The Lens: Issue 5 - Summer 2019

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5 CANADIAN STREET PHOTOGRAPHERS TO FOLLOW

YANNICK ANTON ON CAPTURING DIVERSITY

LEAH HENNEL:

SILENT WITNESS

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PANASONIC’S LUMIX DC-S1R

TIPS FOR A NO-BUDGET SHOOT BEHIND THE LENS

WITH PHOTOGRAPHY ASSISTANTS

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FOR ST. JOSEPH COMMUNICATIONS EDITOR Vickie Reichardt

SUMMER 2019_ISSUE NO.5

ART DIRECTOR Kim Rogers CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Cassandre Cadieux PROOFREADER Linda Gregg DIGITAL IMAGING SPECIALIST Drew Maynard CONTRIBUTORS Chris Daniels, Jorge DaSilva, Shanda Deziel, Zach Gibson, Tara Henley, Jaclyn Law, Brent Ledger, Stacey Phillip, Helen Racanelli, Robin Roberts, Chad Sapieha, Jaclyn Tersigni PRODUCTION MANAGER Michael Finley PUBLISHER Korie Demerling (on leave) Beth Fraser (acting) DIRECTOR, CUSTOM CONTENT Stefania Di Verdi CHAIRMAN & CEO Tony Gagliano VICE-PRESIDENT, DIGITAL CONTENT & PUBLISHING Sarah Trimble VICE-PRESIDENT, CLIENT SOLUTIONS Brandon Kirk ADVERTISING SALES David Lawrence 416-764-1690 FOR HENRY’S CEO Gillian Stein VICE-PRESIDENT, MARKETING & ECOMMERCE Jeff Tate MARKETING OPERATIONS MANAGER Laisie Tu CREATIVE MANAGER & ART DIRECTOR Chris Frampton MARKETING MANAGERS David Braithwaite, Trevor Algar DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER David Reid MARKETING COORDINATORS Matthew Kozovski, Becky Umweni SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Scott Jarvis

COVER IMAGE: LEAH HENNEL / THIS PAGE: YANNICK ANTON

The Lens is published four times a year by St. Joseph Communications © 2019 St. Joseph Communications All rights reserved. Any reproduction, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of St. Joseph Communications is strictly prohibited. “Henry’s,” and associated wordmarks and logos, are trademarks of Henry’s Camera and are used under licence. Items and/or prices are accurate at the time of publication. Conditions may apply. Prices, selection and availability may vary by store and on henrys.com. Some advertised items may not be available in all stores or on henrys.com. See store or henrys.com for details. St. Joseph Communications accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material.

26 IN EVERY ISSUE

FEATURES 10 STREET SHOOTERS

Follow-worthy Canadian street photographers

12 LOCATION SCOUTING

Snap-worthy summer fairs and festivals

tips on getting out of a creative rut

18 SECOND GLANCES

Award-winning photojournalist Leah Hennel on her deeply personal work

14 ASSISTANT LIVING

26 BROAD SPECTRUM

17 MOTIVATIONALLY SPEAKING

31 NO-BUDGET-SHOOT GUIDE

Behind the lens with photography assistants

Photographers offer

A conversation with photographer Yannick Anton

How to execute a portfolio creative on a dime

ENTER OUR PHOTO

39 HOW TO SET YOUR RATES

ON P. 38!

40 ON CLOUD NINE

CHALLENGE

Advice on fair pricing

Ottawa video-production company Cloud in the Sky Studios

5

NEWS & EVENTS

8

GEARING UP WITH...

Benjamin Jordan

34 PHOTO GALLERY 42 GEAR GUIDE

The Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R; the DJI Ronin-S; lenses and tripods for wildlife photography

47 FINISHING TOUCHES

Creating saturated summer looks in Photoshop

49 ASK A HENRY’S EXPERT

Tips on astrophotography; shooting video with your DSLR

50 FINAL FRAME SUMMER 2019

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FULL-FRAME WITHOUT COMPROMISE LUMIX was first to announce a mirrorless camera to the world, setting standards that define digital cameras today. As global pioneers, LUMIX continues to lead through product innovation and to drive the market globally. Now we introduce our first Full-Frame Digital Single Lens Mirrorless system, the LUMIX S series – crafted to become an extension of yourself, empowering your full creative vision. The LUMIX S features the ‘L-Mount’ which allows for connectivity to a wider range of interchangeable lenses including the L-Mount alliance of Leica, Panasonic and Sigma. The portal to a bold new frontier of image culture is now open.


Developments NEWS | EVENTS | TRENDS | COMPETITIONS

by BRENT LEDGER & VICKIE REICHARDT

SONY WORLD PHOTOGRAPHY AWARDS The winners of the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards were announced this spring, chosen from more than 326,000 entries. They include Ottawa street photographer Jasem Khlef, who earned 1st place for Canada in the National Awards (far right). One of the world’s biggest and most inclusive photo contests, the annual competition is open to everyone from pros to photography students, and features categories such as street photography, sports, wildlife, architecture and travel. Prizes include cash, exhibits, digital imaging equipment, trips to London – and, of course, the kind of exposure that can make a career. And be sure to mark your calendars: submissions for the 2020 Sony World Photography Awards open on June 1, 2019.

Some of the winners in the 2019 Sony World Photography Awards’ National Awards category, clockwise from top: Martin Stranka (Czech Republic); Jasem Khlef (Canada); Tracey Lund (United Kingdom); Master Na (Republic of Korea).

ENTER YOUR WORK IN THE 2020 COMPETITION AT: WORLDPHOTO.ORG/SONY-WORLD-PHOTOGRAPHY-AWARDS.

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Ordinary: Extraordinary

GREAT

SPORTS

DEVELOPMENTS

A surfer shooting through the barrel of a wave. A free climber scaling an epic rock face. Skateboarders shredding on half-pipes, skiers carving through pristine snow, and kayakers battling fierce rapids. If these are the types of photos or videos you create, you might want to submit your work to Red Bull Illume (redbullillume.com), a photography competition that seeks out the gnarliest adventure and action-sports images in the world. Open to anyone 18 years of age or older, and free to enter, submissions – photographs, or video clips from five to 30 seconds in length – for the 2019 contest are being accepted from May 1 to July 31, 2019. Visit the Red Bull Illume website to enter or for more information. 2016 Red Bull Illume New Creativity category winner Ale Di Lullo, Brooklyn, New York.

Incredible India

Settle into the cool, observant world of internationally renowned Torontoborn photographer Moyra Davey by taking in an exhibition of her work at the Ryerson Image Centre (on display now through August 4, 2019) in Toronto. The winner of 2018’s Scotiabank Photography Award, Davey is known for her fascinating images of everyday objects, such as coins, dust, shelves of books – even a refrigerator. Widely exhibited abroad, this is Davey’s first major career retrospective in Canada, and includes a selection of her video work plus more than 200 of her intimate images, including portraits of friends and family.

Photography has been an important medium in India since at least the mid-19th century and contemporary practitioners continue to expand its boundaries. Various provocative images are being showcased at the Vancouver Art Gallery (now through September 2, 2019) in Moving Still: Performative Photography in India, an exhibit that sets modern explorations of gender, religion and sexual identity against a backdrop of stunning historical photography – some from as early as the 1800s. Visit vanartgallery.bc.ca for more information.

Moyra Davey, “Claire, Lou, Gerald, Geoff,” from the series Triptychs, 1979, gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the artist; Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne/New York; and greengrassi, London.

Pushpamala N, “Sunhere Sapne (Golden Dreams),” 1998, hand-tinted black-andwhite photograph. Shumita and Arani Bose Collection, New York.

GET OUTSIDE

If you’re an image maker with a love of the great outdoors, this year’s Canadian Camera Conference (running July 16 to 18) might be for you. The 2019 edition of the Canadian Association for Photographic Art’s event is being held in Calgary, and will take advantage of its proximity to the Rockies to showcase the natural beauty surrounding the city through photo walks, optional excursions, and pro-grade workshops on wildlife and landscape photography. Featured speakers include Paul Zizka, Michelle Valberg, Joe Desjardins, and Kristian Bogner, who’ll deliver the keynote address. For more information, visit ccc2019.ca.

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GEARING UP WITH

BENJAMIN JORDAN Taking flight with the adventure-travel photographer and filmmaker by JACLYN LAW photography by BENJAMIN JORDAN

Benjamin Jordan doesn’t have a camera bag anymore.

He carries a compact camera in a small case that clips onto almost anything, and he totes a GoPro in a Ziploc bag. It’s a surprisingly lean kit for a professional photographer – but then, most pros aren’t shooting from a paraglider hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of feet in the air. Jordan is a self-taught photographer and filmmaker. He got into film photography as a teen, and he bought his first digital camera – a one-megapixel pointand-shoot – at age 20. He had so much fun with that and a newer 2.1-megapixel model, he decided to go pro. Over the next five years – using progressively advanced gear – he shot for Report on Business, Pound Magazine and brands such as L’Oréal, Labatt and Nike. In 2006, Jordan moved from Toronto to British Columbia and focused on adventure-travel documentaries. “Fashion and advertising work was feeding my ego, but not my soul. I wanted to create images that would empower viewers, not trigger their insecurities,” he says. Moving out west helped Jordan break away from commercial work and immerse himself in the wild. “This is a place where I can experience fullon adventure any time of year.” His first film, A Canadian Dream, captured his record-setting powered-paraglider flight across

Canada, and money raised from his aerial photos sent dozens of underprivileged youth to summer camp. Jordan’s next project also had a social impact: The Boy Who Flies documented his experience teaching paragliding to a young man in Malawi, and it raised enough funds for Jordan to launch a volunteer-based paragliding program, sewing school and internet centre – called The School of Dreams (theschoolofdreams.org) – in Malawi, in 2016. Giving back is a priority for Jordan, although his own earnings are modest and his lifestyle rustic (home is an off-the-grid converted school bus in the woods). “By virtue of being Canadian, I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth,” he says. “Creating opportunities for my work to have some positive social impact reminds me that I’m not going without, and that abundance is a state of mind. Everyone has something to give. This is how I do it.” Travelling light is essential for this artist and athlete, and this means streamlining his gear. “With fancier equipment, I could get a better picture, but I couldn’t get myself into the context to capture that picture,” says Jordan. “I also realized that the fancier my gear was, the less fun I was having. I’m most productive and most satisfied if I keep things as simple as possible.”

“Fashion and advertising work was feeding my ego, but not my soul.”

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Jordan’s latest film, The Endless Chain, about his daring 1,200-km flight over the Rockies in 2018, will be released this year. View more of his work at benjaminjordan.com.


@BENJAMINJORDANADVENTURE

JORDAN’S ESSENTIAL GEAR HIS CAMERAS Jordan’s DSLR of choice was a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, but in recent years he’s scaled down to the compact Sony RX100 IV. “I use lots of automatic settings, so I can shoot one-handed,” he says. Jordan also uses a GoPro Hero 4, either with a selfie stick with a three-axis gimbal (see below) or, to capture footage of himself flying, suspended from his paraglider wing with fishing line.

HIS GIMBALS “When you’re paragliding, the horizon’s constantly moving. You have to stabilize your shots or they’ll be totally nauseating,” says Jordan. He uses a FeiyuTech WG2 for his GoPro and a Zhiyun-Tech Crane-M for his Sony.

HIS DRONE Jordan recently bought his first drone: a DJI Mavic Air. “I realized I could do much more with my paragliding if I could have a camera in the sky that didn’t have a life attached to it,” he says. “It produces incrediblequality shots.”

HIS LENS After breaking and dropping a few lenses in mid-air, Jordan decided to simplify: “I like just having a camera with a wrist strap and one lens.” (His Sony RX100 IV has a ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70mm lens.)

HIS SOFTWARE Jordan uses Adobe Photoshop for photo post-processing and Adobe Premiere Pro for video editing.

HIS PARAGLIDER Jordan pilots an Ozone Gliders Alpina 3, a lightweight model for paragliders who hike and fly. “It weighs about four kilograms. Including the harness and reserve parachute, my flying setup is less than 10 kg.” OPPOSITE PAGE: Jordan in his paraglider. THIS PAGE (FROM TOP): Reed Lake, Sask.; kids at Jordan’s School of Dreams in Malawi; Jordan strums his ukelele over Mount Swansea, B.C. SUMMER 2019

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STREET SHOOTERS Five Canadian street photographers you should be following on Instagram by JACLYN TERSIGNI

Photography’s power to reveal

the interesting in the ordinary can be strongest when city streets are the subject. Street photographers transform familiar corners and daily goings-on into striking tableaus: streetcars slicing fog, dawn breaking behind skyscrapers and suit-clad workers on coffee breaks. Discover cities cast in new light in the feeds of these five Canadian street-shooting Instagrammers.

Geoffrey Yuen @ggeoffreyy Street photography is often about being in the right place at the right time, says Vancouver’s Yuen. Bonus points if that time is sunrise. “I have yet to regret pulling an all-nighter just to see the sun peek over the horizon,” he says. Yuen’s kit includes a Nikon D850 (“it has amazing low-light capability”) and various lenses, including a Laowa 12mm f/2.8 and a Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8. 10

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FANTASTICFEEDS

Kelly Shee @kellyrsheephotography Vancouver transplant Shee started photographing Toronto’s streets in 2010 to get familiar with her then-new city. Her preferred subject matter: people, real or otherwise. “Mannequins also fascinate me,” Shee says. “I shoot them far more than I shoot people, because I know I don’t have to talk to them.” She loves her Canon EOS 6D with a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, but her lightweight Fujifilm X-T2 is her everyday camera.

Lucan Coutts @lucancoutts Whitby, Ont.-based Coutts usually trains his lens on nearby Toronto, and it was a snowstorm that first inspired his passion for capturing the city. “I instantly fell in love with how a snowfall can completely transform the atmosphere of Toronto,” he says. “I’d only ever seen it as a typical city bursting with energy and a sense of urgency in the air.” His set-up of choice: a Canon EOS 6D and a 24-105mm f/4L lens.

Jonathan Gaudreau @jonathangaudreau_ As a kid, Gaudreau used disposable cameras gifted by his mother to document camping trips. He’s since upgraded to a Canon EOS 6D (paired with vintage lenses from his collection) to capture life in his hometown of Montreal – or farther afield in India, where he first fell in love with street photography. “To me, street photography is similar to creating a 1,000-word story... but with a single photograph.”

Tim Krochak @timbophoto Back when the Halifax photojournalist lived in Winnipeg, he would walk the city all day, shooting rolls of film that he would develop and then spend all night in the darkroom poring over. “I took a camera with me everywhere I went,” Krochak says. “Thirty years later, that is still the case.” These days, he’s traded film photography for digital, and you’ll find a Fujifilm X-Pro1 and an XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens in his bag. SUMMER 2019

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LOCATIONSCOUTING

FABULOUS FAIRS & FESTS Pack your gear and head out to these capture-worthy summer events by VICKIE REICHARDT

CONCORD PACIFIC DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL (JUNE 21 – 23) Vancouver, B.C. Train your lens on the vibrant pageantry and fierce competition at North America’s largest dragon-boat festival, featuring more than 200 teams from around the world. Snap the action on the water or at one of the various dry-land food, music or family-fun events.

concorddragonboatfestival.ca RED RIVER EXHIBITION (JUNE 14 – 23) Winnipeg, Man. Manitoba’s premier summertime festival boasts an array of subjects: concerts, kids’ activities, fair food and the world’s largest travelling midway. Also, be sure to check out – and maybe even submit your work to – the EX’s 58th annual Photo Salon. redriverex.com

HONDA INDY (JULY 12 – 14) Toronto, Ont. Camera-wielding car enthusiasts can converge on this annual motorsports festival. Pack your fastest lenses to capture the

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speedway action, or grab stunning selfies with the biggest stars – and coolest cars – of the IndyCar and NASCAR circuits.

hondaindy.com L’INTERNATIONAL DES FEUX LOTO-QUÉBEC (JUNE 29 – JULY 27) Montreal, Que. Calling all long-exposure photographers or anyone looking to practise night shooting: this prestigious four-week fireworks festival will up your game. Secure your spot in the grandstands at La Ronde theme park for one of the best vantage points.

laronde.com INTERNATIONAL BALLOON FESTIVAL OF SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU (AUGUST 10 – 18) Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. Point your camera skyward – or hop into a basket and aim down for some killer aerial shots – at Canada’s largest hot-air-balloon festival. Tip: stay for the after-dark Night Glows event to snap photos and footage of beautifully illuminated balloons.

ballooncanada.com HALIFAX BUSKER FESTIVAL (JULY 31 – AUGUST 5) Halifax, N.S. Hone your street-photography skills at any of the 300 or so (totally free!) performances by some of the world’s best acrobats, firebreathers, musicians, comedians and magicians, or while strolling among midway games, carnival rides and food vendors.

buskers.ca

UNSPL A SH: KYLE HINKSON

The lights, colour and chaos of the midway. Outrageous culinary creations. Fireworks, cars, culture... even hot-air balloons. Summer fairs and festivals across Canada offer a wonderfully wide array of backdrops, photo ops and content-creation possibilities. Here are six to check out.


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*Available with 7 or 8 passenger seating capacity. Some features described or shown may not be standard features or equipment. ‡MSRP of $35,995 on 2019 Ascent Convenience CVT (KT2C8). MSRP excludes Freight & PDI of $1,800. Taxes, license, registration and insurance are extra. $0 security deposit. Model shown is 2019 Ascent Limited CVT (KT2L8) with an MSRP of $46,495. Dealers may sell for less or may have to order or trade. †®EyeSight is a driver-assist system, which may not operate optimally under all driving conditions. The driver is always responsible for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness depends on many factors such as vehicle maintenance, and weather and road conditions. See Owner’s Manual for complete details on system operation and limitations. 1. Ratings are awarded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Please visit www.iihs.org for testing methods. See your local Subaru dealer for details. Ascent and Subaru are registered trademarks.


ASSISTANT LIVING Photography assistants share the ins and outs of their lives behind the lens by ROBIN ROBERTS

“I thought there’d be more swag.” Spencer Robertson is only half-joking when he compares the dream of being a photography assistant with the reality. Yes, there are perks (cool projects, creative people, primo gear), but there are also pitfalls (long hours, tough shoots, minimal input). He and two other aspiring photographers talked to The Lens about their lives on set. TRAINING DAYS Originally from Vancouver, Robertson followed up photography school at Langara College by travelling to more than 50 countries, shooting thousands of images along the way. His last stop was Toronto where, five years ago, he began freelancing on commercial shoots for talent agency Judy Inc. “School gives you the foundation – the technical, the why, the formula, theory, rules,” says Robertson, 14

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whose ultimate goal is to shoot a mix of fashion and outdoors for his business, Collateral Photography (collateral-photography.com). “[But] being an assistant is an essential part of your education because it’s so hands-on.” University of Guelph-Humber grad Rosanna U (rosannau.com) agrees. “I learned so much about the industry while assisting – what it’s like to be a photographer, being on set, behind the scenes and in the office,” says U, who assists for still-life photographer Peter Schafrick and product photographer Joseph Saraceno, among others. Her biggest eye-opener, however, was discovering that her gender could pose a problem. “It’s a highly male-dominated world,” says U, who also shoots for her own clients, including ONE Volleyball, Tennis Canada and Delta Hotels. “When I started out, a

OPPOSITE PAGE (FROM TOP): Rosanna U; Spencer Robertson; Zachary Koski.


INSIDESCOOP

pick up technical knowledge as they work, and that photographers are looking to hire reliable troubleshooters, who can anticipate (and avert) problems. “They’re mostly concerned that you’re dedicated to what they’re working on.” Robertson, whose longest workday lasted a whopping 30 straight hours, says you also learn the cold, hard truth that your opinion isn’t always welcome. “Sometimes, someone asks a question but they’re not interested in the answer. So, you have to learn to button your mouth,” he explains. “I’ve been doing this for so long that I have earned [enough] respect to give my opinion. But if it’s 17 hours in [on a job] and someone is rude to you, and you have to be polite... that’s hard to do.” U adds that she didn’t anticipate the challenges of self-promotion to land gigs. “You don’t want to undersell your worth, but you also don’t want to charge too much that you lose the job,” she says.

OPPOSITE PAGE: ISTOCK/JACOBLUND / THIS PAGE: PETER REALI ; GUILLAUME LÉPINE; HUGH READ

studio manager told me, ‘Just so you know, we usually hire guys because they can lift stuff.’ Not all females are capable of lifting heavy objects but I’m stronger than the average female and have gotten jobs [because of that].” Zachary Koski, who assists at Fiocca Studio in Toronto – shooting mostly for food companies, such as Tim Hortons and McDonald’s – dropped out of Humber College after just one year. He’d snagged a summer job with advertising photographer Hasnain Dattu and learned so much, he says, that the idea of

PRICELESS EXPERIENCE & EXPERIENCES All three agree that despite the rigours of the job, “seeing ideas come to life” beats swag any day, and working as a photography assistant provides plenty of unforgettable moments that aspiring photographers might not otherwise experience. Robertson says the hardest days can also be the most fun. “We shot 17 locations in 17 hours across Iceland because the day was that long,” he says. “The wind was so strong that tears were coming down the model’s face. It was so intense but it was a pretty amazing day. You never forget that.” For U, an especially memorable moment came while interning at an L.A. photo studio and shooting on the old set of the iconic TV series Little House on the Prairie. “The grounds were spectacular,” she says. And Koski cites a long, arduous trek to Mongolia to shoot a rare female eagle-hunter on horseback as a career highlight. “It was cold but the experience was amazing,” he says. “It would never have crossed my mind to go to Mongolia and hang out with eagle hunters.”

GETTING THE GIG Looking to get your foot in the door as a photography assistant? Robertson, Koski and U have some tips to help you snag (and keep) great jobs. [1] POLISH YOUR PORTFOLIO. “During my first year in university, I worked hard on making a portfolio website and continuously shooting,” says U. “And my first paid assisting gigs in Toronto came from photographers who contacted me because they’d come to my fourth-year class’s final portfolio showing.” [2] NETWORK. “Be very forward and talk to photographers, and tell them you want to work with them,” says Koski, who made the most of an internship at a small camera store. “[I] developed photos for a celebrity photographer who was shooting for Degrassi… we started chatting and he started bringing me to Toronto to work on projects.” [3] FIND A “BACK DOOR” IN. For Robertson, it was working at a lighting-equipment rental company. “That jump-started my assisting because I got my hands on the really expensive equipment,” he says. “I would deliver this lighting equipment to shoots and would introduce myself [to the crew]. People started to get to know me, so when I went freelance everyone knew me already.”

returning to school was “laughable.” He also wanted out of his hometown of Niagara Falls, Ont., where, he says, wedding photography dominates the scene. “I just felt like I had all the fundamentals,” he says.

ON-SET OBSTACLES & OPPORTUNITIES Adapting in-class fundamentals to on-set reality was a sharp learning curve for these up-and-comers. “Assisting is a very complicated job,” says Koski who, like the others, notes that there really is no “typical” day or schedule – every shoot demands different hours. “When you come out of school, you’re extremely confident because you’re naïve to how things actually are run,” he says. “[After] you’re on enough big sets, you realize you always need more experience. [You learn] to be aware, be a step ahead, have common sense, have the photographer’s best interest in mind.” He adds that photography assistants always SUMMER 2019

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#WeAreAllCreators Our expertise doesn’t come from a brochure, it comes from doing. We’re not clerks, we’re collaborators. We’re photographers, filmmakers, content producers, and artists. We’re industry insiders and social media makers. We’re over 400 Henry’s Associates across Canada, and we are all creators.

Karine Riva Mississauga, Ontario Henry’s Associate Music & Event Photographer

HENRYS.COM


INSIDERINSIGHT

MOTIVATIONALLY SPEAKING We asked the photographers in this issue how they keep themselves motivated when they hit a creative block. Here’s what they said. “I immerse myself in nature. I think that’s probably the main reason I’ve chosen to live in such a remote area. I find my experiences in nature are super, super, super healing if I’m going through anything difficult, and also super inspiring.” – Benjamin Jordan

“For me the answer is commonly a genre switch. I’m inspired by dreamscapes, including vibrant sunsets and surreal astrophotography, so I kind of shift my focus to that.” – Lucan Coutts

“[I stay] motivated/inspired with other art. Watching movies, learning about something new or making something new helps a lot. Making something to make something, just because it feels good, and letting go of the pressure to make money.” – Yannick Anton

“I open myself up to art, go out into nature and look for the art in it. I also read about old masters, like Irving Penn. I give myself over to the beauty of artistic expression and my reservoir is refilled.” – Spencer Robertson

“I love walking around [Toronto], but I do tend to stay in the same neighbourhoods, which can get a bit routine. It helps to go somewhere new, a new neighbourhood. A new city is great, too, when I can do it.” – Kelly Shee

“I usually go for a drive in the country. And I look at a lot of magazines and research stories I’m interested in working on.” – Leah Hennel

UNSPLASH: BLAKE CHEEK

“I create a challenge for myself, whether it’s written or photographic. The other thing I do when I need inspiration and to boost my creativity is travel.” – Rosanna U

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WITNESS

STATEMENTS

Award-winning Calgary photojournalist Leah Hennel keenly observes people, places and powerful moments by SHANDA DEZIEL photography by LEAH HENNEL

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Leah Hennel knows when

A shot from Hennel’s series on the Pincher Creek Hutterite Colony

to stop shooting. Whether she’s documenting an insular Hutterite community, the recovery of a paralyzed Humboldt Broncos hockey player or the final day of life for a medical-assistance-in-dying patient, Hennel is first and foremost a human – interested and empathetic. “I’ve missed really good photos because a lot of time I just listen,” says the 41-year-old photojournalist. “I just put my camera down, and sit and listen. It took me two years before I could even take a photo on the Hutterite colony. They needed time to get used to me being there and to accept me.” When she does shoot, though, the veteran Calgary Herald photographer captures images that get noticed. One of Hennel’s shots from a cattle branding at the Pincher Creek Hutterite Colony won Best Feature Photo at the News Photographers Association of Canada’s 2017 National Pictures of the Year competition. In November 2018, she was given the Sports Media Canada Achievement Award for Outstanding Photography, and she’s currently nominated for Photographer of the Year by the Canadian Press (the winner was announced after press time). “She really can do it all,” says Monica Zurowski, managing editor of the Calgary Herald and Calgary Sun. “When you think of the action pictures, the ones taken at the Olympics or every year at the Calgary Stampede, Leah has a talent for capturing that split second, if-you-blink-you’ll-miss-it moment. But she’s just as talented when taking a still life, a portrait or a photo of the prairie sky.” Hennel fell into photography as a high-school student, during a work-experience program at the Calgary Sun. She wanted to be a veterinarian, but didn’t have the required math and science marks, so she started playing around with a camera, thinking she’d become a wildlife photographer. But it ended up being human subjects that appealed to her. SUMMER 2019

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TIPS FROM THE PRO Whether you’re shooting a sensitive situation or a reluctant subject, Hennel has some tips on how to build trust in order to capture meaningful images.

“The thing I love the most is talking to strangers and meeting new people,” says Hennel. “If there’s a trapper who lives out in the mountains, I’m more curious about him and how he lives [than the animals]. And even better if it’s a female trapper.” In 2000, two years after graduating from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Hennel was hired on full-time at the Calgary Herald. At 21, she was the country’s youngest female staff photographer at a major newspaper. Working the graveyard shift from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., she’d listen to the police scanner, waiting for something to happen. “I think, in the first year and a half, I went to one house fire,” she says. “Because I get bored so easily, I would come up with my own story ideas.” She’d photograph the scene at Calgary’s iconic 24-hour Blackfoot Truckstop Diner or tag along with K-9 officers, who were training police dogs during the overnight shift. “Anything that would help me stay awake,” she recalls. Hennel’s editors were impressed by her initiative – and her images – and would run these personal projects in the paper as well. In Hennel’s two-decade newspaper career (she recently left the Herald for the role of documentary photographer and videographer at Alberta Health Services), she combined daily assignment work – crime scenes, press conferences, Calgary Flames games – with social-issue projects that reveal a photojournalist connected to her community. “She sees the potential in every assignment,” says Zurowski, “whether it’s going down a back alley in Calgary or flying across the world to photograph gold-medalwinning athletes at the Olympics.” One Herald assignment, on Calgary’s homeless population, turned into a passion project for Hennel. She spent a year and a half documenting the life of 51-year-old Barbi 20

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Harris, who lived on the street and died of cancer in 2015. “People have such stereotypes about homeless people,” says Hennel. “But you never know until you walk in their shoes. Barbi was an addict, an alcoholic, but she was human, too. She was four-foot-nothing, but so feisty and smart. I hope that when people see some of my work it educates them.” After Harris died, the woman’s family asked Hennel to photograph them at the funeral, having a quiet moment near the casket. “I just thought that was such a huge honour that they wanted me there for that,” says Hennel. PJ McGrath, who was one of Alberta’s first medical-assistance-in-dying patients, saw the photos of Harris in the newspaper and requested Hennel document his final day. “I only met him at 9 a.m. and he died at 3 p.m.,” says Hennel. “He didn’t know me or the writer, but he wanted the story told and he wanted us in the room.” The situation got tense and upsetting, though, when McGrath’s daughters arrived and didn’t know there would be a camera. “I stepped outside,” says Hennel. “And he explained to them, ‘This is my wish.

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH. “You have to educate yourself before you make that initial call or have the first meeting. I do my research – it’s hugely important and it’s what some photographers are lacking.” 2. LISTEN AND BE EMPATHETIC. “Be curious about people. Listening goes a long way; it shows you’re interested in their story. And you have to have empathy for your subjects. You can have the most well-lit portrait of someone and they can still look dead in the eyes. [When that happens] you know there was no connection between the photographer and the subject.” 3. PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE. “Learning how to approach a person and make a connection with them only comes from practice and maturity – you have to keep talking to strangers to get better at it. Even if you only have 10 minutes with a subject, and you may disagree with them, you need to find a way to connect on some level.”


OPPOSITE PAGE (FROM TOP): A roadside memorial to the Humbolt Broncos bus crash; Barbi Harris in 2015. THIS PAGE: Alberta ranching family CoBie and Dana Herr, with daughter Reata.

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Lone Wolf Indian Relay team members Aaron Good Rider (left) and Kal Jackson, photographed on the Piikani Nation reserve in 2017.

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I really want to do this.’” In the end, McGrath’s daughters reached out to Hennel about how much the images (which ran in Swerve, the Herald’s weekly magazine) meant to them. “I did take one photo where you could see them – a last portrait with their dad – and I gave them copies. I would never have published that photo.” It’s Hennel’s capacity for empathy and acceptance that makes the photos of Harris and McGrath so powerful. But it can take its toll. “Sometimes I care too much about my subjects and it stays with me,” she says. “I escape by going for drives in the country and taking photos of the ranching life.” The prairies and its people hold a special place – and act as a source of inspiration – for Hennel, who has a tattoo of wheat on her wrist. She grew up in the city but spent summers and weekends at her grandparents’ farm in Stettler, Alta. Cattle branding on the May long weekend was an annual highlight. “I think I always wanted to be a rancher,” she says. “But I’m so allergic to horses and I’m a terrible rider. So, I live vicariously through all the ranchers that I photograph.” For the last 18 years, Hennel has been shooting lifelong rancher Lenore McLean — for newspapers articles, for Hennel’s own western-photography portfolio and at the family’s request. “We have a gallery of Leah’s photos in our ranch house,” says 79-year-old McLean, “of our children, our grandchildren, our animals. She has an interest in this world and seems to have the sense of it. She knows how to pose us, how the horses’ legs are working, or where to put the camera when we’re chasing cattle.” But what really stands out to McLean is 24

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the photographer’s demeanour: “I’ve never seen her out of sorts or in a bad mood. Even if something doesn’t go right, Leah just keeps her cool.” In April 2018, Hennel and a Herald writer were sent to Humboldt, Sask., after the town’s hockey team was involved in a deadly bus crash. “We found an address [for one of the victims], knocked on the door and walked in,” says Hennel. “The whole family was in the room, aunts, uncles, everyone in mourning. I was there with my gear and I just felt like an asshole. So, I put the camera down and listened as they talked.” Shortly after, Hennel began documenting the recovery of crash survivor Ryan Straschnitzki, who was paralyzed from the chest down – taking photos of his rehabilitation and training to be a sledge-hockey player. She recently accompanied Straschnitzki to the tattoo parlour where he embarked on a full-sleeve memorial to his teammates. “I feel privileged to be [accepted by the family],” says Hennel, “to see such resilience and the outpouring of help they’ve received from others.” With her new role at Alberta Health Services, Hennel is now moving away from hard-news assignments like the Humboldt tragedy, but plans to keep telling important stories – giving a voice to those who wouldn’t otherwise be heard or seen. “Leah’s managed to build relationships of trust in communities that don’t open up their doors to photographers,” says Zurowski. “She cares about portraying people as accurately and honestly as possible.”

TO SEE MORE OF HER WORK, VISIT LEAHHENNNEL.COM.

WHAT’S IN HER BAG? Hennel has a few go-to pieces of equipment she takes on her shoots: A CANON 5D MARK III “It’s an older camera now but it’s like an extension of myself,” she says. “I like the colour that comes out of it, the image quality. I’m so used to it, I know how to troubleshoot if something goes wrong.” A SIGMA 24MM 1.4 LENS “I love all the Sigma art lenses. I find them very sharp. And I like fixed lenses because they make you think more than with a zoom lens. You have to move and compose.” A CANON 85MM 1.8 LENS Hennel loves this lens for portraits. “It’s a 1.8, so it’s not big and heavy, and I can stick it in my jacket pocket. It’s also a fixed lens, and is good for video, too. “ THIS PAGE: Medical-assistancein-dying patient PJ McGrath. OPPOSITE PAGE: Hennel’s son Hunter in Buffalo Lake, Alta.


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BROAD

SPECTRUM Yannick Anton on his quest to widen the circle of photography, one picture at a time by TARA HENLEY / photography by YANNICK ANTON

Toronto’s Yannick Anton is famous

for his vibrant, on-the-fly shots of party people at the city’s long-running queer hiphop/dancehall night “Yes Yes Y’all.” But as a photographer and cinematographer, he’s far from striking just one note. With an impressive portfolio spanning family portraits, concert photography, celebrity and chef shoots, as well as Polaroid projects, coffee-table books and a short-film series in the works, the in-demand artist’s body of work is as varied as it is compelling. Here, Anton talks to The Lens about the through line between all these gigs, and reflects on the challenges he’s overcome building a creative practice.

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN PHOTOGRAPHY? The beginning was actually taking pictures for friends. They’re musicians, and I was the one that went to every show. Sometimes, there would be five people there, sometimes 12, because they were just starting out. The collective I was part of, 88 Days of Fortune, was asked to perform at “Yes Yes Y’all” for one of their Pride parties. [After that], I went back every time.

WHAT WAS IT ABOUT TAKING PHOTOS THAT WAS SO COMPELLING FOR YOU? I’ve always loved photography. I used to go down in the crawl space in the basement and look at all the old family photo albums for hours. I had an uncle who came to all of our family gatherings, and he would just hang out and shoot these great portraits of us. He would develop them in the dark room and come back next time with the prints. Those portraits really stood out to me.

HOW HAS YOUR PORTFOLIO EVOLVED? It’s all people-based. When I was first getting into photography, there were all these pictures and photographers that I really admired, but they were all white: all white

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TIPS FROM THE PRO Anton offers some tips on how to capture amazing candids. [1] BE A PART OF WHEREVER YOU’RE AT. “You can’t just be the photographer. If you’re at a party, you’ve got to party. If you’re at a concert, you’ve got to feel the music. You have to be a part of the experience to capture it.” [2] DON’T OVERTHINK IT. “It’s got to be done fast. You don’t have the time to ask people to do that handstand again, or pick that person up, or laugh again. If you miss it, you miss it.” [3] DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT YOUR CAMERA. “If they drop, they drop. Get the warranty. Don’t be too precious about your gear. It’s made to withstand some bumps.” OPPOSITE PAGE: Yannick Anton. THIS PAGE: A young Caribana reveller.

[4] KEEP SHOOTING. “Don’t settle for the posed, peace-sign shot that people give when they are uncomfortable in front of the camera.”

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bodies in photos, all white shooters. I guess I found a calling in showing people of colour, people that I knew, people that are not in the classic, or ordinary, photography scene. It’s like a crusade of showing my people, showing different people, showing the beauty in differences. And showing strength, showing positive images of people of colour. There are a lot of stereotypes; I think it’s important to show the realness, so when young people look at photography, they see a beautiful reflection of themselves and their ancestors and their past.

WHAT WAS YOUR MOTIVATION FOR DOING A FINANCIALLY ACCESSIBLE POP-UP PORTRAIT STUDIO IN TORONTO? I think it’s really important for people to have family portraits, but also to print family portraits. To have a picture that is not on your cellphone, of people you love and care about. Also, there are so many different kinds of family… it’s important to show that.

HOW IS IT DIFFERENT SHOOTING CELEBRITIES AT THE TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL VERSUS NEW PARENTS AND THEIR BABY? With celebrities, you have five or 10 minutes, and you’ve got to get the shot. With families, you have a longer time frame to catch the moment. All people want to be treated like people – appreciated and recognized. THIS PAGE: (top) Drag queen “Lola” workin’ it at Yes Yes Y’all; (right) photographer Jorian Charlton. OPPOSITE PAGE: Model Cynn Adereti before a show. 28

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WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL THE PROJECTS YOU’VE DONE, IS THERE ONE THAT STANDS OUT AS YOUR FAVOURITE?

WHAT’S IN HIS BAG?

I don’t think that I love one project the most. For me, it’s the through line between all the projects – in showing people of colour, in showing the sacredness of what it is to be human. The tenderness. That’s what I’m loving the most. Because it doesn’t matter if I’m [shooting] a party portrait or a wedding, or just walking on the street, there’s still a sacred moment that is going to be captured, and hopefully remembered. I love it all, but the through line is what I love most.

Anton’s list of mustcarry gear includes:

A CANON 5D MARK II CAMERA “I like that it feels heavy,” Anton says. “I like that it can go in a crowd of 800 people and if it gets bonked, dropped, a drink spilled on it – which it has many times – it’s still kicking.”

FROM A TECHNICAL PERSPECTIVE, WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU OVERCOME TO GET WHERE YOU ARE? When I was starting, I had older cameras and lenses. For a while, I didn’t even have a camera and I would have to borrow one every time I had to shoot “Yes Yes Y’all.” So, just learning how to use a new camera every month. [Then] one of the lenses was broken, the focus was broken. I’m thankful for that because it pushed me to change the photos to black and white in an effort to hide the quality a bit. No one at that time was using black and white – the trend was light trails in event photos. Black and white helped to create my own style.

A CANON 50MM 1.4 LENS “The 50 is beautiful because you have to be close [when you shoot], and that’s what comes across in the photos: the intimacy.” A CANON 24-105MM LENS “This wide lens that I use for parties and concerts is really versatile. It gets a lot of what I don’t see with my eye,” he explains. “When I am editing, it’s often the things in the background – that I didn’t see when I took the picture – that make the picture more interesting.”

WHAT INSPIRED YOUR INSTANT-PHOTO SERIES? I really wanted to be able to give photos away. A lot of people don’t go on the internet, or don’t follow me on whatever [online platform], so I

wanted to be able to let people have photos to put on the fridge. Give it to somebody. Hold a photo. I thought that was being lost.

WHERE DO YOU HOPE YOUR CAREER TAKES YOU?

LOMO’INSTANT WIDE CAMERA “Film is nice because nobody asks you if they can see the picture! Also, there’s a decisiveness that has to happen when you are shooting [with] film. I only have 36, 24, 10 shots left… it makes me think differently about shooting.”

I’d love to continue shooting families, especially the families that I’ve already started shooting. I hope to take everybody’s picture once a year until I can’t anymore. So, that’s a project that, hopefully, over 20, 30, 40 years, will just grow and grow and grow – taking over rooms, and floors, of galleries. I want to be able to make what I want to make, and not have to worry about where the next cheque is going to come from, or what’s going to happen next. I want to be in a position to just make stuff, for the sake of making stuff.

VISIT YANNICKANTON.COM TO SEE MORE OF HIS WORK. TOP: Singer-songwriter Brendan Philip. LEFT: Filmmaker, writer and multimedia artist Isa Benn. 30

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UNSPLASH: FLAUNTER.COM

Shoestring

SHOOTING

How to plan and execute a portfolio creative for little to no money by JACLYN LAW

Planning a photo shoot is a great way to challenge yourself, collaborate with other artists and create beautiful images to beef up your portfolio. And doing so doesn’t require a huge budget – in fact, you can put one together on a dime (or even less!). For tips, The Lens talked to two seasoned pros: Aaron McKenzie Fraser, based in Nova Scotia, and Toronto-based Regina Garcia, who have both worked with a wide range of media and corporate clients. SUMMER 2019

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SHOOTING ESSENTIALS COME UP WITH A CONCEPT Take advantage of summer’s warm weather, bright skies and vibrant colours for your concept – say, a day at the beach or a weekend at the cottage. “The location helps me define the concept,” says Fraser, who records his ideas in a sketchbook. When scouting a location, he spends a few hours there, visiting at different times of day to observe changes in lighting. “I try to walk away with three options for potential shots,” he says. Garcia finds inspiration in movies, art, music and books. “I can see some kind of scenario playing out, and it gives me an idea,” she says.

Here’s what Fraser and Garcia bring to outdoor creative shoots.

FRASER’S KIT Two camera bodies (Nikon D500 DSLR and FUJIFILM X100T), several Nikon lenses, a battery-powered flash and extra batteries, two to four Manfrotto light stands, Photek and Profoto umbrellas, Chimera and Godox soft boxes, Manfrotto clamps, duct tape, gaffer tape and screwdrivers. “The location and weather determine what else to bring – things like garbage bags, tarps, extra socks, a hat, rain gear and bug spray,” Fraser says. “If you or your subject is not comfortable, it’s hard to stay positive and take good pictures.”

GARCIA’S KIT Two camera bodies (Canon 5D Mark IV and 5D Mark III), three lenses (Sigma 35mm 1.4, Sigma 85mm 1.4, Canon 50mm 1.4), a Westcott 5-in-1 reflector kit, a lightweight Manfrotto tripod, SD cards, a grey card, a Lowepro Pro Roller camera bag and a MacBook Pro laptop (with a Lastolite shade). “One more great equipment tip is buying a flutter board from the dollar store to place under your knees or butt when shooting on the ground,” Garcia adds. “It’s a lifesaver!”

turned away,” she explains. “Every time I ask, the owners are so grateful. People usually just walk in and try to shoot, which is disrespectful.”

GATHER A CREATIVE TEAM Fraser taps into his network to find like-minded creatives. He also puts the word out on his Facebook page and in Facebook groups for Halifax actors, models, hairstylists and makeup artists. Look for similar groups where you live. “Say you want to do a creative and ask who’s in,” says Fraser. “Express that the project is low-pay or no-pay, and it’s for people who want something for their portfolio.” Garcia suggests contacting talent agencies and asking if any junior artists are interested. (Be prepared to provide your portfolio, as well as mood boards to explain your shoot concept.) You could also approach artists and models directly; follow people on Instagram and invite them to collaborate. Of course, it helps if you share examples of your work on the platform.

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GET CLEARANCE FOR LOCATIONS

SOURCE PROPS AND A WARDROBE

For public spaces, such as beaches, parks and conservation areas, find out if you need a permit to shoot. For private property, such as cafés and hotel pools, definitely get permission first. “I haven’t been allowed to shoot in certain places because someone else didn’t ask or did things improperly,” Fraser says. It’s also smart to let proprietors know who and what you’re bringing, says Garcia. “You don’t want to show up with your model, stylist and wardrobe and get

Fraser borrows or rents items from prop houses, university theatre departments, antique shops and clothing designers. Some sources may agree to lend you items or merchandise for free in exchange for being tagged on social media when you post your photos (and if they repost your work, bonus!). In Garcia’s experience, finding wardrobe stylists for no-budget shoots is challenging, so she rents clothing from wardrobe houses (about $75 per outfit).

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OPPOSITE PAGE: UNSPLASH/NICOLE HARRINGTON / THIS PAGE: ISTOCK/NYCSHOOTER

A PAIR OF ROOKIE MISTAKES AND HOW TO AVOID THEM “Always go in with the idea, ‘I’m going to make this work no matter what comes at me, and I’m going to make it look amazing.’ Stay calm, and don’t get angry if there’s a problem, because you’ll make your talent uncomfortable.” BE PROFESSIONAL When collaborating on a photo shoot, says Fraser, “the big thing is to not be a jerk.” Even if no one’s getting paid – maybe especially because no one’s getting paid – always act professionally. Arrive on time, dress appropriately for the conditions and stay positive. “People don’t act their best if they don’t feel they’re being treated their best,” says Fraser. “Especially in a free shoot, you’re all even players. It’s about teamwork, and if everyone’s positive, you’ll have a lot more fun doing it.” Garcia adds that problem-solving is part of the job. “Things may not be exactly as you thought. You can’t control the weather, for instance,” she says. “Always go in with the idea, ‘I’m going to make this work no matter what comes at me, and

I’m going to make it look amazing.’ Stay calm, and don’t get angry if there’s a problem, because you’ll make your talent uncomfortable.” And keep the entire endeavor short and sweet. Plan to work for no more than about four or five hours, tops. After that, Fraser says, people’s enthusiasm and energy start to wane. “A half-day is fun, easy and doable,” he says.

GIVE CREDIT WHERE IT’S DUE Creative shoots are a collective effort, says Fraser. “That teamwork builds something you’re all proud of and want to show off. Giving credit is a huge thing, because it helps build relationships. I find it difficult when photographers take ownership of the whole process. A lot of other people help make it happen.”

[1] POOR PREPARATION. Fraser advises to think through every detail in advance. “The location, weather, subject matter. Know your equipment and have backups,” he says. “Make sure all your batteries are charged, and that you have enough memory cards with enough space. Think of worst-case scenarios and what you could do, so you can still take pictures.” [2] LACK OF ORGANIZATION. Garcia cautions that not being on top of all the components of your shoot could result in chaos, and – like Fraser – she believes in being forearmed. “Having a schedule and a checklist will save you from making a mistake or forgetting something important that will screw up your day,” she says. SUMMER 2019

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OUR PHOTO

CHALLENGE #4

WINNER!

SNAPSHOTS In our last issue, we asked you to show us what “travel” means to you. Here are some of our favourite submissions! 34

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Congratulations to Sierra Sun (Toronto, Ont.), who snuck into a parking garage in Hong Kong to snap this dazzling shot – titled “Little Slice of Night” – of the bustling Temple Street Night Market where, she says, “From clothing to kitchenware, they’ve got everything.” Aperture: 5 ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 0.3 seconds Camera: Panasonic Lumix GH4


“Looking into the Past” by Dennis Tsiolis (Richmond Hill, Ont.) Aperture: 8 ISO: 200 Shutter speed: 1/200 Camera: Nikon D300

“Tibetan Prayer Flags” by Ovi Berghezan (Etobicoke, Ont.) Aperture: 9 ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/250 Camera: Sigma DP1

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“Sunset at Cape Anguille / Cape Anguille Lighthouse” by Richard Dewey (Wasaga Beach, Ont.) Aperture: 8 ISO: 320 Shutter speed: 1/40 Camera: Sony Alpha 57

“Golden Rays in the Galapagos” by Rod White (London, Ont.) Aperture: 2.8 ISO: 200 Shutter speed: 1/80 Camera: Olympus TG-5

“Journey of a Thousand Miles“ “Wave” KevinLopes Lim (Toronto, bybyChris (Guelph, Ont.) Ont.) Aperture:105 Aperture: ISO:400 100 ISO: Shutterspeed: speed:1/500 0.3 seconds Shutter Camera: Sony A6500

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“Everything is Relative” by Rhoni Speed (Whitby, Ont.) Aperture: 6.7 ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 1/250 Camera: Sony ILCE-6000


“Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque” by Brian Tyson (Hastings, Ont.) Aperture: 10 ISO: 200 Shutter speed: 1/640 Camera: Sony RX100 VI

“Gros Morne” by Micheline Mallet (St. Catharines, Ont.) Aperture: 3.5 ISO: 160 Shutter speed: 1/100 Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200

“Rokuon-Ji Temple, Kyoto, Japan” by Werner Koenen (London, Ont.) Aperture: 5 ISO: 1400 Shutter speed: 1/250 Camera: Nikon D610

“Venice” by Paul Gravett (New Westminster, B.C.) Aperture: 22 ISO: 100 Shutter speed: 5 seconds Camera: Olympus E-M10 Mark II

“When a Staircase Is Art!” by Marion Buccella (London, Ont.) Aperture: 5.6 ISO: 6400 Shutter speed: 1/30

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“Dirt Clouds” by Doyle Smith (Nepean, Ont.) Aperture: 5.6 ISO: 125 Shutter speed: 1/800 Camera: Canon G5X

SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS!

In each issue of The Lens, we’ll announce a new photo challenge aimed at sharpening your photography skills. We’ll then select our favourite shots and publish them in the next issue. PLUS: One overall winner from all eligible submissions will score a $250 Henry’s gift card!

CHALLENGE #5: “PORTRAITS” Enter our photo challenge and you could win* a $250 Henry’s gift card

Lighting, composition, perspective, location, subject – so many elements can go into amazing portraiture, and we want to see your most creative portraits! So, grab your camera, snap your photos and then visit henrys.com/TheLensContest to submit your work. Deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 12, 2019.

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SUBMISSION GUIDELINES Image resolution: at least 300dpi at 8.5x11 inches. No wordmarks. Your name and shooting details will be printed beside your image. Photo(s) must be your own and, if a person is featured, you must have their written consent to use it. If your photo is selected, you’ll be required to provide the high-res file. *For full contest rules and regulations, visit henrys.com/TheLensContest.


WORKINGFILES

THE PRICE IS RIGHT

How to calculate a fair rate for your work by HELEN RACANELLI If you take photos or shoot video, at some point someone is going to ask you what you charge. Figuring out a reasonable rate may feel like a gamble the first time you do it: too low and you won’t have a livable income after expenses; too high and you risk deterring customers. Luckily, there are basic guidelines to help you set fair rates, so you and your potential clients are satisfied. FLAT RATE VS. HOURLY RATE

DO THIS MATH To establish flat rates, use this formula: add the cost of goods (editing, retouching, prints, freelancers such as hair and makeup artists, for example) to general expenses (your time, rent, equipment, insurance, taxes, etc.). Then add your profit, says Amyot. In other words, the total rate you should charge = the cost of goods (10%-20% of the total rate) + general expenses (60%-70% of the total rate) + your profit (your take-home amount).

DON’T WORRY ABOUT THE COMPETITION Regardless of whether you use a smartphone or pencil and paper to determine your rate, Amyot says that rather than pricing with an eye to your competition, your best strategy when setting prices is to focus on your own financial goals.

THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT “Tech is playing a huge role in empowering photographers to be fairly compensated for their work,” says Melissa Welsh, a photographer and tech entrepreneur in Nelson, B.C. She created Price-a-Photo (pixelcents.com), a free Web-based app that gives photographers access to international pricing data with low, average and high prices for all types of photo use. She’s also developed Numburu (available at pixelcents.com), a comprehensive online platform that helps you strategically build a sound business and financial plan, including pricing guidelines, income and expense tracking, profitability projections and more.

ISTOCK: VOYATA

“A flat rate works for product photography, when you know the exact number of images to create and expenses involved in postproduction,” says André Amyot, a Granby, Que.-based photography-business coach (photocoach.com). “It works for wedding photography, as well, when clients are looking for a specific finished product [such as albums].” By contrast, he says, hourly rates – which can fluctuate widely based on experience, expenses and other variables – make more sense when it comes to commercial or architectural photography, where certain elements can change during the process.

Entry-level photographers might charge anywhere from $30 to $125 per hour or per image, whereas established pros might charge from $80 to $250 (or more) per hour or image, says Amyot.

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ON CLOUD

NINE

How an Ottawa-based company made the transition from wedding videos to branded-content production by CHRIS DANIELS photography by CLOUD IN THE SKY STUDIOS

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BUSINESSSAVVY

J

ulien Cheron remembers getting his first DSLR camera in 2009. It was a Panasonic GH1. “That was the camera that put me on a more serious path to videography,” says Cheron, who, as a kid, staged scenes with his toy soldiers and shot the action using a VHS camcorder. That same year, his friend Joseph Truong, who had no exposure to filmmaking or photography, asked Cheron for advice on a camera to document his upcoming backpacking trip in Asia. Cheron’s recommendation: an Olympus E-P1. Truong returned hooked on image-making. That shared passion turned into a business when the duo started Cloud in the Sky Studios in Ottawa. Almost a decade later, the firm finds itself riding high with a client list that includes NBA Canada and BlackBerry. Its work for the former includes videos shining a spotlight on basketball in underprivileged communities, which played at the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto. And for the latter, Cloud in the Sky has produced a slew of branded content, including videos for BlackBerry’s booth at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to promote the tech company’s new QNX digital-cockpit software platform. It took some time for Cloud in the Sky Studios to soar, though.

Cheron and Truong say they owe getting their business off the ground to their “wedding years.” In addition to gigs capturing happy couples exchanging vows, the pair also self-funded short films with actors and musicians hired through talent and modelling agencies. That proved critical to their future success. “We had written and conceptualized these shoots to look really beautiful and cinematic,” says Truong, who was still working a day job in project management for the federal government at the time. “And so we put together whatever savings we had to rent vehicles, locations, whatever we needed.” Sharing the films on Vimeo, the firm developed a following and soon had clients wanting to pay for

their services. Cloud in the Sky Studios started doing fashion shoots, music videos and branded content for local businesses, albeit with modest budgets. “We didn’t have a backer or [a bank loan], so we took the savings we had from doing all the wedding videos and built our equipment list. Even if we had a [project] budget of $5,000, we made sure it looked and felt as if it was at least $20,000,” says Truong. “We put in the elbow grease. I think that’s why clients stuck with us and we could educate them as their video needs evolved.” In 2015, Cheron and Truong rented studio space in Ottawa – with a commitment to turn what they had into more than a side business. They increased their content on Vimeo, adding human-interest stories they edited from their trips abroad together. A vacation to Australia resulted in a video about refugee rights, while a visit to Kenya produced an exploration of the roots of tribal violence.

A turning point came when Cloud in the Sky’s videos caught the attention of Ron Goldenberg, manager of business solutions and content for NBA Canada. “He just Googled our name to make sure we were legit, started us off with a small project, and that grew to a few projects,” says Truong. With four additional staff – and growing – the firm has been expanding its capabilities. “We’ve had a lot of requests for 3D animation, so we think that could be a much bigger part of our company in a few months,” says Truong. They’ve also invested in new equipment, specifically: Blackmagic’s URSA Mini Pro digital-film camera, a Panasonic GH5 camera and, for run-and-gun shoots, a Zhiyun-Tech Crane 2 stabilizer. “Having gone through this 10-year journey, [we realize] profits and margins are important, but so is the reason we started this in the first place,” says Cheron. “My advice to entrepreneurs: think about the great work you’re doing, and the rest will fall into place.”

OPPOSITE PAGE: Cheron scouting locations in Bogotá, Colombia. BELOW: The team’s video for NBA Centre Court and VIBE Arts, produced for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game in Toronto. BELOW, LEFT: A promotional video for Elements Casino.

LEARN MORE ABOUT CHERON, TRUONG AND THEIR TEAM AT CLOUDINTHESKYSTUDIOS.COM.

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LUMIX DC-S1R:

MEET THE NEW KID ON THE BLOCK Panasonic’s high-end shooter impresses with a peerless EVF and ultra-high resolution by CHAD SAPIEHA

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GEARGUIDE

Panasonic’s Lumix DC-S1R has officially joined a small and elite roster of full-frame digital cameras geared for discerning professionals and deep-pocketed hobbyists. Packed with standout features, including the world’s sharpest electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a high-resolution mode that produces incredibly resolved 187-MP images, the S1R is purpose-built for people who capture publishable stills for a living. It’s also a fine option for video, with 4K at 60 frames per second (fps) supported and an advanced five-axis dual image-stabilization system. And because it uses the existing Leica L-Mount system – for which both Panasonic and Sigma are producing lenses – the range of glass available now and in the future should satisfy most needs.

RESOLUTION THAT REACHES BEYOND Equipped with a 47.3-MP fullframe (36mm x 24mm) CMOS sensor, the S1R takes in immense detail with no low-pass filter, an excellent signal-to-noise relationship and a maximum ISO of 25600. A unique high-resolution mode – which captures and blends eight photos shot in rapid succession into an almost unbelievably resolved 187-MP file – can raise picture quality even further. It gives new meaning to the notion of “photorealistic.”

THE WORLD’S BEST EVF Boasting 5.76 million dots, the S1R’s EVF is simply unparalleled. When you peer through the window, you’ll see a representation of your photo-to-be that is as close as any camera company has yet

come to matching the quality of a traditional optical viewfinder. Sizing up shots sans mirror has never felt this good.

PRO VIDEO AT THE TAP OF A BUTTON The S1R boasts an enormous image sensor, which, combined with advanced dual optical image stabilization and Panasonic’s Venus Engine, produces beautiful, silky smooth video at 4K and 60 fps in full-frame format, continuously recording for up to 15 minutes at a time. Light or dark, fast or slow, the S1R is equipped to capture stunningly detailed motion pictures regardless of environment or subject.

UNBEATABLE IMAGE RECOGNITION Facial recognition is de rigueur in modern cameras – and essential for capturing unexpected memorable moments before they disappear – but the S1R takes subject identification to the next level. It recognizes not just faces but also bodies, snapping them into focus in just eight one-hundredths of a second.

BUILT TO LAST Built on a magnesium-alloy diecast frame, the S1R screams quality craftsmanship. From its super-sturdy articulated viewing screen to a collection of intuitively positioned dials and buttons, the S1R feels like a flagship camera built to withstand the sort of daily punishment pros dish out. Bonus: it can handle Canada’s cold – it’s been tested for use at -10ºC. Shooting birds, horses and dogs instead? Not to worry: the S1R’s image recognition is trained to identify a variety of animals, as well.

TWO SLOTS ARE BETTER THAN ONE Among the S1R’s simplest but handiest features is a pair of memory-card slots that let you save to both SD and XQD memory cards. Better still, you can customize where different types of data are stored by setting one for photos and the other video, recording the same information to both so you have a backup, or simply filling one before automatically moving to the next. It’s a feature aimed at pros, but consumers who grow used to it will likely never want to settle for a single slot again.

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GEARGUIDE

CALL OF THE

WILD

When the world’s most elite wildlife photographers head out to shoot, these are some of the amazing lenses and tripods they take along to snap gasp-worthy images by ZACH GIBSON

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[1] CANON EF 500MM F4L IS II USM

This big-ticket behemoth boasts top-notch speed and great reach. Its three image-stabilization modes mean you can better capture distant, fast-moving subjects in various shooting situations. Bonus: when you’re shooting video, the Power Focus mode lets you smoothly and easily change focus.

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[2] OLYMPUS M.ZUIKO ED 300MM F4.0 IS PRO

This feature-packed super-telephoto prime lens has a 600mm-equivalent focal length without some of the bulk and weight of other similar systems. Its 17 different seals also make this dust-, splash- and freeze-proof lens ideal for shooting in less-than-perfect weather.

[3] SONY FE 100-400MM F4.5-5.6 GM OSS

This super-telephoto-zoom lens boasts fast and tenacious focusing ability. Its Direct Drive SSM autofocus system, customizable focus-hold buttons and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization also deliver crisp images even when you’re shooting at slower shutter speeds without a tripod.

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[4] SIGMA 60-600MM F4.5-6.3 DG OS

This terrific all-around lens is dust- and splash-proof, and is the first 10x-optical-zoom telephoto lens. At the 200mm focal length, you can also use it for macro-telephoto shooting, and its Intelligent OS image-stabilization system minimizes camera shake for up to four stops.

[5] FUJINON XF 100-400MM F4.5-5.6 OIS WR

With 13 weather seals in 12 locations, this hardy, versatile super-telephoto-zoom lens is built to withstand whatever Mother Nature might throw at you. Its twin-linear-AF motor delivers super-fast performance, and a handy zoom-lock switch ensures your zoom stays in position while shooting.

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UNSPLASH: ISABELLA JUSKOVA

[6] CANON EF 70-200MM F2.8L IS II USM

Score fantastic fixed speed, consistency and control across the zoom range of this premier telephotozoom lens, thanks to its constant f/2.8 maximum aperture. A second image-stabilization mode – which is optimized for panning – means you’ll snag great shots of subjects in motion.

VIS

HENRY IT CURRE S.COM FOR N INFOR T PRICING MATIO N

HOLDING STEADY

These three tripods ensure that with great wildlife photography will come great stability. GITZO SERIES 2 TRAVELER TRIPOD BALL HEAD KIT

This super-strong carbonfibre tripod features a 180-degree leg-folding system and is able to support up to 12 kg of gear.

MANFROTTO MT190XPR03 TRIPOD + MHXPRO-BHQ2

This compact, versatile tripod features an Easy Link connector, which lets you attach an accessory on an extending arm or bracket.

3 LEGGED THING ECLIPSE ALBERT AND 360 AIRHED KIT CF Lightweight, durable and portable, this impressive option has a load capacity up to 30 kg, and also features a detachable monopod.

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GEARGUIDE

GO STEADY WITH THE DJI RONIN-S Achieve daring angles and perfect clarity with this single-handed stabilization kit by CHAD SAPIEHA

You can tell the kind of care put into the design of DJI’s single-handed Ronin-S stabilization system just by glancing at its roll-axis motor, which has been cleverly offset to allow a clean view of the screen from almost any angle. And it only gets better from there.

WELL-BALANCED Capable of supporting a load of up to 3.6 kg, the three-axis motorized gimbal head can easily handle most cameras paired with a substantial zoom. Clearly marked positioning scales and an app-based balance test take the guesswork out of achieving a good centre of gravity for each camera + lens combination.

CONTROL CENTRE A collection of intuitive physical controls – including a gripmounted focus ring and joystick to control camera movement – keeps you in command of your shots, and you can quickly establish and switch between a trio of custom settings (plus Sport mode, which comes in handy for fast-moving subjects) at the touch of the conveniently positioned M button.

APP-LICATIONS The no-nonsense companion app lets you easily dig into some of the Ronin-S’s cooler features, such as SmoothTrack, a proprietary system that allows you to customize how the motorized stabilization system interprets your movement. You can adjust settings so that the Ronin-S intuits how you want the stabilization system to read and react to both subtle and more dramatic camera shifts.

AMAZING FOOTAGE What all of this means is that you can achieve amazingly smooth and professional-looking video while walking, driving, or even skiing or skateboarding, effortlessly switching between low and high angles to create cinematic movies and breathtaking still images. Best of all, the Ronin-S is surprisingly user-friendly. Even if you don’t have any experience with stabilization systems, you’re bound to be amazed by the instant professionalism DJI’s latest stabilization kit can provide.

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Many of the Ronin-S’s key automated features won’t work if your specific camera and lenses aren’t supported. A growing list of supported hardware – which already includes a good selection of popular gear – can be found on DJI’s website at: store.dji.com.


FINISHINGTOUCHES

HOW TO

BEFORE AFTER

USE PHOTOSHOP TO ADD SIZZLE TO SUMMER STILLS Controlled saturation is the key to bringing out vivid colours by STACEY PHILLIP Teasing out contrast to give specific colours a daring pop is among the easier post-production tricks to master. All it takes is a bit of tinkering with saturation and careful application of Photoshop’s Blending mode. Here’s how to create boldly hued images that amplify all the colours of nature’s most vivid season. [STEP 1] Pick a photo in which sunlight isn’t bleaching out the subject(s) or object(s) to which you’d like to draw attention. The bolder the colours you start with, the better the eventual results. [STEP 2] In the Layers panel, select New Adjustment Layer, then Hue/Saturation. Move the Saturation slider forward to really draw out the colours. Try setting it to 30, then play with it a bit until you’re happy with the result. [STEP 3] Still in the Layers panel with Hue/Saturation selected, change the Blending mode (which should currently be set to Normal) to one of the following: Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light or Vivid Light. You’ll want to tinker a bit with these, too, to see which is the best fit for your photo’s palette.

UNSPLASH: MARK ADRIANE

[STEP 4] At this point, your image is going to look super-saturated. To fix this, move the Opacity slider to a lower value. Around 20% should mute oversaturated colours while keeping much of your newly attained contrast in others. [STEP 5] The final step is to go back to the Hue/Saturation layer you created and play with the saturation of individual colours to really bring out those to which you want to call attention. Click the Master colour dropdown menu, select the hue you’d like to enhance, and then adjust the saturation slider to your liking to create bold, eyecatching highlights.

To create a different summertime effect that delivers a more vintage look – something akin to retro ’70s film – try upping lightness along with saturation. Then, add solid pastel layers, including yellows to enhance sunlight and pinks to retain skin tones, and reduce their opacity. Finish with a gradient layer to enrich the sun as a light source.

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#WeAreAllCreators Our expertise doesn’t come from a brochure, it comes from doing. We’re not clerks, we’re collaborators. We’re photographers, filmmakers, content producers, and artists. We’re industry insiders and social media makers. We’re over 400 Henry’s Associates across Canada, and we are all creators.

Ernest Ng Vancouver, British Columbia Henry’s Associate Cinematographer

HENRYS.COM


PROADVICE

ASK A HENRY’S EXPERT Get answers to your questions about gear, technique and more by JORGE DaSILVA

ISTOCK: NARATHIP12

I want to get into astrophotography, but when I set my lens focus ring to the maximum focus distance my star photos are still blurry. Why?

Assuming you haven’t bumped your tripod during the long exposure and your exposure settings are correct, blurry stars are usually the result of inaccurate focus. Because stars are small, faint points of light against a black sky, your lens will need to be focused manually – and this is where the challenge lies. Knowing the stars are millions of miles away, it’s logical to assume that setting the focus ring to its “infinity” position will give you the sharp results you want. But this usually isn’t the case. Lenses are expected to perform in a wide range of temperatures, and their materials may expand or contract depending on the temperature as a result, so the “infinity” mark on the manual focusing ring is not always going to provide focus at actual infinity. Take your first photo at the marked infinity position, but expect to make minor adjustments over a few test photos to find the true infinity position of your lens. If your camera can preview your image on its rear LCD screen and if it has a magnification feature, consider using these tools, as they may help you bring the stars into focus a little quicker.

Which shutter speed should I use when shooting DSLR video? Does it matter?

When recording video with a DSLR or mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, shutter speed does matter. The rule of thumb is: set the shutter speed to 1/(2x your video’s frame rate). For example, if your video frame rate is 30 frames per second (fps), be sure to set your camera’s shutter speed to 1/60th of a second [i.e., 1/(2x30)]. If your frame rate is 120 fps because you’re thinking about applying a slow-motion effect to your footage, set your shutter speed to 1/250th of a second. And if you’re going for that “cinema” look at 24 fps, you’ll want to set your shutter to 1/50th of a second. If your shutter speed is set slower than what’s recommended according to this rule, you can expect to see a degree of blurred or smeared movement in your footage; set faster, and your footage will have an unnatural “stuttering” appearance.

Jorge DaSilva is Henry’s Learning Lab Instructor Trainer & Coordinator, and has been Henry’s principal provider of educational services since 2001. He has also taught hundreds of classes and presented at numerous trade shows.

Send us your questions! Tweet them to @HenrysCamera and we may choose yours for our next issue! SUMMER 2019

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FINALFRAME

ELVIS MA, PHOTOGRAPHED BY GEOFFREY YUEN IN MACAU IN 2018 “My friend and I were exploring Macau and came across this dope apartment complex. I told Elvis to help me with a photo idea I had. I lay down on the ground and got him to jump over me while I took the photo. It took a few tries but I’m stoked with how it turned out.” – Geoffrey Yuen

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M I R R O R L E S S R E I N V E N T E D A L L - R O U N D

C R E A T I V E

G E N I U S

Inspired by your creative pursuit, Nikon Z 6 is a compact full-frame powerhouse that excels in both photography and videography. Its revolutionary Z mount unlocks the next generation range of NIKKOR Z lenses*, empowering you to capture amazingly sharp images with speed and control – a superior optical performance that’s undeniably Nikon. Elevate your vision with the Z 6 today. For more information, visit www.nikon.ca. ISO 100 -51200 | 4K UHD | 10 -BIT N-LOG | IN-CA MERA 5-AXIS VR U P TO 12 F PS | 24 . 5 M P *Also compatible with approximately 360 NIKKOR F lenses when paired with a mount adapter. Limitations may apply to some lenses.