Jul 5, 2011

Point and Shoot Philosophy

Since going digital back in 2004, I've had four cameras.  They've all been Sony Cybershots, all point-and-shooters, and all great cameras.  With the exception of the very first one I owned, which I dropped and mangled the lens, I've held on to these cameras as prized possessions.  The newest of the bunch being my DSC-W570.

What I love about a good point and shoot camera is that there's nothing very ostentatious about it.  People don't take you too seriously when you're pointing one in their direction, and when you're not using it it can sit comfortably in your back pocket.  In a world that's become riddled with overnight photographers and cell phone journalists, the point and shoot camera is somehow more genuine.  It says you care enough about your photos to own a dedicated camera, but that you're also willing to be part of the moment - not constantly holding it like your phone, or in your face like an SLR.

As I've said many times before, I use an SLR on an almost daily basis for the web photography I do.  It's great to work with and I have nothing but appreciation for those who live by the high-end equipment they use.  There's joy in simplicity however, and it's easy to forget how much the advent of digital photography has changed our relationship to the process.

Take your point and shoot and capture your friends and family.  Photograph the obscure, snap a sunset, and document your favorite things.  Outside of another Instagram app on the iPhone or another polished SLR exposure, the point and shoot is to photography what the Bolex camera was for me in film school.  It's a starter piece, a standard, and a simple work-horse that produces amazing results.  The subtle imperfections of a point and shoot actually show more character in my honest opinion.

Step back from your preset iPhone filters, your racking focus, and precise exposures for just a minute to take a genuine snapshot.  Consider it a creative exercise.  Like we used to do when trying to finish a roll of Kodak, grab your point and shoot and play.

Jul 4, 2011

Bonfire Penmanship

This Canada Day long weekend I met up with some friends in Regina.  We had a bonfire and a few drinks and kicked back to enjoy the nice weather.  It was when my friend Tyler brought out his camera and I started playing with a stick that I lit on fire that things got even more interesting.  Here are a few long exposures that Tyler snapped of me writing out all of our names - Luke, Tyler, Shannon, Wendy, and Dave - all written backwards I might add.

Jul 1, 2011

Like A Boss

Pulling up in my Jaguar at a trendy downtown Calgary hotel is a fun way to make an entrance.  Being in the city to photograph and film a magazine photo shoot taking place at the Calgary Opera House is also a quaint response to, "why are you here?" that carries a certain amount of gravitas.  And then there's the icing on the cake of showing up at the shoot in the morning and being greeted by a cute girl with, "Oh hey, you must be one of the models".  I know this is all shameless bragging, but it felt damn good. This is how you do a business trip, like a boss! :)

Nuvo Hotel Suites was a great place to stay, but unlike your regular hotel this one didn't have parking directly adjacent to it.  It wasn't a big deal as they do provide you with a pass at a parking garage a block away, but I wasn't all that impressed when I found out that the spot just barely fit my car.  Some of that 'feeling cool' momentum is lost when you're intensely focused on keeping your side view mirrors attached.

The room made up for it though.

The shoot itself was actually a lot of fun, but exhausting - and thankfully I was just there to capture the behind the scenes of it all.  I did the same thing last year at Rouge Restaurant where we were doing a garden shoot.  

My navigation skills seemed to be intact as I didn't have a problem finding my way around, but it definitely made me appreciate my small city commute back home.  That's the thing about trips like this, they make you realize that the things that are supposedly bigger and better also come with unfortunate downsides.  The nice hotel in a busy part of town.  The big photo shoot that requires weeks of intensive planning and a crazy budget.  The cute girl that finds you attractive . . . nah, just kidding, that last part is awesome.

Work like this is a nice change of pace and a sampling of a life that I feel I passed on when I decided not to move to Vancouver last year.  However, it's also a reminder of how good things have gone since that decision.  

You can see some pictures of my drive up here.