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Sherrill and Peter ~ Wedding

I’ve known Sherrill for a quite a few years now and was very happy when she told me that she was getting married (actually we talked about it even before she got engaged)!! When she asked me to do her wedding photos I was even more excited. I’ve been looking forward to photographing this wedding from the day she asked. I love being able to tell a story with photographs and what better to do that with than the wedding of a good friend?

It was a small and intimate wedding with family and friends at the historic Milner Chapel in Langley. The reception was at the Little White House in Fort Langley and if you enjoy shabby chic, you’ll love this venue!

Thank you Sherrill and Peter for letting me be part of your day.

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Top 25 of 2014

It was a fun year photographically. I got to photograph some amazing athletes during the Canadian Special Olympics held at UBC, photograph some amazing families and grads, had a great reconnection with a past student who’s an amazing dancer, person, and I’m happy to be collaborating with in the new year on more dance sessions. I’ve been very lucky to have had wonderful support from many different people¬†and most of all, an amazing family that supports me. I’m looking forward to seeing (and photographing) what comes up in 2015!

Here’s 25 of my favourite images of 2014.IMG_9638IMG_9788 ¬†IMG_9528-Edit IMG_8035-Edit IMG_8025-Edit IMG_6783-Edit_smooth IMG_6110 IMG_6053-Edit-Edit IMG_4848-Edit IMG_4072 IMG_3699 IMG_3646-Edit-2 IMG_3585-Edit-2 IMG_3420 IMG_8640 IMG_2691-Edit2 IMG_2477-Edit IMG_1836 IMG_1726 IMG_0953 IMG_0523-Edit IMG_0041 IMG_0027 IMG_8025-Edit IMG_7971-Edit

Carry Speed FS-Pro Prime Hardware Review

I’ve had the Carry Speed FS-Pro Prime sling style strap now for a couple of months and have been waiting to really put it through it’s paces before writing any sort of review for it. This is the second iteration of the FS-Pro strap and they’ve made some improvements along the way.

In the past I’ve used Crumpler Industry Disgrace straps and Optech neoprene straps as well. Both of these are regular neck straps and for short sessions they were fine but for longer days they would become a pain in the neck literally. After a 10 hour day at Disneyland, with my family, carrying a Canon 6D with a 24-70 f/2.8 lens I realized that I needed a sling style strap for longer days as my neck was killing me! I called up a friend of mine who’s the rep for Carry Speed straps in Canada and got one old and one new style FS-Pro Prime straps to try.

I used the FS-Pro Prime and the older FS-Pro for three 8 hour days recently while photographing the Canadian Special Olympics at the University of British Columbia. I had a either the Canon 60D with a 70-200 2.8 lens or a 6D with a 24-70 2.8 lens on the strap at all times with the other camera on a monopod. I have to say they worked pretty much as well as advertised. Very comfortable and quick to get into shooting position like most sling straps. The wide neoprene strap was actually quick cool as well. I thought it was going to be a sweat magnet but the venting helped quite a bit in that regard despite the 30+ degree Celsius weather.

The biggest improvement from the older FS-Pro to the newer Prime series is the hardware that holds the camera to the sling. Like the older series, the Prime uses a ball that is connected to the tripod mount of a camera and a socket that is attached to this is on the modular carry strap. The older connector was a screw locking mount with a rubber O-ring to help keep everything safe. There were random reports on the internet about the metal wearing through and cameras falling off the ball because although the ball was stainless steel, the socket isn’t. The new connector is quite a bit thicker and now made of stainless steel that is chrome hardened. It gone is the screw threads and it now is a push and twist to lock mechanism. It’s actually much quicker to use once you get used to it and cannot back off like the screw mount. I can’t see this new connector wearing out anytime soon. The new connecter is on the left below.

IMG_0784What really cool is they’ve redesigned the bottom plate as well. The original plate was only Arca Swiss compatible but had many 1/4″ tripod mounts to mount install various plates. The new plate is still Arca compatible but now is also Manfrotto RC2 quick release plate compatible which is great for those of us with both systems. Some of these dual compatible plates are compromises and don’t always fit that great but I’m happy to report that it fits nice and tight on the 234RC and 498RC heads on my monopod and tripods. The plate also works very well on my Mefoto Roadtripper tripod. Below is a photo of the new (left) and old (right) plates. Notice the slightly smaller size. My one complaint about these plates is the tripod screw is not the best quality and are a bit soft so are damaged easily but then again I tend to change configurations of my equipment quick frequently since I shoot such varied subjects from day to day.

IMG_0780The new plate fitting into the 234RC head. No problem.

IMG_0783Overall, I have no reservations recommending these Carryspeed straps to anyone looking for a sling style strap. The straps themselves are much more comfortable than BlackRapid straps. It’s just too bad they are not available in the U.S. due to Black Rapid’s heavy handed (and a bit sketchy) patent enforcement. In Canada they are available from Henry’s and London Drugs among other places. Check them out!

Special Olympics Canadian Nationals

Finally another Blog post! I just spent the last 3 days volunteering with the Special Olympics in Vancouver, BC photographing the National Championships. There we teams from all over Canada and every province and territory was very well represented.

I’ve volunteered for the BC Summer games a few times and I quite enjoyed helping out with those events but the SO were some… special. Every single athlete, volunteer, and coach was amazing. Every athlete was so appreciative of the efforts of all the volunteers and they were so happy to be participating. The demonstrated a real passion to making the games an experience to remember for the athletes and it showed in their enthusiasm and the genuine caring they had for every athlete.

I cannot be any happier that I got to experience and try and capture the essence of the games. I captured just over 3200 images over the 3 days, given about 1000 high fives, and got a sunburnt nose! All in all a super successful 3 days.

I have to thank my wife Julina for supporting my photography addiction and daughter Brynn for forgiving Daddy for being pretty spotty with attendance for the last 3 days. I’ve mentioned my friend Barry before, but thanks again for getting me involved in the games!

Steve

Pics. These are all JUBE pictures!! (JUBE=jubilant!)

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The Taylors

A beautiful Fall day.

Wonderful friends.

Amazing light.

Simple equation for some magical photos. We used the last bit of light to make some memorable family portraits. The Taylors have been great friends for many years now. They’ve been there for many of my life’s moments both good and bad. It was my sincerest pleasure to be able to do these for them.

It’s gone

Well it’s the end of an era. The Z1000 will be gone as of Saturday. An amazing bike with power to spare and best of all it photographed well! The lack of plastic made for more intricate details that aren’t visible on regular sport bikes. Here’s a couple of pics.

This was taken on the side of the road off the Fraser River just outside of Fort Langley. What do I like about this shot? I find it somewhat dramatic mostly because of the angle of the shot. This particular shot is also a good example of the Rule of Thirds.

This shot was taken when I first got the bike in 2005. Night photography is not an easy thing and most good night photography is not truly taken at night but rather at dusk or dawn. It’s important that the sky have some detail if at all possible otherwise the image may have too much negative space. This was taken at dusk under a street lamp in a parking lot. The contrast was enough to be dramatic but not enough to lose highlight and shadow detail. No post processing was done here.

Starting out…

Well I got super spoiled this Christmas when my wife bought me a new camera for Christmas!! She gave me a Canon EOS Rebel T1i which is one very nice camera. It came as a complete surprise and I had no idea that she had gotten it for me. Back in the day I used to shoot professionally doing product work, portraits, and weddings when I had time. That was a long time ago and a new career has taken it’s place but as soon as I got this camera I started to look at things in a different way again. Like a photographer. So if anyone is reading any of this… I’m going to try to start shooting stuff more regularly and hopefully be somewhat interesting!
Steve

Here’s an old photo from the summer done with a point and shoot Canon.

And here’s one from the new camera. Just playing around with the manual exposure because until the digital cameras I’ve never owned a camera with auto-exposure. It’s always been full manual for me.