Daily Photo: 14/11/2013 - Grace [Portrait]

I'm struggling a bit with the new project. It's tough, and since I'm keeping it under wraps, I will only allude to what it is that I'm going through.  

I feel like a scrawny guy who decided on a whim to become a bodybuilder.  I just got myself a kickass gym bag, some new workout clothes, I have my routine planned out and gym membership paid for.  I get to the gym, and all I can bench is 20lbs.  I want to be able to bench 200, but I can only do 20.  I'm feeling pretty self conscious and I'm sure everyone is looking at me thinking "What the hell is that guy doing?".  

Today I (metaphorically) lifted 25lbs. I actually made some headway and I feel a lot better about the project.  The weather is also clearing up, and I am getting more opportunities to push on and be creative.  At any rate, here is today's Daily Photo, taken during a Big Shoot back in September:

Technical Information:
Camera: Canon 5D Mark II
Lens: Canon 50mm f/1.8 II
ISO400, f/1.8 1/80s
Location: Halifax
Process: Apple Aperture for RAW processing and Nik Color Efex Pro 4 for toning

Fall Photoshoot with Amanda Marie Hobbs [Fashion]

We've had an absolutely beautiful fall this year.  The colours have been vibrant and the leaves have been sticking to the trees longer than usual.  I think this may have something to do with the warm, sunny days we've had with very little wind and rain to knock the leaves about.  

This made for a great backdrop for my shoot with Amanda Hobbs with her so-red-it's-nearly-pink hair colour and beautiful blue eyes.  

We decided to try Laurie Park for our location on a beautiful crisp Sunday morning.  There are a few features there which caught my eye immediately, including the wonderful exposed-steel bridge in the shot above.  We didn't really have very long for our shoot, so we decided to press on after a few photos on the bridge and worked our way into the park.

A nice amount of foliage was already on the ground, sprinkling the walking path. while Amanda and I worked, we discussed some different ideas to try and came up with a levitation shot.  After a few attempts, it was obvious that jumping up wasn't quite cutting it.  We needed another element to push the shot further.

Amanda scooped up a pile of leaves into her arms and tossed them up into the air.  The effect was immediate: we had an element that fit the scene, added to the photo and pushed it a little bit further.

For the final shot of the day, we gathered up as many leaves as we could and made a small bed for Amanda to lie down in.  The best part for me was not having to light the scene.  It was already lit perfectly for me! Amanda's eyes would occassionally water from the brightness in the sky, so we wrapped up the shot quickly after snapping a few frames with the film camera.

Amanda was a blast to work with, very down to earth and exceptionally talented and patient.  I hope we get a chance to work together in the near future, as I have another idea that would be a wonderful fit for her look.  

Fuji Acros 100 Pushed to ISO400.  Beautiful results on a cloudy day.

Cheers! Thanks for reading!

Industrial Fashion Shoot with Athenaïs Testi [Fashion]

Late in the summer I had a chance to work with Athenaïs Testi as a lighting assistant for Jenn Gregory.  She was modelling some pieces by Posh City Jewelry, and I was able to work on a bit of an idea I borrowed from an ad in Vogue.  

Fast forward to a few months later and Athenaïs tells me she's coming to Halifax for a fashion show audition (which she did quite well in, as she was walking for FOUR designers in the Atlantic Fashion Week Showcase!) and wanted to try to get a shoot in with me.

We tossed some ideas around and came up with an industrial theme with a couple outfits in mind. I did my best to sort out a handful of locations, and made use of the area near the Cunard Centre for part of the shoot, then a fire escape stairwell, and finally winding up at the NS Government House on Barrington. 

I was absolutely floored when I got home and started going through the images.  Athenaïs absolutley ROCKED this shoot, and I couldn't be happier.  It was one of those times where everything comes together.  I really feel like I broke new ground with these images, and I hope that I can keep moving in this direction for future shoots.  I even submitted these photos to Vogue, which, sadly they didn't take.  That's not going to stop me from shooting more stuff like this though!

We used the stairwell a couple different ways too.  The first thing I tried was a nice soft modifier to create a balanced, even light on Athenaïs with just a bit of punch to her face.  It took some time to get the feathering just right (just ask Chris, my assistant) but it was worth the fiddling.  

Once I had the shot above, I knew I wanted to try something a bit punchier, with more dynamic to it.  We simply used a bare strobe to really kick the light up a notch and got some really cool shadows.

I used a beauty dish on these last few images, and used the light overcast as a fill.  There are some days when the light is just perfect, but other times you just have to help it along a bit.  The three different looks were all put together by Athenaïs and her mother, Nathalie.  They make a great fashion team! 

How do you think the shoot turned out? Leave a comment and let me know!  

Atlantic Fashion Week: Designer Showcase 2013 [Fashion]

This was my second runway show, the first being only a week before at the [Phase] Emerging Designer showcase at the Halifax WTCC.  My response? I'm blown away by the talent we have in Atlantic Canada.  

The event was held at Gallery 1, a furniture store in Burnside.  I was originally skeptical of the venue when I found out that it was a furniture store, but I had faith in the organizers to choose a great location.  I was right to trust them, they picked a superb location.  

Brent McCombs went to great lengths to ensure that we had a great lighting setup for this venue.  He encouraged the staff at Gallery 1 to get all of the track lighting on either side of the runway turned so that it was facing the models.  Another benefit, as he stated in a facebook post, was that the lights were no longer shining in the audience.  Here's a view of the runway from the photographer's perspective:

Notable designers included emerging students from the Center for Arts and Technology, JJ Darling (AKA, Janelle Brown), Wear Blair, Vivacious Vixen, Orphanage Clothing, Drunk Gurl, Overman, and Veronica MacIsaac.

In addition over sixty models walked in the show.  Unbelievable!  The hair and makeup teams did an exceptional job to prep them, and as you can see in the photos, they looked fabulous.

Design by Veronica MacIsaac

Designer Veronica MacIsaac

Orphanage Clothing

Orphanage Clothing Designer Kim Munson

Overman Jewellery & Art

Overman Jewellery & Art
It was a blast of an evening, especially with all the jokes, one-liners and discussions in the photo pit.  The photos here are but a tiny sample of the full albums.  A lot more of my images are on my facebook page in two parts:

Thanks for reading, be sure to check out the Atlantic Fashion Week page and keep an eye out for updates!

Hats and Water: Fashion by Janelle Brown [Fashion]

It's All in Your Head.

The Anna Leonowens Gallery at NSCAD is showcasing fashion pieces by student designer Janelle Brown, with my photos as part of the show!

Model Alexandra Mclaughlan was in the pool for about 2 1/2 hours as we worked through the nine different pieces.  The fabric in the water put up a struggle, as we needed it in a certain position for each shot.  Here's a quick look at the lighting setup:

With my assistant (and pool provider) Tasha holding the beauty dish, I kept a bit of punch to the light, although a gridded dish would have been even more effective.  The background softbox light is there just to add a bit of fill and rim light.  The dish was gelled with a full CTO (orange) and the box toned blue.  The result is that I could easily get rid of the green hue cast from the pool bottom while keeping Allie's face a normal colour.

This is a small set of the photos, the rest are on display at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Downtown Halifax.  Janelle's pieces and display will be there until the 5th, so take a group and go check it out!

Pardon the crappy 5mp cell phone pic, but this is the best I've got.  You'll have to go see the gallery for yourself ;)