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!

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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!

Discover BC Photo Tours announces new People & Places workshops in Kelowna

My good friend and business partner, Kelly Funk and I have completed our 2012 Kelowna workshop schedule and we think you’re going to like it!  The theme of the workshops is: ‘People & Places’.  We’re offering 3 dates for each theme, for your convenience. The workshops are a full day and all the details can be seen on by clicking here. We’re very excited about these and we hope you will be too. We welcome all levels of photographers to explore their creative visions while perfecting any technical issues. Space is limited so be sure to book for your preferred dates early!

Mount Robson Workshop a Huge Success

I just got back from our 3 day workshop in Mount Robson Provincial Park as part of the Discover BC Photo Tours workshop series. Twelve enthusiastic participants joined fellow instructor Kelly Funk and myself in one of the most picturesque destinations in British Columbia. For the most part, the weather cooperated. A few hours of rain challenged us on Saturday morning and again on Sunday afternoon, but the clouds and fog made for some dramatic scenes. And the saturation from the rain added to the impact.

A good time was certainly had by all, starting with an awesome wine and cheese welcome, made possible by Tourism Valemount. Silvio and Jennifer went above and beyond in helping to make this workshop a hit, providing the transportation to and from field locations throughout the entire weekend!

Friday night also included classroom style instruction on Camera Basics, Lighting, Exposure and Creative Compositions. The group was just itching to get out onto the trail the next day.

Saturday included trekking up the Berg Lake trail to Kinney Lake.

Along the way participants were offered further instruction on vertical panning, shooting lifestyle imagery, shooting water, shooting stitched panoramas and using filters. On Saturday night the group was shown how to use long exposures to turn truck tail lights into streaming beams of awesomeness tunneling towards a clouded Mt Robson. It was the perfect ending to a great day of instruction and shooting.

Sunday arrived and the weather was rather subdued, borderline flat; the perfect conditions to be shooting Rearguard Falls.

The group spread out almost immediately to find their vision and create their scenes. It was really fun to see the creative energy surface and it was here that we stressed the importance of filters when shooting waterfalls and high contrast scenes. Just when it seemed like we had exhausted the location, two rafting groups decided to hit the water and give us an opportunity to instruct on action/lifestyle photography.

After lunch on Sunday the rain started in. The group voted and we opted to use this time to stay inside and instruct on a critical element in image creation; post-processing. Here we covered topics like work flow, using Photoshop, shooting RAW, clone-stamping, highlight recovery, colour matching and outputting. This was very well received and Kelly and I have decided to make this a regular part of our workshop curriculum.

Monday was an optional day and most of the participants stuck around for the added day. We used this time to head up to White Falls along the Berg Lake trail. We were available to the group for any questions along the way, but we made a conscious decision to let them put their newly acquired knowledge to work. I look forward to seeing the shots produced by our participants.

If you want to join us on an upcoming workshop, click here to see what’s coming up for 2012. We are currently working on adding more workshops throughout BC for summer and fall of next year.

Discover BC Photo Tours launches new website

Discover BC Photo Tours (a joint venture between Darren Robinson Photography and Kelly Funk – Natural Wonders Photography) is proud to announce the launch of its new website www.bcphototours.com. Our mission is to foster an environment conducive to learning photography, both artistically and technically. By fusing together dynamic small group learning with optimal one-on-one instruction, participants are sure to notice a dramatic improvement in their imagery whatever their skill level. Through our workshops, we strive  to bring the classroom to life by introducing participants to some of the most iconic and breathtaking locations in British Columbia.

We’d like to thank Powell River based designers Massive Graphic for putting together such a captivating site. Please check it out and stay tuned as we release details on our Wells Grey Provincial Park workshop in March 2012!

Also, be sure to become a Facebook fan of Darren Robinson Photography by clicking here.