Announcing my Horse photography workshop!

It’s one day of on location shooting in a perfectly western setting, then another day of critique and equine specific photo editing!

Everyone knows how to be an encouraging and uplifting photographer to bolster the confidence of their model, but what if your model is a horse? Horses can often be afraid of the photographer and all the equipment brought with them which can result in an unenthusiastic horse and lackluster photos.

Through a number of various orchestrated photo opportunities I will show you how to put the horse and rider at ease to create the best horse photos in the west. We will create a studio in an arena with lighting to create a beautiful “on black” portrait look, action shots with a galloping rider, epic stills of a horse in the field and more.

This is a photography workshop that will teach you how to capture the wide range of personality and excitement that comes with western horse photography. Taking place in an idyllic western setting. The O'Reilly ranch and arena has big Alberta skies, roaming horses and everything you would expect in this true life working ranch.

More info here:

Sony A7 Mark II test photo

This is one of the photos I took while we were filming and testing out the Sony A7 Mark II in a cold day in Calgary with +TheCameraStoreTV. It really shows off the high dynamic range of these new cameras by capturing the sun and Jordan in shadow filming in one exposure. Making HDR merely a feature of single photographs instead of a technique I would employ.

See the full video here:


African Wildlife Photography Seminar

Calgary, Alberta Canada, November 18th 2014

Hey guys! I'm super excited about my photography seminar next week with +The Camera Store. I'll be talking about my most favourite stories of wildlife encounters and photography techniques while I was in east Africa. I really like energizing other photographers and had a pretty fantastic time last time I did this. If you know of anyone who lives in Calgary who would like to come to something like this, please share, there are a few spots left!

P.S. The photo below is real and elephants are the most incredible creatures to watch, I'll go into detail on this photo and more in my talk!

You can find out more here:

Zambia Photo Safaris 2015


Come join me on Safari! I've got my itineraries up for my African Safaris next year and I absolutely can't wait! We only have space for maximum 6 people, I'm so happy to be doing something so personal, it gives me so much more breathing room and time to help guide people in taking the best photos they can. If you like this, or know anyone who would, please share!


Photographic African Safaris

Golden ducks of the morning


Muskwa-Kechika B.C. Canada, taken on horseback expedition, find out more about my expeditions at

These beautiful ducks were teasing me when I woke up at 5:00 am in hopes of photographing something in the splendid morning light. I could see expanding rings of ripples emanating from these boat-like creatures from the edge of the lake, if only I could get closer to see them. I set foot to intercept them given the direction they were heading, planning to have them sail by me on the shore. But they were weary of me, and drifted slowly away from me. 

I positioned the camera as close as I could to the waters surface, handheld to get the perspective I wanted: a duck's eye view. Snapping off a few photos I figured I had nothing to lose, maybe if I throw a stick in the direction the ducks were going they would veer away and perhaps come closer. But what they actually did surprised me.


They went towards the splash that my violently careening stick made in the still lake, piercing the morning calmness like a shattered mirror. What!? I threw another one close to me, and sure enough these brazen ducks wiggled their way towards me, as their unseen feet paddled them closer under the water. I decided not to tempt fate any further and let the morning calmness resume. The ducks and I eyed each other for a while until we both carried on our morning business, them with their aqua-stroll and me with my camera.


Rachel and Cassiar


Calgary, Alberta, Canada

We had a fantastic photo shoot this morning with Rachel of R.G Equine Therapy. Incredible morning light and sky east of Calgary. Cassiar the horse was so eager to please it made everything such a breeze! ...And I'm a poet and didn't know it!

As a side note, I've noticed sometimes on facebook there is a bit more interesting discussion. People seem to be  a bit more inquisitive there, so I thought I'd forward you a link where we talk about the lighting in this photo here:

#equinephotography   #horses   #photography   #strobist  

Hank's Bath


Tuchodi Lake, Muskwa-Kechika, B.C., Canada, On horseback expedition with +Wayne Sawchuk  check out for more

Hank is almost too comfortable with me. Nearly squishing me when he dived into the hot sand for a "bath" and spastically rolled towards me with his hooves flailing in the air. But it was a pretty gorgeous place to roll, I'll give him that. Despite almost being in the Arctic, it was so hot I had to dive into the water dozens of times here just to keep cool. A surprisingly refreshing way to end a trip!

Canon 5D Mark III, 16-35mm f2.8  lens,Iso 100, f16, 1/200sec 


Rocky Mountain Epic


Muskwa-Kechika B.C., Canada, On horseback expedition with +Wayne Sawchuk, check out for more

Sooooo this is the moment where I felt like I was living in some epic western movie, or maybe got downloaded to a super realistic version of an Oregon trail sequel game taking place up in Northern Canada. As this view opened up in front of me, I asked +Wayne Sawchuk to pause our caravan of horses so I could run up ahead and capture this. Not only did I have to physically catch my breath after sprinting up the hillside, as the horses began to move on queue, +Wayne Sawchuk told me he would get everything into the most photogenic position, he wasn't kidding. It was an incredible the combination of subjects lined up to create this shot, grand rocky mountains, gorgeous horses, meandering foothills and beautiful wildflowers to ground and frame the image. Pinch me, am I dreaming?

Photographic details
laying down in the grass I was also catching my breath from the beauty, I centred the horses as they were mostly symmetrical, visually "hugged" by the also symmetrical valley below, thus giving me licensee to put everything in the middle.  Low enough to capture the flowers I didn't want them completely in focus to give the viewer a sense of 3D depth that it might lack if I stacked the focus to include everything tack sharp.

Canon 5D Mark III f10 1/80th of a second canon 16-35 f2.8 L

Forgotten Silhouette

Muskwa-Kechika, B.C. Canada with +Wayne Sawchuk on horseback expedition

A gorgeous morning with a cup of coffee just footsteps from our campground on what we called "Tuchodi Beach". The cool morning air did little to disturb the reflections on the lake, I couldn't be helped but to be pulled in by the view. When the afternoon sun gets too hot, the only respite will be to dive into those reflections and take in the refreshing waters of the Muskwa-Kechika wilderness.

Photographic Details One day, the silhouette photo could be a rarity that few people will ever have witnessed. Cameras and techniques are getting so good that eventually details that are usually lost to blacks will be something taken for granted. So despite the fact I could have used techniques to fully illuminate the figure in the foreground, I have chosen to keep those details mysterious by exposing for the background only and pumping up the blacks.

Canon 5D Mark III, 50mm f1.4, f8.0, 1/200sec


Hank's view

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Muskwa-Kechika, B.C. Canada

I've been ultra busy and am on a big shoot today so this will be a short one sent from my Nexus 5. Hank is one of the biggest horses I've ever seen, also one of the cuddliest. It's sometimes hard to get a photo of him because usually he is coming towards me to check me out and lick the salt off my fingers. He also liked to stick his face in my tent. +Wayne Sawchuk certainly has a keeper here! Taken on my horseback adventure with

The joy of golden light


Muskwa-Kechika, B.C. Canada

This gorgeous morning, +Rachel Gedaliya and I woke up at 5:00 AM to hike up the final 5% of a mountain we were camping on. It was like getting a 95% head start on an epic mountain hike. We literally woke up, grabbed our day bag full of breakfast and reached the mountain top 20 minutes after waking up in time for a sunrise mountain peak breakfast, talk about convenient! The ridge was littered with Elk and Mountain Goats. To have a golden morning sunshine look at these creatures was such a treat, kind of like a visual appetizer.

Photographic Details
Thank goodness the hot summer air was absent, replaced by cool morning refreshingness; this is one of the hidden benefits to waking up early for the golden hour, no sweltering heat.  I was taking tonnes of scenery shots, but I needed something to express how easy this place is to hike, and how wonderful it is to be here. So after catching my breath I asked +Rachel Gedaliya to stand in the exact spot I wanted to and to show the camera how wonderful it is to be here, she certainly delivered. Scenery shots are great, but having a person or animal in it really expresses how livable it is. If this was a landscape with no plants and no people it could almost be a photo from mars! So simply adding a person or animal really does bring accessibility to an image. I also shot this with my telephoto lens, this increases the size of the subject in the background, these lenses are not to be forgotten for landscape photos!

This was taken on expedition with +Wayne Sawchuk, if you want to go to places like these, check out

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon L 70-200 f2.8 lens, f8, 1/100/sec, ISO 100


Golden Horse Sunset


Muskwa-Kechika, B.C., Canada

I'm so excited to finally be posting the photos I got from my trip, it's only been two days but I have a whole load of awesome stuff to share!

Evening golden light was hitting our camp and the one horse that always loved being exactly 100 meters away from the herd was standing in the perfect spot. His name is Percy and thank goodness he was actually standing up, as he treats the ground like his personal sofa most of the time. Come to think of it, he's a pretty odd horse. Percy likes sticking his face in the smoke of the campfire, loves riding up front but walks slower than everyone else, and he's the only white horse in the herd acting like a visual beacon from far away. No doubt, he brings a certain useful quality to the expedition.

Photographic Details
Percy was stuffing his face with the Muskwa-Kechika grass, which wasn't very pretty. The light was hitting him perfectly and I positioned myself so Percy would fit in the right hand side of the image showing the beautiful highlighted peaks of the Rocky Mountains in the background. But I still had to get his attention, and the usual horse noises and weird sounds I made had lost their effect. At last, I threw my leatherman and everything I bought at +MEC that could fit in my pocket into the ground in front of me with a satisfying jingle, this was unusual enough to get Percy to look up and put his fuzzy ears forward for just a second, enough time for me to hit the shutter.

I think +Wayne Sawchuk might have already been in bed, but I was pretty darn happy to be out here in this golden light!

Canon EOS 5D Mark III, 70-200 f2.8. f7.1 1/80th

+Rachel Gedaliya of R.G #equine  Therapy treating a horse in preparation for...


+Rachel Gedaliya of R.G #equine  Therapy treating a horse in preparation for our Muskwa-Kechika Adventures trip with +Wayne Sawchuk  this horse is actually enjoying it, she's so relaxed. Any horse people out there who can spot what's up with this horse just by looking? What do you see?

Off to ride the Muskwa-Kechika

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I'm actually writing this from my nexus 5 while on the road to Northern B.C. so here's hoping I don't make an unfortunate autocorrect. I'm joining +Wayne Sawchuk on one of his horseback expeditions to one of the wildest places I've ever heard of with two weeks of no electricity, hundreds of gigs of memory cards and and tonnes of batteries. I'm expecting enough gorgeous scenes to fill every card and empty every battery, and hopefully wear out my gopro. Wish me luck! And if you want to join some time in the future, check out 

Oh look! In support of the +Nature Conservancy of Canada Albertaviews magazine has...


Oh look! In support of the +Nature Conservancy of Canada Albertaviews magazine has published a great story, along with my photos of the Waldron with a very interesting discussion about the politics and state of #conservation   in Alberta and Canada right now. You can find a preview of it here:

The Golden Hours


Waldron Conservation Area, Alberta, Canada

I'm a little bit amazed at how many different looking photos of cows I got in one place. All the other photos I posted in the last few days were all taken in the same place, just a few hours apart footsteps from each other. The time before sunset can be incredibly magical, then there is sunset itself, and the afterglow and twilight after that. All of which combined with weather can create a huge variety of looks and colours.

Photographic Details
The original image of this is about 100 megapixels in size, this is just a small crop of the original. I shot this with my telephoto lens in a portrait orientation and stitched together multiple photographs to create a behemoth of an image.

If you like my techniques and also love the wilderness, check out these horseback expeditions I'll be on with +Wayne Sawchuk at

Canon 5D Mark III, 70-200mm f2.8 Iso 100 f8 1/100th of a sec.
#canada   #alberta   #natureconservancy   #cows   #conservation  +Nature Conservancy of Canada 

Creating useful images for clients


Keeping space for copy

One of the things you do as a commercial photographer is just anticipate images that could be useful for a client. This one was also done for the +Nature Conservancy of Canada . Normal or appropriate workflow when working with someone before a photo shoot is to establish a "shot list". Basically list out the kinds of photos you think you can achieve in a photo shoot combined with the wish list of the client. One of the things I consider is that it's important to keep some photos with "negative space". This is blank space where a graphic designer can have enough room to put in a block of text (or copy) without touching other subjects in the photos. While I try to get photographs that are beautiful on their own, full of subjects, textures and colour, it's often good to get a simple image with a lot of blank space, and a sky can do just wonderfully for such purposes. Next time you look at an advertisement with heavy text over a photo, notice how it might look without the text and you will see how simple a commercial photo might need to be. Sometimes you will be hired to create a body of work that your client doesn't even know it's going to need yet, hence thinking ahead to photos they might need in the future, before they even ask for it.

Photographic Details
These are the same cows in my previous photos from the Waldron, but by now they had started getting used to me and my strange behaviour of squatting by a tripod and even laying down. And because I wasn't chasing them or antagonizing them, they developed a curiosity and started walking towards me. After which their courage would run out and they would run away again. I was laying down in the grass to get more of that dark stormy sky that had passed over us, I made sure that I was focused on them and shot with a huge emphasis of the blank sky.

If You like this post, don't forget to check out the horseback expeditions I'm teaming up with +Wayne Sawchuk on!

Canon 5D Mark III, ISO 100 f5 1/100sec

#commercialphotography   #graphicdesign   #photography   #moo