Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cold Weather Blues

Anyone else out there sick and tired of the cold weather? Winter has lost all of its charm on me and I am ready break out of my hibernation. Here is a short list of things I miss about Spring/Summer: Riding my bicycles, drinking on a patio, hiking, bonfires, playing sports outdoors, BBQ's, going out in shorts and a t-shirt, driving with my window down, the list can go on and on!
Don't get me wrong, I like the snow and sometimes the cool weather can be refreshing BUT I think we have all had enough and we are ready to get our Vitamin D on! This photo is inspired from the overall feeling of depression and laziness that this years harsh winter has inspired. It is a representation of how I spent many nights in front of the tv gorging on chips and drinking beers. It also expresses how the winter presents a creative slump for me. This year started with a great amount of enthusiasm and inspiration but it was quickly dissolved when life threw me a bit of a curve ball. Ever since I feel like I have been doing my best to just keep my head above water and have been sitting back watching life go by for the last two months. Hopefully a change in the weather will brighten things up? Here's hoping!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Tequila Sunrise, on the Rocks

Continuing from where I left off yesterday, I was soaked to the bone, covered in sand and my gear was drenched yet I was still approximately 10 minutes away from my goal, the rocky beach I spotted from the side of the road. You can imagine I was pretty pissed by this time but since I was so close to my desired location, I couldn't turn around now with my proverbial tail between my sand chaffed legs. I kept on, ensuring myself that all of this trouble would be worth it. My camera and lens seemed to be functioning alright aside from the few wet spots and granules of sand. As soon as I arrived, I got straight to work. I set my bag aside, making sure this time my equipment was a safe distance from the tide. I was very quickly getting the results I desired and was getting excited that in fact all the trouble was indeed worth it. Once I felt I had shot what I wanted from the location I set off to return to the resort grounds as I was leaving Mexico that afternoon and had to make quick work of cleaning my equipment as quickly as possible to avoid any further damage from the sea water.

To this day, everything is still working fine. As I said, I do find a fine grain of sand here and there but it is just a constant reminder to take better care of my gear and be more conscious. Now, without any further adieu, here are the photos!










Wednesday, September 25, 2013

All for the Shot


We photographers are an odd bunch. We have a one track mind. All we think about is photography. In the car. At the office. On the toilet. Even while making sweet sweet... cookies in the kitchen, we're still thinking about potential photo locations or missions so we can briefly satisfy our insatiable desire for the next great photo. When we are in the midst of capturing the next great photo all common sense goes out the window. We are totally invested in the moment and all outside variables are ignored. We eagerly risk life and limb just to get the next stunning photo and would gladly do it a second time without a thought.

On my latest vacation to Cabo Mexico I made the effort to hike out of the comfortable confines of our resort for nearly 40 minutes both ways just to get to an incredible location which I had earlier scouted from the roadside while stopping to get fresh coconut juice from a vendor. I grossly underestimated the trek but fortunately I came prepared with towels and all the necessary photography equipment I would need to capture some stunning photos. After what seemed like forever I was soon approaching my goal location when I discovered an oblong object wash up on shore, a product of the wildly unpredictable Cabo tide. On closer inspection, the item in question was a recently decease blowfish carcass frozen in a state of perpetual bloatation. I had to get a photo of this little fella so I slung my camera bag to the side and set it in the sand beside my tripod. I laid my beach towel out a safe distance from the shore line and got down on my belly so I could get a cool perspective of my little corpse friend. I was snapping away, making small changes in composition with each frame and before I knew it, a large wave rapidly found its way on shore and engulfed me and my equipment in a sea of regret and consequence. Fortunately I saw the oncoming wave through my viewfinder and had just enough time to lift my camera to safety but, regrettably, my camera bag which contained other lenses, filters and accessories was left to endure the surge. My body was soaked and I was covered in a film on fine sand that wouldn't come off no matter how much I brushed it off. I soon realized the expanse of my foolishness when I remembered that my cellphone was in my front pocket, fully submerged in the foamy brine of the Sea of Cortez for a solid 5 seconds. Good thing I brought a beach towel to dry everything off. Nope, that was soaked too and now acted as an awkward 10 lbs. weight I had to drag with me or I would owe the resort $20 for a lost towel card.


I was easily looking at a few thousand dollars in damaged gear from a simple lapse of common sense but was I going to let that stop me? Hell no! I wasn't going to turn back now so I kept on trekking to my goal, soaking wet from head to toe, sand chafing in orifices where sand certainly doesn't belong. My equipment eventually cleaned up all right at the end of the day and is functioning fine now but occasionally I still catch a fine grain of sand here and there. Looking back, was the photo above worth the risk of damaging my equipment? Probably not? But regardless, we photographers don't think about the risk involved when we take photos. We keep our minds zeroed in on capturing that moment in history often without considering the consequences. Reckless? At times, yes? But every time we press that shutter button consider it a calculated risk.

What do you think about the photo above? Was the juice worth the squeeze? Make sure you check back tomorrow to see the photographs from the said location I was hiking out to... because if you ask me it was totally worth it.. but of course I'm quite biased.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Supernova


I went to Global Fest on Sunday night to catch the finale.

I brought my camera equipment with me so I can try pull-focusing.

The resulting photos are cool as hell!



















BOOM!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Chessa Q's Debut Teasers


A debut is a filipino tradition. It is a right of passage for a young filipina girl as she transitions into woman hood marked by her turning the age of 18. Turning the age of 18 is a big deal for most kids but in the filipino tradition it represents a lot more. The number 18 is recurring throughout the ceremony, where the young celebrant will be gifted 18 roses by the important men in her life. Next, 18 candles are offered and blown out by the celebrant while a wish or kind words are offered by the 18 most influential woman in the young girls life. The ceremony is very sentimental and enduring, to witness or be a part of a debut is a huge testament to ones continual love and support for the birthday celebrant.

I had a lot of fun capturing the special moments from this event. The family was particularly large and it was beautiful to see how much they love each other. Thank you for sharing your day with me, Chessa.

Cheers,
STV
































Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Photo Bombing


Photo walks are always the best way to get out and test your creativity. As opposed to bringing your camera with you just in case you see something a photo walk is when you go out with the intention of taking photos of absolutely anything you can! Sometimes the results are brilliant and often times they aren't. On this Photo Bomb mission, I met up with local IG'er asim_overstands. He picked up some new gear so we went out to try it out on the streets. Both equipped with 50mm lenses and of course our iPhones we went shutter happy and bombed everything we could. Honestly, we got enough content to fill up our IG feeds for weeks. But I'm one of the few remaining photographers that still use a camera these days so here are the images from my DSLR edited in Photoshop and Lightroom. These were way over due; I think they ripened enough for sharing. Enjoy!





















Tuesday, June 25, 2013

State of Emergency: YYC Flood Pt.II


The City of Calgary has been bouncing back faster than most expected. Sections of the city that were previously flooded are now dry but the rivers left a lot of mud, dirt and debris behind. We have plenty of people to thank for their hard work and dedication they have applied to making our city beautiful again. We must thank our emergency workers, volunteers and generous citizens for all they have done in the last couple of days. Our city will look amazing again and I have never been prouder to call myself a Calgarian.

The following photos were taken with an iPhone in the Mission neighbourhood two days following the flood. Mission is one of the neighbourhoods greatly effected by the flood and is located on the banks of the Elbow River. On Sunday, citizens living in Mission were allowed to re-enter their homes to asses the amount of damage caused by the flood. The amount of damage I witnessed was shocking but I have no doubt that these courageous Calgarians will bounce back.

















#calgarystrong