Over the next few days, a couple of major changes are coming. First of, this blog is going to be migrating to a better place. Finally it's going to be merged to my website so both can live under one roof! The downside to it is that my archives are gonna be lost. Recent posts were transfered but it appears that most of what's here will be gone, bye bye. After four years and close to 100,000 hits, this blog will be breaking skin and given a fresh start. It's time to turn the page.
Making such a move will definitely make me lose some readers, but it's worth it in the long run as it's currently attracting more people than my website! Having both linked together will generate more traffic for the site and make the work more visible.
Can't wait for the site to be online. Lots of new features, two new projects for the time being, but more to come!
Last week, I headed to Toronto alongside Sylvain Dumais for a special meeting with Canon reps organized by Sparks Photographers. We all gathered at Paul Weeks studios. I met photographers John Cullen, KC Armstrong and Darrin Klimek whith whom we spoke a lot. Canon had dispatched 4 reps including their Canadian director so we had high expectations.
We saw the future! The 5D Mark III, the 1DS Mark IV and a brand new prototype in the works! ... euh not quite.... I think this is what I was dreaming about while I was given a sales pitch about their basic line of cameras. Nothing new? Well of course, everything new was at our latest photo show... yeah right! So basically, we were given a live brochure reading with a Canon bias! I know all of this guys, I've been shooting with your 5D MarkII for almost two years now. Please don't tell me it makes videos and please don't speak to me about Vincent Laforet's Reverie movie... yarn...
So yeah, the good folks at Canon (because they truly are good folks) didn't realize who they were speaking to. It felt like we were avid amateurs when all of us were working photographers. Hello?!
But all and all, it was a good opportunity to meet the Sparks Photographers and exchange a bit on the realities of the markets comparing Montreal to Toronto. So there you have it, nothing new. But thanks to Paul Weeks for the tour of his awesome studio and thanks anyways to the Canon guys for their website theatrical display!
Every year, the Lux contest celebrates the best in photography and illustration. For this year's installment, I was invited to be a member of the jury. It's with great pleasure that I accepted the offer as it was a unique opportunity to see the mechanics of such a contest and to witness from within the discussions leading to the award attribution system. As a young photographer, one who was taught during the transition years between film and digital, I thought I could offer another perspective and offer a different point of view to a jury.
The jury was pretty impressive, composed of individuals strongly opinionated and experienced each one in their respective field. Some discussions were intense, other seemed to all flow in the same direction.
I can't go beside the fact that some of my projects were awarded. It's something I've been thinking about ever since the judging took place. I was under an embargo and couldn't speak a word, which I respected. People who know me can understand how serious I took this embargo as I am known to be a verbal individual.
I am not trying to excuse myself but rather to explain, as the project awarded, ThermoPlastic, was one of a personal nature in which I truly believed in. I am glad the jury was able to grasp the thought process and appreciate the aesthetic research put in to this series. But I know that being on the jury, questions have arise so I would much rather give my side of the medal and explain the process than to let speculation run loose.
I had submitted my work long before being invited to the panel. During the process, I wasn't allowed to discuss any project I was involved in, but I could discuss other projects. I couldn't vote for myself and couldn't talk about my project if it got selected to be on the juror's table to be up for awards. So if a project of mine ended up on the juror's table, someone else had to vote for it in the first place. All projects were presented flat on a table without any form of labeling, making the projects anonymous. They were laid down by an InfoPresse employee following categories and the photographer's sequencing. The only thing the jury could know about a project was the submitted description given by the photographer during submission.
So no. I didn't have my say in the judging of my own work nor did I do anything to put my work up front. I was the first to be surprised by the results, though very happy to see a personal project reaching people. It would've been much nicer for me to simply walk in the room to discover that I won a prize, but if I had to do it again, I would definitely say yes, as being on a jury allowed me to understand the process that goes in to such a contests.
That being said, I totally agree with him! Data is your most prize possession once off the shoot. You can't just leave a set with a compact flash card. However, we don't all have a guy dedicated to our backups, and it does take quite some time. Backing up data is a discipline you need to have to ensure yourself a safety net in case something happens. One thing you should definitely do is keeping copies off shore.
What I usually do is keep the files on the compact flash card in the camera bag. Have a copy onto my laptop that follows me on the road and another copy on an external drive that I keep on myself. This way you have 3 live copies in different locations.
Once I've backed things up at the studio, I can clear the compact flash card for the next shoot and clear my laptop, knowing there are still two copies in different locations.
Today for a concept picture, I found myself caged, shooting a wild animal. Never did I found my life threatened but still, being in the presence of a wild beast with a killing potential at 10 feet away was exhilarating. It was a trained animal, but clearly you cannot defeat nature's way. However, it was far more scared than me than I was of it. A pretty humbling experience that should turn out in a stunning image.
Makes you realize that you cannot have control over any situation. When I came in, I had a plan in mind, but we had to change our lighting and simplify to make it happen. Otherwise the whole set could've been taken down due to the beast's suspicious nature. Thank god I wasn't shooting the Tigre!
On a side story, a monkey pulled our chain literally when he pulled on the lights because of an extension cord too close to his cage. Nik had to wrestle the little bastard to get the cord back. This little misadventure truly made my day!
Expect a lot of news and new stuff in the weeks to come! New website and identity is on the way. It won't be as "flashy" as my current one, but slick, multi-platform and straight to the point, putting emphasis on the work. I'm also holding off a few things to show once the site is up and will continue to feed the site as projects are released.
A new creative side-project is also coming, expecting to shoot the first piece in October.
And my Moleskine is packed with ideas I plan on shooting during downtime.
Oh, did I mention that I'm taking a holiday! Two well deserved weeks in California with the family.