Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ever wonder why I shoot Pentax?

This is one of the perfect examples. This gear is tough and as a wedding shooter, that can be really important. Why? Dirt, sand, rain and not treating the gear particularly well. The article below about Steve Kroeger taking his Pentax to the top of mountains is a great example of this. A lot of cameras would have serious problems in weather this cold and challenging.

Back to my choice in gear is weddings and some of the challenges. Last season I did eleven weddings in July, if you were here, you would know that it rained nearly all month. Couples really want at least some of their formal shots done outside for the album. So when it rains, it can be tough on gear and lenses. But since the Pentax system offers a solution, I'm set for anything.

One particular outdoor wedding this year is a good example where the forecast called for possible showers. Now here in PEI everyone golfs. So the guests had big umbrellas at the ready. The bride's car arrived and at that very moment, the heavens opened up. All the umbrellas popped up. I was the only one who couldn't hold one. The wedding went off without a hitch, the pictures were great and I was completely soaked.

I know a number of wedding shooters that just can't do this. Their gear will be ruined in bad conditions. In fact one shooter commented to me, that he never goes to the beach (even on a sunny day) with the couple and his "good gear" because the blowing sand will ruin his equipment. Sad for the couple that they are not getting his best stuff.

So this is a translated site with a few odd errors but you'll get the point. Pentax is tough and can take on the most difficult jobs without issue and provide top notch images.
Steve Kroeger climbs mountains with a Pentax K-7.

Cheers and good shooting - Peter Zack

Friday, March 12, 2010

Shooting as a volunteer

I decided that due to a limited budget, I couldn't donate as much as I'd like to a good charity. The United Way makes sense to me. So, as well as some donations, I've decided to volunteer and I think it's worth a lot more to them than the small donations.

They get a full time Pro photographer for anything they want and I get the satisfaction that they are saving a lot of money which can now go to worth while projects. 

I did the first couple of sessions these last 2 weeks. A couple of samples below with volunteers working with people in the community. Teaching the blind how to perform various tasks and others how to better manage their lives. It's an eye opener as well. Sometimes you don't realize how lucky you are. Like just the ability to read a book. Of course as a photographer, if I didn't have sight, then this wonderful occupation and hobby would be lost to me.

Funny, it's web site stuff they need. Me knee deep, no, waist deep in learning CSS and I'm doing web site shots for the United Way. Somehow ironic.

If you're ever looking for a good cause to donate to, I think the United Way makes sense. It primarily helps those right at home just to integrate into society. 

 Cheers and good shooting -Peter Zack

Friday, February 5, 2010

Let me step back in time a little

I suppose I should share a few purdy pitchers here once in awhile. I spent a few tedious hours sorting images on multiple hard drives and came across some favourites.

These were from a scouting trip. Lucky for me, I had a long lens with me. I had a bride coming from Ontario, who wanted a wedding on the beach near Anne of Green Gables. She had never been here before and neither had the groom or family. So I got to be wedding planner.

Anyway I went scouting for a nice beach location that was private but showcased PEI, You might know, red sand, red cliffs, ocean, green fields etc. I standing on a cliff, looking at a beach below and snapping some wide angle shots of the beach I just found. I hear this noise in the bushes behind me.
You can click on the image for a bigger view

I thought this one was fun. He looks very happy. Not sure what he was thinking but it was very windy and it just might have been the same thing as when you blow a little air on a Baby's face or your cat. :)
I was being watched! And he wasn't worried in the least about me.  Turned out there were  6 of them and certainly not concerned about me there taking photos.

Posing for the camera. Beautiful creatures and sharp little teeth too. They might be smaller but....

The last one was the one which was watching me at first. What an intense look. He wanted to see if I was safe I guess.
At the time I had an ultra wide lens on and very slowly changed to a 300mm. He stood there just watching and waiting to see what was going to happen.

My only regret is I should have cranked up the ISO. The sun was setting and the light was getting dim, gave great soft light though. So in a couple the shutter speed should have been higher. How many times does one have to learn that lesson!
Hope you enjoy!

Peter Zack - Cheers and good shooting

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Cartoons can mirror life

As anyone who reads this might know, I write for a web site devoted to photography called Enticing the Light and we try to educate and have some fun. Being a wedding and portrait photographer, I come across some photography work that doesn't make the grade in my humble opinion. I'm sure you do as well. Then I had (and still have) my own issues with web sites.

As a reader of  What the Duck, the great comic strip from the mind of Aaron Johnson, there are sometimes strips that just hit the spot perfectly on a number of levels.

So I came across this one. Perfect for my web site trials and tribulations lately. Yesterday I was checking on some ads I run on an online classifieds site and discovered that a guy I had tried as an assistant is now out flogging his 30+ years of experience as a wedding photographer. Lots of people say that. "I got a camera for Christmas when I was 12, Now I'm 43 and starting to book photography work...."

You'll notice I used the word "Had" in that sentence. He doesn't have what it takes IMO and that relationship ended quickly. I could go into the quality of work etc. but that's boring. Now I see those very same discarded photos posted as a gallery of wedding work. The cartoon fits exactly what I thought about the content.

Aaron brought a smile today and I hope the brides out there understand what the message is. Choose carefully and look at the whole body of work. Then you'll know.

Now back to my dear friend CSS, I'm sure real web designers think it's easy. Hummmm there's a parallel there somewhere. I ain't no web site developer.

Cheers and good shooting -Peter Zack

Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's been a long long time....

I've neglected this blog for far too long. Anyone who is coming here has seen that I've been putting my energy in Enticing the Light and my photography business, PEI Wedding Photography. It's been a very hectic year. 33 weddings, Lots of portrait sessions, some family health issues and the challenges any small (read: unable to delegate ) business.

The biggest news is becoming a Grand dad. Wow what a gift. Beautiful little boy. Funny seeing that in type when I'm only in my 40's. But hey, I started young and so did my son. Only downside is he's in Halifax and I'm in PEI. So I don't get to see him nearly enough.

I've added a second shooter to the photography business. She's even doing some of my overflow business (see I can delegate! - well a little anyway).  Nice to have a female perspective in the wedding business. It certainly adds to how I see things. Plus I've always enjoyed teaching and she's eager to learn as much as possible.

So I'm going to make an effort to post something here at least once a week or so. The big project right now is a new web site!

I'd been using Googlepages sites for a couple of years. Nice, decent look and for a non programmer like me (I use software, not create it) it was easy. I didn't have to call the webmaster to make a change and wait to see if the changes were right. Yeah I don't delegate well. Plus I always find when I make a change, it takes 16 edits to get it just right and the inspiration was always at 2 AM. So I'd drive a webmaster nuts I'm sure.

Google (aka Googlepages) in it's infinite wisdom, decided to shut down the service. 3.5 million users, some like me with a small business and others who just had a personal story to share. Amazing. To make people happy ;) they were moving everyone to GoogleSites. That new site doesn't have JavaScript or CSS. Astonishing and useless. Must be something to do with advertising. Mr. Google isn't rich enough I guess.

So all that has pushed me to get off my butt and learn how to write web pages. CSS and HTML are challenging when you've never done it. Fun, frustrating, boring, tedious would be a few words to describe the process. But being a photographer, I don't have to buy stock images! But it's very much like learning a new language. Easier than something like Pascal for sure but challenging none-the-less.

So it's back to CSS code for the next few days.

Cheers and good shooting,