Wednesday, September 30, 2009

George Gray - Ski Cross Country Magazine

Canon 5D, EF 300 2.8L IS w/1.4x extender, 1/1000, f/4, ISO 500

I am trying my best to acclimatize to the colder temperatures. We usually go from summer to near winter in a week around here. In fact there is snow in the forecast for Sunday. Silver Star Mountain got the first bit of snow yesterday morning. Enough about the weather but it sort of leads to a nice surprise story, which came in the mail today in the form of "Ski Cross Country Magazine". I have a full page shot featured of George Gray in an article about the Callaghan Valley Training Centre at Whistler Olympic Park. So there you have it.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Many Faces of Destanne

I had the pleasure of meeting Destanne Norris this past week. Destanne is painter/artist with passion and for nature and landscapes and we met at her Vernon studio for a portrait session. Read more about Destanne here. Destanne tried with conviction to tell me that she wasn't comfortable in front of the camera. Quite the contrary, Destanne was a natural and I we managed to capture many different sides of of her character, hence the title of todays blog post. It was a treat to shoot at the studio with one of Destanne's paintings as a back drop. I was introduced to Destanne by Pat Irwin. Pat is the master mind behind the "Lift Up to Success" program in Vernon. I saw some of Destanne's work in the studio and she is certainly destined for success.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Wells Gray Provincial Park

In August I spent an amazing day in Wells Gray Provincial Park. The park is located only a couple of hours north of Kamloops. Wells Gray Park is known for waterfalls, wilderness and and wildlife. We didn't encounter wildlife on this trip but we experienced the wilderness in comfort from a 360 degree viewing tower and saw plenty of water falls up close. The Helmcken Falls, at 141 metres will take your breath away and is the fourth highest in Canada. In the shot above I decided to focus on the water, as is falls 141 meters, instead of trying to capture the whole scene. I always remind myself when at a waterfall like this, that they do not turn it off at 8 PM when the tourists go home. Water keeps falling over this edge 24/7 all year long have been doing so for a long long time.

We also took in the Spahats Falls, Dawson Falls and ended the day with a magnificent hike through the forest trails to a 50 meter waterfall. The name of this waterfall has escaped me at this point but the memory of standing beneath the falls will always stay with me. What a rush. The water was cold but bearable and it just hammered down on you.

For more photos from Wells Gray Park follow the link.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Mark Knopfler - Get Lucky

On the music scene nothing excites me more than a new album release from Mark Knopfler. His sixth solo album, "Get Lucky", hit the streets today. So why is this artist so special to me? It started back in '79. Yes I am afraid that is now thirty years ago. I clearly recall the first time I listened to Sultans of Swing from the first Dire Straits album. It was a distinct guitar sound and blend of chords, riffs and vocals I have been hooked on ever since. Mark Knofpler is however so much more than the Dire Straits days so if you haven't tuned into his solo albums... tune in now.

Back in '79 I was in my first band. We wrote down the lyrics to Sultans of Swing by listening to the vinyl LP. We then performed it live to the best of our ability. I had borrowed a Fender Strat and practised the song over and over and over again. I never mastered it despite an avid attempt.

I have seen Mark Knopfler live on four occasions. First time was in Copenhagen at a Dire Straits concert in '92. It was a huge concert and I was about twenty five meters from the stage, dead centre, in the rain and with my jaw dropped in awe. Next gig I saw was at the Royal Albert Hall in London England in 2001. It was a great experience to see Knopfler in his home town. In 2006 we caught Mark and the band in Vancouver and last but not least we saw the show last summer in Kelowna. The photos in todays post are from the Kelowna show. The 2010 tour includes a stop in Vancouver so I better chase down some tickets.

Well the new CD is sitting right here in front of me. Perhaps I should try it out.

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mount Robson

On August 6th we made a magnificent stop by Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. We rolled by late afternoon and could not have picked a better time. From a photography standpoint it was interesting to cover the scene with lenses ranging from 16 mm to 700 mm.

Some trivia on Mount Robson from

The peak of Mount Robson is the highest in the Canadian Rockies, towering 12,972 feet (3954 m) over the western entrance to the park. As well as occupying a portion of the Main (Park) Ranges of the Rockies, the park, one of the oldest in British Columbia, also contains the headwaters of the Fraser River, and, in the northwest section of the park, the massive Berg Glacier, notable for being one of the few living (or advancing) glaciers in the Canadian Rockies. Before the discovery of Mount Waddington on the central coast in 1925, Mount Robson held the distinction of being the tallest mountain in British Columbia.

For more photos from Mt. Robson follow the link.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Canon 7D

(Tech Talk Warning)

After much speculation among camera buffs rumours were confirmed last week of the new Canon 7D. Every time Canon releases a new camera I wonder; is this one for me or is this one to skip? I usually ad or switch cameras about every two years. My current cameras are the 5D mark II and 5D. Both are full frame cameras and work very well, especially the later 5D Mark II has exceeded my expectations. There are times though where the focusing system and frames per second are limiting with the 5D II (4 fps.). The 7D brings a new pro level auto focus system and 8 frames per second to the table. This indeed sounds interesting for a camera, which will retail for $1200.00 less than what I paid for my 5D II just six months ago. The big deal breaker for me however is the fact that the 7D is a 1.6x cropped sensor. For me this is just not attractive. I have become accustomed to the look of the full frame photos and are not willing to trade frames per second and autofocus ability for this particular look. Let's see what Canon have up their sleeve in regards to a 1D IV. Will it be full frame or a 1.3 crop? Only time will tell.

For a couple of reviews of the the 7D I suggest:

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Angela & Mark's Wedding

Can you believe it? It rained in the Okanagan this past weekend. We crossed our fingers that it wouldn't interfere with Angela and Mark's wedding, which took place at the Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna. Just like in fairytales the weather cleared up nicely for the beautiful outdoor ceremony. Angela and Mark are really a very special couple and a thanks and congratulations goes from us to you and your wonderful family.

Link to more photos from Angela and Mark's Wedding.

Please follow the link for Prices and Options for our Wedding Coverage.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Subaru Ironman Canada

I have lived in the Okanagan for for more that 16 years and yet I have to admit that this was the first time I was able to witness the Subaru Ironman Canada in Penticton. I do believe this is the largest annual sporting event taking place in the Okanagan this year with more than 2500 participants and countless volunteers.

I was in Penticton covering the event for ASI Action Sports International with a group of seven other photographers. The alarm clock was set for 4:50 AM and we wrapped the day up about 20 hours later and I believe I took close to 4.000 photos. Not that I in any way want to compare our efforts to the athletes way but this was one long day of shooting.

Shooting the Ironman is something I won't soon forget. Being in this environment is very inspirational. When a twenty year local woman sang "Oh Canada" just before seven AM at the beach front in Pentiction before thousands of people I had goose bumps and was very moved. Looking around me I was clear that I was not the only one moved by this moment.

My first assignment was to cover the swim exit. It is interesting to witness the the athletes coming out of the water after the 3.8 km swim with legs like gel trying to get their balance, strip off the wet suit and head on to the bike transition. Two guys received huge cheers from the crowd as they were flirting with the cut off time of two hours and twenty minutes and just made it in time.

Next post was along Skaha Lake shooting the last leg of the race, the 42 km run. It was a fine display of endurance and perseverance from the athletes and for me it meant sitting in one spot for about seven hours shooting one athlete at a time.

From 8 PM to midnight I was shooting medals, which was a great way of wrapping up the day. You got to see the athletes at the very end of a long day. Although tired, it was easy to see the pride in their eyes.

I managed to take a couple of quick snapshots for the blog before the race start.

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