So my reading week happened to fall during the week my old high school had their annual Grade 9 Music Retreat. Which is all fine and dandy but weeks before I had a lot of the current music council asking me if i have a copy of the promo video created by John Cullen many years ago. Of course I didn’t and told them that it was only on DVD and if it wasn’t there well tough, gotta make a new one.
But then I thought about what i was going to do during reading week and decided that I would extend an invitation to Caswell to maybe do a bit of work for him and help them out with a new promo. Of course I wasn’t going to replace the still developing “video portfolio” I left behind but now they were in need of a good promo for one of their biggest events so I offered to produce something of quality while letting the portfolio see what it takes to make a video, win-win for everyone.
There were some issues when planning the trip however as Boris Wong couldn’t come back as he still had mid terms so I didn’t have access to a lot of equipment but that just made the challenge even more fun. I was able to bring Nicole and Lance to help me out with the shoot and all things considered it turned out pretty well and i was able to almost complete my vision of what i wanted but the rain that started in the morning didn’t stop until later so my whole intro was gone; rather the intro I wanted to be there was gone and just increased the challenge.
All things considered, everything turned out alright and it was sorta fun to go there and see the workings of music retreat, although i was working as well, watching the facilitators running around and execute everything just brought back all the memories of when i was in their shoes. This is what turned out of the 2 day retreat.
So on a Friday night, I find myself shooting photos for the charlatan (campus newspaper) again and doing sports again (probably because I have the gear to shoot it) and well it was alright. It was a fun challenge as this game had to be shot during night in ok field lighting; however for the challenge I was able to borrow the nice Canon 70-200 f4 L from Willie (Photo Editor) for this one. It was invaluable for this shoot; the USM autofocus could keep up with my camera and the fixed F4 helped in the low light situation as well.
The challenge prove to be large, trying to freeze action shots while maxing the ISO on my camera out and hoping the shutter speed was enough but my calculations prevailed (I always shoot manual) and I captured this moment, one of the few where everything was at a standstill and just spoke to me. This picture reminds me of when I played rugby and all the glorious moments and terrible things that happened; the sport I love to play and enjoy watching equally as much. Over all it was a good night, shot pictures that were challenging and watched a game up close and personal, not a bad way to spend a Friday.
So a few friends and I decided that we would go out and tour the streets of Ottawa too look at all the art showcased despite the crappy weather (was raining all day and continued throughout the night).
It turned out too be not a worthwhile night as far as the art was concerned; there weren’t many things too look at, maybe because of the rain maybe because I am comparing it too the Nuit Blanche that happens in Toronto, but i was just OK. However there was this one large tent that was set up with some nice trance tunes thumping and party lights going. In the middle of the crowd was car where people were placing this clay figures they were making.
I wasn’t too sure why or what the point was of doing this, no explanation was offered and the text on the poster was far away and too small, however it was cool, interesting and offered shelter from the rain. The scanning party lights against the car offered too make for some interesting photos as they lit all the grey in waves of colour.
Despite it being sorta of a bust as far as the event, all other aspects including midnight pho was worth it and was an alright way too spend a Saturday night.
As my university year starts, it is time to hit he books again and start my studies to become an engineer; however that doesn’t mean that i have to stop shooting photos.
I will eventually go around and tour the various parts of Ottawa and the surrounding areas whoever for now I have to resort to sticking to my studies and slowly learn the small area in which I have been put in (campus). However this is not without reward, after going to the Club Expo, I saw that there were a few university newspapers ran by students. I decided this was an opportunity to go and put forth my photography and video skills o something that people will see and to hone my own skills.
After shooting some portraits for a few articles, a few small events and random things I got too shoot one of the womens rugby games on a weekend. Not having a tele-photo lens of my own I had to borrow the sock 55-250 hat was in the office and after working around the slow focusing issue I snapped a few nice frames.
This was my favourite photo, showing the turnover between their team and ours, freezing that moment where you are trying too breakthrough enemy lines and reach the try line only to be surrounded by the opposition. Considering that the turn over and tackle happened in a matter of seconds, capturing this unique moment in between where everything seems to be relatively calm and easy is just beautiful. We won 77 to 0.
Today, on a very nice clear sunny day, I decided to go biking around town like I usually do however this time i decided to do my 20km ride with my camera in my pack in case I happened to pass by any outstanding sites as i ventured up north and beyond the lands of suburbia.
As it turns out on my nice long ride, as the sun began to set and i headed back I saw a composition form in front of me as the sun was setting behind a field lined with all grass. I decided to take a break and sit there with my camera and wait for the right time to take the shot and the results were worth it.
The shot reminds me of the time when the area I had just biked through used to have no pavement, no buildings no suburban civilization, instead it was just endless farm fields. However what once was untouched and silent now harbors an extension to the 407, an over pass, new town house complex and a brand new Walmart super center. It is amazing what simple and small things can change in only a decade.
One of the larger events I had this summer was a one week excursion to Haliburton Scout Reserve with the 2nd markham Scout troop. This would be my 3rd year out of 4 going and we would be revisiting the first site we went to when we started making these trips.
It was an interesting adventure, although i didn’t enjoy the untouched reserve as much as i could of due to responsibilities of other younger campers, i had a great time staying away from everything that i have grownup with and come to rely on everyday. Stuck in the middle of nowhere, cooking your own food, no running water, canoeing everywhere and carrying your own gear to the vents you want to do; it was a reminder that something aren’t learned inside a classroom or even in a city, but are presented to you as challenges when you venture the great outdoors. No electricity, no washrooms, no showers no cars, that was my week.
For this trip I packed my National Geographic hiking sack with my 7D, 17-40 F4 L, 135 F2 L, 50mm , 8 LP-E6 batteries, several CF cards, circular polariser and ND and a manfroto 701 fluid head tripod along with the water and other gear i brought everywhere.
Taken with a Canon 7D and 17-40mm F4 L.
Everyone in my family plays some form of baseball or softball; for my younger brother it’s the local recreational hard ball league while my parents both play for the local mens/womens rec softball leagues while i stopped playing last year. This past weekend wsa my mother’s softball MIST tournament which is hosted over 3 days and they needed some people to help out moving stuff, lining the fields whatever was needed so i said i would help out; but that work was mostly in between games, during the games i decided to take my camera and shoot some pictures and got some amazing action shots of the ladies making plays and just enjoying the game.
Here is one of my favorite shots that seemed to have just everything that you could think of happening at one moment; from the ball coming to the short stop on the ground trying to get to it to the centerfieldmen coming to back up the play and the runner just making it to the base. The small instant in the game that makes or breaks the plans for either side; completing or botching the play, that is what the game is about.
Taken with a Canon 7D and a Canon 135mm F2 L.
A friend of mine, Gordon Sun came to me one day with this idea; an idea for a documentary he wanted shoot in Tonroto, and after liking the idea and direction of the project I contacted the people i knew to start putting together a crew. After gathering the people who were free and still in the country we planned out everything including two full shoot days and after pulling a 21 and 18 hour day right after each other i was tired and just sore all over not willing to look through all the photos and footage taken throughout the trips to Toronto.
Throughout the day we shot with the following gear: a 5D Mark II using ML, a 7D, a manfroto fluid head tripod, gini rig and the following lenses; 17-40mm F4 L, 24-70mm F2.8, 85mm F1.4 and a 135mm F2 L where my 7D and 2-3 lenses were in my camera bag which i carried along with my back packs containing the “Portable Base including my laptop (a thinkpad) 2 external drives, chargers, paper, water and the audio equipment we used. not to mention the 10 batteries we carried. Needless to say that i carried a lot of weight; and so did others like Boris who had his 5D mark II and the whole gini rig in his pack.
However after the 2 long days and having a chance to look over some of the footage and photos; it was well worth it. Without giving too much away, here is a photo of one of the people we interviewed in the video doing some work.
Taken with a Canon 7D with a Canon 135 F2 L.
A friend of mine; Giovanna Ngai, owns a jewelry business that she start herself making a wide variety of custom deigned things to fit the changing fashion styles and seasons. For her products she often gets some of her friends to help her out for photoshoots or video shoots to get her products out there and usually when i can, i come and assist any way i can from holding up the white reflector for the photographer to helping with the small things where i can. However this time around everyone seemed to be busy and she asked me to be the photographer for the shoot; this was an interesting endeavor.
Although at time it seemed like i need to be able to read her mind in order to get the shot she wanted; we were able to somehow understand each other and get the shots that she needed for her products in 3 mini shoots spanning the day from sun rise to sunset. After sitting down and looking through them we narrowed my 300 shots to the best few and went through all of her 600 some…. to find and edit out picks; the result, this shot which became my personal favourite of the shoot.
Here is a link to her Facebook page where you can see the first set of products she has made for this summer: https://www.facebook.com/SimplyGiovanna
This shot was taken with a Canon 7D and a Tameron 24-70 F2.8 IS, a canon 17-40 F4 L was also used. Charlotte Elson is the model int he shot.
As my high school career comes to an end; I sit here reminiscing about all the small and large things about these years which I have hated that i will soon learn to miss to some extent; better yet i realize even more how much I am going to miss the things that i have loved and otherwise taken for granted as just every day things. During the 4 years I spent a lot of time in and out of the Music Department; gallivanting about either performing music, going on trips or doing some other work in the name of music.
Even if i didn’t agree with a lot of the songs we played or the long rehearsal times and all the other problems we had, I realize that when I sat there and performed those pieces, whether for educators at the OBA festival or at Nationals or just parents in the audience of the local theater, it was a compilation of all the hard work that everyone has put together as well as the bonds that we have made with each other, as a band and as individuals which drive the music we play, giving meaning to the notes, the story of the piece to the audience not through the sounds we make, but through the emotions we convey. That feeling is something that i do not think I will experience every again and it as all because of our head of music, our director, our friend and mentor, Mark Caswell along side with his right and left hands, Dawn Caswell and Scott Harrison. What our band is, how we play, how we bond, how we act together and individually is the summation of his passion, his dream and what he has kept bugging and drilling into us these 4 years, and to that i thank him for all he has done for us; without all the little things he has done, I do not think we would be here where we stand today.
And to that end; here is a photo that I took during my final spring concert of the vocal teacher, Dawn Caswell, during her solo with the Church Street Swing Machine (grade 12 jazz band) playing “feeling Good”; a chart that Michael Buble has played recently. One of the best and most memorable performances that night. A link tot he video recording I organised and edited for the concert; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXrngX6OF3M&feature=share&list=PLXX1jaLNekT1HoSlOIeCFK9kD-oXvStiN
Taken with a Canon 7D and the 18-135mm kit lens.