Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from We Three

Good Tuesday from Prospect. Special wishes to you and yours during the Holidays from we three.

Merry Christmas from Kathy, Deanne and Derek

One note: I have set my new photo site to live at derekmasonphotography.com (still working on Just That). That's where you'll find all my professional work along with a new blog covering assignments and projects. Feel free to link to that one as you have with this one.

I'll be keeping this one for more personal adventures just like I have to date. I think you'll enjoy both. I'll post a couple from this Christmas season coming. Although this will be my first without a parent, we have family and friends to share in the season.

Enjoy, Derek

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Re-establishing the basics and moving

Good Wednesday from Prospect. 

Today I'm going to throw a hint at my recent projects. I'm also going to show a little how to.

Canon 5D mrkII, 85mm f1.8  at f8, 125sec 100 ISO

I've recently been following a photographer by the name of Zack Arias out of Atlanta Georgia. Great photographer. 
I probably follow him, not so much for his work, although I'm a fan, but because of his attitude to the business and his open attitude to share. He's been sharing his "One Light" philosophy with all of us. Thanks Zack!

Many photographers know this is a tough business to make a living. You gotta love it or forget it.
Personally I'm somewhat fortunate in that I have a background in the printing business and studied design and photography in college. 

I am able to put two hats on to feed myself but as the gear I use to create images matures I find myself forging ahead with shooting more and more. 

With the gear becoming mature, meaning you can rely on it, I can start forgetting about the gear and mega pixels and concentrate on what matters, getting the picture. 

Now it's back to basics for me. I went off on a tangent and forgot about getting the usable shot right away. Kinda blaming some of it on inferior gear I was using, but not all of it. I'm re-establishing composition and light in my head. Instead of cursing because the camera didn't fire because it was too slow to focus. Now I just set up and shoot, sort of. Well close enough in comparison to the hoops I had to jump through.

It's been said over and over, It's not the gear that makes the shot. Well to an extent thats true. It's just how much work you need to do after the shot to get it up to snuff. Instead of saying, "I'll just fix it in photoshop" why not just shoot it right. 

Well some cameras aren't up to that task (learned that the hard way). Between not being able to see the full frame you are composing to the camera over riding your set-up to awful noise at low light and failure to fire due to slow focus, it was becoming a burden to shoot and my confidence was failing. I mean could I honestly rely on myself to get the frame I was after. You don't get second chances when the moment is gone.

Anyway I started writing this blog and went off on a rant I don't need to get into so I'm deleting that part and carrying on with something positive, my new work.

The reason I started this blog was two fold. I wanted to share a "One Light" set-up on seamless with you and let you know I will be moving to my new site, Blog and all, to derekmasonphotography.com. It will be all fresh and new in about a week. Gotta finalize a few new images going up.

I won't abandon this one since I like the connection through Google, but I will be showing off my focused, professional work through the new one It will be more of an add on showcase while this one will be as it has been. Life in Nova Scotia, my own editorials so to speak.

Comments on both will be much appreciated to help me see what people like most. Don't worry, I'll add a link back to here from there.

For this post, here's an example of what one light, and a couple of reflectors, can do for an image.

This was on site for some corporate portraiture I did on the weekend. (In the board room with a 9 foot ceiling)

My set-up was one strobe set on a boom with a 48 in soft-box above the subject blowing slightly past so to throw some light on the white seamless, one 36" round reflector to lower stage right, for chin fill, and one 42 x 72 inch reflector to back stage left for soft back light. I also turn that big reflector around to shield a second strobe when going full white on the seamless, it doubles as a v flat or cutter to keep the second light out of the cameras frame and kill light flare (though that would be a "two light" shot wouldn't it?).

Here I had her lean slightly forward over a desk, we used as a prop, to get that spot light look on her eyes
Canon 5D mrkII, 85mm f1.8  at f8, 125sec 100 ISO

Once the shots are finalized and delivered I'll share some of those results. In the meantime, this is my wife who I dragged along as assistant. My daughter has taken up the challenge of assisting but had a minor medical procedure that stopped her from coming along. You may have seen her in my "Doin' it Seamless" blog a while back.

Enjoy, Derek.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Beauty from MAYHEM

Good Sunday from Prospect.

I want to share a little imagery I call beauty out of Mayhem. It's a study in space used up as soon as we get in it. 
As a project comes to a close, so does the usable space of my shop.

I find as I build these beautiful little boats (ready to race) my space tends to get more and more crowded as they come to completion. Sort of how I use up every inch around me.

Wonder if it's possessiveness or just working in cramped quarters.

Oh well…Do the chore, clean up, do the choir, clean up, so on and so on.

I hope you enjoy these.
(PS, I'd rather shoot these than dead trees in the fall)


Friday, October 19, 2012


Good Friday from Prospect.

Ready for the ad
Well here I am back in the studio for a bit. And I wanted to share some seamless with you. I mean shooting with seamless backgrounds.

A little bit of fun before some serious work. We were setting up the next days early morning shoot. I always like to spend the time to prepare so my clients aren't waiting around while I set-up. When I do, I tend to grab a family member to model for me so I have a live set. 

This time it was my daughter. I told her to have some fun with it (as you can see she did, she loves making faces) and I'll direct as we go. 

In this blog you'll see some of the layout as I'm working it in and some of the final results after tweaking the positions. You'll even see a quick one with her holding the reflector to see if that's what I want.

Canon 5DmkII, 70-200 f2.8
These set ups usually only take about 15 minutes, after the gear is assembled, but I used this to try out a new lens I just picked up. The Canon 85mm f/1.8. Great detail but you have to watch the light flare from the background (I haven't received the lens hood yet, that's another story). It always adds headache in post production, which by the way is why I switched to Canon. I was just tired of spending so much time in post with the old Pentax gear. Great results, too much work.

The 5D mkII, and the new glass, cut that to 10 percent. Now I can spend more time on composition and get it done without all nighters.

Everything shot with Canon 5D mk II, Canon 85 mm f/1.8 (awesome lens) or Canon 70-200 f2.8 and Opus strobes, 36 x 48 softbox and one bare bulb with reflector for the back ground blow out. with Pocket Wizard III's. The third light source is actually a big reflector to get that fill light from the bottom.

These are all shot on white. What I like about using white is light control allows for white to black backgrounds and everything in between (almost).

Sometimes simple is better and in these cases that's absolutely true.

I'll post a few samples of the next days shoot once we're finished with the project.

Enjoy, Derek

Great b&w head shot 5D mkII, 85mm f1.8

Here you can see the basic set-up, at least as we were getting in position

Yes she likes making faces
Straight out of the camera, we're good to go
5D mkII 70-200 f2.8

Stomping it out!  5DmkII, 85mmf1.8

Friday, September 28, 2012

Shooting one passion with another on Friday

Good Friday from Prospect.

f3.5 1/20 ISO125

This is not the exciting story I've been eluding to. This is one of my pastimes combined with another. I not only enjoy sailing keelboats but I also love to sail RC sailboats. On top of that I really enjoy building them and here I'm photographing  them in progress.

f2.8 1/40 ISO100

These are two I've been commissioned to build, for what will become two new members in the Boddingtons Deep Draught Yacht Club ( http://topsidercs.com/BDDYC/ ). A NSYA sanctioned club dedicated to the enjoyment of competing against your sailing peers in search of bragging rights and of sharing good times with friends.

f2.8 1/20 ISO100
Enjoy these and have a great weekend. All images shot with Canon 5D mkII and Canon 16-35L II f 2.8 under floresents.

Enjoy, Derek

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So where have I been lately

Good Tuesday from Prospect.

7:00 AM in Prospect. The fog doing it's down the river dance.

The geometry is beautiful
Now this is a September morning
Okay so here's the thing. Been a little busy working again. It's that eating thing I can't shake.

I haven't posted since August and I said I'd stay on it. I certainly have been thinking about it and I've been nagged to get it moving let me tell you.

On top of that, working on private projects automatically invokes an unspoken non-disclosure. At least until the project is done.

So, while I'm waiting to be able to share what I've been up to with you I'll fire in some photos from Prospect Bay.

I love the geometry of our little bay here in Nova Scotia along with the ever changing weather conditions.

Couldn't resist throwing this one in from August
What can I say, I love em
This summer has been amazing. Wonderful weather and lots of photo ops. Even the fog has been entertaining and co-operative.

Hopefully I'll be sharing some cool stuff shortly. It's all about clearance on ongoing projects.

Well I hope you enjoy these.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Road Trip!

Good Wednesday from Prospect.

Three Amigos on the Road
So, Monday found me sitting inside watching the rain on another natal day. Kinda appreciated the cooler air from the weather. The two days before were hot and humid as most of the summer has turned into this year. Not complaining mind you, just it's tough sweating while standing still.

No the beach isn't full of rocks, just this one's interesting
Any way, as the day went on things started to clear, just enough for me to get ants in my pants and off the three of us went (my wife, my youngest daughter and me). Thought a drive on the south shore of Nova Scotia would work. By chance, seems to be the by chance thing I do when I get ants in my pants, Ha, ha. 

We ended up in Bayswater. It's a provincial park, so there are life guards and facilities on hand. A great out of the way, grey sand, open ocean, beach past the hectic, crowded and popular, Queensland beach, heading west off Highway 333 towards Blandford and Chester.

The water was just right to cool off and soak our feet. Well, what else do you do at a beach anyway? Besides, us three amigos enjoyed ourselves. Pics attached. Only hints of the beach though, you've got to explore it yourself, it's worth it.

Enjoy, Derek.

What else do you do at the beach
(Think I should go barefoot a bit more often to tan them suckers)
Amigos chillin at the beach

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Halifax Rock Camp

Good Wednesday from Prospect.

Kissing Cousins (Brandon Lorimer vocals - (remind you of anyone?)
Last Friday I had the fortune of being invited to a concert put on by our local, young and upcoming musical talent attending this years Rock Camp. It was hosted again for a second year by the generous people at the Sacred Heart school on Spring Garden road in Halifax.

Mourning Sickness
This camp is put on every year and sponsored by Long and McQuade. It teaches young aspiring musicians and entertainers the skills to put on a full concert, including production, as well as teach them self esteem. 

If even one child goes on to a career in the music industry then thats great. But it's the self esteem and confidence that each child really takes away from this.

We were thoroughly entertained and some of these kids are truly talented. As in past years I expect to see a certain number rise to the challenge of a career in the industry.

A couple of note worthy entertainers from past camps include Joel Plaskett ( Joel Plaskett Emergency ) and Matt Mays ( Matt Mays & El Torpedo ).

Here are a few pics from the concert. It was so hot in the auditorium that, unfortunately we had to leave early. So this is just a sample of the bands that played. Sorry to those we missed. I'm also going to apologize for any mistakes in the names of the bands. The program was out of order and I even noticed the band names with the members were mixed up. If you know the correct names with the photo please send a comment and I'll rectify.

The Alligator Brunch Munch
The Alligator Brunch Munch
Sasquatch and the Squatting Turtles
Granpa Nick's Funky Crew
Going Nova
Harry Footpedal

David McLean joing in with The Alligator Brunch Munch

Enjoy, Derek

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

TALLSHIPS 2012 in Halifax

Good Tuesday from Prospect.

My Sister and Niece, at the helm of Thursdays Child, passing Georges Island, Halifax 
(Think she looks at home?)
As many of you may know, July 19 - 23rd was the Tall Ships 2012 here in Halifax. I was able to be on the water for both Sunday and Monday for the sail past. 

The sail past was quite nice, although I was disappointed in the small number of ships here this year again.

It has been quite a few years since the big gathering and I suppose it's what we expect.

Mind you I'm not complaining, thank you to all the ships that came by, it is neither easy nor cheap to get these here, so we very much appreciate it.

As for the weather, well just simply amazing. We have had such a streak of fine weather that no one can complain that it's raining today, except of course for the group who have set sail for the RNSYS club cruise. My wife and I had planned to meet up with them this weekend coming and we'll keep an eye on the weather for the next week before we decide. I like fair weather sailing.

As you can see, if you have been following lately, that the sailing weather here in Nova Scotia has been amazing.

USS Eagle at dock
Well back to Tall Ships. I had the pleasure of sailing once again with a new found friend Tom Vokey, whom I sailed to Saint-Pierre with,  and his girl friend Edith. We spent the day sailing up and down the Halifax harbour while checking out the ships. Unfortunately a perimeter was set up around the ships them so far out that there was no way of getting a great view from the water.

It wasn't until Monday's sail past that we had a chance to really see our visitors.

Monday brought my sister and my two nieces as crew for the sail past. You'll see my one niece has taken to sailing and likes the idea of being skipper. Hope for one more family member to join us yet.

As I said, today has brought rain, good thing too, I need to get focused on work.
Tom and Edith

I've posted a few photos from those two days. I know some of the ships names but not all. Comment and let me know what they are if you can.

Amastad in front of Georges Island, Halifax
Name this one

Life of Reilly II
Peter with his staff out to check the ships out

HMCS Bounty

Picton Castle

Navy Fire Boat


Some ships went east and some right to other ports

Halifax waterfront was packed
Enjoy, Derek