September 17, 2009

Three Kilometre High (over Cookstown, ON)

Last light. While these guys jump off the plane, it's already nighttime on the ground.

Although I usually have a bag of tricks to take pictures from weird/dangerous angles, this was pretty straight forward:

The big Cessna Caravan (the plane) goes about 200 km/h, and having one hand on the railing inside, I lean outside to have a good look and take my photo. No harness, "if you fall out, we don't want the plane to drag you in the air, you're better off opening your 'chute and hoping for the best" said James who was in charge of my (relative) safety.

September 13, 2009

TIFFF (Toronto, ON)

TIFF: Toronto International Film Festival. At times I add an extra F.
All the celebrities are in town, and so are the paparazzi. Which makes the life of a photojournalist like me, who walks the streets with all my photo gear, a living hell.
"Are you a paparazzi?"
Steve Russell answers: "No more than you are George Clooney. And if you are, what the hell happened to you?"
I photographed the lovely Drew Barrymore.

And this ended up on A1.

Also shot Hugh Hefner (and his bunnies), but I don't want to post it, because despite a large portion of the population being interested in the celebs, I don't care, and I don't think this whole Film Fest has much journalistic value overall.

September 05, 2009

Done with Mirrors (T.O.)

It's always better to see the eyes, whether it's the football player's eyes through the face mask or in this case the SWAT officer while he's shooting.

People tend to forget about the person taking the pictures. We're used to TV and we rarely think of the cameraman (i.e. the "first step" on the moon was shot by someone already standing on the moon).

In the case of taking pictures of an ETF (Emergency Task Force - called SWAT in other cities) officer at the shooting range, they obviously wouldn't let me stand in front of them. Not that I'd be scared; these guys are trained machines; but you never know, and especially when bullets are involved, better safe than sorry.

The usual choice would be a remote camera. Fairly easy to set up, but no way to control it once it's up there. We usually use wide-angle lenses on remote camera.

For this, I simply brought a mirror and a stand instead. I just thought I'd put the mirror in the right (dangerous) spot, and photograph what it shows me from behind the shooter. Easier to use with longer lenses. Possibility to move around and adjust your position and the image's composition. And, a cheap alternative for any photographer who doesn't own the equipment to fire a camera remotely.

Simply makes for a better image than the usually shooting range pictures from behind. And the longer lens looks better than a wide-angle on a remote.

Now getting the fire from the bullet; that's just good timing (just kinding, it's luck).

More MacGyver stuff next time around.

September 03, 2009

Cirque du Soleil (Toronto, ON)

Cirque du Soleil premieres their newest show, OVO, in Toronto.

I haven't posted in a while being oh so busy.

Lots of cool shots in the bank to post on here. This past month I spent time shooting (bullets and pictures) with the SWAT and hanging from a plane 2 miles above lake Simcoe.

September should be just as crazy with the film festival in Toronto and two weddings.