Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sequence Photography!

Jumping pictures are always fun...but even more fun off the jumping rock, of course! And what better way to capture the fun than by trying out a little sequence photography?!

Monday, August 1, 2011

The $4000 Necklace: What do YOU think?

We're going to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming this week to ask you what YOUR thoughts are on Shayne Gray Learns Photography:

Is it possible that the name dooms the product? In other words, in your opinion does "...Learns Photography" take away from the value of past, present and future work posted here no matter how good it might ever get?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Capoeira Mâles - Part I

Recently I had the opportunity of working with a really great Capoeira group in the city, Capoeira Mâles.

There are some crazy skilled people in the group and as such...keeping up with the speed in low light can be a bit of a challenge....

Monday, July 11, 2011

Bocce Ball!

Wow! Things have been pretty crazy busy for the last little while and I'm trying to work through some of the backlog like this Bocce Ball image I took with my Dad on Father's Day and sister (who's actually holding the ball and sadly got edited out - for more on masking in photoshop for this sort of effect, see the Matrix post or the levitation post). For more on vintage effects, click here.

Aside from working on some music for an upcoming short film, I'm excited to be working with Capoeira Malês - more from that project coming soon....

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day!!!

©2011 Shayne Gray all rights reserved

Happy Canada Day!!!

...and Happy almost 4th of July to our neighbours down south!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mel's Tea Party

Click any image to see it larger
We recently caught up with Mel in Toronto's Music Garden with her Gloomy Bear, amazing dress & mini-hat and picnic basket that we found at the last minute on the street (full of really great colourful plates, cups & cutlery).

And what a perfect day to pull out the brand new 5D Mark II with a 50mm 1.4 for some golden hour goodness! (Scroll down a little further for some more fun with off-camera lighting composites and to see how the tea party ended!)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Vintage and Cross-Processing

Tres Chicos, Havana, Cuba (click image to see it larger)
Lomo, lomography, faux-lomo...whatever you want to call it, it's become extremely popular in recent years. In fact, we now have our own Lomography store here on Queen St. in Toronto.

The easiest way to achieve the effect is, of course, by going to and buying yourself a camera. But since I haven't gotten around to that just yet, here's how you do it digitally....

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Chihiro Noda starring in "A Change of Plans"

Chihiro Noda
Update: Thank you to Ardean Peters for the fun behind the scenes coverage!

Maria is a wonderful makeup artist. Together we've been planning one particular idea for maybe two months now, maybe longer, but it involves a sunny day and a chaise lounge. We've already had to cancel it once because of rain. This time around it was looking promising until about an hour before we were supposed to start. Too late to cancel again, so...what do you do¿? Make lemonade and hope it at least stays dry.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lux and Hani featuring Mid-Day Sun

Shot with my new (!!!) 5d Mark II (with 50mm f/1.4)
Click any image to see it larger
This week's project was a little last minute at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre with Lux and Hani. I arrived not expecting to shoot in mid-day sun and...wound up shooting in it anyway. On top of that the different skin tones between the two models made for some very difficult conditions to shoot in.

Read on for some creative solutions....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Melodie of Movement

Hula Hoop! (Click any image to see it larger)
I mentioned in last week's post that the cheery blossoms were just in bloom - a little late this year. Nevertheless we took full advantage and met up with Melodie of Movement in Toronto's High Park. Last week I also promised some hula hooping goodness, so here it comes....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Levitation Photography and working with Textures

Die Fliegende Französin: The Midnight Craving

Last weekend I convinced a good friend of mine, Tess, to do a levitation for me. What a great sport! I really need to get a large stool or step ladder to do more of these, but she said she'd have some around the house.

I got there and she said, "how about this one or how about this or this?" I might have been pushing it a little, but she knows I'm looking out for her safety and said, "how about this one on top of that one?"

Next thing I knew she was teetering on a laundry hamper on a stepping stool. Awesome....

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Workshop with Zack Arias!

See setup shot below
The CreativeLive workshop with Zack Arias last week was absolutely worth the 3-day commitment. We just had the chance to get out there and give some of it a try.

I've been scouting for a location for a project next weekend and came across the vacant lot you see above. I asked Cristy if she would come out and model with a prop. She chose the accordion - awesome choice....

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Night at the Opera-backstage

Behind the scenes: you can see a woman on the left of the frame -
she's standing pretty close to centre stage

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter! Bokeh Hearts - more fun DIY

Happy Eastertine's Day!
Happy Eastertine's Day! Setup shot at the bottom of this post.
I've seen heart-shaped bokeh images like this before, and this is probably the most widely used shape for making pictures with a custom bokeh, but I was never quite sure exactly how to do it. I was also excited to try and see if it would work first before trying out some more creative and elaborate shapes....


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Joe McNally and David Hobby (The Strobist) at the Flash Bus Tour in Buffalo

Flash Bus Tour with David Hobby and Joe McNally

Thanks for the Twitter shout outs Joe McNally and the gang at Flash Bus! Glad you like the picture - we had tons of fun and laughs and you guys...well...I think the photo speaks for itself....


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Shoot with Michael Gayden

Michael Gayden
Click images to see larger view
Update: Check out the video!

Mike Gayden is a male model from Rochester, New York, who came up to Toronto to do a photo shoot with us. When he said "editorial" I thought of my 50mm 1.4 and my reflector set, but then he said something about "fashion" and I thought I should haul out the lights and find a couple of suitable locations. I thought this would also be a good opportunity to follow up a little more on experimenting with mixing natural and artificial light from last week's Liddle Red Writing Hood.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Mixing Ambient & Artificial Light

Liddle Red Writing Hood
Liddle Red Writing Hood

Update: for more on mixing ambient and artificial light, see this post and this post.

I wanted to experiment this week using my speedlights in late afternoon/early evening sun, but...realized that I really should have been out there a little earlier.... The sun looked like it was in the right place in the sky to give us another hour of light or so, but unfortunately at my chosen location it was already just sinking behind a row of houses.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Screwhead Gets a Tune-Up: Creative Fun

The Tune Up

Photo Manipulation:
It's fun to think up silly, ridiculous and otherwise impossible situations, don't cha think? We, of course, had to do something with the moustache just before shaving it off - and what better way to create ridiculous hilarity than with a trailer park/trailer trash 'stache and a vintage Herb Tarlek suit to get the mood just right?!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Geek! Processing for Punch

              The Sceptic                                        The Game Show Host                                The Over-Confident
There are lots of places where you can find images on the Dave Hill look and if you do a quick google search, you'll see what I mean. Though this isn't exactly the same thing, there is a similar element of impact involved.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Seeing the World Upside Down

Two Cyclists (image flipped upside down)
It's perhaps not a concept we haven't been presented with before, but somehow it's still often interesting to look at a natural scene in a bit of an unnatural way by imagining the image in the reflection as "reality" and the reflection as some kind of resulting effect....

Friday, February 25, 2011

Strawberry Splash - High Speed Photography with simple gear

f/8, ISO 100, shutter speed: 2 seconds (click the picture to see it larger)

I recently came across some of Pascal Bovet's images on Flickr and found that he'd linked a lot of his stuff to his website with many of his behind the scenes tricks - and of course I had to try this one out!

Initially I set everything up as he described with one light on my background and one light for the scene pointing down from above (see setup image below).

The basic idea is that you typically hit a ceiling with your flash sync speed somewhere around 1/250 sec. which is fast enough to capture many things, but...not fast enough to capture others.

One way of getting around this is to leave your shutter open longer in a dark environment and trigger your lights manually. A flash burst from your speedlight is a lot faster than 1/250 sec. Using my Nikon SB-24 to light the glass and the strawberry, for example, at 1/16th power gives me a flash duration of around 1/11000th of a second!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting to Know Your Own Modifiers


For a small number of you, this post might be very insightful and you may even feel so motivated to carry out the same experiment. For the vast majority though...I realize it might be a bit of a slog, so don't worry...I completely understand - but be sure to tune in next week when we get into making great, crisp images of fresh strawberries splashing into a wine glass full of water and freezing the action at high speed.

Since I first got my first umbrella some 6 months ago and my second umbrella, softbox and reflector set a couple months ago I've been meaning to get to know them a little better. What's the difference in light quality, what's the difference in catch light, how much light am I losing/gaining using one vs. the other¿?

I finally decided it was time to find out. I did a whole pile of test, which were by no means completely comprehensive or overly scientific, but I did manage to find the answers to some of my own questions and feel better equipped to handle different situations as a result.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Where Inspiration Comes From

Concert in the Street III
Cristy giving an inspired impromptu concert in the street
The best thing that can happen to a person is to become inspired. There's just no replacement for that feeling of curiosity and excitement we sometimes feel when we've experienced something great that we just can't wait to try out ourselves! And within the rich world of photography there is PLENTY to motivate and push us to want to do new things.

I really love the Strobist community that David Hobby has created. The knowledge is all out there and you're encouraged to learn and participate - the only real stipulation is...don't be a dick....

Lisa Bettany is also an encouraging source of inspiration. Part of the great thing about her (besides the fact that she's a fellow Canadian) is that you can see her whole journey from not that long ago when she was using a lot of the gear I have now and was already producing some really great work fairly early on in the game. She's gone on to get some pretty great gigs and now takes spectacular images, is possible!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sunday Funny!

...because it's more fun to be a clown sometimes....

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Business of Photography

Setup info for putting together this shot below (composite of 3 photos)
I must admit the business end of photography does seem a bit daunting. Luckily there are tons of resources online to help with that side of things....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Evoled Green Lighting Solutions and redLetter

redLetter - 128 Cumberland Street, Toronto
Evoled QP70 (image by me, of course)
After doing a small job for Evoled Green Lighting Solutions I did a little a little bit of research into the situation concerning our standards and changing laws in North America regarding light bulbs. By 2012 we're supposed to have done away entirely with incandescent bulbs and the current trend is in favour of those curly fluorescents (CFLs) containing mercury, which emit UV rays. There's a lot of debate as to how safe those bulbs really are and many are already complaining of skin conditions. But don't believe me...I don't know any more about this stuff than the next guy - do a quick google search or check out the links on the Evoled website and form your own opinions....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Self portrait (click image to view larger)

Last week was my birthday - and what better way to celebrate than to pull out a nice, fat Cohiba and start tugging away in a vintage suit with a terrible trailer trash handlebar moustache?!

The problem is...I'm not much of a smoker, so by the time we finished up and got the image we were after...I was admittedly feeling (and likely looking) a little green.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Expect the Unexpected....

"Trouble at the Maitlands"
Xtine as "Inspector X"
Tess as "Mr. Dino"
Daniel as "Daniella the Belle of Berlin"
Cristy as...herself

Daniella: The Belle of Berlin
Some things just don't happen as you think they might....

Christine used to have a fantastic apartment downtown with different coloured walls in each room. A group of us always thought we should carefully plan out some ideas and shoot them there because it's an older place with tons of character!