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 ūüôā 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

Pre-designing your shot ~ the lost art of pre-visualization

When it comes to photography (and most other facets of my life), I tend to be a bit of a winger. Planning and pre-planning does not come naturally to this guy. More often than not,¬†the only thing I know about my next nature shoot is the trail I am going to explore, and which flavour of Nature Valley granola bar I am going to take with me….almond. I must admit, sometimes this renders favourable results as I set almost no expectations, and usually come away with something good, sometimes great. However,¬†I am quickly learning that the lost arts of pre-visualization and pre-planning¬†need to¬†be utilized on a more regular basis.

There are tremendous benefits to pre-planning my shot before I put my car key in the ignition. For one, it saves me time. Knowing what I am going to shoot before I shoot it? How could that not ensure I maximize my time in the field and get back in time for the next gripping episode of Dexter. There is also the challenge of it all, especially to a self-admitted winger. Planning and pre-visualizing my next shot puts me outside my comfort zone, and I like that.

There is a lake on Texada Island called Heyshelt Lake, or Hayshelt Lake, or Hoyscholdt Lake, something to that effect (the jury is still¬†out on the name of this gem and it hasn’t graced any map I have ever seen). It should be called Holy Shit Lake, because once you fix your eyes on it you won’t believe that a place this overwhelmingly¬†stunning actually exists.

quarry lake on my first visit in 2009

 It is a quarry lake, meaning that the rich minerals from the surrounding rock quarries are the reason this lake is the colour it is. Catching the beauty of this lake on camera, that was the easy part, real easy. I had been here twice before and knew I had to plan someting extraordinary for my third time around and I eagerly looked forward to the challenge. So, I pre-visualized.

I wanted to showcase diving/swimming in this island paradise, adding the human element (and thus creating a commercial/tourism ready image). The image became clear in my mind. I would be lake level and a diver would drop from the heavens overtop of me into the turquoise waters of Holy Shit Lake. All that was left was to catch the ferry with my models, and make it a reality!

This shot existed in my mind for months, now it's a digital file

After that pre-shoot visualization took place, other shots surfaced in me noggin that I added to my checklist before shoot day. I wanted to get a shot of the jumper backlit with the sun bursting behind him. Check.

sun bursting off of diver contemplating how lucky he is!

The jump

I also wanted¬†a shot illustrating the romance of it all….two good looking models frolicking in the sexy waters. Done and done.

A couple that dives together....

Several successful images, all pre-planned, captured within 30 minutes of each other…allowing me enough time to take¬†many jumps into the lake myself. Afterall, Dexter¬†was on summer break ūüôā

Dexter would want me to jump!

D