Photo Challenges

Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory (Portrait of Top Chef Canada Winner)

I have been absent from the Weekly Photo Challenge for quite a while, but Krista’s tales of hard work and determination inspired me to dive back in this week with a true mark of victory!

rene rodriguez

I recently had the opportunity to meet and shoot the winner of Top Chef Canada, Rene Rodriguez, owner of Navarra Restaurant in downtown Ottawa. Rene has an amazing look; we share a love of U2; and after hearing that he purchased a motorcycle with some of his contest winnings, I decided to try to model our shoot after a Rolling Stone cover.

Keeping things simple, I shot Rene and his bike in the alley behind his restaurant using a two-light setup. I placed one speed light in a shoot-through umbrella as the main light, and added a second speed light as a kicker to add a rim (or highlight) for some depth and separation.

I had two setups in mind, one featuring Rene front and centre, with his bike behind him and slightly out of focus, and the second with Rene on his bike. I am really happy with the results of the shoot, and even added some coloured gels for interest, but unfortunately I can’t show you the images from this shoot as they are part of a project to be released next spring. However, I can show you a portrait I took of our victorious chef against a fence at the end of the shoot.

The portrait above uses the same two-light setup, an umbrella as the key (or main) light on camera left, and a bare head flash at camera right to add a slight kiss of light on Rene’s left cheek and down his left arm to help separate him from the background.

Rene was a great subject, and obviously very used to having his photo taken since winning Top Chef Canada in 2014. The culinary scene is truly an amazing scene to be a part of, and I have really enjoyed working with a number of different chefs this year. I look forward to working with some more that I have lined up over the next few months.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Roy G. BIV

Since moving to Ottawa last spring, I have written many, many, many times about how beautiful the city and it’s surrounding area are. Heck, even CBC says that Ottawa sunsets are among the most beautiful in Canada.

Sometimes I don’t have to look far to see the constant stream of beauty we have around here. I took this shot with my phone from the end of my driveway last summer after a brief storm. It was the first time either of my boys had ever seen a rainbow. The moment became a personal highlights from our first year in the city, and I often look back on it to think about the wonderful day we had as a family that day.

rainbow

Weekly Photo Challenge: On The Way

I spoke earlier in the week about an upcoming post I’ll be sharing on a photo shoot I did with an Ottawa chef. I’ll be sharing that post next week, and it will be the first in a series of shoots I have lined up with a local chef collective. In the meantime I thought I’d share a bit of an out take; an image I took on the way to me telling the story of how this chef works in one of five kitchens he manages in Ottawa.

wpc on the way

Though his eyes are obscured by the warming shelf, I think this image tells the story of the urgency and speed at which a top performing chef nimbly navigates his way around his kitchen. It was my first time inside a restaurant kitchen, and it was all I could do to be a fly on the wall, and stay out of the way of the kitchen and wait staff as they rushed in and out to take care of their customers.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion

Life with kids can sometimes feel like a blur. We’re all constantly on the go, and the energy around our house never seems to rev below 3000 rpms. In fact, just yesterday we spent part of the afternoon biking around the neighbourhood doing a “park crawl”, hitting up every swing, climber, and slide we could find. It’s truly the best way to have some family time with an active family like ours.

weekly photo challenge motion