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Issue No. 5 - October 2013

Canada’s Premier Magazine for Professional Photographers

RAINY DAY WEDDINGS 5 ideas for helping you and your clients survive the wet stuff.


MOTO PHOTOGRAPHY Tips & Tricks for creating electrifying motocross photos

ACCREDITATION: 3 stories to get you inspired © Copyright PPOC

Cover image by: Shannon Brunner, MPA

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Cover image by: Shannon Brunner, MPA Read more on Page 28


Accreditation Mistakes Tracey Harper, MPA


White on White Melanie Mochado



Jamie Bard Child & Infant Accreditation


Meital Netzer Product Illustration Accreditation



Jay Terry Fine Art Photo Decor Accreditation


Rainy Day Weddings Melissa Welsh

Masterin Moto Photography Darwin A. Mulligan

In this issue A Message from the PPOC Chair................................................. 4

My PPOC....................................................................................... 27

Calendar of Events........................................................................ 5

Concept to Cover........................................................................... 28

13 Traits of Professional Photographers....................................... 16

Facebook "Why go to a conference?"............................................ 28


Welcome to Gallerie & PPOC From your PPOC Chair Jillian Chateauneuf, MPA


he Professional Photographers of Canada is a volunteer run association. All the benefits, events, competitions, awards, websites, and magazines are created by members who are photographers just like you. PPOC leaders include the national and regional board of directors, in addition we have many volunteers holding portfolios, such as branch chairs, webinars, communication, magazine editors, event coordinators, NEC, salon chair and numerous committee members. These volunteers know how rewarding it is to donate their time for the better of us all, for the better or our profession and our great association.  Volunteers meet other members and have the “Volunteers meet opportunity to create a larger social network of peers.  Their commitment is what drives other members and our association and for this we are truly have the opportunity grateful. If you have a desire to volunteer to create a larger social I encourage you to: we need your time, network of peers.” energy and talent. Find out what positions are available by contacting your regional president or director and watching for posts in our monthly newsletters.  Many positions can be done from remote locations, some are one time projects, others on-going commitments.  Find a position and jump in.

Sincerely, Jillian Chateauneuf, MPA

From The Editor

PPOC is pleased to present our flagship publication, Gallerie. With award winning images, feature articles, editorial information, member services, and advertising, Gallerie is the premier magazine for professional photographers across Canada. Publisher: Mark Orenstein, MPA Office: 403-327-2658 Email: Editor: Karyn Lee Email: Assitant Editor: Stephen Mah Creative Director: Melissa Welsh Gallerie Committee: Marlene Fast HLM, MPA, SPA, Nomayne McIntosh Advertising Manager: Candisse McCormick Email:

Subscription All PPOC members receive the printed issue directly to their doorstep. On-line issues are available to all photographers. To be added to our email mailing list please contact the PPOC office at indicating your province of residence. Additional printed copies of Galllerie are $6.95, plus postage. Please contact the PPOC Office.



elcome to the October 2013 edition of Gallerie. I am thrilled to present you all with what the Gallerie Team has come up with for you. Throughout the first section of Gallerie, you'll find tip for your accreditation submission, as well as three samples of successful submissions from Jamie Bard-Dube (Child & Infant Accreditation), Meital Netzer (Product Illustration Accreditation) and Jay Terry (Fine Art Photo Decor). If you're not sure where to start with your Accreditation submission, be sure to check that out. We also have an exceptionally detailed article on Moto Photography. If you've ever considered Moto Photography, this is the place to get all the tips and tricks you need to get started. Lastly, and certainly my favourite, our feature on Rainy Day Weddings. Now that Canada is well into Fall, and with the rainy spring season just around the corner, it's always good to have a backup plan in place in case the weather take a turn for the soggy side.

Sincerely, Karyn Lee, Editor -4-

Gallerie is published three times annually; February (on-line issue) June (print and on-line) October (on-line issue) One single advertising package will secure your ad space in all three issues. Full Page: $850/year Full Page Inside (front or back) $975/year Full Page Outside Back Cover $1100/year Half Page: $550/year Quarter Page: $350/year PPOC Trade members receive a 20% discount and Canadian Imaging TradeShow Vendors receive a 10% discount . To reserve your ad please contact the editor.


Articles and member stories are welcome, please submit them to the Stephen Mah for consideration.

PPOC Calendar of Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


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2nd – 3rd .......................................... PPOC-SK AGM, Speakers, and Awards Banquet, Blackstrap SK 5th.............................. PPOC-ON Western ON Branch, Family & Grad Photography, Cambridge, ON 5th.........................................................PPOC-MB AGM and Speaker Bruce Hendricks, Winnipeg MB 7th...............................................................................................PPOC-ON Eastern ON Branch Meeting 20th.................PPOC-ON Hamilton Niagara Branch, Marketing & Studio Management, Fonthill ON

NOV 2nd – 3rd ………………….……........ PPOC-SK AGM, Speakers, and Awards Banquet, Blackstrap SK

2nd – 3rd ………………….……................................................PPOC-AB NAIT Seminar, Edmonton AB 5th............................... PPOC-ON Western ON Branch, Family & Grad Photography, Cambridge ON 5th.........................................................PPOC-MB AGM and Speaker Bruce Hendricks, Winnipeg MB 7th...............................................................................................PPOC-ON Eastern ON Branch Meeting 20th.................PPOC-ON Hamilton Niagara Branch, Marketing & Studio Management, Fonthill ON


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15th.......................................................................................................... Member Merit Claim Deadline


3rd ...................................................................................................Accreditation Submission Deadline


7th....................................................................................................Accreditation Submission Deadline 26th – 29th .................................. PPOC Canadian Imaging Conference & Tradeshow, Winnipeg MB

27th...........................................................…PPOC-ON Central Portrait Branch, Toronto ON 24th.............................................................. PPOC-ON Central Portrait Branch, Toronto ON

MAY 26th..............................................................................PPOC-ON Central Portrait Branch, Toronto, ON

Join the PPOC! PPOC Office / Bureau du PPOC 209 Light Street Woodstock ON Canada N4S 6H6

Bus: (519) 537-2555 Toll Free: (888) 643-PPOC (7762) Fax: (888) 831-4036 Email: Email: © All rights reserved. Reproduction of any material appearing in this magazine in any form, without permission of the editor, is strictly prohibited. Views expressed by contributors may not be the representative views of PPOC and the publisher.


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9th.........................................................................PPOC-BC Lower Mainland Branch Christmas Social 12th.....................................................................PPOC-MB President’s Wine & Cheese, Winnipeg MB


I had the privilege of being one of the judges for a National Accreditation and thought I would comment on a few common mistakes that can cause an accreditation to be unaccepted.


here are many reasons listed in the General Submissions PDF document, which can be found on the PPOC website in the members section, under accreditations. The document addresses several common factors such as images that are too light, not sharp, posed with one flash on camera, or the photo is not retouched or is unfinished. There are more but please read the document for further insight at your leisure. Here are some other common factors that may result in an unaccepted submission.


READ THE CATEGORY REQUIREMENTS Let’s take Category 27 Family Portraits as an example. It states: “Ten images of ten different families showing ten different poses from ten different sessions in ten different locations. Must have variety in the submission to show the photographer’s creative and technical ability. Head and shoulders, 3/4 and full length poses must be shown. Family group must consist of three individuals or more. Must include three images with a group of six individuals or larger. Four images must be environmental portraits, and four images must be indoor portraits. The remaining two can be either environmental or indoor. No wedding/engagement portraits are accepted in this category.” WOW that one is a mouthful if you try and read it out loud several times,

but that is what you need to do. Read it to make sure the requirements are covered. That sounds simple, but is so overlooked. MAKE SURE THE CATEGORY REQUIREMENTS ARE COVERED. It is in capitals because it needs to be yelled! Back to the category…If you miss out on even one of the requirements your submission will be rejected.

#2 IMAGES FOR ACCREDITATION CAN ONLY BE USED ONCE If you have used it in a previous accreditation submission it can no longer be used. An image submitted as a salon image for Provincials or Nationals can be used once in an accreditation submission.

#3 VARIETY You must have variety in your submission. Prove to the judges you have above average skills by showing good variety. Your submission should have various lighting conditions and a good cross section of the subject matter in the chosen category. And see rule # 1- make sure all the submission requirements are taken care of.

Tracey Harper

various software, actions etc to achieve that look. A helpful hint is to paste your image on to a white background mat and look at all the areas in your photo and see if your technique is uniform or overdone. You can also do this process on a black background mat to see if any areas need attention.

#5 OVER RETOUCHING Be careful with retouching faces. Some submissions appeared to have overused software to retouch the faces and they had a “plastic” skin appearance. Especially on the men that technique and others can be overused and heavy on the application. Also the removal of the dark semicircle under the eyes, there is a natural slight darkness under the eye; total removal of this looks unnatural.

#6 KEEP IT SIMPLE Just because you can doesn’t always mean you have to! Beware of texture overlays and fancy borders. They can help or hurt an image and at times they distract from the image that is to be judged. Sometimes the KISS principle is best.



Judges often see the overuse, or poor use of, the dodge and burn tool, or

My challenge to you is to pick a category and GO FOR IT.


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Jamie Bard-Dube Children & Infant Accreditation Accredited Professional Photographer All photos by: Jamie Bard-Dube Article by: Alicia Kingsland

The decision to pursue accreditation was born of a desire to be a “real professional.”


amie Bard-Dube is perhaps a photographer by genetics, introduced to the art and inspired by her mother. Ten years ago when she had her children she had already been dabbling in the art, by the real journey started just five years ago, with Facebook. She had a taken a photo of her children on a railroad track, and the positive response inspired her to start learning and taking workshops. Coming from humble beginnings and automatic camera settings, Jamie was nervous when she first joined the PPOC, even a bit scared. “I almost died of nervousness at my first meeting,” Jamie recalls with a laugh. But through the PPOC she was able to meet other photographers and grow. The decision to pursue accreditation was born of a desire to be a “real professional”. For Jamie, it was a validation that she had truly reached the potential of a profession.

When asked what she would photograph to represent herself, Jamie replies “Anything that has emotion. Anything where you can feel the love.” This love shines through in her extracurricular activities too. In November, Jamie was involved in “Shoot to Feed”, where she conducted mini sessions and donated all the money raised to purchase toys, food Jamie Bard-Dube and clothing for underprivileged children in her community. She organizes other charity events too. “I’m into giving back to the community,” she says. “I want to inspire others to give back.”



Meital Netzer Product Illustration Accreditation Accredited Professional Photographer All photos by: Meital Netzer Article By: Alicia Kingsland

“Everything you do represents you, every minor detail in your life.”


eital Netzer-Israel’s photographic career began with portraits, and she had no intention at first of venturing away from them. “I thought it was all I could do,” she says. That is, until her first son was born. Because she had to stay home to look after her new baby, she started playing with indoor photography of objects she had in the house. After editing the photos and playing with the lighting, she found herself getting excited about the results. From there on she was self-taught in the art of product photography, propelled by her love of learning. When asked about her most memorable photo session, Meital recalls a series of food photographs that she took. The series was for a book her client was putting together, a cookbook of all her family recipes. The resulting images were elegant, emphasized by clean lines and bright colours. Meital fondly recalls her client’s amazement at the beauty of

the photos. Of course, this is just an example of Meital’s photographic style, which she describes as very artistic and unique, with an emphasis on clean lines. “I love when it’s clean, when it’s elegant” she says. She creates every image with 100% dedication, pouring herself into taking the photos and editing them and then re- Meital Netzer editing them. Every clean line and elegant shadow in Meital’s photos represents her as much as it contributes to the composition of the piece, because, as she says, “Everything you do represents you, every minor detail in your life.”

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Join us in Winnipeg for what promises to be an amazing lineup of speakers!

Drake Busath

A photographer based in Utah for 35 years, he is known both for his private commission portraiture in the U.S., and for his fine art photography and teaching abroad. Drake owns and operates Italy Photo Workshops and Utah Photo Workshops since 1999, teaching landscape and fine art imaging to hundreds of participants. His fine art photographs may be seen at and his studio work can be seen at © Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman

Michael is one of the most widely published photographers worldwide: he is an award-winning editorial photographer, long-time collaborator with the Smithsonian magazine among many others, and the best-selling author of books on the craft and practice of photography. Check out more of Michael’s work at © Drake Busath

Roberto Valenzuela

Roberto Valenzuela is the author of Picture Perfect Practice: A Self Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World Class Photographs. Based in Los Angeles, Roberto is excited to be visiting Canada and inspiring attendees with his stunning wedding photography and portraiture work.

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price $349 – includes all conference meals. New PPOC member? Registration is half price: only $175.

© Roberto Valenzuela

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Conference attendee rate is only $125 per night To reserve your room now CLICK HERE.

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Jay Terry Fine Art Photo Decor Accreditation Craftsman of Photographic Arts All photos by: Jay Terry, CPA Article By: Alicia Kingsland

“Learn business. Before anything else, learn the business of photography.”


ay Terry had spent 25 years an illustrator and painter when he began searching for a new medium for his artistic expression. “Photography,” he says “presented itself and turned out to be the right thing”. Originally, Jay had every intention of becoming a nature photographer, but he confesses that he lacked the patience for it. Instead he turned to portraiture and fine art. His pursuit of art décor photography came from his art background and interest in colour and design theory. For him, photographing landscapes and fine art images is something he does for relaxation. This accreditation comes on the heels of his four portraiture accreditations because, in his own words, “I always keep something back for myself, to keep myself interested and to keep challenging myself.” If asked about the story behind an image, Jay will have a response for every image in his portfolio. He has a story for every single image he’s ever taken. “It’s part of the process”, he says. “It’s not just pressing the shutter and committing a scene to the frame. Each image you take is a memory tag, a

moment in your life as much as it’s a moment you’ve captured on the frame.” This personal connection is strong in his images, and he feels that everything anyone could ever need to know about him can be seen in them. For those just starting out with the PPOC, Jay’s advice would be “learn business. Before anything else, learn the business of Jay Terry photography”. And once you get started, follow your visions and don’t listen to nay-sayers, and don’t listen to your doubts (which he says can often be louder then the nay-sayers). Learn everything you can, never stop learning, and never settle on just one style. “The masters of past centuries “, he says, “have everything to teach photographers today”.

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I've had the good fortune of surrounding myself with professional photographers for several years. From them, I've learned that there are more than a handful of traits that define a professional photographer ~ Andrew Fingerman

Understanding the traits that make a photographer "professional" Andrew Fingerman


his appears to be a big summer for Yahoo! with their $1 billion Tumblr acquisition announcement followed by a number of changes to their Flickr service. Exciting stuff in the tech world. However, amid the Yahoo! hoopla, CEO Marissa Mayer managed to insult the entire professional photography community with her comments, being widely interpreted as “there’s no such thing as professional photographers” anymore. Oops. Now, we’ve all been in a position where an off-the-cuff comment doesn’t come out as intended, fair enough. But this one continues to sit poorly with me. Here’s the actual quote, in context: “…there’s no such thing as Flickr Pro, because today, with cameras as pervasive as they are, there is no such thing really as professional photographers, when there’s everything is professional photographers [sic]. Certainly there is varying levels of skills, but we didn’t want to have a Flickr Pro anymore, we wanted everyone to have professional quality photos, space, and sharing.” OK, so we are all now “photographers” thanks to the fact that a camera is always with us. Sure, I buy that. I’ve taken more than a handful of good photos with help from my inexpensive DSLR and a few good lenses. And, I’m as guilty as everyone else when it comes to Instagramming my kids and my dinner (only the stuff I cook, mind you). We can all apply lovely filters and share our images via websites, social networks, contests, and even on any number of corporate “communities” where brands may showcase user-generated photos. But let’s be very clear; NONE of these tools makes us anything close to “professional” and the role of the real professional photographer is very much alive and in demand. I’ve had the good fortune of surrounding myself with professional photographers for several years. From them, I’ve learned that there are more than a handful of traits that define a professional photographer. So, for Marissa Mayer and anyone else who may feel that there’s “no such thing” as a professional photographer anymore, I submit the list to the right. To the final one (#13) I’ll add – there’s nobody I’ve met on this planet who can tell stories like a professional photographer can. Period. Filters, “likes” and terabytes of storage don’t make any of us any more “professional.” Being a professional is about how photographers conduct themselves while carrying out their projects and serving their clients. These are skills that are learned and honed, and those who excel at it deserve our respect. I’m sure I’ve missed more than a few, and there are many other traits that make a "professional." Meanwhile, Marissa Mayer has since issued a clarification via Twitter. But even with the clarification, there will always be a distinct group of people who believe anyone with an entry level DSLR is as good as professional. Which is why it is important that photographers who define themselves as Professionals continue to stand by items 1-13, above. It is, after all, what sets us apart.

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13 Traits That Make a Photographer "Professional"

• Approaches a project in a manner that shows respect for both the subject and the client’s goal.

• Works with a client to achieve that goal under specific budget constraints.

• Delivers the end result, as agreed upon, on time and in a manner that shows the client’s most critical needs are understood. • Finds ways to make a client’s life easier from the beginning of a project to the end, including saving them time and making them look like a hero.

• Is prepared to face any problem with a creative solution, from the most dire to the off-thewall.

• Takes criticism and adjusts (quickly) in order to get the job done.

•  Can completely pivot among all kinds of changing circumstances.

• Presents, negotiates, agrees, executes, invoices, and follows up with consistency and personal pride.

• Knows how to pitch and market oneself with accuracy so the promised service is what’s delivered.

•  Researches the subject of a story and contributes insights and vision that make the end result better.

• Builds rapport with a subject in a way that gains unique access, makes them more comfortable, or exposes their personality.

•  Keeps one’s composure while dodging bombs, borders, and mobs, linebackers  and foul balls, sharks, elephants, horses and bees, roadies, divas, tornadoes and  brides and any other incoming threats or obstacles, and still gets the job done.


Kate McElwee Photography


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Assuring your clients that their photos will be beautiful no matter making sure the rain doesn’t dampen anyone’s spirits.

Rainy Day Weddings You're all set. Your gear is polished, packed and ready to go. You've spent hours planning locations and poses. And then it rains. Don't sweat it. Article & Images by Melissa Welsh


ain is considered to be good luck on a wedding day, however the idea of it can result in some anxieties for both the couple and the photographer. I personally love a rainy day wedding. There’s always the chance that sunbeams could break through the clouds, that concrete will turn to paths of silver and that the intimacy of a couple snuggled up under an umbrella will be a wining image. Assuring your clients that their photos will be beautiful no matter what the weather is the first step in making sure the rain doesn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. Walk them through the many options available if it does rain - this will instill confidence in your abilities as a pro and release the idea that a wet wedding equals disaster. Here are a few photo options you can discuss with your client that may help ease their mind: Outdoor Ceremony This idea is not for everyone - but if you have a couple that really wants to get married outside...suggest they do it in the rain. Most outdoor ceremonies tend to be short and if their guests know ahead of time, they can all come prepared for the elements. Help your clients imagine the sea of umbrellas and all of their guests snuggled up underneath them. The photo

possibilities are endless! Bride & Groom Talk to your couple about how romantic a stroll down the street can be, arm in arm, umbrella in hand. Mention the “paths of silver” and remind the bride to go ahead and hike her dress up, this makes for great shoe shots. You can also look for beautiful doors to open and use as a backdrop for subtractive lighting portraits. Covered porches are also great. Family If your couple has their heart set on doing the family photos outside let them know it can be done with a bit of organization and help from their wedding party. Choose an outdoor location close to a covered porch or other dry area. Put the wedding party to work by having them escort the family from the dry area with umbrellas to the location. When you’re ready for the shot, have them remove the umbrellas quickly and get what you need. Most people will happily endure a raindrop or two for the bride and groom. Extra tip: set up a tripod and get your assistant to hold an umbrella over you and your gear to keep it dry. Wedding Party Make sure you have an umbrella per couple and go have some fun. Almost anything you would have shot in the sun, you can shoot in the rain. Street crossings & docks always work

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what the weather is the first step in

~Melissa Welsh nicely. Always think about the ground you ask the party to walk on. Wet grass, sandals and high heels are not the nicest combination. Keep your clients on hard surfaces. Late Night Rain Dance You may not get that stunning sunset shot on a rainy day - but you can create some magic for your clients by backlighting the rain. Set your couple up in a romantic embrace or if you’re really lucky, you might get a couple wild enough to make it their first dance. Note: make sure you have your lighting set up nailed before you bring your couple out for the shot.

Your Rainy Day Survival Kit Classic U Handle Umbrella

• Make sure to have both black and white on hand

Clear shower curtain

• For covering the ground under the brides dress/ train


• Great for moping up wet chairs or benches or to sit on

Alternate Shoes

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• So you can slosh around on the wet grass

The NEC wishes the makers all the best! Thank you for allowing your image to represent Canada. ~ Kent Wong

Canadian Photographers Compete at World Cup Kent Wong, MPA, SPA, F/PPABC 2013 PPOC NEC Portfolio Chair


hrough the insightful work of Don MacGregor, PPOC is embarking on a new adventure and member benefit - taking part in the World Photographic Cup wherein countries around the world are invited to submit photographic entries to be judged by a panel of 15 international judges. The National Exhibition Committee (NEC)

has chosen 18 images which have scored a Merit or an Excellence from the 2013 PPOC Image Salon representing 6 different categories. There is no cost to the makers; the entry fee of 350 Euros is paid by PPOC. As well, Bob Hewitt, MPA, SPA has been chosen from a slate of 9 applicants to be the one Canadian judge to be part of the 15-member judging panel. The NEC wishes the makers all the best! Thank you for allowing your image to represent Canada.

In alphabetical order of the maker's surname, the following are the 18 images chosen in the 6 categories:

COMMERCIAL • Radial Ascension - Jason Brown, Abbotsford, BC • Taming The Rugged Earth - Cameron Colclough, Calgary, AB • Wave Wall - Merle Prosofsky, Edmonton, AB

PHOTOJOURNALISTIC/REPORTAGE • Taking Flight - Kristian Bogner, Canmore, AB • Crush It - Dave Holland, Calgary, AB • Traditional Horse Racing in Iran - Kerri-Jo Stewart, Richmond, BC

ILLUSTRATIVE • Shoe-icide - Jason Brown, Abbotsford, BC • Bubbles ponders Mr Wrinkles - Brad Kelly, Cambridge, ON • The Last to Go - Jay Terry, London, ON

PORTRAIT • Savannah - Shannon Brunner, Saskatoon, SK • The Courtesan - Liette Gilbert, Ste Joseph de Beauce, QC • A Pair of Delicates on Hot - Jeff Noon, Medicine Hat, AB

LANDSCAPE/PICTORIAL • The Gathering - Susie Crichton, Prince George, BC • Tapestry of Rain - Alexandra Morrison, Winnipeg, MB • Wishing for Wind - Melissa Welsh, Nelson, BC

WEDDING • Kiss Me - Sharon Barnes, Sherwood Park, AB • Round About - David Custodio, Burnaby, BC • Love on the Rocks - Louise Vessey, Charlottetown, PE

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White and black reflectors are used to add outlines and definition to your white object so light will not bleed into your background.

~ Melanie Machado

White on White Article & Images by Melanie Machado


aving trouble keeping your white background from going grey? Well, the secret to photographing white objects on white backgrounds is that you have to make sure that the background is lighter than the object that you are photographing. That way you will not have to go into Photoshop to manipulate levels or curves and not worry about masking or spending countless hours on making the background white instead of grey or off-white. Also, your object has to have some distance from the background from where you are shooting to make sure that shadows are minimal. When you have a white background, you have to make sure that the background is at least 3 stops overexposed than the white object you are photographing. This way you can avoid clipping into your object as well

as your object being blown out by the lights. White and black reflectors are used to add outlines and definition to your white object so light will not bleed into your background. There are many professiona ls out there that do not use a light meter to measure exposure any more since digital has come around.

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I personally still like using my light meter. Call me old school but in the days of film my light meter was my best friend. With the light meter you do a reflective meter reading on the background making sure it is at a lower f-stop than the object that you are photographing. For example, at f5.6, you would then photograph the object at a higher f-stop such as f11/f16. Use reflectors and gobos as needed for your object in order to prevent spillage of light onto your object. Now you should be able to take your white object and see separation from the background and your subject that you are shooting. Naturally there will have to be some editing during the post-processing portion. The ultimate goal is to spend less time on the post processing, and have your images come out clean and polished directly from your camera. Often, when working with objects as opposed to people, you have time to adjust, adjust, and readjust, so take your time to get it right.

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Emulate, don't copy, the style of great shots you've seen. You'll eventally develop your own style. ~ Darwin Mulligan, MPA

Mastering Moto Photography Fancy yourself the next Indiana Jones of motocross racing photography? If you like action, excitement and don't mind a lot of noise, you may be the next great photographer of motocross racing Article & Images by Darwin Mulligan, MPA


een foaming at the mouth over images you see in the big glossy motocross mags? If you like action, excitement, don't mind a lot of noise, and have answered "yes" to any of the above, you may already be qualified to become the next great photographer of motocross racing! Whether you're experienced with the sport or not, you too can come home with electrifying images. Where To Start Start at home! Observe what you consider to be successful shots in motocross publications. Ask yourself "Why do they work?” "Could I improve on these?” "Would I have approached this differently?” Emulate, don't copy, the style of great shots you've seen. You'll eventually develop your own style. Do a little preshooting homework. PVR the motocross races and review them often. Observe areas of the race you think offer good shooting potential. Now go find yourself a motocross event! You don't have to be a racer to get in close on the action. Start with local, smaller motocross race events as they offer easier accessibility and less crowds than the big events. In Canada, local events typically go from the end of April to the end of September. Check with your local dirt bike shop or club to find out where and when events are happening. What to Take You will primarily rely on a telephoto/zoom lens in the 200400mm range. Use the fastest available to you. If you are lucky enough to obtain a longer, superfast lens, go for it! Be aware that mega-millimetre multi-paycheque lenses are not essential. At smaller events, you have greater opportunity to get close to your subjects and access to the best shooting locations. Wide-angle lenses have their place here as well. For example, you may want to make an environmental or illustrative image of a racer. Perhaps you would like to take in the entire race scene. No one ever said you can't be creative! You may even get to sneak into a corner for a real wide view! You heard it here first, you don't have to use a tripod. You will be moving around a lot, and there will be crowds of nonphotographer types, so a tripod tends to be more of a hindrance than a help. Of course, this means you had better bone up on perfecting your handheld technique, especially panning. For

larger lenses, a monopod can offer both support and mobility. Remember, the less equipment you cart around all day, the more likely you are to concentrate on your images. Definitely take the most powerful flash unit you can get your paws onto. Don’t forget to bring spare batteries. With digital and the low price of storage, you can expect to capture thousands and thousands of images in one day. Have fun editing! Locations To Shoot Now what? You're inspired. You know where to go. You know what to take. Now what do you shoot? Whatever you want! A days' shooting will afford you many opportunities to make a variety of images. If you're struggling, here are a few places to start: • Pre-race activities, like the racers' sign in, the racers walking the track or in the morning. This is a good time to speak with individual racers about the event, the conditions, and supplying them with photographs. • Check out the pit area (a pit pass may be required for larger events). Bring your long lens to remain unobtrusive. • At the start gate, stand either 45μ or 90μ from the lineup. There are good opportunities to catch the first racer off the mark (press the shutter just as the start gate begins to drop). • The "first corner" of the track is probably the best spot to capture "crash and burn" situations. The racers haven't spread out yet and everyone is trying to get around this corner at the same time. "Novice Class" motos will have more crashes than the "Expert or Pro Class" motos. Continued on Page 26

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Join us in Winnipeg for what promises to be an amazing lineup of speakers!

Drake Busath

A photographer based in Utah for 35 years, he is known both for his private commission portraiture in the U.S., and for his fine art photography and teaching abroad. Drake owns and operates Italy Photo Workshops and Utah Photo Workshops since 1999, teaching landscape and fine art imaging to hundreds of participants. His fine art photographs may be seen at and his studio work can be seen at © Michael Freeman

Michael Freeman

Michael is one of the most widely published photographers worldwide: he is an award-winning editorial photographer, long-time collaborator with the Smithsonian magazine among many others, and the best-selling author of books on the craft and practice of photography. Check out more of Michael’s work at © Drake Busath

Roberto Valenzuela

Roberto Valenzuela is the author of Picture Perfect Practice: A Self Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World Class Photographs. Based in Los Angeles, Roberto is excited to be visiting Canada and inspiring attendees with his stunning wedding photography and portraiture work.

© Roberto Valenzuela

Conference Hotel: The Delta Winnipeg

Conference Pricing: Early bird members

price $349 – includes all conference meals.

features all newly renovated rooms

New PPOC member? Registration is half price: only $175.

Conference attendee rate is only $125 per night To reserve your room now CLICK HERE.

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Continued from Page 24 • Corners in general are the best places to shoot the faster racers. These are usually the competitors in the "Expert or Pro Class" motos. These racers will round corners with "maximum lean" on their bikes. Trip your camera shutter just as the racer appears to be putting their foot down. These shots will take some practice. Press the shutter too soon, and the racer looks like they are falling over - too late, and you've missed the shot. Servo or AF-C autofocus and a high frames per second camera will be your best friend. • Jumps are excellent spots to capture dazzling shots. There's good "crash and burn" stuff here as well. Try getting down low and shoot upwards to emphasize height. A fast shutter speed with fill flash will make the subject "pop out" against the background. Walk further down the track to catch the racers launching over the jump. • Remember your "whoop-de-doos" (Moguls to all you skiers). A series of mini-jumps. Whoop-de-doos offer a seriously huge opportunity to capture spectacular wipe-outs. By now you've probably figured out that these types of images offer high visual impact - no pun intended! •If speed is your game, shoot some stuff along the straightaways of the track. Here you can use panning techniques to blur the background, racers or both. Shutter speeds of around 1/8th of a second will render a more artistic impression. 1/250th or 1/125th of a second while panning is usually sufficient to freeze the racer, yet still blur the background enough to imply motion. Using too fast a shutter speed tends to make the racer appear motionless. • Race finish. Capture the wheel-to-wheel tension of a close race, or catch a racer with a healthy lead goofing off. Don't ignore the finish flagger either. Some of these guys can really move! Always be alert for unusual photo opportunities. • Tell the whole story. Get some shots of individual racers contemplating their upcoming moto, faces in the crowd, or even accidents (don't get in the way during an emergency). Shoot post race activities as well. There's autograph signing, celebrating, trophy presentation, and packing up. This time presents further chances for you to get to know the racers and for them to know about your photography.

Metering and Focusing Metering depends on the weather (Doesn't it always?). In constant conditions, it is often easiest to take an incident reading. On sunny days, you can use the "Sunny 16" rule, with the necessary exceptions for filtration and other factors. During changing conditions, it is easier to trust your camera's reflected light meter. Strange, but true. Filtration and Flash Live on the edge. Leave your polarizing filter at home. It will cut 2 stops of light, and for motocross race photography, you need all the lens speed you can get. A skylight filter is used only during

very windy dusty conditions, and only to protect the optical coating of the front element of the lens. You will use fill flash in many situations, most often to reduce contrast. Fill flash can also make your subject "stand out" from the surrounding image, especially during panning. If a subject is close, a -2/3 stop (from ambient light) flash setting as a starting point for fill. Regular flash is useless when using focal lengths of 200mm or greater. Plan your long telephoto shots where and when there is sufficient ambient light. Other Considerations The implication of speed and excitement is needed to create an effective image of any race. Generally, to imply motion, you can employ panning techniques (remember shutter speeds?). This is easiest accomplished handheld, but, to reiterate, your practice and perfection of this technique is paramount. Other techniques include catching dirt, mud and water flying through the air, as well, keeping the motorbike's wheels blurred. Having your subjects moving out of the frame, although it breaks the rules of good composition, can create more tension in your photograph. Occasionally, you may wish to freeze motion. This is most easily accomplished by shooting head on. You can use a slower shutter speed because of less apparent motion of the subject. Everyone's talking about protection, and you should remember yours! Motocross is a dangerous sport. Keep yours eyes open to what's happening around you. Don't go on the track. Observe where you can, do not cross the track. Clobbering bystanders with your mega-millimetre lens won't make you any friends either. Safeguard your equipment against dust and other debris. There'll be much dirt and dust flying around, so clean your gear thoroughly and often. Be prepared for inclement weather - racing usually starts early and goes all day, rain or shine. Mother Nature is everywhere. They aren't called "dirt bikes" for nothing! Even if you don't have all the equipment mentioned in this article, your success ultimately depends upon perfection of technique, practice, and perseverance. No equipment will do it for you. Be content to drool over everyone else's images, or get out there and get shooting. Oh yeah, don't forget to take your whoop-de-doos!

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My PPOC PPOC members share their stories.


ince I took a serious interest in photography 6 years ago, I have always had a goal to one day become an accredited PPOC member. I remember thinking to myself, "One day that'll be me and I'll have that title on my business cards!" Now, 6 years later I have reached my goal and it feels amazing! It has been a great experience and challenge overall. When people ask me, "So what do you get out of it?" my answer is this: many things! A sense of accomplishment and achievement, fellowship among colleagues, opportunity for growth and learning and support!� The learning and growing that has taken place in my work just since joining and receiving peer and accreditation feedback has dramatically changed my work and improved the quality. Although I was only accredited in one of the 2 areas I submitted for, I feel that the knowledge I have gained from both experiences

is invaluable and it has pushed me to learn and grow and push my boundaries. One thing I truly appreciate is the outreach and support from other PPOC members. To be honest, I have noticed that photography can be a bit of a lonely, cut-throat business if you let it. If you get pulled into that competitive side it can sometimes make a person draw inward and be reluctant to network. However, since becoming a member of PPOC, I have had nothing but outreach and support from local PPOC members as well as far away members willing to take the time to reach out and give support, feedback and advice! I am enjoying being a PPOC member and look forward to continuing to learn, grow, network, challenge myself and reach out to others as they did for me.

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Andrea Brown, Accredited Professional Photographer Grande Prairie, Alberta

Concept to Cover The creative story behind the cover photo. By Shannon Brunner, MPA

This young girl arrived with her cousin, for a photo session. She had on glasses, a less than perfect outfit and her hair was all smoothed down next to her head. After several shots, "working the portrait" I call it, I noticed that, in contrast to her younger more precocious and playful cousin, she was very quiet, subdued and serious; not one smile. I decided to fully embrace her demeanor by taking her glasses off, messing up her hair and wrapping her in a blanket. She did the rest, naturally! In Photoshop, I dodged and burned and then used the cloning tool (100% opacity, 20% flow) to smooth out her skin, get rid of the marks on her nose from her glasses and reduce the bags under her eyes. I opened both eyes slightly with liquify and then converted the image to a warm toned black and white. The image was further warmed by a brownish color texture that was overlayed on top of the entire image. I took the texture out of her by selecting the area and applying a gaussian blur......this keeps the tones of the texture while getting rid of the unwanted textures in the skin areas. A final crop, some selective dodging and burning, and viola! Images By: Shannon Brunner, MPA

Original photo before retouching

After retouching

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2013 Fall Gallerie English Version  

Canada's premiere magazine for professional photographers

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