The Province

The Province newspaper just published a great article by Jane Mundy on travel highlights of the Sunshine Coast, including the Sunshine Coast Trail, geocaching, and nature photography workshops.

Thank you to the Province and to Jane for helping us expose the beauty of the Sunshine Coast!

Please enjoy these other Sunshine Coast images.

Rushing creek found in the Mud Lake/Duck Lake trail system

The Sunshine Coast is blessed with ocean and freshwater lakes, including Haslam Lake in Powell River.

The Sunshine Coast is surrounded by coastal rainforest.

Quarry lake on Texada Island

Photo workshop participant awaits the perfect sunset moment. Palm Beach near Powell River.

Colleen and Vincent Wedding ~ August 6, 2011

The Sunshine Coast is one amazing place to get married, that is, if you find beaches, forests, waterfalls and magical sunsets romantic. Colleen and Vince had wanted shots that looked less “posed” and were very keen to incorporate the environment into their images wherever possible. I can do all that. The getting ready session was a lot of fun. Like a fly on the wall I tried to capture the fun and excitement of Colleen and her party getting ready for the big moment.

We then headed to Palm Beach, the extraordinary site of this beautiful ceremony.

After a series of family portraits on the grass of Palm Beach park, I took the bridal party out to the tidal pools for some fun (hereafter known as the bridal pools :). They had great energy and were really starting to find their groove for the camera.

Colleen and Vince also wanted some shots in the forests of Powell River. Can anyone blame them? So up Duck Lake Road we went.

The reception was held at Dwight Hall in Powell River’s Historic Townsite. Congratulations go out to Colleen and Vince and their families.

Focus shifts to Mount Robson in September

Oh, the weather was glorious for the Coast in Focus Photography workshop last weekend here on the Upper Sunshine Coast of BC. Although the group was a smaller one (in numbers, not collective height :)), an amazing time was had by all the participants. Some of the locations changed this year, which worked out incredibly well given that this was our first year of the workshop without rain. Most notably was our visit on Sunday to Heisholt Lake (Quarry Lake) on Texada Island. The group seemed rather keen to make this amazing locale the grand finale shoot of the weekend. I am very excited to see some of the imagery produced by the workshop participants.

But now, we put Coast in Focus behind us and get ready for our Mount Robson Photography Workshop in September! This one is filling up quickly, so if you are interested in improving your imagery through professional (and experiential) instruction, be sure to book your spot soon! Kelly Funk and I will also have details coming fairly soon on our newest workshop for 2012….the incredible Purcell Mountains 🙂 Stay tuned.

Coast in Focus participant sets her focus on the Palm Beach tidal pools

Sweetwater Creek was the location for our water shoot

Sea Fair was on - great opportunity for creative scenes like this 30 second exposure

We took advantage of some unreal cloud formations that looked like jellyfish - how fitting!

 
 

Sunday's Heisholt Lake shoot was the perfect ending to a great weekend of learning

 

Participant Gabe joined me in an 80 ft plunge into the lake to finish off the weekend

Coast in Focus 2010 ~ That’s a Wrap

The Coast in Focus photography weekend is now officially over. But for the fifteen students that took part in the workshop, the learning has just begun. First, I wish to thank and congratulate the budding photographers on muscling through the endless rain that challenged us all weekend long, and they still showed up eagerly at every shoot with smiles on their faces. It was brilliant to see and to be a part of. We can control our compositions and exposures…..we cannot control the weather 🙂

We started the weekend at the Town Centre Hotel here in Powell River with a Friday night welcome session and Camera Basics workshop. After some intro presentations from the three pros, Kelly Funk led a session on Camera Basics, a hands-on session aimed at understanding exposure, lighting, camera functions, shooting modes, ISO, composition basics, etc. The biggest challenge we threw out there was that all participants shoot in only Manual mode from here on out. Although some were admittedly a bit intimidated by this at first, the Camera Basics workshop armed them with the right knowledge to achieve this goal. Goodbye Auto Mode!

Everyone was ready to get some sleep and head out into the field bright and early on Saturday morning.

The rain continued to hammer us on Saturday as we headed out to beautiful Stillwater Bluffs south of Powell River, a location that offers some incredible vegetation, vistas and wildlife….when the weather cooperates (see image of the bluffs below from two short weeks ago).

Stillwater Bluffs

The group was told to “find their vision first” and start capturing it in-camera by applying some of their newly acquired knowledge. The pros spent the next few hours one-on-one with the participants, helping them to achieve their image objectives. We got soaked, but wow was it ever fun. And we quickly saw a vast improvement in quality of imagery from this group.

Coast in Focus group shot at Stillwater Bluffs ~ by Kelly Funk

 Off to the next location ~ Eagle Falls. Some of the group opted to go dry off, while the rest of us ventured up the highway to iconic Eagle Falls to learn the art of shooting water. The wet weather created an ideal lighting situation for long exposures and high apertures. The group really enjoyed this leg of the shoot. Below is a photo of Eagle Falls in happier (sunnier) times.

Eagle Falls - Darren Robinson Photography

After a quick lunch, we headed back into the classroom for a more in-depth look at lighting and exposure with Kelly, followed by a workshop session on compositions led by myself. The group really started to get a firm hold on the elements that comprise great imagery during these sessions. Then it was time to apply these elements to their own works. Before the event, the participants sent us what they believed were their three best images for a professional critiquing. During this session, the group really started to see what they would change about their images and their techniques.

After dinner we headed out for our….ehem….sunset shoot. Okay, so there was no sun around to set, but that didn’t stop us from playing with lightpainting. Lightpainting is an artifical lighting technique that, if done properly, can render some very surreal and impactful images. Basically, while shooting in low-light situations, you use long exposures and “paint” light on your scene (or scene elements) using a bright artificial light source, in our case a 10 million candle spotlight. An example is my image below. The exposure was 20 seconds just after dusk as I painted the log for the duration of the exposure. Again we got soaked. Again we had a blast and learned a lot!

Log Lightpainted at Palm Beach

Sunday turned out to be the highlight of the weekend, location-wise and weather-wise. We went to the Appleton Creek trail north of Powell River to shoot a series of captivating waterfalls.

Bandit Falls headwaters on Appleton Creek ~ Darren Robinson Photography

CIF participant reviewing image at Appleton Creek waterfall

The group starting producing some great imagery here and got really inspired by the overwhelming beauty of the area. We spent about three and a half hours here and in all honesty I had to pry many away to our next endeavor…..Willingdon Beach. We wrapped up with some field demonstrations on action photography by having them capture Kelly and myself taking turns swinging through the air on a zunga (rope swing).

All in all, the weekend was a tremendous success and we look forward to next year. We are currently evaluating the possibility of offering a fall workshop series on the lower Sunshine Coast, stay tuned for details as we iron them out!

Cheers!

The Immaculate Sunset

Happy February everyone! In beautiful Powell River the days are starting to get longer, the weather continues to get milder, and buds are starting to pop up in my wife’s garden and on several of her plants. Spring looks like it’s just around the corner and I cannot wait!

The cloudy weather as of late has kept me indoors, forcing me to shoot anything but the outdoors, which can be more than trying for an avid nature photographer! But, I was blessed the other day with some immaculate weather, big metallic blue skies, gorgeous fluffy (and wispy) clouds, and best of all, a famous Powell River sunset.

Tony Lake

This first shot is pre-sunset of a pretty little Sunshine Coast lake called Tony Lake. The sky was so vast that I felt I needed to compose my shots in a way that helped to emphasise it. This meant placing my horizon line quite low in the image. As you can tell, this approach to composition certainly stresses the big blue yonder quite well.

Noticing the colour in the sky was starting to change colours, I hopped in the Santa Fe and boogied to one of my favourite shooting spots (Palm Beach) south of Powell River to catch the looming sunset.

I arrived before the sunset so I set up a shot above the beach on a beautiful grassy ridge. The sky looked unbelievable. So I composed again with the sky in mind, using quite a low horizon line. The picnic tables (and me) help to add a sense of scale, allowing the sky to really look huge!

Palm Beach

Finally the sun starting dipping behind some trees, so I headed down to the sandy beach (the tide was out, leaving me a foreground of sand, something I don’t see too often at Palm Beach). I found my composition, and set up the shot. I used a very small aperture to ensure I got that tight starburst effect. I also used my ND grad filter to get the proper exposure and balance the foreground with the background. Notice in the vertical shot how I used that lonely rock as a foreground anchor point for the image, adding a sense of overall balance. This is an important technique in imagery composition.

I now have another couple of shots to add to the gallery of immaculate sunsets. 

Palm Beach Sunset Palm Beach Sunset II

If you want to further your understanding of the importance of natural and artifical lighting, creative compositions, and essential gear (ND filters anyone?), log on to www.darrenrobinsonphotography.com and find out more about our upcoming Coast in Focus workshop in May. Spots are starting to fill so secure your spot today!