Ohh James…

I had the great opportunity and pleasure of working with my dear old friend James Correa. It was a perfect Spring evening, the light was fantabulous and I was waiting impatiently to try my carl zeiss t* planar 50mm f/1.4 with an FX mount for the X-pro1. Which would be like a 80mm or so on a full frame body. And thus, a love story was reborn!

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Some very minor retouching and color correcting were done in photoshop and VCSO film. And I love the manual focus on this cam, I don’t know why so many people bitch about it :)

If you’d like to see more of my work, you can check my recent stuff here or my full website here

Thanks for watching!

Summer 2011 photo blitz part 1

These days I feel like I’m caught between a dream, what ever is in the middle and real life. I wouldn’t say its hard, its just very different from what I’m used to feeling. In about 6 weeks my wife is supposed give birth, our first baby, the reason why my life has already changed so drastically, but in a good way of course :) I miss writing blogs, its not that I have no time, I could find the time, its not that hard but its just that I choose to spend more time elsewhere, make sure things are alright and that we’re on track with everything.

I admire parents, my parents, also my friends who already have kids and all of those couples that have 2 kids or more. Just thinking about kids can be exhausting :) But before I embark on this incredible adventure with Amélie, I will try to catch up with my entries and share some of my favourite shots from this Summer,  this is part 1 of 2 by the way.

Where to begin…

Sometime during the month of June, I had the great pleasure of having Arthur Mola and Philip Schulte over for the weekend. It was during the Grand Prix weekend of all possible weekends :) Always a pleasure spending time and shooting with people who love photography as much as them. What I remember the most from that weekend was, Tri-x, Jack and coke, using Philip’s M6, an exploding battery, getting our picture taken by the photo guy and watching Philip eat his first “real” poutine. The rest is all about having a good time!

Sherbrooke Metro on a Friday evening, the night we went out.

Expected

As I was saying

I really want a M6 with the Nokton 1.1, c’est si joli! :)

We all have our moments

Mr Mola on the hunt

I’ve had many meals in this place…. but none that I can clearly remember.

I always enjoy finding available light sources especially during the night but that’s not why I find this picture interesting.

I had no light meter by the way, the battery was dead on the M6 so all the night shots were a guess.

A must

After a good night sleep, or what was left of it, I made the guys some crepes and we ate outside. Last day in town for them, I thought it would only be appropriate to show them the Old port and Chinatown. Oddly enough I didn’t take many pictures, I guess I was more interested in seeing what they had experienced. Nevertheless here are some of the ones I managed to take.

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My Contax 645 had to come out for this special occasion.

Arthur took this one

And this one, that is my “Ididn’tgetenoughsleep” face

This was at 1.1 with the Nokton 50, damn that’s shallow :) I should of had more practice with it but still enjoyed the outcome.

I was pretty off on this shot, but the essential is there

Street performer getting his share of attention

Chinatown, obviously

Some nice action again! We headed back to my place and the guys packed up and got ready for the drive back to Toronto, which I believe is about 6-7 hours away. It was short and sweet, happy they came down and hopefully it wont’t be our last gathering!

Later that month I went For a boys weekend to Quebec city, a quick 2 day adventure that was long overdue :)

Arrived

Was great to have some quality time with the guys.

This shot just makes me smile, that early morning attitude… before coffee of course.

A little windy that morning

But not without a sense of humour. That had to be the earliest bachelor party ever… Would you like some Jack Daniels with your eggs? We later saw him again twice, the second time he didn’t look as energetic ;)

Tourists… they are so visible…

… like vintage cars, which I prefer to tourists ;)

One of those moments

Met up with the guys later on and had “some” Sangria

Tourists :)

David Bowie

Love walking in this weather.

Getting ready for supper. Was a great weekend indeed!

Now onto something completely different. My wife and I decided to rent a cottage in the eastern townships and invite here parents for a long weekend. They had helped us so much with our wedding that it seemed like the least we could do. It was a perfectly relaxing weekend and for once I felt like they were getting taken care
of  and not the other way around :)

Good times!

So glad they enjoyed it!

I love these moments

Time has no value here.

You can concentrate on the important things in life.

ADD Attention definitely desired

She loves reading…

Runs in the family I guess

:)

A nice view I’m sure :)

The friendly stalker.

Later on in July we were at our friend’s boy’s 2nd B-day party, a gorgeous day, a nice pool and great company.

Birthday boy gets bypassed by impostor

Good luck trying to blowout a sparkle :)

Have your cake bud!

:)

Lots of kids everywhere!

He’s actually pretty good ;)

Our host

The party animal

Ze ballons, of course!

Xavier

With his parents

Time for presents!

A moving violation!

Conversations – Hey, there’s my little boy!… somewhere there. :)

Related? ;)

How about these two?

Some soothing

Some attitude! I’m sure he was like: “Buddy, put the camera down and lets go swim!”

A perfect Summer day!

:)

You can rest now, all has been done!

The next ones are really random from the days that followed.

That’s a dog lover! :)

Good times

Good food

Ahhhh

Those eyes!

Something tasted funny, I guess.

Kids, they’re everywhere I tell you!

Too adorable to pass

Ok enough with the kids, for now.

Back to kids :)

A father daughter moment, interrupted by the incredibly loud Contax 645 :)

During my official B-day celebration brunch ;)

And my mama!

Well, that’s it for now. I have lots more to show you in part two. A little more documentary style but still very summer-ish for the most part ;)

Hope you enjoyed watching.

A bientôt!

Better late than never

Let me begin by thanking all the people who wrote a comment on my last entry. When I saw those emails come in I thought for sure I had a virus :). I was delighted to see how many people found it useful and it made me also think about the importance of the subject as a discussion. This entry will be much different from the last one but is more in line with what I usually post here. I was very busy for the last three months with work and especially since I added a grueling exercise routine in my life… which is worth every painful moment :) I actually see and feel the results and I love it. But the most important thing over everything else is that my wife and I are expecting a baby :))))) It’s been great so far! Things are going well and she’s already half way there, so my time has been divided in to many wonderful new chapters. I still managed to shoot some photos during the last few months but I’ve only gotten to them now, a few shots are really out of season. Nevertheless, I thought I would share them here.

They start somewhere in Feb 2011 and end in May 2011.

Feb 2011 I spent the weekend with my wife at my friend’s house in Quebec city. Was great to see him and all the family. It was the first time I actually managed to catch the winter carnival!

:) I love them!

Vincent taking the road less traveled.

Bonhomme Carnaval… the official mascot.

From this photo you can’t really tell but it was damn cold that day… around -25C. My fingers were frozen.

Little fella needed a coat to make it through that day.

Probably the only ones staying warm that day.

I wonder if he was thinking about the end of the run.

ahhh

She’s such a cutie

After such a painfully cold day what better than a little cheese fondue to ease the pain Mmmmmm. Was great to see Ian again, always a pleasure to spend time with his family :) Skip forward about a week, my wife and I decided to continue our steak of courage and go see the “festivals des lumières” in our own town, Montréal.

It wasn’t as cold as Québec city but nevertheless pretty damn cold!

This is how we keep warm in -20C :)

Still, I’m a big fan of open spaces and especially during winter when everything is so quiet.

Slippery as hell also… had to watch my step here.

The fun part abut winter.

I took a very similar shot in bw a while ago, its just funny to see how I love this angle :)

Saddest dear I have ever seen.

Another pitstop to get the blood flowing.

Another reason to freeze your tush, stop for some maple syrup on a stick.

Another heat source which is actually used to cook sausages… maple smoked ones mmmmmm

Kids have fun in any type of weather… not me.

I enjoy shopping in unusual places :)

Ok now skip forward another couple of weeks and here we are at the St-Patricks parade!

I took some shots in bw with my Nikon F3 and some Kodak Plus-X 125.

Some of the odd things you might see on a Sunday morning downtown. :)

This girl made me think of Madonna for some reason.

“That’s right honey, take some pictures while daddy sips his beer.”

A story about a man and his stick :).

I’m sure he has seen many St-Patrick parades.

This time it’s the stick that grabbed the dog.

One of my favourite shots from this year.

I love people!

:)

If walls could talk.

These kids were just to cute to ignore. As I snapped this shot the mom turned around and gave me one of the dirtiest looks I have ever seen. Should have shot with a rangefinder instead :) All the color shots were taken with my Canon 5d and either the 28/1.8 or the 50/1.4. I think my future dream is to get a 35/1.4 looks like a winner lens for street.

Fast forward again… a week or two. We got another snowstorm before Spring decided to stay for good.

By the time I took this shot I was really, really sick of winter… But I don’t hate this shot.

It is nice to look at though and photograph.

Random…

I was so captivated by this shadow. Its a very dramatic tree!

Ahhhhhh and Spring is finally here! This one was taken with my Contax 645 80/2.0 Zeiss Planar and Kodak Portra 160NC

Have more shots in the upcoming days but wanted to share these few for now.

Hope you’re all having a great week so far! I’m leaving for Québec city with 4 of my friends this w/e, hopefully I’ll get a chance to shoot :)

To HDR or not to HDR

I’m going to start by expressing my true opinion on most of the HDR work I see on the net, to sum it all up, I really don’t like that particular effect on photos… well, not when its overdone and especially on street photography. I’ll go as far as saying that HDR could never be street photography to me, it just makes everything look like a painting or a very detailed pencil work, in my opinion it defeats the purpose. I’m not saying that my word is golden, it just feels and looks that way to me, that’s all.

But like with many things in life and especially food, if you don’t try it how can you say you don’t like it? True, so I tried it and although I didn’t enjoy modifying my pictures to that extent it actually made me think of another way to incorporate this effect/look without losing to much of the original essence.

Feel free to express your thoughts on this manner and of course on my photos. HDR won’t be something I’ll be incorporating into my future work but sometimes, depending on the client, I’d like to have a little more flexibility when it comes to retouching the final product.

I found that the HDR effect worked best on scenery, on portraits it just made everything too… there, like there’s no more room for any mystery or latitude.

I have to admit though, it was fun to play around with it and especially find a happy medium.

In this particular scene I really gave it a little more of the HDR effect and as you can see its starting to lose that photographic feel and it’s almost crossing into a painting or illustration category.

Here I really wanted to keep as much detail as possible but without overpowering the whole mood.

In my opinion it worked best on structures and pictures which had some sort of textures, like clouds or wood.

Bricks were fun also…

… So were buildings.

I wouldn’t say that I have converted myself to liking that HDR look or effect but I will definitely keep my mind open to certain possibilities when working on new projects. I don’t think that this type of photography could ever save a project or an idea, I think that it could become complementary to it if it has its place.

By the way, I used HDR EFEX PRO from Nik software (the trial version) I think they have some great products and even though I don’t think I would ever buy this one, I can see it working for some people who enjoy this type of photography. It’s a great complementary tool when working in Photoshop. I loooove their Silver Efex Pro software, made me almost fall in love with BW digital photography… almost :)
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On a completely different subject now, I’m on my 5th week of P90X and its incredible how my body has changed, not only from the outside but also very much from the inside. My energy level has increased and I especially feel that my core is where it should be. It really is very very difficult to follow especially the YogaX but worth every painful moment :)

Cheers!

Stars of Summer

I have to admit this Summer sucked! Most of the time we had rain and  some cold weather… if it wasn’t for our trip in Tunisia it would have been a disaster :) August and September though brought me some nice opportunities to keep shooting. Here are some highlights of what I call “My two weeks of Summer”

Let’s start with Sofia at Chris’s and Annie’s place in Morin Heights

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Lily as energetic as always :)

Next stop was at my friend Ian’s and Lynn’s place. I always enjoy taking pictures of Vince… he reminds some much of his father when he was younger, same attitude but with a deep soul.

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Believe me, I don’t let just anybody hold my camera… Vince has an eye for pictures!

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We had a lovely time! Easpecially the two hour street hockey game we played… I realized I wasn’t 18 anymore! But at least I didn’t feel quilty about having the wine and cheese later on! :)

Last but not least was a pool party at Fred’s place… I always enjoy taking pictures there. I do it so often that I feel like they don’t pay attention to me anymore… and that’s when you get the fun shots, the one’s you can see coming.

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Elio… such a beautiful baby!

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Thought it was only appropriate to finish with this shot. :)

Hope everyone is doing great! Thanks for watching!

If you are curious, all the b&w stuff and some color were shot with the Contax 645 / 80mm 2.0 Zeiss glass / Ilford Pan F50 and Portra NC 160… all other stuff with the Canon 5d and 50mm 1.4 or 28mm 1.8

Ciao!