Archive for Canadian Photographers

Inspirations – Snacktime by Justin Van Leeuwen

Posted in Inspirations, Techniques with tags , , , , , , on February 9, 2011 by sabrina

© Justin Van Leeuwen

Canon 7D with a 24-70mm F/2.8 L lens at 50mm f/5.6 @ 1/100th sec ISO 400

This image is a composite of three separate, horizontal, photographs stitched together in Photoshop–all shot with the above settings. I used two Canon speedlights to light the scene; details can be read here.

I usually fire my strobes in manual mode, but it’s good to work with the parts of your gear you’re less familiar with, so I hooked up a Canon 580exII to my 7D, but I moved it off the camera by using a 16′ TTL cord from Flashzebra.com.  I was able to use Canon’s Flash Control Menu to adjust the ratio’s between my lights so that the front flash was lighting my subjects (ie: kids) and the rear was pumped up enough to create a rim light behind us.

I was inspired to do this (as part of a series I’m working on) as I’ve been a Stay-At-Home-Dad with my two young boys this year, and I can get kind of restless when I’m not working my brain. I also wanted to keep my photography sharp for my clients; who usually book me on weekends and evenings.  My kids love Goldfish crackers and I wanted to put a playful (though possibly dark) spin on the literal meaning of having “goldfish as snacks.” I pre-envisioned the scene, set it up, making sure my lighting was right, and then brought the kids in one by one.  Even the photograph with me dangling the goldfish is a separate composite (the fish itself was acquired from iStockphoto.com, not my local pet store… no live goldfish were hurt in the making of this image, though many wheat-based treats were consumed afterwards).

The image itself may seem complex, I find it MUCH easier to photograph my sons one at a time instead of all at once, with them prone to running off or quickly getting distracted while I’m trying to occupy the other boy – it can be an endless cycle resulting in no usable images.  The composite also allows me to have a wide selection of images to work with, so I can make the best match between the three of us for the final photograph.  Hopefully this will create a unique archive of fun and different images for my boys for when they’re older – it beats the standard embarassing “baby Justin with no diaper on” shots my mom has. ~Justin Van Leeuwen

Photographer of the Month – Daryl Benson

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Good News, Inspirations, Photographer of the Month, Stock Photography, TCBlog with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 3, 2010 by Darwin

When I first got started in photography back in 1986, I recall two major influences on my development as a photographer. The first was a book called Photography of Natural Things by Freeman Patterson which was essentially the kick start to my interest in photography. At the time I was doing my master’s thesis in zoology (on the behavioural ecology of Columbian ground squirrels) and I needed to learn how to make photos so that I could give slide shows to get grants to fund my research. Freeman’s book was not only my ‘how to’ guide to learn photography, but it also ended up being so much more. I saw that photography could be used for more than simple documentation; photography could be used for personal expression – very cool!

I was hooked on photography after reading Freeman’s book, so I decided to join a camera club to learn more. In September of 1986, I  joined Images Alberta Camera Club in Edmonton, Alberta. And this is where the second major influence on my photography entered my life. At the first meeting I saw a slide show by Daryl Benson. I was blown away! Not only did Daryl show amazing images but his work was so unique, expressive and refreshing – wow! I could barely sleep that night! Daryl’s images filled my head and my dreams. And so Daryl became my mentor, whether he liked it or not!

At the time Daryl was just freshly accepted into the stock agency, Masterfile, and was well on his way to becoming a full time photographer. For the next few years, Daryl and I went on numerous trips together and I learned from watching Daryl at work. At first I tried to emulate Daryl:  I tried to make images that were like Daryl’s. Of course I failed miserably. No one can be Daryl except Daryl himself. It was a hard lesson to learn. After some time I finally learned  that each photographer must find his or her own voice and be true to that voice by shooting for him or herself and not to shoot to please others or to emulate others.

I was recently reminded of Daryl’s amazing talent as a visual artist as I watched his recent presentations at FotoExpo in Moncton, New Brunswick. Daryl is and has always been the consummate artist who is driven by ‘voices in his head ‘and ‘tugs at his lapels’ that force him to create his unique imagery that is unlike anything that anyone else creates. In my opinion, Daryl is Canada’s most creative photographic visual artist. His ‘works’ always inspires, amazes and humbles me. For those who have not seen Daryl’s website, his books or attended his inspirational presentations, I highly recommend all of them, anytime. Period. Thanks, Daryl for all you have done to help grow the photographic community in Canada and beyond.  I would also like to thank you on a personal level:  I am indebted to you for your patience, sharing and mentorship. To learn more about Daryl see this interview.

 

©Daryl Benson

©Daryl Benson

 

©Daryl Benson

©Daryl Benson

©Daryl Benson

©Daryl Benson

©Daryl Benson

©Daryl Benson

©Daryl Benson

©Daryl Benson