Brand New Website

Hello Everyone,

It’s been a crazy past month. I’ve decided to plunge into the deep end and started to get the ball rolling for a photography business. It’s a huge step, but it’s been a great experience so far. Super busy on top of a normal job… But anyways, I’ve just launched a brand new website. It’s called Island Trail Photography.

So please check out my site here: http://islandtrailphotography.com

You can also check out my Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/islandtrailphotography

So far I’ve been blown away from the love and support! So thank you everyone! It’s going to be a great year! Can’t wait to get out there and take more pictures.

Nanaimo River - 2013.06.22-1856

Wandering Downtown

Well, It’s been almost a week and finally I got some time to test out my new camera (Canon 5D MKII). I’ve decided to shoot in manual and wander around downtown with a 50mm 1.4. I’m still trying to get familiar with the settings and functions. So I’m slowly getting the hang of things, and so far I’m loving it! The colours on this is great and the low light settings are awesome. Can’t wait to go shooting some more!

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Fan Tan Alley is such an awesome place to photograph, so I had to shoot something there before they closed the gate at night.

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My New Baby and the Rest of My Gear

I’ve been shooting with my Canon Rebel XT for about 5 years now… It was definitely time for an upgrade since a lot has changed in the world of photography – sensors got better, cameras are cheaper, etc.

Canon Rebel XT with a Sigma 10-20mm 3.5 lens

My Canon Rebel XT with a Sigma 10-20mm 3.5 lens

Throughout the years of shooting, I’ve definitely learned a lot about photography. I picked up a few lenses and was constantly trying to learn more. For a while I had to figure out which camera body I should purchase next. After a lot of thinking, researching, and talking to people, I’ve decided to go for the Canon 5D MKII. She’s a beauty!

Canon 5D MKII with a 85mm 1.8 lens

My Canon 5D MKII with a 85mm 1.8 lens

Why not the 7D you might ask? Well… In my case, full frame would be a better choice because I do a lot of scenic shots, and low light photography is better on a full frame. The only problem with a MKII is, it’s discontinued so I had to do some serious searching. around for a used one in good shape.

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Here’s my arsenal of lenses I’ve been using for all my shooting:

From left to right:

  • Canon 18-55mm 3.5-5.6: My last resort lens if I couldn’t get away with using my other lenses. It’s an average lens with nothing special… It came with my Rebel XT when I first got it.
  • Sigma 10-20mm 3.5: My go-to lens. I use this for everything like from landscape shots to concerts. It’s a really great lens except it could be soft around the edges at some point, but I like the colours of it.
  • Canon 50mm 1.4: My first prime lens. Definitely took me out of my comfort zone using this, but it’s been great. I use this for portrait photos and concerts. Works really well in low light settings and sharp pics!
  • Canon 85mm 1.8: I bought this with my 5D MKII. This is another sharp lens that I’m really excited to play around with especially when I start doing more portraits.

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I’m really excited to take my new camera out into the world and take a lot of pictures! I’m hoping to get out there really soon. So keep checking back for more pictures! I’m always curious as to what people shoot with, so if you want, feel free to post in the comments what kind of gear you use!

Canada Day 2013 Fireworks

Canada Day in Victoria! It’s always a good time here – roads are closed, lots of people wandering around, good eats, live music, and fireworks. And to top it all off, the weather was amazing! I decided to head downtown to do some wandering… Sooo here’s the pics!

There’s another blog post I wrote for the live music portion. You can take a look at the pictures by clicking this link. There was live music all day, but I showed up later and saw Caracol, Acres of Lions, Odds, and Hey Ocean! It was a pretty stacked lineup, so it was loads of fun taking pictures!

After the concerts, I quickly got out of there and relocated for the fireworks. As I was about halfway to the spot I wanted to go, the fireworks started, so I had no choice but to set up shop nearby. The pictures turned out alright I think…

A Review of 2012

Another year gone! It seems like when you get older, the quicker time goes by… I can’t believe it’s 2013!

After looking through some pictures from 2012, I’d say it’s been another good year (minus not finding a full time job… But that will come this year… Right?). Let’s start the review of 2012!!

January:

My first time snowshoeing on Saddle Trail.


March:

Finished my 52 week HDR project! It’s my first time doing such a project that really forced me to go out and take pictures every week.

Met a rad dancing group from Calgary called Legacy One.

First time hiking up Sugarloaf. Nashira and I did a rock climbing recon mission out there. Looks like there’s quite a bit of awesome routes there, but it’s a pretty long hike in.

Went to Seattle’s Pike Place Market and checked out the wall of gum. It was disgusting yet awesome at the same time. And it was also my FIRST blog post that was freshly pressed.

FINALLY saw John K Samson live!

April:

Ian & Joanne’s wedding at Church of Our Lord, Victoria, BC

May:

Matthew and Marlena’s wedding at Milner Chapel, Langley, BC. This was also where Shannon and I played music during the wedding!

History Maker 2012 at the Abbotsford Events Centre

Always happy rock climbing. This was at Mt. MacDonald… Second climb of the year!


June:

Butchart Gardens is always an awesome place!

Brenden convocated all over the place at Fraser Valley Adventist Academy.

Lori convocated too from Simon Fraser University!

And Shannon convocated as well from University of the Fraser Valley!

Hiking at Goldstream. Went to see Niagara Falls and the trestle!

Coombs and mini golf is a must in the Summer.

July:

Canada Day in Victoria. I love it here! Roads are closed off, people are wandering all over downtown, live music, fireworks…

And this is probably the highlight of the year – Shannon and I hopped on a plane and went to the UK to go see Pete! Here we are at the Vancouver airport about to leave. STOKED! It’s our first time in Europe!

Gloucester, UK

Bristol, UK

Flew out to Dublin to briefly see my friend, Scott. We checked out a handful of places such as the Guinness Brewery, Kilmainham Gaol, Trinity College, Temple Bar, and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

Yeah we did!!

Oxford, UK. Where we attended a Geocaching mega event, and checked out the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, and the Pitt Rivers Museum.

Went to a little town called Chepstow to eat some food and to check out a castle.

Cheltenhem is where we met up with one of Pete’s friend and watched the latest Batman movie!

And then next was London!! This was during the Olympics, so it was really cool to check it out. Went on the Eye of London, the Elizabeth Tower, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Palace, Abbey Road, Sherlock Holmes Museum, River Thames, Shakespeare’s Globe, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London, and Tower Bridge. LOTS of walking, but sooo worth it.

We also went to Newent… A little town where a crazy geocache was. Pretty much you had to use a kayak of some sort and paddle down this really dark canal for who knows how long… And the cache was somewhere down there. It was amazing!

Cooper’s Hill… The place where they roll a wheel of cheese down a hill and people run after it… The videos and pictures don’t do the hill any justice. It’s very steep and lumpy…

August:

The tail end of the trip. We finally checked out the Gloucester Cathedral. We did all the guided tours as well which was really cool. The crypt tour and the bell tower tour.

Last stop of the trip was Cardiff. We checked out Cardiff Castle, and then we went to Millennium Stadium to watch a quarterfinal women’s Olympic football match! We definitely don’t have stadiums this big in Victoria.

Alright… Back in Canada now. Next on the list is Chad’s big proposal day. Helped him set up and take pics. His plan was to take Rotha out for dinner, and then take the dog out for a walk (that’s where the surprise was going to be). The path to the park was lit with candles, and then that’s where they were greeted by a bunch of family and friends. We watched a slideshow of pics they’ve taken, and then bam! Ring!

Mollie & John’s wedding at Tigh Na Mara Resort. Parksville, BC

December:

Christmas in Victoria!

So there we have it… 2012! Another year down. There was a a pretty big gap during the Fall months. Mostly because I was out of money, so I had to hermit for a while. Wasn’t able to do anything overly exciting. Laaaammmeee… But I’m really looking forward to what 2013 has in store for me.

What are your highlights of 2012? Exciting plans for 2013? Leave me a message! Would love to hear your stories! Or post your link on the comments to your “2012 review”. Have an awesome 2013 everyone!

My New Baby!!

For the past little while, I’ve been thinking about buying a new guitar. I’ve had my Ibanez GRX40 for 10+ years, and the more I played it, the more I didn’t like the sound. It was really hard to find the “perfect” guitar as I’ve become pretty picky about everything – the sound, the brand, the style, and the looks. I wanted something with humbuckers and a semi-hollow body. I’ve looked at Fender, Ibanez, PRS, Gretsch, Gibson, and a bunch more, but there was always something I didn’t like about it (most of the time is was the way part of the guitar looked). I was starting to lose hope, but then I decided to check out the Grestch line again, and I found this.

A Gretsch Power Jet. It looked amazing, had awesome electronics, chambered body, and it had a Bigsby vibrato tailpiece. The more I looked at it, the more I knew it was the one! The only problem was the price tag… I went to Long & McQuade to try out this guitar, and the first chord I strummed, I fell in love with it right away. She was perfect. I decided to try out the $700 version (the cheaper version) of this guitar, and there was a lot I didn’t like about it – the tuning pegs, awkward knob positioning, and the sound was flatter. So after a few weeks of mulling over it, I went back to Long & McQuade and ordered it!!

It was pretty expensive, but I figured it’s more of an investment. So it’ll last me a long time, and I wouldn’t be mad at the little details (if I were to buy the guitar I wasn’t 100% sold on). I’d like to think I’d made a good choice. So far so good!!

Movie With A Side Of HDR

Another week goes by. My friend Mollie and I went to see Tron: Legacy at the IMAX on Friday. Here’s a trailer for those who haven’t seen it.

But this was my first time watching this movie (yes, I know, I don’t keep up with movies). Besides the really bad storyline, everything else was awesome! The visuals were amazing and the music was great at certain parts (music was written by Daft Punk AND they made a cameo appearance). It was also really cool because the movie was also shot in Vancouver! … I’d probably watch it again…

Afterwards, I decided to do some night time shooting because I haven’t done much of it lately. I also feel like ever since I started this blog, I need to take more pictures to go with these updates. It’s good because it’s some motivation for me to shoot more. So I’m hoping to keep this up. I didn’t take that many pictures that night. Instead I decided to experiment more with HDR (High Dynamic Range) pictures. Pretty much you take a few pictures (usually around 3 – 5 ish?) one at -2, -1, 0, +1, and +2 EV. Or you can just do it with -2, 0, and +2 EV. It’s really up to you. After taking those pictures, you combine them all to make a crazy looking picture that shows the huge range of dark and light sections of a picture. Hopefully I’ll be doing more of these in the near future because they’re a lot of fun! So only one came out alright, so I’ll leave you with this picture (Click on the image for a larger view).

10mm, ISO 400, F9

 

Busy busy busy!

It seems like I never know how I get so busy… It’s either not busy at all, or crazy busy. Never in between. But it’s been good – working (on day 17 out of 19. SO close to having a weekend!!), rock climbing, hanging out with friends, and going to new restaurants in Victoria. On top of all this, a lot has been on my mind too.

My friends, Shannon, Louis, and I decided to do a “read the Bible in a year” thing, but this time it’s in chronological order. It’s definitely better than reading it from cover to cover (in my opinion). We’re just over a month into it, and it’s been super good. I know it’s super cliché to say this, but it’s true… A lot of times when you don’t know what the heck is going on, you just have to trust in God, because He has a plan for you. I’ve noticed that throughout the readings, that theme keeps coming up. We read the Bible and clearly see what’s going on, but when the tough times roll in, we tend to become blinded and forget about the stories we read and how God has everything under control… In the end, everything will be ok. What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right??

It’s my birthday coming up soonish, so I have quite the dilemma… Been thinking about this for a while. I’ve decided to spoil myself by buying a new lens for my camera!! This summer I REALLY want to try doing some rock climbing photography… Or at least give it a try since I LOVE rock climbing… So at first I wasn’t sure which one to get because there’s just too many to choose from. But the more I think of it, the more I wanted a prime lens because it’ll force me to be more creative (at least that’s what I think). So that really narrows down my choices (sort of). After more thinking, I’ve decided to go for one of the following:

• Canon 50mm F1.8
• Canon 50mm F1.4
• Sigma 50mm F1.4
• Canon 35mm F2.0
• Sigma 30mm F1.4

So many choices, right?? But after doing more research and thinking, I was able to narrow it down to three lenses because the Sigma 50mm was out of my price range, and I hate the feel of a bunch of Canon lenses because they feel really cheap, so the Canon 50mm F1.8 was out. So here’s the choices:

(From left to right: Sigma 30mm F1.4, Canon 35mm F2.0, Canon 50mm F1.4)

I went to Japan Camera and Lens and Shutter to check out the lenses, and once they threw on a 35mm, there wasn’t enough zoom on it, so I guess now my only option is the Canon 50mm F1.4. Any suggestions? Thoughts? Comments?

Now onto something totally different…. Rhiannon and I went out to Ferris’ for dinner on Tuesday, and it was awesome! We bumped into a busker she met recently, and he said he was playing at an open mic at the White Bird (I think that’s where it is… I keep forgetting). But anyways, we decided to check it out. We had a few hours to kill, so we did a huge walk around downtown and along the water and finally went to Tim Hortons to have a hot drink. Afterwards, we headed over to the White Bird to check out this open mic. It was definitely a weird vibe when we got there. It was like a small group of people that all knew each other. So at first it was this girl singer with bass and drums backing her up. They were alright except they haven’t practiced much and things started to sound the same… But the music was alright. Next was an opera singer who sang a song which was kinda cool. And then another girl that just sang one song acapella. Next up was this talented guitar player. Thank goodness someone that was really good! Next was a hippie who did a pretty crazy cover of the Beatles. Interesting guitarist… He even beat-boxed a little… Next person was the busker that Rhiannon knew. Wasn’t a huge fan of him because his voice sounded like Creed or Nickelback or Staind (he DID play a Staind cover) or any of those kind of bands. And he just yelled… It almost seemed like an open jam session. And then we left during the last set (I think). Interesting night… Weird venue. Weird musicians. Song butchering. Yeah I dunno, oh well! Makes for an interesting night… I didn’t have my camera with me at the time and I refused to use my iPhone to take pics of the open mic, sooo I’ll leave you with this picture at the White Bird.. Thank you Stachetastic for making this epic.

Hello World!

Looks like I’m gonna be giving this blog thing a try… Still got lots of work to do on this, but I’ll be slowly updating stuff here and there…

Work has been pretty crazy at H&R Block. As I have to set up a bunch of offices, so this might be a slow start… But I’ll be keep you all posted of my crazy adventures :) Stay tuned!

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