The D3x strikes again.  The controversy continues.  A good friend of mine and a Nikon D80 shooter is now playing with a canon 30D. Has Nikon alienated it's customer base?  Are we loosing more Nikonians to Canon because of the D3x?  I think that we should all be given free D3x's to keep the Nikon consumers happy!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Very Quick

I've fallen behind in postings because I've gotten lost in the world of my day job (day/night/weekend job to be more specific).  There is a portion of my work schedule where I work 6 12 hour shifts in a row and I find I loose touch with the rest of the world during this time.  

What's new though.  I lost the bid I had in to shoot a wedding for someone I work with.  I can't say I'm upset though.  I'm not a wedding photographer and have never advertised myself as one. I actually am more relieved than anything else that I didn't get this job.  This leaves me more time to focus on the building of the editorial/fashion/portraiture portfolio I want to build.

Speaking of portfolio building, I have got a shoot idea for what I'd like my first shoot to be (or one of the first).  It's a very clean look, monochromatic with these splashes of color.  I want it to be a very powerful yet elegant and sexy looking set of images with just a hint of mystery.  There are a few things that I will need in order to do this shoot, most importantly will be the model (everything else I can arrange on short notice).  So this is a bit of an invitation to my readers - if you've ever thought about modeling, or what you would look like in a fashion magazine layout, this is your chance.  I want to find normal people to photograph as high fashion - so if you think you're not model material, then I'm looking for you.

The last thing that I've been thinking of lately...there is a lot of talk out there these days about working for free, and I'm also making considerations to do this in order to build the portfolio that I want to have.  But with this I started thinking about image delivery.  For the most part, I like to have a hard copy of my images printed properly.  There is something special about giving your client that perfectly printed and framed image that just speaks of the moment.  With this we end up giving our clients price lists as means to provide images to them.  $2 for a 4x6, $10 for an 8x10...  I think this practice gets confusing to our clients...especially our clients who are the general public.  What I'm now considering is this...For paying jobs I will be charging a production fee (that is the cost of the shoot, my fee for the day, retouching/developing, overhead, etc) and I will be charging a licensing fee which will be a per image fee based on the intended usage of the image.  With this, my clients will be purchasing a finished digital image suitable for printing in what ever form necessary in a media/market/timeframe that's been pre-arranged in the license on the image.  For hard copy materials, books, prints, etc I think I'm going to be removing any profit from these items and charging the client cost on them.  This will make the prints more attractive to a general public client...they get their pictures that they can put up on facebook, they've payed for the images, so if they choose to get prints from me, they're getting the same price they can get from their photo lab.  The only difference being when I get their prints done, it's an opportunity for me to retain the control of the image look from capture to print...where Walmart may give a very different look to the image then I had ever intended.

- ttfn

Just a follow up to the above.  Obviously anything that is produced as a fine art piece, a proper fee would be charged with no digital copy available to the buyer.  In that case they're there to buy the print.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Saddened by the Photographic Community

I am deeply saddened by the photographic community today.  Recently Scott Kelby announced on his personal blog that Nikon had released the Nikon D3x and it was coming with a price tag of $8,000 (US).  Many of the commenters felt that a price for a 20+ megapixel camera, that was priced comparable to it's direct competition, is $2,000 over priced and that Scott is directly responsible for the price tag.  What saddens me is that Scott has been sharing his passion for photography and giving the inside tips of how the pro's do things FREE OF CHARGE since 2005 and that people felt the need to personally attack him on his own web site.  Do we really need to have a 23.5 megapixel so bad that we need to blame everyone who talks about it for how much it costs???  I fully believe Nikon is right on the money with the price they have decided on for this camera.  These 20+ megapixel cameras are starting to bridge that gap between 35mm format and medium format shooting.  It's allowing these high end fashion/commercial photographers who need the resolution of 20 megapixels the power and speed that a 35mm format camera's a treat to be able to shoot 9 frames a second and keep a high paced and energetic shoot moving forward instead of the 1-2 seconds per frame that a Hasselblad offers (with the $20 - 60,000 price tags).  

This news comes on a day where I have managed to become excited about my photography again.  I decided to go out and shoot some landscape shots out along the harbourfront this afternoon.  It was a lucky day in that for the first time in a month we had blue skies with beautiful clouds.  The only part that sucks is how at 3pm I was shooting sunsets.  The above photo is my favorite of today's set.

- More soon

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Hello again.  I'm getting tired of the negativity lately - it's pulling me down deeper.  My 9-5 (or more specifically 6-6 am or pm) job is becoming less and less of a draw for me.  I work very closely with another person, and when they're never happy, it's very difficult for me to enjoy my work constantly being affected by this other individual's negativity.  I also am being affected by the lack of control I have over my day to day work.  I don't get to do anything that will advance my career and that's why my own business seems to be more and more attractive these days.  Work for myself, building something that means something to me.

So - onto some more fun stuff.  Nikon has announced the D3x and I'm drooling.  Now, I know that for the photo world this is already old news and the camera hasn't even hit the shelves.  This is obviously a toy that I can't afford to be running out to buy on it's release date, or for that matter any time shortly after it without winning the lottery.  I am happy with the camera system that I am currently using though.  A Nikon D2Xs isn't anything to sneeze at.  

I'm almost at the point where I've been a full month since 365 of Mike ended and I'm having a camera nic fit now.  I spent my evening tonight learning about the basics of creating a web site, and now I'm hoping to start putting some of that to use to create an online portfolio. Along with this I'm starting to brainstorm for ways to be shooting more.  I've been wanting to do some fashion/beauty shoots and so I'm thinking of trying to convince people I know to stand out in front of my lens and get the fashion treatment.  It's time for me to stop saying I want to and start saying I am.  

I was slightly discouraged recently when I created a slideshow to showcase some of my recent wedding day photography as an advertisement to my style.  Along with the prospective client, I emailed it to a wedding photographer that I know.  The discouragement came when my style of photography was quite bluntly criticized.  I appreciate that I'm not a full time wedding photographer - and I have no interest in shooting weddings full time to be honest - but to criticize my style hurt.  It's always discouraging to hear others in your field provide negative criticisms without any positive words.

Last but not least - I will leave you with a video done of some pictures I did for a local charity.  Here's the video - I hope it works.