Introducing Biome

A Red Squirrel seen in Brown Lowery Provincial Park

I want to introduce you guys to a personal project of mine. I have been debating whether or not to give this project it’s own blog or to just post about it on this one. Well, as you can tell, I haven’t exactly been consistent on this blog so I figure this project might help me fill out the blog a bit more. Therefore, I have decided to post about Biome on this blog.

So, without further ado, I would like to tell you all about my project called Biome. After receiving my university degree in zoology in 2013, I have thrown myself head first into the world of photography. However, growing up in South Africa, wildlife and biology is in my blood, and sadly, since university, I haven’t been able to pursue my love for biology.

A screen cap from the first documentary.

As I have been a photographer for many years, I decided that videography would be the next logical step. The issue was that I needed a subject to learn and hone my skills so I decided to dust off my biology and zoology books and to start creating short films and documentaries with Biology and zoology themes. Having already finished my first documentary, I will post a link to it soon, I am currently working on my second one. Check back here for the latest news on how filming is going and when a new video is posted. I learnt a lot in the process of making the first film and I am excited to put try and better it in the second video.

Regards,

Graeme

Practising with a 50mm

When you think of an outdoor lens, the 50mm is not usually the first lens that comes to mind. However, if you mainly shoot with primes, and don’t have the option or convenience to change the composition on the fly, practising with a lens is a great idea. Taking one lens on a photo outing forces you to think of all your shots with that particular focal lens. It is a challenge I love doing and this time was no exception.

Sunset over Anne and Sandy Cross Conservation Area

For me, personally, I find I use my wide angle or telephoto primes mainly with shooting, so I relished the thought of practising with my 50mm this time. We went out to Anne and Sandy Cross conservation area just south of Calgary. Easily one of my favourite places to explore as they have tons of trails but also its fairly quiet when you think of other places close by like Fishcreek or Nose hill park.

Sandy Cross Trails

Having over 20km’s of trails, it is perfect if you are just looking for somewhere close to home that has beautiful views, Cross conservation is the perfect place to get shots of rolling hills or forests. As a photographer, the only scene it is missing is running water like a stream. The watering hole near the main house near the entrance has signs around it that ask people to keep their distance.

Caterpillar in Cross Conservation Area

There is an abundance of wildlife if that type of photography interests you. I have often seen a large herd of deer on the way up to the Mountain Lookout. As well as tracks of weasels, skunks, coyotes, to name a few mammals. The abundant birdlife during the summer is spectacular.  (Since I was only using a 50mm, this is the closest I was able to get to the local fauna).

Relic at Cross Conservation

If you get a free day and want to explore near Calgary, I definitely recommend grabbing your camera and heading out to the Cross Conservation Area for the day.

Julie and Jess

What do you do when you are in a long-distance relationship but want to do a couples shoot? You enlist the services of your best friend as a stand in obviously. That is exactly what Julie did with her best friend Jess, and this is their story…

Jess and Julie in Calgary
Before they met, the felt alone, as though they were missing a part of themselves.

Friendship in Calgary
Cautious not to believe their luck, they saw something special in each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie and Jess in Calgary
Despite all their trepidation, they couldn’t deny how comfortable they felt with each other.

Friend Photoshoot in Calgary
They quickly became best friends, completely inseparable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friend photoshoot in Calgary
Until they decided to embrace what they had found and enjoy it to the fullest.

Here are some other shots from the photoshoot!

Girls in Calgary

Julie and Jess in Calgary

Friends in Calgary

Frank Lake

About fifty kilometers south of Calgary is a wetland called Frank Lake. Controlled by Ducks Unlimited Canada, the wetland is special due to the fact that it is one of the few places in the area to see the White-Faced Ibis.

White-faced ibis flying
White-faced ibis flying

I went there this past weekend and had great fun seeing all types of birds. The big draw for the area is the permanent blind that has been set up to give visitors a place to sit and watch quietly. Between the parking space (Which is little more than a cul-de-sac) and the blind is a hundred yard boardwalk through tall reeds. This early in the year, the reeds haven’t had enough time to grow tall but there are still a few stubborn ones from last year for some birds to perch on, like this Yellow-Headed Black Bird.

Yellow-Headed Black Bird in reeds

Once inside the blind, Ducks Unlimited Canada has outfitted the walls with pictures of the most commonly seen water birds. To the front, the blind looks out over the lake while on the left and right sides, the blind looks out over more sheltered parts of the lake. Its to the left and right that I find most birds seem to be during the day.

One little tip is that, if you were to go to the edge of the blind in the front and lean out while looking under the eves of the blind, you would see a tiny little swallow nest. There are some babies in there so don’t get too close but if you keep an eye on it, you will see the parents flying to and fro providing food for the babies. Sometimes the parents also allow for some great photos on their mission.

Swallow on a Fence Post
Swallow on a Fence Post

Swallows in blind
Swallows in blind

All in all Frank Lake is a great day trip out where you can relax for a bit and watch the day go by. Its not strenuous to get there and nothing too surprising, so take a book, go and relax for a few hours and get some great shots of birds. Definitely recommend this place! Below are a few shots from my trip down there.

Frank Lake Pathway
Frank Lake Pathway

 

Baby Swallows
Baby Swallows

Spring and Summer Plans.

Spring and Summer are easily my favourite seasons and now that the weather is warming up, I am planning the places I want to see this spring and summer. As the year proceeds, I will be revisiting this list marking which ones have been completed.

  1. Hike to Sunshine Meadows
  2. Hike around Upper Kananaskis Lake
  3. Hike to Rawson Lake
  4. Bike the Legacy Trail (Canmore to Banff)
  5. Bow and Peyto Lake
  6. Hike up Ha Ling Peak
  7. Lake Louise Gondola
  8. Hike up Galatea
  9. Hike Mount Indefatigable
  10. Do a Horseback ride in the mountains (Any suggestions anyone?)

Lets see how many I can manage!!!

Weddings, Engagements and Proposals

Click to read more about the Wedding, Engagements or Proposal packages!

Proposals

  • 1 Hour Shoot after the Proposal
  • Edited Video of the Proposal
  • All Professionally Edited files on USB Drive
  • All Edited Photos in an Online Password Protected Gallery

Engagements

  • 2 Hour Engagement Shoot
  • All Professionally Edited files on USB Drive
  • All Edited Files in an Online Password Protected Gallery

Weddings

  • 2 Hour Engagement Shoot
  • 8 Hours of Coverage
  • Second Photographer
  • All Professionally Edited files on USB Drive
  • All Edited Files in an Online Password Protected Gallery

Things to Note

 

Family

Click to read more about the family packages!

Family

  • 2 Hour Family Shoot
  • 20 – 30 Professionally Edited Photos
  • All Professionally Edited files on USB Drive
  • All Edited Files in an Online Password Protected Gallery

Things to Note

Portraits and Headshots

Check out our Portrait and Head shot portfolio!

Portrait Package

  • 2 Hour Portrait Shoot
  • 15 – 25 Professionally Edited Photos
  • All Professionally Edited files on USB Drive
  • All Edited Files in an Online Password Protected Gallery

Things to Note

Commercial and Fashion

Click to read more about our commercial or fashion shoots!

Commercial and Fashion

  • 3 Hour Shoot of Products, Models or Places.
  • Online password-protected proof gallery to pick 30 images for editing
  • All Professionally Edited files on USB Drive
  • Copyright to use any images on any medium for the first two years free.

Things to Note

Ucluelet and Tofino

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to head to Ucluelet and Tofino out on Vancouver Island for some rest and relaxation. To me that means an opportunity to take travel photos and explore the peninsula both towns reside on. Needless to say, a large portion of the week was spent doing the various walks with a sea kayaking trip at the end.

Tofino and Ucluelet are on the west side of Vancouver Island, about 2 and a half hours outside of Nanaimo if you take the Pacific Rim Highway. With many things to do in both towns, from hiking to surfing, kayaking to whale watching, there is something for everyone.

I had to opportunity to play around with the Extral HD Action camera on the hikes so at the end of the week I had 150gigs worth of images and video to go through. I still have most of it to go through but here are some teaser shots and a bit of an introduction to the place.

Half-Moon Beach Hike

Rainforest Trail Walk

Chesterman Beach

Cathedral Grove Walk

If you would like to see more shots, be sure to follow me on Instagram too where I will be posting the vast majority of pictures. @gj_hull