The Twelve Days of Cliffs-mas

Home is a beautiful thing. In my case, that would be Enderby, British Columbia. Yes, I was born and raised in the big city (Vancouver), and my family still resides there to this day. My precious Canucks are there. The place will always bring back nostalgic memories for me. However, this is home now. And Enderby is a fantastic place to be for many reasons. One of the obvious reasons takes the form of gorgeous volcanic cliffs that tower over the town. The Enderby Cliffs are spectacular any time of year and they are very often the subject of many of my landscape shots.

Here are some of my favourite Cliffs shots from 2013. Merry Christmas and enjoy!

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Farm field 4, Enderby, Shuswap, summer, landscape, Darren Robinson

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Enderby Cliffs 25, Enderby, Shuswap, fall, landscape, Darren Robinson

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2012 – The Images

2012 is only a week from evolving into 2013, Christmas is around the corner and I’m battling a festive cold unlike any other. I may be feeling a tad sorry for myself here as I sneeze into my Sleepytime herbal tea instead of raising a glass of cheer for the holidays, but I also realize this seemingly Bubonic Plague will eventually pass. What will not pass are the many memories I have now thanks to several unforgettable photographic experiences over the past twelve months. From moving to the Shuswap of British Columbia while saying goodbye to Powell River, to returning to my old stomping grounds of Jasper, Alberta (the place where I fine tuned my photography skills), this year has blessed me with fantastic commercial and pleasure shoots. It is here that I share with you my 12 favourite imagery moments from the past twelve months. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you all!

1) Moving to Enderby, in the Shuswap of BC from Powell River. Although tough to move from the very photogenic Sunshine Coast, I was excited to have a whole new palette to work with. I was certain the Cliffs would be a common subject for me and they cease to let me down today. I started the year off anxiously awaiting some magic light to hit those cliffs and when it finally happened, oh boy did it ever happen. On this particular winter evening, the storm clouds dominated the sky, but I stuck it out anyway. Glad I did, because just as I was packing up, a fleeting patch of sunset light moved in from the north, magnificently sweeping up the hillside, finally landing on its intended target. I rattled off a good dozen or so, but this one here remains my personal favourite from that incredible evening.

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2) This entire valley is a haven for birds, and I do love birds, particularly birds of prey. Hawks, eagles, and owls (I did get one very poor quality image of a snowy owl with my Blackberry while I was caught without my SLR) can be found everywhere around here and I know the best images are yet to come thanks to the abundance of them. But my favourite bird image since moving here has to be of these trumpeter swans feeding in the snowy fields of Back Enderby Rd. The swan looking directly at me was the loudest, most intimidating of nearly a hundred of them in my view. With every step closer I took to them, he took two towards me. It ended peacefully but every time I look at this image I remember that he meant business.

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3) Multiple images, multiple opportunities for fun. This year presented many inspirational moments to advance my multiplicity techniques. Multiplicity is blending multiple images of the same subject, into one. Here are some of this year’s favourites.

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4) Another dynamic and beautiful feature of Enderby is the Shuswap River, the life blood of this area. Its waters are captivating. As spring arrived, the river came to life with rising water levels and electric green shorelines. Unfortunately, this was a year of extremely high levels causing flooding, with farm fields turning into virtual lakes and streets turning into new waterways. Scary at times, beautiful at others, it all goes to show you how powerful Mother Nature can be.

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5) The first holiday of the season was not only extraordinarily fun, it provided me with some fantastic moments to capture. My family and I headed out to Harmon Lake in the Kane Valley, and although our many days of fishing provided us with hardly even a bite, we had some incredible fun.

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6) Jasper, Alberta is where I fell in love hard with photography. How could I not living amongst some of the most spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery anywhere? It’s been many years since then, but I was lucky enough to get to return again this year to shoot my friend’s wedding. It felt so good to return.

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7) Summer is my favourite of seasons. It is all too short in duration yet provides the most memories that carry me through the colder seasons. Here are some of my favourite images from this past summer.

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8) Nothing provides inspiration quite like new gear. This year’s purchase was a Tamron f2.8 28-75mm. Here are some of my favourite images with the newest addition to the family.

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9) I was lucky enough to get some great tourism contracts this year through the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, including a contract to provide Explorer Quotient (EQ) quality tourism images representing the stunningly beautiful Similkameen region. Three separate trips, a couple thousand images and some unforgettable moments all contribute to this being one of my favourite shoots of 2012. So much so, that I decided to award spots 9, 10 and 11 to all three Similkameen trips. My first trip was all about the western side of the region; Princeton, Coalmont, Tulameen and E.C. Manning Park. Here are my favourites from that first trip.

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10) My second trip to the Similkameen included stops in Hedley, Bromley Rock, Keremeos and Cawston. Vineyards, orchards, rock columns, mountains, views, this area has it all. Here are my favourites from that second trip.

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11) My third and final trip to the Simikameen was all about Cathedral Park. This area is absolutely breathtaking and although I only got to spend the day there, I’ll never forget the landscape or the brief times had there. Can’t wait to go back someday for a multi-day hiking trek.

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12) Another project I have currently going with TOTA is for Summerland, BC. The project started in late fall and will continue into the winter, but I thought I would share my favourite images from the one and only day I spent in this beautiful Okanagan city. Till next year friends!

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New summer workshops in Enderby, BC!

Learn to take better pictures in the beautiful North Okanagan! Join me for another round of Camera Basics and Field Instruction in Enderby, BC this July! You can get all the information here. Camera Basics (theory-based) happens on Thursday, July 19th (6-8pm) and the Field Instruction happens Saturday, July 21st (times to be determined). Sign up for both for only $100 (taxes included)! There’s only space for 10 participants, so contact me to book at (250) 838-6195 or at darren@darrenrobinsonphotography.com

Photography Workshops in Enderby, BC!

Hi all, due to much demand in the Shuswap and North Okanagan for quality photography workshops in the area, I have put together some sessions to be held this month in beautiful Enderby, BC! Whether you’re just learning about photography, or you just need some professional tips to truly inspire and elevate your imagery, these workshops are fun, and affordable!

Please click here to download the PDF which outlines the dates, prices and workshop descriptors! Book your spot now by emailing me at darren@darrenrobinsonphotography.com or by calling (250) 838-6195. Hurry, space is limited!

Introducing the Purcells!

Well I’ve been talking about this for quite some time now and I am now very excited to announce it’s a GO! Join me this BC Day long weekend and vastly improve your knowledge of photography in one of the most iconic (and secluded) mountain playgrounds in the world – The Purcell Mountains.

Through Discover BC Photo Tours, come discover BC as you unleash your creative and technical savvy in one extraordinary wilderness landscape. Let the unmistakable Mt Sir Donald be your backdrop as you explore this vast mountain wilderness through your camera. This is considered the very centre of where the Columbia, Selkirk and Purcell ranges meet, so if you yearn for the mountains, this is undoubtedly your workshop!

Get up close and personal as we shoot some amazing waterfalls, mountain streams, forests, fiery meadows of indian paintbrush, fireweed and western pasque flowers and so much more! The grassy meadows of the area allow for some really great opportunities to see and shoot wildlife such as elk, moose, caribou, whitetail deer, black and grizzly bears, and mountain goats. With over sixty-three species of birds identified in the area, your bound to return home with some amazing stories to match the breathtaking imagery you’ll get to show off.

But don’t think for a second that just because we’re in the middle of nowhere (or everywhere!), doesn’t mean we’re sleeping in tents and sharing cans of pork ‘n beans after our field shoots. No, no, the incredibly astounding Purcell Mountain Lodge will be our headquarters for the long weekend. Luxurious mountaintop accommodations coupled with delectable meals using organic ingredients (all included in the workshop rate I might add), means that we can solely focus on the task at hand; vastly improving your photography!

Image provided by Purcell Mountain Lodge

All weekend long we’ll cover topics such as camera basics, lighting, exposure, composition, depth of field, essential gear, patterns and textures, creative approaches, working with subjects, landscape essentials, impactful portraiture, architectural photography, lightpainting and other in camera effects, post-processing and more!

To access the Lodge we will depart from Golden on August 3rd via helicopter! The flight is 15 minutes long and will take us over incredible mountain peaks and ancient glaciers, before dropping us off at the Lodge to begin our weekend of learning and exploring. Because participants will likely need accommodations in Golden on August 2nd (flight leaves typically between 8-9 AM), I am waiting on some discounted one-night rates exclusive to us. Before booking your Golden pre-night stay, be sure to ask me who to book with!

Also, if you plan to get new gear before our workshop, make sure you visit The Camera Store in Calgary, personally, I wouldn’t dream of going anywhere else for my photographic needs.

And I would also like to welcome the newest sponsor Experience the Mountain Parks! EMP is a fantastic resource for anyone wanting information on visiting the mountain parks of BC and Alberta. Publisher Bob Harris is not only responsible for creating this useful and beautiful guide, he is just a fantastic person and I am so happy to welcome him and CMI Publishing as an event sponsor!

The workshop takes place August 3, 4 and 5 and there is a maximum of 8 spots available! Booking deadline is April 30th, 2012!

To view the complete details and prices in PDF form, click here! You do not want to miss out on this workshop! Email me at darren@darrenrobinsonphotography.com or call (250) 838-6195.

Oh, I cannot wait for this one!

Bringing Multiplicity to Merritt, BC

Well it seems that many people are wanting their own “multiplicity” images. As such, I am now taking appointments for a special “Multiplicity in Merritt” weekend on April 6th (Good Friday), and April 7th, 2012. Create unforgettable images that you can use as greeting cards or simply to share with your friends on Facebook. These are perfect for just about anyone; kids, couples, families, pets, you name it, I can multiply it!

For $85 CDN (taxes included) you’ll receive:

– 1 hour Multiplicity session (if multiplicity shoot takes less than one hour, you will get a bonus professional portrait!)

– All post-production work included

– Final image (s) in high resolution

*Book now because there is only enough space for twelve appointments over the two days! Call me at (250) 838-6195 or email darren@darrenrobinsonphotography.com to book.

The Multiplier Effect

Late last fall I discovered the technique of “multiplicity.” Multiplicity is the common term for imagery that combines multiple exposures into one image. The effect is not only extraordinarily fun to create, but it also generates the wow factor from those that see it done well. I’ve had much fun coming up with multiplicity concepts since then and the more I attempt these, the quicker the process becomes. Below is the result of my first attempt, I like to call it “The Party”.

After seeing the results (and response) from the image, I was hooked. With my beautiful wife and gorgeous little girls away on a house hunting trip, this was the perfect way to keep myself busy for the weekend. As such, other multiplicity concepts were born. For my second attempt, I took the project to the back yard for more canvas space. Setting my camera on the tripod and the shutter on self-timer, I went to work. This time, I wanted to combine two new effects I discovered into one concept; multiplicity and levitation. The “me” being lifted into the sky was achieved by jumping off of an outdoor hot tub, over and over again, until I got the flying image I wanted. Took about 30 takes to get it (remember, I was on self-timer!). Man were my legs sore the next day. Then, in post, I simply “erased” the hot tub. For more information on levitation photography, see the end of this post.

The next day, I attempted another back yard riot. The original concept was supposed to be “Greens” vs. “Oranges”, but shortly after creating the image, I realized I forgot to change my shirt for one of the guys playing cards in the foreground. Nonetheless, it was great to practice the technique.

I had so much fun with multiplicity that weekend, that I showed up bright and early to work on Monday to attempt another one (I worked out of the Powell River Visitor Centre, so it only seemed right to have myselves helping….well, myselves).

Now that I was quite comfortable with the technique I decided to try some shots using my beautiful daughters as models. First up was my youngest, who wanted nothing more than to show off her Halloween ladybug costume.

Then my oldest daughter, who, by the way, came up with most of the poses herself.

A good six weeks or so passed before I attempted another multiplicity, but the next concept was always on my mind. It was time for another “Party.” This time, I wanted my lovely wife to be a part of the concept. I wanted her to be “surrounded” by a handful of Darrens. I am more than certain that for her sometimes this conceptual scene seems all too real 🙂

I now have many family and friends asking me to create their own multiplicity images. Who am I to say no? These last two were taken just this last weekend during a visit to Merritt to visit my family. The first one is of my darling niece, and her many personalities.

And last, but in no way least, my nephew showcasing his hysterical sense of humour.

I have many multiplicity concepts brewing in my brain on how I can take this to the next level. Stay tuned as I work them out in my many heads.

To see how this effect is accomplished, watch this video here.

For a tutorial on levitation photography, click here.