Howard Tanner Photography: Blog en-us (C) 2024 Howard Tanner [email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:08:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:08:00 GMT Howard Tanner Photography: Blog 120 39 The Photowalk

Last weekend was the Worldwide Photowalk. The walk is held annually and happens in hundreds of locations around the globe. I have hosted the WWPW a few times and have always enjoyed the experience.

Past walks have included Chinatown, Inglewood, Pearce Estate Park, the Lougheed House so a new location was needed. After a little scouting around the location of the walk was chosen as Calgary’s East Village. This was a strategic choice because it is centrally located, has a variety of urban and park scenes and is accessible.

Once the group had gathered it was time for the obligatory group shot. After that we were off on our walk.

The light was flat out ugly. Photographically the light was about as bad as your could get. everything looked two dimensional. We did get a sliver of light just as we were wrapping up the walk and about to head to the restaurant – and yes, like a camera happy tourist I took advantage go the opportunity.

I always find it extremely fascinating that a group of photographers can be in the same place at the same time and come up with what appears to be photographs from totally different places. Each photographer puts their own creating mind to the task. I have had photographers say to me ‘I wish I shot it your way’ meanwhile I’m thinking that their angle and method was pretty good.

After the photowalk it is traditional to heal to a nearby restaurant for some food and good conversation. It is always fun to hang out with other photographers and see how they interpret a scene. Thank you everyone for a great afternoon. 



[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) Sun, 09 Oct 2016 20:10:39 GMT
Tour for Kids Well it's high time I got around to writing some more blog posts. Yes I've been bad recently and frankly have been so busy that blogging was always the next thing on the 'to do' list but it never seemed to get to the top.

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting the Alberta version of Tour for Kids. The tour is a three-day cycling adventure through the Alberta Rockies covering some of the most picturesque scenes anywhere in the country. Of course the purpose of Tour for Kids is to raise funds to support the work of the Kids Cancer Care Foundation of Alberta. This is a great charity not only for their great work, but also with the riders and sponsors covering the cost of the event all the money raised goes to support the foundation.

Being a three-day shoot has several challenges. The first was the long days. The first two days averaging 18 hours the last day was a mere 12 hours. This shoot was part sports photography and part photojournalism. The goal being to tell the story is a compelling and meaningful way.

The first day started off on an ominous note with seriously heavy rain all night and the three-day forecast did not look good calling for rain, rain, and more rain. It was not going to be an easy three days. Mercifully the rain stopped long enough for the group of volunteers and riders to get organized and loaded up for the trip to the rides starting point in Banff National Park.

Shooting cycling is fun and at times can be challenging. The first day was no exception as the thick clouds blocked a great deal of sunlight and obscured visibility. The only good point with it being overcast was that the light, although poor for shooting action did produce a nice soft lit look.

Cloudy skiesThe day was very heavily overcast making it challenging to capture motion. I used a small hill to slow the action down which making it possible to get the shot.

With the weather not cooperating, normally the views are spectacular along this road, I decided to shoot up close and personal.  The wonderful thing about shooting cycling is that you don't always have to show the whole rider and bike. As long as you include enough key elements your viewers will know that it is a person on a bicycle.

Of course an event list this is far more than just a bunch of people cycling, there is a hoard of volunteers that make everything possible. The volunteers are the first ones up in the morning and the last ones to stop at night. They truly are the heart that keeps the event beating.

Fun with volunteers. Since being a volunteer often involves long hours is always fun to spend some time and see if they have a fun and crazy side. To help make the event fun the coordinators set themes each day for the volunteers. Day one was tight and bright, day two Christmas in July and finally mustache bash. By day three the volunteers were still in high spirits and needless to say were having a ton of fun.
The theme for the day was moustaches. Yes this one is on upside down.

Did I mention rain. On day one just as dinner was being served (outside) the rain started and it poured down in a relentless stream which lasted all night and through most of the morning of day two. Tome to break out the rain cover. It is impossible to have a rain cover keeps all the rain off of your camera. The best that one can hope is keeping the camera and lens from getting soaked. Now in the world of digital cameras there is a lot at stake. You can have any number of failures, anything from memory cards to condensation on the sensor and shutter release malfunctioning and permanent equipment damage. Today's modern digital cameras are pretty good but as we know from observing nature, water always wins. My trusty cleaning kit saw a fair bit of use drone the weekend cleaning spotted lens' and wet camera bodies. Thankfully I did not need to pull out my back up gear.

The rain did produce one of my favourite images from the weekend. You can visibly see the rain streaking across the image.


What is that...the sun? At the end of day two and after yet another rain storm the sun finally made an appearance. This meant it was go time to capture some background images of Camp Kindle. For those not familiar Camp Kindle is a world class camp that is operated by Kids Cancer Care and allows the kids with cancer as well as their families to have a camp experience. Not being sure what what weather the morning bring I rapidly ran around the camp to get as many different views as possible while the evening sun was shining. To my surprise and delight the sun made another appearance the following morning. This was incredibly lucky as sone areas of the camp favored the evening light and others the morning light.


The finishers medal.

I arrived back home very tired and with a hard drive full of images. All in all it was a great three days. 





[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) Howard Tanner Photography T4K Tour for Kids cycling Fri, 12 Aug 2016 02:29:53 GMT
San Francisco Portrait Photographers Workshop Tamara Lackey Portrait Photographers Workshop in San Francisco


Ladies and gentlemen we recommend that you keep your seat belts fastened for your own safety. Although this is most commonly heard onboard your flight shortly after takeoff the same could be easily said about The Tamara Lackey portrait photographers’ workshop that I attended last week in San Francisco. It was three days of hold on to your hats, non-stop instruction and hands-on practice and networking. By far the best workshop I have ever attended.


For those who are not familiar Tamara Lackey is a very well known family and portrait photographer from Durham, North Carolina. Her resume includes a list of outstanding credentials not to mention a long list of philanthropic and humanitarian projects.


The three-day intensive workshop was held in the fantastic offices of Chronicle Books, a specialty publisher of children and young adult literature. It was the perfect location, close to good outdoor locations and the interior design that reflected the imagination from an independent publisher of creative books - a veritable playground for photographers. Looks pretty plain from the outside.


Chronicle Books Head OfficeChronicle Books head office in san Francisco, California.


The workshop schedule included sessions on the technical considerations of photography, lighting and staging of the scenes, posing, post-production and well just about every other aspect of the business.


Our first day started out with breakfast. WOW… WOW… WOW… Now that is the way to start a workshop. Did I mention the food? The catering was from a restaurant called Herbivore, if you are in the San Francisco area I can highly recommend the place, I know I’m going there the next time I’m in town.


After some introductions we got down to business, with such a full schedule there was not a minute to waste. Before our first shoot there was a review of the technical considerations of photography. It is often easy to get caught up with the moment and forget a few critical elements of the setup.


For the first shoot we had the great pleasure of working with Millie who has to be one of the cutest kids you’ll every meet. To make our studio we slid the boardroom tables to the side and rearrange the blinds.  Followed was a progression of lighting scenarios from simple available light to portable strobes and even a little high-speed sync. Tamara convinced the whole family to join into the shoot. Here is the production shot of the high-speed lighting set-up using the Profoto B2 off camera flashes.  


Millie's DanceLighting setup with Profoto B2’s. High-speed sync to capture Millie’s wild hair dance.


Creating fun images with high-speed sync.Tamara Lackey demonstrating High-speed sync.


A break for lunch before getting into post production and digital workflow. I always hear people saying “oh you Photoshop’ed that,” well my answer is yes, it’s been in and out of Photoshop, but what most people don’t understand is that Photoshop is todays digital version of the analog darkroom. In the darkroom the image would come alive, the exposure, toning, color balance, cropping, etc was set when the image was printed. Learning how to be efficient and effective and to improve the look of the image was the session’s goal.


Our models for the afternoon showed up so we grabbed our gear and headed out to a nearby part. Photographing children is always a challenge. Watching Tamara work the shoot is amazing. The photojournalist in me had a hard time deciding on what to shoot. Although we were in the part to photograph the kids it was hard to ignore Tamara, sorry it was impossible to ignore Tamara (and I mean that in a nice way).  Here are a couple of images from the afternoons shooting.


Heather having funA lesson in how to be ready for the action when it happens. Often the moments are short and fleeting.


Using a local park for our studioA local park turned into our studio for the afternoon


HMT3_877417-Edit.jpgTamara being herselfTamara being herself


Comparing imagesThe beauty of digital photography - instant confirmation of your shot.


After the shoot we wrap for the day. It was a very full day, a very engaging and valuable day. Back at the hotel I downloaded the cards from the cameras and ran thorough the images. Exhausted I had to shut off the computer and go to bed. It was one of those days that leave you exhausted and energized.


The next morning started off with another stunning vegan breakfast from Herbivore. When we were finished licking our lips it was down to business with a review of the images from yesterday and some image critiques from the participants along with a talk about marketing. Before we knew it it was time for another delicious lunch (do you see a theme here). The afternoon shoot was all about families and larger groups.  Working with groups pose special problems for composition as well as positioning and expression. Keeping the group focused, smiling and natural looking is a tricky art. The choice was to go to the park and pier just behind the AT&T baseball park. There was a treasure trove of great spots to stop and shoot. One of my favorite from the day is the big world small group styled shot.


Big world, small peopleJust feet from AT&T ball park we wound a great location and within a couple of hundred feet created many unique looks for our family portrait.

On the pier near the Embarcadero in San FranciscoOn the pier near the Embarcadero in San Francisco



Family shoot on the pierFamily shoot on the pier



Tamara directing the sceneTamara directing the scene


The last day of the workshop started off really early for me. Being in the habit of getting up early really paid off in a couple of ways today. I was up early enough to be able to take the cable car to the workshop – how cool is that, taking the iconic San Francisco cable car instead of a bus or taxi. But the real bonus of the morning was realizing I had not set my alarm for the morning. I’m going to split this one 50/50, half for the body clock working right and the other half for being excited and wanting to get back to the workshop.


The first line of business was a headshot party. Photographers are often the worse when it comes to pictures of them; it’s kind of like a plumber always having a leaky faucet. For the head shot party we used Chronicle Books common area which is like a photographers playground – in the span of a few it was possible to capture portraits with a wide variety of looks. Moving from the quiet and conservative approach of the headshot party our next assignment was a shooting clinic complete with a gang of children. It is a big jump to shift gears from calm and composed to the frantic and frenzied and unpredictable approach of young children. There were half a dozen children, each of whom required a different approach. What became very apparent was that some children (probably most) require time to warm up before they were comfortable. I photographed one young lady just after she arrived and quickly discovered that fact, but once she became more comfortable with the gang of snap happy photographers she became the life of the party. Handling the technical side of the shoot is simple compared to the skill required to get the best out of the subject. Here are a few images from the chaos of the morning. 


HMT3_845507-Edit.jpgJust one of the many images from todays shootInside Chronicle Books office it was a photographers playground. So many good scenes, great subjects and so little time to enjoy the moment.


Before I forget I must mention Tamara’s charity. She and her husband Steve operate a charity called Beautiful Together. They work to identify and complete specific and measureable projects to improve the life’s of orphaned children in the United States and Africa. Check out their website at


Thank you Tamara Lackey and your fantastic associate Sarah Coppola for your gift of your knowledge, skills and energy. The workshop was excellent and I can highly recommend it to other portrait photographers wanting to widen their experience and skill base.


San Francisco iconic cable carOne of the iconic cable cars operating daily in San Francisco




[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) Photography San Francisco Tamara Lackey editorial photography portrait Sat, 03 Oct 2015 03:53:56 GMT
Sears National Kids Cancer Ride 2015 #SNKCR This past weekend I had the opportunity and pleasure to capture some of the Sears National kids Cancer Ride, a.k.a. #SNKCR. I feel honored to know a couple of the riders who are among the group cycling across Canada from White Rock, British Columbia to Point Pleasant Park just outside Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Saturday was a perfect day for the riders to transit from Lake Louise north along the Ice Fields Parkway. In my opinion this is the most beautiful stretch of highway in Canada. It was wonderful to see reactions of the riders, many of whom have never been through the area before. The Ice Fields Parkway runs through the middle of two mountain ranges and connects Lake Louise to Jasper - yes this is a bucket list type of road. 

The day started very early as we had a two hour drive to Lake Louise. Starting out in Calgary the temperature was 17 degrees and with a little nudge I changed into shorts - how cold could it be in the mountains. Well by the time we arrived in Lake Louise the temperature outside was 2 degrees, but with all the energy and excitement  the cold was barely noticeable. Before heading out for the days ride the group went to the edge of the lake for for a photo opportunity. The spectacular scene of Lake Louise rarely disappoints.

SNKCR 2015 Team photo at Lake Louise, AlbertaSNKCR 2015 Team photo at Lake Louise, Alberta

Want a copy of this photo. Get your own copy 16x35 inch panorama print: Click Here!

After the photo opportunity we followed the riders for a while, here are some more shots from the day

[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) Lake Louise SNKCR panorama photography Tue, 15 Sep 2015 20:19:09 GMT
A funny thing happened on the way to the Apple store So a while ago I wrote a blog post about backing up your photos. As we all know (or should know) back up copies of images are an essential part the photographic process in the digital world. But what happens when you are in the field and your equipment breaks. Normally I like to have a bare-bones set of spares for travel.

<< If all you want to read is the funny story I have that at the bottom of the blog...and yes I'm not offended if you skip the long winded preamble to get to the funny part and the pictures >>

Traveling or at least taking your gear into the field can pose a number of technical issues. Typically photographers travel with extra cameras, batteries, lenses, etc. in case something breaks in the field you have a spare and if not have something on-hand to suffice as a work around until you can get a permanent fix.

The focus for redundancies almost always focuses on the camera gear. How many photographers travel with a laptop? What is you plan if it breaks? Do you have a plan 'B'? What happens when your power adapter breaks while in the field?

<< The funny story is still coming but first a few things about power adapters for laptops. >>

For almost as many years as I have been traveling with a laptop I have tried to follow a few simple rules to help ensure success while while on the road. There is two tips that will not necessarily guarantee success but will take care of the top things that I have experienced while on the road.

First thing you need to get is a second power adapter for your laptop. Take the second adapter and stuff it in your travel bag and leave it there. If you plan to travel to foreign countries get yourself a set of wall plug adapters - stuff those into your travel bag and leave them there. A number of years ago I acquired a  power adapter for my laptop that was perfect for traveling. it operated on 110-220 volt AC power as well as being able to be connected to a 12 volt DC cigarette lighter. The adapter was actually designed for a different computer but had been adapted to work on the Macbook Pro. So here are a few suggestions to keep in mind when looking for a second power adapter for your travel bag. Almost all power adapters work on 110-220 volt power systems but it is worth double checking just in case. Power systems in North America operate at 110 volts, power systems in other countries often operate at 220 volts. The old joke is that size matters but in the case of power adapters 'length' matters. Anybody that has stayed at hotels for any length of time has discovered that some rooms are well appointed with power outlets and others are not. With that in mind you want to get a power adapter that has a fairly long cord. The OEM Apple adapter comes supplied with a nice long cord but be careful if you are buying generic brands as these can have shorter lengths. The general rule of 'if it sounds too good to be true it probably is' generally holds true.

For travel outside of North America (or outside of your home power system) you will generally require plug adapters in order to connect to the wall outlets. By buying the 110-220 volt style power adapter all you need to add is a small plug adapter. I have a set of plug adapters which include Europe, Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom. Other than the U.K adapter they are very small and easily stuffed into your travel bag. Leaving these in your travel bag will help ensure that they are there when you need them. It also helps by saving you time not looking for the adapters when you are packing for a trip. The only other essential item that I travel with is a power splitter. Often hotel rooms, meeting rooms have a very limited number of power outlets so a splitter becomes a life saver. My splitter was acquired in the Denden town area of Osaka, Japan. Although not immediately obvious it has a secondary purpose other than being just a splitter. The secret functionality allow a three prong plug to be inserted into a two prong wall outlet. The Japanese do not have a third (ground) plug on their wall outlets. If all you have is your three prong North American power supply you are in for a rough ride when you try to plug it in in Japan.

The funny story: So without further ado here is the funny story. While in Frankfurt a few years ago we were returning to the hotel after being out all day and I decided to start to download my CF cards from the days shooting. Immediately there was a problem, the power adapter was not charging (or supplying power) to the laptop. We were set to leave the following morning to a rural area of Sicilia the chance of finding a power adapter there was slim to none. After a few minutes of panic the plan was to make a mad dash over to the Apple store before they closed. Being within an easy walk I laced my shoes shoes and headed out. I knew the way to the store, the route was simple, just up the street a few blocks then head west for a few blocks. However it did not take long before coming on a road block, a real big road block! There was protesters demonstrating at the European Central Bank building occupying the Willy Brandt Platz area. To keep everything under control or to stop the protest (not sure which) there was a large police presence. In round number there was no less than 500 police officers and nearly as many vehicles. The numbers of officers and support equipment that they had mustered for the protest was truly staggering. 

Eruopean Central Bank buildingEuropean Central Bank buildingEuropean Central Bank building surrounded by thousands (and I mean thousands) of police.
The first encounter with the blockade. No short-cut through the neighbourhood for me tonight. 

Helmets, shields, clubs, check!Helmets, shields, clubs, check! All suited up the police head into the front line of the protest.

Some police had green uniforms, others were navy blue. Not sure of the difference although my first thought was the they were all picked because they appear to be very similar in height and build. Must be just a coincidence.

and still more police vehiclesHundreds of police vehicles streaming into the scene

Every where I turned there was another 20, 30, 50 police vehicles. They seemed to come from every direction and in a nearly endless stream. 

Mustering up the forcesMustering up the forcesThe entire area around the European Central Bank building was cordoned off. It would have been nice to take some more time to photograph the scene but I had to get to the Apple Store before it closed.

It would have been great to get dug in a bit deeper and hunt for some good editorial images.  Not speaking German and not really understanding what potential problems the police were expecting the decision was made to cover just the exterior of the protest and police presence and then move along. Besides I needed to keep focused and get to the Apple store before they closed. Too bad as it sure would have been fun to get on the inside.

Oh and yes I eventually got the the Apple store and got the adapter and the rest of the trip went very well.



[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) back-up computer editorial photography laptop photography technology Fri, 11 Sep 2015 02:48:38 GMT
A mid-week event shoot This week I was invited by the Country Hills Running Room to shoot their 20 Minute challenge. Getting to shoot the event was fun as the 20 Minute Challenge bring out a lot of people and is very motivating for some who just need a little encouragement to get out and get active.  


Event shoots can be chaotic at times and often run without a script. As a former new photographer covering developing events is somewhat second nature. Trying to be in the right location at the right time and to have the right gear at the ready can make the difference for a successful shoot. 


The 20 Minute Challenge consisted of a gathering inside of the Running Room store, a group shot (of the massive group) and run or walk around the lake. Everybody who came out for the event was given a bright blue hat, which is a good deal as the hat is worth a few bucks. 


Everybody had a great time and it was a lot of fun to photograph.



Congratulations to everybody for getting out and getting active. 

[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) Running Room editorial photography photography Sun, 19 Jul 2015 03:08:00 GMT
Backing up as you go forward Recently when I upgraded my version of Adobe software and the thoughts of back-ups came to mind. We have all heard many people tell stories about loosing all the photos because their storage drive crashed. Eventually everything will end up failing, for some that occurs more often than for others. As a photographer, backing up ones photos should be as natural as brushing your teeth - it's just something that you do without question.

Not that long ago photographers' only choice of media was film.  With film you only had a single copy of your image so photographers went to extraordinary lengths to ensure the safety of their film. Foreign correspondents would use safety deposit boxes at hotels to store their unprocessed exposed film while out on assignment, photographers in hot climates would pack their film in picnic coolers to prevent damage. When I traveled by air it was the norm to have your film hand searched to prevent it being damaged by the carry-on baggage x-ray machines. Studios would have special cabinets to store their negatives in case of fire. Negatives were considered very fragile but in reality as compared to today's digital image world the negative is actually pretty tough. Digital image files are very fragile, even though most of us don't think that they are, the apparent reliability of digital images gives us a false sense of security. So with that in mind here are a few suggestions on how to protect your digital image files.

When importing files from the CF or XQD card into my editing software I always make a second copy. Thanks to one of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom features making a second copy while importing the images files is super simple. About the only drawback is that making a second copy does slow the import process a bit but its time is well spent. The principal applies whether at home or on the road, make a second copy...always. Using external drives while on the road will allow you to have plenty of storage, a master and a back up plus you can take one of them drives with you which might prevent all of your hard work disappearing should you find your hotel room cleaned of its valuables 

Dual drive i,port setupAdobe Lightroom after importing some images from a shoot. Showing the two external drives, one the master, the other the backup and the compact flash card reader.

A few years ago a personal experience proved the worth of backups. After returning from a trip to Paris there was a few images that were taken on the way home and I wanted to add them to the library. So I set up the laptop and proceeded to import them to rest of the images. I'm going to blame the next part on being really tired and jet-lagged but for some reason I decided to format the CF card while it was still in the computer (no,no! don't do that!). Instead of selecting the CF card I choose the external drive and formatted it. Yes, the external drive with all the photos from the shoot. I tried a file recovery program was unable recover all the images, thankfully my backup drive was just fine and saved the day. Phew!! That was close.

It is important not to forget backing up you catalog file.  The easiest way to accomplish this is by setting Lightroom up to ask about making a backup copy upon exit and then get into the habit of quitting Lightroom when you are finished for the day.

Some people might think this to be a bit over the top making multiple copies of the images and the catalogs, but just think for a moment of how many hours you have invested in taking the photos and how much you have put into editing your work. A backup takes only a minute to setup and can save you many hours and loads of embarrassment and lost revenue.

A better way to safeguard your images. It is not enough to simply to just have a second copy. Photographers today are using redundant drive array storage devices and the newest thing on the block is online companies that offer protected storage for photographers images. While some of this is out of the average consumers reach it is an option for the professional.

Remember, backing up is time well spent and if you want to keep it, back it up.


[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) Lightroom back-up photography technology Fri, 10 Jul 2015 03:30:28 GMT
These wheels mean business Last weekend I had the pleasure of shooting some wheelchair basketball. It has been a good number of years since my last outing photographing wheelchair b-ball. My original plan for the day was to spend it at the comic expo - just me and ten thousand geeks, nerds, fans and fanatics all jammed into one building. But as things often go my plans changed which left me looking for something to do. After a quick search on the web I found the Wheelchair Basketball Canada was holding a tournament. This sounded like a lot of fun to watch and to shoot.

As always is the way with available light photography you are somewhat at the mercy of the environment. The first thing that you need to do when arriving on the scene is to access the situation. My main concern was of course the lighting. The gym was lite with white sodium vapor lights. These are no where close to daylight for colour temperature and don't really match any of the preset colour temperatures settings available in the camera. So a custom colour balance was required. Nikon has the ability to set a specific colour temperature in degrees kelvin. With a couple of test shots taken I found the temperature to be around 3900K - not perfect but at least the whites were white and the skin tons were somewhat normal. Think the actual white balance turned out to be a touch warmer than 3900K.

The environment often causes you further problems with colour balance. In this case the gym had a large divider that separated the two courts. The already cool coloured light is hitting the blue divider and produces an even cooler colour cast. Fiddling with the colour balance can improve the overall tone of the image, but each image is somewhat different. For preview images a general white balance setting is fine however for deliverable images some individual tweaking is required. 

The image above looks to be a little too cool but the skin tones and the white jersey  appear to be pretty close. With a basic white balance set it was now decision time on what to set for shutter-speed and aperture. This is a fine balancing act as you want your images to be sharp yet still have enough depth of field that your main interest is in focus. My choice of the 70-200 f/2.8 meant that I would need a slightly faster shutter speed when racked out to 200. The good news was that while the players arms were moving and shifting around as they handled the ball their torsos remained fairly stationary.

Light will take on the colour of whatever surface it is reflected from. The image below is a great example of this happening. The overall image has a slightly yellow tint. The wall in the background is not perfectly white but more of a creamy colour. 

So shooting at longer lens lengths I wasable to use 1/250 at f/4. Although this setup did not provide a lot of depth of field it actually worked pretty good because the backgrounds of the photos was somewhat cluttered. The background of an image is just about as important as the foreground. This gym had lots of noisy distractions in the background so using a larger aperture softened the distractions. 

Oh, and when you are shooting an event don't forget to point your camera at something other than just the action. There is often some really good images to be had.  

[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) editorial photography photography Fri, 24 Apr 2015 02:09:26 GMT
Poutine the best thing on a grey day. So I'm once again on a business trip, it's my second lap around the country in a week. Thank goodness for technology. It was not too many years ago that we did not have any connectivity. You were either sitting in front of your computer doing work or you were not. Today with the ever expanding mobile office be away does not mean leaving everything behind, more on that subject in a later blog post. 

Since my current road trip involves many, many meetings and there may be little time to grab a camera and get out and shoot I decided to travel light. Not having to drag around a ton of equipment is actually pretty nice although it feels somewhat like leaving the house and forgetting to wear pants. So here is where the little magic device called a cellphone camera comes into play. Now a camera phone will never replace a real DLSR as there is just so much you can do with a device that is about the same size as the eraser on a pencil. None the less it still makes some pretty ok images from a purely editorial or image recording nature. I'm not shooting my next commercial job with an iPhone.

With a little time to spare before the on slot I took to the streets of Montreal to wander around some. Mother nature, the wonderful lady she is decided to confirm the decision to leave the big hardware at home by providing absolutely flat light plus a little wind driven wet snow just for fun. 

​As an old news photographer colleague once said 'as long as you have bread you can make a sandwich' referring of course to the meaning that as long as you have a camera and film you can make photos. Some the photos will be good and some times they will be a little hard to swallow. Editors can't publish excuses. 

A few hours wandering the streets of Montreal's downtown and old town areas produced a few ok shots but the light and camera capabilities (sorry Apple) just were not what I need to make something great.

For lunch I stopped in at restaurant that primarily serves poutine. For those that don't know poutine is a Montreal staple and consists of french fried potatoes, cheese and gravy. The restaurant I stopped at has taken this basic recipe to a whole new level. They have some house favorites or you can go your own way and build a custom poutine by picking the type of potato (smashed are the specialty of the house), cheese (cheese curds are traditional), you can add vegetables, meats and pick the type of sauce or gravy for the top. My build your own was smashed potatoes, cheese curds, bacon (mmm bacon) and traditional gravy. Served in a pasta bowl that was the size of a large dinner plate it looked like an impossible task to consume the entire dish. Once I dug into the poutine it went down extremely well. You can check out the photo below. 

[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) photography technology Sun, 15 Mar 2015 00:29:34 GMT
Frozen images turned into video It was a crisp and partly overcast day, despite the forecast for warmer temperatures the cold was not going to give up its grip. After bruising my toe (long story) running in the race was out of the question. So I grabbed my gear and headed down to the start line as the official photographer for my running group. Standing outside for a while my fingers started to get cold, the wind on my face was definitely not pleasant.  The 2015 edition of the Hypothermic Half Marathon was going to be a long haul for the runners and a test of cold endurance for my camera and I. From past experience I know the route heads west along the river pathways and turns around back to the start/finish line. The goal was to watch the start of the race then quickly move down he course and capture the runners as they headed out and back along the pathway before racing back to get the runners finishing. By the end of the shoot I was frozen, being barely able to feel my fingers it felt like I was using a stick to press the shutter release, and yes I was wearing gloves. On the good news side my trusty Nikon worked perfectly. Remember shooting shooting in extreme cold temperatures with film cameras every once in a while you would get a static spark on the film usually right on top of your best image. Today modern DLSR's are not designed to be frozen.

After the race and while I was warming up I was flipping through the photos on the camera, as the images flipped by it started to look like a movie. So that gave me an idea, why not make it into a movie.  A little work and experimenting to get the frame size and timing just right the finished product was ready for the theaters. The final product looks much like the old style 8mm movies your parents had. Although it might not be the next blockbuster short feature in your local theate it sure is something fun to try. 

Check out the video 



[email protected] (Howard Tanner Photography) photography running time lapse Sat, 28 Feb 2015 23:49:35 GMT