Crohn’s Awareness Project pt. 3

And we’re back!  Time for part 3 of what was supposed to be a 1 part series.

Snow finally hit Vancouver!  But, luckily that didn’t deter much of anything since snow doesn’t last very long here.  We were a little worried at first with the weather, but everything paid off.

Joshua came back and we did a quick series with him.  Brad managed to get some excellent images.  You can check them out here.

More after the jump.

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27 Nov 2010, 11:26am

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Glass vs. Body

There is nothing wrong with having bad glass on any DSLR body.  Not everyone has the cash for the L series Canon lens or the Nikon equivelant.  So, they end up going with the kit lens, or lower grade lenses, or third party manufacturers like Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and to a lesser extent Zeiss (excellent manual lenses, mind).

It’s all about how you intend to use your camera.  If you want to shoot a big commercial project, chances are you won’t be using that kit 18-55mm that came with your Canon XSi.  But!  Slap that beautiful Canon 35mm f/1.4L on that same XSi and now we’re talking…. kinda… You might need a full frame for the resolution and detail… but beside the point!

The point is- Good glass will always trump a good DSLR body (in my opinion).  I would rather pour my well earned dollars into excellent glass to produce amazingly sharp and colourful images than to go out and nerd-buy the latest and greatest DSLR body.

DSLR bodies are updated yearly and past models quickly become obsolete.  Good glass can stay with you forever.

Crohn’s Awareness Project pt. 2

Last week we did another Crohn’s Awareness shoot and it turned out very well.  This was pretty much half of a reshoot of last time, because I got overly excited and jumped the gun a bit…  I swear this has never happened before!

Basically, one of the series that I have in mind is to capture subtle and expressive emotions.  These headshots will look pretty different from each other in terms of the tonality and mood.  Everything was going great in our first shoot, I had our models look great (thanks Amy) and they did a fantastic job display subtle emotions…  After a few more images for another series we all went our separate ways.

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23 Nov 2010, 11:42pm
General Photography


Canon or Nikon?

Another question I get asked a lot, “Hey Eric.  Which is better?  Canon or Nikon”?

My answer, “Yes”.

Canon and Nikon are the two mega giants in the camera world.  They each have their pros and cons.  Canon has a better lens line up.  Nikon has a better auto-focus system.  They’re constantly one upping each other each year.

In the end, they do the same job.  I personally don’t believe one system is better than the other, because at the end of the day if you look at a photo chances are you’re not going to think, “That looks like a Nikon/Canon image”.  All you’re going to think is whether or not you like that picture.

There are a lot of other good camera companies out there too.  Leica, Panasonic, Olympus, Samsung, Sony (probably one of the best line ups), etc.  Leica, Panasonic and Sony all have the sharpest lenses in town (Leica and Carl Zeiss), yet they don’t receive that much attention.  Olympus has the best sensor cleaning technology.  What about Holga?!

What’s my honest opinion about what kind of camera brand to get? 

Whatever’s on sale.

22 Nov 2010, 11:42pm


“What’s a good camera?”

Here’s a question I hear a lot.  People find out that I’m a photographer and one of the first things they say to me is usually, “Oh, I want to get a new camera.  What’s a good one?” 

I usually follow with, “Well, what do you want to do with it?” 

“Take good pictures!”

Most people think you need a “good camera” to take “good pictures”.  For the most part, it’s true!  If you want good looking pictures get a good camera.  But, you don’t really need a DSLR or “one-of-those-big-ass-cameras-like-yours”.  Famed photographer Chase Jarvis did a whole series with just his iPhone!  Photographers of the past used to use this ancient and odd technology called “film”.  They didn’t even have an LCD screen in the back!

A lot of people seemed disappointed at me when I steer them away from DSLRs to look at good compacts like a Canon G11.  With today’s technology, compact cameras have gone a long way from being the simple “point+shoot”.  I personally use a Panasonic LX5 for everyday shooting.  It has everything I need, manual control settings, good lens, good sensor.

Like most photographers, I used to lug around my Canon 7D everywhere (not saying most photographers carry a 7D, but you get my drift).  Thing gets heavy!  I don’t want to be lugging around a big ass camera with lenses and a speedlight all day long.  Sure, my images might be sharp with dynamic colours and contrast, but look at it this way:

Who are you shooting for?  Yourself?  Friends?  Family?  Strangers?  Are you going to be printing these images in anything larger than an 8×12?  You probably won’t be printing at all!  Best bet, these images are going on Facebook, sent in an e-mail or printed on 4×6’s for your photo albums. 

Do you need the big sensor and sharp lenses?  Not really.  You really won’t notice when you look at a web sized image or a small print.

Why do I shoot with a DSLR?  Control and quality.

How do I make my images look “good”?  Hell if I know!  I don’t think they’re that great, but I still like them enough.  But, seriously.  If you want to know how to make good photos you have to learn some photography and fine art.  Exposure, composition, lighting, all that stuff makes a good photograph.  It takes time to make a good image.

5 Nov 2010, 10:38pm
Photography Portraits


Crohn’s Awareness Campaign pt. 1

It has been a while since I last posted, and I apologize.  Still trying to get back into the groove of things.

That being said, last week I shot a few concept images for a Crohn’s awareness campaign with my good friend Brad Davelaar.  We’ve been planning this campaign for a while now, but I figure I’d dive back into the waters of photography with a quick concept shoot.

We’ve had a lot of positive response to this project and when trying to find models to be portrayed in these series’ I found quite a few people who have been affected by Crohn’s or Colitis at some point in their lives.  I thank all of those who want to help out in this project.

Thanks again to Amy Diedrich for her amazing make up and special effects for this shoot.  Thanks to our talents Joshua and Kat, although this is not the typical editorial look they did spectacularly and looked great (for their roles).

There were two concepts I wanted to explore in this shoot.  The first concept is about how people afflicted with Crohn’s suffer greatly on the inside, but manage to maintain a positive look on the outside.  This is going to be a series of headshots with various different talents that will explore emotions, both subtle and highly expressive.

The second concept I wanted to explore is centred around the people who are brave enough to care for those afflicted with Crohn’s;  friends, families, and loved ones.  Most people don’t understand what Crohn’s Disease is (click here for more information) or take it too lightly.  It’s usually up to those Loved Ones to stick up for the Crohn’s sufferers and defend them.  This concept is an homage to those who stay by their friends and families and help them along the way, despite misunderstandings of other people.

For the next little while I’ll be doing more concept shoots and exploring more of Crohn’s through visual images.  We’re still deciding how the eventual medium will be to showcase all of these images, but chances are it will be a combination of print and web based media.

Brad started up a new blog to track our progress.  Check it out here!

Here’s a sample image from our first shoot.

20 Oct 2010, 10:05pm
Photography Portraits

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Back in action.

It’s been a while since I last posted.  Been busy readjusting to my good ol’ life.  On the plus side, I’ve had plenty of time to hunker down and finish off editing the last shoots I did before I left.

I want to thank all my models and my team for their patience.  I usually don’t have a month long turnaround for these things!  But, I’m relatively pleased with how they all turned out.

A little bit about myself as a photographer *WARNING GEEK TALK AHEAD*, I shoot with a Canon EOS 7D.  My preferred lenses right now are the Canon 24-70L (beautiful, but heavy lens), Canon 50mm F/1.4, and a Tokina 11-16mm F2.8.

I prefer to use artificial lighting when I do portraits.  I use a Canon 580EX II and a Vivitar 285 (old school one) along with a nice big ass 60 inch convertible umbrella.  I fire my 580EX II off with Paul C. Buff’s Cybersyncs (no Pocket Wizard, but it does the job).  That’s it.  Just one main light, at times I might use the Vivitar on a slave as a background light or a kicker.  End nerd talk.

I had originally wanted to go to Lighthouse Park for this one shoot.  I was hoping to get a kind of rocky beach look, but given the time we had (and the infamous Lion’s Gate Bridge traffic) we decided to go somewhere a little easier.  So… Stanley Park anyone?

More after the jump

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6 Oct 2010, 7:14pm
Photography Travel


Day 17 – Thunder Bay and running water

Sault Ste. Marie was fun to leave.  Driving through North Western Ontario was just as nice Westward as it was Eastward.  The only difference this time is it’s sunny!

I made a few stops along the way.  Wasn’t in any rush to get to Thunder Bay so I took my time.

My first stop was at Chippewa River.  Lots of fishermen standing in the river catching… fish.  I’ll assume some kind of salmon.  I don’t know anything about fish…  Anyway, great stop.  The point where the river meets the highway is rather impressive.  Lots of active streams and rocks.  I couldn’t help but take some time to shoot like I used to.

More after the jump.

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29 Sep 2010, 5:32am
General Photography Travel


Day 9 – Ottawa, Seat of what is supposed to be power

Sorry about the late post, the Wi-Fi here sucks.  Just got myself in a little corner with good reception.

It’s warm here… pretty damn warm! Last I checked it was hitting around 21 degrees outside. It’s that muggy, moist warmth too.   The fact that it’s raining/showering sporadically doesn’t help either! On the plus side the heavy rain and high speeds made driving here a real fun time.  The wipers can be very mesmerizing at times…

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25 Sep 2010, 6:38pm
General Photography Travel


Day 6 – Sudbury, The Drive Still Wasn’t That Bad!

Remember that road kill game I spoke about earlier?  Turns out that’s only applicable in the Prairies!  There’s virtually NO road kill in Ontario, so far as I could see.

Anyway, after 12 hours of driving, I didn’t get a lot of shooting done.  Did some landscapes and sea/lakescapes, but I wasn’t happy with them.

I still don’t know what everyone’s whining about driving through Northern/Western Ontario.  I thought from Thunder Bay to anywhere would change, but it was pretty good driving.  Is it because the drive is so freaking long?!  It takes like 2-3 days to cross it!

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