Here’s another fun shot from a recent trip to Vancouver for a tech conference last month. I stumbled across this colourful alley (located in an alley south of West Hastings between Seymore and Granville) while first trying to find my Airbnb accommodations on nearby Pendar Street. I passed by it several times going back and forth to the conference to find for a window of opportunity where there were no pedestrians or vehicles in the shot. And as luck would have it, I got my only opportunity after walking back to my suite from a late dinner. I had no tripod with me at the time, as I would’ve liked to have taken multiple exposures to add even more light, colour and depth into the mix, but I had to work with what I had in that moment, and just took the shot freehand. At that time, I still had no idea why this colourful basketball alleyway was there in the first place until I had some time to google it on the ferry ride back to Victoria. It was then that I learned that this urban park was called Hastings West Alleyway which was part of a 2016 Vancouver city initiative designed to make use of unused public space and giving the city’s inhabitants places to gather and instill a sense of community. The idea was to simply make the alleyways more than just service corridors for vehicles and dumpsters by turning them into “play spaces” as land, especially in Vancouver, comes at a hefty premium these days. Speaking of which, the cost of this social campaign (shared between the City and the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association) ran around $200,000. But judging by its frequent use by everyday city folk and tourists seems to be money well spent in my opinion. And the alleyway has also given people like me a great excuse to try and capture the colourful alley in a unique way from countless other captures. With that, if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend you check it out through your own eyes!
I had the pleasure of covering yet another event the other week for “Discover Tectoria 2017”, all hosted by one of my most fun and loyal photography client’s, VIATEC. The event was geared to help build awareness around Victoria’s biggest industry…technology. That’s right, technology! With so much to see and do here on Vancouver Island, I too was surprised that tech was bigger than tourism. However, when you check out the numbers, you’ll quickly learn that the tech industry generates over $3 billion in annual revenue, and employs over 23,000 employees across 884 companies high-tech companies. Pretty impressive, considering when you walk the quaint streets of Victoria, you really see no sign of any tech action happening here. So that’s why VIATEC, Victoria’s hub for the tech sector works hard to devise many creative efforts to attract some of the brightest minds from around the world, not to mention their many curious angle investors. In it’s latest effort, VIATEC secured an installation at Victoria’s International Airport which is strategically placed next to the airport’s arrivals exit. The installation is small, but quite impressive and eye catching with it’s steampunk’d style which was fabricated by local designer Russel Papp. And when you step within the confines of the mad-scientist installation, you not only get to appreciate all the detail that went into the space, but you also take home some key learnings of what VIATEC and Tectoria is all about. To get a better feel for this unique install, you can take a peek at a few more photo’s shared on JackFlash’s Facebook page, or better yet, come to Victoria for a visit to see it for yourself!
I’ve found that most professional photographers like to shoot whatever they’re good at, or whatever is most profitable for them. So when people ask me what I enjoy shooting, I often say, “I like to shot anything that moves, or doesn’t move”. Because it’s true…I seem to really enjoy experimenting with anything and everything, pushing my equipment to capture just the right amount of light in the most challenging of circumstances. And that includes event photography which seems to be the least favourite shooting category amongst the photographers I’ve talked to. Perhaps it’s the fact that you just never know what kind of available lighting you’ll have to work with, and that you have to get really comfortable changing manual camera settings on the fly with each direction you point your lens towards. Also, it can be a real challenge to know what to focus your lens on with so much activity going on all around you at the same time. For me, I quite like the challenge as I seem to have no problem picking out visual opportunities of interest that I know will make a great shot in the end, with as little post production as possible. I just roll up my sleeves, and really get into the moment, which in turn helps me anticipate moments before they even happen. And once you find your groove, that’s when the real magic begins. As seen in this photo from a VIATEC Award event (Victoria’s tech hub) where at the end of the night, they dropped giant sized inflatable orcas from the rafters and onto the crowd below. This photo in particular is probably one of my favourite shots of the night because it not only captured the energy of the event, but also captured otherwise professional adults letting their guard down long enough for me to capture a few split seconds of child-like innocence, permanently. So if you like what you see in the “Events” section, I happen to know a photographer that would like the opportunity to capture that next event for you 😉
It doesn’t matter if we wake up a disheveled, grumpy mess with horrible breath every morning…or, that we like to slip into our favourite tiger-print onesie and belt out the lyrics to “I need a hero” after a hard day’s work….or, any other antic you might practice at home regularly that might otherwise have you banished from society, for life. No, none of that funny business seems to really matter much to our four legged friends who seem to have mastered the fine art of unconditional love and acceptance over the centuries. And with the many lessons they teach us each day, it’s no wonder that we want to hang onto our beloved fur kids and their irreplaceable moments for as long as we can. That’s why Jack Adamson of JackFlash Photography has devoted a few months to developing some solid studio lighting techniques that will have your pet looking like a professional super model, (or a cat on a catwalk, if you will 😉 The trick was to find a way to have the lighting hit its mark with every shot, regardless if your pet becomes unpredictable and moves off its mark, and they will, especially when they know that they’re having their photograph taken. Am I right people?! So with studio lighting now in check, and Jack’s acrobatic ability to get down low an crawl around with the best of them, there will be far more awesome memories to choose from once your contact sheet has been delivered. That all being said, along with very competitive rates, there hasn’t been a better time to immortalize your best friend! Talk to JackFlash today.
Experience Tectoria 2016 is an exclusive series of events spread across three days and is a gathering of local entrepreneurs, thought shapers and international investors to cultivate Victoria, BC’s biggest industry, technology. Bigger than tourism you ask? Well with $3.15 Billion in Annual Revenue, a $4 Billion Economic Impact and over 23,000 employees across 900 high-tech companies, that would be a definite yes. And after photographing this year’s Viatec Awards, I’ve come to the conclusion that the tech industry really knows how to have a good time. The three days were spread across the downtown core of Victoria which gave the heads of tech start-ups an opportunity to speak to the innovations of their product and/or company, which in turn generated feedback from more the experienced tech companies who would help point the tech hopeful towards success. There were also a few investors lurking quietly in the crowd who kept a close watch for the next big thing. One of my favourite parts of the three day event was the Fuckup Night at Yuk-Yuk’s, where three entrepreneurs candidly shared their learnings with the audience after some of their worst business “fuck-ups”, which made for some pretty entertaining stories for all…after the fact. Some of the venues needed water transportation, and even included an aerobatic tour which gave the high-flying community a bird’s eye view of what its like to soar to the top. In this shot of us departing the seaplane, we have a very delighted investor showing us what he thought of the last leg of the tour. And as the old saying goes, “A picture tells a thousand words”.
It’s official. I’ve entered my first every photo contest today. I know the chances are small of ever winning these sorts of things, but what I do know for sure is that there’s a 100% chance that I won’t win a thing if I don’t enter to begin with! Am I right people? So with that sort of mathematical reasoning, I’ve decided to enter a handful of photos to Canada’s National Geographic photo competition to see if I can muster any attention for JackFlash Photography, here in Victoria. There are a bunch of candid shots of people in all sorts of environments such as this photograph that would’ve been perfect to enter into the Aboriginal section of the contest, but at the time of taking that shot, I had no idea it would be a portfolio piece, let alone something I’d like to enter into a contest one day, so I neglected to get consent from the ‘model’ which automatically makes it void for such photography contests. Live and learn, I say 😉 So….I rolled up my sleeves to see if I could find any other photos I’d be proud enough to enter, and didn’t need anyone’s consent! That said, this moody photograph shot one foggy night in one of Calgary, Alberta’s industrial areas was one of my entry picks. This photo was selected simply for its raw textures and colour, not to mention the perspective that takes you down the road, perhaps to discover the back of the truck with a funky mural of a person’s face on its back sliding door. Or the many other bits of visual information you might discover if you look closely enough. But I won’t jinx the rest of my submissions by writing about them here in this blog. Instead, I bid them well on their journey with the hopes of catching them in a National Geographic mag one day….not for the prizes themselves, but to be able to share what I love doing so much with the rest of the world, or in this case, Canada. Fingers and toes crossed!
Feast of Fields is not only a field of dreams when it comes to the most discerning palate, it’s also Vancouver Island’s longest standing celebration of local food which supports FarmFolk City Folk’s initiative to cultivate a more sustainable food system here in British Columbia. Hosted on Glengarry Farm in Metchosin (a twenty minute drive west of Victoria BC), a beautiful farm perched on wide-open, rolling fields that kiss the Pacific ocean, guests were invited to stroll around from tent to tent and taste a variety of local gourmet creations from BC’s top chefs, ranchers, farmers, fishers, food artisans, vintners, brewers, distillers and more. With so many enticing reasons to support the local cause, I was over the moon when asked to cover the event, which also was a fantastic opportunity to capture all the interesting characters and their creations that help make the event a continued success, year after year. In this captioned photo, I managed to capture chefs Garrett Schack and Christopher Varette of of Vista 18 Fame taking a well deserved breather after serving up over 700 freshly made panuchos, (a Mexican food specialty from the Yucatán made with a refried tortilla and stuffed with refried black beans, topped with chopped cabbage, pulled chicken, pickled red onion, tomato, avocado, and pickled jalapeno pepper, for all the foodies out there 😉 With bellies full and money raised, all there’s left to say is a big thank you to all the participating sponsors and vendors which include: Lohbrunner, Salt Spring Coffee, Glenrosa Farm Restaurant, Silk Road Tea, Ampersand Distilling Company, Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites, Lighthouse Brewing Company, Longwood Brewery, Phillips Brewing & Malting Co., Victoria Distillers, Phillips Soda Works, Soilmate, Wild Fire Bakery, Fry’s Bakery, Little Jumbo, Q at The Empress, Saveur Restaurant, Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, Venturi-Schulze Vineyards, Victorian Distillers, Whole Foods Market, Pizzeria Prima Strada, Driftwood Brewery, In Cahoots, Salt Spring Island Ales, Silverside Farm and Winery, The Whole Beast Salumaria, Artisan Bistro, Lure Restaurant and Bar, Rocky Creek Winery, Sheringham Distillery, Swan’s Brew Pub, Swan’s Beer, de Vine Wines & Spirits, Hudson’s On First, Pendray Restaurant, Royal Bay Bakery, Spinnakers Brewpub, Unsworth Vineyards, Storied Wines and Spirits, and Zanatta Winery. Wow, that was a mouthful! You can also view the rest of the photos here.
I had the delicious opportunity to try my hand at architectural photography the other month before relocating both my businesses to beautiful Victoria, B.C. The venue was one of Calgary’s favourite new restaurants, Charbar, which takes pride in its quality ingredients that span from the oceans, to the prairies, to its local gardens. And although Charbar really knows how to fire up my favourite food group–meat–to perfection, its talent young chef Jessica Pelland’s has ensured her menu options are ample and globally inspired so that it appeals to any discerning palate. I also appreciate that the restaurant opened its doors in the newly renovated historical Simmons Building in Calgary’s revitalized and growing community of East Village. With a great view off its roof top, Charbar sits on the Bow River and has also partnered with Sidewalk Citizen Bakery and Phil & Sebastian Coffee Roasters to celebrate the common passion of the city’s culinary platform. The exterior shot of the building was shot at the break of dawn which made the red brick pop that much more. Inside the large building, I tried my hand at directing quite a few flash heads into the darker areas of the building but later decided that taking multiple exposures, then blending the exposures in post-production would ensure I captured the raw beauty and every detail of the building through in through. In the end, Charbar’s management and chef Pelland really appreciated my efforts, and the opportunity also helped me gain some valuable experience in architectural photography, for which I too am very grateful for. That said, if you have an establishment or a dwelling that you would like captured, inside and/or out, please feel free to reach out tp me for a very competitive quote.
The Costume Shoppe in Calgary is a great place to get your alter ego on. And it’s also a place to receive exceptional service to ensure all their customers receive exactly what they are looking for. With that, here’s a fun shot of one of The Costume Shoppe’s helpful employee’s Alesha, dressed up as a Viking.