2016 - Year End Thank You by Ken Greenhorn

As another year comes to a close, I would like to acknowledge and thank the people who have helped me along my photographic journey in 2016. I have continued to foster previous clients/friendships and have made so many more this past year. I have liked being challenged by the amazing photographers in the Saskatoon Camera Club. Predictably, I have shot mostly Dance and Models this past year.

First and foremost I would like to thank the Dance community. At last count I had shot for 11 different dance groups/studios plus a few individual dancers from different studios. I don't want to list everyone in case I miss someone (but you know who you are)...I appreciate your support and hope we can continue to shoot again.

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A few notables that I want to make special mention to: Jackie Latendresse for getting me started in the Dance community (with both Free Flow Dance and the Rosebud Burlesque troupe). Most everything I now do is some sort of a spinoff from these 2 groups.

Also to Ashley Berrns and Matt Gallant of Dance Ink for including me in their Family. I was able to do their recitals and school photos this year (I thoroughly enjoyed it, learned a lot, took notes for next year). We didn't get a chance to do our 'Creative' shoot this year...but hopefully soon. And, as always I very much appreciate them, and all they do for me. You both Rock.

I also want to thank Linda Coe-Kirkham at Dance Saskatchewan for letting me be part of Dance on the Saskatchewan. I always enjoy seeing and shooting the various dance groups over the 5 weeks.

Secondly I want to thank all the Models, Hair, and Makeup Artists that I shot with this past year. This is an area that I really enjoy...I love the whole creative aspect of it all and all the collaborative ideas that come from it. I find meeting and working with everyone has helped me break out of my shell (even if it was just a little bit). I enjoy getting to know each of you in the short time we have...I have shot a few of you multiple times, and have become good friends with a small group of you. Although most of the shoots were in the Studio this year, I did venture out and did a few location shoots too. Most of these were creative model shoots but also did a few Boudoir and Pinup shoots also.

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A special shout out to Karen Marie and Matthew Hardy (and all the other models involved) who I have been collaborating with on a continuing project for the last few years...I always enjoy our shoots and look forward to more, in addition to finalizing the finished images. Also to Jo James who I have shot with multiple times...thanks for being a great model, helping with other shoots (stylist), and non-photography related things: teaching me to use chopsticks and prodding me to get out and exercise (she is a kick-a$$ Zumba instructor). 

A few different shoots I had this year was a CD Cover (Artwork) for Andreea Moore's album, Haunted Former Lives, a shoot for a local Massage Therapist for his website, and a 2 day Boudoir shoot in a showhome. Also fun was doing individual shoots with Dancers, Tatiana Thompson and Marisa McDonald. Something new for me also was shooting the 'Swinging with the Stars' Gala.

In 2017 I want to be a part of more collaborative, creative ventures with Hair, MUA's, and models/dancers. In the Studio, I want to work on getting more creative with my lighting, posing, and styling (Jo?). Also, would like to try to get out to more fun, creative location shoots. In the past I have done, among others, back alley and abandoned building locations. If you have anything/anyplace in mind or a special theme you want to try, please shoot me a message and we'll see if we can plan something. I promise to blog more, giving more photos and behind-the scenes information about my shoots. Also I would consider putting on a workshop (maybe Studio lighting or Compositing) if enough interest was shown. I want to push my boundaries, challenge myself to be more creative and out of my box. I hope to continue to shoot with all of you, and meet many more people in 2017. 

 

Lastly, I would like to thank my wife, Nicole for being so supportive and understanding about my passion for photography and what I choose to shoot...I'm sure she would rather have me shooting landscapes and still life.

Best Wishes...Ken Greenhorn Photography.

Dance Ink - Motion Shoot by Ken Greenhorn

A year ago in September I had the opportunity to shoot 12 of the instructors from Dance Ink dance studio. (I had forgotten I created this blog and forgot to post it). This was a collaboration with Myself, the Dance Ink instructors, Zeroframe Productions, and Hair/Makeup by The Shop. I wanted to do a shoot that depicted 'motion', so I decided to do a long exposure technique incorporating 3 constant lights and 2 strobes. After doing some preliminary test shots, we determined that we needed almost complete darkness (no ambient light), so we moved the shoot to Studio 2 which is in a basement with no windows. My son, Zach (Zeroframe Productions), made a video of the setup, getting ready, and the shoot. See below.

We set up black curtains as a backdrop and black rolled paper as the floor. Three constant lights were set up in a line with a strobe at the end. The dancer would then move along in front of the constant lights in a progression (which becomes blurred, showing the motion) and then a 'pop' of the strobe at the end to freeze the action. As we went through the day, we sometimes popped the strobes 2 or 3 times during the progression to add frozen images part way through the blur. There was definitely a learning curve for the timing as I had to manually hold open and close the shutter while manually popping the strobes in between, all within 2-4 seconds. The instructors were from varied disciplines (Hip-Hop, Jazz, Ballet, Tap, etc.) so it varied the costumes/clothing to add color and style. Below is an example of one of the finished images...Please 'LIKE' my Facebook page (Ken Greenhorn Photography). Please look back for all the posted images.

Getting it Right...Technically. by Ken Greenhorn

I wanted to write this blog to show how important it is to get the details technically correct when doing a composite. This was a photo idea that had been bouncing around in my head for quite a few years. I wanted to make it look like I was hanging on to something for my life from a very high height. If you know me, you know that I am very, very scared of heights, so when helping a friend move, it was all I could do to go out on the balcony and stand by the edge, looking down 15 storeys...I placed my foot near the edge, reached as far as my arms would allow, pointed the camera down, and took the shot. (See Fig. 1)

 FIG. 1

FIG. 1

Next, I took a self portrait of me as if I was hanging on to the edge of the balcony. (FIG. 2). After extracting myself from the background, I placed 'me' into the photo of the balcony, removed my foot and leg and then processed it a bit with a few NIK (Google) filters and I figured I was done. (FIG. 3).

 FIG. 2

FIG. 2

 FIG. 3

FIG. 3

Something was still not quite right...I noticed that it needed some shadows to make it look more realistic and, after showing it to my son (the physics engineer), he said no one would physically hang that way. That was it...a very important detail. He said that my body should hang under the center of gravity (my hand). So.... back to the drawing board...in FIG. 4 you will notice that my hand is now centered more in the center of my body, and that you can see how my body swings a bit to the left.

 FIG. 4

FIG. 4

After compositing my newest photo into the balcony photo, I also noticed that I did not like the ledge in the original balcony photo, as it would tend to kick out my legs and body too much. After reducing the width of the ledge and adding a few shadows (very important) around the hand and where the body was close to the railing spindles, I was close to being done...again. (FIG. 5)

 FIG. 5

FIG. 5

After a few more filters and a bit of motion blur, we have the final image. 

 FINAL IMAGE

FINAL IMAGE

In summary, when compositing it is very important to ensure the lighting on the inserted image is similar to the background image. Place shadows to add realism to the photo; make sure the scale is realistic. Remember to be open to other's opinions and advice as they may notice details that you might have missed. And most of all, have fun with the image making!

Thank You to 'The Saskatchewan Dance Project' by Ken Greenhorn

After months of hard work and dedication, last night was the final showing of 'Insensible',the Saskatchewan Dance Project's latest show. This was the second year that I have been involved with the project. It started with the largerst photoshoot that I have ever done, the 'flour shoot'. This was an idea that I had previously seen, done by famous dance photographer, Lois Greenfield, and wanted to do for a long time. After months of planning with Ashley and Tatum, the heads of the project, we shot early last December. Thanks to Matt, Ashley's husband, for transforming the studio at Dance Ink into a flour/dust ready enviroment. He and his crew vapour barriered and sealed the whole studio from top to bottom. Then Zach and I set up the lights, backdrops, etc.. Now we were ready for the 18 dancers and 200 lbs. of flour to be tossed around (we ended up using only 50 lbs.). After 6-7 hours of shooting we had some amazing headshots, posed shots, and the most fun, the flour shots. 

After that, I shot a few of the rehearsals, followed by the two shows, one in Prince Albert 2 weeks ago, and the Saskatoon show at Castle Theatre last night. 

I would like to send a heartfelt thank-you to Ashley and Tatum, Matt, and all the dancers for including me in your project. The after party was wonderful...great food and drinks. Also, I think it was Rebecca (I still don't have all the names/faces figured out) who said she had made the beautiful cake with a photo of the whole group on top...it looked wonderful. Once again, thanks to Ashley for the kind words and gift...it is very much appreciated. I look forward to working with you all again...I have more ideas.....

Website Launch by Ken Greenhorn

Welcome to the launch of my new website. Please take some time, check out the images and let me know what you think. I will try my best to post regularly with information about upcoming shoots, behind the scenes of past shoots, rants, or any other relevant information.