Saturday, April 10, 2010

New Site

Everyone should know by now, but the new site is up at or

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom

I shot a tuffman contest at the Odeon. It was THE worst light that I have ever shot in. F1.8 200th of a second at 1600. That was in the good spots. The lighting in the ring was so uneven that in the corners it would drop down about 5 stops.
There are certain things that I have been told over the years that have stuck with me. Buy good glass the first time. If you cheap out, in the end you will regret it. If you see a group of people shooting in one area, go somewhere else so that you have unique shots.

The one that has been huge for me came from Frank O'Connor, one of my teachers at Loyalist. His nugget was to always have a small notebook and pen with you to jot down photo ideas. Then when you are in a slump you always have ideas to try out.

I've been jotting down a series of photos that I want to try after reading "Annie Leibovitz At Work" The book inspired me and now I have a very specific set that I want to try. I've got 6 shots in mind but some of them require the weather to break. Looks like I have plenty of time to plan stuff out...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

200th Post

I just finished up a large photo montage. 150mb. 48 layers. I was thinking of putting some of my China photos together to hang on my walls. I was looking at my contact sheet and thought that it looked pretty cool.
Why not make a poster that looks like a contact sheet? Every image on the sheet is a separate layer, as is ever negative strip, all the text on the header and the background. I did it this way so that I could nudge and move everything independently. The big thing for me is that I labeled all my layers. As much as my desk is neat and tidy, my photoshop layers seldom are.

All together I have about 30 hours into this thing. Editing 36 images takes time. Next Friday I get to pick up my 20x24" print.

Monday, December 28, 2009


I ride bikes. I have since I can remember. I've been told of a story where I rode my bike down the center line of a busy Saskatoon street when I was three or so. I grew up near the BMX race track. My days were spent jumping dirt. As I got older I kept going to the track. Then I met some guys who introduced me to street riding. Soon the pegs were on the bike, parts were trashed, new stuff put on. Through out it all the only constant was having fun and jumping things. Styles came and went, but my love for biking never faded.

Looking at my bike now, I see that my ride is a little trashed. Probably time to put some cash in and get some new and lighter parts. If I take this thing to China, I might as well get it as light as I can...

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Quite often I feel lucky. Lucky that I get to share in peoples lives. As I document them, they are letting me see a side of them that many others may not see. I hear stories of their lives, stories of hardship, stories of love.

I've met people from all walks of life. I've met the poorest of the poor and people that have seven figure incomes. Everyone from dairy farmers in Saskatchewan to Elvis impersonators in Ontario to homeless children in Laos.

Every person that I have met has a story. It is my job and my joy to take these stories and spread them to others.

I am a listener. I have always been like this. Quiet. I am the guy who sits across the table and asks questions, listens and digs deeper for more information. A cross between a bartender and a soft shoulder. My ears are always open. I don't judge. I take both sides of the story and come out with my own interpretation. I make it as unbiased as I can.

In the studio, this happens less. I still hear stories, however more than anything it is to understand the person that I am photographing. People put on masks. Masks make for bad portraits. I have to dig deep and get to the real person. Sometimes this is easy, but usually it takes time. I generally write off the first three shots.

But in the end, I always leave satisfied. I get my shot and I hear good stories. Not always exciting like a Hurricane Katrina survivor, but always just as important.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

This Posts for You

So this post is dedicated to Denis and Dree, who have just stepped up to the world of hi-speed internet. Yes, these two were on dial-up until this week.

I remember back in the days before the internet. Logging onto BBS's and downloading pictures and programs. Always worrying about someone picking up the phone and killing the download. Those were the days.

On a somewhat related note, I have been playing around with Linux again on my mini-itx computer. Not a fan on the thing so it is whisper silent. Oh yea, and it runs off a 64 mb CF card instead of a hard drive. fun times.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The Biggest Letdown A.K.A. The Riders.

Danielle preps a bread bowl.
Brian makes bacon.
Everyone give a big ol' thumbs up for Danielle and Brian's food.
Michelle shows her distaste for the camera.
We win!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, wait. Scratch that. We loose...
So this weekend was the big finale for CFL. Riders vs. Al's. And in true form, we bungle it at the final second on a technicality. Too many players on the turf. We had the win, then we tossed it out the window. Good job boys.

As you can see, I set up the remote cam again and snapped away while the game was going on. I present to you a selection from the night.
On a different thread. I am an organizer. Whne it comes to my desk, things need to be in their place. I think it is a mild OCD type thing. It only seems to apply to my work areas though. I NEED a neat and tidy desk. Clutter drives me nuts.

Because of this trait, I have a large collection of bags. Especially camera bags. I am always on the search for a better bag. The thing is, every outing requires a different bag. That is why the search always continues. The stupid thing is that when I am actually photographing, I just sling the cameras over my shoulder, it's just in the transit stage that I use the bags. Where am I going with this? I have no idea. What is the cure? There isn't one.

Monday, November 23, 2009


So vancelester is now live. It will be going under some slight changes, but nothing too drastic. Just changing of some images and possibly some headings. Re-branding of ones self is a time consuming task. It is nice to finally have it done.

I need to get out and take more pictures. I feel like I've been in a photographic slump. Outside of work, I've not taken anything in a while. I can partially blame that on my busted foot, but now that I can walk around pretty decent, it's time to get out and shoot more.

The goal, a new set for everyone in a week. Let's see what I can come up with...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

New Site soon

So here is a little preview of my new site that should be up in a couple days. It will be at and it will be a link to all my work and my blog. Built for both high-speed users and old school slow dial-up people.
Here is my busted up toe. Yes, I set up a flash in an umbrella for this shot... Even if my foot is jacked, at least it should be lit well.