Rodeo and Powwow Workshop

rodeo2Come join me July 29 for the Tsuut`ina Nation Rodeo & Pow-Wow photography workshop. We are lucky to have complete access to indigenous cowboys and dancers that will be celebrating their culture at Tsuut`ina Nation near Bragg Creek, Alberta.

 

Not only are the classic rodeo events including bull riding, bareback, steer wrestling, calf roping, saddle bronc and barrel racing exciting to capture, the grounds are filled with colourful tipis, dancers in extraordinary hand-made dance outfits and will be holding traditional ceremonies and more.

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During this workshop Todd will lead the group around grounds offering advice from his wide range of experience, and will challenge participants to push past their own photographic boundaries. Students will be pushed to try and find their own photographic vision and their own unique way of storytelling. Students may work in any form of photography they wish, from photojournalism, fine art or portraiture, the instructor will help you create a body of work from this event. Participants will have full access to the instructor to work out any questions in the field relating to technique or how to approach and photograph subjects.

 

For tickets and more information go here to The Camera Store’s web site.

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Spruce Meadows

September here in Calgary is always the start of the leaves turning colour here in Alberta and the start Spruce Meadows Masters horse jumping event. It’s always a wonderful event with the best riders and horses from around the world gathering in Southern Alberta and competing for one of the richest prize purses in horse jumping. Yesterday was media day at the event and I shot a couple of portraits of buggy driver.

Canon 7D Mark II

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Last fall I had the privilege to test out the new Canon 7D Mark II camera for Canon in conjunction of being a Canon Northern Explorer of Light. It’s always exciting to see what new technology Canon is going to come out with. The original Canon 7D was a huge hit for Canon. It was light, fast, had great files and ended up being hugely popular with wildlife and sports photographers. It was originally released in the fall of 2009 and at the time Canon got me to test the camera out and convey my thoughts to them and other photographers.

Well 5 years later and my association with Canon has gotten even closer. I regularly speak for them and now test pre-production cameras out for them. These are my thoughts about using this new camera. The new 7D Mark II in short is really amazing for the price, and I have loved using it. Canon is now really refining their photographic gear. I now call this the no excuse camera, because pretty much, if you have missed a photo it’s pretty much now the operators fault. It’s getting very hard to blame the camera.

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So after a lot of use and thought, I wanted to list out my top 10 favorite things about the camera. (There are a lot of really good reviews online already.)

#10 Custom Controls: I love how you can set the controls up practically anyway you want on the camera, it makes for very intuitive use, very smart. It just let’s you work more efficiently and allows you to catch that definitive moment.

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#9 GPS: This was a feature when it first came out out I thought I would never use, well I was wrong about that. I have often had clients ask me where something was shot, or I have had to go back and re-shoot a photo, and it’s great to know where it was exactly taken.

#8 Anti Flicker Control: I love this feature on this camera. Turn on the anti flicker control feature in the menu, and the camera can reduce the disparities in exposure and color temperature, so you get very consistent exposures and color under florescent type lighting.

#7 Interval Timer: You can now do time-lapse photography within the menu on the 7D Mark II, very convenient.

#6 New Shutter Sound: The camera has an incredible soft quiet shutter sound, it’s great for reportage type of work.

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#5 Silent Shooting Mode: Yes different than the shutter sound, I love this new mode on the Canon cameras, I use it almost all the time. You can barely hear the motor drive in this mode, great for street shooting, people just don’t pay attention to the camera and let’s you be discreet.

#4 AF During Live View: The Auto focus is ridiculously good in the video mode, especially with the new 18-135mm kit lens. Things just stay in focus.

#3 High Speed Motor Drive: We are now getting 10 fps out of an $1800 camera, not much else to say about that!

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#2 High ISO Speed and New Sensor: I have shot a bunch of work at 16,000 ISO and the images are incredible. We could never do that just a few years ago. The new sensor is great, the images are very, very good out of the camera.

#1 New Auto Focus System: In short, if you are following a subject, this camera is going to track it perfectly and your photos are going to be in focus. The new auto focus system in the 7D Mark II is FANTASTIC!!

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Year in Review 2014

Now that we are at the end of the year, I always take the time to have a peek at the assignments I have photographed throughout the year. It’s always a great chance to see what I have been doing and what events I have covered. Here is a selection of some of my favorite images in 2014, Merry Christmas.

Back country skiing up Deception Pass, January 10. For the Toronto Star
Back country skiing up Deception Pass, January 10. For the Toronto Star
The British, National Gallery, London, January 28. For The Toronto Star
The British, National Gallery, London, January 28. For The Toronto Star

 

French Kiss on the River Seine, Paris, France. January 31. For The Toronto Star
French Kiss on the River Seine, Paris, France. January 31. For The Toronto Star
Nicole Briggs Miss Rodeo Canada June 7. For The Toronto Star
Nicole Briggs Miss Rodeo Canada June 7. For The Toronto Star
Rodeo bareback rider, Brooks rodeo, June 7. For The Toronto Star
Rodeo bareback rider, Brooks rodeo, June 7. For The Toronto Star
World renowned National Geographic photographer William Alberta Allard, July 7. For Reuters
World renowned National Geographic photographer William Albert Allard, July 7. For Reuters
A cheerleader for the Edmonton Eskimos goes flying through the air during the Labour Day classic. September 1. For Reuters
A cheerleader for the Edmonton Eskimos goes flying through the air during the Labour Day classic. September 1. For Reuters
A freak summer snow storm destroyed thousands of trees in Calgary, September 10. For Reuters
A freak summer snow storm destroyed thousands of trees in Calgary, September 10. For Reuters
A tailings pond at the oil sands near Fort McMurray, Alberta. September 17. For Reuters
A tailings pond at the oil sands near Fort McMurray, Alberta. September 17. For Reuters
A farmer climbs up a grain bin during the wheat harvest in Alberta, October 10. For The Globe and Mail
A farmer climbs up a grain bin during the wheat harvest in Alberta, October 10. For The Globe and Mail
University women's rugby finals, October 17. For Canon Cameras.
University women’s rugby finals, October 17. For Canon cameras.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Brandon Banks reacts after his touchdown was called back against the Calgary Stampeders at the Grey Cup, November 30. For Reuters
Hamilton Tiger-Cats Brandon Banks reacts after his touchdown was called back against the Calgary Stampeders at the Grey Cup, November 30. For Reuters
The Calgary Stampeders react to winning the 102nd Grey Cup in Vancouver, November 30. For Reuters
The Calgary Stampeders react to winning the 102nd Grey Cup in Vancouver, November 30. For Reuters











Last day at the Calgary Stampede

It’s amazing how fast 10 days goes by. The first day seems like the start of a long haul and then on the last you ask yourself where did the last 9 days go. Due to assignment obligations I really didn’t have until the last few days of Stampede this year to go out and shoot some behind the scene photos. The past few posts have really just been tiny glimpses into life of the Stampede and back stage at the Stampede. Once I would love to just dive in a shoot the entire Stampede with a camera and a few lenses, just go look for light and moments that I can steal. I really enjoyed the final days this year, here is my last post for this years 101st edition of the Calgary Stampede.

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Game On!

Finally after over 4 months of waiting out a hockey lock out, NHL hockey is back. Last night was the first night I have shot hockey since May, we’ve missed it. Not sure what the dispute was really about, don’t really care, just glad to be back near the ice shooting the boys of winter. Here is a frame from the start of last night’s game between the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks. Game on!

The Calgary Flames' welcomes hockey fans before the start pot their game against the San Jose Sharks' and their first NHL hockey game since the hockey lockout ended in Calgary.

2012 Year in Review

The end of any year is an obvious time for review. Reviewing your life, your work, and in the case of photographers, the photographs you have taken throughout the year. I did a close review of my work this year for a couple of reasons, one to get some photos ready to enter into the year end contests, but two, and I think more importantly, to see how I have worked this year and where I can change and perhaps produce some better work next year.

 

It was an interesting exercise to go through all your work. You realize how quick these years go by, and also how well you did or did not do. Sometimes we get caught in bad light, bad locations, some days it just seems that bad everything happens to you and you go home frustrated with no memorable pictures. Other days things seem to go much better. But what I took out of the exercise was there are a few ways I am going to try and change how I work, let’s chat again in a year I hope it works.

 

Also at this time of year you get to see a lot of the “Best Of” portfolios from newspapers and magazines around the world. You realize that there is some exceptionally great work done day in and day out. I have seen a lot of my friends put together these galleries, so here it goes. The following is not necessarily my “Best Of” for the year, but photos I really like for one reason or another.

 

I hope you enjoy. Good picture hunting in 2013.

Two women react as Liberal leadership candidate Trudeau makes his way for a speech at the Dashmesh Culture Senior Citizen Society in Calgary. Calgary Stampeders Paredes kicks a field goal against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats during the second half of their CFL football game in Calgary. IC Los Angeles Kings' King celebrates his goal on Phoenix Coyotes' Smith during Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference hockey finals in Glendale. The horse Tar Baby falls back onto La Valley of Bezanson, Alberta in the Bareback event during the finals at the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo in Calgary. Milan of Cochrane, Alberta wrestles a steer in the Steer Wrestling event during the 100th Anniversary of the Calgary Stampede Rodeo in Calgary. TK20120618-1851 during the Writing On Stone rodeo near Milk River, Alberta. Sue Jaques in Calgary, Alberta, December 19, 2012. Photograph by Todd Korol CURLING/ FOOTBALL-VANIERCUP/