Bald Hills

At 13 km return and 610 meters in elevation gain, Bald Hills is a relatively short but extremely rewarding hike, and probably my favorite that I've hiked in Jasper thus far. 

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Glory! The final reward is a panoramic view of Maligne Lake (which is huge!) and the surrounding peaks. Photo doesn't really do it justice, but there's a feeling of enormity up here.   

More Mountains

Spent another couple of days in the mountains. This time around we ventured into BC to check out Mount Robson Provincial Park and hike the first leg of Berg Lake Trail.

 Start of Berg Lake Trail. The full trail is 46km return from the furthest campsite along the hike. We only had time for a day hike, so we opted to do 14km return from the first campsite. 

Start of Berg Lake Trail. The full trail is 46km return from the furthest campsite along the hike. We only had time for a day hike, so we opted to do 14km return from the first campsite. 

 The area around Mt. Robson gets significantly more precipitation than the rest of the Rockies, making the vegetation more akin to the kind you see along the B.C. coast. Plenty of massive lichens and old-growth cedars. 

The area around Mt. Robson gets significantly more precipitation than the rest of the Rockies, making the vegetation more akin to the kind you see along the B.C. coast. Plenty of massive lichens and old-growth cedars. 

 Robson River is never far from the trail, with a number of rapids thundering along the way. 

Robson River is never far from the trail, with a number of rapids thundering along the way. 

 After 4km of gradual climb we reached Kinney Lake. The base of Mount Robson is visible in the upper right. 

After 4km of gradual climb we reached Kinney Lake. The base of Mount Robson is visible in the upper right. 

 Another view from the close end of Kinney Lake. 

Another view from the close end of Kinney Lake. 

 Another 3km later and we reached the far side of Kinney Lake. The peninsula that juts out in the photo is the same peninsula in the previous photo from the opposite side. 

Another 3km later and we reached the far side of Kinney Lake. The peninsula that juts out in the photo is the same peninsula in the previous photo from the opposite side. 

 Looking up at Mt. Robson. Clouds make it impossible to tell scale here, but it's the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 meters.

Looking up at Mt. Robson. Clouds make it impossible to tell scale here, but it's the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 meters.

 What a snappy camper.

What a snappy camper.

Banff

Good family, good friends, good times. Feels so good to have been back in the mountains.

Nikonos IV-A on Portra 400 and Ektar 100, 35mm lens

 First day: Lake Louise

First day: Lake Louise

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 Second day: Sunshine

Second day: Sunshine

Gandalf

"The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven not man's."

- Twain

Who needs a proper human model anyways? Excellent times with Gandalf, the fur child of Sean M. 

Styling by Aaron Jongerius with pieces from gravitypope.

  scarf - Paul Smith / sunglasses - Karen Walker

scarf - Paul Smith / sunglasses - Karen Walker

 scarf - Paul Smith / sunglasses - Karen Walker

scarf - Paul Smith / sunglasses - Karen Walker

 necklace - Rada / turtleneck - stylist's own

necklace - Rada / turtleneck - stylist's own

 sunglasses - Sun Buddies \ necklace - Rada

sunglasses - Sun Buddies \ necklace - Rada

 scarf - Paul Smith / necklace - Rada

scarf - Paul Smith / necklace - Rada

  scarf - Paul Smith / necklace - Rada

scarf - Paul Smith / necklace - Rada

 hat - Rag & Bone \ necklace - Rada

hat - Rag & Bone \ necklace - Rada

 tie - stylist's own \ shoes - vans

tie - stylist's own \ shoes - vans

Montréal

In December I spent seven days in Montréal, five of which working and two adventuring the city. On my days off, Josh Le, a friend from our time at the U of A, showed me the town he has come to call home.

 Josh!

Josh!

One of my favorite things about Montreal is how palpable it's age and maturity is. Coming from a place like Edmonton, even ordinary and otherwise unremarkable brownstone apartment buildings give it a sense of gravity. I can feel that there is a lot of life here, and that it's been here for a while.

Here are some images from my trip:

Jasper

Mountains hold so much potential symbolism it practically screams in your face. Challenges, obstacles, rewards, perserverance, pride.... you name it. No wonder they hold so much power to draw people to them. 

Photos were taken in Jasper National Park, including the Maligne Lake area and the Sulphur Skyline trail. 


Do different types of bottled water taste differently?

A question for the ages (and for plenty of yuppies) - do different types of bottled waters taste differently? Virginia Aqua, Lead Head Scientist at the Edmonton Water Testing Facility, puts six common brands to the test. Her verdict might surprise you (or not).

Samples:
A - Pure Life
B - Evian
C - Fiji
D - Smart Water
E - Dasani
F - Montclair

Shot & edited by yours truly, starring Sarah Ormandy.

PARKSHOW

This past weekend I was fortunate to participate in PARKSHOWYEG.

PARKSHOW is fashion show organized by PARK, a non-for-profit organization whose aim is to promote local designers and creatives. PARKSHOW provides an opportunity for these artists - often just getting their start in the industry - to showcase their work without the onerous barriers of established fashion events. 

Originally from Calgary, PARK made the hop into Edmonton with PARKSHOWYEG on Saturday. The show featured collections from WORKHALL, S.P. BADU, LUXX, Suka, Bano eeMee, CRUZ and Kazz.

Here are some backstage moments and some of my favourite looks from the show:

Getting Wet With Cody Yano

At 4 AM tomorrow morning, Cody Yano will be on his way to Shanghai to represent Canada at the FINA Diving World Cup. Soon after that, he jets off to Edinburgh for the Commonwealth Games.

Cody's introduction to diving started with the gymnastics floor, not the diving board. As a part of a program that brought the two sports together, he made the choice to instead pursue diving. "I fell in love with diving, and when I had to make the choice between the two, I chose it."

At 23 years old, Cody has already managed to accumulate a fair amount of neckwear for a young diver. He is a current two time National Champion, with several other national medals. 

He has also been causing some commotion in the diving community. In 2013, Cody picked up his first gold medal at the Canadian Senior Nationals in an upset win against Olympic team member Francois Imbeau-Dulac. 

 Red eyes - cat allergy? Or pure fire?

Red eyes - cat allergy? Or pure fire?

When it comes to his diving style, Cody is unconventional. Heavier than the typical diver, Cody says his added strength can be an advantage not only technically, but aesthetically. 

"When I dive the one meter, I can make the board touch the water. The other guys can't do that as easily. It's a bit of a different look, and has some more power behind it," he said.

You can see Cody make the diving board hit the water in this video. Wait for the second dive.

Shooting Cody was a great experience. His powerful physique and quiet confidence is contrasted by his somewhat soft-spoken nature. He's not without a sense of humour, however.

"Everyone says that divers shave their legs, and It's true in some cases, but it's only for aesthetics," he tells me.

You can follow Cody's progress on his Facebook page and Twitter. Let's cheer him on! 

Thanks to Natasha Ross for makeup & assisting.

TEDx Edmonton

This past weekend, TEDx hit Edmonton, and I was fortunate to be tasked with documenting its success. For the unfamiliar, the purpose of a TEDx conference is captured well in its motto: "ideas worth spreading". The theme of this year's conference was uncertainty.

The Royal Alberta Museum played host to the event - it was a day chock-full of brains and diverse talks from people far more interesting than myself. Speakers included Dr. Francescutti (President of the Canadian Medical Association), Jaxson Khan (prominent young leader), Titilope Sonuga (incredible spoken word) and Courtney Kirschbaum (consultant and motivational speaker), to name half.

Following the event, the crowd descended upon SNAP Gallery to unwind. Who doesn't love an afterparty? I started handing my flash to people and taking their photo as they held it - too much fun.

Check out the TEDxEdmonton Facebook page for updates. More photos will be posted there soon!

Thank You.

It was typical summer day in suburban West Edmonton. I was bored, had a day off work, and was most likely capping off a marathon World of Warcraft session. So, I did something I hadn't done before; I took my parent's point-and-shoot camera, hiked my ass over to the local ravine and started taking pictures. 6 years later, that decision continues to have a profound impact on my life.

Photography is a passion that has waxed and waned over the last 6 years. There was a stretch where I didn't have a camera at all, another where I was too discouraged to continue and times where I've slowed down due to other interests. But, here I am writing this.

I can't explain why photography has stuck with me other than that I am drawn to people, I am an extremely visual person and I have a nagging creative drive. Over the years I've experimented with other forms of creativity, but nothing has felt as organic and fluid to me as photography. Learning to 'see' light and hitting the shutter at the right time are incredible feelings.

 One of the earliest photographs on my Flickr account.

One of the earliest photographs on my Flickr account.

This website (and blog by extension) is an attempt to continue to grow as a creative. I've reached a point where I'm ready to exhibit my work, and I hope you're excited to see me progress too. You can expect to see regular updates on photoshoots, work for clients, personal writing and whatever else is on my mind. 

Finally, I'd like to thank the people who have encouraged me along the way. Doing something that hordes of other people try and do is existentially challenging. The friends, colleagues, family & loved ones that have pushed me to keep trying are a huge reason why this exists. Thank you.

Olivia B

I've been reading a lot of Hunger. Given that Rankin dominates just about every issue of the mag, his work has been at the top of my mind. Rankin is a huge source of inspiration for me and I think my shoot with Olivia shows that a bit. I am in love with his style - it's aggresive and honest while maintaining a human sensitivity.

For this shoot I really wanted to make expression and movement the priority for Olivia. Putting her up against a white wall and blowing it out seemed like the best way to do that. You can't use a white wall as a crutch, it's just the model and the lens. 

Shot with a beauty dish straight on and maybe about 20-30 degrees up. I gridded the dish for the headshots. Second light behind Olivia and pointed against the wall to wash it out. Also, if any photographers are considering getting the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art, just do it. Shooting with a short telephoto is overrated anyway. 

Overall I'm happy with how things turned out. It's common for me to get frustrated after a shoot because I can't seem to execute the image I have in my head, but I feel like with each shoot I'm getting a little bit better at executing that vision. Definitely recommend shooting with Olivia - she's a rad gal.