Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pro Gear!

What an amazing, exciting, terrifying few days!

On Sunday, I came home with a really nice package of pro gear ... thanks to my hubby, Paul, for having the confidence in me, and letting me take this step ... and to Garry at Vistek Calgary (downtown) for arranging such a smoking deal ... the price was WAY cheaper than even the largest retailer in the US (usually very competitively priced)!

Canon 7D body & extra battery
Canon EF 24-70mm f2.8L lens
Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L lens
2 x Acumem 16gig cards
Canon Speedlite 580 EX II flash

C$5555.52 including GST

I'm still learning how to get the best out of the new and very unfamiliar camera, but here are a few early shots ...

7D with the 24-70:

7D with the 70-200:

And here's a bonus shot: A panorama (stitched together in PS CS5) taken in Kootenay National Park with the T1i en route to Banff on Friday (doesn't show very well here - please click on the image to see a larger version):

Monday, April 25, 2011

Johnny Clegg Band in Banff

Last weekend I got to see one of my all-time favourite bands perform live:

The Johnny Clegg Band

Johnny Clegg is an iconic South African muso, of Juluka and Savuka fame, who's been performing for over 30 years, with about 20 albums to his name.

It was an outstanding show, featuring many old favourites as well as several new pieces, along with Johnny's masterful storytelling.

If you know Johnny's music, you'll love the show ... if you like to listen to something different and would like to try some African fusion (fused with all sorts of things!), then this is the band.

They're currently touring to promote their latest album, Human. Find out more about the band on their website.

Below are a few shots from the show (I had permission from venue management to take my dslr in to the concert hall) - there are more in a set on my Flickr page:

Here's Johnny in a pensive moment ...

This is Mandisa Dlanga - she's been performing with Johnny since the early 80's (and she almost stole the show)!

Dan Shout on sax and keys:

Johnny and Mandisa in lock-step ...

There were even a couple of traditional dances:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Photography on TV

In the past week, I've accidentally come across two tv documentaries about photographers.

The first, "The President's Photographer", was a very interesting chronicle of a day in the life of the US presidential photographer ... running around after him, running ahead of him, privy to every moment of Barack Obama's work day. I've heard many people say how they envy the photog that job ... to be there recording history! I suppose that's one way to look at it. Frankly, I couldn't think of anything worse ... photographing the same subject hundreds of times a day, hundreds of days a year ... to say nothing of the pressure! Sure, being in the prez's inner circle may sound glamorous ... but having to be formally attired, spit and polished, every day ... nah, not for me!

Now the second show, "Chasing Wild Horses", REALLY appeals to me! This type of thing would be right up my alley! Romania-born Canadian, Roberto Dutesco, is a renowned New York City fashion photographer. Then he felt the need for his work to be remembered for more than that. So he went to Sable Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, to document the life of the herd of wild horses there. Sable isn't a tourist destination - no visitors are allowed onto the island unless great exception is made. The horses are offspring of equine shipwreck survivors - at least 350 ships have met an untimely end on the sandbars of the island: sailors say "If you can see Sable Island, it's too late.", - and animals brought over from the mainland by early settlers. It is incredible that horses can survive in this bleak environment. To be sure, they're a tough gang with rough coats, feet that'd give a farrier a heart attack, and long, unkempt manes and tails. But they're a glorious sight to behold! See the results of Roberto's beautifully sensitive work here. Or, if you're lucky enough, visit his gallery dedicated to The Wild Horses of Sable Island in New York.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Skiing

We went up to Panorama yesterday, hoping to catch some of the action in the terrain park. That wasn't to be, though - we climbed up a substantial part of the mountain to find nothing going on, which resulted in me losing my mojo! (I hate disorganization!)

So after retreating to the deli for a hot chocolate and shared cookie, we headed back down to the valley.

It wasn't a wasted trip, though, as it was dumping down snow which made for a few good shots before my camera started getting too wet!

Lovely big fat flakes, like you see in the movies:

Goggles required:

Couldn't resist this colourful collection of snowboard pants!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mountain Chickadee

I came across a pair of mountain chickadees during the lunchtime dog walk today. They were very flighty*, but weren't afraid of me getting too close.

*This means that by the time I'd got the camera to my eye, they'd flitted off to another branch already! Keeping up with them was a challenge!

I took these with my 75-300mm kit lens - the same one that's been giving me challenges lately.

Must have been operator error because these seem ok ...