Exploring Nova Scotia - Cape Split

The trail into Cape Split is well maintained, groomed and subjected to heavy traffic all summer long.  It's also challenging, largely uphill (heading in) and about 6km one way which makes it a great challenge while toting a camera bag full of gear.  The big question: is it worth it? 

In a word: Yes.

The views at the end are other-worldly, a phrase I've been using more and more often to describe Nova Scotia's incredible scenery.  Situated on the Bay of Fundy, Cape Split is subjected to tides that rise and fall as much as 10m every 6 hours.  Combined with the landscape, this has led to erosion and striking rocky formations that beg to be photographed.  My weapons of choice for this trip were all film - a Nikon 35TI loaded with some Fuji 400H and the Hasselblad (Which I saved for the end) loaded with Tri-X. 

It's worth mentioning that our excursion started just in time for us to catch the sunset at the end of the trail, so our walk back to the car was even trickier as we picked our way along the trail in near-complete darkness (with the help of a few flashlights).  I do not recommend this but unfortunately as photographers we often find ourselves in challenging situations in the pursuit of great lighting.....

Photos below, thanks to Scott Blackburn (@Scottophoto) and Jerry Lynds (@realtygeek)

Lucas' Portrait session - Movie Poster lighting

This session started as a trial run for lighting that I had no intention of really doing much with - I simply wanted to experiment with it and see what we got.  In fact, Lucas wasn't even a part of the equation until the day of the shoot when the other photographer who was going to come in and help experiment had an unexpected emergency and had to cancel.  Lucas came in and we got to work, using the incredible celebrity portrait photographer Marco Grob as inspiration (check the Avengers posters for some examples of his work, as well as his website http://www.marcogrob.com/). 

Lucas was excellent to work with and gave the camera a variety of intense and unique expressions, all the way from hysterical laughter to downright mean, and everything in between.  

This set was a great accomplishment for me; the lighting is unique and interesting, and Lucas brought something fresh to the table with his charisma. 

Of course I wanted to get Lucas onto the white seamless to see what else we could create, and I also brought out the Hasselblad to get some analog shots.  The black and white film results are stunning, but I haven't quite finished what I'm doing with them to be able to share with you yet.  

Analog shots were done as well - this is Agfa 160 Portrait film, expired for 7 years.  I had a bit of colour correction to do on this but the overall tone is part of the aesthetic of the film. 

Finally, here's a Behind the scenes shot of the lighting setup for posterity - so I can create it again sometime soon.  In all honesty this has a very unique character that takes a certain angle and position to really nail down.  Once you get it though, the results are incredible.  

Dramatic Headshot Session - Dustin McCormack

Dustin gave me a bit of an odd request: a dramatically lit portrait, hard light, in black and white with high contrast.   Dustin's work was featured in a fashion show, [PHASE], at Halifax's World Trade and Convention Centre on September 27th.  I got there and nabbed some images and it was an awesome show.  

This portrait though, is a bit...different.  It's shot on my Hasselblad on TMax 100 Film.  I am very pleased with the overall result, but I often think that what people want is the "safe shot".  It wasn't the case for this session.

This got me thinking about something; what if I do the "safe shot" for my clients when they aren't sure what they want, but then also set up to do something creative.  My bet is that the creative portraits will start to win out against the "traditional" ones.  

Dustin McCormack - Makeup by Raven Haze, hair by Cassandra Prince of Life Salon Spa

I'm really happy with how this came out.  Dustin was happy too, which is the best part.   There are some technical flaws in it, but the end result is very pleasing overall.  

The thing is that I know what I want to shoot.  I like drama, I like big, different ideas.  Outside the box, swimming upstream et al.  

I will be doing a blog post very soon featuring the images from the fashion show with Dustin's line Clever and Clueless at the World Trade and Convention Center.  It was amazing, Congratulations Dustin on putting it together and creating a wonderful event!