Sunday, December 27, 2009

Top Notch Skiing at Sovereign Lake

Your couldn't wish for a better day for cross country skiing. Temperatures around -5 and beautiful sunshine. Vernon is under the cloud cover today so driving up the road for just a few minutes lands you in this fairytale like setting above the clouds and in the sun.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wildlife turns to Landscapes

Canon 5D II, EF 16-35 2.8L, f/16, 1/200, ISO 100

I had planned to go chase more eagles today but life got in the way so I ended up going out for a short hike close to where we live. It is funny how photography works it ways. The photos in today's post are the kind I had anticipated capturing yesterday. Yesterday I ended up with eagle shots and today I had hoped for more wildlife and ended up with landscapes scenes instead. I was hiking below a ridge where I have seen eagles and hawks hovering in the wind. As stated above I didn't see any birds and there was no wind at all. I did get out just as the sun was setting and it made for some beautiful scenes.

Canon 5D II, EF 16-35 2.8L, f/11, 1/250, ISO 100

Canon 5D II, EF 300 2.8L IS + 1.4x extender, f/8, 1/640, ISO 320

Chasing Eagles

Canon 1D III, EF 300 2.8L IS + 1.4x extender, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 250

The holiday week is a great time to get out and take some photos of things I normally do not have time to chase. The whole family headed out armed with cameras on Christmas day and we were pleasantly surprised as we saw more eagles or hawks than ever before. I will be heading back for more before long.

Canon 1D III, EF 300 2.8L IS + 1.4x extender, f/5.6, 1/1000, ISO 200

I used the 1D III whenever I anticipated that I needed the tracking. In the bottom photo the eagle was very far away and the image is cropped from the 5D II file at 21.1 mega pixels.

My interest in wildlife photography is without doubt sparked by spending too much time around a very talented wildlife photographer, Henrik Nilsson. Do yourself a favour and check out his galleries.

Canon 5D II, EF 300 2.8L IS + 1.4x extender, f/5.6, 1/500, ISO 100


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

A quick blog post today with a wish for a Merry Christmas to all of my friends and the wonderful people I have had the chance to work with this year. Have a good one and Happy Holidays to you all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

About Me

Let me quickly introduce myself. My name is Morten Byskov and I have been a photographer for as long as I remember. It all started in grade six on a school trip where I snapped portraits of my classmates and the sites we saw. Armed with a Kodak Instamatic I knew I was onto something. My equipment has changed significantly since then but one thing remains the same: my passion for capturing moments in time.

In my blog you will find updates about photo shoots and by keeping a photographers angle in mind, I will be talking about gear and show case some of my photos - most often with links taking you to full galleries at my SmugMug site. I may get into key events in my daily life and some days I will post a "photo of the day". Other times I will get more in depth about gained experiences in the field. I hope you enjoy the blog.

Contact me at or 250.503.8472

Sunday, December 13, 2009

NORAM Sovereign Lake Sprints

Another day of action at Sovereign Lake for the NORAM sprints today.

Quote from Cross Country Canada's news page:
Phil Widmer and Dasha Gaiazova, both of Banff Alta., bolted their way around the 1.1-kilometre skate-sprint track at the picturesque Sovereign Lake Nordic Ski Club to win gold in both the men's and women's races. Read More...

Check out all the original photos the men's women's sprint races via this link.

Order prints or buy a "digital download" prior to Jan. 1st and get 15% off. Use COUPON CODE: xc2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

NORAM Sovereign Lake Freestyle

It was great being back at Sovereign Lake to shoot the cross country ski races today. Lots were at stake for the athletes as many are fighting for a spot on the Olympic team. I am back again Sunday for the sprints.

Canada’s Dasha Gaiazova and Gord Jewett took a major step forward in securing their spots on Canada’s Olympic Cross-Country Ski Team by finishing as the top Canadians in the season-opening Haywood NorAm Series races at the Sovereign Lake Nordic Ski Club near Vernon, B.C. The event is also serving as the first of Cross Country Canada’s four Olympic qualification races. Read more at Cross Country Canada.

Check out all the original photos the men's women's and para-nordics races via this link.

Order prints or buy a "digital download" prior to Jan. 1st and get 15% off. Use COUPON CODE: xc2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Silver Star Mountain

Winter is most certainly here. I was shooting at Silver Star this past Thursday and going back again today. It is minus 15 up there so I am bringing lots of batteries. I am also looking forward to the cross country ski races this upcoming weekend. I hope it will warm up a bit before then.


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Canon EOS-1D Mark III Review

This review has been updated. Please link to the Updated Review

An unscientific camera review by Morten Byskov -

Another camera has found it's way into my bag. After much debate I decided to sell my Canon 5D and grab a Canon 1D Mark III. I have been very happy with my 5D but after I got a 5D Mark II in March of 2009 the 5D took a back seat and has mainly been a back up camera. I got the chance to grab a used 1D Mark III, which had both AF fixes done and was indistinguishable from a new camera. For some time I had been eying out the release of Canon's 1D Mark IV but disappointingly it comes in at $5000.00 US and as a 1.3x crop camera. The 1D III currently goes for about half of this and although the 1D III also is a 1.3x crop and doesn't shoot video it still gives shooters many of the benefits of a 1D series camera.

EF 300 2.8L IS, f/3.2, 1/400, ISO 1600, click to view larger image

I think the 1D III will work better for me as a compliment to my 5D II. Better than the 5D due to the higher fps. and AF tracking. I have now had some time to give it a test and have shot volleyball, hockey, theatre, portraits in my studio and also an engagement sessions.

EF 300 2.8L IS, f/2.8, 1/400, ISO 1250, click to view larger image

If you have tried a 1 series camera before you will know that these beasts just feel different. They are built to withstand some abuse and long term use in a variety of climates. We are talking about better weather sealing, which may come in handy for me while shooting ski races. With that said I can't say that I have ever had trouble with any of my Canon bodies in the past. I do live in a dry climate and even when it snows you can just brush the snow off the camera. The 1D III however does feel very solid and is a pleasure to use. It is very responsive from the get go and shooting 10 frames per second inevitably leads to more keepers while shooting sports or wild life.

EF 85 1.2L II, f/5.0, 1/160, ISO 100, click to view larger image

My findings on the auto focus tracking have not disappointed, nor have they exceeded my expectations. Much have been written about the AF issues of the 1D III. Even I have expressed my concerns prior to making a jump for one. The first thing you discover is the fact that the camera has quite a few custom settings and so far I find that it really pays off to adjust and experiment with these until you are comfortable and find a usable setting for what you are shooting. The ability to pick different and better individual focusing points is a real asset and I find myself doing this more and more as the outer points are more reliable than on the 5D cameras. Shooting hockey and volleyball I got more keepers than when I shoot with the 5D cameras.

As for image quality even I had concerns shooting with a 10.1 mega pixel camera versus the 5D II with 21.1. The trick is not to compare the files but find how the two camera can compliment each other. For cropping you cannot beat the 5D II but if you can fill the frame the AF tracking and frames per second makes up for it on the 1D III and you should end up with shots you otherwise wouldn't have been able to capture. I have noticed, and this did not come as a surprise to me, that the portraits taken in my studio has a wonderful pop and pleasant skin tones using the 1D III. For landscapes or wide angle shots in general there is little doubt that the the 5D II creates nicer images. Again it comes down to using these two camera where best applied.

EF 135 2.0L, f/2.2, 1/320, ISO 1250, click to view larger image

EF 70-200 2.8L, f/2.8, 1/400, ISO 2500, click to view larger image

Link to other reviews:

Victoria in November

We find ourselves in Victoria almost once a month these days. With our son taking theatre at the University of Victoria there is always a great excuse for a trip and we've come to like the city. For the trip this past weekend I almost left my camera gear behind but decided last minute to bring my 5D II and a couple of lenses, the 85 1.2L II and the 16-35 2.8L. All the shots in the post today are with the 85L and the 5D II. This lens has a wonderful ability to see light where there hardly is any. Victoria in many ways reminds me of the place I grew up on the West Coast of Denmark, a milder climate with lots of rain in the winter time.