This is the best barber in Victoria and a super solid guy!
Follow him on instagram https://instagram.com/thejourneymanbarber/Read More »
This is the best barber in Victoria and a super solid guy!
Follow him on instagram https://instagram.com/thejourneymanbarber/Read More »
I was discussing a book with a friend a while back and recommended that they read it. A few weeks later I was surprised that when I asked if they had read the book they said “yes it was fantastic”. They also went on to tell me that they downloaded the audio book to “read” it.
I was taken aback and my brain automatically thought “well that’s not really reading is it that’s listening”. You need to understand something. I have always read important books because I write all over them and draw all over them so that I can remember what was said. That means that books to me are a great way to learn and remember. I really couldn’t let this feeling go thinking about how they are missing out on notes and the benefits of having a book with writing all in it you can reference back to. Then it hit me. Everyone learns differently and we all need to continue to develop our learning skills so that we can learn as much as we can as fast as we can. Books and notes are a very traditional medium and we have moved way past that now. I started to asses my learning style to see if it was antiquated and how I could tweek it.
Here’s the result. I have decided to go through a new business book I am interested in in a new way to see how it goes and I will report back. I am going to download the audio book so I can try this medium. While listening to the audio book I am going to stand in front of my whiteboard and take notes. I am then going to take pictures of my whiteboard notes as I go and upload them to Evernote which then makes my handwriting searchable.
I think this will be an enjoyable experament and I will report back on how well or poorly it goes for me when I am done. It pays to rethink your ways. Assess your life and see where you might have antiquated ideas and reinvent yourself. If you don’t you are not moving forward.
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Learning to hone in on this one thing is a skill that needs to be developed in all entrepreneurs. How many times have you felt so scattered wondering which of the thousands of tasks you have on your plate you should tackle this very moment. Take a moment to look at your list and really focus on what the main thread is. Once you know that you can start to see what is not as important as you might think. Take a moment today to look into your task list and figure out what the main thing you should be doing is … and do lots of that!!
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I am sitting in Salt Lake City right now in a hotel as I write this. I have been traveling for almost a week through the deserts of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada in my jeep. I’m loaded with camera gear including my Nikon D3S, Fuji X-PRO1 and Fuji x100. The best part is I also have my iPhone with me to take pictures and honestly it comes out of my pocket to shoot more often than the other three cameras combined!
I am really excited today to join the team of authors at Craft & Vision as my book on iPhone photography goes live today. I enjoyed writing this book and tried really hard to focus on the photography aspect of the device without getting hung up in the technical ramble that is changing so quickly. I focus on the how to choose things from a creative perspective so that as you change your device the rules I give you can move forward as well.
If you love to take great pictures, carry a mobile phone camera with you, and have $5 to spare than this is a great book for you. I hope it will inspire your creative side with your mobile phone camera. It’s super affordable so make sure you read it and get out and shoot as much as you can. Here’s the linkRead More »
Do you ever get that feeling that you are failing at everything you do? Our first instinct is to deny that we have issues so we can feel good about ourselves. I think we all want to to buy into our disguise of success and take a mediocre path of least resistance. We all try to fill ourselves with positive self talk and good feelings while ignoring the fact that we aren’t moving. That we are stagnant.
I have been in deep personal reflection the last few days. I began to feel like I was not making headway toward any of my goals and that I have lost sight of what is important. Then I was reminded that my goals are long term goals and I need to shorten them. There is no lack of goal setting in my life. I have many but what I lack lately is the ability to act in small pieces.
You see I forgot that a ton of small actions sum up to one big success. If you focus on the larger goals and forget the process or daily actions you have to do you will always be looking at the larger goals from afar never taking a step closer.
Stop hiding behind false self image it’s time to move!
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18mm at F/2.2 1/500 ISO6400 ASTIA Film Simulation
Ok I’ve been sportin the X-Pro1 for about a month now and I have to say traveling with it instead of my big D3s kit is a charm. I recently returned from vegas and shot a bunch while I was there with this camera but he photo that impressed me the most was this shot of Criss Angel (@crissangel) the magician from his show Believe. I got to sit front row and take in his amazing talent and showmanship.
The most impressive piece of the act though was the way the X-Pro1 dealt with darkness and stage lighting. There were no cameras allowed during the show so I didn’t get many pictures but the couple I snapped when I was allowed at the end of the show with no flash in silent mode were amazing. This image is straight out of the jpg engine on the X-Pro1 and man I can’t believe the file.
If you are not a pro and want an amazing camera this one is just stunning. If you are a pro and want a traveling camera don’t even think about it just buy it! I mean just look this image! It is literally a super quick snap shot due to pressure and it’s amazing.
As I push this little camera more I will post my findings here but this one was to good to pass up posting today.
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I helped a friend of mine buy a camera today and he landed on the Fuji X10. Of course I was super excited he did because I’ve become quite a Fuji Fan lately. I already own the X100 and the XPRO-1 and was excited to see the x10 in person.
It was a very interesting experience to have all three in one room and get to play with them all at the same time. One think Fuji has done well is make them all feel very similar. If you are a budding photographer starting on an X10 I can tell you right now you will love the entire line as you move up the ladder of their cameras.
Fuji if you are listening please make a full frame XPRO 1 with an great auto focus to make my life and kit complete.Read More »
This photo was shot quite some time ago and I threw it out as part of the culling for a Vancouver Musician. I originally though the bird and the hard shadow across his jacket was distracting and didn’t help the image. I was looking back through some of my work and noticed it again with a completely different eye. I fell in love with it. I liked his gaze off to the distance, the hard shadow on his jacket, the seagulls wing, and the railings both foreground and background helped bring you to his gaze as he arrives in a new port contemplating what is in store for him. If I had not been looking back at my old files I would have missed this picture in the rush of deadlines and culling.
Reflection is an art. It is important to sit and reflect on the past to make sure you are as prepared for the future as possible. Often as professionals we are moving forward so fast we forget to look back at our lives and work and learn some lessons from ourselves. We can get so tied down in the must do’s of our daily lives that we loose track of what is important, what is valuable, and what is necessary. Quiet time in reflection of your work and life will help you move forward with greater resolve and clarity.
We all have success’s and failures. Remember that both will teach and guide us into our futures. It’s easy to look back on our successes and try to ignore the failures but that is not always helpful. We can learn a lot from our failures. The key is to make sure you don’t dwell in the past. Celebrate your successes and contemplate lessons from your failures but dont get caught up dwelling on either. If you dwell on your success you will become arrogant and self absorbed, if you dwell on your failures you will become depressed and useless. It’s a delicate balance. Look back and learn then turn around and sprint with new clarity, vision, and wisdom.Read More »
Photo Credit: Tyler Smith – D3s 50mm f/4.5 1/8000 ISO4000
I went on a photo walk with my two kids Tyler (8) and Tava (5). The three of us spent some time wandering around Fernwood near the Belfrey Theater snapping pictures. It was a fun process for me but what was most interesting was to see the world through the lens of my children. As creative people we try hard to look at things in new ways and are often inhibited by our past or the way we have learned to see the world. We constantly filter the content in front of our lens through our own experience.
One of the things I enjoy about my watching my kids is their constant discovery of new things, their giggles, and their open hearts. I loved to see all the pictures of telephone poles with paintings on them, man hole covers, fences, and cats. What they found interesting they just pointed the camera at and shot. I looked through my own pictures and noticed that I had focused on people, composition, lines, subject matter. All these things were for the benefit of other people. How would they see my work, how would they perceive my vision, how would they react to my photo. My work was inadvertently being done for someone else.
My kids on the other hand shot what intrigued them, what they liked, what they thought was interesting or noteworthy. They shot what they wanted to capture for themselves. They might have just liked a color or shape. They though the “go canucks go” imprinted in the concrete walk was fun and worth taking a picture of.
They were, photographically, uninhibited by the demands of others and it showed. They have some images I would never have shot but love.
As a business man and photographer I think it is important sometimes to ignore the chatter around us and focus on what we want to accomplish, what we want to create, what we want to do. We can’t be produce something extraordinary if we limit our selves with the confines of ordinary. Many people around you will tell you to give up on an idea or dream, to limit yourself to normal because that’s what people do. The people around you are quick to tell you to conform and slow to encourage your creativity because it’s different.
Bottom line is that if you don’t ignore the world around you and strip yourself of the confines of others, you will never achieve anything extraordinary. I say “Be Extraordinary!”Read More »
Have you heard the saying “do what you love and the money will come”? It’s been a hard saying to understand for me because I’ve been programmed by those around me to think “work hard and the money will come”. Although I have done lots of things that I love I have never found it easy to attach monetary value to my loves. Another challenge for me is that there are so many things that I love to do that I don’t have enough time to get it all in or to the point of making money with it.
That lead me to believe that there was something missing from that saying alone. I do a lot of things I love constantly but they don’t always turn into money.
“focus a lot of your time specifically on doing one thing you love and money will come from it”
You can’t just “do it” you have to “do a ton of it”.
Yup that about sums it up for me.
That means that I need to spread myself less thin and start devoting myself to one of the things I love so that I will be able to make money doing it. The one thing that is true in both is that it is possible to make money doing something you love. I think that will be the focus of the next few years for me. Choose one of my many loves, focus on it, and see if I can turn it into a full time lucrative revenue stream. Now to figure out which one. I’ll keep you posted.Read More »
I had a conversation recently about choosing photo gear and I walked away from it pondering where an individual should spend their money. Here are my thoughts.
A friend of mine posted on twitter that he wanted a new camera. He is running a Canon S95 point and shoot currently. Given that I’m a pro photographer I often get asked about gear choice and selection. A good answer is “buy the gear that gets you shooting!”. For some that is nothing more than an S95 and for others they need a bit more to encourage them to shoot more. Just so you can understand where I am coming from here is a list of the top four cameras I use.
1 – Nikon D3S – this is my main camera for all my Pro work.
2 – Fuji X100 – this is my choice for everyday life and is always with me.
3 – Olympus XZ-1 – this camera I gave to my wife to use for pictures of the kids.
4 – Apple iPhone – this is always in my pocket and is used to share things with my friends vie Instagram.
Ok now that you have an idea of what I use let me tell you that they are three very different cameras but ALL of them take amazing pictures. The above picture was taken with the XZ-1 on the top of Blackcomb Ski Mountain this summer. Technically it has a small sensor, less control, smaller lens, and lots of other issues compared to the D3S. Lets face it though, the aesthetic of the picture and the cameras ability to capture what the scene was like is still very strong. Would I shoot a billboard campaign with the XZ-1? Of course not, but not for the reasons you would think. I could make a very similar and compelling billboard picture with both cameras and you would be hard pressed to tell the difference of them aesthetically. The reason I would shoot the D3S in this case is because I would like to have the file size for blowing up the picture to such a large size.
Lets face it, you can make great images with anything as long as you get used to it’s abilities and faults. Once you learn a particular piece of gear you can work within it’s limits to create amazing photo’s that will inspire your friends and colleagues. If we chase the aesthetic, gear doesn’t matter.
Ok lets define aesthetic. It is “having a sense of the beautiful”. I really like that definition. Photography is about chasing a sense of beauty. As photography moves forward we keep worrying about pixels, sharpness, file size, and a host of other tech specs that really don’t help with the purpose of photography.
A good friend of mine David duChemin has a mantra that I’m sure his followers are sick of by now. “Gear is good but vision is better.” I cant agree more with him and I’m proud of his determination in soap boxing this message. We as photographers need to stop worrying about the gear we have and concentrate more on the aesthetic quality of the pictures that we take with the gear we have.
What we really want is for someone to look at out pictures and find something beyond all the technical mumbo jumbo. Something beautiful, pleasing, and engaging. My new answer to anyone asking about gear is: “spend as little as you can, and just what you need, to start taking pictures” because the aesthetic will come from you not the gear. If you can’t find this aesthetic with your iPhone a D3S and the sexiest glass in the world is not going to help you find it.Read More »
There is one thing in my life that inspires me more than anything and it’s my children. After years of wondering if I wanted to have children or if I would be a good father my wife and I decided to jump into the pool of parenthood.
Not only did we jump, but we jumped into the deep end. Our kids are so very different from each other and from us that we often wonder how that could happen.The one thing that they have in common is amazing complex personalities. They are both full of vigour and love mixed with a small dose of refreshing silliness. If you meet my kids you will not soon forget them. They are an amazing pair and their personalities are infectious, refreshing, and inspiring.
It is important to remember that everyone that touches or interacts with your company will leave with an understanding of your companies personality. This includes your staff, customers, the public, your cleaning company, and your grandparents. Therefore defining the personality of your company is the single most important thing you can do. It comes before anything! Before you pick your domain name, choose a company name, make a logo, pick a color, hire your staff, choose your computer system, lease your location, choose your target market, or put a poster on the wall. Every decision you make should be led by your company’s personality. That personality should match the personality of the founders. Here is a quick step by step way to create the personality of your company. All you need to do is sit in front of a white board and elect a scribe.
Step 1: As a group of founders write down words that describe your personalities (lets stick to the good ones) till the board is full.
Step 2: After filling the whiteboard get all the founders to pick their top most important trait and circle it in one colour.
Step 3: Get the founders to choose another word that resonates with them which is different than what is most important to them and circle those in another colour.
Step 4: Erase everything else and put them in a list.
Step 5: See if you can narrow that list down by combining words into other words or erasing similar words.
Step 6: Now that you have pared down the list write it on the side of the white board and then fill the white board with people or things that have one or more of the traits you listed on the board. Example: If one of your traits was Curious you could write cat or monkey, if it was inspiring you could put down Amelia Earhart or Martin Luther King.
Step 7: Now you have filled the board with personalities each founder picks one that they think most closely matches the traits you put on the side.
Step 8: Do a second round and again erase everything else on the board.
Step 9: Organize the people left on the board into categories of personalities. Example: If you had Charlie Brown and Garfield you would put them under Comic Strip Characters, if you had White Stripes and Madona you would put them under musicians etc.
Step 10: Erase everything so you have a list of Character traits beside a list of Character types and now you have something to inspire every decision you make in your company.
I did this with my software company and we ended up with the internal saying of “Confident Passion balanced by Genuine Care and Support”. We make all our marketing decisions, support decisions, financial decisions, and hiring decisions based on this saying and it has transformed the way we do things. I challenge you to find your corporate personality and I promise you if you work from that in everything you do you will be as infectious, refreshing, and inspiring as my children.Read More »
Working as a photographer is extremely rewarding but making money as a photographer can be a completely different beast all together. We work with commercial clients and put together licensing structures for prints while balancing the cost for the client.
I find it extremely useful to do a 6 month review of my work and the way it was used while matching that up with the way I billed a project.
Here is an example of where I would have done something different had I thought about it at the time.
The client was a U-Pack storage company that delivers these nifty little yellow boxes onto the street in front of your house so you can pack it up. Then they pick it up and store it at their warehouse for you. I did the job and billed as usual but now that I’m reviewing the idea I realize I missed a huge marketing opportunity.
Had I realized these boxes would have been EVERYWHERE in my city I would have done the job for FREE as long as I was credited on the box for the photo’s! I love to do pro bono work for non profits and help my community but I forget that once in awhile it’s good to think about what the marketing potential of the job you are doing will be if you can be somehow involved. I’m kicking myself for not thinking of this at the time because I think this particular client would have been totally open to the idea. The worst part about missing this opportunity is that I have to drive by them all over the city every day and am constantly reminded of it.
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I have had the Fuji X100 for a couple months now and have some thoughts that we should share. It has been in my bag at every wedding I have done this summer as well as some commercial and editorial shoots. I have not used the pictures from it yet but took these times to really get to know the camera and how it works.
I had previously purchased the Olympus xz-1 and found it to be a stunning little point and shoot that I still recommend to people with gusto. I however found myself running the xz-1 constantly in aperture priority mode with the zoom left at about 35mm equivalent and ISO 600. This meant that I could pull it out of my bag and quickly shoot something with very little tinkering of the camera. It was great for vacations and carrying with me every day. The only thing I wished was that I could get at the ND filter faster on the xz-1. This was how I used it 99% of the time.
If you understand what I just said I’m sure you can see why the X100 was the next logical step for me to purchase and why I jumped on it right away. It’s fixed focus 35mm lens with a massive sensor (compared to the xz-1) mixed with hard dial quickly adjustable settings makes it a perfect fit for the way I was using my daily camera. As you can imagine I gave John at Kerrisdale Cameras Victoria a call and he ordered it for me right away.
I must say I have fallen in love with this little camera. Apart from the obvious benefits o the large sensor I have been impressed with it’s low light capability even when shooting jpg mode which I do sometimes because I just need a quick picture. The picture of Steve at a wedding was shot in jpg mode at ISO3200 as it was getting dark at that point. I am continually impressed with the usability of the file from the X100.
The hard dials for aperture and shutter speed are very quick and easy to use but the two features that make this camera for me other than file size and cool factor (lets face it this little camera turns heads) is the ND filter and the EV comp dial. Ok so I run in aperture priority mode most of the time so being able to tweek the EV with a hard dial on the top of the camera is such a nice feature. I have also set up the little black button on the top of the camera to be the ND filter on/off button so I can get to it quickly.
The image quality at ISO640 is pretty amazing so I pretty much leave it set there unless the situation demands otherwise. So the process for me to take a picture is simply pull it out of my pocket, frame up the shot, check the exposure, take a picture. I didn’t use the Auto ISO feature as I find it likes to drop the shutter speed to low before it bumps up the ISO making shaky pictures from my big old hand shake. That’s why I lock it in at ISO640 and go to town.
Ok so shooting during the day at ISO640 f/2.0 is a tuff situation and pretty much leads to overexposed hard summertime light. No problem. at the settings I run this camera I just throw on the ND filter and it pretty much usually get’s it to a workable file with no overexposure while keeping the shallow depth of field I want.
I have found my ultimate point and shoot camera. The cool part is that it is super capable of being way more than that. Every once in awhile I run into a situation where that style of settings just doesn’t work or I need to tweek the settings and in those moments I just more to full manual mode and tweek it out. It is capable of that for sure.
One thing I have learned with this camera though is that it writes to the card slow as mud. So be prepared to wait for it sometimes .. ok … a lot! It is also pretty slow to focus and a bit clumsy in the menu department which makes fast work hard. I may notice it more as my regular camera the Nikon D3S is a rockstar of a camera and I am very used to how nimble it is. But the whole point for me is that I don’t carry my D3S around with all my lens’s for documenting my vacations and daily life. It’s just to big and bulky and expensive to accidentally leave at a coffee shop (which is where my X100 is right now and after writing this I’m headed there to pick it up lol)
There are way more features and settings we could geek out on about this little camera like the RAW button, the amazing digital overlay of the viewfinder, and it’s amazing styling, but the point is that despite all it’s quirks and finicky little habits, I have made this little gem my hip slinger!Read More »
It’s the end of the summer here in Victoria, BC and I really enjoyed all the weddings I shot this summer. I love the need for creativity mixed with short deadlines and do or die style. If there is one thing I know its that shooting weddings will really help you learn your gear and make sure it gets out of the way fast. If you have to think about your camera settings you won’t be able to move fast enough to capture the moments you need to.
The piece I enjoy most about weddings is the portraits I pull off for the bride and groom. I will be posting some of this summers portraits here so you can see them. I’m also going to talk about my gear as I switched to Nikon this year and although I’m loving it my pocket book certainly had a stroke!
I’m glad you are here and look forward to discussing business and photography with you.Read More »