One of the criticisms levied against ASMP’s Strictly Business is that it’s only held in three cities, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago. That’s once on the west coast, once on  the east coast, and once in the mid west. Yeah, you may have to fly, take a train or drive to get to one. You’ll need to book a room at a hotel. Is it worth it, you might ask? Ask Christopher Shain. Chris heard about SB3 then traveled half way around the world to attend the Philadelphia Seminar. Christopher is an architectural, industrial and corporate photographer based in Sydney, Australia.  He won the prize(ASMP hat) for traveling the greatest distance to attend. Chicago doesn’t seem so far away now, does it?

Hey!, isn’t that Rosh Sillars in the background let’s talk about him next.

 To see more photos click SB3 Philadelphia.

Christopher is pictured above with our fearless leader, Eugene Mopsik.

As usual, I woke up early the next morning. I assumed, no one had pressed the red button, or if they had, Nova Scotia had been spared. I got dressed and grabbed my camera to go out and do some shooting. I knew I’d have a few hours before Lori and Chris were up and ready to go out for breakfast.

Despite gray skies and heavy fog, I set off on my bicycle back toward town. On the way to the motel, the night before, I had noticed a side road that looked liked it would lead to the coast where I would surely find some photographic fodder. I was not disappointed. The road led to a harbor of weather beaten buildings and derelict boats. For these subjects, the less than ideal weather, worked in my favor, adding a sense of foreboding and mystery.

As the sun rose in the sky, the fog began to lift. Satisfied with the images I had made, I was ready to head back to the motel. The great thing about touring on a bicycle is that you can stop the moment something catches your eye, like orange fisherman’s gloves hanging from a clothes line. As I was taking the shot from the side of the road, a woman appeared at the screen door, looking a little puzzled. I lowered my camera and pointed to the gloves. She stuck her head out the door, looked at the clothesline, nodded in acknowledgment and went back inside.

I stopped once more to photograph two men laying fish out to dry and two other men talking next to a forklift. While the people I meet were gracious they all seemed a bit melancholy.

Later, while having breakfast at a restaurant we learned that four teenagers, two boys and two girls, had been swept out to sea the night before. The couples had climbed out onto the rocks at Forchu lighthouse to watch the waves during the height of the storm. All four were from Yarmouth and had just graduated from high school.

Being a small town, the tragedy struck Yarmouth hard. Much of the population was related in some way to one of victims or had known at least one of them. Suddenly, we felt out of place, vacationing in a town in mourning. We decided to return to Bar Harbor on the next ferry. From there we would head North to Acadia National Park.


Worker drawing de-icer

Worker drawing de-icer from storage tank.

One of my clients, a snow removal and landscaping company, wanted to update their capabilities brochure and website to show potential clients that they were equipped to service large accounts like corporate parks, malls and bank branches.

The first shot was of the two owners and all nineteen employees positioned around a small Kubota snowplow. In the back we had positioned several front-end loaders and large trucks mounted with plows. In the far background was a giant canopy covering a mountain of salt. I used two Dyna-lite 2000 packs with two bare heads each, to light the group. A Honda generator powered each pack.

The next shot was of a line of eight white pickup trucks mounted with red snow plows. I shot them from above while standing in a cage, chained to a forklift. I used a zoom lens to compress the line of trucks. By not showing the beginning or the end of the line it appeared as if the line of trucks continued on forever.

The third shot (shown above) is my favorite. The Yellow cylindrical tanks are used to store liquid deicer. The deicer is a byproduct of beer brewing and is sourced from the local Budweiser plant.

There were three tanks on the left side and two tanks on the right. The view down the middle of the tanks was not very photogenic. There were old plows, a leafless tree and a cyclone fence all bathed in harsh afternoon light. By moving the camera to the right I blocked the unsightly background with the edge of the foreground tank. As with the line of trucks, if you could not see the edge of the last tank, the viewer might imagine there were more tanks than there actually where.

The tank on the right was being hit by a shaft of bright sunlight and would have distracted the viewer from what I wanted to be the center of interest, the worker. I had a high lift brought over and the bucket was raised. A tarp was hung from the bucket to block the sunlight.

To enhance the asphalt we wet it down with ten gallons of water, as if it had just rained. All of the light in the scene was coming from above and not all that interesting. I set up a Lumedyne battery pack with one bare head to the right and slightly behind the subject to simulate sunlight coming in from the side. Pocket Wizards fired the flash. The light struck the side of the models face. The yellow tank acted as a reflector and filled the shadow side nicely. The restricted area of coverage by the flash helped to draw attention to the subject, who was relatively small in the frame. Underexposing the ambient by 1 and 1/2 stops heightened the affect.