Nov 26

Masterless Men

My last show of the year at the Arts & Culture Centre was The Masterless Men 25th Anniversary show. It was a sold out evening of songs and laughter. Here are some of my shots from the show. Click the thumbnail to bring up the lightbox that you can scroll through.

 

Nov 26

Studio Session

The final assignment in my photography course with Shane Kelly was a studio session.  We had to bring our own subject, and I appealed for one to reveal themselves to me via Facebook.  I was delighted to get a message from Tiffany, who has the most wonderful natural smile, that has lit up many a dull day at work hen she was a tech.  She made it pretty easy to get a good picture, and the most difficult thing was choosing my favourites. Here’s my choice today. Click on the thumbnail to bring up the lightbox.

 

Nov 20

Natural Light Portraits

Here are a few photos from a natural light assignment with Laura.  We took some photos at her living room window, then went to Water Street to get some outdoor shots with some contrast in the scene.  It was between rain showers, with a very flat and not particularly bright light but we made it work. Thanks to Laura for helping me on this assignment. Click on the image below to start the lightbox which you can scroll through.

 

Nov 10

All Shook Up

Last but one concert at the Arts & Culture Centre for the year, was a show called All Shook Up. The cast, and the band were fantastic. Click on the thumbnail below to bring up the lightbox.

 

Nov 05

Circus Glorious

I was really looking forward to attending the Wonderbolt show – Circus Glorious and shoot for the Arts & Culture Centre.  It turned out to be a really challenging show from a number of perspectives and I was forced to adopt a different shooting style to keep up with the speed of the action.  It worked so well that I’m going to adopt it for all my concert shooting.  I ran a pre-show photobooth for Halloween, and had just about fifteen minutes to pack my studio lights away and get into position for the start of the show. In spite of this, I ended up with over 200 keepers. I used the Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 again, and as always, most were shot with the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8.

Here’s a selection of shots from that show.

Nov 04

The Once

Second show of the season at the Arts and Culture Centre this year was The Once, a band that really knows how to enjoy their time on stage, with stories and songs. I got to try out my Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 for some really epic looking wide shots and plenty with my far most used lens – the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8.

 

Oct 19

The Season So Far

The summer is over here in Newfoundland, and that means the start of the concert seasons.  I’ve been busy getting promo pictures done for the faculty recitals at Memorial University, and I’ve done my first concert of the year at the Arts & Culture Centre.  Here are a few of the highlights from some of the shoots I’ve done.  These were short shoots, with a single intention – get a photo for the promotional material for the concerts.  These are typically web banners and posters.

 

Here are a couple that I took during a shoot with pianist Laura Murray.  I recorded Laura’s debut album a few years ago, which she released to the public earlier this year, and was nominated for a MusicNL award for best instrumental album.

Duo Concertante are pictured in a couple of the images above, but they were part of a longer session.  Here are a few more from that session.

My first show of the year at the Arts & Culture Centre was Tanya Tagaq.  What a spectacular concert that was.  I was only allowed to shoot the first fifteen minutes which was somewhat limiting, but I had a great time watching the rest of the show!

Sep 11

‘Shroom.

I spotted what I’m pretty sure is a Yorkshire Pudding Mushroom today*.  I took my Nikon D610 and Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 to take a closer look.

 

* – I am aware that there is most likely no such thing.

Sep 06

I suppose it was worth the wait :)

I’m very much enjoying the new Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens that finally showed up from Vistek. If you want to read the saga, it’s here. It’s a really sharp lens, with wonderful colour rendering. Jill suits this lens very well.  She’s energetic, a bit of a goofball, and loves getting into stuff.  It just seems the right lens to use for her.  Jack isn’t so keen, and honestly, it doesn’t work so well for him.  Their personalities are so different, and I’m glad I have a different way to photograph each of them. I’m hoping to get out and shoot some landscapes with it before the weather starts going too far down hill!

 

Aug 26

Going Postal

 Nikon D610 with Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8
Update at the bottom of this post…
When/if I get my Tamron 15-30mm f/2.8 lens, it will not only be the most expensive lens I own, it will also have taken the most effort to get.
I ordered this lens through Amazon.ca on 28 July. No doubt the price was a little too good to be true ($400 under retail), but it was being sold by Amazon directly, who I already knew were an authorized Tamron Canada retailer. The lens arrived on 4 August, and I picked it up from the Post Office the same day. When I opened the box, I was saddened to see this was a US lens, and I’d read on the Amazon product page from another buyer, that this meant the Canadian warranty was invalid.  I contacted Tamron Canada, who confirmed that not only did it not have a Canadian warranty (which by the way is six years, and therefore well worth having!), it didn’t have a US one either because Amazon.ca is not a US authorized dealer. Not only this, but Tamron Canada say they would not service the lens either in or out of warranty. That means that in the event of needing service, I would need to mail it to Tamron in the US, pay for the repair, shipping, and likely a brokerage charge for getting through customs. Having this strange border between a US and Canadian version shows bad customer service on behalf of Tamron. I see why they do it – attempting to prevent grey market products in their area, but since I purchased from an authorized dealer, this is something that should be between the manufacturer and the retailer – the customer shouldn’t be punished for it.
Anyway, I contacted Amazon, who agreed to send out a replacement with a full Canadian warranty. Awesome I thought, though the Amazon customer service rep did say “sure” when I asked about whether the warranty would be full Canadian, which left me with more than a little doubt.
Less than a week later, I started getting harassing emails from both Canada Post and Amazon, for me to pick up the first lens…  the one I’d picked up the week before and already returned to Amazon. At the same time, I watched in anticipation for the replacement lens. It arrived in St. John’s on 9 August, but on 11 August, I still hadn’t received it (the Delivery Standard was 11th) so I called Canada Post. They advised me to contact the seller (ie, Amazon) to initiate an investigation (in other words, we’ve lost it but aren’t going to deal with you, the end customer). I contacted Amazon who contacted Canada Post while I was on hold.  Apparently they knew where it was and would be delivered by the end of the week.  The end of the week came, and not only was there no change in the tracking, there was no delivery.  I contacted Amazon who spent more time on with Canada Post.  They confirmed the lens was lost and asked if I wanted a replacement.  I explained that I was a bit dubious about the warranty, and would only like a replacement if they could guarantee a full Canadian warranty.  They told me that no, it would have a US warranty.  I explained that a US Tamron lens sold by a Canadian but not US authorized retailer actually had no warranty.  The customer service rep was understanding, but it didn’t make a difference.  I cancelled my order and they authorized a full refund (which also required an extra call to Amazon to get – they refunded just $13 the first time round).
I thought for a while whether I wanted to purchase a Tamron replacement, you know what with them thinking that the customer should be punished for issues between them and their authorized retailers. But this was as good a lens in this category as I could ever reasonably justify.  The Nikon version, which reportedly is a tiny bit better in one respect, and worse in others is close to $1,000 more. There is nothing else that competes.
I sucked it up and ordered the same lens from Vistek in Toronto, paying $350 more than the Amazon version. I ordered on 19th August, and on 24th, according to the tracking, it had been processed in St. John’s.
Today is the service delivery standard day, but the tracking hasn’t budged. It still shows Item Processed 24 August. Getting a feeling of deja vu, and worried of the impending strike, I contacted Canada Post and asked what would happen if they went on strike on Monday. I was PM’ed and told to contact the sender to start an investigation. And here we are. Canada Post has lost the last two of my packages.
Sadly, because Canada Post won’t deal with the party motivated to receive the package, I can see this dragging on.  I contacted Vistek this afternoon, and while they were helpful, they didn’t see any real cause for concern. I’ll call again in the morning since they haven’t given an update, and will file a dispute with my credit card company if I don’t have any action by Monday.
UPDATE 29/8/16 – Wonders will never cease.  Canada Post found my lens, and I got it today.  Shame the weather isn’t like it was last week.

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