A big thank you to UniGirl Canada for the opportunity to contribute to the 2013 Western Canada Calendar and BAM Marketing Solutions for organizing the event. Congratulations to SoCal Style Photography for nabbing the cover shot!
I have been taking photos since I was a small kid. I first dabbled in digital SLR photography in 2003 and haven’t looked back since. I capture events and moments as I see them. I share my photos in order to share what I see in my world and how I see yours. The galleries you see is the work I do and the adventures I have. This is the world through my eyes. A reflection of dreams, hope, aspiration and a little inspiration. The shots on this site are the embodiment of my world through the lens. Moments frozen in time. Created from happiness, friendship, adventure and the journey of my lifetime. These are my photos, the world around me and the people that make the difference.
Please don’t forget to check out my Facebook Fan Page and hit the “Like” button, leave us your comments and let me know what you’d like to see!
FYM Photography is proud to announce the availability of UNITY ONE Mobile Location Management & Post Production Services.
Powered by UNITY ONE Mobile
We’ve taken our super computers mobile! UNITY ONE processing power is now available for on-site data management, location logistics support and post production services. If you have a large photoshoot requiring professional data management & backup services, FYM Photography delivers the tools to keep your production rolling and give you piece of mind. The best hardware, industry standard software and professional personnel with the field experience to help execute your vision. UNITY ONE Mobile comes to you wherever and whenever you need it.
Our mobile production vehicle is equipped with UNITY ONE Workstations featuring
- Intel 6-core i7 Processors for maximum processing power to cut down wait times
- 32GB System RAM
- Solid State Hard Drives for the fastest responsiveness and efficient workflow
- 32TB Storage server to hold up to 100 hours of ProRES 444 1080p HD Video Material
- Cloud storage backup to FYM Photography Studios for an extra measure of data security
- NEC Professional Monitors for perfect color performance
- GPU Accelerated workflow with nVidia CUDA graphics technology to save you time & money
Deliver The Best Using The Best from Adobe
- Adobe Creative Suite enabled with cloud services for maximum versatility & on-site capability
- Adobe Lightroom for professional shoot organization, management and post production
UNITY ONE Mobile allows you to
- Manage your capture and data needs onsite without concern for memory limitations or data integrity
- Execute post production on-site in real time for events and location shoots to maximize your capture time
- Technology leadership to deliver the best presentation and instruction needs for on-location photoshoots and workshops
- Deliver on-site Photography & Video Production Services
- Logistics management to help you scout your locations and help organize the shoot for the most efficient work flow
Let us worry about the technology and let your creativity flow. UNITY ONE Mobile is offered in Alberta and Saskatchewan starting at a rate of $149/location hour + travel time.
I’d like to thank the readers for their awesome support and crazy sharing of the last few articles – please continue spreading the word and practicing your photography!
The Calgary Zoo is offering an exceptional opportunity on June 9th, 2012 to participate in the “FOCUSED” photography event. Doors open early and help enthusiasts of all skill levels to explore the zoo without the hustle and bustle of kids running around while offering more opportune moments to capture the animals in their more active states. Unfortunately due to some prior commitments with awesome Giant Pandas in Asia, I will not be able to make an appearance at this June event. I wish you all the best at this excellent event and let’s all work towards spreading the word and ensuring a successful event so that we can get more of these opportunities!
By popular demand, here’s round 2 of Zoo Photography Tips
- Patience Patience Patience - Observing other visitors on multiple occasions leads me to believe a number of people stop, read the sign, peek to find the animal and then move on in pretty short order. If you’re trying to capture a moment with your favorite furry friend, patience and the art of slowing down will pay huge dividends. As mentioned in the last article, it took the better part of a few visits due to weather and circumstances beyond my control before I finally had the opportunity to capture the Siberian Tiger in the pose I’d imagined. Alternatively, the Giant Panda pictures below took almost two hours of waiting in the enclosure before they finally positioned themselves and undertook activities that gave an interesting capture. Pick the animal which you’d like to photograph, and carefully walk around the enclosure to find an interesting angle. Then wait. And wait some more. Or heck, visit another fur ball and come back again. But be mentally patient and wait for them to give you the photo instead of just taking a snap shot. Exercise patience and don’t forget – Keep your eye on the ball!
- Invest in and use a support system – Tripods are simply too bulky and cumbersome to setup given the fences you butt up against as well as the potential hazards of other guests tripping over them or worse yet, knocking over your camera (I’m a photographer not a humanitarian ). Invest in a monopod to help stabilize your camera and minimize the physical tasks that could otherwise distract you from getting a sharp shot. Monopods can help stabilize shaky hands, balance the weight of long lenses, combat slow shutter speeds and even double up as a walking stick. Check out my previous photographer’s tip to see what gear I bring with me to the field and adjust accordingly to suit your needs.
- Get down low (or at least eye level) – Eye level shots just like portraits of people help delivers an emotional connection. We talked about focusing on the eyes in the previous zoo article, this tip is more about adjusting your perspective to shoot from the same level as the animal’s face instead of shooting down and shooting up. It’s a subtle difference, but the finished image can deliver greater impact and intimacy by removing the ‘snap shot’ perspective normally associated with non-eye-level shooting. The mental association that your viewer makes with an eye level shot is that they’re participating in your subject’s world instead of just looking into a world on the other side of the fence which is the feeling zoo photos can give off when we’re shooting from above or below.
- Watch the background – Trash can, fence, zoo signs can all detract from the experience of your viewers getting lost in your photos. Part of the patience exercise should be evaluating not just the right angle for your animal shots you want, but also making sure any distractions in the background that doesn’t fit with the animals’ environment is not present. Animal photos work best when we subconsciously view the background as an integral part of their natural environment. A washroom sign in the background or a kid with his face pressed against the fence detracts from the depth of your photo and highlights the captive environment of the animal. Keep an eye out and aim for the cleanest backgrounds you can. Note – for those paying attention from the last article, a long lens and large aperture will help to diffuse your background. Know your camera equipment!
- Watch out for reflections – If you’re attempting to shoot through fences, get your front element as close to if not through the openings but be mindful of the sun. If the front of your lens is too large to fit in the gaps of chain link, choose to shoot from a shaded area to minimize reflections from the fencing which can appear on your images and fuzzy lines and ruin your perfect shot. If you’re shooting through glass, as inopportune as it might be for your framing, shooting directly against the glass and try to avoid shooting at an angle against it. This will cause both distortion as well as a loss in image quality due to the light diffraction as the glass can act as a prism reducing the quality of light hitting your camera.
- Charge your batteries, bring an extra one and don’t be embarrassed to bring your charger – If you have to, be that person sitting by a power plug waiting to get a small charge on your camera. Whatever you do, don’t be the person stuck walking around with a useless camera and never ending missed opportunities because your battery doesn’t hold enough of a charge. Going with the entire Photographer’s Tip theme of knowing your gear, knowing the shooting endurance of your camera’s batteries is crucial. As we covered before, when it comes to animal photography – shoot shoot shoot. This takes a massive toll on your batteries especially if you’re the type to continuously review your shots as you go. Pack extra batteries, bring your charger and don’t get left out. As a side note, find out from your camera manual where your battery charge indicator is, how to read it and if possible, find out what the rough lifespan of shots you should get our of it are. Make a mental note of this number and be conscious to look at your charge indicator regularly so you’re not in the middle of the lion finally walking into your frame after you’ve patiently waited for 30 mins and your camera gently powers off. It’s happened to me before. Profanity ensues.
Thanks for stopping by – good luck to the Calgary shooters participating in FOCUSED and a big thank you to everyone who has shared and supported this site. Remember to stop by our Facebook page and show your support by liking our page. As always, feel free to drop me a line via e-mail at email@example.com or write on the Facebook wall for what you’d like to see, what we’ve done well or share some of your shots!
Most cameras today have the option of shooting pictures in RAW format. RAW format is equivalent to a digital negative, a direct copy of the image captured at the given moment. Compare this to the JPEG where the camera’s internal processor tweaks and renders the image for you and saving the doctored file to your memory card. JPEG is excellent for its small space requirements, decent picture quality and ready to share nature for social networks and e-mails. For enthusiasts looking to preserve the most image quality and have the most flexibility to tweak their image, RAW is the best format. As a digital negative, RAW allows you endless tweaking, exceptional latitude in pushing the image to its limits and best of all, this is all accomplished in a non-destructive manner.
Here’s my primary reasons for shooting RAW;
- Non-Destructive Editing – Photographer has complete control over the “development” of the image much like the film days. This allows endless processing, tweaking and changes all without affecting your ability to return the image to the original. All without any quality penalties, loss of the original image and most importantly, the ability to re-edit with different skill sets down the road should you choose to revisit the images. When you make adjustments to a RAW file, you’re not actually doing anything to the original data. What you’re doing is creating a set of instructions for how the JPEG or TIFF (another file format) version should be saved. You can always reset your adjustments, and start over again. JPEG files lose quality every time you open them, make adjustments, and save again. True story. It’s what is known as a “lossy” file format. So if you’re making edits to JPEGs you always have to be duplicating the image and saving out a new version if you don’t want to lose file quality.
- Flexible Image Parameters – since the camera is not making predetermined processing selections for you, everything from white balance, contrast, saturation and image noise are all at your disposal for tweaking and finding the balance which best reflects the image in your mind. This extensive flexibility gives you the highest level of image quality available. With the image below, RAW has allowed me to retain details in the dark forested areas in the bottom of the frame and bring them back. The RAW data has also nicely preserved the detail of the downtown buildings which still show excellent levels of sharpness when they are lightened. These changes would be far more limited had I been working with JPEGs instead.
- Greater levels of brightness and shadow are recorded – Levels of brightness are the number of steps from black to white in an image. The more you have, the smoother the transitions of tones. JPEG records 256 levels of brightness, and RAW records between 4,096 to 16,384 levels! This is described with the term “bit”. JPEG captures in 8bit, and RAW is either 12bit or 14bit. Those additional steps of brightness let you make more adjustments (expoosure, blacks, fill light, recovery, contrast, brightness) to your image without a significant reduction of quality, because there’s more levels to work with! It’s also easier to avoid or correct posterization in your images when you shoot in RAW. Posterization is the banding that you often see in bright skies. The images below highlight the ability of the RAW file to retain details in both the dark and light areas of the image which can be recovered and tweaked to produce the final vivid image.
RAW files have been my main format for a number of years. The flexibility of the image, scalability of processing (based on your growing skill and return visits to old images) and the ability to start from ground zero without losing the original digital negative far outweigh the main benefit of JPEG which is small file size. At the end of the day, I might pack an extra memory card or two, but that’s a small price to pay for the ability to maximize my captures especially if they happen to be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Besides, at less than $50 for 16 or 32GB SD Cards, memory is cheap and isn’t really an excuse not to archive your images in the best possible way
fym photo recommends Adobe Lightroom for your RAW processing and camera workflow needs.